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Mysterious ‘pocket’ of underwater gas could contain millions of tons of natural gas or CO2

Mysterious ‘pocket’ of underwater gas could contain millions of tons of natural gas or CO2

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The bottom of the sea can be a gassy place. Underwater volcanoes and vents spew carbon dioxide (CO2) near the crevices where tectonic plates rift apart. Hungry bacteria convert decomposing creatures of the deep into natural methane. And, new research from Japan reminds us, enormous, miles-wide reservoirs of greenhouse gases lurk in untouched pockets just below the seafloor. In a study published Aug. 19 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team of researchers discovered one such pocket at the bottom of the Okinawa Trough, a massive submarine basin sitting southwest of Japan where the Philippine Sea plate is slowly sinking below the Eurasian plate. Using seismic waves to map the trough’s structure, the team found a huge gas pocket stretching at least 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide and potentially containing more than 100 million tons (90.7 million metric tons) of CO2, methane or some combination of the two. Depending on its contents, this massive stash of seafloor gas could…
Source: class=”bbc_link” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Mysterious ‘pocket’ of underwater gas could contain millions of tons of natural gas or CO2

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