Weak bubble plumes carry liquid from the environment upwards and release it at multiple intermediate levels in the form of radial intrusive currents. In this study, laboratory experiments are performed to explore the spreading of turbulent axisymmetric bubble plumes in a liquid with linear density stratification. The thickness, volumetric flowrate and spreading rates of multiple radial intrusions of plume fluid were measured by tracking the movement of dye injected at the source of bubbles. The experimental results are compared with scaling predictions. Our findings suggest that the presence of multiple intrusions reduces their spreading rate, compared to that of a single intrusion. This work is of relevance to the spreading of methane plumes issuing from the seabed in the Arctic Ocean, above methane-hydrate deposits. The slower, multiple spreading favours the presence of methane-rich seawater close to the plume, which may reduce the dissolution of methane in the bubbles, and thus promote the direct transport of methane to the atmosphere. This article is part of the theme issue 'Stokes at 200 (part 2)'.