, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 103-122

Distribution of free gas in marine sediments: a global overview

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To quantify the global distribution of free gas in shallow marine sediments, we have identified and indexed over 100 documented cases in the scientific and engineering literature. Our survey confirms previous assumptions, primarily that gas bubbles are ubiquitous in the organic-rich muds of coastal waters and shallow adjacent seas. Acoustic turbidity, as recorded during seismo-acoustic surveys, is the most frequently cited evidence used to infer the presence of seafloor gas. Biogenic methane predominates within these shallow subbottom deposits. Because of their global prevalence, growing interest in gassy marine sediments is understandable, as their presence can have profound scientific, engineering and environmental significance.

Revision accepted: 30 May 2001
Electronic Publication