Methane pp 45-58 | Cite as

Earth Outgassing of Methane

  • Thomas Gold


Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and a variety of other phenomena all point to a spasmodic release of gases generated at deep levels in the Earth. Methane (CH4) appears to be a major component, as would be expected if the present meteorites are an indication of the source material that formed the Earth.

Oil deposits appear to have resulted from combinations of organic material and ascending gases from below; most of the natural gas that is now being discovered comes directly from the very deep (non-biogenic) sources, and has been arrested at accessible levels on the way up. The importance for the world energy situation is great, for one can expect to find very large quantities of gas in the sparsely explored but accessible region of 15–30,000 ft. depth.


Methane Hydrate Carbon Isotope Coal Seam Methane Content Carbonaceous Chondrite 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Gold
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Radiophysics & Space ResearchCornell UniversityUSA

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