Science.gov

Sample records for methane hydrate-bearing deep

  1. Microbial Communities from Methane Hydrate-Bearing Deep Marine Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, David William; Fujita, Yoshiko; Delwiche, Mark Edmond; Blackwelder, David Bradley; Colwell, Frederick Scott; Uchida, T.

    2002-08-01

    Microbial communities in cores obtained from methane hydrate-bearing deep marine sediments (down to more than 300 m below the seafloor) in the forearc basin of the Nankai Trough near Japan were characterized with cultivation-dependent and -independent techniques. Acridine orange direct count data indicated that cell numbers generally decreased with sediment depth. Lipid biomarker analyses indicated the presence of viable biomass at concentrations greater than previously reported for terrestrial subsurface environments at similar depths. Archaeal lipids were more abundant than bacterial lipids. Methane was produced from both acetate and hydrogen in enrichments inoculated with sediment from all depths evaluated, at both 10 and 35°C. Characterization of 16S rRNA genes amplified from the sediments indicated that archaeal clones could be discretely grouped within the Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota domains. The bacterial clones exhibited greater overall diversity than the archaeal clones, with sequences related to the Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and green nonsulfur groups. The majority of the bacterial clones were either members of a novel lineage or most closely related to uncultured clones. The results of these analyses suggest that the microbial community in this environment is distinct from those in previously characterized methane hydrate-bearing sediments.

  2. Fungal communities from methane hydrate-bearing deep-sea marine sediments in South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Lai, Xintian; Cao, Lixiang; Tan, Hongming; Fang, Shu; Huang, Yali; Zhou, Shining

    2007-12-01

    To elucidate fungal diversity in methane hydrate-bearing deep-sea marine sediments in the South China Sea, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of rRNA genes from five different sediment DNA samples were amplified and phylogenetically analyzed. Total five ITS libraries were constructed and 413 clones selected randomly were grouped into 24 restriction patterns by Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis (ARDRA). ITS sequences of 44 representative clones were determined and compared with the GenBank database using gapped-BLAST. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the ITS sequences (71-97% similarity) were similar to those of Phoma, Lodderomyces, Malassezia, Cryptococcus, Cylindrocarpon, Hortaea, Pichia, Aspergillus and Candida. The remaining sequences were not associated to any known fungi or fungal sequences in the public database. The results suggested that methane hydrate-bearing deep-sea marine sediments harbor diverse fungi. This is the first report on fungal communities from methane hydrate-bearing deep-sea marine sediments in South China Sea. PMID:18059498

  3. Biogeographical distribution and diversity of microbes in methane hydrate-bearing deep marine sediments on the Pacific Ocean Margin.

    PubMed

    Inagaki, Fumio; Nunoura, Takuro; Nakagawa, Satoshi; Teske, Andreas; Lever, Mark; Lauer, Antje; Suzuki, Masae; Takai, Ken; Delwiche, Mark; Colwell, Frederick S; Nealson, Kenneth H; Horikoshi, Koki; D'Hondt, Steven; Jørgensen, Bo B

    2006-02-21

    The deep subseafloor biosphere is among the least-understood habitats on Earth, even though the huge microbial biomass therein plays an important role for potential long-term controls on global biogeochemical cycles. We report here the vertical and geographical distribution of microbes and their phylogenetic diversities in deeply buried marine sediments of the Pacific Ocean Margins. During the Ocean Drilling Program Legs 201 and 204, we obtained sediment cores from the Peru and Cascadia Margins that varied with respect to the presence of dissolved methane and methane hydrate. To examine differences in prokaryotic distribution patterns in sediments with or without methane hydrates, we studied >2,800 clones possessing partial sequences (400-500 bp) of the 16S rRNA gene and 348 representative clone sequences (approximately 1 kbp) from the two geographically separated subseafloor environments. Archaea of the uncultivated Deep-Sea Archaeal Group were consistently the dominant phylotype in sediments associated with methane hydrate. Sediment cores lacking methane hydrates displayed few or no Deep-Sea Archaeal Group phylotypes. Bacterial communities in the methane hydrate-bearing sediments were dominated by members of the JS1 group, Planctomycetes, and Chloroflexi. Results from cluster and principal component analyses, which include previously reported data from the West and East Pacific Margins, suggest that, for these locations in the Pacific Ocean, prokaryotic communities from methane hydrate-bearing sediment cores are distinct from those in hydrate-free cores. The recognition of which microbial groups prevail under distinctive subseafloor environments is a significant step toward determining the role these communities play in Earth's essential biogeochemical processes. PMID:16477011

  4. Methane Recovery from Hydrate-bearing Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    J. Carlos Santamarina; Costas Tsouris

    2011-04-30

    Gas hydrates are crystalline compounds made of gas and water molecules. Methane hydrates are found in marine sediments and permafrost regions; extensive amounts of methane are trapped in the form of hydrates. Methane hydrate can be an energy resource, contribute to global warming, or cause seafloor instability. This study placed emphasis on gas recovery from hydrate bearing sediments and related phenomena. The unique behavior of hydrate-bearing sediments required the development of special research tools, including new numerical algorithms (tube- and pore-network models) and experimental devices (high pressure chambers and micromodels). Therefore, the research methodology combined experimental studies, particle-scale numerical simulations, and macro-scale analyses of coupled processes. Research conducted as part of this project started with hydrate formation in sediment pores and extended to production methods and emergent phenomena. In particular, the scope of the work addressed: (1) hydrate formation and growth in pores, the assessment of formation rate, tensile/adhesive strength and their impact on sediment-scale properties, including volume change during hydrate formation and dissociation; (2) the effect of physical properties such as gas solubility, salinity, pore size, and mixed gas conditions on hydrate formation and dissociation, and it implications such as oscillatory transient hydrate formation, dissolution within the hydrate stability field, initial hydrate lens formation, and phase boundary changes in real field situations; (3) fluid conductivity in relation to pore size distribution and spatial correlation and the emergence of phenomena such as flow focusing; (4) mixed fluid flow, with special emphasis on differences between invading gas and nucleating gas, implications on relative gas conductivity for reservoir simulations, and gas recovery efficiency; (5) identification of advantages and limitations in different gas production strategies with

  5. Bacteria-Driven Carbon Metabolisms in Methane Hydrate-Bearing Deep Marine Sediments from the Bay of Bengal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briggs, B.; Inagaki, F.; Morono, Y.; Futagami, T.; Winters, W.; Colwell, F.

    2008-12-01

    The methane hydrates in deep marine subsurface sediments play an important role in the global biogeochemical cycling of carbon. However, we have a limited understanding of the microbial communities and their metabolic functioning with respect to carbon assimilation and respiration pathways in those habitats. Our objective was to determine the microbial diversity and the primary functional genes relevant to potential carbon metabolism in sediments that contain the deepest methane hydrates yet discovered. The samples were obtained from offshore India near the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, representing the deepest methane hydrate sediments found to date, likely due to the low geothermal gradient. The hydrate was found in sediment layers that contain coarse-grained volcanic ash in the depth range from 300 to 650 meters below the seafloor. DNA was extracted from 13 depth horizons, eight of which were found onboard to contain methane hydrates. Microscopic cell enumeration and domain-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) revealed that those sediments harbor relatively small microbial populations that are composed mainly of Bacteria. For each sample, multiple displacement amplification (MDA) followed by PCR amplification was attempted using primers specific for archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (accC), citrate lyase (aclB), pyruvate oxidoreductase (porA), oxoglutarate oxidoreductase (oorA), 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RubisCO: cbbL), particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA), methanol dehydrogenase (mxaF), and methyl co-enzyme M reductase (mcrA) genes. Consistent with the low Archaea abundance predicted by qPCR, archaeal 16S rRNA, mcrA, and aclB genes were never detected, while the bacterial 16S rRNA genes and the functional genes of oorA, accC, cbbL, pmoA, mxaF, and porA were successfully amplified. Clone libraries of 16S rRNA and functional genes indicated that members of Firmicutes and other Gram-positive Bacteria, such as

  6. Fine structure of methane hydrate-bearing sediments on the Blake Outer ridge as determined from deep-tow multichannel seismic data. (Reannouncement with new availability information). Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, M.M.; Gettrust, J.F.

    1993-01-01

    High-resolution, deep-tow multichannel seismic data are used to investigate the detailed structure of sediments containing methane hydrate. These data support thick, laterally extensive layers of methane hydrate-bearing sediment underlain by a bottom simulating reflector (BSR) and spatially discontinuous zones of hydrate within the sediments above the BSR depth where no BSR is present. These data resolve normal faults which extend from the surface through the BSR with apparent offsets of up to 20 m. A phase inversion identified at the top of the BSR shows that the material immediately beneath the BSR has anomalously low velocity, consistent with a layer of sediment containing free methane gas. The fault offsets along the BSR and consistent with a pressure change of approx. 200 kPa (approx. 2 bars) across the fault zone.... Directional ambient noise, Bottom scattering, Deep-towed array geophysical system, Towed array, Ocean-bottom seismometer

  7. 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.

  8. Observations related to tetrahydrofuran and methane hydrates for laboratory studies of hydrate-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, J.Y.; Yun, T.S.; Santamarina, J.C.; Ruppel, C.

    2007-01-01

    The interaction among water molecules, guest gas molecules, salts, and mineral particles determines the nucleation and growth behavior of gas hydrates in natural sediments. Hydrate of tetrahydrofuran (THF) has long been used for laboratory studies of gas hydrate-bearing sediments to provide close control on hydrate concentrations and to overcome the long formation history of methane hydrate from aqueous phase methane in sediments. Yet differences in the polarizability of THF (polar molecule) compared to methane (nonpolar molecule) raise questions about the suitability of THF as a proxy for methane in the study of hydrate-bearing sediments. From existing data and simple macroscale experiments, we show that despite its polar nature, THF's large molecular size results in low permittivity, prevents it from dissolving precipitated salts, and hinders the solvation of ions on dry mineral surfaces. In addition, the interfacial tension between water and THF hydrate is similar to that between water and methane hydrate. The processes that researchers choose for forming hydrate in sediments in laboratory settings (e.g., from gas, liquid, or ice) and the pore-scale distribution of the hydrate that is produced by each of these processes likely have a more pronounced effect on the measured macroscale properties of hydrate-bearing sediments than do differences between THF and methane hydrates themselves.

  9. Laboratory formation of non-cementing, methane hydrate-bearing sands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waite, William F.; Bratton, Peter M.; Mason, David H.

    2011-01-01

    Naturally occurring hydrate-bearing sands often behave as though methane hydrate is acting as a load-bearing member of the sediment. Mimicking this behavior in laboratory samples with methane hydrate likely requires forming hydrate from methane dissolved in water. To hasten this formation process, we initially form hydrate in a free-gas-limited system, then form additional hydrate by circulating methane-supersaturated water through the sample. Though the dissolved-phase formation process can theoretically be enhanced by increasing the pore pressure and flow rate and lowering the sample temperature, a more fundamental concern is preventing clogs resulting from inadvertent methane bubble formation in the circulation lines. Clog prevention requires careful temperature control throughout the circulation loop.

  10. 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

  11. Composite model to reproduce the mechanical behaviour of methane hydrate bearing soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De la Fuente, Maria

    2016-04-01

    Methane hydrate bearing sediments (MHBS) are naturally-occurring materials containing different components in the pores that may suffer phase changes under relative small temperature and pressure variations for conditions typically prevailing a few hundreds of meters below sea level. Their modelling needs to account for heat and mass balance equations of the different components, and several strategies already exist to combine them (e.g., Rutqvist & Moridis, 2009; Sánchez et al. 2014). These equations have to be completed by restrictions and constitutive laws reproducing the phenomenology of heat and fluid flows, phase change conditions and mechanical response. While the formulation of the non-mechanical laws generally includes explicitly the mass fraction of methane in each phase, which allows for a natural update of parameters during phase changes, mechanical laws are, in most cases, stated for the whole solid skeleton (Uchida et al., 2012; Soga et al. 2006). In this paper, a mechanical model is proposed to cope with the response of MHBS. It is based on a composite approach that allows defining the thermo-hydro-mechanical response of mineral skeleton and solid hydrates independently. The global stress-strain-temperature response of the solid phase (grains + hydrate) is then obtained by combining both responses according to energy principle following the work by Pinyol et al. (2007). In this way, dissociation of MH can be assessed on the basis of the stress state and temperature prevailing locally within the hydrate component. Besides, its structuring effect is naturally accounted for by the model according to patterns of MH inclusions within soil pores. This paper describes the fundamental hypothesis behind the model and its formulation. Its performance is assessed by comparison with laboratory data presented in the literature. An analysis of MHBS response to several stress-temperature paths representing potential field cases is finally presented. References

  12. Ultrasonic Velocities in Methane Hydrate-Bearing Ottawa Sand F110

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rydzy, M. B.; Batzle, M. L.; Hester, K.; Howard, J. J.

    2010-12-01

    At the ConocoPhillips Technology Center in Bartlesville, an experimental setup was developed that facilitated ultrasonic velocity measurements of hydrate-bearing sediment samples inside a magnetic resonance imager (MRI). P- and S-wave velocities were determined using the pulse-transmission technique. The waveforms were generated with 500 kHz piezoelectric transducers that were embedded in PEEK end caps. This provided improved impedance matching between transducer and sample, as well as shielding of the transducers from the magnetic field of the MRI. The ultrasonic measurements were conducted in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which proved to be a valuable tool to determine the gas hydrate saturation and distribution within the specimen. The hydrate-bearing samples were formed by injecting methane into partially water-saturated sand packs, whose porosity ranged around 40 percent. Specimen containing initial water saturations of 20 and 80 percent were investigated in this study. The sample was brought into the gas hydrate stability field by either cooling the pressurized sample or pressurizing the cooled sample. The velocity collected during the course of these experiments exhibited a noticeable dependence on both the initial water saturation as well as the order of pressurization and cooling. Comparison of the experimental data calculated using the pore scale models developed by Ecker et al. (1998) and Helgerud et al. (2000) indicated that the samples with high initial water saturation tended to be load-bearing, whereas samples formed from a low initial water saturation exhibited cementing characteristics. At low saturations, for the specimen that were pressurized after cooling, higher velocities were recorded than for samples that were first pressurized and then cooled afterward.

  13. Permeability of laboratory-formed methane-hydrate-bearing sand: Measurements and observations using x-ray computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Kneafsey, T. J.; Seol, Y.; Gupta, A.; Tomutsa, L.

    2010-09-15

    Methane hydrate was formed in two moist sands and a sand/silt mixture under a confining stress in an X-ray-transparent pressure vessel. Three initial water saturations were used to form three different methane-hydrate saturations in each medium. X-ray computed tomography (CT) was used to observe location-specific density changes caused by hydrate formation and flowing water. Gas-permeability measurements in each test for the dry, moist, frozen, and hydrate-bearing states are presented. As expected, the effective permeabilities (intrinsic permeability of the medium multiplied by the relative permeability) of the moist sands decreased with increasing moisture content. In a series of tests on a single sample, the effective permeability typically decreased as the pore space became more filled, in the order of dry, moist, frozen, and hydrate-bearing. In each test, water was flowed through the hydrate-bearing medium and we observed the location-specific changes in water saturation using CT scanning. We compared our data to a number of models, and our relative permeability data compare most favorably with models in which hydrate occupies the pore bodies rather than the pore throats. Inverse modeling (using the data collected from the tests) will be performed to extend the relative permeability measurements.

  14. X-ray computed-tomography observations of water flow through anisotropic methane hydrate-bearing sand

    SciTech Connect

    Seol, Yongkoo; Kneafsey, Timothy J.

    2009-06-01

    We used X-ray computed tomography (CT) to image and quantify the effect of a heterogeneous sand grain-size distribution on the formation and dissociation of methane hydrate, as well as the effect on water flow through the heterogeneous hydrate-bearing sand. A 28 cm long sand column was packed with several segments having vertical and horizontal layers with sands of different grain-size distributions. During the hydrate formation, water redistribution occurred. Observations of water flow through the hydrate-bearing sands showed that water was imbibed more readily into the fine sand, and that higher hydrate saturation increased water imbibition in the coarse sand due to increased capillary strength. Hydrate dissociation induced by depressurization resulted in different flow patterns with the different grain sizes and hydrate saturations, but the relationships between dissociation rates and the grain sizes could not be identified using the CT images. The formation, presence, and dissociation of hydrate in the pore space dramatically impact water saturation and flow in the system.

  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. Geophysical Surveys over Methane Hydrate Bearing Zone in the Nankai Trough, offshore JAPAN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asakawa, E.; Mizohata, S.; Inamori, T.; Saeki, T.; Kobayashi, T.; Yamane, K.

    2008-12-01

    Various types of geophysical surveys other than conventional 2D/3D marine seismic have been carried out for the purposes of estimating the distribution and characteristics of methane hydrate. They are a 2D deep- towed seismic survey, OBS surveys and a 2D multi-component survey with ocean bottom cable. We summarize these surveys and results. A 2D deep-towed seismic survey was carried out in 1996 and the data is processed in 1998 and 2002. Both the source and the hydrophone cable are towed close to the seabed to obtain higher resolution section and velocity profiles compared with 3D marine seismic in the very shallow part. But, we can not recognize BSR clearly on the section and little seismic reflection event can be seen below BSR because of its insufficient source energy. In 1996 and 1997, 4C OBS data were acquired. We analyzed these data in combination with marine seismic data. We applied an imaging technique to the OBS reflection data and obtained results that have good agreement with the seismic section. We also applied modeling and inversion procedures to reveal the detailed velocity structure. Travel-time inversion gives elevated P-wave velocities above BSR. The S-wave velocities were derived by event correlation, time picking and forward modeling, and they showed high- velocity anomalies in the hydrate zone. A 2D multi-component seismic survey was carried out using the RSCS(Real-time Seismic Cable System) in 2006. The RSCS is an ocean bottom cable system employing a series of 3 component geophones connected with submarine optical cable. The field data quality is excellent with high vector fidelity. The vertical component was imaged using P-wave OBS pre-stack time migration(PSTM), including Vp migration velocity analysis. The resulting sections showed excellent agreement with the 3D survey migrated data volume. The in-line horizontal component data was imaged using C-wave(PS converted wave) OBS PSTM, including Vc migration velocity analysis and updating the

  17. Attenuation of seismic waves in methane gas hydrate-bearing sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priest, Jeffrey A.; Best, Angus I.; Clayton, Christopher R. I.

    2006-01-01

    Compressional wave (P wave) and shear wave (S wave) velocities (Vp and Vs, respectively) from remote seismic methods have been used to infer the distribution and volume of gas hydrate within marine sediments. Recent advances in seismic methods now allow compressional and shear wave attenuations (Q-1p and Q-1s, respectively) to be measured. However, the interpretation of these data is problematic due to our limited understanding of the effects of gas hydrate on physical properties. Therefore, a laboratory gas hydrate resonant column was developed to simulate pressure and temperature conditions suitable for methane gas hydrate formation in sand specimens and the subsequent measurement of both Q-1p and Q-1s at frequencies and strains relevant to marine seismic surveys. 13 dry (gas saturated) sand specimens were investigated with different amounts of methane gas hydrate evenly dispersed throughout each specimen. The results show that for these dry specimens both Q-1p and Q-1s are highly sensitive to hydrate saturation with unexpected peaks observed between 3 and 5 per cent hydrate saturation. It is thought that viscous squirt flow of absorbed water or free gas within the pore space is enhanced by hydrate cement at grain contacts and by the nanoporosity of the hydrate itself. These results show for the first time the dramatic effect methane gas hydrate can have on seismic wave attenuation in sand, and provide insight into wave propagation mechanisms. These results will aid the interpretation of elastic wave attenuation data obtained using marine seismic prospecting methods.

  18. Isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic carbon in subsurface sediments of gas hydrate-bearing mud volcanoes, Lake Baikal: implications for methane and carbonate origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krylov, Alexey A.; Khlystov, Oleg M.; Hachikubo, Akihiro; Minami, Hirotsugu; Nunokawa, Yutaka; Shoji, Hitoshi; Zemskaya, Tamara I.; Naudts, Lieven; Pogodaeva, Tatyana V.; Kida, Masato; Kalmychkov, Gennady V.; Poort, Jeffrey

    2010-06-01

    We report on the isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in pore-water samples recovered by gravity coring from near-bottom sediments at gas hydrate-bearing mud volcanoes/gas flares (Malenky, Peschanka, Peschanka 2, Goloustnoe, and Irkutsk) in the Southern Basin of Lake Baikal. The δ13C values of DIC become heavier with increasing subbottom depth, and vary between -9.5 and +21.4‰ PDB. Enrichment of DIC in 13C indicates active methane generation in anaerobic environments near the lake bottom. These data confirm our previous assumption that crystallization of carbonates (siderites) in subsurface sediments is a result of methane generation. Types of methanogenesis (microbial methyl-type fermentation versus CO2-reduction) were revealed by determining the offset of δ13C between dissolved CH4 and CO2, and also by using δ13C and δD values of dissolved methane present in the pore waters. Results show that both mechanisms are most likely responsible for methane generation at the investigated locations.

  19. Subseafloor microbial communities in methane hydrate-bearing sediment at two distinct locations (ODP Leg204) in the cascadia margin.

    PubMed

    Nunoura, Takuro; Inagaki, Fumio; Delwiche, Mark E; Colwell, Frederick S; Takai, Ken

    2008-01-01

    The prokaryotic communities in deep subseafloor sediment collected during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 204 from the South Hydrate Ridge (SHR) on the Cascadia Margin were analyzed by 16S rRNA gene clone sequencing and a fluorescent quantitative PCR technique. The microbial communities came from sites with contrasting geological characteristics on the SHR: sites 1244 and 1245 (located on the flank of the ridge, hydrate-rich sediment) and site 1251 (located on the slope basin of SHR, hydrate-poor sediment). The overall copy numbers of the 16S rRNA gene, and the proportion of archaeal 16S rRNA gene in all 16S rRNA gene community in sediment were larger on the slope basin than on the flank of the SHR. Archaeal community structure around the sulfate-methane transition zone at site 1251 (4.5 mbsf) was intensively investigated using two different PCR primer sets. A relatively abundant distribution of the 16S rRNA gene sequences related to mesophilic methanogen of the genus Methanoculleus was identified at a depth of 43.2 mbsf, and suggested that the methanogens occur in relatively shallow zones of sediment. This study demonstrated that the subseafloor microbial communities shown by 16S rRNA gene clone analyses were not directly associated with subseafloor methane hydrate deposits. PMID:21558725

  20. Origin and Migration of Methane in Gas Hydrate-bearing Sediments Relevant to Their Subsurface Occurrences in The Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, T.; Waseda, A.

    2003-04-01

    Although gas hydrates are known to occur in the Arctic in association with permafrost regimes and in the deep offshore at the continental margins, the geologic and geophysical issues controlling their occurrences and distributions are still remained. The Nankai Trough runs along the Japanese Island, where forearc basins and accretionary prisms developed extensively and BSRs (bottom simulating reflector) have been recognized widely. High resolution seismic surveys in 1997, 2001 and 2002 and drilling the Nankai Trough wells conducted by the METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) have revealed the subsurface gas hydrate widely distributed at the depth interval from 200 to 270 mbsf. All the core samples containing gas hydrates were subjected to X-ray CT imagery so as to observe sedimentary textures and occurrences inside of cores without disturbances before provided to various analyses. Subsurface occurrences of natural gas hydrate can be classified into six types; 1) pore-space hydrate, 2) platy hydrate, 3) layered/massive hydrate, 4) disseminated hydrate, 5) nodule hydrate and 6) vein/dyke hydrate. The anomalies of chloride contents in pore water, core temperature depression, core observation as well as visible gas hydrates confirmed well-interconnected and highly saturated pore-space hydrates as intergranular pore filling within sand layers within the methane hydrate stability zone. Hydrate saturations are higher than 60 % throughout most hydrate-dominant sand layers and in some parts close to 100% pore saturation. Muddy sediments such as silts and clays were free of hydrate or contained low concentrations. Carbon and hydrogen isotope compositions of CH4 and hydrocarbon compositions contained in gas hydrate indicate that methane is generated by microbial reduction of CO2. Both carbon isotope compositions of CH4 and CO2 in the sediments become heavier gradually with depths shallower than 100 mbsf. In deeper depths, the origins of hydrocarbon change from

  1. Modeling sulfate reduction in methane hydrate-bearing continental margin sediments: Does a sulfate-methane transition require anaerobic oxidation of methane?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Malinverno, A.; Pohlman, J.W.

    2011-01-01

    The sulfate-methane transition (SMT), a biogeochemical zone where sulfate and methane are metabolized, is commonly observed at shallow depths (1-30 mbsf) in methane-bearing marine sediments. Two processes consume sulfate at and above the SMT, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and organoclastic sulfate reduction (OSR). Differentiating the relative contribution of each process is critical to estimate methane flux into the SMT, which, in turn, is necessary to predict deeper occurrences of gas hydrates in continental margin sediments. To evaluate the relative importance of these two sulfate reduction pathways, we developed a diagenetic model to compute the pore water concentrations of sulfate, methane, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). By separately tracking DIC containing 12C and 13C, the model also computes ??13C-DIC values. The model reproduces common observations from methane-rich sediments: a well-defined SMT with no methane above and no sulfate below and a ??13C-DIC minimum at the SMT. The model also highlights the role of upward diffusing 13C-enriched DIC in contributing to the carbon isotope mass balance of DIC. A combination of OSR and AOM, each consuming similar amounts of sulfate, matches observations from Site U1325 (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 311, northern Cascadia margin). Without AOM, methane diffuses above the SMT, which contradicts existing field data. The modeling results are generalized with a dimensional analysis to the range of SMT depths and sedimentation rates typical of continental margins. The modeling shows that AOM must be active to establish an SMT wherein methane is quantitatively consumed and the ??13C-DIC minimum occurs. The presence of an SMT generally requires active AOM. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. Geomechanical Modeling of Gas Hydrate Bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, M. J.; Gai, X., Sr.

    2015-12-01

    This contribution focuses on an advance geomechanical model for methane hydrate-bearing soils based on concepts of elasto-plasticity for strain hardening/softening soils and incorporates bonding and damage effects. The core of the proposed model includes: a hierarchical single surface critical state framework, sub-loading concepts for modeling the plastic strains generally observed inside the yield surface and a hydrate enhancement factor to account for the cementing effects provided by the presence of hydrates in sediments. The proposed framework has been validated against recently published experiments involving both, synthetic and natural hydrate soils, as well as different sediments types (i.e., different hydrate saturations, and different hydrates morphologies) and confinement conditions. The performance of the model in these different case studies was very satisfactory.

  3. Coupled THCM Modeling of Gas Hydrate Bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, M. J.; Gai, X., Sr.; Shastri, A.; Santamarina, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    Gas hydrates are crystalline clathrate compounds made of water and a low molecular gas, like methane. Gas hydrates are generally present in oil-producing areas and in permafrost regions. Methane hydrate deposits can lead to large-scale submarine slope failures, blowouts, platform foundation failures, and borehole instability. Gas hydrates constitute also an attractive source of energy as they are estimated to contain very large reserves of methane. Hydrate formation, dissociation and methane production from hydrate bearing sediments are coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) processes that involve, amongst other, exothermic formation and endothermic dissociation of hydrate and ice phases, mixed fluid flow and large changes in fluid pressure. A comprehensive THM formulation is briefly presented here. Momentum balance, mass balance and energy balance equations take into consideration the interaction among all phases (i.e. solid, liquid, gas, hydrates and ice) and mechanical equilibrium. Constitutive equations describe the intrinsic THM behavior of the sediment. Simulation results conducted for hydrate bearing sediments subjected to boundary conditions highlight the complex interaction among THM processes in hydrate bearing sediments.

  4. Permeability and porosity of hydrate-bearing sediments in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Daigle, Hugh; Cook, Ann; Malinverno, Alberto

    2015-10-14

    Hydrate-bearing sands are being actively explored because they contain the highest concentrations of hydrate and are the most economically recoverable hydrate resource. However, relatively little is known about the mechanisms or timescales of hydrate formation, which are related to methane supply, fluid flux, and host sediment properties such as permeability. We used logging-while-drilling data from locations in the northern Gulf of Mexico to develop an effective medium theory-based model for predicting permeability based on clay-sized sediment fraction. The model considers permeability varying between sand and clay endpoint permeabilities that are defined from laboratory data. We verified the model using permeabilitymore » measurements on core samples from three boreholes, and then used the model to predict permeability in two wells drilled in Walker Ridge Block 313 during the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project Leg II expedition in 2009. We found that the cleanest sands (clay-sized fraction <0.05) had intrinsic (hydrate-free) permeability contrasts of 5-6 orders of magnitude with the surrounding clays, which is sufficient to provide focused hydrate formation due to advection of methane from a deep source or diffusion of microbial methane from nearby clay layers. In sands where the clay-sized fraction exceeds 0.05, the permeability reduces significantly and focused flow is less pronounced. In these cases, diffusion of dissolved microbial methane is most likely the preferred mode of methane supply for hydrate formation. In conclusion, our results provide important constraints on methane supply mechanisms in the Walker Ridge area and have global implications for evaluating rates of methane migration and hydrate formation in hydrate-bearing sands.« less

  5. Permeability and porosity of hydrate-bearing sediments in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Daigle, Hugh; Cook, Ann; Malinverno, Alberto

    2015-10-14

    Hydrate-bearing sands are being actively explored because they contain the highest concentrations of hydrate and are the most economically recoverable hydrate resource. However, relatively little is known about the mechanisms or timescales of hydrate formation, which are related to methane supply, fluid flux, and host sediment properties such as permeability. We used logging-while-drilling data from locations in the northern Gulf of Mexico to develop an effective medium theory-based model for predicting permeability based on clay-sized sediment fraction. The model considers permeability varying between sand and clay endpoint permeabilities that are defined from laboratory data. We verified the model using permeability measurements on core samples from three boreholes, and then used the model to predict permeability in two wells drilled in Walker Ridge Block 313 during the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project Leg II expedition in 2009. We found that the cleanest sands (clay-sized fraction <0.05) had intrinsic (hydrate-free) permeability contrasts of 5-6 orders of magnitude with the surrounding clays, which is sufficient to provide focused hydrate formation due to advection of methane from a deep source or diffusion of microbial methane from nearby clay layers. In sands where the clay-sized fraction exceeds 0.05, the permeability reduces significantly and focused flow is less pronounced. In these cases, diffusion of dissolved microbial methane is most likely the preferred mode of methane supply for hydrate formation. In conclusion, our results provide important constraints on methane supply mechanisms in the Walker Ridge area and have global implications for evaluating rates of methane migration and hydrate formation in hydrate-bearing sands.

  6. P-wave velocity features of methane hydrate-bearing turbidity sediments sampled by a pressure core tool, from the first offshore production test site in the eastern Nankai Trough, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, K.; Santamarina, C. J.; Waite, W. F.; Winters, W. J.; Ito, T.; Nakatsuka, Y.; Konno, Y.; Yoneda, J.; Kida, M.; Jin, Y.; Egawa, K.; Fujii, T.; Nagao, J.

    2013-12-01

    Turbidite sediments around the production test site at Daini-Atsumi knoll were deposited under channel and lobe environments of a submarine fan. Changes in physical properties of the sediments are likely caused by differences in the depositional environments. In addition, methane hydrate (MH) crystals growing among sediment grains alter the sediment's original physical properties. Thus, distinguishing between hydrate-bearing sediment and hydrate-free sediment based only on physical property changes measured during downhole logging can be difficult. To more precisely analyze sediment properties, core samples of MH-bearing sediments were taken at the first offshore MH production test site. Samples were collected using a wireline hybrid pressure coring system (Hybrid PCS), which retains downhole pressure, thereby preventing dissociation of MH in the sampled cores. Nondestructive, high-pressure analyses were conducted in both the 2012 summer drilling campaign and a 2013 winter laboratory study in Sapporo. To handle Hybrid PCS cores during the pressure coring campaign in the summer of 2012, a pressure core analysis and transfer system (PCATS) was installed on the research vessel Chikyu (Yamamoto et al., 2012). PCATS P-wave velocity measurements were made at in situ water pressure without causing any core destruction or MH dissociation. In January 2013, Georgia Tech (GT), USGS, AIST, and JOGMEC researchers used pressure core characterization tools (PCCTs) developed by GT to re-measure the P-wave velocity of the MH-bearing sediments at high pressure and low, non-freezing temperature. In the PCATS analysis, results showed a difference of more than 1,200 m/s in P-wave velocities between the MH-bearing sandy and muddy layers. This difference in P-wave velocities was confirmed by PCCTs measurements. P-wave velocities within the turbidite interval tend to decrease upward with the textural grading of the turbidite. Our result implies that MH concentration, which is related to

  7. Thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cortes, D.D.; Martin, A.I.; Yun, T.S.; Francisca, F.M.; Santamarina, J.C.; Ruppel, C.

    2009-01-01

    A thorough understanding of the thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments is necessary for evaluating phase transformation processes that would accompany energy production from gas hydrate deposits and for estimating regional heat flow based on the observed depth to the base of the gas hydrate stability zone. The coexistence of multiple phases (gas hydrate, liquid and gas pore fill, and solid sediment grains) and their complex spatial arrangement hinder the a priori prediction of the thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments. Previous studies have been unable to capture the full parameter space covered by variations in grain size, specific surface, degree of saturation, nature of pore filling material, and effective stress for hydrate-bearing samples. Here we report on systematic measurements of the thermal conductivity of air dry, water- and tetrohydrofuran (THF)-saturated, and THF hydrate-saturated sand and clay samples at vertical effective stress of 0.05 to 1 MPa (corresponding to depths as great as 100 m below seafloor). Results reveal that the bulk thermal conductivity of the samples in every case reflects a complex interplay among particle size, effective stress, porosity, and fluid-versus-hydrate filled pore spaces. The thermal conductivity of THF hydrate-bearing soils increases upon hydrate formation although the thermal conductivities of THF solution and THF hydrate are almost the same. Several mechanisms can contribute to this effect including cryogenic suction during hydrate crystal growth and the ensuing porosity reduction in the surrounding sediment, increased mean effective stress due to hydrate formation under zero lateral strain conditions, and decreased interface thermal impedance as grain-liquid interfaces are transformed into grain-hydrate interfaces. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  8. Estimates of Biogenic Methane Production Rates in Deep Marine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colwell, F. S.; Boyd, S.; Delwiche, M. E.; Reed, D. W.

    2004-12-01

    estimate of 6 x 10-6 nmol methane produced per g sediment per day for samples in which methanogens could not be detected. Rates are likely lower than this if methanogens are not actually present in these samples. Where methanogen numbers are higher in the HR samples rates may be 6 x 10-4 nmol methane produced per g sediment per day or higher. Previous reports of higher methanogenic rates in hydrate-bearing sediments (e.g., up to 103 nmol methane produced per g sediment per day in Blake Ridge sediments) may indicate that those samples contain more methanogenic biomass and activity. Our revised estimates of in situ methanogenesis rates will help to improve models intended to predict the location and distribution of hydrates in marine sediments.

  9. Distributions and assemblages of microbial communities along a sediment core retrieved from a potential hydrate-bearing region offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Li-Hung; Wu, Li-Wei; Cheng, Ting-Wen; Tu, Wei-Xain; Lin, Ji-Rong; Yang, Tsanyao F.; Chen, Po-Chun; Wang, Yunshuen; Wang, Pei-Ling

    2014-10-01

    Assessing the impacts of methane released from hydrate-bearing environments on global carbon cycling would require detailed insights into the distributions and capacities of microbial communities at different horizons of sediment column. In this study, we conducted geochemical, gene abundance and diversity analyses for a sediment core retrieved from a potential hydrate-bearing region off southwestern Taiwan. Geochemical profiles were characterized by a sulfate-to-methane transition with decreasing total organic carbon and nitrogen in sediments, and increasing dissolved inorganic carbon, ammonium and total sulfur in sediments. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA and amoA gene abundances decreased with depth. In contrast, ANME-1 and -2 16S rRNA gene abundances increased significantly across the sulfate-to-methane transition and peaked at different horizons below this interface. A total of 124,379 bacterial and 130,351 archaeal reads were recovered through tag-pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and categorized into 9014 bacterial and 6394 archaeal operational taxonomic units on the basis of 97% sequence similarity, respectively. Major bacterial phyla/divisions and archaeal groups (>5% of the total reads) detected included Chloroflexi, Planctomycetes, OP9, Deltaproteobacteria, BHI80-139, MBG-B, Halobacteria, MCG, Thermoplasmata, ANME-1 and MG-I. The abundance variations of most major OTUs (>0.5% of the total reads) were statistically correlated with those of geochemical parameters. These lines of evidence suggest that the populations represented by the major OTUs or detected by group-specific primers were compartmentalized into different horizons and involved directly or indirectly in the cycling of methane, sulfate, organic carbon and nitrogen. Overall, this study demonstrates that the deep sequencing coverage combined with the quantification of gene abundance and geochemical characterization would enable to uncover the detailed distributions and potential metabolic

  10. A Trial of the Delineation of Gas Hydrate Bearing Zones using Seismic Methods Offshore Tokai Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inamori, T.; Hato, M.

    2002-12-01

    MITI Research Well 'Nankai Trough' was drilled at offshore Tokai Japan in 1999/2000 and the existence of gas hydrate was confirmed by various proofs through borehole measurement or coring. It gave so big impact to the view of Japan_fs future energy resources and other scientific interests.The METI, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, has started the national project "Methane Hydrate Exploration study" in Japan since the fall 2001. Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) were widely found on the marine seismic data acquired offshore Japan especially in the shelf-slope near Nankai Trough. BSRs are thought to be the bottom of gas hydrate stability zones, we cannot, however, get the information of gas hydrate bearing zones, such as the height of those, the porosity, the gas hydrate saturation etc, only from BSRs. In order to estimate the amount of gas hydrate accurately, we have to get those reservoir parameters of gas hydrate bearing zones from marine seismic data. The velocity of these zones is greater than that of the surrounding sediment, because pure gas hydrate has high velocity that is more than 3,000 m/s. This means the interval velocity is the key for exploration of gas hydrate. First, we have tried to image the gas hydrate bearing zones from seismic stacking velocity analysis. After the conversion to interval velocity from NMO velocity by Dix's equation, we imaged the P-wave velocity section through 2D seismic line. We successfully imaged high velocity zones above BSRs and low velocity zones beneath BSRs on P-wave velocity section. But the resolution of the section from the velocity analysis is not so high. Although we have only two adjacent well log data on the seismic line, in order to make more detailed map, we tried to execute the seismic impedance inversion with MITI Nankai Trough Well data. We made a simple initial model and inverted to seismic impedance value. We got the good impedance section and delineated the gas hydrate bearing zones through it

  11. Multi-property characterization chamber for geophysical-hydrological investigations of hydrate bearing sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Seol, Yongkoo Choi, Jeong-Hoon; Dai, Sheng

    2014-08-01

    With the increase in the interest of producing natural gas from methane hydrates as well as potential risks of massive hydrate dissociation in the context of global warming, studies have recently shifted from pure hydrate crystals to hydrates in sediments. Such a research focus shift requires a series of innovative laboratory devices that are capable of investigating various properties of hydrate-bearing sediments (HBS). This study introduces a newly developed high pressure testing chamber, i.e., multi-property characterization chamber (MPCC), that allows simultaneous investigation of a series of fundamental properties of HBS, including small-strain stiffness (i.e., P- and S-waves), shear strength, large-strain deformation, stress-volume responses, and permeability. The peripheral coolant circulation system of the MPCC permits stable and accurate temperature control, while the core holder body, made of aluminum, enables X-ray computer tomography scanning to be easily employed for structural and morphological characterization of specimens. Samples of hydrate-bearing sediments are held within a rubber sleeve inside the chamber. The thick sleeve is more durable and versatile than thin membranes while also being much softer than oedometer-type chambers that are incapable of enabling flow tests. Bias introduced by the rubber sleeve during large deformation tests are also calibrated both theoretically and experimentally. This system provides insight into full characterization of hydrate-bearing sediments in the laboratory, as well as pressure core technology in the field.

  12. Multi-property characterization chamber for geophysical-hydrological investigations of hydrate bearing sediments.

    PubMed

    Seol, Yongkoo; Choi, Jeong-Hoon; Dai, Sheng

    2014-08-01

    With the increase in the interest of producing natural gas from methane hydrates as well as potential risks of massive hydrate dissociation in the context of global warming, studies have recently shifted from pure hydrate crystals to hydrates in sediments. Such a research focus shift requires a series of innovative laboratory devices that are capable of investigating various properties of hydrate-bearing sediments (HBS). This study introduces a newly developed high pressure testing chamber, i.e., multi-property characterization chamber (MPCC), that allows simultaneous investigation of a series of fundamental properties of HBS, including small-strain stiffness (i.e., P- and S-waves), shear strength, large-strain deformation, stress-volume responses, and permeability. The peripheral coolant circulation system of the MPCC permits stable and accurate temperature control, while the core holder body, made of aluminum, enables X-ray computer tomography scanning to be easily employed for structural and morphological characterization of specimens. Samples of hydrate-bearing sediments are held within a rubber sleeve inside the chamber. The thick sleeve is more durable and versatile than thin membranes while also being much softer than oedometer-type chambers that are incapable of enabling flow tests. Bias introduced by the rubber sleeve during large deformation tests are also calibrated both theoretically and experimentally. This system provides insight into full characterization of hydrate-bearing sediments in the laboratory, as well as pressure core technology in the field. PMID:25173288

  13. Elastic properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, M.W.; Collett, T.S.

    2001-01-01

    Downhole-measured compressional- and shear-wave velocities acquired in the Mallik 2L-38 gas hydrate research well, northwestern Canada, reveal that the dominant effect of gas hydrate on the elastic properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments is as a pore-filling constituent. As opposed to high elastic velocities predicted from a cementation theory, whereby a small amount of gas hydrate in the pore space significantly increases the elastic velocities, the velocity increase from gas hydrate saturation in the sediment pore space is small. Both the effective medium theory and a weighted equation predict a slight increase of velocities from gas hydrate concentration, similar to the field-observed velocities; however, the weighted equation more accurately describes the compressional- and shear-wave velocities of gas hydrate-bearing sediments. A decrease of Poisson's ratio with an increase in the gas hydrate concentration is similar to a decrease of Poisson's ratio with a decrease in the sediment porosity. Poisson's ratios greater than 0.33 for gas hydrate-bearing sediments imply the unconsolidated nature of gas hydrate-bearing sediments at this well site. The seismic characteristics of gas hydrate-bearing sediments at this site can be used to compare and evaluate other gas hydrate-bearing sediments in the Arctic.

  14. Stability evaluation of hydrate-bearing sediments during thermally-driven hydrate dissociation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, T.; Cho, G.; Santamarina, J.; Kim, H.; Lee, J.

    2009-12-01

    Hydrate-bearing sediments may destabilize spontaneously as part of geological processes, unavoidably during petroleum drilling/production operations, or intentionally as part of gas extraction from the hydrate itself. In all cases, high pore fluid pressure generation is anticipated during hydrate dissociation. This study examined how thermal changes destabilize gas hydrate-bearing sediments. First, an analytical formulation was derived for predicting fluid pressure evolution in hydrate-bearing sediments subjected to thermal stimulation without mass transfer. The formulation captures the self-preservation behavior, calculates the hydrate and free gas quantities during dissociation, considering effective stress-controlled sediment compressibility and gas solubility in aqueous phase. Pore fluid pressure generation is proportional to the initial hydrate fraction and the sediment bulk stiffness; is inversely proportional to the initial gas fraction and gas solubility; and is limited by changes in effective stress that cause the failure of the sediment. Second, the analytical formulation for hydrate dissociation was incorporated as a user-defined function into a verified finite difference code (FLAC2D). The underlying physical processes of hydrate-bearing sediments, including hydrate dissociation, self-preservation, pore pressure evolution, gas dissolution, and sediment volume expansion, were coupled with the thermal conduction, pore fluid flow, and mechanical response of sediments. We conducted the simulations for a duration of 20 years, assuming a constant-temperature wellbore transferred heat to the surrounding hydrate-bearing sediments, resulting in dissociation of methane hydrate in the well vicinity. The model predicted dissociation-induced excess pore fluid pressures which resulted in a large volume expansion and plastic deformation of the sediments. Furthermore, when the critical stress was reached, localized shear failure of the sediment around the borehole was

  15. Strengthening mechanism of cemented hydrate-bearing sand at microscales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoneda, Jun; Jin, Yusuke; Katagiri, Jun; Tenma, Norio

    2016-07-01

    On the basis of hypothetical particle-level mechanisms, several constitutive models of hydrate-bearing sediments have been proposed previously for gas production. However, to the best of our knowledge, the microstructural large-strain behaviors of hydrate-bearing sediments have not been reported to date because of the experimental challenges posed by the high-pressure and low-temperature testing conditions. Herein, a novel microtriaxial testing apparatus was developed, and the mechanical large-strain behavior of hydrate-bearing sediments with various hydrate saturation values (Sh = 0%, 39%, and 62%) was analyzed using microfocus X-ray computed tomography. Patchy hydrates were observed in the sediments at Sh = 39%. The obtained stress-strain relationships indicated strengthening with increasing hydrate saturation and a brittle failure mode of the hydrate-bearing sand. Localized deformations were quantified via image processing at the submillimeter and micrometer scale. Shear planes and particle deformation and/or rotation were detected, and the shear band thickness decreased with increasing hydrate saturation.

  16. Methane oxidation and methane fluxes in the ocean surface layer and deep anoxic waters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, B. B.; Kilpatrick, K. A.; Novelli, P. C.; Scranton, M. I.

    1987-01-01

    Measured biological oxidation rates of methane in near-surface waters of the Cariaco Basin are compared with the diffusional fluxes computed from concentration gradients of methane in the surface layer. Methane fluxes and oxidation rates were investigated in surface waters, at the oxic/anoxic interface, and in deep anoxic waters. It is shown that the surface-waters oxidation of methane is a mechanism which modulates the flux of methane from marine waters to the atmosphere.

  17. Gas Production from Hydrate-Bearing Sediments - Emergent Phenomena -

    SciTech Connect

    Jung, J.W.; Jang, J.W.; Tsouris, Costas; Phelps, Tommy Joe; Rawn, Claudia J; Santamarina, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    Even a small fraction of fine particles can have a significant effect on gas production from hydrate-bearing sediments and sediment stability. Experiments were conducted to investigate the role of fine particles on gas production using a soil chamber that allows for the application of an effective stress to the sediment. This chamber was instrumented to monitor shear-wave velocity, temperature, pressure, and volume change during CO{sub 2} hydrate formation and gas production. The instrumented chamber was placed inside the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Seafloor Process Simulator (SPS), which was used to control the fluid pressure and temperature. Experiments were conducted with different sediment types and pressure-temperature histories. Fines migrated within the sediment in the direction of fluid flow. A vuggy structure formed in the sand; these small cavities or vuggs were precursors to the development of gas-driven fractures during depressurization under a constant effective stress boundary condition. We define the critical fines fraction as the clay-to-sand mass ratio when clays fill the pore space in the sand. Fines migration, clogging, vugs, and gas-driven fracture formation developed even when the fines content was significantly lower than the critical fines fraction. These results show the importance of fines in gas production from hydrate-bearing sediments, even when the fines content is relatively low.

  18. Physical property changes in hydrate-bearing sediment due to depressurization and subsequent repressurization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waite, W.F.; Kneafsey, T.J.; Winters, W.J.; Mason, D.H.

    2008-01-01

    Physical property measurements of sediment cores containing natural gas hydrate are typically performed on material exposed, at least briefly, to non-in situ conditions during recovery. To examine the effects of a brief excursion from the gas-hydrate stability field, as can occur when pressure cores are transferred to pressurized storage vessels, we measured physical properties on laboratory-formed sand packs containing methane hydrate and methane pore gas. After depressurizing samples to atmospheric pressure, we repressurized them into the methane-hydrate stability field and remeasured their physical properties. Thermal conductivity, shear strength, acoustic compressional and shear wave amplitudes, and speeds of the original and depressurized/repressurized samples are compared. X-ray computed tomography images track how the gas-hydrate distribution changes in the hydrate-cemented sands owing to the depressurizaton/repressurization process. Because depressurization-induced property changes can be substantial and are not easily predicted, particularly in water-saturated, hydrate-bearing sediment, maintaining pressure and temperature conditions throughout the core recovery and measurement process is critical for using laboratory measurements to estimate in situ properties.

  19. Transformations in methane hydrates

    PubMed Central

    Chou, I-Ming; Sharma, Anurag; Burruss, Robert C.; Shu, Jinfu; Mao, Ho-kwang; Hemley, Russell J.; Goncharov, Alexander F.; Stern, Laura A.; Kirby, Stephen H.

    2000-01-01

    Detailed study of pure methane hydrate in a diamond cell with in situ optical, Raman, and x-ray microprobe techniques reveals two previously unknown structures, structure II and structure H, at high pressures. The structure II methane hydrate at 250 MPa has a cubic unit cell of a = 17.158(2) Å and volume V = 5051.3(13) Å3; structure H at 600 MPa has a hexagonal unit cell of a = 11.980(2) Å, c = 9.992(3) Å, and V = 1241.9(5) Å3. The compositions of these two investigated phases are still not known. With the effects of pressure and the presence of other gases in the structure, the structure II phase is likely to dominate over the known structure I methane hydrate within deep hydrate-bearing sediments underlying continental margins. PMID:11087836

  20. Response of oceanic hydrate-bearing sediments to thermalstresses

    SciTech Connect

    Moridis, G.J.; Kowalsky, M.B.

    2006-05-01

    In this study, we evaluate the response of oceanicsubsurface systems to thermal stresses caused by the flow of warm fluidsthrough noninsulated well systems crossing hydrate-bearing sediments.Heat transport from warm fluids, originating from deeper reservoirs underproduction, into the geologic media can cause dissociation of the gashydrates. The objective of this study is to determine whether gasevolution from hydrate dissociation can lead to excessive pressurebuildup, and possibly to fracturing of hydrate-bearing formations andtheir confining layers, with potentially adverse consequences on thestability of the suboceanic subsurface. This study also aims to determinewhether the loss of the hydrate--known to have a strong cementing effecton the porous media--in the vicinity of the well, coupled with thesignificant pressure increases, can undermine the structural stability ofthe well assembly.Scoping 1D simulations indicated that the formationintrinsic permeability, the pore compressibility, the temperature of theproduced fluids andthe initial hydrate saturation are the most importantfactors affecting the system response, while the thermal conductivity andporosity (above a certain level) appear to have a secondary effect.Large-scale simulations of realistic systems were also conducted,involving complex well designs and multilayered geologic media withnonuniform distribution of properties and initial hydrate saturationsthat are typical of those expected in natural oceanic systems. Theresults of the 2D study indicate that although the dissociation radiusremains rather limited even after long-term production, low intrinsicpermeability and/or high hydrate saturation can lead to the evolution ofhigh pressures that can threaten the formation and its boundaries withfracturing. Although lower maximum pressures are observed in the absenceof bottom confining layers and in deeper (and thus warmer and morepressurized) systems, the reduction is limited. Wellbore designs withgravel

  1. Geomechanical Performance of Hydrate-Bearing Sediment in Offshore Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen Holditch; Tad Patzek; Jonny Rutqvist; George Moridis; Richard Plumb

    2008-03-31

    The objective of this multi-year, multi-institutional research project was to develop the knowledge base and quantitative predictive capability for the description of geomechanical performance of hydrate-bearing sediments (hereafter referred to as HBS) in oceanic environments. The focus was on the determination of the envelope of hydrate stability under conditions typical of those related to the construction and operation of offshore platforms. We have developed a robust numerical simulator of hydrate behavior in geologic media by coupling a reservoir model with a commercial geomechanical code. We also investigated the geomechanical behavior of oceanic HBS using pore-scale models (conceptual and mathematical) of fluid flow, stress analysis, and damage propagation. The objective of the UC Berkeley work was to develop a grain-scale model of hydrate-bearing sediments. Hydrate dissociation alters the strength of HBS. In particular, transformation of hydrate clusters into gas and liquid water weakens the skeleton and, simultaneously, reduces the effective stress by increasing the pore pressure. The large-scale objective of the study is evaluation of geomechanical stability of offshore oil and gas production infrastructure. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), we have developed the numerical model TOUGH + Hydrate + FLAC3D to evaluate how the formation and disassociation of hydrates in seafloor sediments affects seafloor stability. Several technical papers were published using results from this model. LBNL also developed laboratory equipment and methods to produce realistic laboratory samples of sediments containing gas hydrates so that mechanical properties could be measured in the laboratory. These properties are required to run TOUGH + Hydrate + FLAC3D to evaluate seafloor stability issues. At Texas A&M University we performed a detailed literature review to determine what gas hydrate formation properties had been measured and reported in the literature. We

  2. Microbial production and oxidation of methane in deep subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotelnikova, Svetlana

    2002-10-01

    The goal of this review is to summarize present studies on microbial production and oxidation of methane in the deep subterranean environments. Methane is a long-living gas causing the "greenhouse" effect in the planet's atmosphere. Earlier, the deep "organic carbon poor" subsurface was not considered as a source of "biogenic" methane. Evidence of active methanogenesis and presence of viable methanogens including autotrophic organisms were obtained for some subsurface environments including water-flooded oil-fields, deep sandy aquifers, deep sea hydrothermal vents, the deep sediments and granitic groundwater at depths of 10 to 2000 m below sea level. As a rule, the deep subterranean microbial populations dwell at more or less oligotrophic conditions. Molecular hydrogen has been found in a variety of subsurface environments, where its concentrations were significantly higher than in the tested surface aquatic environments. Chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms from deep aquifers that could grow on hydrogen and carbon dioxide can act as primary producers of organic carbon, initiating heterotrophic food chains in the deep subterranean environments independent of photosynthesis. "Biogenic" methane has been found all over the world. On the basis of documented occurrences, gases in reservoirs and older sediments are similar and have the isotopic character of methane derived from CO 2 reduction. Groundwater representing the methanogenic end member are characterized by a relative depletion of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in combination with an enrichment in 13C in inorganic carbon, which is consistent with the preferential reduction of 12CO 2 by autotrophic methanogens or acetogens. The isotopic composition of methane formed via CO 2 reduction is controlled by the δ13C of the original CO 2 substrate. Literature data shows that CH 4 as heavy as -40‰ or -50‰ can be produced by the microbial reduction of isotopically heavy CO 2. Produced methane may be oxidized

  3. Crosswell seismic studies in gas hydrate-bearing sediments: P wave velocity and attenuation tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, K.; Haberland, Ch.; Pratt, R. G.; Ryberg, T.; Weber, M. H.; Mallik Working Group

    2003-04-01

    We present crosswell seismic data from the Mallik 2002 Production Research Well Program, an international research project on Gas Hydrates in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The program participants include 8 partners; The Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), The Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC), GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ), United States Geological Survey (USGS), United States Department of the Energy (USDOE), India Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOPNG)/Gas Authority of India (GAIL) and the Chevron-BP-Burlington joint venture group. The crosswell seismic measurements were carried out by making use of two 1160 m deep observation wells (Mallik 3L-38 and 4L-38) both 45 m from and co-planar with the 1188 m deep production research well (5L-38). A high power piezo-ceramic source was used to generate sweeped signals with frequencies between 100 and 2000 Hz recorded with arrays of 8 hydrophones per depth level. A depth range between 800 and 1150 m was covered, with shot and receiver spacings of 0.75 m. High quality data could be collected during the survey which allow for application of a wide range of crosswell seismic methods. The initial data analysis included suppression of tube wave energy and picking of first arrivals. A damped least-squares algorithm was used to derive P-wave velocities from the travel time data. Next, t* values were derived from the decay of the amplitude spectra, which served as input parameters for a damped least-squares attenuation tomography. The initial results of the P-wave velocity and attenuation tomography reveal significant features reflecting the stratigraphic environment and allow for detection and eventually quantification of gas hydrate bearing sediments. A prominent correlation between P velocity and attenuation was found for the gas hydrate layers. This contradicts to the apparently more meaningful inverse correlation as it was determined for the gas hydrates at the Blake Ridge but supports the results from

  4. Analysis of mesoscopic attenuation in gas-hydrate bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubino, J. G.; Ravazzoli, C. L.; Santos, J. E.

    2007-05-01

    Several authors have shown that seismic wave attenuation combined with seismic velocities constitute a useful geophysical tool to infer the presence and amounts of gas hydrates lying in the pore space of the sediments. However, it is still not fully understood the loss mechanism associated to the presence of the hydrates, and most of the works dealing with this problem focuse on macroscopic fluid flow, friction between hydrates and sediment matrix and squirt flow. It is well known that an important cause of the attenuation levels observed in seismic data from some sedimentary regions is the mesoscopic loss mechanism, caused by heterogeneities in the rock and fluid properties greater than the pore size but much smaller than the wavelengths. In order to analyze this effect in heterogeneous gas-hydrate bearing sediments, we developed a finite-element procedure to obtain the effective complex modulus of an heterogeneous porous material containing gas hydrates in its pore space using compressibility tests at different oscillatory frequencies in the seismic range. The complex modulus were obtained by solving Biot's equations of motion in the space-frequency domain with appropriate boundary conditions representing a gedanken laboratory experiment measuring the complex volume change of a representative sample of heterogeneous bulk material. This complex modulus in turn allowed us to obtain the corresponding effective phase velocity and quality factor for each frequency and spatial gas hydrate distribution. Physical parameters taken from the Mallik 5L-38 Gas Hydrate Research well (Mackenzie Delta, Canada) were used to analyze the mesoscopic effects in realistic hydrated sediments.

  5. Methane in Crystalline Bedrock: the Outokumpu Deep Drill Hole, Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kietäväinen, R.; Ahonen, L.; Niinikoski, P.; Itävaara, M.; Kukkonen, I. T.

    2014-12-01

    Carbon is a key element for life. One of the most interesting forms of carbon is methane, as it is both consumed and produced by microorganisms. Methane has also several possible ways of abiotic origin, some of which could provide understanding of the origin of life itself. The study of methane is thus important in order to understand deep subsurface ecosystems such as those found in the 2516 m deep Outokumpu Deep Drill Hole within the Precambrian Fennoscandian Shield in eastern Finland. There rock types differ from graphite-bearing mica schist and black schist to serpentinite and pegmatitic granodiorite and saline, gas-rich water, with up to 32 mmol l-1 of methane, and residence times of tens of millions of years occupies the fracture zones which host diverse microbial life, including methanogenic archaea. In order to understand methane systematics in crystalline bedrock, we analysed several forms of carbon, including dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), methane and ethane from the Outokumpu Deep Drill Hole for their isotopic composition. In addition, isotopic compositions of water and hydrogen were determined. The results show that hydrogen is in isotopic equilibrium in the system H2O-H2-CH4 at ambient temperatures, which could either indicate equilibration due to long residence time or relatively recent production of methane in situ. Therefore hydrogen is not a very useful indicator for the origin of methane in this case. Carbon isotope analysis shows that both methane and DIC becomes generally more enriched in 13C with depth, which could indicate higher amounts of microbial methane in the upper part of the bedrock. Based on carbon isotope composition, two types of ethane can be discerned. Taken all the evidence together, this leads us to suggest that at least two mechanisms are responsible for the methane production in Outokumpu: 1) Biotic which comprise most of methane and 2) abiotic which dominates in the deeper parts of the bedrock. The former type may include

  6. Lipid and carbon isotopic evidence of methane-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria in association with gas hydrates from the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chuanlun L.; Li, Yiliang; Wall, Judy D.; Larsen, Lise; Sassen, Roger; Huang, Yongsong; Wang, Yi; Peacock, Aaron; White, David C.; Horita, Juske; Cole, David R.

    2002-03-01

    An integrated lipid biomarker carbon isotope approach reveals new insight to microbial methane oxidation in the Gulf of Mexico gas-hydrate system. Hydrate-bearing and hydrate-free sediments were collected from the Gulf of Mexico slope using a research submersible. Phospholipid fatty acids consist mainly of C16 C18 compounds, which are largely derived from bacteria. The phospholipid fatty acids suggest that total biomass is enhanced 11 30-fold in gas-hydrate bearing sediment compared to hydrate-free sediment. Lipid biomarkers indicative of sulfate-reducing bacteria are strongly depleted in 13C (δ13C = -48‰ to -70‰) in the hydrate-bearing samples, suggesting that they are involved in the oxidation of methane (δ13C = -47‰ for thermogenic methane and -70‰ for biogenic methane). Isotopic properties of other biomarkers suggest that sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Beggiatoa) may also contribute to the lipid pool in hydrate-bearing samples, which are characterized by less negative δ13C values (to -11.2‰). In the hydrate-free sample, fatty acid biomarkers have δ13C values of -27.6‰ to -39.6‰, indicating that crude oil (average ˜-27‰) or terrestrial organic carbon (average ˜-20‰) are the likely carbon sources. Our results provide the first lipid biomarker stable isotope evidence that sulfate- reducing bacteria play an important role in anaerobic methane oxidation in the Gulf of Mexico gas hydrates. The coupled activities of methane-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing organisms contribute to the development of ecosystems in deep-sea environments and result in sequestration of carbon as buried organic carbon and authigenic carbonates. These have implications for studying climate change based on carbon budgets.

  7. Geomechanical Performance of Hydrate-Bearing Sediments in Offshore Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen A. Holditch

    2006-12-31

    The main objective of this study is to develop the necessary knowledge base and quantitative predictive capability for the description of geomechanical performance of hydrate bearing sediments (hereafter referred to as HBS) in oceanic environments. The focus is on the determination of the envelope of hydrate stability under conditions typical of those related to the construction and operation of offshore platforms. To achieve this objective, we have developed a robust numerical simulator of hydrate behavior in geologic media by coupling a reservoir model with a commercial geomechanical code. To be sure our geomechanical modeling is realistic, we are also investigating the geomechanical behavior of oceanic HBS using pore-scale models (conceptual and mathematical) of fluid flow, stress analysis, and damage propagation. In Phase II of the project, we will review all published core data and generate additional core data to verify the models. To generate data for our models, we are using data from the literature and we will be conducting laboratory studies in 2007 that generate data to (1) evaluate the conceptual pore-scale models, (2) calibrate the mathematical models, (3) determine dominant relations and critical parameters defining the geomechanical behavior of HBS, and (4) establish relationships between the geomechanical status of HBS and the corresponding geophysical signature. The milestones for Phase I of this project are given as follows: Literature survey on typical sediments containing gas hydrates in the ocean (TAMU); Recommendations on how to create typical sediments in the laboratory (TAMU); Demonstrate that typical sediments can be created in a repeatable manner in the laboratory and gas hydrates can be created in the pore space (TAMU); Develop a conceptual pore-scale model based on available data and reports (UCB); Test the developed pore-scale concepts on simple configurations and verify the results against known measurements and observations (UCB

  8. Impacts of Hydrate Pore Habit on Physical Properties of Hydrate Bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seol, Y.; Dai, S.; Choi, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    The physical properties of gas hydrate bearing sediments, to a large extent, are governed by the volume fraction and spatial distribution of the hydrate phase. For sediments containing the same amount of hydrates, their overall physical properties may vary several orders of magnitude depending on hydrate pore habit. We investigate the interplay among hydrate formation methods, hydrate pore habits, and fundamental physical properties of hydrate bearing sediments. We have developed a new method to synthesize noncementing hydrate in sands, a multi-properties characterization chamber to test the hydrate bearing sediments, and pore network models to simulate fluid flow processes in hydrate bearing sediments. We have found that (1) the growth pattern of hydrate crystal in the pore spaces of water saturated sediments is dominated by the relative magnitude of the capillary force (between hydrate crystal and pore fluid) and the skeleton force, which will result in pore-filling or grain-displacing type of hydrate pore character; (2) the existing capillary tube models of water permeability in hydrate bearing sediments are sensitive to pore geometry and hydrate pore habit; and (3) preliminary CT results suggest that hydrate nucleation in partially water saturated sands tends to agglomerate in patches, rather than in an uniformly-distributed contact-cementing morphology. Additional CT results with a small amount of fines (5wt%) and visualization via micro-CT of hydrate pore habits in sediments using different hydrate formation methods will be discussed.

  9. Sedimentological properties of hydrate-bearing sediments and their relation to gas hydrate saturation in the eastern Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, T.; Komatsu, Y.; Fujii, T.; Suzuki, K.; Nakatsuka, Y.; Egawa, K.; Konno, Y.; Yoneda, J.; Jin, Y.; Kida, M.; Minagawa, H.; Nagao, J.

    2013-12-01

    This study presents details of the sedimentological features such as core lithologies and particle size distributions, and their relation to gas hydrate saturation of the eastern Nankai Trough sediments. During the 2012 JOGMEC/JAPEX Pressure coring operation at the eastern Nankai Trough offshore Japan, one site was drilled and a gas hydrate-bearing sediment core in the gas hydrate stability zone above the seismic bottom-simulating reflector (BRS) was recovered by pressure coring successfully. The gas hydrate-bearing sediment core mainly consists of channel-fill turbidite sand, repeated turbidite sequences with hemipelagic mud, and hemipelagic mud from bottom to top of the core. It has been reported that gas hydrate is preferentially accumulated in certain types of sediments, for example in coarse-grained turbidite sands and in diatomaceous silty sediments with low capillary force. This fact suggests that sediment composition also plays an essential role of gas hydrate saturation in addition to particle size. According to the sediments from the eastern Nankai Trough, the distributions of coarse-grained turbidite sands appear to be one of the most important factors controlling the natural gas hydrate occurrences owing to no significant sediment composition changes. The eastern Nankai Trough sediment can thus be appropriate material for evaluating particle size effects on gas hydrate saturation in natural sediments. The stratigraphic profiles of sedimentological features imply that the median size and sorting of the host sediment are key sediment properties to control the stratigraphic gas hydrate saturation in channel-fill turbidite sand and repeated turbidite sequences with hemipelagic mud. This study is financially supported by the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (the MH21 Research Consortium).

  10. Parametric study of the physical properties of hydrate-bearing sand, silt, and clay sediments: 2. Small-strain mechanical properties

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, J.Y.; Francisca, F.M.; Santamarina, J.C.; Ruppel, C.

    2010-01-01

    The small-strain mechanical properties (e.g., seismic velocities) of hydrate-bearing sediments measured under laboratory conditions provide reference values for calibration of logging and seismic exploration results acquired in hydrate-bearing formations. Instrumented cells were designed for measuring the compressional (P) and shear (S) velocities of sand, silts, and clay with and without hydrate and subject to vertical effective stresses of 0.01 to 2 MPa. Tetrahydrofuran (THF), which is fully miscible in water, was used as the hydrate former to permit close control over the hydrate saturation Shyd and to produce hydrate from dissolved phase, as methane hydrate forms in most natural marine settings. The results demonstrate that laboratory hydrate formation technique controls the pattern of P and S velocity changes with increasing Shyd and that the small-strain properties of hydrate-bearing sediments are governed by effective stress, δ'v and sediment specific surface. The S velocity increases with hydrate saturation owing to an increase in skeletal shear stiffness, particularly when hydrate saturation exceeds Shyd≈ 0.4. At very high hydrate saturations, the small strain shear stiffness is determined by the presence of hydrates and becomes insensitive to changes in effective stress. The P velocity increases with hydrate saturation due to the increases in both the shear modulus of the skeleton and the bulk modulus of pore-filling phases during fluid-to-hydrate conversion. Small-strain Poisson's ratio varies from 0.5 in soft sediments lacking hydrates to 0.25 in stiff sediments (i.e., subject to high vertical effective stress or having high Shyd). At Shyd ≥ 0.5, hydrate hinders expansion and the loss of sediment stiffness during reduction of vertical effective stress, meaning that hydrate-rich natural sediments obtained through pressure coring should retain their in situ fabric for some time after core retrieval if the cores are maintained within the hydrate

  11. Parametric study of the physical properties of hydrate-bearing sand, silt, and clay sediments: 2. Small-strain mechanical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J. Y.; Francisca, F. M.; Santamarina, J. C.; Ruppel, C.

