Potential instability of gas hydrates along the chilean margin due to ocean warming

Giulia Alessandrini, Umberta Tinivella, Michela Giustiniani, Iván de la Cruz Vargas-Cordero, Silvia Castellaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In the last few years, interest in the offshore Chilean margin has increased rapidly due to the presence of gas hydrates. We have modelled the gas hydrate stability zone off Chilean shores (from 33° S to 46° S) using a steady state approach to evaluate the effects of climate change on gas hydrate stability. Present day conditions were modelled using published literature and compared with available measurements. Then, we simulated the effects of climate change on gas hydrate stability in 50 and 100 years on the basis of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and National Aeronautics and Space Administration forecasts. An increase in temperature might cause the dissociation of gas hydrate that could strongly affect gas hydrate stability. Moreover, we found that the high seismicity of this area could have a strong effect on gas hydrate stability. Clearly, the Chilean margin should be considered as a natural laboratory for understanding the relationship between gas hydrate systems and complex natural phenomena, such as climate change, slope stability and earthquakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number234
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Chilean margin
  • Climate change
  • Earthquake
  • Gas hydrate
  • Modelling
  • Slope stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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