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The quality factor of oscillating bubbles as an indication of gas content with particular reference to methane

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3 Author(s)
Walton, Alan J. ; Cavendish Lab., Cambridge ; Gunn, M.G. ; Reynolds, George T.

There has been much interest in detecting the presence of methane gas in the ocean. Although methane exists predominantly as methane hydrate (a buoyant compound) in the deep ocean, recent computer simulations and anecdotal evidence have reported that these hydrates will decompose to produce methane bubbles in shallower waters. This paper describes how the quality factor Q of oscillating bubbles can be used to distinguish methane bubbles (Q=24) from the air bubbles (Q=34) which are ubiquitous near the ocean surface. Values of Q are reported for bubbles in water at atmospheric pressure containing air, carbon dioxide, argon, helium, methane and butane. Possible acoustic techniques for detecting and sizing methane bubbles in the ocean are discussed briefly

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )