Methane Bubbles on Abraham Lake

March 11, 2020


Photographer: Sandy Chinski 
Summary Author: Sandy Chinski

The photo above shows methane bubbles just beneath the ice of Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada. It was taken at sunrise. Abraham Lake was created in 1972 when the North Saskatchewan River was dammed drowning a large amount of organic material which creates methane gas as it decomposes. In addition, deposits of methane hydrate, currently frozen at the bottom of the lake in permafrost, release methane gas as the permafrost thaws. As the methane is released toward the surface, it turns into whitish blobs when it contacts the frozen lake water. Elliott Peak (9.425 ft or 2,873 m) is in the background. Photo taken on January 24, 2020.