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Bermuda Triangle

Does loss of gas from gas hydrate account for extensive ship-sinkings in the "Bermuda Triangle"? Please let me pose and answer a series of questions?

  1. Are there large amounts of gas hydrate in the sea floor sediments on the continental rise off the southeastern United States (western part of "Bermuda Triangle")?

    Yes, I think that our interpretations and mapping show that.

  2. Did sea floor sedimentary deposits collapse because of hydrate processes and cause landslides and release of gas by eruptions?

    Probably, yes.

  3. Could gas release cause a ship to sink?

    Absolutely. If you release enough gas you generate a foam having such low density that a ship would not be able to displace enough to float.

  4. Did gas release related to hydrate breakdown result in sinking of ships off the southeastern United States?

    No, I don't think so. Evidence suggests that the collapse and abrupt release of gas related to hydrate breakdown probably occurred at the end of the glacial episode when ocean water was tied up in great continental ice sheets and, thus, sea level was lowered. The lower sealevel caused the pressure on the gas hydrate at the sea floor to be reduced, which would cause hydrate breakdown and gas release. This happened about 15,000 years ago or more, when the more technically advanced men's ships were probably nothing more than hollow logs.

  5. Is there a mystery regarding sinking of ships in the Bermuda Triangle?

    No. I was involved in a television program called "The Bermuda Triangle" that was shown in Britain in about 1992 on Channel 4, the Equinox Programme and that was produced by John Simmons of Geofilms. At that time the producers checked with Lloyds of London to learn whether an unusually large number of ships had sunk in the triangle. They determined that large numbers of ships had not sunk there.

The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle is a fairy tale. Sorry.

Bill Dillon - Geologist, USGS

to read this web page with Ukrainian translation.

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This page last modified on Monday, 26-Sep-2011 15:13:29 EDT