    2010-11-01

    The small-strain mechanical properties (e.g., seismic velocities) of hydrate-bearing sediments measured under laboratory conditions provide reference values for calibration of logging and seismic exploration results acquired in hydrate-bearing formations. Instrumented cells were designed for measuring the compressional (P) and shear (S) velocities of sand, silts, and clay with and without hydrate and subject to vertical effective stresses of 0.01 to 2 MPa. Tetrahydrofuran (THF), which is fully miscible in water, was used as the hydrate former to permit close control over the hydrate saturation Shyd and to produce hydrate from dissolved phase, as methane hydrate forms in most natural marine settings. The results demonstrate that laboratory hydrate formation technique controls the pattern of P and S velocity changes with increasing Shyd and that the small-strain properties of hydrate-bearing sediments are governed by effective stress, σ'v and sediment specific surface. The S velocity increases with hydrate saturation owing to an increase in skeletal shear stiffness, particularly when hydrate saturation exceeds Shyd≈ 0.4. At very high hydrate saturations, the small strain shear stiffness is determined by the presence of hydrates and becomes insensitive to changes in effective stress. The P velocity increases with hydrate saturation due to the increases in both the shear modulus of the skeleton and the bulk modulus of pore-filling phases during fluid-to-hydrate conversion. Small-strain Poisson's ratio varies from 0.5 in soft sediments lacking hydrates to 0.25 in stiff sediments (i.e., subject to high vertical effective stress or having high Shyd). At Shyd ≥ 0.5, hydrate hinders expansion and the loss of sediment stiffness during reduction of vertical effective stress, meaning that hydrate-rich natural sediments obtained through pressure coring should retain their in situ fabric for some time after core retrieval if the cores are maintained within the hydrate

  12. Interpretation of multiple archaeal lipid biomarkers in deep sediments bearing gas hydrate in the East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong-Hun, Lee; Jong-Gu, Gal; Ji-Hoon, Kim; Jang-Jun, Bahk; Kyung-Hoon, Shin

    2014-05-01

    We investigate the distributions and stable carbon isotope values of arhaeal lipid biomarkers at seismically chimney and non-chimney sites (UBGH 2-3, UBGH 2-1_1) of gas hydrate bearing deep core sediments during the second Ulleung Basin Gas Hydrate Drilling Expedition (UBGH 2). The objective of this study was to identify and compare the metabolic pathway of methane-related archaea between both sites. The increased concentration and δ13C-depleted archaeol and sn-2-hydroxyarcheol at the Sulphate-Methane transition Zone (SMTZ) of UBGH 2-11 could be predominantly methanotrophic activity indicating methane consumption by Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane (AOM). The concentration of methane-related specific biomarkers (PMI, crocetane, archaeol, sn-2-hydroxyarcheol) within deep core sediment bearing gas hydrate of both sites is relatively higher than in other sediment sections, showing lower Cl- concentration. The carbon stable isotopic data (-47.5 o -75.2o to -52.4) for archaeol, sn-2-hydroxyarcheol in the sediment sections (20mbsf, 93 - 100mbsf) at UBGH 2-11 reflect methane production via microbial carbon dioxide reduction in deep core sediment. Archaeal lipid biomarker concentrations are slightly different depending on upward methane diffusion or advection with the seismic characteristics of both sites. Based on the archaeal lipid biomarker ratio (sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol/archaeol) as a tool to demonstrate the different ANME communities, our result suggest that the predominant occurrence of ANMEs is mediated by upward migration of microbial methane. Consequently, geochemical signature of archaeal lipid biomarkers in the East Sea of the western North Paci?c may be a potential indicator reflected by upward transported-methane in methane cycle of deep core sediment. In addition, the distribution of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) is discussed with archaeal lipid biomarkers in the gas hydrate bearing deep sediment.

  13. Anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification is the dominant methane sink in a deep lake

    PubMed Central

    Deutzmann, Joerg S.; Stief, Peter; Brandes, Josephin; Schink, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification, also known as “nitrate/nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation” (n-damo), was discovered in 2006. Since then, only a few studies have identified this process and the associated microorganisms in natural environments. In aquatic sediments, the close proximity of oxygen- and nitrate-consumption zones can mask n-damo as aerobic methane oxidation. We therefore investigated the vertical distribution and the abundance of denitrifying methanotrophs related to Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera with cultivation-independent molecular techniques in the sediments of Lake Constance. Additionally, the vertical distribution of methane oxidation and nitrate consumption zones was inferred from high-resolution microsensor profiles in undisturbed sediment cores. M. oxyfera-like bacteria were virtually absent at shallow-water sites (littoral sediment) and were very abundant at deep-water sites (profundal sediment). In profundal sediment, the vertical distribution of M. oxyfera-like bacteria showed a distinct peak in anoxic layers that coincided with the zone of methane oxidation and nitrate consumption, a strong indication for n-damo carried out by M. oxyfera-like bacteria. Both potential n-damo rates calculated from cell densities (660–4,890 µmol CH4⋅m−2⋅d−1) and actual rates calculated from microsensor profiles (31–437 µmol CH4⋅m−2⋅d−1) were sufficiently high to prevent methane release from profundal sediment solely by this process. Additionally, when nitrate was added to sediment cores exposed to anoxic conditions, the n-damo zone reestablished well below the sediment surface, completely preventing methane release from the sediment. We conclude that the previously overlooked n-damo process can be the major methane sink in stable freshwater environments if nitrate is available in anoxic zones. PMID:25472842

  14. 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

  15. Catalysis of carbon monoxide methanation by deep sea manganate minerals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabrera, A. L.; Maple, M. B.; Arrhenius, G.

    1990-01-01

    The catalytic activity of deep sea manganese nodule minerals for the methanation of carbon monoxide was measured with a microcatalytic technique between 200 and 460 degrees C. The manganate minerals were activated at 248 degrees C by immersion into a stream of hydrogen in which pulses of carbon monoxide were injected. Activation energies for the methanation reaction and hydrogen desorption from the manganate minerals were obtained and compared with those of pure nickel. Similar energy values indicate that the activity of the nodule materials for the reaction appears to be related to the amount of reducible transition metals present in the samples (ca. 11 wt.-%). Since the activity of the nodule minerals per gram is comparable to that of pure nickel, most of the transition metal ions located between manganese oxide layers appear to be exposed and available to catalyze the reaction.

  16. The effect of hydrate saturation on water retention curves in hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahabadi, Nariman; Zheng, Xianglei; Jang, Jaewon

    2016-05-01

    The experimental measurement of water retention curve in hydrate-bearing sediments is critically important to understand the behavior of hydrate dissociation and gas production. In this study, tetrahydrofuran (THF) is selected as hydrate former. The pore habit of THF hydrates is investigated by visual observation in a transparent micromodel. It is confirmed that THF hydrates are not wetting phase on the quartz surface of the micromodel and occupy either an entire pore or part of pore space resulting in change in pore size distribution. And the measurement of water retention curves in THF hydrate-bearing sediments with hydrate saturation ranging from Sh = 0 to Sh = 0.7 is conducted for excess water condition. The experimental results show that the gas entry pressure and the capillary pressure increase with increasing hydrate saturation. Based on the experimental results, fitting parameters for van Genuchten equation are suggested for different hydrate saturation conditions.

  17. Development of a Numerical Simulator for Analyzing the Geomechanical Performance of Hydrate-Bearing Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Rutqvist, Jonny; Rutqvist, J.; Moridis, G.J.

    2008-06-01

    In this paper, we describe the development and application of a numerical simulator that analyzes the geomechanical performance of hydrate-bearing sediments, which may become an important future energy supply. The simulator is developed by coupling a robust numerical simulator of coupled fluid flow, hydrate thermodynamics, and phase behavior in geologic media (TOUGH+HYDRATE) with an established geomechanical code (FLAC3D). We demonstrate the current simulator capabilities and applicability for two examples of geomechanical responses of hydrate bearing sediments during production-induced hydrate dissociation. In these applications, the coupled geomechanical behavior within hydrate-bearing seducements are considered through a Mohr-Coulomb constitutive model, corrected for changes in pore-filling hydrate and ice content, based on laboratory data. The results demonstrate how depressurization-based gas production from oceanic hydrate deposits may lead to severe geomechanical problems unless care is taken in designing the production scheme. We conclude that the coupled simulator can be used to design production strategies for optimizing production, while avoiding damaging geomechanical problems.

  18. Grain-scale imaging and compositional characterization of cryo-preserved India NGHP 01 gas-hydrate-bearing cores

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stern, Laura A.; Lorenson, T.D.

    2014-01-01

    We report on grain-scale characteristics and gas analyses of gas-hydrate-bearing samples retrieved by NGHP Expedition 01 as part of a large-scale effort to study gas hydrate occurrences off the eastern-Indian Peninsula and along the Andaman convergent margin. Using cryogenic scanning electron microscopy, X-ray spectroscopy, and gas chromatography, we investigated gas hydrate grain morphology and distribution within sediments, gas hydrate composition, and methane isotopic composition of samples from Krishna–Godavari (KG) basin and Andaman back-arc basin borehole sites from depths ranging 26 to 525 mbsf. Gas hydrate in KG-basin samples commonly occurs as nodules or coarse veins with typical hydrate grain size of 30–80 μm, as small pods or thin veins 50 to several hundred microns in width, or disseminated in sediment. Nodules contain abundant and commonly isolated macropores, in some places suggesting the original presence of a free gas phase. Gas hydrate also occurs as faceted crystals lining the interiors of cavities. While these vug-like structures constitute a relatively minor mode of gas hydrate occurrence, they were observed in near-seafloor KG-basin samples as well as in those of deeper origin (>100 mbsf) and may be original formation features. Other samples exhibit gas hydrate grains rimmed by NaCl-bearing material, presumably produced by salt exclusion during original hydrate formation. Well-preserved microfossil and other biogenic detritus are also found within several samples, most abundantly in Andaman core material where gas hydrate fills microfossil crevices. The range of gas hydrate modes of occurrence observed in the full suite of samples suggests a range of formation processes were involved, as influenced by local in situconditions. The hydrate-forming gas is predominantly methane with trace quantities of higher molecular weight hydrocarbons of primarily microbial origin. The composition indicates the gas hydrate is Structure I.

  19. Application of Crunch-Flow Routines to Constrain Present and Past Carbon Fluxes at Gas-Hydrate Bearing Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Torres, Marta

    2014-01-31

    In November 2012, Oregon State University initiated the project entitled: Application of Crunch-Flow routines to constrain present and past carbon fluxes at gas-hydrate bearing sites. Within this project we developed Crunch-Flow based modeling modules that include important biogeochemical processes that need to be considered in gas hydrate environments. Our modules were applied to quantify carbon cycling in present and past systems, using data collected during several DOE-supported drilling expeditions, which include the Cascadia margin in US, Ulleung Basin in South Korea, and several sites drilled offshore India on the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Specifically, we completed modeling efforts that: 1) Reproduce the compositional and isotopic profiles observed at the eight drilled sites in the Ulleung Basin that constrain and contrast the carbon cycling pathways at chimney (high methane flux) and non-chimney sites (low methane, advective systems); 2) Simulate the Ba record in the sediments to quantify the past dynamics of methane flux in the southern Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia margin; and 3) Provide quantitative estimates of the thickness of individual mass transport deposits (MTDs), time elapsed after the MTD event, rate of sulfate reduction in the MTD, and time required to reach a new steady state at several sites drilled in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) Basin off India. In addition we developed a hybrid model scheme by coupling a home-made MATLAB code with CrunchFlow to address the methane transport and chloride enrichment at the Ulleung Basins chimney sites, and contributed the modeling component to a study focusing on pore-scale controls on gas hydrate distribution in sediments from the Andaman Sea. These efforts resulted in two manuscripts currently under review, and contributed the modeling component of another pare, also under review. Lessons learned from these efforts are the basis of a mini-workshop to be held at Oregon State University (Feb 2014) to instruct

  20. Comparison of Physical Properties of Marine and Arctic Gas-Hydrate-Bearing Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winters, W. J.; Walker, M.; Collett, T. S.; Bryant, S. L.; Novosel, I.; Wilcox-Cline, R.; Bing, J.; Gomes, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    Gas hydrate (GH) occurs in both marine settings and in arctic environments within a wide variety of sediment types. Grain-size analyses from both environments indicate that intrinsic host-sediment properties have a strong influence on gas-hydrate distribution and morphologic characteristics. Depending on the amount formed or dissociated, gas hydrate can significantly change in situ sediment acoustic, mechanical, and hydraulic properties. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Dept. of Energy, BP Expl.-Alaska, Nat. GH Prog. of India, Canadian Geological Survey, Int. Ocean Drilling Program, Japan Oil Gas and Metals Nat. Corp., Japan Pet. Expl. Co., Int. Marine Past Global Changes Study (IMAGES) program, and Paleoceanography of the Atlantic and Geochemistry (PAGE) program, determined physical properties from marine and arctic sediments and their relation to the presence of GH. At two arctic sites, the Mount Elbert well on the Alaskan North Slope and the Mallik wells on the Mackenzie Delta, NWT, >10-m thick gas-hydrate-bearing (GHB) sandy deposits are capped by finer-grained sediments that may reduce gas migration. In the Mount Elbert well, average median grain sizes (MGS) for the two thickest GHB deposits are 65 and 60 µm. Finer-grained (average MGS of 9 and 28 µm) sediments have plug permeabilities that are 300 and 14 times smaller than underlying GHB sediment. Average MGS of GHB sediment from the Mallik 2L well is ~ 111 µm, compared to overlying sediment with an average MGS of ~ 32 µm. Gas hydrate morphology in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and offshore India is substantially more complex than in the arctic, and is related to pervasive, although not exclusive, finer-grained deposits. Massive, several-cm thick, GH layers were recovered in piston cores in the northern GOM, in sediment with little visible lithologic variability (average MGS ~ 0.8 µm). In wells off the east coast of India, GH was present in sand-rich, fractured clay, and reservoirs

  1. Biot-Gassmann theory for velocities of gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, M.W.

    2002-01-01

    Elevated elastic velocities are a distinct physical property of gas hydrate-bearing sediments. A number of velocity models and equations (e.g., pore-filling model, cementation model, effective medium theories, weighted equations, and time-average equations) have been used to describe this effect. In particular, the weighted equation and effective medium theory predict reasonably well the elastic properties of unconsolidated gas hydrate-bearing sediments. A weakness of the weighted equation is its use of the empirical relationship of the time-average equation as one element of the equation. One drawback of the effective medium theory is its prediction of unreasonably higher shear-wave velocity at high porosities, so that the predicted velocity ratio does not agree well with the observed velocity ratio. To overcome these weaknesses, a method is proposed, based on Biot-Gassmann theories and assuming the formation velocity ratio (shear to compressional velocity) of an unconsolidated sediment is related to the velocity ratio of the matrix material of the formation and its porosity. Using the Biot coefficient calculated from either the weighted equation or from the effective medium theory, the proposed method accurately predicts the elastic properties of unconsolidated sediments with or without gas hydrate concentration. This method was applied to the observed velocities at the Mallik 2L-39 well, Mackenzie Delta, Canada.

  2. Models for Gas Hydrate-Bearing Sediments Inferred from Hydraulic Permeability and Elastic Velocities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.

    2008-01-01

    Elastic velocities and hydraulic permeability of gas hydrate-bearing sediments strongly depend on how gas hydrate accumulates in pore spaces and various gas hydrate accumulation models are proposed to predict physical property changes due to gas hydrate concentrations. Elastic velocities and permeability predicted from a cementation model differ noticeably from those from a pore-filling model. A nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) log provides in-situ water-filled porosity and hydraulic permeability of gas hydrate-bearing sediments. To test the two competing models, the NMR log along with conventional logs such as velocity and resistivity logs acquired at the Mallik 5L-38 well, Mackenzie Delta, Canada, were analyzed. When the clay content is less than about 12 percent, the NMR porosity is 'accurate' and the gas hydrate concentrations from the NMR log are comparable to those estimated from an electrical resistivity log. The variation of elastic velocities and relative permeability with respect to the gas hydrate concentration indicates that the dominant effect of gas hydrate in the pore space is the pore-filling characteristic.

  3. Modeling of acoustic wave dissipation in gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerin, Gilles; Goldberg, David

    2005-07-01

    Recent sonic and seismic data in gas hydrate-bearing sediments have indicated strong waveform attenuation associated with a velocity increase, in apparent contradiction with conventional wave propagation theory. Understanding the reasons for such energy dissipation could help constrain the distribution and the amounts of gas hydrate worldwide from the identification of low amplitudes in seismic surveys. A review of existing models for wave propagation in frozen porous media, all based on Biot's theory, shows that previous formulations fail to predict any significant attenuation with increasing hydrate content. By adding physically based components to these models, such as cementation by elastic shear coupling, friction between the solid phases, and squirt flow, we are able to predict an attenuation increase associated with gas hydrate formation. The results of the model agree well with the sonic logging data recorded in the Mallik 5L-38 Gas Hydrate Research Well. Cementation between gas hydrate and the sediment grains is responsible for the increase in shear velocity. The primary mode of energy dissipation is found to be friction between gas hydrate and the sediment matrix, combined with an absence of inertial coupling between gas hydrate and the pore fluid. These results predict similar attenuation increase in hydrate-bearing formations over most of the sonic and seismic frequency range.

  4. Development of Sand Production Evaluation Apparatus for Methane Hydrate Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kakumoto, M.; Yoneda, J.; Tenma, N.; Katagiri, J.; Noda, S.

    2015-12-01

    As a part of a Japanese National hydrate research program (MH21, funded by METI), we performed a study on sand production mechanism during methane gas production. In 2013, the first methane hydrate offshore production test was conducted in Japan, and it was recognized in the production of about 20000m3/day of methane gas from methane hydrate bearing sand sediment in deep marine sediment. In methane hydrate development, depressurization method has been proposed for gas extraction. This method is a method to reduce the bottom hole pressure by submersible pump lowering water level in the production well, and gas and water is recovered by methane hydrate dissociation at the in situ. At that time, a phenomenon that sand flows into the wells is feared. In actually, sand production phenomenon occurred after 6 days from production start in offshore production test. A mechanism of sand production has not yet been resolved in case of methane hydrate development. Therefore, we developed large scale laboratory test apparatus for the purpose of elucidation of the mechanism of sand production phenomenon. In this presentation, we introduce basic performance of this apparatus, and usefulness is made mention by representative test results.

  5. Experimental verification of a prediction model for hydrate-bearing sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinkert, S.; Grozic, J. L. H.

    2016-06-01

    This paper presents an experimental verification of a prediction model for the mechanical properties of hydrate-bearing sand. The model is examined using experimental drained triaxial test results of three independent data sets, which are associated with different hydrate formations and testing conditions. For each data set, an optimization process is applied based on numerical modeling of the testing conditions in order to evaluate the pure sand properties. Based on these properties, the model forecasts the stress-stain curves for different hydrate saturations, based on an advanced hydrate simulator. Although the model does not show a fair forecast with "ice-seeding" hydrate formation samples and for specimens tested under gas saturation, it predicts the mechanical behavior of samples with "partly saturated" hydrate formation tested under water saturation.

  6. Analysis of the theoretical model of drilling fluid invading into oceanic gas hydrates-bearing sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Ning, F.; Jiang, G.; Wu, N.; Wu, D.

    2009-12-01

    Oceanic gas hydrate-bearing sediment is usually porous media, with the temperature and pressure closer to the curve of hydrate phase equilibrium than those in the permafrost region. In the case of near-balanced or over-balanced drilling through this sediment, the water-based drilling fluid used invades into this sediment, and hydrates decompose with heat transfer between drilling fluid and this sediment. During these processes, there are inevitably energy and mass exchanges between drilling fluid and the sediment, which will affect the logging response, borehole stability and reservoir evaluation. When drilling fluid invades into this sediment, solid and liquid phases of drilling fluid permeate into the wellbore and displace original fluids and solids, and water content of formation increases. With the temperature and pressure changing, gas hydrates in the sediment decompose into gas and water, and water content of formation further changes. When the filter cakes form, the invasion of drilling fluid is weakened. This process is accompanied by the heat and mass transfer within the range from wellbore to undisturbed area, including heat conduction of rock matrix, the convective heat transfer of fluids invaded, the heat absorbing of hydrate decomposition and the mass exchange between fluids invaded and the gas and water generated by hydrate decomposition. As a result, dynamic balance is built up and there are generally four different regions from wellbore to undisturbed area, i.e. filter cakes region, filter liquor region, water/free gas region, and water/free gas/hydrate region. According to the analysis on the invasion of drilling fuild into sediment, the whole invasion process can be described as an anisothermal and unstable displacement and diffusion process coupled with phase change. Refering to models of drilling fuilds invasion into normal oil and gas formation and natrual gas production from hydrate deposit by heating, the model of the invasion of drilling

  7. Molecular and isotopic analyses of the hydrocarbon gases within gas hydrate-bearing rock units of the Prudhoe Bay-Kuparuk River area in northern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valin, Zenon C.; Collett, Timothy S.

    1992-01-01

    Gas hydrates, which are crystalline substances of water molecules that encase gas molecules, have the potential for being a significant source of natural gas. World-wide estimates for the amount of gas contained in hydrates range from 1.1 x 105 to 2.7 x 108 trillion cubic feet. Gas hydrates exist in many Arctic regions, including the North Slope of Alaska. The two primary objectives of the U.S. Geological Survey Gas Hydrate Research Project are (1) to map the distribution of in-situ gas hydrates on the North Slope of Alaska, and (2) to evaluate the geologic parameters that control the distribution of these gas hydrates. To aid in this study, British Petroleum Exploration, ARCO Alaska, Exxon Company USA, and the Continental Oil Company allowed the U.S. Geological Survey to collect geochemical samples from drilling North Slope production wells. Molecular analysis of gaseous drill cutting and free-flowing gas samples from 10 production wells drilled in the Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk River, and Milne Point oil fields indicates that methane is the primary hydrocarbon gas in the gas hydrate-bearing stratigraphic units. Isotopic data for several of these rock units indicate that the methane within the inferred gas hydrate occurences originated from both microbial and thermogenic processes.

  8. The biological origin, source and cycling of methane in deep crystalline biosphere of Outokumpu, Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purkamo, Lotta; Kietäväinen, Riikka

    2015-04-01

    The deep carbon cycle is controlled by combination of hydrogeochemical and biological processes. Methane is the most abundant gas in Outokumpu bedrock and a 2516 m deep scientific drill hole at the site provides an ideal location to study methane cycling in crystalline biosphere. Methanogenesis is the final step in decomposition of organic matter and is constrained to the domain Archaea. Active carbon dioxide -utilizing methanogens affiliating with Methanobacterium have been shown to dominate in Outokumpu at different depths. These chemolithoautotrophic methanogens growing solely on carbon dioxide and hydrogen can act as primary producers supplying substrates for heterotrophic organisms. Methanolobus and Methanosarcina are heterotrophic methanogens present in the bedrock fluids. Recent discovery of Methylomonas -type of a particulate methane monooxygenase gene pmoA in Outokumpu provides evidence for methane oxidizers carrying out the transformation of methane to carbon dioxide in the presence of oxygen in crystalline rock environments. The origin of methane in Outokumpu is still enigmatic. Recently, isotopic analyses have demonstrated that in substrate-limited environments, the traditional separation of biogenic and abiogenic methane can be misleading. Finding the boundary between biotically and abiotically produced methane is exceptionally difficult in crystalline bedrock where potential for both forms is combined with often poorly defined biogeochemical conditions.

  9. Micromechanics of Hydrate-Bearing Sediments by Grain-Scale Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silin, D.; Holtzman, R.; Patzek, T.

    2007-12-01

    Dissociation of gas-hydrates in marine sediments converts the solid hydrate structure into liquid water and gas. Weakening of the solid skeleton causes a reduction of the elastic moduli. The increased pore pressure reduces the effective stress. As a consequence, a point of fracturing or fluidizing of the sediment can be reached. If such events occur, seafloor subsidence and landslides can severely damage off-shore infrastructure. We seek to quantify the impact of hydrate dissociation on the strength of hydrate-bearing sediments. The sediment weakening can be attributed to the reduction of the elastic moduli as hydrates become liquid and gas. We calculate these moduli using numerical simulations of deformations of a random disordered pack of spherical grains. Our model is discrete, accounting for the interactions between individual grains by calculating the loads which develop at each contact. We use a quasi-static approach by presenting deformation as a sequence of equilibrium configurations of the grain pack. Each configuration is characterized by the minimum of the total mechanical work in the pack. We find this minimum numerically, using a modified conjugate-gradient algorithm. In natural sediments, the distribution of hydrates in the pore space is a result of geologic history of hydrate formation. It can be affected, among other factors, by the saturations of gas and water, by the pressure and temperature, and by the pore geometry. There is a big uncertainty regarding the actual hydrate distribution. Therefore, we consider three different models: (a) pore-filling hydrate grains, (b) small amounts of hydrates in the pore bodies, and (c) small amounts of hydrate forming cement bonds at the contacts. To model dissociation, we first reduce the volume of solid hydrate. Then, we change the effective stress by imposing a macroscopic strain at the boundary, using poroelastic constitutive relations. Our simulations reveal the microscopic mechanisms that lead to the

  10. Anisotropic Velocities of Gas Hydrate-Bearing Sediments in Fractured Reservoirs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.

    2009-01-01

    During the Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 01 (NGHP-01), one of the richest marine gas hydrate accumulations was discovered at drill site NGHP-01-10 in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, offshore of southeast India. The occurrence of concentrated gas hydrate at this site is primarily controlled by the presence of fractures. Gas hydrate saturations estimated from P- and S-wave velocities, assuming that gas hydrate-bearing sediments (GHBS) are isotropic, are much higher than those estimated from the pressure cores. To reconcile this difference, an anisotropic GHBS model is developed and applied to estimate gas hydrate saturations. Gas hydrate saturations estimated from the P-wave velocities, assuming high-angle fractures, agree well with saturations estimated from the cores. An anisotropic GHBS model assuming two-component laminated media - one component is fracture filled with 100-percent gas hydrate, and the other component is the isotropic water-saturated sediment - adequately predicts anisotropic velocities at the research site.

  11. Rock magnetism of gas hydrate-bearing rocks in the Nankai Trough, offshore SW Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kars, M. A.; Kodama, K.

    2013-12-01

    For the last decade, focus on gas hydrates has been increasing because of their potential value as an energy resource and their possible impact on climate change. Convergent margins, such as the Cascadia Margin (offshore Oregon, USA) and the Nankai Trough (offshore SW Japan) are favorable locations for the formation of gas hydrates. High amplitude bottom simulating reflectors (BSR) are often considered to be indicators of the presence of gas hydrates. Rock magnetism has also appeared to be a suitable approach. Here we focus on gas hydrate-bearing rocks from hole C0008C drilled in 2008 during the IODP Expedition 316, part of the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Experiment Zone (NanTroSEIZE) drilling project. Site C0008 is located at the slope basin seaward of the splay fault. In hole C0008C, seven gas hydrates occurrences were identified by local Cl minima from ~70 to ~170 m CSF (core depth below seafloor). We conducted a high-resolution rock magnetic study from ~70 to ~110 m CSF in order to determine the nature, size and concentration of the magnetic minerals present in the cores. As a preliminary study, about 200 discrete samples were analyzed. In addition, comparison with geochemical data and scanning electron microscope observations were made.

  12. Effects of Attenuation of Gas Hydrate-bearing Sediments on Seismic Data: Example from Mallik, Northwest Territories, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellefleur, G.; Riedel, M.; Brent, T.

    2007-05-01

    Wave attenuation is an important physical property of hydrate-bearing sediments that is rarely taken into account in site characterization with seismic data. We present a field example showing improved images of hydrate- bearing sediments on seismic data after compensation of attenuation effects. Compressional quality factors (Q) are estimated from zero-offset Vertical Seismic Profiling data acquired at Mallik, Northwest Territories, Canada. During the last 10 years, two internationally-partnered research drilling programs have intersected three major intervals of sub-permafrost gas hydrates at Mallik, and have successfully extracted core samples containing significant amount of gas hydrates. Individual gas hydrate intervals are up to 40m in thickness and are characterized by high in situ gas hydrate saturation, sometimes exceeding 80% of pore volume of unconsolidated clastic sediments having average porosities ranging from 25% to 40%. The Q-factors obtained from the VSP data demonstrate significant wave attenuation for permafrost and hydrate- bearing sediments. These results are in agreement with previous attenuation estimates from sonic logs and crosshole data at different frequency intervals. The Q-factors obtained from VSP data were used to compensate attenuation effects on surface 3D seismic data acquired over the Mallik gas hydrate research wells. Intervals of gas hydrate on surface seismic data are characterized by strong reflectivity and effects from attenuation are not perceptible from a simple visual inspection of the data. However, the application of an inverse Q-filter increases the resolution of the data and improves correlation with log data, particularly for the shallowest gas hydrate interval. Compensation of the attenuation effects of the permafrost likely explains most of the improvements for the shallow gas hydrate zone. Our results show that characterization of the Mallik gas hydrates with seismic data not corrected for attenuation would tend to

  13. Microbial Diversity in Hydrate-bearing and -free Seafloor Surface Sediments in the Shenhu Area, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, X.

    2015-12-01

    In 2007, the China's first gas hydrate drilling expedition GMGS-1 in the Shenhu area on the northern continental slope of the South China Sea was performed (Zhang et al., 2007). Six holes (namely Sites SH1B, SH2B, SH3B, SH5B, SH5C and SH7B) were drilled, and gas hydrate samples were recovered at three sites: Sites SH2B, SH3B and SH7B. In order to investigate microbial diversity and community features in correlation to gas hydrate-bearing sediments, a study on microbial diversity in the surface sediments at hydrate-bearing sites (SH3B and SH7B) and -free sites (SH1B, SH5B, SH5C) was carried out by using 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis. The phylogenetic results indicated difference in microbial communities between hydrate-bearing and -free sediments. At the gas hydrate-bearing sites, bacterial communities were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria (30.5%), and archaeal communities were dominated by Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotic Group (33.8%); In contrast, Planctomycetes was the major group (43.9%) in bacterial communities, while Marine Benthic Group-D (MBG-D) (32.4%) took up the largest proportion in the archaeal communities. Moreover, the microbial communities have characteristics different from those in other hydrate-related sediments around the world, indicating that the presence of hydrates could affect the microbial distribution and community composition. In addition, the microbial community composition in the studied sediments has its own uniqueness, which may be resulted by co-effect of geochemical characteristics and presence/absence of gas hydrates.

  14. 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

  15. Authigenesis of magnetic minerals in gas hydrate-bearing sediments in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kars, Myriam; Kodama, Kazuto

    2015-03-01

    Gas hydrate occurrence is one of the possible mechanisms invoked for iron sulfide formation. A high-resolution rock magnetic study was conducted in IODP Expedition 316 Hole C0008C located in the Megasplay Fault Zone of the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan. In this particular zone, no bottom simulating reflectors (BSR), indicating the base of the gas hydrate stability field, have been identified. Two hundred and eighteen Pleistocene samples were collected from 70 to 110 m CSF in order to document the changes in the concentration, grain size, and rock magnetic parameters of magnetic minerals, through the gas hydrate-bearing horizons. Two different populations of magnetic grains are recognized in the pseudosingle domain range. Three types of magnetic mineral assemblages are identified: iron oxides (magnetite), ferrimagnetic iron sulfides (greigite and pyrrhotite), and their mixture. Greigite and pyrrhotite are authigenic and constitute six layers, called IS1-IS6. IS1, IS3, IS4, and IS6 are associated with pore water anomalies, suggesting the occurrence of gas hydrates and anoxic conditions. IS2 and IS5 are probable gas hydrates horizons, although there is no independent data to confirm it. The remaining intervals are mainly composed of detrital iron oxides and paramagnetic iron sulfides. Two scenarios based on different diagenetic stages are proposed to explain the variations in the magnetic properties and mineralogy over the studied interval. The results suggest that rock magnetism appears useful to better constrain the gas hydrate distribution in Hole C0008C, and counterbalances the low resolution of pore water analyses and the absence of a BSR.

  16. Comparative studies of pelagic microbial methane oxidation within the redox zones of the Gotland Deep and Landsort Deep (central Baltic Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobs, G.; Rehder, G.; Jost, G.; Kießlich, K.; Labrenz, M.; Schmale, O.

    2013-12-01

    Pelagic methane oxidation was investigated in dependence on differing hydrographic conditions within the redox zone of the Gotland Deep (GD) and Landsort Deep (LD), central Baltic Sea. The redox zone of both deeps, which indicates the transition between oxic and anoxic conditions, was characterized by a pronounced methane concentration gradient between the deep water (GD: 1233 nM, 223 m; LD: 2935 nM, 422 m) and the surface water (GD and LD < 10 nM). This gradient together with a 13C CH4 enrichment (δ13C CH4 deep water: GD -84‰, LD -71‰; redox zone: GD -60‰, LD -20‰; surface water: GD -47‰, LD -50‰; δ13C CH4 vs. Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite standard), clearly indicating microbial methane consumption within the redox zone. Expression analysis of the methane monooxygenase identified one active type I methanotrophic bacterium in both redox zones. In contrast, the turnover of methane within the redox zones showed strong differences between the two basins (GD: max. 0.12 nM d-1, LD: max. 0.61 nM d-1), with a nearly four-times-lower turnover time of methane in the LD (GD: 455 d, LD: 127 d). Vertical mixing rates for both deeps were calculated on the base of the methane concentration profile and the consumption of methane in the redox zone (GD: 2.5 × 10-6 m2 s-1, LD: 1.6 × 10-5 m2 s-1). Our study identified vertical transport of methane from the deep-water body towards the redox zone as well as differing hydrographic conditions (lateral intrusions and vertical mixing) within the redox zone of these deeps as major factors that determine the pelagic methane oxidation.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Methane hydrate behavior when exposed to a 23% carbon dioxide 77% nitrogen gas under conditions similar to the ConocoPhillips 2012 Ignik Sikumi Gas Hydrate Field Trial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borglin, S. E.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Nakagawa, S.

    2013-12-01

    In-situ replacement of methane hydrate by carbon dioxide hydrate is considered to be a promising technique for producing natural gas, while simultaneously sequestering greenhouse gas in deep geological formations. For effective application of this technique in the field, kinetic models of gas exchange rates in hydrate under a variety of environmental conditions need to be established, and the impact of hydrate substitution on geophysical (seismic) properties has to be quantified in order to optimize monitoring techniques. We performed a series of laboratory tests in which we monitored changes in methane hydrate-bearing samples while a nitrogen/carbon dioxide gas mixture was flowed through. These experiments were conducted to gain insights into data obtained from a field test in which the same mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen was injected into a methane hydrate-bearing unit beneath the north slope of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska (ConocoPhillips 2012 Ignik Sikumi gas hydrate field trial). We have measured the kinetic gas exchange rate for a range of hydrate saturations and different test configurations, to provide an estimate for comparison to numerical model predictions. In our tests, the exchange rate decreased over time during the tests as methane was depleted from the system. Following the elution of residual gaseous methane, the exchange rate ranged from 3.8×10-7 moles methane/(mole water*s) to 5×10-8 moles methane/(mole water*s) (Note that in these rates, the moles of water refers to water originally held in the hydrate.). In addition to the gas exchange rate, we also monitored changes in permeability occurring due to the gas substitution. Further, we determined the seismic P and S wave velocities and attenuations using our Split Hopkinson Resonant Bar apparatus (e.g. Nakagawa, 2012, Rev. Sci. Instr.). In addition to providing geophysical signatures, changes in the seismic properties can also be related to changes in the mechanical strength of

  20. Comparative studies of pelagic microbial methane oxidation within two anoxic basins of the central Baltic Sea (Gotland Deep and Landsort Deep)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobs, G.; Rehder, G.; Jost, G.; Kießlich, K.; Labrenz, M.; Schmale, O.

    2013-07-01

    Pelagic methane oxidation was investigated in dependence on differing environmental conditions within the redox zone of the Gotland Deep (GD) and Landsort Deep (LD), central Baltic Sea. The redox zone of both deeps, which indicates the transition between oxic and anoxic conditions, was characterized by a pronounced methane concentration gradient between the deep water (GD: 1233 nM, LD: 2935 nM) and the surface water (GD and LD < 10 nM), together with a 13C CH4 enrichment (δ13C CH4 deep water: GD -84‰, LD -71‰ ; redox zone: GD -60‰, LD -20‰ ; δ13C CH4 vs. Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite standard), clearly indicating microbial methane consumption in that specific depth interval. Expression analysis of the methane monooxygenase identified one active type I methanotrophic bacterium in both redox zones. In contrast, the turnover of methane within the redox zones showed strong differences between the two basins (GD: max. 0.12 nM d-1 and LD: max. 0.61 nM d-1), with a four times higher turnover rate constant (k) in the LD (GD: 0.0022 d-1, LD: 0.0079 d-1). Vertical mixing rates for both deeps were calculated on the base of the methane concentration profile and the consumption of methane in the redox zone (GD: 2.5 × 10-6 m2 s-1 LD: 1.6 × 10-5 m2 s-1). Our study identified vertical transport of methane from the deep water body towards the redox zone as well as differing hydrographic conditions within the oxic/anoxic transition zone of these deeps as major factors that determine the pelagic methane oxidation.

  1. Active Microbial Communities Inhabit Sulphate-Methane Interphase in Deep Bedrock Fracture Fluids in Olkiluoto, Finland

    PubMed Central

    Bomberg, Malin; Nyyssönen, Mari; Pitkänen, Petteri; Lehtinen, Anne; Itävaara, Merja

    2015-01-01

    Active microbial communities of deep crystalline bedrock fracture water were investigated from seven different boreholes in Olkiluoto (Western Finland) using bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA, dsrB, and mcrA gene transcript targeted 454 pyrosequencing. Over a depth range of 296–798 m below ground surface the microbial communities changed according to depth, salinity gradient, and sulphate and methane concentrations. The highest bacterial diversity was observed in the sulphate-methane mixing zone (SMMZ) at 250–350 m depth, whereas archaeal diversity was highest in the lowest boundaries of the SMMZ. Sulphide-oxidizing ε-proteobacteria (Sulfurimonas sp.) dominated in the SMMZ and γ-proteobacteria (Pseudomonas spp.) below the SMMZ. The active archaeal communities consisted mostly of ANME-2D and Thermoplasmatales groups, although Methermicoccaceae, Methanobacteriaceae, and Thermoplasmatales (SAGMEG, TMG) were more common at 415–559 m depth. Typical indicator microorganisms for sulphate-methane transition zones in marine sediments, such as ANME-1 archaea, α-, β- and δ-proteobacteria, JS1, Actinomycetes, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, and MBGB Crenarchaeota were detected at specific depths. DsrB genes were most numerous and most actively transcribed in the SMMZ while the mcrA gene concentration was highest in the deep methane rich groundwater. Our results demonstrate that active and highly diverse but sparse and stratified microbial communities inhabit the Fennoscandian deep bedrock ecosystems. PMID:26425566

  2. Atmospheric methane emissions along the western Svalbard margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Greinert, J.; Silyakova, A.; Casso, M.; Ruppel, C. D.; Mienert, J.; Lund Myhre, C.; Bunz, S.

    2014-12-01

    Documented warming of intermediate waters by ~1oC 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 from gas hydrate has been occurring for thousands of years near the upper limit of methane hydrate stability and that seasonal changes in bottom water temperature may be more important than longer-term warming of intermediate waters. Nevertheless, this area has been and remains an active area for researching the physical and climate controls of methane release from the seafloor, yet the amount of methane reaching the atmosphere (the ultimate climate driver) in this region is largely unknown. As part of the MOCA project led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), water column and atmospheric marine boundary layer methane data were collected in June 2014 aboard the R/V Helmer Hanssenduring a collaboration among CAGE at University of Tromsӧ, NILU, GEOMAR, and the USGS. The results provide a continuous record of surface methane concentration and carbon isotope data from continental slope sites near temperature-sensitive hydrate-bearing seeps along the shelf-break and upper slope, the deep-water pockmarked gas-venting Vestnesa Ridge and a shallow water seep area within the Forlandet moraine complex at the shelf. Surface water methane and associated data used to calculate sea-air fluxes were obtained with the cavity ring-down spectrometer-based USGS Gas Analysis System (USGS-GAS). 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. Using these data, we assess how effectively shallow arctic seeps

  3. The origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep crystalline rock biosphere

    PubMed Central

    Kietäväinen, Riikka; Purkamo, Lotta

    2015-01-01

    The emerging interest in using stable bedrock formations for industrial purposes, e.g., nuclear waste disposal, has increased the need for understanding microbiological and geochemical processes in deep crystalline rock environments, including the carbon cycle. Considering the origin and evolution of life on Earth, these environments may also serve as windows to the past. Various geological, chemical, and biological processes can influence the deep carbon cycle. Conditions of CH4 formation, available substrates and time scales can be drastically different from surface environments. This paper reviews the origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep terrestrial crystalline bedrock with an emphasis on microbiology. In addition to potential formation pathways of CH4, microbial consumption of CH4 is also discussed. Recent studies on the origin of CH4 in continental bedrock environments have shown that the traditional separation of biotic and abiotic CH4 by the isotopic composition can be misleading in substrate-limited environments, such as the deep crystalline bedrock. Despite of similarities between Precambrian continental sites in Fennoscandia, South Africa and North America, where deep methane cycling has been studied, common physicochemical properties which could explain the variation in the amount of CH4 and presence or absence of CH4 cycling microbes were not found. However, based on their preferred carbon metabolism, methanogenic microbes appeared to have similar spatial distribution among the different sites. PMID:26236303

  4. The origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep crystalline rock biosphere.

    PubMed

    Kietäväinen, Riikka; Purkamo, Lotta

    2015-01-01

    The emerging interest in using stable bedrock formations for industrial purposes, e.g., nuclear waste disposal, has increased the need for understanding microbiological and geochemical processes in deep crystalline rock environments, including the carbon cycle. Considering the origin and evolution of life on Earth, these environments may also serve as windows to the past. Various geological, chemical, and biological processes can influence the deep carbon cycle. Conditions of CH4 formation, available substrates and time scales can be drastically different from surface environments. This paper reviews the origin, source, and cycling of methane in deep terrestrial crystalline bedrock with an emphasis on microbiology. In addition to potential formation pathways of CH4, microbial consumption of CH4 is also discussed. Recent studies on the origin of CH4 in continental bedrock environments have shown that the traditional separation of biotic and abiotic CH4 by the isotopic composition can be misleading in substrate-limited environments, such as the deep crystalline bedrock. Despite of similarities between Precambrian continental sites in Fennoscandia, South Africa and North America, where deep methane cycling has been studied, common physicochemical properties which could explain the variation in the amount of CH4 and presence or absence of CH4 cycling microbes were not found. However, based on their preferred carbon metabolism, methanogenic microbes appeared to have similar spatial distribution among the different sites. PMID:26236303

  5. Microsporidia-nematode associations in methane seeps reveal basal fungal parasitism in the deep sea

    PubMed Central

    Sapir, Amir; Dillman, Adler R.; Connon, Stephanie A.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Ingels, Jeroen; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; Levin, Lisa A.; Baldwin, James G.; Orphan, Victoria J.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2013-01-01

    The deep sea is Earth's largest habitat but little is known about the nature of deep-sea parasitism. In contrast to a few characterized cases of bacterial and protistan parasites, the existence and biological significance of deep-sea parasitic fungi is yet to be understood. Here we report the discovery of a fungus-related parasitic microsporidium, Nematocenator marisprofundi n. gen. n. sp. that infects benthic nematodes at methane seeps on the Pacific Ocean floor. This infection is species-specific and has been temporally and spatially stable over 2 years of sampling, indicating an ecologically consistent host-parasite interaction. A high distribution of spores in the reproductive tracts of infected males and females and their absence from host nematodes' intestines suggests a sexual transmission strategy in contrast to the fecal-oral transmission of most microsporidia. N. marisprofundi targets the host's body wall muscles causing cell lysis, and in severe infection even muscle filament degradation. Phylogenetic analyses placed N. marisprofundi in a novel and basal clade not closely related to any described microsporidia clade, suggesting either that microsporidia-nematode parasitism occurred early in microsporidia evolution or that host specialization occurred late in an ancient deep-sea microsporidian lineage. Our findings reveal that methane seeps support complex ecosystems involving interkingdom interactions between bacteria, nematodes, and parasitic fungi and that microsporidia parasitism exists also in the deep-sea biosphere. PMID:24575084

  6. Geomicrobial characterization of gas hydrate-bearing sediments along the mid-Chilean margin.

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Leila J; Gillevet, Patrick M; Sikaroodi, Masoumeh; Pohlman, John W; Plummer, Rebecca E; Coffin, Richard B

    2008-07-01

    Bacterial diversity in eight sediment cores from the mid-Chilean margin was studied using length heterogeneity (LH)-PCR, and described in relation to in situ geochemical conditions. DNA from the sulfate-methane transition (SMT) of three cores [one containing methane gas; two proximal to a gas hydrate mound (GHM)] was cloned and sequenced. Clones related to uncultured relatives of Desulfosarcina variabilis were found in all clone libraries and dominated one. Desulfosarcina variabilis related clones were similar to phylotypes observed at the SMT in association with anaerobic methane oxidation in the Eel River basin, Cascadia margin and the Gulf of Mexico. The LH-PCR amplicon associated with D. variabilis clones matched the amplicon that dominated most SMT samples, indicating environmental selection for D. variabilis relatives. Clones related to the Verrucomicrobia dominated the library for the methane gas-containing core. Uncultured Treponema relatives dominated the library for the core obtained on the edge of a GHM. Statistical analysis using geochemical data to describe variance in LH-PCR data revealed that stable carbon isotope ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon are the principal structuring factor on SMT communities. These data suggest that D. variabilis relatives are involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane at the SMT in Chilean margin sediments. PMID:18522645

  7. 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

  8. Carbon and nitrogen assimilation activities of deep subseafloor microbes analyzed by NanoSIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morono, Y.; Terada, T.; Inagaki, F.

    2009-12-01

    Deep subseafloor microbes play significant roles on biogeochemical cycles with extremely low metabolic activities. The subseafloor microbial community consists mainly of uncultured components; hence, their growth and metabolic characteristics remain almost completely unknown. Here, we presnet in vitro isotopic evidence that the deep subseafloor microbes actively incooporate multiple carbon and nitrogen compounds into their biomass using NanoSIMS. We incubated methane hydrate-bearing deep marine sediments with small 13C-labeled glucose, acetate, pyruvate, bicarbonate, amino-acids and methane in the presence of 15N-labeled ammonia as a nitrogen source for 2 and 6 monthes under the anaerobic condition. Using NanoSIMS, we observed the cells that incooprated 13C- or 15N-labeled substrates such as 13C-glucose, pyruvate, and 15N-ammonia up to 50% of their cellular carbon or nitrogen mass. Assimilation of 13C- and 15N-labeled amino acids as well as 13C-bicarbonates by autotrophs was also observed while 13C-methane was found to be difficult to be used for the carbon source, regardless of the presence of some additional electron acceptors for the energy respiration. These results indicate that the metabolic activities of deep subseafloor microbes can be stimulated in vitro by adding potential carbon and nitrogen sources, providing new insights into the biogeochemical functioning of the deep subseaflor microbes and its ecosystem.

  9. TOUGH+Hydrate v1.0 User's Manual: A Code for the Simulation of System Behavior in Hydrate-Bearing Geologic Media

    SciTech Connect

    Moridis, George; Moridis, George J.; Kowalsky, Michael B.; Pruess, Karsten

    2008-03-01

    TOUGH+HYDRATE v1.0 is a new code for the simulation of the behavior of hydrate-bearing geologic systems. By solving the coupled equations of mass and heat balance, TOUGH+HYDRATE can model the non-isothermal gas release, phase behavior and flow of fluids and heat under conditions typical of common natural CH{sub 4}-hydrate deposits (i.e., in the permafrost and in deep ocean sediments) in complex geological media at any scale (from laboratory to reservoir) at which Darcy's law is valid. TOUGH+HYDRATE v1.0 includes both an equilibrium and a kinetic model of hydrate formation and dissociation. The model accounts for heat and up to four mass components, i.e., water, CH{sub 4}, hydrate, and water-soluble inhibitors such as salts or alcohols. These are partitioned among four possible phases (gas phase, liquid phase, ice phase and hydrate phase). Hydrate dissociation or formation, phase changes and the corresponding thermal effects are fully described, as are the effects of inhibitors. The model can describe all possible hydrate dissociation mechanisms, i.e., depressurization, thermal stimulation, salting-out effects and inhibitor-induced effects. TOUGH+HYDRATE is the first member of TOUGH+, the successor to the TOUGH2 [Pruess et al., 1991] family of codes for multi-component, multiphase fluid and heat flow developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It is written in standard FORTRAN 95, and can be run on any computational platform (workstation, PC, Macintosh) for which such compilers are available.

  10. 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.

  11. Study on small-strain behaviours of methane hydrate sandy sediments using discrete element method

    SciTech Connect

    Yu Yanxin; Cheng Yipik; Xu Xiaomin; Soga, Kenichi

    2013-06-18

    Methane hydrate bearing soil has attracted increasing interest as a potential energy resource where methane gas can be extracted from dissociating hydrate-bearing sediments. Seismic testing techniques have been applied extensively and in various ways, to detect the presence of hydrates, due to the fact that hydrates increase the stiffness of hydrate-bearing sediments. With the recognition of the limitations of laboratory and field tests, wave propagation modelling using Discrete Element Method (DEM) was conducted in this study in order to provide some particle-scale insights on the hydrate-bearing sandy sediment models with pore-filling and cementation hydrate distributions. The relationship between shear wave velocity and hydrate saturation was established by both DEM simulations and analytical solutions. Obvious differences were observed in the dependence of wave velocity on hydrate saturation for these two cases. From the shear wave velocity measurement and particle-scale analysis, it was found that the small-strain mechanical properties of hydrate-bearing sandy sediments are governed by both the hydrate distribution patterns and hydrate saturation.

  12. ANME-2D Archaea Catalyze Methane Oxidation in Deep Subsurface Sediments Independent of Nitrate Reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernsdorf, A. W.; Amano, Y.; Suzuki, Y.; Ise, K.; Thomas, B. C.; Banfield, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial sediments are an important global reservoir for methane. Microorganisms in the deep subsurface play a critical role in the methane cycle, yet much remains to be learned about their diversity and metabolisms. To provide more comprehensive insight into the microbiology of the methane cycle in the deep subsurface, we conducted a genome-resolved study of samples collected from the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (HURL), Japan. Groundwater samples were obtained from three boreholes from a depth range of between 140 m and 250 m in two consecutive years. Groundwater was filtered and metagenomic DNA extracted and sequenced, and the sequence data assembled. Based on the sequences of phylogenetically informative genes on the assembled fragments, we detected a high degree of overlap in community composition across a vertical transect within one borehole at the two sampling times. However, there was comparatively little similarity observed among communities across boreholes. Spatial and temporal abundance patterns were used in combination with tetranucleotide signatures of assembled genome fragments to bin the data and reconstruct over 200 unique draft genomes, of which 137 are considered to be of high quality (>90% complete). The deepest samples from one borehole were highly dominated by an archaeon identified as ANME-2D; this organism was also present at lower abundance in all other samples from that borehole. Also abundant in these microbial communities were novel members of the Gammaproteobacteria, Saccharibacteria (TM7) and Tenericute phyla. Notably, a ~2 Mbp draft genome for the ANME-2D archaeon was reconstructed. As expected, the genome encodes all of the genes predicted to be involved in the reverse methanogenesis pathway. In contrast with the previously reported ANME2-D genome, the HURL ANME-2D genome lacks the capacity to reduce nitrate. However, we identified many multiheme cytochromes with closest similarity to those of the known Fe

  13. Pockmark formation and evolution in deep water Nigeria: Rapid hydrate growth versus slow hydrate dissolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sultan, N.; Bohrmann, G.; Ruffine, L.; Pape, T.; Riboulot, V.; Colliat, J.-L.; De Prunelé, A.; Dennielou, B.; Garziglia, S.; Himmler, T.; Marsset, T.; Peters, C. A.; Rabiu, A.; Wei, J.

    2014-04-01

    In previous works, it has been suggested that dissolution of gas hydrate can be responsible for pockmark formation and evolution in deep water Nigeria. It was shown that those pockmarks which are at different stages of maturation are characterized by a common internal architecture associated to gas hydrate dynamics. New results obtained by drilling into gas hydrate-bearing sediments with the MeBo seafloor drill rig in concert with geotechnical in situ measurements and pore water analyses indicate that pockmark formation and evolution in the study area are mainly controlled by rapid hydrate growth opposed to slow hydrate dissolution. On one hand, positive temperature anomalies, free gas trapped in shallow microfractures near the seafloor and coexistence of free gas and gas hydrate indicate rapid hydrate growth. On the other hand, slow hydrate dissolution is evident by low methane concentrations and almost constant sulfate values 2 m above the Gas Hydrate Occurrence Zone.

  14. Did shifting seawater sulfate concentrations drive the evolution of deep-sea methane-seep ecosystems?

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Steffen

    2015-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the faunas inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps have been debated for decades. These faunas rely on a local source of sulfide and other reduced chemicals for nutrition, which spawned the hypothesis that their evolutionary history is independent from that of photosynthesis-based food chains and instead driven by extinction events caused by deep-sea anoxia. Here I use the fossil record of seep molluscs to show that trends in body size, relative abundance and epifaunal/infaunal ratios track current estimates of seawater sulfate concentrations through the last 150 Myr. Furthermore, the two main faunal turnovers during this time interval coincide with major changes in seawater sulfate concentrations. Because sulfide at seeps originates mostly from seawater sulfate, variations in sulfate concentrations should directly affect the base of the food chain of this ecosystem and are thus the likely driver of the observed macroecologic and evolutionary patterns. The results imply that the methane-seep fauna evolved largely independently from developments and mass extinctions affecting the photosynthesis-based biosphere and add to the growing body of evidence that the chemical evolution of the oceans had a major impact on the evolution of marine life. PMID:25716797

  15. Did shifting seawater sulfate concentrations drive the evolution of deep-sea methane-seep ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2015-04-01

    The origin and evolution of the faunas inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps have been debated for decades. These faunas rely on a local source of sulfide and other reduced chemicals for nutrition, which spawned the hypothesis that their evolutionary history is independent from that of photosynthesis-based food chains and instead driven by extinction events caused by deep-sea anoxia. Here I use the fossil record of seep molluscs to show that trends in body size, relative abundance and epifaunal/infaunal ratios track current estimates of seawater sulfate concentrations through the last 150 Myr. Furthermore, the two main faunal turnovers during this time interval coincide with major changes in seawater sulfate concentrations. Because sulfide at seeps originates mostly from seawater sulfate, variations in sulfate concentrations should directly affect the base of the food chain of this ecosystem and are thus the likely driver of the observed macroecologic and evolutionary patterns. The results imply that the methane-seep fauna evolved largely independently from developments and mass extinctions affecting the photosynthesis-based biosphere and add to the growing body of evidence that the chemical evolution of the oceans had a major impact on the evolution of marine life. PMID:25716797

  16. Faulting of gas-hydrate-bearing marine sediments - contribution to permeability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.; Holbrook, W.S.; Drury, Rebecca; Gettrust, Joseph; Hutchinson, Deborah; Booth, James; Taylor, Michael

    1997-01-01

    Extensive faulting is observed in sediments containing high concentrations of methane hydrate off the southeastern coast of the United States. Faults that break the sea floor show evidence of both extension and shortening; mud diapirs are also present. The zone of recent faulting apparently extends from the ocean floor down to the base of gas-hydrate stability. We infer that the faulting resulted from excess pore pressure in gas trapped beneath the gas hydrate-beating layer and/or weakening and mobilization of sediments in the region just below the gas-hydrate stability zone. In addition to the zone of surface faults, we identified two buried zones of faulting, that may have similar origins. Subsurface faulted zones appear to act as gas traps.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Deep-ocean field test of methane hydrate formation from a remotely operated vehicle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brewer, P.G.; Orr, F.M., Jr.; Friederich, G.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Orange, D.L.; McFarlane, J.; Kirkwood, W.

    1997-01-01

    We have observed the process of formation of clathrate hydrates of methane in experiments conducted on the remotely operated vehicle (ROY) Ventana in the deep waters of Monterey Bay. A tank of methane gas, acrylic tubes containing seawater, and seawater plus various types of sediment were carried down on Ventana to a depth of 910 m where methane gas was injected at the base of the acrylic tubes by bubble stream. Prior calculations had shown that the local hydrographic conditions gave an upper limit of 525 m for the P-T boundary defining methane hydrate formation or dissociation at this site, and thus our experiment took place well within the stability range for this reaction to occur. Hydrate formation in free sea-water occurred within minutes as a buoyant mass of translucent hydrate formed at the gas-water interface. In a coarse sand matrix the Filling of the pore spaces with hydrate turned the sand column into a solidified block, which gas pressure soon lifted and ruptured. In a fine-grained black mud the gas flow carved out flow channels, the walls of which became coated and then filled with hydrate in larger discrete masses. Our experiment shows that hydrate formation is rapid in natural seawater, that sediment type strongly influences the patterns of hydrate formation, and that the use of ROV technologies permits the synthesis of large amounts of hydrate material in natural systems under a variety of conditions so that fundamental research on the stability and growth of these substances is possible.

  20. Deep seawater circulation promotes microbial anaerobic methane oxidation at ˜400 meters below seafloor in the Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreau, J. W.; Lynch, J.; Morono, Y.; Kouduka, M.; Suzuki, Y.; Inagaki, F.; Iodp Expedition 322 Science Party

    2010-12-01

    Microbially-mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in the seafloor significantly impacts the marine carbon cycle, and limits methane flux to the deep oceans. AOM mediated by microbial consortia predominantly utilizes sulfate as the terminal oxidant, although recent studies have demonstrated the potential for methane oxidation coupled to iron, manganese and nitrate reduction. In the Nankai Trough, aqueous biogeochemical data obtained during IODP Expedition 322 revealed concomitant peaks of methane and sulfide, indicative of a deeply buried sulfate-dependent methane oxidation zone located within a depth interval of intercalated mudstone and sandstone 370-450 meters below the seafloor at IODP Site C0012. Site C0012 is located on the west-northwest flank of a basement high (the Kashinosaki Knoll). Preliminary calculations suggest a ˜20% seawater contribution to sedimentary pore fluids at the depth interval of the observed AOM zone, reflecting deep circulation from possibly distant recharge areas. Methane (˜200 uM) is present and the resulting hydrogeochemical conditions promote anaerobic methane-oxidation and sulfide production. Extracted DNA from SMTZ sediments was nearly five times the concentration of any other depth, although comparison of biomass data obtained via fluorescent cell counts and total extracted DNA concentrations across all depths suggest significant challenges to extracting DNA, possibly related to the relative clay content of sediments. Regardless, the biomass associated with the deep AOM zone is very small, and possibly occupies a very transient ecological niche supported by deep hydrogeologic circulation. Ongoing 16S rDNA and dissimilatory sulfite reductase gene sequencing has thus far revealed several Archaeal and delta-Proteobacteria phylotypes closely related to known AOM consortium members.

  1. Activities and distribution of methanogenic and methane-oxidizing microbes in marine sediments from the Cascadia Margin.

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, H; Maruyama, A; Nakamura, T; Higashi, Y; Fuse, H; Sakata, S; Bartlett, D H

    2010-06-01

    We investigated methane production and oxidation and the depth distribution and phylogenetic affiliation of a functional gene for methanogenesis, methyl coenzyme M reductase subunit A (mcrA), at two sites of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 311. These sites, U1327 and U1329, are respectively inside and outside the area of gas hydrate distribution on the Cascadia Margin. Radiotracer experiments using (14)C-labelled substrates indicated high potential methane production rates in hydrate-bearing sediments [128-223 m below seafloor (mbsf)] at U1327 and in sediments between 70 and 140 mbsf at U1329. Tracer-free experiments indicated high cumulative methane production in sediments within and below the gas hydrate layer at U1327 and in sediments below 70 mbsf at U1329. Stable tracer experiments using (13)C-labelled methane showed high potential methane oxidation rates in near-surface sediments and in sediments deeper than 100 mbsf at both sites. Results of polymerase chain reaction amplification of mcrA in DNA were mostly consistent with methane production: relatively strong mcrA amplification was detected in the gas hydrate-bearing sediments at U1327, whereas at U1329, it was mainly detected in sediments from around the bottom-simulating reflector (126 mbsf). Phylogenetic analysis of mcrA separated it into four phylotype clusters: two clusters of methanogens, Methanosarcinales and Methanobacteriales, and two clusters of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea, ANME-I and ANME-II groups, supporting the activity measurement results. These results reveal that in situ methanogenesis in deep sediments probably contributes to gas hydrate formation and are inconsistent with the geochemical model that microbial methane currently being generated in shallow sediments migrates downward and contributes to the hydrate formation. At Site U1327, gas hydrates occurred in turbidite sediments, which were absent at Site U1329, suggesting that a geological setting suitable for a

  2. Invasion of drilling mud into gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. Part II: Effects of geophysical properties of sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ning, Fulong; Wu, Nengyou; Yu, Yibing; Zhang, Keni; Jiang, Guosheng; Zhang, Ling; Sun, Jiaxin; Zheng, Mingming

    2013-06-01

    This study examines the dynamic behaviour of drilling-mud invasion into gas-hydrate-bearing sediment (GHBS) and the effects of such an invasion on wellbore stability and the reliability of well logging. The effects of mud properties on mud invasion into the GHBS are detailed in Part I. Here, we discuss the effects of sediment properties on mud invasion by considering the Chinese first gas-hydrate-drilling expedition in the South China Sea and other hydrate projects. Our simulation results further show that mud-invasion coupling hydrate dissociation and reformation is the main unique characteristic observed during mud invasion in GHBS compared with conventional oil/gas sediments. The appearance of a high-saturation hydrate ring during mud-invasion process is related to not only mud density, temperature and salinity but also sediment properties. On the whole, the effective permeability and initial hydrate saturation plays a critical role in mud invasion in GHBS. The effect of initial hydrate saturation, which corresponds to effective permeability and porosity on the mud invasion in SH7 is pronounced because initial hydrate saturations vary greatly. For pore-filling GHBS without fractures, well-logging results in high-saturation hydrate intervals are more reliable and accurate than those in low-saturation hydrate intervals. The log results at the interbeds with low-saturation hydrates are easily distorted by mud invasion.

  3. A Domain Decomposition Approach for Large-Scale Simulations of Flow Processes in Hydrate-Bearing Geologic Media

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Keni; Moridis, G.J.; Wu, Y.-S.; Pruess, K.

    2008-07-01

    Simulation of the system behavior of hydrate-bearing geologic media involves solving fully coupled mass- and heat-balance equations. In this study, we develop a domain decomposition approach for large-scale gas hydrate simulations with coarse-granularity parallel computation. This approach partitions a simulation domain into small subdomains. The full model domain, consisting of discrete subdomains, is still simulated simultaneously by using multiple processes/processors. Each processor is dedicated to following tasks of the partitioned subdomain: updating thermophysical properties, assembling mass- and energy-balance equations, solving linear equation systems, and performing various other local computations. The linearized equation systems are solved in parallel with a parallel linear solver, using an efficient interprocess communication scheme. This new domain decomposition approach has been implemented into the TOUGH+HYDRATE code and has demonstrated excellent speedup and good scalability. In this paper, we will demonstrate applications for the new approach in simulating field-scale models for gas production from gas-hydrate deposits.

  4. An Effective Method for Inversion of Elastic Impedance for Shallow Sediments and Its Application to Gas Hydrate-Bearing Sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.

    2006-01-01

    Elastic properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments (GHBS) are important for identifying and quantifying gas hydrate as well as discriminating the effects of free gas on velocity from that due to overpressure. Elastic properties of GHBS sediments can be estimated from elastic inversion using the elastic impedance. The accuracy of elastic inversion can be increased by using the predicted S-wave velocity (Vs) in the parameter k, which is k = (Vs / Vp)2. However, when Vs is less than about 0.6 kilometer per second, the inversion is inaccurate, partly because of the difficulty in accurately predicting low S-wave velocities and partly because of the large error associated with small k values. A new formula that leads to estimates of only the high-frequency part of velocity is proposed by decomposing Vs into low- and high-frequency parts. This new inversion formula is applied to a variety of well logs, and the results demonstrate its effectiveness for all ranges of Vs as long as the deviation of Vs from the low-frequency part of Vs is small. For GHBS, the deviation of Vs from the low-frequency part of Vs can be large for moderate to high gas hydrate saturations. Therefore, the new formula is not effective for elastic inversion for GHBS unless the gas hydrate effect is incorporated into the low-frequency part of Vs. For inversion of GHBS with Vs greater than about 0.6 kilometer per second, the original formulation is preferable.

  5. The first experience the transportation of deep-water methane hydrates in a container

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egorov, A. V.; Rimskii-Korsakov, N. A.; Rozhkov, A. N.; Chernyaev, E. S.

    2011-04-01

    Deep-water experiments on the transportation of collected samples of methane hydrates from a lake's bottom to a support container were carried out as part of the MIRY na Baikale (2008-2009) expedition run by the Russian Academy of Sciences. High pressures and low temperatures are necessary for gas hydrates stability. As a sample of the hydrate is lifted to the water's surface, it intensively decomposes into water and methane gas. To reduce the decomposition, we used a container in which the hydrate's sample occurs in a gas medium rather than in water, which results in a substantial reduction in the rate of the heat exchange. At that, the gas for the container's filling was supplied by the hydrate itself due to its partial decomposition. To estimate the method's efficiency, we observed the hydrate's decomposition during lifting from a depth of 1400 m using different transportation techniques such as gas- or water-filled containers or fixing the sample in the manipulator's arm of the submersible. The sample in the gaseous medium was the only one that was safely delivered on board the support container, while the two others completely decomposed during the transportation. It is remarkable that all the samples started to decompose simultaneously at a depth of 380 m but their decomposition occurred at different rates.

  6. The effect of methane hydrate morphology and water saturation on seismic wave attenuation in sand under shallow sub-seafloor conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Best, Angus I.; Priest, Jeffrey A.; Clayton, Christopher R. I.; Rees, Emily V. L.

    2013-04-01

    A better understanding of seismic wave attenuation in hydrate-bearing sediments is needed for the improved geophysical quantification of seafloor methane hydrates, important for climate change, geohazard and economic resource assessment. Hence, we conducted a series of small strain (<10-6), seismic frequency (50-550 Hz), laboratory resonant column experiments on synthetic methane hydrate-bearing sands under excess-water seafloor conditions. The results show a complex dependence of P- and S-wave attenuation on hydrate saturation and morphology. P- and S-wave attenuation in excess-water hydrate-bearing sand is much higher than in excess-gas hydrate-bearing sand and increases with hydrate saturation between 0 and 0.44 (the experimental range). Theoretical modelling suggests that load-bearing hydrate is an important cause of heightened attenuation for both P- and S-waves in gas and water saturated sands, while pore-filling hydrate also contributes significantly to P-wave attenuation in water saturated sands. A squirt flow attenuation mechanism, related to microporous hydrate and low aspect ratio pores at the interface between sand grains and hydrate, is thought to be responsible for the heightened levels of attenuation in hydrate-bearing sands at low hydrate saturations (<0.44).

