Oregon State University

WeiLi Hong

Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: Chemical Oceanography
Degree Sought: 
Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography
Research Adviser: 
Dr. Marta Torres, Chemical Oceanography
Research Topic: 
Oscillation of methane availability in hydrate bearing sediments and its relationship to environmental changes for the past 120 thousand years- Case from Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon


Gas hydrate, an icy substance with methane gas trapped inside, is one of the research hot spots in ocean sciences for the last two decades. The large abundance of gas hydrate in marine sediments worldwide suggests it may be a potential energy source for our future. On the other hand, its vulnerability to many environmental changes, such as temperature changes and slope instability, may also carry catastrophic consequences. Under the guidance of geochemist Dr. Marta Torres, WeiLi Hong focuses on how to quantify paleo-availability of methane as a proxy of gas hydrate stability by coupling modeling techniques with sedimentary barium records from Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon. The goal is to “learn from the history” by examining geological records to understand how gas hydrate stability may interplay with environmental changes. This understanding will be valuable in predicting how gas hydrate may respond to the changing globe we face.

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