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Deep-ocean vents are a source of oil and gas (evidence of abiogenic hydrocarbons)
Nature News ^ | 31 January 2008 | Rachel Courtland

Posted on 01/31/2008 9:42:53 PM PST by neverdem

Hydrocarbons bubble up from the mid-Atlantic's Lost City.

Deep-sea vents could offer a non-biological source of oil and gas.D. KELLEY & M. ELEND, UNIV. WASHINGTON INST. FOR EXPLORATION/URI-IAO/NOAA/THE LOST CITY SCIENCE TEAM

Undersea thermal vents can yield unexpected bounty: natural gas and the building blocks of oil products. In a new analysis of Lost City, a hydrothermal field in the mid-Atlantic, researchers have found that these organic molecules are being created through inorganic processes, rather than the more typical decomposition of once-living material.

Most of the planet's oil and natural gas deposits were created when decomposing biological matter is 'cooked' in high temperatures underground. But non-biological hydrocarbons have also been found deep inside the Earth, where chemical processes create the molecules from inorganic sources such as rock.

Although researchers have seen some evidence for inorganic production of hydrogen in the ocean, Lost City “is the first really clear example of a marine, deep-sea world where hydrocarbons are being synthesized abiotically,” says Giora Proskurowski of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, one of the researchers who made the discovery.

The Lost City hydrothermal vents, some of which are 60 metres tall, sit above magnesium- and iron-rich deposits called 'ultramafic' rock. The minerals contained in the rocks interact with water to produce an environment with plentiful hydrogen, making it chemically favourable for the creation of the hydrocarbon molecules that make up oil and gas.

In 2003, Proskurowski and his team descended 800 metres under the waves to collect the liquid bubbling from these vents. The team returned in 2005 with a remotely operated submarine to collect more samples. By analysing carbon isotopes in the hydrocarbons they brought back, the team found that the carbon and hydrogen atoms in the molecules seemed to come from Earth’s mantle and not from biological matter that had settled on the ocean floor. The results of the study are published this week in the journal Science 1.

Bubbling crude Sampling fluids at this depth under the sea can be tricky; collecting just 150 millilitres of fluid requires a container surrounded by more than 9 kilograms of titanium to prevent depressurization, says Proskurowski.

To rule out the possibility that the hydrocarbons collected from the vents were created from biological material, the team analysed several different isotopes.

Among other measurements, the team analysed the amount of carbon-13 in methane, which contains one carbon atom, and in hydrocarbons containing two, three, and four carbon atoms. As the number of carbon atoms rose, the concentration of carbon-13 fell — the opposite trend to that seen in biologically derived hydrocarbons.

Instead, the pattern of isotopes suggest that a chemical process called the Fischer-Tropsch process is at work in Lost City, creating bigger and bigger hydrocarbons in the hydrogen-rich environment. Although the concentrations were too low to detect without a filter, small amounts of larger hydrocarbons such as kerosene and octane may also be produced.

The team also found that the methane in Lost City contained no carbon-14, suggesting the carbon source for the hydrocarbons comes from within the mantle, far away from organisms that might have had contact with the global carbon cycle at the surface.

“There was always some nagging doubt that there could be some biological contribution such as decomposing organic matter,” says Tom McCollom of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “This really provides a means of clearing up that uncertainty.”

At this point, McCollom adds, no one knows how many hydrocarbon sources there are in the deep sea, but the types of rocks found in Lost City are widespread in other ocean regions, suggesting that it may be a common phenomenon.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abiogenic; abiogenichydrocarbon; abiotic; carbon13; catastrophism; energy; globalwarming; peakoil; science; thomasgold
Abiogenic Hydrocarbon Production at Lost City Hydrothermal Field

Oh my God, the earth is causing global warming!

1 posted on 01/31/2008 9:42:56 PM PST by neverdem
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To: cogitator; xcamel; Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The earth is causing climate change!


2 posted on 01/31/2008 9:45:26 PM PST by neverdem (I have to hope for a brokered GOP Convention. It can't get any worse.)
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To: neverdem

Ah-Hah! That’s what George Norie has been saying all along.


3 posted on 01/31/2008 9:45:51 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder
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To: neverdem

If only this could be true so we can tell the Arabs and Muslims to drop dead.


4 posted on 01/31/2008 9:50:19 PM PST by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now, courtesy of Islam.)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Tainted Drugs Tied to Maker of Abortion Pill (China again)

Lilly Considers $1 Billion Fine to Settle Case (illegally promoted off-label use of Zyprexa)

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

5 posted on 01/31/2008 9:53:47 PM PST by neverdem (I have to hope for a brokered GOP Convention. It can't get any worse.)
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To: Army Air Corps

ping to self.


