Methane plumes “flowing upslope” into shallower water; “Further up in the water column than we had seen” says scientist

Scientists from St. Petersburg find high methane readings near oil disaster site, St. Petersburg Times, July 21, 2010:

Two years before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, scientists from SRI International took readings on the levels of methane in the Gulf of Mexico less than 10 miles from the rig. Last year, they went back and did it again. Now, after the rig blew up and gushed oil for more than 80 days, SRI’s scientists from St. Petersburg have returned to the same area just northwest of the disaster and taken fresh readings.

They found levels of methane — a particularly potent greenhouse gas — are now 100 times higher than normal, SRI scientists said. …

In addition to the increased amount of methane, the SRI tests “did show indications that the methane was further up in the water column than we had seen it before,” said Carol Lutken of the University of Mississippi, which is part of a consortium with SRI that has been doing the tests. …

Methane may be spreading throughout the gulf just like the underwater plumes of oil found by oceanographers…

They’re to the northwest and on a slope, just over half a mile deep, while Deepwater Horizon’s well is a mile below the surface. That means that the methane in higher levels that SRI discovered during the most recent tests on June 25 and 26 has apparently been flowing upslope, Lutken said.

1 comment to Methane plumes “flowing upslope” into shallower water; “Further up in the water column than we had seen” says scientist

  • ghana serapis

    What else is in tis methane bubble? Is it morphing as it heats and rises due to the current in the gulf? Is it combining with the new hydro-carbon soup and Corexit 9500 and if so, what is the potential hazard of this rising to the surface and bursting? What will it release and on it’s current trajectory where might it rise and burst at? We could then look @ weather and wind patterns in that area and prepare folks in it’s path to ski-daddle. Where is the fooking leadership on this?

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