January 3, 2013. The research expedition discovered 40 previously unknown undersea gas sources close to the U.S. East Coast. According to government scientists, gas plumes consist primarily of methane, also known as natural gas.
Methane — a greenhouse gas, this is due to its ability to absorb heat. However, according to Carolyn Ruppel, researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, the gas from leaking from the bottom of almost reaches the surface in sufficient concentration to climate change. She added that the volume of gas is too small for commercial development.
According to the National Administration Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), led the expedition, leaks were found in four clusters, three of which 160 km from
Ruppel told OurAmazingPlanet, that the sources of methane contribute to the movement of carbon from the atmosphere of the earth, and their study is important to get an accurate picture of climate change and about the extent to which gas is evolved by natural means, and to what extent — as a result of human activity. She also said that methane can be oxidized in the sea water and contribute to acidification of the ocean.
From the second to November 20 NOAA ship called «Okeanos Explorer» explored the seabed with multibeam sonar: detailed images of the seabed are obtained by vyschityvanii of time it takes sound waves to reach the sea floor and return to the ship. According to NOAA, for the expedition were surveyed 15,460 square kilometers of ocean surface area than the state of Connecticut. Mapping was conducted mainly along the slope of the continental shelf, where the North American continent sinks beneath the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Sound waves have also helped to visualize the rising gas plumes.
Where specifically raised gas, not yet entirely clear, said Ruppel. It may result in microbial organic sediments, as well as the deeper processes involving the formation of oil. Perhaps both processes are involved in various fields, she said.
Only a generation ago, the sources of methane were virtually unknown on the East Coast. Beginning in the 1980s, was
"With the help of modern multibeam sonar detection of new sources in our study, almost unexplored ocean can become commonplace," — said Stephen Hammond, a scientist at NOAA.
Translation: Anastasia Antoshkina
Unique animals have been found near the source of methane on the East Coast
May 9, 2013. Last fall, during the inspection of the seabed survey vessel found bubbles rising from the depths.
Recently, another vessel returned to conduct research, and, according to scientists from the National Administration National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA), around the field of methane were detected various kinds of life.
Eighth of May, the ship «Ron Brown» (NOAA) to study the seabed off the coast of Virginia was launched unmanned submarine «Jason». Submarine found clusters of white bacteria that can obtain energy by decomposing methane and irrefutable evidence of finding nearby gas leak. The submarine came across a leak at a depth of 1.6 km — the maximum depth of the dive.
Closer to the source of the bubbles submarine found extensive accumulation of shells, which, according to researchers
The submarine took pictures of crab spiders and unknown fish near the source of methane. Also, samples were taken from the soil and live shells, analyze them in the future scientists to learn more about life in the deep zone. (Photo:
Last fall, the NOAA ship called «Okeanos Explorer» explored the seabed with multibeam sonar: detailed images of the seabed are obtained by vyschityvanii of time it takes sound waves to reach the bottom and back to the ship. According to NOAA for the expedition were surveyed 15,460 square kilometers of seabed area than the state of Connecticut. On the East Coast found 40 gas sources.
Translation: Anastasia Antoshkina