6 posted on 01/31/2008 9:58:48 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: neverdem

You know, it’s completely likely that the fissile materials heating the earth’s core are producing some sort of energetic by-product, like how fast reactors produce plutonium. I don’t know if we’re burning it faster than it replenishes itself, though.


7 posted on 01/31/2008 10:02:35 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder
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To: neverdem
The evidence is evenly split from what I’ve read at this point. Thinking that the earth doesn’t make it’s own hydrocarbons is to put tape over your telescope. We see it made by non-living forces in our own solar system. But the earth is running out. Strange.
8 posted on 01/31/2008 10:07:53 PM PST by kinoxi
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To: Telepathic Intruder

Ping


9 posted on 01/31/2008 10:09:01 PM PST by Turret Gunner A20
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To: Telepathic Intruder
Telepathic Intruder said: "I don’t know if we’re burning it faster than it replenishes itself, though."

Perhaps more importantly in the short term, abiotic creation of hydrocarbons may mean that there is much still to be found.

10 posted on 01/31/2008 10:19:56 PM PST by William Tell (RKBA for California (rkba.members.sonic.net) - Volunteer by contacting Dave at rkba@sonic.net)
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To: William Tell

Of course, it just depends on how far you dig. In that case however, the most efficient route is geothermal energy. Drill a hole 10 or 20 miles deep, pour water in and have an almost inexhustible supply of steam power.


11 posted on 01/31/2008 10:28:40 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder
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To: neverdem
sounds like Gold's "Deep, Hot Biosphere" to me...
12 posted on 01/31/2008 10:31:41 PM PST by redhead (VICTORY FIRST, THEN PEACE)
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To: neverdem

Thomas Gold ping

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gold


13 posted on 01/31/2008 10:40:52 PM PST by old-ager
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To: redhead; old-ager

Thanks for the links.


14 posted on 01/31/2008 10:50:57 PM PST by neverdem (I have to hope for a brokered GOP Convention. It can't get any worse.)
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To: neverdem

Very interesting....we need to put a cap over it...


15 posted on 01/31/2008 10:53:42 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: neverdem

Thanks neverdem. There may also be an even earlier topic than this one:

Lost City pumps life-essential chemicals at rates unseen at typical black smokers
University of Washington | January 31, 2008 | Unknown
Posted on 01/31/2008 4:28:30 PM EST by decimon
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1962790/posts


16 posted on 01/31/2008 10:57:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv

Thanks for the link.


17 posted on 01/31/2008 11:26:52 PM PST by neverdem (I have to hope for a brokered GOP Convention. It can't get any worse.)
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To: neverdem

Since when is the biological origin of “most” oil and gas anything more than a theory?


18 posted on 01/31/2008 11:54:59 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: neverdem
Subduction carries carbonates into the earth where they are heated and broken down over millions of years. When the carbon wells up into the crust as carbides it comes in contact with water, and produces hydrocarbons. Calcium carbide produces acetylene, and I think I remember working with aluminum carbide which produced methane. I’m sure there are plenty of other carbides as well.

My grandfather taught me all this in the 60s when plate tectonics was being worked out.

19 posted on 02/01/2008 12:01:00 AM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: neverdem

my pleasure. :’)

Shedding light on deep-sea thermal vents
Cosmos magazine | Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Agence France-Presse
Posted on 01/15/2008 3:20:49 PM EST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1954189/posts


20 posted on 02/01/2008 12:03:43 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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The Deep, Hot Biosphere The Deep, Hot Biosphere
by Thomas Gold
foreword by Freeman Dyson

1992 paper


21 posted on 02/01/2008 12:08:08 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: Beowulf; Defendingliberty; WL-law; Normandy

Beam me to Planet Gore !

22 posted on 02/01/2008 3:42:33 AM PST by steelyourfaith
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To: neverdem

Petroleum is just Carbon and Hydrogen (with a few elements occasionally making up another 1%.)

Anytime you get Carbon and Hydrogen mixed together in sufficient quantity, cooked up under pressure and heat over a sufficent time, you will get pretroleum and natural gas.

There are probably different modes of this occuring.


23 posted on 02/01/2008 4:51:02 AM PST by JustDoItAlways
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To: neverdem

bmflr


24 posted on 02/01/2008 9:17:46 AM PST by Kevmo (We need to get rid of the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party. ~Duncan Hunter)
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Robots take scientists into sea depths
Seattle Post-Intelligencer | 7/29/05 | Tom Paulson
Posted on 08/02/2005 3:42:11 PM EDT by LibWhacker
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1455539/posts


25 posted on 02/01/2008 9:54:07 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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hydrothermal vents
hydrothermal vents

26 posted on 02/01/2008 10:01:23 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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one result of the search:

Study shows that hydrothermal vents release mercury
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/1999-10/NS-Ssth-061099.php


27 posted on 02/01/2008 10:01:56 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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The magical properties of Mercury, the metal the EU wants to ban
Daily Mail (U.K.) | 6-7-07 | Michael Hanlon
Posted on 06/25/2007 9:29:40 AM EDT by Renfield
Fehttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1855857/posts


28 posted on 02/01/2008 10:05:12 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__________________Profile updated Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
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To: kinoxi

and debeers tells us diamons are rare.


