Brief Communications

Nature 415, 493-494 (31 January 2002) | doi:10.1038/415493b

Satellite imaging: Massive emissions of toxic gas in the Atlantic

Scarla J. Weeks1, Bronwen Currie2 & Andrew Bakun3

Recurrent eruptions of toxic hydrogen sulphide gas in the waters along the Namibian coast off southwestern Africa have been considered to be local features with only limited ecosystem-scale consequences. But satellite remote sensing has revealed that these naturally occurring events are much more extensive and longer-lasting than previously suspected, and that the resultant hypoxia may last for much longer. The effects on the marine ecology and valuable coastal fisheries of this region are likely to be important.

  1. Ocean Space Ltd, Oceanography Department, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
  2. IRD, IDYLE Project, Oceanography Department, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
  3. National Marine Research and Information Center, Swakopmund, Namibia

Correspondence to: Scarla J. Weeks1 e-mail: Email: oceanspace@icon.co.za