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Thomas Gold - Professional papers

Thomas Gold - Professional papers

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Published by zaroia
Dr. Thomas Gold (1920 - 2004) left a legacy to mankind
Dr. Thomas Gold (1920 - 2004) left a legacy to mankind

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Published by: zaroia on Sep 11, 2008
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Thomas GoldOctober 2000
Aircraft Hazard related to gas emission from the Earth
 I think it important that pilots, the aircraft industry, air safety staff, accident investigators,should all be aware of the possibility of the hazard described in the accompanying article, andalso that research shold be directed to establish the severity of this hazard, and find ways of diminishing the risk.My new book, "
The Deep Hot Bioshpere
," (Copernicus, An Imprint of Springer-Verlag, New York, ISBN 0-387-98546-8) is now available in bookstores in the USA and United Kingdom. It canalso be obtained on the Internet fromBarnes & NobleorAmazon.com. It discusses most of the items listed below. The basic idea that a large amount of microbiol life exists in the pore spaces of the rocks downto depths of between 6 and 10 kilometers arose in the following way: natural petroleum almostalways contains elevated levels of the chemically inert gas helium and at the same time itcontains molecules that are unquestionably of biological origin. How these two differentsubstances meet up in oil has long been a puzzle. If there exists microbial life, down to alllevels that can be reached by the drill, then the biological molecules can be explained. Theassociation with helium can then be explained adequetely if the hydrocarbons have come upfrom much deeper levels and thereby swept up the diffusely distributed helium that exists inthe rocks. The evidence that such a deep bioshpere exists has now been strongly supported by microbiolstudies in deep bore holes.Drilling deep into the crystalline granite of Sweden between 1986 and 1993 revealedsubstantial amounts of natural gas and oil. 80 barrels of oil were pumped up from a depthbetween 5.2 km and 6.7 km.Russian petroleum geologists followed this operation closely. Dr. P.N. Kropotkin reported at ameeting in Moscow that the discovery of oil deep in the Baltic Shield may be considered adecisive factor in the hundred year old debate about the biogenic or abiogenic origin of oil. Thisdiscovery was made in deep wells that were drilled in the central part of the crystalline BalticShield, on the initiative of T. Gold.Drilling into crystalline bedrock is now underway in Russia on a large scale. More than 300 wellshave been drilled to a depth of more than 5 km and are productive, as also is the giant White Tiger field offshore Vietnam, mostly producing also from basement rock.Outgassing processes of the Earth are discussed, and the relation they may have to:
sub-surface biology
origin of petroleum
earthquakes and volcanic eruptions
deposits of certain metal ores
chemical processing of the crust
Sub-surface life on Earth may give an indication that similar life exists on other planetarybodies, and suggests means of looking for that. The material is presented in the form of assorted papers from the following menu.
 The most important information for estimating the value of a field:Recharging of oil and gas fields.
 The origin of petroleumNatural Gas and Oil The Origin of Methane (and oil) in the Crust of the Earth— This is a major paper,outlining the reasons why an origin from non-biological materials accounts better for thefacts, than an origin from buried biomass (approximately 31 printed pages).
Evidence for a primordial origin of hydrocarbonsOn the History of Science- Excerpts from a paper by P.N. KropotkinDepth Effects of Petroleum 
Association of hydrocarbons with helium and with biological moleculesAssociation of Petroleum with Helium and Biological Molecules 
Sub-surface life on Earth and possibly on other planetary bodies The Deep, Hot Biosphere— Reason for suspecting massive microbial life in the crust of the Earth.Life on other Planets— Sub-surface life on Earth suggests that similar life may exist onother planetary bodies.
 The deposition of certain metal oresMetal Ores and Hydrocarbons 
A natural phenomenon that may pose a severe aircraft hazard?
  There have been many serious aircraft accidents in recent years that have not had asatisfactory explanation despite exhaustive researches, and that have certain features incommon. Those features include apparently a situation of extreme urgency and danger, so thatthere was no time for the flight crew to communicate details to the flight controllers; in somecases there were circumstances that seemed quite unexpected and perplexing to the flightcrew, suggesting an urgent need to override the usual automated control systems andmanually put the plane into a steep dive. In several cases this was followed by actions to avoidexcessive speed that would threaten the structural integrity of the aircraft. Several accidentshave another feature in common: they occurred along the edge of the North-Eastern Americancontinental shelf. These include, among others, TW 800 on July 17, 1996, Swissair 111 onSeptember 2, 1998, Egypt Air 990 on October 1999, and also the crash of J. F. Kennedy Jr. Thecase of the EgyptAir crash has recently come under public debate again as some newinformation has become known, and the explanation tentatively offered by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), suggesting a suicide attempt by a co-pilot, has comeunder strong attack by Egyptian authorities, and does not fit with the new information.In view of the statistically quite improbable occurrence of these accidents, it seems prudentnow to widen the search to causes that have so far not been included among possible aircrafthazards, and that have possibly a relationship to geographical features. Among such, themassive emission of gases from the seafloor (or land surface) seems to us most worthy of attention.
