• Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry finds asphalt volcanoes
    Sea-bed volcanoes have been identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry finds asphalt volcanoes

May 04 2010

Asphalt volcanoes have been found on the sea bed of the Santa Barbara Channel using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

The National Science Foundation funded research into the geological formations, which have remained hidden until now in the depths of the waters.

Now, scientists have determined that they consist of asphalt and were probably formed by petroleum emerging from the sea bed up to 40,000 years ago.

"All the textures are visible of a once-flowing liquid that has solidified in place," says David Valentine, a geoscientist at the University of California at Santa Barbara who was involved in the research.

"That's one of the reasons we're calling them volcanoes, because they have so many features that are indicative of a lava flow."

In South Korea, chromatography and mass spectrometry have also recently been used at sea.

The Korea Herald reported the techniques' application in attempts to identify the cause of a catastrophic explosion that led to a South Korean navy vessel sinking.

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