The nature of the host sediment, particularly its texture, exerts a strong influence on the distribution and growth forms of hydrates. In the dynamic system, the habitat of gas and methane transport mechanisms will modulate this pattern, but ultimately the geological structures will control where the hydrate is concentrated.

Acknowledgements. MBC acknowledges United Kingdom NERC Fellowship GT5-97/IS/ODP held at the University of Leeds 1997-1999. At UFBA, MBC is supported by grants from the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology. This work was inspired by the late Gabriel Ginsburg, whose visit to the UK in 1998 was made possible by a generous grant from the Royal Society under the Ex-Quota Visits scheme.

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