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Sample records for cold seep sediments

  1. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in hypersaline cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Maignien, Loïs; Parkes, R John; Cragg, Barry; Niemann, Helge; Knittel, Katrin; Coulon, Stephanie; Akhmetzhanov, Andrey; Boon, Nico

    2013-01-01

    Life in hypersaline environments is typically limited by bioenergetic constraints. Microbial activity at the thermodynamic edge, such as the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulphate reduction (SR), is thus unlikely to thrive in these environments. In this study, carbon and sulphur cycling was investigated in the extremely hypersaline cold seep sediments of Mercator mud volcano. AOM activity was partially inhibited but still present at salinity levels of 292 g L(-1) (c. eightfold sea water concentration) with rates of 2.3 nmol cm(-3) day(-1) and was even detectable under saturated conditions. Methane and evaporite-derived sulphate comigrated in the ascending geofluids, which, in combination with a partial activity inhibition, resulted in AOM activity being spread over unusually wide depth intervals. Up to 79% of total cells in the AOM zone were identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as anaerobic methanotrophs of the ANME-1. Most ANME-1 cells formed monospecific chains without any attached partner. At all sites, AOM activity co-occurred with SR activity and sometimes significantly exceeded it. Possible causes of these unexpected results are discussed. This study demonstrates that in spite of a very low energy yield of AOM, microorganisms carrying this reaction can thrive in salinity up to halite saturation. PMID:22882187

  2. Evidence of Active Methanogen Communities in Shallow Sediments of the Sonora Margin Cold Seeps

    PubMed Central

    L'Haridon, Stéphane; Godfroy, Anne; Roussel, Erwan G.; Cragg, Barry A.; Parkes, R. John; Toffin, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    In the Sonora Margin cold seep ecosystems (Gulf of California), sediments underlying microbial mats harbor high biogenic methane concentrations, fueling various microbial communities, such as abundant lineages of anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME). However, the biodiversity, distribution, and metabolism of the microorganisms producing this methane remain poorly understood. In this study, measurements of methanogenesis using radiolabeled dimethylamine, bicarbonate, and acetate showed that biogenic methane production in these sediments was mainly dominated by methylotrophic methanogenesis, while the proportion of autotrophic methanogenesis increased with depth. Congruently, methane production and methanogenic Archaea were detected in culture enrichments amended with trimethylamine and bicarbonate. Analyses of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting and reverse-transcribed PCR-amplified 16S rRNA sequences retrieved from these enrichments revealed the presence of active methylotrophic Methanococcoides burtonii relatives and several new autotrophic Methanogenium lineages, confirming the cooccurrence of Methanosarcinales and Methanomicrobiales methanogens with abundant ANME populations in the sediments of the Sonora Margin cold seeps. PMID:25769831

  3. Short-chain alkane cycling in deep Gulf of Mexico cold-seep sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, R.; Joye, S. B.; Hunter, K.

    2015-12-01

    Mixtures of light hydrocarbon gases are common in deep Gulf of Mexico cold-seep sediments, and are typically dissolved in pore fluids, adsorbed to sediment particles, trapped in methane ice, or as free gas. The dominant component in these natural gas mixtures is usually methane (>80% C1), but ethane (C2) and propane (C3) are nearly always present in trace amounts (<1% total). The processes that control the concentration and isotopic signature of these gases in sediments are well explained for methane, but the controls for C2/C3 cycling are still a relative mystery. Methane production proceeds in deep anoxic sediments by either 1) thermocatalytic cracking of fossil organic matter, or 2) as a direct product of microbial metabolism, i.e. methanogenesis. In surface sediments, it appears that both microbial consumption and chemical deposition of methane (i.e. as methane clathrate) ensures that >95% of the methane produced at depth never reaches the water column. Production of C1 and C2 in deep-sea sediments has been historically attributed only to thermocatalytic processes, though limited data suggests production of C2/C3 compounds through the activity of archaea at depth. Furthermore, carbon isotopic data on ethane and propane from deep cores of Gulf of Mexico sediments suggest alkanogenesis at >3 m depth in the sediment column and alkane oxidation in uppermost oxidant-rich sediments. Additional studies have also isolated microorganisms capable of oxidizing ethane and propane in the laboratory, but field studies of microbial-driven dynamics of C2/C3 gases in cold-seep sediments are rare. Here, we present the results of a series of incubation experiments using sediment slurries culled from surface sediments from one of the most prolific natural oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Rates of alkane oxidation were measured under a variety of conditions to assess the surface-driven microbial controls on C2/C3 cycling in cold-seep environments. Such microbial processes

  4. Enumeration of viruses and prokaryotes in deep-sea sediments and cold seeps of the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the distribution and abundance of viruses in deep-sea cold-seep environments. Like hydrothermal vents, seeps support communities of macrofauna that are sustained by chemosynthetic bacteria. Sediments close to these communities are hypothesized to be more microbiologically active and therefore to host higher numbers of viruses than non-seep areas. Push cores were taken at five types of Gulf of Mexico habitats at water depths below 1000 m using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The habitats included non-seep reference sediment, brine seeps, a microbial mat, an urchin field, and a pogonophoran worm community. Samples were processed immediately for enumeration of viruses and prokaryotes without the addition of a preservative. Prokaryote counts were an order of magnitude lower in sediments directly in contact with macrofauna (urchins, pogonophorans) compared to all other samples (107 vs. 108 cells g-1 dry weight) and were highest in areas of elevated salinity (brine seeps). Viral-Like Particle (VLP) counts were lowest in the reference sediments and pogonophoran cores (108 VLP g-1 dry wt), higher in brine seeps (109 VLP g-1 dry wt), and highest in the microbial mats (1010 VLP g-1 dry wt). Virus-prokaryote ratios (VPR) ranged from <5 in the reference sediment to >30 in the microbial mats and >60 in the urchin field. VLP counts and VPR were all significantly greater than those reported from sediments in the deep Mediterranean Sea and in most cases were higher than recent data from a cold-seep site near Japan. The high VPR suggest that greater microbial activity in or near cold-seep environments results in greater viral production and therefore higher numbers of viruses.

  5. Shimia sagamensis sp. nov., a marine bacterium isolated from cold-seep sediment.

    PubMed

    Nogi, Yuichi; Mori, Kozue; Uchida, Hiromi; Hatada, Yuji

    2015-09-01

    A novel marine bacterial strain designated JAMH 011(T) was isolated from the cold-seep sediment in Sagami Bay, Japan. Cells were Gram-stain-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming, aerobic chemo-organotrophs and motile by means of a single polar flagellum. Growth occurred at temperatures below 31 °C, with the optimum at 25 °C. The major respiratory quinone was Q-10. The predominant fatty acid was C18 : 1ω7c. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the isolated strain was closely affiliated with members of the genus Shimia in the class Alphaproteobacteria, and the 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of the novel isolate with the type strain of the closest related species, Shimia haliotis WM35(T), was 98.1%. The DNA G+C content of the novel strain was 57.3 mol%. The hybridization values for DNA-DNA relatedness between strain JAMH 011(T) and reference strains belonging to the genus Shimia were less than 9.4 ± 0.7%. Based on differences in taxonomic characteristics, the isolated strain represents a novel species of the genus Shimia, for which the name Shimia sagamensis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is JAMH 011(T) ( = JCM 30583(T) = DSM 29734(T)). PMID:25977284

  6. Evidence and biogeochemical implications for glacially-derived sediments in an active margin cold seep

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, John W.; Riedel, Michael; Novosel, Ivana; Bauer, James E.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Paull, Charles K.; Coffin, Richard B.; Grabowski, Kenneth S.; Knies, David L.; Hyndman, Roy D.; Spence, George D.

    2011-01-01

    Delineating sediment organic matter origins and sediment accumulation rates at gas hydratebearing and hydrocarbon seeps is complicated by the microbial transfer of 13C-depleted and 14Cdepleted methane carbon into sedimentary pools. Sediment 13C and 14C measurements from four cores recovered at Bullseye vent on the northern Cascadia margin are used to identify methane carbon assimilation into different carbon pools. While the total organic carbon (TOC) is mostly unaltered and primarily terrigenous in origin, planktonic foraminifera and the bulk carbonate display evidence of methane overprinting. Mass balance models are applied to determine the extent to which methane overprinting increased the radiocarbon ages of the biogenic foraminifera. The corrected and calibrated foraminifera ages between sediment depths of 70 and 573 cm are from 14.9 to 15.9 ka BP, which coincides with the retreat of the late Quaternary Cordilleran Ice Sheet from Vancouver Island. Uniform TOC _13C values of -24.5 ± 0.5‰ from the upper 8 meters of sediment at Bullseye vent suggest all cored material is Pleistocene-derived glacimarine material deposited as the ice edge retreated landward. Bullseye vent is located within an uplifted sediment block isolated from turbidite deposition and has been a site of non-deposition since the ice sheet retreated from the shelf. Biogeochemical implications of seep sediments being dominated by aged, organic-poor (<0.4 wt% TOC) material are that methane is the primary energy source, and microbes directly and indirectly associated with the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) will dominate the seep microbial community.

  7. Geochemical Tracers and Rates of Short-Chain Alkane Production in Gulf of Mexico Cold Seep Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, R.; Bernard, B. B.; Brooks, J. M.; Hunter, K.; Joye, S. B.

    2014-12-01

    The organic-rich cold seep sediments in the deep Gulf of Mexico commonly contain mixtures of light hydrocarbon gases either dissolved in pore fluids, adsorbed to sediment particles, trapped in methane ice, or as free gas. The dominant component in these natural gas mixtures is typically methane (C1), but ethane (C2) and propane (C3) are nearly always present in trace or major amounts. The ratio of C1:C2:C3 varies but C2 and C3 are typically present at single digit percent levels, whereas methane usually dominates at >80%. Methane production proceeds by at least two well-studied mechanisms: either 1) by thermocatalytic cracking of fossil organic matter, or 2) as a direct product of microbial metabolism, methanogenesis. In contrast, ethane and propane production in deep-sea sediments has been historically attributed only to thermocatalytic processes. However, limited data suggests production of C2/C3 compounds through the activity of archaea. Such studies of microbial- driven dynamics of C2/C3 gases (i.e. 'alkanogenesis') in cold seep sediments are rare. Furthermore, the identities of potential substrates are poorly constrained and no attempt has been made to quantify production rates of C2/C3 gases. However, carbon isotopic data on ethane and propane from deep cores from the Gulf of Mexico suggest alkanogenesis at depth in the sediment column and alkane oxidation in uppermost oxidant-rich sediments. Here, we present the results of a series of incubation experiments using sediment slurries culled from GC600, one of the most prolific natural oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Rates of both alkane production and oxidation were measured under a variety of conditions to assess the net rates of alkane production and elucidate the driving microbiological mechanisms and controls on the central processes of >C1 alkane cycling in cold seep sediments. Microbial processes are important both in terms of alkane production and oxidation, raising many questions as to the

  8. Authigenesis of vivianite as influenced by methane-induced sulfidization in cold-seep sediments off southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Ta-Wei; Jiang, Wei-Teh; Wang, Yunshuen

    2014-08-01

    Authigenesis of iron-rich phosphate nodules occurs in iron-rich cold-seep sediments (MD052911 core) at Yung-An Ridge offshore southwestern Taiwan. Raman, FTIR, and quantitative X-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopic analyses indicate that the phosphate mineral is vivianite (or barićite) and shows Fe/Mg molar ratios spanning from ca. 0.6 to 4.0 and a general down core trend of increasing Fe/Mg ratios. The formation of vivianite is limited to a depth interval of 13-17 mbsf (meters below seafloor) and is most prominent at ∼16 mbsf in association with high dissolved iron concentrations and depleted dissolved sulfide below a peak sulfidization zone (enriched in mackinawite and greigite). Alternate growths of vivianite and iron monosulfides and compositional zoning with Mg enriched towards the peripheries of individual nodules occur in the transition from the zone of vivianite mineralization to the sulfidization zone. The crystallization of vivianite below the sulfidization front could have been favored by scavenging of downward diffusive dissolved sulfide from pore waters in the sulfidization zone. Alternate growths and overlapping of the zones of iron monosulfides and vivianite can be attributed to fluctuations of the sulfidization front and methane flux. The discovery of vivianite in the Yung-An Ridge sediments implies that authigenic vivianite can be an important sink for phosphorus burial in cold-seep sediments that have high reactive-iron contents and high sedimentation rates.

  9. Presence and diversity of anammox bacteria in cold hydrocarbon-rich seeps and hydrothermal vent sediments of the Guaymas Basin.

    PubMed

    Russ, Lina; Kartal, Boran; Op den Camp, Huub J M; Sollai, Martina; Le Bruchec, Julie; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Godfroy, Anne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Jetten, Mike S M

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermally active sediments are highly productive, chemosynthetic areas which are characterized by the rapid turnover of particulate organic matter under extreme conditions in which ammonia is liberated. These systems might be suitable habitats for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria but this has not been investigated in detail. Here we report the diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria in sediments that seep cold hydrocarbon-rich fluids and hydrothermal vent areas of the Guaymas Basin in the Cortés Sea using the unique functional anammox marker gene, hydrazine synthase (hzsA). All clones retrieved were closely associated to the "Candidatus Scalindua" genus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two distinct clusters of hzsA sequences (Ca. Scalindua hzsA cluster I and II). Comparison of individual sequences from both clusters showed that several of these sequences had a similarity as low as 76% on nucleotide level. Based on the analysis of this phylomarker, a very high interspecies diversity within the marine anammox group is apparent. Absolute numbers of anammox bacteria in the sediments samples were determined by amplification of a 257 bp fragment of the hszA gene in a qPCR assay. The results indicate that numbers of anammox bacteria are generally higher in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments compared to the vent areas and the reference zone. Ladderanes, lipids unique to anammox bacteria were also detected in several of the sediment samples corroborating the hzsA analysis. Due to the high concentrations of reduced sulfur compounds and its potential impact on the cycling of nitrogen we aimed to get an indication about the key players in the oxidation of sulfide in the Guaymas Basin sediments using the alpha subunit of the adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (aprA). Amplification of the aprA gene revealed a high number of gammaproteobacterial aprA genes covering the two sulfur-oxidizing bacteria aprA lineages as well as sulfate-reducers. PMID

  10. Presence and diversity of anammox bacteria in cold hydrocarbon-rich seeps and hydrothermal vent sediments of the Guaymas Basin

    PubMed Central

    Russ, Lina; Kartal, Boran; op den Camp, Huub J. M.; Sollai, Martina; Le Bruchec, Julie; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Godfroy, Anne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Jetten, Mike S. M.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermally active sediments are highly productive, chemosynthetic areas which are characterized by the rapid turnover of particulate organic matter under extreme conditions in which ammonia is liberated. These systems might be suitable habitats for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria but this has not been investigated in detail. Here we report the diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria in sediments that seep cold hydrocarbon-rich fluids and hydrothermal vent areas of the Guaymas Basin in the Cortés Sea using the unique functional anammox marker gene, hydrazine synthase (hzsA). All clones retrieved were closely associated to the “Candidatus Scalindua” genus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two distinct clusters of hzsA sequences (Ca. Scalindua hzsA cluster I and II). Comparison of individual sequences from both clusters showed that several of these sequences had a similarity as low as 76% on nucleotide level. Based on the analysis of this phylomarker, a very high interspecies diversity within the marine anammox group is apparent. Absolute numbers of anammox bacteria in the sediments samples were determined by amplification of a 257 bp fragment of the hszA gene in a qPCR assay. The results indicate that numbers of anammox bacteria are generally higher in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments compared to the vent areas and the reference zone. Ladderanes, lipids unique to anammox bacteria were also detected in several of the sediment samples corroborating the hzsA analysis. Due to the high concentrations of reduced sulfur compounds and its potential impact on the cycling of nitrogen we aimed to get an indication about the key players in the oxidation of sulfide in the Guaymas Basin sediments using the alpha subunit of the adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (aprA). Amplification of the aprA gene revealed a high number of gammaproteobacterial aprA genes covering the two sulfur-oxidizing bacteria aprA lineages as well as sulfate

  11. Functional diversity patterns of abyssal nematodes in the Eastern Mediterranean: A comparison between cold seeps and typical deep sea sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalogeropoulou, V.; Keklikoglou, K.; Lampadariou, N.

    2015-04-01

    Spatial patterns in deep sea nematode biological trait composition and functional diversity were investigated between chemosynthetic and typical deep sea ecosystems as well as between different microhabitats within the chemosynthetic ecosystems, in the Eastern Mediterranean. The chemosynthetic ecosystems chosen were two mud volcanoes, Napoli at 1950 m depth and Amsterdam at 2040 m depth which are cold seeps characterized by high chemosynthetic activity and spatial heterogeneity. Typical deep sea ecosystems consisted of fine-grained silt-clay sediments which were collected from three areas located in the south Ionian Sea at 2765 to 2840 m depth, the southern Cretan margin at 1089 to 1998 m depth and the Levantine Sea at 3055 to 3870 m depth. A range of biological traits (9 traits; 31 categories) related to buccal morphology, tail shape, body size, body shape, life history strategy, sediment position, cuticle morphology, amphid shape and presence of somatic setae were combined to identify patterns in the functional composition of nematode assemblages between the two habitats, the two mud volcanoes (macroscale) and between the microhabitats within the mud volcanoes (microscale). Data on trait correspondence was provided by biological information on species and genera. A total of 170 nematode species were allocated in 67 different trait combinations, i.e. functional groups, based on taxonomic, morphological and behavioral characteristics. The Biological Trait Analysis (BTA) revealed significant differences between the mud volcanoes and the typical deep sea sediments indicating the presence of different biological functions in ecologically very different environments. Moreover, chemosynthetic activity and habitat heterogeneity within mud volcanoes enhance the presence of different biological and ecological functions in nematode assemblages of different microhabitats. Functional diversity and species richness patterns varied significantly across the different

  12. Psychromonas kaikoae sp. nov., a novel from the deepest piezophilic bacterium cold-seep sediments in the Japan Trench.

    PubMed

    Nogi, Yuichi; Kato, Chiaki; Horikoshi, Koki

    2002-09-01

    Two strains of obligately piezophilic bacteria were isolated from sediment collected from the deepest cold-seep environment with chemosynthesis-based animal communities within the Japan Trench, at a depth of 7434 m. The isolated strains, JT7301 and JT7304T, were closely affiliated with members of the genus Psychromonas on the basis of 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Hybridization values for DNA-DNA relatedness between these strains and the Psychromonas antarctica reference strain were significantly lower than that accepted as the phylogenetic definition of a species. The optimal temperature and pressure for growth of the isolates were 10 degrees C and 50 MPa and they produced both eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5omega3) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6) in the membrane layer. Based on the taxonomic differences observed, the isolated strains appear to represent a novel obligately piezophilic Psychromonas species. The name Psychromonas kaikoae sp. nov. (type strain JT7304T = JCM 11054T = ATCC BAA-363T) is proposed. This is the first proposed obligately piezophilic species of the genus Psychromonas. PMID:12361254

  13. Community Proteogenomics of a Cold-methane Seep Sediment at Nyegga, Mid-Norwegian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokke, R.; Roalkvam, I.; Lanzen, A.; Chen, Y.; Haflidason, H.; Steen, I.

    2010-12-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is limited to anoxic environments and differs in its rates from a few pmol cm-3day-1 in subsurface SMTZ (sulfate-methane transition zone) of deep margins, to a few μmol cm-3 day-1 in surface sediments above gas hydrates [1]. This process is catalyzed by consortia of anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME) in association with sulfate-reducing bacteria. The Nyegga area is located on the Mid-Norwegian continental slope at the northern flank of the Storegga Slide at 700-800 mbsl. Hundreds of pockmarks are widespread on the seabed in Nyegga and sub-zero temperatures (-0.7 °C), and pingo-structures within the pockmarks are indicators of active fluid flow locations. Preliminary microbial and geochemical profiling of a 22 cm push-core within the G11 pockmark gave strong indications of an ANME-1 dominated community at 14-16 cmbsf. In light of these findings we submitted extracted DNA to 454-pyrosequencing. Sequencing data (829,527 reads) was assembled using the Newbler v2.3, resulting in 13,151 contigs (357,530 reads) over 500 bp with the longest contig being 24,521 bp. MEGAN taxonomic analysis supported the high abundance of Euryarchaea (70%) with 66% of the assembled metagenome belonging to ANME-1. In order to obtain functional information of the ANME-1 community, protein extraction protocols from sediment samples was established. Extracted proteins was separated on a large (18cm) 1D-SDS-PAGE and subsequently cut in 30 gel slices. Peptides extracted after In-gel tryptic digest was injected into an Ultimate 3000 nanoLC system connected to a linear quadropole ion trap-orbitrap (LTQ-Orbitrap XL) mass spectrometer equipped with a nanoelectrospray ion source. A custom database of open reading frames (ORFs) from the metagenome including known contaminants such as trypsin and human keratin was search against using Mascot 2.2. IRMa tool box [2] was used in peptide validation and peptides whose score >= 25.0 (i.e avg identity, p<0.05) and

  14. Spatial scales of bacterial community diversity at cold seeps (Eastern Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Pop Ristova, Petra; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Ramette, Alban; Felden, Janine; Boetius, Antje

    2015-06-01

    Cold seeps are highly productive, fragmented marine ecosystems that form at the seafloor around hydrocarbon emission pathways. The products of microbial utilization of methane and other hydrocarbons fuel rich chemosynthetic communities at these sites, with much higher respiration rates compared with the surrounding deep-sea floor. Yet little is known as to the richness, composition and spatial scaling of bacterial communities of cold seeps compared with non-seep communities. Here we assessed the bacterial diversity across nine different cold seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean deep-sea and surrounding seafloor areas. Community similarity analyses were carried out based on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) fingerprinting and high-throughput 454 tag sequencing and were combined with in situ and ex situ geochemical analyses across spatial scales of a few tens of meters to hundreds of kilometers. Seep communities were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria and shared, on average, 36% of bacterial types (ARISA OTUs (operational taxonomic units)) with communities from nearby non-seep deep-sea sediments. Bacterial communities of seeps were significantly different from those of non-seep sediments. Within cold seep regions on spatial scales of only tens to hundreds of meters, the bacterial communities differed considerably, sharing <50% of types at the ARISA OTU level. Their variations reflected differences in porewater sulfide concentrations from anaerobic degradation of hydrocarbons. This study shows that cold seep ecosystems contribute substantially to the microbial diversity of the deep-sea. PMID:25500510

  15. Spatial scales of bacterial community diversity at cold seeps (Eastern Mediterranean Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Pop Ristova, Petra; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Ramette, Alban; Felden, Janine; Boetius, Antje

    2015-01-01

    Cold seeps are highly productive, fragmented marine ecosystems that form at the seafloor around hydrocarbon emission pathways. The products of microbial utilization of methane and other hydrocarbons fuel rich chemosynthetic communities at these sites, with much higher respiration rates compared with the surrounding deep-sea floor. Yet little is known as to the richness, composition and spatial scaling of bacterial communities of cold seeps compared with non-seep communities. Here we assessed the bacterial diversity across nine different cold seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean deep-sea and surrounding seafloor areas. Community similarity analyses were carried out based on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) fingerprinting and high-throughput 454 tag sequencing and were combined with in situ and ex situ geochemical analyses across spatial scales of a few tens of meters to hundreds of kilometers. Seep communities were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria and shared, on average, 36% of bacterial types (ARISA OTUs (operational taxonomic units)) with communities from nearby non-seep deep-sea sediments. Bacterial communities of seeps were significantly different from those of non-seep sediments. Within cold seep regions on spatial scales of only tens to hundreds of meters, the bacterial communities differed considerably, sharing <50% of types at the ARISA OTU level. Their variations reflected differences in porewater sulfide concentrations from anaerobic degradation of hydrocarbons. This study shows that cold seep ecosystems contribute substantially to the microbial diversity of the deep-sea. PMID:25500510

  16. Substrate-specific pressure-dependence of microbial sulfate reduction in deep-sea cold seep sediments of the Japan Trench

    PubMed Central

    Vossmeyer, Antje; Deusner, Christian; Kato, Chiaki; Inagaki, Fumio; Ferdelman, Timothy G.

    2012-01-01

    The influence of hydrostatic pressure on microbial sulfate reduction (SR) was studied using sediments obtained at cold seep sites from 5500 to 6200 m water depth of the Japan Trench. Sediment samples were stored under anoxic conditions for 17 months in slurries at 4°C and at in situ pressure (50 MPa), at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa), or under methanic conditions with a methane partial pressure of 0.2 MPa. Samples without methane amendment stored at in situ pressure retained higher levels of sulfate reducing activity than samples stored at 0.1 MPa. Piezophilic SR showed distinct substrate specificity after hydrogen and acetate addition. SR activity in samples stored under methanic conditions was one order of magnitude higher than in non-amended samples. Methanic samples stored under low hydrostatic pressure exhibited no increased SR activity at high pressure even with the amendment of methane. These new insights into the effects of pressure on substrate specific sulfate reducing activity in anaerobic environmental samples indicate that hydrostatic pressure must be considered to be a relevant parameter in ecological studies of anaerobic deep-sea microbial processes and long-term storage of environmental samples. PMID:22822404

  17. Lipid biomarkers for anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulphate reduction in cold seep sediments of Nyegga pockmarks (Norwegian margin): discrepancies in contents and carbon isotope signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevalier, Nicolas; Bouloubassi, Ioanna; Stadnitskaia, Alina; Taphanel, Marie-Hélène; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2014-06-01

    Distributions and carbon isotopic compositions of microbial lipid biomarkers were investigated in sediment cores from the G11 and G12 pockmarks in the Nyegga sector of the Storegga Slide on the mid-Norwegian margin to explore differences in depth zonation, type and carbon assimilation mode of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANMEs) and associated sulphate-reducing bacteria responsible for anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in these cold seep environments. While the G11 site is characterised by black reduced sediments colonized by gastropods and Siboglinidae tubeworms, the G12 site has black reduced sediments devoid of fauna but surrounded by a peripheral occurrence of gastropods and white filamentous microbial mats. At both sites, bulk sediments contained abundant archaeal and bacterial lipid biomarkers substantially depleted in 13C, consisting mainly of isoprenoidal hydrocarbons and dialkyl glycerol diethers, fatty acids and non-isoprenoidal monoalkylglycerol ethers. At the G11 site, down-core profiles revealed that lipid biomarkers were in maximum abundance from 10 cm depth to the core bottom at 16 cm depth, associated with δ13C values of -57 to -136‰. At the G12 site, by contrast, lipid biomarkers were in high abundance in the upper 5 cm sediment layer, associated with δ13C values of -43 to -133‰. This suggests that, as expected from the benthic fauna characteristics of the sites, AOM takes place mainly at depth in the G11 pockmark but just below the seafloor in the G12 pockmark. These patterns can be explained largely by variable fluid flow rates. Furthermore, at both sites, a dominance of ANME-2 archaea accompanied by their bacterial partners is inferred based on lipid biomarker distributions and carbon isotope signatures, which is in agreement with recently published DNA analyses for the G11 pockmark. However, the present data reveal high discrepancies in the contents and δ13C values for both archaeal and bacterial lipid profiles, implying the

  18. Efficiency and adaptability of the benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide cold seeps, offshore Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Krause, S.; Linke, P.; Hensen, C.; Dale, A. W.; Nuzzo, M.; Treude, T.

    2014-11-01

    Large amounts of methane are delivered by fluids through the erosive forearc of the convergent margin offshore Costa Rica and lead to the formation of cold seeps at the sediment surface. Besides mud extrusion, numerous cold seeps are created by landslides induced by seamount subduction or fluid migration along major faults. Most of the dissolved methane reaching the seafloor at cold seeps is oxidized within the benthic microbial methane filter by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Measurements of AOM and sulfate reduction as well as numerical modeling of porewater profiles revealed a highly active and efficient benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide site; a landslide on the continental slope between the Nicoya and Osa Peninsula. Integrated areal rates of AOM ranged from 12.9 ± 6.0 to 45.2 ± 11.5 mmol m-2 d-1, with only 1 to 2.5% of the upward methane flux being released into the water column. Additionally, two parallel sediment cores from Quepos Slide were used for in vitro experiments in a recently developed Sediment-F low-Through (SLOT) system to simulate an increased fluid and methane flux from the bottom of the sediment core. The benthic methane filter revealed a high adaptability whereby the methane oxidation efficiency responded to the increased fluid flow within 150-170 days. To our knowledge, this study provides the first estimation of the natural biogeochemical response of seep sediments to changes in fluid flow.

  19. Hydrocarbon geochemistry of cold seeps in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, T.D.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.; Orange, D.L.; Martin, J.B.

    2002-01-01

    Samples from four geographically and tectonically discrete cold seeps named Clam Flat, Clamfield, Horseshoe Scarp South, and Tubeworm City, within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary were analyzed for their hydrocarbon content. The sediment contains gaseous hydrocarbons and CO2, as well as high molecular weight aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons with various combinations of thermogenic and biogenic contributions from petroleum, marine, and terrigenous sources. Of particular interest is the cold seep site at Clamfield which is characterized by the presence of thermogenic hydrocarbons including oil that can likely be correlated with oil-saturated strata at Majors Creek near Davenport, CA, USA. At Clam Flat, the evidence for thermogenic hydrocarbons is equivocal. At Horseshoe Scarp South and Tubeworm City, hydrocarbon gases, mainly methane, are likely microbial in origin. These varied sources of hydrocarbon gases highlight the diverse chemical systems that appear at cold seep communities. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Infaunal and megafaunal benthic community structure associated with cold seeps at the Vestnesa Ridge (79 N°)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, Emmelie K. L.; Carroll, Michael L.; Sen, Arunima; Ambrose, William G., Jr.; Silyakova, Anna; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    Cold seeps are locations where hydrocarbons, sulfide or reduced compounds emanate from the seafloor, which may fuel chemoautotrophic production and form additional hard bottom substrate through carbonate precipitation. Chemosynthetic symbiosis, trophic interactions, and additional bottom substrate types can provide a heterogeneous environment for deep-sea organisms supporting macrofaunal communities including increased biodiversity and biomass. We combined quantitative benthic faunal samples with sea floor photographs from an active, methane seeping pockmark at Vestnesa Ridge (1200 meters depth) to examine community structure and biodiversity in a high Arctic deep cold seep. Quantitative data were compared with samples from the nearby inactive Svyatogor Ridge (1577-1706 meters depth). We measured highly elevated methane concentrations (up to 100x background levels) in the sediment at Vestnesa Ridge. Faunal abundance, species richness and biomass were significantly higher at the Vestnesa pockmark compared to inactive Svyatogor Ridge. Seabed photos from Vestnesa Ridge reveal high megafaunal diversity and biomass and cold seep features including carbonate crust and microbial mats. Our observations indicate that chemoautotrophic production enhances deep-sea biomass and diversity at Vestnesa Ridge. The focused methane emissions create a heterogeneous deep-sea habitat for chemo-associated organisms coexisting with heterotrophic conventional fauna in a high Arctic seep. Keywords: Arctic, benthic ecology, biodiversity, chemosynthesis, methane

  1. Brine induced low-Magnesium calcite formation at cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Roberts, Harry; Joye, Samantha; Heydari, Ezat

    2013-04-01

    Low-Mg calcite (LMC; < 5 mol% Mg), commonly observed during time intervals of "calcite seas," since the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, is a good indicator of low Mg/Ca ratio (< 2) in seawater. Calcite seas were coincident with times of active seawater-basalt interactions along mid-ocean ridges at high temperatures, which extract Mg from seawater and release Ca to it. In the modern aragonite sea, most carbonate minerals precipitate at the seafloor, including deposits from cold seep environments are primarily either aragonite or high-Mg calcite (HMC). Here, we report the finding of non-skeletal LMC from cold seeps in Alaminos Canyon block 601 (AC 601), 2200 m below the sea surface on northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) continental slope. Low-Mg calcite usually represents the only carbonate mineral in the studied samples. Dominant allochems in these seep carbonates are peloids, grain aggregates, pelagic forams, and fragments of mollusks and echinoids. The limestone is heavily cemented. The observed cements include micrite, microspar, mosaic, bladed, fan, and needle cements. The dissolution of grains and cements was observed. Not only originally aragonitic mollusks shells, but also carbonate cement have been dissolved. The aerobic oxidation of reduced chemical species such as methane and H2S is responsible for an increase in pCO2 and a decrease of pH, leading to local carbonate dissolution. The occurrence of oxic conditions is confirmed by the presence of negative Ce anomalies of the carbonates. Further, we report on analyses showing that the ambient porewater Mg/Ca ratio actually governs the carbonate mineralogy. The occurrence of LMC may be attributed to the brine fluids, which is relatively Mg-depleted (Mg/Ca mole ratio is below 0.7) compared to pore fluid of the subsurface sediments from the reference site (Mg/Ca mole ratio is above 4.1) that usually produce HMC. The 87Sr/86Sr values of LMC (mean = 0.708001, sd = 0.000034, n=2) are significantly lower than that of the

  2. Diversity and distribution of methanotrophic archaea at cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Knittel, Katrin; Lösekann, Tina; Boetius, Antje; Kort, Renate; Amann, Rudolf

    2005-01-01

    In this study we investigated by using 16S rRNA-based methods the distribution and biomass of archaea in samples from (i) sediments above outcropping methane hydrate at Hydrate Ridge (Cascadia margin off Oregon) and (ii) massive microbial mats enclosing carbonate reefs (Crimea area, Black Sea). The archaeal diversity was low in both locations; there were only four (Hydrate Ridge) and five (Black Sea) different phylogenetic clusters of sequences, most of which belonged to the methanotrophic archaea (ANME). ANME group 2 (ANME-2) sequences were the most abundant and diverse sequences at Hydrate Ridge, whereas ANME-1 sequences dominated the Black Sea mats. Other seep-specific sequences belonged to the newly defined group ANME-3 (related to Methanococcoides spp.) and to the Crenarchaeota of marine benthic group B. Quantitative analysis of the samples by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that ANME-1 and ANME-2 co-occurred at the cold seep sites investigated. At Hydrate Ridge the surface sediments were dominated by aggregates consisting of ANME-2 and members of the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus branch (DSS) (ANME-2/DSS aggregates), which accounted for >90% of the total cell biomass. The numbers of ANME-1 cells increased strongly with depth; these cells accounted 1% of all single cells at the surface and more than 30% of all single cells (5% of the total cells) in 7- to 10-cm sediment horizons that were directly above layers of gas hydrate. In the Black Sea microbial mats ANME-1 accounted for about 50% of all cells. ANME-2/DSS aggregates occurred in microenvironments within the mat but accounted for only 1% of the total cells. FISH probes for the ANME-2a and ANME-2c subclusters were designed based on a comparative 16S rRNA analysis. In Hydrate Ridge sediments ANME-2a/DSS and ANME-2c/DSS aggregates differed significantly in morphology and abundance. The relative abundance values for these subgroups were remarkably different at Beggiatoa sites (80% ANME-2a, 20

  3. Co-Occurrence of Nitrate Reduction and Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane in Gulf of Mexico Cold Seep Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fields, L.; Joye, S. B.

    2014-12-01

    Cold seeps are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico; they are fuelled by methane gas and hydrocarbon seepage at the seafloor and support diverse chemosynthetic microbial communities. Microorganisms form the base of the food chain at cold seeps, and high rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) are characteristic of these methane-rich environments. While sulfate is often the electron acceptor for AOM in cold seep environments, recent evidence suggests that AOM can also be coupled to nitrate reduction. Little is known about nitrogen cycling in these habitats, though recent work indicates that denitrification is an important process in oily and gassy seep sediments. The co-occurrence of nitrate reduction and AOM suggests a potential coupling between the two processes in our study area. We used stable isotope (15N) tracer techniques to measure the capacity of Northern Gulf of Mexico cold seep sediments to reduce nitrate by denitrification and anammox. These measurements were made in surface and sub-surface sediments in conjunction with measurements of AOM, and with quantification of various geochemical and molecular characteristics. Here, we present our measurements of denitrification and anammox capacity in the context of environmental characteristics. Additionally, we examine spatial trends in the co-occurrence of AOM and nitrate reduction in these sediments.

  4. Macro-Ecology of Gulf of Mexico Cold Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordes, Erik E.; Bergquist, Derk C.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Shortly after the discovery of chemosynthetic ecosystems at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, similar ecosystems were found at cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past two decades, these sites have become model systems for understanding the physiology of the symbiont-containing megafauna and the ecology of seep communities worldwide. Symbiont-containing bivalves and siboglinid polychaetes dominate the communities, including five bathymodiolin mussel species and six vestimentiferan (siboglinid polychaete) species in the Gulf of Mexico. The mussels include the first described examples of methanotrophic symbiosis and dual methanotrophic/thiotrophic symbiosis. Studies with the vestimentiferans have demonstrated their potential for extreme longevity and their ability to use posterior structures for subsurface exchange of dissolved metabolites. Ecological investigations have demonstrated that the vestimentiferans function as ecosystem engineers and identified a community succession sequence from a specialized high-biomass endemic community to a low-biomass community of background fauna over the life of a hydrocarbon seep site.

  5. Formation of modern and Paleozoic stratiform barite at cold methane seeps on continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torres, M.E.; Bohrmann, G.; Dube, T.E.; Poole, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    Stratiform (bedded) Paleozoic barite occurs as large conformable beds within organic- and chert-rich sediments; the beds lack major sulfide minerals and are the largest and most economically significant barite deposits in the geologic record. Existing models for the origin of bedded barite fail to explain all their characteristics: the deposits display properties consistent with an exhalative origin involving fluid ascent to the seafloor, but they lack appreciable polymetallic sulfide minerals and the corresponding strontium isotopic composition to support a hydrothermal vent source. A new mechanism of barite formation, along structurally controlled sites of cold fluid seepage in continental margins, involves barite remobilization in organic-rich, highly reducing sediments, transport of barium-rich fluids, and barite precipitation at cold methane seeps. The lithologic and depositional framework of Paleozoic and cold seep barite, as well as morphological, textural, and chemical characteristics of the deposits, and associations with chemosymbiotic fauna, all support a cold seep origin for stratiform Paleozoic barite. This understanding is highly relevant to paleoceanographic and paleotectonic studies, as well as to economic geology.

  6. Microbial community changes along the active seepage site of one cold seep in the Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Huiluo; Zhang, Weipeng; Wang, Yong; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    The active seepage of the marine cold seeps could be a critical process for the exchange of energy between the submerged geosphere and the sea floor environment through organic-rich fluids, potentially even affecting surrounding microbial habitats. However, few studies have investigated the associated microbial community changes. In the present study, 16S rRNA genes were pyrosequenced to decipher changes in the microbial communities from the Thuwal seepage point in the Red Sea to nearby marine sediments in the brine pool, normal marine sediments and water, and benthic microbial mats. An unexpected number of reads from unclassified groups were detected in these habitats; however, the ecological functions of these groups remain unresolved. Furthermore, ammonia-oxidizing archaeal community structures were investigated using the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene. Analysis of amoA showed that planktonic marine habitats, including seeps and marine water, hosted archaeal ammonia oxidizers that differed from those in microbial mats and marine sediments, suggesting modifications of the ammonia oxidizing archaeal (AOA) communities along the environmental gradient from active seepage sites to peripheral areas. Changes in the microbial community structure of AOA in different habitats (water vs. sediment) potentially correlated with changes in salinity and oxygen concentrations. Overall, the present results revealed for the first time unanticipated novel microbial groups and changes in the ammonia-oxidizing archaea in response to environmental gradients near the active seepages of a cold seep. PMID:26284035

  7. Microbial community changes along the active seepage site of one cold seep in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Cao, Huiluo; Zhang, Weipeng; Wang, Yong; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    The active seepage of the marine cold seeps could be a critical process for the exchange of energy between the submerged geosphere and the sea floor environment through organic-rich fluids, potentially even affecting surrounding microbial habitats. However, few studies have investigated the associated microbial community changes. In the present study, 16S rRNA genes were pyrosequenced to decipher changes in the microbial communities from the Thuwal seepage point in the Red Sea to nearby marine sediments in the brine pool, normal marine sediments and water, and benthic microbial mats. An unexpected number of reads from unclassified groups were detected in these habitats; however, the ecological functions of these groups remain unresolved. Furthermore, ammonia-oxidizing archaeal community structures were investigated using the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene. Analysis of amoA showed that planktonic marine habitats, including seeps and marine water, hosted archaeal ammonia oxidizers that differed from those in microbial mats and marine sediments, suggesting modifications of the ammonia oxidizing archaeal (AOA) communities along the environmental gradient from active seepage sites to peripheral areas. Changes in the microbial community structure of AOA in different habitats (water vs. sediment) potentially correlated with changes in salinity and oxygen concentrations. Overall, the present results revealed for the first time unanticipated novel microbial groups and changes in the ammonia-oxidizing archaea in response to environmental gradients near the active seepages of a cold seep. PMID:26284035

  8. Anaerobic methane oxidation in low-organic content methane seep sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, John W.; Riedel, Michael; Bauer, James E.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Paull, Charles K.; Lapham, Laura; Grabowski, Kenneth S.; Coffin, Richard B.; Spence, George D.

    2013-01-01

    Sulfate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is the key sedimentary microbial process limiting methane emissions from marine sediments and methane seeps. In this study, we investigate how the presence of low-organic content sediment influences the capacity and efficiency of AOM at Bullseye vent, a gas hydrate-bearing cold seep offshore of Vancouver Island, Canada. The upper 8 m of sediment contains 14C. A fossil origin for the DIC precludes remineralization of non-fossil OM present within the sulfate zone as a significant contributor to pore water DIC, suggesting that nearly all sulfate is available for anaerobic oxidation of fossil seep methane. Methane flux from the SMT to the sediment water interface in a diffusion-dominated flux region of Bullseye vent was, on average, 96% less than at an OM-rich seep in the Gulf of Mexico with a similar methane flux regime. Evidence for enhanced methane oxidation capacity within OM-poor sediments has implications for assessing how climate-sensitive reservoirs of sedimentary methane (e.g., gas hydrate) will respond to ocean warming, particularly along glacially-influenced mid and high latitude continental margins.

  9. Barite encrustation of benthic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria at a marine cold seep.

    PubMed

    Stevens, E W N; Bailey, J V; Flood, B E; Jones, D S; Gilhooly, W P; Joye, S B; Teske, A; Mason, O U

    2015-11-01

    Crusts and chimneys composed of authigenic barite are found at methane seeps and hydrothermal vents that expel fluids rich in barium. Microbial processes have not previously been associated with barite precipitation in marine cold seep settings. Here, we report on the precipitation of barite on filaments of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria at a brine seep in the Gulf of Mexico. Barite-mineralized bacterial filaments in the interiors of authigenic barite crusts resemble filamentous sulfide-oxidizing bacteria of the genus Beggiatoa. Clone library and iTag amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene show that the barite crusts that host these filaments also preserve DNA of Candidatus Maribeggiatoa, as well as sulfate-reducing bacteria. Isotopic analyses show that the sulfur and oxygen isotope compositions of barite have lower δ(34)S and δ(18)O values than many other marine barite crusts, which is consistent with barite precipitation in an environment in which sulfide oxidation was occurring. Laboratory experiments employing isolates of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria from Gulf of Mexico seep sediments showed that under low sulfate conditions, such as those encountered in brine fluids, sulfate generated by sulfide-oxidizing bacteria fosters rapid barite precipitation localized on cell biomass, leading to the encrustation of bacteria in a manner reminiscent of our observations of barite-mineralized Beggiatoa in the Gulf of Mexico. The precipitation of barite directly on filaments of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, and not on other benthic substrates, suggests that sulfide oxidation plays a role in barite formation at certain marine brine seeps where sulfide is oxidized to sulfate in contact with barium-rich fluids, either prior to, or during, the mixing of those fluids with sulfate-containing seawater in the vicinity of the sediment/water interface. As with many other geochemical interfaces that foster mineral precipitation, both biological and abiological processes likely contribute

  10. Efficiency and adaptability of the benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide cold seeps, offshore of Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Krause, S.; Linke, P.; Hensen, C.; Dale, A. W.; Nuzzo, M.; Treude, T.

    2015-11-01

    Large amounts of methane are delivered by fluids through the erosive forearc of the convergent margin offshore of Costa Rica and lead to the formation of cold seeps at the sediment surface. Besides mud extrusion, numerous cold seeps are created by landslides induced by seamount subduction or fluid migration along major faults. Most of the dissolved methane migrating through the sediments of cold seeps is oxidized within the benthic microbial methane filter by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Measurements of AOM and sulfate reduction as well as numerical modeling of porewater profiles revealed a highly active and efficient benthic methane filter at the Quepos Slide site, a landslide on the continental slope between the Nicoya and Osa Peninsula. Integrated areal rates of AOM ranged from 12.9 ± 6.0 to 45.2 ± 11.5 mmol m-2 d-1, with only 1 to 2.5 % of the upward methane flux being released into the water column. Additionally, two parallel sediment cores from Quepos Slide were used for in vitro experiments in a recently developed sediment-flow-through (SLOT) system to simulate an increased fluid and methane flux from the bottom of the sediment core. The benthic methane filter revealed a high adaptability whereby the methane oxidation efficiency responded to the increased fluid flow within ca. 170 d. To our knowledge, this study provides the first estimation of the natural biogeochemical response of seep sediments to changes in fluid flow.

  11. Sulfur biogeochemistry of cold seeps in the Green Canyon region of the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formolo, Michael J.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2013-10-01

    Cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico provide a natural laboratory to study biogeochemical cycling of sulfur, carbon, and oxygen at hydrate- and hydrocarbon-rich deep marine settings with obvious additional relevance to studies of diverse modern and ancient seeps. Of particular interest are the sulfur isotope signatures of microbial sulfate reduction coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane and other non-methane liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. Whereas most of the published sulfur isotope data from cold seep systems pertain to pore-water species, our study integrates both solid and dissolved sulfur: acid-volatile sulfides (SAVS), pyrite (Spy), elemental sulfur (S°), dissolved sulfate and ΣH2S. Modeled and 35SO42- reduction rates and δ13C and δ18O data for authigenic carbonates are integrated within this sulfur framework. Our results indicate extreme variability over narrow spatial and temporal scales within short distances (meters) from active seeps. High rates of microbial sulfate reduction can lead to complete consumption of the sulfate within the upper few centimeters of burial, while meters away the sulfate profile shows little depletion. Such small-scale variability must reflect the structure and temporal dynamics of hydrocarbon migration in the presence of low amounts of background organic matter. Our past work demonstrated that electron donors other than methane drive significant levels of microbial activity at these seeps, and very recent work has demonstrated that oxidation of higher chain volatile hydrocarbons can contribute to the high levels of microbial activity. These findings are consistent with our new results. Elevated concentrations of pyrite and diagenetic carbonate relative to background sediments are diagnostic of active seepage, yet the S isotopes tell more complex stories. Low levels of the transient, 'instantaneous' products of S cycling-AVS and S°-show high δ34S values that increase with depth. Most of the pyrite formation, however, seems

  12. An overview of the latest results of cold seep research along the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, J.; Faure, K.; Bialas, J.; Linke, P.; Pecher, I.; Rowden, A.

    2008-12-01

    Prior to 2006, the knowledge about cold seeps around New Zealand was based mainly on accidental recovery of seep fauna or methane-derived carbonates by fishermen and flares in echo sounders. Lewis and Marshall (1996) compiled these findings, providing the first details on 13 seep sites. Four of those are located at the Hikurangi Margin along the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. Since then, three international cruises in 2006 and 2007 enhanced our knowledge considerably about methane seepage along the Hikurangi Margin, an area which has in places very strong BSRs. Two cruises on RV TANGAROA in 2006 focused on extensive reconnaissance work as well as fauna sampling, geochemical pore water analyses and CTD casts including water sampling for methane analyses. Several new seep sites were discovered during these cruises. Using these data, very detailed investigations in four main working areas could be performed during a 10-weeks expedition with RV SONNE (SO191). All research topics currently discussed in the scientific community were addressed using state-of-the-art equipment (e.g. deep- tow side-scan and ROV-deployments). Fourteen institutes from seven countries were involved. Echosounder and sidescan surveys unmistakably revealed active seep sites by detecting bubbles in the water column and carbonate precipitation at the seafloor forming massive chemoherm complexes. These complexes are associated with typical seep fauna like tube worms, bivalve mollusk species (Calyptogena, Bathymodiolus),and bacterial mats. At the fringe of these chemoherms dark sediment patches were observed which exihibit a novel seep habitat dominated by dense beds of two new species of heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes. Bubble release was visually observed at several sites and recorded in the backscatter of various acoustic devices. At one site (680m water depth) very strong, pulsing outbursts could be observed repeatedly with methane fluxes of 20 to 25 l/min (60 to 74 mol

  13. Metagenomics in methane seep detection and studies of the microbial methane sediment filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunn Rike, Anne; Håvelsrud, Othilde Elise; Haverkamp, Thomas; Kristensen, Tom; Jakobsen, Kjetill

    2013-04-01

    and represent a carbon source for the autotrophic nitrifying community. In this way the sediments at Troll probably contributes to reduce the methane emissions to the water body and further to the atmosphere (3). References: 1) Niemann H, Lösekann T, Boetius A, Kort R, Amann R. Diversity and distribution of methanotrophic archaea at cold seeps. Appl Environ Microbiol 2005, 71(1), 467-479. 2) Håvelsrud, O. E., Haverkamp, T.H.A., Kristensen, T., Jakobsen, K.S. and Rike A.G. Metagenomic study of methane oxidation in Coal Oil Point seep sediments. BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:221 3) Håvelsrud OE, Haverkamp THA., Kristensen T, Jakobsen KS and Rike AG. Metagenomic and geochemical characterization of pockmarked sediments overlaying the Troll petroleum reservoir in the North Sea. BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:203

  14. Cold Seep Epifaunal Communities on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand: Composition, Succession, and Vulnerability to Human Activities

    PubMed Central

    Bowden, David A.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Baco, Amy R.; Levin, Lisa A.; Smith, Craig R.

    2013-01-01

    Cold seep communities with distinctive chemoautotrophic fauna occur where hydrocarbon-rich fluids escape from the seabed. We describe community composition, population densities, spatial extent, and within-region variability of epifaunal communities at methane-rich cold seep sites on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. Using data from towed camera transects, we match observations to information about the probable life-history characteristics of the principal fauna to develop a hypothetical succession sequence for the Hikurangi seep communities, from the onset of fluid flux to senescence. New Zealand seep communities exhibit taxa characteristic of seeps in other regions, including predominance of large siboglinid tubeworms, vesicomyid clams, and bathymodiolin mussels. Some aspects appear to be novel; however, particularly the association of dense populations of ampharetid polychaetes with high-sulphide, high-methane flux, soft-sediment microhabitats. The common occurrence of these ampharetids suggests they play a role in conditioning sulphide-rich sediments at the sediment-water interface, thus facilitating settlement of clam and tubeworm taxa which dominate space during later successional stages. The seep sites are subject to disturbance from bottom trawling at present and potentially from gas hydrate extraction in future. The likely life-history characteristics of the dominant megafauna suggest that while ampharetids, clams, and mussels exploit ephemeral resources through rapid growth and reproduction, lamellibrachid tubeworm populations may persist potentially for centuries. The potential consequences of gas hydrate extraction cannot be fully assessed until extraction methods and target localities are defined but any long-term modification of fluid flow to seep sites would have consequences for all chemoautotrophic fauna. PMID:24204691

  15. Methane sources in gas hydrate-bearing cold seeps: Evidence from radiocarbon and stable isotopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, J.W.; Bauer, J.E.; Canuel, E.A.; Grabowski, K.S.; Knies, D.L.; Mitchell, C.S.; Whiticar, Michael J.; Coffin, R.B.

    2009-01-01

    Fossil methane from the large and dynamic marine gas hydrate reservoir has the potential to influence oceanic and atmospheric carbon pools. However, natural radiocarbon (14C) measurements of gas hydrate methane have been extremely limited, and their use as a source and process indicator has not yet been systematically established. In this study, gas hydrate-bound and dissolved methane recovered from six geologically and geographically distinct high-gas-flux cold seeps was found to be 98 to 100% fossil based on its 14C content. Given this prevalence of fossil methane and the small contribution of gas hydrate (??? 1%) to the present-day atmospheric methane flux, non-fossil contributions of gas hydrate methane to the atmosphere are not likely to be quantitatively significant. This conclusion is consistent with contemporary atmospheric methane budget calculations. In combination with ??13C- and ??D-methane measurements, we also determine the extent to which the low, but detectable, amounts of 14C (~ 1-2% modern carbon, pMC) in methane from two cold seeps might reflect in situ production from near-seafloor sediment organic carbon (SOC). A 14C mass balance approach using fossil methane and 14C-enriched SOC suggests that as much as 8 to 29% of hydrate-associated methane carbon may originate from SOC contained within the upper 6??m of sediment. These findings validate the assumption of a predominantly fossil carbon source for marine gas hydrate, but also indicate that structural gas hydrate from at least certain cold seeps contains a component of methane produced during decomposition of non-fossil organic matter in near-surface sediment.

  16. More than three thousand years of microbial methane consumption at cold seeps offshore Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinle, Lea; Vögtli, Irina; Liebetrau, Volker; Krause, Stefan; Treude, Tina; Lehmann, Moritz; Niemann, Helge

    2014-05-01

    Microbial consumption retains a significant fraction of methane in marine sediments. Under anoxic conditions, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is mediated by archaea with sulfate as the terminal electron acceptor, whereas the aerobic oxidation of methane (MOx) is mediated by bacteria. MOx is typically less important in marine systems because oxygen availability in sediments is very low and methane is consumed in deeper sediments through AOM. At cold seeps, however, the methane flux can be high enough to bypass the AOM filter so that methane and oxygen overlap in surface sediments. The role of MOx thus becomes more significant at highly active cold seeps. To further test this hypothesis, and the applicability of MOx-signatures as a tracer for paleo seep activity, we investigated lipid biomarkers of methanotrophic communities in modern sediments and compared them to fossilised lipids in more than 3000 years old authigenic carbonate accretions. Sediments and carbonates were recovered in the direct vicinity of bubble release sites at cold seeps offshore Svalbard, systems that have been active for at least 3000 years (Berndt et al., 2014). Samples were recovered with the submersible JAGO during an expedition with R/V M.S. Merian (MSM 21/4) in 2012. The composition of lipid biomarkers and their associated stable carbon isotope signatures provide evidence for distinctly different methanotrophic communities in modern sediments and the old carbonates. In deeper sediments, where AOM rate measurements were maximal (~500 nmol ml-1 d-1 at ~5 cm sediment depth), the dominance of the 13C-depleted archaeal biomarker archaeol and the absence of sn2-hydroxyarchaeol and crocetane point to an AOM community dominated by ANME1-archaea. At the surface of the sediment core, we found 13C-depleted 4α-methylsteroids and diploptene, lipid biomarkers originating from MOx communities. The biomarker profiles are consistent with our visual observations. During sampling, methane bubbles

  17. Geochemical zonation and characteristics of cold seeps along the Makran continental margin off Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, D.; Bohrmann, G.; Zabel, M.; Kasten, S.

    2009-04-01

    Several highly dynamic and spatially extended cold seeps were found and analyzed on the Makran accretionary wedge off Pakistan during R/V Meteor cruise M74-3 in 2007. In water depths of 550m to 2870m along the continental slope nine different gas escape structures were examined some of which are situated within a stable oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) between 150m and 1100m water depth (von Rad et al., 1996, 2000). Echosounder data indicate several gas bubble streams in the water column. The gas seepage presumably originates from squeezing of massive sediment packages being compressed by subduction at the continental margin off Pakistan. Gas- and fluid venting and associated surface-near anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) feed several cold seepage systems in the seabed. The seep sites show strong inter- and intraspecific variability of benthic chemosynthetic microhabitats. Singular seeps are often colonized by different chemosynthetic organisms in a concentric fashion. The seep-center, where active bubble ebullition occurs, is often colonized by large hydrogen sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, which are surrounded by a rim inhabited by small chemosynthetic clams and tube worms. These different habitats and the associated sediments show distinct geochemical zonations and gradients. Geochemical analyses of pore water and sediment samples obtained via ROV (push corer) show that concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and alkalinity rapidly increase to >15 mmol/l and >35 mmol/l respectively several cm below the seafloor in the center of the cold seep. In places, sulfate is depleted to concentrations below detection limit at the same depth (ROV push core GeoB 12313-6). Ammonium concentrations in this core on the other hand show a different pattern: In the center of the cold seep, which is colonized by bacterial assemblages, ammonium concentrations fluctuate around 100 µmol/l and peak with 274.4 µmol/l just above the aforementioned sulfide maximum values at 5 cm followed by a rapid

  18. Sulfur isotope and porewater geochemistry of Florida escarpment seep sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chanton, J.P.; Martens, C.S.; Paull, C.K.; Coston, J.A.

    1993-01-01

    Distributions of porewater constituents, SO4=, NH4+, Cl-, ???CO2, and H2S, solid phase iron, and sulfur concentrations, and the sulfur isotopic composition of dissolved and solid phases were investigated in sediments from abyssal seeps at the base of the Florida escarpment. Despite the apparent similarity of seep sediment porewater chemistry to that of typical marine sediments undergoing early diagenesis, relationships between chemical distributions and isotopic measurements revealed that the distribution of pore fluid constituents was dominated by processes occurring within the platform rather than by in situ microbial processes. Ammonium and sulfate concentrations were linearly correlated with chloride concentrations, indicating that variations in porewater chemistry were controlled by the admixture of seawater and a sulfate depleted brine with a chlorinity of 27.5 ?? 1.9%. and 2.2 ?? 1.3 mM ammonium concentration. At sites dominated by seepage, dissolved sulfate isotopic composition remained near seawater values despite depletion in porewater concentrations. Porewater ???CO2 concentrations were found to be elevated relative to seawater, but not to the extent predicted from the observed sulfate depletion. Sediment solid phase sulfur was predominantly pyrite, at concentrations as high as 20% S by weight. In contrast to typical marine deposits, pyrite concentrations were not related to the quantity of sedimentary organic matter. Pyrite ??34S values ranged from -29%. to + 21%. (CDT). However, only positive ??34S values were observed at sites associated with high pyrite concentrations. Isotopically heavy pyrite was observed at sites with porewater sulfate of seawater-like isotopic composition. Isotopically light pyrite was associated with sites where porewater sulfate exhibited ??34S values greater than those in seawater, indicating the activity of in situ microbial sulfate reduction. Thus, dual sulfide sources are suggested to explain the range in sediment pyrite

  19. Three-dimensional structure of fluid conduits sustaining an active deep marine cold seep

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hornbach, M.J.; Ruppel, C.; Van Dover, C.L.

    2007-01-01

    Cold seeps in deep marine settings emit fluids to the overlying ocean and are often associated with such seafloor flux indicators as chemosynthetic biota, pockmarks, and authigenic carbonate rocks. Despite evidence for spatiotemporal variability in the rate, locus, and composition of cold seep fluid emissions, the shallow subseafloor plumbing systems have never been clearly imaged in three dimensions. Using a novel, high-resolution approach, we produce the first three-dimensional image of possible fluid conduits beneath a cold seep at a study site within the Blake Ridge gas hydrate province. Complex, dendritic features diverge upward toward the seafloor from feeder conduits at depth and could potentially draw flow laterally by up to 103 m from the known seafloor seep, a pattern similar to that suggested for some hydrothermal vents. The biodiversity, community structure, and succession dynamics of chemosynthetic communities at cold seeps may largely reflect these complexities of subseafloor fluid flow.

  20. Cold-seep carbonates of the middle and lower continental slope, northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Harry H.; Feng, Dong; Joye, Samantha B.

    2010-11-01

    Authigenic carbonates from cold seeps on the middle and lower continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These carbonates consist of concretions and nodules in surface sediments, hardgrounds of crusts and isolated slabs, and mounded buildups of blocks and slabs of up to over 10 meters in relief above the surrounding seafloor. Mineralogically, the carbonates are dominated by high-Mg calcite (HMC) and aragonite. However, low levels (<5 wt%) of dolomite are present in most samples. Petrographically, Mg-calcite peloidal matrix and acicular to botryoidal aragonitic void-filling cements are the most frequent associations. The carbon isotopic compositions of the carbonates range from -60.8 to 14.0‰ PDB, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted biogenic and thermogenic methane, biodegraded crude oil, seawater CO2, and 13C-enriched residual CO2 from methanogenesis. A similarly large variability in δ18O values (2.5 to 6.7‰ PDB) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of the slope, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source that is possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water and/or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. A considerable range of mineralogical and isotopic variations in cold-seep carbonate composition was noted even within individual study sites. However, common trends occur across multiple geographic areas. This situation suggests that local controls on fluid and gas flux, types of seep hydrocarbons, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the near-surface sediment, and chemosynthetic communities, as well as the temporal evolution of the local hydrocarbon reservoir, all may play a part in determining carbonate mineralogy and isotope geochemistry. The carbon isotope data clearly indicate that between-site variation is greater than within-site variation. Seep carbonates formed on the middle and lower continental slope

  1. Rare earth element geochemistry in cold-seep pore waters of Hydrate Ridge, northeast Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Himmler, Tobias; Haley, Brian A.; Torres, Marta E.; Klinkhammer, Gary P.; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Peckmann, Jörn

    2013-07-01

    The concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs), sulphate, hydrogen sulphide, total alkalinity, calcium, magnesium and phosphate were measured in shallow (<12 cm below seafloor) pore waters from cold-seep sediments on the northern and southern summits of Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon. Downward-decreasing sulphate and coevally increasing sulphide concentrations reveal sulphate reduction as dominant early diagenetic process from ~2 cm depth downwards. A strong increase of total dissolved REE (∑REE) concentrations is evident immediately below the sediment-water interface, which can be related to early diagenetic release of REEs into pore water resulting from the re-mineralization of particulate organic matter. The highest pore water ∑REE concentrations were measured close to the sediment-water interface at ~2 cm depth. Distinct shale-normalized REE patterns point to particulate organic matter and iron oxides as main REE sources in the upper ~2-cm depth interval. In general, the pore waters have shale-normalized patterns reflecting heavy REE (HREE) enrichment, which suggests preferential complexation of HREEs with carbonate ions. Below ~2 cm depth, a downward decrease in ∑REE correlates with a decrease in pore water calcium concentrations. At this depth, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulphate reduction increases carbonate alkalinity through the production of bicarbonate, which results in the precipitation of carbonate minerals. It seems therefore likely that the REEs and calcium are consumed during vast AOM-induced precipitation of carbonate in shallow Hydrate Ridge sediments. The analysis of pore waters from Hydrate Ridge shed new light on early diagenetic processes at cold seeps, corroborating the great potential of REEs to identify geochemical processes and to constrain environmental conditions.

  2. Cold seeps associated with a submarine debris avalanche deposit at Kick'em Jenny volcano, Grenada (Lesser Antilles)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, Steven; Ballard, Robert; Bell, Katherine L. C.; Bell, Richard J.; Connally, Patrick; Dondin, Frederic; Fuller, Sarah; Gobin, Judith; Miloslavich, Patricia; Phillips, Brennan; Roman, Chris; Seibel, Brad; Siu, Nam; Smart, Clara

    2014-11-01

    Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) exploration at the distal margins of a debris avalanche deposit from Kick'em Jenny submarine volcano in Grenada has revealed areas of cold seeps with chemosynthetic-based ecosystems. The seeps occur on steep slopes of deformed, unconsolidated hemipelagic sediments in water depths between 1952 and 2042 m. Two main areas consist of anastomosing systems of fluid flow that have incised local sediments by several tens of centimeters. No temperature anomalies were observed in the vent areas and no active flow was visually observed, suggesting that the venting may be waning. An Eh sensor deployed on a miniature autonomous plume recorder (MAPR) recorded a positive signal and the presence of live organisms indicates at least some venting is still occurring. The chemosynthetic-based ecosystem included giant mussels (Bathymodiolus sp.) with commensal polychaetes (Branchipolynoe sp.) and cocculinid epibionts, other bivalves, Siboglinida (vestimentiferan) tubeworms, other polychaetes, and shrimp, as well as associated heterotrophs, including gastropods, anemones, crabs, fish, octopods, brittle stars, and holothurians. The origin of the seeps may be related to fluid overpressure generated during the collapse of an ancestral Kick'em Jenny volcano. We suggest that deformation and burial of hemipelagic sediment at the front and base of the advancing debris avalanche led to fluid venting at the distal margin. Such deformation may be a common feature of marine avalanches in a variety of geological environments especially along continental margins, raising the possibility of creating large numbers of ephemeral seep-based ecosystems.

  3. Cold seep carbonates along the Norwegian margin, insights into U-Th geochronology and S geochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cremiere, A.; Lepland, A.; Wing, B. A.; Sahy, D.; Condon, D. J.; Chand, S.; Noble, S. R.; Bui, T. H.; Thorsnes, T.; Brunstad, H.

    2015-12-01

    Cold seep carbonates along the Norwegian margin, insights into U-Th geochronology and S geochemistryAuthigenic carbonate crusts form in shallow subsurface of marine sediments due to the microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). As a result they are unique archives of the locus and intensity of past methane seepage that can be dated by using U-daughter decay affording the unique opportunity to constrain the absolute timing of methane release events. Because AOM is mainly driven by the microbial reduction of seawater sulfate, multiple sulfur isotope compositions of paired carbonate-associated sulfate (CAS) and pyrite in seep carbonates taken as proxies for porewater sulfate and sulfide, respectively, have the potential to reconstruct the biogeochemical conditions under which seep carbonates precipitate. Methane-derived carbonate crusts were collected from several seepage sites on the Norwegian continental shelf, including sites in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. The U-Th dating results constrain the main episode of carbonate crust formation in the Barents and Norwegian seas during the time interval between 14 and 7 ka. Such ages suggest that the methane seepage along the northern Norwegian margin was most active after the collapse of the Scandinavian ice sheet and deglaciation of the area that took place at about 15 ka. The methane flux for the carbonate crust formation was likely provided by the dissociation of methane hydrates that extensively formed in underlying sediments during the last glacial period, but became unstable due to depressuring effects of retreating ice sheet. The precipitation of studied North Sea carbonate crusts occurred more recently, from 6 to 1 ka, suggesting that their formation is unrelated to the glacial history of the area. The paired sulfur stable isotope compositions of pyrite-CAS record a large range of fractionation factors (from 30 to 70 ‰) reflecting change of sulfate-reduction rates possibly controlled

  4. Trace element behaviour at cold seeps and the potential export of dissolved iron to the ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaitre, Nolwenn; Bayon, Germain; Ondréas, Hélène; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Freslon, Nicolas; Bollinger, Claire; Rouget, Marie-Laure; de Prunelé, Alexis; Ruffine, Livio; Olu-Le Roy, Karine; Sarthou, Géraldine

    2014-10-01

    Seawater samples were collected by submersible above methane seeps in the Gulf of Guinea (Regab and Baboon pockmarks) in order to investigate the behaviour of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and rare earth elements (REE) during fluid seepage. Our aim was to determine whether cold seeps may represent potential sources of dissolved chemical species to the ocean. Dissolved (<0.45 μm filtered samples) and total dissolvable (unfiltered samples) concentrations were determined over ∼50 m long vertical transects above the seafloor and at various discrete locations within the pockmarks. We show that substantial amounts of Fe and Mn are released into seawater during seepage of methane-rich fluids. Mn is exported almost quantitatively in the dissolved form (more than 90% of total Mn; mean MnDISS∼12±11 nmol/kg). Although a significant fraction of Fe is bound to particulate phases, the dissolved iron pool still accounts on average for approximately 20 percent of total iron flux at vent sites (mean FeDISS∼22±11 nmol/kg). This dissolved Fe fraction also appears to remain stable in the water column. In contrast, there was no evidence for any significant benthic fluxes of pore water REE associated with fluid seepage at the studied sites. Overall, our results point towards distinct trace element behaviour during fluid seepage, with potential implications for the marine geochemical budget. The absence of any dissolved REE enrichments in bottom waters clearly indicates effective removal in sub-surface sediments. Most likely, precipitation of authigenic mineral phases at cold seeps (i.e. carbonates) represents a net sink for these elements. While Mn appears to behave near-conservatively during fluid seepage, the observed relative stability of dissolved Fe in the water column above seepage sites could be explained by complexation with strong organic ligands and/or the presence of Fe-bearing sulfide nanoparticles, as reported previously for submarine hydrothermal systems. Considering

  5. In situ Raman-based detections of the hydrothermal vent and cold seep fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xin; Du, Zengfeng; Zheng, Ronger; Luan, Zhendong; Qi, Fujun; Cheng, Kai; Wang, Bing; Ye, Wangquan; Liu, Xiaorui; Chen, Changan; Guo, Jinjia; Li, Ying; Yan, Jun

    2016-04-01

    sediment pore water from the northern South China Sea. Several sediment pore water profiles nearly at the cold seep vent showed the characteristic loss of SO42‑, and the increase of CH4, H2S and HS‑ peaks. Dissolved S8 and CH4had been first found at the fluids under the lush biological communities of the cold seep. This may indicate some bacteria mats at the lush biological communities oxidize hydrogen sulfide and produce elemental sulfur as a byproduct. Our research suggests that the in situ observed H2S:HS‑, and HSO4‑:SO42‑ ratios provide elegant pH sensitive "dyes" with which to diagnose the geochemical reactions occurring.

  6. Overpressure and fluid flow in the new jersey continental slope: implications for slope failure and cold seeps

    PubMed

    Dugan; Flemings

    2000-07-14

    Miocene through Pleistocene sediments on the New Jersey continental slope (Ocean Drilling Program Site 1073) are undercompacted (porosity between 40 and 65%) to 640 meters below the sea floor, and this is interpreted to record fluid pressures that reach 95% of the lithostatic stress. A two-dimensional model, where rapid Pleistocene sedimentation loads permeable sandy silt of Miocene age, successfully predicts the observed pressures. The model describes how lateral pressure equilibration in permeable beds produces fluid pressures that approach the lithostatic stress where overburden is thin. This transfer of pressure may cause slope failure and drive cold seeps on passive margins around the world. PMID:10894774

  7. Biogeochemistry of a low-activity cold seep in the Larsen B area, western Weddell Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, H.; Fischer, D.; Graffe, D.; Knittel, K.; Montiel, A.; Heilmayer, O.; Nöthen, K.; Pape, T.; Kasten, S.; Bohrmann, G.; Boetius, A.; Gutt, J.

    2009-06-01

    First videographic indication of an Antarctic cold seep ecosystem was recently obtained from the collapsed Larsen B ice shelf, western Weddell Sea (Domack et al., 2005). Within the framework of the R/V Polarstern expedition ANTXXIII-8, we revisited this area for geochemical, microbiological and further videographical examinations. During two dives with ROV Cherokee (MARUM, Bremen), several bivalve shell agglomerations of the seep-associated, chemo syntheticclam Calyptogena sp. were found in the trough of the Crane and Evans glacier. The absence of living clam specimens indicates that the flux of sulphide and hence the seepage activity is diminished at present. This impression was further substantiated by our geochemical observations. Concentrations of thermogenic methane were moderately elevated with 2 μM in surface sediments of a clam patch, increasing up to 9 μM at a sediment depth of about 1 m in the bottom sections of the sediment cores. This correlated with a moderate decrease in sulphate from 28 mM at the surface down to 23.4 mM, an increase in sulphide to up to 1.43 mM and elevated rates of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) of up to 600 pmol cm-3 d-1 at about 1 m below the seafloor. Molecular analyses indicate that methanotrophic archaea related to ANME-3 are the most likely candidates mediating AOM in sediments of the Larsen B seep (Domack et al., 2005; EOS 86, 269-276).

  8. Biogeochemistry of a low-activity cold seep in the Larsen B area, western Weddell Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, H.; Fischer, D.; Graffe, D.; Knittel, K.; Montiel, A.; Heilmayer, O.; Nöthen, K.; Pape, T.; Kasten, S.; Bohrmann, G.; Boetius, A.; Gutt, J.

    2009-11-01

    First videographic indication of an Antarctic cold seep ecosystem was recently obtained from the collapsed Larsen B ice shelf, western Weddell Sea (Domack et al., 2005). Within the framework of the R/V Polarstern expedition ANTXXIII-8, we revisited this area for geochemical, microbiological and further videographical examinations. During two dives with ROV Cherokee (MARUM, Bremen), several bivalve shell agglomerations of the seep-associated, chemosynthetic clam Calyptogena sp. were found in the trough of the Crane and Evans glacier. The absence of living clam specimens indicates that the flux of sulphide and hence the seepage activity is diminished at present. This impression was further substantiated by our geochemical observations. Concentrations of thermogenic methane were moderately elevated with 2 μM in surface sediments of a clam patch, increasing up to 9 μM at a sediment depth of about 1 m in the bottom sections of the sediment cores. This correlated with a moderate decrease in sulphate from about 28 mM at the surface down to 23.4 mM, an increase in sulphide to up to 1.43 mM and elevated rates of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) of up to 600 pmol cm-3 d-1 at about 1 m below the seafloor. Molecular analyses indicate that methanotrophic archaea related to ANME-3 are the most likely candidates mediating AOM in sediments of the Larsen B seep.

  9. The role of bacteria in the formation of cold seep carbonates: geological evidence from Monferrato (Tertiary, NW Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagna, Simona; Clari, Pierangelo; Martire, Luca

    1999-07-01

    Methane-derived carbonate rocks ( Lucina limestone and Marmorito limestone) crop out in Monferrato (NW Italy) and represent one of the first described examples of rocks produced at fossil cold seeps. These rocks, of Miocene age, consist of strongly carbonate-cemented siliciclastic sediments ranging in grain size from mud to coarse sand. The methane-related origin of Monferrato carbonates is based on: (a) outcrop-scale evidence: patchiness of cementation, chemosymbiotic fossil communities, presence of a network of polyphase carbonate-filled veins not related to tectonics; (b) isotope geochemistry: very depleted δ 13C values, as low as -50‰ PDB; (c) peculiar petrographic features. Diverse microbial communities have been observed in present-day cold seeps. These communities include sulphate-reducing, sulphur-oxidizing and methane-oxidizing bacteria. The present work is focused on the identification and description of fossil evidence of such microbial activity in the Monferrato carbonates. Examples of fossilization of microbial structures are probably represented by pyritic rods and dolomite tubes referable to sulphur-oxidizing and to unspecified bacteria, respectively. Less direct but more abundant evidence has been found through petrographic and SEM studies of seep carbonates. Many features point to the presence of organic clumps or mats capable of trapping sediment and promoting carbonate precipitation: microcrystalline calcite peloids; dolomite crystals with irregular hollow cores; dolomite spheroids with dumbbell-shaped cores; laminated internal sediments lining cavities completely. All these features are interpreted to result from bacterially mediated, sedimentary and diagenetic processes and can therefore be considered as an additional evidence of ancient methane seeps.