  7. Application of the Split Hopkinson Resonant Bar Test for Seismic Property Characterization of Hydrate-bearing Sand Undergoing Water Saturation

    SciTech Connect

    Nakagawa, S.; Kneafsey, T.J.

    2011-05-03

    Conventional resonant bar tests allow the measurement of seismic properties of rocks and sediments at low frequencies (several kilohertz). However, the tests require a long, slender sample which is often difficult to obtain from the deep subsurface and weak and fractured formations. We present an alternative low-frequency measurement technique to the conventional resonant bar tests. This technique involves a jacketed core sample placed between a pair of long, metal extension rods with attached seismic source and receiver—the same geometry as the split Hopkinson pressure bar test for large-strain, dynamic impact experiments. Because of the added length and mass to the sample, the resonance frequency of the entire system can be lowered significantly, compared to the sample alone. The proposed “Split Hopkinson Resonant Bar (SHRB)” test is applied in two steps. In the first step, extension and torsion-mode resonance frequencies and attenuation of the system are measured. Then, numerical inversions for the compressional and shear wave velocities and attenuation are performed. We initially applied the SHRB test to synthetic materials (plastics) for testing its accuracy, then used it for measuring the seismic velocities and attenuation of a rock core containing supercritical CO{sub 2}, and a sediment core while methane hydrate formed in the pore space.

  8. Investigation of gas hydrate-bearing sandstone reservoirs at the "Mount Elbert" stratigraphic test well, Milne Point, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Boswell, R.M.; Hunter, R.; Collett, T.; Digert, S. Inc., Anchorage, AK); Hancock, S.; Weeks, M. Inc., Anchorage, AK); Mt. Elbert Science Team

    2008-01-01

    In February 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy, BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc., and the U.S. Geological Survey conducted an extensive data collection effort at the "Mount Elbert #1" gas hydrates stratigraphic test well on the Alaska North Slope (ANS). The 22-day field program acquired significant gas hydrate-bearing reservoir data, including a full suite of open-hole well logs, over 500 feet of continuous core, and open-hole formation pressure response tests. Hole conditions, and therefore log data quality, were excellent due largely to the use of chilled oil-based drilling fluids. The logging program confirmed the existence of approximately 30 m of gashydrate saturated, fine-grained sand reservoir. Gas hydrate saturations were observed to range from 60% to 75% largely as a function of reservoir quality. Continuous wire-line coring operations (the first conducted on the ANS) achieved 85% recovery through 153 meters of section, providing more than 250 subsamples for analysis. The "Mount Elbert" data collection program culminated with open-hole tests of reservoir flow and pressure responses, as well as gas and water sample collection, using Schlumberger's Modular Formation Dynamics Tester (MDT) wireline tool. Four such tests, ranging from six to twelve hours duration, were conducted. This field program demonstrated the ability to safely and efficiently conduct a research-level openhole data acquisition program in shallow, sub-permafrost sediments. The program also demonstrated the soundness of the program's pre-drill gas hydrate characterization methods and increased confidence in gas hydrate resource assessment methodologies for the ANS.

  9. Invasion of drilling mud into gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. Part I: effect of drilling mud properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ning, Fulong; Zhang, Keni; Wu, Nengyou; Zhang, Ling; Li, Gang; Jiang, Guosheng; Yu, Yibing; Liu, Li; Qin, Yinghong

    2013-06-01

    To our knowledge, this study is the first to perform a numerical simulation and analysis of the dynamic behaviour of drilling mud invasion into oceanic gas-hydrate-bearing sediment (GHBS) and to consider the effects of such an invasion on borehole stability and the reliability of well logging. As a case study, the simulation background sets up the conditions of mud temperature over hydrate equilibrium temperature and overbalanced drilling, considering the first Chinese expedition to drill gas hydrate (GMGS-1). The results show that dissociating gas may form secondary hydrates in the sediment around borehole by the combined effects of increased pore pressure (caused by mud invasion and flow resistance), endothermic cooling that accompanies hydrate dissociation compounded by the Joule-Thompson effect and the lagged effect of heat transfer in sediments. The secondary hydrate ring around the borehole may be more highly saturated than the in situ sediment. Mud invasion in GHBS is a dynamic process of thermal, fluid (mud invasion), chemical (hydrate dissociation and reformation) and mechanical couplings. All of these factors interact and influence the pore pressure, flow ability, saturation of fluid and hydrates, mechanical parameters and electrical properties of sediments around the borehole, thereby having a strong effect on borehole stability and the results of well logging. The effect is particularly clear in the borehole SH7 of GMGS-1 project. The borehole collapse and resistivity distortion were observed during practical drilling and wireline logging operations in borehole SH7 of the GMGS-1.mud density (i.e. the corresponding borehole pressure), temperature and salinity have a marked influence on the dynamics of mud invasion and on hydrate stability. Therefore, perhaps well-logging distortion caused by mud invasion, hydrate dissociation and reformation should be considered for identifying and evaluating gas hydrate reservoirs. And some suitable drilling

  10. Volume and accessibility of entrained (solution) methane in deep geopressured reservoirs - tertiary formations of the Texas Gulf Coast. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gregory, A.R.; Dodge, M.M.; Posey, J.S.; Morton, R.A.

    1980-10-01

    The objective of this project was to appraise the total volume of in-place methane dissolved in formation waters of deep sandstone reservoirs of the onshore Texas Gulf Coast within the stratigraphic section extending from the base of significant hydrocarbon production (8000 ft)* to the deepest significant sandstone occurrence. The area of investigation is about 50,000 mi/sup 2/. Factors that determine the total methane resource are reservoir bulk volume, porosity, and methane solubility; the latter is controlled by the temperature, pressure, and salinity of formation waters. Regional assessment of the volume and the distribution of potential sandstone reservoirs was made from a data base of 880 electrical well logs, from which a grid of 24 dip cross sections and 4 strike cross sections was constructed. Solution methane content in each of nine formations or divisions of formations was determined for each subdivision. The distribution of solution methane in the Gulf Coast was described on the basis of five reservoir models. Each model was characterized by depositional environment, reservoir continuity, porosity, permeability, and methane solubility.

  11. Eocene deep-sea communities in localized limestones formed by subduction-related methane seeps, southwestern Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Goedert, J.L. ); Squires, R.L. )

    1990-12-01

    Densely populated communities of soft-bottom-dwelling taxa similar to those found today along subduction zones off the coasts of Japan and Oregon have been discovered in very localized deep-water limestones of late middle to late Eocene age along the southwestern margin of Washington. Subduction was prevalent in this area during this time, and compressive forces squeezed subsurface methane-rich waters onto the ocean floor, where opportunistic bivalves (especially Modiolus, Calyptogena, and Thyasira), vestimentiferan tube worms, serpulid tube worms, siliceous sponges, very small limpets, trochid and turbinid archaeogastropods, and other macrobenthos colonized. These assemblages are the earliest recorded biologic communities formed in response to methane seeps in subduction zones.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Archaea mediate anaerobic oxidation of methane in deep euxinic waters of the Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wakeham, Stuart G.; Lewis, Cynthia M.; Hopmans, Ellen C.; Schouten, Stefan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2003-04-01

    We evaluate anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in the Black Sea water column by determining distributions of archaea-specific glyceryl dialkyl glyceryl tetraethers (GDGTs) and 13C isotopic compositions of their constituent biphytanes in suspended particulate matter (SPM), sinking particulate matter collected in sediment traps, and surface sediments. We also determined isotopic compositions of fatty acids specific to sulfate-reducing bacteria to test for biomarker and isotopic evidence of a syntrophic relationship between archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria in carrying out AOM. Bicyclic and tricyclic GDGTs and their constituent 13C-depleted monocyclic and bicyclic biphytanes (down to -67‰) indicative of archaea involved in AOM were present in SPM in the anoxic zone below 700 m depth. In contrast, GDGT-0 and crenarchaeol derived from planktonic crenarchaeota dominated the GDGT distributions in the oxic surface and shallow anoxic waters. Fatty acids indicative of sulfate-reducing bacteria (i.e., iso- and anteiso-C 15) were not strongly isotopically depleted (e.g., -32 to -25‰), although anteiso-C 15 was 5‰ more depleted in 13C than iso-C 15. Our results suggest that either AOM is carried out by archaea independent of sulfate-reducing bacteria or those sulfate-reducing bacteria involved in a syntrophy with methane-oxidizing archaea constitute a small enough fraction of the total sulfate-reducing bacterial community that an isotope depletion in their fatty acids is not readily detected. Sinking particulate material collected in sediment traps and the underlying sediments in the anoxic zone contained the biomarker and isotope signature of upper-water column archaea. AOM-specific GDGTs and 13C-depleted biphytanes characteristic of the SPM in the deep anoxic zone are not incorporated into sinking particles and are not efficiently transported to the sediments. This observation suggests that sediments may not always record AOM in overlying euxinic water columns and

  15. Seismic evidence of methane cycling between deep and shallow fluid flow systems along the Hikurangi margin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plaza-Faverola, A.; Pecher, I.; Klaeschen, D.; Henrys, S.

    2012-04-01

    Determining the source of the main natural gas, methane, forming gas hydrates, i.e. whether it is microbial or thermogenic, remains one of the main challenges in gas hydrate research. Geochemical data suggest that most of the methane that seep out from the seafloor above gas hydrate zones is microbial. However, significant volumes of free gas trapped beneath the base of the gas hydrate stability zone and the presence of faults and gas chimneys that link deep sited thermogenic gas reservoirs with the hydrate zones are evidence of fluid exchange between deep and shallow systems. We have reprocessed 10 and 12 km long surface streamer multi-channel seismic data from the Opouawe Bank and Porangahau Ridge regions along the Hikurangi Margin in order to obtain realistic geometries of fluid escape features associated with the subduction interface. Pre-stack depth migrated images of the subsurface show thrust faults linking the subduction interface with the gas hydrate zone. Anticlinal features with deeply rooted gas chimneys at their flanks and polygonal faults above the subduction interface are also evidence of fluid expulsion from the subdcuted sediments towards the gas hydrate zone. Further, anomalous low velocity zones in P-wave velocity macro models indicate preferred locations for fluid accumulations in sediments between the gas hydrate zone and the subduction interface. In order to explain the dominant microbial signature of methane sampled at the surface in spite of evident migration of fluids from well beneath the microbial zone, we present a model where microbial methane has been expelled from buried sediments together with thermogenic methane at different periods of overpressure related to the subduction system. We expect signatures for thermogenic methane to be found deeper than maximum depths of conventional coring (i.e. > 30 mbsf) in the sedimentary column. Our results complement an ongoing multidisciplinary investigation of gas hydrate systems along Hikurangi

  16. Estimates of in situ gas hydrate concentration from resistivity monitoring of gas hydrate bearing sediments during temperature equilibration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riedel, M.; Long, P.E.; Collett, T.S.

    2006-01-01

    As part of Ocean Drilling Program Leg 204 at southern Hydrate Ridge off Oregon we have monitored changes in sediment electrical resistivity during controlled gas hydrate dissociation experiments. Two cores were used, each filled with gas hydrate bearing sediments (predominantly mud/silty mud). One core was from Site 1249 (1249F-9H3), 42.1 m below seafloor (mbsf) and the other from Site 1248 (1248C-4X1), 28.8 mbsf. At Site 1247, a third experiment was conducted on a core without gas hydrate (1247B-2H1, 3.6 mbsf). First, the cores were imaged using an infra-red (IR) camera upon recovery to map the gas hydrate occurrence through dissociation cooling. Over a period of several hours, successive runs on the multi-sensor track (includes sensors for P-wave velocity, resistivity, magnetic susceptibility and gamma-ray density) were carried out complemented by X-ray imaging on core 1249F-9H3. After complete equilibration to room temperature (17-18??C) and complete gas hydrate dissociation, the final measurement of electrical resistivity was used to calculate pore-water resistivity and salinities. The calculated pore-water freshening after dissociation is equivalent to a gas hydrate concentration in situ of 35-70% along core 1249F-9H3 and 20-35% for core 1248C-4X1 assuming seawater salinity of in situ pore fluid. Detailed analysis of the IR scan, X-ray images and split-core photographs showed the hydrate mainly occurred disseminated throughout the core. Additionally, in core 1249F-9H3, a single hydrate filled vein, approximately 10 cm long and dipping at about 65??, was identified. Analyses of the logging-while-drilling (LWD) resistivity data revealed a structural dip of 40-80?? in the interval between 40 and 44 mbsf. We further analyzed all resistivity data measured on the recovered core during Leg 204. Generally poor data quality due to gas cracks allowed analyses to be carried out only at selected intervals at Sites 1244, 1245, 1246, 1247, 1248, 1249, and 1252. With a few

  17. Methane in Columbia River Basalt Aquifers: Isotopic and geohydrologic evidence for a deep coal-bed gas source in the Columbia Basin, Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, V.G. ); Graham, D.L. ); Reidel, S.P. )

    1993-07-01

    Methane occurs as a dissolved constituent in groundwater from confined aquifers in the Columbia River Basalt Group, Columbia basin, Washington. Isotopic compositions of methane in groundwater indicate that the methane is a mixture of biogenic ([sigma][sup 13]C-CH[sub 4] to -88% and [sigma][sup 2]H-CH[sub 4] to -265%) and thermogenic ([sigma][sup 13]C-CH[sub 4] to -35%, and [sigma][sup 2]H-CH[sub 4] to -134%) components. Chemical and isotopic data are consistent with entrainment of deep, coal-bed generated methane in upwelling groundwater from below the Columbia River Basalt Group (>4 km) that mixes with near-surface groundwater. The areal distribution pattern of methane suggests that fault intersections are necessary for vertical migration of deep methane through the basalt. This study suggests that deep subbasalt coal-bed methane in the Columbia basin has infiltrated the shallow basalt groundwater system, and isotopic analysis of methane in groundwater from structurally favorable locations can be used to identify potential exploration targets. The wide areal distribution of methane in this large, relatively unexplored frontier province suggests economic gas reserves. 53 refs., 11 figs.

  18. High-resolution well-log derived dielectric properties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments, Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well, Alaska North Slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sun, Y.; Goldberg, D.; Collett, T.; Hunter, R.

    2011-01-01

    A dielectric logging tool, electromagnetic propagation tool (EPT), was deployed in 2007 in the BPXA-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well (Mount Elbert Well), North Slope, Alaska. The measured dielectric properties in the Mount Elbert well, combined with density log measurements, result in a vertical high-resolution (cm-scale) estimate of gas hydrate saturation. Two hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs about 20 m thick were identified using the EPT log and exhibited gas-hydrate saturation estimates ranging from 45% to 85%. In hydrate-bearing zones where variation of hole size and oil-based mud invasion are minimal, EPT-based gas hydrate saturation estimates on average agree well with lower vertical resolution estimates from the nuclear magnetic resonance logs; however, saturation and porosity estimates based on EPT logs are not reliable in intervals with substantial variations in borehole diameter and oil-based invasion.EPT log interpretation reveals many thin-bedded layers at various depths, both above and below the thick continuous hydrate occurrences, which range from 30-cm to about 1-m thick. Such thin layers are not indicated in other well logs, or from the visual observation of core, with the exception of the image log recorded by the oil-base microimager. We also observe that EPT dielectric measurements can be used to accurately detect fine-scale changes in lithology and pore fluid properties of hydrate-bearing sediments where variation of hole size is minimal. EPT measurements may thus provide high-resolution in-situ hydrate saturation estimates for comparison and calibration with laboratory analysis. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  19. 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

  20. Permeability of sediment cores from methane hydrate deposit in the Eastern Nankai Trough, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konno, Y.; Yoneda, J.; Egawa, K.; Ito, T.; Jin, Y.; Kida, M.; Suzuki, K.; Nakatsuka, Y.; Nagao, J.

    2013-12-01

    Effective and absolute permeability are key parameters for gas production from methane-hydrate-bearing sandy sediments. Effective and/or absolute permeability have been measured using methane-hydrate-bearing sandy cores and clayey and silty cores recovered from Daini Atsumi Knoll in the Eastern Nankai Trough during the 2012 JOGMEC/JAPEX Pressure coring operation. Liquid-nitrogen-immersed cores were prepared by rapid depressurization of pressure cores recovered by a pressure coring system referred to as the Hybrid PCS. Cores were shaped cylindrically on a lathe with spraying of liquid nitrogen to prevent hydrate dissociation. Permeability was measured by a flooding test or a pressure relaxation method under near in-situ pressure and temperature conditions. Measured effective permeability of hydrate-bearing sediments is less than tens of md, which are order of magnitude less than absolute permeability. Absolute permeability of clayey cores is approximately tens of μd, which would perform a sealing function as cap rocks. Permeability reduction due to a swelling effect was observed for a silty core during flooding test of pure water mimicking hydrate-dissociation-water. Swelling effect may cause production formation damage especially at a later stage of gas production from methane hydrate deposits. This study was financially supported by the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21 Research Consortium) that carries out Japan's Methane Hydrate R&D Program conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

  1. Geochemical investigation of the potential for mobilizing non-methane hydrocarbons during carbon dioxide storage in deep coal beds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolak, J.J.; Burruss, R.C.

    2006-01-01

    Coal samples of different rank (lignite to anthracite) were extracted in the laboratory with supercritical CO2 (40 ??C; 10 MPa) to evaluate the potential for mobilizing non-methane hydrocarbons during CO2 storage (sequestration) or enhanced coal bed methane recovery from deep (???1-km depth) coal beds. The total measured alkane concentrations mobilized from the coal samples ranged from 3.0 to 64 g tonne-1 of dry coal. The highest alkane concentration was measured in the lignite sample extract; the lowest was measured in the anthracite sample extract. Substantial concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were also mobilized from these samples: 3.1 - 91 g tonne-1 of dry coal. The greatest amounts of PAHs were mobilized from the high-volatile bituminous coal samples. The distributions of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons mobilized from the coal samples also varied with rank. In general, these variations mimicked the chemical changes that occur with increasing degrees of coalification and thermal maturation. For example, the amount of PAHs mobilized from coal samples paralleled the general trend of bitumen formation with increasing coal rank. The coal samples yielded hydrocarbons during consecutive extractions with supercritical CO2, although the amount of hydrocarbons mobilized declined with each successive extraction. These results demonstrate that the potential for supercritical CO2 to mobilize non-methane hydrocarbons from coal beds, and the effect of coal rank on this process, are important to consider when evaluating deep coal beds for CO2 storage.

  2. Methane assimilation and trophic interactions with marine Methylomicrobium in deep-water coral reef sediment off the coast of Norway.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Sigmund; Neufeld, Josh D; Birkeland, Nils-Kåre; Hovland, Martin; Murrell, John Colin

    2008-11-01

    Deep-water coral reefs are seafloor environments with diverse biological communities surrounded by cold permanent darkness. Sources of energy and carbon for the nourishment of these reefs are presently unclear. We investigated one aspect of the food web using DNA stable-isotope probing (DNA-SIP). Sediment from beneath a Lophelia pertusa reef off the coast of Norway was incubated until assimilation of 5 micromol 13CH4 g(-1) wet weight occurred. Extracted DNA was separated into 'light' and 'heavy' fractions for analysis of labelling. Bacterial community fingerprinting of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments revealed two predominant 13C-specific bands. Sequencing of these bands indicated that carbon from 13CH4 had been assimilated by a Methylomicrobium and an uncultivated member of the Gammaproteobacteria. Cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from the heavy DNA, in addition to genes encoding particulate methane monooxygenase and methanol dehydrogenase, all linked Methylomicrobium with methane metabolism. Putative cross-feeders were affiliated with Methylophaga (Gammaproteobacteria), Hyphomicrobium (Alphaproteobacteria) and previously unrecognized methylotrophs of the Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Deferribacteres and Bacteroidetes. This first marine methane SIP study provides evidence for the presence of methylotrophs that participate in sediment food webs associated with deep-water coral reefs. PMID:18811651

  3. Lab-assay for estimating methane emissions from deep-pit manure storages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Methane emission is an important element in the evaluation of manure management systems due to the potential impact it has on global climate change. Field procedures used for estimating methane emission rates require expensive equipment, are time consuming, and highly variable between farms. The pur...

  4. Heat production in depth up to 2500m via in situ combustion of methane using a counter-current heat-exchange reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schicks, Judith Maria; Spangenberg, Erik; Giese, Ronny; Heeschen, Katja; Priegnitz, Mike; Luzi-Helbing, Manja; Thaler, Jan; Abendroth, Sven; Klump, Jens

    2014-05-01

    In situ combustion is a well-known method used for exploitation of unconventional oil deposits such as heavy oil/bitumen reservoirs where the required heat is produced directly within the oil reservoir by combustion of a small percentage of the oil. A new application of in situ combustion for the production of methane from hydrate-bearing sediments was tested at pilot plant scale within the first phase of the German national gas hydrate project SUGAR. The applied method of in situ combustion was a flameless, catalytic oxidation of CH4 in a counter-current heat-exchange reactor with no direct contact between the catalytic reaction zone and the reservoir. The catalyst permitted a flameless combustion of CH4 with air to CO2 and H2O below the auto-ignition temperature of CH4 in air (868 K) and outside the flammability limits. This led to a double secured application of the reactor. The relatively low reaction temperature allowed the use of cost-effective standard materials for the reactor and prevented NOx formation. Preliminary results were promising and showed that only 15% of the produced CH4 was needed to be catalytically burned to provide enough heat to dissociate the hydrates in the environment and release CH4. The location of the heat source right within the hydrate-bearing sediment is a major advantage for the gas production from natural gas hydrates as the heat is generated where it is needed without loss of energy due to transportation. As part of the second period of the SUGAR project the reactor prototype of the first project phase was developed further to a borehole tool. The dimensions of this counter-current heat-exchange reactor are about 540 cm in length and 9 cm in diameter. It is designed for applications up to depths of 2500 m. A functionality test and a pressure test of the reactor were successfully carried out in October 2013 at the continental deep drilling site (KTB) in Windischeschenbach, Germany, in 600 m depth and 2000 m depth, respectively

  5. 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

  6. Methane rising from the Deep: Hydrates, Bubbles, Oil Spills, and Global Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leifer, I.; Rehder, G. J.; Solomon, E. A.; Kastner, M.; Asper, V. L.; Joye, S. B.

    2011-12-01

    Elevated methane concentrations in near-surface waters and the atmosphere have been reported for seepage from depths of nearly 1 km at the Gulf of Mexico hydrate observatory (MC118), suggesting that for some methane sources, deepsea methane is not trapped and can contribute to atmospheric greenhouse gas budgets. Ebullition is key with important sensitivity to the formation of hydrate skins and oil coatings, high-pressure solubility, bubble size and bubble plume processes. Bubble ROV tracking studies showed survival to near thermocline depths. Studies with a numerical bubble propagation model demonstrated that consideration of structure I hydrate skins transported most methane only to mid-water column depths. Instead, consideration of structure II hydrates, which are stable to far shallower depths and appropriate for natural gas mixtures, allows bubbles to survive to far shallower depths. Moreover, model predictions of vertical methane and alkane profiles and bubble size evolution were in better agreement with observations after consideration of structure II hydrate properties as well as an improved implementation of plume properties, such as currents. These results demonstrate the importance of correctly incorporating bubble hydrate processes in efforts to predict the impact of deepsea seepage as well as to understand the fate of bubble-transported oil and methane from deepsea pipeline leaks and well blowouts. Application to the DWH spill demonstrated the importance of deepsea processes to the fate of spilled subsurface oil. Because several of these parameters vary temporally (bubble flux, currents, temperature), sensitivity studies indicate the importance of real-time monitoring data.

  7. Shallow surface methane hydrate associated with mud diapir äMound 11`` in the Costa Rica fore arc zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, M.; Hensen, C.; Mörz, T.; Mau, S.; Grevemeyer, I.; Wallmann, K.; Sahling, H.; Brückmann, W.

    2003-04-01

    Gas hydrates were recovered from a mud diapir (Mound 11) located on the southern continental slope off Costa Rica at a water depth of about 1000 m during expedition M54/2 with RV METEOR in September 2002. A massive layer of solid methane gas hydrate was retrieved from the base of a gravity corer at a sediment depth of 2 m. Several mound-shaped and carbonate-covered mud diapirs were previously discovered off Costa Rica and Nicaragua during the ongoing research within the framework of the Sonderforschungsbereich 574 "Volatiles and Fluids in Subduction Zones" but solid hydrates were recovered only from Mound 11. This structure has a diameter of about 300 m and protrudes the surrounding seafloor by about 20 m. The seamount sits on approximately 1 km of hemipelagic sediment disrupted by normal faults, which could provide fluid and mass transport pathways from greater depth to the sea floor. Video observations of Mound 11 revealed the presence of authigenic carbonates and bacterial mats indicating methane-charged fluids reaching the sediment surface. Water sampling and gas chromatographic analyses showed methane enrichments in the overlying bottom water confirming the release of methane. In-situ temperature measurements indicated elevated heat flow within the hydrate-bearing sediment strata. Pore fluids recovered from the mound were strongly depleted in dissolved chloride and enriched in boron indicating a deep origin of rising fluids and gases. The results of the ongoing isotopic analysis of gas hydrates and pore waters will be used to further constrain the source of methane-rich fluids.

  8. Neural network analysis of crosshole tomographic images: The seismic signature of gas hydrate bearing sediments in the Mackenzie Delta (NW Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, K.; Pratt, R. G.; Haberland, C.; Weber, M.

    2008-10-01

    Crosshole seismic experiments were conducted to study the in-situ properties of gas hydrate bearing sediments (GHBS) in the Mackenzie Delta (NW Canada). Seismic tomography provided images of P velocity, anisotropy, and attenuation. Self-organizing maps (SOM) are powerful neural network techniques to classify and interpret multi-attribute data sets. The coincident tomographic images are translated to a set of data vectors in order to train a Kohonen layer. The total gradient of the model vectors is determined for the trained SOM and a watershed segmentation algorithm is used to visualize and map the lithological clusters with well-defined seismic signatures. Application to the Mallik data reveals four major litho-types: (1) GHBS, (2) sands, (3) shale/coal interlayering, and (4) silt. The signature of seismic P wave characteristics distinguished for the GHBS (high velocities, strong anisotropy and attenuation) is new and can be used for new exploration strategies to map and quantify gas hydrates.

  9. An effective medium inversion algorithm for gas hydrate quantification and its application to laboratory and borehole measurements of gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chand, Shyam; Minshull, Tim A.; Priest, Jeff A.; Best, Angus I.; Clayton, Christopher R. I.; Waite, William F.

    2006-08-01

    The presence of gas hydrate in marine sediments alters their physical properties. In some circumstances, gas hydrate may cement sediment grains together and dramatically increase the seismic P- and S-wave velocities of the composite medium. Hydrate may also form a load-bearing structure within the sediment microstructure, but with different seismic wave attenuation characteristics, changing the attenuation behaviour of the composite. Here we introduce an inversion algorithm based on effective medium modelling to infer hydrate saturations from velocity and attenuation measurements on hydrate-bearing sediments. The velocity increase is modelled as extra binding developed by gas hydrate that strengthens the sediment microstructure. The attenuation increase is modelled through a difference in fluid flow properties caused by different permeabilities in the sediment and hydrate microstructures. We relate velocity and attenuation increases in hydrate-bearing sediments to their hydrate content, using an effective medium inversion algorithm based on the self-consistent approximation (SCA), differential effective medium (DEM) theory, and Biot and squirt flow mechanisms of fluid flow. The inversion algorithm is able to convert observations in compressional and shear wave velocities and attenuations to hydrate saturation in the sediment pore space. We applied our algorithm to a data set from the Mallik 2L-38 well, Mackenzie delta, Canada, and to data from laboratory measurements on gas-rich and water-saturated sand samples. Predictions using our algorithm match the borehole data and water-saturated laboratory data if the proportion of hydrate contributing to the load-bearing structure increases with hydrate saturation. The predictions match the gas-rich laboratory data if that proportion decreases with hydrate saturation. We attribute this difference to differences in hydrate formation mechanisms between the two environments.

  10. An effective medium inversion algorithm for gas hydrate quantification and its application to laboratory and borehole measurements of gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chand, S.; Minshull, T.A.; Priest, J.A.; Best, A.I.; Clayton, C.R.I.; Waite, W.F.

    2006-01-01

    The presence of gas hydrate in marine sediments alters their physical properties. In some circumstances, gas hydrate may cement sediment grains together and dramatically increase the seismic P- and S-wave velocities of the composite medium. Hydrate may also form a load-bearing structure within the sediment microstructure, but with different seismic wave attenuation characteristics, changing the attenuation behaviour of the composite. Here we introduce an inversion algorithm based on effective medium modelling to infer hydrate saturations from velocity and attenuation measurements on hydrate-bearing sediments. The velocity increase is modelled as extra binding developed by gas hydrate that strengthens the sediment microstructure. The attenuation increase is modelled through a difference in fluid flow properties caused by different permeabilities in the sediment and hydrate microstructures. We relate velocity and attenuation increases in hydrate-bearing sediments to their hydrate content, using an effective medium inversion algorithm based on the self-consistent approximation (SCA), differential effective medium (DEM) theory, and Biot and squirt flow mechanisms of fluid flow. The inversion algorithm is able to convert observations in compressional and shear wave velocities and attenuations to hydrate saturation in the sediment pore space. We applied our algorithm to a data set from the Mallik 2L–38 well, Mackenzie delta, Canada, and to data from laboratory measurements on gas-rich and water-saturated sand samples. Predictions using our algorithm match the borehole data and water-saturated laboratory data if the proportion of hydrate contributing to the load-bearing structure increases with hydrate saturation. The predictions match the gas-rich laboratory data if that proportion decreases with hydrate saturation. We attribute this difference to differences in hydrate formation mechanisms between the two environments.

  11. Estimates of Biogenic Methane Production Rates in Deep Marine Sediments at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Margin

    SciTech Connect

    F. S. Colwell; S. Boyd; M. E. Delwiche; D. W. Reed; T. J. Phelps; D. T. Newby

    2008-06-01

    Methane hydrate found in marine sediments is thought to contain gigaton quantities of methane and is considered an important potential fuel source and climate-forcing agent. Much of the methane in hydrates is biogenic, so models that predict the presence and distribution of hydrates require accurate rates of in situ methanogenesis. We estimated the in situ methanogenesis rates in Hydrate Ridge (HR) sediments by coupling experimentally derived minimal rates of methanogenesis to methanogen biomass determinations for discrete locations in the sediment column. When starved in a biomass recycle reactor Methanoculleus submarinus produced ca. 0.017 fmol methane/cell/day. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) directed at the methyl coenzyme M reductase subunit A (mcrA) gene indicated that 75% of the HR sediments analyzed contained <1000 methanogens/g. The highest methanogen numbers were mostly from sediments <10 meters below seafloor. By combining methanogenesis rates for starved methanogens (adjusted to account for in situ temperatures) and the numbers of methanogens at selected depths we derived an upper estimate of <4.25 fmol methane produced/g sediment/day for the samples with fewer methanogens than the QPCR method could detect. The actual rates could vary depending on the real number of methanogens and various seafloor parameters that influence microbial activity. However, our calculated rate is lower than rates previously reported from such sediments and close to the rate derived using geochemical modeling of the sediments. These data will help to improve models that predict microbial gas generation in marine sediments and determine the potential influence of this source of methane on the global carbon cycle.

  12. Estimates of biogenic methane production rates in deep marine sediments at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia margin.

    PubMed

    Colwell, F S; Boyd, S; Delwiche, M E; Reed, D W; Phelps, T J; Newby, D T

    2008-06-01

    Methane hydrate found in marine sediments is thought to contain gigaton quantities of methane and is considered an important potential fuel source and climate-forcing agent. Much of the methane in hydrates is biogenic, so models that predict the presence and distribution of hydrates require accurate rates of in situ methanogenesis. We estimated the in situ methanogenesis rates in Hydrate Ridge (HR) sediments by coupling experimentally derived minimal rates of methanogenesis to methanogen biomass determinations for discrete locations in the sediment column. When starved in a biomass recycle reactor, Methanoculleus submarinus produced ca. 0.017 fmol methane/cell/day. Quantitative PCR (QPCR) directed at the methyl coenzyme M reductase subunit A gene (mcrA) indicated that 75% of the HR sediments analyzed contained <1,000 methanogens/g. The highest numbers of methanogens were found mostly from sediments <10 m below seafloor. By considering methanogenesis rates for starved methanogens (adjusted to account for in situ temperatures) and the numbers of methanogens at selected depths, we derived an upper estimate of <4.25 fmol methane produced/g sediment/day for the samples with fewer methanogens than the QPCR method could detect. The actual rates could vary depending on the real number of methanogens and various seafloor parameters that influence microbial activity. However, our calculated rate is lower than rates previously reported for such sediments and close to the rate derived using geochemical modeling of the sediments. These data will help to improve models that predict microbial gas generation in marine sediments and determine the potential influence of this source of methane on the global carbon cycle. PMID:18344348

  13. Development of Ocean Bottom Multi-component Seismic System for Methane Hydrate Dissociation Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, H.; Asakawa, E.; Hayashi, T.; Inamori, T.; Saeki, T.

    2011-12-01

    A 2D multi-component seismic survey was carried out in the Nankai Trough using the RSCS (Real-time Seismic Cable System) system in 2006. The RSCS is the newly developed ocean bottom cable system which is usable in more than 2000m water depth. The results of the PP and data PS components gave us much information of the methane hydrates bearing zone. Based on RSCS technology, we are developing a new monitoring system using multi-component seismic sensors to delineate the methane hydrate dissociation zone for the offshore methane hydrate production test scheduled in FY2012. Conventional RSCS is composed of three component gimbaled geophones which require a large volume inside the receiver. We will adopt accelerometers to achieve a small receiver that is 2/3 the size of conventional RSCS. The accelerometer data can be corrected into horizontal or vertical directions based on the gravity acceleration. The receiver case has a protective metallic exterior and the cable is protected with steel-screened armoring, allowing for burial usage using ROV for sub-seabed deployment. It will realize a unique survey style that leaves the system on the seabed between pre-test baseline survey and post-test repeated survey, which might be up to 6 months. The fixed location of the receiver is very important for time-lapse monitoring survey. We name the new system as DSS (Deep-sea Seismic System). A feasibility study to detect the methane hydrate dissociation with the DSS was carried out and we found that the methane hydrate dissociation could be detected with the DSS depending on the area of the dissociation. The first experiment of the DSS performance test in a marine area is planned in November 2011. The main features of DSS are described as follows: (1) Deep-sea /Ultra Deep-sea Operation Methane hydrate exists in equilibrium temperature and pressure holds at water depths greater than 500m. The system water depth resistance target up to 2000m. The receiver case has a protective

  14. Iron oxide reduction in deep Baltic Sea sediments: the potential role of anaerobic oxidation of methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egger, Matthias; Slomp, Caroline P.; Dijkstra, Nikki; Sapart, Célia J.; Risgaard-Petersen, Nils; Kasten, Sabine; Riedinger, Natascha; Barker Jørgensen, Bo

    2015-04-01

    Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and its emission from marine sediments to the atmosphere is largely controlled by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Traditionally, sulfate is considered to be the most important electron acceptor for AOM in marine sediments. However, recent studies have shown that AOM may also be coupled to the reduction of iron (Fe) oxides (Beal et al., 2009; Riedinger et al., 2014; Egger et al., 2014). In the Baltic Sea, the transition from the Ancylus freshwater phase to the Littorina brackish/marine phase (A/L-transition) ca. 9-7 ka ago (Zillén et al., 2008) resulted in the accumulation of methanogenic brackish/marine sediments overlying Fe-oxide rich lacustrine deposits. The downward diffusion of methane from the brackish/marine sediments into the lake sediments leads to an ideal diagenetic system to study a potential coupling between Fe oxide reduction and methane oxidation. Here, we use porewater and sediment geochemical data obtained at sites M0063 and M0065 during the IODP Baltic Sea Paleoenvironment Expedition 347 in 2013 to identify the potential mechanisms responsible for the apparent Fe oxide reduction in the non-sulfidic limnic sediments below the A/L transition. In this presentation, we will review the various explanations for the elevated ferrous Fe in the porewater in the lake sediments and we will specifically address the potential role of the reaction of methane with Fe-oxides. References: Beal E. J., House C. H. and Orphan V. J. (2009) Manganese- and iron-dependent marine methane oxidation. Science 325, 184-187. Egger M., Rasigraf O., Sapart C. J., Jilbert T., Jetten M. S. M., Röckmann T., van der Veen C., Banda N., Kartal B., Ettwig K. F. and Slomp C. P. (2014) Iron-mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane in brackish coastal sediments. Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 277-283. Riedinger N., Formolo M. J., Lyons T. W., Henkel S., Beck A. and Kasten S. (2014) An inorganic geochemical argument for coupled anaerobic oxidation of

  15. Methane hydrate induced permeability modification for multiphase flow in unsaturated porous media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seol, Yongkoo; Kneafsey, Timothy J.

    2011-08-01

    An experimental study was performed using X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning to capture three-dimensional (3-D) methane hydrate distributions and potential discrete flow pathways in a sand pack sample. A numerical study was also performed to develop and analyze empirical relations that describe the impacts of hydrate accumulation habits within pore space (e.g., pore filling or grain cementing) on multiphase fluid migration. In the experimental study, water was injected into a hydrate-bearing sand sample that was monitored using an X-ray CT scanner. The CT images were converted into numerical grid elements, providing intrinsic sample data including porosity and phase saturations. The impacts of hydrate accumulation were examined by adapting empirical relations into the flow simulations as additional relations governing the evolution of absolute permeability of hydrate bearing sediment with hydrate deposition. The impacts of pore space hydrate accumulation habits on fluid migration were examined by comparing numerical predictions with experimentally measured water saturation distributions and breakthrough curves. A model case with 3-D heterogeneous initial conditions (hydrate saturation, porosity, and water saturation) and pore body-preferred hydrate accumulations best captured water migration behavior through the hydrate-bearing sample observed in the experiment. In the best matching model, absolute permeability in the hydrate bearing sample does not decrease significantly with increasing hydrate saturation until hydrate saturation reaches about 40%, after which it drops rapidly, and complete blockage of flow through the sample can occur as hydrate accumulations approach 70%. The result highlights the importance of permeability modification due to hydrate accumulation habits when predicting multiphase flow through high-saturation, reservoir quality hydrate-bearing sediments.

  16. Evaluation of Heat Induced Methane Release from Methane Hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeman, J.; Elwood-Madden, M.; Phelps, T. J.; Rawn, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    Clathrates, or gas hydrates, structurally are guest gas molecules populating a cavity in a cage of water molecules. Gas hydrates naturally occur on Earth under low temperature and moderate pressure environments including continental shelf, deep ocean, and permafrost sediments. Large quantities of methane are trapped in hydrates, providing significant near-surface reserves of carbon and energy. Thermodynamics predicts that hydrate deposits may be destabilized by reducing the pressure in the system or raising the temperature. However, the rate of methane release due to varying environmental conditions remains relatively unconstrained and complicated by natural feedback effects of clathrate dissociation. In this study, hydrate dissociation in sediment due to localized increases in temperature was monitored and observed at the mesoscale (>20L) in a laboratory environment. Experiments were conducted in the Seafloor Process Simulator (SPS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to simulate heat induced dissociation. The SPS, containing a column of Ottawa sand saturated with water containing 25mg/L Sno-Max to aid nucleation, was pressurized and cooled well into the hydrate stability field. A fiber optic distributed sensing system (DSS) was embedded at four depths in the sediment column. This allowed the temperature strain value (a proxy for temperature) of the system to be measured with high spatial resolution to monitor the clathrate formation/dissociation processes. A heat exchanger embedded in the sediment was heated using hot recirculated ethylene glycol and the temperature drop across the exchanger was measured. These experiments indicate a significant and sustained amount of heat is required to release methane gas from hydrate-bearing sediments. Heat was consumed by hydrate dissociated in a growing sphere around the heat exchanger until steady state was reached. At steady state all heat energy entering the system was consumed in maintaining the temperature profile

  17. Relative permeability of hydrate-bearing sediments from percolation theory and critical path analysis: theoretical and experimental results

    SciTech Connect

    Daigle, Hugh; Rice, Mary Anna; Daigle, Hugh

    2015-12-14

    Relative permeabilities to water and gas are important parameters for accurate modeling of the formation of methane hydrate deposits and production of methane from hydrate reservoirs. Experimental measurements of gas and water permeability in the presence of hydrate are difficult to obtain. The few datasets that do exist suggest that relative permeability obeys a power law relationship with water or gas saturation with exponents ranging from around 2 to greater than 10. Critical path analysis and percolation theory provide a framework for interpreting the saturation-dependence of relative permeability based on percolation thresholds and the breadth of pore size distributions, which may be determined easily from 3-D images or gas adsorption-desorption hysteresis. We show that the exponent of the permeability-saturation relationship for relative permeability to water is related to the breadth of the pore size distribution, with broader pore size distributions corresponding to larger exponents. Relative permeability to water in well-sorted sediments with narrow pore size distributions, such as Berea sandstone or Toyoura sand, follows percolation scaling with an exponent of 2. On the other hand, pore-size distributions determined from argon adsorption measurements we performed on clays from the Nankai Trough suggest that relative permeability to water in fine-grained intervals may be characterized by exponents as large as 10 as determined from critical path analysis. We also show that relative permeability to the gas phase follows percolation scaling with a quadratic dependence on gas saturation, but the threshold gas saturation for percolation changes with hydrate saturation, which is an important consideration in systems in which both hydrate and gas are present, such as during production from a hydrate reservoir. Our work shows how measurements of pore size distributions from 3-D imaging or gas adsorption may be used to determine relative permeabilities.

  18. Active Venting Sites On The Gas-Hydrate-Bearing Hikurangi Margin, Off New Zealand: ROV Measurements And Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

    During R.V. Sonne cruise SO191-3, part of the "New (Zealand Cold) Vents" expedition, RCMG deployed a 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 vent 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 vents, to conduct detailed visual observations of the vent structures and activity, and to perform measurements of physical properties and collect samples at and around the vent locations. The three investigated areas generally have a flat to moderate undulating sea floor with soft sediments alternating with carbonate platforms. The different sites were sometimes covered with dense fields of live clams or shell debris, often in association with tube worms, sponges and/or soft tissue corals. Active bubble- releasing seeps were observed at Faure's site and LM-3 site. Bubble-releasing activity was very variable in time, with periods of almost non-activity alternating with periods of violent outbursts. Bubble release occurred mainly from prominent depressions in soft-sediment sea floor. Bottom-water sampling revealed sometimes high concentrations of methane. Sediment-temperature measurements were largely comparable with the bottom- water temperature except for a "raindrop site" (with dense populations of polychaetes), where anomalous low sediment-temperature was measured. Further analysis of the ROV data together with the integration of other datasets will enable us to produce a model characterizing seep structure and environment.

  19. Geotechnical properties of core sample from methane hydrate deposits in Eastern Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoneda, J.; Masui, A.; Egawa, K.; Konno, Y.; Ito, T.; Kida, M.; Jin, Y.; Suzuki, K.; Nakatsuka, Y.; Tenma, N.; Nagao, J.

    2013-12-01

    To date, MH extraction has been simulated in several ways to help ensure the safe and efficient production of gas, with a particular focus on the investigation of landsliding, uneven settlement, and production well integrity. The mechanical properties of deep sea sediments and gas-hydrate-bearing sediments, typically obtained through material tests, are essential for the geomechanical response simulation to hydrate extraction. We conducted triaxial compression tests and the geotechnical properties of the sediments was investigated. Consolidated undrained compression tests were performed for silty sediments. And consolidated drained tests were performed for sandy samples. In addition, permeability was investigated from isotropic consolidation results. These core samples recovered from methane hydrate deposits of Daini Atsumi Knoll in Eastern Nankai Trough during the 2012 JOGMEC/JAPEX Pressure coring operation. The pressure core samples were rapidly depressurized on the ship and it were frozen using liquid nitrogen to prevent MH dissociation. Undrained shear strength of the core samples increase linearly with depth from sea floor. These core samples should be normally consolidated sample in-situ. Drained shear strength increases dramatically with hydrate saturation increases. Peak stress ratio q/p' of the core sample which has 73% of hydrate saturation was approximately 2.0 and it decrease down to 1.3 at the critical state. Dilatancy also changed from compressive tendency to dilative tendency with hydrate saturation increase. This study was financially supported by the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21 Research Consortium) that carries out Japan's Methane Hydrate R&D Program conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

  20. Eocene deep-sea communities in localized limestones formed by subduction-related methane seeps, southwestern Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goedert, James L.; Squires, Richard L.

    1990-12-01

    Densely populated communities of soft-bottom-dwelling taxa similar to those found today along subduction zones off the coasts of Japan and Oregon have been discovered in very localized deep-water limestones of late middle to late Eocene age along the southwestern margin of Washington. Subduction was prevalent in this area during this time, and compressive forces squeezed subsurface methanerich waters onto the ocean floor, where opportunistic bivalves (especially Modiolus, Calyptogena, and Thyasira), vestimentiferan? tube worms, serpufid tube worms, siliceous sponges, very small limpets, trochid and turbinid archaeogastropods, and other macrobenthos colonized. These assemblages are the earliest recorded biologic communities formed in response to methane seeps in subduction zones.

  1. Geochemical signature of methane-related archaea associated with gas hydrate occurrences on the Sakhalin slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DongHun, Lee; youngkeun, Jin; JongKu, Gal; Hirotsugu, Minami; Akihiro, Hachikubo; KyungHoon, Shin

    2015-04-01

    Only 3% of the advective methane in gas hydrates bearing sediments is released into the atmosphere as the result of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), which is a specific microbial process (methanotroph) occurring in marine sediments. We investigate the molecular and isotopic signature of gas and archaeal lipid biomarkers at gas hydrate bearing core sediments during the project of Sakhalin Slope Gas Hydrate 2014 (SSGH 2014). Our objective of this expedition is to identify relative abundance of methane-related archaea and pathway for understanding of the geochemical methane cycles between two core sediments (gas hydrate occurrence site and background site). At both sites, the molecular and isotopic data (δ13CCH4 and δ13CCO2) of gases indicate that methane is originated from microbial production via carbon dioxide reduction. The isotopic fractionation factor (ɛC = δ13CCO2 - δ13CCH4) near Sulfate Methane Transition Zone (SMTZ) in gas hydrate bearing sediment is significantly lower (ca. 20), considering more faster rates of AOM by the methanotrophic activity. Additionally, there is no correlation of bulk sediments (Total Orgaic Carbon (TOC), Total Sulfur (TS)) in gas hydrate occurrence site demonstrating that reduced sulfur is incorporated into the TS during the microbial AOM processes. The depleted-δ34STS values as low as -32.95‰ suggest that sulfate reduction coupled to AOM was more active and affect the sulfur isotope values of TS. The relative higher abundance of archaeal lipid biomarkers (archaeol, sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol, GDGT-1 and -2) and their depleted-δ13C values (sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol : -100‰) can be considered as the evidences of AOM by methanotroph related with euryarchaeota, consuming the methane migrated from the deeper reservoirs such as gas hydrate. Consequently, the geochemical signature of molecular and isotope values in analyzed gases and archaeal lipid biomarkers in the Sakhalin Slope can be used as a possible indicators which can

  2. Comparison of the physical and geotechnical properties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments from offshore India and other gas-hydrate-reservoir systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winters, William J.; Wilcox-Cline, R.W.; Long, P.; Dewri, S.K.; Kumar, P.; Stern, Laura A.; Kerr, Laura A.

    2014-01-01

    The sediment characteristics of hydrate-bearing reservoirs profoundly affect the formation, distribution, and morphology of gas hydrate. The presence and type of gas, porewater chemistry, fluid migration, and subbottom temperature may govern the hydrate formation process, but it is the host sediment that commonly dictates final hydrate habit, and whether hydrate may be economically developed.In this paper, the physical properties of hydrate-bearing regions offshore eastern India (Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi Basins) and the Andaman Islands, determined from Expedition NGHP-01 cores, are compared to each other, well logs, and published results of other hydrate reservoirs. Properties from the hydrate-free Kerala-Konkan basin off the west coast of India are also presented. Coarser-grained reservoirs (permafrost-related and marine) may contain high gas-hydrate-pore saturations, while finer-grained reservoirs may contain low-saturation disseminated or more complex gas-hydrates, including nodules, layers, and high-angle planar and rotational veins. However, even in these fine-grained sediments, gas hydrate preferentially forms in coarser sediment or fractures, when present. The presence of hydrate in conjunction with other geologic processes may be responsible for sediment porosity being nearly uniform for almost 500 m off the Andaman Islands.Properties of individual NGHP-01 wells and regional trends are discussed in detail. However, comparison of marine and permafrost-related Arctic reservoirs provides insight into the inter-relationships and common traits between physical properties and the morphology of gas-hydrate reservoirs regardless of location. Extrapolation of properties from one location to another also enhances our understanding of gas-hydrate reservoir systems. Grain size and porosity effects on permeability are critical, both locally to trap gas and regionally to provide fluid flow to hydrate reservoirs. Index properties corroborate more advanced

  3. Microbial methane formation in deep aquifers of a coal-bearing sedimentary basin, Germany

    PubMed Central

    Gründger, Friederike; Jiménez, Núria; Thielemann, Thomas; Straaten, Nontje; Lüders, Tillmann; Richnow, Hans-Hermann; Krüger, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Coal-bearing sediments are major reservoirs of organic matter potentially available for methanogenic subsurface microbial communities. In this study the specific microbial community inside lignite-bearing sedimentary basin in Germany and its contribution to methanogenic hydrocarbon degradation processes was investigated. The stable isotope signature of methane measured in groundwater and coal-rich sediment samples indicated methanogenic activity. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed the presence of methanogenic Archaea, predominantly belonging to the orders Methanosarcinales and Methanomicrobiales, capable of acetoclastic or hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. Furthermore, we identified fermenting, sulfate-, nitrate-, and metal-reducing, or acetogenic Bacteria clustering within the phyla Proteobacteria, complemented by members of the classes Actinobacteria, and Clostridia. The indigenous microbial communities found in the groundwater as well as in the coal-rich sediments are able to degrade coal-derived organic components and to produce methane as the final product. Lignite-bearing sediments may be an important nutrient and energy source influencing larger compartments via groundwater transport. PMID:25852663

  4. A novel alveolate in bivalves with chemosynthetic bacteria inhabiting deep-sea methane seeps.

    PubMed

    Noguchi, Fumiya; Kawato, Masaru; Yoshida, Takao; Fujiwara, Yoshihiro; Fujikura, Katsunori; Takishita, Kiyotaka

    2013-01-01

    It has recently been unveiled that a wide variety of microbial eukaryotes (protists) occur in chemosynthetic ecosystems, such as hydrothermal vents and methane seeps. However, there is little knowledge regarding protists associated with endemic animals inhabiting these environments. In the present study, utilizing PCR techniques, we detected fragments of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rRNA gene) from a particular protist from gill tissues of a significant fraction of the vesicomyid clams Calyptogena soyoae and C. okutanii complex and of the mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons and B. japonicus, all of which harbor chemosynthetic endosymbiont bacteria and dominate methane seeps in Sagami Bay, Japan. Based on the phylogeny of SSU rRNA gene, the organism in question was shown to belong to Alveolata. It is noteworthy that this protist did not affiliate with any known alveolate group, although being deeply branched within the lineage of Syndiniales, for which the monophyly was constantly recovered, but not robustly supported. In addition, the protist detected using PCR followed by sequencing was localized within gill epithelial cells of B. platifrons with whole-mount fluorescence in situ hybridization. This protist may be an endoparasite or an endocommensal of Calyptogena spp. and Bathymodiolus spp., and possibly have physiological and ecological impacts on these bivalves. PMID:23316697

  5. Isotopic analysis of methane by Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (CRDS) Application to the deep-sea Congolobe fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caprais, J.; Cathalot, C.; de Prunelé, A.; Ruffine, L.; Cassarino, L.; Le Bruchec, J.; Olu, K.; Rabouille, C.

    2013-12-01

    Channeling all the continental material exported from the Congo River to the terminal lobes, the Congo deep-sea fan constitutes an unrecognized hotspot for biology and biogeochemistry in the Atlantic Ocean. Assemblages of benthic ecosystems in this peculiar environment mimic the ones observed only in active cold-seep regions. Massive organic matter inputs from the Congo canyon likely induce a sedimentary production of reduced fluids bearing sulphide and methane. These reduced compounds may support the development of bacterial mats based on chemo-autotrophy and the presence of biological communities feeding on these mats, as already observed in sediment from the lobe zone. Yet, the processes and driving forces controlling the structure of benthic communities in the lobe of the Congo submarine canyon are still poorly understood. Isotopic fractionations occurring during methanogenesis (depletion), thermic alteration of organic matter (enrichment), and microbial anaerobic oxidation (enrichment) lead to distinct δ13CH4 signatures 1,2. Hence, stable methane isotopes are increasingly being used to determine methane source in the surrounding sediments and infer the gas provenance 3. In the frame of the Congolobe project, this study investigates the functioning of benthic communities in relation with the main environmental conditions. Specifically, it focuses on the applicability of the stable methane isotopes (δ13CH4) in understanding the sediment processes involved and the metabolism of the benthic ecosystems (chemo-autotrophy vs heterotrophy). A total of 5 sites (A, B, C, E, F) were investigated, at a water depth of approximately 5000 m. Three sites (A,F,C) were located along the main axis of the currently active lobe. Site B was located on a lobe which has been disconnected from the active canyon for several decades. Site E corresponds to a fossil lobe, and is taken as a reference station for hemipelagic deposition. At site C, sediment cores of ~20 cm length were

  6. Concept of Methane Hydrate System in the eastern Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagakubo, S.; Fujii, T.; Noguchi, S.; Kawasaki, T.

    2008-12-01

    By the study of the Phase 1 (FY2001-2008) of the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21 Research Consortium), MH21 Research Consortium showed that methane hydrates pore-filled in sandy sediments had a potential to develop in the future. It is important to clarify the accumulation mechanism and processes of methane hydrates pore-filled in sandy sediment because it would contribute to explore new methane hydrate field to develop other than the eastern Nankai Trough in the future. Therefore Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), as a member of MH21 Research Consortium, has been constructing a concept of Methane Hydrate System (methane generation and migration, MH formation and dissociation) with methane hydrates pore-filled in sandy sediment. We extracted critical elements and executed processes to summarize Methane Hydrate System in the eastern Nankai Trough by reviewing past geochemical analysis, well logs and core analyses, seismic interpretations, and laboratory studies for the eastern Nankai Trough. We also conducted case studies using 1D and 2D numerical simulators developed for the clarification of methane hydrate accumulation mechanism. It was determined that there are still many unsolved issues as listed below though we try to construct a concept of Methane Hydrate System in the eastern Nankai Trough. 1.Methane source and migration -methane-dominant generation depth -methane generation rate. -driving forces of methane migration 2.Occurrences and distribution -occurrences and distribution of methane hydrates other than methane hydrates pore-filled in sandy sediment. -methane-bearing fluid condition (properties, distribution) below methane hydrate bearing zones. 3.Relation between seafloor phenomena and methane hydrate occurences. 4.Impact of geohistory and sea level (water depth) change to methane hydrate accumulation. New investigation surveys (drilling and geological/geochemical surveys on seafloor) are required to

  7. Controls on the physical properties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments because of the interaction between gas hydrate and porous media

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.; Collett, Timothy S.

    2005-01-01

    Physical properties of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments depend on the pore-scale interaction between gas hydrate and porous media as well as the amount of gas hydrate present. Well log measurements such as proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation and electromagnetic propagation tool (EPT) techniques depend primarily on the bulk volume of gas hydrate in the pore space irrespective of the pore-scale interaction. However, elastic velocities or permeability depend on how gas hydrate is distributed in the pore space as well as the amount of gas hydrate. Gas-hydrate saturations estimated from NMR and EPT measurements are free of adjustable parameters; thus, the estimations are unbiased estimates of gas hydrate if the measurement is accurate. However, the amount of gas hydrate estimated from elastic velocities or electrical resistivities depends on many adjustable parameters and models related to the interaction of gas hydrate and porous media, so these estimates are model dependent and biased. NMR, EPT, elastic-wave velocity, electrical resistivity, and permeability measurements acquired in the Mallik 5L-38 well in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada, show that all of the well log evaluation techniques considered provide comparable gas-hydrate saturations in clean (low shale content) sandstone intervals with high gas-hydrate saturations. However, in shaly intervals, estimates from log measurement depending on the pore-scale interaction between gas hydrate and host sediments are higher than those estimates from measurements depending on the bulk volume of gas hydrate.

  8. Rock magnetic characterization of ferrimagnetic iron sulfides in gas hydrate-bearing marine sediments at Site C0008, Nankai Trough, Pacific Ocean, off-coast Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kars, Myriam; Kodama, Kazuto

    2015-07-01

    A high-resolution rock magnetic study was carried out in Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 316 Hole C0008A located in the Megasplay Fault Zone of the Nankai Trough, SW offshore Japan, in order to document changes in magnetic properties throughout gas hydrate-bearing horizons. A total of 169 Pleistocene discrete samples were collected from ~110 to 153 m core depth below sea floor (CSF), and their magnetic minerals concentration, grain size, composition, and rock magnetic parameters were estimated. Results showed the presence of iron oxides ((titano)-magnetite), iron sulfides (greigite and pyrrhotite), and their mixture, among which single-domain greigite is the most major magnetic mineral present in the samples. Two horizons containing ferrimagnetic iron sulfides (114.5-127.5 and 129.5-150 m CSF) covering almost the entire studied interval were identified, both associated with slight local pore water anomalies, suggesting occurrence of gas hydrates and anoxic conditions. These results are different from the neighboring Hole C0008C (215 m away from Hole C0008A) where four pore water anomalies and six iron sulfide-rich intervals were identified for the same time slice. Comparison of the lithology, physical properties, and geochemical data of the two boreholes at Site C0008 suggests that a combination of processes (e.g., availability of reactive iron, microbial activity) is responsible for such laterally varying distribution of the ferrimagnetic iron sulfides.

  9. The importance of methane and thiosulfate in the metabolism of the bacterial symbionts of two deep-sea mussels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, C.R.; Childress, J.J.; Oremland, R.S.; Bidigare, R.R.

    1987-01-01

    Undescribed hydrocarbon-seep mussels were collected from the Louisiana Slope, Gulf of Mexico, during March 1986, and the ultrastructure of their gills was examined and compared to Bathymodiolus thermophilus, a mussel collected from the deep-sea hydrothermal vents on the Gala??pagos Rift in March 1985. These closely related mytilids both contain abundant symbiotic bacteria in their gills. However, the bacteria from the two species are distinctly different in both morphology and biochemistry, and are housed differently within the gills of the two mussels. The symbionts from the seep mussel are larger than the symbionts from B. thermophilus and, unlike the latter, contain stacked intracytoplasmic membranes. In the seep mussel three or fewer symbionts appear to be contained in each host-cell vacuole, while in B. thermophilus there are often more than twenty bacteria visible in a single section through a vacuole. The methanotrophic nature of the seep-mussel symbionts was confirmed in 14C-methane uptake experiments by the appearance of label in both CO2 and acid-stable, non-volatile, organic compounds after a 3 h incubation of isolated gill tissue. Furthermore, methane consumption was correlated with methanol dehydrogenase activity in isolated gill tissue. Activity of ribulose-1,5-biphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase and 14CO2 assimilation studies indicate the presence of either a second type of symbiont or contaminating bacteria on the gills of freshly captured seep mussels. A reevaluation of the nutrition of the symbionts in B. thermophilus indicates that while the major symbiont is not a methanotroph, its status as a sulfur-oxidizing chemoautotroph, as has been suggested previously, is far from proven. ?? 1987 Springer-Verlag.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Methane exsolution due to carbon dioxide injection in deep saline reservoirs: Implications for geologic carbon sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oldenburg, C. M.; Doughty, C.; Spycher, N.

    2013-12-01

    Deep saline formations targeted for geologic carbon sequestration, especially in areas known for hydrocarbon production, may contain significant concentrations of dissolved CH4. As CO2 enters the formation water either in its free phase or dissolved forms, CH4 tends to exsolve from the water, potentially causing complications for geologic carbon sequestration. We have used numerical simulation with TOUGH2/EOS7C to investigate the process of CH4 exsolution caused by CO2 injection into deep formations containing water saturated with CH4. We validated the solubility model in TOUGH2/EOS7C against published measurements of solubility and corresponding Henry's Law coefficients which show that CO2 and CH4 solubilities actually increase with dissolution of the other component. Exsolution occurs because the partial pressures exerted by dissolved CO2 and CH4 in water exceed the static pressure, which can lead to the formation of a CH4-rich gas phase. We verified our results against a previously published one-dimensional test problem, and investigated the effects of numerical dispersion on the process. In 2D radial simulations of a model system, we found that highly concentrated CH4 gas regions form at the leading edge of the CO2 injection front, but the gas saturations in such regions are small. Because the gas saturations are small in the CH4-rich gas regions in the generic system studied here, (1) CH4 exsolution does not appear to be a problem for seismic monitoring of CO2 plumes, (2) reservoir pressurization due to dilution of supercritical CO2 by CH4 does not appear to be a concern, and (3) relative permeability is not strongly reduced.

  13. Methane Content and Distribution of Natural Gas Hydrate Accumulations in the Deep-Water Basins of the Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barth, G. A.; Scholl, D. W.; Childs, J. R.

    2005-12-01

    Seismic reflection images from the deep-water (>3500 m) Aleutian and Bowers Basins of the Bering Sea indicate an abundant presence of natural gas and gas hydrate. Distinctive velocity-amplitude anomalies, or VAMPs, stand out as both velocity pseudostructures and gas bright spots within the otherwise horizontal and uniform sedimentary reflection sequences. These are interpreted as methane chimneys overlain by interstitial gas hydrate caps. Hundreds of VAMPs have been imaged throughout the Bering Sea; several thousand are inferred to exist. Ongoing USGS development of an interpretive seismic database presents an opportunity to quantify the hydrate content of individual VAMPs and to explore the distribution of major and minor anomalies relative to basement topography, silica diagenesis features, ancient subduction boundary structures and sediment sources. We present quantitative estimates of the size and methane content of representative large VAMP structures, based on seismic reflection interval-time anomalies. Time-average and frame-component effective medium velocity models are used to relate hydrate concentration to velocity anomaly. For this specific case, differences between the two models are minimal for hydrate concentrations <35% of pore space. To facilitate modeling of sediment dominated by diatomaceous ooze, grain-scale elastic moduli for diatom frustules are back-calculated to be ~5 GPa, assuming shear and bulk modulus are equal. Maximum velocity anomaly observed within the VAMPs is +235 m/s in the hydrate zone, relative to a background P-wave velocity of 1600 m/s. This corresponds to hydrate concentration ~40% of pore space (or ~20% of bulk rock). Hydrate distribution appears to be lithologically controlled within a section of alternating turbidite and diatomaceous sediments. It is preferentially located in a zone ~40 to 90 m above the gas hydrate BSR. Free gas is most concentrated immediately below the hydrate BSR, which lies at ~360 m bsf. Evidence for

  14. Preparation of a nitro-substituted tris(indolyl)methane modified silica in deep eutectic solvents for solid-phase extraction of organic acids.

    PubMed

    Wang, Na; Wang, Jiamin; Liao, Yuan; Shao, Shijun

    2016-05-01

    A new sorbent for solid-phase extraction was synthesized by chemical immobilization of nitro-substituted tris(indolyl)methane on silica in new and green deep eutectic solvents. Elemental analysis results indicated that deep eutectic solvents could be an alternative to the traditional solvents in preparing nitro-substituted tris(indolyl)methane modified silica. Coupled with high performance liquid chromatography, the extraction performance of the sorbent was evaluated by using four organic acids as model analytes. The rebinding experiments results showed that the nitro-substituted tris(indolyl)methane modified silica sorbent had a good adsorption capacity towards the selected organic acids. Under the appropriate experimental conditions, good precision and wide linear ranges with coefficient of determination (R(2)) of higher than 0.9957 were obtained, and the limits of detection were in the range of 0.50-2.0μgL(-1) for the organic acids tested. The developed solid-phase extraction-high performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection (SPE-HPLC-DAD) method was successfully applied for the determination of organic acids in two drinking samples with recoveries ranging from 76.7% to 110.0% and 67.7% to 104.0% for all the selected organic acids, respectively. PMID:26946003

  15. Noble gases, nitrogen, and methane from the deep interior to the atmosphere of Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glein, Christopher R.

    2015-04-01

    Titan's thick N2-CH4 atmosphere is unlike any in the Solar System, and its origin has been shrouded in mystery for over half a century. Here, I perform a detailed analysis of chemical and isotopic data from the Cassini-Huygens mission to develop the hypothesis that Titan's (non-photochemical) atmospheric gases came from deep within. It is suggested that Titan's CH4, N2, and noble gases originated in a rocky core buried inside the giant satellite, and hydrothermal and cryovolcanic processes were critical to the creation of Titan's atmosphere. Mass balance and chemical equilibrium calculations demonstrate that all aspects of this hypothesis can be considered geochemically plausible with respect to contemporary observational, experimental, and theoretical knowledge. Specifically, I show that a rocky core with a bulk noble gas content similar to that in CI carbonaceous meteorites would contain sufficient 36Ar and 22Ne to explain their reported abundances. I also show that Henry's law constants for noble gases in relevant condensed phases can be correlated with the size of their atoms, which leads to expected mixing ratios for 84Kr (∼0.2 ppbv) and 132Xe (∼0.01 ppbv) that can explain why these species have yet to be detected (Huygens upper limit <10 ppbv). The outgassing of volatiles into Titan's atmosphere may be restricted by the stability of clathrate hydrates in Titan's interior. The noble gas geochemistry also provides significant new insights into the origin of N2 and CH4 on Titan, as I find that Ar and N2, and Kr and CH4 should exhibit similar phase partitioning behavior on Titan. One implication is that over 95% of Titan's N2 may still reside in the interior. Another key result is that the upper limit from the Huygens GC-MS on the Kr/CH4 ratio in Titan's atmosphere is far too low to be consistent with accretion of primordial CH4 clathrate, which motivates me to consider endogenic production of CH4 from CO2 as a result of geochemical reactions between liquid

  16. Changes in deep-sea carbonate-hosted microbial communities associated with high and low methane flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Case, D. H.; Steele, J. A.; Chadwick, G.; Mendoza, G. F.; Levin, L. A.; Orphan, V. J.

    2012-12-01

    Methane seeps on continental shelves are rich in authigenic carbonates built of methane-derived carbon. These authigenic carbonates are home to micro- and macroscopic communities whose compositions are thus far poorly constrained but are known to broadly depend on local methane flux. The formation of authigenic carbonates is itself a result of microbial metabolic activity, as associations of anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in the sediment subsurface increase both dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and alkalinity in pore waters. This 1:1 increase in DIC and alkalinity promotes the precipitation of authigenic carbonates. In this study, we performed in situ manipulations to test the response of micro- and macrofaunal communities to a change in methane flux. Methane-derived authigenic carbonates from two locations at Hydrate Ridge, OR, USA (depth range 595-604 mbsl), were transplanted from "active" cold seep sites (high methane flux) to "inactive" background sites (low methane flux), and vise versa, for one year. Community diversity surveys using T-RFLP and 16S rRNA clone libraries revealed how both bacterial and archaeal assemblages respond to this change in local environment, specifically demonstrating reproducible shifts in different ANME groups (ANME-1 vs. ANME-2). Animal assemblage composition also shifted during transplantation; gastropod representation increased (relative to control rocks) when substrates were moved from inactive to active sites and polychaete, crustacean and echinoderm representation increased when substrates were moved from active to inactive sites. Combined with organic and inorganic carbon δ13C measurements and mineralogy, this unique in situ experiment demonstrates that authigenic carbonates are viable habitats, hosting microbial and macrofaunal communities capable of responding to changes in external environment over relatively short time periods.

