A Numerical Model for Hydrocarbon Bubbles from Natural Seeps Within Hydrate Stability Zone
MetadataShow full item record
Due to the rapid vertical transportation of methane in the ocean, there is a growing concern regarding the contribution of natural gas seepage to the global atmospheric greenhouse gas budget. Hence, it is essential to understand the vertical oceanic transport of hydrocarbon gases escaping from natural seepage. The fate and transport of natural gas in water depend on the rising velocity and dissolution rates of the bubbles. Especially in the deep ocean, clathrate hydrates of hydrocarbon gases can be formed and stay stable, and it is unknown how hydrate formation may affect the fate of hydrocarbons in water. In this dissertation, we develop a numerical model to track the fate and transport of hydrocarbons released into the deep ocean. The model includes non-ideal equations of state for complex hydrocarbon mixtures and uses standard empirical correlations for rising velocity and mass transfer rates for clean and dirty bubbles. For the hydrate effects on bubbles, we hypothesize that rising velocity and mass transfer rates match those of clean bubbles immediately after release, and these rates reduce to those of dirty bubbles after a hydrate skin formation time, which depends on the initial bubble size and the hydrate sub-cooling. After the dissolution, the transport of dissolved gases in the ocean depends on the combined action of advection and diffusion. The model simulates the transport of dissolved gases based on the advective-diffusion equation with the random walk theory, and it can estimate the dissolved hydrocarbon flux through the water column. The developed model is validated by the observation of hydrate formation on bubbles from the laboratory and field experiments. The model simulation results are compared with the measurement of natural seeps, such as the rising height, the trajectory of bubbles, the spreading of bubble clouds, and the concentration distribution of dissolved methane gas. The developed model could be used to explain the hydrocarbon gases behavior through the water column within the hydrate stability zone.
Jun, In Ok (2018). A Numerical Model for Hydrocarbon Bubbles from Natural Seeps Within Hydrate Stability Zone. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from