Author: Karyna Rodriguez, Neil Hodgson, Julia Davies (Discover Geoscience)
GEO ExPro – June 2021


Determining the geothermal gradient in an undrilled region has direct implications for basin modelling and remains one the largest areas of uncertainty in frontier basin exploration today. Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) occur at the base of a shallow gas hydrate layer in many of the worlds deep water basins and by calculating the geothermal gradient from the sea floor to base hydrate, quantitative and qualitative inference of the deeper heat flow can assist basin modellers in their work. However, BSRs do not always simulate the seabed and such deviant behaviour can lead them to be interpreted as ‘anything but’ the base of the gas hydrate. Yet such black swans suggest BSRs may be even more useful in mapping variations in heat flow and geotherm than we had previously recognised.

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