Lee J. Y.

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J. Y.

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  • Article
    Parametric study of the physical properties of hydrate-bearing sand, silt, and clay sediments : 1. Electromagnetic properties
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-11-09) Lee, J. Y. ; Santamarina, J. Carlos ; Ruppel, Carolyn D.
    The marked decrease in bulk electrical conductivity of sediments in the presence of gas hydrates has been used to interpret borehole electrical resistivity logs and, to a lesser extent, the results of controlled source electromagnetic surveys to constrain the spatial distribution and predicted concentration of gas hydrate in natural settings. Until now, an exhaustive laboratory data set that could be used to assess the impact of gas hydrate on the electromagnetic properties of different soils (sand, silt, and clay) at different effective stress and with different saturations of hydrate has been lacking. The laboratory results reported here are obtained using a standard geotechnical cell and the hydrate-formed tetrahydrofuran (THF), a liquid that is fully miscible in water and able to produce closely controlled saturations of hydrate from dissolved phase. Both permittivity and electrical conductivity are good indicators of the volume fraction of free water in the sediment, which is in turn dependent on hydrate saturation. Permittivity in the microwave frequency range is particularly predictive of free water content since it is barely affected by ionic concentration, pore structure, and surface conduction. Electrical conductivity (or resistivity) is less reliable for constraining water content or hydrate saturation: In addition to fluid-filled porosity, other factors, such as the ionic concentration of the pore fluid and possibly other conduction effects (e.g., surface conduction in high specific surface soils having low conductivity pore fluid), also influence electrical conductivity.
  • Article
    Parametric study of the physical properties of hydrate-bearing sand, silt, and clay sediments : 2. Small-strain mechanical properties
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-11-09) Lee, J. Y. ; Francisca, Franco M. ; Santamarina, J. Carlos ; Ruppel, Carolyn D.
    The small-strain mechanical properties (e.g., seismic velocities) of hydrate-bearing sediments measured under laboratory conditions provide reference values for calibration of logging and seismic exploration results acquired in hydrate-bearing formations. Instrumented cells were designed for measuring the compressional (P) and shear (S) velocities of sand, silts, and clay with and without hydrate and subject to vertical effective stresses of 0.01 to 2 MPa. Tetrahydrofuran (THF), which is fully miscible in water, was used as the hydrate former to permit close control over the hydrate saturation Shyd and to produce hydrate from dissolved phase, as methane hydrate forms in most natural marine settings. The results demonstrate that laboratory hydrate formation technique controls the pattern of P and S velocity changes with increasing Shyd and that the small-strain properties of hydrate-bearing sediments are governed by effective stress, σ′v and sediment specific surface. The S velocity increases with hydrate saturation owing to an increase in skeletal shear stiffness, particularly when hydrate saturation exceeds Shyd≈ 0.4. At very high hydrate saturations, the small strain shear stiffness is determined by the presence of hydrates and becomes insensitive to changes in effective stress. The P velocity increases with hydrate saturation due to the increases in both the shear modulus of the skeleton and the bulk modulus of pore-filling phases during fluid-to-hydrate conversion. Small-strain Poisson's ratio varies from 0.5 in soft sediments lacking hydrates to 0.25 in stiff sediments (i.e., subject to high vertical effective stress or having high Shyd). At Shyd ≥ 0.5, hydrate hinders expansion and the loss of sediment stiffness during reduction of vertical effective stress, meaning that hydrate-rich natural sediments obtained through pressure coring should retain their in situ fabric for some time after core retrieval if the cores are maintained within the hydrate stability field.
  • Article
    Volume change associated with formation and dissociation of hydrate in sediment
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-03-11) Lee, J. Y. ; Santamarina, J. Carlos ; Ruppel, Carolyn D.
    Gas hydrate formation and dissociation in sediments are accompanied by changes in the bulk volume of the sediment and can lead to changes in sediment properties, loss of integrity for boreholes, and possibly regional subsidence of the ground surface over areas where methane might be produced from gas hydrate in the future. Experiments on sand, silts, and clay subject to different effective stress and containing different saturations of hydrate formed from dissolved phase tetrahydrofuran are used to systematically investigate the impact of gas hydrate formation and dissociation on bulk sediment volume. Volume changes in low specific surface sediments (i.e., having a rigid sediment skeleton like sand) are much lower than those measured in high specific surface sediments (e.g., clay). Early hydrate formation is accompanied by contraction for all soils and most stress states in part because growing gas hydrate crystals buckle skeletal force chains. Dilation can occur at high hydrate saturations. Hydrate dissociation under drained, zero lateral strain conditions is always associated with some contraction, regardless of soil type, effective stress level, or hydrate saturation. Changes in void ratio during formation-dissociation decrease at high effective stress levels. The volumetric strain during dissociation under zero lateral strain scales with hydrate saturation and sediment compressibility. The volumetric strain during dissociation under high shear is a function of the initial volume average void ratio and the stress-dependent critical state void ratio of the sediment. Other contributions to volume reduction upon hydrate dissociation are related to segregated hydrate in lenses and nodules. For natural gas hydrates, some conditions (e.g., gas production driven by depressurization) might contribute to additional volume reduction by increasing the effective stress.