Yes and you won't believe it but guess what I found that the buoy readings and water level readings are more than likely correct and are happening because of world wide rapid increase of mud volcano eruptions and that It has long been established that many mud volcanoes release enormous amounts of methane into the atmosphere [Higgins and Saunders, 1974; Hedberg, 1980] Recent improvements in seafloor imagery and seismic exploration led to the discovery of countless mud extrusive provinces all over the world (Figure 1). In fact, compared to the compilation by Higgins and Saunders ,more than twice as many occurrences are presently known, the number gradually increasing through time.
Most importantly, mud volcanoes occur along convergent plate margins where fluid-rich sediment is accumulated in deep-sea trenches at high rates. Such deposits then enter the subduction factory, where liquids andvolatiles are released due to increasing compactional stress and temperature. Studies of geophysical data and samples of mud volcanoes have considerably improved the understanding of the mechanics, driving forces, and evolution of the features through the most recent Earth history [e.g., Barber et al., 1986; Brown, 1990]. In addition, deep ocean drilling and submersible studies shed crucial light on eruptivity, emission of volatiles, and potential hazard originating from violent mud extrusion [e.g.,Robertson et al., 1996; Bagirov et al., 1996a; Kopf, 1999]. The wealth of results attests that mud extrusion predominantly occurs in collisional settings, with mostly pore fluids during early (often marine)stages and with hydrocarbons at later stages (often on land [e.g., Jakubov et al., 1971; Tamrazyan, 1972; Speed and Larue, 1982]). Although quantication of fluid and mud discharge in mud volcanoes is not easy because of their short-lived nature and inaccessibility on the seafloor, first-order estimates regarding flux rates have recently been attempted for various features and regions [e.g., Henry et al., 1996; Kopf and Behrmann, 2000; Etiope et al., 2002]. When put into a broader context, such estimates indicate that mud extrusion contributes signicantly to fluid back flux from the lithosphere to the hydrosphere
NATURE OF MUD VOLCANISM
The term “sedimentary volcanism” refers to the similar geometry of many mud extrusions and igneous volcanoes, and only very rarely are MVs connected with igneous activity [e.g., von Gumbel, 1879; White, 1955; Chiodini et al., 1996]. More often (and this is especially true for deep-seated features), MV occurrences have the following aspects in common: (1) an origin from thick,rapidly deposited sequences of marine clays; (2) a Tertiary age; (3) a structural association due to tectonic shortening and/or earthquake activity; (4) sediment overpressuring and accompanying fluid emission ( methane gas,,gas hydrate water, or, rarely, oil); and (5)polymictic assemblages of the surrounding rock present in the ejected argillaceous matrix [e.g., Ansted, 1866;Higgins and Saunders, 1974; Fertl, 1976; Yassir, 1987]mud with clay contents between 45 and 90%. Active extrusion of soapy blue muds as well as gas bubbling has been reported from the nineteenth century and apparently caused fish to die in coastal waters [Bristow, 1938]
WOW! This study is 56 pages long but worth the read with a lot of graphs and pictures and all the mud volcano locations the Sink Hole area is one!
[link to seismo.berkeley.edu