Thursday, August 11, 2005

Black ooze

Black ooze
Originally uploaded by Jepster.
A friend of mine took these pictures. It looks like a huge mountain when seen up close like this but it's actually just a few inches tall. It's what happens when trapped gas forces its way up sticky sludge. The whole area is actually a sludge pit with some organic materials present. Anaerobic digestion of the organic material by bacteria causes methane to form in pockets beneath the surface. When enough gas is formed, it pushes its way to the surface and voila these nice land formations are formed. Just think of them as methane vents. I wonder what will happen if I light one of those up :)

Methane from landfills have been known to cause explosions with an ignition source present. On second thought maybe that's not such a good idea.