Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

Cryosphere => Permafrost => Topic started by: Theta on May 19, 2014, 12:47:32 PM

Title: Network of Hydrates found on New Zealand's East Coast
Post by: Theta on May 19, 2014, 12:47:32 PM
Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but the following article on the New Zealand Herald ( (, documents the discovery of a network of shallow Methane Hydrates found on the East Coast of New Zealand. I thought this would be interesting to discuss for two reasons; the first one being the fact that this is a new discovery as the Methane Hydrates were thought to be at the Seabed, but in this case they are only at a depth of 50km2

More than 100 flares, some shooting up columns more than 250m high, were found in an area of only 50km2, in what is now believed to be the densest concentration of seafloor gas vents so far known in New Zealand.

The second reason is that I thought this discovery would be notable in terms of the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis, since we already know that it is possible for 50 gigatonnes of Methane to be emitted from the Arctic on a decadal timescale and with the shallow hydrates on New Zealand's Coast; would this new discovery harbor any new additions regarding the effect of Methane Hydrates on the Climate?

According to the Alamo Project Facebook Page, those hydrates might act to initiate the Clathrate Gun scenario, but I am not entirely sure if that is a reliable source of information: (

Image of Temperature Anomalies at that area

Title: Re: Network of Hydrates found on New Zealand's East Coast
Post by: Adam Ash on July 30, 2014, 12:44:15 PM
Supporting papers.. (

And this follow up work too, with prettier pictures... (

New Zealand is on a plate boundary too, so its not unlikely that calthrates approaching thermal instability could be bounced into gassing by the momentary relief of overburden pressure arising from a passing earthquake shock wave. (