Results reported here by L.L. Brothers and colleagues show the first evidence for widespread seabed methane venting along the southeastern U.S. Atlantic Margin beyond the well-known Blake Ridge Diapir Seep.
While it was suspected that such seeps existed, there was little direct evidence until now.
Data collected from recent ship and autonomous underwater vehicle surveys discovered multiple water-column gas plumes (>1000 m height and made up of bubbles). Brothers and colleagues also mapped extensive new chemosynthetic seep communities (communities of biological organisms that directly use methane and/or sulfide for life processes) at the Blake Ridge and Cape Fear Diapirs.
Flow along these systems is both more dynamic (more active) and more widespread than previously believed.
L.L. Brothers et al., DOI:10.1130/G34217.1.