Methane hydrates:The promising contributions and benefits underlying the offshore Japan seafloor

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 4:00 PM
Chiharu Aoyama and Shigeharu Aoyama, Japan's Independent Institute, Tokyo, Japan
Authors has been engaged in developing methodologies of exploring methane hydrates (MH) which are abundant in the seafloor surface surrounding Japanese archipelago, including (disputed) Senkaku Islands. Unlike the MH found hundreds of meters under seafloor, those MH blocks exposed on the seafloor surface are steadily decomposed - gasified and are making large-scale "methane plume" consisting of bubbles, sometimes exceeding 600 meters high. Authors has obtained patents of several nations to detect methane plumes using commercial fishermen's sonars, however, no royalty has been required to use for scientific purposes. Authors have been insisting that those are one of most promising natural resources because to develop mining technology must be easier. A new regional municipality union to promote seafloor surface MH resource development, named as the Association of Ocean Energy Exploitation of Resources Promotion in the Sea of Japan, was established in September 2012. This association has been mobilizing prefecture government vessels to estimate the distribution and availability of the resource. In our invited presentation, achievements of the

resource survey activities and some of proposed mining methods and their sustainability will be introduced.