In a recent study, a team of researchers has successfully registered the music of methane bubbles coming from the seabed off the Oregon coast with the help of a hydrophone. This has resulted in opening the door to acoustics to identify and also quantify the amount of this significant greenhouse gas present in the ocean.
Accordingly to the researchers, the next step for the team would be to brush up their ability even further to detect the acoustic signatures of the bubbles in the order they can use the sound to track the quantum of methane in the offshore reservoirs. It is the for the general information that the results of such findings have been published in the journal which is known as Deep-Sea Research II.
According to Robert Dziak who is an acoustics scientist working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and also the lead author of the study has said that the bubbles in the streams make sound and subsequently the frequency of the music is related to the size of the bubble. He further explained the concept by saying that the smaller the bubble, the higher the pitch. Again the more massive the bubble, the lower is the sound pitch, but here the quantum of methane is much more.
Robert further added that their ultimate goal is to utilize the sound to track the volume and the rate of the methane gas that can be detected from the seafloor. In the last few years, scientists have found out that hundreds of bubbles are spreading methane deposits off the Pacific Northwest Coast. However, the scientists don’t have a clue regarding the quantum of the methane gas stored in that region. It is a fact to know that methane can be available both as glacial hydrate deposit as well as in the gas phase within the sediments of the continental margins. Researchers are of the view that it could prove to be a new energy source or it could pose a severe environmental threat as a greenhouse gas.
The research team took resort to the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Hercules from the Exploration vehicle (E/V). It has been further learned that Nautilus, owned and operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust has deployed a hydrophone at a position which is 10 kilometers off Heceta Bank on the Oregon Continental Margin about 1228 meters deep inside the water.