EARTH Magazine: Hundreds of Methane Seeps Discovered Along the U.S. East Coast

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EARTH Magazine: Hundreds of Methane Seeps Discovered Along the U.S. East Coast


Megan Sever (


Alexandria, Va. — Methane is often found naturally leaking from the seafloor, particularly in petroleum basins like the Gulf of Mexico or along tectonically active continental margins like the U.S. West Coast, but such plumes were not expected along passive margins, like the East Coast of North America. Now, however, the discovery of hundreds of methane seeps on the seafloor along the U.S. East Coast suggests that such reservoirs may be more common along passive margins than previously thought.  The release of such methane globally may have a significant influence on climate, scientists say.

Read more about the new technologies that allowed researchers to find these seeps and what they may mean for water temperatures and climate in the December issue of EARTH magazine:

For more stories about the science of our planet, check out EARTH magazine online or subscribe at The December issue, now available on the digital newsstand, features stories about what’s happening to all the plastic trash in the oceans, why ammonites died out but nautilids survived the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, and a retrospective on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami a decade after it killed more than 230,000 people, plus much, much more. Be sure not to miss our holiday gift guide!


Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at: Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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