Abnormal methane population in natural gas hydrates (NGHs) recovered from natural deep sea sediment has been demonstrated. Highly increased CH4 occupancy ratios of large to small cages were observed in the sediment rich component of NGH, indicating that various minerals and mobile ions included in deep-sea sediments may significantly inhibit the normal CH4 cage occupancy in gas hydrate formation. Therefore, we suggest that the real methane amount contained in natural gas hydrate deposits should be more carefully evaluated from site to site with consideration of clay-based NGH.

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