16/11/2018 Pär Jansson defends thesis on methane release in the water column

Congratulations to Dr. Jansson who recently defended his thesis “Methane bubbles in the Arctic Ocean – Quantification, variability analysis and modelling of free and dissolved methane from the seafloor to the atmosphere.”

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas leaking from the seafloor at continental margins, and some researchers are concerned that its release into the atmosphere may amplify the greenhouse effect. But what are some of the factors controlling methane release, and what actually happens to the methane when it reaches the water column? These are some of the topics that Pär Jansson’s doctoral thesis has sought to investigate.

The study quantifies methane gas bubbles released from the seafloor offshore western Svalbard, and suggests that the intensity at which methane is released depends on transient gas pathways, while concentrations depend on both seepage variation and dispersion patterns.  A process-based model shows that bubble size is the most important factor in vertical methane distribution.

The thesis presents new methods for understanding the dynamics of bubble-mediated methane, emanating from the seafloor in the Arctic Ocean. It also highlights the importance of efficient survey methods, knowledge of oceanographic conditions, and the need for sophisticated instrumentation and modelling tools in such detailed work.

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