  10. Marine cold seeps and their manifestations: geological control, biogeochemical criteria and environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, Erwin

    2014-10-01

    Characteristics of cold seeps at different geologic settings are the subject of this review primarily based on results of the Research Consortium SFB 574. Criteria are drawn from examples on the erosive convergent margin off Costa Rica, the accretionary margin off Chile supplemented by examples from the transform margin of the Golf of Cadiz and the convergent Hikurangi margin off New Zealand. Others are from well-studied passive margins of the Black Sea, the Golf of Mexico, the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the South China Sea. Seeps at all settings transport water and dissolved compounds to the ocean through the seafloor by different forcing mechanism and from different depths of the submerged geosphere (10s of meters to 10s of km). The compounds sustain oasis-type ecosystems by providing bioactive reductants sulfide, methane and hydrogen. Hereby, the interaction between fluid composition, flux rates and biota results in a diagnostic hydrocarbon-metazoan-microbe-carbonate association; currently, well over 100 active sites are known. The single most important reaction is microbially mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane with secondary reactions involving S-biogeochemistry and carbonate mineral precipitation. Seep fluids and their seafloor manifestations provide clues as to source depth, fluid-sediment/rock interaction during ascent, lifetime and cyclicity of seepage events but less so on the magnitude of return flow. At erosive margins, Cl-depleted and B-enriched fluids from clay dehydration provide criteria for source depth and temperature. The upward material flow generates mud volcanoes at the seafloor above the projected location of dehydration at depth. At accretionary margins, fluids are derived from more shallow depths by compaction of sediments as they ride on the incoming oceanic plate; they are emitted through thrust faults. At highly sedimented margins, organic-rich and evaporite-containing strata (when present) determine the final fluid composition

  11. An overview of gas hydrate and cold seep research along the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand (2006 & 2007)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, J.; Faure, K.; Naudts, L.; de Batist, M.; Bialas, J.; Linke, P.; Pecher, I.; Rowden, R.

    2009-04-01

    Prior to 2006, the knowledge about cold seeps around New Zealand was based mainly on accidental recovery of seep fauna or methane-derived carbonates by fishermen and the detection of flares in fish-finding sonars. Lewis and Marshall (1996; NZJGG) compiled these findings, providing the first details on 13 seep sites. Four of those are located at the Hikurangi Margin along the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. Since then, three international cruises in 2006 and 2007 enhanced our knowledge considerably about methane seepage along the Hikurangi Margin, an area which has widely distributed and in places very strong BSR. Two cruises on the RV TANGAROA (led by GNS Science and NIWA, NZ) in 2006 focused on extensive reconnaissance work (multibeam mapping, seismic surveys, flare imaging, visual observations) as well as fauna sampling, geochemical pore water analyses and CTD casts including water sampling for methane analyses. Several new seep sites were discovered during these cruises. Using these data, very detailed investigations in four main working areas could be performed during a 10-week expedition with RV SONNE (SO191, led by IFM-GEOMAR, Germany). All research topics currently discussed in the scientific community were addressed using state-of-the-art equipment (e.g. deep-tow side-scan, TV-guided sampling, lander and ROV-deployments). Fourteen institutes from seven countries were involved (Australia, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland). Echosounder and sidescan surveys unmistakably revealed active seep sites by detecting bubbles in the water column and carbonate precipitation at the seafloor forming massive chemoherm complexes. These complexes are associated with typical seep fauna like tube worms, bivalve mollusk species (Calyptogena, Bathymodiolus),and bacterial mats. At the fringe of these chemoherms dark sediment patches were observed which exihibit a novel seep habitat dominated by dense beds of two new species of

  12. Epizooic metazoan meiobenthos associated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations from cold seeps of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Bright, M.; Plum, C.; Riavitz, L.A.; Nikolov, N.; Martinez Arbizu, P.; Cordes, E.E.; Gollner, S.

    2010-01-01

    The abundance and higher taxonomic composition of epizooic metazoan meiobenthic communities associated with mussel and tubeworm aggregations of hydrocarbon seeps at Green Canyon, Atwater Valley, and Alaminos Canyon in depths between 1400 and 2800 m were studied and compared to the infaunal community of non-seep sediments nearby. Epizooic meiofaunal abundances of associated meiobenthos living in tubeworm bushes and mussel beds at seeps were extremely low (usually <100 ind. 10 cm−2), similar to epizooic meiofauna at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and the communities were composed primarily of nematodes, copepods, ostracods, and halacarids. In contrast, epizooic meiobenthic abundance is lower than previous studies have reported for infauna from seep sediments. Interestingly, non-seep sediments contained higher abundances and higher taxonomic diversity than epizooic seep communities, although in situ primary production is restricted to seeps. PMID:21264038

  13. Epizooic metazoan meiobenthos associated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations from cold seeps of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Bright, M; Plum, C; Riavitz, L A; Nikolov, N; Martinez Arbizu, P; Cordes, E E; Gollner, S

    2010-11-01

    The abundance and higher taxonomic composition of epizooic metazoan meiobenthic communities associated with mussel and tubeworm aggregations of hydrocarbon seeps at Green Canyon, Atwater Valley, and Alaminos Canyon in depths between 1400 and 2800 m were studied and compared to the infaunal community of non-seep sediments nearby. Epizooic meiofaunal abundances of associated meiobenthos living in tubeworm bushes and mussel beds at seeps were extremely low (usually <100 ind. 10 cm(-2)), similar to epizooic meiofauna at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and the communities were composed primarily of nematodes, copepods, ostracods, and halacarids. In contrast, epizooic meiobenthic abundance is lower than previous studies have reported for infauna from seep sediments. Interestingly, non-seep sediments contained higher abundances and higher taxonomic diversity than epizooic seep communities, although in situ primary production is restricted to seeps. PMID:21264038

  14. Cold seep status archived in authigenic carbonates: Mineralogical and isotopic evidence from Northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Yang; Sun, Xiaoming; Lin, Zhiyong; Xu, Li; Gong, Junli; Lu, Hongfeng

    2015-12-01

    Cold-seep carbonates are precipitated under high alkalinity conditions created by the anaerobic oxidation of methane in cold-seep sites. Multiple Ca-Mg-carbonate phases are identified, including aragonite, low-Mg calcite (LMC), high-Mg calcite (HMC), protodolomite, and dolomite. These phases result from different conditions that are related with cold-seep activities. Here, we report on the relationship between the Ca-Mg-carbonate phases and the cold-seep status. Authigenic carbonates were sampled from northern slope of South China Sea. Carbon isotopic compositions of samples from Shenhu area are lower than -40‰, indicating methane-derived carbon. The δ13C values of samples from Southwest (SW) Taiwan area range from ~-30‰ to ~-20‰, which is the result of the mixture of methane carbon and seawater carbon. Carbonate phases were identified according to the composition and structure results. Samples from Shenhu area are composed of protodolomite and HMC. Three zones were discovered from the center to the rim of the cross-section of the tube-like sample from SW Taiwan area. From the external to the internal zones, the carbonate phases are HMC; LMC and protodolomite; HMC, respectively. The intensity of superstructure reflections of the protodolomite from Shenhu area is stronger than that from SW Taiwan area, indicating higher MgCO3 content. Based on the formation conditions of Ca-Mg-carbonates from LMC to dolomite, those with higher MgCO3 content are formed in more active cold-seep environment. According to the distribution of carbonate phases in each sample, the cold seep flux was high in Shenhu area and was sustained for a long time. By contrast, the flux in SW Taiwan area was relatively low and not stable. It once became higher, but finally returned to low.

  15. Application of parasound data for sediment study on methane seep site at Simeulue basin

    SciTech Connect

    Wiguna, Taufan Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-30

    The Parasound data presents sea depth and sub-bottom profiler. In terms of geological terminology, parasound data represents significant recent surface sedimentary structures that valuable for the selection of subsequent sampling site such as sampling at methane seep site. Therefore, Parasound is used to detailing methane seep at surface sediment following seismic data interpretation. In this study, parasound is used to focus observe area especially for sediment study on methane seep site. The Parasound systems works both as narrow beam sounder use high frequency and as sediment echosounder use low frequency. Parasound acquisition applies parametric effect. It produces additional frequency by nonlinear acoustic interaction of finite amplitude waves. Parasound transducers have 128 elements on 1 m2 and need transmission power up to 70 kW. The results of this study are discovered large seep carbonate with porous surface which means there are gas expulsions passing through that rock.

  16. Evidence of paleo-cold seep activity from the Bay of Bengal, offshore India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazumdar, A.; Dewangan, P.; JoäO, H. M.; Peketi, A.; Khosla, V. R.; Kocherla, M.; Badesab, F. K.; Joshi, R. K.; Roxanne, P.; Ramamurty, P. B.; Karisiddaiah, S. M.; Patil, D. J.; Dayal, A. M.; Ramprasad, T.; Hawkesworth, C. J.; Avanzinelli, R.

    2009-06-01

    We report evidence of paleo-cold seep associated activities, preserved in methane-derived carbonates in association with chemosynthetic clams (Calyptogena sp.) from a sediment core in the Krishna-Godavari basin, Bay of Bengal. Visual observations and calculations based on high-resolution wet bulk density profile of a core collected on board R/V Marion Dufresne (May 2007) show zones of sharp increase in carbonate content (10-55 vol %) within 16-20 meters below seafloor (mbsf). The presence of Calyptogena clam shells, chimneys, shell breccias with high Mg calcite cement, and pyrite within this zone suggest seepage of methane and sulfide-bearing fluid to the seafloor in the past. Highly depleted carbon isotopic values (δ13C ranges from -41 to -52‰ VPDB) from these carbonates indicate carbon derived via anaerobic oxidation of methane. Extrapolated mean calendar age (˜58.7 ka B.P.) of the clastic sediments at a depth of 16 mbsf is close to the upper limit of the U-Th based depositional age (46.2 ± 3.7 and 53.0 ± 1.6 ka) of authigenic carbonates sampled from this level, thereby constraining the younger age limit of the carbonate deposition/methane expulsion events. The observed carbonate deposition might have resulted from the flow of methane-enriched fluids through the fracture network formed because of shale diapirism.

  17. Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane at a Marine Methane Seep in a Forearc Sediment Basin off Sumatra, Indian Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Siegert, Michael; Krüger, Martin; Teichert, Barbara; Wiedicke, Michael; Schippers, Axel

    2011-01-01

    A cold methane seep was discovered in a forearc sediment basin off the island Sumatra, exhibiting a methane-seep adapted microbial community. A defined seep center of activity, like in mud volcanoes, was not discovered. The seep area was rather characterized by a patchy distribution of active spots. The relevance of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was reflected by 13C-depleted isotopic signatures of dissolved inorganic carbon. The anaerobic conversion of methane to CO2 was confirmed in a 13C-labeling experiment. Methane fueled a vital microbial community with cell numbers of up to 4 × 109 cells cm−3 sediment. The microbial community was analyzed by total cell counting, catalyzed reporter deposition–fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD–FISH), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). CARD–FISH cell counts and qPCR measurements showed the presence of Bacteria and Archaea, but only small numbers of Eukarya. The archaeal community comprised largely members of ANME-1 and ANME-2. Furthermore, members of the Crenarchaeota were frequently detected in the DGGE analysis. Three major bacterial phylogenetic groups (δ-Proteobacteria, candidate division OP9, and Anaerolineaceae) were abundant across the study area. Several of these sequences were closely related to the genus Desulfococcus of the family Desulfobacteraceae, which is in good agreement with previously described AOM sites. In conclusion, the majority of the microbial community at the seep consisted of AOM-related microorganisms, while the relevance of higher hydrocarbons as microbial substrates was negligible. PMID:22207865

  18. Differential methane oxidation activity and microbial community composition at cold seeps in the Arctic off western Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gründger, Friederike; Svenning, Mette M.; Niemann, Helge; Silyakova, Anna; Serov, Pavel; Li Hong, Wei; Wegener, Gunter; Panieri, Giuliana; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    Most models considering climate change related bottom water warming suggest that gas hydrates may become destabilized, leading to the mobilization of methane into seabed and water column ecosystems, and, eventually, into the atmosphere. However, the capacity of methanotrophic microbes retaining methane in sediments and the hydrosphere is not well constrained. Here, we investigate the microbial utilization of methane in sediments and the water column, focusing on cold seeps discovered at the arctic continental margin of western Svalbard. We measured ex situ rates of methane oxidation and sulfate reduction in two active gas flare sites with different geological settings at the Vestnesa Ridge (1204 m water depth) and within a pingolike feature area southwest off Svalbard (PLF; 380 m water depth). Our results show contrarily situations at our two sampling sites: At Vestnesa Ridge we find high methane oxidation rates with values up to 2055 nmol cm‑3 d‑1 at the sediment surface where the sediments are oversaturated with methane. Whereas, methane concentration and oxidation rates are low in the overlying water column (2 pmol cm‑3 d‑1). In contrast, at the sediment surface at PLF methane concentration and oxidation rates are considerably lower (up to 1.8 nmol cm‑3 d‑1). While the overlying bottom water contains high concentration of methane and shows oxidation rates with values of up to 3.8 nmol cm‑3 d‑1. The data on methane oxidation and sulfate reduction activity are compared to the sediment geochemistry and to data from metagenomic analysis identifying the methanotrophic community composition. These results provide unique insight into the dynamic responses of the seabed biological filter at cold seeps in the Arctic off western Svalbard. This study is part of the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate and was supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme grant No. 223259.

  19. Deep-sea methane seep sediments in the Okhotsk Sea sustain diverse and abundant anammox bacteria.

    PubMed

    Shao, Sudong; Luan, Xiwu; Dang, Hongyue; Zhou, Haixia; Zhao, Yakun; Liu, Haitao; Zhang, Yunbo; Dai, Lingqing; Ye, Ying; Klotz, Martin G

    2014-02-01

    Marginal sea methane seep sediments sustain highly productive chemosynthetic ecosystems and are hotspots of intense biogeochemical cycling. Rich methane supply stimulates rapid microbial consumption of oxygen; these systems are thus usually hypoxic to anoxic. This and reported evidence for resident nitrogen fixation suggest the presence of an anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacterial community in methane seep sediments. To test this hypothesis, we employed detection of genes encoding 16S rRNA gene and hydrazine dehydrogenase (hzo) to investigate the structure, abundance and distribution of the anammox bacterial community in the methane seep sediments of the Okhotsk Sea. Diverse complements of Candidatus Scalindua-related 16S rRNA and hzo gene sequences were obtained. Most of the deep-sea sites harbored abundant hzo genes with copy numbers as high as 10(7)  g(-1) sediment. In general, anammox bacterial signatures were significantly more abundant in the deep-water sediments. Sediment porewater NO3-, NOx- (i.e. NO3- + NO2-), NOx-/NH4+ and sediment silt content correlated with in situ distribution patterns of anammox bacterial marker genes, likely because they determine anammox substrate availability and sediment geochemistry, respectively. The abundance and distribution of anammox bacterial gene markers indicate a potentially significant contribution of anammox bacteria to the marine N cycle in the deep-sea methane seep sediments. PMID:24164560

  20. Possible roles of uncultured archaea in carbon cycling in methane-seep sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshinaga, Marcos Y.; Lazar, Cassandre S.; Elvert, Marcus; Lin, Yu-Shih; Zhu, Chun; Heuer, Verena B.; Teske, Andreas; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2015-09-01

    Studies on microbial carbon cycling uniformly confirm that anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria represent the dominant and most active fraction of the sedimentary microbial community in methane-seep sediments. However, little is known about other frequently observed and abundant microbial taxa, their role in carbon cycling and association with the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here, we provide a comprehensive characterization of stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) from several intact polar lipid (IPL) classes and metabolite pools in a downcore profile at a cold seep within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan. We aimed to evaluate microbial carbon metabolism using IPLs in relation to redox conditions, metabolites and 16S rRNA gene libraries. The 13C-depleted signature of carbon pools and microbial metabolites in pore waters (e.g., dissolved inorganic carbon, lactate and acetate) demonstrated high accumulation of AOM-associated biomass and subsequent turnover thereof. ANMEs accounted for a small fraction of the archaeal 16S rRNA gene survey, whereas sequences of other uncultured benthic archaea dominated the clone libraries, particularly the Marine Benthic Group D. On the basis of lipid diversity and carbon isotope information, we suggest that structurally diverse phospho- and glycolipids, including the recently identified unsaturated tetraethers that are particularly abundant in this setting, are likely derived from archaea other than ANMEs. Through the evaluation of δ13C values of individual IPL, our results indicate heterotrophy as a possible metabolic pathway of archaea in these AOM-dominated sediments.

  1. [Methanotrophic bacteria in cold seeps of the floodplains of northern rivers].

    PubMed

    Belova, S É; Oshkin, I Iu; Glagolev, M V; Lapshina, E D; Maksiutov, Sh Sh; Dedysh, S N

    2013-01-01

    Small mud volcanoes (cold seeps), which are common in the floodplains of northern rivers, are a potentially important, although poorly studied sources of atmospheric methane. Field research on the cold seeps of the Mukhrina River (Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous okrug, Russia) revealed methane fluxes from these structures to be orders of magnitude higher than from equivalent areas of the mid-taiga bogs. Microbial communities developing around the seeps were formed under conditions of high methane concentrations, low temperatures (3-5 degrees C), and near-neutral pH. Molecular identification of methane-oxidizing bacteria from this community by analysis of the pmoA gene encoding particulate methane monooxygenase revealed both type I and type II methanotrophs (classes Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria, respectively), with predomination of type I methanotrophs. Among the latter, microorganisms related to Methylobacterpsychrophilus and Methylobacter tundripaludum, Crenothrix polyspora (a stagnant water dweller), and a number of methanotrophs belonging to unknown taxa were detected. Growth characteristics of two isolates were determined. Methylobactersp. CMS7 exhibited active growth at 4-10 degrees C, while Methylocystis sp. SB12 grew better at 20 degrees C. Experimental results confirmed the major role ofmethanotrophic gammaproteobacteria in controlling the methane emission from cold river seeps. PMID:25509412

  2. Shell growth and environmental control of methanophyllic Thyasirid bivalves from Svalbard cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Michael; Åström, Emmelie; Ambrose, William; Locke, William; Oliver, Graham; Hong, Wei-Li; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    The analysis of molluscan shell material (sclerochronology) can provide information about an organism's age, growth history, and environmental conditions during its lifetime. Bivalve molluscs are common members of hydrothermal vents and methane cold seeps communities where, supported by chemosynthetic symbionts, they can reach high density and biomass. But little is known about methane-associated bivalve populations inhabiting high-Arctic cold seeps, and sclerochronological analysis of methane-influenced bivalves is rare. We measured growth rates and elemental and isotopic shell signatures in a newly discovered species of bivalve (Thyasiridae) from cold seeps at 350-390m depth southwest of Svalbard. First discovered in 2014, recently described shells of Thyasira capitanea sp.nov. were found at 2 independent seep systems in Storfjordrenna. Mean shell carbon isotopic ratios from inorganic δ13C (mean = -4.8‰) and organic δ13C (mean = -26.9‰) fractions clearly indicate a methane influenced habitat and food source for these organisms. Shell mineral ratios (Li/Ca, Mg/Ca, Mn/Ca, Fe/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, Pb/Ca) sampled along the axis of growth with laser-ablated ICP-MS exhibit variability through time and between sites, suggesting that concentrations of these elements that may be affected by methane emissions. The mineralogical data also elucidates the internal pattern of shell deposition and growth checks, and combined with the isotopic and growth rate data, enables us to interpret the temporal history of methane release from these locations.

  3. Biogeography and Potential Exchanges Among the Atlantic Equatorial Belt Cold-Seep Faunas

    PubMed Central

    Olu, Karine; Cordes, Erik E.; Fisher, Charles R.; Brooks, James M.; Sibuet, Myriam; Desbruyères, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Like hydrothermal vents along oceanic ridges, cold seeps are patchy and isolated ecosystems along continental margins, extending from bathyal to abyssal depths. The Atlantic Equatorial Belt (AEB), from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Guinea, was one focus of the Census of Marine Life ChEss (Chemosynthetic Ecosystems) program to study biogeography of seep and vent fauna. We present a review and analysis of collections from five seep regions along the AEB: the Gulf of Mexico where extensive faunal sampling has been conducted from 400 to 3300m, the Barbados accretionary prism, the Blake ridge diapir, and in the Eastern Atlantic from the Congo and Gabon margins and the recently explored Nigeria margin. Of the 72 taxa identified at the species level, a total of 9 species or species complexes are identified as amphi-Atlantic. Similarity analyses based on both Bray Curtis and Hellinger distances among 9 faunal collections, and principal component analysis based on presence/absence of megafauna species at these sites, suggest that within the AEB seep megafauna community structure is influenced primarily by depth rather than by geographic distance. Depth segregation is observed between 1000 and 2000m, with the middle slope sites either grouped with those deeper than 2000m or with the shallower sites. The highest level of community similarity was found between the seeps of the Florida escarpment and Congo margin. In the western Atlantic, the highest degree of similarity is observed between the shallowest sites of the Barbados prism and of the Louisiana slope. The high number of amphi-atlantic cold-seep species that do not cluster according to biogeographic regions, and the importance of depth in structuring AEB cold-seep communities are the major conclusions of this study. The hydrothermal vent sites along the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) did not appear as “stepping stones” for dispersal of the AEB seep fauna, however, the south MAR and off axis regions should be further

  4. Methane oxidation in permeable sediments at hydrocarbon seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, T.; Ziebis, W.

    2010-03-01

    A shallow-water area in the Santa Barbara Channel (California), known collectively as the Coal Oil Point seep field, is one the largest natural submarine oil and gas emission areas in the world. Both gas and oil are seeping constantly through a predominantly sandy seabed into the ocean. This study focused on the methanotrophic activity within the surface sediments (0-15 cm) of the permeable seabed in the so-called Brian Seep area at a water depth ~10 m. Detailed investigations of biogeochemical parameters in the sediment surrounding active gas vents indicated that methane seepage through the permeable seabed induces a convective transport of fluids within the surface sediment layer, which results in a deeper penetration of oxidants (oxygen, sulfate) into the sediment, as well as in a faster removal of potentially inhibiting reduced end products (e.g. hydrogen sulfide). Methanotrophic activity was often found close to the sediment-water interface, indicating the involvement of aerobic bacteria. However, biogeochemical data suggests that the majority of methane is consumed by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction below the surface layer (>15 cm), where sulfate is still available in high concentrations. This subsurface maximum of AOM activity in permeable sands is in contrast to known deep-sea seep habitats, where upward fluid advection through more fine-grained sediments leads to an accumulation of AOM activity within the top 10 cm of the sediments, because sulfate is rapidly depleted.

  5. Transpressional segment boundaries in strike-slip fault systems offshore southern California: Implications for fluid expulsion and cold seep habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maloney, Jillian M.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Pasulka, Alexis L.; Dawson, Katherine S.; Case, David H.; Frieder, Christina A.; Levin, Lisa A.; Driscoll, Neal W.

    2015-05-01

    The importance of tectonics and fluid flow in controlling cold seep habitats has long been appreciated at convergent margins but remains poorly understood in strike-slip systems. Here we present geophysical, geochemical, and biological data from an active methane seep offshore from Del Mar, California, in the inner California borderlands (ICB). The location of this seep appears controlled by localized transpression associated with a step in the San Diego Trough fault zone and provides an opportunity to examine the interplay between fluid expulsion and restraining step overs along strike-slip fault systems. These segment boundaries may have important controls on seep locations in the ICB and other margins characterized by strike-slip faulting (e.g., Greece, Sea of Marmara, and Caribbean). The strike-slip fault systems offshore southern California appear to have a limited distribution of seep sites compared to a wider distribution at convergent plate boundaries, which may influence seep habitat diversity and connectivity.

  6. Microbial Sulfate Reduction at Cold Seeps Based on Analysis of Carbonate Associated Sulfate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, D.; Peng, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial sulfate reduction and coupled anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) are the dominant biogeochemical processes occurring at cold seeps in marine settings. These processes not only support the growth of chemosynthetic communities but also promote the precipitation of authigenic carbonates. However, investigations of microbial sulfate reduction have been conducted only using porewaters or seep-related barites. The fact is that many seeps are either inactive or do not precipitate any barite minerals. Thus, little is known about the microbial sulfate reduction at these seep environments. The occurrence of authigenic carbonate has been documented at almost all cold seep sites, which provide a unique opportunity to investigate the microbial sulfate reduction using such carbonate. The presentation is focused on the concentrations and isotopic signatures of carbonate associated sulfate (CAS). The aim of the project is to determine the role of sulfate and sulfate reduction during carbonate precipitation at cold seeps. The CAS concentrations are 67-537 ppm in high-Mg calcite, 51-181 ppm in low-Mg calcite, and 116-565 in aragonite. The δ34SCAS and δ18OCAS also vary considerably, ranging from 21.9‰ to 56.2‰ (V-CDT) and from 10.1‰ to 24.8‰ (V-SMOW), respectively. On δ34SCAS versus δ18OCAS plots, both aragonite and calcite show linear trends that project down toward those of open seawater sulfate. The trends suggest that sulfate has been isotopically modified to various degrees in pore fluids before being incorporated into carbonate lattice. The much narrower δ34SCAS and δ18OCAS ranges for aragonite than for calcite suggests a much "pickier" condition for aragonite formation during early diagenesis. Our results suggest that concentration and isotopic composition of CAS in seep carbonates may be controlled by the supply of pore-water sulfate during carbonate precipitation. The reliability of CAS in carbonate of early diagenetic origin as a proxy of

  7. Lipid Biomarkers and Carbon Isotopic Composition from Authigenic Carbonates and Seep Sediments from the US Mid-Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, P.; Prouty, N.; Demopoulos, A. W.; Roark, B.; Coykendall, K.

    2015-12-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), mediated by Archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria, is common in continental margin sediment and can result in authigenic carbonate precipitation. A lipid biomarker study was undertaken in Mid-Atlantic submarine canyons, focusing specifically on Baltimore and Norfolk canyons, to determine biomarker variability of carbonate rock and the associated sediment in cold seep communities dominated by chemosynthetic mussels, Bathymodiolus childressi. Preliminary 16S metagenomic results confirm the presence of free-living sulfur-reducing bacteria and methantrophic endosymbiotic bacteria in the mussels. Depleted d13C values in both the mussel tissue (-63 ‰) and authigenic carbonates (-48 ‰) support methanotrophy as the dominant nutritional pathway and AOM as the main driver of carbonate precipitation. In addition, paired 14C and 230Th dates are highly discordant, reflecting dilution of the 14C pool with fossil hydrocarbon derived carbon. Seep and canyon sediment, as well as authigenic carbonates, were collected and analyzed for a suite of biomarkers, including sterols, alcohols, alkanes and fatty acids, as well as δ13C values of select biomarkers, to elucidate pathways of organic matter cycling. A comparison of terrestrial biomarker signatures (e.g., n-alkane carbon preference index and C23 / (C23 + C29) values, HMW n-alkanes and C29 sterols) suggests that terrestrial inputs dominate the submarine canyon surface sediment, whereas seep sediment is predominantly marine autochthonous (i.e., cholesterol and 5α-cholestanol). Lipid biomarker profiles (e.g., n-alkanes in the C15 to C33 range) from authigenic carbonates mirror those found in the seep sediment, suggesting that the organisms mediating carbonate precipitation on the seafloor are characteristic of the assemblages present in the sediment at these sites. With widespread methane leakage recently discovered along the Atlantic Margin, the presence of AOM-mediated carbonate

  8. Characterisation of the Nematode Community of a Low-Activity Cold Seep in the Recently Ice-Shelf Free Larsen B Area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Hauquier, Freija; Ingels, Jeroen; Gutt, Julian; Raes, Maarten; Vanreusel, Ann

    2011-01-01

    Background Recent climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen A (1995) and B (2002) areas along the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula formed a unique opportunity to assess sub-ice-shelf benthic community structure and led to the discovery of unexplored habitats, including a low-activity methane seep beneath the former Larsen B ice shelf. Since both limited particle sedimentation under previously permanent ice coverage and reduced cold-seep activity are likely to influence benthic meiofauna communities, we characterised the nematode assemblage of this low-activity cold seep and compared it with other, now seasonally ice-free, Larsen A and B stations and other Antarctic shelf areas (Weddell Sea and Drake Passage), as well as cold-seep ecosystems world-wide. Principal Findings The nematode community at the Larsen B seep site differed significantly from other Antarctic sites in terms of dominant genera, diversity and abundance. Densities in the seep samples were high (>2000 individuals per 10 cm2) and showed below-surface maxima at a sediment depth of 2–3 cm in three out of four replicates. All samples were dominated by one species of the family Monhysteridae, which was identified as a Halomonhystera species that comprised between 80 and 86% of the total community. The combination of high densities, deeper density maxima and dominance of one species is shared by many cold-seep ecosystems world-wide and suggested a possible dependence upon a chemosynthetic food source. Yet stable 13C isotopic signals (ranging between −21.97±0.86‰ and −24.85±1.89‰) were indicative of a phytoplankton-derived food source. Conclusion The recent ice-shelf collapse and enhanced food input from surface phytoplankton blooms were responsible for the shift from oligotrophic pre-collapse conditions to a phytodetritus-based community with high densities and low diversity. The parthenogenetic reproduction of the highly dominant Halomonhystera species is rather unusual for marine

  9. Microbial Oxidation of Ethane within Seep Sediment at Coal Oil Point, Santa Barbara, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, S. D.; Duncombe, R.; Scarlett, R. D.; Shaffer, J.; Lensch, S.; Valentine, D. L.

    2013-12-01

    The hydrocarbon seep field at Coal Oil Point (COP), off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, releases more than 10^10 g of thermogenic natural gas each year. Only a fraction of this methane, ethane, propane, and butane reaches the atmosphere, and is instead consumed by marine microbes in both the sediment and water column. Bacterial respiration of these gases has been observed in aerobic and anaerobic conditions, with the exception of ethane (aerobic only) (Kniemeyer et. al 2007). This work seeks to quantify the rate of ethane oxidation (both aerobic and anaerobic) in marine sediment. A series of experiments, to be conducted using COP seep sediment aboard the R/V Atlantis in October 2013, will test how varying oxygen conditions impact ethane oxidation rate. Oxidation rates will be quantified using sensitive 3H-ethane tracers. Preliminary data from Shane's Seep, located within the COP seep field, indicates that ethane oxidation is restricted to the top 6 cm of sediment. This suggests that oxygen is a limiting factor, but further work is needed to establish if ethane oxidation is restricted to exclusively aerobic environments.

  10. Distribution and Geochemistry of Methane-Derived Cold Seep Carbonates Panoche, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csar, A. J.; Sample, J.

    2007-12-01

    Isolated authigenic carbonate concretions and pavements occur locally within fine grained siliciclastic rocks of the Tertiary Great Valley Sequence of western California. Outcrops in the Panoche and Tumey Hills region are a record of prolonged expulsion of methane- and H2S- rich fluids from a relict cold seep system at the sea floor of a paleo-forearc basin. The entire outcrop length of the seep horizons is at least 15 km along strike. Sandstone injectites underlie the main seep horizons and may have provided fluid pathways to the sea floor. The concretions found in this locality are commonly rounded and vertically elongate, up to 15 m in height and resembling pillars in current outcrop form. Discrete carbonate pavements crop out continuously for as much as 100 m, are generally less then 3 m thick, and lacking any discernable stratification. The entire surface expression of the cold seep carbonates follows along strike, as a series of discontinuous shale encased mounds. Faunal assemblages (tubeworms, bivalves, and textures suggestive of algal mats) are fossilized, commonly in living position, within the carbonate cements. Growth and cross cutting relations recorded in these carbonate cements provides a chronology of the geochemical evolution of fluid venting at the cold seep. The earliest cement phase typically encasing the fossils and sedimentary structures is generally a high magnesium, detritus rich, finely micritic calcite or protodolomite. Energy dispersive spectrometry indicates that these cements have Ca/Mg ratios ranging from 8:1 to nearly 1:1. Within this hosting matrix are commonly a series of circular or wavy planar precipitation bands indicating sequential cementation. These later cements tend to be low Mg calcite (Ca/Mg below 8:1) which precipitated into void spaces from edge to center as coarsely fibrous crystals as large as 1 mm in width and several mm long. Each of these cement types has evidence of multiple phases of dissolution and precipitation

  11. Origin and transport of pore fluids in the Nankai accretionary prism inferred from chemical and isotopic compositions of pore water at cold seep sites off Kumano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, Tomohiro; Higa, Ryosaku; Ijiri, Akira; Tsunogai, Urumu; Ashi, Juichiro

    2014-12-01

    We used push corers during manned submersible dives to obtain sediment samples of up to 30 cm from the subseafloor at the Oomine Ridge. The concentrations of B in pore water extracted from the sediment samples from cold seep sites were higher than could be explained by organic matter decomposition, suggesting that the seepage fluid at the site was influenced by B derived from smectite-illite alteration, which occurs between 50°C and 160°C. Although the negative δ18OH2O and δDH2O values of the pore fluids cannot be explained by freshwater derived from clay mineral dehydration (CMD), we considered the contribution of pore fluids in the shallow sediments of the accretionary prism, which showed negative δ18OH2O and δDH2O values according to the results obtained during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expeditions 315 and 316. We calculated the mixing ratios based on a four-end-member mixing model including freshwater derived from CMD, pore fluids in the shallow (SPF) accretionary prism sediment, seawater (SW), and freshwater derived from methane hydrate (MH) dissociation. However, the Oomine seep fluids were unable to be explained without four end members, suggesting that deep-sourced fluids in the accretionary prism influenced the seeping fluids from this area. This finding presents the first evidence of deep-sourced fluids at cold seep sites in the Oomine Ridge, indicating that a megasplay fault is a potential pathway for the deep-sourced fluids.

  12. High-throughput transcriptome sequencing of the cold seep mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Yue Him; Sun, Jin; He, Li Sheng; Chen, Lian Guo; Qiu, Jian-Wen; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Bathymodiolid mussels dominate hydrothermal vents, cold methane/sulfide-hydrocarbon seeps, and other sites of organic enrichment. Here, we aimed to explore the innate immune system and detoxification mechanism of the deep sea mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons collected from a methane seep in the South China Sea. We sequenced the transcriptome of the mussels’ gill, foot and mantle tissues and generated a transcriptomic database containing 96,683 transcript sequences. Based on GO and KEGG annotations, we reported transcripts that were related to the innate immune system, heavy metal detoxification and sulfide metabolic genes. Our in-depth analysis on the isoforms of peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP) that have different cellular location and potentially differential selectivity towards peptidoglycan (PGN) from gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria were differentially expressed in different tissues. We also reported a potentially novel form of metallothionein and the production of phytochelatin in B. platifrons, which has not been reported in any of its coastal relative Mytilus mussel species. Overall, the present study provided new insights into heavy metal and sulfide metabolism in B. platifrons and can be served as the basis for future molecular studies on host-symbiont interactions in cold seep mussels. PMID:26593439

  13. High-throughput transcriptome sequencing of the cold seep mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons.

    PubMed

    Wong, Yue Him; Sun, Jin; He, Li Sheng; Chen, Lian Guo; Qiu, Jian-Wen; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Bathymodiolid mussels dominate hydrothermal vents, cold methane/sulfide-hydrocarbon seeps, and other sites of organic enrichment. Here, we aimed to explore the innate immune system and detoxification mechanism of the deep sea mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons collected from a methane seep in the South China Sea. We sequenced the transcriptome of the mussels' gill, foot and mantle tissues and generated a transcriptomic database containing 96,683 transcript sequences. Based on GO and KEGG annotations, we reported transcripts that were related to the innate immune system, heavy metal detoxification and sulfide metabolic genes. Our in-depth analysis on the isoforms of peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP) that have different cellular location and potentially differential selectivity towards peptidoglycan (PGN) from gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria were differentially expressed in different tissues. We also reported a potentially novel form of metallothionein and the production of phytochelatin in B. platifrons, which has not been reported in any of its coastal relative Mytilus mussel species. Overall, the present study provided new insights into heavy metal and sulfide metabolism in B. platifrons and can be served as the basis for future molecular studies on host-symbiont interactions in cold seep mussels. PMID:26593439

  14. Hypotaurine, N-methyltaurine, taurine, and glycine betaine as dominant osmolytes of vestimentiferan tubeworms from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Yin, M; Palmer, H R; Fyfe-Johnson, A L; Bedford, J J; Smith, R A; Yancey, P H

    2000-01-01

    Organic osmolytes, solutes that regulate cell volume, occur at high levels in marine invertebrates. These are mostly free amino acids such as taurine, which are "compatible" with cell macromolecules, and methylamines such as trimethylamine oxide, which may have a nonosmotic role as a protein stabilizer, and which is higher in many deep-sea animals. To better understand nonosmotic roles of osmolytes, we used high-performance liquid chromatography and (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to analyze vestimentiferans (vestimentum tissue) from unusual marine habitats. Species from deep hydrothermal vents were Riftia pachyptila of the East Pacific Rise (2,636 m) and Ridgeia piscesae of the Juan de Fuca Ridge (2,200 m). Species from cold hydrocarbon seeps were Lamellibrachia sp. and an unnamed escarpid species from subtidal sediment seeps (540 m) off Louisiana and Lamellibrachia barhami from bathyal tectonic seeps (1,800-2,000 m) off Oregon. Riftia were dominated by hypotaurine (152 mmol/kg wet wt), an antioxidant, and an unidentified solute with an NMR spectrum consistent with a methylamine. Ridgeia were dominated by betaine (N-trimethylglycine; 109 mmol/kg), hypotaurine (64 mmol/kg), and taurine (61 mmol/kg). The escarpids were dominated by taurine (138 mmol/kg) and hypotaurine (69 mmol/kg). Both Lamellibrachia populations were dominated by N-methyltaurine (209-252 mmol/kg), not previously reported as a major osmolyte, which may be involved in methane and sulfate metabolism. Trunk and plume tissue of the Oregon Lamellibrachia were nearly identical to vestimentum in osmolyte composition. The methylamines may also stabilize proteins against pressure; they were significantly higher in the three deeper-dwelling groups. PMID:11073799

  15. Geomicrobiological linkages between short-chain alkane consumption and sulfate reduction rates in seep sediments

    PubMed Central

    Bose, Arpita; Rogers, Daniel R.; Adams, Melissa M.; Joye, Samantha B.; Girguis, Peter R.

    2013-01-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps are ecosystems that are rich in methane, and, in some cases, short-chain (C2–C5) and longer alkanes. C2–C4 alkanes such as ethane, propane, and butane can be significant components of seeping fluids. Some sulfate-reducing microbes oxidize short-chain alkanes anaerobically, and may play an important role in both the competition for sulfate and the local carbon budget. To better understand the anaerobic oxidation of short-chain n-alkanes coupled with sulfate-reduction, hydrocarbon-rich sediments from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) were amended with artificial, sulfate-replete seawater and one of four n-alkanes (C1–C4) then incubated under strict anaerobic conditions. Measured rates of alkane oxidation and sulfate reduction closely follow stoichiometric predictions that assume the complete oxidation of alkanes to CO2 (though other sinks for alkane carbon likely exist). Changes in the δ13C of all the alkanes in the reactors show enrichment over the course of the incubation, with the C3 and C4 incubations showing the greatest enrichment (4.4 and 4.5‰, respectively). The concurrent depletion in the δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) implies a transfer of carbon from the alkane to the DIC pool (−3.5 and −6.7‰ for C3 and C4 incubations, respectively). Microbial community analyses reveal that certain members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are selectively enriched as the incubations degrade C1–C4 alkanes. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that distinct phylotypes are enriched in the ethane reactors, while phylotypes in the propane and butane reactors align with previously identified C3–C4 alkane-oxidizing sulfate-reducers. These data further constrain the potential influence of alkane oxidation on sulfate reduction rates (SRRs) in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments, provide insight into their contribution to local carbon cycling, and illustrate the extent to which short-chain alkanes can serve as electron donors and govern microbial

  16. Petrology of a Jurassic cold seep carbonate mound, Great Valley Group, northern California

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, K.A.; Bottjer, D.J. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Ancient sites of chemosynthetic marine invertebrate communities have been increasingly described from the stratigraphic record. Fossil cold seeps are best identified by the stratigraphically restricted co-occurrence of anomalous carbonates and fossils of organisms that in modern environments are chemosymbiotic. A Late Jurassic (Tithonian) age fossil seep site is preserved in deep-water turbidites of the Stony Creek Formation (Great Valley Group). Two low-relief carbonate mounds contain an abundant and diverse fossil macrofauna including taxa whose modern counterparts are chemosymbiotic, as well as several associate taxa. Two broad carbonate fabric types are present: a bioturbated, peloidal, fossiliferous micrite with abundant flecks of organic matter and several wavy laminated marine cements. The micrite and cements are either irregularly interlayered on distinctly separated by corrosion surfaces coated with iron oxides that may mark pulses of H[sub 2]S-rich fluids to the seep. Petrographic observations indicate the following idealized paragenetic sequence: deposition of micrite, with contemporaneous biotic activity; corrosion event, with preferential preservation of some peloids; precipitation of pyrite on some corrosion surfaces and concentration of insoluble siltstone linings where corrosion has opened vugs; precipitation of blocky yellow calcite cement with organic-rich inclusions in void spaces and around peloids; growth of clear to gray, botryoidal to fibrous cement; and precipitation of late, clear calcite spar. Similar fabrics and abundant tube-like structures are present in another Great Valley carbonate lens of Early Cretaceous (Albian-Aptian) age exposed on the Cold Fork of Cottonwood Creek near Red Bluff, California. Detailed integration of petrological studies of these fabrics with stable isotope studies and fossil faunal distributions provide a powerful approach for understanding the history of development and individual fossil seeps.

  17. Stable isotopes provide new insights into vestimentiferan physiological ecology at Gulf of Mexico cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Erin Leigh; Macko, Stephen A.; Lee, Raymond W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2011-02-01

    On the otherwise low-biomass seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) continental slope, natural oil and gas seeps are oases of local primary production that support lush animal communities. Hundreds of seep communities have been documented on the continental slope, and nutrition derived from seeps could be an important link in the overall GoM food web. Here, we present a uniquely large and cohesive data set of δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S compositions of the vestimentiferan tubeworms Escarpia laminata and Lamellibrachia sp. 1, which dominate biomass at GoM seeps and provide habitat for hundreds of other species. Our sampling design encompassed an entire region of the GoM lower slope, allowing us for the first time to assess spatial variability in isotope compositions and to robustly address long-standing hypotheses about how vestimentiferans acquire and cycle nutrients over their long lifespan (200+ years). Tissue δ13C values provided strong evidence that larger adult vestimentiferans use their buried roots to take up dissolved inorganic carbon from sediment pore water, while very small individuals use their plume to take up carbon dioxide from the seawater. δ34S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (<1 m2 area), indicating high variability in the inorganic sulfur pools on a very small spatial scale. This finding supports the hypothesis that vestimentiferans use their roots to cycle sulfate and sulfide between their symbionts and free-living consortia of sulfate-reducing archaea in the sediment. Finally, consistent differences in δ15N between two cooccurring vestimentiferan species provided the first strong evidence for partitioning of inorganic resources, which has significant implications for the ecology and evolution of this taxonomic group.

  18. Archaeal and anaerobic methane oxidizer communities in the Sonora Margin cold seeps, Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California)

    PubMed Central

    Vigneron, Adrien; Cruaud, Perrine; Pignet, Patricia; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Cambon-Bonavita, Marie-Anne; Godfroy, Anne; Toffin, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Cold seeps, located along the Sonora Margin transform fault in the Guaymas Basin, were extensively explored during the ‘BIG' cruise in June 2010. They present a seafloor mosaic pattern consisting of different faunal assemblages and microbial mats. To investigate this mostly unknown cold and hydrocarbon-rich environment, geochemical and microbiological surveys of the sediments underlying two microbial mats and a surrounding macrofaunal habitat were analyzed in detail. The geochemical measurements suggest biogenic methane production and local advective sulfate-rich fluxes in the sediments. The distributions of archaeal communities, particularly those involved in the methane cycle, were investigated at different depths (surface to 18 cm below the sea floor (cmbsf)) using complementary molecular approaches, such as Automated method of Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA), 16S rRNA libraries, fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction with new specific primer sets targeting methanogenic and anaerobic methanotrophic lineages. Molecular results indicate that metabolically active archaeal communities were dominated by known clades of anaerobic methane oxidizers (archaeal anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-1, -2 and -3), including a novel ‘ANME-2c Sonora' lineage. ANME-2c were found to be dominant, metabolically active and physically associated with syntrophic Bacteria in sulfate-rich shallow sediment layers. In contrast, ANME-1 were more prevalent in the deepest sediment samples and presented a versatile behavior in terms of syntrophic association, depending on the sulfate concentration. ANME-3 were concentrated in small aggregates without bacterial partners in a restricted sediment horizon below the first centimetres. These niche specificities and syntrophic behaviors, depending on biological surface assemblages and environmental availability of electron donors, acceptors and carbon substrates, suggest that ANME could support

  19. Geochemical characteristics of the barite deposits at cold seeps from the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Roberts, Harry H.

    2011-09-01

    Although less common than the occurrence of authigenic carbonate, barite has been observed frequently at cold seeps on continental margins worldwide. It is understood that barite forms by the interaction of barium-rich and sulfate-free seeping fluids with dissolved sulfate of pore water near the seafloor, but questions remain about the geochemical processes and mode(s) of the barite formation. Here, we report geochemical characteristics of barite deposits at 11 cold seep locations from the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope. Samples from these sites of fluid and gas expulsion provide environmental information on barite formation. Seafloor observations and samples acquired indicate that barites occur as chimneys, cones, crusts, irregular mound-like buildups up to 2-meters high, and as a material disseminated in host sediment. Most barite samples are white-to-gray and usually have a porous fabric and layered internal structure. Mineralogically, samples of barite may contain a significant amounts of carbonate minerals, such as calcite and dolomite, but aragonite is absent in all samples analyzed in this study. Negative δ 13C values (as low as - 46.4‰ V-PDB) of the associated carbonates strongly suggests that methane is the primary carbon source. The δ 34S and δ 18O values of the barites have large variations, ranging from 18‰ to 80.4‰ V-CDT, and 7.5‰ to 26.7‰ V-SMOW, respectively. On δ 34S versus δ 18O plots, many barite deposits show a linear trend that projects down toward the isotopic composition of seawater sulfate. The trend suggests that barite formed from seawater sulfate that has been isotopically modified to varying degrees by biological sulfate reduction. The δ 34S/δ 18O ratios vary between 2.4 and 4.1. The variations are interpreted to reflect local controls on the flux of barium-rich seep fluids, changes in the rate of bacterial sulfate reduction, and/or the openness of pore fluid system. The 87Sr/ 86Sr values of the barites

  20. Comparative composition, diversity and trophic ecology of sediment macrofauna at vents, seeps and organic falls.

    PubMed

    Bernardino, Angelo F; Levin, Lisa A; Thurber, Andrew R; Smith, Craig R

    2012-01-01

    Sediments associated with hydrothermal venting, methane seepage and large organic falls such as whale, wood and plant detritus create deep-sea networks of soft-sediment habitats fueled, at least in part, by the oxidation of reduced chemicals. Biological studies at deep-sea vents, seeps and organic falls have looked at macrofaunal taxa, but there has yet to be a systematic comparison of the community-level attributes of sediment macrobenthos in various reducing ecosystems. Here we review key similarities and differences in the sediment-dwelling assemblages of each system with the goals of (1) generating a predictive framework for the exploration and study of newly identified reducing habitats, and (2) identifying taxa and communities that overlap across ecosystems. We show that deep-sea seep, vent and organic-fall sediments are highly heterogeneous. They sustain different geochemical and microbial processes that are reflected in a complex mosaic of habitats inhabited by a mixture of specialist (heterotrophic and symbiont-associated) and background fauna. Community-level comparisons reveal that vent, seep and organic-fall macrofauna are very distinct in terms of composition at the family level, although they share many dominant taxa among these highly sulphidic habitats. Stress gradients are good predictors of macrofaunal diversity at some sites, but habitat heterogeneity and facilitation often modify community structure. The biogeochemical differences across ecosystems and within habitats result in wide differences in organic utilization (i.e., food sources) and in the prevalence of chemosynthesis-derived nutrition. In the Pacific, vents, seeps and organic-falls exhibit distinct macrofaunal assemblages at broad-scales contributing to ß diversity. This has important implications for the conservation of reducing ecosystems, which face growing threats from human activities. PMID:22496753

  1. Comparative Composition, Diversity and Trophic Ecology of Sediment Macrofauna at Vents, Seeps and Organic Falls

    PubMed Central

    Bernardino, Angelo F.; Levin, Lisa A.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Smith, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Sediments associated with hydrothermal venting, methane seepage and large organic falls such as whale, wood and plant detritus create deep-sea networks of soft-sediment habitats fueled, at least in part, by the oxidation of reduced chemicals. Biological studies at deep-sea vents, seeps and organic falls have looked at macrofaunal taxa, but there has yet to be a systematic comparison of the community-level attributes of sediment macrobenthos in various reducing ecosystems. Here we review key similarities and differences in the sediment-dwelling assemblages of each system with the goals of (1) generating a predictive framework for the exploration and study of newly identified reducing habitats, and (2) identifying taxa and communities that overlap across ecosystems. We show that deep-sea seep, vent and organic-fall sediments are highly heterogeneous. They sustain different geochemical and microbial processes that are reflected in a complex mosaic of habitats inhabited by a mixture of specialist (heterotrophic and symbiont-associated) and background fauna. Community-level comparisons reveal that vent, seep and organic-fall macrofauna are very distinct in terms of composition at the family level, although they share many dominant taxa among these highly sulphidic habitats. Stress gradients are good predictors of macrofaunal diversity at some sites, but habitat heterogeneity and facilitation often modify community structure. The biogeochemical differences across ecosystems and within habitats result in wide differences in organic utilization (i.e., food sources) and in the prevalence of chemosynthesis-derived nutrition. In the Pacific, vents, seeps and organic-falls exhibit distinct macrofaunal assemblages at broad-scales contributing to ß diversity. This has important implications for the conservation of reducing ecosystems, which face growing threats from human activities. PMID:22496753

  2. Diversity and distribution of eukaryotic microbes in and around a brine pool adjacent to the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yong; Zhang, Wei Peng; Cao, Hui Luo; Shek, Chun Shum; Tian, Ren Mao; Wong, Yue Him; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    A hypoxic/suboxic brine pool at a depth of about 850 m was discovered near the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea. Filled with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, such a brine pool might limit the spread of eukaryotic organisms. Here, we compared the communities of the eukaryotic microbes in a microbial mat, sediments and water samples distributed in 7 sites within and adjacent to the brine pool. Taxonomic classification of the pyrosequenced 18S rRNA amplicon reads showed that fungi highly similar to the species identified along the Arabic coast were almost ubiquitous in the water and sediment samples, supporting their wide distribution in various environments. The microbial mat displayed the highest species diversity and contained grazers and a considerable percentage of unclassified species. Phylogeny-based methods revealed novel lineages representing a majority of the reads from the interface between the sea water and brine pool. Phylogenetic relationships with more reference sequences suggest that the lineages were affiliated with novel Alveolata and Euglenozoa inhabiting the interface where chemosynthetic prokaryotes are highly proliferative due to the strong chemocline and halocline. The brine sediments harbored abundant species highly similar to invertebrate gregarine parasites identified in different oxygen-depleted sediments. Therefore, the present findings support the uniqueness of some microbial eukaryotic groups in this cold seep brine system. PMID:24575081

  3. Diversity and distribution of eukaryotic microbes in and around a brine pool adjacent to the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yong; Zhang, Wei Peng; Cao, Hui Luo; Shek, Chun Shum; Tian, Ren Mao; Wong, Yue Him; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    A hypoxic/suboxic brine pool at a depth of about 850 m was discovered near the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea. Filled with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, such a brine pool might limit the spread of eukaryotic organisms. Here, we compared the communities of the eukaryotic microbes in a microbial mat, sediments and water samples distributed in 7 sites within and adjacent to the brine pool. Taxonomic classification of the pyrosequenced 18S rRNA amplicon reads showed that fungi highly similar to the species identified along the Arabic coast were almost ubiquitous in the water and sediment samples, supporting their wide distribution in various environments. The microbial mat displayed the highest species diversity and contained grazers and a considerable percentage of unclassified species. Phylogeny-based methods revealed novel lineages representing a majority of the reads from the interface between the sea water and brine pool. Phylogenetic relationships with more reference sequences suggest that the lineages were affiliated with novel Alveolata and Euglenozoa inhabiting the interface where chemosynthetic prokaryotes are highly proliferative due to the strong chemocline and halocline. The brine sediments harbored abundant species highly similar to invertebrate gregarine parasites identified in different oxygen-depleted sediments. Therefore, the present findings support the uniqueness of some microbial eukaryotic groups in this cold seep brine system. PMID:24575081

  4. Environmental switching during biofilm development in a cold seep system and functional determinants of species sorting.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weipeng; Tian, Renmao; Bo, Yang; Cao, Huiluo; Cai, Lin; Chen, Lianguo; Zhou, Guowei; Sun, Jin; Zhang, Xixiang; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2016-05-01

    The functional basis for species sorting theory remains elusive, especially for microbial community assembly in deep-sea environments. Using artificial surface-based biofilm models, our recent work revealed taxonomic succession during biofilm development in a newly defined cold seep system, the Thuwal cold seeps II, which comprises a brine pool and the adjacent normal bottom water (NBW) to form a metacommunity via the potential immigration of organisms from one patch to another. Here, we designed an experiment to investigate the effects of environmental switching between the brine pool and the NBW on biofilm assembly, which could reflect environmental filtering effects during bacterial immigration to new environments. Analyses of 16S rRNA genes of 71 biofilm samples suggested that the microbial composition of biofilms established in new environments was determined by both the source community and the incubation conditions. Moreover, a comparison of 18 metagenomes provided evidence for biofilm community assembly that was based primarily on functional features rather than taxonomic identities; metal ion resistance and amino acid metabolism were the major species sorting determinants for the succession of biofilm communities. Genome binning and pathway reconstruction of two bacterial species (Marinobacter sp. and Oleispira sp.) further demonstrated metal ion resistance and amino acid metabolism as functional traits conferring the survival of habitat generalists in both the brine pool and NBW. The results of this study shed new light on microbial community assembly in special habitats and bridge a gap in species sorting theory. PMID:26614914

  5. Food-web structure of seep sediment macrobenthos from the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Gualtieri, Daniel; Kovacs, Kaitlin

    2010-11-01

    The slope environment of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) supports dense communities of seep megafaunal invertebrates that rely on endosymbiotic bacteria for nutrition. Seep sediments also contain smaller macrofaunal invertebrates whose nutritional pathways are not well understood. Using stable-isotope analysis, we investigate the utilization of chemosynthetically fixed and methane-derived organic matter by macrofauna. Biological sampling was conducted in three lower-slope GOM seep environs: Green Canyon (GC852, 1428 m), Atwater Valley (AT340, 2230 m), and Alaminos Canyon (AC601, 2384 m). Infaunal δ13C and δ15N exhibited a broad range of values; most infauna appeared to be heterotrophic, although several taxa had very light δ15N and δ13C values, indicating possible reliance on chemoautotrophic symbioses. The lightest δ13C and δ15N values were observed in nematodes (δ13C=-54.6±0.1‰, δ15N=-6.1±0.2‰) and one gastropod (δ13C=-54.1‰, δ15N=-1.1‰) from Green Canyon. Mixing-model results indicated that sulfur-oxidizing Beggiatoa may be an important food source for seep infauna; the rate of utilization ranged from 60% to 100% at Green Canyon and Atwater Valley. The overall range in isotope values was similar across the three sites, suggesting that biogeochemical processes may be very similar in these geographically distinct areas.

  6. Food-web structure of seep sediment macrobenthos from the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Gualtieri, Daniel; Kovacs, Kaitlin

    2010-01-01

    The slope environment of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) supports dense communities of seep megafaunal invertebrates that rely on endosymbiotic bacteria for nutrition. Seep sediments also contain smaller macrofaunal invertebrates whose nutritional pathways are not well understood. Using stable-isotope analysis, we investigate the utilization of chemosynthetically fixed and methane-derived organic matter by macrofauna. Biological sampling was conducted in three lower-slope GOM seep environs: Green Canyon (GC852, 1428 m), Atwater Valley (AT340, 2230 m), and Alaminos Canyon (AC601, 2384 m). Infaunal delta13C and delta15N exhibited a broad range of values; most infauna appeared to be heterotrophic, although several taxa had very light delta15N and delta13C values, indicating possible reliance on chemoautotrophic symbioses. The lightest delta13C and delta15N values were observed in nematodes (delta13C=-54.6 + or - 0.1 per mil, delta15N=-6.1 + or - 0.2 per mil) and one gastropod (delta13C=-54.1 per mil, delta15N=-1.1 per mil) from Green Canyon. Mixing-model results indicated that sulfur-oxidizing Beggiatoa may be an important food source for seep infauna; the rate of utilization ranged from 60% to 100% at Green Canyon and Atwater Valley. The overall range in isotope values was similar across the three sites, suggesting that biogeochemical processes may be very similar in these geographically distinct areas.

  7. An evaluation of petrogenic hydrocarbons in northern Gulf of Alaska continental shelf sediments - The role of coastal oil seep inputs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kolak, J.J.; Payne, J.R.; Van Kooten, G. K.

    2007-01-01

    We compared hydrocarbons in water, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and riparian sediment collected from coastal watersheds along the Yakataga foreland with corresponding hydrocarbons in Gulf of Alaska benthic sediments. This comparison allows an evaluation of hydrocarbon contributions to marine sediments from natural oil seeps, coal and organic matter (e.g., kerogen) associated with eroding siliciclastic rocks. The samples from oil seeps show extensive loss of low-molecular weight n-alkanes (sediment samples collected upstream from the oil seeps. After entering the fluvial systems, hydrocarbons from seep oils are rapidly diluted, and associate with the SPM phase as oil-mineral-aggregates (OMA). Johnston Creek, the watershed containing the most prolific seep, conveys detectable seep-derived hydrocarbons to the Gulf of Alaska, but overall seep inputs are largely attenuated by the (non-seep) petrogenic hydrocarbon content of the high SPM loads. In contrast to the geochemical signature of seep oil, Gulf of Alaska benthic sediments are characterized by abundant alkylated naphthalene homologues, relatively smooth n-alkane envelopes (n-C9 through n-C34, but with elevated levels of n-C27, n-C29, and n-C31), and small UCMs. Further, hydrocarbons in benthic sediments are highly intercorrelated. Taken together, these characteristics indicate that seep oil is a negligible petrogenic hydrocarbon source to the Gulf of Alaska continental shelf. Coaly material separated from the benthic sediment samples using a dense liquid (???2.00 g cm-3) also accounted for a minor portion of the total PAH (1-6%) and total n-alkanes (0.4-2%) in the benthic samples. Most of the hydrocarbon burden in the sediments is found in the denser sediment fraction and likely derives from organic matter contributed by denudation of siliciclastic formations in

  8. Galatheid and chirostylid crustaceans (Decapoda: Anomura) from a cold seep environment in the northeastern South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Dong, Dong; Li, Xinzheng

    2015-01-01

    Six species of squat lobsters from a cold seep field in the northeastern South China Sea are studied. Two new species, Uroptychus jiaolongae n. sp. and U. spinulosus n. sp., are described, and their distinctions from the related species are detailed. Two species, Munidopsis tuberosa Osawa, Lin & Chan, 2008 and M. verrilli Benedict, 1902, are herein reported for the first time from a cold seep/hydrothermal vent environment. The number of squat lobsters species associated with those chemosynthetic environments now stands at forty-one. PMID:26701467

  9. Cold-seep habitat mapping: High-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Jamie K. S.; McEntee, Molly H.; Brothers, Laura L.; German, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Carl L.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2013-08-01

    Relationships among seep community biomass, diversity, and physiographic controls such as underlying geology are not well understood. Previous efforts to constrain these relationships at the Blake Ridge Diapir were limited to observations from piloted deep-submergence vehicles. In August 2012, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry collected geophysical and photographic data over a 0.131 km2 area at the Blake Ridge Diapir seeps. A nested survey approach was used that began with a regional or reconnaissance-style survey using sub-bottom mapping systems to locate and identify seeps and underlying conduits. This survey was followed by AUV-mounted sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder systems mapping on a mesoscale to characterize the seabed physiography. At the most detailed survey level, digital photographic imaging was used to resolve sub-meter characteristics of the biology. Four pockmarks (25-70 m diameter) were documented, each supporting chemosynthetic communities. Concentric zonation of mussels and clams suggests the influence of chemical gradients on megafaunal distribution. Data collection and analytical techniques used here yield high-resolution habitat maps that can serve as baselines to constrain temporal evolution of seafloor seeps, and to inform ecological niche modeling and resource management.

  10. Cold-seep habitat mapping: high-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagner, Jamie K.S.; McEntee, Molly H.; Brothers, Laura L.; German, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Carl L.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2013-01-01

    Relationships among seep community biomass, diversity, and physiographic controls such as underlying geology are not well understood. Previous efforts to constrain these relationships at the Blake Ridge Diapir were limited to observations from piloted deep-submergence vehicles. In August 2012, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry collected geophysical and photographic data over a 0.131 km2 area at the Blake Ridge Diapir seeps. A nested survey approach was used that began with a regional or reconnaissance-style survey using sub-bottom mapping systems to locate and identify seeps and underlying conduits. This survey was followed by AUV-mounted sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder systems mapping on a mesoscale to characterize the seabed physiography. At the most detailed survey level, digital photographic imaging was used to resolve sub-meter characteristics of the biology. Four pockmarks (25–70 m diameter) were documented, each supporting chemosynthetic communities. Concentric zonation of mussels and clams suggests the influence of chemical gradients on megafaunal distribution. Data collection and analytical techniques used here yield high-resolution habitat maps that can serve as baselines to constrain temporal evolution of seafloor seeps, and to inform ecological niche modeling and resource management.

  11. In Situ Stable Isotopic Detection of Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane in Monterey Bay Cold Seeps Via Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wankel, S. D.; Gupta, M.; Leen, J.; Provencal, R. A.; Parsotam, V.; Girguis, P. R.

    2010-12-01

    Anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM) plays an important role in global climate change by governing the release of methane from anoxic sediments into the global ocean and ultimately the atmosphere. Thus, gaining an accurate understanding of both the distribution of methane sources and the occurrence of AOM as well as the spatial and temporal variability of cycling pathways is critical. Environmental analyses of methane stable isotopic composition (δ13C-CH4) provide just such an indicator of methane source, whether biogenic or thermogenic, as well as a spatial and temporal integrator of microbial cycling pathways, such as AOM. Here we present results from several deployments of a newly developed in situ methane stable isotope analyzer capable of measuring δ13C-CH4 to full ocean depths. The instrument consisted of a miniaturized Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (Off-Axis ICOS) analyzer housed in a cylindrical titanium pressure vessel for deep sea deployment. Dissolved gas was extracted from seawater using a Teflon AF diffusion membrane inlet. The instrument had an operating wavelength of 1647 nm and used chemometric spectral decomposition to determine the relative concentrations of 13CH4 and 12CH4 with a sensitivity of ± 0.2‰. Deployments to cold seep environments revealed a distinct separation in carbon isotopic composition between methane in advecting fluids as compared with methane from sediment pore fluids. During multiple visits to two different sites at Extrovert Cliff in Monterey Bay (960m), methane in advecting fluids ranged from -70.2‰ to -63.8‰. In contrast, methane-rich fluids sampled directly from pushcore holes taken through seep sediments contained methane with substantially higher δ13C values ranging from -64.2‰ to -50.2‰. These data implicate the influence of anaerobic oxidation of methane within these seep sediments. While the advective flux of methane to the seafloor from the central orifice of the seep is substantial, using

  12. Benthic Community Structure and Sediment Geochemical Properties at Hydrocarbon Seeps Along the Continental Slope of the Western North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demopoulos, A. W.; Bourque, J. R.; Brooke, S.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, methane seepage has been increasingly documented along the continental slope of the U.S. Atlantic margin. In 2012 and 2013, two seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (410-450 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (1600 m). Both sites contain extensive mussel beds and microbial mats. Sediment cores and grab samples were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300 mm) in relationship to the associated sediment environment (organic carbon and nitrogen, stable isotopes 13C and 15N, grain size, and depth) of mussel beds, mats, and slope habitats. Macrofaunal densities in microbial mats were four times greater than those present in mussel beds and slope sediments. Macrofaunal communities were distinctly different both between depths and among habitat types. Specifically, microbial mat sediments were dominated by the annelid families Dorvilleidae, Capitellidae, and Tubificidae, while mussel habitats had higher proportions of crustaceans. Diversity was lower in Baltimore microbial mat habitats, but higher in mussel and slope sediments compared to Norfolk seep habitats found at deeper depths. Multivariate statistical analysis identified sediment carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratios and 13C values as important variables for structuring the macrofaunal communities. Higher C:N ratios were present within microbial mat habitats and depleted 13C values occurred in sediments adjacent to mussel beds found in Norfolk Canyon seeps. Differences in the quality and source of organic matter present in the seep habitats are known to be important drivers in macrofaunal community structure and associated food webs. The multivariate analysis provides new insight into the relative importance of the seep sediment quality in supporting dense macrofaunal communities compared

  13. In situ environment rather than substrate type dictates microbial community structure of biofilms in a cold seep system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, On On; Wang, Yong; Tian, Renmao; Zhang, Weipeng; Shek, Chun Shum; Bougouffa, Salim; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Batang, Zenon B.; Xu, Wei; Wang, Guang Chao; Zhang, Xixiang; Lafi, Feras F.; Bajic, Vladmir B.; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Using microscopic and molecular techniques combined with computational analysis, this study examined the structure and composition of microbial communities in biofilms that formed on different artificial substrates in a brine pool and on a seep vent of a cold seep in the Red Sea to test our hypothesis that initiation of the biofilm formation and spreading mode of microbial structures differs between the cold seep and the other aquatic environments. Biofilms on different substrates at two deployment sites differed morphologically, with the vent biofilms having higher microbial abundance and better structural features than the pool biofilms. Microbes in the pool biofilms were more taxonomically diverse and mainly composed of various sulfate-reducing bacteria whereas the vent biofilms were exclusively dominated by sulfur-oxidizing Thiomicrospira. These results suggest that the redox environments at the deployment sites might have exerted a strong selection on microbes in the biofilms at two sites whereas the types of substrates had limited effects on the biofilm development.

  14. Community composition and temporal change at deep Gulf of Mexico cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lessard-Pilon, Stephanie; Porter, Matthew D.; Cordes, Erik E.; MacDonald, Ian; Fisher, Charles R.

    2010-11-01

    Specialized cold-seep communities have been known to exist in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) since the mid-1980s, but only recently has extensive research been carried out on sites at depths >1000 m. This study uses a combination of imagery and analyses within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) framework to examine the composition of mussel and tubeworm communities at depths between 2200 and 2800 m in the Gulf of Mexico, spatial relations among the fauna, and changes in these communities over time. Photomosaics at three discrete seep communities were obtained in 2006 and a video mosaic of another community was obtained in 1992. Each of these communities was re-imaged in 2007. In addition, quantitative physical collections were made within two of the photomosaic sites and used to confirm the identification of megafauna, quantify the occurrence of smaller and cryptic macrofauna, and allow first-order calculations of biomass within the sites. Substrate type had a significant effect on community composition. Significant associations were identified between live mussels with anemones, shrimp, and sea cucumbers, and between tubeworm aggregations and Munidopsis sp. crabs and encrusting fauna, indicating differences in the composition of megafauna associated with adjacent mussel and tubeworm aggregations. Little change was seen in the total area colonized by foundation fauna (tubeworms and mussels) between years at any site. However, significant changes occurred in the positions of mussels, even over periods of a single year, at all sites, and evidence for the establishment of new tubeworm aggregations between 1992 and 2007 was noted at one site. These photomosaics provide data suggesting that environmental conditions can change over small spatial and temporal scales and mussels move in response to these changes. The successional trends are examined and compared to the patterns that have been documented in shallow (<1000-m depth) Gulf of Mexico seep communities.

  15. Spatial distribution of diverse cold seep communities living on various diapiric structures of the southern Barbados prism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olu, K.; Sibuet, M.; Harmegnies, F.; Foucher, J.-P.; Fiala-Médioni, A.

    , both associated with sulfur-oxydizing bacteria, and there were numerous empty shells. The densities and biomasses of symbiotic bivalves were far greater in the area studied than in a deeper mud volcano field on the same prism that had been studied previously. This is consistent with a report that methane production is greater in the southern region of this accretionary prism than in the northern. Numerous non-symbiotic organisms were observed in and around the areas of the seeps, some are endemic to the seep communities, including some gastropods and shrimps, others are either colonists or vagrants from the surrounding deep-sea floor. Filter feeders were very abundant, and some of these, like the serpulids and large sponges, may also be dependent on the chemosynthetic production. Faunistic composition of both symbiotic and non-symbiotic taxa, of the assemblages around these cold seeps, is closely related to that reported for communities living on hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.

  16. First respiration estimates of cold-seep vesicomyid bivalves from in situ total oxygen uptake measurements.

    PubMed

    Decker, Carole; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Khripounoff, Alexis; Olu, Karine

    2012-04-01

    Vesicomyid bivalves are one of the most abundant symbiont-bearing species inhabiting deep-sea reducing ecosystems. Nevertheless, except for the hydrothermal vent clam Calyptogena magnifica, their metabolic rates have not been documented, and only assessed with ex situ experiments. In this study, gathering benthic chamber measurements and biomass estimation, we give the first in situ assessment of the respiration rate of these bivalves. The giant pockmark Regab, located at 3160m depth along the Congo-Angola margin, is a cold-seep site characterised by dense assemblages of two species of vesicomyids: Christineconcha regab and Laubiericoncha chuni with high dominance of C. regab. Two sites with dense aggregates of vesicomyids were selected to measure total oxygen uptake (TOU), and methane fluxes using IFREMER's benthic chamber CALMAR deployed by the ROV Quest 4000 (MARUM). Photographs were taken and bivalves were sampled using blade corers to estimate density and biomass. Total oxygen uptake was higher at Site 2 compared to Site 1 (respectively 492 mmol.m(-2).d(-1) and 332 mmol.m(-2).d(-1)). However, given vesicomyid densities and biomass, mean oxygen consumption rates were similar at both sites (1.9 to 2.5 μmol.g total dry mass(-1).h(-1) at the Site 1 and 1.8 to 2.3 μmol.g total dry mass(-1).h(-1) at Site 2). These respiration rates are higher than published ex situ estimates for cold-seep or hydrothermal vent bivalves. Although methane fluxes at the base of sulphide production were clearly higher at Site 2 (14.6 mmol.m(-2).d(-1)) than at Site 1 (0.3 mmol.m(-2).d(-1)), they do not seem to influence the respiration rates of these bivalves associated to sulphide-oxidizing symbionts. PMID:22578572

  17. Post depositional alteration of foraminiferal shells in cold seep settings: New insights from Flow-Through Time-Resolved Analyses of biogenic and inorganic seep carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R.; Torres, M. E.; Klinkhammer, G. P.; Nesbitt, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    Transient hydrocarbon migration within a sediment package leaves behind robust geological signatures in the biogenic and authigenic carbonate record. Here we apply Flow-Through Time Resolved Analyses (FT-TRA) to unravel the compositional changes in foraminifera from coastal fossil methane seeps exposed from Oregon to Vancouver Island: The Eocene-Oligocene Keasey Formation, the Oligocene-Miocene Pysht and Sooke Formations, and the Pliocene Quinault Formation. Our data show that secondary mineralization can be traced with the use of Mg/Ca ratios, which in altered foraminifera are significantly higher than the biogenic ratio (<3 mmol/mol in biogenic carbonate compared to values as high as 69 mmol/mol for inorganic carbonate). Analogous to the record in authigenic carbonate, secondary mineralization contains valuable information about seep characteristics and their geologic history. Data from the Quinault Formation reflect the influence of anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane in both bleb (δ13C: -29.8 ‰ to -14.0‰) and foraminiferal (δ13C: -43.0‰ to 2.0‰) carbonate. Oxygen isotopes from blebs and foraminifera indicate precipitation at bottom water temperatures in an environment comparable to conditions observed in modern seeps on the Oregon slope and elsewhere. The carbonates in these seeps are enriched in barium and strontium over biogenic values, and such elevated values may be used a diagnostic tool to identify methane-related carbonates. In contrast, in the Pysht and Sooke formations, carbonate precipitation (including secondary mineralization of foraminifera), was fueled by a thermogenic carbon source (δ13C: -14 to 3.4‰). These carbonates reflect a more complex paragenetic history and suggest alteration driven by post-depositional warm and/or meteoric fluids.

  18. Cold-seep-driven carbonate deposits at the Central American forearc: contrasting evolution and timing in escarpment and mound settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liebetrau, V.; Augustin, N.; Kutterolf, S.; Schmidt, M.; Eisenhauer, A.; Garbe-Schönberg, D.; Weinrebe, W.

    2014-10-01

    Continuous surface cores of cold-seep carbonates were recovered offshore Pacific Nicaragua and Costa Rica from 800 to 1,500-m water depths (Meteor 66/3) in order to decipher their evolution and methane enriched fluid emanation in contrasting geological settings. Cores from the mounds Iguana, Perezoso, Baula V and from the Jaco Scarp escarpment were used for a multi-method approach. For both settings aragonite was revealed as dominant authigenic carbonate phase in vein fillings and matrix cementation, followed by Mg-calcite as second most abundant. This common precipitation process of CaCO3 polymorphs could be ascribed as indirectly driven by chemical changes of the advecting pore water due to anaerobic oxidation of methane. A more direct influence of seep-related microbial activity on the authigenic mineral assemblage in both settings is probably reflected by the observed minor amounts of dolomite and a dolomite-like CaMg carbonate (MgCO3 ~ 42 %). δ13C data of Jaco Scarp samples are significantly lower (-43 to -56 ‰ PDB) than for mound samples (-22 to -36 ‰ PDB), indicating differences in fluid composition and origin. Noteworthy, δ18O values of Scarp samples correlate most closely with the ocean signature at their time of formation. Documenting the archive potential, a high resolution case study of a mound core implies at least 40 changes in fluid supply within a time interval of approximately 14 ky. As most striking difference, the age data indicate a late-stage downward-progressing cementation front for all three mound cap structures (approx. 2-5 cm/ky), but a significantly faster upward carbonate buildup in the bulging sediments on top of the scarp environment (approx. 120 cm/ky). The latter data set leads to the hypothesis of chemoherm carbonate emplacement in accord with reported sedimentation rates until decompression of the advective fluid system, probably caused by the Jaco Scarp landslide and dating this to approximately 13,000 years ago.

  19. Interaction between hydrocarbon seepage, chemosynthetic communities, and bottom water redox at cold seeps of the Makran accretionary prism: insights from habitat-specific pore water sampling and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, D.; Sahling, H.; Nöthen, K.; Bohrmann, G.; Zabel, M.; Kasten, S.

    2012-06-01

    The interaction between fluid seepage, bottom water redox, and chemosynthetic communities was studied at cold seeps across one of the world's largest oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) located at the Makran convergent continental margin. Push cores were obtained from seeps within and below the core-OMZ with a remotely operated vehicle. Extracted sediment pore water was analyzed for sulfide and sulfate concentrations. Depending on oxygen availability in the bottom water, seeps were either colonized by microbial mats or by mats and macrofauna. The latter, including ampharetid polychaetes and vesicomyid clams, occurred in distinct benthic habitats, which were arranged in a concentric fashion around gas orifices. At most sites colonized by microbial mats, hydrogen sulfide was exported into the bottom water. Where macrofauna was widely abundant, hydrogen sulfide was retained within the sediment. Numerical modeling of pore water profiles was performed in order to assess rates of fluid advection and bioirrigation. While the magnitude of upward fluid flow decreased from 11 cm yr-1 to <1 cm yr-1 and the sulfate/methane transition (SMT) deepened with increasing distance from the central gas orifice, the fluxes of sulfate into the SMT did not significantly differ (6.6-9.3 mol m-2 yr-1). Depth-integrated rates of bioirrigation increased from 120 cm yr-1 in the central habitat, characterized by microbial mats and sparse macrofauna, to 297 cm yr-1 in the habitat of large and few small vesicomyid clams. These results reveal that chemosynthetic macrofauna inhabiting the outer seep habitats below the core-OMZ efficiently bioirrigate and thus transport sulfate down into the upper 10 to 15 cm of the sediment. In this way the animals deal with the lower upward flux of methane in outer habitats by stimulating rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate high enough to provide hydrogen sulfide for chemosynthesis. Through bioirrigation, macrofauna engineer their geochemical

  20. A Peek at Fluid Flow in Monterey bay Cold Seeps Using Peepers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plant, J. N.; Wheat, C. G.; Jannasch, H.