 Massive sudden eruptions of gases have occurred in many locations, bursting up through theground both from ocean floors and from dry land. They often occur repetitively in the samearea, and on land create what is known as "mud volcanoes". The amounts of expelled materialaccumulated in some mud volcanoes in the last million years are as large as 10 or 20 billiontons, and the estimates of the amounts of gas responsible are several times larger than that. The erupting gases are usually dominated by methane. Since methane is lighter than air, itraces upwards at high speed. Many cases are known where the gas spontaneously ignited, andflames to a height of 6,000 ft have been photographed from Baku, in the active mud volcanoarea on the West shore of the Caspian Sea. Much higher brief flashes have been reported, up to30,000 ft but these were too brief to be photographed. Massive flammable gas eruptions at ornear times of earthquakes (before, during or after) are reported in historical and in recent timesfrom many parts of the world.Similar eruptions are indicated on the sea floors, where large areas are densely covered with"pockmarks", quite characteristic circular features in the ocean mud, with diameters of between 10 and 200 meters. These features were first detected in the North Sea by Dr. MartinHovland, of Statoil, (the Norwegian oil company), overlying known gas and oil fields. Similarfields have since been detected in many parts of the world by sonar, again often showing arelation to underlying hydrocarbon fields, and also there showing features of repetition of outbursts, with methane again the major component. Both in mud volcanoes and in pockmarkfields the emitted quantities of gas in any single event may well amount to some millions of tons.Another set of observations has now to be added: it is the occurrence of "mystery clouds" inthe air. Satellite photography over a ten year period revealed more than two hundred cloudsthat rose up at a high speed from a small area of land or sea, forming an expanding funnel. Temperature observations showed a much lower temperature in the funnel cloud than in theoutside air at the same height, and this implied that the rising gas must be one that isintrinsically much lighter than air. Only methane and hydrogen are candidates, and both arecombustible. The largest such cloud on record was seen and reported by several airline pilotsflying between Tokyo and Alaska, North-East of Japan, on April 9, 1984. They described it as amushroom cloud that reached up to 50,000 ft, attaining a diameter of more than 200 miles.Evidence of massive gas emissions have recently been reported by the Woods HoleOceanographic Institute, who conducted a sonar survey of the mid-Atlantic US continental shelf edge. Along a major fault line they found many and very large pockmarks, similar to thosedescribed by Dr. Hovland, indicating that sudden almost explosive gas eruptions had takenplace there. Also recent reports from the Province of Quebec, of frequent and large displays of lights in the sky, clearly related to the swarm of earthquakes between November 1988 and endof January 1989 in the region of Sanguenay and Quebec City, leave little doubt that massivegas eruptions occurred there, with some flames reaching high into the sky. Altogether 46 suchsightings were recorded in that period, some but not all coincident with earthquake shocks.Earthquake-related lights have been well known and reported since antiquity, and indeed onevery large event involving gas flames was reported in 1663, not far from the Sanguenay region,close to the St.Lawrence River.I had investigated in 1982 a "near disaster" of a British Airways 747 plane flying at 37,000 ftover a volcanic region of Java. All four engines stopped shortly after it had entered a visible buttenuous volcanic cloud. After gliding down to 15,000 ft without power, and there apparentlyleaving the cloud, all engines could be started again immediately. The same sequence of events was experienced two weeks later by an Air Singapore 747 plane over a nearby region,and many years later by a KLM flight over the Aleutian Islands. A gas lighter than air, andhence combustible, must have been responsible in all three cases, to have carried smallvolcanic dust grains to these altitudes, and its combustion may have been responsible for theengine failures that were so sharply limited to the flight within the cloud, probably due to thefuel- rich and oxygen poor mixtures of the gas adding to the airplane fuel. Gas eruptions of volcanoes are known of either kind: eruptions of a ground-hugging heavy gas identified ascarbon dioxide, but also eruptions of a light and flammable gas, probably methane, whosedensity is a little more than half that of air.With three large planes having come so close to disaster, but yet able to give a precise

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