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On September 9 and 10, three Chinese scientists from the Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology, a marine-research arm of the China Geological Survey, visited the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s gas-hydrate facility in Woods Hole, MA, to learn more about hydrates and possibly establish a cooperative research program.
The following week, on September 17, the visitors spent time at the labs of USGS scientists Keith Kvenvolden, Tom Lorenson, Steve Kirby, and Laura Stern in Menlo Park, CA. The Chinese delegation also visited with gas-hydrate experts in Canada (before their Woods Hole visit) and at Stanford University (before their Menlo Park visit).
A sign of the Chinese determination to develop a workable gas-hydrate research program, even though they are recent entrants in such research, was evident in the video the Chinese scientists presented about their gas-hydrate program: a large-scale model of a methane hydrate molecule welcomes visitors outside the front door of the Qingdao Institute!
During their visit, Professor Ye Yuguang, head of the Chinese Hydrates Lab, showed how gas hydrates are made in their facility; Zhang Xun-Hua, Director of the Department of Geology Research, talked about Chinese offshore geophysical data; and He Qixiang, emeritus and head of the delegation, explored numerous possibilities for cooperation.
Discussions in Woods Hole covered topics about gas-hydrate formation and preservation, the GHASTLI ( Gas Hydrate and Sediment Testing Laboratory Instrument) lab, the HyFI (Hydrates From Ice) lab, results from last summer's giant-piston-coring cruise on the French research vessel Marion Dufresne, and the geologic history of and gas-hydrate occurrence at the Blake Ridge offshore South Carolina.
In Menlo Park, a discussion about the geochemistry of gas hydrates from around the world was followed by handling both artificial gas hydrate and natural gas hydrate from the Gulf of Mexico.
in this issue:
Chinese Scientists Visit Gas-Hydrate Labs
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