The Indian Ocean is known for its mysterious methane, the potent greenhouse gas which is spewed by burning fossil fuels and can also be detected in the ocean’s depths.
The ocean is a rich source of methane, with concentrations of up to 3.5 times the concentration in the atmosphere.
A gas detector can tell us whether it is natural gas or methane.
The sea water on which these chemicals are emitted can also tell us about the geology of the planet, the oceanic crust, and the origins of life.
Here are five ways to detect methane in the sea.
Gas detector in the water source The ocean’s methane is generated in two ways.
First, a gas that is produced in the decomposition of organic matter is trapped in the crust, called the marine crust, or marine basalt.
Second, a natural gas trapped in organic matter can be released by the decomposing organic matter.
To detect methane from the seafloor, an underwater methane gas detector is needed.
This is achieved by an underwater probe called a hydrophone.
It is attached to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), which detects the movement of the water, the temperature of the seafloors surface, and atmospheric pressure.
It can be attached to the surface of a ship, which can also detect the movement and temperature of methane.
It takes around an hour to set up a hydrophones detection system, and it costs around $1,500.
Gas detection in the waves source The hydrophone is not the only instrument to be used to detect natural gas.
The ROV can also spot gas emitted by the gas flares, the flaring of hydrothermal vents, and hydrotherapy of ocean waters.
A hydrophone can be placed on a hydrothermograph or hydrophone recorder, and if it detects methane, it sends it to a gas detector on board the ROV.
The hydrophones instrument is sensitive to temperatures above 30°C, and its temperature can be adjusted by the operator.
Gas detecting in the oceans source Gas detectors are used in some parts of the world to detect gases that are generated by hydrothermitic activity.
In this case, the hydrophone and the recorder are mounted on a ROV, and their temperature and pressure can be monitored remotely.
A similar instrument called a hydrograph is also mounted on the Rov and can be used in remote sensing operations.
Gas detectors in the air source The detection of methane in air is not a simple process.
The air is a complex mixture of organic molecules and gas molecules, and methane can enter the air from many sources.
The methane can also enter from a variety of sources, such as methane generated by the hydrotherms, the decomposement of organic material, or the emissions from the flaking of hydroelectric power plants.
The detection is dependent on the temperature, pressure and humidity of the air.
There are different methods for detecting methane, depending on the atmospheric conditions.
In India, methane is detected by measuring the pressure difference between the air and the ocean.
The higher the pressure, the higher the concentration of methane gas.
In the US, a hydrodynamic device is mounted on an ROV and used to measure the temperature and humidity.
The device can detect methane up to 30° C, and up to 40° C in the tropics.
Gas-detection systems in the deep source The Indian Navy is using a hydroelectric drill to drill for gas in the seas.
The drilling rig is equipped with a hydrohydrodynamic instrument to measure pressure and temperature, and can detect the presence of methane up 30 metres deep.
The drill has a capacity of up 100,000 cubic metres.
The depth of the drill is up to 15 metres.
A hydrodynamical device is used to analyse the pressure and the temperature at a depth of up 15 metres, and this can be set up to detect up to 100 times the amount of methane that is detected.
In addition, the drill will detect methane at a different temperature, up to 5° C below the surface.
The hydrodysonic device is also used in offshore drilling and seismic surveys, and a hydro-gas detector can be fitted to the drill.
The underwater detection is possible only with hydro-hydrodynamics.