Investigation of mechanical properties of hydrate-bearing pressure core sediments recovered from the Eastern Nankai Trough using transparent acrylic cell triaxial testing system (TACTT-system)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 11:14 AM
Jun Yoneda1, Akira Masui1, Yoshihiro Konno1, Yusuke Jin2, Masato Kida2, Kiyofumi Suzuki3, Yoshihiro Nakatsuka3, Norio Tenma1 and Jiro Nagao2, (1)AIST - National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan, (2)AIST - National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Sapporo, Japan, (3)Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, Chiba, Japan
Natural gas hydrate-bearing pressure core sediments have been sheared in compression using a newly developed Transparent Acrylic Cell Triaxial Testing (TACTT) system to investigate the geophysical and geomechanical behavior of sediments recovered from the deep seabed in the Eastern Nankai Trough, the first Japanese offshore production test region. The sediments were recovered by hybrid pressure core system (hybrid PCS) and pressure cores were cut by pressure core analysis tools (PCATs) on board. These pressure cores were transferred to the AIST Hokkaido centre and trimmed by pressure core non-destructive analysis tools (PNATs) for TACTT system which maintained the pressure and temperature conditions within the hydrate stability boundary, through the entire process of core handling from drilling to the end of laboratory testing. An image processing technique was used to capture the motion of sediment in a transparent acrylic cell, and digital photographs were obtained at every 0.1% of vertical strain during the test. Analysis of the optical images showed that sediments with 63% hydrate saturation exhibited brittle failure, although nonhydrate-bearing sediments exhibited ductile failure. In addition, the increase in shear strength with hydrate saturation increase of natural gas hydrate is in agreement with previous data from synthetic gas hydrate.

This research was financially supported by the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21 Research Consortium) that carries out Japan’s Methane Hydrate R&D Program by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).