Team finds new methane hydrate deposits near Japan
News On Japan via NHKReloaded -- Oct 30
A Japanese team of researchers has found new deposits of a prospective new energy source called methane hydrate in the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk. The team says it's very likely deposits can be found in wide areas around Japan.
Research team members from Meiji University say they have been conducting drilling surveys since last year. Locations are the Sea of Japan off Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk off Hokkaido's Abashiri in northern Japan.
The team found methane hydrate deposits in the sea floor at a depth of 800 to 1,000 meters. The locations are about 30 to 50 kilometers off both coasts.
Methane hydrate is a kind of natural gas with methane gas trapped in ice. The substance exists in the seabed and other places with high pressure and low temperature.
Deposits have already been found in coastal areas of central Japan in the Pacific and off Niigata Prefecture in the Sea of Japan.
The researchers say an ultrasound survey detected gas gushing out of the seabed off the Sea of Japan coast between Shimane and Hyogo prefectures in western Japan. Experts say a methane hydrate deposit is likely to exist near such a place, called a gas chimney.
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(Jiji Press )