Scientists Uncovered A Bubbling Carbon Dioxide Vent Near The Philippines

An exciting area near the coast of the Philippines houses a fascinating vent that releases bubbly carbon dioxide. It is theorized that the vent could allow researchers to learn more about the way in which coral reefs resist climate changes.

The discovery was made by accident by American researchers who wanted to explore how groundwater runoff can affect the oceanic environment in the Verde Island Passage. This strait connects the South China Sea with the Tabayas Bay, and it is used quite often as a primary shipping route.

A lot of activity will take place below the surface as it is the home of one of the most diverse ecosystems. Researchers have been fascinated by the fact that the coral reefs found within this passage continue to thrive.

Scientists Uncovered A Bubbling Carbon Dioxide Vent Near The Philippines

Soda Springs, as the vent has been named, is powered by an underwater volcano that pushes gas and acidic water through cracks found on the oceanic floor. The highest carbon dioxide concentration reached 95,000 parts per million, up to 200 times more than the amount that can be found in the atmosphere.

Further research showed that the level fell at an accelerated pace as the gas flowed in the ocean. Still, a stable elevated level (between 400 and 600 ppm) along with a low pH were encountered across the nearby coastline. The area is an excellent spot for the study of coral reefs and the way in which they manage to survive as more carbon dioxide is pushed into their environment.

By tracing the levels of the radon-222 present in the water, the scientists have also managed to locate hotspots were groundwater was released into the ocean. Groundwater can influence the coral populations in a significant manner, but most studies ignore the impact. More research will take place as the researchers want to learn more about the local reefs.

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