One day earlier this month, a reader asked us about that University of Washington research vessel, R/V Rachel Carson, lingering off West Seattle for hours. That set us on a research quest of our own, learning that the Carson was there for earthquake-related research. The work, UW oceanography professor Paul Johnson tells WSB, has been under way for about three years and involves methane bubbles that seep from the Seattle Fault beneath Puget Sound off Alki Point. The work could someday help with earthquake prediction. We asked for details in hopes of writing a story – and Professor Johnson provided the words and images in the format you see below, which tells the story quite well without much intervention from us – scroll on:
The next image shows a bubble plume, photographed by an ROV in December 2019. The white zones are “bacterial mats that feed the biological swarms around the vents.” (Added: Video)
SIDE NOTE: The Rachel Carson is named for the famous scientist/writer you can read about here.