    2001-12-01

    The egress of pore water from the oceanic crust along plate boundaries includes pore water and bound volatiles from sediment as well as seawater that have interacted with basement rock. The chemical composition of these fluids is governed by complex water-rock interactions that are also a function of temperature and pressure. Several such sites of fluid seepage were located in Monterey Bay (USA), which has active strike-slip faulting and evidence for compression in the northern portion of the bay. Fluid and chemical fluxes were determined from these seeps to provide insights to the mechanisms for fluid release and the chemical conditions under which this fluid was altered. Systematic variations in pore water chemical and thermal data provide a measure of the composition of the fluid at depth, an estimate of the speed of upwelling, and an assessment of chemical reactions that alter the fluid as it ascends to the seafloor. Pore water chemical data, which were collected from in-situ extractors ("peepers") that provide for a contamination-free sample, and thermal data indicate maximum upwelling speeds of 1-5 cm/yr at most seeps, with the exception of Extrovert Cliff where upwelling speeds are as high as hundreds of m/yr. These fluids are the most altered fluids in the bay (units mmol/kg: S 12; SO4 0; Ca 16.4; Mg 28.4; K 6.0; Sr 0.35; Li 0.038; Alk 15; Cl 560). Elucidating environmental conditions under which fluids from each of the sites formed may ultimately permit us to constrain some of the variables controlling tectonic phenomena in Monterey Bay and along plate margins in general.

  1. Interaction between hydrocarbon seepage, chemosynthetic communities and bottom water redox at cold seeps of the Makran accretionary prism: insights from habitat-specific pore water sampling and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, D.; Sahling, H.; Nöthen, K.; Bohrmann, G.; Zabel, M.; Kasten, S.

    2011-09-01

    The interaction between fluid seepage, bottom water redox, and chemosynthetic communities was studied at cold seeps across one of the world's largest oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) located at the Makran convergent continental margin. Push cores were obtained from seeps within and at the lower boundary of the core-OMZ with a remotely operated vehicle. Extracted pore water was analyzed for sulfide and sulfate contents. Depending on oxygen availability, seeps were either colonized by microbial mats or by mats and macrofauna. The latter, including ampharetid polychaetes and vesicomyid clams, occurred in distinct benthic habitats which were arranged in a concentric fashion around gas orifices. At most sites colonized by microbial mats, hydrogen sulfide was exported into the bottom water. Where macrofauna was widely abundant, hydrogen sulfide was consumed within the sediment. Numerical modeling of pore water profiles was performed in order to assess rates of fluid advection and bioirrigation. While the magnitude of upward fluid flow decreased from 11 cm yr-1 to <1 cm yr-1 and the sulfate/methane transition zone (SMTZ) deepened with increasing distance from the central gas orifice, the fluxes of sulfate into the SMTZ did not significantly differ (6.6-9.3 mol m-2 yr-1). Depth-integrated rates of bioirrigation increased from 162 cm yr-1 in central habitats characterized by microbial mats and sparse macrofauna to 348 cm yr-1 in habitats of large and small vesicomyid clams. These results reveal that chemosynthetic macrofauna inhabiting the outer seep habitats at the lower boundary of the OMZ efficiently bioirrigate and thus transport sulfate into the upper 10 to 15 cm of the sediment. In this way bioirrigation compensates for the lower upward flux of methane in outer habitats and stimulates rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate high enough to provide sulfide for chemosynthesis. Through bioirrigation macrofauna engineer their geochemical environment and fuel

  2. Metatranscriptomic Analysis of Diminutive Thiomargarita-Like Bacteria (“Candidatus Thiopilula” spp.) from Abyssal Cold Seeps of the Barbados Accretionary Prism

    PubMed Central

    Flood, Beverly E.

    2015-01-01

    Large sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the family Beggiatoaceae are important players in the global sulfur cycle. This group contains members of the well-known genera Beggiatoa, Thioploca, and Thiomargarita but also recently identified and relatively unknown candidate taxa, including “Candidatus Thiopilula” spp. and “Ca. Thiophysa” spp. We discovered a population of “Ca. Thiopilula” spp. colonizing cold seeps near Barbados at a ∼4.7-km water depth. The Barbados population consists of spherical cells that are morphologically similar to Thiomargarita spp., with elemental sulfur inclusions and a central vacuole, but have much smaller cell diameters (5 to 40 μm). Metatranscriptomic analysis revealed that when exposed to anoxic sulfidic conditions, Barbados “Ca. Thiopilula” organisms expressed genes for the oxidation of elemental sulfur and the reduction of nitrogenous compounds, consistent with their vacuolated morphology and intracellular sulfur storage capability. Metatranscriptomic analysis further revealed that anaerobic methane-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing organisms were active in the sediment, which likely provided reduced sulfur substrates for “Ca. Thiopilula” and other sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms in the community. The novel observations of “Ca. Thiopilula” and associated organisms reported here expand our knowledge of the globally distributed and ecologically successful Beggiatoaceae group and thus offer insight into the composition and ecology of deep cold seep microbial communities. PMID:25724961

  3. Cold seep and oxygen minimum zone associated sources of margin heterogeneity affect benthic assemblages, diversity and nutrition at the Cascadian margin (NE Pacific Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilini, Katja; Levin, Lisa A.; Vanreusel, Ann

    2012-04-01

    Hydrate Ridge (HR), located on the northeastern Pacific margin off Oregon, is characterized by the presence of outcropping hydrates and active methane seepage. Additionally, permanent low oxygen conditions overlay the benthic realm. This study evaluated the relative influence of both seepage and oxygen minima as sources of habitat heterogeneity and potential stress-inducing features on the bathyal metazoan benthos (primarily nematodes) at three different seep and non-seep HR locations, exposed to decreasing bottom-water oxygen concentrations with increasing water depth. The nematode seep communities at HR exhibited low diversity with dominance of only one or two genera (Daptonema and Metadesmolaimus), elevated average individual biomass and δ13C evidence for strong dependance on chemosynthesis-derived carbon, resembling deep-sea seeps worldwide. Although the HR seep habitats harbored a distinct nematode community like in other known seep communities, they differed from deep-sea seeps in well-oxygenated waters based on that they shared the dominant genera with the surrounding non-seep sediments overlain by oxygen-deficient bottom water. The homogenizing effect of the oxygen minimum zone on the seep nematode assemblages and surrounding sediments was constant with increasing water depth and concomitant greater oxygen-deficiency, resulting in a loss of habitat heterogeneity.

  4. Methane-Carbon Flow into the Benthic Food Web at Cold Seeps – A Case Study from the Costa Rica Subduction Zone

    PubMed Central

    Niemann, Helge; Linke, Peter; Knittel, Katrin; MacPherson, Enrique; Boetius, Antje; Brückmann, Warner; Larvik, Gaute; Wallmann, Klaus; Schacht, Ulrike; Omoregie, Enoma; Hilton, David; Brown, Kevin; Rehder, Gregor

    2013-01-01

    Cold seep ecosystems can support enormous biomasses of free-living and symbiotic chemoautotrophic organisms that get their energy from the oxidation of methane or sulfide. Most of this biomass derives from animals that are associated with bacterial symbionts, which are able to metabolize the chemical resources provided by the seeping fluids. Often these systems also harbor dense accumulations of non-symbiotic megafauna, which can be relevant in exporting chemosynthetically fixed carbon from seeps to the surrounding deep sea. Here we investigated the carbon sources of lithodid crabs (Paralomis sp.) feeding on thiotrophic bacterial mats at an active mud volcano at the Costa Rica subduction zone. To evaluate the dietary carbon source of the crabs, we compared the microbial community in stomach contents with surface sediments covered by microbial mats. The stomach content analyses revealed a dominance of epsilonproteobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences related to the free-living and epibiotic sulfur oxidiser Sulfurovum sp. We also found Sulfurovum sp. as well as members of the genera Arcobacter and Sulfurimonas in mat-covered surface sediments where Epsilonproteobacteria were highly abundant constituting 10% of total cells. Furthermore, we detected substantial amounts of bacterial fatty acids such as i-C15∶0 and C17∶1ω6c with stable carbon isotope compositions as low as −53‰ in the stomach and muscle tissue. These results indicate that the white microbial mats at Mound 12 are comprised of Epsilonproteobacteria and that microbial mat-derived carbon provides an important contribution to the crab's nutrition. In addition, our lipid analyses also suggest that the crabs feed on other 13C-depleted organic matter sources, possibly symbiotic megafauna as well as on photosynthetic carbon sources such as sedimentary detritus. PMID:24116017

  5. A microbiological and biogeochemical investigation of the cold seep tubeworm Escarpia southwardae (Annelida: Siboglinidae): Symbiosis and trace element composition of the tube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duperron, Sébastien; Gaudron, Sylvie M.; Lemaitre, Nolwenn; Bayon, Germain

    2014-08-01

    Tubeworms within the annelid family Siboglinidae rely on sulfur-oxidizing autotrophic bacterial symbionts for their nutrition, and are among the dominant metazoans occurring at deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps. Contrary to their relatives from hydrothermal vents, sulfide uptake for symbionts occurs within the anoxic subsurface sediment, in the posterior ‘root' region of the animal. This study reports on an integrated microbiological and geochemical investigation of the cold seep tubeworm Escarpia southwardae collected at the Regab pockmark (Gulf of Guinea). Our aim was to further constrain the links between the animal and its symbiotic bacteria, and their environment. We show that E. southwardae harbors abundant sulfur-oxidizing bacterial symbionts in its trophosome. Symbionts are able to fix inorganic carbon using the Calvin-Benson cycle, as reported in most other Siboglinidae, but can also use the reverse Tricarboxilic Acid Cycle. Surprisingly, the observed bacteria appear to be more closely related to symbionts of Escarpia and Lamellibrachia species from very distant sites located in the Gulf of Mexico and eastern Pacific, than to symbionts of a siboglinid occurring at a nearby methane seep site, only a few hundred km away from Regab. Then, by combining scanning electron microscopy and trace element (Mn, Fe, Sr, Zr) analyses of E. southwardae tube, we also show that two distinct oxidation fronts occur along the tube. The first one, near the posterior end of the tube, corresponds to the interface between oxic bottom waters and the underlying anoxic sediment. In contrast, the second redox front is located in the most anterior part of the tube, and could result from active oxygen uptake by the plume of the tubeworm. We speculate that intense oxygen consumption in this region could create favorable conditions for sulfate reduction by specialized bacteria associated with the plume, possibly leading to an additional source of dissolved sulfide that would further enhance

  6. Methane-carbon flow into the benthic food web at cold seeps--a case study from the Costa Rica subduction zone.

    PubMed

    Niemann, Helge; Linke, Peter; Knittel, Katrin; MacPherson, Enrique; Boetius, Antje; Brückmann, Warner; Larvik, Gaute; Wallmann, Klaus; Schacht, Ulrike; Omoregie, Enoma; Hilton, David; Brown, Kevin; Rehder, Gregor

    2013-01-01

    Cold seep ecosystems can support enormous biomasses of free-living and symbiotic chemoautotrophic organisms that get their energy from the oxidation of methane or sulfide. Most of this biomass derives from animals that are associated with bacterial symbionts, which are able to metabolize the chemical resources provided by the seeping fluids. Often these systems also harbor dense accumulations of non-symbiotic megafauna, which can be relevant in exporting chemosynthetically fixed carbon from seeps to the surrounding deep sea. Here we investigated the carbon sources of lithodid crabs (Paralomis sp.) feeding on thiotrophic bacterial mats at an active mud volcano at the Costa Rica subduction zone. To evaluate the dietary carbon source of the crabs, we compared the microbial community in stomach contents with surface sediments covered by microbial mats. The stomach content analyses revealed a dominance of epsilonproteobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences related to the free-living and epibiotic sulfur oxidiser Sulfurovum sp. We also found Sulfurovum sp. as well as members of the genera Arcobacter and Sulfurimonas in mat-covered surface sediments where Epsilonproteobacteria were highly abundant constituting 10% of total cells. Furthermore, we detected substantial amounts of bacterial fatty acids such as i-C15∶0 and C17∶1ω6c with stable carbon isotope compositions as low as -53‰ in the stomach and muscle tissue. These results indicate that the white microbial mats at Mound 12 are comprised of Epsilonproteobacteria and that microbial mat-derived carbon provides an important contribution to the crab's nutrition. In addition, our lipid analyses also suggest that the crabs feed on other (13)C-depleted organic matter sources, possibly symbiotic megafauna as well as on photosynthetic carbon sources such as sedimentary detritus. PMID:24116017

  7. Characteristics of vesicomyid clams and their environment at the Blake Ridge cold seep, South Carolina, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heyl, Taylor P.; Gilhooly, William P.; Chambers, Randolph M.; Gilchrist, George W.; Macko, Stephen A.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Van Dover, Cindy L.

    2007-01-01

    Spatial distributions and patchiness of dominant megafaunal invertebrates in deep-sea seep environments may indicate heterogeneities in the flux of reduced chemical compounds. At the Blake Ridge seep off South Carolina, USA, the invertebrate assemblage includes dense populations of live vesicomyid clams (an undescribed species) as well as extensive clam shell beds (i.e. dead clams). In the present study, we characterized clam parameters (density, size-frequency distribution, reproductive condition) in relation to sulfur chemistry (sulfide and sulfate concentrations and isotopic compositions, pyrite and elemental sulfur concentrations) and other sedimentary metrics (grain size, organic content). For clams >5 mm, clam density was highest where the total dissolved sulfide concentration at 10 cm depth (ΣH2S10cm) was 0.4 to 1.1 mmol l–1; juvenile clams (2S10cm was lowest. Clams were reproductively capable across a broad range of ΣH2S10cm (0.1 to 6.4 mmol l–1), and females in the sampled populations displayed asynchronous gametogenesis. Sulfide concentrations in porewaters at the shell–sediment interface of cores from shell beds were high, 3.3 to 12.1 mmol l–1, compared to –1 sulfide concentrations at the clam–sediment interface in live clam beds. Concentration profiles for sulfide and sulfate in shell beds were typical of those expected where there is active microbial sulfate reduction. In clam beds, profiles of sulfide and sulfate concentrations were also consistent with rapid uptake of sulfide by the clams. Sulfate in shell beds was systematically enriched in 34S relative to that in clam beds due to microbial fractionation during sulfate reduction, but in clam beds, sulfate δ34S matched that of seawater (~20‰). Residual sulfide values in clam and shell beds were correspondingly depleted in 34S. Based on porewater sulfide concentrations in shell beds at the time of sampling, we suggest that clam mortality may have been due to an abrupt increase in

  8. Distribution of Dissolved Hydrogen in Pore Water at Cold Seep Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, T.; Maegawa, K.; Tsunogai, U.; Ashi, J.; Kinoshita, M.; Gamo, T.

    2005-12-01

    White patches have been observed at the Oomine Ridge (33°7.32'N, 136°28.75'E) on the Nankai accretionary prism. During the KY04-11 cruise (2004. 9. 5 ~ 2004. 10. 2) of the R/V Kaiyo (JAMSTEC), a sediment sample was obtained with a piston corer from the seafloor at the Oomine Ridge. The recovered sediment was 268.5 cm long. Subsampled sediments for gas analysis were taken and were treated for the extraction of dissolved gas in the pore water. The gas samples were measured for CH4, δ13C(CH4), CO2, δ13C(CO2), and H2. The other subsamples for pore water analysis were taken from the residual sediment in the corer. The retrieved pore water samples were analyzed for NH4+, Cl-, SO42-, CH4, δ13C(CH4), CO2, δ13C(CO2), δ18O(H2O), and δD(H2O). Chloride concentrations and both isotopic signatures (δ18O and δD) of the pore water decreased with depth, suggesting that the pore water in this site was affected by seeping fluid characterized by Cl, δ18O, and δD-depleted. Sulfate concentrations rapidly decreased within 2 m, indicating that sulfate consumption occurred in the surface sediments and/or sulfate-free fluid flowing upward. Ammonium concentrations increased with depth even after sulfate was completely reduced, which indicates that there are processes of organic matter decomposition that are capable of producing ammonium after sulfate reduction is complete. Methane concentrations showed concave-upward depth profile and carbon isotopic compositions of methane were as low as _E0 ‰PDB, indicating that methane is derived from microbial production in sediments. We observed a significant H2 peak reaching 500 μmol/kg at the deepest sample, which would be produced as an intermediate during processes of organic matter decomposition in oxide-free environments.

  9. Post depositional alteration of foraminiferal shells in cold seep settings: New insights from flow-through time-resolved analyses of biogenic and inorganic seep carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Marta E.; Martin, Ruth A.; Klinkhammer, Gary P.; Nesbitt, Elizabeth A.

    2010-10-01

    Transient hydrocarbon migration within a sediment package leaves behind robust geological signatures in the biogenic and authigenic carbonate record. Here we apply Flow-Through Time Resolved Analyses (FT-TRA) to unravel the compositional changes in foraminifera from coastal fossil methane seeps exposed from Oregon to Vancouver Island: The Eocene-Oligocene Keasey Formation, the Oligocene-Miocene Pysht and Sooke Formations, and the Pliocene Quinault Formation. Our data show that secondary mineralization can be traced with the use of Mg/Ca ratios, which in altered foraminifera are significantly higher than the biogenic ratio (< 3 compared to values as high as 69 mol/mol). Analogous to the record in authigenic carbonate, secondary mineralization contains valuable information about seep characteristics and their geologic history. Data from the Quinault Formation reflect the influence of anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane in both bleb (δ 13C: - 29.8‰ to - 14.0‰) and foraminiferal (δ 13C: - 43.0‰ to 2.0‰) carbonate. Oxygen isotopes from blebs and foraminifera indicate precipitation at bottom water temperatures in an environment comparable to conditions observed in modern seeps on the Oregon slope and elsewhere. The carbonates in these seeps are enriched in barium and strontium over biogenic values, and such elevated values may be used a diagnostic tool to identify methane-related carbonates. In contrast, in the Pysht and Sooke formations, carbonate precipitation (including secondary mineralization of foraminifera), was fueled by a thermogenic carbon source (δ 13C: - 14 to 3.4‰). These carbonates reflect a more complex paragenetic history and suggest alteration driven by post-depositional warm and/or meteoric fluids. The high manganese (up to 12 mmol/mol in foraminifera and 60.1 mmol/mol in a carbonate nodule) and low oxygen isotope values (δ 18O as low as - 7.7‰ in foraminifera and - 11.6‰ in a carbonate pavement) observed for the Pysht and Sooke

  10. Helium systematics of cold seep fluids at Monterey Bay, California, USA: Temporal variations and mantle contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Füri, E.; Hilton, D. R.; Brown, K. M.; Tryon, M. D.

    2009-08-01

    We report helium isotope ratios (3He/4He) as well as helium and neon abundance results for submarine cold seep fluids from Extrovert Cliff in Monterey Bay, California. Samples were collected in copper tubing attached to submarine flux meters operating in continuous pumping mode. Following instrumentation recovery, the tubing was sectioned to produce for the first time a high-resolution time series of dissolved He and Ne variations over a time span of several days. Noble gas concentrations are variable and appear affected by interaction with a hydrocarbon phase within the aquifer. However, it is still possible to resolve the He signal into components associated with air equilibration, excess air entrainment, and terrigenic fluxes (both crustal and mantle-derived). The mantle He contribution reaches ˜25-30% in some samples (up to 2.3 RA, where RA = air 3He/4He). Our quasi-continuous He-Ne record shows remarkable fluctuations over time scales of only a few hours and reflects the combined effects of gas stripping by hydrocarbons and an episodic input of mantle-derived fluids.

  11. A novel sister clade to the enterobacteria microviruses (family Microviridae) identified in methane seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Bryson, Samuel Joseph; Thurber, Andrew R; Correa, Adrienne M S; Orphan, Victoria J; Vega Thurber, Rebecca

    2015-10-01

    Methane seep microbial communities perform a key ecosystem service by consuming the greenhouse gas methane prior to its release into the hydrosphere, minimizing the impact of marine methane sources on our climate. Although previous studies have examined the ecology and biochemistry of these communities, none has examined viral assemblages associated with these habitats. We employed virus particle purification, genome amplification, pyrosequencing and gene/genome reconstruction and annotation on two metagenomic libraries, one prepared for ssDNA and the other for all DNA, to identify the viral community in a methane seep. Similarity analysis of these libraries (raw and assembled) revealed a community dominated by phages, with a significant proportion of similarities to the Microviridae family of ssDNA phages. We define these viruses as the Eel River Basin Microviridae (ERBM). Assembly and comparison of 21 ERBM closed circular genomes identified five as members of a novel sister clade to the Microvirus genus of Enterobacteria phages. Comparisons among other metagenomes and these Microviridae major-capsid sequences indicated that this clade of phages is currently unique to the Eel River Basin sediments. Given this ERBM clade's relationship to the Microviridae genus Microvirus, we define this sister clade as the candidate genus Pequeñovirus. PMID:25640518

  12. A metagenomic study of methanotrophic microorganisms in Coal Oil Point seep sediments

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Methane oxidizing prokaryotes in marine sediments are believed to function as a methane filter reducing the oceanic contribution to the global methane emission. In the anoxic parts of the sediments, oxidation of methane is accomplished by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) living in syntrophy with sulphate reducing bacteria. This anaerobic oxidation of methane is assumed to be a coupling of reversed methanogenesis and dissimilatory sulphate reduction. Where oxygen is available aerobic methanotrophs take part in methane oxidation. In this study, we used metagenomics to characterize the taxonomic and metabolic potential for methane oxidation at the Tonya seep in the Coal Oil Point area, California. Two metagenomes from different sediment depth horizons (0-4 cm and 10-15 cm below sea floor) were sequenced by 454 technology. The metagenomes were analysed to characterize the distribution of aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophic taxa at the two sediment depths. To gain insight into the metabolic potential the metagenomes were searched for marker genes associated with methane oxidation. Results Blast searches followed by taxonomic binning in MEGAN revealed aerobic methanotrophs of the genus Methylococcus to be overrepresented in the 0-4 cm metagenome compared to the 10-15 cm metagenome. In the 10-15 cm metagenome, ANME of the ANME-1 clade, were identified as the most abundant methanotrophic taxon with 8.6% of the reads. Searches for particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) and methyl-coenzyme M reductase (mcrA), marker genes for aerobic and anaerobic oxidation of methane respectively, identified pmoA in the 0-4 cm metagenome as Methylococcaceae related. The mcrA reads from the 10-15 cm horizon were all classified as originating from the ANME-1 clade. Conclusions Most of the taxa detected were present in both metagenomes and differences in community structure and corresponding metabolic potential between the two samples were mainly due to abundance

  13. Unexpected co-occurrence of six bacterial symbionts in the gills of the cold seep mussel Idas sp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae).

    PubMed

    Duperron, Sébastien; Halary, Sébastien; Lorion, Julien; Sibuet, Myriam; Gaill, Françoise

    2008-02-01

    Bathymodioline mussels occur in chemosynthesis-based ecosystems such as cold seeps, hydrothermal vents and organic debris worldwide. Their key adaptation to these environments is their association with bacterial endosymbionts which ensure a chemosynthetic primary production based on the oxidation of reduced compounds such as methane and sulfide. We herein report a multiple symbiosis involving six distinct bacterial 16S rRNA phylotypes, including two belonging to groups not yet reported as symbionts in mytilids, in a small Idas mussel found on carbonate crusts in a cold seep area located north to the Nile deep-sea fan (Eastern Mediterranean). Symbionts co-occur within hosts bacteriocytes based on fluorescence in situ hybridizations, and sequencing of functional genes suggests they have the potential to perform autotrophy, and sulfide and methane oxidation. Previous studies indicated the presence of only one or two symbiont 16S rRNA phylotypes in bathymodioline mussels. Together with the recent discovery of four bacterial symbionts in the large seep species Bathymodiolus heckerae, this study shows that symbiont diversity has probably been underestimated, and questions whether the common ancestor of bathymodioline mussels was associated with multiple bacteria. PMID:18093159

  14. Depth-related structure and ecological significance of cold-seep communities—a case study from the Sea of Okhotsk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, Heiko; Galkin, Sergey V.; Salyuk, Anatoly; Greinert, Jens; Foerstel, Hilmar; Piepenburg, Dieter; Suess, Erwin

    2003-12-01

    We discovered and investigated several cold-seep sites in four depth zones of the Sea of Okhotsk off Northeast Sakhalin: outer shelf (160-250 m), upper slope (250-450 m), intermediate slope (450-800 m), and Derugin Basin (1450-1600 m). Active seepage of free methane or methane-rich fluids was detected in each zone. However, seabed photography and sampling revealed that the number of chemoautotrophic species decreases dramatically with decreasing water depth. At greatest depths in the Derugin Basin, the seeps were inhabited by bacterial mats and bivalves of the families Vesicomyidae ( Calyptogena aff. pacifica, C. rectimargo, Archivesica sp.), Solemyidae ( Acharax sp.) and Thyasiridae ( Conchocele bisecta). In addition, pogonophoran tubeworms of the family Sclerolinidae were found in barite edifices. At the shallowest sites, on the shelf at 160 m, the seeps lack chemoautotrophic macrofauna; their locations were indicated only by the patchy occurrence of bacterial mats. Typical seep-endemic metazoans with chemosynthetic symbionts were confined to seep sites at depths below 370 m. A comparative analysis of the structure of seep and background communities suggests that differences in predation pressure may be an important determinant of this pattern. The abundance of predators such as carnivorous brachyurans and asteroids, which can invade seeps from adjacent habitats and efficiently prey on sessile seep bivalves, decreased very pronouncedly with depth. We conclude from the obvious correlation with the conspicuous pattern in the distribution of seep assemblages that, on the shelf and at the upper slope, predator pressure may be high enough to effectively impede any successful settlement of viable populations of seep-endemic metazoans. However, there was also evidence that other depth-related factors, such as bottom-water current, sedimentary regimes, oxygen concentrations and the supply of suitable settling substrates, may additionally regulate the distribution of seep

  15. Coupled LBM-DEM Three-phase Simulation on Gas Flux Seeping from Marine Sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kano, Y.; Sato, T.

    2014-12-01

    One of the main issues of the geological storage of CO2 under the seabed is a risk of CO2 leakage. Once CO2seeps into the ocean, it rises in water column dissolving into seawater, which results in the acidification of seawater and/or returning to the air. Its behaviour significantly depends on flow rate and bubble size (Kano et al., 2009; Dewar et al., 2013). As for porous media, bubble size is generally predicted through simple force balance based on flow rate, surface tension and channel size which is estimated by porosity and grain size. However, in shallow marine sediments, grains could be mobilised and displaced by buoyant gas flow, which causes distinctive phenomena such as blow-out or formation of gas flow conduit. As a result, effective gas flux into seawater can be intermissive, and/or concentrated in narrow area (QICS, 2012; Kawada, 2013). Bubble size is also affected by these phenomena. To predict effective gas flux and bubble size into seawater, three-phase behaviour of gas-water-sediment grains should be revealed. In this presentation, we will report the results of gas-liquid-solid three-phase simulations and their comparisons with experimental and observation data. Size of solid particles is based on grain size composing marine sediments at some CCS project sites. Fluid-particle interactions are solved using the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), while the particle-particle interactions are treated by coupling with the Discrete Element method (DEM). References: Dewar, M., Wei, W., McNeil, D., Chen, B., 2013. Small-scale modelling of the physiochemical impacts of CO2leaked from sub-seabed reservoirs or pipelines within the North Sea and surrounding waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin 73(2), 504-515. Kano, Y., Sato, T., Kita, J., Hirabayashi, S., Tabeta, S., 2009. Model prediction on the rise of pCO2 in uniform flows by leakage of CO2purposefully stored under the seabed. Int. J. Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 3(5), 617-625. Kawada, R. 2014. A study on the

  16. Identification of Methanotrophic Lipid Biomarkers in Cold-Seep Mussel Gills: Chemical and Isotopic Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Summons, Roger E.; Dowling, Lesley M.; Zahiralis, Karen D.

    1995-01-01

    A lipid analysis of the tissues of a cold-seep mytilid mussel collected from the Louisiana slope of the Gulf of Mexico was used in conjunction with a compound-specific isotope analysis to demonstrate the presence of methanotrophic symbionts in the mussel gill tissue and to demonstrate the host's dependence on bacterially synthesized metabolic intermediates. The gill tissue contained large amounts of group-specific methanotrophic biomarkers, bacteriohopanoids, 4-methylsterols, lipopolysaccharide-associated hydroxy fatty acids, and type I-specific 16:1 fatty acid isomers with bond positions at delta-8, delta-10, and delta-ll. Only small amounts of these compounds were detected in the mantle or other tissues of the host animal. A variety of cholesterol and 4-methylsterol isomers were identified as both free and steryl esters, and the sterol double bond positions suggested that the major bacterially derived gill sterol(11.0% 4(alpha)-methyl-cholesta-8(14), 24-dien-3(beta)-ol) was converted to host cholesterol (64.2% of the gill sterol was cholest-5-en-3(beta)-ol). The stable carbon isotope values for gill and mantle preparations were, respectively, -59.0 and -60.4 per thousand for total tissue, -60.6 and -62.4 per thousand for total lipids, -60.2 and -63.9 per thousand for phospholipid fatty acids, and -71.8 and -73.8 per thousand for sterols. These stable carbon isotope values revealed that the relative fractionation pattern was similar to the patterns obtained in pure culture experiments with methanotrophic bacteria further supporting the conversion of the bacterial methyl-sterol pool.

  17. Methane Seep in Shallow-Water Permeable Sediment Harbors High Diversity of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Communities, Elba, Italy.

    PubMed

    Ruff, S Emil; Kuhfuss, Hanna; Wegener, Gunter; Lott, Christian; Ramette, Alban; Wiedling, Johanna; Knittel, Katrin; Weber, Miriam

    2016-01-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a key biogeochemical process regulating methane emission from marine sediments into the hydrosphere. AOM is largely mediated by consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and has mainly been investigated in deep-sea sediments. Here we studied methane seepage at four spots located at 12 m water depth in coastal, organic carbon depleted permeable sands off the Island of Elba (Italy). We combined biogeochemical measurements, sequencing-based community analyses and in situ hybridization to investigate the microbial communities of this environment. Increased alkalinity, formation of free sulfide and nearly stoichiometric methane oxidation and sulfate reduction rates up to 200 nmol g(-1) day(-1) indicated the predominance of sulfate-coupled AOM. With up to 40 cm thickness the zones of AOM activity were unusually large and occurred in deeper sediment horizons (20-50 cm below seafloor) as compared to diffusion-dominated deep-sea seeps, which is likely caused by advective flow of pore water due to the shallow water depth and permeability of the sands. Hydrodynamic forces also may be responsible for the substantial phylogenetic and unprecedented morphological diversity of AOM consortia inhabiting these sands, including the clades ANME-1a/b, ANME-2a/b/c, ANME-3, and their partner bacteria SEEP-SRB1a and SEEP-SRB2. High microbial dispersal, the availability of diverse energy sources and high habitat heterogeneity might explain that the emission spots shared few microbial taxa, despite their physical proximity. Although the biogeochemistry of this shallow methane seep was very different to that of deep-sea seeps, their key functional taxa were very closely related, which supports the global dispersal of key taxa and underlines strong selection by methane as the predominant energy source. Mesophilic, methane-fueled ecosystems in shallow-water permeable sediments may comprise distinct

  18. Methane Seep in Shallow-Water Permeable Sediment Harbors High Diversity of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Communities, Elba, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Ruff, S. Emil; Kuhfuss, Hanna; Wegener, Gunter; Lott, Christian; Ramette, Alban; Wiedling, Johanna; Knittel, Katrin; Weber, Miriam

    2016-01-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a key biogeochemical process regulating methane emission from marine sediments into the hydrosphere. AOM is largely mediated by consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and has mainly been investigated in deep-sea sediments. Here we studied methane seepage at four spots located at 12 m water depth in coastal, organic carbon depleted permeable sands off the Island of Elba (Italy). We combined biogeochemical measurements, sequencing-based community analyses and in situ hybridization to investigate the microbial communities of this environment. Increased alkalinity, formation of free sulfide and nearly stoichiometric methane oxidation and sulfate reduction rates up to 200 nmol g-1 day-1 indicated the predominance of sulfate-coupled AOM. With up to 40 cm thickness the zones of AOM activity were unusually large and occurred in deeper sediment horizons (20–50 cm below seafloor) as compared to diffusion-dominated deep-sea seeps, which is likely caused by advective flow of pore water due to the shallow water depth and permeability of the sands. Hydrodynamic forces also may be responsible for the substantial phylogenetic and unprecedented morphological diversity of AOM consortia inhabiting these sands, including the clades ANME-1a/b, ANME-2a/b/c, ANME-3, and their partner bacteria SEEP-SRB1a and SEEP-SRB2. High microbial dispersal, the availability of diverse energy sources and high habitat heterogeneity might explain that the emission spots shared few microbial taxa, despite their physical proximity. Although the biogeochemistry of this shallow methane seep was very different to that of deep-sea seeps, their key functional taxa were very closely related, which supports the global dispersal of key taxa and underlines strong selection by methane as the predominant energy source. Mesophilic, methane-fueled ecosystems in shallow-water permeable sediments may comprise distinct

  19. Methane-derived carbonates form at the sediment-bedrock interface in a shallow marine gas seep.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimball, J.; Ding, H.; Valentine, D. L.

    2006-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps occur world-wide, and release large quantities of oil and natural gas to the ocean and atmosphere. One of the world's most prolific hydrocarbon seep fields is located just offshore from Goleta, CA, and serves as the study site for this investigation. In the course of investigating gas fluxes from a 10 m deep coastal seep, samples of seafloor bedrock were collected by scuba diving during a time of low sediment burden. These samples were found to be concretions composed primarily of carbonate-cemented sand. The delta13C values of the carbonate range from -25 to -32 per mille, and indicate a role for methane oxidation in the formation of the carbonates. Long chain fatty acids were extracted from the concretions and were quantified, identified, and analyzed for their 13C composition. Fatty acids typical of sulfate reducing bacteria were observed, and interpreted as a signature of anoxia. Further mineralogical and isotopic studies are planned. From these observations we interpret a shallow water origin for these concretions, whereby the seasonal migration of sand to the seep environment drives anoxia and anaerobic methane oxidation at the sediment-bedrock interface. The alkalinity generated from sulfate reduction causes the precipitation of methane-derived carbonate- which forms a concretion with sand.

  20. Biogeography of deep-sea wood fall, cold seep and hydrothermal vent Ostracoda (Crustacea), with the description of a new family and a taxonomic key to living Cytheroidea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karanovic, Ivana; Brandão, Simone Nunes

    2015-01-01

    Stimulated by finding a novel cytheroid ostracod in a piece of sunken wood retrieved from the sea-bed in the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, we have reviewed all previously published data on ostracods from similarly ephemeral deep-sea habitats (wood falls, hydrothermal vents and cold seeps). These data are placed in the context of all data on living, deep-sea ostracods from other environments. We confirm previous authors' conclusions that faunas from these ephemeral habitats are similar at the generic level, and include elements common to shallow and deep habitats. However, at the species level, endemism varies from zero at cold seeps, to 35% in wood falls and 60% at hydrothermal vents, which is an indication of the relative longevity of these habitats. Non-endemic species occur also in oligotrophic, deep-sea sediments but not in shallow environments. This is in contradiction to previous assumptions that these ephemeral faunas share more species and with shallow habitats than genera with the oligotrophic, deep-sea sediments. We agree with previous authors that the dispersal strategy of wood fall, vent and seep ostracods includes hitchhiking and we propose that it also includes the ability to survive ingestion by larger, more motile animals. The homogeneity of the faunas from ephemeral habitats collected off the American continent is in stark contrast to the highly endemic fauna found in Northwestern Pacific. This suggests that the ostracods may have biogeographical patterns similar to those previously proposed for other groups of benthos. However, any proposal for a global biogeographical scheme for ostracod distributions will have to await far more comprehensive coverage from presently unstudied regions. Finally, we describe and name a novel species of ostracod from the wood fall collected at a depth of 5229 m in the abyss east to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, Northwestern Pacific; erecting a new family Keysercytheridae fam. nov. and a new genus, Keysercythere gen. nov., to

  1. Spatial and temporal characterization of a cold seep-hydrate system (Woolsey Mound, deep-water Gulf of Mexico)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonetti, Antonello

    Cold seeps are areas where methane is transferred from the lithosphere into the hydrosphere, accounting for the major source of hydrocarbons in seawaters. Formation of gas hydrate in cold seeps modulates the global discharge of methane to the environment. However, cold seeps are dynamic settings where hydrates dissociate on short and long time-scales triggering substantial methane fluxes to the oceans. These methane vents sustain unique ecosystems at the ocean floors and contribute to ocean acidification. Also, the methane can potentially reach the sea surface and be exchanged with the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Understanding how cold seep-hydrate systems (CSHSs) operate through time and space is therefore crucial to evaluate their global impact on ocean biogeochemistry and climate. The area investigated is Woolsey Mound, a CSHS located in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. For the first part of the research, the goal was to determine the spatial distribution of subsurface gas hydrate at this site. In terms of hydrate-reservoir category, Woolsey Mound is classified as "seafloor mound" and "fractured mud". To date, these two categories are poorly constrained worldwide. This study documents a successful integration of high-resolution seismic and core data to detect the spatial distribution of hydrates in such settings. The approach adopted and the model may be applied globally for these reservoir categories. The aim of the second part was to untangle the contentious long-term (thousands to millions of years) dynamics driving methane hydrate dissociation and seepage in CSHSs. Analyses on high-resolution seismic data suggest that tectonics is the main forcing mechanism and that CSHSs may operate independently from eustatic fluctuations. This contradicts the broad consensus in the literature about methane seepage in CSHSs being systematically triggered during sea-level lowstand. The third part of the research aimed to characterize the short-term (years

  2. Morphology of First Zoeal Stage of Four Genera of Alvinocaridid Shrimps from Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps: Implications for Ecology, Larval Biology and Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Ávila, Iván; Cambon-Bonavita, Marie-Anne; Pradillon, Florence

    2015-01-01

    Alvinocaridid shrimps are endemic species inhabiting hydrothermal vents and/or cold seeps. Although indirect evidences (genetic and lipid markers) suggest that their larval stages disperse widely and support large scale connectivity, larval life and mechanisms underlying dispersal are unknown in alvinocaridids. Here we provide for the first time detailed descriptions of the first larval stage (zoea I) of four alvinocaridid species: Rimicaris exoculata and Mirocaris fortunata from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Alvinocaris muricola from the Congo Basin and Nautilocaris saintlaurentae from the Western Pacific. The larvae were obtained from onboard hatching of brooding females (either at atmospheric pressure or at habitat pressure in hyperbaric chambers) and from the water column near adult habitats, sampled with plankton pumps or sediment traps. Major characteristics of the alvinocaridid larvae include undeveloped mandible and almost complete absence of setation in the inner margin of the mouth parts and maxillipeds. Although the larvae are very similar between the four species studied, some morphological features could be used for species identification. In addition, undeveloped mouthparts and the large amount of lipid reserves strongly support the occurrence of primary lecithotrophy in the early stage of alvinocaridids. Although lecithotrophy in decapod crustaceans is usually associated with abbreviated larval development, as a mechanism of larval retention, morphological and physiological evidences suggest the occurrence of an extended and lecithotrophic larval stage in the Alvinocarididae. These traits permit the colonization of widely dispersed and fragmented environments of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Distribution of larval traits along the phylogenetic reconstruction of the Alvinocarididae and related families suggest that lecithotrophy/planktotrophy and extended/abbreviated development have evolved independently along related families in all potential

  3. Morphology of First Zoeal Stage of Four Genera of Alvinocaridid Shrimps from Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps: Implications for Ecology, Larval Biology and Phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Ávila, Iván; Cambon-Bonavita, Marie-Anne; Pradillon, Florence

    2015-01-01

    Alvinocaridid shrimps are endemic species inhabiting hydrothermal vents and/or cold seeps. Although indirect evidences (genetic and lipid markers) suggest that their larval stages disperse widely and support large scale connectivity, larval life and mechanisms underlying dispersal are unknown in alvinocaridids. Here we provide for the first time detailed descriptions of the first larval stage (zoea I) of four alvinocaridid species: Rimicaris exoculata and Mirocaris fortunata from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Alvinocaris muricola from the Congo Basin and Nautilocaris saintlaurentae from the Western Pacific. The larvae were obtained from onboard hatching of brooding females (either at atmospheric pressure or at habitat pressure in hyperbaric chambers) and from the water column near adult habitats, sampled with plankton pumps or sediment traps. Major characteristics of the alvinocaridid larvae include undeveloped mandible and almost complete absence of setation in the inner margin of the mouth parts and maxillipeds. Although the larvae are very similar between the four species studied, some morphological features could be used for species identification. In addition, undeveloped mouthparts and the large amount of lipid reserves strongly support the occurrence of primary lecithotrophy in the early stage of alvinocaridids. Although lecithotrophy in decapod crustaceans is usually associated with abbreviated larval development, as a mechanism of larval retention, morphological and physiological evidences suggest the occurrence of an extended and lecithotrophic larval stage in the Alvinocarididae. These traits permit the colonization of widely dispersed and fragmented environments of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Distribution of larval traits along the phylogenetic reconstruction of the Alvinocarididae and related families suggest that lecithotrophy/planktotrophy and extended/abbreviated development have evolved independently along related families in all potential

  4. Restriction to large-scale gene flow vs. regional panmixia among cold seep Escarpia spp. (Polychaeta, Siboglinidae).

    PubMed

    Cowart, Dominique A; Huang, Chunya; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Carney, Susan L; Fisher, Charles R; Schaeffer, Stephen W

    2013-08-01

    The history of colonization and dispersal in fauna distributed among deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems remains enigmatic and poorly understood because of an inability to mark and track individuals. A combination of molecular, morphological and environmental data improves understanding of spatial and temporal scales at which panmixia, disruption of gene flow or even speciation may occur. Vestimentiferan tubeworms of the genus Escarpia are important components of deep -sea cold seep ecosystems, as they provide long-term habitat for many other taxa. Three species of Escarpia, Escarpia spicata [Gulf of California (GoC)], Escarpia laminata [Gulf of Mexico (GoM)] and Escarpia southwardae (West African Cold Seeps), have been described based on morphology, but are not discriminated through the use of mitochondrial markers (cytochrome oxidase subunit 1; large ribosomal subunit rDNA, 16S; cytochrome b). Here, we also sequenced the exon-primed intron-crossing Haemoglobin subunit B2 intron and genotyped 28 microsatellites to (i) determine the level of genetic differentiation, if any, among the three geographically separated entities and (ii) identify possible population structure at the regional scale within the GoM and West Africa. Results at the global scale support the occurrence of three genetically distinct groups. At the regional scale among eight sampling sites of E. laminata (n = 129) and among three sampling sites of E. southwardae (n = 80), no population structure was detected. These findings suggest that despite the patchiness and isolation of seep habitats, connectivity is high on regional scales. PMID:23879204

  5. A molecular gut content study of Themisto abyssorum (Amphipoda) from Arctic hydrothermal vent and cold seep systems.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Bernt Rydland; Troedsson, Christofer; Hadziavdic, Kenan; Pedersen, Rolf B; Rapp, Hans Tore

    2014-08-01

    The use of DNA as a marker for prey inside the gut of predators has been instrumental in further understanding of known and unknown interactions. Molecular approaches are in particular useful in unavailable environments like the deep sea. Trophic interactions in the deep sea are difficult to observe in situ, correct deep-sea experimental laboratory conditions are difficult to obtain, animals rarely survive the sampling, or the study organisms feed during the sampling due to long hauls. Preliminary studies of vent and seep systems in the Nordic Seas have identified the temperate-cold-water pelagic amphipod Themisto abyssorum as a potentially important predator in these chemosynthetic habitats. However, the prey of this deep-sea predator is poorly known, and we applied denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) to investigate the predator-prey interactions of T. abyssorum in deep-water vent and seep systems. Two deep-water hydrothermally active localities (The Jan Mayen and Loki's Castle vent fields) and one cold seep locality (The Håkon Mosby mud volcano) in the Nordic Seas were sampled, genomic DNA of the stomachs of T. abyssorum was extracted, and 18S rDNA gene was amplified and used to map the stomach content. We found a wide range of organisms including micro-eukaryotes, metazoans and detritus. Themisto abyssorum specimens from Loki's Castle had the highest diversity of prey. The wide range of prey items found suggests that T. abyssorum might be involved in more than one trophic level and should be regarded as an omnivore and not a strict carnivore as have previously been suggested. PMID:24172025

  6. Anaerobic degradation of propane and butane by sulfate-reducing bacteria enriched from marine hydrocarbon cold seeps

    PubMed Central

    Jaekel, Ulrike; Musat, Niculina; Adam, Birgit; Kuypers, Marcel; Grundmann, Olav; Musat, Florin

    2013-01-01

    The short-chain, non-methane hydrocarbons propane and butane can contribute significantly to the carbon and sulfur cycles in marine environments affected by oil or natural gas seepage. In the present study, we enriched and identified novel propane and butane-degrading sulfate reducers from marine oil and gas cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and Hydrate Ridge. The enrichment cultures obtained were able to degrade simultaneously propane and butane, but not other gaseous alkanes. They were cold-adapted, showing highest sulfate-reduction rates between 16 and 20 °C. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene libraries, followed by whole-cell hybridizations with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes showed that each enrichment culture was dominated by a unique phylotype affiliated with the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus cluster within the Deltaproteobacteria. These phylotypes formed a distinct phylogenetic cluster of propane and butane degraders, including sequences from environments associated with hydrocarbon seeps. Incubations with 13C-labeled substrates, hybridizations with sequence-specific probes and nanoSIMS analyses showed that cells of the dominant phylotypes were the first to become enriched in 13C, demonstrating that they were directly involved in hydrocarbon degradation. Furthermore, using the nanoSIMS data, carbon assimilation rates were calculated for the dominant cells in each enrichment culture. PMID:23254512

  7. Gammaproteobacterial methanotrophs dominate cold methane seeps in floodplains of West Siberian rivers.

    PubMed

    Oshkin, Igor Y; Wegner, Carl-Eric; Lüke, Claudia; Glagolev, Mikhail V; Filippov, Illiya V; Pimenov, Nikolay V; Liesack, Werner; Dedysh, Svetlana N

    2014-10-01

    A complex system of muddy fluid-discharging and methane (CH4)-releasing seeps was discovered in a valley of the river Mukhrinskaya, one of the small rivers of the Irtysh Basin, West Siberia. CH4 flux from most (90%) of these gas ebullition sites did not exceed 1.45 g CH4 h(-1), while some seeps emitted up to 5.54 g CH4 h(-1). The δ(13)C value of methane released from these seeps varied between -71.1 and -71.3‰, suggesting its biogenic origin. Although the seeps were characterized by low in situ temperatures (3.5 to 5°C), relatively high rates of methane oxidation (15.5 to 15.9 nmol CH4 ml(-1) day(-1)) were measured in mud samples. Fluorescence in situ hybridization detected 10(7) methanotrophic bacteria (MB) per g of mud (dry weight), which accounted for up to 20.5% of total bacterial cell counts. Most (95.8 to 99.3%) methanotroph cells were type I (gammaproteobacterial) MB. The diversity of methanotrophs in this habitat was further assessed by pyrosequencing of pmoA genes, encoding particulate methane monooxygenase. A total of 53,828 pmoA gene sequences of seep-inhabiting methanotrophs were retrieved and analyzed. Nearly all of these sequences affiliated with type I MB, including the Methylobacter-Methylovulum-Methylosoma group, lake cluster 2, and several as-yet-uncharacterized methanotroph clades. Apparently, microbial communities attenuating methane fluxes from these local but strong CH4 sources in floodplains of high-latitude rivers have a large proportion of potentially novel, psychrotolerant methanotrophs, thereby providing a challenge for future isolation studies. PMID:25063667

  8. Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Dominate Cold Methane Seeps in Floodplains of West Siberian Rivers

    PubMed Central

    Oshkin, Igor Y.; Wegner, Carl-Eric; Lüke, Claudia; Glagolev, Mikhail V.; Filippov, Illiya V.; Pimenov, Nikolay V.; Liesack, Werner

    2014-01-01

    A complex system of muddy fluid-discharging and methane (CH4)-releasing seeps was discovered in a valley of the river Mukhrinskaya, one of the small rivers of the Irtysh Basin, West Siberia. CH4 flux from most (90%) of these gas ebullition sites did not exceed 1.45 g CH4 h−1, while some seeps emitted up to 5.54 g CH4 h−1. The δ13C value of methane released from these seeps varied between −71.1 and −71.3‰, suggesting its biogenic origin. Although the seeps were characterized by low in situ temperatures (3.5 to 5°C), relatively high rates of methane oxidation (15.5 to 15.9 nmol CH4 ml−1 day−1) were measured in mud samples. Fluorescence in situ hybridization detected 107 methanotrophic bacteria (MB) per g of mud (dry weight), which accounted for up to 20.5% of total bacterial cell counts. Most (95.8 to 99.3%) methanotroph cells were type I (gammaproteobacterial) MB. The diversity of methanotrophs in this habitat was further assessed by pyrosequencing of pmoA genes, encoding particulate methane monooxygenase. A total of 53,828 pmoA gene sequences of seep-inhabiting methanotrophs were retrieved and analyzed. Nearly all of these sequences affiliated with type I MB, including the Methylobacter-Methylovulum-Methylosoma group, lake cluster 2, and several as-yet-uncharacterized methanotroph clades. Apparently, microbial communities attenuating methane fluxes from these local but strong CH4 sources in floodplains of high-latitude rivers have a large proportion of potentially novel, psychrotolerant methanotrophs, thereby providing a challenge for future isolation studies. PMID:25063667

  9. Cold seep communities in the deep eastern Mediterranean Sea: composition, symbiosis and spatial distribution on mud volcanoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olu-Le Roy, Karine; Sibuet, Myriam; Fiala-Médioni, Aline; Gofas, Serge; Salas, Carmen; Mariotti, André; Foucher, Jean-Paul; Woodside, John

    2004-12-01

    Two mud volcano fields were explored during the French-Dutch MEDINAUT cruise (1998) with the submersible NAUTILE, one south of Crete along the Mediteranean Ridge at about 2000 m depth (Olimpi mud field) and the other south of Turkey between 1700 and 2000 m depth (Anaximander mud field) where high methane concentrations were measured. Chemosynthetic communities were observed and sampled on six mud volcanoes and along a fault scarp. The communities were dominated by bivalves of particularly small size, belonging to families commonly found at seeps (Mytilidae, Vesicomyidae, Thyasiridae) and to Lucinidae mostly encountered in littoral sulfide-rich sediments and at the shallowest seeps. Siboglinid polychaetes including a large vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp. were also associated. At least four bivalve species and one siboglinid are associated with symbiotic chemoautotrophic bacteria, as evidenced by Transmission Electronic Microscopy and isotopic ratio measurements. Among the bivalves, a mytilid harbors both methanotrophic and sulfide-oxidizing bacteria. Video spatial analysis of the community distribution on three volcanoes shows that dense bivalve shell accumulations (mainly lucinids) spread over large areas, from 10% to 38% of the explored areas (2500-15000 m 2) on the different volcanoes. Lamellibrachia sp. had different spatial distribution and variable density in the two mud volcano fields, apparently related with higher methane fluxes in the Anaximander volcanoes and maybe with the instability due to brines in the Olimpi area. The abundance and richness of the observed chemosynthetic fauna and the size of some of the species contrast with the poverty of the deep eastern Mediterranean. The presence of a specialized fauna, with some mollusk genera and species shared with other reduced environments of the Mediterranean, but not dominated by the large bivalves usually found at seeps, is discussed.

  10. Microbial Diversity in Deep-sea Methane Seep Sediments Presented by SSU rRNA Gene Tag Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Kazama, Hiromi; Hirai, Miho; Ashi, Juichiro; Imachi, Hiroyuki; Takai, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Microbial community structures in methane seep sediments in the Nankai Trough were analyzed by tag-sequencing analysis for the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene using a newly developed primer set. The dominant members of Archaea were Deep-sea Hydrothermal Vent Euryarchaeotic Group 6 (DHVEG 6), Marine Group I (MGI) and Deep Sea Archaeal Group (DSAG), and those in Bacteria were Alpha-, Gamma-, Delta- and Epsilonproteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes and Acidobacteria. Diversity and richness were examined by 8,709 and 7,690 tag-sequences from sediments at 5 and 25 cm below the seafloor (cmbsf), respectively. The estimated diversity and richness in the methane seep sediment are as high as those in soil and deep-sea hydrothermal environments, although the tag-sequences obtained in this study were not sufficient to show whole microbial diversity in this analysis. We also compared the diversity and richness of each taxon/division between the sediments from the two depths, and found that the diversity and richness of some taxa/divisions varied significantly along with the depth. PMID:22510646

  11. Fluid channeling and their effect on the efficiency of benthic methane filter in various seep habitats and sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, Philip; Linke, Peter; Treude, Tina

    2014-05-01

    Marine sediments and sub-seafloor gas hydrates build one of the largest methane reservoirs on Earth. Most of the methane ascending in sediments is oxidized by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate as terminal electron acceptor, the so-called "benthic microbial methane filter". The efficiency of the benthic microbial methane filter is controlled by diffusive sulfate supply from seawater and advective methane flux from deep reservoirs. High fluid fluxes reduce the penetration depth of sulfate and limit the filter to a very narrow zone close to the sediment-water interface. However natural and catastrophic fluctuations of methane fluxes (caused e.g. by gas hydrate melting, earthquakes, slope failure) can change the fluid regime and reduce the capability of this greenhouse gas sink. A new Sediment-Flow-Through (SLOT) system was developed to incubate intact sediment cores under controlled fluid regimes. To mimic natural fluid conditions sulfate-free, methane-loaded artificial seawater medium was pumped from the bottom and sulfate-enriched seawater medium was supplied from above. Media and system were kept anoxic and seepage medium was tracked with bromide tracer. Over the entire experiment, the change of geochemical gradients inside the sediment column was monitored in monthly time intervals using porewater extraction/analyses and microsensor measurements. In addition, in- and outflow samples were analyzed for the calculation of methane turnover rates. In the above manner, sediments from different seeps (Eckernförde Bay, Costa Rica, Chile, and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea) and types (gassy sediments, gas hydrates containing sediments, mud volcanoes, sulfur bacteria mats, pogonophoran fields, clam fields) were incubated and monitored up to one year. Moderate to high advective fluid flow rates, which have been reported from natural seeps, were chosen to challenge the benthic microbial methane filter and investigate the response to pulses of methane loaded

  12. Massive barite deposits and carbonate mineralization in the Derugin Basin, Sea of Okhotsk: precipitation processes at cold seep sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, Jens; Bollwerk, Sandra M.; Derkachev, Alexander; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Suess, Erwin

    2002-10-01

    : 9.0-17.6‰ SMOW) strongly point to biological sulfate reduction processes. The isotope ranges of both S and O can be exclusively explained as the result of a mixture of residual sulfate after a biological sulfate reduction and isotopic fractionation with 'normal' seawater sulfate. While massive barite deposits are commonly assumed to be of hydrothermal origin, the assemblage of cheomautotrophic clams, methane-derived carbonates, and non-thermally equilibrated barite sulfate strongly implies that these barites have formed at ambient bottom water temperatures and form the features of a Giant Cold Seep setting that has been active for at least 49 000 yr.

  13. Diversity of symbioses between chemosynthetic bacteria and metazoans at the Guiness cold seep site (Gulf of Guinea, West Africa)

    PubMed Central

    Duperron, Sébastien; Rodrigues, Clara F; Léger, Nelly; Szafranski, Kamil; Decker, Carole; Olu, Karine; Gaudron, Sylvie M

    2012-01-01

    Fauna from deep-sea cold seeps worldwide is dominated by chemosymbiotic metazoans. Recently, investigation of new sites in the Gulf of Guinea yielded numerous new species for which symbiosis was strongly suspected. In this study, symbioses are characterized in five seep-specialist metazoans recently collected from the Guiness site located at ∼600 m depth. Four bivalve and one annelid species belonging to families previously documented to harbor chemosynthetic bacteria were investigated using bacterial marker gene sequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and stable isotope analyses. Results support that all five species display chemosynthetic, sulfur-oxidizing γ-proteobacteria. Bacteria are abundant in the gills of bivalves, and in the trophosome of the siboglinid annelid. As observed for their relatives occurring at deeper sites, chemoautotrophy is a major source of carbon for animal nutrition. Although symbionts found in each host species are related to symbionts found in other metazoans from the same families, several incongruencies are observed among phylogenetic trees obtained from the different bacterial genes, suggesting a certain level of heterogeneity in symbiont strains present. Results provide new insights into the diversity, biogeography, and role of symbiotic bacteria in metazoans from the Gulf of Guinea, at a site located at an intermediate depth between the continental shelf and the deep sea. PMID:23233246

  14. Preservation and Significance of Vestimentiferan Tube Worms in Paleocene Cold Seep Carbonates, Panoche-Tumey Hills, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, H.; Hull, I.

    2005-12-01

    Vestimentiferan tube worms are the dominant chemosynthetic macroinvertebrates at many active cold seeps, but their remains are surprisingly rare in paleoseeps. A 20 km-long paleoseep system in the Panoche-Tumey Hills (PTH), northwestern San Joaquin Valley, is an exception. At this Paleocene site methane-derived carbonate masses (δ13C-depleted to -54 per mil) within the siliciclastic Moreno Formation contain abundant evidence of chemosynthetic communities, including ubiquitous microbialites and scattered remains of infaunal lucinid and nuculanid bivalves. Abundant tube structures also occur in the carbonates and though most are nondescript, a few well-preserved specimens suggest that many or all of these structures represent replaced vestimentiferan tube worm exoskeletons. Modern Vestimentifera secrete thin-walled, multi-layered tubes made of β-chitin and protein complexes which have high potential for chelation and microbe-mediated carbonate precipitation. The best-preserved PTH tubes are circular to oval in cross section, 7-10mm in diameter and multi-layered. The inner and outer layers consist of thin brownish sheaths, 0.1 to 0.5mm in diameter. The middle layer consists of isopachous radiaxial and microspar calcite cement (~2mm thick), with opposing crystal growth directions. The exterior surfaces of the outer sheaths have distinctive banding reminiscent of incremental growth lines. Less well-preserved tubes have progressively thicker and more complex cement rims and progressively less distinctive sheaths. Variable preservation may reflect degree of exposure to seep fluids, as poorly-preserved tubes are generally infilled with fluid-derived blocky calcite while well-preserved tubes are infilled with silty micrite matrix. Low δ13C values (to -20 per mil) indicate that some of the carbon and all tube-replacing cements was derived from seep fluids. In contrast to tube worm remains, suspect abiotic fluid conduits in the PTH are irregularly shaped, variable in size

  15. Integrative study of a new cold-seep mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia) associated with chemosynthetic symbionts in the Marmara Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritt, Bénédicte; Duperron, Sébastien; Lorion, Julien; Sara Lazar, Cassandre; Sarrazin, Jozée

    2012-09-01

    Recently, small Idas-like mussels have been discovered living on carbonate crusts associated with cold-seeps in the Marmara Sea. These mussels, here referred to as Idas-like nov. sp., differ morphologically and genetically from another species identified as Idas aff. modiolaeformis, living in the same type of ecosystem in the Nile Deep-Sea Fan (eastern Mediterranean Sea). A phylogenetic analysis confirms the distinction between the two species, which belong to highly divergent lineages. Carbon stable isotope values, as well as the detection of thiotroph-related bacteria in the gill tissue, support the presence of a symbiotic, thiotroph-derived nutrition. In contrast, Idas aff. modiolaeformis displays six different types of symbionts. Finally our size-frequency data suggest that the recruitment is continuous in the examined area. The present study extends the documented distribution of symbiont-bearing mussels to the Marmara Sea, and contributes to the characterisation of biological communities in this recently explored area.

  16. Methane in shallow cold seeps at Mocha Island off central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessen, Gerdhard L.; Pantoja, Silvio; Gutiérrez, Marcelo A.; Quiñones, Renato A.; González, Rodrigo R.; Sellanes, Javier; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2011-04-01

    We studied for the first time the intertidal and subtidal gas seepage system in Mocha Island off Central Chile. Four main seepage sites were investigated (of which one site included about 150 bubbling points) that release from 150 to 240 tonnes CH 4 into the atmosphere per year. The total amount of methane emitted into the atmosphere is estimated in the order of 800 tonnes per year. The gases emanated from the seeps contain 70% methane, and the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane, δ 13C-CH 4 averaged -44.4±1.4‰ which indicates a major contribution of thermogenic gas. Adjacent to one of the subtidal seeps, rocky substrates support a diverse community of microbial filaments, macroalgae, and benthic organisms. While stable carbon isotopic compositions of marine benthic organisms indicate a dominant photosynthesis-based food web, those of some hard-substrate invertebrates were in the range -48.8‰ to -36.8‰, suggesting assimilation of methane-derived carbon by some selected taxa. This work highlights the potential subsidy of the trophic web by CH 4-C, and that its emission to the atmosphere justifies the need of evaluating the use of methane to support the energy requirements of the local community.

  17. Greigite as a marker of paleo sulphate methane transition zone (SMTZ) in cold seep environment of Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin, Bay of Bengal, India.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    B, F. K.; Dewangan, P.; Usapkar, A.; Mazumdar, A.; Kocherla, M.; Tammisetti, R.; Khalap, S. T.; Satelkar, N. P.; Mehrtens, T.; Rosenauer, A.

    2014-12-01

    Rockmagnetic results and electron microscopic observations on a sediment core retrieved from a proven cold seep environment of Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin revealed an anomalously magnetically enhanced zone (17 - 23 mbsf) below the present-day SMTZ in the KG offshore basin. This zone is characterized by higher SIRM / k, kARM / SIRM and kfd % values indicating the presence of fine grained superparamagnetic (SP) sized ferrimagnetic iron sulphides minerals such as greigite formed due to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Identification of such mineral phases and understanding the mechanism of their formation and preservation is of vital importance which could provide better understanding of the geochemical processes on the paleo - SMTZ. Magnetic concentrates extracted from this zone were characterised by transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive X- ray spectrometry. We observed two possible occurrences of magnetic phases within this sediment depths 17 - 23 mbsf. (a) authigenically formed SP sized ferrimagnetic inclusions of magnetite, pyrite and greigite within matrix of host siliceous grain, (b) poorly crystallized fine-grained magnetite with ill defined grain boundary possibily formed extracellulary by magnetotactic bacterias through biologically-induced mineralization. High methane fluxes as observed in this basin provides suitable environment for the formation of greigite in the vicinity of SMTZ. We hypothesize that due to availability of residual iron and low supply of hydrogen sulphide caused by downwards diffusion lead to preservation of greigite. The occurence of greigite as inclusion within the host silicate matrix might explain its preservation in this zone in spite of intense pyritization. The greigite would otherwise be converted to stable-form pyrite. It is challenging to explain the origin of biologically produced magnetite within 17 - 23 mbsf as it is expected to dissolve in this zone due to intense pyritization.

  18. In situ Determination of Pore-water pH in Reducing Sediments near Methane Seeps and Vents by Laser Raman Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peltzer, E. T.; Walz, P. M.; Luna, M.; Zhang, X.; Brewer, P. G.

    2015-12-01

    Sediments near methane vents and seeps are often anoxic in nature due to the microbial oxidation of organic matter. When the pore-water oxygen is consumed, the microbial population resorts to using sulfate as the terminal electron receptor. For the anaerobic oxidation of methane, the net reaction is: CH4 + SO42- = HCO3- + HS- + H2O. Hydrogen sulfide produced by this reaction dissociates into bisulfide in proportion to the pore-water pH. Since the first pK of H2S is about 7 and close to the in situ pore-water pH, it satisfies the criteria for a useful pH indicating dye. Although the two forms of hydrogen sulfide are not visually discernable by the human eye, these two forms have distinct Raman spectra and thus can be easily quantified using an in situ spectrometer. The relative Raman cross-sections of the hydrogen sulfide species were determined in the laboratory across a range of relevant pH values and at the approximate salinity (ionic strength) and temperature of deep-sea pore waters. With this calibration, it is simple to compute the pore-water pH from the relative abundance of the two sulfide species: pH = pK1 + log10([HS-]/[H2S]). Pore-water profiles were investigated at several sites in the Santa Monica basin around methane mounds, gas vents and cold seeps. A titanium pore-water probe with a stainless steel frit was used to filter and collect pore-water samples at 5-10 cm intervals in the top 50-60 cm of sediment. Filtration and collection of the pore-water samples was usually accomplished in 5-10 minutes, with acquisition of the laser Raman spectra requiring only 2-4 minutes additional time. Vertical profiles of sulfate, total sulfide (H2S + HS-), methane and pH were collected simultaneously using the laser Raman spectrometer and pore-water profile sampler. Sulfate was observed to decrease from seawater concentrations to below detection limits while both methane and total sulfide increased proportionally to the sulfate loss. Once total sulfide concentrations

  19. Megafauna recovered from a cold hydrocarbon seep in the deep Alaskan Beaufort Sea, including a new species of Axinus (Thracidae: Bivalvia: Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, C. L.; Valentich-Scott, P.; Lorenson, T. D.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    Several specimens of a new species of Axinus and a single well-worn gastropod columella provisionally assigned to the genus Neptunea (Buccinidae: Gastropoda: Mollusca) were recently recovered from at least two cores, the longest of which is 5.72 m long, from a large seafloor mound, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM). The CSM is located at 2,530 m water depth on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea slope north of Camden Bay and is a fluid explosion feature containing methane hydrate and methane-saturated sediments overlying a folded and faulted deep basin. Only two modern species of Axinus are currently known. Axinus grandis (Verrill & Smith, 1885) is a northern Atlantic species and the recently described species, A. cascadiensis Oliver and Holmes (2007), is only known from Baby Bare Seamount, Cascadia Basin, northeastern Pacific Ocean. Common fragments, single valves, and a single articulated specimen represent this new Axinus species. These shells were distributed over nearly the entire length of the primary core. All specimens show wear and (or) dissolution. The age of these specimens is unknown and no living representatives were encountered. The genus Axinus has a fossil record back to the early Eocene in England and the Paleocene and Eocene in Egypt. Biogeographically the genus appears to have originated in the Tethys Sea and became established in the Atlantic Ocean during the Eocene, spreading across the Arctic Ocean in the late Tertiary. With the opening of the Bering Strait in the latest Miocene or early Pliocene the genus Axinus migrated southwest into the northeast Pacific. Interestingly, hydrocarbon seep deposits are also present on the adjacent North Slope of Alaska in the Marsh Anticline at Carter Creek, Camden Bay. These rocks, the Nuwok beds, contain abundant Thracidae bivalve of the genus Thracia, but not Axinus, however the rocks also represent cold seep deposits. These rocks have been variously dated from Oligocene to Pliocene and the exact age

  20. Initial results of comparing cold-seep carbonates from mussel- and tubeworm-associated environments at Atwater Valley lease block 340, northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Roberts, Harry H.

    2010-11-01

    Chemosymbiotic macrofauna (such as mussels and tubeworms) and authigenic carbonates are typical of many hydrocarbon seeps. To address whether mussels and tubeworms could impact the sediment geochemistry of their habitat where authigenic carbonates are precipitated, a comparative study of petrographic and geochemical features of the authigenic carbonates from mussel- and tubeworm-associated environments at hydrocarbon seeps in Atwater Valley lease area block 340 (AT340) of the Gulf of Mexico was undertaken. Both mussel- and tubeworm-associated carbonates are dominated by high-magnesium calcite (HMC) and aragonite, and two tubeworm-associated carbonate samples have minor amounts of dolomite. The δ13C values of all carbonates are low, ranging from -60.8‰ to -35.5‰ PDB. Although there is much overlap, surprisingly the δ13C values of mussel-associated carbonates are generally higher than those of tubeworm-associated carbonates (-51.8‰ vs. -54.8‰ for an average of over 60 subsamples). It is suggested that (1) carbon isotopic vital effect of seep mussels and tubeworms, (2) fluid physical pumping of mussels, and (3) release of sulfate by tubeworm roots may be responsible for the relatively lower δ13C values of tubeworm-associated carbonates. It has been suggested that the heterogeneities in mineralogy and stable carbon isotope geochemistry of the seep carbonates may be attributed to the activity of macrofauna (mussels and tubeworms) and associated microbes. Our observations also suggest that at AT340 the geochemical evolution of seep macrofauna is from a mussel-dominated environment to a mixed mussel-tubeworm environment, and finally to a mostly tubeworm-dominated environment. This evolution is controlled mainly by the habitat, e.g., hydrocarbon seep flux.

  1. Ampharetidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from cold seeps off Pakistan and hydrothermal vents off Taiwan, with the description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Reuscher, Michael G; Fiege, Dieter

    2016-01-01

    The new ampharetid species Eclysippe yonaguniensis sp. nov. and Glyphanostomum bilabiatum sp. nov. from the Yonaguni Knoll IV hydrothermal field off the coast of Taiwan and Pavelius makranensis sp. nov. from the cold seeps in the Makran accretionary prism off the coast of Pakistan are described. Amage cf. ehlersi Reuscher, Fiege & Imajima, 2015 and Anobothrus dayi Imajima, Reuscher & Fiege, 2013 are newly recorded from the Yonaguni Knoll IV hydrothermal field. PMID:27470798

  2. Impact of anaerobic oxidation of methane on the geochemical cycle of redox-sensitive elements at cold-seep sites of the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yu; Feng, Dong; Liang, Qianyong; Xia, Zhen; Chen, Linying; Chen, Duofu

    2015-12-01

    Cold hydrocarbon seepage is a frequently observed phenomenon along continental margins worldwide. However, little is known about the impact of seeping fluids on the geochemical cycle of redox-sensitive elements. Pore waters from four gravity cores (D-8, D-5, D-7, and D-F) collected from cold-seep sites of the northern South China Sea were analyzed for SO42-, Mg2+, Ca2+, Sr2+, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), δ13CDIC, dissolved Fe, Mn, and trace elements (e.g. Mo, U). The sulfate concentration-depth profiles, δ13CDIC values and (ΔDIC+ΔCa2++ΔMg2+)/ΔSO42- ratios suggest that organoclastic sulfate reduction (OSR) is the dominant process in D-8 core. Besides OSR, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is partially responsible for depletion of sulfate at D-5 and D-7 cores. The sulfate consumption at D-F core is predominantly caused by AOM. The depth of sulfate-methane interface (SMI) and methane diffusive flux of D-F core are calculated to be ~7 m and 0.035 mol m-2 yr-1, respectively. The relatively shallow SMI and high methane flux at D-F core suggest the activity of gas seepage in this region. The concentrations of dissolved uranium (U) were inferred to decrease significantly within the iron reduction zone. It seems that AOM has limited influence on the U geochemical cycling. In contrast, a good correlation between the consumption of sulfate and the removal of molybdenum (Mo) suggests that AOM has a significantly influence on the geochemical cycle of Mo at cold seeps. Accordingly, cold seep environments may serve as an important potential sink in the marine geochemical cycle of Mo.

  3. Synchronized dynamics of bacterial niche-specific functions during biofilm development in a cold seep brine pool.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weipeng; Wang, Yong; Bougouffa, Salim; Tian, Renmao; Cao, Huiluo; Li, Yongxin; Cai, Lin; Wong, Yue Him; Zhang, Gen; Zhou, Guowei; Zhang, Xixiang; Bajic, Vladimir B; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-10-01

    The biology of biofilm in deep-sea environments is barely being explored. Here, biofilms were developed at the brine pool (characterized by limited carbon sources) and the normal bottom water adjacent to Thuwal cold seeps. Comparative metagenomics based on 50 Gb datasets identified polysaccharide degradation, nitrate reduction and proteolysis as enriched functional categories for brine biofilms. The genomes of two dominant species: a novel Deltaproteobacterium and a novel Epsilonproteobacterium in the brine biofilms were reconstructed. Despite rather small genome sizes, the Deltaproteobacterium possessed enhanced polysaccharide fermentation pathways, whereas the Epsilonproteobacterium was a versatile nitrogen reactor possessing nar, nap and nif gene clusters. These metabolic functions, together with specific regulatory and hypersaline-tolerant genes, made the two bacteria unique compared with their close relatives, including those from hydrothermal vents. Moreover, these functions were regulated by biofilm development, as both the abundance and the expression level of key functional genes were higher in later stage biofilms, and co-occurrences between the two dominant bacteria were demonstrated. Collectively, unique mechanisms were revealed: (i) polysaccharides fermentation, proteolysis interacted with nitrogen cycling to form a complex chain for energy generation, and (ii) remarkably exploiting and organizing niche-specific functions would be an important strategy for biofilm-dependent adaptation to the extreme conditions. PMID:26171930

  4. [Microbiological processes of the carbon and sulfur cycle in cold methane seeps in the North Atlantic].

    PubMed

    Pimenov, N V; Savvichev, A S; Rusanov, I I; Lein, A Iu; Ivanov, M V

    2000-01-01

    Functioning of microbial communities in surface sediments of the Haakon Mosby underwater mud volcano (lat. 72 degrees N) and in gas seepage fields of the Vestnesa Ridge was investigated using Mir-1 and Mir-2 deep-sea submersibles during the 40th expedition of the research vessel Academician Mstislav Keldysh. Large areas of sedimentary deposits of the Haakon Mosby mud volcano (HMMV) and pockmarks of the Vestnesa Ridge (VR) are covered with bacterial mats 0.1 to 0.5 cm thick. The microbial community making up bacterial mats of the HMMV was predominated by large filamentous bacteria with filaments measuring up to 100 microns in length and 2 to 8 microns in width. The occurrence of rosettes allowed the observed filamentous bacteria to be referred to the morphologically similar genera Leucothrix or Thiothrix. Three morphological types of filamentous bacteria were identified in bacterial mats covering VR pockmarks. Filaments of type one are morphologically similar with representatives of the genera Thioploca or Desmanthos. Type two filaments had numerous inclusions of sulfur and resembled representatives of the genus Thiothrix. The third morphological type was constituted by single filaments made up of tightly connected disk-like cells and can, apparently, be assigned to the genus Beggiatoa. The rates of methane oxidation (up to 1570 microliters C/(dm3 day)) and sulfate reduction (up to 17 mg S/(dm3 day)) measured in surface sediments of HMMV and VR were close to the maximum rates of these processes observed in badly polluted regions of the northwestern shelf of the Black Sea. High rates of microbiological processes correlated with the high number of bacteria. The rate of methane production in sediments studied was notably lower and ranged from 0.1 to 3.5 microliters CH4/(dm3 day). Large areas of the HMMV caldera were populated by pogonophoras, represented by the two species, Sclerolinum sp. and Oligobrachia sp. The mass development of Sclerolinum sp. in the HMMV caldera

  5. Novel Alkane Hydroxylase Gene (alkB) Diversity in Sediments Associated with Hydrocarbon Seeps in the Timor Sea, Australia▿

    PubMed Central

    Wasmund, Kenneth; Burns, Kathryn A.; Kurtböke, D. Ipek; Bourne, David G.

