New state-of-the-art technology collects a unique time series from methane seeps in the Arctic — ScienceDaily


A brand new publication in Ocean Science hyperlinks cutting-edge expertise with developments in our understanding of the surroundings and local weather, highlighting and constraining uncertainties in present methane estimates from methane seepage websites within the Arctic.

On the forefront of ocean observatory applied sciences is the Ok-Lander — an progressive ocean observatory outfitted with many ocean sensors, designed in collaboration between the water column group at CAGE led by Bénédicte Ferré and Kongsberg Maritime. This observatory was designed to observe methane launch from the seabed to the water column underneath difficult environments, offering invaluable data on temporal and spatial variability of pure methane launch that may doubtlessly attain the environment.

A brand new examine printed in Ocean Science carried out by CAGE PhD candidate Knut Ola Dølven and co-authors presents time-series information from two methane seep websites offshore western Svalbard, within the Arctic. These distinctive outcomes present excessive variability each on hourly and seasonal time-scales and describe the interconnectivity between methane seepage and the ocean.

“The size and site are what makes these time-series distinctive, as they reply previous and lift new questions associated to this variability and the way we will higher constrain it in future emission estimates.” Says Knut Ola Dølven, Dølven, who carried out this examine as a part of his Ph.D. at CAGE.

Areas of intense methane seepage

In 2015 and 2016, two Ok-Lander observatories had been deployed over distinct intensive methane seepage websites west of Prins Karls Forland, the place hundreds of fuel bubble streams originating from the seafloor had been noticed.

Regardless of the data that methane seep websites doubtless expertise excessive temporal and spatial variability, our understanding of the quantity, distribution, and launch of methane within the Arctic Ocean has largely relied on research that had been undertaken within the late spring to early autumn because of higher ice and climate situations. Till now.

Long run, steady monitoring of methane launch

Utilizing information from the Ok-Lander, Dølven and co-authors processed a novel lengthy time-series that spanned 10 months, measuring methane, carbon dioxide and bodily parameters at every website. These measurements offered essential insights into the short-term and differences due to the season of methane emissions and concentrations.

“It was fascinating to watch that, regardless of the very excessive short-term variability in methane launch, the supply of methane emission appeared to be comparatively unchanged all through the 10-month deployment. This has sturdy implications on future interpretations of methane focus in seep areas.” Says Dølven.

There may be additionally elevated potential for methane launch to the environment throughout the fall and winter, if seepage persists, because of the weaker water column stratification (elevated mixing of the layers within the ocean).

Whereas seabed seepage is taken into account a minor pure supply of atmospheric methane, there are giant uncertainties associated to the present and predicted emission estimates. Dølven and co-authors had been, due to this fact, capable of spotlight and constrain uncertainties associated to variability in methane stock estimates from seabed methane seepage.

Ok-Lander expertise in future analysis purposes

This work highlighted the profitable cooperation between maritime trade and analysis groups, offering leading edge expertise for monitoring methane to assist clarify questions on oceanic greenhouse fuel emissions. That is the primary long run information collection offering distinctive multi-sensor information on methane launch and different ocean bodily and chemical situations within the Arctic.

“This infrastructure will play a significant function in understanding components controlling methane emissions not solely in Arctic, as highlighted on this examine, however in different areas worldwide as nicely. Methane seepage information together with different parameters measured by the Ok-Lander will assist in estimating current and future world methane budgets in our oceans” says Bénédicte Ferré, the crew chief for WP4 ‘Gasoline within the Water Column’ and EMAN7, and the liable for the event, acquisition and information evaluation associated to the Ok-Lander.