Methane observatories successfully deployed in the Arctic

Methane observatories successfully deployed in the Arctic
Observatories will stay put on the ocean floor in the Arctic for a full year, collecting data on methane release. Credit: Anna Silyakova/CAGE

It is not only the space agencies that launch landers with sensors to far away places . Marine science institutions have a lot of unknown ground to cover in their quest for knowledge. Also they are depending on groundbreaking lander and sensor technology to lead them to that knowledge.

CAGE recently deployed two observatories on the site of the methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean. Kongsberg Maritime built the two observatories that are now comfortably placed on the in two locations offshore Svalbard. These are the sites where flares of gas bubbles have been observed, indicating release of to the water column. The observatories are placed at the depth of 90 meters and 240 meters respectively.

"The launch went perfectly," says chief scientist on the cruise, Dr. Anna Silyakova.

Methane is a potent climate gas that can amplify the global warming if released into the atmosphere. However, there is still a lot to be learned about the release of methane from the ocean floor, and what happens to it in the water column. Does it get dispersed with the currents? Do bacteria consume it? Or is it released in the atmosphere?

Methane observatories successfully deployed in the Arctic
Beautiful Arctic summer days allowed for a successful deployment of the methane observatories to the ocean floor. Credit: Anna Silyakova/CAGE

The observatories include several instruments which will monitor release from the seabed to the as well as CO2, ocean acidification and circulation. The data from these observatories will provide knowledge that will help understand processes related to climate change. The observatories will stay put in their locations, collecting crucial data for a full year.


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Citation: Methane observatories successfully deployed in the Arctic (2015, September 22) retrieved 28 November 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-methane-observatories-successfully-deployed-arctic.html
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