  17. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    SciTech Connect

    Donn McGuire; Thomas Williams; Bjorn Paulsson; Alexander Goertz

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a drilling hazard by the oil and gas industry for years. Drilling engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous problems, including drilling kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrates as a potential energy source agree that the resource potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained from physical samples taken from actual hydrate-bearing rocks. This gas-hydrate project is a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. The project team drilled and continuously cored the Hot Ice No. 1 well on Anadarko-leased acreage beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and used for determining physical characteristics of hydrates and surrounding rock. After the well was logged, a 3D vertical seismic profile (VSP) was recorded to calibrate the shallow geologic section with seismic data and to investigate techniques to better resolve lateral subsurface variations of potential hydrate-bearing strata. Paulsson Geophysical Services, Inc. deployed their 80 level 3C clamped borehole seismic receiver array in the wellbore to record samples every 25 ft. Seismic vibrators were successively positioned at 1185 different surface positions in a circular pattern around the wellbore. This technique generated a 3D image of the subsurface. Correlations were

  18. Laboratory controls of precursor and temperature on the kinetics and isotopic fractionations of microbial methane for deep subsurface environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, Y.; Lin, L.; Wang, P.; Sun, C.

    2009-12-01

    In subsurface environments, the mineralization of organic carbon involves complex interactions among geological and microbial processes. As the most reduced form and the shortest hydrocarbon chain, methane, is the final product of both microbial degradation and thermal-cracking of organic matter, it serves as the connection of carbon cycles between different reservoirs. Of various mechanisms for methane formation, microbial methane constitutes 85% of the total methane inventory investigated by far. However, the mechanisms and resultant carbon isotope fingerprints of methanogenesis in environments still remained largely unknown. The types of precursors and temperature might be the most critical factors governing methanogenesis. Lots of studies have been investigating the mechanisms responsible for methanogenesis by pure cultures, but it still remains obscure with regard to which precursors are predominantly utilized by methanogens in natural settings. The effect of temperature is especially prominent for anoxic sediments within which the temperature increases with depth in accordance with the local geotherm. Commonly observed temperatures for methanogenesis span from ambient temperature to 90OC, a temperature range for most diagenetic reactions. In order to address how different precursors would be activated for microbially catalytic methane formation upon different temperatures, we incubated the sediments collected from Kuan-Tzu-Ling hot spring at temperatures up to 90OC. Five precursors including acetate, formate, methanol, methylamine, and hydrogen were added with the inocula to stimulate methanogenesis and inhibit fermentation, and were monitored together with methane production through time. Results of this experiments indicated that methanogenesis was positive at temperatures from room temperature to 80OC and precursors investigated despite substantial variations in the maximum rates and yields. In the experiment supplied with hydrogen and formate

  19. Simulation of the advective methane transport and AOM in Shenhu area, the Northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, L.; Wu, N.

    2012-04-01

    Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane (AOM) occurs in the transition zone between the presence of sulfate and methane. This reaction is an important process for methane and the global carbon cycle. Methane gas hydrates bearing sediments were recovered in Shenhu Area, the Northern South China Sea, and methane advective transport was detected in this area as well. A one dimension numerical simulation tool was implemented to study the AOM process combined with the advective methane transport in Shenhu Area according to the local drilling data and geochemical information. The modeled results suggest that local methane flux will be consumed in the sediment column via dissolution, sorption and AOM reaction. A portion of methane will enter water column and possibly atmosphere if the methane flux was one order of magnitude higher than current level. Furthermore, the calculated rates of AOM in Shenhu area range similar to that of gas hydrate mounds in Mexico Golf. However, AOM is ability to consume more methane than that in Golf of Mexico due to the lower permeable sediment associated with a deeper sulfate methane transition layer.

  20. Using Carbon Dioxide to Enhance Recovery of Methane from Gas Hydrate Reservoirs: Final Summary Report

    SciTech Connect

    McGrail, B. Peter; Schaef, Herbert T.; White, Mark D.; Zhu, Tao; Kulkarni, Abhijeet S.; Hunter, Robert B.; Patil, Shirish L.; Owen, Antionette T.; Martin, P F.

    2007-09-01

    Carbon dioxide sequestration coupled with hydrocarbon resource recovery is often economically attractive. Use of CO2 for enhanced recovery of oil, conventional natural gas, and coal-bed methane are in various stages of common practice. In this report, we discuss a new technique utilizing CO2 for enhanced recovery of an unconventional but potentially very important source of natural gas, gas hydrate. We have focused our attention on the Alaska North Slope where approximately 640 Tcf of natural gas reserves in the form of gas hydrate have been identified. Alaska is also unique in that potential future CO2 sources are nearby, and petroleum infrastructure exists or is being planned that could bring the produced gas to market or for use locally. The EGHR (Enhanced Gas Hydrate Recovery) concept takes advantage of the physical and thermodynamic properties of mixtures in the H2O-CO2 system combined with controlled multiphase flow, heat, and mass transport processes in hydrate-bearing porous media. A chemical-free method is used to deliver a LCO2-Lw microemulsion into the gas hydrate bearing porous medium. The microemulsion is injected at a temperature higher than the stability point of methane hydrate, which upon contacting the methane hydrate decomposes its crystalline lattice and releases the enclathrated gas. Small scale column experiments show injection of the emulsion into a CH4 hydrate rich sand results in the release of CH4 gas and the formation of CO2 hydrate

  1. Deep-sea survey for the detection of methane at the “Santa Maria di Leuca” cold-water coral mounds (Ionian Sea, South Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etiope, G.; Savini, A.; Lo Bue, N.; Favali, P.; Corselli, C.

    2010-03-01

    The "Santa Maria di Leuca" Cold-Water Coral (CWC) province (northern Ionian Sea) was investigated for the first time to detect eventual occurrence of methane anomalies as a possible indication of hydrocarbon seepage stimulating the coral growth. Most coral mounds have developed in correspondence with tectonic scarps and faults, orthogonal to the southern margin and trending NW-SE, which could be potential sites of gas escape. A visual and instrumental inspection was performed by using a new deep-sea probe equipped with video-cameras, sonar, CTD, methane sensors, and a water sampler. Eight areas were explored by 10 surveys, depths ranging from 380 to 1100 m, for a total of more than 26 h of continuous video and instrumental recording. Sediments were also sampled by gravity corers and analysed in laboratory. The images allowed to assess distribution, abundance and geometry of the colonies, most of which are developed on morphological highs often characterised by tectonic scarps. All data indicate however the lack of a significant occurrence of methane, both in seawater and sediments. No direct or indirect expressions of gas seepage were recognised on the seabed. Weak methane anomalies were detected only in seawater at the base of some fault-linked scarps, where more reducing conditions and bacterial methanogenesis are possibly enhanced by less water circulation. The faults are not fluid-bearing as previously suggested by high-resolution geophysical signatures. The development of the coral colonies thus cannot be attributed to seeping fluids, but to a favourable physiographic position with exposure to nutrient-rich currents.

  2. Estimates of Biogenic Methane Production Rates in Deep Marine Sediments at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Margin ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Colwell, F. S.; Boyd, S.; Delwiche, M. E.; Reed, D. W.; Phelps, T. J.; Newby, D. T.

    2008-01-01

    Methane hydrate found in marine sediments is thought to contain gigaton quantities of methane and is considered an important potential fuel source and climate-forcing agent. Much of the methane in hydrates is biogenic, so models that predict the presence and distribution of hydrates require accurate rates of in situ methanogenesis. We estimated the in situ methanogenesis rates in Hydrate Ridge (HR) sediments by coupling experimentally derived minimal rates of methanogenesis to methanogen biomass determinations for discrete locations in the sediment column. When starved in a biomass recycle reactor, Methanoculleus submarinus produced ca. 0.017 fmol methane/cell/day. Quantitative PCR (QPCR) directed at the methyl coenzyme M reductase subunit A gene (mcrA) indicated that 75% of the HR sediments analyzed contained <1,000 methanogens/g. The highest numbers of methanogens were found mostly from sediments <10 m below seafloor. By considering methanogenesis rates for starved methanogens (adjusted to account for in situ temperatures) and the numbers of methanogens at selected depths, we derived an upper estimate of <4.25 fmol methane produced/g sediment/day for the samples with fewer methanogens than the QPCR method could detect. The actual rates could vary depending on the real number of methanogens and various seafloor parameters that influence microbial activity. However, our calculated rate is lower than rates previously reported for such sediments and close to the rate derived using geochemical modeling of the sediments. These data will help to improve models that predict microbial gas generation in marine sediments and determine the potential influence of this source of methane on the global carbon cycle. PMID:18344348

  3. Basin-Scale Modeling of Methane Hydrate Accumulations in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nole, M.; Daigle, H.; Mohanty, K. K.

    2014-12-01

    Walker Ridge Block 313 in the northern Gulf of Mexico has been investigated recently through a logging-while-drilling program and seismic data acquisition to assess the distribution and abundance of methane hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs. The data indicate that lithological heterogeneity in the region exerts control on the spatial distribution of hydrate, promoting short (diffusive) migration of methane from fine-grained intervals into hydrate-bearing sands. To better understand the mechanisms governing the formation and distribution of methane hydrate in marine sediments such as these, we employ a basin-scale reservoir model. We modified a methane hydrate reservoir simulator to include the effects of basin sedimentation, pore water salinity, and microbial methanogenesis. The output of the model is compared to well-characterized methane hydrate distributions at Walker Ridge in the Gulf of Mexico. Our approach employs new methods for determining pore-scale properties. Rather than using empirical formulas that approximate the permeability distribution with depth as a function of compaction porosity, we constrain input permeability directly from analysis of downhole logs. Pore size is determined using a similar method and is used to constrain hydrate equilibrium conditions. Given the expected sand/clay pore size contrast at WR 313 (factor of roughly 3), the dissolved methane concentration gradient between sands and clays caused by their pore size difference is relatively small. This manifests in slower hydrate formation in sands at shallower intervals, with hydrate forming more rapidly deeper in the section due to the diffusive gradients being enhanced by greater spatial solubility gradients. This work is an important step in furthering our ability to properly predict subsurface methane hydrate distributions.

  4. Amplitude versus offset analysis to marine seismic data acquired in Nankai Trough, offshore Japan where methane hydrate exists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hato, M.; Inamori, T.; Matsuoka, T.; Shimizu, S.

    2003-04-01

    Occurrence of methane hydrates in the Nankai Trough, located off the south-eastern coast of Japan, was confirmed by the exploratory test well drilling conducted by Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1999. Confirmation of methane hydrate has given so big impact to the Japan's future energy strategy and scientific and technological interest was derived from the information of the coring and logging results at the well. Following the above results, Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC) launched the national project, named as MH21, for establishing the technology of methane hydrate exploration and related technologies such as production and development. As one of the research project for evaluating the total amount of the methane hydrate, Amplitude versus Offset (AVO) was applied to the seismic data acquired in the Nankai Trough area. The main purpose of the AVO application is to evaluate the validity of delineation of methane hydrate-bearing zones. Since methane hydrate is thought to accompany with free-gas in general just below the methane hydrate-bearing zones, the AVO has a possibility of describing the presence of free-gas. The free-gas is thought to be located just below the base of methane hydrate stability zone which is characterized by the Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) on the seismic section. In this sense, AVO technology, which was developed as gas delineation tools, can be utilized for methane hydrate exploration. The result of AVO analysis clearly shows gas-related anomaly below the BSRs. Appearance of the AVO anomaly has so wide variety. Some of the anomalies might not correspond to the free-gas existence, however, some of them may show free-gas. We are now going to develop methodology to clearly discriminate free-gas from non-gas zone by integrating various types of seismic methods such as seismic inversion and seismic attribute analysis.

  5. Geological modeling for methane hydrate reservoir characterization in the eastern Nankai Trough, offshore Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamaki, M.; Komatsu, Y.; Suzuki, K.; Takayama, T.; Fujii, T.

    2012-12-01

    The eastern Nankai trough, which is located offshore of central Japan, is considered as an attractive potential resource field of methane hydrates. Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation is planning to conduct a production test in early 2013 at the AT1 site in the north slope of Daini-Atsumi Knoll in the eastern Nankai Trough. The depositional environment of methane hydrate-bearing sediments around the production test site is a deep submarine-fan turbidite system, and it is considered that the reservoir properties should show lateral as well as vertical heterogeneity. Since the variations in the reservoir heterogeneity have an impact on the methane hydrate dissociation and gas production performance, precise geological models describing reservoir heterogeneity would be required for the evaluation of reservoir potentials. In preparation for the production test, 3 wells; two monitoring boreholes (AT1-MC and AT1-MT1) and a coring well (AT1-C), were newly acquired in 2012. In addition to a geotechnical hole drilling survey in 2011 (AT1-GT), totally log data from 2 wells and core data from 2 wells were obtained around the production test site. In this study, we conducted well correlations between AT1 and A1 wells drilled in 2003 and then, 3D geological models were updated including AT1 well data in order to refine hydrate reservoir characterization around the production test site. The results of the well correlations show that turbidite sand layers are characterized by good lateral continuity, and give significant information for the distribution morphology of sand-rich channel fills. We also reviewed previously conducted 3D geological models which consist of facies distributions and petrophysical properties distributions constructed from integration of 3D seismic data and a well data (A1 site) adopting a geostatistical approach. In order to test the practical validity of the previously generated models, cross-validation was conducted using AT1 well data. The

  6. Authigenic carbonates related to active seepage of methane-rich hot brines at the Cheops mud volcano, Menes caldera (Nile deep-sea fan, eastern Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, Catherine; Bayon, Germain; Blanc-Valleron, Marie-Madeleine; Mascle, Jean; Dupré, Stéphanie

    2014-06-01

    On the passive margin of the Nile deep-sea fan, the active Cheops mud volcano (MV; ca. 1,500 m diameter, ~20-30 m above seafloor, 3,010-3,020 m water depth) comprises a crater lake with hot (up to ca. 42 °C) methane-rich muddy brines in places overflowing down the MV flanks. During the Medeco2 cruise in fall 2007, ROV dives enabled detailed sampling of the brine fluid, bottom lake sediments at ca. 450 m lake depth, sub-surface sediments from the MV flanks, and carbonate crusts at the MV foot. Based on mineralogical, elemental and stable isotope analyses, this study aims at exploring the origin of the brine fluid and the key biogeochemical processes controlling the formation of these deep-sea authigenic carbonates. In addition to their patchy occurrence in crusts outcropping at the seafloor, authigenic carbonates occur as small concretions disseminated within sub-seafloor sediments, as well as in the bottom sediments and muddy brine of the crater lake. Aragonite and Mg-calcite dominate in the carbonate crusts and in sub-seafloor concretions at the MV foot, whereas Mg-calcite, dolomite and ankerite dominate in the muddy brine lake and in sub-seafloor concretions near the crater rim. The carbonate crusts and sub-seafloor concretions at the MV foot precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with bottom seawater temperature; their low δ13C values (-42.6 to -24.5‰) indicate that anaerobic oxidation of methane was the main driver of carbonate precipitation. By contrast, carbonates from the muddy lake brine, bottom lake concretions and crater rim concretions display much higher δ13C (up to -5.2‰) and low δ18O values (down to -2.8‰); this is consistent with their formation in warm fluids of deep origin characterized by 13C-rich CO2 and, as confirmed by independent evidence, slightly higher heavy rare earth element signatures, the main driver of carbonate precipitation being methanogenesis. Moreover, the benthic activity within the seafloor sediment enhances aerobic

  7. Methane Hydrates: Chapter 8

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boswell, Ray; Yamamoto, Koji; Lee, Sung-Rock; Collett, Timothy S.; Kumar, Pushpendra; Dallimore, Scott

    2008-01-01

    Gas hydrate is a solid, naturally occurring substance consisting predominantly of methane gas and water. Recent scientific drilling programs in Japan, Canada, the United States, Korea and India have demonstrated that gas hydrate occurs broadly and in a variety of forms in shallow sediments of the outer continental shelves and in Arctic regions. Field, laboratory and numerical modelling studies conducted to date indicate that gas can be extracted from gas hydrates with existing production technologies, particularly for those deposits in which the gas hydrate exists as pore-filling grains at high saturation in sand-rich reservoirs. A series of regional resource assessments indicate that substantial volumes of gas hydrate likely exist in sand-rich deposits. Recent field programs in Japan, Canada and in the United States have demonstrated the technical viability of methane extraction from gas-hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs and have investigated a range of potential production scenarios. At present, basic reservoir depressurisation shows the greatest promise and can be conducted using primarily standard industry equipment and procedures. Depressurisation is expected to be the foundation of future production systems; additional processes, such as thermal stimulation, mechanical stimulation and chemical injection, will likely also be integrated as dictated by local geological and other conditions. An innovative carbon dioxide and methane swapping technology is also being studied as a method to produce gas from select gas hydrate deposits. In addition, substantial additional volumes of gas hydrate have been found in dense arrays of grain-displacing veins and nodules in fine-grained, clay-dominated sediments; however, to date, no field tests, and very limited numerical modelling, have been conducted with regard to the production potential of such accumulations. Work remains to further refine: (1) the marine resource volumes within potential accumulations that can be

  8. The German collaborative project SUGAR Utilization of a natural treasure - Developing innovative techniques for the exploration and production of natural gas from hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haeckel, M.; Bialas, J.; Wallmann, K. J.

    2009-12-01

    Gas hydrates occur in nature at all active and passive continental margins as well as in permafrost regions, and vast amounts of natural gas are bound in those deposits. Geologists estimate that twice as much carbon is bound in gas hydrates than in any other fossil fuel reservoir, such as gas, oil and coal. Hence, natural gas hydrates represent a huge potential energy resource that, in addition, could be utilized in a CO2-neutral and therefore environmentally friendly manner. However, the utilization of this natural treasure is not as easy as the conventional production of oil or natural gas and calls for new and innovative techniques. In the framework of the large-scale collaborative research project SUGAR (Submarine Deposits of Gas Hydrates - Exploration, Production and Transportation), we aim to produce gas from methane hydrates and to sequester carbon dioxide from power plants and other industrial sources as CO2 hydrates in the same host sediments. Thus, the SUGAR project addresses two of the most pressing and challenging topics of our time: development of alternative energy strategies and greenhouse gas mitigation techniques. The SUGAR project is funded by two federal German ministries and the German industry for an initial period of three years. In the framework of this project new technologies starting from gas hydrate exploration techniques over drilling technologies and innovative gas production methods to CO2 storage in gas hydrates and gas transportation technologies will be developed and tested. Beside the performance of experiments, numerical simulation studies will generate data regarding the methane production and CO2 sequestration in the natural environment. Reservoir modelling with respect to gas hydrate formation and development of migration pathways complete the project. This contribution will give detailed information about the planned project parts and first results with focus on the production methods.

  9. Gas hydrate formation rates from dissolved-phase methane in porous laboratory specimens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waite, William F.; Spangenberg, E.K.

    2013-01-01

    Marine sands highly saturated with gas hydrates are potential energy resources, likely forming from methane dissolved in pore water. Laboratory fabrication of gas hydrate-bearing sands formed from dissolved-phase methane usually requires 1–2 months to attain the high hydrate saturations characteristic of naturally occurring energy resource targets. A series of gas hydrate formation tests, in which methane-supersaturated water circulates through 100, 240, and 200,000 cm3 vessels containing glass beads or unconsolidated sand, show that the rate-limiting step is dissolving gaseous-phase methane into the circulating water to form methane-supersaturated fluid. This implies that laboratory and natural hydrate formation rates are primarily limited by methane availability. Developing effective techniques for dissolving gaseous methane into water will increase formation rates above our observed (1 ± 0.5) × 10−7 mol of methane consumed for hydrate formation per minute per cubic centimeter of pore space, which corresponds to a hydrate saturation increase of 2 ± 1% per day, regardless of specimen size.

  10. Relative abundances of methane- and sulfur-oxidizing symbionts in gills of the deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus under pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szafranski, Kamil M.; Piquet, Bérénice; Shillito, Bruce; Lallier, François H.; Duperron, Sébastien

    2015-07-01

    The deep-sea mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus dominates hydrothermal vent fauna in the Azores region. The gills of this species house methane- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria that fulfill most of the mussel's nutritional requirements. Previous studies suggested that the ratio between methane- and sulfur-oxidizers could vary in response to the availability of electron donors in their environment, and this flexibility is considered a key factor in explaining the ecological success of the species. However, previous studies were based on non-isobaric recovery of specimens, with experiments at atmospheric pressure which may have induced artifacts. This study investigates the effect of pressure-related stress during recovery and experimentation on the relative abundances of bacterial symbionts. Mussel specimens were recovered for the first time using the pressure-maintaining device PERISCOP. Specimens were subsequently transferred into pressurized vessels and exposed to various chemical conditions. Using optimized fluorescence in situ hybridization-based approaches, relative abundance of symbionts were measured. Our results show that the recovery method (isobaric versus non-isobaric) does not influence the abundances of bacterial symbionts. Significant differences occur among specimens sampled from two contrasting sites. Exposure of mussels from the deeper site to sulfide and bicarbonate, and to bicarbonate alone, both resulted in a rapid and significant increase in the relative abundance of sulfur-oxidizers. Results reported herein are congruent with those from previous reports investigating mussels originating from shallow sites and kept at ambient pressure. Isobaric recovery and maintenance allowed us to perform in vivo experiments in specimens from a deeper site that could not be maintained alive at ambient pressure, and will greatly improve the chances of identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying the dialogue between bathymodioline hosts and symbionts.

  11. Gas hydrate formation in the deep sea: In situ experiments with controlled release of methane, natural gas, and carbon dioxide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brewer, P.G.; Orr, F.M., Jr.; Friederich, G.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Orange, D.L.

    1998-01-01

    We have utilized a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to initiate a program of research into gas hydrate formation in the deep sea by controlled release of hydrocarbon gases and liquid CO2 into natural sea water and marine sediments. Our objectives were to investigate the formation rates and growth patterns of gas hydrates in natural systems and to assess the geochemical stability of the reaction products over time. The novel experimental procedures used the carrying capacity, imaging capability, and control mechanisms of the ROV to transport gas cylinders to depth and to open valves selectively under desired P-T conditions to release the gas either into contained natural sea water or into sediments. In experiments in Monterey Bay, California, at 910 m depth and 3.9??C water temperature we find hydrate formation to be nearly instantaneous for a variety of gases. In sediments the pattern of hydrate formation is dependent on the pore size, with flooding of the pore spaces in a coarse sand yielding a hydrate cemented mass, and gas channeling in a fine-grained mud creating a veined hydrate structure. In experiments with liquid CO2 the released globules appeared to form a hydrate skin as they slowly rose in the apparatus. An initial attempt to leave the experimental material on the sea floor for an extended period was partially successful; we observed an apparent complete dissolution of the liquid CO2 mass, and an apparent consolidation of the CH4 hydrate, over a period of about 85 days.

  12. Anomalous preservation of pure methane hydrate at 1 atm

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stern, L.A.; Circone, S.; Kirby, S.H.; Durham, W.B.

    2001-01-01

    Direct measurement of decomposition rates of pure, polycrystalline methane hydrate reveals a thermal regime where methane hydrate metastably `preserves' in bulk by as much as 75 K above its nominal equilibrium temperature (193 K at 1 atm). Rapid release of the sample pore pressure at isothermal conditions between 242 and 271 K preserves up to 93% of the hydrate for at least 24 h, reflecting the greatly suppressed rates of dissociation that characterize this regime. Subsequent warming through the H2O ice point then induces rapid and complete dissociation, allowing controlled recovery of the total expected gas yield. This behavior is in marked contrast to that exhibited by methane hydrate at both colder (193-240 K) and warmer (272-290 K) test conditions, where dissociation rates increase monotonically with increasing temperature. Anomalous preservation has potential application for successful retrieval of natural gas hydrate or hydrate-bearing sediments from remote settings, as well as for temporary low-pressure transport and storage of natural gas.

  13. Electrical properties of methane hydrate + sediment mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du Frane, Wyatt L.; Stern, Laura A.; Constable, Steven; Weitemeyer, Karen A.; Smith, Megan M.; Roberts, Jeffery J.

    2015-07-01

    Knowledge of the electrical properties of multicomponent systems with gas hydrate, sediments, and pore water is needed to help relate electromagnetic (EM) measurements to specific gas hydrate concentration and distribution patterns in nature. Toward this goal, we built a pressure cell capable of measuring in situ electrical properties of multicomponent systems such that the effects of individual components and mixing relations can be assessed. We first established the temperature-dependent electrical conductivity (σ) of pure, single-phase methane hydrate to be ~5 orders of magnitude lower than seawater, a substantial contrast that can help differentiate hydrate deposits from significantly more conductive water-saturated sediments in EM field surveys. Here we report σ measurements of two-component systems in which methane hydrate is mixed with variable amounts of quartz sand or glass beads. Sand by itself has low σ but is found to increase the overall σ of mixtures with well-connected methane hydrate. Alternatively, the overall σ decreases when sand concentrations are high enough to cause gas hydrate to be poorly connected, indicating that hydrate grains provide the primary conduction path. Our measurements suggest that impurities from sand induce chemical interactions and/or doping effects that result in higher electrical conductivity with lower temperature dependence. These results can be used in the modeling of massive or two-phase gas-hydrate-bearing systems devoid of conductive pore water. Further experiments that include a free water phase are the necessary next steps toward developing complex models relevant to most natural systems.

  14. Clumped Methane Isotopologue Temperatures of Microbial Methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, S.; Wang, D. T.; Gruen, D.; Delwiche, K.; Hemond, H.; Pohlman, J.

    2014-12-01

    We will report the abundance of 13CH3D, a clumped isotopologue of methane, in microbial methane sampled from natural environments. They yield some expected and some unexpected results reflecting both equilibrium and kinetic isotope effects controlling the abundance of 13CH3D in low temperature environments. The four isotopologues of methane (12CH4, 13CH4, 12CH3D and 13CH3D) were measured by a tunable infrared spectroscopy method at a precision of 0.2‰ and accuracy of 0.5‰ (Ono et al., 2014). Similar to carbonate clumped isotope thermometry, clumped isotopologues of methane become more stable at lower temperatures. The equilibrium constant for the isotope exchange reaction 13CH4 + 12CH3D ⇌ 13CH3D + 12CH4 deviates from unity by +6.3 to +3.5 ‰ for methane equilibrated between 4 and 121 °C, a range expected for microbial methanogenesis. This would be measurably-distinct from a thermogenic methane signal, which typically have apparent 13CH3D-based temperatures ranging from 150 to 220 °C (+3.0 to +2.2 ‰ clumped isotope effect; Ono et al., 2014; Stolper et al. 2014). Marine samples, such as methane clathrates and porewater methane from the Cascadia margin, have 13CH3D-based temperatures that appear to be consistent with isotopic equilibration at in situ temperatures that are reasonable for deep sedimentary environments. In contrast, methane from freshwater environments, such as a lake and a swamp, yield apparent temperatures that are much higher than the known or inferred environmental temperature. Mixing of two or more distinct sources of methane could potentially generate this high temperature bias. We suggest, however, that this high-temperature bias likely reflects a kinetic isotope fractionation intrinsic to methanogenesis in fresh water environments. In contrast, the low-temperature signals from marine methane could be related to the slow metabolic rates and reversibility of microbial methanogenesis and methanotrophy in marine sedimentary environments

  15. Methane hydrate distribution from prolonged and repeated formation in natural and compacted sand samples: X-ray CT observations

    SciTech Connect

    Rees, E.V.L.; Kneafsey, T.J.; Seol, Y.

    2010-07-01

    To study physical properties of methane gas hydrate-bearing sediments, it is necessary to synthesize laboratory samples due to the limited availability of cores from natural deposits. X-ray computed tomography (CT) and other observations have shown gas hydrate to occur in a number of morphologies over a variety of sediment types. To aid in understanding formation and growth patterns of hydrate in sediments, methane hydrate was repeatedly formed in laboratory-packed sand samples and in a natural sediment core from the Mount Elbert Stratigraphic Test Well. CT scanning was performed during hydrate formation and decomposition steps, and periodically while the hydrate samples remained under stable conditions for up to 60 days. The investigation revealed the impact of water saturation on location and morphology of hydrate in both laboratory and natural sediments during repeated hydrate formations. Significant redistribution of hydrate and water in the samples was observed over both the short and long term.

  16. Thermal conductivity measurements in Porous mixtures of methane hydrate and quartz sand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waite, W.F.; deMartin, B.J.; Kirby, S.H.; Pinkston, J.; Ruppel, C.D.

    2002-01-01

    Using von Herzen and Maxwell's needle probe method, we measured thermal conductivity in four porous mixtures of quartz sand and methane gas hydrate, with hydrate composing 0, 33, 67 and 100% of the solid volume. Thermal conductivities were measured at a constant methane pore pressure of 24.8 MPa between -20 and +15??C, and at a constant temperature of -10??C between 3.5 and 27.6 MPa methane pore pressure. Thermal conductivity decreased with increasing temperature and increased with increasing methane pore pressure. Both dependencies weakened with increasing hydrate content. Despite the high thermal conductivity of quartz relative to methane hydrate, the largest thermal conductivity was measured in the mixture containing 33% hydrate rather than in hydrate-free sand. This suggests gas hydrate enhanced grain-to-grain heat transfer, perhaps due to intergranular contact growth during hydrate synthesis. These results for gas-filled porous mixtures can help constrain thermal conductivity estimates in porous, gas hydrate-bearing systems.

  17. Methane cycling. Nonequilibrium clumped isotope signals in microbial methane.

    PubMed

    Wang, David T; Gruen, Danielle S; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Stewart, Lucy C; Holden, James F; Hristov, Alexander N; Pohlman, John W; Morrill, Penny L; Könneke, Martin; Delwiche, Kyle B; Reeves, Eoghan P; Sutcliffe, Chelsea N; Ritter, Daniel J; Seewald, Jeffrey S; McIntosh, Jennifer C; Hemond, Harold F; Kubo, Michael D; Cardace, Dawn; Hoehler, Tori M; Ono, Shuhei

    2015-04-24

    Methane is a key component in the global carbon cycle, with a wide range of anthropogenic and natural sources. Although isotopic compositions of methane have traditionally aided source identification, the abundance of its multiply substituted "clumped" isotopologues (for example, (13)CH3D) has recently emerged as a proxy for determining methane-formation temperatures. However, the effect of biological processes on methane's clumped isotopologue signature is poorly constrained. We show that methanogenesis proceeding at relatively high rates in cattle, surface environments, and laboratory cultures exerts kinetic control on (13)CH3D abundances and results in anomalously elevated formation-temperature estimates. We demonstrate quantitatively that H2 availability accounts for this effect. Clumped methane thermometry can therefore provide constraints on the generation of methane in diverse settings, including continental serpentinization sites and ancient, deep groundwaters. PMID:25745067

  18. Numerical investigations of the fluid flows at deep oceanic and arctic permafrost-associated gas hydrate deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederick, Jennifer Mary

    older than the host sediment. Old pore fluid age may reflect complex flow patterns, such a fluid focusing, which can cause significant lateral migration as well as regions where downward flow reverses direction and returns toward the seafloor. Longer pathlines can produce pore fluid ages much older than that expected with a one-dimensional compaction model. For steady-state models with geometry representative of Blake Ridge (USA), a well-studied hydrate province, pore fluid ages beneath regions of topography and within fractured zones can be up to 70 Ma old. Results suggest that the measurements of 129-I/127-I reflect a mixture of new and old pore fluid. However, old pore fluid need not originate at great depths. Methane within pore fluids can travel laterally several kilometers, implying an extensive source region around the deposit. Iodine age measurements support the existence of fluid focusing beneath regions of seafloor topography at Blake Ridge, and suggest that the methane source at Blake Ridge is likely shallow. The response of methane hydrate reservoirs to warming is poorly understood. The great depths may protect deep oceanic hydrates from climate change for the time being because transfer of heat by conduction is slow, but warming will eventually be felt albeit in the far future. On the other hand, unique permafrost-associated methane hydrate deposits exist at shallow depths within the sediments of the circum-Arctic continental shelves. Arctic hydrates are thought to be a relict of cold glacial periods, aggrading when sea levels are much lower and shelf sediments are exposed to freezing air temperatures. During interglacial periods, rising sea levels flood the shelf, bringing dramatic warming to the permafrost- and hydrate-bearing sediments. Permafrost-associated methane hydrate deposits have been responding to warming since the last glacial maximum ~18 kaBP as a consequence of these natural glacial cycles. This `experiment,' set into motion by nature itself

  19. Developmental geology of coalbed methane from shallow to deep in Rocky Mountain basins and in Cook Inlet-Matanuska Basin, Alaska, USA and Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, R.C.; Flores, R.M.

    1998-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain basins of western North America contain vast deposits of coal of Cretaceous through early Tertiary age. Coalbed methane is produced in Rocky Mountain basins at depths ranging from 45 m (150 ft) to 1981 m (6500 ft) from coal of lignite to low-volatile bituminous rank. Although some production has been established in almost all Rocky Mountain basins, commercial production occurs in only a few. despite more than two decades of exploration for coalbed methane in the Rocky Mountain region, it is still difficult to predict production characteristics of coalbed methane wells prior to drilling. Commonly cited problems include low permeabilities, high water production, and coals that are significantly undersaturated with respect to methane. Sources of coalbed gases can be early biogenic, formed during the early stages of coalification, thermogenic, formed during the main stages of coalification, or late stage biogenic, formed as a result of the reintroduction of methane-gnerating bacteria by groundwater after uplift and erosion. Examples of all three types of coalbed gases, and combinations of more than one type, can be found in the Rocky Mountain region. Coals in the Rocky Mountain region achieved their present ranks largely as a result of burial beneath sediments that accumulated during the Laramide orogeny (Late Cretaceous through the end of the eocene) or shortly after. Thermal events since the end of the orogeny have also locally elevated coal ranks. Coal beds in the upper part of high-volatile A bituminous rank or greater commonly occur within much more extensive basin-centered gas deposits which cover large areas of the deeper parts of most Rocky Mountain basins. Within these basin-centered deposits all lithologies, including coals, sandstones, and shales, are gas saturated, and very little water is produced. The interbedded coals and carbonaceous shales are probably the source of much of this gas. Basin-centered gas deposits become overpressured

  20. 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.

  1. Simultaneous determination of thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat in sI methane hydrate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waite, W.F.; Stern, L.A.; Kirby, S.H.; Winters, W.J.; Mason, D.H.

    2007-01-01

    Thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat of sI methane hydrate were measured as functions of temperature and pressure using a needle probe technique. The temperature dependence was measured between −20°C and 17°C at 31.5 MPa. The pressure dependence was measured between 31.5 and 102 MPa at 14.4°C. Only weak temperature and pressure dependencies were observed. Methane hydrate thermal conductivity differs from that of water by less than 10 per cent, too little to provide a sensitive measure of hydrate content in water-saturated systems. Thermal diffusivity of methane hydrate is more than twice that of water, however, and its specific heat is about half that of water. Thus, when drilling into or through hydrate-rich sediment, heat from the borehole can raise the formation temperature more than 20 per cent faster than if the formation's pore space contains only water. Thermal properties of methane hydrate should be considered in safety and economic assessments of hydrate-bearing sediment.

  2. Formation mechanism of authigenic gypsum in marine methane hydrate settings: Evidence from the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Qi; Wang, Jiasheng; Algeo, Thomas J.; Su, Pibo; Hu, Gaowei

    2016-09-01

    During the last decade, gypsum has been discovered widely in marine methane hydrate-bearing sediments. However, whether this gypsum is an in-situ authigenic precipitate remains controversial. The GMGS2 expedition carried out in 2013 by the Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey (GMGS) in the northern South China Sea provided an excellent opportunity for investigating the formation of authigenic minerals and, in particular, the relationship between gypsum and methane hydrate. In this contribution, we analyzed the morphology and sulfur isotope composition of gypsum and authigenic pyrite as well as the carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of authigenic carbonate in a drillcore from Site GMGS2-08. These methane-derived carbonates have characteristic carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions (δ13C: -57.9‰ to -27.3‰ VPDB; δ18O: +1.0‰ to +3.8‰ VPDB) related to upward seepage of methane following dissociation of underlying methane hydrates since the Late Pleistocene. Our data suggest that gypsum in the sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) of this core precipitated as in-situ authigenic mineral. Based on its sulfur isotopic composition, the gypsum sulfur is a mixture of sulfate derived from seawater and from partial oxidation of authigenic pyrite. Porewater Ca2+ ions for authigenic gypsum were likely generated from carbonate dissolution through acidification produced by oxidation of authigenic pyrite and ion exclusion during methane hydrate formation. This study thus links the formation mechanism of authigenic gypsum with the oxidation of authigenic pyrite and evolution of underlying methane hydrates. These findings suggest that authigenic gypsum may be a useful proxy for recognition of SMTZs and methane hydrate zones in modern and ancient marine methane hydrate geo-systems.

  3. IN-SITU SAMPLING AND CHARACTERIZATION OF NATURALLY OCCURRING MARINE METHANE HYDRATE USING THE D/V JOIDES RESOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Frank R. Rack; Peter Schultheiss; Melanie Holland

    2005-01-01

    The primary accomplishments of the JOI Cooperative Agreement with DOE/NETL in this quarter were that: (1) follow-up logging of pressure cores containing hydrate-bearing sediment; and (2) opening of some of these cores to establish ground-truth understanding. The follow-up measurements made on pressure cores in storage are part of a hydrate geriatric study related to ODP Leg 204. These activities are described in detail in Appendices A and B of this report. Work also continued on developing plans for Phase 2 of this cooperative agreement based on evolving plans to schedule a scientific ocean drilling expedition to study marine methane hydrates along the Cascadia margin, in the NE Pacific as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) using the R/V JOIDES Resolution.

  4. Gas hydrates in the deep water Ulleung Basin, East Sea, Korea.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Byong-Jae

    2016-04-01

    Studies on gas hydrates in the deep-water Ulleung Basin, East Sea, Korea was initiated by the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) to secure the future energy resources in 1996. Bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) were first identified on seismic data collected in the southwestern part of the basin from 1998 to 1999. Regional geophysical surveys and geological studies of gas hydrates in the basin have been carried out by KIGAM from 2000 to 2004. The work included 12,367 km of 2D multi-channel seismic reflection lines and 38 piston cores 5 to 8 m long. As a part of the Korean National Gas Hydrate Program that has been performed since 2005, 6690 km of 2D multi-channel reflection seismic lines, 900 km2 of 3D seismic data, 69 piston cores and three PROD cores were additionally collected. In addition, two gas hydrate drilling expeditions were performed in 2007 and 2010. Cracks generally parallel to beddings caused by the dissociation of gas hydrate were often observed in cores. The lack of higher hydrocarbons and the carbon isotope ratios indicate that the methane is primarily biogenic. The seismic data showed clear and wide-spread bottom-simulating reflectors (BSRs). The BSR was identified by (a) its polarity opposite to the seafloor, (b) its seafloor-parallel reflection behavior, and (c) its occurrence at a sub-bottom depth corresponding to the expected base of gas hydrate stability zone. Several vertical to sub-vertical chimney-like blank zones up to several kilometers in diameter were also identified in the study area. They are often associated with velocity pull-up structures that are interpreted due to higher velocity in gas hydrate-bearing deposits. Seismic velocity analysis also showed a high velocity anomaly within the pull-up structure. Gas hydrate samples were collected from the shallow sedimentary section of blanking zone by piston coring in 2007. BSRs mainly occur in the southern part of the basin. They also locally observed in the

  5. Variation of Benthic Foraminiferal Assemblage and Carbon and Oxygen Isotopic Composition for the Last 30000 Years on gas-hydrate-bearing Umitaka Spur, Joetsu, Eastern Margin of Japan Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeuchi, E.; Nakagawa, H.; Hiruta, A.; Matsumoto, R.

    2006-12-01

    Umitaka spur off Joetsu, eastern margin of Japan Sea, is characterized by large pockmarks, mounds and gas hydrate BSRs. Numerous gas plumes, about 600m height, were identified on the spur and sea water have high methane concentration. Moreover massive gas hydrates have been recovered from the seafloor of the spur. The environment around the spur is assumed to have been influenced methane. But active methane phenomena are only observed adjacent to pockmarks, not inside of them. If pockmarks have been made by large methane-release events, when and why did these events occur? To solve these questions, we conducted studies on foraminifer assemblages and Carbon-14 age determinations. Carbon and oxygen isotopic analyses of benthic foraminifera were carried out on three piston cores which were recovered during the KY06-08 cruise in 2005. Sediments and depositional environments Carbon-14 ages were measured by planktonic foraminifera (Globigerina. umbilicata) at 4 horizons of PC01 which recovered 7 m long sediment core. PC01 were dated as 22ka cal. BC at 3.9 m, and 3.2ka cal. BC at 6.4 m. The sediments are composed of bioturbated massive units (0-1.5m), which indicate oxidative conditions on the seafloor, and laminated unit (1.5-7.0m), which indicates reductive conditions on the seafloor. Benthic foraminifera At about 28kyr, the benthic foraminifera abundance and proportion of Stainforthia. rotundata increased. Afterwards, very little benthic foraminifera occurred. According to Akimoto (1996), Ruthefordoides corunuta (same as S. rotundata) occur with Calyptogena communities which are related to methane seeps. It is suggested that the methane flux in this area were more active than at present and the sea floor environment was oxygen-free and enriched in methane. Carbon and oxygen isotopic anomalies The delta13C of benthic foraminifera decreased at 24ka~27ka. At the same time, S. rotundte increased, so this suggests that delta13C-depleted dissolved inorganic carbon was made

  6. Electrical properties of methane hydrate + sediment mixtures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Du Frane, Wyatt L.; Stern, Laura A.; Constable, Steven; Weitemeyer, Karen A.; Smith, Megan M; Roberts, Jeffery J.

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the electrical properties of multicomponent systems with gas hydrate, sediments, and pore water is needed to help relate electromagnetic (EM) measurements to specific gas hydrate concentration and distribution patterns in nature. Toward this goal, we built a pressure cell capable of measuring in situ electrical properties of multicomponent systems such that the effects of individual components and mixing relations can be assessed. We first established the temperature-dependent electrical conductivity (σ) of pure, single-phase methane hydrate to be ~5 orders of magnitude lower than seawater, a substantial contrast that can help differentiate hydrate deposits from significantly more conductive water-saturated sediments in EM field surveys. Here we report σ measurements of two-component systems in which methane hydrate is mixed with variable amounts of quartz sand or glass beads. Sand by itself has low σ but is found to increase the overall σ of mixtures with well-connected methane hydrate. Alternatively, the overall σ decreases when sand concentrations are high enough to cause gas hydrate to be poorly connected, indicating that hydrate grains provide the primary conduction path. Our measurements suggest that impurities from sand induce chemical interactions and/or doping effects that result in higher electrical conductivity with lower temperature dependence. These results can be used in the modeling of massive or two-phase gas-hydrate-bearing systems devoid of conductive pore water. Further experiments that include a free water phase are the necessary next steps toward developing complex models relevant to most natural systems.

  7. Preliminary result of deep-towed resistivity investigation in a potential gas hydrate area off southwest Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, C.; Hsu, S.; Goto, T.; Chen, C.; Chen, S.

    2012-12-01

    Gas hydrate (GH) is thought to be widely distributed within the active accretionary wedges passive continental margins and permafrost regions of the Earth. These deposits were formed in sub-seafloor sediments at relatively high pressure, low temperature conditions and have the potential to become a significant energy resource in the future. Bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) from marine seismic reflection surveys are generally associated with the occurrence of gas-hydrate-bearing formations. The presence of BSRs could correspond to the base of the phase boundary between free gases and the solid hydrates. A wide-spread distribution of BSRs, high methane concentrations in the bottom water, shallow sulfate/methane interface, submarine mud volcanoes, diapirs and gas seepages significantly indicate a high potential of gas hydrates existence in the offshore area of southwest Taiwan. BSR is an indicative of a GH deposit and is often used to determine the base of gas hydrate stability zone of the solid-gas boundary where the upper bound of the GH in shallow sediments is still uncertain in the potential areas. The marine resistivity techniques are considered as one of powerful geophysical tools to image GH in upper bound of the GH in shallow portion of the seabed. In the study, we have rebuilt our new deep-towed marine resistivity system based on Goto et al. (2008) experiment. The new system is consisted of three components: 1. deep-towed frame, 2. receivers, and 3. side-scan sonar. The transmitter is mounted on the deep-towed frame and a long cable is towed behind the deep-towed frame in length of 240 m. The maximum of output electric current amplitude is up to 50 amperes. A dipole source of 15 m and two Ag-AgCl electric receivers are respectively installed in 210 m, 223 m and 226 m on the cable. Moreover, eight electric receivers (Ag-AgCl) are set from 0 m to 120 m with a dipole length of 15 m on the cable. A side-scan sonar equipment is attached below the system for the

  8. Deep oxidation of methane on particles derived from YSZ-supported Pd-Pt-(O) coatings synthesized by pulsed filtered cathodic arc

    SciTech Connect

    Horwat, D.; Endrino, J.L.; Boreave, A.; Karoum,R.; Pierson, J.F.; Weber, S.; Anders, A.; Vernoux, Ph.

    2008-12-12

    Methane conversion tests were performed on Pd, PdOy, Pd0.6Pt0.4Oy and Pd0.4Pt0.6Oy thin films deposited on yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) substrates. Pt containing films exhibited poor activity and high reducibility. As-deposited Pd and PdOy films showed good activity and transformed, during the cycling process, to particles dispersed on the YSZ substrates. The higher reaction rate of initially PdOy films was explained by a better dispersion of the catalyst. A drop of the reaction rate was observed when the temperature exceeded 735oC and 725oC for initially Pd and PdOy, respectively, which can be associated with the high-temperature reduction of PdO into Pd.

  9. Breaking methane

    PubMed Central

    Rosenzweig, Amy C.

    2015-01-01

    The most powerful oxidant found in nature is compound Q, an enzymatic intermediate that oxidizes methane. New spectroscopic data have resolved the long-running controversy about Q’s chemical structure. PMID:25607367

  10. The link between bottom-simulating reflections and methane flux into the gas hydrate stability zone - new evidence from Lima Basin, Peru Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pecher, Ingo A.; Kukowski, Nina; Huebscher, Christian; Greinert, Jens; Bialas, Joerg; Geopeco Working Group

    2001-02-01

    Bottom-simulating reflections (BSRs) are probably the most commonly used indicators for gas hydrates in marine sediments. It is now widely accepted that BSRs are primarily caused by free gas beneath gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. However, our insight into BSR formation to date is mostly limited to theoretical studies. Two endmember processes have been suggested to supply free gas for BSR formation: (i) dissociation of gas hydrates and (ii) migration of methane from below. During a recent campaign of the German Research Vessel Sonne off the shore of Peru, we detected BSRs at locations undergoing both tectonic subsidence and non-sedimentation or seafloor erosion. Tectonic subsidence (and additionally perhaps seafloor erosion) causes the base of gas hydrate stability to migrate downward with respect to gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. This process rules out dissociation of gas hydrates as a source of free gas for BSRs at these locations. Instead, free gas at BSRs is predicted to be absorbed into the gas hydrate stability zone. BSRs appear to be confined to locations where the subsurface structure suggests focusing of fluid flow. We investigated the seafloor at one of these locations with a TV sled and observed fields of rounded boulders and slab-like rocks, which we interpreted as authigenic carbonates. Authigenic carbonates are precipitations typically found at cold vents with methane expulsion. We retrieved a small carbonate-cemented sediment sample from the seafloor above a BSR about 20 km away. This supported our interpretation that the observed slabs and boulders were carbonates. All these observations suggest that BSRs in Lima Basin are maintained predominantly by gas that is supplied from below, demonstrating that this endmember process for BSR formation exists in nature. Results from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 112 showed that methane for gas hydrate formation on the Peru lower slope and the methane in hydrocarbon gases on the upper slope is mostly of biogenic

  11. The link between bottom-simulating reflections and methane flux into the gas hydrate stability zone - new evidence from Lima Basin, Peru Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    GEOPECO Working Group

    2001-02-01

    Bottom-simulating reflections (BSRs) are probably the most commonly used indicators for gas hydrates in marine sediments. It is now widely accepted that BSRs are primarily caused by free gas beneath gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. However, our insight into BSR formation to date is mostly limited to theoretical studies. Two endmember processes have been suggested to supply free gas for BSR formation: (i) dissociation of gas hydrates and (ii) migration of methane from below. During a recent campaign of the German Research Vessel Sonne off the shore of Peru, we detected BSRs at locations undergoing both tectonic subsidence and non-sedimentation or seafloor erosion. Tectonic subsidence (and additionally perhaps seafloor erosion) causes the base of gas hydrate stability to migrate downward with respect to gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. This process rules out dissociation of gas hydrates as a source of free gas for BSRs at these locations. Instead, free gas at BSRs is predicted to be absorbed into the gas hydrate stability zone. BSRs appear to be confined to locations where the subsurface structure suggests focusing of fluid flow. We investigated the seafloor at one of these locations with a TV sled and observed fields of rounded boulders and slab-like rocks, which we interpreted as authigenic carbonates. Authigenic carbonates are precipitations typically found at cold vents with methane expulsion. We retrieved a small carbonate-cemented sediment sample from the seafloor above a BSR about 20 km away. This supported our interpretation that the observed slabs and boulders were carbonates. All these observations suggest that BSRs in Lima Basin are maintained predominantly by gas that is supplied from below, demonstrating that this endmember process for BSR formation exists in nature. Results from Ocean Drilling Program Leg 112 showed that methane for gas hydrate formation on the Peru lower slope and the methane in hydrocarbon gases on the upper slope is mostly of biogenic

  12. Powering up the ``biogeochemical engine'': The impact of exceptional ventilation of a deep meromictic lake on the lacustrine redox, nutrient, and methane balances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmann, Moritz; Simona, Marco; Wyss, Silvia; Blees, Jan; Frame, Caitlin; Niemann, Helge; Veronesi, Mauro; Zopfi, Jakob

    2015-08-01

    The Lake Lugano North Basin has been meromictic for several decades, with anoxic waters below 100m depth. Two consecutive cold winters in 2005 and 2006 induced exceptional deep mixing, leading to a transient oxygenation of the whole water column. With the ventilation of deep waters and the oxidation of large quantities of reduced solutes, the lake's total redox-balance turned positive, and the overall hypolimnetic oxygen demand of the lake strongly decreased. The disappearance of 150 t dissolved phosphorous (P) during the first ventilation in March 2005 is attributed to the scavenging of water-column-borne P by newly formed metal oxyhydroxides and the temporary transfer to the sediments. The fixed nitrogen (N) inventory was reduced by ~30% (~1000 t). The water-column turnover induced the nitratation of the previously NO3--free deep hypolimnion by oxidation of large amounts of legacy NH4+ and by mixing with NO3--rich subsurface water masses. Sediments with a strong denitrifying potential, but NO3--starved for decades, were brought in contact with NO3--replete waters, invigorating benthic denitrification and rapid fixed N loss from the lake in spite of the overall more oxygenated conditions. Similarly, a large microbial aerobic CH4 oxidation (MOx) potential in the hypolimnion was capitalized with the ventilation of the deep basin. Almost all CH4, which had been built up over more than 40 years (~2800 t), was removed from the water column within 30 days. However, boosted MOx could only partly explain the disappearance of the CH4. The dominant fraction (75%) of the CH4 evaded to the atmosphere, through storage flux upon exposure of anoxic CH4-rich water to the atmosphere. As of today, the North Basin seems far from homeostasis regarding its fixed N and CH4 budgets, and the deep basin's CH4 pool is recharging at a net production rate of ~66 t y-1. The size of impending CH4 outbursts will depend on the frequency and intensity of exceptional mixing events in the future.

  13. Emerging topics in marine methane biogeochemistry.

    PubMed

    Valentine, David L

    2011-01-01

    Our knowledge of physical, chemical, geological and biological processes affecting methane in the ocean and in underlying sediments is expanding at a rapid pace. On first inspection, marine methane biogeochemistry appears simple: Methane distribution in sediment is set by the deposition pattern of organic material, and the balance of sources and sinks keeps its concentration low in most waters. However, recent research reveals that methane is affected by complex biogeochemical processes whose interactions are understood only at a superficial level. Such processes span the deep-subsurface, near subsurface, and ocean waters, and relate primarily to the production, consumption, and transport of methane. The purpose of this synthesis is to examine select processes within the framework of methane biogeochemistry, to formulate hypotheses on how they might operate and interact with one another, and to consider their controls. PMID:21329202

  14. Characterization of methane hydrate host sediments using synchrotron-computed microtomography (CMT)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, K.W.; Feng, H.; Tomov, S.; Winters, W.J.; Prodanovic, M.; Mahajan, D.

    2007-01-01

    The hydrate-sediment interaction is an important aspect of gas hydrate studies that needs further examination. We describe here the applicability of the computed microtomography (CMT) technique that utilizes an intense X-ray synchrotron source to characterize sediment samples, two at various depths from the Blake Ridge area (a well-known hydrate-prone region) and one from Georges Bank, that once contained methane trapped as hydrates. Detailed results of the tomographic analysis performed on the deepest sample (667??m) from Blake Ridge are presented as 2-D and 3-D images which show several mineral constituents, the internal grain/pore microstructure, and, following segmentation into pore and grain space, a visualization of the connecting pathways through the pore-space of the sediment. Various parameters obtained from the analysis of the CMT data are presented for all three sediment samples. The micro-scale porosity values showed decreasing trend with increasing depth for all three samples that is consistent with the previously reported bulk porosity data. The 3-D morphology, pore-space pathways, porosity, and permeability values are also reported for all three samples. The application of CMT is now being expanded to the laboratory-formed samples of hydrate in sediments as well as field samples of methane hydrate bearing sediments.

  15. Methane and seismicity: A reply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gold, Thomas; Soter, Steven

    In a recent Forum article in Eos (“Methane in Association With Seismic Activity,” June 14, 1983, p. 410), R. S. Oremland presents observations which he claims contradict the deep methane gas hypothesis. His principal case rests on observations of one M 5.7 earthquake near the volcanic area of Mammouth Lakes, California, which did not result in any increase in methane content of gases in four local seeps.In our published discussions of the deep gas hypothesis [Gold and Soter, 1980, 1982], we proposed (1) that outgassing from mantle depths is an ongoing process both in volcanic and nonvolcanic regions; (2) that the gases CO2 and CH4 are the principal carriers of the surface excess carbon; (3) that chemical equilibrium between CO2 and CH4 in the presence of hot or liquid rock is strongly shifted towards CO2, especially in the low pressure domain, and that therefore active volcanic or high heat flow regions would be less likely to exhibit CH4; and (4) that faultlines, particularly those which are seismically active, are locations where outgassing in cool regions can be sampled. The evidence there is that flames from the ground are often seen in association with major earthquakes. (Just as in many mud volcano eruptions, ignition of combustible gases can be attributed to electrostatic effects.) Methane is also observed in many of the major crustal rifts, together with helium having the high 3He to 4He ratio indicative of deep origin [Lupton, 1983].

  16. Electrical properties of methane hydrate + sediment mixtures: The σ of CH4 Hydrate + Sediment

    SciTech Connect

    Du Frane, Wyatt L.; Stern, Laura A.; Constable, Steven; Weitemeyer, Karen A.; Smith, Megan M.; Roberts, Jeffery J.

    2015-07-30

    Knowledge of the electrical properties of multicomponent systems with gas hydrate, sediments, and pore water is needed to help relate electromagnetic (EM) measurements to specific gas hydrate concentration and distribution patterns in nature. We built a pressure cell capable of measuring in situ electrical properties of multicomponent systems such that the effects of individual components and mixing relations can be assessed. We first established the temperature-dependent electrical conductivity (σ) of pure, single-phase methane hydrate to be ~5 orders of magnitude lower than seawater, a substantial contrast that can help differentiate hydrate deposits from significantly more conductive water-saturated sediments in EM field surveys. We report σ measurements of two-component systems in which methane hydrate is mixed with variable amounts of quartz sand or glass beads. Sand by itself has low σ but is found to increase the overall σ of mixtures with well-connected methane hydrate. Alternatively, the overall σ decreases when sand concentrations are high enough to cause gas hydrate to be poorly connected, indicating that hydrate grains provide the primary conduction path. Our measurements suggest that impurities from sand induce chemical interactions and/or doping effects that result in higher electrical conductivity with lower temperature dependence. Finally, these results can be used in the modeling of massive or two-phase gas-hydrate-bearing systems devoid of conductive pore water. Further experiments that include a free water phase are the necessary next steps toward developing complex models relevant to most natural systems.

  17. Diagenetic Processes Around the Sulfate/Methane Transition - How do They Alter Sedimentary Signals on the Zambesi Deep-Sea Fan (SW Indian Ocean)?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasten, S.; Maerz, C.; Hoffmann, J.; Bleil, U.; de Lange, G. J.

    2006-12-01

    Submarine fan sediments of large rivers as the Zambesi are potential carriers of a mixture of continental and marine signals. Deciphering their relative contributions can reveal new insight into primary controlling factors of sedimentation. However, post-depositional early diagenesis can significantly alter primary signals. On the one hand, this can partly disrupt the original record, on the other hand, it gives additional information about biogeochemical processes in the respective sedimentary system. Here, we present pore water, high-resolution solid phase as well as magnetic data obtained for a 6.15 m long gravity core (GeoB 9309-1 which was recovered during RV Meteor cruise M 63/1 in 2005. The core was retrieved east of the Zambesi river mouth (Mozambique) from 1219 m water depth and documents a variety of primary and diagenetic signals. Our work is mainly focused on the sulfate/methane transition (SMT) which at this site is located at a sediment depth of about 4.7 m. The concomitant processes of SO42- reduction and CH4 oxidation lead to the generation of HS-, which has a significant impact on the sediment pore water and solid phase composition. A whole series of biogeochemical reactions is taking place at this boundary in core GeoB 9309- 1, making this site a useful reference example for processes typically occurring at the SMT in river fan deposits. Reactions influence the sedimentary cycles of iron, manganese, sulphur, phosphorus, copper and zinc. In addition, there is a sharp drop in magnetic susceptibility around the SMT, indicating the dissolution/reduction of primary iron (oxyhydr)oxides and reprecipitation as iron sulfides (including pyrite). However, apart from the sediment components which have been subject to strong post-depositional overprint, there are also clearly discernable primary sedimentary signals unaffected by early diagenesis. These are documented by the conventional terrigenous elements Al, Ti and Zr, but also by Mg, K, Sr and Ba

  18. Landfill Methane

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Landfill methane (CH4) accounts for approximately 1.3% (0.6 Gt) of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions relative to total emissions from all sectors of about 49 Gt CO2-eq yr-1. For countries with a history of controlled landfilling, landfills can be one of the larger national sources of ant...

  19. Nonequilibrium clumped isotope signals in microbial methane

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wang, David T.; Gruen, Danielle S.; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Stewart, Lucy C.; Holden, James F.; Hristov, Alexander N.; Pohlman, John W.; Morrill, Penny L.; Könneke, Martin; Delwiche, Kyle B.; Reeves, Eoghan P.; Sutcliffe, Chelsea N.; Ritter, Daniel J.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; Hemond, Harold F.; Kubo, Michael D.; Cardace, Dawn; Hoehler, Tori M.; Ono, Shuhei

    2015-01-01

    Methane is a key component in the global carbon cycle with a wide range of anthropogenic and natural sources. Although isotopic compositions of methane have traditionally aided source identification, the abundance of its multiply-substituted “clumped” isotopologues, e.g., 13CH3D, has recently emerged as a proxy for determining methane-formation temperatures; however, the impact of biological processes on methane’s clumped isotopologue signature is poorly constrained. We show that methanogenesis proceeding at relatively high rates in cattle, surface environments, and laboratory cultures exerts kinetic control on 13CH3D abundances and results in anomalously elevated formation temperature estimates. We demonstrate quantitatively that H2 availability accounts for this effect. Clumped methane thermometry can therefore provide constraints on the generation of methane in diverse settings, including continental serpentinization sites and ancient, deep groundwaters.

  20. Nonequilibrium clumped isotope signals in microbial methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, David T.; Gruen, Danielle S.; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Stewart, Lucy C.; Holden, James F.; Hristov, Alexander N.; Pohlman, John W.; Morrill, Penny L.; Könneke, Martin; Delwiche, Kyle B.; Reeves, Eoghan P.; Sutcliffe, Chelsea N.; Ritter, Daniel J.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; Hemond, Harold F.; Kubo, Michael D.; Cardace, Dawn; Hoehler, Tori M.; Ono, Shuhei

    2015-04-01

    Methane is a key component in the global carbon cycle, with a wide range of anthropogenic and natural sources. Although isotopic compositions of methane have traditionally aided source identification, the abundance of its multiply substituted “clumped” isotopologues (for example, 13CH3D) has recently emerged as a proxy for determining methane-formation temperatures. However, the effect of biological processes on methane’s clumped isotopologue signature is poorly constrained. We show that methanogenesis proceeding at relatively high rates in cattle, surface environments, and laboratory cultures exerts kinetic control on 13CH3D abundances and results in anomalously elevated formation-temperature estimates. We demonstrate quantitatively that H2 availability accounts for this effect. Clumped methane thermometry can therefore provide constraints on the generation of methane in diverse settings, including continental serpentinization sites and ancient, deep groundwaters.

  1. Time-series measurements of bubble plume variability and water column methane distribution above Southern Hydrate Ridge, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philip, Brendan T.; Denny, Alden R.; Solomon, Evan A.; Kelley, Deborah S.

    2016-03-01

    An estimated 500-2500 gigatons of methane carbon is sequestered in gas hydrate at continental margins and some of these deposits are associated with overlying methane seeps. To constrain the impact that seeps have on methane concentrations in overlying ocean waters and to characterize the bubble plumes that transport methane vertically into the ocean, water samples and time-series acoustic images were collected above Southern Hydrate Ridge (SHR), a well-studied hydrate-bearing seep site ˜90 km west of Newport, Oregon. These data were coregistered with robotic vehicle observations to determine the origin of the seeps, the plume rise heights above the seafloor, and the temporal variability in bubble emissions. Results show that the locations of seep activity and bubble release remained unchanged over the 3 year time-series investigation, however, the magnitude of gas release was highly variable on hourly time scales. Bubble plumes were detected to depths of 320-620 m below sea level (mbsl), in several cases exceeding the upper limit of hydrate stability by ˜190 m. For the first time, sustained gas release was imaged at the Pinnacle site and in-between the Pinnacle and the Summit area of venting, indicating that the subseafloor transport of fluid and gas is not restricted to the Summit at SHR, requiring a revision of fluid-flow models. Dissolved methane concentrations above background levels from 100 to 300 mbsl are consistent with long-term seep gas transport into the upper water column, which may lead to the build-up of seep-derived carbon in regional subsurface waters and to increases in associated biological activity.

  2. Coal-bed methane resources in Arkoma basin, southeastern Oklahoma

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, S.A. )

    1989-08-01

    A major federal tax incentive for unconventional gas production has interested entrepreneurs, geologists, and engineers in the occurrence and distribution of coal-bed methane resources in the Arkoma basin. Because the methane is trapped in coal beds, geology of the coal resources also has received renewed attention. The Arkoma basin contains most of the coal-bed methane resources in Oklahoma: 76% of the 7.9 billion short tons of the remaining, identified Middle Pennsylvanian coal resources of the state. This paper briefly reviews previous estimates of coal-bed methane resources in Oklahoma and presents an updated estimate for Haskell and LeFlore Counties and a new estimate for Latimer County. Rieke and Kirr indicated that 2.8 tcf of coal-bed methane is present in 10 coals in eight Oklahoma counties of the Arkoma basin, 500-3,000 ft deep. Iannacchione and Puglio estimated that a maximum of 1.5 tcf of coal-bed methane occurs in the Hartshorne coals in Haskell and LeFlore Counties from 500-3,000 ft deep. The present investigation shows that the Hartshorne and 11 other coals contain at least 1.8 tcf of coal-bed methane resources, based on identified coal resources 500-3,000 ft deep in Haskell, Latimer, and LeFlore Counties. An additional 1.2 tcf of coal-bed methane resources occur in the Hartshorne and four other coals from 3,000-7,000 ft deep, based on assumed stratigraphic and thickness continuity. Thus, a revised estimate indicates that Haskell, Latimer, and LeFlore Counties alone contain about 3 tcf of coal-bed methane resources in 12 coal beds from 500-7,000 ft deep. Undoubtedly additional coal-bed methane resources are present in the westernmost part of the Arkoma basin.

  3. Biogeochemical distinction of methane releases from two Amazon hydroreservoirs.

    PubMed

    Lima, Ivan Bergier Tavares

    2005-06-01

    Biogeochemical distinction of methane emissions to the atmosphere may essentially rely on the surface area and morphometry of Amazon hydroreservoirs. Tucurui (deep) and Samuel (shallow) reservoirs released in average 13.82+/-22.94 and 71.19+/-107.4 mg CH4 m(-2)d(-1), respectively. delta13C-CH4 values from the sediments to the atmosphere indicate that the deep reservoir has extended methanotrophic layer, oxidizing large quantities of light isotope methane coming from the sediments, while sediment-generated methane can easily evade the shallow reservoir. PMID:15894055

  4. Drilling and data acquisition programs for the methane hydrate offshore production test in the Eastern Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, K.; Fujii, T.

    2013-12-01

    Marine methane hydrates are a matter of scientific interests from various viewpoints such as a key player of global carbon cycle, effects on climate change, cause of seafloor instability, and a possible future energy resource. Under the Japanese national research program, the MH21 research consortium (Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) has conducted survey operations and subsequent analyses of data and samples from methane hydrate-bearing sediments in the Eastern Nankai Trough. The goal of the project was a gas production test from a methane hydrate deposits in sandy intervals of Pleistocene turbidite sediments. The test location was set in Daini Atsumi Knoll that is a ridge between forearc basin and accretionary prism, and the sediments cover the flank of the knoll. The water depth at the test location is approximately 1000m, and 50m thick methane hydrate concentrated zone exists around 300m below seafloor. The main interest of the MH21 research team is to know physical (thermal, hydraulic, and mechanical) parameters of sediments that are necessary to understand gas hydrate dissociation processes during the production test. Core samples and geophysical logging data obtained during past surveys are utilized for this purpose. Sedimentation and tectono-geophysical conditions govern such material properties, so the samples were analyzed from those viewpoints, too. The first drilling at the location was done in 2004 with logging and coring operation including pressure-conserved core sampling. In 2011, shallow geotechnical survey holes were drilled in the area for geo-hazard assessment, and core samples were taken in the holes, along with some in-situ mechanical and hydraulic testings. In early 2012, a well construction operation for the gas production test was conducted with logging operations that contains neutron porosity data using pulse-neutron devices, magnetic resonance log, etc. A

  5. Methane oxidation in Saanich Inlet during summer stratification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, B. B.; Kilpatrick, K. A.; Wopat, A. E.; Minnich, E. C.; Lidstrom, M. E.

