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A Potential Seep
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019. Download larger version (mp4, 98.0 MB).

During exploration of a site we dubbed Deep "Dodge" Canyon, we encountered a rock that appeared to be authigenic carbonate with bacterial mats growing on it. These mats can be generated by bacteria processing methane, and thus their presence is often indicative of methane seepage in an area. While we ultimately did not observe methane bubbles or signs of chemosynthetic life during the dive, finding even a potential seepage site was surprising for scientists, as it was unexpected and we had not picked anything up in the acoustic data overnight to suggest a seep might be present. We've only been studying seeps along this margin since about 2012, so every observation lends additional clues to our understanding of the geology of this region.

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