    2009-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps provide inputs of petroleum hydrocarbons to widespread areas of the Timor Sea. Alkanes constitute the largest proportion of chemical components found in crude oils, and therefore genes involved in the biodegradation of these compounds may act as bioindicators for this ecosystem's response to seepage. To assess alkane biodegradation potential, the diversity and distribution of alkane hydroxylase (alkB) genes in sediments of the Timor Sea were studied. Deduced AlkB protein sequences derived from clone libraries identified sequences only distantly related to previously identified AlkB sequences, suggesting that the Timor Sea maybe a rich reservoir for novel alkane hydroxylase enzymes. Most sequences clustered with AlkB sequences previously identified from marine Gammaproteobacteria though protein sequence identities averaged only 73% (with a range of 60% to 94% sequence identities). AlkB sequence diversity was lower in deep water (>400 m) samples off the continental slope than in shallow water (<100 m) samples on the continental shelf but not significantly different in response to levels of alkanes. Real-time PCR assays targeting Timor Sea alkB genes were designed and used to quantify alkB gene targets. No correlation was found between gene copy numbers and levels of hydrocarbons measured in sediments using sensitive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques, probably due to the very low levels of hydrocarbons found in most sediment samples. Interestingly, however, copy numbers of alkB genes increased substantially in sediments exposed directly to active seepage even though only low or undetectable concentrations of hydrocarbons were measured in these sediments in complementary geochemical analyses due to efficient biodegradation. PMID:19820158

  6. Investigating Microbial Activity in Diazotrophic Methane Seep Sediment via Transcript Analysis and Single-Cell FISH-NanoSIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekas, A. E.; Connon, S. A.; Chadwick, G.; Orphan, V. J.

    2012-12-01

    Methane seep microbial ecosystems are phylogenetically diverse and physiologically complex, and require culture-independent techniques to accurately investigate metabolic activity. In the present study we combine an RNA analysis of four key microbial genes with FISH-NanoSIMS analysis of single cells to determine the diversity of nitrogen fixing microorganisms (diazotrophs) present at a deep-sea methane-seeping site, as well as investigate the methane-dependency of a variety of community members. Recently, methane-dependent nitrogen fixation was observed in Mound 12 Costa Rica sediments, and was spatially correlated with the abundance of aggregates of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate reducing bacterial symbionts (SRB). Combined with the detection of 15N uptake from 15N2 in these aggregates, this suggested that the ANME-SRB aggregates are the primary diazotrophs in seep sediment. However, the diversity of dinitrogenase reductase (nifH) sequences recovered from several deep-sea locales, including Mound 12, suggests a greater diversity of diazotrophs in marine sediment. To investigate the activity of these potential diazotrophs in Mound 12 sediment, we investigated a suite of RNA transcripts in 15N2 incubations in both the presence and absence of methane: nifH, bacterial 16S rRNA, methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA), and adenosine-5'-phosposulfate reductase alpha subunit (aprA). No nifH transcripts were recovered in incubations without methane, consistent with previous measurements lacking 15N2 uptake in the same sediments. The activity of the bacterial community in general, assessed by variable transcription, was also greatly affected by the presence or absence of methane. Single-cell fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS) was employed to confirm diazotrophic activity (15N2 uptake) and protein synthesis (15NH4+ uptake) of particular species implicated as ecologically important by the

  7. Marine oil seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, R.F. )

    1991-03-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbons of both biogenic and thermogenic origin are common constituents of the marine water column and sediment of the continental shelves. Approximately 0.25 million metric tons of oil per year, constituting about 8% of the oil input into the sea, is derived from natural seeps, the rest being anthropogenic. Seepage has occurred world-wide for millions of years and must have been many times greater in the past, when enormous oil deposits, such as the Orinoco Oil Belt, were first exposed to erosion. Although the amount varies from site to site with time, seepage is pervasive in polar and temperate seas. Marine-seep oil is intensely weathered and thus can be distinguished chemically from recent biogenic or undegraded crude oil. The degraded oil from seeps appears to have little deleterious effect on many marine organisms, which ingest and discharge the oil mostly unmetabolized. Chemical analyses suggest that a very large oil-rich layer in the Sargasso Sea originated from a large and as yet undetected seep. Oil seeps have long been used as guides for oil exploration onshore but have been underutilized for this purpose offshore because of oil-plume drift from the site of the seep and because natural oil slicks may be masked by spilled oil. At least one marine seep, in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, is producing oil and natural gas into two hollow steel pyramids from which the oil is collected by work boats and the natural gas is transported to shore by pipeline. This facility effectively reduces atmospheric pollution, controls marine oil pollution from the largest seep in the area, provides emission credits, and yields a modest economic benefit, but the seep is not known to have been used directly in oil exploration.

  8. Molecular characterization of bacteria associated with the trophosome and the tube of Lamellibrachia sp., a siboglinid annelid from cold seeps in the eastern Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Duperron, Sébastien; de Beer, Dirk; Zbinden, Magali; Boetius, Antje; Schipani, Vanessa; Kahil, Nacera; Gaill, Françoise

    2009-09-01

    Specimens of Lamellibrachia (Annelida: Siboglinidae) were recently discovered at cold seeps in the eastern Mediterranean. In this study, we have investigated the phylogeny and function of intracellular bacterial symbionts inhabiting the trophosome of specimens of Lamellibrachia sp. from the Amon mud volcano, as well as the bacterial assemblages associated with their tube. The dominant intracellular symbiont of Lamellibrachia sp. is a gammaproteobacterium closely related to other sulfide-oxidizing tubeworm symbionts. In vivo uptake experiments show that the tubeworm relies on sulfide for its metabolism, and does not utilize methane. Bacterial communities associated with the tube form biofilms and occur from the anterior to the posterior end of the tube. The diversity of 16S rRNA gene phylotypes includes representatives from the same divisions previously identified from the tube of the vent species Riftia pachyptila, and others commonly found at seeps and vents. PMID:19583785

  9. Methane sources feeding cold seeps on the shelf and upper continental slope off central Oregon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Marta E.; Embley, Robert W.; Merle, Susan G.; TréHu, Anne M.; Collier, Robert W.; Suess, Erwin; Heeschen, Katja U.

    2009-11-01

    We report on a bathymetric mapping and remotely operated vehicle surveys along the 100-600 m region offshore Oregon from 43°50'N to 44°18'N. We interpret our results in light of available geophysical data, published geotectonic models, and analogous observations of fluid venting and carbonate deposition from 44°30'N to 45°00'N. The methane seepage is defined by juxtaposition of a young prism, where methane is generated by bacterial activity and its release is modulated by gas hydrate dynamics, against older sequences that serve as a source of thermogenic hydrocarbons that vent in the shelf. We hypothesize that collision of a buried ridge with the Siletz Terrane results in uplift of gas hydrate bearing sediments in the oncoming plate and that the resulting decrease in pressure leads to gas hydrate dissociation and methane exolution, which, in turn, may facilitate slope failure. Oxidation of the released methane results in precipitation of carbonates that are imaged as high backscatter along a 550 ± 60 m benthic corridor.

  10. From wetlands to sauropods (?) and cold seeps: New perspectives on methane cycling in the Phanerozoic (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripati, A.; Beerling, D.; Bristow, T.; Campbell, K.; Catling, D. C.; Reinhard, C.; Rohrssen, M.; Sample, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    The role of methane in Phanerozoic climate change is a topic of debate. Methane has been implicated as a contributory climate forcing agent to sustained warm climates during the Permo-Carboniferous, the Mesozoic, and the Paleogene. It also has been discussed as a driver of transient warming events including rapid deglaciation marking the end of a hypothesized ';snowball' type glacial era in the run up to the Phanerozoic, the end-Ordovician glaciation, the Permo-Triassic boundary, and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Here we review evidence for methane's role in Phanerozoic global climate change and present new carbon budget calculations for the Ordovician and Permo-Triassic. In addition, we will highlight some new perspectives on methane cycling, ranging from the possible significance of seawater sulfate concentrations in modulating oceanic anaerobic methane oxidation, methane emissions from the guts of sauropods and ruminants, to the decomposition of methane hydrates at active continental margins triggered by deep fluid flow in accretionary prism sediments during great earthquakes.

  11. Geologic Significance of Newly Discovered Methane Seeps on the Northern US Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skarke, A. D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Kodis, M.; Lobecker, E.; Malik, M.

    2013-12-01

    Analysis of multibeam water column backscatter data collected by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in 2011, 2012, and 2013 has revealed the presence of several hundred methane gas plumes on the US Atlantic margin between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod (see abstract by Kodis et al., 'US Atlantic Margin Methane Plumes Identified From Water Column Backscatter Data Acquired by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer'). Acoustic imagery indicates that these vertically elongate methane plumes extend hundreds of meters above the seafloor and are often deflected by ocean currents. Visual and acoustic observation of the base of select plumes by the NOAA remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer in 2013 confirmed that they are generated by emission of gas bubbles at seafloor seeps. Prior to this discovery, the only observed cold seeps on the central and northern extents of the US Atlantic margin were at shallow water depths in Baltimore Canyon, and no deepwater (>1000 m) seeps were known to exist. The new seeps are observed at depths ranging from 100 m on the Nantucket Shelf to 1400 m in the vicinity of Norfolk, Baltimore, and Veatch Canyons. The seeps occur in isolation as well as in clusters, and particularly high seep concentrations are observed in the upper portions of Hudson Canyon. Along-margin seep distribution is not uniform and higher overall seep concentrations are observed north of Veatch Canyon and south of Wilmington Canyon, with substantially fewer seep occurrences on the intervening part of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Lithology (e.g., coarse-grained vs. fine-grained sediment), underlying geology, and shelf-slope morphology appear to be correlated with the spatial distribution of cold seeps along the margin. Numerous shallow water (~500 m) seep locations are roughly coincident with seafloor pockmark features identified by D. Brothers (personal communication) and are proximal to the upslope extent of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). Multiple deepwater seep locations are

  12. Microbial communities of deep-sea methane seeps at Hikurangi continental margin (New Zealand).

    PubMed

    Ruff, S Emil; Arnds, Julia; Knittel, Katrin; Amann, Rudolf; Wegener, Gunter; Ramette, Alban; Boetius, Antje

    2013-01-01

    The methane-emitting cold seeps of Hikurangi margin (New Zealand) are among the few deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere known to date. Here we compared the biogeochemistry and microbial communities of a variety of Hikurangi cold seep ecosystems. These included highly reduced seep habitats dominated by bacterial mats, partially oxidized habitats populated by heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes and deeply oxidized habitats dominated by chemosynthetic frenulate tubeworms. The ampharetid habitats were characterized by a thick oxic sediment layer that hosted a diverse and biomass-rich community of aerobic methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria. These bacteria consumed up to 25% of the emanating methane and clustered within three deep-branching groups named Marine Methylotrophic Group (MMG) 1-3. MMG1 and MMG2 methylotrophs belong to the order Methylococcales, whereas MMG3 methylotrophs are related to the Methylophaga. Organisms of the groups MMG1 and MMG3 are close relatives of chemosynthetic endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. The anoxic sediment layers of all investigated seeps were dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) of the ANME-2 clade and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Microbial community analysis using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) showed that the different seep habitats hosted distinct microbial communities, which were strongly influenced by the seep-associated fauna and the geographic location. Despite outstanding features of Hikurangi seep communities, the organisms responsible for key ecosystem functions were similar to those found at seeps worldwide. This suggests that similar types of biogeochemical settings select for similar community composition regardless of geographic distance. Because ampharetid polychaetes are widespread at cold seeps the role of aerobic methanotrophy may have been underestimated in seafloor methane budgets. PMID:24098632

  13. Microbial Communities of Deep-Sea Methane Seeps at Hikurangi Continental Margin (New Zealand)

    PubMed Central

    Ruff, S. Emil; Arnds, Julia; Knittel, Katrin; Amann, Rudolf; Wegener, Gunter; Ramette, Alban; Boetius, Antje

    2013-01-01

    The methane-emitting cold seeps of Hikurangi margin (New Zealand) are among the few deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere known to date. Here we compared the biogeochemistry and microbial communities of a variety of Hikurangi cold seep ecosystems. These included highly reduced seep habitats dominated by bacterial mats, partially oxidized habitats populated by heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes and deeply oxidized habitats dominated by chemosynthetic frenulate tubeworms. The ampharetid habitats were characterized by a thick oxic sediment layer that hosted a diverse and biomass-rich community of aerobic methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria. These bacteria consumed up to 25% of the emanating methane and clustered within three deep-branching groups named Marine Methylotrophic Group (MMG) 1-3. MMG1 and MMG2 methylotrophs belong to the order Methylococcales, whereas MMG3 methylotrophs are related to the Methylophaga. Organisms of the groups MMG1 and MMG3 are close relatives of chemosynthetic endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. The anoxic sediment layers of all investigated seeps were dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) of the ANME-2 clade and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Microbial community analysis using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) showed that the different seep habitats hosted distinct microbial communities, which were strongly influenced by the seep-associated fauna and the geographic location. Despite outstanding features of Hikurangi seep communities, the organisms responsible for key ecosystem functions were similar to those found at seeps worldwide. This suggests that similar types of biogeochemical settings select for similar community composition regardless of geographic distance. Because ampharetid polychaetes are widespread at cold seeps the role of aerobic methanotrophy may have been underestimated in seafloor methane budgets. PMID:24098632

  14. The effect of pulse venting on anaerobic oxidation of methane and pyrite formation in the cold seep environment, offshore SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Wan-Yen; Lin, Saulwood; Tseng, Yi-Ting; Chen, NeiChen; Hsieh, I.-Chih

    2016-04-01

    AOM (Anaerobic oxidation of methane) is a key process in seep environment. Sulfate was consumed during oxidation of methane or organic matter with pyrite as a major end product in the anoxic marine environment. Typical changes observed in the pore water include an increase of methane with depth beneath the SMTZ (sulfate methane transition zone), as a result of diffusion and/or advection, and appearances of a dissolved sulfide maximum underneath a dissolved iron peak with depth. A number of other related biogeochemical processes and end products may register their respective changes in sediments as a result of AOM and related reactions. However, flux, time and duration of gas migration may have changed by either long term processes, e.g., tectonic activities and/or climatic induced sea level changes, or short term, e.g., tidal variations. There is relatively little study addressing termination of gas migrations and subsequent changes in the seep environments. In this study, we will present our study on a seep environment where pulses of gas migration may have occurred with a number of chemical anomalies in sediments. We have collected pore water and sediments for their chemical compositions of sulfate, dissolved sulfide, chloride, organic carbon, carbonate carbon and pyrite as well as echo sounding for flares, and towcam for sea surface topography and benthic community. Our results show that methane gas may have migrated in sediments in carrying out AOM reaction and pyrite formation, however, gas migration may have been relatively short and in pulses. Pulses of gas migration resulted in little or even no sulfate reduction in pore water, but with appearance of dissolved sulfide as well as very high concentrations of pyrite in sediments. Flares were observed but not constantly at the site where chemical anomalies were observed. Pulses of gas migration may come from solid gas hydrate formation and dissociation as evidence from pore water chloride enrichment and

  15. The use of multibeam backscatter and bathymetry as a means of identifying faunal assemblages in a deep-sea cold seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, Arunima; Ondréas, Hélène; Gaillot, Arnaud; Marcon, Yann; Augustin, Jean-Marie; Olu, Karine

    2016-04-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems have attracted considerable commercial interest in recent years because of their potential to sustain a diverse range of mankind's industrial needs. If these systems are to be preserved or exploited in a sustainable manner, mapping habitats and species distributions is critical. As biodiversity at cold-seeps or other deep-sea ecosystems is driven by habitat heterogeneity, imagery is the obvious choice for characterizing these systems and has indeed proven extremely valuable towards mapping biogenic habitats formed by dense aggregations of large sized species, such as coral reefs, tubeworm bushes or bivalve beds. However, the acquisition of detailed images with resolution sufficient for reliable identification is extremely time consuming, labor intensive and highly susceptible to logistical issues. We developed a novel method for quickly mapping cold seep fauna and habitats over large areas, at the scale of squares of kilometers. Our method uses multibeam echosounder bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data, both segmented and reclassified based on topographical features and then combined to obtain a raster containing unique values incorporating both backscatter and bathymetry data. Two datasets, obtained from 30 m and 8 m above the seafloor were used and the results from the two datasets were compared. The method was applied to a cold seep community located in a pockmark in the deep Congo channel and we were able to ground truth the accuracy of our method against images of the area. The two datasets, obtained from different altitudes gave varying results: the 8 m altitude dataset reliably predicted tubeworms and carbonate rock, while the 30 m altitude dataset predicted tubeworms and vesicomyid clams. The 30 m dataset was more accurate than the 8 m altitude dataset in predicting distributions of tubeworms. Overall, all the predictions were quite accurate, with at least 90% of predictions being within 5 m of real distributions.

  16. Chemosynthetic trophic support for the benthic community at an intertidal cold seep site at Mocha Island off central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellanes, Javier; Zapata-Hernández, Germán; Pantoja, Silvio; Jessen, Gerdhard L.

    2011-12-01

    We analyzed C and N stable isotope ratios of benthic fauna and their potential food sources at an intertidal methane seep site and a control site without emanation at Mocha Island (central Chile). The objective was to trace the origin of the main food sources used by the local heterotrophic fauna, based on the hypothesis that chemosynthetic production could be partially fueling the local food web at the seep site. Food sources sampled at both sites included macroalgae, particulate organic matter and bacteria-like filaments found growing over the red algae Gelidium lingulatum within the areas of active methane release. At the control site, located 11 km away from the gas emanation, fauna exhibited moderate δ 13C values ranging from -16.2‰ (in a nereid polychaete) to -14.8‰ (in a cirolanid isopod), which were consistent with those of the potential photosynthetic food sources sampled at this site (-20.2 to -16.5‰). δ 13C values of the photosynthetic food sources at the seep site similarly ranged between -25.4 and -17.9‰. However, a portion of the animals at this site were consistently more 13C-depleted, with δ 13C values close to that of the seeping methane (-43.8‰) and the bacteria-like filaments (-39.2 ± 2.5‰) also collected at this site. Specific examples were the Marphysa sp. polychaetes (δ 13C = -44.7 ± 0.6‰), the Schistomeringos sp. dorvilleid polychaetes (δ 13C = -42.9‰), and the tanaid crustacean Zeuxo marmoratus (δ 13C = -37.3 ± 0.2‰). The significantly higher δ 13C values of the herbivorous gastropod Tegula atra at the seep site (-29.3 ± 3.1‰) than at the control site (-12.6 ± 0.3‰) also indicated differences among sites of the preferred carbon sources of this species. Mixing model estimates indicate that at the seep site bacteria-like filaments could be contributing up to ˜60% of the assimilated diet of selected invertebrates. Furthermore, several indicators of trophic structure, based in isotopic niche metrics, indicate a

  17. A Long-Term Cultivation of an Anaerobic Methane-Oxidizing Microbial Community from Deep-Sea Methane-Seep Sediment Using a Continuous-Flow Bioreactor

    PubMed Central

    Aoki, Masataka; Ehara, Masayuki; Saito, Yumi; Yoshioka, Hideyoshi; Miyazaki, Masayuki; Saito, Yayoi; Miyashita, Ai; Kawakami, Shuji; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Ohashi, Akiyoshi; Nunoura, Takuro; Takai, Ken; Imachi, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments is an important global methane sink, but the physiological characteristics of AOM-associated microorganisms remain poorly understood. Here we report the cultivation of an AOM microbial community from deep-sea methane-seep sediment using a continuous-flow bioreactor with polyurethane sponges, called the down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) bioreactor. We anaerobically incubated deep-sea methane-seep sediment collected from the Nankai Trough, Japan, for 2,013 days in the bioreactor at 10°C. Following incubation, an active AOM activity was confirmed by a tracer experiment using 13C-labeled methane. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that phylogenetically diverse Archaea and Bacteria grew in the bioreactor. After 2,013 days of incubation, the predominant archaeal components were anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-2a, Deep-Sea Archaeal Group, and Marine Benthic Group-D, and Gammaproteobacteria was the dominant bacterial lineage. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that ANME-1 and -2a, and most ANME-2c cells occurred without close physical interaction with potential bacterial partners. Our data demonstrate that the DHS bioreactor system is a useful system for cultivating fastidious methane-seep-associated sedimentary microorganisms. PMID:25141130

  18. Large Vesicomyidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from cold seeps in the Gulf of Guinea off the coasts of Gabon, Congo and northern Angola

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Cosel, Rudo; Olu, Karine

    2009-12-01

    Two new genera and three new species of large Vesicomyidae are described from cold-seep sites on pockmarks and other sulfide-rich environments in the Gulf of Guinea (tropical east Atlantic) off Gabon, Congo (Brazzaville) and northern Angola, from 500 to 4000 m depth: " Calyptogena" (s.l.) regab n. sp., Wareniconcha (n.g.) guineensis (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931), Elenaconcha guiness n.g. n. sp., and Isorropodon atalantae n. sp. For two other species already taken by the R/V Valdivia in 1898, Calyptogena valdiviae (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931) and Isorropodon striatum (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931) new localities were discovered, and the species are rediscussed. E. guiness n.g. n.sp. is also recorded from off Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, collected by commercial fishing vessels. The vesicomyid species here treated were encountered in different depth ranges along the Gabon-Congo-Angola margin, between 500 and 4000 m depth, and it was found that, in comparison with the dredge samples taken by the Valdivia expedition off southern Cameroon and off Rio de Oro (both at 2500 m), the same species occur in other depth ranges, in some cases with a vertical difference of more than 1000 m. .That means that the species are not confined to a given depth thought being typical for them and that the characteristics of the biotope are likely to play a major role in the distribution of the vesicomyids associated to cold seeps or other reduced environments along the West African margin.

  19. Planktonic and sediment-associated aerobic methanotrophs in two seep systems along the North American margin.

    PubMed

    Tavormina, Patricia L; Ussler, William; Orphan, Victoria J

    2008-07-01

    Methane vents are of significant geochemical and ecological importance. Notable progress has been made toward understanding anaerobic methane oxidation in marine sediments; however, the diversity and distribution of aerobic methanotrophs in the water column are poorly characterized. Both environments play an essential role in regulating methane release from the oceans to the atmosphere. In this study, the diversity of particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) and 16S rRNA genes from two methane vent environments along the California continental margin was characterized. The pmoA phylotypes recovered from methane-rich sediments and the overlying water column differed. Sediments harbored the greatest number of unique pmoA phylotypes broadly affiliated with the Methylococcaceae family, whereas planktonic pmoA phylotypes formed three clades that were distinct from the sediment-hosted methanotrophs and distantly related to established methanotrophic clades. Water column-associated phylotypes were highly similar between field sites, suggesting that planktonic methanotroph diversity is controlled primarily by environmental factors rather than geographical proximity. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes from methane-rich waters did not readily recover known methanotrophic lineages, with only a few phylotypes demonstrating distant relatedness to Methylococcus. The development of new pmo primers increased the recovery of monooxygenase genes from the water column and led to the discovery of a highly diverged monooxygenase sequence which is phylogenetically intermediate to Amo and pMMO. This sequence potentiates insight into the amo/pmo superfamily. Together, these findings lend perspective into the diversity and segregation of aerobic methanotrophs within different methane-rich habitats in the marine environment. PMID:18487407

  20. Authigenic carbonate formation at hydrocarbon seeps in continental margin sediments: A comparative study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Naehr, T.H.; Eichhubl, P.; Orphan, V.J.; Hovland, M.; Paull, C.K.; Ussler, W., III; Lorenson, T.D.; Greene, H. Gary

    2007-01-01

    Authigenic carbonates from five continental margin locations, the Eel River Basin, Monterey Bay, Santa Barbara Basin, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the North Sea, exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These precipitates include aragonite, low- and high-Mg calcite, and dolomite. The carbon isotopic composition of carbonates varies widely, ranging from -60??? to +26???, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted microbial and thermogenic methane and residual, 13C-enriched, bicarbonate. A similarly large variability of ??18O values (-5.5??? to +8.9???) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of these sites, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. Samples depleted in 18O are consistent with formation deeper in the sediment or mixing of pore fluids with meteoric water during carbonate precipitation. A wide range of isotopic and mineralogical variation in authigenic carbonate composition within individual study areas but common trends across multiple geographic areas suggest that these parameters alone are not indicative for certain tectonic or geochemical settings. Rather, the observed variations probably reflect local controls on the flux of carbon and other reduced ions, such as faults, fluid conduits, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the sediment, and the temporal evolution of the local carbon reservoir. Areas with seafloor carbonates that indicate formation at greater depth below the sediment-water interface must have undergone uplift and erosion in the past or are still being uplifted. Consequently, the occurrence of carbonate slabs on the seafloor in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage is commonly an indicator of exhumation following carbonate precipitation in the shallow subsurface. Therefore, careful petrographic and geochemical analyses are critical components necessary for the

  1. Colonization of plant substrates at hydrothermal vents and cold seeps in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean and occurrence of symbiont-related bacteria.

    PubMed

    Szafranski, Kamil M; Deschamps, Philippe; Cunha, Marina R; Gaudron, Sylvie M; Duperron, Sébastien

    2015-01-01

    Reducing conditions with elevated sulfide and methane concentrations in ecosystems such as hydrothermal vents, cold seeps or organic falls, are suitable for chemosynthetic primary production. Understanding processes driving bacterial diversity, colonization and dispersal is of prime importance for deep-sea microbial ecology. This study provides a detailed characterization of bacterial assemblages colonizing plant-derived substrates using a standardized approach over a geographic area spanning the North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean. Wood and alfalfa substrates in colonization devices were deployed for different periods at 8 deep-sea chemosynthesis-based sites in four distinct geographic areas. Pyrosequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA-encoding gene was used to describe bacterial communities. Colonization occurred within the first 14 days. The diversity was higher in samples deployed for more than 289 days. After 289 days, no relation was observed between community richness and deployment duration, suggesting that diversity may have reached saturation sometime in between. Communities in long-term deployments were different, and their composition was mainly influenced by the geographical location where devices were deployed. Numerous sequences related to horizontally-transmitted chemosynthetic symbionts of metazoans were identified. Their potential status as free-living forms of these symbionts was evaluated based on sequence similarity with demonstrated symbionts. Results suggest that some free-living forms of metazoan symbionts or their close relatives, such as Epsilonproteobacteria associated with the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata, are efficient colonizers of plant substrates at vents and seeps. PMID:25774156

  2. Colonization of plant substrates at hydrothermal vents and cold seeps in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean and occurrence of symbiont-related bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Szafranski, Kamil M.; Deschamps, Philippe; Cunha, Marina R.; Gaudron, Sylvie M.; Duperron, Sébastien

    2015-01-01

    Reducing conditions with elevated sulfide and methane concentrations in ecosystems such as hydrothermal vents, cold seeps or organic falls, are suitable for chemosynthetic primary production. Understanding processes driving bacterial diversity, colonization and dispersal is of prime importance for deep-sea microbial ecology. This study provides a detailed characterization of bacterial assemblages colonizing plant-derived substrates using a standardized approach over a geographic area spanning the North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean. Wood and alfalfa substrates in colonization devices were deployed for different periods at 8 deep-sea chemosynthesis-based sites in four distinct geographic areas. Pyrosequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA-encoding gene was used to describe bacterial communities. Colonization occurred within the first 14 days. The diversity was higher in samples deployed for more than 289 days. After 289 days, no relation was observed between community richness and deployment duration, suggesting that diversity may have reached saturation sometime in between. Communities in long-term deployments were different, and their composition was mainly influenced by the geographical location where devices were deployed. Numerous sequences related to horizontally-transmitted chemosynthetic symbionts of metazoans were identified. Their potential status as free-living forms of these symbionts was evaluated based on sequence similarity with demonstrated symbionts. Results suggest that some free-living forms of metazoan symbionts or their close relatives, such as Epsilonproteobacteria associated with the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata, are efficient colonizers of plant substrates at vents and seeps. PMID:25774156

  3. Cold seep biogenic carbonate crust in the Levantine basin is inhabited by burrowing Phascolosoma aff. turnerae, a sipunculan worm hosting a distinctive microbiota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Shemesh, Eli; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly; Coleman, Dwight F.; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-08-01

    Biogenic calcium carbonate crusts represent a cryptic habitat that is often associated with hydrocarbon seeps. Most biological observations of these crusts concern the external surfaces and the fauna inhabiting their inner cavities are generally neglected. Exposed carbonates in areas of active seepage at the 1100-m-deep base of the Palmachim slumping feature in the Levantine basin are intensively burrowed by metazoans, especially by sipunculans (peanut worms), identified by genetic and morphological markers as a potentially novel Phascolosoma sp., closely related to Phascolosoma turnerae (Rice, 1985) and named here P. aff. turnerae. Bacterial 16S-based tag encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) was utilized to analyze the bacterial community associated with P. aff. turnerae. We compared the bacterial community structure in P. aff. turnerae to the bacterial community structure associated with the sediment-water interface in adjacent gas seeps and in biofilm covering the carbonate crust hosting the sipunculan. A distinctive microbiota, capable of chemosynthesis and sulfide detoxification, was found in association with P. aff. turnerae.

  4. Microbial diversity in sediments associated with a shallow methane seep in the tropical Timor Sea of Australia reveals a novel aerobic methanotroph diversity.

    PubMed

    Wasmund, Kenneth; Kurtböke, D Ipek; Burns, Kathryn A; Bourne, David G

    2009-05-01

    This study examined the diversity of Bacteria, Archaea and in particular aerobic methanotrophs associated with a shallow (84 m) methane seep in the tropical Timor Sea, Australia. Seepage of thermogenic methane was associated with a large carbonate hardground covered in coarse carbonate-rich sediments and various benthic organisms such as solitary corals. The diversity of Bacteria and Archaea was studied by analysis of cloned 16S rRNA genes, while aerobic methanotrophic bacteria were quantified using real-time PCR targeting the alpha-subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) genes and diversity was studied by analysis of cloned pmoA genes. Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes revealed diverse and mostly novel phylotypes related to sequences previously recovered from marine sediments. A small number of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were related to aerobic methanotrophs distantly related to the genera Methylococcus and Methylocaldum. Real-time PCR targeting pmoA genes showed that the highest numbers of methanotrophs were present in surface sediments associated with the seep area. Phylogenetic analysis of pmoA sequences revealed that all phylotypes were novel and fell into two large clusters comprised of only marine sequences distantly related to the genera Methylococcus and Methylocaldum that were clearly divergent from terrestrial phylotypes. This study provides evidence for the existence of a novel microbial diversity and diverse aerobic methanotrophs that appear to constitute marine specialized lineages. PMID:19573197

  5. Lucinoma kazani n. sp. (Mollusca: Bivalvia): evidence of a living benthic community associated with a cold seep in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salas, C.; Woodside, J.

    2002-06-01

    Lucinoma kazani, a new deep-water species of Lucinidae from the Eastern Mediterranean Basin, is described and illustrated. The material was collected in the Anaximander Mountains, between Rhodes and Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean. The first living specimens were collected during the Dutch ANAXIPROBE project in the Kazan volcano, at a depth of 1709 m. Later, during the MEDINAUT programme, both living specimens and shells were collected from several mud volcanoes at different depths in the Anaximander Mountains. This bivalve holds symbionts in the ctenidia, as do all previously studied Lucinidae. The type of habitat of this new species is gas-saturated mud, with high levels of methane, which diffuses upwards into a low-oxygen deep-water. Therefore, we consider this as evidence of a living cold seep community in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  6. Use of 16S rRNA gene based clone libraries to assess microbial communities potentially involved in anaerobic methane oxidation in a Mediterranean cold seep.

    PubMed

    Heijs, Sander K; Haese, Ralf R; van der Wielen, Paul W J J; Forney, Larry J; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2007-04-01

    This study provides data on the diversities of bacterial and archaeal communities in an active methane seep at the Kazan mud volcano in the deep Eastern Mediterranean sea. Layers of varying depths in the Kazan sediments were investigated in terms of (1) chemical parameters and (2) DNA-based microbial population structures. The latter was accomplished by analyzing the sequences of directly amplified 16S rRNA genes, resulting in the phylogenetic analysis of the prokaryotic communities. Sequences of organisms potentially associated with processes such as anaerobic methane oxidation and sulfate reduction were thus identified. Overall, the sediment layers revealed the presence of sequences of quite diverse bacterial and archaeal communities, which varied considerably with depth. Dominant types revealed in these communities are known as key organisms involved in the following processes: (1) anaerobic methane oxidation and sulfate reduction, (2) sulfide oxidation, and (3) a range of (aerobic) heterotrophic processes. In the communities in the lowest sediment layer sampled (22-34 cm), sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea of the ANME-2 cluster (likely involved in anaerobic methane oxidation) were prevalent, whereas heterotrophic organisms abounded in the top sediment layer (0-6 cm). Communities in the middle layer (6-22 cm) contained organisms that could be linked to either of the aforementioned processes. We discuss how these phylogeny (sequence)-based findings can support the ongoing molecular work aimed at unraveling both the functioning and the functional diversities of the communities under study. PMID:17431711

  7. Methane release from sediment seeps to the atmosphere is counteracted by highly active Methylococcaceae in the water column of deep oligotrophic Lake Constance.

    PubMed

    Bornemann, Maren; Bussmann, Ingeborg; Tichy, Lucas; Deutzmann, Jörg; Schink, Bernhard; Pester, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Methane emissions from freshwater environments contribute substantially to global warming but are under strong control of aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria. Recently discovered methane seeps (pockmarks) in freshwater lake sediments have the potential to bypass this control by their strong outgassing activity. Whether this is counteracted by pelagic methanotrophs is not well understood yet. We used a (3)H-CH4-radiotracer technique and pmoA-based molecular approaches to assess the activity, abundance and community structure of pelagic methanotrophs above active pockmarks in deep oligotrophic Lake Constance. Above profundal pockmarks, methane oxidation rates (up to 458 nmol CH4 l(-1) d(-1)) exceeded those of the surrounding water column by two orders of magnitude and coincided with maximum methanotroph abundances of 0.6% of the microbial community. Phylogenetic analysis indicated a dominance of members of the Methylococcaceae in the water column of both, pockmark and reference sites, with most of the retrieved sequences being associated with a water-column specific clade. Communities at pockmark and reference locations also differed in parts, which was likely caused by entrainment of sediment-hosted methanotrophs at pockmark sites. Our results show that the release of seep-derived methane to the atmosphere is counteracted by a distinct methanotrophic community with a pronounced activity throughout bottom waters. PMID:27267930

  8. The Role of SRB on the Formation of Protodolomite and Monohydrocalcite: Insights from Cold Seep Simulation Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, X.; Geesey, G.; Chen, X.

    2011-12-01

    Authigenic carbonates are very common at hydrocarbon seep sites on continental margin worldwide. Carbonate chimneys from the seep sites of the northeastern slope of the South China Sea are dominated by high-Mg calcite (HMC), with minor proto-dolomite, low-Mg calcite (LMC) and pyrite. HMC usually contains Mg less than 20 mol%, however, some of our samples contain HMC with Mg contents varied from 5-38mol%. The extreme high-Mg calcite approaches protodolomite composition; however, it still retains the structure of calcite. It has been known that the processes of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) by consortia of archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are responsible for the precipitation of carbonates. To understand the formation mechanism of the unusual extreme high-Mg calcite as well as protodolomite in modern marine environment, we designed a set of mineral precipitation experiments simulating the pore water of the sulfate-methane transition zone of the seep sites of the South China Sea. The artificial pore water was enriched with formate, ammonia nitrogen and phosphate to achieve a C: N: P ratio of 106:12:1. Autoclave-sterilized nutrient enriched artificial pore water medium was inoculated with the SRB Desulfovibrio desulfuricans strain G-20 and incubated anaerobically at 25°C for 10 months. The precipitates that formed after incubation were analyzed using XRD, SEM and EDX and the concentration of key elements in the aqueous phase was determined using ICP-AES. Our results show that in the presence of SRBs, the pH of medium increased from 7.5 to 8.3 resulting in the precipitation of a mineral phase dominated by rhombohedra monohydrocalcite aggregates. In addition, spherical carbonate precipitates with Mg:Ca ratios varying from 0.16 to 0.98 suggest the presence of HMC and protodolomite. In the absence of SRB, the pH of the medium exhibited no significant change during incubation and only a small amount of aragonite and silica was produced: no

  9. Development and field application of a 6-bottle serial gas-tight fluid sampler for collecting seafloor cold seep and hydrothermal vent fluids with autonomous operation capability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, S.; Ding, K.; Yang, C.; Seyfried, W. E., Jr.; Tan, C.; Schaen, A. T.; Luhmann, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    A 6-bottle serial gas-tight sampler (so-called "six-shooter") was developed for application with deep-sea vent fluids. The new device is composed of a custom-made 6-channel valve manifold and six sampling bottles which are circularly distributed around the valve manifold. Each valve channel consists of a high-pressure titanium cartridge valve and a motor-driven actuator. A sampling snorkel is connected to the inlet of the manifold that delivers the incoming fluid to different bottles. Each sampling bottle has a 160 ml-volume chamber and an accumulator chamber inside where compressed nitrogen is used to maintain the sample at near in-situ pressure. An electronics chamber that is located at the center of the sampler is used to carry out all sampling operations, autonomously, if desired. The sampler is of a compact circular configuration with a diameter of 26 cm and a length of 54 cm. During the SVC cruise AT 26-12, the sampler was deployed by DSV2 Alvin at a cold seep site MC036 with a depth of 1090 m in the Gulf of Mexico. The sampler collected fluid samples automatically following the tidal cycle to monitor the potential impact of the tide cycle on the fluid chemistry of cold seep in a period of two day. During the cruise AT 26-17, the sampler was used with newly upgraded DSV2 Alvin three times at the hydrothermal vent sites along Axial Seamount and Main Endeavor Field on Juan de Fuca Ridge. During a 4-day deployment at Anemone diffuse site (Axial Caldera), the sampler was set to work in an autonomous mode to collect fluid samples according to the preset interval. During other dives, the sampler was manually controlled via ICL (Inductively Coupled Link) communication through the hull. Gas-tight fluid samples were collected from different hydrothermal vents with temperatures between 267 ℃ and 335 ℃ at the depth up to 2200 m. The field results indicate unique advantages of the design. It can be deployed in extended time period with remote operation or working

  10. Transcription, Signaling Receptor Activity, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Fatty Acid Metabolism Mediate the Presence of Closely Related Species in Distinct Intertidal and Cold-Seep Habitats.

    PubMed

    Van Campenhout, Jelle; Vanreusel, Ann; Van Belleghem, Steven; Derycke, Sofie

    2016-01-01

    Bathyal cold seeps are isolated extreme deep-sea environments characterized by low species diversity while biomass can be high. The Håkon Mosby mud volcano (Barents Sea, 1,280 m) is a rather stable chemosynthetic driven habitat characterized by prominent surface bacterial mats with high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Here, the nematode Halomonhystera hermesi thrives in high abundances (11,000 individuals 10 cm(-2)). Halomonhystera hermesi is a member of the intertidal Halomonhystera disjuncta species complex that includes five cryptic species (GD1-5). GD1-5's common habitat is characterized by strong environmental fluctuations. Here, we compared the transcriptomes of H. hermesi and GD1, H. hermesi's closest relative. Genes encoding proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation are more strongly expressed in H. hermesi than in GD1, and many genes were only observed in H. hermesi while being completely absent in GD1. Both observations could in part be attributed to high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Additionally, fatty acid elongation was also prominent in H. hermesi confirming the importance of highly unsaturated fatty acids in this species. Significant higher amounts of transcription factors and genes involved in signaling receptor activity were observed in GD1 (many of which were completely absent in H. hermesi), allowing fast signaling and transcriptional reprogramming which can mediate survival in dynamic intertidal environments. GC content was approximately 8% higher in H. hermesi coding unigenes resulting in differential codon usage between both species and a higher proportion of amino acids with GC-rich codons in H. hermesi. In general our results showed that most pathways were active in both environments and that only three genes are under natural selection. This indicates that also plasticity should be taken in consideration in the evolutionary history of Halomonhystera species. Such plasticity, as well as possible

  11. Transcription, Signaling Receptor Activity, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Fatty Acid Metabolism Mediate the Presence of Closely Related Species in Distinct Intertidal and Cold-Seep Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Van Campenhout, Jelle; Vanreusel, Ann; Van Belleghem, Steven; Derycke, Sofie

    2016-01-01

    Bathyal cold seeps are isolated extreme deep-sea environments characterized by low species diversity while biomass can be high. The Håkon Mosby mud volcano (Barents Sea, 1,280 m) is a rather stable chemosynthetic driven habitat characterized by prominent surface bacterial mats with high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Here, the nematode Halomonhystera hermesi thrives in high abundances (11,000 individuals 10 cm−2). Halomonhystera hermesi is a member of the intertidal Halomonhystera disjuncta species complex that includes five cryptic species (GD1-5). GD1-5’s common habitat is characterized by strong environmental fluctuations. Here, we compared the transcriptomes of H. hermesi and GD1, H. hermesi’s closest relative. Genes encoding proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation are more strongly expressed in H. hermesi than in GD1, and many genes were only observed in H. hermesi while being completely absent in GD1. Both observations could in part be attributed to high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Additionally, fatty acid elongation was also prominent in H. hermesi confirming the importance of highly unsaturated fatty acids in this species. Significant higher amounts of transcription factors and genes involved in signaling receptor activity were observed in GD1 (many of which were completely absent in H. hermesi), allowing fast signaling and transcriptional reprogramming which can mediate survival in dynamic intertidal environments. GC content was approximately 8% higher in H. hermesi coding unigenes resulting in differential codon usage between both species and a higher proportion of amino acids with GC-rich codons in H. hermesi. In general our results showed that most pathways were active in both environments and that only three genes are under natural selection. This indicates that also plasticity should be taken in consideration in the evolutionary history of Halomonhystera species. Such plasticity, as well as possible

  12. High Diversity of Anaerobic Alkane-Degrading Microbial Communities in Marine Seep Sediments Based on (1-methylalkyl)succinate Synthase Genes

    PubMed Central

    Stagars, Marion H.; Ruff, S. Emil; Amann, Rudolf; Knittel, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Alkanes comprise a substantial fraction of crude oil and are prevalent at marine seeps. These environments are typically anoxic and host diverse microbial communities that grow on alkanes. The most widely distributed mechanism of anaerobic alkane activation is the addition of alkanes to fumarate by (1-methylalkyl)succinate synthase (Mas). Here we studied the diversity of MasD, the catalytic subunit of the enzyme, in 12 marine sediments sampled at seven seeps. We aimed to identify cosmopolitan species as well as to identify factors structuring the alkane-degrading community. Using next generation sequencing we obtained a total of 420 MasD species-level operational taxonomic units (OTU0.96) at 96% amino acid identity. Diversity analysis shows a high richness and evenness of alkane-degrading bacteria. Sites with similar hydrocarbon composition harbored similar alkane-degrading communities based on MasD genes; the MasD community structure is clearly driven by the hydrocarbon source available at the various seeps. Two of the detected OTU0.96 were cosmopolitan and abundant while 75% were locally restricted, suggesting the presence of few abundant and globally distributed alkane degraders as well as specialized variants that have developed under specific conditions at the diverse seep environments. Of the three MasD clades identified, the most diverse was affiliated with Deltaproteobacteria. A second clade was affiliated with both Deltaproteobacteria and Firmicutes likely indicating lateral gene transfer events. The third clade was only distantly related to known alkane-degrading organisms and comprises new divergent lineages of MasD homologs, which might belong to an overlooked phylum of alkane-degrading bacteria. In addition, masD geneFISH allowed for the in situ identification and quantification of the target guild in alkane-degrading enrichment cultures. Altogether, these findings suggest an unexpectedly high number of yet unknown groups of anaerobic alkane degraders

  13. Monitoring of Sedimentary Fluxes in Cold Environments: The SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, Achim A.

    2014-05-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated geomorphic process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists` (I.A.G. / A.I.G.) SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Program (2005 - 2017) is addressing this existing key knowledge gap. The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Research carried out at each of the ca. 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by program, logistics and available resources, but typically represent interdisciplinary collaborations of geomorphologists, hydrologists, ecologists, permafrost scientists and glaciologists. SEDIBUD has developed manuals and protocols (SEDIFLUX Manual) with a key set of primary surface process monitoring and research data requirements to incorporate results from these diverse projects and allow coordinated quantitative analysis across the program. Defined SEDIBUD key tasks for the coming years include (i) The continued generation and compilation of comparable longer-term datasets on contemporary sedimentary fluxes and sediment yields from SEDIBUD key test sites worldwide, (ii) The continued extension of the SEDIBUD metadata database with these datasets, (iii) The testing of defined SEDIBUD hypotheses (available

  14. Authigenic carbonates from an active cold seep of the northern South China Sea: New insights into fluid sources and past seepage activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Chen, Duofu

    2015-12-01

    Site F (also named Formosa ridge) represents the most vigorous cold seep on the northern South China Sea continental slope. In order to constrain the fluid sources and intensities of seepage, we investigated the petrography, mineralogy, stable carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions, element geochemistry and radiocarbon dating of authigenic carbonate rocks retrieved from the seafloor. Carbonate rocks mainly occurred as crusts, nodules, and nodular masses incorporated in carbonate breccias. The carbonates were comprised mainly of high-Mg calcite and aragonite. The δ13C of authigenic carbonate varied from -55.3‰ to -34.3‰ (mean: -48.5‰; n=47) vs. V-PDB, suggesting biogenic methane is the dominant carbon source fuelling the system. The δ18OCarbonate values were from +3.6‰ to +4.8‰ (mean: +3.9‰; n=47). The observed 18O-enrichement in relation to calculated equilibrium values in the carbonates probably reflects dissolution of gas hydrates. Combination of seafloor observations and the obtained AMS 14C ages suggest that (1) initiation of methane seepage from at least 10.6 ka ago; (2) environmental conditions may have been favorable for enhanced fluid seepage around 6 ka BP and (3) relatively low intensity of seepage from 2 ka BP till today.

  15. Submeter Mapping Of Methane Seeps By ROV Observations And Measurements At The Hikurangi Margin, New Zeeland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naudts, L.; Greinert, J.; Poort, J.; Belza, J.; Vangampelaere, E.; Boone, D.; Linke, P.; Henriet, J.; de Batist, M.

    2008-12-01

    During R.V. Sonne cruise SO191-3, part of the "New (Zealand Cold) Vents" expedition, RCMG deployed their CHEROKEE ROV "Genesis" on the Hikurangi Margin. This accretionary margin, on the east coast of New Zealand, is related to the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate. Several cold seep locations as well as an extensive BSR, indicating the presence of gas hydrates, have been found at this margin. The aims of the ROV-work were to precisely localize active methane seeps, to conduct detailed visual observations of the seep structures and activity, and to perform measurements of physical properties and collect samples at and around the seep locations. The ROV allowed first ever visual observations of bubble- releasing seeps at the Hikurangi Margin. Seeps were observed at Faure Site and LM-3 in the Rock Garden area, at a flat to moderately undulating sea floor where soft sediments alternate with carbonate platforms. Bubble-releasing activity was very variable in time, with periods of almost non-activity (5 bubbles/second) alternating with periods of violent outbursts (190 bubbles/second). Bubbles sizes ranged from less than 5 mm to more than 20 mm. At Faure Site, bubble release was monitored over a period of 20 minutes, resulting in the observation of 6 outbursts, each lasting 1 minute at a 3 minute interval. These violent outbursts were accompanied by the displacement and resuspension of sediment grains and the formation of small depressions showing what is possibly an initial stage of pockmark formation. At the LM-3 site only some small bubbling seeps were observed near a large carbonate platform covered by Bathymodiolus mussels, Calyptogena shells and tube worms. Sediment-temperature measurements, in both areas, were largely comparable with the bottom-water temperature except at LM-3, at a site densely populated by polychaetes, where anomalous low sediment-temperature was measured. Overall, both seep areas are very confined in space and bottom

  16. A unique Fe-rich carbonate chimney associated with cold seeps in the Northern Okinawa Trough, East China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhilei; Wei, Helong; Zhang, Xunhua; Shang, Luning; Yin, Xijie; Sun, Yunbao; Xu, Lei; Huang, Wei; Zhang, Xianrong

    2015-01-01

    The East China Sea is an important marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean, from which natural gas hydrate sample has not been acquired so far. Recently, copious carbonate chimneys have been discovered in turbidite deposits in the olistostrome zone located on the west slope of the northern section of Okinawa Trough. Here, the petrology, geochemistry and chronology of an iron-rich carbonate chimney were characterized, confirming a close relationship between its formation and the dissociation of natural gas hydrate beneath the chimney in OT. A distinctive relationship has been observed between goethite and total carbonate contents along with a negative correlation between Fe and Ca contents. Conversely, abundant Fe accumulated on carbonate substrate by mineralized microorganisms. The δ13C values of the chimney wall were from -27.56 to -43.66‰ (average: -37.18‰, V-PDB), implying anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) as a predominant controlling factor on carbonate precipitation. As no pyrite and organic residues were identified in the iron-rich chimney, it was assumed that AOM was coupled to the iron reduction reaction at least to some extent during the chimney growth owing to the local deficiency of sulfate supply. The δ56Fe values of bulk chimney wall (ranging from -0.316‰ to -0.023‰, average -0.134‰) suggest mass and isotope exchanges between the chimney and ambient environment during its growth history, whereas the enrichment of δ18O of the carbonate implies these carbonate sourcing from hydrate dissociation underlying our sampling site. This assumption has been supported by a distinct bottom simulation reflector (BSR) and a well-developed fault system beneath the sampling site. This is the first report of cold seepage inside the OT and the identified iron-dependent AOM has shed a new light to the Carbon cycle related to the marine methane oxidation, particularly before the Great Oxidation Event ~2.45 Ga ago.

  17. Microbial methane turnover at Marmara Sea cold seeps: a combined 16S rRNA and lipid biomarker investigation.

    PubMed

    Chevalier, N; Bouloubassi, I; Birgel, D; Taphanel, M-H; López-García, P

    2013-01-01

    Lipid biomarkers and their stable carbon isotopic composition, as well as 16S rRNA gene sequences, were investigated in sediment cores from active seepage zones in the Sea of Marmara (Turkey) located on the active North Anatolian Fault, to assess processes associated with methane turnover by indigenous microbial communities. Diagnostic (13) C-depleted archaeal lipids of anaerobic methane oxidizers were only found in one core from the South of Çinarcik Basin and consist mainly of archaeol, sn-2 hydroxyarchaeol and various unsaturated pentamethylicosenes. Concurrently, abundant fatty acids (FAs) and a substantial amount of monoalkylglycerolethers (MAGEs), assigned to sulphate-reducing bacteria, were detected with strong (13) C-depletions. Both microbial lipids and their δ(13) C values suggest that anaerobic oxidation of methane with sulphate reduction (AOM/SR) occurs, specially in the 10- to 12-cm depth interval. Lipid biomarker results accompanied by 16S rRNA-based microbial diversity analyses showed that ANME-2 (ANME-2a and -2c) archaea and Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus and Desulfobulbus deltaproteobacterial clades are the major AOM assemblages, which indicate a shallow AOM community at high methane flux. Apart from the typical AOM lipid biomarker pattern, a (13) C-depleted diunsaturated hydrocarbon, identified as 7,14-tricosadiene, occurred in the inferred maximum AOM interval at 10-12 cm depth. Its isotopic fingerprint implies that its microbial precursor occurs in close association with the AOM communities. Interestingly, the presence of 7,14-tricosadiene coincides with the presence of the so-far uncultured bacterial Candidate Division JS1, often detected in AOM areas. We propose the hypothesis that the JS1 bacterial group could be the potential source of (13) C-depleted tricosadiene. Future testing of this hypothesis is essential to fully determine the role of this bacterial group in AOM. PMID:23205581

  18. Chemistry and mineralogy of pyrite-enriched sediments at a passive margin sulfide brine seep: abyssal Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Commeau, R.F.; Paull, C.K.; Commeau, J.A.; Poppe, L.J.

    1987-01-01

    Pyrite is rapidly accumulating at the contact between the Cretaceous limestones of the Florida Platform and the hemipelagic sediments of the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Sediments sampled with the submersible "Alvin" in 3266 m of water are associated with a dense community of organisms that depend on chemosynthetic primary production as a food source. Analysis of the chemistry, mineralogy, and textural composition of these sediments indicate that iron sulfide mineralization is occurring at the seafloor within an anoxic micro-habitat sustained by the advection of hydrogen sulfide-charged saline brines from the adjacent platform. The chemosynthetic bacteria that directly overlie the sediments oxidize hydrogen sulfide for energy and provide elemental sulfur that reacts with iron monosulfide to form some of the pyrite. The sediments are mixtures of pyrite (??? 30 wt.%), BaSr sulfates (??? 4 wt.%), clays, and locally derived biogenic carbonates and are progressively being cemented by iron sulfides. Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide produces locally acidic conditions that corrode the adjacent limestones. Potential sources of S, H2S, Fe, Ba, and Sr are discussed. ?? 1987.

  19. Changing composition of microbial communities indicates seepage fluid difference of the Thuwal Seeps in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bo; Zhang, Weipeng; Tian, Renmao; Wang, Yong; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-08-01

    Cold seeps are unique ecosystems that are generally characterized by high salinity and reducing solutions. Seepage fluid, the major water influx of this system, contains hypersaline water, sediment pore water, and other components. The Thuwal cold seeps were recently discovered on the continental margin of the Red Sea. Using 16S rRNA gene pyro-sequencing technology, microbial communities were investigated by comparing samples collected in 2011 and 2013. The results revealed differences in the microbial communities between the two sampling times. In particular, a significantly higher abundance of Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaeota was coupled with lower salinity in 2013. In the brine pool, the dominance of Desulfobacterales in 2011 was supplanted by MGI Thaumarchaeota in 2013, perhaps due to a reduced supply of hydrogen sulfide from the seepage fluid. Collectively, this study revealed a difference in water components in this ecosystem between two sampling times. The results indicated that the seawater in this cold seep displayed a greater number of characteristics of normal seawater in 2013 than in 2011, which might represent the dominant driving force for changes in microbial community structures. This is the first study to provide a temporal comparison of the microbial biodiversity of a cold seep ecosystem in the Red Sea. PMID:26059861

  20. Unusual novel n-4 polyunsaturated fatty acids in cold-seep mussels (Bathymodiolus japonicus and Bathymodiolus platifrons), originating from symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Saito, Hiroaki

    2008-07-25

    Novel fatty acids originated from the two cold-seep mussels Bathymodiolus japonicus and Bathymodiolus platifrons, which host methane-oxidizing bacteria, were determined by using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the 4,4-dimethyloxazoline derivatives. The major polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the two mussels belong to unusual n-4 and n-7 methylene interrupted PUFAs, such as 18:3 n-7,10,13 (Delta5,8,11-18:3), 18:4 n-4,7,10,13 (Delta5,8,11,14-18:4), 20:3n-7,10,13 (Delta7,10,13-20:3), 20:4n-4,7,10,13 (Delta7,10,13,16-20:4), and 21:4n-7,10,13,16 (Delta5,8,11,14-20:4). The similarity of fatty acids in the two Bathymodiolus species produced by the symbiotic bacteria, indicate occurrence of highly homologous mussel symbionts. In contrast to the lipids of shallow-water mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, which contains photosynthetic n-3 PUFAs, the two Bathymodiolus mussels were lacking in docosahexaenoic acid and icosapentaenoic acid even though they are marine animals. These findings suggest the Bathymodiolus species survive independently of photosynthetic products, similar to the Calyptogena clams, which house sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and whose lipid contains n-4 non-methylene interrupted PUFAs (20:3n-4,7,15 (Delta5,13,16-20:3), 20:4n-1,4,7,15 (Delta5,13,16,19-20:4), and 21:3n-4,7,16 (Delta5,14,17-20:3)). The similarity in n-4 fatty acids between the mussels and the clam suggests that these bivalves depend on analogous n-4 family PUFAs and that the n-4 PUFA family is a characteristic of all vent bivalves depending on geothermal energy. The differences of the n-4 PUFAs between the mussels and the clam suggest a generic specificity of symbiotic bacteria and differences in lipid physiology between thiotrophic and methanotrophic symbionts. Such a highly diversified variety of n-4 family PUFAs in the mussels and the clam under different environments presumably increase the great potential of the chemosynthetic bacteria. PMID:18571657

  1. A recent investigation of gas hydrate as a factor in northern Cascadia accretionary margin frontal ridge slope failures and cold seep biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haacke, R.; Riedel, M.; Pohlman, J.; Rose, K.; Lapham, L.; Hamilton, T. S.; Enkin, R.; Spence, G.; Hyndman, R.

    2008-12-01

    In August 2008, a research expedition was conducted on the n. Cascadia margin by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) as part of the Earth Science Sector, Natural Gas Hydrate Program, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). This collaboration included researchers from several universities as well as Canadian and U.S. government agencies. The primary objective was to determine the impact of gas hydrate on slope stability along the frontal ridges of the N. Cascadia accretionary wedge. Multibeam bathymetry data indicate numerous slope collapse features along the frontal ridges. To constrain the cause and timing of the collapse features, sedimentological, physical property and geochemical studies were conducted at several slump areas. Four cores were collected from within the headwall, apron and sole of the slumped material of 'Lopez Slide', a failure area detected prior to IODP Expedition 311. Directly south of Lopez Slide at a slump feature named 'Slipstream Slide', a 5-core transect extended from the headwall scarp to the toe of the slide deposits. Slipstream Slide is a series of en echelon box-like slump blocks bounded by transverse faults that cross-cut that frontal ridge. One additional core from a slump-feature further south (Chunk Slide) was also recovered. Onboard analyses suggest that the slump occurrences are not related to the last mega-thrust earthquake that occurred at the N. Cascadia subduction zone in January 1700. However, the slumps could have been triggered by earlier such earthquakes. Further analyses and age determinations are underway to confirm the linkages between slumps and the mega-thrust earthquake cycle and other possible trigger mechanisms such as eustatic sea level changes. The secondary objective of the expedition was a multidisciplinary program that included microbiological, geochemical, geophysical and sedimentological studies designed to advance our understanding of the environmental factors that control methane fluxes and oxidation at cold

  2. Molecular characterization of potential nitrogen fixation by anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea in the methane seep sediments at the number 8 Kumano Knoll in the Kumano Basin, offshore of Japan.

    PubMed

    Miyazaki, Junichi; Higa, Ryosaku; Toki, Tomohiro; Ashi, Juichiro; Tsunogai, Urumu; Nunoura, Takuro; Imachi, Hiroyuki; Takai, Ken

    2009-11-01

    The potential for microbial nitrogen fixation in the anoxic methane seep sediments in a mud volcano, the number 8 Kumano Knoll, was characterized by molecular phylogenetic analyses. A total of 111 of the nifH (a gene coding a nitrogen fixation enzyme, Fe protein) clones were obtained from different depths of the core sediments, and the phylogenetic analysis of the clones indicated the genetic diversity of nifH genes. The predominant group detected (methane seep group 2), representing 74% of clonal abundance, was phylogenetically related to the nifH sequences obtained from the Methanosarcina species but was most closely related to the nifH sequences potentially derived from the anoxic methanotrophic archaea (ANME-2 archaea). The recovery of the nif gene clusters including the nifH sequences of the methane seep group 2 and the subsequent reverse transcription-PCR detection of the nifD and nifH genes strongly suggested that the genetic components of the gene clusters would be operative for the in situ assimilation of molecular nitrogen (N(2)) by the host microorganisms. DNA-based quantitative PCR of the archaeal 16S rRNA gene, the group-specific mcrA (a gene encoding the methyl-coenzyme M reductase alpha subunit) gene, and the nifD and nifH genes demonstrated the similar distribution patterns of the archaeal 16S rRNA gene, the mcrA groups c-d and e, and the nifD and nifH genes through the core sediments. These results supported the idea that the anoxic methanotrophic archaea ANME-2c could be the microorganisms hosting the nif gene clusters and could play an important role in not only the in situ carbon (methane) cycle but also the nitrogen cycle in subseafloor sediments. PMID:19783748

  3. Vesicomyid Clams Alter Biogeochemical Processes at Pacific Methane Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertics, V. J.; Treude, T.; Ziebis, W.

    2007-12-01

    There exists a close relationship between fluid flow, biogeochemistry, and biota in seep sediments. Upwelling of methane and sulfide-rich fluids supports abundant macrofauna species harboring thiotrophic or methanotrophic symbionts. Variations in fluid flow, thus supply of methane and sulfide, are considered key factors controlling benthic communities. Vesicomyid clams harbor thiotrophic symbionts in their gills, which are supplied with oxygen from the surrounding water and hydrogen sulfide from the sediment. The clams are capable of extending their foot into the sediment to tap sulfide sources in deeper layers, consequently affecting water-sediment solute exchange. Because seep fluids are generally depleted in sulfate compared to seawater, this bioturbation activity may enhance the supply of sulfate to otherwise sulfate-limited sediments, thus boosting microbial activity of sulfate reduction (SR) coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). The goal of this study was to investigate the activity of three species of vesicomyid clams ( Calyptogena pacifica, C. kilmeri, C. gigas) from three methane seep habitats (Eel River Basin, Hydrate Ridge, Monterey Bay Canyon) and to evaluate its effect on biogeochemical processes. Sediment cores and clams were collected using the submersible Alvin or the ROV Jason, during three cruises with the R/V Atlantis in July and October 2006 and July 2007 (AT 15-7, AT 15-11, and AT 15-20). We performed high-resolution measurements of geochemical gradients in intact sediment cores using microsensors (O2, H2S, pH, redox potential). The cores were then sliced (1 cm intervals) for detailed chemical and microbiological analyses. Parallel cores were used to determine microbial activity (AOM, SR) with radioactive tracers. For detailed laboratory investigations, clams were kept in narrow aquaria (15 cm x 20 cm x 5 cm) in the ship's cold room. The front of the aquaria was perforated with holes at 1 cm resolution. These silicone-filled holes

  4. Multiscale Image of a Seep Structure - Takahe, Offshore New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, S.; Dumke, I.; Bialas, J.; Crutchley, G.; Greinert, J.; Klaschen, D.; Klaucke, I.; Papenberg, C.

    2012-04-01

    We present a multi-scale geophysical study of a methane seep site "Takahe" on the southern Hikurangi Margin offshore New Zealand's North Island. Seismic, Parasound, sidescan sonar and subbottom profiler data were combined to image the spatial structure of the seep and its expression at the seafloor. The data were acquired in March of 2011 during the cruise SO214 with the German research vessel R/V Sonne. The aim of the project was to investigate cold seep structures within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). 2.5D seismic reflection data reveal the sub-seafloor structure of gas migration pathways beneath Takahe, which can be traced to a source that is at least as deep as the base of the GHSZ. The structure can be divided into three parts: i) a broad feeding base that narrows into an inverted bathtub-shaped funnel, ii) a narrow, vertical conduit extending upwards from the funnel to approximately 50 m beneath the seafloor and iii) a second bathtub-shaped expression fanning out from the top of the narrow conduit to the seafloor. Multiple Parasound transects acquired over Takahe reveal the shallow structure of the upper 50 m of the gas conduit in very high detail. The conduit penetrates a strong reflection representing an unconformity between less-consolidated sediments above and well-indurated "hard" sediments below. Shallow amplitude anomalies within the conduit are interpreted as free gas close to the seafloor. The high-frequency component of the Parasound system was used to image numerous flares in the water column, revealing that gas is actively venting from the seafloor at this site. Active venting is also suggested by several flares imaged in the water-column of the unprocessed sidescan sonar data. Takahe site is marked by slightly elevated backscatter over a 0.059 km2 large, oval-shaped area. Authigenic carbonates are not present on the seafloor, which distinguishes Takahe from the majority of seeps on Opouawe Bank. Takahe possibly is a relatively young seep

  5. Influence of foundation species, depth, and location on diversity and community composition at Gulf of Mexico lower-slope cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordes, Erik E.; Becker, Erin L.; Hourdez, Stephane; Fisher, Charles R.

    2010-11-01

    Efforts to understand and preserve the seep communities of the deep Gulf of Mexico (GOM) begin with a comprehensive survey of the biodiversity of these communities. Previous studies have provided a conceptual model of the physiology, population, and community ecology of upper continental slope seeps. However, seeps at water depths below 1000 m in the Gulf of Mexico remain relatively unknown. In this study, data from 47 samples of tubeworm- and mussel-associated communities at depths of 1005-2750 m are examined. Other than tubeworms and mussels, 66 taxa of macro- and megafauna were collected, 43 of which appear to be restricted to water depths of over 1000 m, and 39 that have not been reported previously from the Gulf of Mexico. Diversity in mussel beds was highest at mid-slope depths, but tubeworm-associated communities did not show clear bathymetric trends in diversity. Diversity was higher in tubeworm aggregations at the alpha level (per sample), but higher in mussel beds at the beta level (species turnover among collections). Although both community types were often numerically dominated by the endemic shrimp Alvinocaris muricola, broad differences in the communities hosted by tubeworm aggregations and mussel beds were apparent. The most important factors explaining community similarity within community type were the depth, relative abundance of different mussel species in a bed, and the average size of tubeworms in an aggregation. The high proportion of deep-seep species that were found for the first time in the Gulf of Mexico emphasizes the importance of conservation efforts for these patchy communities.

  6. Environmental effects of submarine seeping natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dando, P. R.; Hovland, M.

    1992-10-01

    It is suspected that most shallow reservoirs of natural gas vent to the surface to some degree. This seeping may be through diffusion of dissolved gas or by a flow of gas bubbles which entrain interstitial water during the rise through the sediments to the surface. Methane bubbles dissolved other gases, notably hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, during their ascent. Under suitable temperature-pressure conditions gas hydrates may be formed close to or at the seabed Black suphide-rich sediments and mats of sulphur oxidizing bacteria are frequently observed close to the sediments surface at seep sites, including a sharp oxic/anoxic boundary. Animal species associated with these gas seeps include both species which obtain nutrition from symbiotic methane-oxidizing bacteria and species with symbolic sulphur-oxidizing bacteria. It is suspected that at some microseepage an enhanced biomass of meiofauna and macrofauna is supported by a food chain based on free-living and symbiotic sulphur-oxidizing and methane-oxidizing bacteria. The most common seep-related features of sea floor topography are local depressions including pockmark craters. Winnowing of the sediment during their creation leads to an accumulation of larger detritis in the depressions. Where the deprssions overlies salt diapirs they may be filled with hypersaline solutions. In some areas dome-shaped features are associated with seepage and these may be colonized by coral reefs. Other reefs, "hard-grounds", columnar and disc-shaped protrusions, all formed of carbonate-cemented sediments, are common on the sea floor in seep areas. Much of the carbonate appears to be derived from carbon dioxide formed as a result of methane oxidation. The resulting hard-bottoms on the sea floor are often colonized by species not found on the neighboring soft-bottoms. As a result seep areas may be characterized by the presence of a rich epifauna.

  7. Methane seep carbonates yield clumped isotope signatures out of equilibrium with formation temperatures.

    PubMed

    Loyd, S J; Sample, J; Tripati, R E; Defliese, W F; Brooks, K; Hovland, M; Torres, M; Marlow, J; Hancock, L G; Martin, R; Lyons, T; Tripati, A E

    2016-01-01

    Methane cold seep systems typically exhibit extensive buildups of authigenic carbonate minerals, resulting from local increases in alkalinity driven by methane oxidation. Here, we demonstrate that modern seep authigenic carbonates exhibit anomalously low clumped isotope values (Δ47), as much as ∼0.2‰ lower than expected values. In modern seeps, this range of disequilibrium translates into apparent temperatures that are always warmer than ambient temperatures, by up to 50 °C. We examine various mechanisms that may induce disequilibrium behaviour in modern seep carbonates, and suggest that the observed values result from several factors including kinetic isotopic effects during methane oxidation, mixing of inorganic carbon pools, pH effects and rapid precipitation. Ancient seep carbonates studied here also exhibit potential disequilibrium signals. Ultimately, these findings indicate the predominance of disequilibrium clumped isotope behaviour in modern cold seep carbonates that must be considered when characterizing environmental conditions in both modern and ancient cold seep settings. PMID:27447820

  8. Methane seep carbonates yield clumped isotope signatures out of equilibrium with formation temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Loyd, S. J.; Sample, J.; Tripati, R. E.; Defliese, W. F.; Brooks, K.; Hovland, M.; Torres, M.; Marlow, J.; Hancock, L. G.; Martin, R.; Lyons, T.; Tripati, A. E.

    2016-01-01

    Methane cold seep systems typically exhibit extensive buildups of authigenic carbonate minerals, resulting from local increases in alkalinity driven by methane oxidation. Here, we demonstrate that modern seep authigenic carbonates exhibit anomalously low clumped isotope values (Δ47), as much as ∼0.2‰ lower than expected values. In modern seeps, this range of disequilibrium translates into apparent temperatures that are always warmer than ambient temperatures, by up to 50 °C. We examine various mechanisms that may induce disequilibrium behaviour in modern seep carbonates, and suggest that the observed values result from several factors including kinetic isotopic effects during methane oxidation, mixing of inorganic carbon pools, pH effects and rapid precipitation. Ancient seep carbonates studied here also exhibit potential disequilibrium signals. Ultimately, these findings indicate the predominance of disequilibrium clumped isotope behaviour in modern cold seep carbonates that must be considered when characterizing environmental conditions in both modern and ancient cold seep settings. PMID:27447820

  9. Methane seep carbonates yield clumped isotope signatures out of equilibrium with formation temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loyd, S. J.; Sample, J.; Tripati, R. E.; Defliese, W. F.; Brooks, K.; Hovland, M.; Torres, M.; Marlow, J.; Hancock, L. G.; Martin, R.; Lyons, T.; Tripati, A. E.

    2016-07-01

    Methane cold seep systems typically exhibit extensive buildups of authigenic carbonate minerals, resulting from local increases in alkalinity driven by methane oxidation. Here, we demonstrate that modern seep authigenic carbonates exhibit anomalously low clumped isotope values (Δ47), as much as ~0.2‰ lower than expected values. In modern seeps, this range of disequilibrium translates into apparent temperatures that are always warmer than ambient temperatures, by up to 50 °C. We examine various mechanisms that may induce disequilibrium behaviour in modern seep carbonates, and suggest that the observed values result from several factors including kinetic isotopic effects during methane oxidation, mixing of inorganic carbon pools, pH effects and rapid precipitation. Ancient seep carbonates studied here also exhibit potential disequilibrium signals. Ultimately, these findings indicate the predominance of disequilibrium clumped isotope behaviour in modern cold seep carbonates that must be considered when characterizing environmental conditions in both modern and ancient cold seep settings.

  10. Global dispersion and local diversification of the methane seep microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Ruff, S. Emil; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Teske, Andreas P.; Knittel, Katrin; Boetius, Antje

    2015-01-01

    Methane seeps are widespread seafloor ecosystems shaped by the emission of gas from seabed reservoirs. The microorganisms inhabiting methane seeps transform the chemical energy in methane to products that sustain rich benthic communities around the gas leaks. Despite the biogeochemical relevance of microbial methane removal at seeps, the global diversity and dispersion of seep microbiota remain unknown. Here we determined the microbial diversity and community structure of 23 globally distributed methane seeps and compared these to the microbial communities of 54 other seafloor ecosystems, including sulfate–methane transition zones, hydrothermal vents, coastal sediments, and deep-sea surface and subsurface sediments. We found that methane seep communities show moderate levels of microbial richness compared with other seafloor ecosystems and harbor distinct bacterial and archaeal taxa with cosmopolitan distribution and key biogeochemical functions. The high relative sequence abundance of ANME (anaerobic methanotrophic archaea), as well as aerobic Methylococcales, sulfate-reducing Desulfobacterales, and sulfide-oxidizing Thiotrichales, matches the most favorable microbial metabolisms at methane seeps in terms of substrate supply and distinguishes the seep microbiome from other seafloor microbiomes. The key functional taxa varied in relative sequence abundance between different seeps due to the environmental factors, sediment depth and seafloor temperature. The degree of endemism of the methane seep microbiome suggests a high local diversification in these heterogeneous but long-lived ecosystems. Our results indicate that the seep microbiome is structured according to metacommunity processes and that few cosmopolitan microbial taxa mediate the bulk of methane oxidation, with global relevance to methane emission in the ocean. PMID:25775520

  11. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in the Concepción Methane Seep Area, Chilean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Linke, P.; Scholz, F.; Schmidt, M.; Liebetrau, V.; Treude, T.

    2012-04-01

    Within subduction zones of active continental margins, large amounts of methane can be mobilized by dewatering processes and transported to the seafloor along migration pathways. A recently discovered seep area located off Concepción (Chile) at water depth between 600 to 1100 mbsl is characterized by active methane vent sites as well as massive carbonates boulders and plates which probably are related to methane seepage in the past. During the SO210 research expedition "Chiflux" (Sept-Oct 2010), sediment from the Concepción Methane Seep Area (CSMA) at the fore arc of the Chilean margin was sampled to study microbial activity related to methane seepage. We sampled surface sediments (0-30cm) from sulfur bacteria mats, as well as clam, pogonophoran, and tubeworm fields with push cores and a TV-guided multicorer system. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulfate reduction rates were determined using ex-situ radioisotope tracer techniques. Additionally, porewater chemistry of retrieved cores as well as isotopic composition and age record of surrounding authigenic carbonates were analyzed. The shallowest sulfate-methane-transition zone (SMTZ) was identified at 4 cm sediment depth hinting to locally strong fluid fluxes. However, a lack of Cl- anomalies in porewater profiles indicates a shallow source of these fluids, which is supported by the biogenic origin of the methane (δ13C -70‰ PDB). Sulfide and alkalinity was relatively high (up to 20 mM and 40 mEq, respectively). Rates of AOM and sulfate reduction within this area reached magnitudes typical for seeps with variation between different habitat types, indicating a diverse methane supply, which is affecting the depths of the SMTZ. Rates were highest at sulfur a bacteria mats (20 mmol m-2 d-1) followed by a large field of dead clams, a pogonophoran field, a black sediment spot, and a carbonate rich clam field. Lowest rates (0.2 mmol m-2 d-1) were measured in close vicinity to these hot spots. Abundant massive

  12. Actinobacterial Diversity in the Sediments of Five Cold Springs on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jian; Li, Xiaoyan; Huang, Liuqin; Jiang, Hongchen

    2015-01-01

    The actinobacterial diversity was investigated in the sediments of five cold springs in Wuli region on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau using 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis. The actinobacterial communities of the studied cold springs were diverse and the obtained actinobacterial operational taxonomic units were classified into 12 actinobacterial orders (e.g., Acidimicrobiales, Corynebacteriales, Gaiellales, Geodermatophilales, Jiangellales, Kineosporiales, Micromonosporales, Micrococcales, Nakamurellales, Propionibacteriales, Pseudonocardiales, Streptomycetales) and unclassified Actinobacteria. The actinobacterial composition varied among the investigated cold springs and were significantly correlated (r = 0.748, P = 0.021) to environmental variables. The actinobacterial communities in the cold springs were more diverse than other cold habitats on the Tibetan Plateau, and their compositions showed unique geographical distribution characteristics. Statistical analyses showed that biogeographical isolation and unique environmental conditions might be major factors influencing actinobacterial distribution among the investigated cold springs. PMID:26648925

  13. Tracking California seafloor seeps with bathymetry, backscatter and ROVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orange, Daniel L.; Yun, Janet; Maher, Norman; Barry, James; Greene, Gary

    2002-11-01

    The California (USA) margin includes two different tectonic regimes: subduction north of the Mendocino Triple Junction and translation south. Both margins include seeps, and their distribution can be inferred using seafloor bathymetry and backscatter as well as subsurface seismic data. Anomalous bathymetric and backscatter features related to fluid expulsion include headless submarine canyons, fault zones, anticlines, pockmarks, and mud volcanoes. Anomalous backscatter may be caused by authigenic carbonate (related to the bacterial oxidation of methane) or cold seep clams—both have an impedance and roughness that may be higher than the surrounding seafloor. Remote-operated vehicle (ROV) dives to such suspect seep sites document the presence of extensive authigenic carbonate, areally restricted cold seep communities, carpets of chemoautotrophic bacteria, and bubbling gas. Our operations in the Monterey Bay, on the translational California margin, and the Eel River basin, on the convergent margin, indicate that bathymetric and backscatter maps of the seafloor, if sufficiently high resolution, can be used to map seep sites, and that the distribution of such seeps can be used to constrain subsurface conduits of fluid flow. ROVs, due to their combination of visualization, propulsion, manipulation, sonar, and navigation, provide an excellent platform for ground-truthing, mapping, and sampling seafloor seeps.

