The year before, there were only fifty.
Hundreds of methane gas flares found off coast of Gisborne.
A team of scientists have found around 766 individual methane gas flares within an area of seabed off the coast of Gisborne, in what has been described as a "major advance" for science and a first for New Zealand. The finding comes as the 11-member expedition ends tomorrow morning with the NIWA deepwater research vessel Tangaroa arriving back in Wellington.
The team, led by marine geologist Dr Joshu Mountjoy, had been investigating the area after German and Kiwi researchers last year revealed 99 seabed gas flares there using state-of-the-art 3D and 2D seismic and echosounder technology. Following this discovery, Dr Mountjoy and his team sought to find out whether methane was getting through the water column to the ocean's surface and into the atmosphere, and determine what contribution it was making to global greenhouse gas. The first objective of the voyage was to remap gas flares in the area in fine detail, using a range of acoustic techniques. Surprisingly, the team discovered that every area of carbonate rock and every fault seen on the seafloor was expelling gas, and in total, they calculated there were near to 766 individual gas flares within the area.