Lake Esieh is a fairly shallow lake with a depth of one meter, about 20 football fields on the surface. But in places where most bubbles rise, the bottom drops directly to a maximum of 15 metres.
A research team has now analyzed the lake using the VLF method, a type of electromagnetic wave technology that the military, among others, uses for submarine communications. The images reveal that a chimney-like channel has formed in the permafrost under Lake Eseh, which allows fossil methane to pass to the Earth’s surface.
This is the largest methane leak ever detected in the Arctic, geophysicist Taylor Sullivan tells World of Science: The Arctic is melting!
Measurements show that ten tons of greenhouse gas methane is escaping from the lake every day.
There may be more similar lakes
Methane seeps are found in several places in the Arctic, but they tend to be smaller. Ecologist Katey Walter Anthony was one of the first researchers to investigate Lake Esieh. She believes that more lakes with these types of methane seeps are in the permafrost region.
– Impossible to stop because the water is hot. Katey Walter Anthony says it causes the earth to melt in no time.
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