PCATS: Pressure Core Analysis and Transfer System
Pressure cores are taken in geological formations where the preservation of in situ pressures during recovery is important to maintain the physical, chemical or biological components of interest. The most common reason pressure cores have been recovered to date is for the preservation of gas hydrate and the sedimentary structures in which it forms.
Gas hydrate dissociates during or soon after core recovery as a result of decreasing pressure and increasing temperature. The dissociation of gas hydrate creates large volumes of gas that expand and can destroy the complete fabric of the core prior to it reaching the surface. Cores recovered at or near in situ pressures and temperature preserve the contents for analysis in the laboratory.