Vive Le Canada

Methane now bubbling from Beaufort Sea
Date: Monday, January 29 2007
Topic:


Methane hydrates decomposing


Remotely Operated Vehicle observations revealed streams of methane-rich gas bubbles coming from the crests of pingo-like-features (PLFs) due to warm water influx. We offer a scenario of how PLFs may be growing offshore as a result of gas pressure associated with gas hydrate decomposition.

Abstract


The Arctic shelf is currently undergoing dramatic thermal changes caused by the continued warming associated with Holocene sea level rise. During this transgression, comparatively warm waters have flooded over cold permafrost areas of the Arctic Shelf. A thermal pulse of more than 10C is still propagating down into the submerged sediment and may be decomposing gas hydrate as well as permafrost. A search for gas venting on the Arctic seafloor focused on pingo-like-features (PLFs) on the Beaufort Sea Shelf because they may be a direct consequence of gas hydrate decomposition at depth. Vibracores collected from eight PLFs had systematically elevated methane concentrations. ROV observations revealed streams of methane-rich gas bubbles coming from the crests of PLFs. We offer a scenario of how PLFs may be growing offshore as a result of gas pressure associated with gas hydrate decomposition.


Origin of pingo-like features on the Beaufort Sea shelf and their possible relationship to decomposing methane gas hydrates
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[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 31, 2007]

Origin of pingo-like f...



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