Hydroacoustic experiments to establish a method for the determination of methane bubble fluxes at cold seeps
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- Greinert, J. & Nützel, B. Geo-Mar Lett (2004) 24: 75. doi:10.1007/s00367-003-0165-7
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Hydroacoustic methods are particularly suitable for investigations of the occurrence, cyclicity and amount of bubbles released at cold seeps without disturbing them. Experiments with a horizontally looking single beam transducer (40 and 300 kHz) directed towards artificially produced bubbles show that the backscattering strength of the bubbles increases with the gas flux rate independently of the bubble radii distribution. It is demonstrated that an acoustic system can be calibrated in such a way that gas flux rates of bubble-size spectra, as observed at natural seeps, can be directly related to the echo level of a known, acoustically insonified volume. No system-specific parameters have to be known except the beam width.