EARTH: Hundreds of Methane Seeps Discovered Along the U.S. East Coast

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine  --  Methane is often found naturally leaking from the seafloor, particularly in petroleum basins like the Gulf of Mexico or along tectonically active continental margins like the U.S. West Coast, but such plumes were not expected along passive margins, like the East Coast of North America. Now, however, the discovery of hundreds of methane seeps on the seafloor along the U.S. East Coast suggests that such reservoirs may be more common along passive margins than previously thought. The release of such methane globally may have a significant influence on climate, scientists say.

Read more about the new technologies that allowed researchers to find these seeps and what they may mean for water temperatures and climate in the December issue of EARTH magazine.

For more stories about the science of our planet, check out EARTH magazine online or subscribe at The December issue, now available on the digital newsstand, features stories about what's happening to all the plastic trash in the oceans, why ammonites died out but nautilids survived the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, and a retrospective on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami a decade after it killed more than 230,000 people, plus much, much more. Be sure not to miss our holiday gift guide!