Videos

page last updated: 13 April 2010

The videos below show phenomena associated with methane release in lakes.

This video, recorded 2009, on a lake near Fairbanks, shows Walter Anthony and a research team drilling a hole through lake ice, then lighting the escaping methane. This video was shot by Megan Otts and Todd Paris of UAF Marketing and Communications.

This video shows a large plume of methane-rich gas continuously bubbling in a tundra lake in Alaska. In the background is a rubber raft used by researchers to explore field sites and collect data. Katey Walter Anthony made this recording in the summer of 2007.

This video shows a researcher burning a plume of methane-rich gas as it bubbles up through the water of a tundra lake in Alaska. Researchers visit winter field sites, cut the ice over the plume (which was located during the summer field season), and light the escaping gas. The steady flames indicate the presence of the methane. Walter made this recording in the spring of 2008. At the end of the end, the video pans out to show a larger view of the lake and the research team. Appearing are (left to right) Melissa Smith, Dennis Witmer, Paul Bodfish, and Thomas Ahmakak Itta.

This video, taken in January 2008 (by Peter Anthony), shows Katey Walter opening thin ice overlying the methane seep at Atqasuk. High rates of bubbling prevent thick ice from forming, and gas escapes from the seep year-round to the atmosphere through cracks in the ice.

This video was shot under the lake ice in April 2008 (by Dennis Witmer). It shows the ice-free cavern generated by a violent bubbling plume that is active year-round. The milk jug frozen in place is a buoy, anchored to the lake bottom for seep location identification in summertime. Here it gives an idea of the scale of the cavern.



The event as Described by Dennis Witmer: "The seep flows so strongly that it disrupts the normal ice formation on this lake. The ice on the lake was about four feet thick, but directly over the seep, the ice was only about a foot thick and porous. We made a hole over the top of the seep to make some measurements, but noted that every time we took ice or water out of the hole that the level dropped -- not what you would expect from floating ice. From this we deduced that the seep must have made a dome in the ice, with ice frozen to the bottom along the edges, but forming a dome of thinner ice over the seep. We then deliberately removed about 200 gallons of water (we counted 40 five-gallon buckets full) and discovered that we had dropped the water level about 16 inches from the top of the ice. I then took my digital camera in movie mode and made the video. The seep can be seen with the vigorous bubbling of the water. You can also see a white plastic milk jug frozen to the top. This was a float that Katey had used to mark the seep last summer so she could easily find it from the air. I shot only a few seconds of video before I lost my nerve; I realized that the chamber in the top of the dome was a mixture of air and methane and could have been an explosive mixture -- I didn't want to ignite the mixture from a spark from the camera."