  14. Sedimentation patterns on a cold-water coral mound off Mauritania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisele, Markus; Frank, Norbert; Wienberg, Claudia; Titschack, Jürgen; Mienis, Furu; Beuck, Lydia; Tisnerat-Laborde, Nadine; Hebbeln, Dierk

    2014-01-01

    An unconformity-bound glacial sequence (135 cm thick) of a coral-bearing sediment core collected from the flank of a cold-water coral mound in the Banda Mound Province off Mauritania was analysed. In order to study the relation between coral framework growth and its filling by hemipelagic sediments, U-series dates obtained from the cold-water coral species Lophelia pertusa were compared to 14C dates of planktonic foraminifera of the surrounding matrix sediments. The coral ages, ranging from 45.1 to 32.3 ka BP, exhibit no clear depositional trend, while on the other hand the 14C dates of the matrix sediment provide ages within a much narrower time window of <3000 yrs (34.6-31.8 cal ka BP), corresponding to the latest phase of the coral growth period. In addition, high-resolution computer tomography data revealed a subdivision of the investigated sediment package into three distinct parts, defined by the portion and fragmentation of corals and associated macrofauna as well as in the density of the matrix sediments. Grain size spectra obtained on the matrix sediments show a homogeneous pattern throughout the core sediment package, with minor variations. These features are interpreted as indicators of redeposition. Based on the observed structures and the dating results, the sediments were interpreted as deposits of a mass wasting event, namely a debris flow. During this event, the sediment unit must have been entirely mixed; resulting in averaging of the foraminifera ages from the whole unit and giving randomly distributed coral ages. In this context, for the first time mass wasting is proposed to be a substantial process of mound progradation by exporting material from the mound top to the flanks. Hence, it may not only be an erosional feature but also widening the base of the mound, thus allowing further vertical mound growth.

  15. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T.

    2015-01-01

    We report new examples of Cenozoic cold-seep communities from Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, and Venezuela, and attempt to improve the stratigraphic dating of Cenozoic Caribbean seep communities using strontium isotope stratigraphy. Two seep faunas are distinguished in Barbados: the late Eocene mudstone-hosted ‘Joes River fauna’ consists mainly of large lucinid bivalves and tall abyssochrysoid gastropods, and the early Miocene carbonate-hosted ‘Bath Cliffs fauna’ containing the vesicomyid Pleurophopsis, the mytilid Bathymodiolus and small gastropods. Two new Oligocene seep communities from the Sinú River basin in Colombia consist of lucinid bivalves including Elongatolucina, thyasirid and solemyid bivalves, and Pleurophopsis. A new early Miocene seep community from Cuba includes Pleurophopsis and the large lucinid Meganodontia. Strontium isotope stratigraphy suggests an Eocene age for the Cuban Elmira asphalt mine seep community, making it the oldest in the Caribbean region. A new basal Pliocene seep fauna from the Dominican Republic is characterized by the large lucinid Anodontia (Pegophysema). In Trinidad we distinguish two types of seep faunas: the mudstone-hosted Godineau River fauna consisting mainly of lucinid bivalves, and the limestone-hosted Freeman’s Bay fauna consisting chiefly of Pleurophopsis, Bathymodiolus, and small gastropods; they are all dated as late Miocene. Four new seep communities of Oligocene to Miocene age are reported from Venezuela. They consist mainly of large globular lucinid bivalves including Meganodontia, and moderately sized vesicomyid bivalves. After the late Miocene many large and typical ‘Cenozoic’ lucinid genera disappeared from the Caribbean seeps and are today known only from the central Indo-Pacific Ocean. We speculate that the increasingly oligotrophic conditions in the Caribbean Sea after the closure of the Isthmus of Panama in the Pliocene may have been unfavorable for such large lucinids

  16. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T

    2015-01-01

    We report new examples of Cenozoic cold-seep communities from Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, and Venezuela, and attempt to improve the stratigraphic dating of Cenozoic Caribbean seep communities using strontium isotope stratigraphy. Two seep faunas are distinguished in Barbados: the late Eocene mudstone-hosted 'Joes River fauna' consists mainly of large lucinid bivalves and tall abyssochrysoid gastropods, and the early Miocene carbonate-hosted 'Bath Cliffs fauna' containing the vesicomyid Pleurophopsis, the mytilid Bathymodiolus and small gastropods. Two new Oligocene seep communities from the Sinú River basin in Colombia consist of lucinid bivalves including Elongatolucina, thyasirid and solemyid bivalves, and Pleurophopsis. A new early Miocene seep community from Cuba includes Pleurophopsis and the large lucinid Meganodontia. Strontium isotope stratigraphy suggests an Eocene age for the Cuban Elmira asphalt mine seep community, making it the oldest in the Caribbean region. A new basal Pliocene seep fauna from the Dominican Republic is characterized by the large lucinid Anodontia (Pegophysema). In Trinidad we distinguish two types of seep faunas: the mudstone-hosted Godineau River fauna consisting mainly of lucinid bivalves, and the limestone-hosted Freeman's Bay fauna consisting chiefly of Pleurophopsis, Bathymodiolus, and small gastropods; they are all dated as late Miocene. Four new seep communities of Oligocene to Miocene age are reported from Venezuela. They consist mainly of large globular lucinid bivalves including Meganodontia, and moderately sized vesicomyid bivalves. After the late Miocene many large and typical 'Cenozoic' lucinid genera disappeared from the Caribbean seeps and are today known only from the central Indo-Pacific Ocean. We speculate that the increasingly oligotrophic conditions in the Caribbean Sea after the closure of the Isthmus of Panama in the Pliocene may have been unfavorable for such large lucinids because they

  17. Thermally Released Arsenic in Porewater from Sediments in the Cold Lake Area of Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Javed, Muhammad Babar; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-03-01

    Elevated arsenic (As) in aquifers in close proximity to in situ oil sands extraction in the Cold Lake area, Alberta, Canada is attributed to high temperature steam (~200 °C) injected into oil sands deposits to liquefy bitumen. Heat propagated from hot injection wells alters physicochemical properties of the surrounding sediments and associated porewater. Seven sediments from four different cores drilled up to ~300 m depth collected from different locations in the area were used to study the thermal effect (~200 °C) on As distribution in the sediments and its release into porewater. Sediments were moistened with synthetic aquifer or deionized water according to the moisture regimes present in aquitard, aquifer and fractured zones. Heat application greatly released As in the porewater (500-5200 and 1200-6600 μg L(-1)) from aquifer and fractured sediments, respectively. Mass balance of As chemical fractionation showed that ~89-100% of As in porewater was released from exchangeable and specifically adsorbed As in the sediments. Heat application also altered As distribution in the sediments releasing As from exchange surfaces and amorphous Fe oxides to soluble As fraction. The results provide great insight into As release mechanisms warranting development of strategies to mitigate groundwater As contamination during industrial operation. PMID:26839972

  18. SHEEP CREEK SEEP CHARACTERIZATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The materials presented represent an assessment of site conditions related to the LaCrone property seep, located in the NW 1/4 of Section 34, Township 7E, Range 2N, near Harden City, OK. The primary objective of the study was to identify possible source(s) for the saline water, ...

  19. Microbial characterization of a subzero, hypersaline methane seep in the Canadian High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Niederberger, Thomas D; Perreault, Nancy N; Tille, Stephanie; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Lacrampe-Couloume, Georges; Andersen, Dale; Greer, Charles W; Pollard, Wayne; Whyte, Lyle G

    2010-10-01

    We report the first microbiological characterization of a terrestrial methane seep in a cryo-environment in the form of an Arctic hypersaline (∼24% salinity), subzero (-5 °C), perennial spring, arising through thick permafrost in an area with an average annual air temperature of -15 °C. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries indicated a relatively low diversity of phylotypes within the spring sediment (Shannon index values of 1.65 and 1.39, respectively). Bacterial phylotypes were related to microorganisms such as Loktanella, Gillisia, Halomonas and Marinobacter spp. previously recovered from cold, saline habitats. A proportion of the bacterial phylotypes were cultured, including Marinobacter and Halomonas, with all isolates capable of growth at the in situ temperature (-5 °C). Archaeal phylotypes were related to signatures from hypersaline deep-sea methane-seep sediments and were dominated by the anaerobic methane group 1a (ANME-1a) clade of anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea. CARD-FISH analyses indicated that cells within the spring sediment consisted of ∼84.0% bacterial and 3.8% archaeal cells with ANME-1 cells accounting for most of the archaeal cells. The major gas discharging from the spring was methane (∼50%) with the low CH(4)/C(2+) ratio and hydrogen and carbon isotope signatures consistent with a thermogenic origin of the methane. Overall, this hypersaline, subzero environment supports a viable microbial community capable of activity at in situ temperature and where methane may behave as an energy and carbon source for sustaining anaerobic oxidation of methane-based microbial metabolism. This site also provides a model of how a methane seep can form in a cryo-environment as well as a mechanism for the hypothesized Martian methane plumes. PMID:20445635

  20. Abyssal seep site cementation

    SciTech Connect

    Neumann, A.C.; Paull, C.K.; Commeau, R.; Commeau, J.

    1988-01-01

    The deepest submarine cements known so far occur along the 3,300-m deep base of the Florida escarpment and are associated with methane-bearing brine seeps, which emanate there. These deep Holocene carbonates, which occur as surficial and buried crusts, burrow fillings, and friable horizons, were sampled via ALVIN. The carbonates form irregular halos extending up to 20 m from seeps colonized by chemosynthetic fauna. Mussels, gastropods, and clams, the carbonate components of the community, produce a shell hash that is locally cemented by coarsely crystalline low-Mg calcite. Halos of palisade calcite are reminiscent of ancient examples of marine cements. Also present are carbonate hemipelagics cemented by micrite into crusts and burrow fillings. The degree of cementation varies from pervasive to light. Slabs of cemented crust up to 30 cm thick contrast with typical shallow crusts and exhibit irregular tops and smooth bottoms indicating different chemical gradients and pathways.

  1. Multifrequency geoacoustic imaging of fluid escape structures offshore Costa Rica: Implications for the quantification of seep processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaucke, Ingo; Masson, Douglas G.; Petersen, C. JöRg; Weinrebe, Wilhelm; Ranero, CéSar R.

    2008-04-01

    Quantification of fluid fluxes from cold seeps depends on accurate estimates of the spatial validity of flux measurements. These estimates are strongly influenced by the choice of geoacoustic mapping tools. Multibeam bathymetry, side-scan sonar, and Chirp subbottom profiler data of several mound-shaped cold seeps offshore central Costa Rica show great variety in morphology and structure although the features are only a few kilometers apart. Mound 11 (a 35 m high and 1000 m in diameter structure), situated in the SE of the study area, has an irregular morphology but a smooth surface on side-scan sonar data, while mound 12 (30 m high, 600 m across) is a cone of more regular outline but with a rough surface, and mound Grillo (5 m high, 500 m across) shows the same rough surface as mound 12 but without relief. Video observations and sediment cores indicate that the structures are formed by the precipitation of authigenic carbonates and indications for extensive mud extrusion are absent, except for one possible mudflow at mound 11. Different sonar frequencies result in variable estimates of the extent of these mounds with low frequencies suggesting much wider cold seeps, consequently overestimating fluid fluxes. The absence of mud volcanism compared to accretionary prisms where mud volcanism occurs is related to different tectonic styles: strong sediment overpressure and thrust faulting in typical accretionary prisms can generate mud volcanism, while subduction erosion and normal faulting (extension) of the overriding plate at the Costa Rican margin result in fluid venting driven by only slight fluid overpressures.

  2. Does the "sleeping Dragon" Really Sleep?: the Case for Continuous Long-Term Monitoring at a Gulf of Mexico Cold Seep Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R. M.; Lapham, L.; Farr, N.; Lutken, C.; MacDonald, I. R.; Macelloni, L.; Riedel, M.; Sleeper, K.; Chanton, J.

    2011-12-01

    Continuous porewater monitoring indicates that the methane flux away from exposed hydrate mounds can vary considerably over time. Recently, we retrieved a Pore Fluid Array instrument pack from a hydrate outcrop adjacent to a NEPTUNE Canada observatory node. The sampler was designed to continuously collect and store sediment pore fluids over the course of 9 months. On analysis, we observed a 35mM variation in methane concentrations corresponding with an abrupt shift in current direction at the site. Video and resistivity data have led to previous speculation that hydrate growth and dissolution/dissociation may be seasonally variable. Cumulatively, these findings suggest that the persistence of hydrate outcrops may be extremely dynamic, driven by fluctuations in physical conditions on short time scales. Short-term monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico within Mississippi Canyon lease block 118 (MC118), a known hydrate-bearing site, indicates that physical conditions even at these depths (~540-890m) may be highly variable. Pressure can vary within hours, and recorded temperature changes of ~1.5°C have been associated with passing storms. Moreover, increased particle abundance was observed at the site in 2007 suggesting that organic matter flux to the sediments may vary on the scale of months to years. These inputs have the potential to alter the chemical environment surrounding the hydrate, thereby affecting dissolution rates. Continuous, long-term observations of physical conditions at MC118 could provide information about the potential for natural perturbations to impact hydrate dynamics on the scale of weeks or even days necessary for assessing the long-term persistence of hydrate outcrops. Sleeping Dragon is a massive hydrate outcrop at MC118 that has been monitored since 2006. Three years ago, researchers returning to the site found it visibly diminished relative to previous observations. This apparent shift toward net dissolution of the mound may have been

  3. Methane emission and consumption at a North Sea gas seep (Tommeliten area)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, H.; Elvert, M.; Hovland, M.; Orcutt, B.; Judd, A.; Suck, I.; Gutt, J.; Joye, S.; Damm, E.; Finster, K.; Boetius, A.

    2005-11-01

    The North Sea hosts large coal, oil and gas reservoirs of commercial value. Natural leakage pathways of subsurface gas to the hydrosphere have been recognized during geological surveys (Hovland and Judd, 1988). The Tommeliten seepage area is part of the Greater Ekofisk area, which is situated above the Tommeliten Delta salt diapir in the central North Sea. In this study, we report of an active seep site (56°29.90'N, 2°59.80'E) located in the Tommeliten area, Norwegian Block 1/9, at 75 m water depth. Here, cracks in a buried marl horizon allow methane to migrate into overlying clay-silt and sandy sediments. Hydroacoustic sediment echosounding showed several venting spots coinciding with the apex of marl domes where methane is released into the water column and potentially to the atmosphere during deep mixing situations. In the vicinity of the gas seeps, sea floor observations showed small mats of giant sulphide-oxidizing bacteria above patches of black sediments and carbonate crusts, which are exposed 10 to 50 cm above seafloor forming small reefs. These Methane-Derived Authigenic Carbonates (MDACs) contain 13C-depleted, archaeal lipids indicating previous gas seepage and AOM activity. High amounts of sn2-hydroxyarchaeol relative to archaeol and low abundances of biphytanes in the crusts give evidence that ANaerobic MEthane-oxidising archaea (ANME) of the phylogenetic cluster ANME-2 were the potential mediators of Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane (AOM) at the time of carbonate formation. Small pieces of MDACs were also found subsurface at about 1.7 m sediment depth, associated with the Sulphate-Methane Transition Zone (SMTZ). The SMTZ of Tommeliten is characterized by elevated AOM and Sulphate Reduction (SR) rates, increased concentrations of 13C-depleted tetraether derived biphytanes, and specific bacterial Fatty Acids (FA). Further biomarker and 16S rDNA based analyses give evidence that AOM at the Tommeliten SMTZ is mediated by archaea belonging to the ANME-1b

  4. Ubiquitous Presence and Novel Diversity of Anaerobic Alkane Degraders in Cold Marine Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Gittel, Antje; Donhauser, Johanna; Røy, Hans; Girguis, Peter R.; Jørgensen, Bo B.; Kjeldsen, Kasper U.

    2015-01-01

    Alkanes are major constituents of crude oil and are released to the marine environment by natural seepage and from anthropogenic sources. Due to their chemical inertness, their removal from anoxic marine sediments is primarily controlled by the activity of anaerobic alkane-degrading microorganisms. To facilitate comprehensive cultivation-independent surveys of the diversity and distribution of anaerobic alkane degraders, we designed novel PCR primers that cover all known diversity of the 1-methylalkyl succinate synthase gene (masD/assA), which catalyzes the initial activation of alkanes. We studied masD/assA gene diversity in pristine and seepage-impacted Danish coastal sediments, as well as in sediments and alkane-degrading enrichment cultures from the Middle Valley (MV) hydrothermal vent system in the Pacific Northwest. MasD/assA genes were ubiquitously present, and the primers captured the diversity of both known and previously undiscovered masD/assA gene diversity. Seepage sediments were dominated by a single masD/assA gene cluster, which is presumably indicative of a substrate-adapted community, while pristine sediments harbored a diverse range of masD/assA phylotypes including those present in seepage sediments. This rare biosphere of anaerobic alkane degraders will likely increase in abundance in the event of seepage or accidental oil spillage. Nanomolar concentrations of short-chain alkanes (SCA) were detected in pristine and seepage sediments. Interestingly, anaerobic alkane degraders closely related to strain BuS5, the only SCA degrader in pure culture, were found in mesophilic MV enrichments, but not in cold sediments from Danish waters. We propose that the new masD/assA gene lineages in these sediments represent novel phylotypes that are either fueled by naturally occurring low levels of SCA or that metabolize medium- to long-chain alkanes. Our study highlights that masD/assA genes are a relevant diagnostic marker to identify seepage and microseepage, e

  5. Ubiquitous Presence and Novel Diversity of Anaerobic Alkane Degraders in Cold Marine Sediments.

    PubMed

    Gittel, Antje; Donhauser, Johanna; Røy, Hans; Girguis, Peter R; Jørgensen, Bo B; Kjeldsen, Kasper U

    2015-01-01

    Alkanes are major constituents of crude oil and are released to the marine environment by natural seepage and from anthropogenic sources. Due to their chemical inertness, their removal from anoxic marine sediments is primarily controlled by the activity of anaerobic alkane-degrading microorganisms. To facilitate comprehensive cultivation-independent surveys of the diversity and distribution of anaerobic alkane degraders, we designed novel PCR primers that cover all known diversity of the 1-methylalkyl succinate synthase gene (masD/assA), which catalyzes the initial activation of alkanes. We studied masD/assA gene diversity in pristine and seepage-impacted Danish coastal sediments, as well as in sediments and alkane-degrading enrichment cultures from the Middle Valley (MV) hydrothermal vent system in the Pacific Northwest. MasD/assA genes were ubiquitously present, and the primers captured the diversity of both known and previously undiscovered masD/assA gene diversity. Seepage sediments were dominated by a single masD/assA gene cluster, which is presumably indicative of a substrate-adapted community, while pristine sediments harbored a diverse range of masD/assA phylotypes including those present in seepage sediments. This rare biosphere of anaerobic alkane degraders will likely increase in abundance in the event of seepage or accidental oil spillage. Nanomolar concentrations of short-chain alkanes (SCA) were detected in pristine and seepage sediments. Interestingly, anaerobic alkane degraders closely related to strain BuS5, the only SCA degrader in pure culture, were found in mesophilic MV enrichments, but not in cold sediments from Danish waters. We propose that the new masD/assA gene lineages in these sediments represent novel phylotypes that are either fueled by naturally occurring low levels of SCA or that metabolize medium- to long-chain alkanes. Our study highlights that masD/assA genes are a relevant diagnostic marker to identify seepage and microseepage, e

  6. Low viral predation pressure in cold hypersaline Arctic sediments and limits on lytic replication.

    PubMed

    Colangelo-Lillis, Jesse; Wing, Boswell A; Whyte, Lyle G

    2016-04-01

    Viruses are ubiquitous drivers of microbial ecology and evolution and contribute to biogeochemical cycling. Attention to these attributes has been more substantial for marine viruses than viruses of other environments. Microscopy-based investigation of the viral communities from two cold, hypersaline Arctic springs was undertaken to explore the effects of these conditions on microbe-viral ecology. Sediments and water samples were collected along transects from each spring, from anoxic spring outlets through oxygenated downstream channels. Viral abundance, virus-microbe ratios and modelled virus-microbe contact rates were lower than comparable aqueous and sedimentary environments and most similar to deep subsurface sediments. No individual cell from either spring was visibly infected. Viruses in these springs appear to play a smaller role in controlling microbial populations through lytic activity than in marine water column or surface sedimentary environments. Relief from viral predation indicates the microbial communities are primarily controlled by nutrient limitation. The similarity of these springs to deep subsurface sediments suggests a biogeographic divide in viral replication strategy in marine sediments. PMID:26743115

  7. Methane Seep Carbonates Host Distinct, Diverse, and Dynamic Microbial Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Pasulka, Alexis L.; Marlow, Jeffrey J.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Levin, Lisa A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Marine methane seeps are globally distributed geologic features in which reduced fluids, including methane, are advected upward from the subsurface. As a result of alkalinity generation during sulfate-coupled methane oxidation, authigenic carbonates form slabs, nodules, and extensive pavements. These carbonates shape the landscape within methane seeps, persist long after methane flux is diminished, and in some cases are incorporated into the geologic record. In this study, microbial assemblages from 134 native and experimental samples across 5,500 km, representing a range of habitat substrates (carbonate nodules and slabs, sediment, bottom water, and wood) and seepage conditions (active and low activity), were analyzed to address two fundamental questions of seep microbial ecology: (i) whether carbonates host distinct microbial assemblages and (ii) how sensitive microbial assemblages are to habitat substrate type and temporal shifts in methane seepage flux. Through massively parallel 16S rRNA gene sequencing and statistical analysis, native carbonates are shown to be reservoirs of distinct and highly diverse seep microbial assemblages. Unique coupled transplantation and colonization experiments on the seafloor demonstrated that carbonate-associated microbial assemblages are resilient to seep quiescence and reactive to seep activation over 13 months. Various rates of response to simulated seep quiescence and activation are observed among similar phylogenies (e.g., Chloroflexi operational taxonomic units) and similar metabolisms (e.g., putative S oxidizers), demonstrating the wide range of microbial sensitivity to changes in seepage flux. These results imply that carbonates do not passively record a time-integrated history of seep microorganisms but rather host distinct, diverse, and dynamic microbial assemblages. PMID:26695630

  8. Rare earth elements of seep carbonates: Indication for redox variations and microbiological processes at modern seep sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Lin, Zhijia; Bian, Youyan; Chen, Duofu; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Roberts, Harry H.

    2013-03-01

    At marine seeps, methane is microbially oxidized resulting in the precipitation of carbonates close to the seafloor. Methane oxidation leads to sulfate depletion in sediment pore water, which induces a change in redox conditions. Rare earth element (REE) patterns of authigenic carbonate phases collected from modern seeps of the Gulf of Mexico, the Black Sea, and the Congo Fan were analyzed. Different carbonate minerals including aragonite and calcite with different crystal habits have been selected for analysis. Total REE content (ΣREE) of seep carbonates varies widely, from 0.1 ppm to 42.5 ppm, but a common trend is that the ΣREE in microcrystalline phases is higher than that of the associated later phases including micospar, sparite and blocky cement, suggesting that ΣREE may be a function of diagenesis. The shale-normalized REE patterns of the seep carbonates often show different Ce anomalies even in samples from a specific site, suggesting that the formation conditions of seep carbonates are variable and complex. Overall, our results show that apart from anoxic, oxic conditions are at least temporarily common in seep environments.

  9. Insights into the activity, formation and origin of seep systems on the seafloor in the SW Barents Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangelsdorf, Kai; Nickel, Julia C.; di Primio, Rolando; Kallmeyer, Jens; Horsfield, Brian; Stoddart, Daniel; Brunstad, Harald

    2014-05-01

    The southwestern Loppa High region, being part of the Barents Sea located in the north of Norway, is a promising area for oil and gas exploration since hydrocarbon discoveries have been made in this area in recent time. Additionally, surface features for hydrocarbon seepage, so called "cold seeps" have been detected on the seafloor, comprising extensive pockmark fields, carbonate crusts bearing areas and fault related gas flares. Leaking hydrocarbons are of specific interest since they are potential indicators for hydrocarbon reservoirs in the subsurface and the emitting hydrocarbons such as the greenhouse gas methane can have significant impact on the evolution of global warming when reaching the atmosphere. In this study cold seep systems like huge pockmark areas and carbonate crust sites from the SW Loppa High region were examined in detail, in order to determine the activity, formation and spatial distribution of the different seepage structures as well as the origin and timing of the seeping hydrocarbon fluids. The sample material comprising sediment cores from pockmarks, reference sites and carbonate crust areas as well as carbonate crust samples have been analyzed applying a combined biogeochemical and microbiological approach. In the carbonate crust area diagnostic biomarkers for the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) were detected in the sediments as well as in the corresponding carbonate crusts. Their depth profiles show a distinct interval of higher concentrations, which points towards a shallow AOM zone in the investigated core. The biomarkers were also characterized by very negative carbon isotope signatures, indicating the involvement of the source microorganisms in the process of AOM. These data and active gas bubbling during sampling indicate the presence of methane at the carbonate crust site. In contrast in the pockmark areas active release of gas from the sediment could not be observed, neither in the gas measurement nor in the biogeochemical

  10. Phosphogenesis at a Cretaceous methane seep from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwicker, Jennifer; Steindl, Florian; Smrzka, Daniel; Böttcher, Michael; Gier, Susanne; Kiel, Steffen; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    Phosphate-rich deposits have been a topic of intense research for decades. The process of phosphogenesis is mainly observed in marine sediments of coastal upwelling zones, where organic matter delivers sufficient phosphorus (P) to enable the formation of phosphorites. As P may be cycled within marine sediments on short timescales, only specific geochemical conditions allow for the precipitation and preservation of phosphate minerals. The processes that enable phosphogenesis are still a matter of debate, and not all mechanisms involved are fully understood. We expand the scope of known phosphorous-rich deposits further, with evidence of phosphogenesis at methane seeps. Cretaceous methane-seep limestones from Waipiro Bay, New Zealand, exhibit (1) a matrix composed of cryptocrystalline fluorapatite in between micritic spheroids and coated calcite grains, and (2) phosphatic spheroids within a micritic matrix. Due to the abundant spherical morphologies of phosphate and carbonate grains, and the exceptionally well preserved phosphate matrix, we suggest that their formation was associated with microbial activity. Methane seeps provide ideal conditions for chemosynthetic communities to thrive, and for the growth of bacterial mats at the sediment water interface. To understand these unique deposits, we derive a formation scenario for apatite and spheroidal carbonate, using detailed petrographical observations, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and electron microprobe analyses. Furthermore, it is shown that phase-specific stable carbon and oxygen isotopes confirm that both phosphate and carbonate formation occurred at a methane seep.

  11. Remote detection of hydrocarbon seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Barringer, A. R.

    1985-05-14

    A method of detecting hydrocarbon seeps in a sea or in earth is disclosed. The method involves interrogating aerosols formed above the sea or earth surface with an intense beam of primary light radiation generated aboard an aircraft or other vehicle. The spectral composition of the beam is selected to induce secondary light radiation in certain hydrocarbon materials contained in aerosols generated by hydrocarbon seeps rising to the sea or earth surface. The secondary light radiation is detected aboard the aircraft and subjected to spectral analysis to determine whether the composition of the aerosols is characteristic of aerosols generated by hydrocarbon seeps. Apparatus for implementing the method is also disclosed.

  12. Control of Quaternary sea-level changes on gas seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riboulot, Vincent; Thomas, Yannick; Berné, Serge; Jouet, Gwénaël.; Cattaneo, Antonio

    2014-07-01

    Gas seeping to the seafloor through structures such as pockmarks may contribute significantly to the enrichment of atmospheric greenhouse gases and global warming. Gas seeps in the Gulf of Lions, Western Mediterranean, are cyclical, and pockmark "life" is governed both by sediment accumulation on the continental margin and Quaternary climate changes. Three-dimensional seismic data, correlated to multi-proxy analysis of a deep borehole, have shown that these pockmarks are associated with oblique chimneys. The prograding chimney geometry demonstrates the syn-sedimentary and long-lasting functioning of the gas seeps. Gas chimneys have reworked chronologically constrained stratigraphic units and have functioned episodically, with maximum activity around sea level lowstands. Therefore, we argue that one of the main driving mechanisms responsible for their formation is the variation in hydrostatic pressure driven by relative sea level changes.

  13. Important geological and biological impacts of natural hydrocarbon seeps: Northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, H.H. )

    1993-11-01

    Large volumes of siliciclastic sediments, input especially during periods of lowered sea level, and compensating salt tectonics have produced a continental slope that is arguably the most complex in today's oceans. Faults associated with deformation of salt and shale provide the primary migration routes for hydrocarbon gases, crude oil, brines, and formation fluids to the modern sea floor. Since the mid 1980s, it has become increasingly clearer that this process has an extremely important impact on the geomorphology, sedimentology, and biology of the modern continental slope. Hydrocarbon source, flux rate, and water depth are important determinants of sea-floor response. Under rapid flux conditions mud volcanoes (to 1 km wide and 50 m high) result, and hydrate hills (rich with authigenic carbonates), carbonate lithoherms, and isolated communities of chemosymbiotic organisms with associated hardgrounds represent much slower flux responses. In numerous moderate- to low-flux cases, cold seep products function to support islands of productivity for communities of chemosymbiotic organisms that contribute both directly (shell material) and through chemical byproducts to the production of massive volumes of calcium-magnesium carbonate in the form of hardgrounds, stacked slabs, and discrete moundlike buildups (commonly >20m). Seep-related carbonates of the Gulf of Mexico continental slope, as well those formed through degassing of accretionary prisms along active margins, are now thought to create hardgrounds and discrete buildups that are excellent analogs for many problematic carbonate buildups in ancient deep-water siliciclastic rocks.

  14. The SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme: Current activities and future key tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, A. A.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Decaulne, A.

    2012-04-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists (I.A.G./A.I.G.)SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme was formed in 2005 to address this existing key knowledge gap. SEDIBUD currently has about 400 members worldwide and the Steering Committee of this international programme is composed of ten scientists from eight different countries: Achim A. Beylich (Chair) (Norway), Armelle Decaulne (Secretary) (France), John C. Dixon (USA), Scott F. Lamoureux (Vice-Chair) (Canada), John F. Orwin (Canada), Jan-Christoph Otto (Austria), Irina Overeem (USA), Thorsteinn Saemundsson (Iceland), Jeff Warburton (UK), Zbigniew Zwolinski (Poland). The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Initially formed as European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX (2004-2006), SEDIBUD has further expanded to a global group of researchers with field research sites located in polar and alpine regions in the northern and southern hemisphere. Research carried out at each of the close to 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by programme, logistics and available resources, but typically represent interdisciplinary collaborations of

  15. Interactions between sediment chemistry and frenulate pogonophores (Annelida) in the north-east Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dando, P. R.; Southward, A. J.; Southward, E. C.; Lamont, P.; Harvey, R.

    2008-08-01

    The small frenulate pogonophores (Annelida: Pogonophora a.k.a. Siboglinidae) typically inhabit muddy sediments on the continental slope, although a few species occur near hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. We present data on the distribution and habitat characteristics of several species on the European continental shelf and slope from 48°N to 75°N and show how the animals interact with the chemistry of the sediments. The environments inhabited include: shallow (30 m), organic-rich, fjord sediments; slope sediments (1000-2200 m) and methane seeps at 330 m depth. All the species studied obtain nutrition from endosymbiotic bacteria. They take up reduced sulphur species, or in one case, methane, through the posterior parts of their tubes buried in the anoxic sediment. We conclude that most species undertake sulphide 'mining', a mechanism previously demonstrated in the bivalves Lucinoma borealis and Thyasira sarsi. These pogonophores participate in the sulphur cycle and effectively lower the sulphide content of the sediments. Our results show that the abundance of frenulate pogonophores increases with increasing sedimentation and with decreasing abundance of other benthos, particularly bioturbating organisms. The maximum sustainable carrying capacity of non-seep sediments for frenulate pogonophores is limited by the rate of sulphate reduction.

  16. Estimation of past intermittent methane seep activity using radiocarbon dating of Calyptogena shells in the eastern Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagasaki, K.; Ashi, J.; Yokoyama, Y.; Miyairi, Y.; Kuramoto, S.

    2013-12-01

    Radioisotope carbon dating samples from the deep ocean has always been a difficult phenomenon due to the carbon offset present. This research presents a way of utilizing such method to date shell samples in order to study past fault activities. The research presented will be based on the preliminary data collected thus far. The Nankai and the Tokai regions are common areas for cold seeps, where seepage of hydrogen sulfide and methane rich fluid occurs. These various substances encourage the growth of Calyptogena colonies to flourish at these sites. Cold seeps generally occur at tectonically active continental margins and are mostly ephemeral. This suggests that the cold seep events are possibly influenced by the tectonic activity during the plate divergence. In 1997, a submersible dive by Shinkai 2000 discovered an unusually large Calyptogena colony ranging over 200 m2 off Daini Tenryu Knoll. Majority of the shells were fossilized with few live shells remaining. It is assumed that past tectonic events in the region may have caused a high flux of methane fluid or gas to be released, making it possible to support such a vast scale colony to survive until their eventual death. Previous attempt to reconstruct the cold seep activity history through amino acid racemisation dating revealed two different age grouped shells. Further data using a different method is required to prove its reliability, as acid racemization dating technique can easily be affected by seawater temperature changes and microbial activity. This consequently alters the protein structure of the sample and its overall age. As 14C radioisotope dating is not affected by temperature change, it will provide additional information to the accuracy of the acid racemisation dating of the shell. However, the possibility of contamination is likely due to the shells incorporating older carbon from the sediments during their early stages of growth. The old carbon value can be calculated by subtracting the formerly

  17. Thermophilic nitrate-reducing microorganisms prevent sulfate reduction in cold marine sediments incubated at high temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nepomnyashchaya, Yana; Rezende, Julia; Hubert, Casey

    2014-05-01

    Hydrogen sulphide produced during metabolism of sulphate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) is toxic, corrosive and causes detrimental oil reservoir souring. During secondary oil recovery, injecting oil reservoirs with seawater that is rich in sulphate and that also cools high temperature formations provides favourable growth conditions for SRM. Nitrate addition can prevent metabolism of SRM by stimulating nitrate-reducing microorganisms (NRM). The investigations of thermophilic NRM are needed to develop mechanisms to control the metabolism of SRM in high temperature oil field ecosystems. We therefore established a model system consisting of enrichment cultures of cold surface marine sediments from the Baltic Sea (Aarhus Bay) that were incubated at 60°C. Enrichments contained 25 mM nitrate and 40 mM sulphate as potential electron acceptors, and a mixture of the organic substrates acetate, lactate, propionate, butyrate (5 mM each) and yeast extract (0.01%) as potential carbon sources and electron donors. Slurries were incubated at 60°C both with and without initial pasteurization at 80°C for 2 hours. In the enrichments containing both nitrate and sulphate, the concentration of nitrate decreased indicating metabolic activity of NRM. After a four-hour lag phase the rate of nitrate reduction increased and the concentration of nitrate dropped to zero after 10 hours of incubation. The concentration of nitrite increased as the reduction of nitrate progressed and reached 16.3 mM after 12 hours, before being consumed and falling to 4.4 mM after 19-day of incubation. No evidence for sulphate reduction was observed in these cultures during the 19-day incubation period. In contrast, the concentration of sulphate decreased up to 50% after one week incubation in controls containing only sulphate but no nitrate. Similar sulfate reduction rates were seen in the pasteurized controls suggesting the presence of heat resistant SRM, whereas nitrate reduction rates were lower in the

  18. Constraining silica diagenesis in methane-seep deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrzka, Daniel; Kraemer, Stephan; Zwicker, Jennifer; Birgel, Daniel; Fischer, David; Kasten, Sabine; Goedert, James; Peckmann, Jörn

    2015-04-01

    Silicified fossils and silicified early diagenetic carbonate minerals as well as authigenic silica phases are common in ancient seep limestones. Silicification of calcareous fossils facilitates the preservation of even fine details and is therefore of great interest to paleontologists, permitting a reliable taxonomic identification of the chemosynthesis-based taxa that lived at ancient hydrocarbon seeps. Four methane-seep limestones of Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic age with abundant silica phases are compared in this study; one, an Eocene seep deposit on the north shore of the Columbia River at Knappton, western Washington State, USA, is described for the first time. Its lithology and fabrics, negative δ13Ccarbonate values as low as -27.6‰, and 13C-depleted biomarkers of archaea involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) reveal that the carbonate rock formed at a methane seep. The background sediments of the studied Phanerozoic seep limestones contain abundant siliceous microfossils, radiolarian tests in case of the Late Carboniferous Dwyka Group deposits from Namibia and the Late Triassic Graylock Butte deposits from eastern Oregon (USA), diatom frustules in case of the Eocene Knappton limestone and an Oligocene seep deposit from the Lincoln Creek Formation (western Washington State, USA). These microfossils are regarded as the source of dissolved silica, causing silicification and silica precipitation. All seep limestones used in this study are characterized by very similar paragenetic sequences. Silicified fossils include brachiopods and worm tubes, silica cements include microquartz, fibrous microcrystalline silica, and megaquartz. The silica cements formed after the AOM-derived cements ceased to precipitate but before equant calcite spar formed. Numerical experiments using the computer code PHREEQC were conducted to test the hypothesis that (1) AOM increases the pH of pore waters and that (2) this pH increase subsequently mobilizes biogenic

  19. SEEP II, Shelf Edge Exchange Processes-II: Chlorophyll a fluorescence, temperature, and beam attenuation measurements from moored fluorometers

    SciTech Connect

    Medeiros, W.H.; Wirick, C.D.

    1992-02-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. The first SEEP experiment (SEEP I) was across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 and consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array. The second experiment (SEEP II) focused specifically of the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic Bight off the Delmarva peninsula. This report presents data collected during SEEP II. The SEEP II experiment consisted of a series of ten cruises and mooring arrays as well as over-flights by NASA aircraft. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Hydrographic data were collected on all cruises except SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07 during which benthic processes were investigated. Mooring arrays were deployed during three cruises in the Spring, Summer and Winter of 1988. Brookhaven National Laboratory deployed sixteen fluorometer instrument packages on their moorings with sensors to measure: the in vivo fluorescence of phytoplankton, temperature, subsurface light, dissolved oxygen, and water transparency. Data from the fluorometer, temperature, and transmissometer sensors are reported herein.

  20. Active seepage and water infiltration in Lake Baikal sediments: new thermal data from TTR-Baikal 2014 (Class@Baikal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poort, Jeffrey; Khlystov, Oleg M.; Akhmanov, Grigorii G.; Khabuev, Andrei V.; Belousov, Oleg V.

    2015-04-01

    New thermal data from the sediments of Lake Baikal were collected in July 2014 during the first Training-Through-Research cruise on Lake Baikal (Class@Baikal) organized by MGU and LIN. TTR-Baikal is a comprehensive multidisciplinary program to train students on the field on pertinent scientific topics. The cruise program focused on seafloor sampling, acoustic investigations and heat flow measurements of gas seeps, flares, mud volcanoes, slumps and debris flows, canyons and channels in the coastal proximity. The thermal data were acquired using autonomous temperature sensors on a 3 meter long gravity corer that allowed analysis at the same spot of sediments, pore fluids, hydrates and microbiology. A total of eight thermal measurements were performed in five structures located on the lake floor of the Central Baikal Basin at 333-1530 meter water depths: 3 mud volcanoes (Novosibirsk, Unshuy and Krest), 1 seep site (Seep 13), and one fault outcrop in the Selenga transfer zone. All studied structures show signals of active seepage, water infiltration and/or hydrate dynamics. The strongest thermal gradient has been measured in Seep 13, suggesting a strong upflow of warm fluids similar to the Gorevoy Utes seep. At the three mud volcanoes, hydrate presence have been evidenced and both enhanced and reduced thermal gradients have been observed. This is similar to the hydrate-bearing K-2 mud volcano in Baikal (Poort et al., 2012). A strongly reduced thermal gradient was observed in the Krest mud volcano where the presence of oxidized channels at 30-40 cm under the sediment surface indicate an infiltration of cold lake water. The water infiltration process at hydrate bearing seep sites will be discussed and compared with other seep areas in the world.

  1. Microbial Communities in Methane- and Short Chain Alkane-Rich Hydrothermal Sediments of Guaymas Basin.

    PubMed

    Dowell, Frederick; Cardman, Zena; Dasarathy, Srishti; Kellermann, Matthias Y; Lipp, Julius S; Ruff, S Emil; Biddle, Jennifer F; McKay, Luke J; MacGregor, Barbara J; Lloyd, Karen G; Albert, Daniel B; Mendlovitz, Howard; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Teske, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin, an active spreading center in the Gulf of California (Mexico), are rich in porewater methane, short-chain alkanes, sulfate and sulfide, and provide a model system to explore habitat preferences of microorganisms, including sulfate-dependent, methane- and short chain alkane-oxidizing microbial communities. In this study, hot sediments (above 60°C) covered with sulfur-oxidizing microbial mats surrounding a hydrothermal mound (termed "Mat Mound") were characterized by porewater geochemistry of methane, C2-C6 short-chain alkanes, sulfate, sulfide, sulfate reduction rate measurements, in situ temperature gradients, bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and V6 tag pyrosequencing. The most abundantly detected groups in the Mat mound sediments include anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea of the ANME-1 lineage and its sister clade ANME-1Guaymas, the uncultured bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 within the Deltaproteobacteria and the separately branching HotSeep-1 Group; these uncultured bacteria are candidates for sulfate-reducing alkane oxidation and for sulfate-reducing syntrophy with ANME archaea. The archaeal dataset indicates distinct habitat preferences for ANME-1, ANME-1-Guaymas, and ANME-2 archaea in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. The bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 and HotSeep-1 co-occur with ANME-1 and ANME-1Guaymas in hydrothermally active sediments underneath microbial mats in Guaymas Basin. We propose the working hypothesis that this mixed bacterial and archaeal community catalyzes the oxidation of both methane and short-chain alkanes, and constitutes a microbial community signature that is characteristic for hydrothermal and/or cold seep sediments containing both substrates. PMID:26858698

  2. Microbial Communities in Methane- and Short Chain Alkane-Rich Hydrothermal Sediments of Guaymas Basin

    PubMed Central

    Dowell, Frederick; Cardman, Zena; Dasarathy, Srishti; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Lipp, Julius S.; Ruff, S. Emil; Biddle, Jennifer F.; McKay, Luke J.; MacGregor, Barbara J.; Lloyd, Karen G.; Albert, Daniel B.; Mendlovitz, Howard; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Teske, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin, an active spreading center in the Gulf of California (Mexico), are rich in porewater methane, short-chain alkanes, sulfate and sulfide, and provide a model system to explore habitat preferences of microorganisms, including sulfate-dependent, methane- and short chain alkane-oxidizing microbial communities. In this study, hot sediments (above 60°C) covered with sulfur-oxidizing microbial mats surrounding a hydrothermal mound (termed “Mat Mound”) were characterized by porewater geochemistry of methane, C2–C6 short-chain alkanes, sulfate, sulfide, sulfate reduction rate measurements, in situ temperature gradients, bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and V6 tag pyrosequencing. The most abundantly detected groups in the Mat mound sediments include anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea of the ANME-1 lineage and its sister clade ANME-1Guaymas, the uncultured bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 within the Deltaproteobacteria and the separately branching HotSeep-1 Group; these uncultured bacteria are candidates for sulfate-reducing alkane oxidation and for sulfate-reducing syntrophy with ANME archaea. The archaeal dataset indicates distinct habitat preferences for ANME-1, ANME-1-Guaymas, and ANME-2 archaea in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. The bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 and HotSeep-1 co-occur with ANME-1 and ANME-1Guaymas in hydrothermally active sediments underneath microbial mats in Guaymas Basin. We propose the working hypothesis that this mixed bacterial and archaeal community catalyzes the oxidation of both methane and short-chain alkanes, and constitutes a microbial community signature that is characteristic for hydrothermal and/or cold seep sediments containing both substrates. PMID:26858698

  3. Resistivity structure of the Del Mar methane seep.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kannberg, P. K.; Constable, S.

    2015-12-01

    In March of 2015 we mapped the resistivity structure of the Del Mar methane seep in the inner California borderlands using a deep towed electromagnetic (EM) source and receiver array. Located in the San Diego trough at a depth of 1km, the seep site is on the flank of a mound associated with a transpressive step in the San Diego trough fault. The seep site has previously been associated with seafloor pockmarks, acoustic wipeouts, chemosynthetic communities, and active methane bubble venting. Controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) surveys are performed by deep-towing an EM source that is transmitting a known signal; this signal is detected by towed receivers. This transmitted signal is altered by the electrical properties of the surrounding environment. Compared to seismic methods, EM methods are largely insensitive to free gas, making it an especially useful tool for detecting electrically resistive methane hydrate in areas of active gas venting. We used a 50m dipole transmitting 100A, with 3-axis electric field receivers spaced at 130m, 230m, 330m, and 430m behind the transmitter dipole center. The receiver data are inverted using MARE2DEM, a finite element 2D inversion routine. The inversion results show the background resistivity of the trough sediments to be about 1-2 ohmm, and are largely featureless outside of the seep site. However at the seep site we see a decanter-shaped 100 ohmm resistor whose base is 100m below the seafloor, and 1km wide at its widest. This feature narrows at the top to form a pipe structure about 200m wide that extends to the seafloor. These resistive structures are interpreted to be methane hydrate resulting from methane rich fluid flow along faults associated with the transpressional system that brackets the seep site.

  4. Significance of aragonite cements around Cretaceous marine methane seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Savard, M.M.; Beauchamp, B.; Veizer, J.

    1996-05-01

    Detailed petrography and geochemistry of carbonate precipitates in Cretaceous cold seep mounds from the Canadian Arctic show spectacular early diagenetic products: some still-preserved splays and isopachous layers of fine, acicular aragonite, and large botryoids and crusts of low-magnesium calcite showing unusual entanglement of former fibrous calcite and aragonite. The latter mineralogy is suggested by clear, flat-terminated cathodoluminescence patterns interpreted as ancient crystal growth steps, and the former by rhombohedral terminations. The early cement phases very likely precipitated in cold Arctic water dominated by bicarbonates derived from bacterially oxidized methane: these cements have {delta}{sup 13}C values around {minus}44.0% and {delta}{sup 18}O values of 1.8 to 0.1% PDB. Coexistence of calcite and aragonite early cements in the Cretaceous seep mounds is unusual, because precipitation occurred in high-latitude, cold-water settings, and during a so-called calcite sea mode. As in modern marine hydrocarbon seeps, the chemistry of the Cretaceous system was apparently controlled by chemosynthetic bacterial activity, resulting in high a{sub HCO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}} that promoted precipitation of carbonates. The authors suggest that, locally, fluctuations in a{sub HCO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}}/a{sub SO{sub 4}{sup 2{minus}}} resulted in oscillating aragonite or calcite supersaturation, and hence, controlled the mineralogy of the early precipitates.

  5. Carbonate-cemented hardgrounds: a subtle indicator for seep activity offshore Humboldt Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, R. S.; Bazard, D.

    2007-12-01

    Active hydrocarbon seeps are common in the accretionary prism of the Cascadia subduction zone. In Humboldt County, California, the prism is exposed at the surface as a series of fault-propagated anticlines trending NW-SE. Offshore of the town of Samoa, a northwest-plunging anticline is breached at approximately 40 meters water depth, allowing hydrocarbons to seep out to the seafloor (40.8° N, 124.25° W). The assumed microbial activity at the seep leads to the production of interstitial carbonate cements forming hardgrounds. Cementation is pervasive and blocks eroded from the seep area of the seabed are transported onshore during storm events. Blocks collected from the beach range from 3--40 centimeters across. The sediments of the blocks are palimpsest transgressive deposits composed mostly of immature fine sand, but ranging from very fine to rounded gravels 4 cm diameter. Cementation is not dependent on grain size as all of the sediment sizes are cemented. In rare void spaces, a concentric banding of cements is obvious. The interstitial cements preserve original sedimentary structures including graded beds and high-angle cross-beds. Centimeter-scale subspherical concretions occur on the undersides of some blocks. There is no disruption of bedding in contrast to other seeps where the expulsion of gas can create pockmarks, brecciation, and other disturbances. Unlike the better studied seeps farther south in the Eel River basin, the Samoa seeps do not seem to host a rich chemosynthetic fauna. Whole and (mostly) fragmented shells preserved by the cemented sands represent a typical benthic inner shelf community including Dendraster, Macoma, and Olivella. Burrows preserved in the sands are largely horizontal and 1--2 mm diameter. Seep carbonate-cemented hardgrounds are less well studied then the more obvious meter-scale 'chemoherm' deposits. However, they may be more prevalent in the rock record and provide a new proxy for locating ancient seeps and hydrocarbon

  6. SeepC: Preliminary Characterization of Atlantic Margin Seep Ecosystems from Norfolk Canyon to New England Seep Sites.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, P. J.; Ball, B.; Cole, E.; LaBella, A.; Wagner, J.; Van Dover, C. L.; Skarke, A. D.; Ruppel, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Since 2013, more than 500 seep sites have been located along the continental margin of the eastern US using acoustic signals of gas plumes in the water column. During a July 2015 R/V Atlantis expedition, scientists used the submersible Alvin to explore seep sites at depths of 300 to 1500 m. Study sites ranged from Norfolk Canyon north to New England Seep 2 and included Baltimore, Veatch, and Shallop Canyon sites, as well as new unnamed sites between Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons. Mussels dominated the seep sites (cf ''Bathymodiolus'' childressi) but only small populations (<10s of individuals) were observed at seep sites associated with Shallop Canyon. B. heckerae, the dominant mussel at the Blake Ridge and Cape Fear seep sites (sites associated with salt diapirs off the Carolinas), appear to be present at only one of the Atlantic Margin seeps. At the Norfolk Canyon site, dead B. heckerae shells were observed and live individuals may be within the explored area. The abundant vesicomyid clam of Blake Ridge and Cape Fear sites was absent at the continental margin seeps. Apart from B. childressi, the most conspicuous megafaunal invertebrate species at the newly explored seeps was the red crab, Chaceon sp. and the rock crab, Cancer sp. These crabs are not seep endemic but they were especially abundant at the seeps and were observed to feed and mate on the seep grounds. Molecular tools will be used to explore the genetic structure of mussel populations from Norfolk to New England seeps, and stable isotope methods will be used to test for differences among sites in the source of carbon used by mussels. Alvin video transects and photo-mosaics will be used to collect data on macrofauna associated with seeps and to test the hypothesis that shallow seeps (300-500m) support more diverse assemblages than deep sites (1000-1500m).

  7. New gastropods from deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps off West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warén, Anders; Bouchet, Philippe

    2009-12-01

    Thirteen new species of gastropods are described from the Zairov 1-2 and Biozaire 1-3 cruises to the methane seeps off the Congo River: Patellogastropoda: Paralepetopsis sasakii sp. nov. (Neolepetopsidae); Cocculiniformia: Pyropelta oluae sp. nov. and P. sibuetae sp. nov. (Pyropeltidae); Tentaoculus granulatus sp. nov. (Pseudococculinidae); Neomphalina: Leptogyra costellata sp. nov. (Family uncertain); Vetigastropoda: Puncturella similis sp. nov. (Fissurellidae); Lepetodrilus shannonae sp. nov. (Lepetodrilidae); Caenogastropoda: Provanna reticulata sp. nov. and P. chevalieri sp. nov., Cordesia provannoides gen. et sp. nov. (Provannidae); Phymorhynchus coseli sp. nov. and P. cingulata sp. nov. (Conidae); Heterobranchia: Hyalogyrina rissoella sp. nov. (Hyalogyrinidae). All species except T. granulatus (from a settlement trap) belong to groups known from cold seeps and the entire seep fauna here is new to science. Biogeographical affinity of this gastropod fauna is to the West Atlantic seeps, not to the Mediterranean seeps or Mid-Atlantic vents. Fragments of the autecology of the species are presented. The evolution of the seep gastropod fauna is briefly discussed and a continuous immigration of taxa is supported. The oldest verified occurrences of modern taxa in the seeps date back to Cenomanian (Cretaceous) time, while some taxa seem not to appear until very late Tertiary.

  8. Cloning and characterization of a new cold-active lipase from a deep-sea sediment metagenome.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Jeong Ho; Kim, Jun-Tae; Kim, Yun Jae; Kim, Hyung-Kwoun; Lee, Hyun Sook; Kang, Sung Gyun; Kim, Sang-Jin; Lee, Jung-Hyun

    2009-01-01

    To search for new cold-active lipases, a metagenomic library was constructed using cold-sea sediment samples at Edison Seamount and was screened for lipolytic activities by plating on a tricaprylin medium. Subsequently, a fosmid clone was selected, and the whole sequence of 36 kb insert of the fosmid clone was determined by shotgun sequencing. The sequence analysis revealed the presence of 25 open reading frames (ORF), and ORF20 (EML1) showed similarities to lipases. Phylogenetic analysis of EML1 suggested that the protein belonged to a new family of esterase/lipase together with LipG. The EML1 gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified by metal-chelating chromatography. The optimum activity of the purified EML1 (rEML1) occurred at pH 8.0 and 25 degrees C, respectively, and rEML1 displayed more than 50% activity at 5 degrees C. The activation energy for the hydrolysis of olive oil was determined to be 3.28 kcal/mol, indicating that EML1 is a cold-active lipase. rEML1 preferentially hydrolyzed triacylglycerols acyl-group chains with long chain lengths of > or = 8 carbon atoms and displayed hydrolyzing activities toward various natural oil substrates. rEML1 was resistant to various detergents such as Triton X-100 and Tween 80. This study represents an example which developed a new cold-active lipase from a deep-sea sediment metagenome. PMID:18773201

  9. Antarctic Dry Valley Sediments as Analogs for Microbial Systems in a Cold Mars-Like Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, J. L.; Englert, P.

    2016-05-01

    Investigations of surface and lake bottom sediments in the Antarctic Dry Valleys have revealed microbial life nearly everywhere and some evidence for clays, carbonates, sulfates and other minerals associated with microbes in the sediments.

  10. Bacterioplankton growth and production at the Louisiana hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larock, P. A.; Hyun, J.-H.; Bennison, B. W.

    1994-06-01

    The growth rate and potential production of bacterioplankton in cold hydrocarbon seeps located along the Louisiana coast were determined using a pulse-labeling technique. Surprisingly, community doubling times are on the order of 1.1 h, which compares to laboratory-grown cultures. We also found that there are differences in growth rates on relatively small geographic scales, suggesting the influence of site-specific geological features (e.g., gas hydrate mounds). Proceeding downslope to deeper waters, methane-oxidizing bacteria appeared to play a more significant role in community productivity. These preliminary experiments indicated, quite unexpectedly, that water column microbes are growing at a more rapid rate than in any other marine system so far studied and that methane may serve as a primary nutrient (carbon) source in these seep-associated microbial assemblages.

  11. Hydrocarbon seep-carbonates of a Miocene forearc (East Coast Basin), North Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Kathleen A.; Francis, David A.; Collins, Mike; Gregory, Murray R.; Nelson, Campbell S.; Greinert, Jens; Aharon, Paul

    2008-02-01

    An ancient hydrocarbon seep province of 14 isolated, authigenic carbonate deposits has been identified in fine-grained, deep-marine siliciclastic strata of the Miocene East Coast Basin, North Island, New Zealand. These forearc sediments have been uplifted and complexly deformed into accretionary ridges, adjacent to the still-active Hikurangi convergent margin. Older active and passive margin strata (mid-Cretaceous to Oligocene in age) underlie the Neogene sequence, and contain oil- and gas-prone source rocks. Older Mesozoic meta-sedimentary rocks constitute the backstop against which the current phase of subduction-related sedimentation has accumulated (~ 24 Ma-present). The seep-carbonates (up to 10 m thick, 200 m across) archive methane signatures in their depleted carbon isotopes (to δ13C -51.7‰ PDB), and contain chemosynthesis-based paleocommunities (e.g. worm tubes, bathymodioline mussels, and vesicomyid, lucinid and thyasirid bivalves) typical of other Cenozoic and modern seeps. Northern and southern sites are geographically separated, and exhibit distinct lithological and faunal differences. Structural settings are variable. Seep-associated lithologies also are varied, and suggest carbonate development in sub-seafloor, seafloor and physically reworked (diapiric expansion, gas explosion, gravity slide or debris flow) settings, similar to Italian Apennine seep deposits of overlapping ages. Peculiar attributes of the New Zealand Miocene seep deposits are several, including digitate thrombolites of clotted microbial micrite encased in thick, isopachous horizons and botryoids of aragonite. Seep plumbing features are also well-exposed at some sites, displaying probable gas-explosion breccias filled with aragonite, tubular concretions (fluid conduits), and carbonate-cemented, thin sandstone beds and burrows within otherwise impermeable mudstones. A few seeps were large enough to develop talus-debris piles on their flanks, which were populated by lucinid bivalves

  12. Evidences of the Presence of Methane Seeps in the Colombian Caribbean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gracia, Adriana; Rangel-Buitrago, Nelson; Sellanes, Javier

    2010-05-01

    For the first time in the southern Caribbean Sea Margin of Colombia (between 450 - 700 m deep) we confirm the presence of methane seep communities near the deltas of the Magdalena and Sinu rivers. Some evidences of the occurrence of those communities include: i) bivalves constituents of marine chemosynthesis-based communities, which are indicators of reducing environments as vesicomyid and lucinid bivalves (Vesicomya caribbea, Calyptogena ponderosa, Ectenagena modioliforma, Lucinoma spp. and Graecina colombiensis), together with the rare solemyid clam Acharax caribbaea, ii) other seep-associated fauna such as the trochid snail Cataegis meroglypta, iii) the first report of vestimentiferan tubeworms for the area and, iv) the presence of authigenic carbonates; these constructions form hard substrates colonized by sessile fauna. Additionally, more than 20 species of benthic non-seep fauna were found associated in the area. The collected fauna exhibits an elevated taxonomic similarity to other modern and fossil seep communities from the Caribbean (Barbados Prism, Gulf of Mexico, Cenozoic seep taxa from Barbados, Trinidad and Venezuela). The presence of these chemosymbiotic species seems to be related to mud diapirism activity in the South West of the Colombian coast, this geologic characteristic indicates tectonic and depositional processes associated with the aforementioned deltas. Further research is necessary to establish biological and geological interactions, geochemical and geophysical controls, and organization of cold seeps communities in this unexplored area of the Caribbean. Keywords: Methane, Chemosynthesis-based communities,Bivalves, Mud diapirs, Colombian Caribbean Sea

  13. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes, II: SEEP2-08, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 188

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 (Behrens and Flagg, 1986). Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. This project consisted of a series of ten cruises, a mooring array, and a series of over-flights by NASA aircraft. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the cruises, six of which were primarily mooring deployment or recovery cruises. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Two cruises (SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07) were dedicated to investigating benthic processes and hydrographic data were not collected.

  14. Association of oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities with oil discoveries, upper continental slope, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; MacDonald, I.R.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; Guinasso, N.L. Jr. )

    1993-09-01

    A belt of sea-floor oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities has been mapped across the upper continental slope, offshore Louisiana, at depths ranging from 2000 to 1000 m. Visibly oil-stained sediments and thelmogenic gas hydrates have been recovered using piston cores and research submarines. Biomarker fingerprinting of seep oils suggests an origin from deeply buried Cretaceous or Jurassic source rocks characterized by marine kerogen. The abundance of seeps provides a unique opportunity to define their relationship to oil discoveries including Auger, Cooper, Jolliet, Marquette, Vancouver, Popeye, and Mars. Seeps are preferentially distributed over shallow salt ridges that rim intrasalt basin cooking pots, over salt diapirs, and along shallow fault traces near discoveries. Diagnostic seep-related features on the sea floor include gas hydrate mounds and outcrops, pockmarks and craters, mud volcanoes, and carbonate buildups. Many of the 50 chemosynthetic communities including tube worms, mussels, or clams thus far documented in the gulf occur near discoveries. Recent imagery from orbital platforms, including the space shuttle, shows that natural oil slicks are common on the sea surface in this area. Additional mapping of seep distributions should contribute to better defining of the limits of the deep Gulf play fairway.

  15. Cryptic species of Archinome (Annelida: Amphinomida) from vents and seeps

    PubMed Central

    Borda, Elizabeth; Kudenov, Jerry D.; Chevaldonné, Pierre; Blake, James A.; Desbruyères, Daniel; Fabri, Marie-Claire; Hourdez, Stéphane; Pleijel, Fredrik; Shank, Timothy M.; Wilson, Nerida G.; Schulze, Anja; Rouse, Greg W.

    2013-01-01

    Since its description from the Galapagos Rift in the mid-1980s, Archinome rosacea has been recorded at hydrothermal vents in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Only recently was a second species described from the Pacific Antarctic Ridge. We inferred the identities and evolutionary relationships of Archinome representatives sampled from across the hydrothermal vent range of the genus, which is now extended to cold methane seeps. Species delimitation using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) recovered up to six lineages, whereas concatenated datasets (COI, 16S, 28S and ITS1) supported only four or five of these as clades. Morphological approaches alone were inconclusive to verify the identities of species owing to the lack of discrete diagnostic characters. We recognize five Archinome species, with three that are new to science. The new species, designated based on molecular evidence alone, include: Archinome levinae n. sp., which occurs at both vents and seeps in the east Pacific, Archinome tethyana n. sp., which inhabits Atlantic vents and Archinome jasoni n. sp., also present in the Atlantic, and whose distribution extends to the Indian and southwest Pacific Oceans. Biogeographic connections between vents and seeps are highlighted, as are potential evolutionary links among populations from vent fields located in the east Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and Atlantic and Indian Oceans; the latter presented for the first time. PMID:24026823

  16. Larvae from deep-sea methane seeps disperse in surface waters

    PubMed Central

    Arellano, Shawn M.; Van Gaest, Ahna L.; Johnson, Shannon B.; Vrijenhoek, Robert C.; Young, Craig M.

    2014-01-01

    Many species endemic to deep-sea methane seeps have broad geographical distributions, suggesting that they produce larvae with at least episodic long-distance dispersal. Cold-seep communities on both sides of the Atlantic share species or species complexes, yet larval dispersal across the Atlantic is expected to take prohibitively long at adult depths. Here, we provide direct evidence that the long-lived larvae of two cold-seep molluscs migrate hundreds of metres above the ocean floor, allowing them to take advantage of faster surface currents that may facilitate long-distance dispersal. We collected larvae of the ubiquitous seep mussel “Bathymodiolus” childressi and an associated gastropod, Bathynerita naticoidea, using remote-control plankton nets towed in the euphotic zone of the Gulf of Mexico. The timing of collections suggested that the larvae might disperse in the water column for more than a year, where they feed and grow to more than triple their original sizes. Ontogenetic vertical migration during a long larval life suggests teleplanic dispersal, a plausible explanation for the amphi-Atlantic distribution of “B.” mauritanicus and the broad western Atlantic distribution of B. naticoidea. These are the first empirical data to demonstrate a biological mechanism that might explain the genetic similarities between eastern and western Atlantic seep fauna. PMID:24827437

  17. Gas flux and carbonate occurrence at a shallow seep of thermogenic natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinnaman, Franklin S.; Kimball, Justine B.; Busso, Luis; Birgel, Daniel; Ding, Haibing; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Valentine, David L.

    2010-06-01

    The Coal Oil Point seep field located offshore Santa Barbara, CA, consists of dozens of named seeps, including a peripheral ˜200 m2 area known as Brian Seep, located in 10 m water depth. A single comprehensive survey of gas flux at Brian Seep yielded a methane release rate of ˜450 moles of CH4 per day, originating from 68 persistent gas vents and 23 intermittent vents, with gas flux among persistent vents displaying a log normal frequency distribution. A subsequent series of 33 repeat surveys conducted over a period of 6 months tracked eight persistent vents, and revealed substantial temporal variability in gas venting, with flux from each individual vent varying by more than a factor of 4. During wintertime surveys sediment was largely absent from the site, and carbonate concretions were exposed at the seafloor. The presence of the carbonates was unexpected, as the thermogenic seep gas contains 6.7% CO2, which should act to dissolve carbonates. The average δ13C of the carbonates was -29.2 ± 2.8‰ VPDB, compared to a range of -1.0 to +7.8‰ for CO2 in the seep gas, indicating that CO2 from the seep gas is quantitatively not as important as 13C-depleted bicarbonate derived from methane oxidation. Methane, with a δ13C of approximately -43‰, is oxidized and the resulting inorganic carbon precipitates as high-magnesium calcite and other carbonate minerals. This finding is supported by 13C-depleted biomarkers typically associated with anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and their bacterial syntrophic partners in the carbonates (lipid biomarker δ13C ranged from -84 to -25‰). The inconsistency in δ13C between the carbonates and the seeping CO2 was resolved by discovering pockets of gas trapped near the base of the sediment column with δ13C-CO2 values ranging from -26.9 to -11.6‰. A mechanism of carbonate formation is proposed in which carbonates form near the sediment-bedrock interface during times of sufficient sediment coverage, in which anaerobic oxidation

  18. Iron oxides stimulate sulfate-driven anaerobic methane oxidation in seeps

    PubMed Central

    Sivan, Orit; Antler, Gilad; Turchyn, Alexandra V.; Marlow, Jeffrey J.; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2014-01-01

    Seep sediments are dominated by intensive microbial sulfate reduction coupled to the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Through geochemical measurements of incubation experiments with methane seep sediments collected from Hydrate Ridge, we provide insight into the role of iron oxides in sulfate-driven AOM. Seep sediments incubated with 13C-labeled methane showed co-occurring sulfate reduction, AOM, and methanogenesis. The isotope fractionation factors for sulfur and oxygen isotopes in sulfate were about 40‰ and 22‰, respectively, reinforcing the difference between microbial sulfate reduction in methane seeps versus other sedimentary environments (for example, sulfur isotope fractionation above 60‰ in sulfate reduction coupled to organic carbon oxidation or in diffusive sedimentary sulfate–methane transition zone). The addition of hematite to these microcosm experiments resulted in significant microbial iron reduction as well as enhancing sulfate-driven AOM. The magnitude of the isotope fractionation of sulfur and oxygen isotopes in sulfate from these incubations was lowered by about 50%, indicating the involvement of iron oxides during sulfate reduction in methane seeps. The similar relative change between the oxygen versus sulfur isotopes of sulfate in all experiments (with and without hematite addition) suggests that oxidized forms of iron, naturally present in the sediment incubations, were involved in sulfate reduction, with hematite addition increasing the sulfate recycling or the activity of sulfur-cycling microorganisms by about 40%. These results highlight a role for natural iron oxides during bacterial sulfate reduction in methane seeps not only as nutrient but also as stimulator of sulfur recycling. PMID:25246590

  19. Analysis of past recurrent methane seep activity using radiocarbon dating of Calyptogena spp. shells in the eastern Nankai subduction zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagasaki, Kazuhiro; Ashi, Juichiro; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Miyairi, Yosuke; Kuramoto, Shin'ichi

    2016-04-01

    Fault activity around subduction zones have been widely studied and monitored through drilling of oceanic plates, studying piston cores, use of monitoring equipment or through visual analysis using submersible vehicles. Yet the understanding of how small scale faults near shallow regions of the seabed behave in relation to cold seep vent activity is still vague, especially determining when they were active in the past. In tectonically active margins such as the Nankai and Tokai regions off Japan, dense methane hydrate reservoirs have been identified. Cold seeps releasing methane rich hydrocarbon fluids are common here, supporting a wide variety of biological species that hold a symbiotic relationship with the chemosynthetic bacteria. In 1998 a large dead Calyptogena spp. bivalve colony (over 400m2 in size) was discovered off Tokai, Japan. It is unusual for a bivalve colony this size to mostly be dead, raising questions as to what caused their death. In this study we document the radiocarbon 14C age of these bivalve shells to attempt analysing the possible methane seep bahaviour in the past. The measured 14C age ranged in three age groups of 1396±36-1448±34, 1912±31-1938±35 and 5975±34. The 14C age of shells that were alive upon collection and the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in seawater show little difference (˜100 14C age) indicating that shells are not heavily affected by the dead carbon effect from cold seeps that is of biogenic or thermogenic origin, which can make the age to become considerably older than the actual age. Thus the novel calibration model used was based on the seawater DIC collected above the Calyptogena spp. colony site (1133±31), which resulted in the dead shells to be clustered around 1900 Cal AD. This proves to be interesting as the predicted epicenter of the Ansei-Tokai earthquake (M 8.4) in 1854 is extremely close to the bibalve colony site. Using geological data obtained using visual analysis and sub-seafloor structural

  20. Using mobile, internet connected deep sea crawlers for spatial and temporal analysis of cold seep ecosystems and the collection of real-time classroom data for extreme environment education.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purser, Autun; Kwasnitschka, Tom; Duda, Alexander; Schwendner, Jakob; Bamberg, Marlene; Sohl, Frank; Doya, Carol; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Best, Mairi; Llovet, Neus Campanya I.; Scherwath, Martin; Thomsen, Laurenz

    2015-04-01

    Cabled internet and power connectivity with the deep sea allow instruments to operate in the deep sea at higher temporal resolutions than was possible historically, with the reliance on battery life and data storage capacities. In addition to the increase in sensor temporal frequency, cabled infrastructures now allow remote access to and control of mobile platforms on the seafloor. Jacobs University Bremen, in combination with collaborators from the Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments (ROBEX) project, CSIC Barcelona and Ocean Networks Canada have been operating tracked deep sea crawler vehicles at ~890 m depth at the dynamic Barkley Canyon methane seep site, Pacific Canada during the last ~4 years. The vehicle has been able to explore an area of ~50 m radius, allowing repeated visits to numerous microhabitats. Mounting a range of sensors, including temperature, pressure, conductivity, fluorescence, turbidity, flow and methane concentration sensors, as well as various camera systems a large dataset has been compiled. Several methane pockmarks are present in the survey area, and geological, biological and oceanographic changes have been monitored over a range of timescales. Several publications have been produced, and in this presentation we introduce further data currently under analysis. Cabled internet connectivity further allows mobile platforms to be used directly in education. As part of the ROBEX project, researchers and students from both terrestrial and planetary sciences are using the crawler in an ongoing study project. Students are introduced to statistical methods from both fields during the course and in later stages they can plan their own research using the in-situ crawler, and follow the progress of their investigations live, then analyse the collected data using the techniques introduced during the course. Cabled infrastructures offer a unique facility for spatial investigation of extreme ecosystems over time, and for the 'hands on

  1. BET surface area distributions in polar stream sediments: Implications for silicate weathering in a cold-arid environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marra, Kristen R.; Elwood Madden, Megan E; Soreghan, Gerilyn S.; Hall, Brenda L

    2014-01-01

    BET surface area values are critical for quantifying the amount of potentially reactive sediments available for chemical weathering and ultimately, prediction of silicate weathering fluxes. BET surface area values of fine-grained (<62.5 μm) sediment from the hyporheic zone of polar glacial streams in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (Wright and Taylor Valleys) exhibit a wide range (2.5–70.6 m2/g) of surface area values. Samples from one (Delta Stream, Taylor Valley) of the four sampled stream transects exhibit high values (up to 70.6 m2/g), which greatly exceed surface area values from three temperate proglacial streams (0.3–12.1 m2/g). Only Clark stream in Wright Valley exhibits a robust trend with distance, wherein surface area systematically decreases (and particle size increases) in the mud fraction downstream, interpreted to reflect rapid dissolution processes in the weathering environment. The remaining transects exhibit a range in variability in surface area distributions along the length of the channel, likely related to variations in eolian input to exposed channel beds, adjacent snow drifts, and to glacier surfaces, where dust is trapped and subsequently liberated during summer melting. Additionally, variations in stream discharge rate, which mobilizes sediment in pulses and influences water:rock ratios, the origin and nature of the underlying drift material, and the contribution of organic acids may play significant roles in the production and mobilization of high-surface area sediment. This study highlights the presence of sediments with high surface area in cold-based glacier systems, which influences models of chemical denudation rates and the impact of glacial systems on the global carbon cycle.

  2. Ecology of Two Terrestrial Serpentinizing Fluid Seeps Offers a Glimpse of the Deep Biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woycheese, K. M.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Cardace, D.; Gulecal, Y.; Arcilla, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps provide convenient access to the deep subsurface biosphere community. Serpentinization--the hydrous alteration of ultramafics--produces hydrogen and possibly methane gas. Chemotrophic microbes utilize these compounds, and may form the base of the deep subsurface trophic web. Here, the geochemical environment of two terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps was characterized and community composition was determined. The first site is Yanartas in the Tekirova ophiolite complex (Turkey). Yanartas hosts gas and fluid seeps, the latter of which may be ephemeral. The second site is Manleluag Spring in the Zambales ophiolite range (the Philippines). In Manleluag, the fluid seeps result in the formation of large carbonate terraces. Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the small-subunit rDNA (universal primers) from Yanartas and Manleluag indicates distinct microbial communities, with some shared taxa. Methanogenic archaeal taxa were present in sediments collected from both seeps. The most dominant taxa were the Methanobacteria, with Manleluag sediments having a ten-fold higher abundance than Yanartas. The nitrifying archaea, Thaumarchaeota, were also found at both sites. Bacterial populations at both locations are diverse and primarily composed of heterotrophic taxa. At Yanartas, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria taxa are dominant (~60% total), while at Manleluag these taxa are only 10-20% of the total reads. Clostridia and Bacteriodetes comprise nearly 35% of the sequence data at the source seep in Manleluag; at Yanartas these taxa make up ~10% of sequence data. Down an outflow channel at Manleluag, the population shifted to Thermales and Hydrogenophilales (~50% of sequence data). At Yanartas Alpha- and Betaproteobacterial taxa continued to dominate downstream, but in one outflow channel an orange, mineralized biofilm is evident. This pigmentation may result from the carotenoid-producing Rhodobacteraceae, which were only found in the orange

  3. Methane and sulfur cycling in terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, L.; Wang, P.; Cheng, T.; Ling, Y.; Sun, C.; Chen, Y.; Wang, C.; Wu, J.; Chu, P.

