Expedition: SWERUS-C3

Mega flare

Mega flare. What is a Mega flare? We hunt Mega flares. Mega flare hunting is big game hunting. We need an arsenal of weapons to hunt Mega flares. First we use the Multibeam and mid-water sonar to check for indications as we steam in a tight grid pattern. Back and forth, back and forth. We are now on the way to station 22. Back and forth. Indications of flares and the mid-water sonar goes red. We throw everything we got in the water and turn on all ship system to maximum for logging data.

We are “sniffing” methane. We see the bubbles on video from the camera mounted on the CTD or the Multicorer. All analysis tells the signs. We are in a Mega flare. We see it in the water column we read it above the surface an we follow it up high into the sky with radars and lasers. We see it mixed in the air and carried away with the winds. Methane in the air. Where does it come from? Is it from the old moors and mosses that used to be on dry land but now has sunken into the sea. Does it come from the deep interior of the earth following structures in the bedrock up into the sand filled reservoirs collecting oil and gas then leaking out upwards, as bubbles through the sea bed into the water, into the mid-water sonar, the Niskin bottles the analysis and into our results?

Where does the methane come from? Is it organic or not? What’s the volume? How much is carried up into the air? Is there an effect on the climate? One Mega flare does not tell the truth. It’s not evidence enough.

We carry on for the next station.
And the next, and next, next…

Mega flare

Methane emissions from the ocean floor seen on the screen as large clouds. Photo: Ulf Hedman