Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

GIS database on methane in surface sediments and related seafloor features

Description of the result
Collection of METROL relevant data from a compilation of public and confidential sources were performed using GIS-technology (Geographic Information System). Data are digitised as GIS-files and stored on a server platform at the AWI Bremerhaven. Non-confidential data and results are displayed via the internet. From the METROL homepage (GIS site) an Internet Map Service (IMS) can be launched to explore maps interactively.

Data related to the occurrences of methane in the marine environment have been compiled digitally with the main focus on the North Sea and Western Baltic Sea, to a lesser intensity on the Black Sea. Beyond this the global distribution of methane features were compiled, too. For a map-based result portal the IMS was established on the internet homepage of METROL. There, data can be selected and queries can be carried out to a certain extent in order to create interactive maps. Until 2008, when the restrictions for confidential data will expire, information displayed via the IMS can not be downloaded. A help page for the IMS is provided as well as an introduction to the parameter code of the Global Point Data for methane features. The core data are stored at the AWI and cannot be accessed from outside unless agreement by data owners is obtained.

Current status and use:
METROL data integrated into the IMS so far are cruise tracks, ROV tracks, seismic tracks, occurrences of free gas, occurrences of pockmarks and other methane related features.

A compilation of the main data sources used (mainly from literature) can be found on the METROL homepage. For non-METROL users only metadata (i.e. a literature list) are accessible, METROL users are able to enter the Members Area for download of, e.g., the full articles. This compilation was last updated in February 2005.

A further use of digitised data is planned for further analysis of spatial relationships between methane and proxy data sets (in the scope of a Ph.D. thesis). The focus of this thesis reaches partly beyond the METROL key areas.

Key innovations:
High resolution data from microbathymetrical maps exhibiting seafloor features have been digitised and visualised are now available in 3D-format. For the first time an area-wide inspection and analysis of features in connection with depth of features is made possible.

Users interested in the result
Scientists, working in geology, geophysics and biogeochemistry of the sea floor
General public, in the context of press information on methane and hydrates as a source of energy respectively a threat to seafloor stability (e.g. best selling book “Der Schwarm, by Frank Schaetzing).

Environmental and geological authorities and survey agencies

Expected benefits:
Combining METROL knowledge on shallow gas turnover with TIP result on “Geochemical data on methane flux and retention in sediments extracted from literature and analysed” we intend to discover interrelationships between geological, geophysical and biogeochemical parameters which will enable an explanation of the distribution of free methane gas in the upper sediments of the North Sea. Combining these research areas represents a new approach, as integrative analyses of such data have not been done before.

The following further benefits are expected:
Concepts for management of marine geodata by GIS application.

Visualisation of data in 3D will lead to further insights of methane distribution and open new research questions.

GIS as modelling and analysis tools to interpolate data and extrapolate causal relations, deduce reaction of third parameter (calculation of fluxes if base parameters are at hand or can be deduced).

Informazioni correlate

Reported by

Alfred-Wegener-Institute Bremerhaven
Am Handelshafen 12, (Building C-412)
27570 Bremerhaven
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