    2009-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps are ubiquitous in marine and terrestrial environments where gaseous fluids with unconsolidated, fine-grained sediments ascend along fractures prior to being discharged on seafloor or land surface. Complex geological and microbial processes are involved in the sequestration of photosynthetically produced organic carbon into deep subsurface environments and cycling of methane and carbon dioxide back to atmosphere. Extensive studies conducted on marine settings indicate that geochemical stratification in sediment porewater is dynamically regulated by various microbial processes. Whether the experience accumulated over the decadal observation on marine settings could be applied to shallow and deep biosphere beneath terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps remains poorly constrained. To address the issue about how carbon and sulfur compounds were cycled in terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps, this presentation summarized the results obtained from samples collected in two sites (one at 60C and the other at 27C) of southwestern Taiwan. These sites characterized by continuously voluminous discharge of hydrocarbons were considered as the model analogs that would provide better constraints on microbial processes at ambient and high temperatures in seep-related subsurface environments. Our findings indicated that sulfate reduction and methanogenesis were active at temperatures up to 80C. Sulfate reducing and fermentative populations shifted substantially upon incubations at different temperatures, suggesting that degradation of organic carbon could only proceed with collaborative interactions among metabolisms. The proliferation of mesophilic sulfate reduction in sulfate-deprived terrestrial environments appears to be best facilitated by atmospheric oxidation of pyrite inherited in sediments. Sulfate produced in surface environments migrated downward to fuel sulfate reduction coupled to anaerobic methane oxidation near the sulfate-to-methane transition. Of various

  4. The I.A.G. / A.I.G. SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme: Current and future activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, Achim A.; Lamoureux, Scott; Decaulne, Armelle

    2013-04-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated geomorphic process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists (I.A.G. / A.I.G. ) SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme was formed in 2005 to address this existing key knowledge gap. SEDIBUD currently has about 400 members worldwide and the Steering Committee of this international programme is composed of ten scientists from eight different countries: Achim A. Beylich (Chair) (Norway), Armelle Decaulne (Secretary) (France), John C. Dixon (USA), Scott F. Lamoureux (Vice-Chair) (Canada), John F. Orwin (Canada), Jan-Christoph Otto (Austria), Irina Overeem (USA), Thorsteinn Sæmundsson (Iceland), Jeff Warburton (UK) and Zbigniew Zwolinski (Poland). The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Initially formed as European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX (Sedimentary Source-to-Sink Fluxes in Cold Environments) (2004 - ), SEDIBUD has further expanded to a global group of researchers with field research sites located in polar and alpine regions in the northern and southern hemisphere. Research carried out at each of the close to 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by programme, logistics and available

  5. Shelf edge exchange processes-II SEEP2-06, R/V Endeavor cruise 186

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984. Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the six cruises.

  6. Tectono-Stratigraphy of the Seeps on the Guaymas Basin at the Sonora Margin, Gulf of California, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa Albornoz, L. J.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Escobar-Briones, E. G.; Godfroy, A.; Fouquet, Y.

    2013-05-01

    Recently several hydrothermal and gas seeps systems has been located precisely at the Sonora margin within the Guaymas Basin (GB), Gulf of California. Since late 1970's , several marine studies had reported two main hydrothermal systems in the Guaymas Rift (one at the Northern Rift, and other at the Southern Rift) and a cold seeps system at the Satellite Basin in the Sonora-margin lower edge. During the campaign BIG10, onboard the IFREMER vessel, NO L'Atalante, the EM122 echo-sounder log more than 30,000 water column acoustic images, which allows us to create a data base of the bubble plumes active systems on the northern part of the GB and the Sonora Margin. These plumes are the expression on the water column of an active seeps site during the cruise time. These images document the presence of the cold seep activity around the scarp of the Guaymas Transform Fault (GTF), and within the Satellite Basin. Few active plumes are first located off-axis, on both sides of the Northern Rift. Although it is not observed any plume within NR. Sub-bottom profiles and bathymetric data logged during the campaign GUAYRIV10, onboard the UNAM vessel, BO EL PUMA, are analyzed to determine the shallow tectonic-stratigraphy of GB near the Sonora Margin. We analyze 17 high-resolution seismic profiles (13 with NE-SW strike and 3 with NW-SE strike). From this data set, the continental shelf stratigraphy at the Sonora Margin tilts toward the slope, showing 3 low angle unconformities due to tectonics and slope angle changes. The strata slope changes angle up to 60°. However, the constant trans-tension shear along the GTF causes gravitation instability on the slope, generating a few submarine landslides close to the Northern Rift, and the rotation of blocks, tilting toward the shelf. To the north, the GTF splits in two fault escarpments, forming a narrow pull-apart basin, known as Satellite Basin. The submarine canyon from the Sonora River flows through the Satellite Basin into the GB

  7. Dimorphism in methane seep-dwelling ecotypes of the largest known bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Jake V; Salman, Verena; Rouse, Gregory W; Schulz-Vogt, Heide N; Levin, Lisa A; Orphan, Victoria J

    2011-01-01

    We present evidence for a dimorphic life cycle in the vacuolate sulfide-oxidizing bacteria that appears to involve the attachment of a spherical Thiomargarita-like cell to the exteriors of invertebrate integuments and other benthic substrates at methane seeps. The attached cell elongates to produce a stalk-like form before budding off spherical daughter cells resembling free-living Thiomargarita that are abundant in surrounding sulfidic seep sediments. The relationship between the attached parent cell and free-living daughter cell is reminiscent of the dimorphic life modes of the prosthecate Alphaproteobacteria, but on a grand scale, with individual elongate cells reaching nearly a millimeter in length. Abundant growth of attached Thiomargarita-like bacteria on the integuments of gastropods and other seep fauna provides not only a novel ecological niche for these giant bacteria, but also for animals that may benefit from epibiont colonization. PMID:21697959

  8. Transport and transfer rates in the waters of the continental shelf and slope: SEEP

    SciTech Connect

    Biscaye, P.E.; Anderson, R.F.

    1990-12-01

    At this writing we are in the midst of the first year of the present funding period. This period was approved as a three year grant, but, with the planned restructuring of the DOE regional programs, it will undoubtedly be less than that. With the exception of some relatively minor participation in connection with the French ECOMARGE programme and finishing of some work on SEEP-1 samples, all of our efforts in the current year have been in the preparation and analysis of samples and data obtained during the SEEP-2 field experiment in 1988--1989. We review briefly the progress on these sediment trap samples and transmissometer data at present and the status anticipated at the end of the current funding year with respect to the several kinds of analyses planned for them. We also briefly review the status of the last of the work on SEEP-1 samples and data, and of our participation in other collaborative projects. 14 refs.

  9. Warm Times and Cold Times During the Last 2000 Years Reconstructed from Icelandic Lake and Marine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geirsdottir, A.; Miller, G. H.; Flowers, G. E.; Olafsdottir, S.; Olafsdottir, K. B.; Axford, Y.

    2007-12-01

    Holocene lacustrine records and their synchronization with available marine records from around Iceland provide compelling evidence for the alternating influences of the warm Irminger Current, and the cold East Greenland Current during Holocene times. Here we present data for the past 2000 years from two lakes in Iceland; Haukadalsvatn, a non-glacial lake in northwest Iceland; and Hvitarvatn, a glacial lake east of Langjokull glacier in Central Iceland. Physical and chemical proxies (magnetic susceptibility, TOC, biogenic silica, sedimentation rate, ice rafted debris) in the lake sediments were analyzed at subdecadal resolution. Overall, the interval from 2000 to 800 BP is characterized by a covariant pattern of biogenic silica and TOC, indicating relatively stable climate. A moderate Medieval Warm Period shows up in our records between 1200 and 800 BP. About 800 BP, a sharp increase in TOC coincides with a decline in biogenic silica. This decoupled pattern between the two proxies intensifies after 600 BP, ending about 100 BP. The δ13C of total organic carbon in Haukadalsvatn sediments during this interval (800 to 100 BP) indicates that carbon in the lake sediments was dominantly from terrestrial sources, most likely brought into the lake by soil erosion during storm events. The timing of most intense soil erosion coincides with historically documented sea-ice intensity off the coast of Iceland during this time. The ice rafted debris record from Hvitarvatn indicates that the height of the Little Ice Age (LIA) was between 1750 - 1850 AD. Glacier simulations constrained by our proxies from Hvitarvatn suggest Langjokull attained its maximum LIA volume around 1840 AD with a second advance around 1890 AD; the magnitude of glacier advance suggests summer temperature depression 1-2°C lower than present. The two outlet glaciers terminating in Hvitarvatn, Nordurjokull and Sudurjokull, advanced slowly into the lake, occupying their maximum lake area (4-6 km2) in the late

  10. Mineralization of vestimentiferan tubes at methane seeps on the Congo deep-sea fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, Antonie; Little, Crispin T. S.; Sahling, Heiko; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Himmler, Tobias; Peckmann, Jörn

    2009-02-01

    Vestimentiferan tube worms are prominent members of modern methane seep communities and are totally reliant as adults on symbiotic sulphide-oxidizing bacteria for their nutrition. The sulphide is produced in the sediment by a biochemical reaction called the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). A well-studied species from the Gulf of Mexico shows that seep vestimentiferans 'mine' sulphide from the sediment using root-like, thin walled, permeable posterior tube extensions, which can also be used to pump sulphate and possibly hydrogen ions from the soft tissue back into the sediment to increase the local rate of AOM. The 'root-balls' of exhumed seep vestimentiferans are intimately associated with carbonate nodules, which are a result of AOM. We have studied vestimentiferan specimens and associated carbonates from seeps at the Kouilou pockmark field on the Congo deep-sea fan and find that some of the posterior 'root' tubes of living specimens are enclosed with carbonate indurated sediment and other, empty examples are partially or completely replaced by the carbonate mineral aragonite. This replacement occurs from the outside of the tube wall inwards and leaves fine-scale relict textures of the original organic tube wall. The process of mineralization is unknown, but is likely a result of post-mortem microbial decay of the tube wall proteins by microorganisms or the precipitation from locally high flux of AOM derived carbonate ions. The aragonite-replaced tubes from the Kouilou pockmarks show similar features to carbonate tubes in ancient seep deposits and make it more likely that many of these fossil tubes are those of vestimentiferans. These observations have implications for the supposed origination of this group, based on molecular divergence estimates.

  11. Microbial sulfate reduction rates and sulfur and oxygen isotope fractionations at oil and gas seeps in deepwater Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Aharon, P.; Fu, B.

    2000-01-01

    sulfate reduction and anaerobic methane oxidation are the dominant microbial processes occurring in hydrate-bearing sediments at bathyal depths in the Gulf of Mexico where crude oil and methane are advecting through fault conduits to the seafloor. The oil and gas seeps are typically overlain by chemosynthetic communities consisting of thiotrophic bacterial mats (Beggiatoa spp.) and methanotrophic mussels (Bathymodiolus spp.), respectively. Cores were recovered with a manned submersible from fine-grained sediments containing dispersed gas hydrates at the threshold of stability. Estimated sulfate reduction rates are variable but generally are substantially higher in crude oil seeps (up to 50 times) and methane seeps (up to 600 times) relative to a non-seep reference sediment. Sulfur and oxygen isotope fractionation factors are highest in the reference sediment but substantially lower in the seep sediments and are controlled primarily by kinetic factors related to sulfate reduction rates. Kinetic effects also control the {delta}{sup 34}S/{delta}{sup 18}O ratios such that slow microbial rates yield low ratios whereas faster rates yield progressively higher ratios. The seep data contradict previous claims that {delta}{sup 34}S/{delta}{sup 18}O ratios are diagnostic of either microbial sulfate reduction at a fixed {delta}{sup 34}S/{delta}{sup 18}O ratio of 4/1 or lower ratios caused by SO{sub 4}-H{sub 2}O equilibration at ambient temperatures. The new results offer a better understanding of methane removal via anaerobic oxidation in the sulfate reduction zone of hydrate-bearing sediments and have significant implications regarding the origin and geochemical history of sedimentary sulfate reconstructed on the basis of {delta}{sup 34}S and {delta}{sup 18}O compositions.

  12. Methane-Stimulated Benthic Marine Nitrogen Fixation at Deep-Sea Methane Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekas, A. E.; Orphan, V.

    2011-12-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (the conversion of N2 to NH3) is a critical process in the oceans, counteracting the production of N2 gas by dissimilatory bacterial metabolisms and providing a source of bioavailable nitrogen to many nitrogen-limited ecosystems. Although current measurements of N2 production and consumption in the oceans indicate that the nitrogen cycle is not balanced, recent findings on the limits of nitrogen fixation suggest that the perceived imbalance is an artifact of an incomplete assessment of marine diazotrophy. One currently poorly studied and potentially underappreciated habitat for diazotrophic organisms is the sediments of the deep-sea. In the present study we investigate the distribution and magnitude of benthic marine diazotrophy at several active deep-sea methane seeps (Mound 12, Costa Rica; Eel River Basin, CA, USA; Hydrate Ridge, OR, USA; and Monterey Canyon, CA, USA). Using 15N2 and 15NH4 sediment incubation experiments followed by single-cell (FISH-NanoSIMS) and bulk isotopic analysis (EA-IRMS), we observed total protein synthesis (15N uptake from 15NH4) and nitrogen fixation (15N update from 15N2). The highest rates of nitrogen fixation observed in the methane seep sediment incubation experiments were over an order of magnitude greater than those previously published from non-seep deep-sea sediments (Hartwig and Stanley, Deep-Sea Research, 1978, 25:411-417). However, methane seep diazotrophy appears to be highly spatially variable, with sediments exhibiting no nitrogen fixation originating only centimeters away from sediments actively incorporating 15N from 15N2. The greatest spatial variability in diazotrophy was observed with depth in the sediment, and corresponded to steep gradients in sulfate and methane. The maximum rates of nitrogen fixation were observed within the methane-sulfate transition zone, where organisms mediating the anaerobic oxidation of methane are typically in high abundance. Additionally, incubation

  13. Spatial Structure and Activity of Sedimentary Microbial Communities Underlying a Beggiatoa spp. Mat in a Gulf of Mexico Hydrocarbon Seep

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Karen G.; Albert, Daniel B.; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Pizarro, Oscar; Teske, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    Background Subsurface fluids from deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps undergo methane- and sulfur-cycling microbial transformations near the sediment surface. Hydrocarbon seep habitats are naturally patchy, with a mosaic of active seep sediments and non-seep sediments. Microbial community shifts and changing activity patterns on small spatial scales from seep to non-seep sediment remain to be examined in a comprehensive habitat study. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted a transect of biogeochemical measurements and gene expression related to methane- and sulfur-cycling at different sediment depths across a broad Beggiatoa spp. mat at Mississippi Canyon 118 (MC118) in the Gulf of Mexico. High process rates within the mat (∼400 cm and ∼10 cm from the mat's edge) contrasted with sharply diminished activity at ∼50 cm outside the mat, as shown by sulfate and methane concentration profiles, radiotracer rates of sulfate reduction and methane oxidation, and stable carbon isotopes. Likewise, 16S ribosomal rRNA, dsrAB (dissimilatory sulfite reductase) and mcrA (methyl coenzyme M reductase) mRNA transcripts of sulfate-reducing bacteria (Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae) and methane-cycling archaea (ANME-1 and ANME-2) were prevalent at the sediment surface under the mat and at its edge. Outside the mat at the surface, 16S rRNA sequences indicated mostly aerobes commonly found in seawater. The seep-related communities persisted at 12–20 cm depth inside and outside the mat. 16S rRNA transcripts and V6-tags reveal that bacterial and archaeal diversity underneath the mat are similar to each other, in contrast to oxic or microoxic habitats that have higher bacterial diversity. Conclusions/Significance The visual patchiness of microbial mats reflects sharp discontinuities in microbial community structure and activity over sub-meter spatial scales; these discontinuities have to be taken into account in geochemical and microbiological inventories of seep environments. In

  14. Biogeochemical processes and microbial diversity of the Gullfaks and Tommeliten methane seeps (Northern North Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegener, G.; Shovitri, M.; Knittel, K.; Niemann, H.; Hovland, M.; Boetius, A.

    2008-02-01

    Fluid-flow related seafloor structures and gas seeps were detected in the North Sea in the 1970s and 1980s by acoustic sub-bottom profiling and oil rig surveys. A variety of features like pockmarks, gas vents and authigenic carbonate cements were found to be associated with sites of oil and gas exploration, indicating a link between these surface structures and underlying deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we performed acoustic surveys and videographic observation at Gullfaks, Holene Trench, Tommeliten, Witch's Hole and the giant pockmarks of the UK Block 15/25, to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cold seep ecosystems in the Northern North Sea. The most active gas seep sites, i.e. Gullfaks and Tommeliten, were investigated in detail: at both sites gas bubbles escaped continuously from small holes in the seabed to the water column, reaching the upper mixed surface layer as indicated by acoustic images of the gas flares. At Gullfaks a 0.1 km2 large gas emission site was detected on a flat sandy seabed, covered by filamentous sulfide-oxidizing bacteria. At Tommeliten we found a patchy distribution of small bacterial mats indicating sites of gas seepage. Here the seafloor consists of layers of sand and stiff clay, and gas emission was observed from small cracks in the seafloor. At both sites the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction is the major source of sulfide. Molecular analyses targeting specific lipid biomarkers and 16 S rRNA gene sequences identified an active microbial community dominated by sulfide-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as methanotrophic bacteria and archaea. Carbon isotope values of specific microbial fatty acids and alcohols were highly depleted, indicating that the microbial community at both gas seeps incorporates methane or its metabolites. The microbial community composition of both shallow seeps show high similarities to the deep water seeps associated with gas hydrates

  15. Pore Water Composition at Gas Seeps in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Understanding Flow Regime and Chemical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, L. A.; Dugan, B.; Dickens, G. R.

    2006-12-01

    Cold seeps on continental slopes discharge large quantities of gas and fluid to the ocean. The expulsion rate and composition of seep fluids can vary significantly in space and time, which can affect local biological and chemical processes. The factors influencing variability in flux and composition, however, are not fully documented. For this study, we have collected and analyzed pore fluids at four sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Atwater Valley (AV), Mississippi Canyon (MC), Garden Banks (GB) and Keathley Canyon (KC). The magnitude of fluid discharge is likely highest at the GB and MC sites where active mounds are comparatively larger in size, high heat flux exists across the mounds, and recent mudflow deposits flank the mounds. The AV site samples characterize a smaller mound that may still be growing. Fluxes at the KC site are diffusive and methane-charged, but no mound exists. A comparison of the major ions and trace metals in the pore fluids shows large differences in composition. Pore water barium (Ba2+) values demonstrate the most variation between sites. The maximum Ba2+ values at the GB and MC sites reach 7,800 μM and 12,000 μM. This is two orders of magnitude greater than maximum values at the AV (176 μM) and KC (31 μM) sites. Other components, such as salinity, calcium (Ca2+) and strontium (Sr2+) also record differences in composition between the sites. Pore water salinity values measured at the MC and GB sites reach a maximum of 130 ‰, which is at least 2 times greater than values measured at the AV and KC sites. Differences in pore water Ca2+ and Sr2+ are similar to salinity; in general, maximum values are two times greater at GB and MC than at Atwater Valley and Keathley Canyon. The observed differences in pore water composition are the result of the seep fluid source and the chemical processes (e.g., dissolution and precipitation) that occur during migration. Fluid sources and reaction pathways will be evaluated by integrating pore water

  16. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes, II: SEEP2-08, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 188. Hydrographic data report

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 (Behrens and Flagg, 1986). Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. This project consisted of a series of ten cruises, a mooring array, and a series of over-flights by NASA aircraft. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the cruises, six of which were primarily mooring deployment or recovery cruises. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Two cruises (SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07) were dedicated to investigating benthic processes and hydrographic data were not collected.

  17. Morphology of Florida Escarpment chemosynthetic brine seep community sites

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Spiess, F.N.; Curray, J.R.; Twitchell, D.

    1988-01-01

    The Florida Escarpment near 26/sup 0/N was surveyed with Deep-Two, Seabeam, and GLORIA in the area where chemosynthetic communities were discovered via ALVIN in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Seabeam bathymetry and GLORIA images indicate that the escarpment is a generally straight cliff with average slopes of about 45/sup 0/ from 2,200 to more than 3,250 m. The escarpment's face is cut by 2-km wide box canyons whose head walls are as steep as the intervening escarpment's face. The shapes of these canyons are difficult to explain with the traditional models of canyon formation. Sidescan sonar images and bottom photographs reveal that the escarpment's face is composed of a series of long, straight bedding-plane terraces which are truncated along nearly vertical orthogonal joints. Exposure of these truncated strata indicate the face of the escarpment is eroded. The contact between the basal escarpment and the flat-lying abyssal hemipelagic sediments is abrupt. Apparently, chemosynthetic communities line extensive sections of the escarpment base where reduced brines seep out into the sea floor. The morphology suggests joints and deep seeps are controlling factors in scarp retreat.

  18. Biogenic methane from abyssal brine seeps at the base of the Florida escarpment

    SciTech Connect

    Martens, C.S.; Chanton, J.P.; Paull, C.K. )

    1991-08-01

    Dissolved methane is present at concentrations exceeding 10mM in the pore waters of sulfidic, salt-brine-enriched sediments underlying chemosynthetic communities at the base of the Florida escarpment. Light hydrocarbon samples were obtained from brine seep sediments by means of an in situ probe and push cores deployed by the deep submersible Alvin. Pore-water methane had a {delta}{sup 13}C value of {minus}83.3 {plus minus}7.0 (Peedee belemnite, N = 17), contained < 1.3% modern carbon, and was enriched over ethane concentrations by 10{sup 3} to 10{sup 5}; these results all indicate a fossil, biogenic carbon source within the Florida platform. Methane-rich brine fluids arriving at seep sites are depleted in dissolved sulfate, although they have been diluted twenty-fold with sulfate-rich seawater during transit. It appears that sulfate reduction and methano-genesis are important processes within the platform.

  19. Influence of parasitism in controlling the health, reproduction and PAH body burden of petroleum seep mussels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Eric N.; Barber, Robert D.; Kennicutt, Mahlon C., II; Ford, Susan E.

    1999-12-01

    Petroleum seep mussels are often exposed to high hydrocarbon concentrations in their natural habitat and, thus, offer the opportunity to examine the relationship between parasitism, disease and contaminant exposure under natural conditions. This is the first report on the histopathology of cold-seep mussels. Seep mussels were collected by submersible from four primary sites in the Gulf of Mexico, lease blocks Green Canyon (GC) 184, GC-234, GC-233, and Garden Banks 425 in 550-650 m water depth. Five types of parasites were identified in section: (1) gill "rosettes" of unknown affinity associated with the gill bacteriocytes, (2) gill "inclusions" similar to chlamydia/rickettsia inclusions, (3) extracellular gill ciliates, (4) body "inclusions" that also resemble chlamydial/rickettsial inclusions, and (5) Bucephalus-like trematodes. Comparison to shallow-water mytilids demonstrates that: (1) both have similar parasite faunas; (2) seep mytilids are relatively heavily parasitized; and (3) infection intensities are extremely high in comparison to shallow-water mytilids for Bucephalus and chlamydia/rickettsia. In this study, the lowest prevalence for chlamydia/rickettsia was 67%. Prevalences of 100% were recorded from three populations. Bucephalus prevalence was ⩾70% in three of 10 populations. The parasite fauna was highly variable between populations. Some important parasites were not observed in some primary sites. Even within primary sites, some important parasites were not observed in some populations. Bucephalus may exert a significant influence on seep mussel population dynamics. Forty percent of the populations in this study are severely reproductively compromised by Bucephalus infection. Only a fraction of petroleum seep mussel populations are maintaining the entire beta-level population structure of this species. Variation in two parasites, gill ciliates and Bucephalus, explained most of the variation in PAH body burden between mussel populations. PAHs are

  20. Norwegian Research Strategies on gas Hydrates and Natural Seeps in the Nordic Seas Region (GANS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjelstuen, B. O.; Sejrup, H. P.; Andreassen, K.; Boe, R.; Eldholm, O.; Hovland, M.; Knies, J.; Kvalstad, T.; Kvamme, B.; Mienert, J.; Pedersen, R. B.

    2004-12-01

    Continuous leakage of methane to the oceans from hydrate reservoirs that partially are exposed towards the seafloor is an increasing international concern, as the greenhouse gas methane is significantly more (c. 20 times) aggressive than CO2. In Norway we have research groups with interest and experience on natural seeps and gas hydrates. These features, and processes related to them, are challenging research targets which demands inputs from different fields if important research breakthroughs shall be made. In February 2004 deep sea researchers from the University of Tromso, Geological Survey of Norway, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Statoil and University of Bergen met to obtain an overview of the research effort in the fields of natural seeps and gas hydrates in Norway and to discuss national coordination, research strategies, research infrastructure and international co-operation. The following research strategies were agreed upon: i) Strengthen multidisciplinary research on deep sea systems, ii) develop a strategy for research on natural seeps and gas hydrates, iii) contribute in national coordination of research on natural seeps and gas hydrates, iv) Coordinate the use and development of research infrastructures important for research on natural seeps and gas hydrates, and v) contribute in the international evaluations of strategies for hydrate reservoir exploitation. Proposed research tasks for GANS include: i) Gas and gas hydrate formation processes and conditions for transport, accumulation, preservation and dissociation in sediments, ii) Effect of gas hydrate on physical properties of sediment, iii) Detection and quantification of in situ gas hydrate content and distribution pattern, iv) Effect of dissociation on soil properties, v) Gas hydrates as an energy resource, vi) Rapid methane release and climate change, and vii) Geohazard and environmental impact.

  1. Hydrocarbon gas seeps of the convergent Hikurangi margin, North Island, New Zealand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.; Pettinga, J.R.

    1989-01-01

    Two hydrocarbon gas seeps, located about 13 km apart, have distinctive molecular and isotopic compositions. These seeps occur within separate tectonic melange units of narrow parallel trending and structurally complex zones with incorporated upper Cretaceous and Palaeogene passive continental margin deposits which are now compressively deformed and imbricated along the convergent Hikurangi margin of North Island, New Zealand. At Brookby Station within the Coastal High, the seeping hydrocarbon gas has a methane/ethane ratio of 48 and ??13C and ??D values of methane of -45.7 and -188???, respectively (relative to the PDB and SMOW standards). Within the complex core of the Elsthorpe Anticline at Campbell Station seep, gas has a methane/ethane ratio of about 12000, and the methane has ??13C and ??D values of -37.4 and -170???, respectively. The source of the gases cannot be positively identified, but the gases probably originate from the thermal decomposition of organic matter in tectonically disturbed upper Cretaceous and/or lower Tertiary sedimentary rocks of passive margin affinity and reach the surface by migration along thrust faults associated with tectonic melange. The geochemical differences between the two gases may result from differences in burial depths of similar source sediment. ?? 1989.

  2. Introduction: Deep-Sea Hot Springs and Cold Seeps.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gross, M. Grant

    1984-01-01

    Describes: (1) various research studies of the mid-ocean ridges; (2) how money and facilities are made available for these studies; and (3) the prospect for future ocean floor studies. Indicates that a presidential proclamation (Exclusive Economic Zone) has extended United States boundaries 200 nautical miles seaward, adding new exploration sites.…

  3. Shelf edge exchange processes-II SEEP2-06, R/V Endeavor cruise 186. Hydrographic data report

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984. Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the six cruises.

  4. Field Exploration of Methane Seep Near Atqasuk

    SciTech Connect

    Katey Walter, Dennis Witmer, Gwen Holdmann

    2008-12-31

    Methane (CH{sub 4}) in natural gas is a major energy source in the U.S., and is used extensively on Alaska's North Slope, including the oilfields in Prudhoe Bay, the community of Barrow, and the National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska (NPRA). Smaller villages, however, are dependent on imported diesel fuel for both power and heating, resulting in some of the highest energy costs in the U.S. and crippling local economies. Numerous CH{sub 4} gas seeps have been observed on wetlands near Atqasuk, Alaska (in the NPRA), and initial measurements have indicated flow rates of 3,000-5,000 ft{sup 3} day{sup -1} (60-100 kg CH{sub 4} day{sup -1}). Gas samples collected in 1996 indicated biogenic origin, although more recent sampling indicated a mixture of biogenic and thermogenic gas. In this study, we (1) quantified the amount of CH{sub 4} generated by several seeps and evaluated their potential use as an unconventional gas source for the village of Atqasuk; (2) collected gas and analyzed its composition from multiple seeps several miles apart to see if the source is the same, or if gas is being generated locally from isolated biogenic sources; and (3) assessed the potential magnitude of natural CH{sub 4} gas seeps for future use in climate change modeling.

  5. Weathering and the fallout plume of heavy oil from strong petroleum seeps near Coal Oil Point, CA.

    PubMed

    Farwell, Christopher; Reddy, Christopher M; Peacock, Emily; Nelson, Robert K; Washburn, Libe; Valentine, David L

    2009-05-15

    The Coal Oil Point (COP) seeps offshore Goleta, CA, are estimated to release 20-25 tons of oil daily, providing an ideal natural laboratory to investigate the fate of oil in the coastal ocean. To address the long-term fate of COP oil, we collected 15 sediment samples down current from the seeps and quantified petroleum content and individual biomarkers using traditional and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography. Similarities in the distributions of hopane biomarkers link the oil in the sediments to fresh seep oil (n=5) and underlying reservoirs (n=3), although sediment oil is heavily weathered. The spatial distribution of oil forms a plume along the continental shelf that we suggest represents a chronic fallout pattern for heavy oil from the persistent surface slicks; average surface currents appear to modulate the distribution of the fallout over a period of 0.4-5 days. The extent of hydrocarbon loss is consistent for all sediments, indicating a common limit to oil weathering with contributions from evaporation, biodegradation, and dissolution. Considering the amount of oil and quantity of sediment impacted, we estimate a sediment oil burden of 0.3 x 10(12) to 3 x 10(12) g in the study area, equivalent to 8-80 spills of the Exxon Valdez accident of 1989. PMID:19544852

  6. Biogeochemical processes and microbial diversity of the Gullfaks and Tommeliten methane seeps (Northern North Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegener, G.; Shovitri, M.; Knittel, K.; Niemann, H.; Hovland, M.; Boetius, A.

    2008-08-01

    Fluid flow related seafloor structures and gas seeps were detected in the North Sea in the 1970s and 1980s by acoustic sub-bottom profiling and oil rig surveys. A variety of features like pockmarks, gas vents and authigenic carbonate cements were found to be associated with sites of oil and gas exploration, indicating a link between these surface structures and the underlying, deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we performed acoustic surveys and videographic observation at Gullfaks, Holene Trench, Tommeliten, Witch's Hole and the giant pockmarks of the UK Block 15/25, to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cold seep ecosystems in the Northern North Sea. The most active gas seep sites, i.e. Gullfaks and Tommeliten, were investigated in detail. At both sites, gas bubbles escaped continuously from small holes in the seabed to the water column, reaching the upper mixed surface layer. At Gullfaks a gas emitting, flat area of 0.1 km2 of sandy seabed covered by filamentous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria was detected. At Tommeliten, we found a patchy distribution of small bacterial mats indicating sites of gas seepage. Below the patches the seafloor consisted of sand from which gas emissions were observed. At both sites, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction (SR) was the major source of sulfide. Molecular analyses targeting specific lipid biomarkers and 16S rRNA gene sequences identified an active microbial community dominated by sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as methanotrophic bacteria and archaea. Stable carbon isotope values of specific, microbial fatty acids and alcohols from both sites were highly depleted in the heavy isotope 13C, indicating that the microbial community incorporates methane or its metabolites. The microbial community composition of both shallow seeps shows high similarities to the deep water seeps associated with gas hydrates such as Hydrate Ridge or the Eel River basin.

  7. Cold Desert Fluvial Sedimentation and Buried Ice Geology: Garwood Valley (Antarctica) as a Guide to Martian Delta and Gully Geomorphology, Mineralogy, and Biomarker Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, J.; Fountain, A. G.; O'Connor, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    The cold, polar desert environmental conditions of the McMurdo Dry Valleys serve as an analog for the physical processes thought to affect Mars. Garwood Valley, one of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (78°S, 164°E) has a mean annual temperature of ~255 K and experiences <50 mm of water-equivalent snowfall per year (most of which sublimates). During the last glacial maximum, the West Antarctic/Ross Ice Sheet ice filled and blocked the lower end of Garwood Valley. Despite surface temperatures ~12 K lower than at present (243 K average), alpine glacier and ice sheet melt in Garwood Valley was sufficient to form a lake in the resulting closed basin, which partly filled with a thick (>8 m) stack of deltaic and lacustrine sediments. In places, the delta sediments overlie remnants of the valley-filling ice plug. The delta sediments are found in a complex composed of three stepped surfaces that suggest sequential lowering of the lake level via incision through the valley-filling ice plug. The delta stratigraphy has been exposed by erosion, driven by massive ice melt and lateral erosion by the modern Garwood River (an alpine glacier-fed river that flows during austral summer). Garwood delta sediments contain LGM-aged algal mats, carbonates, phyllosilicates, and diatomaceous biomarker beds. Fossil algal mats are largely concentrated in delta foreset/topset beds, while carbonate and diatom-bearing layers are common in bottomsets. Mean annual temperatures have remained well below 273 K in Garwood Valley since delta emplacement, resulting in preservation of the lake deposits as ice-cemented permafrost. Where the active layer (summer thawing) intersects massive buried ice deposits, deltaic and glacial drift sediments are mobilized to form gullies, providing modern examples of cold desert gully formation processes in a high-purity ice substrate. These Antarctic conditions are strongly analogous to the climate and hydrological environment anticipated at Holden and Eberswalde craters

  8. Establishing criteria to distinguish oil- from methane-seep carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrzka, Daniel; Zwicker, Jennifer; Bach, Wolfgang; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps harbor biota depending on chemosynthesis that is preserved in the fossil record as part of authigenic carbonate deposits. Seep environments are characterized by emanation of methane-rich fluids, yet an increasing number of seeps have been discovered in recent years that are typified by seepage of crude oil. Fluid composition is an important factor governing the composition and diversity of seep-dwelling fauna at modern seeps, as different species have differing tolerances and requirements with regard to the emitted compounds. In this regard, oil seepage has a profound influence on the diversity and distribution of seep-endemic macrofauna and microbial communities. Despite current efforts to better understand oil seeps and their ecology, the confident identification of oil seeps in the geologic record still poses fundamental problems. We present new geochemical data that allow for a more reliable identification of oil seepage during the Phanerozoic. Clear, fibrous aragonite cements of modern and putative ancient oil- and methane-seep deposits were analyzed for their rare earth element (REE) content. This cement is common in seep limestones and represents a product of the anaerobic oxidation of methane and higher hydrocarbons. Clear aragonite is particularly pure and virtually free of detrital inclusions, making it an ideal mineral for comparative geochemical analyses. Its REE composition reveals that oil-seep deposits are significantly enriched in REEs compared to methane- seep deposits. Furthermore, bulk total organic carbon (TOC) measurements suggest that modern and putative ancient oil seep carbonates are enriched in organic carbon. The combined data serve as a promising tool for identifying oil seepage in the fossil record. Our results provide the foundation for an improved understanding of the adaptation of chemosynthesis-based life to oil as an energy source.

  9. [Determination of total mercury in water samples, sediments and solids in suspension in aquatic systems by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry].

    PubMed

    Vieira, J L; Passarelli, M M

    1996-06-01

    The use of metallic mercury in the extraction and concentration of gold causes the discarding of tons of this metal in the environment, leading to a considerable increase in the natural levels of the same and the contamination of the surrounding areas. Thus it is extremely important to monitor the presence of this metal in various sectors of the environment with a view aiming to preventing human exposure to excessive concentrations which can result in serious episodes of mercury poisoning. It is also important to estimate the possibility of river sediments becoming potential sources of contamination of human beings. The determination of total mercury was undertaken by using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. River waters, as well as sediments and suspended solids were used as samples for the standardization of the analytical procedure. Later on, this method was tested on samples originating in gold mining areas for the purpose of assessing its validity. PMID:9110471

  10. Jurassic hydrocarbon seep-carbonates in the High Atlas Basin (Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodin, Stephane; Kothe, Tim; Rose, Johannes; Krencker, Francois-Nicolas; Kabiri, Lahcen

    2015-04-01

    In the central High Atlas Basin of Morocco, the occurrence of Jurassic hydrocarbon seeps is observed in two distinct horizons: (1) the uppermost Polymorphum ammonite zone (Lower Toarcian) and (2) the Sauzei (eq. Propiquans) ammonite zone (Lower Bajocian). The Toarcian seep-carbonates are made of 5 - 6cm in diameter, half-spherical concretions that surround two vertical and closely spaced tubes, parallel to each other. Each tube is less than 1cm in diameter and filled with late diagenetic cements. The tubes are interpreted as burrow trace fossil. The concretions are embedded within an organic-matter rich interval and resemble to the Tisoa siphonalis concretions described in the upper Pliensbachian of Western Europe. Carbon isotope values decrease from the rim to the center of the concretion (from 1 to -7 per mil) whereas oxygen isotope values remain stable around -7 per mil. The C-isotope values of the concretion rim are similar to the bulk carbon isotope values of the embedding rocks. The most negative C-isotope values indicate that the carbon source of the carbonate precipitated in the centre of the concretion is likely sourced from the organoclastic sulfate reduction zone. The Bajocian seep-carbonates are observed within the dark calcareous mudstone of the Sauzei zone. One peculiarly well-exposed seep system shows the presence of a plumbing system leading to a 20cm thick carbonate crust showing the occasional occurrence of chimney structures on its upper part. The high abundance of serpulids clusters within the carbonate crust shows that it was precipitated at the water-sediment interface. The pipe structures of the plumbing system are composed of an external micritic rim enclosing a central tube that can be up to 12cm large. A complex, multi-phased infilling is observed in the inner part of the pipe and separated from the rim by a millimetric pyritized crust. Carbon isotope values are comprised between -20 per mil and -8 per mil for the micritic rim, whereas the

  11. Aragonite precipitation induced by anaerobic oxidation of methane in shallow-water seeps, Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiedling, Johanna; Kuhfuß, Hanna; Lott, Christian; Böttcher, Michael E.; Lichtschlag, Anna; Wegener, Gunter; Deusner, Christian; Bach, Wolfgang; Weber, Miriam

    2014-05-01

    In the shallow-water organic-poor silicate sands off the West coast of Elba, Italy, we found aragonite precipitates within a radius of 10 cm to methane seeps in 20 - 40 cm sediment depth. The shallow seep site was mapped by SCUBA diving and in an area of 100 m2 nine gas emission spots were observed. The gas emission, containing 73 Vol. % methane, was measured to be 0.72 L m-2 d-1. Findings of anaerobic methane oxidizing archea (ANME 1, 2, 2a, 2b) and sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as in vitro rate measurements of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with a maximum of 67 ± 7 nmol CH4 cm-3 d-1 led to the hypothesis that carbonate precipitation is coupled to these microbial processes. Porewater analysis showed elevated concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (up to 15.5 mmol L-1) and hydrogen sulfide (up to 6.6 mmol L-1). The presence of bicarbonate and the ambient temperature (14 - 25 ° C) facilitate the precipitation of needle-shaped aragonite. Oxygen isotope compositions of the mineral are consistent with the ambient temperatures and may indicate a recent diagenetic formation of this mineral. Although precipitation should not be preserved in these sandy permeable sediments, influenced by seasonality, wave action, and fluid flow, we found up to 10-50 cm3 irregular pieces of cemented sand grains, very often encrusting dead seagrass rhizomes. Commonly known carbonate structures, especially from the deep sea, are chimneys, mounds, hardgrounds and nodules. These structures are well known from seep and vent sites, usually showing the same range of stable carbon isotope fractionation as the escaping methane. The permeable sediment at the Elba site possibly allows the gas to frequently change its pathway to the sediment surface and thus precipitation can occure at several spots and more irregular than in the reported sites. Preservation of precipitates, however, requires sufficient authigenic aragonite to be formed before fluid dynamics changed the

  12. The sediment composition and predictive mapping of facies on the Propeller Mound—A cold-water coral mound (Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heindel, Katrin; Titschack, Jürgen; Dorschel, Boris; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.; Freiwald, André

    2010-10-01

    Here we provide a detailed qualitative and quantitative insight on recent sediment composition and facies distribution of a cold-water coral (CWC) mound using the example of the Propeller Mound on the Irish continental margin (Hovland Mound Province, Porcupine Seabight). Five facies types on Propeller Mound are defined: (1) living coral framework, (2) coral rubble, (3) dropstone, (4) hardground, representing the on-mound facies, and (5) hemipelagic sediment facies, which describes the off-mound area. This facies definition is based on already published video-data recorded by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), photo-data of gravity cores, box cores, and dredges from sediment surfaces as well as on the composition of the sediment fraction coarser than 125 μm, which has been analyzed on five selected box cores. Sediment compositions of the living coral framework and coral rubble facies are rather similar. Both sediment types are mainly produced by corals (34 and 35 wt%, respectively), planktonic foraminifers (22 and 29 wt%, respectively), benthic foraminifers (both 7 wt%), and molluscs (21 and 10 wt%, respectively), whereas the living coral framework characteristically features additional brachiopods (6 wt%). Hardgrounds are well-lithified coral rudstones rich in coral fragments (>30 surf%), foraminifers, echinoderms, and bivalves. The dropstone facies and the hemipelagic sediment typically carry high amounts of lithoclasts (36 and 53 wt%, respectively) and planktonic foraminifers (35 and 32 wt%, respectively); however, their faunal diversity is low compared with the coral-dominated facies (12 and <2 wt% coral fragments, 7 and 6 wt% benthic foraminifers, and 4 and 0 wt% balanids). Using the maximum likelihood algorithm within ArcGIS 9.2, spatial prediction maps of the previously described mound facies are calculated over Propeller Mound and are based on mound morphology parameters, ground-truthed with the sedimentary and faunal information from box cores, photographs

  13. Identification of Methane, Ethane, and Propane Oxidizing Bacteria at Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps by Stable Isotope Probing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, M.; Ding, H.; Friedrich, M. W.; Valentine, D. L.

    2008-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps emit substantial amounts of oil and natural gas into the marine environment, where they can be oxidized by microorganisms in the sediment and water column. Here, we used stable isotope probing of DNA and lipid biomarkers to identify the microorganisms actively consuming 13C-labeled natural gas compounds in seep sediment samples. Surface sediment was collected from the Coal Oil Point seep field (offshore Santa Barbara, California, USA) and incubated under aerobic conditions with 13C labeled methane, ethane, or propane for up to 37 days, with sediment sub-samples taken at 3-4 intermediate time points. DNA was extracted from sediment and separated by CsCl density gradient centrifugation. The microbial community in each fraction was profiled using T-RFLP, and bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed from un-incubated hydrocarbon seep sediment and selected isotopically 'heavy' (13C) and 'light' (12C) gradient fractions from ethane incubations. All clone libraries were dominated by sequences from members of the family Rhodobacteraceae (>25% of sequences) and a diverse group of Gammaproteobacteria, including sequences related to those of methylotrophs and to those of bacteria known to consume the longer-chain alkanes present in crude oil. After 14 days of incubation, the relative abundance of Rhodobacteraceae was higher in 'heavy' fractions from the 13C-ethane incubation than in 'light' fractions, suggesting incorporation of 13C label. The Rhodobacteraceae are very diverse metabolically, but have often been observed in abundance in oil contaminated seawater. Several members of this group have been shown to oxidize longer chain alkanes (C10 or higher), but none have been previously linked to the consumption of the gaseous alkanes ethane, propane, and butane. For the final time point, 13C content of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) were also analyzed, showing substantial incorporation of 13C over 37 days. In the methane incubation

  14. Feeder pipes - Expression of the uppermost plumbing system in Oligocene methane-seep deposits, Washington State, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwicker, Jennifer; Smrzka, Daniel; Gier, Susanne; Goedert, James; Peckmann, Jörn

    2015-04-01

    Plumbing systems of methane seeps are complex pathways along which hydrocarbon-rich fluids migrate upward through the marine sedimentary column. Seeps commonly maintain fluid flow over long periods of time, providing a steady supply of methane to shallow sediments and the water column. At greater sediment depths, fluid transport is facilitated by faults and conduits, which enable migration of fluids sourced from deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In the shallow subsurface, plumbing systems may become successively filled by authigenic carbonates, whose precipitation is partly triggered by sulfate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). To expand our knowledge on the uppermost plumbing network of ancient seeps, this work investigates fluid conduits that were mineralized by a distinct succession of authigenic mineral phases. These mineralized conduits, which occur below an Oligocene seep deposit from the Lincoln Creek Formation in Washington State, are referred to as feeder pipes here. The concentrically-zoned feeder pipes are 2 to 3 cm in diameter. The mineral phase that formed first is matrix micrite, making up the outer part of pipes. Toward the center, pipes are filled by clear, banded and botryoidal aragonite cement, which is intercalated with yellow aragonite cement. The innermost portions of the pipes are filled by either pipe-filling micrite, microspar, or brownish calcite. The observed paragenetic sequences archive successions of various biogeochemical processes. Clear and yellow aragonite cements are distinctly depleted in 13C, revealing that their formation was favored by AOM. In contrast, later phases including brownish calcite and microspar are enriched in 13C, pointing to precipitation from fluids affected by methanogenesis. Their size and morphology indicate that the pipes were initially produced by seep-dwelling, burrowing organisms. The burrows subsequently acted as preferred fluid pathways. Possible producers of the burrows include various bivalves

  15. Escarpment seeps at Shiprock, New Mexico. [Risk posed by seep water to human health and the environment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-01

    The purpose of this report is to characterize the seeps identified at the Shiprock UMTRA Project site during the prelicensing custodial care inspection conducted in December of 1990, to evaluate the relationship between the seeps and uranium processing activities or tailings disposal, and to evaluate the risk posed by the seep water to human health and the environment. The report provides a brief description of the geology, groundwater hydrology, and surface water hydrology. The locations of the seeps and monitor wells are identified, and the water quality of the seeps and groundwater is discussed in the context of past activities at the site. The water quality records for the site are presented in tables and appendices; this information was used in the risk assessment of seep water.

  16. Distribution of subsurface hydrocarbon seepage in near surface marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Abrams, M.A. )

    1993-02-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps in surficial marine sediments are of two types: ACTIVE: Where gas bubbles, pockmarks, or bright spots are visible on seismic records and/or the presence of chemosynthetic communities in conjunction with large concentrations of migrated-hydrocarbons. Generally in areas where generation and migration of hydrocarbons from the source rock is ongoing today (i.e., maximum burial) and/or where significant migration pathways have developed from tectonic activity. PASSIVE: Where concentrations of migrated hydrocarbons are so low that few or no geophysical anomalies are seen. Typically in areas where generation and expulsion is relict (no longer at maximum burial) and/or regional seals prevent significant vertical migration. The type of seep strongly controls the distribution of migrated hydrocarbons in the near surface sediments and should dictate the sampling equipment and approach required to detect seeps. Active seeps or macroseeps, usually can be detected near the water-sediment interface, within the water column, and at relatively large distances from major leak points. Most conventional sediment and water samplers will capture active seeps, Precise location of sampling is typically not critical to detect active seeps. The Gulf of Mexico, Santa Barbara Channel, and parts of the North Sea have active hydrocarbon seeps.

  17. Seep Mapping: Using NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Data to Visualize the Physical Environments of Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auner, L.; McKenna, L.; Lobecker, E.; Sowers, D.

    2014-12-01

    More than 550 possible gaseous seeps were previously identified along the continental margin in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico using water-column acoustic backscatter data collected on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in the spring of 2014. Although the presence of macro-seeps can only be verified through visual confirmation, several studies suggest that gaseous bubbles emitted by seeps are uniquely detected in sonar water-column backscatter returns (Judd and Hovland, 1992; Nikolovska et al., 2008; Weber et al., 2012). In this study, more than 200 seeps were independently identified from a subset of water-column backscatter data collected in March and April, 2014. Additional data collected aboard the Okeanos Explorer includes bathymetry, seafloor backscatter, sub-bottom seismic reflection profiles, and ROV video footage. These datasets, along with calculated geomorphic parameters such as slope, were used to develop specialized mapping products to display physical characteristics of the seafloor and subsurface surrounding a number of gaseous seeps. Preliminary results indicate that seeps occur in a wide variety of geomorphic settings, including the edges of salt domes, and at depths ranging from approximately 300 meters to 1,100 meters. Study results could be used to make predictions about where seeps are most likely to be detected along the continental margin of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. These predictions could inform future efforts to study seeps and their associated biological communities within the study area or aid in the development of larger scale seep characterization and predictive modeling.

  18. Microbial Community Composition and Function in Permanently Cold Seawater and Sediments from an Arctic Fjord of Svalbard ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Teske, A.; Durbin, A.; Ziervogel, K.; Cox, C.; Arnosti, C.

    2011-01-01

    Heterotrophic microbial communities in seawater and sediments metabolize much of the organic carbon produced in the ocean. Although carbon cycling and preservation depend critically on the capabilities of these microbial communities, their compositions and capabilities have seldom been examined simultaneously at the same site. To compare the abilities of seawater and sedimentary microbial communities to initiate organic matter degradation, we measured the extracellular enzymatic hydrolysis rates of 10 substrates (polysaccharides and algal extracts) in surface seawater and bottom water as well as in surface and anoxic sediments of an Arctic fjord. Patterns of enzyme activities differed between seawater and sediments, not just quantitatively, in accordance with higher cell numbers in sediments, but also in their more diversified enzyme spectrum. Sedimentary microbial communities hydrolyzed all of the fluorescently labeled polysaccharide and algal extracts, in most cases at higher rates in subsurface than surface sediments. In seawater, in contrast, only 5 of the 7 polysaccharides and 2 of the 3 algal extracts were hydrolyzed, and hydrolysis rates in surface and deepwater were virtually identical. To compare bacterial communities, 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed from the same seawater and sediment samples; they diverged strongly in composition. Thus, the broader enzymatic capabilities of the sedimentary microbial communities may result from the compositional differences between seawater and sedimentary microbial communities, rather than from gene expression differences among compositionally similar communities. The greater number of phylum- and subphylum-level lineages and operational taxonomic units in sediments than in seawater samples may reflect the necessity of a wider range of enzymatic capabilities and strategies to access organic matter that has already been degraded during passage through the water column. When transformations of marine organic

  19. Abyssal seep site cementation: west Florida escarpment

    SciTech Connect

    Neumann, A.C.; Paull, C.K.; Commeau, R.; Commeau, J.; Chanton, J.; Martens, C.; Gardemal, M.; Trumbull, W.; Showers, W.

    1988-02-01

    The deepest submarine cements known so far occur along the 3300-m deep base of the Florida escarpment and are associated with methane-bearing brine seeps, which emanate there. These deep Holocene carbonates, which occur as surficial and buried crusts, burrow fillings, and friable horizons, were sampled via ALVIN. The carbonates form irregular halos extending up to 20 m from seeps colonized by chemosynthetic fauna. Mussels, gastropods, and clams, the carbonate components of the community, produce a shell hash that is locally cemented by coarsely crystalline low-Mg calcite. Halos of palisade calcite are reminiscent of ancient examples of marine cements. Also present are carbonate hemipelagics cemented by micrite into crusts and burrow fillings. The degree of cementation varies from pervasive to light. Slabs of cemented crust up to 30 cm thick contrast with typical shallow crusts and exhibit irregular tops and smooth bottoms indicating different chemical gradients and pathways. Bulk /delta//sup 13/C values of the carbonates are low, ranging from /minus/ 2.4 to /minus/ 48.5 /per thousand/ (PDB) and implicating as the carbonate source the biogenic methane that occurs in high concentrations at the seeps. The interaction of methane and sulfate in these cement reactions is still unclear. The presence of course mollusk-fragment hardgrounds overlying an eroded limestone and covered by hemipelagics, if encountered elsewhere, could be mistaken for a much shallower setting. The erosion of limestone scarps and the concurrent development of deep hardgrounds containing a fossil chemosynthetic fauna at the unconformity is a scenario that needs to be included in the growing list of limestone facies interpretations.

  20. Biogeography and diversity of methane and sulfur-cycling ecotypes in deep subsurface sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, M. M.; Biddle, J.; Girguis, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    The microbially mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is critical for regulating the flux of methane from the ocean. AOM is coupled to sulfate availability in many anoxic marine environments, which has been extensively studied at cold seeps, hydrothermal vents, and the sulfate-methane transition zone at the seafloor. The microbes known to catalyze AOM form phylogenetically distinct anaerobic methanotroph (ANME) clusters and sometimes live in concert with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Strikingly, certain ANME groups and subgroups have been shown to occupy different ecological niches in both hydrocarbon seep and hydrothermal vent sediments. However, the environmental parameters that select for certain phylogenetic variants or 'ecotypes' in a wide range of marine systems are still unknown. A marine environment that remains elusive to characterization of potential ANME and SRB ecotype diversity is methane hydrate formations in the deep subsurface. Current estimates indicate that seafloor hydrates may exceed 10,000 GtC at standard temperature and pressure conditions. However, only a handful of studies have investigated the potential for AOM in the deep subsurface associated with methane hydrates. To gain a better understanding of the distribution of methane- and sulfur- cycling ecotypes in biogeochemically distinct marine subsurface ecosystems, we generated a substantial library of 16S rRNA gene sequences for these uncultivable deep sea microorganisms using Illumina sequencing. Sediment strata were collected from the methane-hydrate associated deep subsurface of Hydrate Ridge (30 - 100 mbsf), hydrocarbon cold seeps of Monterey Bay, metalliferous sedimented hydrothermal vents of Juan de Fuca Ridge, and organic-rich hydrothermally influenced sediments of Guaymas Basin. We used the Illumina MiSeq sequencing platform to assess Archaeal and Bacterial richness in a total of 36 deep sea sediment samples followed by qPCR for quantification of ANME and SRB phylotype

  1. Geochemical, metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into trace metal utilization by methane-oxidizing microbial consortia in sulphidic marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Glass, DR. Jennifer; Yu, DR. Hang; Steele, Joshua; Dawson, Katherine; Sun, S; Chourey, Karuna; Pan, Chongle; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Orphan, V

    2013-01-01

    Microbes have obligate requirements for trace metals in metalloenzymes that catalyse important biogeochemical reactions. In anoxic methane- and sulphiderich environments, microbes may have unique adaptations for metal acquisition and utilization because of decreased bioavailability as a result of metal sulphide precipitation. However, micronutrient cycling is largely unexplored in cold ( 10 C) and sulphidic (> 1 mM H2S) deep-sea methane seep ecosystems. We investigated trace metal geochemistry and microbial metal utilization in methane seeps offshore Oregon and California, USA, and report dissolved concentrations of nickel (0.5 270 nM), cobalt (0.5 6 nM), molybdenum (10 5600 nM) and tungsten (0.3 8 nM) in Hydrate Ridge sediment porewaters. Despite low levels of cobalt and tungsten, metagenomic and metaproteomic data suggest that microbial consortia catalysing anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) utilize both scarce micronutrients in addition to nickel and molybdenum. Genetic machinery for cobalt-containing vitamin B12 biosynthesis was present in both anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulphate-reducing bacteria. Proteins affiliated with the tungsten-containing form of formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase were expressed in ANME from two seep ecosystems, the first evidence for expression of a tungstoenzyme in psychrophilic microorganisms. Overall, our data suggest that AOM consortia use specialized biochemical strategies to overcome the challenges of metal availability in sulphidic environments.

  2. Geochemical, metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into trace metal utilization by methane-oxidizing microbial consortia in sulfidic marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Glass, DR. Jennifer; Yu, DR. Hang; Steele, Joshua; Dawson, Katherine; Sun, S; Chourey, Karuna; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Orphan, V

    2014-01-01

    Microbes have obligate requirements for trace metals in metalloenzymes that catalyze important biogeochemical reactions. In anoxic methane- and sulfide-rich environments, microbes may have unique adaptations for metal acquisition and utilization due to decreased bioavailability as a result of metal sulfide precipitation. However, micronutrient cycling is largely unexplored in cold ( 10 C) and sulfidic (>1 mM H2S) deep-sea methane seep ecosystems. We investigated trace metal geochemistry and microbial metal utilization in methane seeps offshore Oregon and California, USA, and report dissolved concentrations of nickel (0.5-270 nM), cobalt (0.5-6 nM), molybdenum (10-5,600 nM) and tungsten (0.3-8 nM) in Hydrate Ridge sediment porewaters. Despite low levels of cobalt and tungsten, metagenomic and metaproteomic data suggest that microbial consortia catalyzing anaerobic oxidation of methane utilize both scarce micronutrients in addition to nickel and molybdenum. Genetic machinery for cobalt-containing vitamin B12 biosynthesis was present in both anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Proteins affiliated with the tungsten-containing form of formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase were expressed in ANME from two seep ecosystems, the first evidence for expression of a tungstoenzyme in psychrotolerant microorganisms. Finally, our data suggest that chemical speciation of metals in highly sulfidic porewaters may exert a stronger influence on microbial bioavailability than total concentration

  3. Geochemical, metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into trace metal utilization by methane-oxidizing microbial consortia in sulphidic marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Glass, Jennifer B; Yu, Hang; Steele, Joshua A; Dawson, Katherine S; Sun, Shulei; Chourey, Karuna; Pan, Chongle; Hettich, Robert L; Orphan, Victoria J

    2014-06-01

    Microbes have obligate requirements for trace metals in metalloenzymes that catalyse important biogeochemical reactions. In anoxic methane- and sulphide-rich environments, microbes may have unique adaptations for metal acquisition and utilization because of decreased bioavailability as a result of metal sulphide precipitation. However, micronutrient cycling is largely unexplored in cold (≤ 10°C) and sulphidic (> 1 mM ΣH(2)S) deep-sea methane seep ecosystems. We investigated trace metal geochemistry and microbial metal utilization in methane seeps offshore Oregon and California, USA, and report dissolved concentrations of nickel (0.5-270 nM), cobalt (0.5-6 nM), molybdenum (10-5600 nM) and tungsten (0.3-8 nM) in Hydrate Ridge sediment porewaters. Despite low levels of cobalt and tungsten, metagenomic and metaproteomic data suggest that microbial consortia catalysing anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) utilize both scarce micronutrients in addition to nickel and molybdenum. Genetic machinery for cobalt-containing vitamin B12 biosynthesis was present in both anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulphate-reducing bacteria. Proteins affiliated with the tungsten-containing form of formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase were expressed in ANME from two seep ecosystems, the first evidence for expression of a tungstoenzyme in psychrophilic microorganisms. Overall, our data suggest that AOM consortia use specialized biochemical strategies to overcome the challenges of metal availability in sulphidic environments. PMID:24148160

  4. Oil and gas seeps within Absaroka volcanics of northwestern Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Sundell, K.A.; Love, J.D.

    1986-08-01

    Three new occurrences of asphaltic, liquid, and gaseous hydrocarbons have been discovered in the southeastern Absaroka Range. These petroleum seeps are 40 to 110 mi southeast of previously known seeps within Eocene volcaniclastic rocks at Calcite Springs, Tower Junction, and Sweetwater Mineral Springs, Wyoming. The Middle Fork seep and Castle Rocks seep are near the headwaters of the Middle and North Forks of Owl Creek, respectively. The Chimney Rock asphalt locality is along the South Fork of the Wood River. Water samples from the Middle Fork seep fluoresce greenish-orange and contain 6 to 8 mg/L of extractable bituminous hydrocarbons. An iridescent oily film forms on the water surface and on abundant gas bubbles trapped within moss. The Castle Rocks seep, in Quaternary gravels along the bed of the North Fork of Owl Creek, shows iridescent oily bubbles in emerging spring water and black, sooty lenses of carbon-coated gravels in overlying dry deposits. The Middle Fork and Castle Rocks seeps rise through thin Quaternary deposits overlying the Aycross Formation (Eocene). The Chimney Rock asphalt locality is in a northwest-trending paleovalley fill consisting of highly deformed masses of volcanic strata in the Tepee Trail and Wiggins Formations. Thin (< 1 in. thick), discontinuous, subvertical veins of asphaltum cut through these rocks. These petroleum seeps demonstrate migration of hydrocarbons after the volcaniclastic strata were emplaced and suggest that significant petroleum resources may occur elsewhere within Eocene volcaniclastic rocks and/or within Mesozoic and Paleozoic reservoirs beneath the volcanics.

  5. Seep carbonates and chemosynthetic coral communities in the Early Paleocene alpine accretionary wedge: evidences from the Bocco Shale (Internal Liguride ophiolitic sequence, Northern Apennine, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandolfi, Luca; Boschi, Chiara; Luvisi, Edoardo; Alessandro, Ellero; Marroni, Michele; Meneghini, Francesca

    2014-05-01

    In Northern Apennines, the Internal Liguride units are characterized by an ophiolite sequence that represents the stratigraphic base of a Late Jurassic-Early Paleocene sedimentary cover. The Bocco Shale represents the youngest deposit recognized in the sedimentary cover of the ophiolite sequence, sedimented just before the inception of subduction-related deformation history. The Bocco Shale has been interpreted as a fossil example of deposits related to the frontal tectonic erosion of the alpine accretionary wedge slope. The frontal tectonic erosion resulted in a large removal of material from the accretionary wedge front reworked as debris flows and slide deposits sedimented on the lower plate above the trench deposits. These trench-slope deposits may have been successively deformed and metamorphosed during the following accretion processes. The frontal tectonic erosion can be envisaged as a common process during the convergence-related evolution of the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin in the Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary time span. In the uppermost Internal Liguride tectonic unit (Portello Unit of Pandolfi and Marroni. 1997), that crops-out in Trebbia Valley, several isolated blocks of authigenic carbonates, unidentificated corals and intrabasinal carbonatic arenites have been recognized inside the fine-grained sediments that dominate the Early Paleocene Lavagnola Fm. (cfr. Bocco Shale Auctt.). The preliminary data on stable isotopes from blocks of authigenic carbonates (up to 1 m thick and 3 m across) and associated corals archive a methane signatures in their depleted carbon isotope pattern (up to δ13C -30‰ PDB) and suggest the presence of chemosynthetic paleocommunities. The seep-carbonates recognized at the top of Internal Liguride succession (cfr. Bocco Shale Auctt.) occur predominantly as blocks in very thick mudstone-dominated deposits and probably developed in an environment dominated by the expulsion of large volume of cold methane-bearing fluids

  6. A novel cold-adapted and highly salt-tolerant esterase from Alkalibacterium sp. SL3 from the sediment of a soda lake.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guozeng; Wang, Qiaohuang; Lin, Xianju; Ng, Tzi Bun; Yan, Renxiang; Lin, Juan; Ye, Xiuyun

    2016-01-01

    A novel esterase gene (estSL3) was cloned from the Alkalibacterium sp. SL3, which was isolated from the sediment of soda lake Dabusu. The 636-bp full-length gene encodes a polypeptide of 211 amino acid residues that is closely related with putative GDSL family lipases from Alkalibacterium and Enterococcus. The gene was successfully expressed in E. coli, and the recombinant protein (rEstSL3) was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and characterized. rEstSL3 exhibited the highest activity towards pNP-acetate and had no activity towards pNP-esters with acyl chains longer than C8. The enzyme was highly cold-adapted, showing an apparent temperature optimum of 30 °C and remaining approximately 70% of the activity at 0 °C. It was active and stable over the pH range from 7 to 10, and highly salt-tolerant up to 5 M NaCl. Moreover, rEstSL3 was strongly resistant to most tested metal ions, chemical reagents, detergents and organic solvents. Amino acid composition analysis indicated that EstSL3 had fewer proline residues, hydrogen bonds and salt bridges than mesophilic and thermophilic counterparts, but more acidic amino acids and less hydrophobic amino acids when compared with other salt-tolerant esterases. The cold active, salt-tolerant and chemical-resistant properties make it a promising enzyme for basic research and industrial applications. PMID:26915906

  7. A novel cold-adapted and highly salt-tolerant esterase from Alkalibacterium sp. SL3 from the sediment of a soda lake

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guozeng; Wang, Qiaohuang; Lin, Xianju; Bun Ng, Tzi; Yan, Renxiang; Lin, Juan; Ye, Xiuyun

    2016-01-01

    A novel esterase gene (estSL3) was cloned from the Alkalibacterium sp. SL3, which was isolated from the sediment of soda lake Dabusu. The 636-bp full-length gene encodes a polypeptide of 211 amino acid residues that is closely related with putative GDSL family lipases from Alkalibacterium and Enterococcus. The gene was successfully expressed in E. coli, and the recombinant protein (rEstSL3) was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and characterized. rEstSL3 exhibited the highest activity towards pNP-acetate and had no activity towards pNP-esters with acyl chains longer than C8. The enzyme was highly cold-adapted, showing an apparent temperature optimum of 30 °C and remaining approximately 70% of the activity at 0 °C. It was active and stable over the pH range from 7 to 10, and highly salt-tolerant up to 5 M NaCl. Moreover, rEstSL3 was strongly resistant to most tested metal ions, chemical reagents, detergents and organic solvents. Amino acid composition analysis indicated that EstSL3 had fewer proline residues, hydrogen bonds and salt bridges than mesophilic and thermophilic counterparts, but more acidic amino acids and less hydrophobic amino acids when compared with other salt-tolerant esterases. The cold active, salt-tolerant and chemical-resistant properties make it a promising enzyme for basic research and industrial applications. PMID:26915906

  8. Biogeochemistry of a submerged groundwater seep ecosystem in Lake Huron near karst region of Alpena, MI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinsman-Costello, L. E.; Dick, G.; Sheik, C.; Burton, G. A.; Sheldon, N. D.

    2015-12-01

    Submerged groundwater seeps in Lake Huron establish ecosystems with distinctive geochemical conditions. In the Middle Island Sinkhole (MIS), a 23-m deep seep, groundwater seepage establishes low O2 (< 4 mg L-1), high sulfate (6 mM) conditions, in which a purple cyanobacteria-dominated mat thrives. The mat is capable of anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxygenic photosynthesis, and chemosynthesis. Within the top 3 cm of the mat-water interface, hydrogen sulfide concentrations increase to 1-7 mM. Little is known about the structure and function of microbes within organic-rich, high-sulfide sediments beneath the mat. Using pore water and sediment geochemical characterization along with microbial community analysis, we elucidated relationships between microbial community structure and ecosystem function along vertical gradients. In sediment pore waters, biologically reactive solutes (SO42-, NH4+, PO43-, and CH4) displayed steep vertical gradients, reflecting biological and geochemical functioning. In contrast, more conservative ions (Ca+2, Mg+2, Na+, and Cl-), did not change significantly with depth in MIS sediments, indicating groundwater influence in the sediment profile. MIS sediments contained more organic matter than typical Lake Huron sediments, and were generally higher in nutrients, metals, and sulfur (acid volatile sulfide). Using the Illumina MiSeq platform we detected 14,127 unique operational taxonomic units across sediment and surface mat samples. Microbial community composition in the MIS was distinctly different from non-groundwater affected areas at similar depth nearby in Lake Huron (ANOSIM, R= 0.74, p=0.002). MIS sediment communities were more diverse that MIS surface mat communities and changed with depth into sediments. MIS sediment community composition was related to several geochemical variables, including organic matter and multiple indicators of phosphorus availability. Elucidating the structure and function of microbial consortia in MIS, a highly

  9. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna Inhabiting Authigenic Carbonate at Costa Rica Methane Seeps

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Lisa A.; Mendoza, Guillermo F.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Gonzalez, Jennifer P.; Jellison, Brittany; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew R.; Waren, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Carbonate communities: The activity of anaerobic methane oxidizing microbes facilitates precipitation of vast quantities of authigenic carbonate at methane seeps. Here we demonstrate the significant role of carbonate rocks in promoting diversity by providing unique habitat and food resources for macrofaunal assemblages at seeps on the Costa Rica margin (400–1850 m). The attendant fauna is surprisingly similar to that in rocky intertidal shores, with numerous grazing gastropods (limpets and snails) as dominant taxa. However, the community feeds upon seep-associated microbes. Macrofaunal density, composition, and diversity on carbonates vary as a function of seepage activity, biogenic habitat and location. The macrofaunal community of carbonates at non-seeping (inactive) sites is strongly related to the hydrography (depth, temperature, O2) of overlying water, whereas the fauna at sites of active seepage is not. Densities are highest on active rocks from tubeworm bushes and mussel beds, particularly at the Mound 12 location (1000 m). Species diversity is higher on rocks exposed to active seepage, with multiple species of gastropods and polychaetes dominant, while crustaceans, cnidarians, and ophiuroids were better represented on rocks at inactive sites. Macro-infauna (larger than 0.3 mm) from tube cores taken in nearby seep sediments at comparable depths exhibited densities similar to those on carbonate rocks, but had lower diversity and different taxonomic composition. Seep sediments had higher densities of ampharetid, dorvilleid, hesionid, cirratulid and lacydoniid polychaetes, whereas carbonates had more gastropods, as well as syllid, chrysopetalid and polynoid polychaetes. Stable isotope signatures and metrics: The stable isotope signatures of carbonates were heterogeneous, as were the food sources and nutrition used by the animals. Carbonate δ13Cinorg values (mean = -26.98‰) ranged from -53.3‰ to +10.0‰, and were significantly heavier than carbonate δ13

  10. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna Inhabiting Authigenic Carbonate at Costa Rica Methane Seeps.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Mendoza, Guillermo F; Grupe, Benjamin M; Gonzalez, Jennifer P; Jellison, Brittany; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew R; Waren, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Carbonate communities: The activity of anaerobic methane oxidizing microbes facilitates precipitation of vast quantities of authigenic carbonate at methane seeps. Here we demonstrate the significant role of carbonate rocks in promoting diversity by providing unique habitat and food resources for macrofaunal assemblages at seeps on the Costa Rica margin (400-1850 m). The attendant fauna is surprisingly similar to that in rocky intertidal shores, with numerous grazing gastropods (limpets and snails) as dominant taxa. However, the community feeds upon seep-associated microbes. Macrofaunal density, composition, and diversity on carbonates vary as a function of seepage activity, biogenic habitat and location. The macrofaunal community of carbonates at non-seeping (inactive) sites is strongly related to the hydrography (depth, temperature, O2) of overlying water, whereas the fauna at sites of active seepage is not. Densities are highest on active rocks from tubeworm bushes and mussel beds, particularly at the Mound 12 location (1000 m). Species diversity is higher on rocks exposed to active seepage, with multiple species of gastropods and polychaetes dominant, while crustaceans, cnidarians, and ophiuroids were better represented on rocks at inactive sites. Macro-infauna (larger than 0.3 mm) from tube cores taken in nearby seep sediments at comparable depths exhibited densities similar to those on carbonate rocks, but had lower diversity and different taxonomic composition. Seep sediments had higher densities of ampharetid, dorvilleid, hesionid, cirratulid and lacydoniid polychaetes, whereas carbonates had more gastropods, as well as syllid, chrysopetalid and polynoid polychaetes. Stable isotope signatures and metrics: The stable isotope signatures of carbonates were heterogeneous, as were the food sources and nutrition used by the animals. Carbonate δ13Cinorg values (mean = -26.98‰) ranged from -53.3‰ to +10.0‰, and were significantly heavier than carbonate δ13

  11. Lipid Biomarkers Indicating Aerobic Methanotrophy at Ancient Marine Methane- Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birgel, D.; Peckmann, J.

    2007-12-01

    The inventory of lipid biomarkers of a number of ancient methane-seep limestones has been studied over the last decade. The molecular fingerprints of the chemosynthesis-based microbial communities tend to be extremely well-preserved in these limestones. The key process at seeps is the anaerobic oxidation of methane, performed by consortia of sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanotrophic archaea. Compounds preserved within modern and ancient seep settings comprise C-13-depleted lipid biomarkers. Besides the occurrence of C-13- depleted isoprenoids (archaea) and n-alkyl-chains (bacteria), C-13-depleted hopanoids have been reported in seep limestones. Here, lipid biomarker data are presented from three ancient methane-seep limestones embedded in Miocene and Campanian strata. These examples provide strong evidence that methane was not solely oxidized by an anaerobic process. In a Miocene limestone, 3-beta-methylated hopanoids were found (delta C-13: -100 per mil). Most likely, 3-beta-methylated hopanepolyols, prevailing in aerobic methanotrophs were the precursor lipids. In another Miocene limestone, a series of C-13-depleted 4-methylated steranes (lanostanes; -80 to -70 per mil) is derived from aerobic methanotrophs. Lanosterol is the most likely precursor of lanostanes, known to be produced by aerobic methanotrophs, some of which are outstanding among bacteria in having the capacity to produce steroids. In a Campanian seep limestone a suite of conspicuous secohexahydrobenzohopanes (-110 to -107 per mil) is found. These hopanoids probably represent early degradation products of seep-endemic aerobic methanotrophs. This interpretation is supported by the presence of "regular" hopanoids that can be discriminated from the unusual secohexahydrobenzohopanes by only moderately low delta C-13 values (-49 to -42 per mil). Structural and carbon isotope data reveal that aerobic methanotrophy is more common at ancient methane- seeps than previously noticed. Our data indicate that

  12. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R.; Woycheese, Kristin M.; Yargıçoğlu, Erin N.; Cardace, Dawn; Shock, Everett L.; Güleçal-Pektas, Yasemin; Temel, Mustafa

    2015-01-01

    Gas seeps emanating from Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite). Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ13C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (−25 to −28‰) relative to the carbonates (−11 to −20‰). We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ15N ratios ~3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and subsurface-surface interactions

  13. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey.

    PubMed

    Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R; Woycheese, Kristin M; Yargıçoğlu, Erin N; Cardace, Dawn; Shock, Everett L; Güleçal-Pektas, Yasemin; Temel, Mustafa

    2014-01-01

    Gas seeps emanating from Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite). Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ(13)C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (-25 to -28‰) relative to the carbonates (-11 to -20‰). We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ(15)N ratios ~3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and subsurface-surface interactions. PMID

  14. Production and remineralization in continental shelf ecosystems: A test of the SEEP hypothesis

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, G.T.

    1986-09-01

    The hypothesis that continental shelf ecosystems export a major fraction of the carbon produced by the phytoplankton during the spring bloom was tested during the Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) experiment off the northeast US coast in 1984. This study, along with a reanalysis of traditional concepts, leads to the conclusion that only a small fraction of continental shelf phytodetritus is exported across a distinct shelf-slope hydrographic frontal system. What is not consumed in the spring is utilized on the shelf during the ensuing stratified season. More open ended ecosystems may export production more readily. The total benthic standing stocks in terms of organic carbon (macrofauna, meiofauna, and bacteria) have been estimated in the SEEP area. Their preponderance on the continental shelf was partial evidence that little organic matter escapes to the upper continental slope. Measurements of the metabolism of the biota allowed calculation of turnover times of organic detritius and the total biota. The turnover time of detritus increased as grain size decreased, suggesting that fine-grained deposits contain mostly refractory, nonreactive compounds, especially on the deep slope. Turnover times of the total biota were about the same in the coarse versus fine-grained shelf deposits, but a far larger fraction of the turnover was attributed to the bacteria in the fine sediments than in the coarse. On average, about 25% of the primary production appeared to be utilized by the aerobic benthos on the continental shelf in the SEEP area. The role of anaerobes at depth in the sediments remains uncertain.

