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This paper was originally written in 1985 and submitted to the Pennsylvania Geological Survey for publication soon after. To our regret, a combination of circumstances at the Survey in the intervening years prevented it from being published. Now, in 2010, interest in the report has been renewed because of the brines and related problems being encountered in drilling and production of gas from the Marcellus shale.
He also points out that the sudden deaths of large numbers of fish would be most naturally explained by the evolution of poisonous gases from vents in the ocean floor. Alexander von Humboldt (1822) summarized the then accepted theory as `elastic fluids seeking an outlet to diffuse themselves into the atmosphere' being the cause of earthquakes. Thousands of fish, many of a nature previously unknown to local fishermen, were found floating on the water in Monterrey Bay on the day of the destructive San Francisco earthquake of 18 April 1906 5;p:63. Similar reports come from Japan. Hydrogen Sulphide, highly toxic to fish, is a likely candidate, killing the bottom dwelling fish that are not normally caught.