29 posted on 02/01/2008 10:31:25 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: kinoxi

Thinking that the earth doesn’t make it’s own hydrocarbons is to put tape over your telescope. We see it made by non-living forces in our own solar system. But the earth is running out. Strange.
***I often thought there was too much crude oil to be accounted for by biological deterioration of dinosaurs. Once we understand the process and catalyze it, we can say bye bye to OPEC.


30 posted on 02/01/2008 2:53:52 PM PST by Kevmo (We need to get rid of the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party. ~Duncan Hunter)
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To: neverdem

Fascinating article!


31 posted on 02/01/2008 4:02:01 PM PST by Normandy
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: neverdem
Who should be suprised that there is abiogenic hydrocarbon production. Several planets just in our solar system have significant amounts of methane, the main constituent of natural gas, in their atmospheres. Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Titan, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have some methane in their atmosphers

And now they've found methane on a planet in another solar system

33 posted on 06/15/2008 9:40:07 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: El Gato
Who should be suprised that there is abiogenic hydrocarbon production.

I think the folks calling it fossil fuels and believing in peak oil. Thanks for the link.

34 posted on 06/15/2008 9:59:49 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; ..
Thanks neverdem.
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

35 posted on 06/16/2008 8:34:40 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: neverdem
BLACK-GOLD BLUES Discovery backs theory oil not 'fossil fuel'

36 posted on 09/18/2008 11:25:16 AM PDT by Coleus (Abortion and Physician-assisted Murder (aka-Euthanasia), Don't Democrats just kill ya?)
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The Earth oozes hydrocarbons and water:
Earth could hold more water
by Philip Ball
8 March 2002
There is already thought to be several oceans' worth of water slightly higher in the mantle, at a depth of around 400-650 km. This region is called the transition zone, as it is between the upper and the lower mantle. The lower mantle's minerals can retain about a tenth as much water as the rocks above, Murakami's team finds. But because the volume of the lower mantle is much greater than that of the transition zone, it could hold a comparable amount of water... Any hydrogen in the rocks presumably comes from trapped water, an idea that other measurements support. The researchers found more hydrogen than previous experiments had led them to expect.
Inner Earth May Hold More Water Than the Seas
by Ben Harder
March 7, 2002
Based on what they witnessed in their lab, the researchers concluded that more water probably exists deep within the Earth than is present on Earth's surface -- as much as five times more... Murakami and his colleagues reached their conclusion based on how much water they managed to dissolve under the experiment's extreme conditions in several types of material that make up much of the lower mantle. They used heat and pressure -- 25.5 gigapascals of it, or more than 250,000 times natural atmospheric pressure at sea level -- to create four mineral compounds that exist in the lower mantle... Earth's oceans make up just 0.02 percent of the planet's total mass. T his means the vast lower mantle could contain many times more water than floats on the planet's surface.

37 posted on 06/13/2010 7:15:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: William Tell; sionnsar; neverdem
Telepathic Intruder said: “I don’t know if we’re burning it faster than it replenishes itself, though.”

Perhaps more importantly in the short term, abiotic creation of hydrocarbons may mean that there is much still to be found.

The key hint of this non-dinosuar/non-biologicl decay process to me has long been the depths at which ever more oil is found: Even the Grand Canyon is sterile at only 5000 feet depth. Diamond mines are sterile at that depths ... But we are to image that at 10,000 feet and 15,000 feet down (in different types of rock of course) at many locations around the world that biological residues are being compressed?

38 posted on 06/13/2010 7:37:42 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: philled

For Reference


39 posted on 04/04/2011 2:28:48 PM PDT by philled (Lay on, Macduff! And damned be him that first cries “Hold, enough!”)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
But we are to image that at 10,000 feet and 15,000 feet down (in different types of rock of course) at many locations around the world that biological residues are being compressed?

Yes, in sedimentary basins. Some examples include the Williston Basin, Anadarko Basin, the Michigan Basin, the Wind River Basin, and the Permian Basin, just here in the US.

In some places in the US, crystalline 'basement' rock is exposed at the surface (Igneous or metamorphic rock), in others, it is over 30,000 ft. down. The rocks aren't all in a nice, neat, layer cake down there.

40 posted on 07/01/2011 7:12:38 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Kevmo
"Once we understand the process and catalyze it, we can say bye bye to OPEC."

If the adults were in charge we could.

41 posted on 07/01/2011 7:22:43 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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