  15. Geochemistry of natural gases from mud volcanoes and surface gas seeps in NW-Columbia

    SciTech Connect

    Beeunas, M.A. ); Schoell, M. ); Beroiz, C. )

    1991-03-01

    Mud volcanoes and natural gas seeps are common in the southwest-northeast-trending Sinu Atlantico basin (SAB) and San Jacinto Fold Belt (SJFB) of NW-Colombia. The structural subunits are part of a highly complex active continental margin where the sediments become increasingly younger to the west from Late Cretaceous to Early Tertiary in the SJFB to Late Tertiary in the SAB. Some of the mud volcanoes are permanently active and form huge structures and are often aligned along major faults. Both seep and mud volcano gases are with low C{sub 2}-C{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} contents. Carbon and hydrogen isotope concentrations allow the subdivision into four groups of gas. These gases can be divided into four genetic based on their carbon and hydrocarbon isotope compositions. The isotopic variability of the different groups attests to the fact that very different gas-forming processes are or have been operating in the subsurface ranging from low-temperature thermogenesis. The various groups show, with few exceptions, a distinct regional distribution: Mud volcanoes and seeps with bacterial gases are restricted to the southern part of the SAB where the greatest thickness of young sediments is observed; gases of mixed thermogenic and bacterial origin are found in the coastal areas of the northern SAB; gases of thermogenic origin are predominantly observed in the SJFB; the thermogenic gases of Group 3 are restricted to two locations in the north of the SJFB. This regional association of genetic gas types with specific geotectonic units reflects different thermal histories of the respective tectonic areas and allowed the authors to delineate prospective areas for oil in NW-Colombia.

  16. Transport and transfer rates in the waters of the continental shelf and slope: SEEP. Final report, May 1, 1987--December 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Biscaye, P.E.; Anderson, R.F.

    1993-12-31

    The overall Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) Program, which began in 1980 or 1981, had as its goal the testing of a hypothesis with respect to the fate of particulate matter formed in and introduced into the waters of the continental shelf adjacent to the northern east coast of the US, i.e., the MAB. The original hypothesis was that a large proportion of the particles in general, and of the particulate organic carbon (POC) in particular, was exported from the shelf, across the shelf/slope break and front, into the waters of, and, to some degree, deposited in the sediments of the continental slope. This hypothesis was based on budgets of organic carbon and lead-210 that did not account for a large proportion of those species in the waters or sediments of the shelf, and on a carbon-rich band of sediments centered on the slope at {approximately}1,000 m water depth. The results of the first SEEP experiment, south of New England and Long Island (SEEP-1) suggested, but did not prove, that there was only a relatively small proportion of the carbon which was exported from the shelf to the slope. The objective of the second experiment -- SEEP-2 -- done under the subject grant, was to tighten the experiment in terms of the kinds of data collected, and to focus it more on the shelf and only the upper slope, where shelf-derived particles were thought to be deposited.

  17. Pockmarks: self-scouring seep features?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Laura L.; Kelley, Joseph T.; Belknap, Daniel F.; Barnhardt, Walter A.; Koons, Peter O.

    2011-01-01

    Pockmarks, or seafloor craters, occur worldwide in a variety of geologic settings and are often associated with fluid discharge. The mechanisms responsible for pockmark preservation, and pockmarks? relation to active methane venting are not well constrained. Simple numerical simulations run in 2-and 3-dimensions, and corroborated by flume tank experiments, indicate turbulence may play a role in pockmark maintenance, and, potentially, in pockmark excavation. Morphological analysis of the pockmarks indicates an abundance of flat-bottomed and/or elongated pockmarks. Pockmarks transition into furrows as the bay narrows and tidal flow is enhanced, providing unmistakable evidence of post-formation evolution. We hypothesize that some pockmarks formed from seafloor perturbations (e.g., gas or methane discharge), are1 maintained and gradually modified by vortical flow. This hypothesis provides a mechanism for pockmark preservation and enlargement without active fluid venting, which has implications for the interpretation of seafloor seep features in gas hydrates areas.

  18. Controls of sediment transfers, sedimentary budgets and relief development in cold environments: Results from four catchment systems in Iceland, Swedish Lapland and Finnish Lapland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, A. A.

    2012-04-01

    By the combined, longer-term and quantitative recording of relevant denudative slope processes and stream work in four selected catchment systems in sub-arctic oceanic Eastern Iceland (Hrafndalur and Austdalur), arctic-oceanic Swedish Lapland (Latnjavagge) and sub-arctic oceanic Finnish Lapland (Kidisjoki), information on the absolute and relative importance of the different denudative processes is collected. Direct comparison of the four catchment geo-systems (the catchment sizes range from 7 km2 to 23 km2) allows conclusions on major controls of sediment transfers, sedimentary budgets and relief development in theses cold climate environments. To allow direct comparison of the different processes, all mass transfers are calculated as tonnes multiplied by meter per year, i.e. as the product of the annually transferred mass and the corresponding transport distance. Ranking the different processes according to their annual mass transfers shows that stream work dominates over slope denudation. For Hrafndalur (Eastern Iceland) the following order of denudative processes is found after nine years of process studies (2001 - 2010): (1) Fluvial suspended sediment plus bedload transport, (2) Fluvial solute transport, (3) Rock falls plus boulder falls, (4) Chemical slope denudation, (5) Mechanical fluvial slope denudation (slope wash), (6) Creep processes, (7) Avalanches, (8) Debris flows, (9) Translation slides, (10) Deflation. Compared to that, in Austdalur the following ranking is given after fourten years of process studies (1996 - 2010): (1) Fluvial suspended sediment plus bedload transport, (2) Fluvial solute transport, (3) Mechanical fluvial slope denudation (slope wash), (4) Chemical slope denudation, (5) Avalanches, (6) Rock falls plus boulder falls, (7) Creep processes, (8) Debris flows, (9) Deflation, (10) Translation slides. In the Latnjavagge catchment (Swedish Lapland) the ranking is (eleven-years period of studies, 1999 - 2010): (1) Fluvial solute transport

  19. Selected contributions from the 11th Gas in Marine Sediments International Conference of September 2012, Nice: an introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, Catherine; Imbert, Patrice; Mascle, Jean

    2014-06-01

    This Introduction presents an overview of selected contributions from the 11th Gas in Marine Sediments International Conference held on the 4-7 September 2012 in Nice, France, and published in this special issue of Geo-Marine Letters under the guest editorship of Catherine Pierre, Patrice Imbert and Jean Mascle. These cover fluid seepage dynamics at widely varying spatiotemporal scales in a giant buried caldera of the Caspian Sea, mud volcanoes and pockmarks in the Mediterranean and adjoining Gulf of Cadiz, as well as Lake Baikal, pockmarks of shallower waters along the Atlantic French coast and in Baltic Sea lagoons, deepwater pockmarks and cold seeps on the Norwegian margin and the Hikurangi Margin of New Zealand, asphalt seepage sites offshore southern California, and the tectonically controlled southern Chile forearc. We look forward to meeting all again at the 12th Gas in Marine Sediments conference scheduled for 1-6 September 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan.

  20. The origin of gas seeps and shallow gas in northern part of South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, M.; Jin, X.

    2003-04-01

    The northern part of South China Sea is of passive continental margin, which geologic units include shelf, slope and deep sea basin. There are rifting basins forming during Paleogene (or Cretaceous ?) to Quaternary developed on shelf and slope, which sediments are dominated by fluvial and lake clastic rock of Paleogene, and marine clastic rock and carbonate of Neogene - Quaternary. The main basins include the Pearl River Mouth Basin, Beibu Gulf basin, Qiongdongnan Basin and Yinggehai basin. They contain rich oil and gas resources, and have become important industrial oil and gas producing region in South China Sea. With the increasing of petroleum exploration actives and marine petroleum engineering, it has been paid more attention to the investigation and research of gas seeps and shallow gas, for they become a potential threaten to the marine engineering while they are regarded as the indicators of industrial oil and gas. By study the distribution and geochemical characteristics of gas seeps in northeast part of Yinggehai basin and shallow gas in sediments on slope, combined with their regional geologic background, this paper deals with the origin, migration pathway and emission mechanism of gas seeps and shallow gas in northern part of South China Sea, for providing a base knowledge for the evaluation of marine engineering geology. In northeast part of Yinggehai basin gas seeps have been found and recorded for near 100 years. During 1990s, as a part of petroleum exploration, the gas seeps in the basin have been investigated and research by oil companies (Baojia Huang et al., 1992; Jiaqiong He et al., 2000). Gas seeps were found in shallow water area along southwest coast of Hainan Island, water depth usually less than 50 m. The occurrence of gas seeps can be divided into two types: (1) gas continuously emission, continuous gas bubbles groups can be detected by sonar underwater and observed on water surface. (2) gas intermittently emission, the time intervals

  1. Reverse transcriptase directs viral evolution in a deep ocean methane seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, B. G.; Bagby, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Deep ocean methane seeps are sites of intense microbial activity, with complex communities fueled by aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophy. Methane consumption in these communities has a substantial impact on the global carbon cycle, yet little is known about their evolutionary history or their likely evolutionary trajectories in a warming ocean. As in other marine systems, viral predation and virally mediated horizontal gene transfer are expected to be major drivers of evolutionary change in these communities; however, the host cells' resistance to cultivation has impeded direct study of the viral population. We conducted a metagenomic study of viruses in the anoxic sediments of a deep methane seep in the Santa Monica Basin in the Southern California Bight. We retrieved 1660 partial viral genomes, tentatively assigning 1232 to bacterial hosts and 428 to archaea. One abundant viral genome, likely hosted by Clostridia species present in the sediment, was found to encode a diversity-generating retroelement (DGR), a module for reverse transcriptase-mediated directed mutagenesis of a distal tail fiber protein. While DGRs have previously been described in the viruses of human pathogens, where diversification of viral tail fibers permits infection of a range of host cell types, to our knowledge this is the first description of such an element in a marine virus. By providing a mechanism for massively broadening potential host range, the presence of DGRs in these systems may have a major impact on the prevalence of virally mediated horizontal gene transfer, and even on the phylogenetic distances across which genes are moved.

  2. Temperature-Dependent Variations in Sulfate-Reducing Communities Associated with a Terrestrial Hydrocarbon Seep

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Ting-Wen; Lin, Li-Hung; Lin, Yue-Ting; Song, Sheng-Rong; Wang, Pei-Ling

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps are an important source of naturally emitted methane over geological time. The exact community compositions responsible for carbon cycling beneath these surface features remain obscure. As sulfate reduction represents an essential process for anoxic organic mineralization, this study collected muddy fluids from a high-temperature hydrocarbon seep in Taiwan and analyzed community structures of sulfate-supplemented sediment slurries incubated anoxically at elevated temperatures. The results obtained demonstrated that sulfate consumption occurred between 40°C and 80°C. Dominant potential sulfate reducers included Desulfovibrio spp., Desulfonatronum spp., Desulforhabdus spp., and Desulfotomaculum spp. at 40°C, Thermodesulfovibrio spp. at 50°C, Thermodesulfovibrio spp. and Thermacetogenium spp. at 60°C, Thermacetogenium spp. and Archaeoglobus spp. at 70°C, and Archaeoglobus spp. at 80°C. None of these potential sulfate reducers exceeded 7% of the community in the untreated sample. Since no exogenous electron donor was provided during incubation, these sulfate reducers appeared to rely on the degradation of organic matter inherited from porewater and sediments. Aqueous chemistry indicated that fluids discharged in the region represented a mixture of saline formation water and low-salinity surface water; therefore, these lines of evidence suggest that deeply-sourced, thermophilic and surface-input, mesophilic sulfate-reducing populations entrapped along the subsurface fluid transport could respond rapidly once the ambient temperature is adjusted to a range close to their individual optima. PMID:25273230

  3. Development of saline seeps in Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Kenneth S.

    1994-01-01

    Saline seeps are an increasingly serious problem in semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States. They result when excessive recharge of the shallow ground water in soils raises the water table locally to within one meter of the land surface, and the salinity of the shallow water is increased through evaporation. In this connection, a comprehensive study is being undertaken in Oklahoma and Texas to determine the geologic setting, hydrology, soils, land use, and history of saline-seep development.

  4. Late Miocene seep-carbonates and fluid migration on top of the Montepetra intrabasinal high (Northern Apennines, Italy): Relations with synsedimentary folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, S.; Fontana, D.; Mecozzi, S.; Panieri, G.; Pini, G. A.

    2010-11-01

    During the Miocene, hydrocarbon seep-carbonates located atop intrabasinal highs and associated with sediment instability, formed commonly at the deformation front of the Northern Apennine collisional orogen. The parallelism between the structural trend and the distribution of seep-carbonates suggests a close relationship between tectonics and gas/fluid emission. The "Montepetra intrabasinal high" was formed during the closure stage of the foredeep, being related to the synsedimentary growth of an anticline. Field geometry suggests that detachment folding was the leading mechanism of anticline growth and synsedimentary instability along the anticline flanks. Ten different bodies of seep-carbonates occur in the Tortonian-early Messinian sediments: nine in the hinge zone and one in the southern backlimb of the anticline. Foraminiferal study, geochemistry, facies investigation and the three-dimensional geometry of carbonate bodies with respect to the encasing terrigenous sediments indicate a protracted (late Tortonian-early Messinian) activity of fluid migration with re-mobilization and ascent of sediments from the core of the anticline, stabilization of chemosynthesis-related communities, and in-situ brecciation. Seepage atop the intrabasinal high was fed by different circuits: one related to the compaction-dewatering of shallow (Tortonian-early Messinian) sediments, and a deeper one related to the deformation of the anticline core and to the activity of detachment surfaces and of faults propagating through the sedimentary cover.

  5. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes: 2, SEEP2-09, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 193: Hydrographic data report

    SciTech Connect

    Behrens, W.J.; Wilson, C.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1990-01-01

    The R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 193, SEEP2-09, took place from 17--23 March 1989 and focused primarily on biological processes in the SEEP2 area. Mooring 1 was recovered and re-deployed and a replacement for mooring 4 was deployed. A 24 hour time series was conducted at mooring 1 to study primary and secondary production. The time series involved sampling nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll {und a}, zooplankton abundance and distribution and fecal pellet production. Experiments to estimate grazing rates the fecal pellet production of the dominant copepods were also done. MOCNESS tows and box core samples were also taken during the cruise. Sediment and zooplankton data are not reported here. During this cruise 46 CTD casts were made measuring pressure, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence and light transmission. Discrete samples were taken in rosette-mounted Niskin bottles and analyzed for concentration of nutrients, chlorophyll {und a}, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen.

  6. Widespread occurrence of an intranuclear bacterial parasite in vent and seep bathymodiolin mussels.

    PubMed

    Zielinski, Frank U; Pernthaler, Annelie; Duperron, Sébastien; Raggi, Luciana; Giere, Olav; Borowski, Christian; Dubilier, Nicole

    2009-05-01

    Many parasitic bacteria live in the cytoplasm of multicellular animals, but only a few are known to regularly invade their nuclei. In this study, we describe the novel bacterial parasite "Candidatus Endonucleobacter bathymodioli" that invades the nuclei of deep-sea bathymodiolin mussels from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Bathymodiolin mussels are well known for their symbiotic associations with sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria. In contrast, the parasitic bacteria of vent and seep animals have received little attention despite their potential importance for deep-sea ecosystems. We first discovered the intranuclear parasite "Ca. E. bathymodioli" in Bathymodiolus puteoserpentis from the Logatchev hydrothermal vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Using primers and probes specific to "Ca. E. bathymodioli" we found this intranuclear parasite in at least six other bathymodiolin species from vents and seeps around the world. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy analyses of the developmental cycle of "Ca. E. bathymodioli" showed that the infection of a nucleus begins with a single rod-shaped bacterium which grows to an unseptated filament of up to 20 microm length and then divides repeatedly until the nucleus is filled with up to 80,000 bacteria. The greatly swollen nucleus destroys its host cell and the bacteria are released after the nuclear membrane bursts. Intriguingly, the only nuclei that were never infected by "Ca. E. bathymodioli" were those of the gill bacteriocytes. These cells contain the symbiotic sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting that the mussel symbionts can protect their host nuclei against the parasite. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the "Ca. E. bathymodioli" belongs to a monophyletic clade of Gammaproteobacteria associated with marine metazoans as diverse as sponges, corals, bivalves, gastropods, echinoderms, ascidians and fish. We hypothesize that many of the sequences from this clade

  7. The Role of Seep Ecosystems in Distribution Patterns of Deep-Sea Megafauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, J.; McKelvey, Z.; Jacobson, A.; Hoerauf, E.; Van Dover, C. L.

    2015-12-01

    One of the key questions about methane seeps is the sphere of influence on the surrounding area they provide in terms of habitat structure, food sources, and geochemical environment. Understanding the distribution of megafauna relative to the seep environment is an initial step toward understanding these ecosystem properties. Systematic photo surveys using AUV Sentry were conducted at 4 methane seeps at the Blake Ridge Diapir and a seep at Cape Fear Diapir. Distributions of dominant seep features (bivalves, carbonates, bacterial mats) were used to define the active seep site. Geospatial mapping indicates that non-seep-endemic taxa (those not hosting chemoautotrophic endosymbionts) either avoid (e.g., sea urchins, certain sea cucumbers), are attracted to (e.g., squat lobsters, cake urchins) or show no distributional bias to (e.g., sea stars, certain fish) the presence of a seep. Further investigation into these faunal relationships may improve understanding of services that seeps provide to the larger ocean ecosystem.

  8. Tolerance to long-term exposure of suspended benthic sediments and drill cuttings in the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Ann I; van Oevelen, Dick; Purser, Autun; Thomsen, Laurenz

    2013-05-15

    The cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa was exposed to suspended particles (<63 μm) for 12 weeks. Skeletal growth was significantly lower under exposure concentrations of ∼25 mg l⁻¹ than ∼5 mg l⁻¹ and there was a trend of lower growth rates when exposed to water-based drill cuttings than to natural benthic sediment. Polyp extension was less in corals exposed to higher material concentrations, which provides a possible explanation for observed skeletal growth differences between particle concentrations. Particle exposure had no significant impact on respiration or proportions of tissue and fatty acids in corals. The volume of additional cleaning mucus released by exposed corals was low and release did not significantly affect coral energy expenditure. Our results indicate that L. pertusa polyps can deal comparatively well with enhanced particle deposition rates and suspended matter concentrations. However, a small pilot experiment indicated that coral larvae might be particularly vulnerable to high particle concentrations. PMID:23510599

  9. Archaeal populations in hypersaline sediments underlying orange microbial mats in the Napoli mud volcano.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Cassandre Sara; L'haridon, Stéphane; Pignet, Patricia; Toffin, Laurent

    2011-05-01

    Microbial mats in marine cold seeps are known to be associated with ascending sulfide- and methane-rich fluids. Hence, they could be visible indicators of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and methane cycling processes in underlying sediments. The Napoli mud volcano is situated in the Olimpi Area that lies on saline deposits; from there, brine fluids migrate upward to the seafloor. Sediments associated with a brine pool and microbial orange mats of the Napoli mud volcano were recovered during the Medeco cruise. Based on analysis of RNA-derived sequences, the "active" archaeal community was composed of many uncultured lineages, such as rice cluster V or marine benthic group D. Function methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) genes were affiliated with the anaerobic methanotrophic Archaea (ANME) of the ANME-1, ANME-2a, and ANME-2c groups, suggesting that AOM occurred in these sediment layers. Enrichment cultures showed the presence of viable marine methylotrophic Methanococcoides in shallow sediment layers. Thus, the archaeal community diversity seems to show that active methane cycling took place in the hypersaline microbial mat-associated sediments of the Napoli mud volcano. PMID:21335391

  10. Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seep communities. V. Biofacies and shell orientation of autochthonous shell beds below storm wave base

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, W.R.; Staff, G.M.; Powell, E.N.; MacDonald, I.R. )

    1990-02-01

    Clam and mussel assemblages associated with petroleum seepage on the Louisiana continental slope form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northwestern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Four distinct biofacies are present at the seeps, dominated respectively by mussels, lucinid clams, vesicomyid clams and tubeworms. Each primary seep site is typically composed of a series of not necessarily contiguous, autochthonous beds dominated by one biofacies. Mussels and tubeworms often co-occur, but neither normally co-occur with lucinid or vesicomyid clams. Lucinid and vesicomyid clam beds have the best chance of preservation. Despite essentially undisturbed accumulation in quiet water below storm wave base, concavity ratios rarely differ from 1:1 and frequency of articulation may be low. Dominantly concave-up valves previously reported in quiet water may result from man's fishing activities. Significant variability in shell orientation, frequency of articulation and concavity ratio between adjacent samples indicates that many individual stratigraphically-equivalent samples should be used in any taphofacies analysis of assemblages formed in low-energy environments. Lucinid beds which form below the sediment surface and vesicomyid beds which form on the sediment surface differed significantly in shell orientation and articulation frequency. Assemblages forming below storm wave base in low-energy environments may comprise a wide variety of taphofacies depending upon whether formation occurs primarily beneath the sediment surface or on the sediment surface, despite contemporaneous formation under similar environmental conditions.

  11. Sperm storage, internal fertilization, and embryonic dispersal in vent and seep tubeworms (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae: Vestimentifera).

    PubMed

    Hilário, Ana; Young, Craig M; Tyler, Paul A

    2005-02-01

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms are ecologically important members of deep-sea chemosynthetic communities, including hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Some are community dominants and others are primary colonists of new vent sites; they include some of the longest living and fastest growing marine invertebrates. Their mechanisms of propagation, dispersal, and genetic exchange have been widely discussed. Direct sperm transfer from males to females has been documented in one species, Ridgeia piscesae, but others are known to discharge what are apparently primary oocytes. Brooding of embryos has never been observed in any vestimentiferan. These observations have led to the supposition that fertilization might be external in most species. Here we report sperm storage at the posterior end of the oviduct in five species, including tubeworms from both vents and seeps. We show experimentally that most eggs are inseminated internally, that fertilization rate is typically lower than 100%, that meiosis is completed after eggs are released from the female, and that the dispersal phase includes the entire embryonic period. PMID:15713809

  12. Intense gas bubble emissions in the Kerch seep area - A newly discovered high-flux seep site in the Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Römer, M.; Sahling, H.; Pape, T.; Bahr, A.; Feseker, T.; Wintersteller, P.; Bohrmann, G.

    2012-04-01

    More than 500 bubble-induced hydroacoustic anomalies (flares) were found in the water column above the seafloor in the study area comprising about 430 km2 at the Don-Kuban paleo-fan (Eastern Black Sea) by using ship mounted single beam and multibeam echosounders. Almost all flares originated from the seafloor above the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), which in that region is located below ~700 m water depth. This observation confirms the sealing mechanism of gas hydrate, which impedes migration of free gas through the GHSZ and subsequent bubble emission from the seafloor. However, an intense seep site, called the "Kerch seep area" was discovered as an exception at 890 m water depth well within the GHSZ. In situ temperature measurements in shallow sediments indicate locally elevated temperatures probably caused by enhanced upward fluid flow. The base of the GHSZ in this region is generally situated at about 150 m below the seafloor. However, the local thermal anomalies result in a thinning of the gas hydrate occurrence zone to only a few meters below the seafloor and allow free gas to reach the seafloor. At sites where gas migrated into near-surface deposits, shallow gas hydrate deposits evolved and up-doming of overlying sediments led to the formation of mounds rising several meters from the surrounding seafloor. Further gas bubbles ascending from greater depth are accumulated below the gas hydrate layer at the base of the mound structures and migrate horizontally to their rims. At the mound edges gas bubbles either might form fresh gas hydrates and increase the extent of the mound structures by pushing up overlying sediments or escape at several sites into the water column. Two mounds were mapped in ultra-high resolution during dives with the autonomous underwater vehicle 'AUV MARUM SEAL 5000'. Several individual flares were detected in the Kerch seep area using hydroacoustic systems. Repeated surveys in that area conducted during three cruises within four years

  13. Temporal variation in natural methane seep rate due to tides, Coal Oil Point area, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boles, J. R.; Clark, J. F.; Leifer, I.; Washburn, L.

    2001-11-01

    Two large steel tents (each 30 m by 30 m), open at the bottom to the seafloor, capture ˜16,800 m3 d-1 (594 MCF) of primarily methane from a large natural hydrocarbon seep, occurring a kilometer offshore in 67 m of water. The gas is piped to shore where it is metered and processed. The seep flow rate was monitored hourly for 9 months. Our results show that the tidal forcing causes the flow rate to vary by 4-7% around the mean. These results are the first quantitative documentation of the effect of tides on natural gas seepage in relatively deep water. Time series analyses of the 9 month record clearly show four principal tidal components with periods of 12.0, 12.4, 23.9, and 25.8 hours. High tide correlates with reduced flow, and low tide correlates with increased flow. The correlation indicates that each meter increase of sea height results in a decrease of 10-15 m3 hr-1 or 1.5-2.2% of the hourly flow rate. The observed changes are best accounted for by a pore activation model, whereby gas is released from small pores at low pressures but is inhibited at higher pressure. Pressure-dependent gas solubility changes are a less likely cause of flow variation. Our study implies that sea level differences, on a tidal timescale, can significantly change the gas seepage rate from sediments. Lower sea level in the last hundred thousand years would presumably allow higher gas loss from the sediment, assuming sufficient gas present, because of reduced hydrostatic pressure at the sediment-sea interface. The magnitude of this long-term change cannot be extrapolated from our tidal data.

  14. Bacterial symbionts of Bathymodiolus mussels and Escarpia tubeworms from Chapopote, an asphalt seep in the Southern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Raggi, L; Schubotz, F; Hinrichs, K-U; Dubilier, N; Petersen, J M

    2013-07-01

    Chemosynthetic life was recently discovered at Chapopote, an asphalt hydrocarbon seep in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Preliminary morphological analyses indicated that one tubeworm and two mussel species colonize Chapopote. Our molecular analyses identified the tubeworm as Escarpia sp., and the mussels as Bathymodiolus heckerae and B. brooksi. Comparative 16S rRNA analysis and FISH showed that all three species harbour intracellular sulfur-oxidizing symbionts highly similar or identical to those found in the same host species from northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM). The mussels also harbour methane-oxidizing symbionts, and these shared highly similar to identical 16S rRNA sequences to their nGoM conspecifics. We discovered a novel symbiont in B. heckerae, which is closely related to hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria of the genus Cycloclasticus. In B. heckerae, we found key genes for the use of aromatic compounds, and its stable carbon isotope values were consistently higher than B. brooksi, indicating that the novel symbiont might use isotopically heavy aromatic hydrocarbons from the asphalt seep. This discovery is particularly intriguing because until now only methane and reduced sulfur compounds have been shown to power cold-seep chemosynthetic symbioses. The abundant hydrocarbons available at Chapopote would provide these mussel symbioses with a rich source of nutrition. PMID:23279012

  15. Symbiont-driven sulfur crystal formation in a thiotrophic symbiosis from deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps

    PubMed Central

    Eichinger, Irmgard; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan; Schmid, Markus; Fisher, Charles R; Bright, Monika

    2014-01-01

    The siboglinid tubeworm Sclerolinum contortum symbiosis inhabits sulfidic sediments at deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. A single symbiont phylotype in the symbiont-housing organ is inferred from phylogenetic analyses of the 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (16S rRNA) gene and fluorescent in situ hybridization. The phylotype we studied here, and a previous study from an arctic hydrocarbon seep population, reveal identical 16S rRNA symbiont gene sequences. While sulfide is apparently the energy source for the symbionts (and ultimately the gutless host), both partners also have to cope with its toxicity. This study demonstrates abundant large sulfur crystals restricted to the trophosome area. Based on Raman microspectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis, these crystals have the same S8 sulfur configuration as the recently described small sulfur vesicles formed in the symbionts. The crystals reside adjacent to the symbionts in the trophosome. This suggests that their formation is either extra- or intracellular in symbionts. We propose that formation of these crystals provides both energy-storage compounds for the symbionts and serves the symbiosis by removing excess toxic sulfide from host tissues. This symbiont-mediated sulfide detoxification may have been crucial for the establishment of thiotrophic symbiosis and continues to remain an important function of the symbionts. PMID:24992535

  16. HYFLUX: Satellite Exploration of Natural Hydrocarbon Seeps and Discovery of a Methane Hydrate Mound at GC600

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Pineda, O. G.; MacDonald, I. R.; Shedd, W.; Zimmer, B.

    2009-12-01

    Analysis of natural hydrocarbon seeps is important to improve our understanding of methane flux from deeper sediments to the water column. In order to quantify natural hydrocarbon seep formations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, a set of 686 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was analyzed using the Texture Classifying Neural Network Algorithm (TCNNA), which processes SAR data to delineate oil slicks. This analysis resulted in a characterization of 396 natural seep sites distributed in the northern GOM. Within these sites, a maximum of 1248 individual vents where identified. Oil reaching the sea-surface is deflected from its source during transit through the water column. This presentation describes a method for estimating locations of active oil vents based on repeated slick detection in SAR. One of the most active seep formations was detected in MMS lease block GC600. A total of 82 SAR scenes (collected by RADARSAT-1 from 1995 to 2007) was processed covering this region. Using TCNNA the area covered by each slick was computed and Oil Slicks Origins (OSO) were selected as single points within detected oil slicks. At this site, oil slick signatures had lengths up to 74 km and up to 27 km^2 of area. Using SAR and TCNNA, four active vents were identified in this seep formation. The geostatistical mean centroid among all detections indicated a location along a ridge-line at ~1200m. Sea truth observations with an ROV, confirmed that the estimated location of vents had a maximum offset of ~30 m from their actual locations on the seafloor. At the largest vent, a 3-m high, 12-m long mound of oil-saturated gas hydrate was observed. The outcrop contained thousands of ice worms and numerous semi-rigid chimneys from where oily bubbles were escaping in a continuous stream. Three additional vents were found along the ridge; these had lower apparent flow, but were also plugged with gas hydrate mounds. These results support use of SAR data for precise delineation of active seep

  17. From the Belly of the Beast: Biogeochemistry and geomicrobiology of a fluid seep at Chimaera [Yanartas], Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woycheese, K. M.; Yargicoglu, E. N.; Cardace, D.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    Serpentinization is proposed to support chemolithotrophic growth of microorganisms in surface and subsurface environments1. Abiotic CH4 production associated with terrestrial ophiolitic outcrops has been reported in southeastern Turkey2. The Yanartas (Chimaera) seep, located within the Tekirova ophiolite in Çirali, Antalya, Turkey, is one of the largest onshore CH4 seeps documented2-5. The seep consists of dozens of flames erupting from fractures within the ophiolite outcrop that burn continuously on CH4 (80-90% of gas composition2) produced by subsurface serpentinization reactions. Previous studies have focused on gas geochemistry from these seeps2, 4, 5. While past reports have not found active fluid seeps at Yanartas2, in February 2012, a fluid seep (possibly ephemeral) originating from a fracture was identified, which supported microbial mats over an outflow channel several m in length. This is the first investigation of the biogeochemical and geomicrobiological properties of this newly-discovered fluid seep. The fluid seep emits from a fracture that is actively burning, and travels down slope along the ophiolite outcrop for ~10 m. Sediment temperatures under the vent source were 50-60°C, while fluid emitting from the fracture was 18.5°C. The pH of the fluid at the vent source was 11.9, indicative of subterranean serpentinization. Approximately 7.3 m downstream, the pH dropped to 9.4, potentially due to meteoric water mixing. Fluid samples were collected along the outflow channel for major ion analysis, trace element analysis, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Biofilm and biomineralized microbial mats were collected for bulk C and N composition, 13C and 15N isotopes, and microscopy. Weight % total C (CT) in solids generally increases with distance from the source, while weight % organic C (Corg) decreases, reflective of a higher degree of carbonate biomineralization downstream. δ13C of solids indicates a general trend of

  18. How oil seeps, discoveries relate in deepwater Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; MacDonald, I.R.; Guinasso, N.L. Jr. )

    1993-04-19

    Biomarker compounds of crude oils from deep-water Gulf of Mexico seeps are consistent with an origin from deeply-buried Mesozoic carbonate source rocks. The known oil reserves, however, are trapped in shallow Miocene to Pleistocene sands. Several kilometers of vertical migration must be invoked to explain the presence of crude oil from deep sources in shallow reservoir sands. Salt-related fractures and faults serve as efficient conduits for vertical migration through the thick sedimentary section. Thermal history models suggest that oil migration off Louisiana started during the Miocene and continues at present in some areas. The paper describes visual inspection of seeps; gives an overview of the deep Gulf; and discusses seeps and fields, case histories, and frontier basins.

  19. Natural gas seeps in the French Alps: Sources and pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloppmann, Wolfram; Blessing, Michaela; Proust, Eric; Gal, Frédéric; Bentivegna, Gaetan; Henry, Benoit; Defossez, Pierrick; Catherine, Lerouge; Humez, Pauline; Mayer, Bernhard; Millot, Romain; Gaucher, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Natural gas emanations are part of the geochemical baseline to take into account when assessing global greenhouse gas emissions and potential impacts of conventional and unconventional gas exploration and exploitation on groundwater. Examples of such natural gas macro-seeps are known in several parts of the world (Etiope et al., 2009). Only a limited number of them have been characterized for their gas and isotopic compositions. Such analyses can provide essential information for baseline studies, providing insight in the sources (biogenic vs. thermogenic or modified thermogenic) and pathways of such seeps and may allow for distinction of natural seeps from stray gas leakage associated with human activities. Here, we report gas concentrations and multi-isotope data (δ13C and δ2H of methane and ethane, δ13C and δ18O of CO2, 3He/4He ratio) of two gas seeps in the French subalpine chains, both in a similar geological and structural position within Middle Jurassic claystones along the eastern border of the large synclinal structures of the Vercors and the Chartreuse massifs (Moss, 1992). The "ardent fountain" (fontaine ardente) of Le Gua, 30 km south of Grenoble has most likely the longest continuous written record of existence of any individual natural gas seep, mentioned explicitly as early as the first quarter of the 5th century (Augustin of Hippo (St. Augustin), approx. 426) This natural seep was described in the past as a "wet seep" associated with a spring, whereas the second investigated seep, Rochasson near Meylan north of Grenoble, is a dry seep. Both seeps contain methane and ethane with thermogenic C and H isotope signatures, comparable with a seep in the Northern Swiss Alps at Giswil (Etiope et al., 2010) but with a higher dryness (C1/(C2+C3)>1000) for the Le Gua seep, possibly due to molecular fractionation upon advective fluid+gas migration (Etiope et al., 2009). Maturity (R0) of the reservoir rocks deduced from δ13C(CH4), δ13C(C2H6) is similar to

  20. Methanotrophic gastropods from a bathyal hydrocarbon seep, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, L.C.; Aharon, P.; Gupta, S. )

    1992-01-01

    Two gastropods, Neritina sp. and Truncatella sp., collected live from a Gulf of Mexico active gas seep with the submersible Johnson Sea Link in September 1991, apparently incorporate methane-derived carbon in their soft tissues. Flesh of an individual Neritina sp. had a delta C-13 of [minus]50.92 per mil PDB, and that of two coexisting individuals of Truncatella sp. had values of [minus]45.11 and [minus]49.27 per mil. These isotope values are comparable to those reported for the methanotrophic mytilid bivalve Bathymodiolus sp. from other hydrocarbon seeps on the Gulf of Mexico, and are lighter than published isotopic values of chemosynthetic organisms with sulfur-oxidizing symbionts. The anomalously light carbon-isotopic values of Neritina sp. and Truncatella sp. may steam from one of three causes: (1) these gastropods host symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria, (2) their chief food is methane-oxidizing bacteria present at the seep, or (3) they incorporate some carbon from the periostracum of mussels on which they may graze. The presence of abundant juveniles of Bathymodiolus, reported to settle preferentially in areas of active seepage and high methane release, indicates that methane was abundant and supported a community with multiple trophic levels. Generally, studies of hydrocarbon-seep communities have focused on larger community members, especially bivalves and tube worms. The presence of living Neritina and Truncatella at the authors sampling site, however, draws attention to the fact that these gastropods are integral and significant parts of hydrocarbon-seep communities. Both gastropod species are members of genera that characteristically inhabit shallow marine, intertidal, and semiterrestrial environments. The presence of these genera in bathyal hydrocarbon seeps indicates that they have very broad environmental ranges, thus limiting their utility in paleoecologic reconstructions.

  1. Thermal Signatures and Gas Hydrates in the Seeps of the Sea of Okhotsk; Results from KOMEX 2002 Cruise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poort, J.; Matveeva, T.; Soloviev, V.; Biebow, N.

    2003-04-01

    Hydrate accumulations at the seafloor appear to be restricted to areas of focused fluid discharge. These fluid discharge features are generally associated with significant near-surface thermal anomalies. The thermal signatures can learn us about the process of fluid migrations, but may also reveal characteristics of potential hydrate accumulations. We present new thermal data from the seeps in the Sea of Okhotsk obtained in 2002 during the Lavrentev29 cruise of the Russian-German KOMEX project. Core temperature measurements and thermal conductivity determinations were performed on seven 4-6m long sediment cores. Measurements were done immediately up on core arrival on deck in order to have a fair estimation of in situ sediment temperatures and heat flow. In the gas vents on the Sakhalin slope where gas hydrates were visually observed at a subbottom depth of 4 m, non-elevated temperatures and very low to negative heat flow values (-13 to 36 mW/m2) were recorded in the upper 4-5m of the sediment column. In the seepage area of the Derugin basin, on the other hand, all sampled sites are characterized by concave upward curved temperature profiles and high overall heat flow values (100-243 mW/m2). In one sediment core both thermal and water/gas content showed strong signatures of dissociated gas hydrates during core recovery, suggesting that gas hydrates are also present in this area. The near-vertical temperature profiles in the seeps on the Sakhalin slope suggest that not much heat is transport upward by fluids and probably more pure gas venting is taking place. The lenticular-bedded structure of the observed hydrates supports this scenario. The low temperature may also be a result of the dissociation of gas hydrates, which previously were observed at the same site but at shallower subbottom depths. In the Derugin seeps the concave temperature profiles suggest relatively strong upward fluid flow (20-60 cm/yr). More massive type hydrates might be formed here by

  2. Macroscopic Biofilms in Fracture-Dominated Sediment That Anaerobically Oxidize Methane ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, B. R.; Pohlman, J. W.; Torres, M.; Riedel, M.; Brodie, E. L.; Colwell, F. S.

    2011-01-01

    Methane release from seafloor sediments is moderated, in part, by the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) performed by consortia of archaea and bacteria. These consortia occur as isolated cells and aggregates within the sulfate-methane transition (SMT) of diffusion and seep-dominant environments. Here we report on a new SMT setting where the AOM consortium occurs as macroscopic pink to orange biofilms within subseafloor fractures. Biofilm samples recovered from the Indian and northeast Pacific Oceans had a cellular abundance of 107 to 108 cells cm−3. This cell density is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than that in the surrounding sediments. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes indicated that the bacterial component is dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, candidate division WS3, and Chloroflexi, representing 46%, 15%, and 10% of clones, respectively. In addition, major archaeal taxa found in the biofilm were related to the ANME-1 clade, Thermoplasmatales, and Desulfurococcales, representing 73%, 11%, and 10% of archaeal clones, respectively. The sequences of all major taxa were similar to sequences previously reported from cold seep environments. PhyloChip microarray analysis detected all bacterial phyla identified by the clone library plus an additional 44 phyla. However, sequencing detected more archaea than the PhyloChip within the phyla of Methanosarcinales and Desulfurococcales. The stable carbon isotope composition of the biofilm from the SMT (−35 to −43‰) suggests that the production of the biofilm is associated with AOM. These biofilms are a novel, but apparently widespread, aggregation of cells represented by the ANME-1 clade that occur in methane-rich marine sediments. PMID:21821755

  3. Macroscopic biofilms in fracture-dominated sediment that anaerobically oxidize methane

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Briggs, B.R.; Pohlman, J.W.; Torres, M.; Riedel, M.; Brodie, E.L.; Colwell, F.S.

    2011-01-01

    Methane release from seafloor sediments is moderated, in part, by the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) performed by consortia of archaea and bacteria. These consortia occur as isolated cells and aggregates within the sulfate-methane transition (SMT) of diffusion and seep-dominant environments. Here we report on a new SMT setting where the AOM consortium occurs as macroscopic pink to orange biofilms within subseafloor fractures. Biofilm samples recovered from the Indian and northeast Pacific Oceans had a cellular abundance of 10 7 to 10 8 cells cm -3. This cell density is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than that in the surrounding sediments. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes indicated that the bacterial component is dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, candidate division WS3, and Chloroflexi, representing 46%, 15%, and 10% of clones, respectively. In addition, major archaeal taxa found in the biofilm were related to the ANME-1 clade, Thermoplasmatales, and Desulfurococcales, representing 73%, 11%, and 10% of archaeal clones, respectively. The sequences of all major taxa were similar to sequences previously reported from cold seep environments. PhyloChip microarray analysis detected all bacterial phyla identified by the clone library plus an additional 44 phyla. However, sequencing detected more archaea than the PhyloChip within the phyla of Methanosarcinales and Desulfurococcales. The stable carbon isotope composition of the biofilm from the SMT (-35 to-43%) suggests that the production of the biofilm is associated with AOM. These biofilms are a novel, but apparently widespread, aggregation of cells represented by the ANME-1 clade that occur in methane-rich marine sediments. ?? 2011, American Society for Microbiology.

  4. Macroscopic biofilms in fracture-dominated sediment that anaerobically oxidize methane.

    PubMed

    Briggs, B R; Pohlman, J W; Torres, M; Riedel, M; Brodie, E L; Colwell, F S

    2011-10-01

    Methane release from seafloor sediments is moderated, in part, by the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) performed by consortia of archaea and bacteria. These consortia occur as isolated cells and aggregates within the sulfate-methane transition (SMT) of diffusion and seep-dominant environments. Here we report on a new SMT setting where the AOM consortium occurs as macroscopic pink to orange biofilms within subseafloor fractures. Biofilm samples recovered from the Indian and northeast Pacific Oceans had a cellular abundance of 10(7) to 10(8) cells cm(-3). This cell density is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than that in the surrounding sediments. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes indicated that the bacterial component is dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, candidate division WS3, and Chloroflexi, representing 46%, 15%, and 10% of clones, respectively. In addition, major archaeal taxa found in the biofilm were related to the ANME-1 clade, Thermoplasmatales, and Desulfurococcales, representing 73%, 11%, and 10% of archaeal clones, respectively. The sequences of all major taxa were similar to sequences previously reported from cold seep environments. PhyloChip microarray analysis detected all bacterial phyla identified by the clone library plus an additional 44 phyla. However, sequencing detected more archaea than the PhyloChip within the phyla of Methanosarcinales and Desulfurococcales. The stable carbon isotope composition of the biofilm from the SMT (-35 to -43‰) suggests that the production of the biofilm is associated with AOM. These biofilms are a novel, but apparently widespread, aggregation of cells represented by the ANME-1 clade that occur in methane-rich marine sediments. PMID:21821755

  5. Cold Sores

    MedlinePlus

    ... delivered directly to your desktop! more... What Are Cold Sores? Article Chapters What Are Cold Sores? Cold ... January 2012 Previous Next Related Articles: Canker and Cold Sores Aloe Vera May Help Relieve Mouth Sores ...

  6. How geomorphology and groundwater level affect the spatio-temporal variability of riverine cold water patches?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wawrzyniak, Vincent; Piégay, Hervé; Allemand, Pascal; Vaudor, Lise; Goma, Régis; Grandjean, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Temperature is a key factor for river ecosystems. In summer, patches of cold water are formed in the river by groundwater seepage. These patches have strong ecological significance and extend to the surface water in a well-mixed riverine system. These patches can serve as thermal refuges for some fish species during summer. In this study, the temporal variability and spatial distribution of cold water patches were explored along a 50 km river reach (the lower Ain River, France) using thermal infrared airborne remote sensing. This study examines a new range of processes acting on cold water patches at different scales that have not previously been touched upon in the literature. Three airborne campaigns were conducted during the summers of 2010, 2011 and 2014. Based on these images, a large number of cold water patches were identified using an automated method. Four types of patches were observed: tributary plumes, cold side channels (former channels or point-bar backwater channels), side seeps (located directly in the river channel) and gravel bar seeps (occurring at the downstream end of gravel bars). Logistic regression was used to analyse the longitudinal distribution of cold water patches according to geomorphologic indicators reflecting current or past fluvial process. Side seeps were found to be related to the local geology. Cold side channels were correlated to contemporary and past lateral river mobility. Gravel bar seeps were related to the current development of bars and are more prevalent in wandering reaches than in single-bed incised and paved reaches. The logistic model was subsequently used to evaluate gravel bar seep variability in the past. The model suggests larger numbers of seeps in the mid-20th century when bar surface area was higher. Interannual variability in the occurrence and spatial extent of side seeps and gravel bar seeps appear to be related to groundwater level fluctuations. Cold side channels exhibited greater interannual stability

  7. Weak coupling between sulfate reduction and the anaerobic oxidation of methane in methane-rich seafloor sediments during ex situ incubation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowles, Marshall W.; Samarkin, Vladimir A.; Bowles, Kathy M.; Joye, Samantha B.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated coupling between sulfate reduction (SR) and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) by quantifying pore water geochemical profiles, determining rates of microbial processes, and examining microbial community structure at two sites within Mississippi Canyon lease block 118 (MC118) in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Sediments from the northwest seep contained high concentrations of methane while sediments from the southwest seep contained methane, gaseous n-alkanes and liquid hydrocarbons and had abundant surficial accumulations of gas hydrate. Volumetric (21.5 μmol cm -3 day -1) and integrated (1429 mmol m -2 day -1) rates of SR at MC118 in ex situ incubations are the highest reported thus far for seafloor environments. AOM rates were small in comparison, with volumetric rates ranging from 0.1 to 12.6 nmol cm -3 day -1. Diffusion cannot adequately supply the sulfate required to support these high SR rates so additional mechanisms, possibly biological sulfide oxidation and/or downward advection, play important roles in supplying sulfate at these sites. The microbial communities at MC118 included sulfate-reducing bacteria phylogenetically associated with Desulfobacterium anilini, which is capable of complex hydrocarbon degradation. Despite low AOM rates, the majority of archaea identified were phylogenetically related to previously described methane oxidizing archaea. To evaluate whether weak coupling between SR and AOM occurs in habitats lacking the complex hydrocarbon milieu present at MC118, we compiled available SR and AOM rates and found that the global median ratio of SR to AOM was 10.7:1 rather than the expected 1:1. The global median integrated AOM rate was used to refine global estimates for AOM rates at cold seeps; these new estimates are only 5% of the previous estimate.

  8. Adaptation to deep-sea methane seeps from Cretaceous shallow-water black shale environments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Steffen; Wiese, Frank; Titus, Alan

    2013-04-01

    Sulfide-enriched environments in shallow water were considered as sites where animals acquire pre-adaptations enabling them to colonize deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps or where they survived extinction events in their deep-sea habitats. Here we present upper Cenomanian (early Late Cretaceous) shallow-water seep communities from the Tropic Shale in the Western Interior Seaway, USA, that lived during a time of extremely warm deep-water temperatures, which supposedly facilitates adaptations to the deep sea, and time-equivalent with a period of widespread oceanic and photic zone anoxia (OAE 2) that supposedly extinguished deep-water vent and seep faunas. Contrary to the expectation, the taxa inhabiting the Tropic Shale seeps were not found at any coeval or younger deep-water seep or vent deposit. This suggests that (i) pre-adaptations for living at deep-sea vents and seeps do not evolve at shallow-water methane seeps, and probably also not in sulfide-rich shallow-water environments in general; (ii) a low temperature gradient from shallow to deep water does not facilitate onshore-offshore adaptations to deep-sea vents and seeps; and (iii) shallow-water seeps did not act as refuges for deep-sea vent and seep animals. We hypothesize that the vast majority of adaptations to successfully colonize deep-sea vents and seeps are acquired below the photic zone.

  9. Temporal Variation in Natural Methane Seep Rate Due to Tides, Coal Oil Point Area, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boles, J. R.; Clark, J. F.; Leifer, I.; Washburn, L.

    2001-12-01

    Two large steel tents (each 30m by 30m) open at the bottom to the sea floor, capture about 16,800 m{3{ day -1 (594 MCF) of primarily methane from a large natural hydrocarbon seep, occurring a kilometer offshore in 67m of water. Hourly monitoring for 9 months shows the tidal forcing causes the flow rate to vary by 4-7% around the mean. These results are the first quantitative documentation of the effect of tides on natural gas seepage in relatively deep water. High tide correlates with reduced flow, low tide correlates with increased flow. The correlation indicates that each meter increase of sea height results in a decrease of 10 to 15 m3 hr-1 or 1.5 to 2.2% of the hourly flow rate. The observed cahnges are best accounted for by a pore activation mechanism, whereby gas is released from small pores at low pressure but is inhibited at higher pressure. Pressure dependent gas solubility changes are a less likely cause of flow variation. Our study implies that sea level differences, on a tidal time scale, can significantly change the gas seepage rate from sediments. Lower sea level in the last hundred thousand years would presumably allow higher gas loss from the sediment, assuming sufficient gas present, due to reduced hudrostatic pressure at the sediment-sea interface. The magnitude of this long term change cannot be extrapolated from our tidal data.

  10. Use of LANDSAT-1 data for the detection and mapping of saline seeps in Montana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    May, G. A. (Principal Investigator); Petersen, G. W.

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. April, May, and August are the best times to detect saline seeps. Specific times within these months would be dependent upon weather, phenology, and growth conditions. Saline seeps can be efficiently and accurately mapped, within resolution capabilities, from merged May and August LANDSAT 1 data. Seeps were mapped by detecting salt crusts in the spring and indicator plants in the fall. These indicator plants were kochia, inkweed, and foxtail barley. The total hectares of the mapped saline seeps were calculated and tabulated. Saline seeps less than two hectares in size or that have linear configurations less than 200 meters in width were not mapped using the LANDSAT 1 data. Saline seep signatures developed in the Coffee Creek test site were extended to map saline seeps located outside this area.

  11. Investigation of Metal Bioavailability and Microbial Metal Utilization in Methane Seep Ecosystems through Integration of Geochemical and Biological Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, J. B.; Gadh, V.; Steele, J. A.; Adkins, J. F.; Orphan, V. J.

    2012-12-01

    Methane hydrate seeps are important sources of greenhouse gases and host unique microbial communities that couple anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulfate reduction. Microbial enzymes that catalyze the reactions driving these anaerobic metabolisms require transition metals such as Fe, Ni, Co, Zn, and Mo as essential cofactors. These metals are expected to be drawn down to low concentrations by precipitation as sulfide phases in the highly sulfidic porewaters at methane seep ecosystems. However, in situ concentrations of biologically-important metals in sulfidic methane seep pore fluids and the relative importance of different metals for anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) vs. sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are unknown. We are integrating geochemical and metagenomic datasets with nano-scale maps of cellular metal distributions to gain insights into metal bioavailability and utilization in methane seep ecosystems. We have measured porewater profiles of dissolved metals (V, Ni, Cu, Co, Fe, Mn, Zn, Mo and W) from three habitat types at Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon: Calyptogena clam beds, microbial mats and sites with low methane flux. Highly sulfidic sediment porewaters beneath microbial mats contained the lowest metal concentrations, suggesting that microbes inhabiting these environments may be limited by metal scarcity. Cobalt occurred at particularly low abundances (≤5 nM in all cores and frequently at sub-nanomolar levels). We also analyzed the taxonomic distribution of ABC (ATP-binding cassette) metal transporters in metagenomes from environmentally-enriched consortia of ANME-2 and SRB from Eel River Basin methane seeps. Our findings suggest that both ANME and SRB possess genes encoding ABC transporters with high affinity for Fe, Ni, Co, Zn and Mo. Combined with our geochemical data, these results imply that ANME-SRB consortia in highly sulfidic environments have specialized mechanisms that allow them to acquire metal micronutrients

  12. A new record of post-glacial sedimentation in a glacial trough, offshore sub-Antarctic South Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meisel, Ove; Graham, Alastair; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    sediment cements. The authigenic carbonates are linked to the widespread occurrence of cold methane seeps on the shelf which are visible today as zones of acoustic blanking and wipe-out structures in the sub-bottom profiles. These seeps are evidence of major biogenic productivity and carbon drawdown on the South Georgia shelf and the subsequent decay of organic matter. This finding is an important consideration for future studies as authigenic carbonate production and methane release have an impact on the isotopic composition of carbonate shells of marine organisms. Thus, radiocarbon ages recovered from the South Georgia shelf need to be examined critically and might require additional corrections.

  13. Speciation analysis of mercury in sediments using ionic-liquid-based vortex-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction combined with high-performance liquid chromatography and cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Leng, Geng; Chen, Wenjin; Wang, Yong

    2015-08-01

    An improved novel method based on ionic liquid vortex-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction has been developed for the extraction of methylmercury, ethylmercury and inorganic mercury in sediment samples prior to analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography with cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry. In this work, mercury species were firstly complexed with dithizone, and the complexes were extracted into 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate. Key factors that affect the extraction efficiency of mercury species, such as type and amount of ionic liquid and chelatants, extraction time, sample pH, salt effect and matrix effect were investigated. Under the optimum conditions, linearity was found in the concentration range from 0.1-70 ng/g. Limits of detection ranged from 0.037-0.061 ng/g. Reproducibility and recoveries were assessed by extracting a series of six independent sediment samples that were spiked with different concentration levels. Finally, the proposed method was successfully applied in analysis of real sediment samples. In this work, ionic liquids vortex-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction was for the first time used for the extraction of mercury species in sediment samples. The proposed method was proved to be much simpler and more rapid, as well as more environmentally friendly and efficient compared with the previous methods. PMID:25998155

  14. Hydrothermal vents and methane seeps: Rethinking the sphere of influence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levin, Lisa A.; Baco, Amy; Bowden, David; Colaco, Ana; Cordes, Erik E.; Cunha, Marina; Demopoulos, Amanda; Gobin, Judith; Grupe, Ben; Le, Jennifer; Metaxas, Anna; Netburn, Amanda; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew; Tunnicliffe, Verena; Van Dover, Cindy L.; Vanreusel, Ann; Watling, Les

    2016-01-01

    Although initially viewed as oases within a barren deep ocean, hydrothermal vent and methane seep communities are now recognized to interact with surrounding ecosystems on the sea floor and in the water column, and to affect global geochemical cycles. The importance of understanding these interactions is growing as the potential rises for disturbance from oil and gas extraction, seabed mining and bottom trawling. Here we synthesize current knowledge of the nature, extent and time and space scales of vent and seep interactions with background systems. We document an expanded footprint beyond the site of local venting or seepage with respect to elemental cycling and energy flux, habitat use, trophic interactions, and connectivity. Heat and energy are released, global biogeochemical and elemental cycles are modified, and particulates are transported widely in plumes. Hard and biotic substrates produced at vents and seeps are used by “benthic background” fauna for attachment substrata, shelter, and access to food via grazing or through position in the current, while particulates and fluid fluxes modify planktonic microbial communities. Chemosynthetic production provides nutrition to a host of benthic and planktonic heterotrophic background species through multiple horizontal and vertical transfer pathways assisted by flow, gamete release, animal movements, and succession, but these pathways remain poorly known. Shared species, genera and families indicate that ecological and evolutionary connectivity exists among vents, seeps, organic falls and background communities in the deep sea; the genetic linkages with inactive vents and seeps and background assemblages however, are practically unstudied. The waning of venting or seepage activity generates major transitions in space and time that create links to surrounding ecosystems, often with identifiable ecotones or successional stages. The nature of all these interactions is dependent on water depth, as well as

  15. Morphology of Florida escarpment chemosynthetic brine seep community sites: deep-tow, seabeam, and GLORIA surveys

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Spiess, F.N.; Curray, J.R.; Twitchell, D.

    1988-02-01

    The Florida Escarpment near 26/degree/N was surveyed with Deep-Tow, Seabeam, and GLORIA in the area where chemosynthetic communities were discovered via ALVIN in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Seabeam bathymetry and GLORIA images indicate that the escarpment is a generally straight cliff with average slopes of about 45/degree/ from 2200 to more than 3250 m. The escarpment's face is cut by 2-km wide box canyons whose head walls are as steep as the intervening escarpment's face. The shapes of these canyons are difficult to explain with the traditional models of canyon formation. Sidescan sonar images and bottom photographs reveal that the escarpment's face is composed of a series of long, straight bedding-plain terraces which are truncated along nearly vertical orthogonal joints. Exposure of these truncated strata indicate the face of the escarpment is eroded. The contact between the basal escarpment and the flat-lying abyssal hemipelagic sediments is abrupt. Basal talus is uncommon because the abyssal floor is part of the distal Mississippi fan which is rapidly burying the escarpment. However, where talus occurs, it is in tongues of angular megabreccia of meter- and larger-sized blocks which indicate periodic catastrophic collapse. Sidescan images reveal bands of contrast in the reflective texture of the sea floor that extends 10-20 m from the base along more than 10% of the surveyed area. Photographic surveys show that these areas are associated with communities of abundant organisms. Apparently chemosynthetic communities line extensive sections of the escarpment base where reduced brines seep out into the sea floor. The morphology suggests joints and deep seeps are controlling factors in scarp retreat.

  16. Isolation and Characterization of Ethane, Propane, and Butane Consuming Bacteria from Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, M. C.; Valentine, D. L.

    2005-12-01

    Three strains of ethane, propane, or butane consuming bacteria were isolated from marine hydrocarbon seep sediments at Coal Oil Point, off shore Santa Barbara, CA. These three isolates (MR1, MR2 and MR3) were capable of growth at natural environmental temperatures and salinity. Isolate MR2 was capable of growth on ethane or propane as the sole carbon source, isolate MR4 on propane or butane, and isolate MR3 on ethane, propane, or butane. All three isolates were also able to grow on other carbon-containing molecules, including ethanol, 1-propanol, 2-propanol, acetate, butyrate, sucrose, and dextrose, and isolates MR3 and MR4 were able to grow on 1-butanol and 2-butanol. None showed significant growth with methane, methanol, or formate as the sole carbon source. 16S rDNA sequencing indicated that isolate MR2 was most closely related to the gamma-Proteobacterium Pseudomonas stutzeri, while isolates MR3 and MR4 were both Gram-positive and most similar to Rhodococcus wratislaviensis and Rhodococcus opacus, respectively. Compared to methanotrophs, relatively little is known about the organisms that consume the C2-C4 alkanes, but both our isolates and the previously described species appear to be capable of metabolizing a wide variety of carbon compounds, including several common pollutants. The growth of these hydrocarbon-oxidizing bacteria on other organic compounds raises the possibility that the abundance and distribution of organic matter might be expected to impact the oxidation of C2-C4 hydrocarbons. Additional studies will further characterize the range of metabolism, and will investigate the importance of these organisms in natural hydrocarbon seep environments.

  17. Phylogenetic and functional diversity of microbial communities associated with subsurface sediments of the Sonora Margin, Guaymas Basin.

    PubMed

    Vigneron, Adrien; Cruaud, Perrine; Roussel, Erwan G; Pignet, Patricia; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Callac, Nolwenn; Ciobanu, Maria-Cristina; Godfroy, Anne; Cragg, Barry A; Parkes, John R; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Toffin, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface sediments of the Sonora Margin (Guaymas Basin), located in proximity of active cold seep sites were explored. The taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial and archaeal communities were investigated from 1 to 10 meters below the seafloor. Microbial community structure and abundance and distribution of dominant populations were assessed using complementary molecular approaches (Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis, 16S rRNA libraries and quantitative PCR with an extensive primers set) and correlated to comprehensive geochemical data. Moreover the metabolic potentials and functional traits of the microbial community were also identified using the GeoChip functional gene microarray and metabolic rates. The active microbial community structure in the Sonora Margin sediments was related to deep subsurface ecosystems (Marine Benthic Groups B and D, Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, Chloroflexi and Candidate divisions) and remained relatively similar throughout the sediment section, despite defined biogeochemical gradients. However, relative abundances of bacterial and archaeal dominant lineages were significantly correlated with organic carbon quantity and origin. Consistently, metabolic pathways for the degradation and assimilation of this organic carbon as well as genetic potentials for the transformation of detrital organic matters, hydrocarbons and recalcitrant substrates were detected, suggesting that chemoorganotrophic microorganisms may dominate the microbial community of the Sonora Margin subsurface sediments. PMID:25099369

  18. Phylogenetic and Functional Diversity of Microbial Communities Associated with Subsurface Sediments of the Sonora Margin, Guaymas Basin

    PubMed Central

    Vigneron, Adrien; Cruaud, Perrine; Roussel, Erwan G.; Pignet, Patricia; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Callac, Nolwenn; Ciobanu, Maria-Cristina; Godfroy, Anne; Cragg, Barry A.; Parkes, John R.; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Toffin, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface sediments of the Sonora Margin (Guaymas Basin), located in proximity of active cold seep sites were explored. The taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial and archaeal communities were investigated from 1 to 10 meters below the seafloor. Microbial community structure and abundance and distribution of dominant populations were assessed using complementary molecular approaches (Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis, 16S rRNA libraries and quantitative PCR with an extensive primers set) and correlated to comprehensive geochemical data. Moreover the metabolic potentials and functional traits of the microbial community were also identified using the GeoChip functional gene microarray and metabolic rates. The active microbial community structure in the Sonora Margin sediments was related to deep subsurface ecosystems (Marine Benthic Groups B and D, Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, Chloroflexi and Candidate divisions) and remained relatively similar throughout the sediment section, despite defined biogeochemical gradients. However, relative abundances of bacterial and archaeal dominant lineages were significantly correlated with organic carbon quantity and origin. Consistently, metabolic pathways for the degradation and assimilation of this organic carbon as well as genetic potentials for the transformation of detrital organic matters, hydrocarbons and recalcitrant substrates were detected, suggesting that chemoorganotrophic microorganisms may dominate the microbial community of the Sonora Margin subsurface sediments. PMID:25099369

  19. Cold Stress

    MedlinePlus

    ... be at risk of cold stress. Extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that can bring on ... the country. In regions relatively unaccustomed to winter weather, near freezing temperatures are considered factors for cold ...

  20. Cold intolerance

    MedlinePlus

    ... intolerance is an abnormal sensitivity to a cold environment or cold temperatures. ... can be a symptom of a problem with metabolism. Some people (often very thin women) do not tolerate cold environments because they have very little body fat and ...

  1. Common cold

    MedlinePlus

    ... are the most common reason that children miss school and parents miss work. Parents often get colds ... other children. A cold can spread quickly through schools or daycares. Colds can occur at any time ...

  2. Common Cold

    MedlinePlus

    ... coughing - everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold. It is probably the most common illness. In ... people in the United States suffer 1 billion colds. You can get a cold by touching your ...

  3. Active seeps, investment climate draw interest to Uganda

    SciTech Connect

    Patton, D.K.; Kashambuzi, R.; Rubondo, E.N.T.

    1995-05-01

    Production has not been established in Uganda, but the hydrocarbon generating capacity of its rift basin is clearly evident. Reports of oil seeps date to 1925 to observations by Wayland; who relates 52 hydrocarbon occurrences in and around Lake Albert. Although not all remain active, nine oil seeps in the rift basin are confirmed active at present. The Albertine graben, a part of the East African rift system, dominates the geology of Uganda. Other, larger basins of similar evolution in Africa include the Sirte basin and the Gulf of Suez basin. These prolific basins account for one third of Africa`s total reserves. The paper describes the geologic setting, reservoirs, source rocks, geologic seals, structures, exploration history, licenses available, and fiscal terms.

  4. Oil seeps of the Ionian Islands, western Greece

    SciTech Connect

    Lowe, S.P.; Doran, T.

    1988-08-01

    Many Greeks believe the tarry deposits commonly observed on the beaches of Levkas, Meganissi, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Zakinthos originate from Turkish tankers. Geologists would propose an origin from source rocks which feed the large oil pools exposed at Limni Keriou on the southwestern tip of the island of Zakinthos. Samples of this oil seep have been studied in detail, together with oil samples collected around the islands of Zakinthos, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Meganissi, from which it can be seen a geologic origin is plausible. Examination of possible source rock intervals (for both maturity and source potential) occurring within the pre-flysch succession (Triassic-Eocene) of rocks exposed in the same area has also been completed. From these findings, conjecture as to the possible source of the oil seeps has been made.

  5. Evaluating bacterial community structures in oil collected from the sea surface and sediment in the northern Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing

    2013-06-01

    Bacterial community structures were evaluated in oil samples using culture-independent pyrosequencing, including oil mousses collected on sea surface and salt marshes during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and oil deposited in sediments adjacent to the wellhead 1 year after the spill. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Erythrobacter, Rhodovulum, Stappia, and Thalassospira of Alphaproteobacteria were the prevailing groups in the oil mousses, which may relate to high temperatures and strong irradiance in surface Gulf waters. In the mousse collected from the leaves of Spartina alterniflora, Vibrio of Gammaproteobacteria represented 57% of the total operational taxonomic units, suggesting that this indigenous genus is particularly responsive to the oil contamination in salt marshes. The bacterial communities in oil-contaminated sediments were highly diversified. The relatively high abundance of the Methylococcus, Methylobacter, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Chlorofexi bacteria resembles those found in certain cold-seep sediments with gas hydrates. Bacterial communities in the overlying water of the oil-contaminated sediment were dominated by Ralstonia of Betaproteobacteria, which can degrade small aromatics, and Saccharophagus degradans of Gammaproteobacteria, a cellulose degrader, suggesting that overlying water was affected by the oil-contaminated sediments, possibly due to the dissolution of small aromatics and biosurfactants produced during biodegradation. Overall, these results provided key information needed to evaluate oil degradation in the region and develop future bioremediation strategies. PMID:23568850

  6. Evaluating bacterial community structures in oil collected from the sea surface and sediment in the northern Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial community structures were evaluated in oil samples using culture-independent pyrosequencing, including oil mousses collected on sea surface and salt marshes during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and oil deposited in sediments adjacent to the wellhead 1 year after the spill. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Erythrobacter, Rhodovulum, Stappia, and Thalassospira of Alphaproteobacteria were the prevailing groups in the oil mousses, which may relate to high temperatures and strong irradiance in surface Gulf waters. In the mousse collected from the leaves of Spartina alterniflora, Vibrio of Gammaproteobacteria represented 57% of the total operational taxonomic units, suggesting that this indigenous genus is particularly responsive to the oil contamination in salt marshes. The bacterial communities in oil-contaminated sediments were highly diversified. The relatively high abundance of the Methylococcus, Methylobacter, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Chlorofexi bacteria resembles those found in certain cold-seep sediments with gas hydrates. Bacterial communities in the overlying water of the oil-contaminated sediment were dominated by Ralstonia of Betaproteobacteria, which can degrade small aromatics, and Saccharophagus degradans of Gammaproteobacteria, a cellulose degrader, suggesting that overlying water was affected by the oil-contaminated sediments, possibly due to the dissolution of small aromatics and biosurfactants produced during biodegradation. Overall, these results provided key information needed to evaluate oil degradation in the region and develop future bioremediation strategies. PMID:23568850

  7. New Seep Sites along the West-African Passive Margin Identified from Seismo-Acoustic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fekete, N.; Spiess, V.; Caparachin, C.; Ding, F.; Gehrmann, R.; Riepshoff, H.; Trampe, A.; Foucher, J.-P.

    2009-04-01

    Recent and ongoing venting activity is documented offshore West Africa by large pockmarks, as has been observed by previous marine expeditions along the continental margin (e.g. Meteor Cruises M47/3 and M56). In summer 2008, an interdisciplinary campaign was carried out in cooperation between the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen and IFREMER, Brest. The main scientific goal of the cruise was to assess the influence of different geological settings on the nature of venting and related features. Multi-frequency seismo-acoustic tools including swath bathymetry, sediment echosounder, flare imagery, and high-resolution multichannel seismics were utilized within the scope of geophysical studies for investigating the distribution of seep structures and associated subsurface feeder systems. Observations confirm a widespread occurrence of pockmarks along the continental margins of Gabon, Congo and Angola in deep water. Spatial surveys have further shown that venting-related features are present on different scales, particularly with sizes of tens of meters in diameter and topographical expressions on the meter scale. While these structures seem to be related to relatively shallow gas reservoirs, larger ones reveal roots to gas reservoirs in several hundred meters below the seafloor. At some sites, gas flares of a few hundred to over a thousand meters height could be identified within the water column. Comparing target areas north and south of the Congo Canyon, it has become evident that different driving forces and sedimentary and tectonic boundary conditions may be responsible for fluid venting and its distribution. While in the north, a thick sediment cover restricts seepage to selected zones of weakness and higher permeability, salt diapirism in the south is massively fracturing overlying sediments, creating numerous promising morphological features at the seafloor. However, only a few active vents could be found in the area of salt diapirism

  8. Geochemical characteristics of bitumens and seeps from Tanzania

    SciTech Connect

    Mpanju, F. ); Philp, P. )

    1991-03-01

    A number of bitumen extracts from prospective source rocks and oil seeps of potential oil-producing areas in Tanzania have been characterized by a variety of geochemical techniques. The data obtained from this study have provided additional insight into the source rock potential of these areas. However, in this paper it is proposed to discuss in detail the results from two of the more unusual samples in this region, namely Wingayongo and Pemba. The Wingayongo bitumens isolated from an exposed Neocomian-aged sandstone, possibly a paleoreservoir, are almost totally devoid of n-alkanes and steranes and dominated by hopane-type biomarkers with the so-called immature {beta}{beta}-stereochemistry at the C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions. There is no typical evidence of biodegradation having occurred leading to the proposal of an unusual source material or maturity history for this sample. The Pemba seep samples were also characterized by relatively high concentrations of hopanes with the immature stereochemistry at the C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions and a virtual absence of n-alkanes and steranes. The aromatic fractions contained relatively high concentrations of hopanic acids, with the immature stereochemistry at C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions and a virtual absence of n-alkanes and steranes. The aromatic fractions contained relatively high concentrations of hopanic acids, with the immature stereochemistry at C{sub 17} and C{sub 21}. On the basis of these data, it is proposed that the seeps in the Pemba region are not true oil seeps. Rather they are formed as a result of extremely high levels of bacterial activity with the bacteria utilizing natural gas in the region as the substrate. The net result is a material referred to in other areas of the world as paraffin dirt whose occurrence results from extensive microbial activity in the region and not directly from seepage of products having a thermal origin.

  9. Cold Vents: A Study From Wairarapa Offshore New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Netzeband, G. L.; Krabbenhoeft, A.; Zillmer, M.; Klaucke, I.; Petersen, C. J.; Bialas, J.

    2007-12-01

    The role of methane in the global bio-geo-system is one of the most important issues of present-day research. Cold seeps, where methane leaves the seafloor and enters the water column, provide valuable evidence of subsurface methane paths. The cruise SO 191-1 (Jan. 2007) on RV Sonne was dedicated to the investigation of local and regional transport processes of methane and gas hydrate deposits east of New Zealand. The eastern coast of New Zealand is shaped by intensive compressional tectonics caused by the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate. In the area of Wairarapa, offshore the southern tip of the north island, a number of extremely active seeps have been discovered. High resolution seismic sections show a variety of seep appearances. We see seismic chimneys either characterized by high amplitude reflections or by acoustic turbidity and faults acting as fluid paths. The bathymetric expression of the seeps also varies, we see seeps beneath a flat seafloor as well as pockmarks and small mounds. The images of the 3.5kHz Parasound system and of the deep-towed subbottom profiler system reveal the near- surface structure of the vent sites. While high amplitude spots within the uppermost 50mbsf are observed at the majority of the seeps, indicating carbonate concretions, a few seep sites are characterized by the complete absence of reflections, indicating a high gas content. Five ocean bottom methane sensors had been deployed, which continuously measured the methane concentration and water temperature over a period of several days. The results are most intriguing: One instrument near a seep measured a peak concentration of several microMol/l, while another sensor about 300m further recorded values by a factor of 10 less. This demonstrates the spatial confinement of methane expulsion at seeps. The temporal methane concentration varies over several orders of magnitude without any correlation between the five instrument locations or the tidal signal

  10. Physical basis of coastal productivity: The SEEP and MASAR experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csanady, G. T.

    Two major cooperative experiments, code-named Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) I and II, were carried out on the northeast U.S. continental shelf and slope by an interdisciplinary group of scientists in the past decade. The work, supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Health and Environmental Research, had the broad aim of determining whether or to what extent energy-related human activities interfere with the high biological productivity of coastal waters. Much of SEEP I work was reported in a dedicated issue of Continental Shelf Research, including a summary article on the experiment as a whole [Walsh et al., 1988[. A parallel experiment, supported by the Minerals Management Service and code-named Mid Atlantic Slope and Rise (MASAR), had the objective of exploring physical processes over the continental slope and rise, including especially currents in the upper part of the water column. A good deal of MASAR work was also reported in the SEEP issue just mentioned, mainly in an article by Csanady and Hamilton (1988). There have been other papers and publications on these experiments, and more are forthcoming. While many questions remain, our horizons have broadened considerably after a decade of work on this problem, as if our aeroplane had just emerged from clouds to expose an interesting landscape. In this article I shall try to describe the physical (-oceanographic) features of that landscape, not in the chronological order in which we have espied them, but as the logic of the subject dictates.

  11. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  12. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prouty, N. G.; Sahy, D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Roark, E. B.; Condon, D.; Brooke, S.; Ross, S. W.; Demopoulos, A. W. J.

    2016-09-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average δ13C signature of - 47 ‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment-water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon (δ13C and Δ13C) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U-Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7 ± 0.6 ka to 15.7 ± 1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0 ± 0.7 ka to 3.3 ± 1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that the

  13. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prouty, N. G.; Sahy, D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Roark, E. B.; Condon, D.; Brooke, S.; Ross, S. W.; Demopoulos, A. W. J.