    1989-01-01

    Saanich Inlet, British Columbia, an fjord on the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, typically stratifies in summer, leading to the formation of an oxic-anoxic interface in the water column and accumulation of methane in the deep water. The results of methane concentration measurements in the water column of the inlet at various times throughout the summer months in 1983 are presented. Methane gradients and calculated diffusive fluxes across the oxic-anoxic interface increased as the summer progressed. Methane distribution and consumption in Saanich Inlet were studied in more detail during August 1986. At this time, a typical summer stratification with an oxic-anoxic interface around 140 m was present. At the interface, steep gradients in nutrient concentrations, bacterial abundance and methane concentration were observed. Methane oxidation was detected in the aerobic surface waters and in the anaerobic deep layer, but highest rates occurred in a narrow layer at the oxic-anoxic interface. Estimated methane oxidation rates were suffcient to consume 100 percent of the methane provided by diffusive flux from the anoxic layer. Methane oxidation is thus a mechanism whereby atmospheric flux from anoxic waters is minimized.

  6. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    SciTech Connect

    Richard Sigal; Kent Newsham; Thomas Williams; Barry Freifeld; Timothy Kneafsey; Carl Sondergeld; Shandra Rai; Jonathan Kwan; Stephen Kirby; Robert Kleinberg; Doug Griffin

    2005-02-01

    part of the Ugnu and throughout the West Sak. No hydrate-bearing zones were identified either in recovered core or on well logs. The base of the permafrost was found at about 1260 ft. With the exception of the deepest sands in the West Sak and some anomalous thin, tight zones, all sands recovered (after thawing) are unconsolidated with high porosity and high permeability. At 800 psi, Ugnu sands have an average porosity of 39.3% and geometrical mean permeability of 3.7 Darcys. Average grain density is 2.64 g/cc. West Sak sands have an average porosity of 35.5%, geometrical mean permeability of 0.3 Darcys, and average grain density of 2.70 g/cc. There were several 1-2 ft intervals of carbonate-cemented sandstone recovered from the West Sak. These intervals have porosities of only a few percent and very low permeability. On a well log they appear as resistive with a high sonic velocity. In shallow sections of other wells these usually are the only logs available. Given the presence of gas in Hot Ice No. 1, if only resistivity and sonic logs and a mud log had been available, tight sand zones may have been interpreted as containing hydrates. Although this finding does not imply that all previously mapped hydrate zones are merely tight sands, it does add a note of caution to the practice of interpreting the presence of hydrates from old well information. The methane hydrate stability zone below the Hot Ice No. 1 location includes thick sections of sandstone and conglomerate which would make excellent reservoir rocks for hydrates and below the permafrost zone shallow gas. The Ugnu formation comprises a more sand-rich section than does the West Sak formation, and the Ugnu sands when cleaned and dried are slightly more porous and significantly more permeable than the West Sak.

  7. Characteristics of hydrate-bound gases from the Eastern Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kida, M.; Jin, Y.; Watanabe, M.; Konno, Y.; Yoneda, J.; Egawa, K.; Ito, T.; Nakatsuka, Y.; Suzuki, K.; Nagao, J.

    2013-12-01

    Natural gas hydrates are crystalline clathrate compounds that encage a large amount of natural gas, are stable under high pressure and low temperature conditions such as deep marine environments. Hydrate-bound natural gas compositions are related to a thermodynamically stable condition, crystallographic structure, or origin of natural gas hydrates, which are important to characterize natural gas hydrate reservoirs. The hydrate-bearing sediments were recovered from the eastern Nankai Trough area during the 2012 JOGMEC/JAPEX Pressure coring operation, aboard the RV CHIKYU. In this study, the molecular and isotopic compositions of the gases released from the hydrate-bearing sediments were characterized. In addition, the powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) profiles of the hydrate-bearing sediments were obtained using a cryo-system to characterize the crystallographic structure of gas hydrate. The gases released from the hydrate-bearing sediments contained methane as a main hydrocarbon component. The carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) of methane were approximately -65‰ (vs. VPDB). The molecular and isotopic compositions suggest a microbial origin for the hydrate-bound gas. The hydrate-bound gas contained small amounts of ethane and heavier hydrocarbons (less than 400 ppm). The concentrations of the minor hydrocarbon components tended to decrease at upper levels of the sediment core recovered, implying a compositional fractionation of natural gas during the migration of fluid from deeper level. The PXRD profiles of the hydrate-bearing sediments showed that the natural gas hydrates in the sediments is of structure I. The crystallographic character of the natural gas hydrates is supported by the fact that pure methane forms a structure I hydrate. This work was supported by funding from the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21 Research Consortium) planned by METI.

  8. Laboratory Thermal Conductivity Measurements in Pure Methane Hydrate Between -5 and -30 ° C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waite, W. F.; Pinkston, J.; Kirby, S. H.

    2001-12-01

    Naturally occurring methane (CH4) hydrate, found extensively in shallow permafrost and continental margin sediment, has generated interest as a potential energy resource, a geohazard, and a contributor to global climate change. The significance of gas hydrate in these roles depends in part on the effects of temperature on their stability, and hence can be sensitive to exchanges of heat with their environment. Thermal properties such as conductivity and diffusivity are therefore important properties governing the response of hydrate-bearing sediment to natural or man-made thermal perturbations. We seek to improve characterizations of hydrate's in situ thermal behavior by making laboratory measurements of thermal conductivity in pure sI CH4 hydrate at near in situ pressures and temperatures. Thermal conductivity measurements are made using the transient hot-wire technique of von Herzen and Maxwell, which requires that a needle probe be positioned along the axis of the cylindrical sample. Hydrate is synthesized around the probe by heating H20 "seed ice" grains in a pressurized methane atmosphere. To insure thermal contact between probe and sample, and to eliminate the porosity required by our synthesis method, samples are radially compacted after synthesis. We tested our methodology on granular ice Ih, compacted under vacuum, and its thermal conductivity is 2.16+/-0.03 W/m”K at -10° C, in agreement with published values. Our preliminary value for conductivity of pure CH4 hydrate, when compacted to less than 5% porosity, is 0.475+/-0.007 W/m”K at -5° C. Conductivity decreases slightly (0.015 W/m”K) with temperature over the range -30 to -5° C. At -30° C, thermal conductivity increases with confining pressure by 0.0125 W/m”K over the range 34.5 to 70.1 MPa. Thermal conductivity measurements above 0° C in pure CH4 hydrate are ongoing.

  9. Methane hydrate formation in turbidite sediments of northern Cascadia IODP Expedition 311

    SciTech Connect

    Torres, M. E.; Trehu, Ann M.; cespedes, N.; Kastner, Miriam; Wortmann, Ulrich; Kim, J.; Long, Philip E.; Malinverno, Alberto; Pohlman, J. W.; Collett, T. S.

    2008-07-15

    Expedition 311 of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) to northern Cascadia recovered gas-hydrate bearing sediments along a SW–NE transect from the first ridge of the accretionary margin to the eastward limit of gas-hydrate stability. In this study we contrast the gas gas-hydrate distribution from two sites drilled ~8 km apart in different tectonic settings. At Site U1325, drilled on a depositional basin with nearly horizontal sedimentary sequences, the gas-hydrate distribution shows a trend of increasing saturation toward the base of gas-hydrate stability, consistent with several model simulations in the literature. Site U1326 was drilled on an uplifted ridge characterized by faulting, which has likely experienced some mass wasting events. Here the gas hydrate does not show a clear depth-distribution trend, the highest gas-hydrate saturation occurs well within the gas-hydrate stability zone at the shallow depth of ~49 mbsf. Sediments at both sites are characterized by abundant coarse-grained (sand) layers up to 23 cm in thickness, and are interspaced within fine-grained (clay and silty clay) detrital sediments. The gas-hydrate distribution is punctuated by localized depth intervals of high gas-hydrate saturation, which preferentially occur in the coarse-grained horizons and occupy up to 60% of the pore space at Site U1325 and N80% at Site U1326. Detailed analyses of contiguous samples of different lithologies show that when enough methane is present, about 90% of the variance in gas-hydrate saturation can be explained by the sand (N63 μm) content of the sediments. The variability in gas-hydrate occupancy of sandy horizons at Site U1326 reflects an insufficient methane supply to the sediment section between 190 and 245 mbsf.

  10. Methane Plumes on Mars

    NASA Video Gallery

    Spectrometer instruments attached to several telescopes detect plumes of methane emitted from Mars during its summer and spring seasons. High levels of methane are indicated by warmer colors. The m...

  11. Up with methane

    SciTech Connect

    Barlaz, M.A.; Milke, M.W.; Ham, R.K.

    1986-12-01

    Methane production from municipal refuse represents a rapidly developing source of energy which remains underutilized. Part of the problem is the small amount of methane which is typically collected relative to the refuse's methane generation potential. This study was undertaken to define the parameters which affect the onset of methane production and methane yields in sanitary landfills. Ultimately, we need to develop refuse disposal methods which enhance its methane production potential. Included in the study were tests of how introduction of old refuse, use of sterile cover soil, addition of acetate to refuse, and use of leachate, recycling and neutralization affect methane generation. A more thorough understanding of how the microbes present in refuse react to different variables is the first step in the development of techniques for stimulating methane production in sanitary landfills.

  12. Heat pipe methanator

    DOEpatents

    Ranken, William A.; Kemme, Joseph E.

    1976-07-27

    A heat pipe methanator for converting coal gas to methane. Gravity return heat pipes are employed to remove the heat of reaction from the methanation promoting catalyst, transmitting a portion of this heat to an incoming gas pre-heat section and delivering the remainder to a steam generating heat exchanger.

  13. Homicide by methane gas.

    PubMed

    De-Giorgio, Fabio; Grassi, Vincenzo M; Vetrugno, Giuseppe; Rossi, Riccardo; Fucci, Nadia; d'Aloja, Ernesto; Pascali, Vincenzo L

    2012-09-10

    Methane is a suffocating gas, and "methane deaths" are largely the result of suffocation by gas-air displacement after accidental or deliberate exposure. Neither methane gas nor other suffocating gases are a common means of homicide, with the potential exception of the use of gas in chemical weapons or gas chambers. Here, we report the case of a 53-year-old woman who was killed by her husband with methane gas. The man had given his wife a dose of Lorazepam before setting up a hose that conveyed methane from the kitchen into the apartment's bedroom. The man subsequently faked his own suicide, which was later discovered. PMID:22721935

  14. The Application of Methane Clumped Isotope Measurements to Determine the Source of Large Methane Seeps in Alaskan Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, P. M.; Stolper, D. A.; Eiler, J. M.; Sessions, A. L.; Walter Anthony, K. M.

    2014-12-01

    Natural methane emissions from the Arctic present an important potential feedback to global warming. Arctic methane emissions may come from either active microbial sources or from deep fossil reservoirs released by the thawing of permafrost and melting of glaciers. It is often difficult to distinguish between and quantify contributions from these methane sources based on stable isotope data. Analyses of methane clumped isotopes (isotopologues with two or more rare isotopes such as 13CH3D) can complement traditional stable isotope-based classifications of methane sources. This is because clumped isotope abundances (for isotopically equilibrated systems) are a function of temperature and can be used to identify pathways of methane generation. Additionally, distinctive effects of mixing on clumped isotope abundances make this analysis valuable for determining the origins of mixed gasses. We find large variability in clumped isotope compositions of methane from seeps in several lakes, including thermokarst lakes, across Alaska. At Lake Sukok in northern Alaska we observe the emission of dominantly thermogenic methane, with a formation temperature of at least 100° C. At several other lakes we find evidence for mixing between thermogenic methane and biogenic methane that forms in low-temperature isotopic equilibrium. For example, at Eyak Lake in southeastern Alaska, analysis of three methane samples results in a distinctive isotopic mixing line between a high-temperature end-member that formed between 100-170° C, and a biogenic end-member that formed in isotopic equilibrium between 0-20° C. In this respect, biogenic methane in these lakes resembles observations from marine gas seeps, oil degradation, and sub-surface aquifers. Interestingly, at Goldstream Lake in interior Alaska, methane with strongly depleted clumped-isotope abundances, indicative of disequilibrium gas formation, is found, similar to observations from methanogen culture experiments.

  15. Methane yield phenotypes linked to differential gene expression in the sheep rumen microbiome.

    PubMed

    Shi, Weibing; Moon, Christina D; Leahy, Sinead C; Kang, Dongwan; Froula, Jeff; Kittelmann, Sandra; Fan, Christina; Deutsch, Samuel; Gagic, Dragana; Seedorf, Henning; Kelly, William J; Atua, Renee; Sang, Carrie; Soni, Priya; Li, Dong; Pinares-Patiño, Cesar S; McEwan, John C; Janssen, Peter H; Chen, Feng; Visel, Axel; Wang, Zhong; Attwood, Graeme T; Rubin, Edward M

    2014-09-01

    Ruminant livestock represent the single largest anthropogenic source of the potent greenhouse gas methane, which is generated by methanogenic archaea residing in ruminant digestive tracts. While differences between individual animals of the same breed in the amount of methane produced have been observed, the basis for this variation remains to be elucidated. To explore the mechanistic basis of this methane production, we measured methane yields from 22 sheep, which revealed that methane yields are a reproducible, quantitative trait. Deep metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing demonstrated a similar abundance of methanogens and methanogenesis pathway genes in high and low methane emitters. However, transcription of methanogenesis pathway genes was substantially increased in sheep with high methane yields. These results identify a discrete set of rumen methanogens whose methanogenesis pathway transcription profiles correlate with methane yields and provide new targets for CH4 mitigation at the levels of microbiota composition and transcriptional regulation. PMID:24907284

  16. Methane yield phenotypes linked to differential gene expression in the sheep rumen microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Christina D.; Leahy, Sinead C.; Kang, Dongwan; Froula, Jeff; Kittelmann, Sandra; Fan, Christina; Deutsch, Samuel; Gagic, Dragana; Seedorf, Henning; Kelly, William J.; Atua, Renee; Sang, Carrie; Soni, Priya; Li, Dong; Pinares-Patiño, Cesar S.; McEwan, John C.; Janssen, Peter H.; Chen, Feng; Visel, Axel; Wang, Zhong; Attwood, Graeme T.

    2014-01-01

    Ruminant livestock represent the single largest anthropogenic source of the potent greenhouse gas methane, which is generated by methanogenic archaea residing in ruminant digestive tracts. While differences between individual animals of the same breed in the amount of methane produced have been observed, the basis for this variation remains to be elucidated. To explore the mechanistic basis of this methane production, we measured methane yields from 22 sheep, which revealed that methane yields are a reproducible, quantitative trait. Deep metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing demonstrated a similar abundance of methanogens and methanogenesis pathway genes in high and low methane emitters. However, transcription of methanogenesis pathway genes was substantially increased in sheep with high methane yields. These results identify a discrete set of rumen methanogens whose methanogenesis pathway transcription profiles correlate with methane yields and provide new targets for CH4 mitigation at the levels of microbiota composition and transcriptional regulation. PMID:24907284

  17. Methane photochemistry and methane production on Neptune

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Romani, P. N.; Atreya, S. K.

    1988-01-01

    The Neptune stratosphere's methane photochemistry is presently studied by means of a numerical model in which the observed mixing ratio of methane prompts photolysis near the CH4 homopause. Haze generation by methane photochemistry has its basis in the formation of hydrocarbon ices and polyacetylenes; the hazes can furnish the requisite aerosol haze at the appropriate pressure levels required by observations of Neptune in the visible and near-IR. Comparisons of model predictions with Uranus data indicate a lower ratio of polyacetylene production to hydrocarbon ice, as well as a lower likelihood of UV postprocessing of the acetylene ice to polymers on Neptune, compared to Uranus.

  18. Methane photochemistry and methane production on Neptune

    SciTech Connect

    Romani, P.N.; Atreya, S.K.

    1988-06-01

    The Neptune stratosphere's methane photochemistry is presently studied by means of a numerical model in which the observed mixing ratio of methane prompts photolysis near the CH4 homopause. Haze generation by methane photochemistry has its basis in the formation of hydrocarbon ices and polyacetylenes; the hazes can furnish the requisite aerosol haze at the appropriate pressure levels required by observations of Neptune in the visible and near-IR. Comparisons of model predictions with Uranus data indicate a lower ratio of polyacetylene production to hydrocarbon ice, as well as a lower likelihood of UV postprocessing of the acetylene ice to polymers on Neptune, compared to Uranus. 65 references.

  19. Deep subsurface microbial processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovley, D.R.; Chapelle, F.H.

    1995-01-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed redox reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Furthermore, there is an increasing threat that deep aquifers, an important drinking water resource, may be contaminated by man's activities, and there is a need to predict the extent to which microbial activity may remediate such contamination. Metabolically active microorganisms can be recovered from a diversity of deep subsurface environments. The available evidence suggests that these microorganisms are responsible for catalyzing the oxidation of organic matter coupled to a variety of electron acceptors just as microorganisms do in surface sediments, but at much slower rates. The technical difficulties in aseptically sampling deep subsurface sediments and the fact that microbial processes in laboratory incubations of deep subsurface material often do not mimic in situ processes frequently necessitate that microbial activity in the deep subsurface be inferred through nonmicrobiological analyses of ground water. These approaches include measurements of dissolved H2, which can predict the predominant microbially catalyzed redox reactions in aquifers, as well as geochemical and groundwater flow modeling, which can be used to estimate the rates of microbial processes. Microorganisms recovered from the deep subsurface have the potential to affect the fate of toxic organics and inorganic contaminants in groundwater. Microbial activity also greatly influences 1 the chemistry of many pristine groundwaters and contributes to such phenomena as porosity development in carbonate aquifers, accumulation of undesirably high concentrations of dissolved iron, and production of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Although the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in interest in deep subsurface microbiology, in comparison with the study of

  20. Methane emission from sewers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie; Sharma, Keshab R; Yuan, Zhiguo

    2015-08-15

    Recent studies have shown that sewer systems produce and emit a significant amount of methane. Methanogens produce methane under anaerobic conditions in sewer biofilms and sediments, and the stratification of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria may explain the simultaneous production of methane and sulfide in sewers. No significant methane sinks or methanotrophic activities have been identified in sewers to date. Therefore, most of the methane would be emitted at the interface between sewage and atmosphere in gravity sewers, pumping stations, and inlets of wastewater treatment plants, although oxidation of methane in the aeration basin of a wastewater treatment plant has been reported recently. Online measurements have also revealed highly dynamic temporal and spatial variations in methane production caused by factors such as hydraulic retention time, area-to-volume ratio, temperature, and concentration of organic matter in sewage. Both mechanistic and empirical models have been proposed to predict methane production in sewers. Due to the sensitivity of methanogens to environmental conditions, most of the chemicals effective in controlling sulfide in sewers also suppress or diminish methane production. In this paper, we review the recent studies on methane emission from sewers, including the production mechanisms, quantification, modeling, and mitigation. PMID:25889543

  1. Methane in lake kivu: new data bearing on its origin.

    PubMed

    Deuser, W G; Degens, E T; Harvey, G R; Rubin, M

    1973-07-01

    Lake Kivu, an African rift lake, contains about 50 cubic kilometers of methane (at standard temperature and pressure) in its deep water. Data resulting from two recent expeditions to the lake and a reevaluation of earlier data suggest that most of the methane was formed by bacteria from abiogenetic carbon dioxide and hydrogen, rather than being of volcanic origin or having formed from decomposing organic matter. PMID:17769824

  2. Methane in Lake Kivu: New data bearing on its origin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Deuser, W.G.; Degens, E.T.; Harvey, G.R.; Rubin, M.

    1973-01-01

    Lake Kivu, an African rift lake, contains about 50 cubic kilometers of methane (at standard temperature and pressure) in its deep water. Data resulting from two recent expeditions to the lake and a reevaluation of earlier data suggest that most of the methane was formed by bacteria from abiogenetic carbon dioxide and hydrogen, rather than being of volcanic origin or having formed from decomposing organic matter.

  3. Methane-Powered Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Liquid methane is beginning to become an energy alternative to expensive oil as a power source for automotive vehicles. Methane is the principal component of natural gas, costs less than half as much as gasoline, and its emissions are a lot cleaner than from gasoline or diesel engines. Beech Aircraft Corporation's Boulder Division has designed and is producing a system for converting cars and trucks to liquid methane operation. Liquid methane (LM) is a cryogenic fuel which must be stored at a temperature of 260 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The LM system includes an 18 gallon fuel tank in the trunk and simple "under the hood" carburetor conversion equipment. Optional twin-fuel system allows operator to use either LM or gasoline fuel. Boulder Division has started deliveries for 25 vehicle conversions and is furnishing a liquid methane refueling station. Beech is providing instruction for Northwest Natural Gas, for conversion of methane to liquid state.

  4. Methane Hydrate Field Program

    SciTech Connect

    2013-12-31

    This final report document summarizes the activities undertaken and the output from three primary deliverables generated during this project. This fifteen month effort comprised numerous key steps including the creation of an international methane hydrate science team, determining and reporting the current state of marine methane hydrate research, convening an international workshop to collect the ideas needed to write a comprehensive Marine Methane Hydrate Field Research Plan and the development and publication of that plan. The following documents represent the primary deliverables of this project and are discussed in summary level detail in this final report. • Historical Methane Hydrate Project Review Report • Methane Hydrate Workshop Report • Topical Report: Marine Methane Hydrate Field Research Plan • Final Scientific/Technical Report

  5. Mars methane engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bui, Hung; Coletta, Chris; Debois, Alain

    1994-01-01

    The feasibility of an internal combustion engine operating on a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, and oxygen has been verified by previous design groups for the Mars Methane Engine Project. Preliminary stoichiometric calculations examined the theoretical fuel-air ratios needed for the combustion of methane. Installation of a computer data acquisition system along with various ancillary components will enable the performance of the engine, running on the described methane mixture, to be optimized with respect to minimizing excess fuel. Theoretical calculations for stoichiometric combustion of methane-oxygen-carbon dioxide mixtures yielded a ratio of 1:2:4.79 for a methane-oxygen-carbon dioxide mixture. Empirical data shows the values to be closer to 1:2.33:3.69 for optimum operation.

  6. Detecting Methane Leaks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, W. B.; Hinkley, E. D.

    1984-01-01

    Remote sensor uses laser radiation backscattered from natural targets. He/Ne Laser System for remote scanning of Methane leaks employs topographic target to scatter light to receiver near laser transmitter. Apparatus powered by 1.5kW generator transported to field sites and pointed at suspected methane leaks. Used for remote detection of natural-gas leaks and locating methane emissions in landfill sites.

  7. Enhancement of Biogenic Coalbed Methane Production and Back Injection of Coalbed Methane Co-Produced Water

    SciTech Connect

    Song Jin

    2007-05-31

    Biogenic methane is a common constituent in deep subsurface environments such as coalbeds and oil shale beds. Coalbed methane (CBM) makes significant contributions to world natural gas industry and CBM production continues to increase. With increasing CBM production, the production of CBM co-produced water increases, which is an environmental concern. This study investigated the feasibility in re-using CBM co-produced water and other high sodic/saline water to enhance biogenic methane production from coal and other unconventional sources, such as oil shale. Microcosms were established with the selected carbon sources which included coal, oil shale, lignite, peat, and diesel-contaminated soil. Each microcosm contained either CBM coproduced water or groundwater with various enhancement and inhibitor combinations. Results indicated that the addition of nutrients and nutrients with additional carbon can enhance biogenic methane production from coal and oil shale. Methane production from oil shale was much greater than that from coal, which is possibly due to the greater amount of available Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) from oil shale. Inconclusive results were observed from the other sources since the incubation period was too low. WRI is continuing studies with biogenic methane production from oil shale.

  8. Importance of the autumn overturn and anoxic conditions in the hypolimnion for the annual methane emissions from a temperate lake.

    PubMed

    Encinas Fernández, Jorge; Peeters, Frank; Hofmann, Hilmar

    2014-07-01

    Changes in the budget of dissolved methane measured in a small temperate lake over 1 year indicate that anoxic conditions in the hypolimnion and the autumn overturn period represent key factors for the overall annual methane emissions from lakes. During periods of stable stratification, large amounts of methane accumulate in anoxic deep waters. Approximately 46% of the stored methane was emitted during the autumn overturn, contributing ∼80% of the annual diffusive methane emissions to the atmosphere. After the overturn period, the entire water column was oxic, and only 1% of the original quantity of methane remained in the water column. Current estimates of global methane emissions assume that all of the stored methane is released, whereas several studies of individual lakes have suggested that a major fraction of the stored methane is oxidized during overturns. Our results provide evidence that not all of the stored methane is released to the atmosphere during the overturn period. However, the fraction of stored methane emitted to the atmosphere during overturn may be substantially larger and the fraction of stored methane oxidized may be smaller than in the previous studies suggesting high oxidation losses of methane. The development or change in the vertical extent and duration of the anoxic hypolimnion, which can represent the main source of annual methane emissions from small lakes, may be an important aspect to consider for impact assessments of climate warming on the methane emissions from lakes. PMID:24873684

  9. In-Situ Sampling and Characterization of Naturally Occurring Marine Methane Hydrate Using the D/V JOIDES Resolution

    SciTech Connect

    Rack, Frank; Storms, Michael; Schroeder, Derryl; Dugan, Brandon; Schultheiss, Peter

    2002-12-31

    The primary accomplishments of the JOI Cooperative Agreement with DOE/NETL in this quarter were (1) the preliminary postcruise evaluation of the tools and measurement systems that were used during ODP Leg 204 to study hydrate deposits on Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon from July through September 2002; and (2) the preliminary study of the hydrate-bearing core samples preserved in pressure vessels and in liquid nitrogen cryofreezers, which are now stored at the ODP Gulf Coast Repository in College Station, TX. During ODP Leg 204, several newly modified downhole tools were deployed to better characterize the subsurface lithologies and environments hosting microbial populations and gas hydrates. A preliminary review of the use of these tools is provided herein. The DVTP, DVTP-P, APC-methane, and APC-Temperature tools (ODP memory tools) were used extensively and successfully during ODP Leg 204 aboard the D/V JOIDES Resolution. These systems provided a strong operational capability for characterizing the in situ properties of methane hydrates in subsurface environments on Hydrate Ridge during ODP Leg 204. Pressure was also measured during a trial run of the Fugro piezoprobe, which operates on similar principles as the DVTP-P. The final report describing the deployments of the Fugro Piezoprobe is provided in Appendix A of this report. A preliminary analysis and comparison between the piezoprobe and DVTP-P tools is provided in Appendix B of this report. Finally, a series of additional holes were cored at the crest of Hydrate Ridge (Site 1249) specifically geared toward the rapid recovery and preservation of hydrate samples as part of a hydrate geriatric study partially funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). In addition, the preliminary results from gamma density non-invasive imaging of the cores preserved in pressure vessels are provided in Appendix C of this report. An initial visual inspection of the samples stored in liquid nitrogen is provided in Appendix D of this

  10. The future of methane

    SciTech Connect

    Howell, D.G.

    1995-12-31

    Natural gas, mainly methane, produces lower CO{sub 2}, CO, NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulate emissions than either oil or coal; thus further substitutions of methane for these fuels could help mitigate air pollution. Methane is, however, a potent greenhouse gas and the domestication of ruminants, cultivation of rice, mining of coal, drilling for oil, and transportation of natural gas have all contributed to a doubling of the amount of atmospheric methane since 1800. Today nearly 300,000 wells yearly produce ca. 21 trillion cubic feet of methane. Known reserves suggest about a 10 year supply at the above rates of recovery; and the potential for undiscovered resources is obscured by uncertainty involving price, new technologies, and environmental restrictions steming from the need to drill an enormous number of wells, many in ecologically sensitive areas. Until all these aspects of methane are better understood, its future role in the world`s energy mix will remain uncertain. The atomic simplicity of methane, composed of one carbon and four hydrogen atoms, may mask the complexity and importance of this, the most basic of organic molecules. Within the Earth, methane is produced through thermochemical alteration of organic materials, and by biochemical reactions mediated by metabolic processes of archaebacteria; some methane may even be primordial, a residue of planetary accretion. Methane also occurs in smaller volumes in landfills, rice paddies, termite complexes, ruminants, and even many humans. As an energy source, its full energy potential is controversial. Methane is touted by some as a viable bridge to future energy systems, fueled by the sun and uranium and carried by electricity and hydrogen.

  11. Temperature lapse rate and methane in Titan's troposphere.

    PubMed

    McKay, C P; Chau Martin, S; Griffith, C A; Keller, R M

    1997-10-01

    We have reanalyzed the Voyager radio occultation data for Titan, examining two alternative approaches to methane condensation. In one approach, methane condensation is facilitated by the presence of nitrogen because nitrogen lowers the condensation level of a methane/nitrogen mixture. The resulting enhancement in methane condensation lowers the upper limit on surface relative humidity of methane obtained from the Voyager occultation data from 0.7 to 0.6. We conclude that in this case the surface relative humidity of methane lies between 0.08 and 0.6, with values close to 0.6 indicated. In the other approach, methane is allowed to become supersaturated and reaches 1.4 times saturation in the troposphere. In this case, surface humidities up to 100% are allowed by the Voyager occultation data, and thus the upper limit must be set by other considerations. We conclude that if supersaturation is included, then the surface relative humidity of methane can be any value greater than 0.08--unless a deep ocean is present, in which case the surface relative humidity is limited to less than 0.85. Again, values close to 0.6 are indicated. Overall, the tropospheric lapse rate on Titan appears to be determined by radiative equilibrium. The lapse rate is everywhere stable against dry convection, but is unstable to moist convection. This finding is consistent with a supersaturated atmosphere in which condensation-and hence moist convection-is inhibited. PMID:11541736

  12. Eagle Fort Shale Play Methane Source and Fate Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    hampton, C. L.; Coffin, R. B.; Rose, P. S.; Boyd, T. J.; Murgulet, D.

    2013-12-01

    Shale gas is a new and important energy source in the United States. Methane in elevated concentrations has been observed in aquifers overlying active horizontal drilling sites in the Marcellus Shale operation area. In South Texas, horizontal fracturing is being applied to petroleum exploration in the Eagle Ford Shale play. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing can enhance methane transport to deep aquifers, soil, and the vadose zone. There is little information available regarding the presence and origin of methane in Texas groundwaters and the influence of horizontal fracking. The objective of this study is to assess the extent, severity, and sources of methane contamination in South Texas groundwaters. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand potential environmental impacts of hydraulic fracking on groundwater supplies. For this purpose, 35 groundwater samples were collected from active and non-active drilling areas at depths ranging between 50 and 1,300 meters. Stable carbon isotopes in methane (δ13CCH4) and carbon stable isotope ratios in dissolved incorganic carbon (δ13CDIC) analysis were measured to determine the range of signatures for shale petroleum-sourced methane and to differentiate between methane sources (i.e. microbial versus thermogenic). The preliminary δ13CCH4 data set suggests the presence of multiple sources of methane in the aquifers sampled. Stable isotope signatures of CH4 and DIC will help differentiate between sources.

  13. Methanation assembly using multiple reactors

    DOEpatents

    Jahnke, Fred C.; Parab, Sanjay C.

    2007-07-24

    A methanation assembly for use with a water supply and a gas supply containing gas to be methanated in which a reactor assembly has a plurality of methanation reactors each for methanating gas input to the assembly and a gas delivery and cooling assembly adapted to deliver gas from the gas supply to each of said methanation reactors and to combine water from the water supply with the output of each methanation reactor being conveyed to a next methanation reactor and carry the mixture to such next methanation reactor.

  14. 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

  15. Diverse origins of Arctic and Subarctic methane point source emissions identified with multiply-substituted isotopologues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, P. M. J.; Stolper, D. A.; Smith, D. A.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S.; Wik, M.; Crill, P. M.; Winterdahl, M.; Eiler, J. M.; Sessions, A. L.

    2016-09-01

    Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and there are concerns that its natural emissions from the Arctic could act as a substantial positive feedback to anthropogenic global warming. Determining the sources of methane emissions and the biogeochemical processes controlling them is important for understanding present and future Arctic contributions to atmospheric methane budgets. Here we apply measurements of multiply-substituted isotopologues, or clumped isotopes, of methane as a new tool to identify the origins of ebullitive fluxes in Alaska, Sweden and the Arctic Ocean. When methane forms in isotopic equilibrium, clumped isotope measurements indicate the formation temperature. In some microbial methane, however, non-equilibrium isotope effects, probably related to the kinetics of methanogenesis, lead to low clumped isotope values. We identify four categories of emissions in the studied samples: thermogenic methane, deep subsurface or marine microbial methane formed in isotopic equilibrium, freshwater microbial methane with non-equilibrium clumped isotope values, and mixtures of deep and shallow methane (i.e., combinations of the first three end members). Mixing between deep and shallow methane sources produces a non-linear variation in clumped isotope values with mixing proportion that provides new constraints for the formation environment of the mixing end-members. Analyses of microbial methane emitted from lakes, as well as a methanol-consuming methanogen pure culture, support the hypothesis that non-equilibrium clumped isotope values are controlled, in part, by kinetic isotope effects induced during enzymatic reactions involved in methanogenesis. Our results indicate that these kinetic isotope effects vary widely in microbial methane produced in Arctic lake sediments, with non-equilibrium Δ18 values spanning a range of more than 5‰.

  16. Geoengineering treatment of methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lockley, Andrew; Gardian, Alan

    2010-05-01

    Methane is a significant GHG, and substantial reservoirs are vulnerable to instability due to AGW. Excursions, from permafrost and clathrates especially, act a positive feedback to AGW. Existing concentrations of well-mixed atmospheric methane substantially exceed pre-industrial levels. Various geoengineering methods are herein proposed for containment of methane, and/or accelerated oxidation to CO2 (a gas with a lower GWP over all timescales). A basic qualitative analysis of each technique is undertaken, to direct further study. Consideration is also given to the potential capacity of each technique to treat the total likely excursions of methane expected as a result of AGW. Proposed techniques: Section 0 SRM (comparison option) Section 1 Pre-emptive treatment of methane reservoirs Soil heating (polytunnels, heat pumps); Soil aeration; Mining of clathrates; Burning of clathrates Section 2 Remediation of aquatic methane excursions Lake sealing; Mixing of aquatic strata; Bubble capture; Lake aeration; Biological oxidation in aquatic environments Section 3 Remediation of concentrated atmospheric methane Regenerative thermal oxidation; Electrical ignition; Thermal ignition; Using incendiary munitions Section 4 Remediation of diffuse atmospheric methane Thermal oxidation by concentrated solar power; Compression ignition; Chemical degradation Assessment criteria: Infrastructure/implementation cost; Energy cost; Expected efficacy; Complexity/development path; Environmental impacts; Potential for CCS

  17. Methane generation in subduction zones: A cause for fluid overpressures?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raimbourg, Hugues; Disnar, Jean-Robert; Thiery, Regis; Ramboz, Claire; Yamaguchi, Asuka; Kimura, Gaku

    2013-04-01

    The nature of the fluids involved in the deep plate interface in subduction zones is difficult to constrain, as it incorporates many potential sources (sea water trapped in pores, water from dehydration reactions, fluid from the depths of the subduction channel or from the slab). Using Raman analysis of fluid inclusions in quartz veins from the deep domains of the Shimanto paleo-accretionary complex, Japan, we first show that at temperatures of ~250°C, the fluid is a mixture of water and methane, in agreement with literature on similar terranes. In most of the studied area, we could observe only one, water-rich, kind of inclusion, while in a restricted region a second, methane-rich, kind of inclusion was also present, suggesting in the first case the circulation at depth of a single fluid and in the second case the coexistence of two fluid phases. We used then isochores of the methane-rich fluid inclusions to constrain the paleo- fluid pressure. In the present case, methane-rich inclusions are distributed as planes, i.e. along healed microcracks, hence they provide a record of the conditions that prevailed during a short period of time. Within a single plane of inclusions, homogeneization temperatures of the methane phase show large variations between inclusions, which we interpret as the record of large and rapid variations in fluid pressure. To account for this diversity in the fluid state (single- vs. two-phased) as well as for the rapid variations in pressure, we developed a model of methane generation by thermal cracking of organic matter during burial. In spite of the low average organic matter content of subducted sediments, the porosity, hence the water content of deep sediments is sufficiently low for the oversaturation of the water in methane, hence unmixing of a free, methane-rich phase, to be a realistic scenario. Predicted overpressures resulting from rapid unmixing of methane can be significant with respect to ambient fluid pressure and constitute

  18. Coupled pyrite concentration and sulfur isotopic insight into the paleo sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) in the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Qi; Wang, Jiasheng; Taladay, Katie; Lu, Hongfeng; Hu, Gaowei; Sun, Fei; Lin, Rongxiao

    2016-01-01

    The sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) is an important diagenetic redox boundary within marine sediments where the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), coupled with bacterial sulfate reduction, can promote sulfur isotopic enrichments in several solid phase minerals including pyrite (FeS2). Authigenic pyrite can form in concentrated abundances within the SMTZ and as such, can be used as a proxy to identify paleo-SMTZs. This study uses enrichments in 34S and anomalously high abundances of authigenic pyrites in 287 samples from the northern South China Sea (SCS) to determine the paleo-SMTZ. The pyrite samples were collected from sediment cores acquired at three sites, each of which are known to be located in natural gas hydrate-bearing regions. We assess the relative abundances of authigenic pyrites, the types of pyrite morphologies recovered in the cored sediments, and the sulfur isotopic values of recovered pyrite samples using two methods: (1) handpicked sample analysis using a binocular microscope, and (2) the chromium reduction method. Our results show that pyrite concentrations and sulfur isotopic compositions exhibit synchronous fluctuations, particularly from 6.8 m below seafloor (mbsf) to 8.4 mbsf at all three study sites. There is a significant increase in the occurrence of rod-like pyrite morphology within this key interval. We define the position of the paleo-SMTZ by the presence of anomalously high accumulations of pyrites at greater than 5.0 wt.% using the handpicking method or greater than 0.5 wt.% via the chromium reduction method, along with positive Δδ34S excursions greater than 10.0‰ VCDT. We discovered a regional paleo-SMTZ that is shallower than the modern SMTZ, suggesting a previous period of elevated methane flux from depth, possibly related to widespread gas hydrate dissociation.

  19. Deuterated methane observed on saturn.

    PubMed

    Fink, U; Larson, H P

    1978-07-28

    Absorptions for the V(2) band of deuterated methane (CH(3)D) have been observed in the 5-micron spectrum of Saturn, obtained with a Fourier transform spectrometer. Analysis of the band yields a CH(3)D abundance of 2.6 +/- 0.8 centimeter-amagat and a temperature of 175 +/- 30 K for the mean level of spectroscopic line formation. This temperature indicates that a substantial portion of Saturn's flux at 5 microns is due to thermal radiation, and that we are therefore looking fairly deep into its atmosphere, as is the case for the Jupiter 5-micron window. This CH(3)D abundance leads to a deuteriumlhydrogen ratio of about 2 x 10(-5) in Saturn's atmosphere. This ratio is much lower than the terrestrial value but comparable to that determined for Jupiter and may be taken as representative of the deuteriumlhydrogen ratio in the solar system at the time of its formation. PMID:17793729

  20. Methane on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnopolsky, V. A.

    Detection of methane on Mars has been claimed by Krasnopolsky Maillard Owen 2004 using FTS CFHT Formisano et al 2004 using PFS MEX and Mumma et al in preparation using CSHELL IRTF and Phoenix Gemini The measured abundances are 10 pm 3 ppb in Krasnopolsky et al 10 pm 5 ppb varying from 0 to 40 ppb in Formisano et al and 80 ppb varying from 30 to 300 ppb in Mumma et al The methane lifetime is sim 300 yr and its production loss is 300 tons yr -1 based on gas-phase chemistry Two basic questions are 1 why are the mean abundances so different and 2 how can methane vary if its lifetime is so long Variations of methane on Mars require a very effective heterogeneous loss of methane which is higher than that on Earth by a factor of ge 1000 although the expected efficiency on Earth is stronger than that on Mars because of the liquid ocean and the abundant oxygen Thermodynamic and kinetic data on the catalysis of methane do not also support variations of methane on Mars Production of methane on Mars by impacts of comets meteorites and interplanetary dust is sim 15 t yr -1 A probability that the observed methane on Mars came from impact of a single comet is 0 001 The lack of current volcanism hydrothermal activity hot spots and very low seepage of gases from the interior are not favorable for geologic methane Some weak points in the suggested geologic sources are discussed Though the geologic sources are not completely ruled out methanogenesis by living subterranean organisms is a plausible

  1. Methane Emission by Camelids

    PubMed Central

    Dittmann, Marie T.; Runge, Ullrich; Lang, Richard A.; Moser, Dario; Galeffi, Cordula; Kreuzer, Michael; Clauss, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    Methane emissions from ruminant livestock have been intensively studied in order to reduce contribution to the greenhouse effect. Ruminants were found to produce more enteric methane than other mammalian herbivores. As camelids share some features of their digestive anatomy and physiology with ruminants, it has been proposed that they produce similar amounts of methane per unit of body mass. This is of special relevance for countrywide greenhouse gas budgets of countries that harbor large populations of camelids like Australia. However, hardly any quantitative methane emission measurements have been performed in camelids. In order to fill this gap, we carried out respiration chamber measurements with three camelid species (Vicugna pacos, Lama glama, Camelus bactrianus; n = 16 in total), all kept on a diet consisting of food produced from alfalfa only. The camelids produced less methane expressed on the basis of body mass (0.32±0.11 L kg−1 d−1) when compared to literature data on domestic ruminants fed on roughage diets (0.58±0.16 L kg−1 d−1). However, there was no significant difference between the two suborders when methane emission was expressed on the basis of digestible neutral detergent fiber intake (92.7±33.9 L kg−1 in camelids vs. 86.2±12.1 L kg−1 in ruminants). This implies that the pathways of methanogenesis forming part of the microbial digestion of fiber in the foregut are similar between the groups, and that the lower methane emission of camelids can be explained by their generally lower relative food intake. Our results suggest that the methane emission of Australia's feral camels corresponds only to 1 to 2% of the methane amount produced by the countries' domestic ruminants and that calculations of greenhouse gas budgets of countries with large camelid populations based on equations developed for ruminants are generally overestimating the actual levels. PMID:24718604

  2. Methane emission by camelids.

    PubMed

    Dittmann, Marie T; Runge, Ullrich; Lang, Richard A; Moser, Dario; Galeffi, Cordula; Kreuzer, Michael; Clauss, Marcus

    2014-01-01

    Methane emissions from ruminant livestock have been intensively studied in order to reduce contribution to the greenhouse effect. Ruminants were found to produce more enteric methane than other mammalian herbivores. As camelids share some features of their digestive anatomy and physiology with ruminants, it has been proposed that they produce similar amounts of methane per unit of body mass. This is of special relevance for countrywide greenhouse gas budgets of countries that harbor large populations of camelids like Australia. However, hardly any quantitative methane emission measurements have been performed in camelids. In order to fill this gap, we carried out respiration chamber measurements with three camelid species (Vicugna pacos, Lama glama, Camelus bactrianus; n = 16 in total), all kept on a diet consisting of food produced from alfalfa only. The camelids produced less methane expressed on the basis of body mass (0.32±0.11 L kg⁻¹ d⁻¹) when compared to literature data on domestic ruminants fed on roughage diets (0.58±0.16 L kg⁻¹ d⁻¹). However, there was no significant difference between the two suborders when methane emission was expressed on the basis of digestible neutral detergent fiber intake (92.7±33.9 L kg⁻¹ in camelids vs. 86.2±12.1 L kg⁻¹ in ruminants). This implies that the pathways of methanogenesis forming part of the microbial digestion of fiber in the foregut are similar between the groups, and that the lower methane emission of camelids can be explained by their generally lower relative food intake. Our results suggest that the methane emission of Australia's feral camels corresponds only to 1 to 2% of the methane amount produced by the countries' domestic ruminants and that calculations of greenhouse gas budgets of countries with large camelid populations based on equations developed for ruminants are generally overestimating the actual levels. PMID:24718604

  3. Hypotheses for Near-Surface Exchange of Methane on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Renyu; Bloom, A. Anthony; Gao, Peter; Miller, Charles E.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2016-07-01

    The Curiosity rover recently detected a background of 0.7 ppb and spikes of 7 ppb of methane on Mars. This in situ measurement reorients our understanding of the Martian environment and its potential for life, as the current theories do not entail any geological source or sink of methane that varies sub-annually. In particular, the 10-fold elevation during the southern winter indicates episodic sources of methane that are yet to be discovered. Here we suggest a near-surface reservoir could explain this variability. Using the temperature and humidity measurements from the rover, we find that perchlorate salts in the regolith deliquesce to form liquid solutions, and deliquescence progresses to deeper subsurface in the season of the methane spikes. We therefore formulate the following three testable hypotheses. The first scenario is that the regolith in Gale Crater adsorbs methane when dry and releases this methane to the atmosphere upon deliquescence. The adsorption energy needs to be 36 kJ/mol to explain the magnitude of the methane spikes, higher than existing laboratory measurements. The second scenario is that microorganisms convert organic matter in the soil to methane when they are in liquid solutions. This scenario does not require regolith adsorption, but entails extant life on Mars. The third scenario is that deep subsurface aquifers produce the bursts of methane. Continued in situ measurements of methane and water, as well as laboratory studies of adsorption and deliquescence, will test these hypotheses and inform the existence of the near-surface reservoir and its exchange with the atmosphere.

  4. New insights into the transport processes controlling the sulfate-methane-transition-zone near methane vents

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Nabil; Garziglia, Sébastien; Ruffine, Livio

    2016-01-01

    Over the past years, several studies have raised concerns about the possible interactions between methane hydrate decomposition and external change. To carry out such an investigation, it is essential to characterize the baseline dynamics of gas hydrate systems related to natural geological and sedimentary processes. This is usually treated through the analysis of sulfate-reduction coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here, we model sulfate reduction coupled with AOM as a two-dimensional (2D) problem including, advective and diffusive transport. This is applied to a case study from a deep-water site off Nigeria’s coast where lateral methane advection through turbidite layers was suspected. We show by analyzing the acquired data in combination with computational modeling that a two-dimensional approach is able to accurately describe the recent past dynamics of such a complex natural system. Our results show that the sulfate-methane-transition-zone (SMTZ) is not a vertical barrier for dissolved sulfate and methane. We also show that such a modeling is able to assess short timescale variations in the order of decades to centuries. PMID:27230887

  5. New insights into the transport processes controlling the sulfate-methane-transition-zone near methane vents.

    PubMed

    Sultan, Nabil; Garziglia, Sébastien; Ruffine, Livio

    2016-01-01

    Over the past years, several studies have raised concerns about the possible interactions between methane hydrate decomposition and external change. To carry out such an investigation, it is essential to characterize the baseline dynamics of gas hydrate systems related to natural geological and sedimentary processes. This is usually treated through the analysis of sulfate-reduction coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here, we model sulfate reduction coupled with AOM as a two-dimensional (2D) problem including, advective and diffusive transport. This is applied to a case study from a deep-water site off Nigeria's coast where lateral methane advection through turbidite layers was suspected. We show by analyzing the acquired data in combination with computational modeling that a two-dimensional approach is able to accurately describe the recent past dynamics of such a complex natural system. Our results show that the sulfate-methane-transition-zone (SMTZ) is not a vertical barrier for dissolved sulfate and methane. We also show that such a modeling is able to assess short timescale variations in the order of decades to centuries. PMID:27230887

  6. New insights into the transport processes controlling the sulfate-methane-transition-zone near methane vents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sultan, Nabil; Garziglia, Sébastien; Ruffine, Livio

    2016-05-01

    Over the past years, several studies have raised concerns about the possible interactions between methane hydrate decomposition and external change. To carry out such an investigation, it is essential to characterize the baseline dynamics of gas hydrate systems related to natural geological and sedimentary processes. This is usually treated through the analysis of sulfate-reduction coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here, we model sulfate reduction coupled with AOM as a two-dimensional (2D) problem including, advective and diffusive transport. This is applied to a case study from a deep-water site off Nigeria’s coast where lateral methane advection through turbidite layers was suspected. We show by analyzing the acquired data in combination with computational modeling that a two-dimensional approach is able to accurately describe the recent past dynamics of such a complex natural system. Our results show that the sulfate-methane-transition-zone (SMTZ) is not a vertical barrier for dissolved sulfate and methane. We also show that such a modeling is able to assess short timescale variations in the order of decades to centuries.

  7. Electrical conductivity of lab-formed methane hydrate + sand mixtures; technical developments and new results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, L.; Du Frane, W. L.; Weitemeyer, K. A.; Constable, S.; Roberts, J. J.

    2012-12-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) measurement techniques used in permafrost and marine wells show that electrical conductivity (σ) of gas-hydrate-bearing zones is typically lower than that of surrounding sediments. However, while σ has been measured on analogue materials, it has seldom been studied on methane hydrate, the most common gas hydrate in the shallow geosphere. Additional petrophysical information - such as mixing relations and/or compositions of individual components - is also needed to more accurately relate σ to quantitative estimates of gas hydrate in EM-surveyed regions. To help address these needs, we first quantified the electrical properties of lab-formed methane hydrate at geologically relevant temperatures and pressures (Du Frane et al. GRL, 2011; also AGU 2011). A high-pressure cell was constructed to form hydrate from melting granular ice (made from distilled-deionized water) in the presence of pressurized CH4 gas, while measuring frequency-dependent impedance (Z) and σ. Final samples were pure, polycrystalline methane hydrate with excess CH4 gas but no excess H2O. The hydrate was then either quenched for grain-scale assessment by cryogenic SEM imaging, or dissociated in situ for further Z and σ measurement. Du Frane et al. [GRL, 2011] reported σ of methane hydrate to range from 10-5 to 10-4 S/m between -15 and 15°C, with activation energy (Ea) of 30.6 kJ/mol. In comparison, σ of the dissociated ice byproduct was ~400% higher with ~50% higher Ea. Measurements were then performed on methane hydrate mixed with known amounts of a standard quartz sand (Oklahoma #1, ~125 μm grain size) or similarly-sized silica glass beads in proportions ranging 10 to 90 vol. % relative to the hydrate phase. Several samples were dissociated at temperatures below -3°C for Z and σ measurement of the resulting ice/sand mixtures, and all samples were imaged for phase distribution. Adding sand complicated Z spectra for frequencies < 1 kHz and > 1MHz. However, the

  8. Enzymatic Oxidation of Methane

    SciTech Connect

    Sirajuddin, S; Rosenzweig, AC

    2015-04-14

    Methane monooxygenases (MMOs) are enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria. As potential targets for new gas-to-liquid methane bioconversion processes, MMOs have attracted intense attention in recent years. There are two distinct types of MMO, a soluble, cytoplasmic MMO (sMMO) and a membrane-bound, particulate MMO (pMMO). Both oxidize methane at metal centers within a complex, multisubunit scaffold, but the structures, active sites, and chemical mechanisms are completely different. This Current Topic review article focuses on the overall architectures, active site structures, substrate reactivities, proteinprotein interactions, and chemical mechanisms of both MMOs, with an emphasis on fundamental aspects. In addition, recent advances, including new details of interactions between the sMMO components, characterization of sMMO intermediates, and progress toward understanding the pMMO metal centers are highlighted. The work summarized here provides a guide for those interested in exploiting MMOs for biotechnological applications.

  9. Venus methane and water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donahue, T. M.; Hodges, R. R.

    1993-04-01

    Data collected by the Pioneer Venus Large Probe Neutral Mass Spectrometer are presented and discussed. Results indicate the presence of a large amount of methane in the Venus atmosphere from 60 km to the surface. Deuterium transfer from atmospheric HDO to poorly deuterated methane may account for the puzzling apparent gradient in the water vapor mixing ration below 10 km. Deuterium transfer within the mass spectrometer may cause reduction in the apparent ratio of HDO to H2O. Accounting for the deuterium atoms leads to a revised water vapor mixing ratio of 28 ppm. Arguments against the methane detected being purely atmospheric are overwhelming. The methane may have been generated by a reaction between a highly deuterated atmospheric constituent and a poorly deuterated instrumental contaminant.

  10. Methane heat transfer investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Future high chamber pressure LOX/hydrocarbon booster engines require copper base alloy main combustion chamber coolant channels similar to the SSME to provide adequate cooling and reusable engine life. Therefore, it is of vital importance to evaluate the heat transfer characteristics and coking thresholds for LNG (94% methane) cooling, with a copper base alloy material adjacent to he fuel coolant. High pressure methane cooling and coking characteristics recently evaluated at Rocketdyne using stainless steel heated tubes at methane bulk temperatures and coolant wall temperatures typical of advanced engine operation except at lower heat fluxes as limited by the tube material. As expected, there was no coking observed. However, coking evaluations need be conducted with a copper base surface exposed to the methane coolant at higher heat fluxes approaching those of future high chamber pressure engines.

  11. Methane heat transfer investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, R. T.

    1984-01-01

    Future high chamber pressure LOX/hydrocarbon booster engines require copper-base alloy main combustion chamber coolant channels similar to the SSME to provide adequate cooling and resuable engine life. Therefore, it is of vital importance to evaluate the heat transfer characteristics and coking thresholds for LNG (94% methane) cooling, with a copper-base alloy material adjacent to the fuel coolant. High-pressure methane cooling and coking characteristics were recently evaluated using stainless-steel heated tubes at methane bulk temperatures and coolant wall temperatures typical of advanced engine operation except at lower heat fluxes as limited by the tube material. As expected, there was no coking observed. However, coking evaluations need be conducted with a copper-base surface exposed to the methane coolant at higher heat fluxes approaching those of future high chamber pressure engines.

  12. Electrochemical methane sensor

    DOEpatents

    Zaromb, S.; Otagawa, T.; Stetter, J.R.

    1984-08-27

    A method and instrument including an electrochemical cell for the detection and measurement of methane in a gas by the oxidation of methane electrochemically at a working electrode in a nonaqueous electrolyte at a voltage about 1.4 volts vs R.H.E. (the reversible hydrogen electrode potential in the same electrolyte), and the measurement of the electrical signal resulting from the electrochemical oxidation.

  13. Laser beam methane detector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hinkley, E. D., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Instrument uses infrared absorption to determine methane concentration in liquid natural gas vapor. Two sensors measure intensity of 3.39 mm laser beam after it passes through gas; absorption is proportional to concentration of methane. Instrument is used in modeling spread of LNG clouds and as leak detector on LNG carriers and installations. Unit includes wheels for mobility and is both vertically and horizontally operable.

  14. 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

  15. Methane Emissions from Upland Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Megonigal, Patrick; Pitz, Scott; Wang, Zhi-Ping

    2016-04-01

    Global budgets ascribe 4-10% of atmospheric methane sinks to upland soils and assume that soils are the sole surface for methane exchange between upland forests and the atmosphere. The dogma that upland forests are uniformly atmospheric methane sinks was challenged a decade ago by the discovery of abiotic methane production from plant tissue. Subsequently a variety of relatively cryptic microbial and non-microbial methane sources have been proposed that have the potential to emit methane in upland forests. Despite the accumulating evidence of potential methane sources, there are few data demonstrating actual emissions of methane from a plant surface in an upland forest. We report direct observations of methane emissions from upland tree stems in two temperate forests. Stem methane emissions were observed from several tree species that dominate a forest located on the mid-Atlantic coast of North America (Maryland, USA). Stem emissions occurred throughout the growing season while soils adjacent to the trees simultaneously consumed methane. Scaling fluxes by stem surface area suggested the forest was a net methane source during a wet period in June, and that stem emissions offset 5% of the soil methane sink on an annual basis. High frequency measurements revealed diurnal cycles in stem methane emission rates, pointing to soils as the methane source and transpiration as the most likely pathway for gas transport. Similar observations were made in an upland forest in Beijing, China. However, in this case the evidence suggested the methane was not produced in soils, but in the heartwood by microbial or non-microbial processes. These data challenge the concept that forests are uniform sinks of methane, and suggest that upland forests are smaller methane sinks than previously estimated due to stem emissions. Tree emissions may be particularly important in upland tropical forests characterized by high rainfall and transpiration.

  16. Geologic studies of deep natural gas resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyman, T. S., (Edited By); Kuuskraa, V.A.

    2001-01-01

    In 1995, the USGS estimated a mean resource of 114 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas in plays deeper than 15,000 feet/4,572 meters in onshore regions of the United States. This volume summarizes major conclusions of ongoing work. Chapters A and B address the areal extent of drilling and distribution of deep basins in the U.S. Chapter C summarizes distribution of deep sedimentary basins and potential for deep gas in the former Soviet Union. Chapters D and E are geochemical papers addressing source-rock issues and deep gas generation. Chapter F develops a probabilistic method for subdividing gas resources into depth slices, and chapter G analyzes the relative uncertainty of estimates of deep gas in plays in the Gulf Coast Region. Chapter H evaluates the mechanism of hydrogenation of deep, high-rank spent kerogen by water, with subsequent generation of methane-rich HC gas.

  17. Abiotic Methane Synthesis: Caveats and New Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, R.; Sharma, A.

    2005-12-01

    The role of mineral interaction with geochemical fluids under hydrothermal conditions has invoked models of geochemical synthesis of organic molecules at deep crustal conditions. Since Thomas Gold's (1992) hypothesis of the possibility of an abiotic organic synthesis, there have been several reports of hydrocarbon formation under high pressure and temperature conditions. Several previous experimental studies have recognized that small amounts of methane (and other light HC compounds) can be synthesized via catalysis by transition metals: Fe, Ni (Horita and Berndt, 1999 Science) and Cr (Foustavous and Seyfried, 2004 Science). In light of these pioneering experiments, an investigation of the feasibility of abiotic methane synthesis at higher pressure conditions in deep geological setting and the possible role of catalysis warrants a closer look. We conducted three sets of experiments in hydrothermal diamond anvil cell using FeO nanopowder, CaCO 3 and water at 300° - 600° C and 0.5 - 5 GPa : (a) with stainless steel gasket, (b) gold-lined gasket, and (c) gold-lined gasket with added Fe and Ni nanopowder. The reactions were monitored in-situ using micro-Raman spectroscopy with 532nm and 632nm lasers. The solids phases were characterized in-situ using synchrotron X-ray diffraction at CHESS-Cornell and quenched products with an electron microprobe. Interestingly, a variable amount of hydrocarbon was observed only in runs with stainless steel gasket and with Fe, Ni nanoparticles. Experiments with gold-lined reactors did not show any hydrocarbon formation. Added high resolution microscopy of the products and their textural relationship within the diamond cell with Raman spectroscopy data show that the hydrocarbon (methane and other light fractions) synthesis is a direct result of transition metal catalysis, rather than wustite - calcium carbonate reaction as recently reported by Scott et al (2004, PNAS). The author will further present new results highlighting abiotic

  18. Evolution of a gas bubble in porous matrix filled by methane hydrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiberkin, Kirill; Lyubimov, Dmitry; Lyubimova, Tatyana; Zikanov, Oleg

    2013-04-01

    Behavior of a small isolated hydrate-free inclusion (a bubble) within hydrate-bearing porous matrix is studied analytically and numerically. An infinite porous matrix of uniform properties with pores filled by methane hydrates and either water (excessive water situation) or methane gas (excessive gas situation) is considered. A small spherical hydrate-free bubble of radius R0 exists at initial moment within the matrix due to overheating relative to the surrounding medium. There is no continuing heat supply within the bubble, so new hydrate forms on its boundary, and its radius decreases with time. The process is analysed in the framework of the model that takes into account the phase transition and accompanying heat and mass transport processes and assumes spherical symmetry. It is shown that in the case of small (~ 10-2-10-1 m) bubbles, convective fluxes are negligible and the process is fully described by heat conduction and phase change equations. A spherically symmetric Stefan problem for purely conduction-controlled evolution is solved analytically for the case of equilibrium initial temperature and pressure within the bubble. The self-similar solution is verified, with good results, in numerical simulations based on the full filtration and heat transfer model and using the isotherm migration method. Numerical simulations are also conducted for a wide range of cases not amenable to analytical solution. It is found that, except for initial development of an overheated bubble, its radius evolves with time following the self-similar formula: R(t) ( t)1-2 R0-= 1 - tm- , (1) where tm is the life-time of bubble (time of its complete freezing). The analytical solution shows that tm follows 2 tm ~ (R0-?) , (2) where ? is a constant determined by the temperature difference ΔT between the bubble's interior and far field. We consider implications for natural hydrate deposits. As an example, for a bubble with R0 = 4 cm and ΔT = 0.001 K, we find tm ~ 5.7 ? 106 s (2

  19. Coring Methane Hydrate by using Hybrid Pressure Coring System of D/V Chikyu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubo, Y.; Mizuguchi, Y.; Inagaki, F.; Eguchi, N.; Yamamoto, K.

    2013-12-01

    by X-ray CT scan. Hybrid PCS was also used in the following JOGMEC methane hydrate cruise, resulting in the good recovery of methane hydrate-bearing cores (approx. 69%).

  20. Possible role of wetlands, permafrost, and methane hydrates in the methane cycle under future climate change: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Fiona M.; Boucher, O.; Gedney, N.; Jones, C. D.; Folberth, G. A.; Coppell, R.; Friedlingstein, P.; Collins, W. J.; Chappellaz, J.; Ridley, J.; Johnson, C. E.

    2010-12-01

    We have reviewed the available scientific literature on how natural sources and the atmospheric fate of methane may be affected by future climate change. We discuss how processes governing methane wetland emissions, permafrost thawing, and destabilization of marine hydrates may affect the climate system. It is likely that methane wetland emissions will increase over the next century. Uncertainties arise from the temperature dependence of emissions and changes in the geographical distribution of wetland areas. Another major concern is the possible degradation or thaw of terrestrial permafrost due to climate change. The amount of carbon stored in permafrost, the rate at which it will thaw, and the ratio of methane to carbon dioxide emissions upon decomposition form the main uncertainties. Large amounts of methane are also stored in marine hydrates, and they could be responsible for large emissions in the future. The time scales for destabilization of marine hydrates are not well understood and are likely to be very long for hydrates found in deep sediments but much shorter for hydrates below shallow waters, such as in the Arctic Ocean. Uncertainties are dominated by the sizes and locations of the methane hydrate inventories, the time scales associated with heat penetration in the ocean and sediments, and the fate of methane released in the seawater. Overall, uncertainties are large, and it is difficult to be conclusive about the time scales and magnitudes of methane feedbacks, but significant increases in methane emissions are likely, and catastrophic emissions cannot be ruled out. We also identify gaps in our scientific knowledge and make recommendations for future research and development in the context of Earth system modeling.

  1. Studying methane migration mechanisms at Walker Ridge, Gulf of Mexico, via 3D methane hydrate reservoir modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Nole, Michael; Daigle, Hugh; Mohanty, Kishore; Cook, Ann; Hillman, Jess

    2015-12-15

    . Therefore, it is likely that additional mechanisms are at play, notably bound water activity reduction in clays. Three-dimensionality allows for inclusion of lithologic heterogeneities, which focus fluid flow and subsequently allow for heterogeneity in the methane migration mechanisms that dominate in marine sediments at a local scale. Incorporating recently acquired 3D seismic data from Walker Ridge to inform the lithologic structure of our modeled reservoir, we show that even with deep adjective sourcing of methane along highly permeable pathways, local hydrate accumulations can be sourced either by diffusive or advective methane flux; advectively-sourced hydrates accumulate evenly in highly permeable strata, while diffusively-sourced hydrates are characterized by thin strata-bound intervals with high clay-sand pore size contrasts.

  2. Combustion of Methane Hydrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roshandell, Melika

    A significant methane storehouse is in the form of methane hydrates on the sea floor and in the arctic permafrost. Methane hydrates are ice-like structures composed of water cages housing a guest methane molecule. This caged methane represents a resource of energy and a potential source of strong greenhouse gas. Most research related to methane hydrates has been focused on their formation and dissociation because they can form solid plugs that complicate transport of oil and gas in pipelines. This dissertation explores the direct burning of these methane hydrates where heat from the combustion process dissociates the hydrate into water and methane, and the released methane fuels the methane/air diffusion flame heat source. In contrast to the pipeline applications, very little research has been done on the combustion and burning characteristics of methane hydrates. This is the first dissertation on this subject. In this study, energy release and combustion characteristics of methane hydrates were investigated both theoretically and experimentally. The experimental study involved collaboration with another research group, particularly in the creation of methane hydrate samples. The experiments were difficult because hydrates form at high pressure within a narrow temperature range. The process can be slow and the resulting hydrate can have somewhat variable properties (e.g., extent of clathration, shape, compactness). The experimental study examined broad characteristics of hydrate combustion, including flame appearance, burning time, conditions leading to flame extinguishment, the amount of hydrate water melted versus evaporated, and flame temperature. These properties were observed for samples of different physical size. Hydrate formation is a very slow process with pure water and methane. The addition of small amounts of surfactant increased substantially the hydrate formation rate. The effects of surfactant on burning characteristics were also studied. One finding

  3. X-ray computed tomography observations of phase distribution during methane hydrate formation and dissociation process in a sediment sample

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Taewoong; Lee, Jaehyoung; Lee, Joo Yong; Kim, Se-Joon; Seo, Young-ju

    2016-04-01

    The recovery schemes for natural gas caged in the solid state have not been commercialized. Depressurization has been known as a promising method due to its economic feasibility according to previous lab-scale experiments and simulation studies. However, the results of few field tests showed that the production characteristics of real field differed from that of predicted results. To reliably predict the production performance of real fields, it is necessary to understand quantitative changes of phase distribution and fluid flow in sediments in response to hydrate dissociation by depressurization. In this study, we observed and analyzed the phase distribution and flow behavior during methane hydrate formation and dissociation using X-ray computed tomography which provides high-resolution density distribution. Artificial particles having similar grain size distribution of sandy layers found in real hydrate field were packed into X-ray transparent aluminum vessel. Information on pore distribution within a sediment sample was achieved by comparing CT images between dry condition and fully water-saturated condition. Dynamic changes of phase saturation were observed during gas flooding, through which potential flow pathway was estimated. Hydrate formation and dissociation significantly affected phase distribution and flow pathway. Hydrate distribution was extremely heterogeneous in every tests of hydrate formation repeated with same amount of water. It was inferred that water saturation prior to hydrate formation was not directly correlated to the hydrate distribution. There were definite differences of hydrate dissociation behavior between gas-saturated and water-saturated hydrate-bearing sample. The production of gas and water lasted quite a while even after the production pressure reached the target level of depressurization.

  4. Methane formation and methane oxidation by methanogenic bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Zehnder, A J; Brock, T D

    1979-01-01

    Methanogenic bacteria were found to form and oxidize methane at the same time. As compared to the quantity of methane formed, the amount of methane simultaneously oxidized varied between 0.3 and 0.001%, depending on the strain used. All the nine tested strains of methane producers (Methanobacterium ruminantium, Methanobacterium strain M.o.H., M. formicicum, M. thermoautotrophicum, M. arbophilicum, Methanobacterium strain AZ, Methanosarcina barkeri, Methanospirillum hungatii, and the "acetate organism") reoxidized methane to carbon dioxide. In addition, they assimilated a small part of the methane supplied into cell material. Methanol and acetate also occurred as oxidation products in M. barkeri cultures. Acetate was also formed by the "acetate organism," a methane bacterium unable to use methanogenic substrates other than acetate. Methane was the precursor of the methyl group of the acetate synthesized in the course of methane oxidation. Methane formation and its oxidation were inhibited equally by 2-bromoethanesulfonic acid. Short-term labeling experiments with M. thermoautotrophicum and M. hungatii clearly suggest that the pathway of methane oxidation is not identical with a simple back reaction of the methane formation process. Images PMID:762019

  5. The State, Potential Distribution, and Biological Implications of Methane in the Martian Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Max, Michael D.; Clifford, Stephen M.

