Acoustic Monitoring and Tracking of Natural Hydrocarbons Gas Bubbles Over the Course of a Year

TitleAcoustic Monitoring and Tracking of Natural Hydrocarbons Gas Bubbles Over the Course of a Year
Publication TypeConference Abstract
Year2021
AuthorsPadilla, AM, Kinnaman, F, Valentine, DL, Weber, TC
Conference NameScience and Ocean Engineering Graduate Research Symposium
Conference LocationVirtual
Conference DatesMay 5

The release of natural hydrocarbon seeps (e.g., methane gas bubbles) is spatially distributed across the oceans seafloor and have been studied for decades. The flux of natural hydrocarbons from the seafloor has been observed to vary over a range of timescales and has been hypothesized to be linked to external physical processes, such as atmospheric pressure, currents, and tides. On September 2019, a Simrad ES200 split-beam echosounder was mounted to one of the cross-members of a decommissioned oil platform, known as Platform Holly, and has been collecting high-resolution temporal acoustic measurement since its deployment. Platform Holly is located within one of the world’s most prolific natural hydrocarbon seep site, the Coal Oil Point (COP) seep field. Natural hydrocarbon seepage activity within the COP seep field has been active for several decades and previous research highlights both spatial and temporal variability within the seep field. The high-resolution, long-term time series of the acoustic measurements of seepage activity in the vicinity of the oil platform will provide insight on the spatial and temporal variability of seepage activity in the region and how it is affected by external physical processes.