Oceanology

Doklady Earth Sciences

, Volume 446, Issue 1, pp 1132-1137

The degradation of submarine permafrost and the destruction of hydrates on the shelf of east arctic seas as a potential cause of the “Methane Catastrophe”: some results of integrated studies in 2011

  • V. I. SergienkoAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , L. I. LobkovskiiAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , I. P. SemiletovAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , O. V. DudarevAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , N. N. DmitrievskiiAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , N. E. ShakhovaAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , N. N. RomanovskiiAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , D. A. KosmachAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
  • , D. N. Nikol’skiiAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , S. L. NikiforovAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , A. S. SalomatinAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , R. A. Anan’evAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , A. G. RoslyakovAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , A. N. SalyukAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , V. V. KarnaukhAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , D. B. ChernykhAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , V. E. TumskoiAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , V. I. YusupovAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , A. V. KurilenkoAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , E. M. ChuvilinAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS
    • , B. A. BukhanovAffiliated withPresidium of the Far East Branch, RASIlichev Pacific Oceanological Institute Far East Branch, RASInternational Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska FairbanksShirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscow State UniversityGeophysical Institute, University of AlaskaInstitute of Problems of Laser and Information Technologies, RAS

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Abstract

On the basis of the analysis of published data and in the course of the authors’ long-term geochemical and acoustic surveys performed in 1995–2011 on the East Siberian shelf (ESS) and aimed to research the role of the Arctic shelf in the processes of massive methane outbursts into the Earth’s atmosphere, some crucially new results were obtained. A number of hypotheses were proposed concerning the qualitative and quantitative characterization of the scale of this phenomenon. The ESS is a powerful supplier of methane to the atmosphere owing to the continued degradation of the submarine permafrost, which causes the destruction of gas hydrates. The emission of methane in several areas of the ESS is massive to the extent that growth in the methane concentrations in the atmosphere to values capable of causing a considerable and even catastrophic warning on the Earth is possible. The seismic data were compared to those of the drilling from ice performed first by the authors in 2011 in the southeastern part of the Laptev Sea to a depth of 65 m from the ice surface. This made it possible to reveal some new factors explaining the observed massive methane bursts out of the bottom sediments.