    2000-01-01

    The search for life on Mars has recently focused on its potential survival in deep (>2 km) subpermafrost aquifers where anaerobic bacteria, similar to those found in deep subsurface ecosystems on Earth, may have survived in an environment that has remained stable for billions of years. An anticipated by-product of this biological activity is methane. The detection of large deposits of methane gas and hydrate in the Martian cryosphere, or as emissions from deep fracture zones, would provide persuasive evidence of indigenous life and confirm the presence of a valuable in situ resource for use by future human explorers.

  6. The basics of coalbed methane

    SciTech Connect

    2006-12-15

    The report is an overview of coalbed methane (CBM), also known as coal seam gas. It provides an overview of what coalbed methane is and the current status of global coalbed methane exploration and production. Topics covered in the report include: An analysis of the natural gas industry, including current and future production, consumption, and reserves; A detailed description of coalbed methane, its characteristics, and future potential; An analysis of the key business factors that are driving the increased interest in coalbed methane; An analysis of the barriers that are hindering the development of coalbed methane; An overview of the technologies used for coalbed methane production and water treatment; and Profiles of key coalbed methane producing countries. 25 figs., 5 tabs., 1 app.

  7. Methane: Small molecule, big impact

    SciTech Connect

    Ferry, J.G.

    1997-11-21

    Methanogenesis occures in anaerobic conditions in vast natural and human made environments. The estimated 1% annual increase in global methane is mainly attributed to human activities. This article gives an overall perspective on methane-producing microbes, which are phylogenetically distinct from all other prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the food chain which produces atmospheric methane, and biochemical pathways leading to methane production in these microbes. 12 refs., 12 figs.

  8. X-ray CT Observations of Methane Hydrate Distribution Changes over Time in a Natural Sediment Core from the BPX-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well

    SciTech Connect

    Kneafsey, T.J.; Rees, E.V.L.

    2010-03-01

    When maintained under hydrate-stable conditions, methane hydrate in laboratory samples is often considered a stable and immobile solid material. Currently, there do not appear to be any studies in which the long-term redistribution of hydrates in sediments has been investigated in the laboratory. These observations are important because if the location of hydrate in a sample were to change over time (e.g. by dissociating at one location and reforming at another), the properties of the sample that depend on hydrate saturation and pore space occupancy would also change. Observations of hydrate redistribution under stable conditions are also important in understanding natural hydrate deposits, as these may also change over time. The processes by which solid hydrate can move include dissociation, hydrate-former and water migration in the gas and liquid phases, and hydrate formation. Chemical potential gradients induced by temperature, pressure, and pore water or host sediment chemistry can drive these processes. A series of tests were performed on a formerly natural methane-hydrate-bearing core sample from the BPX-DOE-USGS Mount Elbert Gas Hydrate Stratigraphic Test Well, in order to observe hydrate formation and morphology within this natural sediment, and changes over time using X-ray computed tomography (CT). Long-term observations (over several weeks) of methane hydrate in natural sediments were made to investigate spatial changes in hydrate saturation in the core. During the test sequence, mild buffered thermal and pressure oscillations occurred within the sample in response to laboratory temperature changes. These oscillations were small in magnitude, and conditions were maintained well within the hydrate stability zone.

  9. Methane reforming in a temperature-controlled DBD reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levko, Dmitry; Raja, Laxminarayan

    2015-09-01

    Methane and carbon dioxide are among the main products of human activity. Therefore, they are considered among greenhouse gases, which may cause the global warming. On the other hand, methane is widely used in everyday life as an energy source and in industry for the synthesis of different chemicals. In order to utilize greenhouse gases or to generate chemicals from methane, one needs first to dissociate it. Then, this gas converts into desired products such as methanol, gasoline, syn-gas etc. Nowadays, there are several methods for CH4 conversion. Steam reforming, partial oxidation, thermal and non-thermal plasmas are among them. During the last decades, the use of non-thermal plasma for methane reforming attracts more and more attention. This is caused by the possibility to control the process of methane conversion as well as the gas component content at the reactor outlet. In addition, the use of non-thermal plasma facilitates the control of reactor start up. The goal of the present work is the deep understanding of the plasma chemical processes accompanying the methane-air conversion in a temperature-controlled DBD reactor. To do this, we have developed the kinetic mechanism of CH4/N2/O2 conversion for the gas temperature range 300-800 K and applied it to the global model.

  10. Methane-Powered Airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Beech Aircraft's Corporation's Boulder Division developed expertise in producing superinsulated virtually leak-proof cryogenic equipment for storing liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuels in NASA's Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. Boulder Division used this experience in designing a fuel storage tank for liquid methane, a "cryogenic" fuel that must be supercooled to keep it liquid. Beech Aircraft is producing a four-place lightplane powered by liquid methane (LM) which is stored in two of these specially designed cryogenic storage tanks holding 18 gallons each.

  11. Biomimetic methane oxidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watkins, B. E.; Droege, M. W.; Taylor, R. T.; Satcher, J. H.

    1992-06-01

    Methane monooxygenase (MMO) is an enzyme found in methanotrophs that catalyses the selective oxidation of methane to methanol. MMO is protein complex one component of which is a binuclear metal center containing oxygenase. We have completed one round of a design/synthesis/evaluation cycle in the development of coordination complexes that mimic the structure/function of the MMO active site. One of these, a binuclear, coordinately-asymmetric copper complex, is capable of oxidizing cyclohexane to a mixture of cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone in the presence of hydrogen peroxide.

  12. Dynamics in the methane hydrate system of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienert, Jurgen; Andreassen, Karin; Knies, Jochen; Carroll, JoLynn; Bünz, Stephan; Ferre, Benedicte; Rasmussen, Tine; Panieri, Giuliana; Myhre, Catherine Lund

    2014-05-01

    Methane hydrate formed in abundance in deep permafrost regions but little documentation exists about resource accumulation in shallow Arctic subsea areas and its evolution in time and space. Today's sub-seabed methane hydrate reservoirs remain elusive targets as a natural methane emitter that influences ocean environments and ecosystems. Rising Arctic Ocean temperatures are causing a destabilization of these reservoirs which in turn releases methane leading to geo-hazards, ocean acidification, and marine benthic reaction at unknown rates and response times. CAGE - Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment, and Climate initiates a ten year interdisciplinary research and education program aimed at achieving a quantitative understanding of feedbacks between methane sub-seabed reservoirs, the seabed and the ocean. The Centre addresses how the coupled (reservoirs-seabed-ocean) system in the Arctic reacts and affects the future ocean, its environment and possibly the climate with focus on high resolution geophysics; seabed gas-emissions; environmental reactions; and benthic-response times. The project MOCA (Methane emissions from the Arctic Ocean to the Atmosphere) concentrates on the atmospheric component and present as well as future climate effects. Details on the CAGE research plan and organization will be presented to foster opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Based in Tromsø, at the world's northernmost University, CAGE establishes the intellectual and infrastructure resources for studying the amount of methane hydrate and magnitude of methane release in Arctic Ocean environments on time scales from the Neogene to the present (www.cage.uit.no). The Centre of Excellence is funded by the Norwegian Research Council ((grant No. 223259) over a period of ten years.

  13. Direct Aromaization of Methane

    SciTech Connect

    George Marcelin

    1997-01-15

    The thermal decomposition of methane offers significant potential as a means of producing higher unsaturated and aromatic hydrocarbons when the extent of reaction is limited. Work in the literature previous to this project had shown that cooling the product and reacting gases as the reaction proceeds would significantly reduce or eliminate the formation of solid carbon or heavier (Clo+) materials. This project studied the effect and optimization of the quenching process as a means of increasing the amount of value added products during the pyrolysis of methane. A reactor was designed to rapidly quench the free-radical combustion reaction so as to maximize the yield of aromatics. The use of free-radical generators and catalysts were studied as a means of lowering the reaction temperature. A lower reaction temperature would have the benefits of more rapid quenching as well as a more feasible commercial process due to savings realized in energy and material of construction costs. It was the goal of the project to identify promising routes from methane to higher hydrocarbons based on the pyrolysis of methane.

  14. Methane Clathrate Hydrate Prospecting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duxbury, N.; Romanovsky, V.

    2003-01-01

    A method of prospecting for methane has been devised. The impetus for this method lies in the abundance of CH4 and the growing shortages of other fuels. The method is intended especially to enable identification of subpermafrost locations where significant amounts of methane are trapped in the form of methane gas hydrate (CH4(raised dot)6H2O). It has been estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey that the total CH4 resource in CH4(raised dot) 6H2O exceeds the energy content of all other fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas from non-hydrate sources). Also, CH4(raised dot)6H2O is among the cleanest-burning fuels, and CH4 is the most efficient fuel because the carbon in CH4 is in its most reduced state. The method involves looking for a proxy for methane gas hydrate, by means of the combination of a thermal-analysis submethod and a field submethod that does not involve drilling. The absence of drilling makes this method easier and less expensive, in comparison with prior methods of prospecting for oil and natural gas. The proposed method would include thermoprospecting in combination with one more of the other non-drilling measurement techniques, which could include magneto-telluric sounding and/or a subsurface-electrical-resistivity technique. The method would exploit the fact that the electrical conductivity in the underlying thawed region is greater than that in the overlying permafrost.

  15. Enzymatic oxidation of methane.

    PubMed

    Sirajuddin, Sarah; Rosenzweig, Amy C

    2015-04-14

    Methane monooxygenases (MMOs) are enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria. As potential targets for new gas-to-liquid methane bioconversion processes, MMOs have attracted intense attention in recent years. There are two distinct types of MMO, a soluble, cytoplasmic MMO (sMMO) and a membrane-bound, particulate MMO (pMMO). Both oxidize methane at metal centers within a complex, multisubunit scaffold, but the structures, active sites, and chemical mechanisms are completely different. This Current Topic review article focuses on the overall architectures, active site structures, substrate reactivities, protein-protein interactions, and chemical mechanisms of both MMOs, with an emphasis on fundamental aspects. In addition, recent advances, including new details of interactions between the sMMO components, characterization of sMMO intermediates, and progress toward understanding the pMMO metal centers are highlighted. The work summarized here provides a guide for those interested in exploiting MMOs for biotechnological applications. PMID:25806595

  16. Methane emissions from natural wetlands

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, J.L.; Burke, R.A. Jr.

    1993-09-01

    Analyses of air trapped in polar ice cores in conjunction with recent atmospheric measurements, indicate that the atmospheric methane concentration increased by about 250% during the past two or three hundred years (Rasmussen and Khalil, 1984). Because methane is a potent ``greenhouse`` gas, the increasing concentrations are expected to contribute to global warning (Dickinson and Cicerone, 1986). The timing of the methane increase suggests that it is related to the rapid growth of the human population and associated industrialization and agricultural development. The specific causes of the atmospheric methane concentration increase are not well known, but may relate to either increases in methane sources, decreases in the strengths of the sinks, or both.

  17. Future methane emissions from animals

    SciTech Connect

    Anastasi, C.; Simpson, V.J. )

    1993-04-20

    The authors project future methane emissions from animals to the year 2025. They review the present estimated sources of methane from enteric fermentation in animals. Ruminant animals produce the highest concentrations of methane. Methane is a byproduct of anaerobic breakdown of carbohydrates by microbes in the digestive tract of herbatious animals. In general the methane production depends on the variety of animal, the quality of the feed, and the feeding level. Since cattle, sheep, and buffalo account for roughly 91% of all animal methane emission, they only study these animals in detail. Results suggest a rise in methane production of roughly 1% per year averaged through 2025. Increasing levels are found to originate from developed countries even though the feedstock levels are lower.

  18. Deep Earthquakes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frohlich, Cliff

    1989-01-01

    Summarizes research to find the nature of deep earthquakes occurring hundreds of kilometers down in the earth's mantle. Describes further research problems in this area. Presents several illustrations and four references. (YP)

  19. The landfill methane balance: Model and practical applications

    SciTech Connect

    Bogner, J.; Spokas, K.

    1995-10-01

    A rational mass-balance framework is described for improved quantification of landfill methane processes at a given site. The methane balance model examines the partitioning of methane generated into methane recovered (via extraction systems), methane emitted, methane oxidized, methane migrated, and methane storage. This model encourages use of field-based data to better quantify rates of methane recovery and emissions.

  20. Methane hydrate formation in confined nanospace can surpass nature.

    PubMed

    Casco, Mirian E; Silvestre-Albero, Joaquín; Ramírez-Cuesta, Anibal J; Rey, Fernando; Jordá, Jose L; Bansode, Atul; Urakawa, Atsushi; Peral, Inma; Martínez-Escandell, Manuel; Kaneko, Katsumi; Rodríguez-Reinoso, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Natural methane hydrates are believed to be the largest source of hydrocarbons on Earth. These structures are formed in specific locations such as deep-sea sediments and the permafrost based on demanding conditions of high pressure and low temperature. Here we report that, by taking advantage of the confinement effects on nanopore space, synthetic methane hydrates grow under mild conditions (3.5 MPa and 2 °C), with faster kinetics (within minutes) than nature, fully reversibly and with a nominal stoichiometry that mimics nature. The formation of the hydrate structures in nanospace and their similarity to natural hydrates is confirmed using inelastic neutron scattering experiments and synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction. These findings may be a step towards the application of a smart synthesis of methane hydrates in energy-demanding applications (for example, transportation). PMID:25728378

  1. Natural Methane and Carbon Dioxide Hydrates in the Earth System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Research Team; Milkereit, B.

    2004-05-01

    Both CH4 and CO2 are abundant volatiles in the earth's crust. Methane hydrates occur in permafrost regions and continental slopes of oceans. It is currently estimated that the energy stored in CH4 hydrate reserves totals more than twice the global reserves of all conventional oil, gas, and coal deposits combined. This means that methane hydrate could prove to be a very important source of energy in the future. Pressure versus temperature phase diagrams for methane and carbon dioxide define characteristic stability fields for gas, fluid and hydrates states. Sequestration of carbon dioxide in the earths crust and production of methane hydrate reservoirs are critically dependent on knowledge of the in situ elastic moduli of natural hydrates. The physical properties of simple methane and carbon dioxide hydrates are similar [1]. Our compilation of experimental data confirms high compressional wave velocities and elastic moduli for CH4 and CO2 hydrates and low compressional wave velocities for the fluid and gas phases. As methane and carbon dioxide hydrates are stable over similar pressure-temperature ranges, the two types of hydrates form in similar settings in the earth's crust. For example, temperature and pressure conditions in deepwater marine environments require both CO2 and CH4 to be in hydrate phase. However, not much is known about the origin, distribution and total volume of natural carbon dioxide hydrates stored in the earth's crust. For a number of tectonic/geological settings, CO2-rich fluids from deep crustal reservoirs must be considered: rifted margins, volcanic arcs, deepwater vents [2], mud volcanoes and mud diapirs [3]. Both methane and carbon dioxide hydrates work to cement sea floors in similar ways. Slope failure, a phenomenon usually taken as a hallmark of the presence of methane hydrate, could also be attributed to the existence of carbon dioxide hydrates. Perhaps most critically, many of the estimations of the amounts of methane hydrates are

  2. Microbial methane cycling in a terrestrial mud volcano in eastern Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yung-Hsin; Cheng, Ting-Wen; Lai, Wen-Jing; Tsai, Wen-Yu; Sun, Chih-Hsien; Lin, Li-Hung; Wang, Pei-Ling

    2012-04-01

    Microbial communities responsible for methane cycling in mud volcanoes onshore are poorly characterized. This study analysed bubbling fluids and cored sediments retrieved from a mud volcano in eastern Taiwan. The pore water profiles revealed that methane concentrations generally increased with depth and changed dramatically at different depth intervals at different sites. The methane concentrations were inversely correlated with Fe(2+)/Mn(2+) concentrations and δ(13)C values of methane, marking iron/manganese-methane transition zones in the sediment cores. Archaeal communities were dominated by ANME-2a members and methylotrophic methanogens, whereas bacterial communities consisted primarily of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. The 16S rRNA gene copy numbers of ANME-2a and Desulfuromonas/Pelobacter populations varied by two to three orders of magnitude along the profile and exhibited a pattern comparable with those of Fe(2+) and δ(13)C values of methane. These lines of evidence suggest a coupling between anaerobic methanotrophy and metal reduction in the metal-methane transition zones under sulfate-deficient conditions, a metabolic scheme contrasting with that observed in marine cold seeps. Anaerobic methanotrophs proliferate by removing methane produced from in situ methanogenesis and originating from the deep source. Methane finally emitted into the atmosphere is quantitatively and isotopically altered by various microbial processes compartmentalized at different depth intervals. PMID:22141749

  3. Deep Carbon Cycling in the Deep Hydrosphere: Abiotic Organic Synthesis and Biogeochemical Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherwood Lollar, B.; Sutcliffe, C. N.; Ballentine, C. J.; Warr, O.; Li, L.; Ono, S.; Wang, D. T.

    2014-12-01

    Research into the deep carbon cycle has expanded our understanding of the depth and extent of abiotic organic synthesis in the deep Earth beyond the hydrothermal vents of the deep ocean floor, and of the role of reduced gases in supporting deep subsurface microbial communities. Most recently, this research has expanded our understanding not only of the deep biosphere but the deep hydrosphere - identifying for the first time the extreme antiquity (millions to billions of years residence time) of deep saline fracture waters in the world's oldest rocks. Energy-rich saline fracture waters in the Precambrian crust that makes up more than 70% of the Earth's continental lithosphereprovide important constraints on our understanding of the extent of the crust that is habitable, on the time scales of hydrogeologic isolation (and conversely mixing) of fluids relevant to the deep carbon cycle, and on the geochemistry of substrates that sustain both abiotic organic synthesis and biogeochemical cycles driven by microbial communities. Ultimately the chemistry and hydrogeology of the deep hydrosphere will help define the limits for life in the subsurface and the boundary between the biotic-abiotic fringe. Using a variety of novel techniques including noble gas analysis, clumped isotopologues of methane, and compound specific isotope analysis of CHNOS, this research is addressing questions about the distribution of deep saline fluids in Precambrian rocks worldwide, the degree of interconnectedness of these potential biomes, the habitability of these fluids, and the biogeographic diversity of this new realm of the deep hydrosphere.

  4. Project identification for methane reduction options

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, T.

    1996-12-31

    This paper discusses efforts directed at reduction in emission of methane to the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, which on a 20 year timeframe may present a similar problem to carbon dioxide. In addition, methane causes additional problems in the form of smog and its longer atmospheric lifetime. The author discusses strategies for reducing methane emission from several major sources. This includes landfill methane recovery, coalbed methane recovery, livestock methane reduction - in the form of ruminant methane reduction and manure methane recovery. The author presents examples of projects which have implemented these ideas, the economics of the projects, and additional gains which come from the projects.

  5. Methane Clouds on Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffith, Caitlin A.

    Following the Voyager encounter with Titan in 1981 Saturn's largest moon was hypothesized sport a liquid cycle similar that on Earth with clouds rain and seas. On Titan methane is the condensible playing the role that water plays on Earth. Although the presence of seas is difficult to establish from ground methane clouds have been detected on Titan. Ground-based observations reveal that Titan's clouds differ remarkedly from their terrestrial counterparts. Titan's clouds are sparse reside primarily at particular altitude and concentrate presently in the south pole. That Titan's clouds are exotic is not surprising. Titan receives ~100 times less sunlight than Earth to drive weather. In addition Titan's radiative time constant is 180 years large compared to the 3 month terrestrial value. With little power and sluggish conditions it is not clear how clouds form on Titan. This talk will compare Titan to Earth to explore the nature of clouds under Titan's foreign conditions.

  6. Low-level 14C methane oxidation rate measurements modified for remote field settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pack, M. A.; Pohlman, J.; Ruppel, C. D.; Xu, X.

    2012-12-01

    Aerobic methane oxidation limits atmospheric methane emissions from degraded subsea permafrost and dissociated methane hydrates in high latitude oceans. Methane oxidation rate measurements are a crucial tool for investigating the efficacy of this process, but are logistically challenging when working on small research vessels in remote settings. We modified a low-level 14C-CH4 oxidation rate measurement for use in the Beaufort Sea above hydrate bearing sediments during August 2012. Application of the more common 3H-CH4 rate measurement that uses 106 times more radioactivity was not practical because the R/V Ukpik cannot accommodate a radiation van. The low-level 14C measurement does not require a radiation van, but careful isolation of the 14C-label is essential to avoid contaminating natural abundance 14C measurements. We used 14C-CH4 with a total activity of 1.1 μCi, which is far below the 100 μCi permitting level. In addition, we modified field procedures to simplify and shorten sample processing. The original low-level 14C-CH4 method requires 6 steps in the field: (1) collect water samples in glass serum bottles, (2) inject 14C-CH4 into bottles, (3) incubate for 24 hours, (4) filter to separate the methanotrophic bacterial cells from the aqueous sample, (5) kill the filtrate with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and (6) purge with nitrogen to remove unused 14C-CH4. Onshore, the 14C-CH4 respired to carbon dioxide or incorporated into cell material by methanotrophic bacteria during incubation is quantified by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). We conducted an experiment to test the possibility of storing samples for purging and filtering back onshore (steps 4 and 6). We subjected a series of water samples to steps 1-3 & 5, and preserved with mercuric chloride (HgCl2) instead of NaOH because HgCl2 is less likely to break down cell material during storage. The 14C-content of the carbon dioxide in samples preserved with HgCl2 and stored for up to 2 weeks was stable

  7. Resource Assessment of Methane Hydrate in the Eastern Nankai Trough, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, T.; Saeki, T.; Kobayashi, T.; Inamori, T.; Hayashi, M.; Takano, O.

    2007-12-01

    Resource assessment of methane hydrate (MH) in the eastern Nankai Trough was conducted through probabilistic approach using 2D/3D seismic survey data and drilling survey data from METI exploratory test wells 'Tokai-oki to Kumano-nada' [1, 2, 3]. We have extracted several prospective 'MH concentrated zones' [4] characterized by high resistivity in well log, strong seismic reflector, seismic high velocity, and turbidite deposit delineated by sedimentary facies analysis. The amount of methane gas contained in MH bearing layers was calculated using volumetric method for each zone. Each parameter, such as Gross Rock Volume (GRV), net-to-gross ratio (N/G), MH pore saturation (Sh), porosity, cage occupancy, and volume ratio was given as probabilistic distribution for Monte Carlo simulation, considering the uncertainly of these values. The GRV for each hydrate bearing zones was calculated from both strong seismic amplitude anomaly and velocity anomaly. Time-to-depth conversion was conducted using interval velocity derived from SVWD (Seismic Vision While Drilling). Risk factor was applied for the estimation of the GRV in 2D seismic area considering the uncertainty of seismic interpretation. The N/G was determined based on the relationship between LWD (Logging While Drilling) resistivity and grain size in zones with existing wells. 3ohm-m was used for typical cut off value to determine net intervals. Seismic facies map created by sequence stratigraphic approach [5] was also used for the determination of the N/G in zone without well controls. Porosity was estimated using density log, together with calibration by core analysis. The Sh was estimated by the combination of density log and NMR log (DMR method), together with the calibration by observed gas volume from onboard MH dissociation tests using PTCS (Pressure Temperature Core Sampler) [6]. The Sh in zone without well control was estimated using relationship between seismic P-wave interval velocity and Sh from NMR log at

  8. Coal Bed Methane Primer

    SciTech Connect

    Dan Arthur; Bruce Langhus; Jon Seekins

    2005-05-25

    During the second half of the 1990's Coal Bed Methane (CBM) production increased dramatically nationwide to represent a significant new source of income and natural gas for many independent and established producers. Matching these soaring production rates during this period was a heightened public awareness of environmental concerns. These concerns left unexplained and under-addressed have created a significant growth in public involvement generating literally thousands of unfocused project comments for various regional NEPA efforts resulting in the delayed development of public and fee lands. The accelerating interest in CBM development coupled to the growth in public involvement has prompted the conceptualization of this project for the development of a CBM Primer. The Primer is designed to serve as a summary document, which introduces and encapsulates information pertinent to the development of Coal Bed Methane (CBM), including focused discussions of coal deposits, methane as a natural formed gas, split mineral estates, development techniques, operational issues, producing methods, applicable regulatory frameworks, land and resource management, mitigation measures, preparation of project plans, data availability, Indian Trust issues and relevant environmental technologies. An important aspect of gaining access to federal, state, tribal, or fee lands involves education of a broad array of stakeholders, including land and mineral owners, regulators, conservationists, tribal governments, special interest groups, and numerous others that could be impacted by the development of coal bed methane. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of successfully developing CBM resources is stakeholder education. Currently, an inconsistent picture of CBM exists. There is a significant lack of understanding on the parts of nearly all stakeholders, including industry, government, special interest groups, and land owners. It is envisioned the Primer would being used by a variety of

  9. Deep learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecun, Yann; Bengio, Yoshua; Hinton, Geoffrey

    2015-05-01

    Deep learning allows computational models that are composed of multiple processing layers to learn representations of data with multiple levels of abstraction. These methods have dramatically improved the state-of-the-art in speech recognition, visual object recognition, object detection and many other domains such as drug discovery and genomics. Deep learning discovers intricate structure in large data sets by using the backpropagation algorithm to indicate how a machine should change its internal parameters that are used to compute the representation in each layer from the representation in the previous layer. Deep convolutional nets have brought about breakthroughs in processing images, video, speech and audio, whereas recurrent nets have shone light on sequential data such as text and speech.

  10. Deep learning.

    PubMed

    LeCun, Yann; Bengio, Yoshua; Hinton, Geoffrey

    2015-05-28

    Deep learning allows computational models that are composed of multiple processing layers to learn representations of data with multiple levels of abstraction. These methods have dramatically improved the state-of-the-art in speech recognition, visual object recognition, object detection and many other domains such as drug discovery and genomics. Deep learning discovers intricate structure in large data sets by using the backpropagation algorithm to indicate how a machine should change its internal parameters that are used to compute the representation in each layer from the representation in the previous layer. Deep convolutional nets have brought about breakthroughs in processing images, video, speech and audio, whereas recurrent nets have shone light on sequential data such as text and speech. PMID:26017442

  11. Extreme (13)C depletion of carbonates formed during oxidation of biogenic methane in fractured granite.

    PubMed

    Drake, Henrik; Åström, Mats E; Heim, Christine; Broman, Curt; Åström, Jan; Whitehouse, Martin; Ivarsson, Magnus; Siljeström, Sandra; Sjövall, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation of exceptionally 13C-depleted authigenic carbonate is a result of, and thus a tracer for, sulphate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation, particularly in marine sediments. Although these carbonates typically are less depleted in 13C than in the source methane, because of incorporation of C also from other sources, they are far more depleted in 13C (δ13C as light as -69‰ V-PDB) than in carbonates formed where no methane is involved. Here we show that oxidation of biogenic methane in carbon-poor deep groundwater in fractured granitoid rocks has resulted in fracture-wall precipitation of the most extremely 13C-depleted carbonates ever reported, δ13C down to -125‰ V-PDB. A microbial consortium of sulphate reducers and methane oxidizers has been involved, as revealed by biomarker signatures in the carbonates and S-isotope compositions of co-genetic sulphide. Methane formed at shallow depths has been oxidized at several hundred metres depth at the transition to a deep-seated sulphate-rich saline water. This process is so far an unrecognized terrestrial sink of methane. PMID:25948095

  12. Extreme 13C depletion of carbonates formed during oxidation of biogenic methane in fractured granite

    PubMed Central

    Drake, Henrik; Åström, Mats E.; Heim, Christine; Broman, Curt; Åström, Jan; Whitehouse, Martin; Ivarsson, Magnus; Siljeström, Sandra; Sjövall, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation of exceptionally 13C-depleted authigenic carbonate is a result of, and thus a tracer for, sulphate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation, particularly in marine sediments. Although these carbonates typically are less depleted in 13C than in the source methane, because of incorporation of C also from other sources, they are far more depleted in 13C (δ13C as light as −69‰ V-PDB) than in carbonates formed where no methane is involved. Here we show that oxidation of biogenic methane in carbon-poor deep groundwater in fractured granitoid rocks has resulted in fracture-wall precipitation of the most extremely 13C-depleted carbonates ever reported, δ13C down to −125‰ V-PDB. A microbial consortium of sulphate reducers and methane oxidizers has been involved, as revealed by biomarker signatures in the carbonates and S-isotope compositions of co-genetic sulphide. Methane formed at shallow depths has been oxidized at several hundred metres depth at the transition to a deep-seated sulphate-rich saline water. This process is so far an unrecognized terrestrial sink of methane. PMID:25948095

  13. [Methane emission flux of Zhalong Phragmites australis wetlands in growth season].

    PubMed

    Huang, Pu-Yi; Yu, Hong-Xian; Chai, Long-Hui; Chai, Fang-Ying; Zhang, Wan-Feng

    2011-05-01

    Static chamber/gas chromatogram method was adopted to measure the methane emission flux of Zhalong Phragmites australis wetlands with different water levels in a growth season from May to October, 2009, aimed to understand the methane emission pattern in natural freshwater P. australis wetland in frigid region. During the observation period, the average methane emission flux of test wetlands ranged from -21.18 to 46.15 mg x m(-2) x h(-1), with a mean of 7.67 mg x m(-2) x h(-1). In deep water zone (average water level 100 cm) and shallow water zone (average water level 25 cm), the average methane emission flux was 5.81 and 9.52 mg x m(-2) x h(-1), with a peak in August and July, respectively, and the minimum in October. In summer (from June to July), the methane emission flux in deep water zone was significantly lower than that in shallow water zone; while in spring (May) and autumn (from August to October), a reversed trend was observed. The methane emission flux had a seasonal pattern of summer > autumn > spring, and a diurnal pattern of being the highest at 12:00 and 14:00 and the lowest at 0:00. Temperature and water level were the major factors affecting the methane emission flux in freshwater P. australis wetlands in frigid region. PMID:21812298

  14. 49 new T dwarfs identified using methane imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, C. V.; Burningham, B.; Smart, R. L.; van Spaandonk, L.; Baker, D.; Smith, L. C.; Zhang, Z. H.; Andrei, A. H.; Bucciarelli, B.; Dhital, S.; Jones, H. R. A.; Lattanzi, M. G.; Magazzú, A.; Pinfield, D. J.; Tinney, C. G.

    2015-07-01

    We present the discovery of 49 new photometrically classified T dwarfs from the combination of large infrared and optical surveys combined with follow-up Telescopio Nazionale Galileo photometry. We used multiband infrared and optical photometry from the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and Sloan Digital Sky Surveys to identify possible brown dwarf candidates, which were then confirmed using methane filter photometry. We have defined a new photometric conversion between CH4s - CH4l colour and spectral type for T4-T8 brown dwarfs based on a part of the sample that has been followed up using methane photometry and spectroscopy. Using methane differential photometry as a proxy for spectral type for T dwarfs has proved to be a very efficient technique. Of a subset of 45 methane selected brown dwarfs that were observed spectroscopically, 100 per cent were confirmed as T dwarfs. Future deep imaging surveys will produce large samples of faint brown dwarf candidates, for which spectroscopy will not be feasible. When broad wavelength coverage is unavailable, methane imaging offers a means to efficiently classify candidates from such surveys using just a pair of near-infrared images.

  15. X-ray Computed Tomography Observation of Methane Hydrate Dissociation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tomutsa, L.; Freifeld, B.; Kneafsey, T.J.; Stern, L.A.

    2002-01-01

    Deposits of naturally occurring methane hydrate have been identified in permafrost and deep oceanic environments with global reserves estimated to be twice the total amount of energy stored in fossil fuels. The fundamental behavior of methane hydrate in natural formations, while poorly understood, is of critical importance if the economic recovery of methane from hydrates is to be accomplished. In this study, computed X-ray tomography (CT) scanning is used to image an advancing dissociation front in a heterogeneous gas hydrate/sand sample at 0.1 MPa. The cylindrical methane hydrate and sand aggregate, 2.54 cm in diameter and 6.3 cm long, was contained in a PVC sample holder that was insulated on all but one end. At the uninsulated end, the dissociated gas was captured and the volume of gas monitored. The sample was initially imaged axially using X-ray CT scanning within the methane hydrate stability zone by keeping the sample temperature at 77??K. Subsequently, as the sample warmed through the methane hydrate dissociation point at 194??K and room pressure, gas was produced and the temperature at the bottom of the sample plug was monitored while CT images were acquired. The experiment showed that CT imaging can resolve the reduction in density (as seen by a reduction in beam attenuation) of the hydrate/sand aggregate due to the dissociation of methane hydrate. In addition, a comparison of CT images with gas flow and temperature measurements reveals that the CT scanner is able to resolve accurately and spatially the advancing dissociation front. Future experiments designed to better understand the thermodynamics of hydrate dissociation are planned to take advantage of the temporal and spatial resolution that the CT scanner provides.

  16. The distribution of methane in groundwater in Alberta (Canada) and associated aqueous geochemistry conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humez, Pauline; Mayer, Bernhard; Nightingale, Michael; Becker, Veith; Kingston, Andrew; Taylor, Stephen; Millot, Romain; Kloppmann, Wolfram

    2016-04-01

    Development of unconventional energy resources such as shale gas and coalbed methane has generated some public concern with regard to the protection of groundwater and surface water resources from leakage of stray gas from the deep subsurface. In terms of environmental impact to and risk assessment of shallow groundwater resources, the ultimate challenge is to distinguish: (a) natural in-situ production of biogenic methane, (b) biogenic or thermogenic methane migration into shallow aquifers due to natural causes, and (c) thermogenic methane migration from deep sources due to human activities associated with the exploitation of conventional or unconventional oil and gas resources. We have conducted a NSERC-ANR co-funded baseline study investigating the occurrence of methane in shallow groundwater of Alberta (Canada), a province with a long record of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon exploration. Our objective was to assess the occurrence and sources of methane in shallow groundwaters and to also characterize the hydrochemical environment in which the methane was formed or transformed through redox processes. Ultimately our aim was to determine whether methane was formed in-situ or whether it migrated from deeper formations into shallow aquifers. Combining hydrochemical and dissolved and free geochemical gas data from 372 groundwater samples obtained from 186 monitoring wells of the provincial groundwater observation well network (GOWN) in Alberta, it was found that methane is ubiquitous in groundwater in Alberta and is predominantly of biogenic origin. The highest concentrations of dissolved biogenic methane (> 0.01 mM or > 0.2 mg/L), characterized by δ13CCH4 values < -55‰, occurred in anoxic Na-Cl, Na-HCO3 and Na-HCO3-Cl type groundwater with negligible concentrations of nitrate and sulfate suggesting that methane was formed in-situ under methanogenic conditions consistent with the redox ladder concept. Despite quite variable gas concentrations and a

  17. Kansas coal distribution, resources, and potential for coalbed methane

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brady, L.L.

    2000-01-01

    Kansas has large amounts of bituminous coal both at the surface and in the subsurface of eastern Kansas. Preliminary studies indicate at least 53 billion tons (48 billion MT) of deep coal [>100 ft (>30 m)] determined from 32 different coal beds. Strippable coal resources at a depth < 100 ft (<30 m) total 2.8 billion tons (2.6 billion MT), and this total is determined from 17 coals. Coal beds present in the Cherokee Group (Middle Pennsylvanian) represent most of these coal resource totals. Deep coal beds with the largest resource totals include the Bevier, Mineral, "Aw" (unnamed coal bed), Riverton, and Weir-Pittsburg coals, all within the Cherokee Group. Based on chemical analyses, coals in the southeastern part of the state are generally high volatile A bituminous, whereas coals in the east-central and northeastern part of the state are high-volatile B bituminous coals. The primary concern of coal beds in Kansas for deep mining or development of coalbed methane is the thin nature [<2 ft (0.6 m)] of most coal beds. Present production of coalbed methane is centered mainly in the southern Wilson/northern Montgomery County area of southeastern Kansas where methane is produced from the Mulky, Weir-Pittsburg, and Riverton coals.

  18. Biological and biochemical methane reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, H.; Pienkos, P. T.; Stirling, D. I.

    1989-04-01

    The purpose of the project was to characterize the nature of the active site involved in methane activation by enzymes from well characterized and newly isolated methane-oxidizing bacteria. Kinetic and structural studies provided an initial picture of how the soluble methane monooxygenase (MMO) enzyme is structured and operates to selectively oxidize methane to methanol under ambient conditions. Cloning and sequencing of gene coding for some of the sMMO proteins were completed, and 72 strains of methanotrophs were isolated from extreme environments.

  19. On methane pyrolysis special applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toncu, D. C.; Toncu, G.; Soleimani, S.

    2015-11-01

    Methane pyrolysis represents one of the most important processes in industrial use, with applications rising from the chemical and petrochemical industry, combustion, materials and protective coatings. Despite the intense research, experimental data lack kinetic aspects, and the thermodynamics involved often leads to inaccurate results when applied to various systems. Carrying out a comparative analysis of several available data on methane pyrolysis, the paper aims to study the phenomenon of methane pyrolysis under different environments (combustion and plasma), concluding on the most possible reaction pathways involved in many of its applications. Computer simulation using different database underlines the conclusion, helping to the understanding of methane pyrolysis importance in future technologies.

  20. Methane/nitrogen separation process

    DOEpatents

    Baker, Richard W.; Lokhandwala, Kaaeid A.; Pinnau, Ingo; Segelke, Scott

    1997-01-01

    A membrane separation process for treating a gas stream containing methane and nitrogen, for example, natural gas. The separation process works by preferentially permeating methane and rejecting nitrogen. We have found that the process is able to meet natural gas pipeline specifications for nitrogen, with acceptably small methane loss, so long as the membrane can exhibit a methane/nitrogen selectivity of about 4, 5 or more. This selectivity can be achieved with some rubbery and super-glassy membranes at low temperatures. The process can also be used for separating ethylene from nitrogen.

  1. Methane/nitrogen separation process

    DOEpatents

    Baker, R.W.; Lokhandwala, K.A.; Pinnau, I.; Segelke, S.

    1997-09-23

    A membrane separation process is described for treating a gas stream containing methane and nitrogen, for example, natural gas. The separation process works by preferentially permeating methane and rejecting nitrogen. The authors have found that the process is able to meet natural gas pipeline specifications for nitrogen, with acceptably small methane loss, so long as the membrane can exhibit a methane/nitrogen selectivity of about 4, 5 or more. This selectivity can be achieved with some rubbery and super-glassy membranes at low temperatures. The process can also be used for separating ethylene from nitrogen. 11 figs.

  2. Redefining the isotopic boundaries of biogenic methane: Methane from endoevaporites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tazaz, Amanda M.; Bebout, Brad M.; Kelley, Cheryl A.; Poole, Jennifer; Chanton, Jeffrey P.

    2013-06-01

    The recent reports of methane in the atmosphere of Mars, as well as the findings of hypersaline paleoenvironments on that planet, have underscored the need to evaluate the importance of biological (as opposed to geological) trace gas production and consumption, particularly in hypersaline environments. Methane in the atmosphere of Mars may be an indication of extant life, but it may also be a consequence of geologic activity and/or the thermal alteration of ancient organic matter. On Earth these methane sources can be distinguished using stable isotopic analyses and the ratio of methane (C1) to C2 and C3 alkanes present in the gas source (C1/(C2 + C3)). We report here that methane produced in hypersaline environments on Earth has an isotopic composition and alkane content outside the values presently considered to indicate a biogenic origin. Methane-rich bubbles released from sub-aqueous substrates contained δ13CCH4 and δ2HCH4 values ranging from -65‰ to -35‰ and -350‰ to -140‰ respectively. Higher salinity endoevaporites yielded what would be considered non-biogenic methane based upon stable isotopic and alkane content, however incubation of crustal and algal mat samples resulted in methane production with similar isotopic values. Radiocarbon analysis indicated that the production of the methane was from recently fixed carbon. An extension of the isotopic boundaries of biogenic methane is necessary in order to avoid the possibility of false negatives returned from measurements of methane on Mars and other planetary bodies.

  3. Evidence for nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation as a previously overlooked microbial methane sink in wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Bao-lan; Shen, Li-dong; Lian, Xu; Zhu, Qun; Liu, Shuai; Huang, Qian; He, Zhan-fei; Geng, Sha; Cheng, Dong-qing; Lou, Li-ping; Xu, Xiang-yang; Zheng, Ping; He, Yun-feng

    2014-01-01

    The process of nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo) was recently discovered and shown to be mediated by “Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera” (M. oxyfera). Here, evidence for n-damo in three different freshwater wetlands located in southeastern China was obtained using stable isotope measurements, quantitative PCR assays, and 16S rRNA and particulate methane monooxygenase gene clone library analyses. Stable isotope experiments confirmed the occurrence of n-damo in the examined wetlands, and the potential n-damo rates ranged from 0.31 to 5.43 nmol CO2 per gram of dry soil per day at different depths of soil cores. A combined analysis of 16S rRNA and particulate methane monooxygenase genes demonstrated that M. oxyfera-like bacteria were mainly present in the deep soil with a maximum abundance of 3.2 × 107 gene copies per gram of dry soil. It is estimated that ∼0.51 g of CH4 m−2 per year could be linked to the n-damo process in the examined wetlands based on the measured potential n-damo rates. This study presents previously unidentified confirmation that the n-damo process is a previously overlooked microbial methane sink in wetlands, and n-damo has the potential to be a globally important methane sink due to increasing nitrogen pollution. PMID:24616523

  4. Deep Lysimeter

    DOEpatents

    Hubbell, Joel M.; Sisson, James B.

    2004-06-01

    A deep lysimeter including a hollow vessel having a chamber, a fill conduit extending into the chamber through apertures, a semi-permeable member mounted on the vessel and in fluid communication with the fill conduit, and a line connection for retrieving the lysimeter.

  5. Consumption of atmospheric methane by tundra soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whalen, S. C.; Reeburgh, W. S.

    1990-01-01

    The results of field and laboratory experiments on methane consumption by tundra soils are reported. For methane concentrations ranging from below to well above ambient, moist soils are found to consume methane rapidly; in nonwaterlogged soils, equilibration with atmospheric methane is fast relative to microbial oxidation. It is concluded that lowering of the water table in tundra as a resulting from a warmer, drier climate will decrease methane fluxes and could cause these areas to provide negative feedback for atmospheric methane.

  6. Methane emissions from canopy wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinson, G. O.; Conrad, R.

    2012-12-01

    Ground wetlands are the main natural source of methane but they fail to explain the observed amounts of methane over tropical forests. Bromeliad tanks are discrete habitats for aquatic organisms and up to several thousand of bromeliad individuals per hectare of tropical forest create a unique canopy wetland ecosystem in neotropical forests. Recently, we have discovered that canopy wetlands inhabit methanogenic archaea, emit substantial amounts of methane and may help to explain the high amounts of methane over neotropical forests. However, the pathway of methane formation and potential methane production in canopy wetlands of different tropical forest ecosystems have not yet been studied. In this study, we investigated the stable carbon isotope fractionation, methanogenic pathway and potential methane production of bromeliad tanks along an elevation gradient in neotropical forests for the first time. We sampled the bromeliad tank-substrate of 3 tank bromeliads per functional type and elevation (1000 m, 2000 m and 3000 m above the sea level). We distinguished three functional types of tank bromeliads, based on plant architecture and ecological niche preference. Functional type I-tank bromeliads are concentrated in the understory and on the ground. Functional type II and type III are concentrated in the mid and overstory. We conducted tank-substrate incubation experiments and measured CH4, CO2, 13CH4 and 13CO2 at regular time intervals during the incubation period. The methane production potential of bromeliad tanks correlated positively with tank-substrate carbon concentration and decreased with increasing canopy height and increasing elevation. The dominant pathway of methane formation in bromeliad tanks was hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis (>50%) and this dominance increased with increasing canopy height and increasing elevation. Our results provide novel insights into the pathway of methane formation in neotropical canopy wetlands and suggest that canopy height is

  7. Community Structure of Methane-Cycling Archaea in Different Geochemical Zones in Aarhus Bay, Denmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, X.; Lever, M. A.; Saunders, A. M.; Jørgensen, B. B.

    2014-12-01

    Methanogenesis and anaerobic oxidation of methane are dominant processes regulating methane cycle in the deep biosphere in marine environments, both of which are executed by microbes. The diversity of methane-cycling archaea has been intensively studied by exploring 16S ribosomal RNA gene and alpha subunit of methyl coenzyme M reductase gene (mcrA). In marine sediments, methanogens and methane-oxidizing archaea are mainly found in methane zone (MZ) and in sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ), respectively. However, methane-cycling archaea are also present in zones other than their usual residing geochemical zones. Next generation sequencing of mcrA genes from 5 gravity cores shows that both methanogens and methane-oxidizing archaeal group - ANME-1 are ubiquitous in all biogeochemical zones in Aarhus Bay. We will further discuss below questions: which methanogens and methanotrophs are present and active in the presence of sulfate, and which are restricted in SMTZ or MZ? How do activity and pathway of methanogenesis / methanotrophy change with depth and substrate availability?

  8. Free energies of carbon dioxide sequestration and methane recovery in clathrate hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dornan, Peter; Alavi, Saman; Woo, T. K.

    2007-09-01

    Classical molecular dynamics simulations are used to compare the stability of methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and mixed CO2/N2 structure I (sI) clathrates under deep ocean seafloor temperature and pressure conditions (275K and 30MPa) which were considered suitable for CO2 sequestration. Substitution of methane guests in both the small and large sI cages by CO2 and N2 fluids are considered separately to determine the separate contributions to the overall free energy of substitution. The structure I clathrate with methane in small cages and carbon dioxide in large cages is determined to be the most stable. Substitutions of methane in the small cages with CO2 and N2 have positive free energies. Substitution of methane with CO2 in the large cages has a large negative free energy and substitution of the methane in the large cages with N2 has a small positive free energy. The calculations show that under conditions where storage is being considered, carbon dioxide spontaneously replaces methane from sI clathrates, causing the release of methane. This process must be considered if there are methane clathrates present where CO2 sequestration is to be attempted. The calculations also indicate that N2 does not directly compete with CO2 during methane substitution or clathrate formation and therefore can be used as a carrier gas or may be present as an impurity. Simulations further reveal that the replacement of methane with CO2 in structure II (sII) cages also has a negative free energy. In cases where sII CO2 clathrates are formed, only single occupancy of the large cages will be observed.

  9. Hypotheses for a Near-Surface Reservoir of Methane and Its Release on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, R.; Bloom, A. A.; Gao, P.; Miller, C. E.; Yung, Y. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Curiosity rover recently detected a background of 0.7 ppb and spikes of 7 ppb of methane on Mars. This in situ measurement reorients our understanding of the Martian environment and its potential for life, as the current theories do not entail any active source or sink of methane. In particular, the 10-fold elevation during the southern winter indicates episodic sources of methane that are yet to be discovered. Using the temperature and humidity measurements from the rover, we find that perchlorate salts in the regolith deliquesce to form liquid solutions, and deliquescence progresses to deeper subsurface in the season of the methane spikes. We therefore formulate the following three testable hypotheses as an attempt to explain the apparent variability of the atmospheric methane abundance. The first scenario is that the regolith in Gale Crater adsorbs methane when dry and releases this methane to the atmosphere upon deliquescence. The adsorption energy needs to be 36 kJ mol-1 to explain the magnitude of the methane spikes, higher than laboratory measurements. The second scenario is that microorganisms exist and convert organic matter in the soil to methane when they are in liquid solutions. This scenario does not require regolith adsorption. The third scenario is that deep subsurface aquifers sealed by ice or clathrate produce bursts of methane as a result of freezing and thawing of the permafrost, as the terrestrial arctic tundra. Continued monitoring of methane by Curiosity will test the existence of the near-surface reservoir and its exchange with the atmosphere.

  10. Methane related changes in prokaryotic activity along geochemical profiles in sediments of Lake Kinneret (Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bar Or, I.; Ben-Dov, E.; Kushmaro, A.; Eckert, W.; Sivan, O.

    2014-06-01

    Microbial methane oxidation process (methanotrophy) is the primary control on the emission of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. In terrestrial environments, aerobic methanotrophic bacteria are mainly responsible for oxidizing the methane. In marine sediments the coupling of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate reduction, often by a consortium of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate reducing bacteria, was found to consume almost all the upward diffusing methane. Recently, we showed geochemical evidence for AOM driven by iron reduction in Lake Kinneret (LK) (Israel) deep sediments and suggested that this process can be an important global methane sink. The goal of the present study was to link the geochemical gradients found in the porewater (chemical and isotope profiles) with possible changes in microbial community structure. Specifically, we examined the possible shift in the microbial community in the deep iron-driven AOM zone and its similarity to known sulfate driven AOM populations. Screening of archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota as the dominant phyla in the sediment. Thaumarchaeota, which belongs to the family of copper containing membrane-bound monooxgenases, increased with depth while Euryarchaeota decreased. This may indicate the involvement of Thaumarchaeota, which were discovered to be ammonia oxidizers but whose activity could also be linked to methane, in AOM in the deep sediment. ANMEs sequences were not found in the clone libraries, suggesting that iron-driven AOM is not through sulfate. Bacterial 16S rRNA sequences displayed shifts in community diversity with depth. Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi increased with depth, which could be connected with their different dissimilatory anaerobic processes. The observed changes in microbial community structure suggest possible direct and indirect mechanisms for iron-driven AOM in deep sediments.

  11. Continuous catalytic decomposition of methane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clifford, J. E.; Hillenbrand, L. J.; Kim, B. C.; Kolic, E. S.; Zupan, J.

    1973-01-01

    Water is conserved by employing sequence of reactions whereby 75 percent of methane from Sabatier reaction is decomposed to solid carbon and hydrogen; hydrogen is then separated from residual methane and utilized in usual Sabatier reaction to reduce remaining metabolic carbon dioxide.

  12. Dielectric Barrier Discharge Methane Conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chong; Fridman, Alexander; Rabinovich, Alexander; Dobrynin, Danil

    2015-09-01

    With the large amount of nature gas discovery every year, there is an increasing interest on modification of methane. The fact that methane is gaseous makes it less economic and efficient than liquid fuel. Here we propose a new way of converting methane from gas phase to liquid phase. Dielectric barrier discharge is used to treat methane and nitrogen mixture bubbles inside of liquid fuel. Nitrogen is here to help activate methane into an excited state, then it is possible for the excited molecules to react with other liquid hydrocarbon. Gaseous methane is converted in to liquid phase when excited methane replace a hydrogen and add onto the carbon chain. In this study some preliminary experiments is done to verify this hypothesis. There is equivalent weight increases with methane and nitrogen mixture discharging in diesel when compare to only nitrogen discharging in diesel. The same experiment have also been done with gas mixture discharged in 1-methylnaphthalene. And FTIR analysis of the after treatment hydrocarbon liquid all indicates that there is an increasing in C-H bond concentration and a decreasing in phenyl ring structure.

  13. A Methane Balloon Inflation Chamber

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Czerwinski, Curtis J.; Cordes, Tanya J.; Franek, Joe

    2005-01-01

    The various equipments, procedure and hazards in constructing the device for inflating a methane balloon using a standard methane outlet in a laboratory are described. This device is fast, safe, inexpensive, and easy to use as compared to a hydrogen gas cylinder for inflating balloons.

  14. Shallow Aquifer Methane Gas Source Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coffin, R. B.; Murgulet, D.; Rose, P. S.; Hay, R.

    2014-12-01

    Shale gas can contribute significantly to the world's energy demand. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on horizontal drill lines developed over the last 15 years makes formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons economically available. From 2000 to 2035 shale gas is predicted to rise from 1% to 46% of the total natural gas for the US. A vast energy resource is available in the United States. While there is a strong financial advantage to the application of fracking there is emerging concern about environmental impacts to groundwater and air quality from improper shale fracking operations. Elevated methane (CH4) concentrations have been observed in drinking water throughout the United States where there is active horizontal drilling. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic-fracturing can increase CH4 transport to aquifers, soil and the vadose zone. Seepage can also result from casing failure in older wells. However, there is strong evidence that elevated CH4 concentrations can be associated with topographic and hydrogeologic features, rather than shale-gas extraction processes. Carbon isotope geochemistry can be applied to study CH4source(s) in shallow vadose zone and groundwater systems. A preliminary TAMU-CC isotope data set from samples taken at different locations in southern Texas shows a wide range of CH4 signatures suggesting multiple sources of methane and carbon dioxide. These data are interpreted to distinguish regions with methane contributions from deep-sourced horizontal drilling versus shallow system microbial production. Development of a thorough environmental assessment using light isotope analysis can provide understanding of shallow anthropogenic versus natural CH4sources and assist in identifying regions that require remedial actions.

  15. 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.

  16. Constraining Methane Flux Estimates Using Atmospheric Observations of Methane and 1^3C in Methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikaloff Fletcher, S. E.; Tans, P. P.; Miller, J. B.; Bruhwiler, L. M.

    2002-12-01

    Understanding the budget of methane is crucial to predicting climate change and managing earth's carbon reservoirs. Methane is responsible for approximately 15% of the anthropogenic greenhouse forcing and has a large impact on the oxidative capacity of Earth's atmosphere due to its reaction with hydroxyl radical. At present, many of the sources and sinks of methane are poorly understood due in part to the large spatial and temporal variability of the methane flux. Model simulations of methane mixing ratios using most process-based source estimates typically over-predict the latitudinal gradient of atmospheric methane relative to the observations; however, the specific source processes responsible for this discrepancy have not been identified definitively. The aim of this work is to use the isotopic signatures of the sources to attribute these discrepancies to a source process or group of source processes and create global and regional budget estimates that are in agreement with both the atmospheric observations of methane and 1^3C in methane. To this end, observations of isotopic ratios of 1^3C in methane and isotopic signatures of methane source processes are used in conjunction with an inverse model of the methane budget. Inverse modeling is a top-down approach which uses observations of trace gases in the atmosphere, an estimate of the spatial pattern of trace gas fluxes, and a model of atmospheric transport to estimate the sources and sinks. The atmospheric transport was represented by the TM3 three-dimensional transport model. The GLOBALVIEW 2001 methane observations were used along with flask measurements of 1^3C in methane at six of the CMDL-NOAA stations by INSTAAR. Initial results imply interesting differences from previous methane budget estimates. For example, the 1^3C isotope observations in methane call for an increase in southern hemisphere sources with a bacterial isotopic signature such as wetlands, rice paddies, termites, and ruminant animals. The

  17. Methane emissions from wastewater management.

    PubMed

    El-Fadel, M; Massoud, M

    2001-01-01

    Greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methane and carbon dioxide are produced when municipal and industrial wastewater and their residual solid by-product (sludge) are handled under or subject to anaerobic conditions, thus contributing to the global warming potential or the greenhouse effect. This paper presents estimation methods used for determining methane emissions from the management of wastewater. Applications for estimating countrywide methane gas emissions from wastewater management are presented with the country of Lebanon as an example. The relative significance of these emissions is assessed in comparison with methane emissions from developing and developed countries. Uncertainty associated with the estimation process and mitigation measures to reduce potential impacts of methane emissions from wastewater management are also discussed. PMID:11504340

  18. Methane oxidation by Nitrosomonas europaea.

    PubMed Central

    Hyman, M R; Wood, P M

    1983-01-01

    Methane inhibited NH4+ utilization by Nitrosomonas europaea with a Ki of 2mM. O2 consumption was not inhibited. In the absence of NH4+, or with hydrazine as reductant, methane caused nearly a doubling in the rate of O2 uptake. The stimulation was abolished by allylthiourea, a sensitive inhibitor of the oxidation of NH4+. Analysis revealed that methanol was being formed in these experiments, with yields approaching 1 mol of methanol per mol of O2 consumed under certain conditions. When cells were incubated with NH4+ under an atmosphere of 50% methane, 50 microM-methanol was generated in 1 h. It is concluded that methane is an alternative substrate for the NH3-oxidizing enzyme (ammonia mono-oxygenase),m albeit with a much lower affinity than for methane mono-oxygenase of methanotrophs. PMID:6870854

  19. Coal mine methane global review

    SciTech Connect

    2008-07-01

    This is the second edition of the Coal Mine Methane Global Overview, updated in the summer of 2008. This document contains individual, comprehensive profiles that characterize the coal and coal mine methane sectors of 33 countries - 22 methane to market partners and an additional 11 coal-producing nations. The executive summary provides summary tables that include statistics on coal reserves, coal production, methane emissions, and CMM projects activity. An International Coal Mine Methane Projects Database accompanies this overview. It contains more detailed and comprehensive information on over two hundred CMM recovery and utilization projects around the world. Project information in the database is updated regularly. This document will be updated annually. Suggestions for updates and revisions can be submitted to the Administrative Support Group and will be incorporate into the document as appropriate.

  20. Coalbed methane: Clean energy for the world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ahmed, A.-J.; Johnston, S.; Boyer, C.; Lambert, S.W.; Bustos, O.A.; Pashin, J.C.; Wray, A.

    2009-01-01

    Coalbed methane (CBM) has the potential to emerge as a significant clean energy resource. It also has the potential to replace other diminishing hydrocarbon reserves. The latest developments in technologies and methodologies are playing a key role in harnessing this unconventional resource. Some of these developments include adaptations of existing technologies used in conventional oil and gas generations, while others include new applications designed specifically to address coal's unique properties. Completion techniques have been developed that cause less damage to the production mechanisms of coal seams, such as those occurring during cementing operations. Stimulation fluids have also been engineered specifically to enhance CBM production. Deep coal deposits that remain inaccessible by conventional mining operations offer CBM development opportunities.

  1. Making methane visible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gålfalk, Magnus; Olofsson, Göran; Crill, Patrick; Bastviken, David

    2016-04-01

    Methane (CH4) is one of the most important greenhouse gases, and an important energy carrier in biogas and natural gas. Its large scale emission patterns have been unpredictable and the source and sink distributions are poorly constrained. Remote assessment of CH4 with high sensitivity at m2 spatial resolution would allow detailed mapping of near ground distribution and anthropogenic sources and sinks in landscapes but has hitherto not been possible. Here we show that CH4 gradients can be imaged on methane imaging will include a lake, barn, sewage sludge deposit, waste incineration plant, and controlled gas releases. We will also present successful simultaneous imaging of another important greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, with the same instrument.

  2. Methane emissions from vehicles.

    PubMed

    Nam, E K; Jensen, T E; Wallington, T J

    2004-04-01

    Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas emitted by vehicles. We report results of a laboratory study of methane emissions using a standard driving cycle for 30 different cars and trucks (1995-1999 model years) from four different manufacturers. We recommend the use of an average emission factor for the U.S. on-road vehicle fleet of (g of CH/g of CO2) = (15 +/- 4) x 10(-5) and estimate that the global vehicle fleet emits 0.45 +/- 0.12 Tg of CH4 yr(-1) (0.34 +/- 0.09 Tg of C yr(-1)), which represents < 0.2% of anthropogenic CH4 emissions. This estimate includes the effects of vehicle aging, cold start, and hot running emissions. The contribution of CH4 emissions from vehicles to radiative forcing of climate change is 0.3-0.4% of that of CO2 emissions from vehicles. The environmental impact of CH4 emissions from vehicles is negligible and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. PMID:15112800

  3. Hydroxylation of methane through component interactions in soluble methane monooxygenases.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung Jae

    2016-04-01

    Methane hydroxylation through methane monooxygenases (MMOs) is a key aspect due to their control of the carbon cycle in the ecology system and recent applications of methane gas in the field of bioenergy and bioremediation. Methanotropic bacteria perform a specific microbial conversion from methane, one of the most stable carbon compounds, to methanol through elaborate mechanisms. MMOs express particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) in most strains and soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) under copper-limited conditions. The mechanisms of MMO have been widely studied from sMMO belonging to the bacterial multicomponent monooxygenase (BMM) superfamily. This enzyme has diiron active sites where different types of hydrocarbons are oxidized through orchestrated hydroxylase, regulatory and reductase components for precise control of hydrocarbons, oxygen, protons, and electrons. Recent advances in biophysical studies, including structural and enzymatic achievements for sMMO, have explained component interactions, substrate pathways, and intermediates of sMMO. In this account, oxidation of methane in sMMO is discussed with recent progress that is critical for understanding the microbial applications of C-H activation in one-carbon substrates. PMID:27033202

  4. Comparison of Landfill Methane Oxidation Measured Using Stable Isotope Analysis and CO2/CH4 Fluxes Measured by the Eddy Covariance Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, L.; Chanton, J.; McDermitt, D. K.; Li, J.; Green, R. B.

    2015-12-01

    Methane plays a critical role in the radiation balance and chemistry of the atmosphere. Globally, landfill methane emission contributes about 10-19% of the anthropogenic methane burden into the atmosphere. In the United States, 18% of annual anthropogenic methane emissions come from landfills, which represent the third largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions, behind enteric fermentation and natural gas and oil production. One uncertainty in estimating landfill methane emissions is the fraction of methane oxidized when methane produced under anaerobic conditions passes through the cover soil. We developed a simple stoichiometric model to estimate methane oxidation fraction when the anaerobic CO2 / CH4 production ratio is known, or can be estimated. The model predicts a linear relationship between CO2 emission rates and CH4 emission rates, where the slope depends on anaerobic CO2 / CH4 production ratio and the fraction of methane oxidized, and the intercept depends on non-methane-dependent oxidation processes. The model was tested using carbon dioxide emission rates (fluxes) and methane emission rates (fluxes) measured using the eddy covariance method over a one year period at the Turkey Run landfill in Georgia, USA. The CO2 / CH4 production ratio was estimated by measuring CO2 and CH4 concentrations in air sampled under anaerobic conditions deep inside the landfill. We also used a mass balance approach to independently estimate fractional oxidation based on stable isotope measurements (δ13C of methane) of gas samples taken from deep inside the landfill and just above the landfill surface. Results from the two independent methods agree well. The model will be described and methane oxidation will be discussed in relation to wind direction, location at the landfill, and age of the deposited refuse.

  5. Mechanistic Studies on the Hydroxylation of Methane by Methane Monooxygenase

    SciTech Connect

    Baik, Mu-Hyun; Newcomb, Martin; Friesner, Richard A.; Lippard, Stephen J.

    2003-05-17

    Methanotrophs are bacteria that live on methane as their only source of carbon.1 The first step in their utilization of this simplest of all hydrocarbons is its selective conversion to methanol. Subsequent biochemical pathways transform methanol to formaldehyde, which in turn is processed into biomass. Further oxidation of formaldehyde to carbon dioxide provides energy that is stored for later use as NADH.2 The conversion of methane to methanol is catalyzed at the active site of a metalloenzyme known as methane monooxygenase, or MMO.3-9

  6. Controlling factors on methanogenesisin the deep sediment of Lake Kinneret

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, M.; Sivan, O.; Ronen, Z.; Eckert, W.

    2012-04-01

    The main pathways of methane production (methanogenesis) are through fermentation of acetate (acetoclastic methanogenesis) and through CO2 reduction with hydrogen (hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis). In most freshwater environment the dominant pathway is through acetoclastic methanogenesis, while in marine sediments the main pathway is through CO2 reduction. Another minor pathway of methane production is through methylotrophic methanogenesis with noncompetitive substrate like methylamine etc. This study investigates the controlling parameters on methanogenesis in deep lacustrine sediments and their link to methanotrophy process. Our findings suggest that in Lake Kinneret (Israel) sediments (Station A, 38 m depth), methanogenesis is restricted to a zone between 3 and 25 cm depth and ends abruptly. This is based on a model calculation and slurry incubation experiments. Below this zone there is a sink for methane, and sets of geochemical data show that this methane sink is related to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), which is most likely driven by iron reduction rather than sulfate reduction. In order to explore this ending of methanogenesis and its link to the deep AOM; in-situ profiles in the sediments as well as slurry incubation experiments in modified conditions were conducted. Profiles of dissolved organic carbon and acetate show increase in concentrations with depth, suggesting that the ending of methanogenesis is not trivial. Preliminary incubation of sediments from different depths show accumulation of acetate with depth concurrently to lower methane accumulation even with addition of acetate. Considering that the common substrates concentrations increase at this depth, the abrupt absence of methanogenesis is surprising. Different additions to the slurries suggest a link between methane, sulfur and iron at that depth that affects both methanogenesis and the deep AOM process.

  7. Elastic properties of methane-propane mixed gas hydrate under high pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miwa, Shinya; Kanou, Masaki; Kume, Tetsuji; Sasaki, Shigeo

    2013-06-01

    Methane hydrate (MH) is widely observed in Earth's environment such as permafrost and deep sea floors. At low temperature and low pressure conditions, pure MH crystallizes a cubic structure I (sI) which consists of hydrogen-bonded two small and six medium water cages which enclathrate methane molecules as guests. However, actual MH in deep sea deposits contains not only methane molecules but also ethane and propane molecules. Therefore, the estimation of elastic properties and mechanical stability for both sI and structure II (sII) are required for the safe extraction of methane gas from the deep sea floors. The purpose of this study is to determine the elastic properties of methane-propane mixed gas hydrate (MPH) with sII by applying the high-pressure Brillouin spectroscopy to a single crystal of MPH-sII grown in a diamond anvil cell. The obtained elastic constant C11 of MPH-sII showing independent of pressure is obviously different from that of pure MH-sI. On the other hand, the C12 and C44 are similar to MH-sI. The present results suggest that a variety of gas hydrates have the individual elastic properties and stability depending on the gas hydrate structures.

  8. Titan's methane clock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nixon, C. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Romani, P. N.; Teanby, N. A.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Flasar, F. M.

    2010-04-01

    Measurements of the 12C/13C and D/H isotopic ratios in Titan's methane show intriguing differences from the values recorded in the giant planets. This implies that either (1) the atmosphere was differently endowed with material at the time of formation, or (2) evolutionary processes are at work in the moon's atmosphere - or some combination of the two. The Huygens Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer Instrument (GCMS) found 12CH4/13CH4 = 82 +/- 1 (Niemann et al. 2005), some 7% lower than the giant planets' value of 88 +/- 7 (Sada et al. 1996), which closely matches the terrestrial inorganic standard of 89. The Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) has previously reported 12CH4/13CH4 of 77 +/-3 based on nadir sounding, which we now revise upwards to 80 +/- 4 based on more accurate limb sounding. The CIRS and GCMS results are therefore in agreement about an overall enrichment in 13CH4 of ~10%. The value of D/H in Titan's CH4 has long been controversial: historical measurements have ranged from about 8-15 x 10-5 (e.g. Coustenis et al. 1989, Coustenis et al. 2003). A recent measurement based on CIRS limb data by Bezard et al. (2007) puts the D/H in CH4 at (13 +/- 1) x 10-5, very much greater than in Jupiter and Saturn, ~2 x 10-5 (Mahaffy et al. 1998, Fletcher et al. 2009). To add complexity, the 12C/13C and D/H vary among molecules in Titan atmosphere, typically showing enhancement in D but depletion in 13C in the daughter species (H2, C2H2, C2H6), relative to the photochemical progenitor, methane. Jennings et al. (2009) have sought to interpret the variance in carbon isotopes as a Kinetic Isotope Effect (KIE), whilst an explanation for the D/H in all molecules remains elusive (Cordier et al. 2008). In this presentation we argue that evolution of isotopic ratios in Titan's methane over time forms a ticking 'clock', somewhat analogous to isotopic ratios in geochronology. Under plausible assumptions about the initial values and subsequent replenishment, various

  9. Deep smarts.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Dorothy; Swap, Walter

    2004-09-01

    When a person sizes up a complex situation and rapidly comes to a decision that proves to be not just good but brilliant, you think, "That was smart." After you watch him do this a few times, you realize you're in the presence of something special. It's not raw brainpower, though that helps. It's not emotional intelligence, either, though that, too, is often involved. It's deep smarts. Deep smarts are not philosophical--they're not"wisdom" in that sense, but they're as close to wisdom as business gets. You see them in the manager who understands when and how to move into a new international market, in the executive who knows just what kind of talk to give when her organization is in crisis, in the technician who can track a product failure back to an interaction between independently produced elements. These are people whose knowledge would be hard to purchase on the open market. Their insight is based on know-how more than on know-what; it comprises a system view as well as expertise in individual areas. Because deep smarts are experienced based and often context specific, they can't be produced overnight or readily imported into an organization. It takes years for an individual to develop them--and no time at all for an organization to lose them when a valued veteran walks out the door. They can be taught, however, with the right techniques. Drawing on their forthcoming book Deep Smarts, Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap say the best way to transfer such expertise to novices--and, on a larger scale, to make individual knowledge institutional--isn't through PowerPoint slides, a Web site of best practices, online training, project reports, or lectures. Rather, the sage needs to teach the neophyte individually how to draw wisdom from experience. Companies have to be willing to dedicate time and effort to such extensive training, but the investment more than pays for itself. PMID:15449858

  10. Weather, Climate, and Methane: Linking Short and Long Term Changes in Available Energy to Observed Methane Emission from Shallow Subarctic Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornton, B. F.; Wik, M.; Crill, P. M.

