Definition: Gas seeps are phenomena on the seabed where gas seeps out from the bedrock or sediments. The gas in these seeps can have different origins, such as e.g., biogenic, thermogenic or abiotic processes, and the seeps can have great importance for both biology, seabed stability and climate.

Updated: 26.09.2023
Owner: Geological Survey of Norway


Active gas seeps on the continental shelf are commonly associated with underlying oil and gas reservoirs, trapped gas under gas hydrates, serpentinization of ultramafic rocks, and the dissociation of gas hydrate itself. The spatial distribution of the gas seeps appears to correlate with geological structures in rocks below the seabed, e.g., faults which can serve as conduits for upward moving gas. Methane is the main gas component in Norwegian gas seeps. Methane oxidation at the seafloor triggers the formation of methane-derived carbonate crusts, which give evidence for extensive gas seepage in the past. Chemosynthetic microbial communities are commonly associated with seeps and form special habitats together with the carbonate crusts. Methane seepage has been proposed to contribute significantly to the global carbon budget and when associated with dissociation of gas hydrates may give rise to potential geohazards. The data set can be used for purposes such as defining environmentally sensitive areas, habitat mapping, studies for quantification of gas seeps, and evaluation of seabed stability.

Explanation of assessment of FAIR principles:

There have made various tests to evaluate datasets in relation to the FAIR criteria. These are our interpretations, which then assess the criteria in relation to standards and protocols used for spatial data in Norway and Europe. For more information on which calculations we use for each indicator, look at the details of FAIR assessments for each specific dataset.

FAIR-status: 62%

Mareano status