Undersea Methane Reservoirs Initiated by Earthquakes, says Study

sea-MethaneSome German and Swiss scientists have unveiled that earthquakes can result in sub-sea pockets of methane. This is a highly intoxicating greenhouse gas. Quake-caused methane results in heat-trapping carbon emissions and also affect climate all across the globe. The researchers have not defined the scale of earthquake's contribution in emission of methane gas.

Greenhouse gases have both natural and man-made sources. According to the researchers, human source of such emissions is CO2, coal, gas and oil, and methane caused by deforestation and agriculture.

The evidence has been preceded by research on cores of sediment drilled from the bed of the northern Arabian Sea. This research was studied by marine scientists in 2007. According to the research, methane hydrates are only present 1.6 metres (5.2 feet) below the sea floor. These are a solid ice-like crystalline structure of methane and water.

Recently, methane concentrations were found climbing through the sea bed. David Fischer from the MARUM Institute at the University of Bremen said, "We started going through the literature and found that a major earthquake had occurred close by, in 1945. Based on several indicators, we postulated that the earthquake led to a fracturing of the sediments, releasing the gas that had been trapped below the hydrates into the ocean".