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Image : Undersea Asphalt Volcanoes Discovered

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The area around Santa Barbara is very geologically active, because of the movement of the San Andreas and other faults. Extensive faulting or rupturing in the Earth allows oil and gas from subterranean reservoirs to seep up to the seafloor and ultimately into the ocean and to the atmosphere. But some oil solidifies to create asphalt volcanoes. (Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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Last updated: May 24, 2011
 


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