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Huge Methane Release Documented

  1. Sep 23, 2006 #1
    I found this story posted by MK in the Earth forum and it seemed to me it provides excellent, documented support for the case made by some people that such methane releases may be responsible for the sudden sinking and, hence, unexplained disappearances of boats, in Bermuda Triangle type scenarios:

    http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=1482

    It seems to me a cloud of this volume coming up under a yacht could easily cause it to swamp and sink very quickly.

    There is also this:

    It was quite loud underwater, so I'm wondering if that translated to the surface and might constitute another cause of mysterious booms that are heard occasionally around the world.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2006 #2

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    Given its size and the intensity of maritime and aerial traffic, there is nothing extraordinary in the bermuda triangle. Any similar area with intense traffic has comparable number of disasters.
    There is no need to search for explanations like mathane bubbles, geomagnectic anomalies, ETs or sea monsters.
     
  4. Sep 25, 2006 #3
    True. We don't really need to debunk the notion of it as a general area with mysterious properties any further.

    In the course of trying to do that, though, the issue of whether or not a methane release could sink a boat came up. This notion struck a chord with me because I once read an account of a personal yacht that found itself in the midst of a "boiling" sea somewhere. It sounded kind of nuts, and impossible, to me. All this speculation about methane sinking boats, and now this documented large release, make me think the people I read about must have sailed into a bunch of small releases spread out over a large area.

    If it can sink a boat it could also explain any individual disappearance of a boat in good weather.
     
  5. Sep 25, 2006 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    It is not the number of lost ships and planes, what interests people are the unexplained losses that happen in good weather that lack any apparent explanation.

    There is also the issue of magnetic anomalies that have been reported by pilots and navigators. One might just assume that these reports are all lies, but that would be a faith statement; such as when ball lightning reports, and mariner's reports of rogue waves were all dismissed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2006
  6. Sep 26, 2006 #5

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    Ships sink and planes fall in good weather all over the world, due to mechanical causes.
    Many accidents that the devil´s Triangle supporters claim happened in good weather, occurred really during storms, but this does not make a good story.
    For a good analysis of the problem, read The Bermuda Triangle Mystery-Solved by Larry Kusche.
     
  7. Sep 27, 2006 #6
    This is supported, anecdotally, by another book I read by a seasoned solo yachtsman who said the area was well known among experienced sailors for sudden, violent, local storms.

    http://www.amazon.com/Outward-Leg-Tristan-Jones/dp/1574090615

    (Unfortunately I don't recall if that is the exact book in which he explains this. He wrote several accounts of his solo voyages.)
     
  8. Oct 10, 2006 #7

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    Waterspouts have also been suggested as potential sources of 'fair weather' disappearances - an it is an appealing argument. I would be willing to consider the bubbling [methane release] ocean scenario provided it can be associated with sonar readings. Any bubbly event sufficient to sink a cargo ship would most likely be detectable by military vessels at substantial distances.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2006 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.coverups.com/bermuda.htm

    More previous discussions:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=27512
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=37096
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=82614

    It is also worth noting that an offshore oil platform was lost when it sank due to the sudden release of methane; when it hit a pocket of methane while drilling.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  10. Oct 11, 2006 #9

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    Methane bubbles could make the sea to appear coming from all directions and carry water droplets wich formed a fog. But methane has no EM properties, so there is no reason for the compasses going wild and the electrical equipment to fail.
     
  11. Oct 12, 2006 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    I agree; there is no obvious connection.

    As for the disappearances, I have heard the claim that many so called mysterious disappearances weren't really so mysterious, and I know of a few seemingly mysterious cases that might easily be explained, but I have also seen many cases that seem to be unexplained. When I get some time I'll dig up a few of the more interesting stories and see if they have been debunked.

    There was one notable story that A. Clarke discusses in which, after a careful review, it appears that everyone on a sail boat went swimming and no one put out the ladder! Can you imagine treading water in the ocean while watching your boat sail into the night?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2006
  12. Nov 6, 2006 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Well, for starters, we have this from the Navy's Historical Center. Some of the more notable cases are listed.

    http://www.navis.gr/miscella/bermuda.htm

    The Devils Sea area is also rich in methane clathrate hydrate deposits.

    Here is another link that seems pretty good.
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/bermuda-triangle1.htm

    This site seems to have an excellent chronology going back to Columbus. So far it looks credible enough.
    http://byerly.org/bt1.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2006
  13. Nov 18, 2006 #12
    \

    Physicist David Willey provided a graphic demonstration of how methane releases could sink ships or bring down planes. The bubbling methane disrupts the surface tension of the water and reduces its ability to support a ship. A plane encountering methane gas over the area would ignite the gas and of course the plane.
     
  14. Nov 21, 2006 #13
    I remember an episode of the BBCs "The Blue Planet" where they had footage from near a large methane (I believe) deposit in the area of Bermuda (I believe) (It was 4 years ago, and alcohol has rotted my brain). They filmed a fish swimming into the region and it immediatley lost control of its bouyancy.
    This was due to the water chemistry and therefore the density being different.
    I know friends who have dived fresh water sinkholes in South America where there are strong chemical shifts and they say that you pass a visible layer in the water and your bouyancy suddenly shifts drastically often associated with your skin burning due to the layer being battery acid. The boundary layer is only a few centimetres thick held apart by temperature and pressure and incredibly stable. I myself have experienced salt water/fresh water boundary levels near river mouths where your bouyancy suddenly changes by 4lb of lead.
    Back to open sea boundary layers, a theory was mentioned (I'm sure in the same programme) was that a sudden release of trapped methane would cause the lower density water to surge to the surface, any vessel in the area would immediately cease to be bouyant and sink.
    As for aircraft what would happen to an air breathing engine if suddenly was sucking methane?
     
  15. Nov 23, 2006 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was just watching a documentary on the Science Channel called Dive to Bermuda Triangle, which was about the effort to identify five WWII Navy Avengers [planes] spotted underwater off the coast of Florida. I had never seen the conclusion to this mystery before.

    Many people suspected that these five planes must be the missing Avengers from the famous flight 19, which is a case that motivates much of the triangle lore. When the planes above were first found, time was limited, and only one tail number was identified. This number ended in 83, and the lead plane in the Flight 19 had a number ending in 88. So even though the tail numbers didn’t match, it was easy to imagine that this was simply an error. Now, a return mission with an underwater robot allowed definitive identification of one plane, which ultimately led to the identity of at least two.

    These are not the planes from flight 19. However, it seems that five similar planes went down in nearly the same location, on five separate occasions, but within a fairly narrow window of time; [hmmmm, or, perhaps 1,1, and 3 on three occasions... this was not entirely clear]. At least one was known to have experienced a dramatic loss of power before ditching.

    As for the question of methane taking down a plane, it was demonstrated that a 1% mixture of methane with the atmosphere can kill an engine like those used in Avengers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2006
  16. Nov 24, 2006 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Uh oh, one cautionary note: The engine demo was done without good controls. We can't say for a fact that this is true - that 1% is all that it takes to kill an engine like this - rather, that one group claims this result with a live test that was recorded with video cameras, but that [perhaps] was not well documented. The documentation for this test may or may not exist beyond the video recording. The people who did this - mainly aviation people and a pyrotechnics group - are not known to me.
     
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