Natural supersaturation conditions needed for nucleation of air-clathrate hydrates in deep ice sheets

Tsutomu Uchida, Keita Yasuda, Yuya Oto, Renkai Shen, Ryo Ohmura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We apply new phase-equilibrium data of air-clathrate hydrates to the distribution of air hydrates in deep ice sheets to better understand their nucleation conditions. By comparing the depths at which the hydrates first appear to the phase-equilibrium condition, we estimated the critical size of an air-hydrate nucleus in an ice sheet to be ∼50 nm. The estimated energy barrier for nucleation, based on the temperature dependence of supersaturation, is much smaller than that estimated previously for the pure ice system. Thus, the bubble surface may either act as a type of heterogeneous nucleus, or contain heterogeneous nuclei, for hydrate formation. Competition between nucleation-promotion and nucleation-inhibition factors may increase variation in nucleation rates, resulting in variation of the depth range of the bubble-hydrate transition zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1139
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Volume60
Issue number224
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1

Keywords

  • Clathrate hydrates
  • Crystal growth
  • Ice core

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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