    2015-12-01

    Many studies have noted that there is a positive relationship between temperatures in freshwater systems and methane production by Archaea, but not all freshwater systems are alike. In the Arctic and Subarctic, small, very shallow lakes are a common feature. We hypothesize that such lakes' sediment temperatures (where methane production occurs) are particularly sensitive and responsive to solar shortwave flux (SW), because direct solar heating of the sediments can partly bypass the need for physical mixing of warm water downwards across stratifications in the water column (such mixing is necessary for heating the bottom sediments in deeper lakes). Ebullitive (bubble) fluxes of methane are far more varying, and may represent the additional methane production not being diffusively lost. Although trigger events such as air pressure changes are known to transiently produce bubbling, we show a link to SW input on both shorter and longer timescales than previously demonstrated. However, it is difficult to separate SW-driven increases due to autochthonous production leading to increased methane production from SW-driven temperature increases in sediment speeding methane production in the current dataset. We show that in a shallow (ca. 1 m deep) lake (Villasjön, in Stordalen Mire, Sweden), during summer (June-August) methane bubbling is closely tied to available SW input on timescales of a few days. For the study area in northern Sweden, the available SW appears linked to the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Relationships between the winter NAO and snow cover, which impacts lake ice-out date, and available summer SW are also considered. Linking methane production in shallow lakes to the NAO may allow back-projections of methane production in the Stordalen region to the 1860s. We compare these back-projections to recently published back-projections based on lake ice-out dates for Stordalen dating back to 1916.

  11. Quantifying the Arctic methane budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warwick, Nicola; Cain, Michelle; Pyle, John

    2014-05-01

    The Arctic is a major source of atmospheric methane, containing climate-sensitive emissions from natural wetlands and gas hydrates, as well as the fossil fuel industry. Both wetland and gas hydrate methane emissions from the Arctic may increase with increasing temperature, resulting in a positive feedback leading to enhancement of climate warming. It is important that these poorly-constrained sources are quantified by location and strength and their vulnerability to change be assessed. The MAMM project (Methane and other greenhouse gases in the Arctic: Measurements, process studies and Modelling') addresses these issues as part of the UK NERC Arctic Programme. A global chemistry transport model has been used, along with MAMM and other long term observations, to assess our understanding of the different source and sink terms in the Arctic methane budget. Simulations including methane coloured by source and latitude are used to distinguish between Arctic seasonal variability arising from transport and that arising from changes in Arctic sources and sinks. Methane isotopologue tracers provide a further constraint on modelled methane variability, distinguishing between isotopically light and heavy sources (e.g. wetlands and gas fields). We focus on quantifying the magnitude and seasonal variability of Arctic wetland emissions.

  12. Oceanic Methane Concentrations in Three Mexican Regions

    EPA Science Inventory

    The atmospheric concentration of methane has increased significantly over the last several decades. Methane is an important greenhouse gas, and it is important to better quantify methane sources and sinks. Dissolved methane in the ocean is produced by biological and hydrothermal ...

  13. Archaebacterial Fuel Production: Methane from Biomass.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lennox, John E.; And Others

    1983-01-01

    Discusses microbial production of methane from biomass. Topics include methogens (bacteria producing methane), ecology of methanogenesis, methanogenesis in ruminant/nonruminant and other environments, role of methanogenesis in nature, and methane production in sewage treatment plants. Also discusses construction of methane digesters (and related…

  14. (Methane digester). Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Waybright, R.C.

    1981-01-01

    The purpose of the grant was to construct and operate a methane digester for dairy manure involving the latest state-of-the-art technics. The first step taken was to empty out the existing digester to evaluate its performance and to gain ideas of how to build the next digester so it would operate more efficiently. Next, the design criteria was set up in order to eliminate some problems involved with the first digester and also new ideas as to how to build the next one without a protective building and testing simplified construction technics. After this the digester construction was started with the completion date in late January. The digester was then filled and operated at different temperatures attempting to achieve the optimum operating range.

  15. Tetraperchlorate of methane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schack, C. J.

    1972-01-01

    The preparation of the tetraperchlorate of methane (TPM) was attempted. Displacement of halogen from carbon tetrahalides was accomplished with either CCl4 or CBr4 using the halogen perchlorates, ClOClO3, and BOClO3. Although the displacement process was successful, the generated carbon perchlorate intermediates were not isolated. Instead, these species decomposed to COCl2, CO2, and Cl2O7. The vigorous displacement reaction that often occurred required moderation. Fluorocarbon solvents and chlorine perchlorate were successfully tested for compatibility, permitting their use in these synthetic reactions. While the sought for moderating effect was obtained, the net result of the displacement of halogen from CX sub 4 substrates was the same as before. Thus only CO2, COCl2, and Cl2O7 were isolated.

  16. 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

  17. Phase behavior of methane haze.

    PubMed

    Signorell, R; Jetzki, M

    2007-01-01

    Methane aerosols play a fundamental role in the atmospheres of Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn's moon Titan as borne out by the recent Cassini-Huygens mission. Here we present the first study of the phase behavior of free methane aerosol particles combining collisional cooling with rapid-scan infrared spectroscopy in situ. We find fast (within minutes) phase transitions to crystalline states directly after particle formation and characteristic surface effects for nanometer-sized particles. From our results, we conclude that in atmospheric clouds solid methane particles are crystalline. PMID:17358473

  18. Methanogens rapidly transition from methane production to iron reduction.

    PubMed

    Sivan, O; Shusta, S S; Valentine, D L

    2016-03-01

    Methanogenesis, the microbial methane (CH4 ) production, is traditionally thought to anchor the mineralization of organic matter as the ultimate respiratory process in deep sediments, despite the presence of oxidized mineral phases, such as iron oxides. This process is carried out by archaea that have also been shown to be capable of reducing iron in high levels of electron donors such as hydrogen. The current pure culture study demonstrates that methanogenic archaea (Methanosarcina barkeri) rapidly switch from methanogenesis to iron-oxide reduction close to natural conditions, with nitrogen atmosphere, even when faced with substrate limitations. Intensive, biotic iron reduction was observed following the addition of poorly crystalline ferrihydrite and complex organic matter and was accompanied by inhibition of methane production. The reaction rate of this process was of the first order and was dependent only on the initial iron concentrations. Ferrous iron production did not accelerate significantly with the addition of 9,10-anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS) but increased by 11-28% with the addition of phenazine-1-carboxylate (PCA), suggesting the possible role of methanophenazines in the electron transport. The coupling between ferrous iron and methane production has important global implications. The rapid transition from methanogenesis to reduction of iron-oxides close to the natural conditions in sediments may help to explain the globally-distributed phenomena of increasing ferrous concentrations below the traditional iron reduction zone in the deep 'methanogenic' sediment horizon, with implications for metabolic networking in these subsurface ecosystems and in past geological settings. PMID:26762691

  19. Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Kolesnikov, Anton; Kutcherov, Vladimir G.; Goncharov, Alexander F.

    2009-08-13

    There is widespread evidence that petroleum originates from biological processes. Whether hydrocarbons can also be produced from abiogenic precursor molecules under the high-pressure, high-temperature conditions characteristic of the upper mantle remains an open question. It has been proposed that hydrocarbons generated in the upper mantle could be transported through deep faults to shallower regions in the Earth's crust, and contribute to petroleum reserves. Here we use in situ Raman spectroscopy in laser-heated diamond anvil cells to monitor the chemical reactivity of methane and ethane under upper-mantle conditions. We show that when methane is exposed to pressures higher than 2 GPa, and to temperatures in the range of 1,000-1,500 K, it partially reacts to form saturated hydrocarbons containing 2-4 carbons (ethane, propane and butane) and molecular hydrogen and graphite. Conversely, exposure of ethane to similar conditions results in the production of methane, suggesting that the synthesis of saturated hydrocarbons is reversible. Our results support the suggestion that hydrocarbons heavier than methane can be produced by abiogenic processes in the upper mantle.

  20. Global Methane Biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reeburgh, W. S.

    2003-12-01

    Methane (CH4) has been studied as an atmospheric constituent for over 200 years. A 1776 letter from Alessandro Volta to Father Campi described the first experiments on flammable "air" released by shallow sediments in Lake Maggiore (Wolfe, 1996; King, 1992). The first quantitative measurements of CH4, both involving combustion and gravimetric determination of trapped oxidation products, were reported in French by Boussingault and Boussingault, 1864 and Gautier (1901), who reported CH4 concentrations of 10 ppmv and 0.28 ppmv (seashore) and 95 ppmv (Paris), respectively. The first modern measurements of atmospheric CH4 were the infrared absorption measurements of Migeotte (1948), who estimated an atmospheric concentration of 2.0 ppmv. Development of gas chromatography and the flame ionization detector in the 1950s led to observations of vertical CH4 distributions in the troposphere and stratosphere, and to establishment of time-series sampling programs in the late 1970s. Results from these sampling programs led to suggestions that the concentration of CH4, as that of CO2, was increasing in the atmosphere. The possible role of CH4 as a greenhouse gas stimulated further research on CH4 sources and sinks. Methane has also been of interest to microbiologists, but findings from microbiology have entered the larger context of the global CH4 budget only recently.Methane is the most abundant hydrocarbon in the atmosphere. It plays important roles in atmospheric chemistry and the radiative balance of the Earth. Stratospheric oxidation of CH4 provides a means of introducing water vapor above the tropopause. Methane reacts with atomic chlorine in the stratosphere, forming HCl, a reservoir species for chlorine. Some 90% of the CH4 entering the atmosphere is oxidized through reactions initiated by the OH radical. These reactions are discussed in more detail by Wofsy (1976) and Cicerone and Oremland (1988), and are important in controlling the oxidation state of the atmosphere

  1. 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.

  2. Novel microbial communities of the Haakon Mosby mud volcano and their role as a methane sink.

    PubMed

    Niemann, Helge; Lösekann, Tina; de Beer, Dirk; Elvert, Marcus; Nadalig, Thierry; Knittel, Katrin; Amann, Rudolf; Sauter, Eberhard J; Schlüter, Michael; Klages, Michael; Foucher, Jean Paul; Boetius, Antje

    2006-10-19

    Mud volcanism is an important natural source of the greenhouse gas methane to the hydrosphere and atmosphere. Recent investigations show that the number of active submarine mud volcanoes might be much higher than anticipated (for example, see refs 3-5), and that gas emitted from deep-sea seeps might reach the upper mixed ocean. Unfortunately, global methane emission from active submarine mud volcanoes cannot be quantified because their number and gas release are unknown. It is also unclear how efficiently methane-oxidizing microorganisms remove methane. Here we investigate the methane-emitting Haakon Mosby Mud Volcano (HMMV, Barents Sea, 72 degrees N, 14 degrees 44' E; 1,250 m water depth) to provide quantitative estimates of the in situ composition, distribution and activity of methanotrophs in relation to gas emission. The HMMV hosts three key communities: aerobic methanotrophic bacteria (Methylococcales), anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME-2) thriving below siboglinid tubeworms, and a previously undescribed clade of archaea (ANME-3) associated with bacterial mats. We found that the upward flow of sulphate- and oxygen-free mud volcano fluids restricts the availability of these electron acceptors for methane oxidation, and hence the habitat range of methanotrophs. This mechanism limits the capacity of the microbial methane filter at active marine mud volcanoes to <40% of the total flux. PMID:17051217

  3. Impact of hydrology on methane flux patterns in a permafrost-affected floodplain in Northeast Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Min Jung; Beulig, Felix; Kuesel, Kirsten; Wildner, Marcus; Heimann, Martin; Zimov, Nikita; Zimov, Sergei; Goeckede, Mathias

    2015-04-01

    produced in the first place due to less anaerobic condition, and subsequently most of it was oxidized while being transported to the atmosphere through diffusion. In fall, however, methane emission was higher in the drained site, potentially originating from stored methane during growing season or freshly produced methane in deep, relatively warmer soil layers. To summarize all effects of WTD, the drainage changed vegetation and microbial community structure, which in turn altered net methane emissions in growing season with significantly less amount of methane emission in drained site.

  4. Summer methane fluxes from a boreal bog in northern Quebec, Canada, using eddy covariance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadeau, Daniel F.; Rousseau, Alain N.; Coursolle, Carole; Margolis, Hank A.; Parlange, Marc B.

    2013-12-01

    A boreal bog located in the James Bay lowlands, Canada, was instrumented with an open-path gas analyzer to monitor the turbulent fluxes of methane throughout the summer of 2012. The mostly continuous eddy covariance measurements permitted the study of methane dynamics at the hourly, daily and seasonal scales. To exclude data segments for which the biological methane fluxes were underestimated due to inefficient atmospheric transport under stable stratification, we applied a novel approach based on both the atmospheric stability parameter ζ = z/L and the friction velocity u∗, where z is the measurement height and L the Obukhov length. The field measurements revealed the existence of at least one sustained ebullition event, triggered by low barometric pressures, a declining water table and increasing mechanical turbulence - suggesting that large-scale release of methane bubbles can be an important transport mechanism of methane in boreal bogs. The validity of similarity scaling for atmospheric methane under convective conditions was also assessed and the normalized standard deviations of methane concentrations did not scale well with ζ, highlighting the heterogeneity in natural methane production and release across the bog. Overall the hourly emissions ranged between -2.0 and 32.1 mg CH4 m-2 h-1, with a summertime mean of 2.4 mg CH4 m-2 h-1. At the daily scale, the two main controls on methane emissions were found to be the water table position and the peat temperature at 0.3 m under the surface. Contrary to other studies, seasonal methane emissions peaked when the water table was at its maximum distance from the surface, around mid-August. No clear diurnal pattern could be found in methane emissions, indicating that methane was produced quite deep within the peat. The seasonal emissions were estimated at 4.4 g CH4 m-2, and compared well with other observations over similar landscapes using different measurement techniques. Given that methane releases and

  5. Methane production in terrestrial arthropods.

    PubMed Central

    Hackstein, J H; Stumm, C K

    1994-01-01

    We have screened more than 110 representatives of the different taxa of terrestrial arthropods for methane production in order to obtain additional information about the origins of biogenic methane. Methanogenic bacteria occur in the hindguts of nearly all tropical representatives of millipedes (Diplopoda), cockroaches (Blattaria), termites (Isoptera), and scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae), while such methanogens are absent from 66 other arthropod species investigated. Three types of symbiosis were found: in the first type, the arthropod's hindgut is colonized by free methanogenic bacteria; in the second type, methanogens are closely associated with chitinous structures formed by the host's hindgut; the third type is mediated by intestinal anaerobic protists with intracellular methanogens. Such symbiotic associations are likely to be a characteristic property of the particular taxon. Since these taxa represent many families with thousands of species, the world populations of methane-producing arthropods constitute an enormous biomass. We show that arthropod symbionts can contribute substantially to atmospheric methane. Images PMID:8202505

  6. Methane production in terrestrial arthropods

    SciTech Connect

    Hackstein, J.H.P.; Stumm, C.K. )

    1994-06-07

    The authors have screened more than 110 representatives of the different taxa of terrestrial arthropods for methane production in order to obtain additional information about the origins of biogenic methane. Methanogenic bacteria occur in the hindguts of nearly all tropical representatives of millipedes (Diplopoda), cockroaches (Blattaria), termites (Isoptera), and scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae), while such methanogens are absent from 66 other arthropod species investigated. Three types of symbiosis were found: in the first type, the arthropod's hindgut is colonized by free methanogenic bacteria; in the second type, methanogens are closely associated with chitinous structures formed by the host's hindgut; the third type is mediated by intestinal anaerobic protists with intracellular methanogens. Such symbiotic associations are likely to be a characteristic property of the particular taxon. Since these taxa represent many families with thousands of species, the world populations of methane-producing arthropods constitute an enormous biomass. The authors show that arthropod symbionts can contribute substantially to atmospheric methane.

  7. Methane emissions from MBT landfills

    SciTech Connect

    Heyer, K.-U. Hupe, K.; Stegmann, R.

    2013-09-15

    Highlights: • Compilation of methane generation potential of mechanical biological treated (MBT) municipal solid waste. • Impacts and kinetics of landfill gas production of MBT landfills, approach with differentiated half-lives. • Methane oxidation in the waste itself and in soil covers. • Estimation of methane emissions from MBT landfills in Germany. - Abstract: Within the scope of an investigation for the German Federal Environment Agency (“Umweltbundesamt”), the basics for the estimation of the methane emissions from the landfilling of mechanically and biologically treated waste (MBT) were developed. For this purpose, topical research including monitoring results regarding the gas balance at MBT landfills was evaluated. For waste treated to the required German standards, a methane formation potential of approximately 18–24 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4}/t of total dry solids may be expected. Monitoring results from MBT landfills show that a three-phase model with differentiated half-lives describes the degradation kinetics in the best way. This is due to the fact that during the first years of disposal, the anaerobic degradation processes still proceed relatively intensively. In addition in the long term (decades), a residual gas production at a low level is still to be expected. Most of the soils used in recultivation layer systems at German landfills show a relatively high methane oxidation capacity up to 5 l CH{sub 4}/(m{sup 2} h). However, measurements at MBT disposal sites indicate that the majority of the landfill gas (in particular at non-covered areas), leaves the landfill body via preferred gas emission zones (hot spots) without significant methane oxidation. Therefore, rather low methane oxidation factors are recommended for open and temporarily covered MBT landfills. Higher methane oxidation rates can be achieved when the soil/recultivation layer is adequately designed and operated. Based on the elaborated default values, the First Order Decay (FOD

  8. Methane generation from animal wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Fulton, E.L.

    1980-06-01

    The conversion of manure to biogas via anaerobic digestion is described. The effluent resulting from the conversion retains fertilizer value and is environmentally acceptable. Discussion is presented under the headings: methane formation in the digester; the Tarleton State Poultry Waste to Methane production system; operating experience at Tarleton State; economics of biogas production from poultry waste; construction cost and biogas value; energy uses; feed and waste processing; and advantages of anaerobic digestion. (DMC)

  9. Stratified community responses to methane and sulfate supplies in mud volcano deposits: insights from an in vitro experiment.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Maignien, Lois; Stadnitskaia, Alina; Boeckx, Pascal; Xiao, Xiang; Boon, Nico

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies on marine prokaryotic communities have postulated that a process of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled with sulfate reduction (SR) is the main methane sink in the world's oceans. AOM has also been reported in the deep biosphere. But the responses of the primary microbial players in eliciting changes in geochemical environments, specifically in methane and sulfate supplies, have yet to be fully elucidated. Marine mud volcanoes (MVs) expel a complex fluid mixture of which methane is the primary component, forming an environment in which AOM is a common phenomenon. In this context, we attempted to identify how the prokaryotic community would respond to changes in methane and sulfate intensities, which often occur in MV environments in the form of eruptions, diffusions or seepage. We applied an integrated approach, including (i) biochemical surveys of pore water originated from MV, (ii) in vitro incubation of mud breccia, and (iii) prokaryotic community structure analysis. Two distinct AOM regions were clearly detected. One is related to the sulfate methane transition zone (SMTZ) at depth of 30-55 cm below the sea floor (bsf); the second is at 165-205 cm bsf with ten times higher rates of AOM and SR. This finding contrasts with the sulfide concentrations in pore waters and supports the suggestion that potential AOM activity below the SMTZ might be an important methane sink that is largely ignored or underestimated in oceanic methane budget calculations. Moreover, the incubation conditions below the SMTZ favor the growth of methanotrophic archaeal group ANME-2 compared to ANME-1, and promote the rapid growth and high diversity of bacterial communities. These incubation conditions also promote the increase of richness in bacterial communities. Our results provide direct evidence of the mechanisms by which deep AOM processes can affect carbon cycling in the deep biosphere and global methane biochemistry. PMID:25393146

  10. Stratified Community Responses to Methane and Sulfate Supplies in Mud Volcano Deposits: Insights from an In Vitro Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu; Maignien, Lois; Stadnitskaia, Alina; Boeckx, Pascal; Xiao, Xiang; Boon, Nico

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies on marine prokaryotic communities have postulated that a process of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled with sulfate reduction (SR) is the main methane sink in the world's oceans. AOM has also been reported in the deep biosphere. But the responses of the primary microbial players in eliciting changes in geochemical environments, specifically in methane and sulfate supplies, have yet to be fully elucidated. Marine mud volcanoes (MVs) expel a complex fluid mixture of which methane is the primary component, forming an environment in which AOM is a common phenomenon. In this context, we attempted to identify how the prokaryotic community would respond to changes in methane and sulfate intensities, which often occur in MV environments in the form of eruptions, diffusions or seepage. We applied an integrated approach, including (i) biochemical surveys of pore water originated from MV, (ii) in vitro incubation of mud breccia, and (iii) prokaryotic community structure analysis. Two distinct AOM regions were clearly detected. One is related to the sulfate methane transition zone (SMTZ) at depth of 30–55 cm below the sea floor (bsf); the second is at 165–205 cm bsf with ten times higher rates of AOM and SR. This finding contrasts with the sulfide concentrations in pore waters and supports the suggestion that potential AOM activity below the SMTZ might be an important methane sink that is largely ignored or underestimated in oceanic methane budget calculations. Moreover, the incubation conditions below the SMTZ favor the growth of methanotrophic archaeal group ANME-2 compared to ANME-1, and promote the rapid growth and high diversity of bacterial communities. These incubation conditions also promote the increase of richness in bacterial communities. Our results provide direct evidence of the mechanisms by which deep AOM processes can affect carbon cycling in the deep biosphere and global methane biochemistry. PMID:25393146

  11. Methane Production in Minnesota Peatlands

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Richard T.; Crawford, Ronald L.

    1984-01-01

    Rates of methane production in Minnesota peats were studied. Surface (10- to 25-cm) peats produced an average of 228 nmol of CH4 per g (dry weight) per h at 25°C and ambient pH. Methanogenesis rates generally decreased with depth in ombrotrophic peats, but on occasion were observed to rise within deeper layers of certain fen peats. Methane production was temperature dependent, increasing with increasing temperature (4 to 30°C), except in peats from deeper layers. Maximal methanogenesis from these deeper regions occurred at 12°C. Methane production rates were also pH dependent. Two peats with pHs of 3.8 and 4.3 had an optimum rate of methane production at pH 6.0. The addition to peat of glucose and H2-CO2 stimulated methanogenesis, whereas the addition of acetate inhibited methanogenesis. Cysteine-sulfide, nitrogen-phosphorus-trace metals, and vitamins-yeast extract affected methane production very little. Various gases were found to be trapped or dissolved (or both) within peatland waters. Dissolved methane increased linearly to a depth of 210 cm. The accumulation of metabolic end products produced within peat bogs appears to be an important mechanism limiting carbon turnover in peatland environments. PMID:16346565

  12. Optical constants of solid methane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khare, Bishun N.; Thompson, W. R.; Sagan, C.; Arakawa, E. T.; Bruel, C.; Judish, J. P.; Khanna, R. K.; Pollack, J. B.

    1989-01-01

    Methane is the most abundant simple organic molecule in the outer solar system bodies. In addition to being a gaseous constituent of the atmospheres of the Jovian planets and Titan, it is present in the solid form as a constituent of icy surfaces such as those of Triton and Pluto, and as cloud condensate in the atmospheres of Titan, Uranus, and Neptune. It is expected in the liquid form as a constituent of the ocean of Titan. Cometary ices also contain solid methane. The optical constants for both solid and liquid phases of CH4 for a wide temperature range are needed for radiative transfer calculations, for studies of reflection from surfaces, and for modeling of emission in the far infrared and microwave regions. The astronomically important visual to near infrared measurements of solid methane optical constants are conspicuously absent from the literature. Preliminary results are presented of the optical constants of solid methane for the 0.4 to 2.6 micron region. K is reported for both the amorphous and the crystalline (annealed) states. Using the previously measured values of the real part of the refractive index, n, of liquid methane at 110 K n is computed for solid methane using the Lorentz-Lorentz relationship. Work is in progress to extend the measurements of optical constants n and k for liquid and solid to both shorter and longer wavelengths, eventually providing a complete optical constants database for condensed CH4.

  13. Methane production in Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, R.T.; Crawford, R.L.

    1984-06-01

    Rates of methane production in Minnesota peats were studied. Surface (10- to 25-cm) peats produced an average of 228 nmol of CH/sub 4/ per g (dry weight) per h at 25/sup 0/C and ambient pH. Methanogenesis rates generally decreased with depth in ombrotrophic peats, but on occasion were observed to rise within deeper layers of certain fen peats. Methane production was temperature dependent, increasing with increasing temperature (4 to 30/sup 0/C), except in peats from deeper layers. Maximal methanogenesis from these deeper regions occurred at 12/sup 0/C. Methane production rates were also pH dependent. Two peats with pHs of 3.8 and 4.3 had an optimum rate of methane production at pH 6.0. The addition to peat of glucose and H/sub 2/-CO/sub 2/ stimulated methanogenesis, whereas the addition of acetate inhibited methanogenesis. Cysteine-sulfide, nitrogen-phosphorus-trace metals, and vitamins-yeast extract affected methane production very little. Various gases were found to be trapped or dissolved (or both) within peatland waters. Dissolved methane increased linearly to a depth of 210 cm. The accumulation of metabolic end products produced within peat bogs appears to be an important mechanism limiting turnover in peatland environments.

  14. Methane Hydrates inventory for a warm Paleogene Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahana, R.; Ridgwell, A. J.

    2010-12-01

    A large and instantaneous release of methane from hydrate deposits beneath the ocean floor is often considered to be the main trigger for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at 55 Ma BP and for other hyperthermal events during the warm Paleogene. About 2000 GtC of methane hydrates are required to explain the observed negative carbon excursion at the onset of the PETM. This amount is comparable to the entire modern-day global ocean inventory. However, the Paleogene bottom ocean temperatures were about 10 C warmer. Higher temperatures increase the depth of methane hydrates stability to about 1000 m. This reduces the area available for methanogenesis and hydrates production, and confines it to regions of the continental slope, further away from sources of particulate organic carbon. On the other hand higher water and sediment temperatures and possibly increased productivity might increase hydrate abundance by speeding up methanogenesis process and lowering deep sea oxygen levels, which results in a better preservation of particulate organic carbon available for methanogenesis. It is therefore difficult to estimate the methane hydrates inventory for the Paleogene and determine its spatial distribution without modelling it explicitly. To improve our understanding of these processes we have applied the methodology used by Archer et al., (2009) for estimating modern inventory of methane hydrates, to predict methane hydrates abundance in the warm Palaeogene ocean and its sensitivity to changes in temperatures and productivity: The Paleogene bathymetry and bottom water chemistry (seafloor temperature and oxygen levels) simulated by GENIE-1, an intermediate complexity Earth System Model is fed into David Archer’s early sedimentary diagenesis model (MUDS). MUDS simulates the fraction of organic carbon which is buried below one meter of the sediment column and is available for methanogenesis, and the total burial rate at this depth. These are then fed into a steady

  15. FORT UNION DEEP

    SciTech Connect

    Lyle A. Johnson Jr.

    2002-09-01

    Coalbed methane (CBM) is currently the hottest area of energy development in the Rocky Mountain area. The Powder River Basin (PRB) is the largest CBM area in Wyoming and has attracted the majority of the attention because of its high permeability and relatively shallow depth. Other Wyoming coal regions are also being targeted for development, but most of these areas have lower permeability and deeper coal seams. This project consists of the development of a CBM stimulation system for deep coal resources and involves three work areas: (1) Well Placement, (2) Well Stimulation, and (3) Production Monitoring and Evaluation. The focus of this project is the Washakie Basin. Timberline Energy, Inc., the cosponsor, has a project area in southern Carbon County, Wyoming, and northern Moffat County, Colorado. The target coal is found near the top of the lower Fort Union formation. The well for this project, Evans No.1, was drilled to a depth of 2,700 ft. Three coal seams were encountered with sandstone and some interbedded shale between seams. Well logs indicated that the coal seams and the sandstone contained gas. For the testing, the upper seam at 2,000 ft was selected. The well, drilled and completed for this project, produced very little water and only occasional burps of methane. To enhance the well, a mild severity fracture was conducted to fracture the coal seam and not the adjacent sandstone. Fracturing data indicated a fracture half-length of 34 ft, a coal permeability of 0.2226 md, and permeability of 15.3 md. Following fracturing, the gas production rate stabilized at 10 Mscf/day within water production of 18 bpd. The Western Research Institute (WRI) CBM model was used to design a 14-day stimulation cycle followed by a 30-day production period. A maximum injection pressure of 1,200 psig to remain well below the fracture pressure was selected. Model predictions were 20 Mscf/day of air injection for 14 days, a one-day shut-in, then flowback. The predicted flowback

  16. FORT UNION DEEP

    SciTech Connect

    Lyle A. Johnson Jr.

    2002-03-01

    Coalbed methane (CBM) is currently the hottest area of energy development in the Rocky Mountain area. The Powder River Basin (PRB) is the largest CBM area in Wyoming and has attracted the majority of the attention because of its high permeability and relatively shallow depth. Other Wyoming coal regions are also being targeted for development, but most of these areas have lower permeability and deeper coal seams. This project consists of the development of a CBM stimulation system for deep coal resources and involves three work areas: (1) Well Placement, (2) Well Stimulation, and (3) Production Monitoring and Evaluation. The focus of this project is the Washakie Basin. Timberline Energy, Inc., the cosponsor, has a project area in southern Carbon County, Wyoming, and northern Moffat County, Colorado. The target coal is found near the top of the lower Fort Union formation. The well for this project, Evans No.1, was drilled to a depth of 2,700 ft. Three coal seams were encountered with sandstone and some interbedded shale between seams. Well logs indicated that the coal seams and the sandstone contained gas. For the testing, the upper seam at 2,000 ft was selected. The well, drilled and completed for this project, produced very little water and only occasional burps of methane. To enhance the well, a mild severity fracture was conducted to fracture the coal seam and not the adjacent sandstone. Fracturing data indicated a fracture half-length of 34 ft, a coal permeability of 0.2226 md, and permeability of 15.3 md. Following fracturing, the gas production rate stabilized at 10 Mscf/day within water production of 18 bpd. The Western Research Institute (WRI) CBM model was used to design a 14-day stimulation cycle followed by a 30-day production period. A maximum injection pressure of 1,200 psig to remain well below the fracture pressure was selected. Model predictions were 20 Mscf/day of air injection for 14 days, a one-day shut-in, then flowback. The predicted flowback

  17. Is methane a new therapeutic gas?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Methane is an attractive fuel. Biologically, methanogens in the colon can use carbon dioxide and hydrogen to produce methane as a by-product. It was previously considered that methane is not utilized by humans. However, in a recent study, results demonstrated that methane could exert anti-inflammatory effects in a dog small intestinal ischemia-reperfusion model. Point of view Actually, the bioactivity of methane has been investigated in gastrointestinal diseases, but the exact mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory effects is required to be further elucidated. Methane can cross the membrane and is easy to collect due to its abundance in natural gas. Although methane is flammable, saline rich in methane can be prepared for clinical use. These seem to be good news in application of methane as a therapeutic gas. Conclusion Several problems should be resolved before its wide application in clinical practice. PMID:23009320

  18. Assessing the Efficacy of the Aerobic Methanotrophic Biofilter in Methane Hydrate Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Valentine, David

    2012-09-30

    In October 2008 the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) initiated investigations of water column methane oxidation in methane hydrate environments, through a project funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) entitled: assessing the efficacy of the aerobic methanotrophic biofilter in methane hydrate environments. This Final Report describes the scientific advances and discoveries made under this award as well as the importance of these discoveries in the broader context of the research area. Benthic microbial mats inhabit the sea floor in areas where reduced chemicals such as sulfide reach the more oxidizing water that overlies the sediment. We set out to investigate the role that methanotrophs play in such mats at locations where methane reaches the sea floor along with sulfide. Mats were sampled from several seep environments and multiple sets were grown in-situ at a hydrocarbon seep in the Santa Barbara Basin. Mats grown in-situ were returned to the laboratory and used to perform stable isotope probing experiments in which they were treated with 13C-enriched methane. The microbial community was analyzed, demonstrating that three or more microbial groups became enriched in methane?s carbon: methanotrophs that presumably utilize methane directly, methylotrophs that presumably consume methanol excreted by the methanotrophs, and sulfide oxidizers that presumably consume carbon dioxide released by the methanotrophs and methylotrophs. Methanotrophs reached high relative abundance in mats grown on methane, but other bacterial processes include sulfide oxidation appeared to dominate mats, indicating that methanotrophy is not a dominant process in sustaining these benthic mats, but rather a secondary function modulated by methane availability. Methane that escapes the sediment in the deep ocean typically dissolved into the overlying water where it is available to methanotrophic bacteria. We set out to better understand the efficacy of this

  19. Deep pockets for deep seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    Peter Auster, a fisheries ecologist with the National Undersea Research Center in Connecticut, plans to assess degradation of the deep-shelf seafloor from bottom trawling. Magnus Ngoile, an official with Tanzania's National Environmental Management Council, will work on building capacity of poor villagers to protect their coastline. And Alison Rieser, a lawyer with the University of Maine School of Law, will produce a textbook to educate scientists on how to apply the law for marine conservation.These individuals are among 11 recipients of the Pew Charitable Trust's 10th annual marine conservation fellowships, announced on July 12. With each recipient receiving an award of $150,000, the program is the world's largest award for marine conservationists. Other 1999 recipients will be involved with areas including investigating marine pollution in the Arctic region, examining economic incentives for conservation in Baja, Mexico, and establishing a marine conservation biology training program for minority students.

  20. Making methane visible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gålfalk, Magnus; Olofsson, Göran; Crill, Patrick; Bastviken, David

    2016-04-01

    Methane (CH4) is one of the most important greenhouse gases, and an important energy carrier in biogas and natural gas. Its large-scale emission patterns have been unpredictable and the source and sink distributions are poorly constrained. Remote assessment of CH4 with high sensitivity at a m2 spatial resolution would allow detailed mapping of the near-ground distribution and anthropogenic sources in landscapes but has hitherto not been possible. Here we show that CH4 gradients can be imaged on the

  1. Methane monooxygenase: functionalizing methane at iron and copper.

    PubMed

    Sazinsky, Matthew H; Lippard, Stephen J

    2015-01-01

    Methane monooxygenases (MMOs) catalyze the conversion of methane to methanol as the first committed step in the assimilation of this hydrocarbon into biomass and energy by methanotrophs, thus playing a significant role in the biogeochemistry of this potent greenhouse gas. Two distinct enzymes, a copper-dependent membrane protein, particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO), and an iron-dependent cytosolic protein, soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO), carry out this transformation using large protein scaffolds that help to facilitate the timely transport of hydrocarbon, O₂, proton, and electron substrates to buried dimetallic active sites. For both enzymes, reaction of the reduced metal centers with O₂leads to intermediates that activate the relatively inert C-H bonds of hydrocarbons to yield oxidized products. Among synthetic and biological catalysts, MMOs are unique because they are the only ones known to hydroxylate methane at ambient temperatures. As a need for new industrial catalysts and green chemical transformations increases, understanding how the different MMO metal centers efficiently accomplish this challenging chemistry has become the focus of intense study. This chapter examines current understanding of the sMMO and pMMO protein structures, their methods for substrate channeling, and mechanisms for the dimetallic activation of O₂and C-H bonds. PMID:25707469

  2. Repeated pulses of vertical methane flux recorded in glacial sediments from the southeast Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Mea S.; Keigwin, Lloyd D.; Birgel, Daniel; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2011-06-01

    There is controversy over the role of marine methane hydrates in atmospheric methane concentrations and climate change during the last glacial period. In this study of two sediment cores from the southeast Bering Sea (700 m and 1467 m water depth), we identify multiple episodes during the last glacial period of intense methane flux reaching the seafloor. Within the uncertainty of the radiocarbon age model, the episodes are contemporaneous in the two cores and have similar timing and duration as Dansgaard-Oeschger events. The episodes are marked by horizons of sediment containing 13C-depleted authigenic carbonate minerals; 13C-depleted archaeal and bacterial lipids, which resemble those found in ANME-1 type anaerobic methane oxidizing microbial consortia; and changes in the abundance and species distribution of benthic foraminifera. The similar timing and isotopic composition of the authigenic carbonates in the two cores is consistent with a region-wide increase in the upward flux of methane bearing fluids. This study is the first observation outside Santa Barbara Basin of pervasive, repeated methane flux in glacial sediments. However, contrary to the "Clathrate Gun Hypothesis" (Kennett et al., 2003), these coring sites are too deep for methane hydrate destabilization to be the cause, implying that a much larger part of the ocean's sedimentary methane may participate in climate or carbon cycle feedback at millennial timescales. We speculate that pulses of methane in these opal-rich sediments could be caused by the sudden release of overpressure in pore fluids that builds up gradually with silica diagenesis. The release could be triggered by seismic shaking on the Aleutian subduction zone caused by hydrostatic pressure increase associated with sea level rise at the start of interstadials.

  3. Temporal patterns of methane emissions from wetland rice fields treated by different modes of N application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wassmann, R.; Neue, H. U.; Lantin, R. S.; Aduna, J. B.; Alberto, M. C. R.; Andales, M. J.; Tan, M. J.; van der Gon, H. A. C. Denier; Hoffmann, H.; Papen, H.; Rennenberg, H.; Seiler, W.

    1994-08-01

    Methane emission rates from wetland rice fields were determined in Los Baños (Philippines) using an automatic system that allows continuous measurements over time. Methane emission was monitored in an irrigated Aquandic Epiaqualf planted to rice cultivar IR72. Urea fertilizer was applied using four modes: (1) broadcast 10 days after transplanting, (2) broadcast at transplanting, (3) broadcast and incorporated at final harrowing, and (4) deep placement as sulfur-coated granules. The treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Measurements were done in the 1991 wet season, 1992 dry season (four treatments), and the 1992 wet season (only treatment 3). Methane emission rates from the experimental plots showed pronounced seasonal and diel variations. The diel pattern of methane emission rates followed a consistent pattern, with highest rates observed in the early afternoon and lowest rates in the early morning. Methane emission rate was generally highest at the ripening stage. The average methane emission rate during the 1992 dry season (190 mg CH4 m-2 d-1) exceeded the average flux rates of the 1992 wet season (79 mg CH4 m-2 d-1) by a factor of 2.4. The total methane emitted from these flooded rice fields amounted to 19 g CH4 m-2 in the dry season with rice yields of 5.2-6.3 t ha-1 and 7 g CH4 m-2 in the wet season with rice yields of 2.4-3.3 t ha-1 regardless of the mode of N application. Significant amounts corresponding to 20% of the methane released under waterlogged conditions were released when the soil was drained after harvest. Emission rates increased sharply when the floodwater receded and macropores started to drain. Emission of methane stopped only when the soil became fully aerated.

  4. Methane Emission from Tropical Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawakuchi, H. O.; Rasera, M. F. F. L.; Krusche, A. V.; Ballester, M. V. R.

    2012-04-01

    Inland water is already known as an important source of methane to atmosphere. Methane is produced in anaerobic environments usually find in lakes and floodplain bottom sediment. It is the main reason that almost all information regarding methane flux come from this environments. However, while floodplain dries during low water season reducing methanogenesis, rivers keep the capacity to emit methane throughout the year. Here we present preliminary results of CH4 flux measurements done in 6 large tropical rivers within the Amazon basin. We measured 17 areas using floating chamber during dry (low water) season, between September and November of 2011, in Amazon river mainstem, Araguaia, Xingu, Tapajós, Madeira, and Negro Rivers. Measured fluxes of all rivers ranged from 59.3 to 2974.4 mmol m-2 yr-1. Geomorphologic structure of channels is one important factor that contributes to this high heterogeneity due to development of low flow velocity depositional settings allowing formation of anoxic zones in rivers. Hydraulic and sediment barriers in the confluence of river channels promote the generation of natural dams which function as a trap for the suspension load favoring the deposition of organic rich muds. This kind of environment is very different from common river channels and has a stronger potential of methane emission. Average values of our flux measurements for this two river environments show that depositional areas can have much higher fluxes than the main channel, 1089.6 and 163.1 mmol m-2 yr-1, respectively. Hence, CH4 flux from these depositional zones is similar to some tropical floodplain lakes and reservoirs. Although the low flux from channel, the area covered by water is very large resulting in a significant contribution to the regional methane emission to the atmosphere. Moreover, mapping the area of these depositional river zones will give us a better idea of the magnitude of methane flux from tropical rivers.

  5. Influence of transient flooding on methane fluxes from subtropical pastures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamberlain, Samuel D.; Gomez-Casanovas, Nuria; Walter, M. Todd; Boughton, Elizabeth H.; Bernacchi, Carl J.; DeLucia, Evan H.; Groffman, Peter M.; Keel, Earl W.; Sparks, Jed P.

    2016-03-01

    Seasonally flooded subtropical pastures are major methane (CH4) sources, where transient flooding drives episodic and high-magnitude emissions from the underlying landscape. Understanding the mechanisms that drive these patterns is needed to better understand pasture CH4 emissions and their response to global change. We investigated belowground CH4 dynamics in relation to surface fluxes using laboratory water table manipulations and compared these results to field-based eddy covariance measurements to link within-soil CH4 dynamics to ecosystem fluxes. Ecosystem CH4 fluxes lag flooding events, and this dynamic was replicated in laboratory experiments. In both cases, peak emissions were observed during water table recession. Flooding of surface organic soils and precipitation driven oxygen pulses best explained the observed time lags. Precipitation oxygen pulses likely delay CH4 emissions until groundwater dissolved oxygen is consumed, and emissions were temporally linked to CH4 production in surface soil horizons. Methane accumulating in deep soils did not contribute to surface fluxes and is likely oxidized within the soil profile. Methane production rates in surface organic soils were also orders of magnitude higher than in deep mineral soils, suggesting that over longer flooding regimes CH4 produced in deep horizons is not a significant component of surface emissions. Our results demonstrate that distinct CH4 dynamics may be stratified by depth and flooding of surface organic soils drives CH4 fluxes from subtropical pastures. These results suggest that small changes in pasture water table dynamics can drive large changes in CH4 emissions if surface soils remain saturated over longer time scales.

  6. A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-03

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbonmore » (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time

  7. A model of the methane cycle, permafrost, and hydrology of the Siberian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, D.

    2014-06-01

    A two-dimensional model of a passive continental margin was adapted to the simulation of the methane cycle on Siberian continental shelf and slope, attempting to account for the impacts of glacial/interglacial cycles in sea level, alternately exposing the continental shelf to freezing conditions with deep permafrost formation during glacial times, and immersion in the ocean in interglacial times. The model is used to gauge the impact of the glacial cycles, and potential anthropogenic warming in the deep future, on the atmospheric methane emission flux, and the sensitivities of that flux to processes such as permafrost formation and terrestrial organic carbon (Yedoma) deposition. Hydrological forcing drives a freshening and ventilation of pore waters in areas exposed to the atmosphere, which is not quickly reversed by invasion of seawater upon submergence, since there is no analogous saltwater pump. This hydrological pump changes the salinity enough to affect the stability of permafrost and methane hydrates on the shelf. Permafrost formation inhibits bubble transport through the sediment column, by construction in the model. The impact of permafrost on the methane budget is to replace the bubble flux by offshore groundwater flow containing dissolved methane, rather than accumulating methane for catastrophic release when the permafrost seal fails during warming. By far the largest impact of the glacial/interglacial cycles on the atmospheric methane flux is attenuation by dissolution of bubbles in the ocean when sea level is high. Methane emissions are highest during the regression (soil freezing) part of the cycle, rather than during transgression (thawing). The model-predicted methane flux to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate is small, relative to the global methane production rate, because of the ongoing flooding of the continental shelf. A slight increase due to warming could be completely counteracted by sea level rise on geologic time scales

  8. Reconstructing Methane Emission Events in the Arctic Ocean: Observations from the Past to Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panieri, G.; Mienert, J.; Fornari, D. J.; Torres, M. E.; Lepland, A.

    2015-12-01

    Methane hydrates are ice-like crystals that are present along continental margins, occurring in the pore space of deep sediments or as massive blocks near the seafloor. They form in high pressure and low temperature environments constrained by thermodynamic stability, and supply of methane. In the Arctic, gas hydrates are abundant, and the methane released by their destabilization can affect local to global carbon budgets and cycles, ocean acidification, and benthic community survival. With the aim to locate in space and time the periodicity of methane venting, CAGE is engaged in a vast research program in the Arctic, a component of which comprises the analyses of numerous sediment cores and correlative geophysical and geochemical data from different areas. Here we present results from combined analyses of biogenic carbonate archives along the western Svalbard Margin, which reveal past methane venting events in this region. The reconstruction of paleo-methane discharge is complicated by precipitation of secondary carbonate on foraminifera shells, driven by an increase in alkalinity during anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). The biogeochemical processes involved in methane cycling and processes that drive methane migration affect the depth where AOM occurs, with relevance to secondary carbonate formation. Our results show the value and complexity of separating primary vs. secondary signals in bioarchives with relevance to understanding fluid-burial history in methane seep provinces. Results from our core analyses are integrated with observations made during the CAGE15-2 cruise in May 2015, when we deployed a towed vehicle equipped with camera, multicore and water sampling capabilities. The instrument design was based on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) MISO TowCam sled equipped with a deep-sea digital camera and CTD real-time system. Sediment sampling was visually-guided using this system. In one of the pockmarks along the Vestnesa Ridge where high

  9. Characterization of Methane Degradation and Methane-Degrading Microbes in Alaska Coastal Water

    SciTech Connect

    Kirchman, David L.

    2012-03-29

    The net flux of methane from methane hydrates and other sources to the atmosphere depends on methane degradation as well as methane production and release from geological sources. The goal of this project was to examine methane-degrading archaea and organic carbon oxidizing bacteria in methane-rich and methane-poor sediments of the Beaufort Sea, Alaska. The Beaufort Sea system was sampled as part of a multi-disciplinary expedition (Methane in the Arctic Shelf or MIDAS) in September 2009. Microbial communities were examined by quantitative PCR analyses of 16S rRNA genes and key methane degradation genes (pmoA and mcrA involved in aerobic and anaerobic methane degradation, respectively), tag pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes to determine the taxonomic make up of microbes in these sediments, and sequencing of all microbial genes (metagenomes ). The taxonomic and functional make-up of the microbial communities varied with methane concentrations, with some data suggesting higher abundances of potential methane-oxidizing archaea in methane-rich sediments. Sequence analysis of PCR amplicons revealed that most of the mcrA genes were from the ANME-2 group of methane oxidizers. According to metagenomic data, genes involved in methane degradation and other degradation pathways changed with sediment depth along with sulfate and methane concentrations. Most importantly, sulfate reduction genes decreased with depth while the anaerobic methane degradation gene (mcrA) increased along with methane concentrations. The number of potential methane degradation genes (mcrA) was low and inconsistent with other data indicating the large impact of methane on these sediments. The data can be reconciled if a small number of potential methane-oxidizing archaea mediates a large flux of carbon in these sediments. Our study is the first to report metagenomic data from sediments dominated by ANME-2 archaea and is one of the few to examine the entire microbial assemblage potentially involved in

  10. Consumption of atmospheric methane by desert soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Striegl, R.G.; McConnaughey, T.A.; Thorstenson, D.C.; Weeks, E.P.; Woodward, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    ATMOSPHERIC concentrations of methane, a greenhouse gas, are increasing at a rate of about 1% yr-1 (refs 1-4). Oxidation by methylotrophic bacteria in soil is the largest terrestrial sink for atmospheric CH4, and is estimated to consume about 30?? 1012 g CH4 yr-1 (refs 4-6). Spatial and temporal variability in the rate of soil CH4 consumption are incompletely understood6-19, as are the apparent inhibitory12,13,18 or enhancing20 effects of changes in land use. Dry deserts, which constitute 20% of total land surface, are not currently included in global soil uptake estimates. Here we describe measurements of the rate of uptake of atmospheric CH4 by undisturbed desert soils. We observed rates as great as 4.38 mg CH4 m-2 day-1; 50% of the measured rates were between 0.24 and 0.92 mg CH4 m2 d-1. Uptake of CH4 by desert soil is enhanced by rainfall after an initial soil-drainage period - opposite to the response of temperate forest soils12. Methane is consumed to a depth of about 2 m, allowing for deep removal of atmospheric CH4 if near-surface conditions are unfavourable for consumption. On the basis of an annual average CH4 consumption rate of 0.66 mg CH4 m-2 d-1, we estimate that the global CH4 sink term needs to be increased by about 7 ?? 1012 g yr-1 to account for the contribution of desert soils.

  11. Methane anomalies in seawater above the Loihi submarine summit area, Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Gamo, Toshitaka; Ishibashi, Junichiro; Sakai, Hitoshi ); Tilbrook, B. )

    1987-10-01

    Hydrothermal activity above Loihi submarine volcano was characterized by water column distributions of methane, pH and helium-3. It was found that the southern Loihi summit is almost covered with hydrothermal plumes, which have anomalously high concentrations of methane (maximum: 569 {times} 10{sup {minus}6} cm{sup 3} kg{sup {minus}}1) accompanied by high concentrations of helium-3 and low pH values (minimum: 7.18). The plumes consist of two layers: a shallow plume (about 200 m above the summit) and a deep plume (about 100 m above the summit), probably derived from different hydrothermal vents. The shallow and deep plumes showed different CH{sub 4}/{sup 3}He and CH{sub 4}/pH ratios with the same {sup 3}He/pH ratio, which implies that methane concentrations differ between the hydrothermal end members for the two plumes. The variation of methane between the end members is suggested to result from inter-vent inhomogeneity of bacterial activities that consume or produce methane within the vents. Comparison of the CH{sub 4}/{sup 3}He ratios of the two plumes with the previous data for Loihi and other submarine hydrothermal areas confirms that the Loihi hotspot has one to two orders of magnitude smaller CH{sub 4}/{sup 3}He value than those of the East Pacific Rise and the Galapagos spreading centers.

  12. Unifying principles of the deep terrestrial and deep marine biospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colwell, Frederick S.; Smith, Richard P.

    Recent estimates of the amount of microbial biomass in the combined marine and terrestrial subsurface boost this portion of the biosphere to a level which needs to be considered when integrating where life exists on our planet. Additionally, the subsurface serves practical needs associated with groundwater, waste disposal, and resource recovery. Although our view of this isolated ecosystem is restricted by technologies used to access samples, we are learning more about places where life thrives in the subsurface and where life is severely repressed. Until studies of hyperthermophiles provide different information, a thermal boundary to life exists at the 120°C isotherm. Other locations in the subsurface are barren where they are impoverished by low fluid flux to supply electron donors and acceptors or by limited pore space in which microorganisms can reside. Examples of such locations include deep vadose zones and igneous rock masses with limited fractures. In contrast, subsurface locations that show evidence of gaseous or liquid flux are the most likely to yield higher numbers of microorganisms. Locations that have marine and terrestrial hydrothermal convection cells, active methane venting, solid-liquid-gas phase changes, as well as zones of salinity and porosity contrasts are all examples of demonstrated or potential subsurface oases. Our ability to conceptualize and quantify the subsurface biosphere will be accelerated by new sampling tools and molecular characterization methods for microbes. The merging of disparate disciplines such as microbiology, geophysics, and tectonic research will extend our ability to fully comprehend the deep biosphere.

  13. Redox controls on methane formation, migration and fate in shallow aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humez, Pauline; Mayer, Bernhard; Nightingale, Michael; Becker, Veith; Kingston, Andrew; Taylor, Stephen; Bayegnak, Guy; Millot, Romain; Kloppmann, Wolfram

    2016-07-01

    Development of unconventional energy resources such as shale gas and coalbed methane has generated some public concern with regard to the protection of groundwater and surface water resources from leakage of stray gas from the deep subsurface. In terms of environmental impact to and risk assessment of shallow groundwater resources, the ultimate challenge is to distinguish (a) natural in situ production of biogenic methane, (b) biogenic or thermogenic methane migration into shallow aquifers due to natural causes, and (c) thermogenic methane migration from deep sources due to human activities associated with the exploitation of conventional or unconventional oil and gas resources. This study combines aqueous and gas (dissolved and free) geochemical and isotope data from 372 groundwater samples obtained from 186 monitoring wells of the provincial Groundwater Observation Well Network (GOWN) in Alberta (Canada), a province with a long record of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon exploration. We investigated whether methane occurring in shallow groundwater formed in situ, or whether it migrated into the shallow aquifers from elsewhere in the stratigraphic column. It was found that methane is ubiquitous in groundwater in Alberta and is predominantly of biogenic origin. The highest concentrations of biogenic methane (> 0.01 mM or > 0.2 mgL-1), characterized by δ13CCH4 values < -55 ‰, occurred in anoxic Na-Cl, Na-HCO3, and Na-HCO3-Cl type groundwaters with negligible concentrations of nitrate and sulfate suggesting that methane was formed in situ under methanogenic conditions for 39.1 % of the samples. In only a few cases (3.7 %) was methane of biogenic origin found in more oxidizing shallow aquifer portions suggesting limited upward migration from deeper methanogenic aquifers. Of the samples, 14.1 % contained methane with δ13CCH4 values > -54 ‰, potentially suggesting a thermogenic origin, but aqueous and isotope

  14. Rhizosphere activity and methane oxidation in a temperate forest soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, Catherine S.; Subke, Jens-Arne; Voke, Naomi R.; Holden, Robert D.; Ineson, Phil; Arn Teh, Yit

    2010-05-01

    Methane (CH4) concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere have increased dramatically over recent decades. An abundance of studies indicate that the magnitude of natural methane efflux from wetlands is likely to increase due to climate change. However, the role of vegetation and soils in upland methane oxidation are less well understood. Well-aerated soils are known to be sites of methane oxidation, and amongst a range of abiotic environmental parameters, soil moisture has been identified as critical regulator of the methane oxidation rates. However, the role of microbial activity within the soil, particularly C turnover in the plant rhizosphere, has not been investigated as a means for regulating methanotrophy. We combined a continuous soil CO2 efflux system (Li-Cor Biosciences, LI-8100) with a Cavity-Ringdown-Spectroscopy Fast Greenhouse Gas Analyser (Los Gatos Research Inc.) to measure soil CH4 oxidation in a pine forest in NE England. The soil has a shallow organic layer overlaying a well-draining sandy gley soil. Fluxes were measured from three different collar treatments: (1) excluding both root and ectomycorrhizal (EM) hyphae by trenching using deep collars, (2) excluding roots but allowing access by EM hyphae, and (3) unmodified forest soil (i.e. including both roots and EM hyphae). All collars were protected from natural throughfall, and received weekly-averaged amounts of throughfall based on collections in the stand. Data from two months in early summer 2009 indicate that CH4 oxidation in collars with an intact rhizosphere is more than twice that of either of the exclusion treatments (averaging approx. 90 g ha-1 d-1 in that period). We observed higher fluxes when soils were dryer (i.e. with increasing time since watering), indicating a significant influence of moisture. Despite the confounding effects of soil moisture associated with root water uptake in the unmodified soil collars, we argue that rhizosphere activity is an overlooked component in

  15. Why can water cages adsorb aqueous methane? A potential of mean force calculation on hydrate nucleation mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Guo, Guang-Jun; Li, Meng; Zhang, Yi-Gang; Wu, Chang-Hua

    2009-11-28

    By performing constrained molecular dynamics simulations in the methane-water system, we successfully calculated the potential of mean force (PMF) between a dodecahedral water cage (DWC) and dissolved methane for the first time. As a function of the distance between DWC and methane, this is characterized by a deep well at approximately 6.2 A and a shallow well at approximately 10.2 A, separated by a potential barrier at approximately 8.8 A. We investigated how the guest molecule, cage rigidity and the cage orientation affected the PMF. The most important finding is that the DWC itself strongly adsorbs methane and the adsorption interaction is independent of the guests. Moreover, the activation energy of the DWC adsorbing methane is comparable to that of hydrogen bonds, despite differing by a factor of approximately 10% when considering different water-methane interaction potentials. We explain that the cage-methane adsorption interaction is a special case of the hydrophobic interaction between methane molecules. The strong net attraction in the DWC shell with radii between 6.2 and 8.8 A may act as the inherent driving force that controls hydrate formation. A cage adsorption hypothesis for hydrate nucleation is thus proposed and discussed. PMID:19890529

  16. Methane release from pingo-like features across the South Kara Sea shelf, an area of thawing offshore permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serov, Pavel; Portnov, Alexey; Mienert, Jurgen; Semenov, Peter; Ilatovskaya, Polina

    2015-08-01

    The Holocene marine transgression starting at ~19 ka flooded the Arctic shelves driving extensive thawing of terrestrial permafrost. It thereby promoted methanogenesis within sediments, the dissociation of gas hydrates, and the release of formerly trapped gas, with the accumulation in pressure of released methane eventually triggering blowouts through weakened zones in the overlying and thinned permafrost. Here we present a range of geophysical and chemical scenarios for the formation of pingo-like formations (PLFs) leading to potential blowouts. Specifically, we report on methane anomalies from the South Kara Sea shelf focusing on two PLFs imaged from high-resolution seismic records. A variety of geochemical methods are applied to study concentrations and types of gas, its character, and genesis. PLF 1 demonstrates ubiquitously low-methane concentrations (14.2-55.3 ppm) that are likely due to partly unfrozen sediments with an ice-saturated internal core reaching close to the seafloor. In contrast, PLF 2 reveals anomalously high-methane concentrations of >120,000 ppm where frozen sediments are completely absent. The methane in all recovered samples is of microbial and not of thermogenic origin from deep hydrocarbon sources. However, the relatively low organic matter content (0.52-1.69%) of seafloor sediments restricts extensive in situ methane production. As a consequence, we hypothesize that the high-methane concentrations at PLF 2 are due to microbial methane production and migration from a deeper source.

  17. Search for methane isotope fractionation due to Rayleigh distillation on Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ádámkovics, Máté; Mitchell, Jonathan L.

    2016-09-01

    We search for meridional variation in the abundance of CH3D relative to CH4 on Titan using near-IR spectra obtained with NIRSPAO at Keck, which have a photon-limited signal-to-noise ratio of ∼50. Our observations can rule out a larger than 10% variation in the column of CH3D below 50 km. The preferential condensation of the heavy isotopologues will fractionate methane by reducing CH3D in the remaining vapor, and therefore these observations place limits on the amount of condensation that occurs in the troposphere. While previous estimates of CH3D fractionation on Titan have estimated an upper limit of -6‰, assuming a solid condensate, we consider more recent laboratory data for the equilibrium fractionation over liquid methane, and use a Rayleigh distillation model to calculate fractionation in an ascending parcel of air that is following a moist adiabat. We find that deep, precipitating convection can enhance the fractionation of the remaining methane vapor by -10 to -40‰, depending on the final temperature of the rising parcel. By relating fractionation of our reference parcel model to the pressure level where the moist adiabat achieves the required temperature, we argue that the measured methane fractionation constrains the outflow level for a deep convective event. Observations with a factor of at least 4-6 times larger signal-to-noise are required to detect this amount of fractionation, depending on the altitude range over which the outflow from deep convection occurs.

  18. Hello, Water -- Good-bye, Methane

    NASA Video Gallery

    An animation shows carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Two hydrogen atoms join each oxygen atom to make water, or H2O. Four hydrogen atoms join a carbon atom to make methane, or CH4. The methane the...

  19. A Meteor Shower Origin for Martian Methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fries, M.; Christou, A.; Archer, D.; Conrad, P.; Cooke, W.; Eigenbrode, J.; ten Kate, I. L.; Matney, M.; Niles, P.; Sykes, M.; Steele, A.; Treiman, A.

    2015-07-01

    We present and discuss the hypothesis that martian methane arises from a meteor shower source. Infall material produces methane by UV photolysis, generating localized plumes that occur after Mars/comet orbit interactions. This hypothesis is testable.

  20. Controls on subsurface methane fluxes and shallow gas formation in Baltic Sea sediment (Aarhus Bay, Denmark)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flury, Sabine; Røy, Hans; Dale, Andrew W.; Fossing, Henrik; Tóth, Zsuzsanna; Spiess, Volkhard; Jensen, Jørn Bo; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    2016-09-01

    Shallow gas accumulates in coastal marine sediments when the burial rate of reactive organic matter beneath the sulfate zone is sufficiently high and the methanogenic zone is sufficiently deep. We investigated the controls on methane production and free methane gas accumulation along a 400 m seismo-acoustic transect across a sharp transition from gas-free into gas-bearing sediment in Aarhus Bay (Denmark). Twelve gravity cores were taken, in which the pore water was analyzed for inorganic solutes while rates of organic carbon mineralization were measured experimentally by 35SO42- radiotracer method. The thickness of organic-rich Holocene mud increased from 5 to 10 m along the transect concomitant with a shallowing of the depth of the sulfate-methane transition from >4 m to 2.5 m. In spite of drastic differences in the distribution of methane and sulfate in the sediment along the transect, there were only small differences in total mineralization, and methanogenesis was only equivalent to about 1% of sulfate reduction. Shallow gas appeared where the mud thickness exceeded 8-9 m. Rates of methanogenesis increased along the transect as did the upward diffusive flux of methane. Interestingly, the increase in the sedimentation rate and Holocene mud thickness had only a modest direct effect on methanogenesis rates in deep sediments. This increase in methane flux, however, triggered a shallowing of the sulfate-methane transition which resulted in a large increase in methanogenesis at the top of the methanogenic zone. Thus, our results demonstrate a positive feedback mechanism that causes a strong enhancement of methanogenesis and explains the apparently abrupt appearance of gas when a threshold thickness of organic-rich mud is exceeded.

  1. Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Wadham, J L; Arndt, S; Tulaczyk, S; Stibal, M; Tranter, M; Telling, J; Lis, G P; Lawson, E; Ridgwell, A; Dubnick, A; Sharp, M J; Anesio, A M; Butler, C E H

    2012-08-30

    Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic archaea to support the degradation of organic carbon to methane beneath the ice, however, has not yet been evaluated. Large sedimentary basins containing marine sequences up to 14 kilometres thick and an estimated 21,000 petagrams (1 Pg equals 10(15) g) of organic carbon are buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. No data exist for rates of methanogenesis in sub-Antarctic marine sediments. Here we present experimental data from other subglacial environments that demonstrate the potential for overridden organic matter beneath glacial systems to produce methane. We also numerically simulate the accumulation of methane in Antarctic sedimentary basins using an established one-dimensional hydrate model and show that pressure/temperature conditions favour methane hydrate formation down to sediment depths of about 300 metres in West Antarctica and 700 metres in East Antarctica. Our results demonstrate the potential for methane hydrate accumulation in Antarctic sedimentary basins, where the total inventory depends on rates of organic carbon degradation and conditions at the ice-sheet bed. We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Our findings suggest that the Antarctic Ice Sheet may be a neglected but important component of the global methane budget, with the potential to act as a positive feedback on climate warming during ice-sheet wastage. PMID:22932387

  2. Optical constants of solid methane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khare, Bishun N.; Thompson, W. R.; Sagan, C.; Arakawa, E. T.; Bruel, C.; Judish, J. P.; Khanna, R. K.; Pollack, J. B.

    1990-01-01

    Methane is the most abundant simple organic molecule in the outer solar system bodies. In addition to being a gaseous constituent of the atmospheres of the Jovian planets and Titan, it is present in the solid form as a constituent of icy surfaces such as those of Triton and Pluto, and as cloud condensate in the atmospheres of Titan, Uranus, and Neptune. It is expected in the liquid form as a constituent of the ocean of Titan. Cometary ices also contain solid methane. The optical constants for both solid and liquid phases of CH4 for a wide temperature range are needed for radiative transfer calculations, for studies of reflection from surfaces, and for modeling of emission in the far infrared and microwave regions. The astronomically important visual to near infrared measurements of solid methane optical constants are conspicuously absent from the literature. Preliminary results are presented on the optical constants of solid methane for the 0.4 to 2.6 micrometer region. Deposition onto a substrate at 10 K produces glassy (semi-amorphous) material. Annealing this material at approximately 33 K for approximately 1 hour results in a crystalline material as seen by sharper, more structured bands and negligible background extinction due to scattering. The constant k is reported for both the amorphous and the crystalline (annealed) states. Typical values (at absorption maxima) are in the .001 to .0001 range. Below lambda = 1.1 micrometers the bands are too weak to be detected by transmission through the films less than or equal to 215 micrometers in thickness, employed in the studies to date. Using previously measured values of the real part of the refractive index, n, of liquid methane at 110 K, n is computed for solid methane using the Lorentz-Lorenz relationship. Work is in progress to extend the measurements of optical constants n and k for liquid and solid to both shorter and longer wavelengths, eventually providing a complete optical constants database for

  3. Optical constants of solid methane

    SciTech Connect

    Khare, B.N.; Thompson, W.R.; Sagan, C. . Lab. for Planetary Studies); Arakawa, E.T.; Bruel, C.; Judish, J.P. ); Khanna, R.K. . Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry); Pollack, J.B. . Ames Research Center)

    1989-01-01

    Methane is the most abundant simple organic molecule in the outer solar system bodies. In addition to being a gaseous constituent of the atmospheres of the Jovian planets and Titan, it is present in the solid form as a constituent of icy surfaces such as those of Triton and Pluto, and as cloud condensate in the atmospheres of Titan, Uranus, and Neptune. It is expected in the liquid form as a constituent of the ocean of Titan. Cometary ices also contain solid methane. The optical constants for both solid and liquid phases of CH{sub 4} for a wide temperature range are needed for radiative transfer calculations, for studies of reflection from surfaces, and for modeling of emission in the far infrared and microwave regions. The astronomically important visual to near infrared measurements of solid methane optical constants are conspicuously absent from the literature. We present preliminary results of the optical constants of solid methane for the 0.4 {mu}m to 2.6 {mu}m region. We report k for both the amorphous and the crystalline (annealed) states. Using our previously measured values of the real part of the refractive index, n, of liquid methane at 110{degree}K (Bull. Am. Phys. Soc.31, 700 (1986)) we compute n for solid methane using the Lorentz-Lorentz relationship. Work is in progress to extend the measurements of optical constants n and k for liquid and solid to both shorter and longer wavelengths, eventually providing a complete optical constants database for condensed CH{sub 4}. 33 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. [Advances in biomolecular machine: methane monooxygenases].

