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Gas hydrates have been physically observed in samples of offshore sediment (including inland seas) worldwide, as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 also shows sites in which the presence of gas hydrates is inferred from geophysical, geochemical, or well- logging data. To some extent the distribution pattern shown in Figure 2 reflects bias in selection of research areas and in sampling. Nonetheless, the predilection of hydrate- bearing sediment to be associated with outer continental margins is consistent with both the pressure and temperature constraints of hydrate formation (especially that of methane hydrate), and the notion that these areas favor generation of methane and other related gases because of their relatively thick sediments and ample supply of source material (organic debris).
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