    2016-09-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average δ13C signature of - 47 ‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment-water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon (δ13C and Δ13C) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U-Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7 ± 0.6 ka to 15.7 ± 1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0 ± 0.7 ka to 3.3 ± 1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that the

  14. A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Lisa A.; Orphan, Victoria J.; Rouse, Greg W.; Rathburn, Anthony E.; Ussler, William; Cook, Geoffrey S.; Goffredi, Shana K.; Perez, Elena M.; Waren, Anders; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Chadwick, Grayson; Strickrott, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Upon their initial discovery, hydrothermal vents and methane seeps were considered to be related but distinct ecosystems, with different distributions, geomorphology, temperatures, geochemical properties and mostly different species. However, subsequently discovered vents and seep systems have blurred this distinction. Here, we report on a composite, hydrothermal seep ecosystem at a subducting seamount on the convergent Costa Rica margin that represents an intermediate between vent and seep ecosystems. Diffuse flow of shimmering, warm fluids with high methane concentrations supports a mixture of microbes, animal species, assemblages and trophic pathways with vent and seep affinities. Their coexistence reinforces the continuity of reducing environments and exemplifies a setting conducive to interactive evolution of vent and seep biota. PMID:22398162

  15. Diverse sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade are the key alkane degraders at marine seeps

    PubMed Central

    Kleindienst, Sara; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Stagars, Marion; von Netzer, Frederick; von Bergen, Martin; Seifert, Jana; Peplies, Jörg; Amann, Rudolf; Musat, Florin; Lueders, Tillmann; Knittel, Katrin

    2014-01-01

    Biogeochemical and microbiological data indicate that the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has an important role in carbon and sulfur cycling at marine seeps. Yet, little is known about the bacterial hydrocarbon degraders active in situ. Here, we provide the link between previous biogeochemical measurements and the cultivation of degraders by direct identification of SRB responsible for butane and dodecane degradation in complex on-site microbiota. Two contrasting seep sediments from Mediterranean Amon mud volcano and Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were incubated with 13C-labeled butane or dodecane under sulfate-reducing conditions and analyzed via complementary stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques. Using DNA- and rRNA-SIP, we identified four specialized clades of alkane oxidizers within Desulfobacteraceae to be distinctively active in oxidation of short- and long-chain alkanes. All clades belong to the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade, substantiating the crucial role of these bacteria in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation at marine seeps. The identification of key enzymes of anaerobic alkane degradation, subsequent β-oxidation and the reverse Wood–Ljungdahl pathway for complete substrate oxidation by protein-SIP further corroborated the importance of the DSS clade and indicated that biochemical pathways, analog to those discovered in the laboratory, are of great relevance for natural settings. The high diversity within identified subclades together with their capability to initiate alkane degradation and growth within days to weeks after substrate amendment suggest an overlooked potential of marine benthic microbiota to react to natural changes in seepage, as well as to massive hydrocarbon input, for example, as encountered during anthropogenic oil spills. PMID:24722631

  16. Diverse sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade are the key alkane degraders at marine seeps.

    PubMed

    Kleindienst, Sara; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Stagars, Marion; von Netzer, Frederick; von Bergen, Martin; Seifert, Jana; Peplies, Jörg; Amann, Rudolf; Musat, Florin; Lueders, Tillmann; Knittel, Katrin

    2014-10-01

    Biogeochemical and microbiological data indicate that the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has an important role in carbon and sulfur cycling at marine seeps. Yet, little is known about the bacterial hydrocarbon degraders active in situ. Here, we provide the link between previous biogeochemical measurements and the cultivation of degraders by direct identification of SRB responsible for butane and dodecane degradation in complex on-site microbiota. Two contrasting seep sediments from Mediterranean Amon mud volcano and Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were incubated with (13)C-labeled butane or dodecane under sulfate-reducing conditions and analyzed via complementary stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques. Using DNA- and rRNA-SIP, we identified four specialized clades of alkane oxidizers within Desulfobacteraceae to be distinctively active in oxidation of short- and long-chain alkanes. All clades belong to the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade, substantiating the crucial role of these bacteria in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation at marine seeps. The identification of key enzymes of anaerobic alkane degradation, subsequent β-oxidation and the reverse Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for complete substrate oxidation by protein-SIP further corroborated the importance of the DSS clade and indicated that biochemical pathways, analog to those discovered in the laboratory, are of great relevance for natural settings. The high diversity within identified subclades together with their capability to initiate alkane degradation and growth within days to weeks after substrate amendment suggest an overlooked potential of marine benthic microbiota to react to natural changes in seepage, as well as to massive hydrocarbon input, for example, as encountered during anthropogenic oil spills. PMID:24722631

  17. The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert; Parent, Horacio; Garrido, Alberto; Moriya, Kazuhiro

    2015-04-01

    The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina Andrzej Kaim, Robert G. Jenkins, Horacio Parent, Alberto C. Garrido The hydrocarbon seep deposits are known from Early Jurassic of Argentina since the report of Gomez-Perez (2003). The latter author identified very negative δ13C values (down to -33) and several fabrics typical for seep carbonates. Nevertheless she identified no macrofaunal assemblages apart from worm tubes. We re-visited the locality of Gomez-Perez (named here La Elina) and we were able to collect several molluscs associated with the seep carbonate. The most common and diversified are molluscs and worm tubes. We identified at least three species of gastropods, including the oldest-known species of neomphalids, lucinid and protobranch bivalves and numerous ammonoids. Unlike another known Early Jurassic seep from Oregon and the only Late Triassic seep (also from Oregon) there are no brachiopods associated with this seep. Therefore we consider the seep at La Elina as the oldest seep of modern aspect where the fauna is dominated by molluscs and not brachiopods.

  18. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Sahy, Diana; Ruppel, Carolyn; Roark, E. Brendan; Condon, Dan; Brooke, Sandra; Ross, Steve W.; Demopoulos, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus   sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average  signature of −47‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment–water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon ( and ) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus   sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U–Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7±0.6 ka to 15.7±1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0±0.7 ka to 3.3±1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that

  19. Carbon isotopes of benthic foraminifera associated with methane seeps in Four-Way Closure Ridge, offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, W. R.; Wei, K. Y.; Mii, H. S.; Lin, Y. S.; Huang, J. J.; Wang, P. L.; Lin, A. T.

    2015-12-01

    Release of large amounts of methane from marine gas hydrate reservoirs has been considered as a possible trigger of climate change, which can be recorded by the variation of carbon isotopes (δ13C) of the benthic foraminifera. In modern analogs, previous studies have suggested that δ13C becomes more negative when influenced by methane seeps. However, values of δ13C of benthic foraminifera might vary with different species and sedimentary settings in different regions. Seismic profiles in offshore southwestern Taiwan show the existence of Bottom Simulating Reflector (BSR) in the region, indicative of gas hydrate reservoirs. Various methane seepages have been found, and they are suspected to be related to the gas hydrates buried underneath. A better understanding of the δ13C signals of benthic foraminifera near the methane seepages can further clarify the origin of the methane and to evaluate it as a proxy of methane release for the geologic past. We have analyzed δ13C of benthic foraminifera Uvigerina proboscidea (150-250 mm) in the topmost 15 cm sediments in five marine cores (OR1-1092-WFWC-1, OR1-1092-WFWC-4, OR1-1092-WFWC-6, OR3-1806-C5-2 and OR3-1806-C10) collected from the Four-Way Closure Ridge in offshore southwestern Taiwan (water depth from 1330 to 1580 m). Our results show that δ13C values of U. proboscidea range from -0.98‰ to -6.21‰ (VPDB) for core OR3-1806-C5-2, which is considered as a seeps-influenced site. On the other hand, δ13C values of U. proboscidea from the background sites range from -0.40‰ to -1.00‰. The difference between the methane seep-affected and the background sites is in the range of 0.00‰ to 5.01‰, comparable to those documented in previous studies in other areas. The significant negative excursion in carbon isotopes in the seep site foraminifera is likely caused by incorporation of light inorganic carbon generated by methanotrophy in the system.

  20. Genetic legacy of the deep subsurface recorded in the outflow channel of a terrestrial serpentinizing seep (Luzon, the Philippines)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woycheese, K. M.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Cardace, D.; Arcilla, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    The deep subsurface microbial community represents the largest biome on Earth, yet accessing this deep biosphere is challenging. Fluids seep along fractures from aquifers that may support diverse microbial communities, living off hydrogen gas generated by radiolysis, serpentinization, or thermogenic reactions. A serpentinizing seep, emanating fluids as high as pH 11.27, was found to accrete meters-long carbonate terraces in the Zambales ophiolite range (Luzon, the Philippines). Samples were collected at several locations along the Poon Bato (PB) River, focusing primarily on the pools and terraces formed by carbonate rimstone (Figure 1). As serpentinizing fluids are exposed to the atmosphere, dynamic niches are established in surface sediments. We propose that the high pH, reducing, high Ca+2 fluid pool terraces reflect remnants of deep subsurface microbial communities, based on high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing data. In total, eight samples were collected for environmental DNA analysis. Post-sequence analysis revealed a total of 927126 counts, with an average of 115890.75 counts per sample. Many taxa aligned with cultured representatives of serpentinizing seep-associated taxa, including Bacteroidetes, Clostrida, Chloroflexi, Methylococcales, and Xanthomonadales. Geochemical data indicates an average fluid temperature of 28.9°C, and pH that varies from 9.22-11.27. Total carbon wt.% of solids was highest in a shallow pool shaped by boulders, where calcite precipitation occurred over nearly every surface. Dissolved oxygen (DO%) was highest at PB1 main pool (60%), although a calcite skin had formed along the air-water interface. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) at PB1 main pool was 1.3 ppm, while at PB2 main pool, the DIC was higher (6.0 ppm). The lack of calcite skin may allow more direct access to atmospheric carbon dioxide at PB2. The isotopic value of carbon-13 was depleted at PB1 relative to PB2 (δ13C VPDB -25.4 ‰ versus δ13C VPDB ‰ -17.5, respectively

  1. Simultaneous quantification of methane and carbon dioxide fluxes reveals that a shallow arctic methane seep is a net sink for greenhouse gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Greinert, J.; Ruppel, C. D.; Silyakova, A.; Vielstädte, L.; Magen, C.; Casso, M.; Bunz, S.; Mienert, J.

    2015-12-01

    Warming of high-latitude continental-margin oceans has the potential to release large quantities of carbon from gas hydrate and other sedimentary reservoirs. To assess how carbon mobilized from the seafloor might amplify global warming or alter ocean chemistry, a robust analysis of the concentrations and isotopic content of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water column and atmosphere is required. To this effect, a gas analysis system consisting of three cavity ring-down spectrometers was developed to obtain a real-time, three-dimensional characterization of the distribution and isotopic variability of methane and CO2 at a shallow (<100 m water depth) bubbling methane seep offshore of western Svalbard. Surface water methane concentrations from the continuous-flow CRDS system agreed remarkably well with discrete samples analyzed by the GC-based headspace analysis technique and with a CRDS-based discrete sample analysis module. Reliable carbon isotope data were also obtained from the CRDSs once an isotopic calibration routine was applied. The resulting data revealed that CO2 uptake from the atmosphere within the surface water methane plume overlying the gas seep was elevated by 36-45% relative to surrounding waters. In comparison to the positive radiative forcing effect expected from the methane emissions, the negative radiative forcing potential from CO2 uptake was 32-43 times greater. Lower water temperatures, elevated chlorophyll-fluorescence and 13C-enriched CO2 within the surface methane plume suggest that bubble-driven upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water stimulated CO2 uptake by phytoplankton. The observation that a shallow methane seep has a net negative radiative forcing effect challenges the widely-held perception that methane seeps contribute to the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden.

  2. Optical sensing for characterization of bubble plumes from methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizarro, O.; Camilli, R.; Whelan, J.

    2004-12-01

    Methane seeps are potentially a key contributor to atmospheric methane and to the global greenhouse gas budget. Improved estimates of methane flux from ocean floor seeps is required to understand the magnitude and characteristics of this contribution to the carbon cycle. % State of the art In steady, slow seeps a large portion of the gas is dissolved and oxidized before reaching the surface. However, in high-intensity methane seeps the bubble density, speed and size are such that a significant fraction of the gas can reach the atmosphere. Dissolved methane can be measured fairly reliably at the sea surface with traditional equilibration techniques. New types of in-situ chemical sensors can quantify dissolved methane deeper in the water column. Quantifying methane within the water column in the free gas phase (i.e., in the form of bubbles) remains a challenging problem. Current approaches rely either on indirect acoustic methods or direct collection of bubbles. Acoustic methods have the disadvantage of requiring extensive calibration, and can fail to distinguish the bubble signal from other sources of acoustic noise. Gas-capture techniques are mechanically complex, have a surface expression that introduces some noise, and can potentially alias episodic events. %how slow ? In both cases the fine scale structure such as herogeneity of the bubbling plume is lost. % Proposed We propose a vision-based system to detect and track bubble plumes. High speed optical imagery is propenables precise measurements of the motion of bubbles through a process involving identification of the individual bubbles (and rejection of other particles). Additional image processing steps are then used to estimate each bubble's volume and velocity. These are then integrated to produce an estimate of volumetric flux rate. This technique can also reveal fine scale variabilities in the spatial and temporal structure within the plume. %We discuss sensing configurations based on a stereo setup and

  3. Mollusks from late Mesozoic seep deposits, chiefly in California.

    PubMed

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert G; Tanabe, Kazushige; Kiel, Steffen

    2014-01-01

    Twenty-nine mollusk species from Late Jurassic to Eocene hydrocarbon seep deposits from California (USA), Japan, New Zealand, and Barbados are described and illustrated. Twenty species belong to Gastropoda and nine to Bivalvia. Seven new species, three new genera, and one new family are introduced. The gastropod Hikidea gen. nov. includes smooth-shelled Cantrainea-like colloniins from Cretaceous hydrocarbon seeps and plesiosaur falls. Hikidea osoensis sp. nov. is the oldest species of this genus. Chilodonta? reticulata sp. nov. is a distinctive vetigastropod though its supraspecific position is unclear. Phanerolepida onoensis sp. nov. is the first species of this colloniin genus from a seep deposit. We describe two new genera of Hokkaidoconchidae: Abyssomelania gen. nov. and Ascheria gen. nov.; this family includes now four genera (including Hokkaidoconcha and Humptulipsia) and ranges from the Late Jurassic to the Eocene. Abyssomelania is characterized by a large, high-spired shell and unusual widely-spaced prosocline riblets (here called abyssomelaniid riblets). Abyssomelania is represented by two new species: A. cramptoni sp. nov. from the Late Cretaceous of New Zealand and A. campbellae sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of California. Ascheria gen. nov. is characterized by a large high-spired cerithiform shell, a subsutural constriction, and mostly reticulate ornament. Two nominate species are included: Ascheria gigantea (Kiel et al., 2008) and A. eucosmeta (Ascher, 1906), both of Early Cretaceous age. Two further species potentially belonging to Ascheria from the Eocene of Barbados are reported in open nomenclature and are re-illustrated and re-described for comparison. Humtulipsia nobuharai sp. nov. is described based on specimens from the Campanian-Maastrichtian Sada Limestone seep deposit in Japan. The new family Paskentanidae fam. nov. is introduced for the genera Paskentana and Atresius. The species of this family are characterized by thin-shelled, broad

  4. Efficiency of the benthic filter: Biological control of the emission of dissolved methane from sediments containing shallow gas hydrates at Hydrate Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sommer, S.; Pfannkuche, O.; Linke, P.; Luff, R.; Greinert, J.; Drews, M.; Gubsch, S.; Pieper, M.; Poser, M.; Viergutz, T.

    2006-06-01

    In marine sedimentary environments, microbial methanotrophy represents an important sink for methane before it leaves the seafloor and enters the water column. Using benthic observatories in conjunction with numerical modeling of pore water gradients, we investigated seabed methane emission rates at cold seep sites with underlying gas hydrates at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia margin. Measurements were conducted at three characteristic sites which have variable fluid flow and sulfide flux and sustain distinct chemosynthetic communities. In sediments covered with microbial mats of Beggiatoa, seabed methane efflux ranges from 1.9 to 11.5 mmol m-2 d-1. At these sites of relatively high advective flow, total oxygen uptake was very fast, yielding rates of up to 53.4 mmol m-2 d-1. In sediments populated by colonies with clams of the genus Calyptogena and characterized by low advective flow, seabed methane emission was 0.6 mmol m-2 d-1, whereas average total oxygen uptake amounted to only 3.7 mmol m-2 d-1. The efficiency of methane consumption at microbial mat and clam field sites was 66 and 83%, respectively. Our measurements indicate a high potential capacity of aerobic methane oxidation in the benthic boundary layer. This layer potentially restrains seabed methane emission when anaerobic methane oxidation in the sediment becomes saturated or when methane is bypassing the sediment matrix along fractures and channels.

  5. Comparative study of vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portail, M.; Olu, K.; Escobar-Briones, E.; Caprais, J. C.; Menot, L.; Waeles, M.; Cruaud, P.; Sarradin, P. M.; Godfroy, A.; Sarrazin, J.

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the ecological processes and connectivity of chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems requires comparative studies. In the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico), the presence of seeps and vents in the absence of a biogeographic barrier, and comparable sedimentary settings and depths offers a unique opportunity to assess the role of ecosystem-specific environmental conditions on macrofaunal communities. Six seep and four vent assemblages were studied, three of which were characterised by common major foundation taxa: vesicomyid bivalves, siboglinid tubeworms and microbial mats. Macrofaunal community structure at the family level showed that density, diversity and composition patterns were primarily shaped by seep- and vent-common abiotic factors including methane and hydrogen sulfide concentrations, whereas vent environmental specificities (higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH) were not significant. The type of substratum and the heterogeneity provided by foundation species were identified as additional structuring factors and their roles were found to vary according to fluid regimes. At the family level, seep and vent similarity reached at least 58 %. All vent families were found at seeps and each seep-specific family displayed low relative abundances (< 5 %). Moreover, 85 % of the identified species among dominant families were shared between seep and vent ecosystems. This study provides further support to the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems.

  6. Seep and stream nitrogen dynamics in two adjacent mixed land use watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many headwater catchments, streamflow originates from surface seeps and springs. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of seeps on nitrogen (N) dynamics within the stream and at the outlet of two adjacent mixed land use watersheds. Nitrogen concentrations in stream water were...

  7. Assessing submarine gas hydrate at active seeps on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand, using controlled source electromagnetic data with constraints from seismic, geochemistry, and heatflow data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwalenberg, K.; Haeckel, M.; Pecher, I. A.; Toulmin, S. J.; Hamdan, L. J.; Netzeband, G.; Wood, W.; Poort, J.; Jegen, M. D.; Coffin, R. B.

    2009-12-01

    Electrical resistivity is one of the key properties useful for evaluating submarine gas hydrate deposits. Gas hydrates are electrically insulating in contrast to the conductive pore fluid. Where they form in sufficient quantities the bulk resistivity of the sub-seafloor is elevated. CSEM data were collected in 2007 as part of the German - International “New Vents” project on R/V Sonne, cruise SO191, at three target areas on the Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand. The margin is characterized by widespread bottom simulating reflectors (BSR), seep structures, and active methane and fluid venting indicating the potential for gas hydrate formation. Opouawe Bank is one of the ridge and basin systems on the accretionary wedge and is located off the Wairarapa coast at water depths of 1000-1100 m. The first observed seep sites (North Tower, South Tower, Pukeko, Takahe, and Tui) were identified from individual gas flares in hydro-acoustic data and video observations during voyages on R/V Tangaroa. Seismic reflection data collected during SO191 subsequently identified more than 25 new seep structures. Two intersecting CSEM profiles have been surveyed across North Tower, South Tower, and Takahe. 1-D inversion of the data reveals anomalously high resistivities at North Tower and South Tower, moderately elevated resistivities at Takahe, and normal background resistivities away from the seeps. The high resistivities are attributed to gas hydrate layers at intermediate depths beneath the seeps. At South Tower the hydrate concentration could be possibly as much as 25% of the total sediment volume within a 50m thick layer. This conforms with geochemical pore water analyses which show a trend of increased methane flux towards South Tower. At Takahe, gas pockets and patchy gas hydrate, as well as sediment heterogeneities and carbonates, or temperature driven upward fluid flow indicated by the observed higher heat flow at this site may explain the resistivity pattern

  8. Common Cold

    MedlinePlus

    ... News & Events Volunteer NIAID > Health & Research Topics > Common Cold Skip Website Tools Website Tools Print this page ... Help people who are suffering from the common cold by volunteering for NIAID clinical studies on ClinicalTrials. ...

  9. Infrared spectrometry field-method for identification of natural seep-oils.

    PubMed

    Grant, D F; Eastwood, D

    1983-11-01

    An infrared field-method has been developed which is capable of distinguishing between oils originating from natural seepage in the Santa Barbara (California) Channel region and closely similar oils from onshore drilling platforms. The technique involves a minimum of sample preparation and the use of simple infrared instrumentation which can be operated by non-technical personnel. Natural seep-oil samples were collected from the surface of the water, underwater, and from beaches in the area. The non-seep oils were obtained from production wells which were located in the same geographical areas as the seepage and were from several different well depths corresponding to different geological zones. Natural seep-oils are more aromatic than the production oils, and this difference is evidenced by observed differences in the spectra for both weathered and unweathered oils. These spectral differences between seep and non-seep oils have been found to persist after exposure to weathering for a week. PMID:18963475

  10. Preliminary Analysis of Manual and Automated Seep Detection in Multibeam Water-Column Backscatter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna, L.; Auner, L.; Weller, E.; Paton, M.; Doucet, M.; Lobecker, E.

    2014-12-01

    Identifying and locating gaseous seafloor seeps using multibeam sonar water-column backscatter is a growing interest in the scientific, energy, and resource management communities. Until recently, seeps were manually detected when viewing water-column backscatter returns in post-processing software. This manual procedure is time consuming and subjective. To examine this subjectivity, the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research conducted a quality control test using data collected during an expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in the Gulf of Mexico from March to April, 2014. Water-column backscatter data was post-processed underway in FMMidwater and seep coordinates were manually geopicked from the beam fan. Ten percent of the original survey lines were independently re-processed using the same manual detection methods but with a different observer. Results show that manual seep selection can be highly variable between two different individuals. To help reduce this subjectivity and time required to manually detect seeps, QPS, Inc. developed a Feature Detection Tool for FMMidwater that uses an algorithm developed by the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. To test the tool, the 10% subset of survey lines were run through the Feature Detection Tool using default settings, and the automatically detected seeps were compared with the manual geopicks. Not surprisingly, initial results show there can be variability between manual and algorithm seeps. Scrutiny of the automatic picks shows that the tool identified 60% of the seeps detected, and verified, by the independent manually-detecting observers. 32% of the seeps identified manually were missed by the tool, but 8% additional seeps were identified by the algorithm that had been missed through manual detection. The automatic detection showed several false positives, requiring manual intervention, but at a significantly lower level of effort than manual scrutinization of the raw

  11. Methane hydrate-bearing seeps as a source of aged dissolved organic carbon to the oceans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, J.W.; Bauer, J.E.; Waite, W.F.; Osburn, C.L.; Chapman, N.R.

    2011-01-01

    Marine sediments contain about 500-10,000 Gt of methane carbon, primarily in gas hydrate. This reservoir is comparable in size to the amount of organic carbon in land biota, terrestrial soils, the atmosphere and sea water combined, but it releases relatively little methane to the ocean and atmosphere. Sedimentary microbes convert most of the dissolved methane to carbon dioxide. Here we show that a significant additional product associated with microbial methane consumption is methane-derived dissolved organic carbon. We use ??14 C and ??13 C measurements and isotopic mass-balance calculations to evaluate the contribution of methane-derived carbon to seawater dissolved organic carbon overlying gas hydrate-bearing seeps in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. We show that carbon derived from fossil methane accounts for up to 28% of the dissolved organic carbon. This methane-derived material is much older, and more depleted in 13 C, than background dissolved organic carbon. We suggest that fossil methane-derived carbon may contribute significantly to the estimated 4,000-6,000 year age of dissolved organic carbon in the deep ocean, and provide reduced organic matter and energy to deep-ocean microbial communities. ?? 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  12. Chemoautolithotrophic Primary Production as a Fuel for Heterotrophs in Hydrocarbon Seeps: an Examination of Mobile Benthic Fauna and Seep Residents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macavoy, S. E.; Morgan, E.; Fisher, C. R.; Carney, R. S.; Macko, S. A.

    2006-05-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico supports dense aggregations of tube worms and mussels that are symbiotic with chemoautolithotrophic bacteria. Associated with these communities are numerous heterotrophic fauna plus free-living bacteria. The usage of chemosynthetic production by invertebrate fauna within or near the seeps is largely unknown. Here we examine the stable C, N and S isotope signatures of fauna from 2 chemosynthetic communities to identify ranges of chemoautolithotrophic primary production and determine the usage of that primary production by heterotrophic invertebrates. The isotope range for chemosynthetic production is different between sites. A seep dominated by methane-utilizing mussels (GC233) had the most depleted d13C and d15N (-50 to -65° and -9 to -12°, respectively) but most enriched d34S (11 to 6°). A site dominated by both tube worms and mussels (GC 234) there were two sources of C, one between -24 and -30° and another of approximately -40°. d15N and d34S at GC234 ranged from 1 to 5° and -10 to 6°, respectively. We estimate that hagfish captured 1 km from the communities derived at least 10 percent of their C from chemosynthetic sources. Giant isopods, captured with the hagfish show negligible chemosynthetic usage.

  13. Influence of seep emission on the non-symbiont-bearing fauna and vagrant species at an active giant pockmark in the Gulf of Guinea (Congo-Angola margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olu, K.; Caprais, J. C.; Galéron, J.; Causse, R.; von Cosel, R.; Budzinski, H.; Ménach, K. Le; Roux, C. Le; Levaché, D.; Khripounoff, A.; Sibuet, M.

    2009-12-01

    Detailed surveying with an ROV found that a dense and diverse cold-seep community colonises a giant pockmark located at 3200 m depth, 8 km north from the deep Congo channel. Several types of assemblages, either dominated by Mytilidae and Vesicomyidae bivalves or Siboglinidae polychaetes, are distributed on the 800-m diameter active area. The site is characterised by a most active central zone in a depression with abundant carbonate concretions and high methane fluxes where high-density clusters of mussels and siboglinids dominate. In contrast, the peripheral zones display large fields of dead and live vesicomyids on soft sediment, with a lower mean density and lower methane concentration in seawater. The associated megafauna includes Alvinocarididae shrimps, echinoids, holothurians of the family Synaptidae, several species of gastropods, two species of galatheids, and Zoarcidae and Ophidiidae fishes. Multivariate analyses of video transect data show that the distribution of these major megafauna species at the pockmark scale is influenced by the habitat heterogeneity due to fluid or gas emission, occurrence of hydrates, substratum variability and by the presence of large symbiont-bearing species. Several assemblages dominated either by mytilids, vesicomyids, or siboglinids have been sampled for megafauna densities and biomass estimations and stable isotope measurements ( δ13C and δ15N) of dominant species and food sources. The highest estimates of megafauna densities have been obtained in mytilid beds. According to their stable isotopes values, non-symbiont-bearing species mainly rely on chemosynthesis-originated carbon, either as primary consumers of chemoautotrophic microorganisms, or at higher trophic level recycling organic matter, or relying on bivalve and tubeworm production. Most of them likely feed on different sources like shrimps, but differences according to habitat have been evidenced. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of galatheids and benthic or

  14. Elevated surface chlorophyll associated with natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Souza, N. A.; Subramaniam, A.; Juhl, A. R.; Hafez, M.; Chekalyuk, A.; Phan, S.; Yan, B.; MacDonald, I. R.; Weber, S. C.; Montoya, J. P.

    2016-03-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps occur on the sea floor along continental margins, and account for up to 47% of the oil released into the oceans. Hydrocarbon seeps are known to support local benthic productivity, but little is known about their impact on photosynthetic organisms in the overlying water column. Here we present observations with high temporal and spatial resolution of chlorophyll concentrations in the northern Gulf of Mexico using in situ and shipboard flow-through fluorescence measurements from May to July 2012, as well as an analysis of ocean-colour satellite images from 1997 to 2007. All three methods reveal elevated chlorophyll concentrations in waters influenced by natural hydrocarbon seeps. Temperature and nutrient profiles above seep sites suggest that nutrient-rich water upwells from depth, which may facilitate phytoplankton growth and thus support the higher chlorophyll concentrations observed. Because upwelling occurs at natural seep locations around the world, we conclude that offshore hydrocarbon seeps, and perhaps other types of deep ocean vents and seeps at depths exceeding 1,000 m, may influence biogeochemistry and productivity of the overlying water column.

  15. Inspection and monitoring plan, contaminated groundwater seeps 317/319/ENE Area, Argonne National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    1996-10-11

    During the course of completing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) in the 317/319/East-Northeast (ENE) Area of Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E), groundwater was discovered moving to the surface through a series of groundwater seeps. The seeps are located in a ravine approximately 600 ft south of the ANL-E fence line in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Samples of the seep water were collected and analyzed for selected parameters. Two of the five seeps sampled were found to contain detectable levels of organic contaminants. Three chemical species were identified: chloroform (14--25 {micro}g/L), carbon tetrachloride (56--340 {micro}g/L), and tetrachloroethylene (3--6 {micro}g/L). The other seeps did not contain detectable levels of volatile organics. The nature of the contaminants in the seeps will also be monitored on a regular basis. Samples of surface water flowing through the bottom of the ravine and groundwater emanating from the seeps will be collected and analyzed for chemical and radioactive constituents. The results of the routine sampling will be compared with the concentrations used in the risk assessment. If the concentrations exceed those used in the risk assessment, the risk calculations will be revised by using the higher numbers. This revised analysis will determine if additional actions are warranted.

  16. Post-depositional alteration of benthic foraminifera in a methane seep environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Andrea; Cremiere, Antoine; Panieri, Giuliana; Lepland, Aivo; Knies, Jochen

    2016-04-01

    Benthic foraminifera tests from the sediment cores taken from the Vestnesa Ridge, one of the northernmost known marine methane hydrate reservoir, were studied for their visual appearance, mineral and stable carbon isotopic composition in order to explore their indicator potential in a methane seep environment. The Vestnesa Ridge is a sediment drift located in 1200m water depth at 79°N at Svalbard's northwestern continental margin. Observations of gas flares originating from pockmarks that are aligned along the crest of the ridge show ongoing methane emission. A distinct sediment layer containing a fossilized assemblage of chemosynthetic bivalves indicates methane seepage activity at least in the late Pleistocene. We have examined the state of preservation and geochemical characteristics of foraminifera tests from this bivalve shell horizon. Tests of the benthic foraminifera species Cassidulina neoteretis display a variable degree of post-depositional alteration and formation of diagenetic carbonate overgrowths on calcitic primary tests. Using binoculars, scanning electron microscope imagery and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, we distinguish visually and mineralogically different diagenetic phases on the external and internal test surfaces. Pristine and smooth test surfaces act as nucleation templates for precipitation of authigenic Mg-calcite crystals causing complete filling of chambers and encrustation of the external test surfaces. The presence of Mg-calcite indicates the overgrowth is precipitating in sulfate-poor sediments. In addition to benthic foraminifera, we have studied the mineralogical and stable carbon and oxygen isotope composition of authigenic carbonate nodules found in the bivalve shell horizon. The mineralogical nature of the carbonates and overgrowths on the foraminifera tests were found to be identical. The δ13C value of the carbonate nodules is as low as -32.3‰ indicating their methane-derived origin. Authigenic carbonate coated

  17. Post-depositional alteration of benthic foraminifera in a methane seep environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Andrea; Cremiere, Antoine; Panieri, Giuliana; Lepland, Aivo; Knies, Jochen

    2016-04-01

    Benthic foraminifera tests from the sediment cores taken from the Vestnesa Ridge, one of the northernmost known marine methane hydrate reservoir, were studied for their visual appearance, mineral and stable carbon isotopic composition in order to explore their indicator potential in a methane seep environment. The Vestnesa Ridge is a sediment drift located in 1200m water depth at 79°N at Svalbar&dacute; s northwestern continental margin. Observations of gas flares originating from pockmarks that are aligned along the crest of the ridge show ongoing methane emission. A distinct sediment layer containing a fossilized assemblage of chemosynthetic bivalves indicates methane seepage activity at least in the late Pleistocene. We have examined the state of preservation and geochemical characteristics of foraminifera tests from this bivalve shell horizon. Tests of the benthic foraminifera species Cassidulina neoteretis display a variable degree of post-depositional alteration and formation of diagenetic carbonate overgrowths on calcitic primary tests. Using binoculars, scanning electron microscope imagery and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, we distinguish visually and mineralogically different diagenetic phases on the external and internal test surfaces. Pristine and smooth test surfaces act as nucleation templates for precipitation of authigenic Mg-calcite crystals causing complete filling of chambers and encrustation of the external test surfaces. The presence of Mg-calcite indicates the overgrowth is precipitating in sulfate-poor sediments. In addition to benthic foraminifera, we have studied the mineralogical and stable carbon and oxygen isotope composition of authigenic carbonate nodules found in the bivalve shell horizon. The mineralogical nature of the carbonates and overgrowths on the foraminifera tests were found to be identical. The δ13C value of the carbonate nodules is as low as -32.3‰ indicating their methane-derived origin. Authigenic carbonate

  18. Groundwater Seeps Facilitate Exposure to Burkholderia pseudomallei ▿

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Anthony; Tahani, Donald; Gardiner, Christopher; Bristow, Keith L.; Greenhill, Andrew R.; Warner, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei is a saprophytic bacterium which is the causative agent of melioidosis, a common cause of fatal bacterial pneumonia and sepsis in the tropics. The incidence of melioidosis is clustered spatially and temporally and is heavily linked to rainfall and extreme weather events. Clinical case clustering has recently been reported in Townsville, Australia, and has implicated Castle Hill, a granite monolith in the city center, as a potential reservoir of infection. Topsoil and water from seasonal groundwater seeps were collected around the base of Castle Hill and analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR targeting the type III secretion system genes for the presence of B. pseudomallei. The organism was identified in 65% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49.5 to 80.4) of soil samples (n = 40) and 92.5% (95% CI, 83.9 to 100) of seasonal groundwater samples (n = 40). Further sampling of water collected from roads and gutters in nearby residential areas after an intense rainfall event found that 88.2% (95% CI, 72.9 to 100) of samples (n = 16) contained viable B. pseudomallei at concentrations up to 113 CFU/ml. Comparison of isolates using multilocus sequence typing demonstrated clinical matches and close associations between environmental isolates and isolates derived from clinical samples from patients in Townsville. This study demonstrated that waterborne B. pseudomallei from groundwater seeps around Castle Hill may facilitate exposure to B. pseudomallei and contribute to the clinical clustering at this site. Access to this type of information will advise the development and implementation of public health measures to reduce the incidence of melioidosis. PMID:21873480

  19. Methane flux in potential hydrate-bearing sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Nai-Chen; Yang, Tsanyao Frank; Chuang, Pei-Chuan; Hong, Wei-Li; Chen, Hsuan-Wen; Lin, Saulwood; Lin, Li-Hung; Mastumoto, Ryo; Hiruta, Akihiro; Sun, Chih-Hsien; Wang, Pei-Ling; Yang, Tau; Jiang, Shao-yong; Wang, Yun-shuen; Chung, San-Hsiung; Chen, Cheng-Hong

    2016-04-01

    Methane in interstitial water of hydrate-bearing marine sediments ascends with buoyant fluids and is discharged into seawater, exerting profound impacts on ocean biogeochemistry and greenhouse effects. Quantifying the exact magnitude of methane transport across different geochemical transitions in different geological settings would provide bases to better constrain global methane discharge to seawater and to assess physio-chemical contexts imposed on microbial methane production and consumption and carbon sequestration in marine environments. Using sediments collected from different geological settings offshore southwestern Taiwan through decadal exploration on gas hydrates, this study analyzed gas and aqueous geochemistry and calculated methane fluxes across different compartments. Three geochemical transitions, including sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ), shallow sediments, and sediment-seawater interface were specifically focused for the flux calculation. The results combined with previous published data showed that methane fluxes at three interfaces of 2.71×10‑3 to 3.52×10‑1, 5.28×10‑7 to 1.08×100, and 1.34×10‑6 to 3.17×100 mmol m‑2 d‑1, respectively. The ranges of fluxes suggest that more than 90 % of methane originating from depth was consumed by anaerobic methanotrophy at the SMTZ, and further >90% of the remnant methane was removed by aerobic methanotrophy prior to reaching the sediment-seawater interface. Exceptions are sites at cold seeps where the percentage of methane released into seawater can reach more than 80% of methane at depth. Most sites with such high methane fluxes are located at active margin where thrusts and diapirism are well developed. Carbon mass balance method was applied for the calculation of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and organotrophic sulfate reduction rates at SMTZ. Results indicated that AOM rates were comparable with fluxes deduced from concentration gradients for most sites. At least 60% of

  20. MANAGEMENT OF HERBACEOUS SEEPS AND WET SAVANNAS FOR THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wetland communities such as herbaceous seeps and wet savannas occur on military installations throughout the southeastern United States, usually as pockets of wet habitat within a matrix of drier longleaf pine woodlands. This larger community supports multiple uses, including the...

  1. Atmospheric methane emissions coupled to a CO2-sink at an Arctic shelf seep area offshore NW Svalbard: Introducing the "Seep-Fertilization Hypothesis"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, Jens; Pohlman, John; Silyakova, Anna; Mienert, Jürgen; Ruppel, Carolyn; Casso, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Documented warming of intermediate waters by ~1C over the past 30 years along the western Svalbard margin has been suggested as a driver of climate-change induced dissociation of marine methane hydrate. However, recent evidence suggests methane release has been occurring for thousands of years near the upper limit of methane hydrate stability zone and that seasonal changes in bottom water temperature may be more important than longer-term warming of intermediate waters. However, the existence of hydrates at the upper limit of the gas hydrate zone has been based on modeling results only and gas hydrates have not been sampled successfully. Yearly studies, undertaken during RV Helmer Hanssen cruises as part of CAGE have shown that no significant amount of methane reaches the upper water column and is being released towards the atmosphere from this ca. 400m deep sites. The same is true for a very active seep area at the shelf break in 240m water depth where detailed hydroacoustic studies show fluctuating fluxes between 71 and 114 T/yr in total. Here we focus on studies conducted with the USGS Gas Analysis System (USGS-GAS). Continuous surface water methane and carbon dioxide concentrations and associated data are used to calculate sea-air fluxes with this cavity ring-down spectrometer-based analytical system. Only the shallow seep site (~90 m water depth) had appreciable methane in surface waters. We conducted an exhaustive survey of this site, mapping the full extent of the surface methane plume. To provide three-dimensional constraints, we acquired 65 vertical dissolved methane profiles to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the subsurface methane plume. The USGS-GAS data show that methane beyond the 'normal' background fluxes of ~1 µmol m-2 d-1 is elevated at the intensively bubbling shallow seep site (max. 35 µmol m-2 d-1) and near the shallow coastal zone where the fluxes over a large area reach 25 µmol m-2 d-1. Comparing coastal and seep fluxes on

  2. The occurrence of NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase in Corbula caribea, from a natural oil seep at La Brea, Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Azad; Agard, John

    2004-04-01

    Corbula caribea is the most common non-polychaete macrofaunal organism identified at a large natural oil seep at La Brea in south Trinidad. It is hypothesized that these animals may possess (NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase) a component of the Mixed Function Oxygenase system (MFO), which may allow them to ameliorate the potentially deleterious effects resulting from exposure to the high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons within this environment. This study was designed to determine whether organisms from the seep site showed greater enzyme activity when compared to organisms from a non-seep reference site. NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase activity was determined by incubating 10 microm cryostat sections with nitro-blue tetrazolium. The reaction product was determined by visual assessment and quantified by measuring the relative mean stain intensity. The intense staining, indicative of enzyme activity was evident in the digestive epithelia of seep animals. Observations indicated that organisms from the seep showed more intense staining, indicating greater enzyme activity, when compared to animals from a non-seep reference site. The relative stain intensity of NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase determined for organisms from the seep was 61.30. This was significantly higher than the stain intensity determined for organisms from the non-seep reference site (7.11). This supported visual assessments, which suggested that the seep organisms showed higher enzyme activity than organisms from the non-seep site. The results suggest that NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase may be present in Corbula caribea from the seep site and not in those from the non-seep site. It is possible that this enzyme may contribute to these animals ability to tolerate chronic exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons and offer then a selective advantage for survival the seep environment. PMID:15041435

  3. Metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with Santa Barbara seep oil.

    PubMed

    Hawley, Erik R; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alexander; del Rio, Tijana Glavina; Pati, Amrita; Jansson, Janet R; Gilbert, Jack A; Tringe, Susannah Green; Lorenson, Thomas D; Hess, Matthias

    2014-12-01

    The metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with natural oils seeping into the Pacific Ocean offshore the coast of Santa Barbara (California, USA) were determined to complement already existing metagenomes generated from microbial communities associated with hydrocarbons that pollute the marine ecosystem. This genomics resource article is the first of two publications reporting a total of four new metagenomes from oils that seep into the Santa Barbara Channel. PMID:24958360

  4. Behavioural impairment in reef fishes caused by ocean acidification at CO2 seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munday, Philip L.; Cheal, Alistair J.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Rummer, Jodie L.; Fabricius, Katharina E.

    2014-06-01

    Experiments have shown that the behaviour of reef fishes can be seriously affected by projected future carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the ocean. However, whether fish can acclimate to elevated CO2 over the longer term, and the consequences of altered behaviour on the structure of fish communities, are unknown. We used marine CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea as a natural laboratory to test these questions. Here we show that juvenile reef fishes at CO2 seeps exhibit behavioural abnormalities similar to those seen in laboratory experiments. Fish from CO2 seeps were attracted to predator odour, did not distinguish between odours of different habitats, and exhibited bolder behaviour than fish from control reefs. High CO2 did not, however, have any effect on metabolic rate or aerobic performance. Contrary to expectations, fish diversity and community structure differed little between CO2 seeps and nearby control reefs. Differences in abundances of some fishes could be driven by the different coral community at CO2 seeps rather than by the direct effects of high CO2. Our results suggest that recruitment of juvenile fish from outside the seeps, along with fewer predators within the seeps, is currently sufficient to offset any negative effects of high CO2 within the seeps. However, continuous exposure does not reduce the effect of high CO2 on behaviour in natural reef habitat, and this could be a serious problem for fish communities in the future when ocean acidification becomes widespread as a result of continued uptake of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  5. Constraints on Methane and Methane Hydrate Distribution at a Gulf of Mexico Seep Using Waveform Inversion of Seismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, W.; Knapp, C. C.; Knapp, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    The seafloor mound at the Gulf of Mexico lease block MC (Mississippi Canyon) 118 is a known active seep lying directly above a salt dome. The site lies at 850-900 m water depth - within the methane hydrate stability zone, but there is no obvious BSR or other indicator of large quantities of gas or gas hydrate. Air-gun seismic data acquired with a 4180 cu in source and 7200 m, 288-channel hydrophone array, exhibit several bright, but laterally-limited reflections in the ~500 m sediment column above the salt. The bright spots are largely conformable with the strata, and there is no apparent pull-up or push-down associated with the bright spots, suggesting they are thin. There are also no significant frequency changes below the bright spots. We interpret the bright spots to be caused by gas, gas hydrate, or carbonate, or combinations of the three. The long offsets used to acquire these data allow for the analysis of refracted arrivals that not only provide accurate P-wave velocities, but also provide a background velocity profile for full waveform inversion. Preliminary results from the waveform inversion confirm at least some of the bright spots are free gas, constraining the position of the gas hydrate stability zone, but very thin (sub-wavelength) layers of carbonate and hydrate may also be present. Knowing the exact composition of the material responsible for the bright spots will better constrain the linkage between the salt tectonics (with implied fault activity) and seep activity, as well as the longevity of the hydrate system at MC 118.

  6. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Jennifer J.; Wood, Rachel A.; Haszeldine, R. Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  7. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Jennifer J; Wood, Rachel A; Haszeldine, R Stuart

    2011-10-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO(2) onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO(2) leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO(2) seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO(2) stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO(2) degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO(2) poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO(2) seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO(2) flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO(2) seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  8. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, J.J.; Wood, R.A.; Haszeldine, R.S.

    2011-10-04

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/ flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less than Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized.

  9. Preliminary Engineering Report contaminated groundwater seeps 317/319/ENE area

    SciTech Connect

    1996-10-01

    When the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Facility Investigation (RFI) in the 317/319/ENE Area of Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E) was being completed, groundwater was discovered moving to the surface through a series of seeps. The seeps are located approximately 600 ft south of the ANL fence line in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Samples of this water were collected and analyzed for selected parameters. Two of five seeps sampled were found to contain detectable levels of organic contaminants. Three chemical species were identified: chloroform (14-25 {mu}g/L), carbon tetrachloride (56-340 {mu}g/L), and tetrachloroethylene (3-6 {mu}g/L). The other seeps did not contain detectable levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The water issuing from these two contaminated seeps flows into a narrow ravine, where it is visible as a trickle of water flowing through sand and gravel deposits on the floor of the ravine. Approximately 100-ft downstream of the seep area, the contaminated water is no longer visible, having drained back into the soil in the bed of the ravine. Figure 1 shows the location of the 317/319/ENE Area in relation to the ANL-E site and the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

  10. Airborne Oceanographic Lidar results: SEEP II, Fluorosensing missions. Final report, 11 March--12 May 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-03-01

    A series of 6 missions were flown with the NASA Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) in support of the Department of Energy (DOE) funded Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) II investigations. SEEP II is the second major SEEP field study. The initial series of experiments, termed SEEP I, were conducted in the New York Bight in 1984. The SEEP II study site is located on the Atlantic Shelf east of the Delmarva Peninsula. SEEP II ship sampling and instrumented mooring activities began in February, 1988 and are scheduled to continue through the 1989 spring phytoplankton bloom. The results described in this report were obtained with the AOL on six flights arranged to span the annual spring phytoplankton bloom on the mid-Atlantic Shelf. The AOL field missions were designed to gather information on the surface layer distribution of the phytoplankton photopigments, chlorophyll and phycoerythrin, and sea surface temperature (SST) over a wide area surrounding the moorings. The flight lines were arranged to provide an assessment of these parameters from the shoreline across shelf and slope waters. On most of the missions, sampling was extended into the western edge of the Gulf Stream.

  11. Identification, visualization, and sorting of translationally active microbial consortia from deep-sea methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzenpichler, R.; Connon, S. A.; Goudeau, D.; Malmstrom, R.; Woyke, T.; Orphan, V. J.

    2015-12-01

    Within the past few years, great progress has been made in tapping the genomes of individual cells separated from environmental samples. Unfortunately, however, most often these efforts have been target blind, as they did not pre-select for taxa of interest or focus on metabolically active cells that could be considered key species of the system at the time. This problem is particularly pronounced in low-turnover systems such as deep sea sediments. In an effort to tap the genetic potential hidden within functionally active cells, we have recently developed an approach for the in situ fluorescent tracking of protein synthesis in uncultured cells via bioorthogonal non-canonical amino acid-tagging (BONCAT). This technique depends on the incorporation of synthetic amino acids that carry chemically modifiable tags into newly made proteins, which later can be visualized via click chemistry-mediated fluorescence-labeling. BONCAT is thus able to specifically target proteins that have been expressed in reaction to an experimental condition. We are particularly interested in using BONCAT to understand the functional potential of slow-growing syntrophic consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria which together catalyze the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine methane seeps. In order to specifically target consortia that are active under varying environmental regimes, we are studying different subpopulations of these inter-domain consortia via a combination of BONCAT with rRNA-targeted FISH. We then couple the BONCAT-enabled staining of active consortia with their separation from inactive members of the community via fluorescence-activated cell-sorting (FACS) and metagenomic sequencing of individual consortia. Using this approach, we were able to identify previously unrecognized AOM-partnerships. By comparing the mini-metagenomes obtained from individual consortia with each other we are starting to gain a more hollistic understanding

  12. Benthic Gouge Marks in the Canadian Beaufort Sea: Associations Between Whales and Methane Seeps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smalls, P. T.; Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S.

    2015-12-01

    Numerous distinctive depressions were observed on the seafloor during twenty-eight remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives conducted on the shelf edge and upper slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Surface ship and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) multibeam bathymetric maps were used to identify potential methane seepage sites, such as areas with persistent water column acoustic anomalies and the tops of mud volcanoes. ROV dives were conducted at these sites and at background sites for stratigraphic sampling. The high abundance of these distinctive depressions stimulated an analysis of the video observations made on these ROV dives. Depressions were analyzed to document their characteristics, to help determine their origin, and to establish whether their frequency varies with bottom type. One hundred fifty-two of the depressions observed had shared characteristics consisting of an "oval-shaped" depression with raised ridged edges that extended laterally along the flanks, and traces of uplifted sediment either in or around the depression. Similar depressions have been called "gouge marks" and attributed to bottom feeding beaked whales in previous studies. The size and water depth of the measured depressions matched well with beak sizes and feeding depths of beaked whale species known to exist in this area. This supports the conclusion that beaked whales created the depressions. The occurrence of these gouge marks and the estimates of the total area observed on these ROV dives (~45,000 m2), suggests they are common (e.g., ~4,000 per km2) features on the seafloor in this area of the Arctic. Gouges were also found 2.25 times more often at suspected methane seep-sites when normalized for depth and area. This suggests that the whales are preferentially attracted to seepage sites. While the reason for this possible preferential feeding behavior is unknown, it provides an intriguing avenue for further research.

  13. Fine-Scale Community Structure Analysis of ANME in Nyegga Sediments with High and Low Methane Flux

    PubMed Central

    Roalkvam, Irene; Dahle, Håkon; Chen, Yifeng; Jørgensen, Steffen Leth; Haflidason, Haflidi; Steen, Ida Helene

    2012-01-01

    To obtain knowledge on how regional variations in methane seepage rates influence the stratification, abundance, and diversity of anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME), we analyzed the vertical microbial stratification in a gravity core from a methane micro-seeping area at Nyegga by using 454-pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene tagged amplicons and quantitative PCR. These data were compared with previously obtained data from the more active G11 pockmark, characterized by higher methane flux. A down core stratification and high relative abundance of ANME were observed in both cores, with transition from an ANME-2a/b dominated community in low-sulfide and low methane horizons to ANME-1 dominance in horizons near the sulfate-methane transition zone. The stratification was over a wider spatial region and at greater depth in the core with lower methane flux, and the total 16S rRNA copy numbers were two orders of magnitude lower than in the sediments at G11 pockmark. A fine-scale view into the ANME communities at each location was achieved through operational taxonomical units (OTU) clustering of ANME-affiliated sequences. The majority of ANME-1 sequences from both sampling sites clustered within one OTU, while ANME-2a/b sequences were represented in unique OTUs. We suggest that free-living ANME-1 is the most abundant taxon in Nyegga cold seeps, and also the main consumer of methane. The observation of specific ANME-2a/b OTUs at each location could reflect that organisms within this clade are adapted to different geochemical settings, perhaps due to differences in methane affinity. Given that the ANME-2a/b population could be sustained in less active seepage areas, this subgroup could be potential seed populations in newly developed methane-enriched environments. PMID:22715336

  14. Common cold

    MedlinePlus

    ... often causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, ... symptoms are: Nasal congestion Runny nose Scratchy throat Sneezing Adults and older children with colds generally have ...

  15. Cold Intolerance

    MedlinePlus

    ... from the Handbook on the Late Effects of Poliomyelitis for Physicians and Survivors © Cold Intolerance Many polio ... index of Handbook on the Late Effects of Poliomyelitis for Physicians and Survivors © Back to top Contact ...

  16. Intermediate sulfur oxidation state compounds in the euxinic surface sediments of the Dvurechenskii mud volcano (Black Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lichtschlag, Anna; Kamyshny, Alexey; Ferdelman, Timothy G.; deBeer, Dirk

    2013-03-01

    The deep Black Sea is known to be depleted in electron-acceptors for sulfide oxidation. This study on depth distributions of sulfur species (S(II), S(0), Sn2-, SO32-, SO32-, SO42-) in the Dvurechenskii mud volcano, a cold seep situated in the permanently anoxic eastern Black Sea basin (Sorokin Trough, 2060 m water depth), showed remarkable concentrations of sulfide oxidation products. Sulfite concentrations of up to 11 μmol L-1, thiosulfate concentrations of up to 22 μmol L-1, zero-valent sulfur concentrations of up to 150 μmol L-1 and up to five polysulfide species were measured in the upper 20 cm of the sediment. Electron-acceptors found to be available in the Dvurechenskii mud volcano (DMV) for the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide to sulfide oxidation intermediates are iron-minerals, and probably also reactive manganese phases. Up to 60 μmol g-1 of reactive iron-minerals and up to 170 μmol L-1 dissolved iron was present in the central summit with the highest fluid upflow and fresh mud outflow. Thus, the source for the oxidative power in the DMV are reactive iron phases extruded with the mud from an ancient source in the deeply buried sediments, leading to the formation of various sulfur intermediates in comparably high concentrations. Another possible source of sulfide oxidation intermediates in DMV sediments could be the formation of zero-valent sulfur by sulfate dependent anaerobic microbial oxidation of methane followed by disproportionation of zero-valent sulfur. Sulfide oxidation intermediates, which are produced by these processes, do not reach thermodynamic equilibrium with rhombic sulfur, especially close to the active center of the DMV due to a short equilibration time. Thus, mud volcano sediments, such as in the DMV, can provide oxidizing niches even in a highly reduced environment like the abyssal part of the Black Sea.

  17. Biosynthesis of selenium rich exopolysaccharide (Se-EPS) by Pseudomonas PT-8 and characterization of its antioxidant activities.

    PubMed

    Ye, Shuhong; Zhang, Jiajia; Liu, Zhaofang; Zhang, Yu; Li, Jiang; Li, Yao Olive

    2016-05-20

    Biosynthesis of organo-selenium is achieved by submerged fermentation of selenium-tolerant Pseudomonas PT-8. The end product of metabolic process is selenium-bearing exopolysaccharide (Se-EPS), which contains a higher content of uronic acid than the exopolysaccharide (EPS) by the strain without selenium in the culture medium. Selenium content in Se-EPS reached a maximum yield of 256.7 mg/kg when using an optimized culture condition. Crude Se-EPS was purified into two fractions-a pH neutral Se-EPS-1 and an acidic Se-EPS-2. Structure and chemical composition of Se-EPS-2 were investigated by chromatographic analyses. Results showed that Se-EPS-2 was a homogenous polysaccharide with molecular weight of 7.3 kDa, consisting of monosaccharides, rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, glucose and galactose with a molar ratio of 19.58:19.28:5.97:18.99:23.70:12.48, respectively. Compared to the EPS, the content of rhamnose in Se-EPS increased and molecular weight decreased. The Se-EPS had strong scavenging actions on DPPH•, •OH and •O2(-), which is much higher than the EPS. PMID:26917395

  18. Characterization of Microbial Communities in TCE-Contaminated Seep Zone Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    ROBIN, BRIGMON

    2005-03-07

    Hundreds of sites across the United States contain trichloroethene (TCE) contamination, including the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina. Previous studies have indicated that microorganisms are capable of efficiently degrading TCE to nonhazardous end products. In this project, molecular and growth based methods were used for microbial characterization of a TCE impacted seepzone where TCE degradation is naturally occurring. The results from this work provide clear evidence that the SRB may play a significant role in TCE degradation along the Twin Lakes seepline.

  19. Linking nitrogen management, seep chemistry, and stream water quality in two agricultural headwater watersheds.

    PubMed

    Williams, Mark R; Buda, Anthony R; Elliott, Herschel A; Collick, Amy S; Dell, Curtis; Kleinman, Peter J A

    2015-05-01

    Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO-N processing along seep surface flow paths and by upslope applications of N from fertilizers and manures. The research was conducted in two headwater agricultural watersheds, FD36 (40 ha) and RS (45 ha), which are fed, in part, by a shallow fractured aquifer system possessing high (3-16 mg L) NO-N concentrations. Data from in-seep monitoring showed that NO-N concentrations generally decreased downseep (top to bottom), indicating that most seeps retained or removed a fraction of delivered NO-N (16% in FD36 and 1% in RS). Annual mean N applications in upslope fields (as determined by yearly farmer surveys) were highly correlated with seep NO-N concentrations in both watersheds (slope: 0.06; = 0.79; < 0.001). Strong positive relationships also existed between seep and stream NO-N concentrations in FD36 (slope: 1.01; = 0.79; < 0.001) and in RS (slope: 0.64; = 0.80; < 0.001), further indicating that N applications control NO-N concentrations at the watershed scale. Our findings clearly point to NO-N leaching from upslope agricultural fields as the primary driver of NO-N losses from seeps to streams in these watersheds and therefore suggest that appropriate management strategies (cover crops, limiting fall/winter nutrient applications, decision support tools) be targeted in these zones. PMID:26024271

  20. Cold injuries.

    PubMed

    Long, William B; Edlich, Richard F; Winters, Kathryne L; Britt, L D

    2005-01-01

    Exposure to cold can produce a variety of injuries that occur as a result of man's inability to adapt to cold. These injuries can be divided into localized injury to a body part, systemic hypothermia, or a combination of both. Body temperature may fall as a result of heat loss by radiation, evaporation, conduction, and convection. Hypothermia or systemic cold injury occurs when the core body temperature has decreased to 35 degrees C (95 degrees F) or less. The causes of hypothermia are either primary or secondary. Primary, or accidental, hypothermia occurs in healthy individuals inadequately clothed and exposed to severe cooling. In secondary hypothermia, another illness predisposes the individual to accidental hypothermia. Hypothermia affects multiple organs with symptoms of hypothermia that vary according to the severity of cold injury. The diagnosis of hypothermia is easy if the patient is a mountaineer who is stranded in cold weather. However, it may be more difficult in an elderly patient who has been exposed to a cold environment. In either case, the rectal temperature should be checked with a low-reading thermometer. The general principals of prehospital management are to (1) prevent further heat loss, (2) rewarm the body core temperature in advance of the shell, and (3) avoid precipitating ventricular fibrillation. There are two general techniques of rewarming--passive and active. The mechanisms of peripheral cold injury can be divided into phenomena that affect cells and extracellular fluids (direct effects) and those that disrupt the function of the organized tissue and the integrity of the circulation (indirect effects). Generally, no serious damage is seen until tissue freezing occurs. The mildest form of peripheral cold injury is frostnip. Chilblains represent a more severe form of cold injury than frostnip and occur after exposure to nonfreezing temperatures and damp conditions. Immersion (trench) foot, a disease of the sympathetic nerves and blood

  1. Microbial Breakdown of Organic Carbon in the Diverse Sediments of Guaymas Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoarfrost, A.; Snider, R.; Arnosti, C.

    2015-12-01

    Guaymas Basin is characterized by sediments under conditions ranging from hemipelagic to hydrothermal. This wide range in geochemical contexts results in diverse microbial communities that may have varying abilities to access organic matter. We can address these functional differences by comparing enzyme activities initializing the breakdown of organic matter across these sediment types; however, previous direct measurements of the extracellular hydrolysis of complex organic carbon in sediments are sparse. We measured this first step of heterotrophic processing of organic matter in sediments at 5-10cm and 55-60cm depth from a wide range of environmental settings in Guaymas Basin. Sediment sources included sulfidic seeps on the Sonora Margin, hemipelagic ridge flank sediments, and hydrothermically altered Sonora Margin sediments bordering a methane seep site. Hydrolysis of organic substrates varied by depth and by sediment source, but despite high energy potential and organic carbon load in sulfidic sediments, activity was not highest where hydrothermal influence was highest. These results suggest that heterotrophic breakdown of organic carbon in Guaymas Basin sediments may be sensitive to factors including varying composition of organic carbon available in different sediment types, or differences in microbial community capacities to access specific organic substrates.

  2. Groundwater seeps in Taylor Valley Antarctica: an example of a subsurface melt event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, W. Berry; Welch, Kathleen A.; Carey, Anne E.; Doran, Peter T.; Wall, Diana H.; Virginia, Ross A.; Fountain, Andrew G.; Csathó, Bea M.; Tremper, Catherine M.

    The 2001/02 austral summer was the warmest summer on record in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, (˜78° S) since continuous records of temperature began in 1985. The highest stream-flows ever recorded in the Onyx River, Wright Valley, were also recorded that year (the record goes back to the 1969/70 austral summer). In early January 2002, a groundwater seep was observed flowing in the southwest portion of Taylor Valley. This flow has been named 'Wormherder Creek' (WHC) and represents an unusual event, probably occurring on a decadal time-scale. The physical characteristics of this feature suggest that it may have flowed at other times in the past. Other groundwater seeps, emanating from the north-facing slope of Taylor Valley, were also observed. Little work has been done previously on these very ephemeral seeps, and the source of water is unknown. These features, resembling recently described features on Mars, represent the melting of subsurface ice. The Martian features have been interpreted as groundwater seeps. In this paper we compare the chemistry of the WHC groundwater seep to that of the surrounding streams that flow every austral summer. The total dissolved solids content of WHC was ˜6 times greater than that of some nearby streams. The Na : Cl and SO4 : Cl ratios of the seep waters are higher than those of the streams, but the Mg : Cl and HCO3 : Cl ratios are lower, indicating different sources of solutes to the seeps compared to the streams. The enrichment of Na and SO4 relative to Cl may suggest significant dissolution of mirabilite within the previously unwetted soil. The proposed occurrence of abundant mirabilite in higher-elevation soils of the dry valley region agrees with geochemical models developed, but not tested, in the late 1970s. The geochemical data demonstrate that these seeps could be important in 'rinsing' the soils by dissolving and redistributing the long-term accumulation of salts, and perhaps improving habitat suitability for soil biota

  3. Hydrologic investigation and remediation of a post-remining acidic seep

    SciTech Connect

    Aljoe, W.W.; Linberg, N.A.

    1996-12-31

    Surface remining of coal pillars in abandoned underground workings in the Pittsburgh seam in southwestern Pennsylvania has often resulted in post-remining discharges whose water quality is the same or better than the pre-existing discharges. However, at one such operation in Washington County, PA, an increase in contaminant loading occurred at an outcrop seep after remining. This problem was believed to be at least partly related to a small unstrapped area of the old deep mine workings immediately upgradient from the seep. A hydrologic investigation that included a chemical tracer test, slug tests in the remined spoil, and water quality monitoring indicated that the mine pool in the old workings discharged through the seep. However, the water in the mine pool and much of the remined spoil was consistently alkaline; this suggested that the acidic water may have originated in other areas of the spoil and old workings, and passed rapidly to the seep through a highly transmissive portion of the spoil. Acting on this assumption, the mine operator successfully implemented a remediation scheme in which the spoil was excavated to intercept the acidic spoil water. The excavation was then re-emplaced with an anoxic limestone drain at its base. The drain now serves both to add alkalinity to the water and to divert the seep to an area where metals can be removed easily via precipitation in wetlands.

  4. Comparative study of vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portail, M.; Olu, K.; Escobar-Briones, E.; Caprais, J. C.; Menot, L.; Waeles, M.; Cruaud, P.; Sarradin, P. M.; Godfroy, A.; Sarrazin, J.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the ecological processes and connectivity of chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems requires comparative studies. In the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico), the presence of seeps and vents in the absence of biogeographic barrier, comparable sedimentary settings and depths offers a unique opportunity to assess the role of ecosystem specific environmental conditions on macrofaunal communities. Six seep and four vent assemblages were studied, three of which were characterised by common major foundation taxa: vesicomyid bivalves, siboglinid tubeworms and microbial mats. Macrofaunal community structure at the family level showed that density, diversity and composition patterns were primarily shaped by seep and vent common abiotic factors including methane and hydrogen sulphide concentrations. The type of substratum and the heterogeneity provided by foundation species were identified as additional structuring factors and their roles were found to vary according to fluid regimes. Surprisingly, the presence of vent environmental specificities, with higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH was not significant in explaining community patterns. Moreover, Guaymas seep and vent shared an important number of common species suggesting frequent connections between the two ecosystems. Finally, this study provides further support for the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems.

  5. Detection of Natural Oil Seeps in the Atlantic Ocean Using MODIS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reahard, Ross; Jones, Jason B.; Mitchell, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Natural oil seepage is the release of crude oil into the ocean from fissures in the seabed. Oil seepage is a major contributor to the total amount of oil entering the world s oceans. According to a 2003 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 47 percent of oil entering the world s oceans is from natural seeps, and 53 percent is from human sources (extraction, transportation, and consumption). Oil seeps cause smooth oil slicks to form on the water s surface. Oil seeps can indicate the location of stores of fossil fuel beneath the ocean floor. Knowledge of the effect of oil seepage on marine life and marine ecosystems remains limited. In the past, remote sensing has been used to detect oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and off of the coast of southern California. This project utilized sun glint MODIS imagery to locate oil slicks off of the Atlantic coast, an area that had not previously been surveyed for natural oil seeps using remote sensing. Since 1982, the Atlantic Ocean has been closed to any oil and gas drilling. Recently, however, the U.S. Minerals Management Services (MMS) has proposed a lease for oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. Determining the location of seepage sites in the Atlantic Ocean will help MMS locate potential deposits of oil and natural gas, thereby reducing the risk of leasing areas for petroleum extraction that do not contain these natural resources.

  6. Investigating Hydrocarbon Seep Environments with High-Resolution, Three-Dimensional Geographic Visualizations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doolittle, D. F.; Gharib, J. J.; Mitchell, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detailed photographic imagery and bathymetric maps of the seafloor acquired by deep submergence vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) are expanding how scientists and the public view and ultimately understand the seafloor and the processes that modify it. Several recently acquired optical and acoustic datasets, collected during ECOGIG (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) and other Gulf of Mexico expeditions using the National Institute for Undersea Science Technology (NIUST) Eagle Ray, and Mola Mola AUVs, have been fused with lower resolution data to create unique three-dimensional geovisualizations. Included in these data are multi-scale and multi-resolution visualizations over hydrocarbon seeps and seep related features. Resolution of the data range from 10s of mm to 10s of m. When multi-resolution data is integrated into a single three-dimensional visual environment, new insights into seafloor and seep processes can be obtained from the intuitive nature of three-dimensional data exploration. We provide examples and demonstrate how integration of multibeam bathymetry, seafloor backscatter data, sub-bottom profiler data, textured photomosaics, and hull-mounted multibeam acoustic midwater imagery are made into a series a three-dimensional geovisualizations of actively seeping sites and associated chemosynthetic communities. From these combined and merged datasets, insights on seep community structure, morphology, ecology, fluid migration dynamics, and process geomorphology can be investigated from new spatial perspectives. Such datasets also promote valuable inter-comparisons of sensor resolution and performance.

  7. Seismic and seafloor evidence for free gas, gas hydrates, and fluid seeps on the transform margin offshore Cape Mendocino

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    TréHu, Anne M.; Stakes, Debra S.; Bartlett, Cindy D.; Chevallier, Johanna; Duncan, Robert A.; Goffredi, Shana K.; Potter, Susan M.; Salamy, Karen A.

    2003-05-01

    Seismic data and seafloor samples indicate the presence of free gas, gas hydrate, and fluid seeps south of the Gorda Escarpment, a topographic feature that marks the eastern end of the Gorda/Pacific transform plate boundary southwest of Cape Mendocino, California. In spite of high sedimentation rates and high biological productivity, direct or indirect indicators of gas hydrate presence had not previously been recognized in this region, or along transform margins in general. Gas is indicated by a bottom simulating reflection (BSR) observed near the Gorda Escarpment, by "bright spots" and "gas curtains" scattered throughout the sedimentary basin to the south, and by δ13C and δ18O isotopes of carbonates, which are similar to those recovered from other hydrate-bearing regions. The BSR reflection coefficient of -0.13 ± 0.04 and interval velocities as low as 1.38 km/s indicate that free gas is present beneath the BSR. Local shallowing of the BSR toward the north facing Gorda Escarpment and beneath a channel near the crest suggests fluid flow toward the seafloor. Integrating these various observations, we suggest a scenario in which methane is formed in thick Miocene and Pliocene deposits of organic-rich sediments that fill the marginal basin south of the transform fault. Dissolved and free gas migrates toward the escarpment along stratigraphic horizons, resulting in hydrate formation and in channels, slumps and chemosynthetic communities on the face of the escarpment. We conclude that the BSR appears where hydrate-bearing sediments are uplifted because of current triple junction tectonics.

  8. COLD TRAP

    DOEpatents

    Milleron, N.

    1963-03-12

    An improved linear-flow cold trap is designed for highvacuum applications such as mitigating back migration of diffusion pump oil moiecules. A central pot of liquid nitrogen is nested within and supported by a surrounding, vertical, helical coil of metai sheet, all enveloped by a larger, upright, cylindrical, vacuum vessel. The vertical interstices between successive turns of the coil afford lineal, axial, high-vacuum passages between open mouths at top and bottom of said vessel, while the coil, being cold by virtue of thermal contact of its innermost turn with the nitrogen pot, affords expansive proximate condensation surfaces. (AEC)

  9. Spatial distribution and activity of viruses in the deep-sea sediments of Sagami Bay, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middelboe, Mathias; Glud, Ronnie N.; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Oguri, Kazumasa; Kitazato, Hiroshi

    2006-01-01

    The vertical and horizontal heterogeneity in benthic viral and bacterial abundance were investigated at spatial scales from centimetres to hundreds of meters at 1450 m water depth in Sagami Bay, Japan. In the surface sediment layer (0-1 cm), viral and bacterial abundance ranged from 3 to 23×10 8 virus-like particles (VLP) cm -3 and 3 to 13×10 7 bacteria cm -3, with an average virus-bacteria ratio (VBR) of 16.8±5. The variability in surface viral abundance at the investigated sites ( n=38) almost covered the entire range of published VLP abundances for benthic environments, and a detailed statistical analysis showed no pattern in the spatial variability at scales between 5 mm and 150 m. Viral and bacterial abundance decreased gradually with depth to 0.7-3×10 8 VLP cm -3 and 0.7-3×10 7 cells cm -3 at 10 cm. A compilation of all abundance data ( n=89) showed significant correlation between viral and bacterial abundance ( p<0.01), and an average area density of viruses in the upper 16 cm sediment of 5.1±2.3×10 13 VLP m -2 seafloor. Investigations at a "cold seep" location showed significantly lower viral abundances (<1×10 8 VLP cm -3) and VBR (<3) suggesting the existence of "cold spots" with reduced viral activity in an otherwise virus-rich environment. Viral production and microbial respiration were measured in homogenized, undiluted, anaerobic sediment incubations, which were manipulated with respect to temperature and organic carbon (OC) addition. Elevated temperature (14 °C) and OC addition stimulated the VLP production to a maximum of 3.6×10 6±4.2×10 5 VLP cm -3 h -1 (population doubling time: 2.7 days). Viral production in the sediment enclosures was positively correlated to the heterotrophic dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) production suggesting that the production was regulated by the bacterial metabolism. Virus-induced bacterial mortality constituted 7-48% of bacterial production with a decrease in the relative importance of viral lysis with

  10. Project COLD.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kazanjian, Wendy C.

    1982-01-01

    Describes Project COLD (Climate, Ocean, Land, Discovery) a scientific study of the Polar Regions, a collection of 35 modules used within the framework of existing subjects: oceanography, biology, geology, meterology, geography, social science. Includes a partial list of topics and one activity (geodesic dome) from a module. (Author/SK)

  11. Cold Sores

    MedlinePlus

    ... causes oral herpes, or cold sores. Type 1 herpes virus infects more than half of the U.S. population by the time they reach their 20s. Type 2 usually affects the genital area Some people have no symptoms from the ...

  12. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope SEEP-2

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1991-01-01

    This project was a component of the SEEP-II program. It contributed to the instrumentation of the SEEP-II moored array to the processing and analysis of the time-series data of water temperature and currents, and to a theoretical modeling study of the circulation on the continental margin. We are responsible for nearly half of the current meters and thermistor chains that were deployed in the SEEP-II moored array on the continental margin off the Delmarva peninsula. Data tapes derived from three deployments of the instruments in this array were processed. A second component of this project was a theoretical study of the interaction of the Gulf Stream with the continental margin north of Cape Hatteras. The model shows how the topographic influence on the local vorticity balance leads to back-folding filaments of Gulf Stream water and to the Slope Sea gyre circulation.

  13. Waste Area Grouping 2 Remedial Investigation Phase 1 Seep Task data report: Contaminant source area assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Hicks, D.S.

    1996-03-01

    This report presents the findings of the Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2, Phase 1 Remedial Investigation (RI) Seep Task efforts during 1993 and 1994 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The results presented here follow results form the first year of sampling, 1992, which are contained in the Phase 1 RI report for WAG 2 (DOE 1995a). The WAG 2 Seep Task efforts focused on contaminants in seeps, tributaries, and main streams within the White Oak Creek (WOC) watershed. This report is designed primarily as a reference for contaminants and a resource for guiding remedial decisions. Additional in-depth assessments of the Seep Task data may provide clearer understandings of contaminant transport from the different source areas in the WOC watershed. WAG 2 consists of WOC and its tributaries downstream of the ORNL main plant area, White Oak Lake, the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, and the associated flood plains and subsurface environment. The WOC watershed encompasses ORNL and associated WAGs. WAG 2 acts as an integrator for contaminant releases from the contaminated sites at ORNL and as the conduit transporting contaminants to the Clinch River. The main objectives of the Seep Task were to identify and characterize seeps, tributaries and source areas that are responsible for the contaminant releases to the main streams in WAG 2 and to quantify their input to the total contaminant release from the watershed at White Oak Dam (WOD). Efforts focused on {sup 90}Sr, {sup 3}H, and {sup 137}Cs because these contaminants pose the greatest potential human health risk from water ingestion at WOD. Bimonthly sampling was conducted throughout the WOC watershed beginning in March 1993 and ending in August 1994. Samples were also collected for metals, anions, alkalinity, organics, and other radionuclides.

  14. Active oil seep at Nevada gold mine holds intrigue for more exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Pinnell, M.L.; Blake, J.G. ); Hulen, J.B. )

    1991-07-15

    This paper reports on an active oil seep has been discovered in one of Nevada's famous Carlin-type low grade disseminated gold deposits. This unique seep, at the Yankee gold mine in White Pine County, may have important implications for both oil and gas and gold exploration in the Basin and Range province of the western U.S. The open pit Yankee mine, near the western margin of Long Valley, exploits one of numerous Carlin-type gold ore bodies in the alligator Ridge mining district; all are currently owned and operated by USMX Corp.

  15. Detecting gas seeps in Arctic water areas using remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondur, V. G.; Kuznetsova, T. V.

    2015-12-01

    We consider the specific features of remote registration of sources of natural hydrocarbon gas seeps in Arctic water areas to substantiate the possibility of aerospace monitoring of shelf zones prospective for hydrocarbons. The main characteristics of degassing sources and their manifestations at the surface and in the water column have been determined. The areas of the Arctic shelf with potential natural gas shows that can be detected through remote sensing have been identified. We analyze promising aerospace methods for the registration of gas shows in the sea and give examples of hydrocarbon gas seeps observed from space.

  16. Hot, Cold, and Really Cold.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leyden, Michael

    1997-01-01

    Describes a physics experiment investigating temperature prediction and the relationship between the physical properties of heat units, melting, dissolving, states of matter, and energy loss. Details the experimental setup, which requires hot and cold water, a thermometer, and ice. Notes that the experiment employs a deliberate counter-intuitive…

  17. Stable isotope trophic patterns in echinoderm megafauna in close proximity to and remote from Gulf of Mexico lower slope hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carney, Robert Spencer

    2010-11-01

    Hydrocarbon-seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico have a high biomass that is exploited as a food source to varying degrees by the photosynthesis-dependent fauna inhabiting the surrounding mud bottom. A decline concurrent with ocean depth in detritus influx to that background habitat results in a much lower background biomass. The biomass contrast between population-rich seeps and depauperate mud bottom leads to the prediction that seep utilization by the background fauna should be extensive at all depths and should increase with depth. Species depth zonation makes like-species comparisons over the full depth of the Gulf of Mexico impossible. Seeps and normal bottom above 1000 m have different fauna from those below 1000 m. Lower slope seeps are surrounded by a fauna rich in echinoderm species, especially asteroids, ophiuroids, and holothuroids. All three taxa have species that are abundant within seeps and are probably endemic to them. They also contain species found only in mud background or within mud and seeps backgrounds. Tissue analyses of δ13C and δ15N of echinoderms collected by ROV within seeps and trawling away from seeps indicate a pattern of utilization similar to that found in upper slope seeps exploited by different taxa. Seastar and ophiuroid species abundant in or endemic to seeps have tissue isotope values reflecting seep chemosynthetic input via a free-living microbial detritus or predation. A single seep-endemic deposit-feeding holothuroid showed distinct seep tissue values. Background deposit-feeding holothuroids collected within seeps showed either no or only minor incorporation of seep carbon, indicating either a lack of access to seep detritus or short feeding times within the seep. A predicted extensive utilization of seep productivity at the deeper seeps was not found. Seeps may be relatively closed systems that require special adaptations of species in order for them to enter, exploit, and survive. Alternately, the surrounding deep

  18. Chilling Out with Colds

    MedlinePlus

    ... most common cold virus, but more than 200 viruses can cause colds. Because there are so many, ... to help you feel better. Take that, cold viruses! continue How Kids Catch Colds Mucus (say: MYOO- ...

  19. Coping with Cold Sores

    MedlinePlus

    ... Here's Help White House Lunch Recipes Coping With Cold Sores KidsHealth > For Kids > Coping With Cold Sores ... sore." What's that? Adam wondered. What Is a