An erupting mud volcano in the deep sea

While surveying geologic features in the deep sea off Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, MBARI Senior Scientist Charlie Paull and his team observed bursts of gas emanating from the seafloor near the top of a large mud volcano 425 meters below the ocean surface.

Mud volcano
This mud volcano was observed off the coast of Taiwan.

Mud volcanoes form when methane gas and highly fluidized mud bubble up onto the seafloor from more than one kilometer beneath the seafloor. Here large methane gas bubbles are observed as explosive events, which disturb and propel the clumps of the mud approximately one meter into the water column. During this expedition, a succession of six explosive gas releases was observed over a period of approximately 17 minutes.

An illustrated catalog of diverse life on deep-sea ridge

Scientists from MBARI and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary catalog marine life on Sur Ridge with a new field guide.