Scientists have discovered evidence of a massive distributed reservoir of methane formed by chemical reactions deep inside the ocean floor.
Abiotic methane – created in reactions that don’t involve organic matter or living creatures – has long been known to exist buried in the seabed and released via deep-sea vents, but the origins of the gas in this underwater environment weren’t fully understood.
“Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” says marine geochemist Jeffrey Seewald from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
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