Natural Oil Seeps


Natural Oil Seeps

As much as one half of the oil that enters the coastal environment comes from natural seeps of oil and natural gas.

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Deep-Sea Images Give New View of Arctic Ocean Methane Seeps

Working with colleagues from the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) in Norway, Dan Fornari from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) Geology & Geophysics Department collected nearly 30,000 high definition images at known methane release sites in the Arctic Ocean north of Norway.  The detailed images will provide new insights into the most remote areas of natural methane releases in the world.

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WHOI scientists find ancient asphalt domes off California coast

They paved paradise and, it turns out, actually did put up a parking lot. A big one. Some 700 feet deep in the waters off California?s jewel of a coastal resort, Santa Barbara, sits a group of football-field-sized asphalt domes unlike any other underwater features known to exist. About 35,000 years ago, a series of apparent undersea volcanoes deposited massive flows of petroleum 10 miles offshore. The deposits hardened into domes that were discovered recently by scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and UC Santa Barbara (UCSB).

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Mixing Oil and Water

Mixing Oil and Water

In recent decades scientists have made substantial progress in understanding how oil enters the oceans, what happens to it, and how it affects marine organisms and ecosystems. This knowledge has led to regulations, practices, and decisions that have helped us reduce sources of pollution, prevent and respond to spills, clean up contaminated environments, wisely dredge harbors, and locate new petroleum handling facilities.

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