Gigantic Asphalt Domes Found Off Coast Of California

Posted by on April 26th, 2010

Ancient asphalt domes discovered off California coast.jpg

See nature? This is what happens when you leave your oil laying around the ocean floor of 35,000 years!

California scientists found two massive asphalt domes on the sea floor, most likely the result of oil deposits made thousands of years ago.

“It was an amazing experience, driving along…and all of a sudden, this mountain is staring you in the face,” said Christopher M. Reddy, director of WHOI’s Coastal Ocean Institute and one of the study’s senior authors, as he described the discovery of the domes using the deep submersible vehicle Alvin. Moreover, the dome was teeming with undersea life. “It was essentially an oasis,” he said, “almost like an artificial reef.”

What really piqued the interest of Reddy — a marine geochemist who studies oil spills — was the chemical composition of the dome: “very unusual asphalt material,” he said. “There aren’t that many opportunities to study oil that’s been sitting around on the bottom of the ocean for 35,000 years.”

This is why we can’t keep anything nice on this sea shelf!

[Science Daily]

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