Oil Gently Seeping from the Seafloor

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    About one-half of the oil in the ocean comes from natural oil seeps. This illustration shows the route traveled by oil leaving the subseafloor reservoir as it travels through the water column to the surface and ultimately sinks and falls out in a plume shape onto the seafloor where it remains in the sediment. (Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)