Gas Capture Buoy

The latest instrument to join the UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps Project is our gas capture buoy. The buoy measures the rate of gas emission (gas flux) from the seeps.

The buoy is approximately 3 meters tall and has a capture cone area of about 0.25 m2.

During surveys, the buoy is slowly towed through seep plumes. The collected gas is funneled into a chamber where differential pressure is measured and later converted to sea surface gas flux.

During surveys, differential pressure and differential GPS positions of the buoy are recorded by a computer on board the tow boat.

Seep gas fluxes are used to calibrate the sonar estimates of gas flux (see Emission Estimates)

The 'fluxbuoy' was conceived by Libe Washburn at the Institute for Computational Earth Systems Science (ICESS) and developed by Washburn, Cyril Johnson of the UCSB Physics and Electronics shop and Chris Gottschalk of UCSB Marine Science Institute (MSI).