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News Release Hydrothermal Vents

Origin of Massive Methane Reservoir Identified

New research provides evidence of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane—methane formed by chemical reactions that don’t involve organic matter—on Earth and shows how the gases could have a similar origin on other planets and moons, even those no longer home to liquid water.

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The manipulator arm of the remotely operated vehicle Jason samples a stream of fluid from a hydrothermal vent. The fluid contains gases that are in liquid form because of the high pressure of the deep ocean.
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At the Woods Hole Science Stroll budding researchers shared their ideas for the future of ocean exploration. (Photo by A. Brown, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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