    PubMed

    Lu, Jixue; Wang, Shizhen; Fang, Baishan

    2015-07-01

    Methane monooxygenases (MMO), regarded as "an amazing biomolecular machine", catalyze the oxidation of methane to methanol under aerobic conditions. MMO catalyze the oxidation of methane elaborately, which is a novel way to catalyze methane to methanol. Furthermore, MMO can inspire the biomolecular machine design. In this review, we introduced MMO including structure, gene and catalytic mechanism. The history and the taxonomy of MMO were also introduced. PMID:26647577

  5. Bioenergetic Analysis of the Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane in Diverse Biogeochemical Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larowe, D.; Dale, A.; Regnier, P.

    2006-12-01

    The microorganisms responsible for the oxidation of methane in anoxic marine sediments constitute the largest sink of methane on Earth. It is generally accepted that the mechanism by which this process occurs involves a consortium of microbes that couple the reduction of sulfate to the oxidation of methane. However, whether this process occurs directly or through one of several reactive intermediate species such as hydrogen, acetate, and/or formate is a matter of debate. To better understand the biogeochemistry of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), we have calculated and compared the energetics of a number of candidate reactions that could supply AOM-microbial communities with enough energy to synthesize ATP in different environments. We present the results of thermodynamic computations quantifying the oxidation of methane to CO2 and H2, and, alternatively, to a variety of carbon species with intermediate nominal oxidation states. The potential role that these species have in the reduction of sulfate in three distinct organic-rich, anoxic sediment types is then investigated: 1) a shallow, coastal lagoon (Cape Lookout Bight, North Carolina, USA), 2) deep Black Sea sediments, and 3) a hydrothermal environment (Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California, Mexico). Furthermore, we compare the energetics of these reactions to the energy required to synthesize ATP from ADP and phosphate in situ. The results of these calculations can be used to better understand the temperature, pressure, and bulk compositional constraints on organisms responsible for oxidizing methane in anoxic environments.

  6. Solid methane on Triton and Pluto - 3- to 4-micron spectrophotometry

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, J.R.; Buie, M.W.; Bjoraker, G.L. Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD )

    1990-12-01

    Methane has been identified in the Pluto/Charon system on the basis of absorption features in the reflectance spectrum at 1.5 and 2.3 microns; attention is presently given to observations of a 3.25 micron-centered deep absorption feature in Triton and Pluto/Charon system reflectance spectra. This absorption may indicate the presence of solid methane, constituting either the dominant surface species or a mixture with a highly transparent substance, such as N2 frost. 35 refs.

  7. Coalbed methane production case histories

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-02-01

    The production of methane gas from coal and coal-bearing rocks is one of the prime objectives of the Department of Energy's Methane Recovery from Coalbeds Project. This report contains brief description of wells that are presently producing gas from coal or coal-bearing rocks. Data from three gob gas production areas in Illinois, an in-mine horizontal borehole degasification, and eleven vertical boreholes are presented. Production charts and electric logs of the producing zones are included for some of the wells. Additional information on dry gas production from the San Juan Basin, Colorado/New Mexico and the Greater Green River Coal Region, Colorado/Wyoming is also included.

  8. Methane emissions from MBT landfills.

    PubMed

    Heyer, K-U; Hupe, K; Stegmann, R

    2013-09-01

    Within the scope of an investigation for the German Federal Environment Agency ("Umweltbundesamt"), the basics for the estimation of the methane emissions from the landfilling of mechanically and biologically treated waste (MBT) were developed. For this purpose, topical research including monitoring results regarding the gas balance at MBT landfills was evaluated. For waste treated to the required German standards, a methane formation potential of approximately 18-24 m(3)CH(4)/t of total dry solids may be expected. Monitoring results from MBT landfills show that a three-phase model with differentiated half-lives describes the degradation kinetics in the best way. This is due to the fact that during the first years of disposal, the anaerobic degradation processes still proceed relatively intensively. In addition in the long term (decades), a residual gas production at a low level is still to be expected. Most of the soils used in recultivation layer systems at German landfills show a relatively high methane oxidation capacity up to 5 l CH(4)/(m(2)h). However, measurements at MBT disposal sites indicate that the majority of the landfill gas (in particular at non-covered areas), leaves the landfill body via preferred gas emission zones (hot spots) without significant methane oxidation. Therefore, rather low methane oxidation factors are recommended for open and temporarily covered MBT landfills. Higher methane oxidation rates can be achieved when the soil/recultivation layer is adequately designed and operated. Based on the elaborated default values, the First Order Decay (FOD) model of the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, 2006, was used to estimate the methane emissions from MBT landfills. Due to the calculation made by the authors emissions in the range of 60,000-135,000 t CO(2-eq.)/a for all German MBT landfills can be expected. This wide range shows the uncertainties when the here used procedure and the limited available data are applied

  9. Is there methane on Mars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahnle, Kevin; Freedman, Richard S.; Catling, David C.

    2011-04-01

    There have been several reports of methane on Mars at the 10-60 ppbv level. Most suggest that methane is both seasonally and latitudinally variable. Here we review why variable methane on Mars is physically and chemically implausible, and then we critically review the published reports. There is no known mechanism for destroying methane chemically on Mars. But if there is one, methane oxidation would deplete the O 2 in Mars's atmosphere in less than 10,000 years unless balanced by an equally large unknown source of oxidizing power. Physical sequestration does not raise these questions, but adsorption in the regolith or condensation in clathrates ignore competition for adsorption sites or are inconsistent with clathrate stability, respectively. Furthermore, any mechanism that relies on methane's van der Waals' attraction is inconsistent with the continued presence of Xe in the atmosphere at the 60 ppbv level. We then use the HITRAN database and transmission calculations to identify and characterize the absorption lines that would be present on Earth or Mars at the wavelengths of the published observations. These reveal strong competing telluric absorption that is most problematic at just those wavelengths where methane's signature seems most clearly seen from Earth. The competing telluric lines must be removed with models. The best case for martian methane was made for the 12CH 4ν3 R0 and R1 lines seen in blueshift when Mars was approaching Earth in early 2003 (Mumma, M.J., Villanueva, G.L., Novak, R.E., Hewagama, T., Bonev, B.P., DiSanti, M.A., Mandell, A.M., Smith, M.D. [2009]. Science 323, 1041-1045). For these the Doppler shift moves the two martian lines into near coincidence with telluric 13CH 4ν3 R1 and R2 lines that are 10-50× stronger than the inferred martian lines. By contrast, the 12CH 4ν3 R0 and R1 lines when observed in redshift do not contend with telluric 13CH 4. For these lines, Mumma et al.'s observations and analyses are consistent with an

  10. Water Retention Curve and Relative Permeability for Gas Production from Hydrate-Bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahabadi, N.; Dai, S.; Seol, Y.; Jang, J.

    2014-12-01

    Water retention curve (soil water characteristic curve SWCC) and relative permeability equations are important to determine gas and water production for gas hydrate development. However, experimental studies to determine fitting parameters of those equations are not available in the literature. The objective of this research is to obtain reliable parameters for capillary pressure functions and relative permeability equations applicable to hydrate dissociation and gas production. In order to achieve this goal, (1) micro X-ray Computer Tomography (CT) is used to scan the specimen under 10MPa effective stress, (2) a pore network model is extracted from the CT image, (3) hydrate dissociation and gas expansion are simulated in the pore network model, (4) the parameters for the van Genuchten-type soil water characteristic curve and relative permeability equation during gas expansion are suggested. The research outcome will enhance the ability of numerical simulators to predict gas and water production rate.

  11. Sedimentological control on saturation distribution in Arctic gas-hydrate-bearing sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behseresht, Javad; Bryant, Steven L.

    2012-08-01

    A mechanistic model is proposed to predict/explain hydrate saturation distribution in “converted free gas” hydrate reservoirs in sub-permafrost formations in the Arctic. This 1-D model assumes that a gas column accumulates and subsequently is converted to hydrate. The processes considered are the volume change during hydrate formation and consequent fluid phase transport within the column, the descent of the base of gas hydrate stability zone through the column, and sedimentological variations with depth. Crucially, the latter enable disconnection of the gas column during hydrate formation, which leads to substantial variation in hydrate saturation distribution. One form of variation observed in Arctic hydrate reservoirs is that zones of very low hydrate saturations are interspersed abruptly between zones of large hydrate saturations. The model was applied to data from Mount Elbert well, a gas hydrate stratigraphic test well drilled in the Milne Point area of the Alaska North Slope. The model is consistent with observations from the well log and interpretations of seismic anomalies in the area. The model also predicts that a considerable amount of fluid (of order one pore volume of gaseous and/or aqueous phases) must migrate within or into the gas column during hydrate formation. This paper offers the first explanatory model of its kind that addresses “converted free gas reservoirs” from a new angle: the effect of volume change during hydrate formation combined with capillary entry pressure variation versus depth.

  12. Anomalous waveforms observed in laboratory-formed gas hydrate-bearing and ice-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, M.W.; Waite, W.F.

    2011-01-01

    Acoustic transmission measurements of compressional, P, and shear, S, wave velocities rely on correctly identifying the P- and S-body wave arrivals in the measured waveform. In cylindrical samples for which the sample is much longer than the acoustic wavelength, these body waves can be obscured by high-amplitude waveform features arriving just after the relatively small-amplitude P-body wave. In this study, a normal mode approach is used to analyze this type of waveform, observed in sediment containing gas hydrate or ice. This analysis extends an existing normal-mode waveform propagation theory by including the effects of the confining medium surrounding the sample, and provides guidelines for estimating S-wave velocities from waveforms containing multiple large-amplitude arrivals. ?? 2011 Acoustical Society of America.

  13. Electrical anisotropy of gas hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cook, Anne E.; Anderson, Barbara I.; Rasmus, John; Sun, Keli; Li, Qiming; Collett, Timothy S.; Goldberg, David S.

    2012-01-01

    We present new results and interpretations of the electricalanisotropy and reservoir architecture in gashydrate-bearingsands using logging data collected during the Gulf of MexicoGasHydrate Joint Industry Project Leg II. We focus specifically on sandreservoirs in Hole Alaminos Canyon 21 A (AC21-A), Hole Green Canyon 955 H (GC955-H) and Hole Walker Ridge 313 H (WR313-H). Using a new logging-while-drilling directional resistivity tool and a one-dimensional inversion developed by Schlumberger, we resolve the resistivity of the current flowing parallel to the bedding, R| and the resistivity of the current flowing perpendicular to the bedding, R|. We find the sandreservoir in Hole AC21-A to be relatively isotropic, with R| and R| values close to 2 Ω m. In contrast, the gashydrate-bearingsandreservoirs in Holes GC955-H and WR313-H are highly anisotropic. In these reservoirs, R| is between 2 and 30 Ω m, and R| is generally an order of magnitude higher. Using Schlumberger's WebMI models, we were able to replicate multiple resistivity measurements and determine the formation resistivity the gashydrate-bearingsandreservoir in Hole WR313-H. The results showed that gashydrate saturations within a single reservoir unit are highly variable. For example, the sand units in Hole WR313-H contain thin layers (on the order of 10-100 cm) with varying gashydrate saturations between 15 and 95%. Our combined modeling results clearly indicate that the gashydrate-bearingsandreservoirs in Holes GC955-H and WR313-H are highly anisotropic due to varying saturations of gashydrate forming in thin layers within larger sand units.

  14. Ultrasonic Velocities in Laboratory-Formed Gas Hydrate-Bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rydzy, M. B.; Batzle, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    Natural gas hydrate-cores are rare, costly, heterogeneous, and almost always show some degree of damage. As an alternative, sediments containing laboratory-formed gas hydrates are often used to provide calibration data for well-logs and seismic. There are a number of different ways to form gas hydrate in sediment, and each laboratory generally has its preferred technique. However, the method of hydrate formation controls the hydrate distribution within the sample, which impacts the physical properties of the sample. To date, no comprehensive testing has been conducted within a single experimental apparatus that would allow a quantitative comparison between the different hydrate formation techniques, and show the differences in the resulting hydrate distributions, as well as how those differences manifest themselves as bulk physical properties. We have constructed an experimental setup in which ultrasonic velocities can be measured in unconsolidated sand samples under thermobaric conditions comparable to those found in nature. Gas hydrates can be formed inside the sand using the various hydrate formation techniques. The p-wave velocity data is recorded in dependence of the gas hydrate saturation. In parallel, we use micro X-ray computer tomography images to determine the gas hydrate distribution within the sand sample.

  15. APPROACH FOR ESTIMATING GLOBAL LANDFILL METHANE EMISSIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report is an overview of available country-specific data and modeling approaches for estimating global landfill methane. Current estimates of global landfill methane indicate that landfills account for between 4 and 15% of the global methane budget. The report describes an ap...

  16. 77 FR 40032 - Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-06

    ... Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee AGENCY: Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice... Federal Officer; Welcome by the Chair of the Committee; Committee Business; Update on Prudhoe Bay Testing; FY 2012 Methane Hydrate Program Activities; Update on International Activity; Methane Hydrate...

  17. 75 FR 9886 - Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-04

    ... Hydrate Advisory Committee AGENCY: Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy. ACTION: Notice of open meeting. SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee. Federal... Methane Hydrate Advisory Committee is to provide advice on potential applications of methane hydrate...

  18. Are methane production and cattle performance related?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Methane is a product of fermentation of feed in ruminant animals. Approximately 2 -12% of the gross energy consumed by cattle is released through enteric methane production. There are three primary components that contribute to the enteric methane footprint of an animal. Those components are dry ...

  19. The effect of elevated methane pressure on methane hydrate dissociation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Circone, S.; Stern, L.A.; Kirby, S.H.

    2004-01-01

    Methane hydrate, equilibrated at P, T conditions within the hydrate stability field, was rapidly depressurized to 1.0 or 2.0 MPa and maintained at isobaric conditions outside its stability field, while the extent and rate of hydrate dissociation was measured at fixed, externally maintained temperatures between 250 and 288 K. The dissociation rate decreases with increasing pressure at a given temperature. Dissociation rates at 1.0 MPa parallel the complex, reproducible T-dependence previously observed between 250 and 272 K at 0.1 MPa. The lowest rates were observed near 268 K, such that >50% of the sample can persist for more than two weeks at 0.1 MPa to more than a month at 1 and 2 MPa. Varying the pressure stepwise in a single experiment increased or decreased the dissociation rate in proportion to the rates observed in the isobaric experiments, similar to the rate reversibility previously observed with stepwise changes in temperature at 0.1 MPa. At fixed P, T conditions, the rate of methane hydrate dissociation decreases monotonically with time, never achieving a steady rate. The relationship between time (t) and the extent of hydrate dissociation is empirically described by: Evolved gas (%) = A??tB where the pre-exponential term A ranges from 0 to 16% s-B and the exponent B is generally <1. Based on fits of the dissociation results to Equation 1 for the full range of temperatures (204 to 289 K) and pressures (0.1 to 2.0 MPa) investigated, the derived parameters can be used to predict the methane evolution curves for pure, porous methane hydrate to within ??5%. The effects of sample porosity and the presence of quartz sand and seawater on methane hydrate dissociation are also described using Equation 1.

  20. Molar tooth carbonates and benthic methane fluxes in Proterozoic oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Bing; Dong, Lin; Xiao, Shuhai; Lang, Xianguo; Huang, Kangjun; Peng, Yongbo; Zhou, Chuanming; Ke, Shan; Liu, Pengju

    2016-01-01

    Molar tooth structures are ptygmatically folded and microspar-filled structures common in early- and mid-Proterozoic (~2,500-750 million years ago, Ma) subtidal successions, but extremely rare in rocks <750 Ma. Here, on the basis of Mg and S isotopes, we show that molar tooth structures may have formed within sediments where microbial sulphate reduction and methanogenesis converged. The convergence was driven by the abundant production of methyl sulphides (dimethyl sulphide and methanethiol) in euxinic or H2S-rich seawaters that were widespread in Proterozoic continental margins. In this convergence zone, methyl sulphides served as a non-competitive substrate supporting methane generation and methanethiol inhibited anaerobic oxidation of methane, resulting in the buildup of CH4, formation of degassing cracks in sediments and an increase in the benthic methane flux from sediments. Precipitation of crack-filling microspar was driven by methanogenesis-related alkalinity accumulation. Deep ocean ventilation and oxygenation around 750 Ma brought molar tooth structures to an end.

  1. Molar tooth carbonates and benthic methane fluxes in Proterozoic oceans

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Bing; Dong, Lin; Xiao, Shuhai; Lang, Xianguo; Huang, Kangjun; Peng, Yongbo; Zhou, Chuanming; Ke, Shan; Liu, Pengju

    2016-01-01

    Molar tooth structures are ptygmatically folded and microspar-filled structures common in early- and mid-Proterozoic (∼2,500–750 million years ago, Ma) subtidal successions, but extremely rare in rocks <750 Ma. Here, on the basis of Mg and S isotopes, we show that molar tooth structures may have formed within sediments where microbial sulphate reduction and methanogenesis converged. The convergence was driven by the abundant production of methyl sulphides (dimethyl sulphide and methanethiol) in euxinic or H2S-rich seawaters that were widespread in Proterozoic continental margins. In this convergence zone, methyl sulphides served as a non-competitive substrate supporting methane generation and methanethiol inhibited anaerobic oxidation of methane, resulting in the buildup of CH4, formation of degassing cracks in sediments and an increase in the benthic methane flux from sediments. Precipitation of crack-filling microspar was driven by methanogenesis-related alkalinity accumulation. Deep ocean ventilation and oxygenation around 750 Ma brought molar tooth structures to an end. PMID:26739600

  2. Bacterial dominance in subseafloor sediments characterized by methane hydrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Briggs, Brandon R.; Inagaki, Fumio; Morono, Yuki; Futagami, Taiki; Huguet, Carme; Rosell-Mele, Antoni; Lorenson, T.D.; Colwell, Frederick S.

    2015-01-01

    The degradation of organic carbon in subseafloor sediments on continental margins contributes to the largest reservoir of methane on Earth. Sediments in the Andaman Sea are composed of ~ 1% marine-derived organic carbon and biogenic methane is present. Our objective was to determine microbial abundance and diversity in sediments that transition the gas hydrate occurrence zone (GHOZ) in the Andaman Sea. Microscopic cell enumeration revealed that most sediment layers harbored relatively low microbial abundance (103–105 cells cm−3). Archaea were never detected despite the use of both DNA- and lipid-based methods. Statistical analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms revealed distinct microbial communities from above, within, and below the GHOZ, and GHOZ samples were correlated with a decrease in organic carbon. Primer-tagged pyrosequences of bacterial 16S rRNA genes showed that members of the phylum Firmicutes are predominant in all zones. Compared with other seafloor settings that contain biogenic methane, this deep subseafloor habitat has a unique microbial community and the low cell abundance detected can help to refine global subseafloor microbial abundance.

  3. Molar tooth carbonates and benthic methane fluxes in Proterozoic oceans.

    PubMed

    Shen, Bing; Dong, Lin; Xiao, Shuhai; Lang, Xianguo; Huang, Kangjun; Peng, Yongbo; Zhou, Chuanming; Ke, Shan; Liu, Pengju

    2016-01-01

    Molar tooth structures are ptygmatically folded and microspar-filled structures common in early- and mid-Proterozoic (∼2,500-750 million years ago, Ma) subtidal successions, but extremely rare in rocks <750 Ma. Here, on the basis of Mg and S isotopes, we show that molar tooth structures may have formed within sediments where microbial sulphate reduction and methanogenesis converged. The convergence was driven by the abundant production of methyl sulphides (dimethyl sulphide and methanethiol) in euxinic or H2S-rich seawaters that were widespread in Proterozoic continental margins. In this convergence zone, methyl sulphides served as a non-competitive substrate supporting methane generation and methanethiol inhibited anaerobic oxidation of methane, resulting in the buildup of CH4, formation of degassing cracks in sediments and an increase in the benthic methane flux from sediments. Precipitation of crack-filling microspar was driven by methanogenesis-related alkalinity accumulation. Deep ocean ventilation and oxygenation around 750 Ma brought molar tooth structures to an end. PMID:26739600

  4. Sensitivity of the recent methane budget to LMDz sub-grid-scale physical parameterizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Locatelli, R.; Bousquet, P.; Saunois, M.; Chevallier, F.; Cressot, C.

    2015-09-01

    With the densification of surface observing networks and the development of remote sensing of greenhouse gases from space, estimations of methane (CH4) sources and sinks by inverse modeling are gaining additional constraining data but facing new challenges. The chemical transport model (CTM) linking the flux space to methane mixing ratio space must be able to represent these different types of atmospheric constraints for providing consistent flux estimations. Here we quantify the impact of sub-grid-scale physical parameterization errors on the global methane budget inferred by inverse modeling. We use the same inversion setup but different physical parameterizations within one CTM. Two different schemes for vertical diffusion, two others for deep convection, and one additional for thermals in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) are tested. Different atmospheric methane data sets are used as constraints (surface observations or satellite retrievals). At the global scale, methane emissions differ, on average, from 4.1 Tg CH4 per year due to the use of different sub-grid-scale parameterizations. Inversions using satellite total-column mixing ratios retrieved by GOSAT are less impacted, at the global scale, by errors in physical parameterizations. Focusing on large-scale atmospheric transport, we show that inversions using the deep convection scheme of Emanuel (1991) derive smaller interhemispheric gradients in methane emissions, indicating a slower interhemispheric exchange. At regional scale, the use of different sub-grid-scale parameterizations induces uncertainties ranging from 1.2 % (2.7 %) to 9.4 % (14.2 %) of methane emissions when using only surface measurements from a background (or an extended) surface network. Moreover, spatial distribution of methane emissions at regional scale can be very different, depending on both the physical parameterizations used for the modeling of the atmospheric transport and the observation data sets used to constrain the inverse

  5. Deep Vein Thrombosis

    MedlinePlus

    MENU Return to Web version Deep Vein Thrombosis Overview What is deep vein thrombosis? Deep vein thrombosis (also called DVT) is a blood clot in a vein deep inside your body. These clots usually occur in your leg veins. While DVT is a fairly common condition, it is ...

  6. Deep Vein Thrombosis

    MedlinePlus

    Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the ... vein swells, the condition is called thrombophlebitis. A deep vein thrombosis can break loose and cause a serious problem ...

  7. Deep Vein Thrombosis

    MedlinePlus

    Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or ... vein swells, the condition is called thrombophlebitis. A deep vein thrombosis can break loose and cause a ...

  8. Gas hydrates (clathrates) causing pore-water freshening and oxygen isotope fractionation in deep-water sedimentary sections of terrigenous continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hesse, R.; Harrison, W.E.

    1981-01-01

    The occurrence of gas hydrates in deep-water sections of the continental margins predicted from anomalous acoustic reflectors on seismic profiles has been confirmed by recent deep-sea drilling results. On the Pacific continental slope off Guatemala gas hydrates were brought up for the first time from two holes (497, 498A) drilled during Leg 67 of the DSDP in water depths of 2360 and 5500 m, respectively. The hydrates occur in organic matter-rich Pleistocene to Miocene terrigenous sediments. In the hydrate-bearing zone a marked decrease in interstitial water chlorinities was observed starting at about 10-20 m subbottom depth. Pore waters at the bottom of the holes (near 400 m subbottom) have as little as half the chlorinity of seawater (i.e. 9???). Similar, but less pronounced, trends were observed during previous legs of the DSDP in other hydrate-prone segments of the continental margins where recharge of fresh water from the continent can be excluded (e.g. Leg 11). The crystallization of hydrates, like ice, excludes salt ions from the crystal structure. During burial the dissolved salts are separated from the solids. Subsidence results in a downward motion of the solids (including hydrates) relative to the pore fluids. Thawing of hydrates during recovery releases fresh water which is remixed with the pore fluid not involved in hydrate formation. The volume of the latter decreases downhole thus causing downward decreasing salinity (chlorinity). Hydrate formation is responsible for oxygen isotope fractionation with 18O-enrichment in the hydrate explaining increasingly more positive ??18O values in the pore fluids recovered (after hydrate dissociation) with depth. ?? 1981.

  9. Scenario of Methane and Gas Hydrate occurrences in different geological settings in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karisiddaiah, S. M.

    2003-04-01

    An attempt is made here to unravel the various types of methane occurrences in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. First part devotes on the occurrence of methane in anoxic brines, in sea water and in the underlying sediments, while the next half concentrates on the significance of methane in the natural gas hydrates with in the sediments under special P-T conditions from mud volcanoes of Anaximander Mountain Ranges and Mediterranean Ridges as reported by various researchers. Very high methane concentrations (128-2692 mM) occur in the hypersaline anoxic brine pools of Bannock and Urania, within the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, compared to its concentrations (17 to 80 m M) in the sediment cores below the anoxic brines. Besides, in the underlying sediments bit higher range in methane (10-158 nM) values occur, compared to low methane (1.47-7.14 nM) concentrations in the overlying water column and the basins surrounding Crete Island. The methane enrichment in the brines might be due to the long residence time of brine in the basin, and to its high stability toward mixing with overlying seawater. Possible sources for this methane enrichment could be a deep source of hydrothermal activities, prevalence of gas hydrate horizons and occurrence of sapropels. Gas hydrate research had reached an astounding position in the earth sciences. The present day situation of natural gases for the entire world caused an alarming strategy to search for new clean fuel energy, such as the one sequestered in the gas hydrates. In this context an attempt is made here to review the significance of gas hydrate occurrences in the eastern Mediterraneans mainly from Anaximander Mountain Range mud volcanoes (which are characterized by a concentric zonal distribution of gas hydrates) and mud volcanoes in Mediterranean Ridges which might be the future sites for gas hydrate exploration.

  10. Methane pools within the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands (GLAP) and their response to climatic change.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaser, P. H.; Chanton, J.; Siegel, D. I.; Reeve, A. S.; Corbett, J. E.; Rosenberry, D. O.

    2014-12-01

    Global warming may destabilize the carbon pool in northern peatlands but it remains uncertain how climatic patterns regulate the transformation of solid-phase peat into greenhouse gases. Here we present a 43-year record of changes in the pore water chemistry from a major peat basin in northern Minnesota. These data indicate that methane production and its transient storage within bogs and fens is finely tuned to climatically driven flow systems on multiple time scales. The peak zones for methanogenesis were apparently limited to the uppermost peat strata during a dry climatic period (1965-1983) when shallow recharge systems prevailed across the GLAP. The shift to a moister climate after 1990 strengthened downward transport systems across the region greatly expanding the vertical suppy of labile root exudates and the peak production zones for methanogenesis in peat profiles. Large methane pools accumulated within the GLAP from 1990 through 2008. Dissolved methane concentrations were 2-to-4 times greater within the deeper peat (1-4 m) than above and were generally higher within bog landforms than in sedge fens. The size of these methane pools varied in response to seasonal and interannual climatic oscillations that apparently affected emission rates via ebullition (from deep peat) and wicking through plant stoma (from the rhizosphere). However, methane pools remained relatively stable during this period, except for a large change between 1990 and 1991. One remaining element of uncertainty concerns the transformation of dissolved methane to free-phase bubbles, which can represent 10-20% of peat volume in the GLAP. Nevertheless, methane profiles from the GLAP indicate that the entire peat profile can function as an incubator for methane depending on the prevailing climate regime and downward transport of labile carbon substrates.

  11. Methane production by attached film

    DOEpatents

    Jewell, William J.

    1981-01-01

    A method for purifying wastewater of biodegradable organics by converting the organics to methane and carbon dioxide gases is disclosed, characterized by the use of an anaerobic attached film expanded bed reactor for the reaction process. Dilute organic waste material is initially seeded with a heterogeneous anaerobic bacteria population including a methane-producing bacteria. The seeded organic waste material is introduced into the bottom of the expanded bed reactor which includes a particulate support media coated with a polysaccharide film. A low-velocity upward flow of the organic waste material is established through the bed during which the attached bacterial film reacts with the organic material to produce methane and carbon dioxide gases, purified water, and a small amount of residual effluent material. The residual effluent material is filtered by the film as it flows upwardly through the reactor bed. In a preferred embodiment, partially treated effluent material is recycled from the top of the bed to the bottom of the bed for further treatment. The methane and carbon dioxide gases are then separated from the residual effluent material and purified water.

  12. Methane Dynamics in Flooded Lands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Methane (CH4) is the second most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas with a heat trapping capacity 34 times greater than that of carbon dioxide on a100 year time scale. Known anthropogenic CH4 sources include livestock production, rice agriculture, landfills, and natural gas m...

  13. Methane generation from waste materials

    DOEpatents

    Samani, Zohrab A.; Hanson, Adrian T.; Macias-Corral, Maritza

    2010-03-23

    An organic solid waste digester for producing methane from solid waste, the digester comprising a reactor vessel for holding solid waste, a sprinkler system for distributing water, bacteria, and nutrients over and through the solid waste, and a drainage system for capturing leachate that is then recirculated through the sprinkler system.

  14. Methane on the greenhouse agenda

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hogan, Kathleen B.; Hoffman, John S.; Thompson, Anne M.

    1991-01-01

    Options for reducing methane emissions, which could have a significant effect on global warming, are addressed. Emissions from landfills, coal mining, oil and natural gas systems, ruminants, animal wastes and wastewater, rice cultivation, and biomass burning are considered. Methods for implementing these emission reductions are discussed.

  15. Bis(2-chloroethoxy)methane

    Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

    Bis ( 2 - chloroethoxy ) methane ; CASRN 111 - 91 - 1 Human health assessment information on a chemical substance is included in the IRIS database only after a comprehensive review of toxicity data , as outlined in the IRIS assessment development process . Sections I ( Health Hazard Assessments for

  16. Methane flux from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Crill, P.M.; Bartlett, K.B.; Harriss, R.C.; Gorham, E.; Verry, E.S. )

    1988-12-01

    Northern (> 40 deg N) wetlands have been suggested as the largest natural source of methane (CH{sub 4}) to the troposphere. To refine the authors estimates of source strengths from this region and to investigate climatic controls on the process, fluxes were measured from a variety of Minnesota peatlands during May, June, and August 1986. Late spring and summer fluxes ranged from 11 to 866 mg CH{sub 4}/sq/m/day, averaging 207 mg CH{sub 4} sq/m/day overall. At Marcell Forest, forested bogs and fen sites had lower fluxes than open bogs. In the Red Lake peatland, circumneutral fens, with standing water above the peat surface, produced more methane than acid bog sites in which the water table was beneath the moss surface. Peat temperature was an important control. Methane flux increased in response to increasing soil temperature. It is estimated that the methane flux from all peatlands north of 40 deg may be on the order of 70 to 90 Tg/yr though estimates of this sort are plagued by uncertainties in the areal extent of peatlands, length of the CH{sub 4} producing season, and the spatial and temporal variability of the flux. 60 refs., 7 figs., 5 tabs.

  17. Ductile flow of methane hydrate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durham, W.B.; Stern, L.A.; Kirby, S.H.

    2003-01-01

    Compressional creep tests (i.e., constant applied stress) conducted on pure, polycrystalline methane hydrate over the temperature range 260-287 K and confining pressures of 50-100 MPa show this material to be extraordinarily strong compared to other icy compounds. The contrast with hexagonal water ice, sometimes used as a proxy for gas hydrate properties, is impressive: over the thermal range where both are solid, methane hydrate is as much as 40 times stronger than ice at a given strain rate. The specific mechanical response of naturally occurring methane hydrate in sediments to environmental changes is expected to be dependent on the distribution of the hydrate phase within the formation - whether arranged structurally between and (or) cementing sediments grains versus passively in pore space within a sediment framework. If hydrate is in the former mode, the very high strength of methane hydrate implies a significantly greater strain-energy release upon decomposition and subsequent failure of hydrate-cemented formations than previously expected.

  18. METHANE EMISSIONS FROM INDUSTRIAL SOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The chapter identifies and describes major industrial sources of methane (CH4) emissions. or each source type examined, it identifies CH4 release points and discusses in detail the factors affecting emissions. t also summarizes and discusses available global and country-specific ...

  19. Insights into Methane Formation Temperatures, Biogenic Methanogenesis, and Natural Methane Emissions from Clumped Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, P. M.; Stolper, D. A.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Dallimore, S.; Paull, C. K.; Wik, M.; Crill, P. M.; Winterdahl, M.; Smith, D. A.; Luhmann, A. J.; Ding, K.; Seyfried, W. E., Jr.; Eiler, J. M.; Ponton, C.; Sessions, A. L.

    2015-12-01

    Multiply substituted isotopologues of methane are a valuable new tool for characterizing and understanding the source of methane in different Earth environments. Here we present methane clumped isotope results from natural gas wells, hydrothermal vents, marine and lacustrine methane seeps, and culture experiments. We observe a wide range of formation temperatures for thermogenic methane. Methane samples from low-maturity reservoirs indicate formation temperatures between 102-144° C, high-maturity conventional and shale gasses indicate temperatures between 158-246 °C, and thermogenic coal gases indicate temperatures between 174-267 °C. Methane formation temperatures generally correlate positively with δ13C, and negatively with gas wetness indices. Methane samples from a set of marine hydrothermal vents indicate a formation temperature of 290-350 °C. Methane sampled from subsurface and marine biogenic sources typically indicate temperatures consistent with the formation environment (0-64° C). In contrast, freshwater biogenic methane samples, and cultures of hydrogenotrophic and methylotrophic methanogens, express low levels of isotopic clumping inconsistent with their formation temperature. These data and complementary models suggest that kinetic isotope effects, likely modulated by rates and pathways of methanogenesis, affect biogenic methane in cultures and freshwater environments. Alternatively, non-equilibrium signatures may result from mixing of methane with widely differing δD and δ13C values. Analyses of biogenic methane emissions from lakes indicate a correlation between methane flux and non-equilibrium clumped isotope fractionations in a given lake. Results from large methane seeps in Alaskan lakes confirm that some seeps emit thermogenic methane, but also indicate that other seeps emit subsurface biogenic methane or variable mixtures of biogenic and thermogenic methane. These results point to diverse sources for large Arctic methane seeps.

  20. Understanding the Recent Methane Budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruhwiler, L.; Dlugokencky, E. J.; Masarie, K.

    2010-12-01

    Anthropogenic sources are thought to account for roughly 2/3 of the global atmospheric methane budget, with natural sources making up the other 1/3. Emissions from wetlands are the largest contribution from natural sources while agriculture (rice and ruminants) and waste dominate anthropogenic emissions. Fugitive emissions from fossil fuel extraction are thought to make up about 20% of the global atmospheric methane budget. It is generally recognized that observed inter-annual variability in global network observations can be attributed to natural sources such as wetlands and biomass burning, while longer-term trends likely indicate changes in anthropogenic sources. Exceptions include an abrupt decrease in fossil fuel emissions in the early 1990s associated with political changes in the Former Soviet Union, and long-term trends in emissions from the Arctic due to a warming climate. The growth rate of global average atmospheric methane since the 1980s shows a steady decline until recent years when it started to increase again. Superimposed on these trends are episodes of higher growth rates. The cause of the recent increase is not currently well-understood, although climate-driven increases in wetland emissions likely played an important role, especially in the tropics. Recent increases in anthropogenic emissions, especially from rapidly expanding Asian economies cannot be ruled out. In addition, trends in the photochemical lifetime of methane must also be considered. In this paper we use both traditional data analysis of observations of methane and related species, and a state-of-the-art ensemble data assimilation system (CarbonTracker-CH4) to attribute methane variability and trends to anthropogenic and natural source processes. We pay particular attention to the Arctic, where some recent years have been the warmest on record, and to the tropics and the potential role of ENSO in driving variability of wetland emissions. Finally, we explore whether a signal in

  1. The regulation of methane oxidation in soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mancinelli, R. L.

    1995-01-01

    The atmospheric concentration of methane, a greenhouse gas, has more than doubled during the past 200 years. Consequently, identifying the factors influencing the flux of methane into the atmosphere is becoming increasingly important. Methanotrophs, microaerophilic organisms widespread in aerobic soils and sediments, oxidize methane to derive energy and carbon for biomass. In so doing, they play an important role in mitigating the flux of methane into the atmosphere. Several physico-chemical factors influence rates of methane oxidation in soil, including soil diffusivity; water potential; and levels of oxygen, methane, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, and copper. Most of these factors exert their influence through interactions with methane monooxygenase (MMO), the enzyme that catalyzes the reaction converting methane to methanol, the first step in methane oxidation. Although biological factors such as competition and predation undoubtedly play a role in regulating the methanotroph population in soils, and thereby limit the amount of methane consumed by methanotrophs, the significance of these factors is unknown. Obtaining a better understanding of the ecology of methanotrophs will help elucidate the mechanisms that regulate soil methane oxidation.

  2. Geogenic methane emissions in central and eastern Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baciu, Calin; Ionescu, Artur; Pop, Cristian; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2015-04-01

    Keywords: methane, greenhouse gases, geogenic emissions, Romania Relatively often, the hydrocarbon reservoirs are not completely sealed, thus permitting the channeling to the surface of various amounts of gas, mainly consisting of methane and homologues. When important volumes of gas are released, features as mud volcanoes and everlasting fires may occur. When the gas amount is low, the degassing can be revealed by instrumental means only. The gas seeps may be useful as indicators in the hydrocarbon exploration, but may be also hazardous when gas is accumulating in closed spaces. Additionally, the geogenic methane degassing represents an important contribution to the atmospheric budget of greenhouse gases. Romania is one of the European important hydrocarbon producers, with oil and gas deposits in different geologic and tectonic contexts. As well, the frequency of gas emitting features and seepage areas is high. Some relevant hydrocarbon-prone areas from Romania, namely the Neogene Transylvanian Basin, the Carpathian Foredeep, and the Moldavian Platform, are comparatively analysed within the current work from the point of view of methane emissions. The Carpathian Foredeep hosts the most impressive mud volcanoes and everlasting fires in Romania, classified among the biggest in Europe. The degassing area also extends in the Carpathian Flysch zone. The Transylvanian Basin hosts numerous gas-bearing structures, mainly of biogenic origin. With some exceptions, the methane-emitting features are small, releasing relatively low amounts of gas. A relatively high number of seeps have been described on the Moldavian Platform, although no commercial hydrocarbon reservoirs have been identified. The seeps are small, and they are releasing low amounts of methane. However, it is important to notice that the investigated zone partly corresponds to an area of interest for shale gas, related to the deep-seated Silurian shales. For all mentioned areas, the main geochemical

  3. Source apportionment of methane using a triple isotope approach - Method development and application in the Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinbach, Julia; Holmstrand, Henry; Semiletov, Igor; Shakhova, Natalia; Shcherbakova, Kseniia; Kosmach, Denis; Sapart, Célia J.; Gustafsson, Örjan

    2015-04-01

    We present a method for measurements of the stable and radiocarbon isotope systems of methane in seawater and sediments. The triple isotope characterization of methane is useful in distinguishing different sources and for improving our understanding of biogeochemical processes affecting methane in the water column. D14C-CH4 is an especially powerful addition to stable isotope analyses in distinguishing between thermogenic and biogenic origins of the methane. Such measurements require large sample sizes, due to low natural abundance of the radiocarbon in CH4. Our system for sample collection, methane extraction and purification builds on the approach by Kessler and Reeburgh (Limn. & Ocean. Meth., 2005). An in-field system extracts methane from 30 -120 l water or 1-2 l sediment (depending on the in-situ methane concentration) by purging the samples with Helium to transfer the dissolved methane to the headspace and circulating it through cryogenically cooled absorbent traps where methane is collected. The in-field preparation eliminates the risks of storage and transport of large seawater quantities and subsequent leakage of sample gas as well as ongoing microbial processes and chemical reactions that may alter the sample composition. In the subsequent shore-based treatment, a laboratory system is used to purify and combust the collected CH4 to AMS-amenable CO2. Subsamples from the methane traps are analyzed for stable isotopes and compared to stable isotope measurements directly measured from small water samples taken in parallel, to correct for any potential fractionation occurring during this process. The system has been successfully tested and used on several shorter shipboard expeditions in the Baltic Sea and on a long summer expedition across the Arctic Ocean. Here we present the details of the method and testing, as well as first triple isotope field data from two cruises to the Landsort Deep area in the Central Baltic Sea.

  4. Estimation of methane emission flux at landfill surface using laser methane detector: Influence of gauge pressure.

    PubMed

    Park, Jin-Kyu; Kang, Jong-Yun; Lee, Nam-Hoon

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of measuring methane emission fluxes, using surface methane concentration and gauge pressure, by analyzing the influence of gauge pressure on the methane emission flux and the surface methane concentration, as well as the correlation between the methane emission flux and surface methane concentrations. The surface methane concentration was measured using a laser methane detector. Our results show a positive linear relationship between the surface methane concentration and the methane emission flux. Furthermore, the methane emission flux showed a positive linear relationship with the gauge pressure; this implies that when the surface methane concentration and the surface gauge pressure are measured simultaneously, the methane emission flux can be calculated using Darcy's law. A decrease in the vertical permeability was observed when the gauge pressure was increased, because reducing the vertical permeability may lead to a reduced landfill gas emission to the atmosphere, and landfill gas would be accumulated inside the landfill. Finally, this method is simple and can allow for a greater number of measurements during a relatively shorter period. Thus, it provides a better representation of the significant space and time variations in methane emission fluxes. PMID:27401161

  5. Methane clathrates in the solar system.

    PubMed

    Mousis, Olivier; Chassefière, Eric; Holm, Nils G; Bouquet, Alexis; Waite, Jack Hunter; Geppert, Wolf Dietrich; Picaud, Sylvain; Aikawa, Yuri; Ali-Dib, Mohamad; Charlou, Jean-Luc; Rousselot, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    We review the reservoirs of methane clathrates that may exist in the different bodies of the Solar System. Methane was formed in the interstellar medium prior to having been embedded in the protosolar nebula gas phase. This molecule was subsequently trapped in clathrates that formed from crystalline water ice during the cooling of the disk and incorporated in this form into the building blocks of comets, icy bodies, and giant planets. Methane clathrates may play an important role in the evolution of planetary atmospheres. On Earth, the production of methane in clathrates is essentially biological, and these compounds are mostly found in permafrost regions or in the sediments of continental shelves. On Mars, methane would more likely derive from hydrothermal reactions with olivine-rich material. If they do exist, martian methane clathrates would be stable only at depth in the cryosphere and sporadically release some methane into the atmosphere via mechanisms that remain to be determined. In the case of Titan, most of its methane probably originates from the protosolar nebula, where it would have been trapped in the clathrates agglomerated by the satellite's building blocks. Methane clathrates are still believed to play an important role in the present state of Titan. Their presence is invoked in the satellite's subsurface as a means of replenishing its atmosphere with methane via outgassing episodes. The internal oceans of Enceladus and Europa also provide appropriate thermodynamic conditions that allow formation of methane clathrates. In turn, these clathrates might influence the composition of these liquid reservoirs. Finally, comets and Kuiper Belt Objects might have formed from the agglomeration of clathrates and pure ices in the nebula. The methane observed in comets would then result from the destabilization of clathrate layers in the nuclei concurrent with their approach to perihelion. Thermodynamic equilibrium calculations show that methane-rich clathrate

  6. Short-range, overpressure-driven methane migration in coarse-grained gas hydrate reservoirs

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Nole, Michael; Daigle, Hugh; Cook, Ann E.; Malinverno, Alberto

    2016-08-31

    Two methane migration mechanisms have been proposed for coarse-grained gas hydrate reservoirs: short-range diffusive gas migration and long-range advective fluid transport from depth. Herein we demonstrate that short-range fluid flow due to overpressure in marine sediments is a significant additional methane transport mechanism that allows hydrate to precipitate in large quantities in thick, coarse-grained hydrate reservoirs. Two-dimensional simulations demonstrate that this migration mechanism, short-range advective transport, can supply significant amounts of dissolved gas and is unencumbered by limitations of the other two end-member mechanisms. Here, short-range advective migration can increase the amount of methane delivered to sands as compared tomore » the slow process of diffusion, yet it is not necessarily limited by effective porosity reduction as is typical of updip advection from a deep source.« less

  7. 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.

  8. Spatially resolved methane band photometry of Saturn. II - Cloud structure models at four latitudes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    West, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    Saturn's cloud vertical structures in the Equatorial Zone, South Equatorial Belt, and North and South Temperate Regions near + or - 30 deg latitudes are determined by means of an analysis of spatially resolved reflectivity measurements in the 6190, 7250, and 8996 A methane bands. Radiative transfer models are computed for a structure whose parameters are the methane column abundance in an aerosol-free layer at the top of the atmosphere, and the specific abundance of methane in a semiinfinite homogeneous gas-and-cloud mixture deep in the atmosphere. The structure for the South Equatorial Belt resembles that for the North Temperate Region. The level where unit cloud optical depth occurs in the South Temperate Region is deeper than the corresponding level at other latitudes. The differences between model parameters derived by means of different absorption bands are discussed.

  9. Turbulent burning rates of methane and methane-hydrogen mixtures

    SciTech Connect

    Fairweather, M.; Ormsby, M.P.; Sheppard, C.G.W.; Woolley, R.

    2009-04-15

    Methane and methane-hydrogen (10%, 20% and 50% hydrogen by volume) mixtures have been ignited in a fan stirred bomb in turbulence and filmed using high speed cine schlieren imaging. Measurements were performed at 0.1 MPa (absolute) and 360 K. A turbulent burning velocity was determined for a range of turbulence velocities and equivalence ratios. Experimental laminar burning velocities and Markstein numbers were also derived. For all fuels the turbulent burning velocity increased with turbulence velocity. The addition of hydrogen generally resulted in increased turbulent and laminar burning velocity and decreased Markstein number. Those flames that were less sensitive to stretch (lower Markstein number) burned faster under turbulent conditions, especially as the turbulence levels were increased, compared to stretch-sensitive (high Markstein number) flames. (author)

  10. The Methane to Markets Coal Mine Methane Subcommittee meeting

    SciTech Connect

    2008-07-01

    The presentations (overheads/viewgraphs) include: a report from the Administrative Support Group; strategy updates from Australia, India, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland and the USA; coal mine methane update and IEA's strategy and activities; the power of VAM - technology application update; the emissions trading market; the voluntary emissions reduction market - creating profitable CMM projects in the USA; an Italian perspective towards a zero emission strategies; and the wrap-up and summary.

  11. Attributing Atmospheric Methane to Anthropogenic Emission Sources.

    PubMed

    Allen, David

    2016-07-19

    Methane is a greenhouse gas, and increases in atmospheric methane concentration over the past 250 years have driven increased radiative forcing of the atmosphere. Increases in atmospheric methane concentration since 1750 account for approximately 17% of increases in radiative forcing of the atmosphere, and that percentage increases by approximately a factor of 2 if the effects of the greenhouse gases produced by the atmospheric reactions of methane are included in the assessment. Because of the role of methane emissions in radiative forcing of the atmosphere, the identification and quantification of sources of methane emissions is receiving increased scientific attention. Methane emission sources include biogenic, geogenic, and anthropogenic sources; the largest anthropogenic sources are natural gas and petroleum systems, enteric fermentation (livestock), landfills, coal mining, and manure management. While these source categories are well-known, there is significant uncertainty in the relative magnitudes of methane emissions from the various source categories. Further, the overall magnitude of methane emissions from all anthropogenic sources is actively debated, with estimates based on source sampling extrapolated to regional or national scale ("bottom-up analyses") differing from estimates that infer emissions based on ambient data ("top-down analyses") by 50% or more. To address the important problem of attribution of methane to specific sources, a variety of new analytical methods are being employed, including high time resolution and highly sensitive measurements of methane, methane isotopes, and other chemical species frequently associated with methane emissions, such as ethane. This Account describes the use of some of these emerging measurements, in both top-down and bottom-up methane emission studies. In addition, this Account describes how data from these new analytical methods can be used in conjunction with chemical mass balance (CMB) methods for source

  12. Methane-related changes in prokaryotes along geochemical profiles in sediments of Lake Kinneret (Israel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bar-Or, I.; Ben-Dov, E.; Kushmaro, A.; Eckert, W.; Sivan, O.

    2015-05-01

    Microbial methane oxidation is the primary control on the emission of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. In terrestrial environments, aerobic methanotrophic bacteria are largely responsible for this process. In marine sediments, a coupling of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate reduction, often carried out by a consortium of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria, consumes almost all methane produced within those sediments. Motivated by recent evidence for AOM with iron(III) in Lake Kinneret sediments, the goal of the present study was to link the geochemical gradients in the lake porewater to the microbial community structure. Screening of archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed a shift from hydrogenotrophic to acetoclastic methanogens with depth. The observed changes in microbial community structure suggest possible direct and indirect mechanisms for the AOM coupled to iron reduction in deep sediments. The percentage of members of the Nitrospirales order increased with depth, suggesting their involvement in iron reduction together with Geobacter genus and "reverse methanogenesis". An indirect mechanism through sulfate and ANME seems less probable due to the absence of ANME sequences. This is despite the abundant sequences related to sulfate-reducing bacteria (Deltaproteobacteria) together with the occurrence of dsrA in the deep sediment that could indicate the production of sulfate (disproportionation) from S0 for sulfate-driven AOM. The presence of the functional gene pmoA in the deep anoxic sediment together with sequences related to Methylococcales suggests the existence of a second unexpected indirect pathway - aerobic methane oxidation pathway in an anaerobic environment.

  13. NATURAL GAS RESOURCES IN DEEP SEDIMENTARY BASINS

    SciTech Connect

    Thaddeus S. Dyman; Troy Cook; Robert A. Crovelli; Allison A. Henry; Timothy C. Hester; Ronald C. Johnson; Michael D. Lewan; Vito F. Nuccio; James W. Schmoker; Dennis B. Riggin; Christopher J. Schenk

    2002-02-05

    From a geological perspective, deep natural gas resources are generally defined as resources occurring in reservoirs at or below 15,000 feet, whereas ultra-deep gas occurs below 25,000 feet. From an operational point of view, ''deep'' is often thought of in a relative sense based on the geologic and engineering knowledge of gas (and oil) resources in a particular area. Deep gas can be found in either conventionally-trapped or unconventional basin-center accumulations that are essentially large single fields having spatial dimensions often exceeding those of conventional fields. Exploration for deep conventional and unconventional basin-center natural gas resources deserves special attention because these resources are widespread and occur in diverse geologic environments. In 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that 939 TCF of technically recoverable natural gas remained to be discovered or was part of reserve appreciation from known fields in the onshore areas and State waters of the United. Of this USGS resource, nearly 114 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically-recoverable gas remains to be discovered from deep sedimentary basins. Worldwide estimates of deep gas are also high. The U.S. Geological Survey World Petroleum Assessment 2000 Project recently estimated a world mean undiscovered conventional gas resource outside the U.S. of 844 Tcf below 4.5 km (about 15,000 feet). Less is known about the origins of deep gas than about the origins of gas at shallower depths because fewer wells have been drilled into the deeper portions of many basins. Some of the many factors contributing to the origin of deep gas include the thermal stability of methane, the role of water and non-hydrocarbon gases in natural gas generation, porosity loss with increasing thermal maturity, the kinetics of deep gas generation, thermal cracking of oil to gas, and source rock potential based on thermal maturity and kerogen type. Recent experimental simulations using laboratory

  14. Oxidative methane conversion in dielectric barrier discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krawczyk, Krzysztof; Młotek, Michał; Ulejczyk, Bogdan; Pryciak, Krzysztof; Schmidt-Szałowski, Krzysztof

    2013-02-01

    A dielectric barrier discharge was used for the oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) with oxygen at the pressure of 1.2 bar. A dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor was powered at the frequency of about 6 kHz. Molar ratio CH4/O2 in the inlet gas containing 50% or 25% of argon was 3, 6 and 12. The effects of temperature (110, 150 and 340 ◦C), gas flow rate, molar ratio of methane to oxygen on the overall methane and oxygen conversion and methane conversion to methanol, ethanol, hydrocarbons, carbon oxides and water were studied. In the studied system the increase of the temperature decreases the conversion of methane to methanol. The increase of the molar ratio of methane to oxygen increased the methane conversion to hydrocarbons and strongly decreased the methane conversion to alcohols. The conversion of methane to hydrocarbons increased and the conversion of methane to methanol decreased with the decrease of the gas flow rate from 2 to 1 NL/h. Contribution to the Topical Issue "13th International Symposium on High Pressure Low Temperature Plasma Chemistry (Hakone XIII)", Edited by Nicolas Gherardi, Henryca Danuta Stryczewska and Yvan Ségui.

  15. Photocatalytic conversion of methane to methanol

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, C.E.; Noceti, R.P.; D`Este, J.R.

    1995-12-31

    A long-term goal of our research group is the exploration of novel pathways for the direct oxidation of methane to liquid fuels, chemicals, and intermediates. The use of three relatively abundant and inexpensive reactants, light, water, and methane, to produce methanol is attractive. The products of reaction, methanol and hydrogen, are both commercially desirable, methanol being used as is or converted to a variety of other chemicals, and the hydrogen could be utilized in petroleum and/or chemical manufacturing. Methane is produced as a by-product of coal gasification. Depending upon reactor design and operating conditions, up to 18% of total gasifier product may be methane. In addition, there are vast proven reserves of geologic methane in the world. Unfortunately, a large fraction of these reserves are in regions where there is little local demand for methane and it is not economically feasible to transport it to a market. There is a global research effort under way in academia, industry, and government to find methods to convert methane to useful, more readily transportable and storable materials. Methanol, the initial product of methane oxidation, is a desirable product of conversion because it retains much of the original energy of the methane while satisfying transportation and storage requirements. Investigation of direct conversion of methane to transportation fuels has been an ongoing effort at PETC for over 10 years. One of the current areas of research is the conversion of methane to methanol, under mild conditions, using light, water, and a semiconductor photocatalyst. The use of three relatively abundant and inexpensive reactants, light, water, and methane, to produce methanol, is attractive. Research in the laboratory is directed toward applying the techniques developed for the photocatalytic splitting of the water and the photochemical conversion of methane.

  16. Geological & Geophysical findings from seismic, well log and core data for marine gas hydrate deposits at the 1st offshore methane hydrate production test site in the eastern Nankai Trough, offshore Japan: An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, T.; Noguchi, S.; Takayama, T.; Suzuki, K.; Yamamoto, K.

    2012-12-01

    In order to evaluate productivity of gas from marine gas hydrate by the depressurization method, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation is planning to conduct a full-scale production test in early 2013 at the AT1 site in the north slope of Daini-Atsumi Knoll in the eastern Nankai Trough, Japan. The test location was determined using the combination of detailed 3D seismic reflection pattern analysis, high-density velocity analysis, and P-impedance inversion analysis, which were calibrated using well log data obtained in 2004. At the AT1 site, one production well (AT1-P) and two monitoring wells (AT1-MC and MT1) were drilled from February to March 2012, followed by 1 coring well (AT1-C) from June to July 2012. An extensive logging program with logging while drilling (LWD) and wireline-logging tools, such as GeoVISION (resistivity image), EcoScope (neutron/density porosity, mineral spectroscopy etc.), SonicScanner (Advanced Sonic tool), CMR/ProVISION (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Tools), XPT (formation pressure, fluid mobility), and IsolationScanner (ultrasonic cement evaluation tools) was conducted at AT1-MC well to evaluate physical reservoir properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments, to determine production test interval in 2013, and to evaluate cement bonding. Methane hydrate concentrated zone (MHCZ) confirmed by the well logging at AT1-MC was thin turbidites (tens of centimeters to few meters) with 60 m of gross thickness, which is composed of lobe type sequences in the upper part of it and channel sand sequences in the lower part. The gross thickness of MHCZ in the well is thicker than previous wells in 2004 (A1, 45 m) located around 150 m northeast, indicating that the prediction given by seismic inversion analysis was reasonable. Well-to-well correlation between AT1-MC and MT1 wells within 40 m distance exhibited that lateral continuity of these sand layers (upper part of reservoir) are fairly good, which representing ideal reservoir for the production

  17. Diversity and methane oxidation of active epibiotic methanotrophs on live Shinkaia crosnieri

    PubMed Central

    Watsuji, Tomo-o; Yamamoto, Asami; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Ueda, Kenji; Kawagucci, Shinsuke; Takai, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Shinkaia crosnieri is a galatheid crab that predominantly dwells in deep-sea hydrothermal systems in the Okinawa Trough, Japan. In this study, the phylogenetic diversity of active methanotrophs in the epibiotic microbial community on the setae of S. crosnieri was characterized by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of a functional gene (pmoA) encoding a subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase. Phylogenetic analysis of pmoA transcript sequences revealed that the active epibiotic methanotrophs on S. crosnieri setae consisted of gammaproteobacterial type Ia and Ib methanotrophs. The effect of different RNA stabilization procedures on the abundance of pmoA and 16S rRNA transcripts in the epibiotic community was estimated by quantitative RT-PCR. Our novel RNA fixation method performed immediately after sampling effectively preserved cellular RNA assemblages, particularly labile mRNA populations, including pmoA mRNA. Methane consumption in live S. crosnieri was also estimated by continuous-flow incubation under atmospheric and in situ hydrostatic pressures, and provided a clear evidence of methane oxidation activity of the epibiotic microbial community, which was not significantly affected by hydrostatic pressure. Our study revealed the significant ecological function and nutritional contribution of epibiotic methanotrophs to the predominant S. crosnieri populations in the Okinawa Trough deep-sea hydrothermal systems. In conclusion, our study gave clear facts about diversity and methane oxidation of active methanotrophs in the epibiotic community associated with invertebrates. PMID:24401859

  18. Methane occurrence is associated with sodium-rich valley waters in domestic wells overlying the Marcellus shale in New York State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christian, Kayla M.; Lautz, Laura K.; Hoke, Gregory D.; Siegel, Donald I.; Lu, Zunli; Kessler, John

    2016-01-01

    Prior work suggests spatial parameters (e.g., landscape position, distance to nearest gas well) can be used to estimate the amount of dissolved methane in domestic drinking water wells overlying the deep Marcellus Shale. New York (NY) provides an opportunity to investigate methane occurrence prior to expansion of high-volume hydraulic fracturing because unconventional gas production is currently banned in the state. We sampled domestic groundwater wells for methane in 2013 (n = 137) across five counties of NY bordering Pennsylvania, and then resampled a subset of those wells in 2014 for methane concentrations and δ13C-CH4 and δD-CH4. The majority of waters from wells sampled (77%) had low concentrations of methane (<0.1 mg/L), and only 5% (n = 7) had actionable levels of methane (>10 mg/L). Dissolved methane concentrations did not change as a function of proximity to existing vertical gas wells, nor other parameters indicating subsurface planes of weakness (i.e., faults or lineaments). Methane levels were significantly higher in wells closer to hydrography flow lines, and most strongly correlated to Na-HCO3 water type. The distribution of methane between Ca-HCO3 (n = 76) and Na-HCO3 (n = 23) water types significantly differed (p < 0.01), with median methane concentrations of 0.002 and 0.78 mg/L, respectively. Combined classification of sampled waters based on the dominant water cation, well topographic position, and geologic unit of well completion effectively identified wells with a greater than 50% probability of having methane concentrations exceeding 1 mg/L. Such classification schemes may be useful as a screening tool to assess natural versus gas production-related sources of methane in domestic wells.

  19. Taoism and Deep Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sylvan, Richard; Bennett, David

    1988-01-01

    Contrasted are the philosophies of Deep Ecology and ancient Chinese. Discusses the cosmology, morality, lifestyle, views of power, politics, and environmental philosophies of each. Concludes that Deep Ecology could gain much from Taoism. (CW)

  20. Deep Ecology and Subjectivity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foley, Grover

    1988-01-01

    Describes Deep Ecology and criticizes its limitations. Discusses mysticism, the bomb, freedom, subjectivity and power as they are addressed by Deep Ecology. Stresses the need to teach ecological balance. (CW)

  1. Deep vein thrombosis - discharge

    MedlinePlus

    You were treated for deep venous thrombosis (DVT). This is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein that is not on ... especially if it gets worse upon taking a deep breath in You cough up blood

  2. Deep venous thrombosis

    MedlinePlus

    Deep venous thrombosis is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside a part ... M, et al. Executive Summary: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis. 9th ed. American College of Chest ...

  3. Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Patient Education FAQs Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis Patient Education Pamphlets - Spanish Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis FAQ174, August 2011 PDF ... Your Practice Patient Safety & Quality Payment Reform (MACRA) Education & Events Annual ... Pamphlets Teen Health About ACOG About Us Leadership & ...

  4. Ceramic membranes for methane conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Balachandran, U.; Dusek, J.T.; Mieville, R.L.; Maiya, P.S.; Kleefisch, M.S.; Pei, S.; Kobylinski, T.P.; Udovich, C.A.

    1994-09-01

    In conventional conversion of methane to syngas, a significant cost of the partial oxidation process is that of the oxygen plant. In this report, the authors offer a technology that is based on dense ceramic membranes and that uses air as the oxidant for methane-conversion reactions, thus eliminating the need for the oxygen plant. Certain ceramic materials exhibit both electronic and ionic conductivities (of particular interest is oxygen-ion conductivity). These materials transport not only oxygen ions (functioning as selective oxygen separators) but also electrons back from the reactor side to the oxygen/reduction interface. No external electrodes are required and if the driving potential of transport is sufficient, the partial-oxidation reactions should be spontaneous. Such a system will operate without an externally applied potential. Oxygen is transported across the ceramic material in the form of oxygen anions, not oxygen molecules. Long tubes of Sr-Fe-Co-O (SFC) membrane were fabricated by plastic extrusion, and thermal stability of the tubes was studied as a function of oxygen partial pressure and high-temperature XRD. Mechanical properties were measured and found to be acceptable for a reactor material. Fracture of certain SFC tubes was the consequence of an oxygen gradient that introduced a volumetric lattice difference between the inner and outer walls. However, tubes made with a particular stoichiometry (SFC-2) provided methane conversion efficiencies of >99% in a reactor and some of these tubes have operated for up to {approx}1,000 h.

  5. Titan's Methane Cycle is Closed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofgartner, J. D.; Lunine, J. I.

    2013-12-01

    Doppler tracking of the Cassini spacecraft determined a polar moment of inertia for Titan of 0.34 (Iess et al., 2010, Science, 327, 1367). Assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, one interpretation is that Titan's silicate core is partially hydrated (Castillo-Rogez and Lunine, 2010, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L20205). These authors point out that for the core to have avoided complete thermal dehydration to the present day, at least 30% of the potassium content of Titan must have leached into an overlying water ocean by the end of the core overturn. We calculate that for probable ammonia compositions of Titan's ocean (compositions with greater than 1% ammonia by weight), that this amount of potassium leaching is achievable via the substitution of ammonium for potassium during the hydration epoch. Formation of a hydrous core early in Titan's history by serpentinization results in the loss of one hydrogen molecule for every hydrating water molecule. We calculate that complete serpentinization of Titan's core corresponds to the release of more than enough hydrogen to reconstitute all of the methane atoms photolyzed throughout Titan's history. Insertion of molecular hydrogen by double occupancy into crustal clathrates provides a storage medium and an opportunity for ethane to be converted back to methane slowly over time--potentially completing a cycle that extends the lifetime of methane in Titan's surface atmosphere system by factors of several to an order of magnitude over the photochemically-calculated lifetime.

  6. Distinct microbial populations are tightly linked to the profile of dissolved iron in the methanic sediments of the Helgoland mud area, North Sea

    PubMed Central

    Oni, Oluwatobi; Miyatake, Tetsuro; Kasten, Sabine; Richter-Heitmann, Tim; Fischer, David; Wagenknecht, Laura; Kulkarni, Ajinkya; Blumers, Mathias; Shylin, Sergii I.; Ksenofontov, Vadim; Costa, Benilde F. O.; Klingelhöfer, Göstar; Friedrich, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Iron reduction in subseafloor sulfate-depleted and methane-rich marine sediments is currently a subject of interest in subsurface geomicrobiology. While iron reduction and microorganisms involved have been well studied in marine surface sediments, little is known about microorganisms responsible for iron reduction in deep methanic sediments. Here, we used quantitative PCR-based 16S rRNA gene copy numbers and pyrosequencing-based relative abundances of bacteria and archaea to investigate covariance between distinct microbial populations and specific geochemical profiles in the top 5 m of sediment cores from the Helgoland mud area, North Sea. We found that gene copy numbers of bacteria and archaea were specifically higher around the peak of dissolved iron in the methanic zone (250–350 cm). The higher copy numbers at these depths were also reflected by the relative sequence abundances of members of the candidate division JS1, methanogenic and Methanohalobium/ANME-3 related archaea. The distribution of these populations was strongly correlated to the profile of pore-water Fe2+ while that of Desulfobacteraceae corresponded to the pore-water sulfate profile. Furthermore, specific JS1 populations also strongly co-varied with the distribution of Methanosaetaceae in the methanic zone. Our data suggest that the interplay among JS1 bacteria, methanogenic archaea and Methanohalobium/ANME-3-related archaea may be important for iron reduction and methane cycling in deep methanic sediments of the Helgoland mud area and perhaps in other methane-rich depositional environments. PMID:25983723

  7. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites.

    PubMed

    Blamey, Nigel J F; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R M; Banerjee, Neil R; Flemming, Roberta L

    2015-01-01

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity. PMID:26079798

  8. Evidence for methane in Martian meteorites

    PubMed Central

    Blamey, Nigel J. F.; Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Mark, Darren F.; Tomkinson, Tim; Lee, Martin; Shivak, Jared; Izawa, Matthew R. M.; Banerjee, Neil R.; Flemming, Roberta L.

    2015-01-01

    The putative occurrence of methane in the Martian atmosphere has had a major influence on the exploration of Mars, especially by the implication of active biology. The occurrence has not been borne out by measurements of atmosphere by the MSL rover Curiosity but, as on Earth, methane on Mars is most likely in the subsurface of the crust. Serpentinization of olivine-bearing rocks, to yield hydrogen that may further react with carbon-bearing species, has been widely invoked as a source of methane on Mars, but this possibility has not hitherto been tested. Here we show that some Martian meteorites, representing basic igneous rocks, liberate a methane-rich volatile component on crushing. The occurrence of methane in Martian rock samples adds strong weight to models whereby any life on Mars is/was likely to be resident in a subsurface habitat, where methane could be a source of energy and carbon for microbial activity. PMID:26079798

  9. Atmospheric methane transport near landfill sites.

    PubMed

    Tagaris, Efthimios; Sotiropoulou, Rafaella-Eleni P; Pilinis, Christodoulos; Halvadakis, Constantinos P

    2003-02-01

    Methane production rates that have been estimated by a biogas production model (MICROGEN) are combined with an air dispersion model in order to determine the spatial distribution of methane around landfill sites. By utilising dispersion models under extreme atmospheric conditions, a maximum methane concentration around the landfills can be determined. The factors that enhance the maximum methane concentrations, using the meteorological model CALMET in conjunction with the dispersion model CALPUFF, are found to be the wind speed and the percentage of cloud cover. The rates of temperature and pressure variation, as well as the land use category seem to have no effect on the maximum methane concentrations. A rapid reduction of methane concentration is observed a few metres away from the landfill centre while a slower reduction is observed at distances greater than 300 m from it. The performance of this methodology is evaluated by comparing measured concentrations with model predictions. PMID:12667020

  10. Methane Flux to the Atmosphere from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yvon-Lewis, S. A.; Hu, L.; Kessler, J. D.; Garcia Tigreros, F.; Chan, E. W.; Du, M.

    2010-12-01

    The unfortunate blowout at the BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil rig on April 20, which killed 11 people, was releasing oil and methane at an average rate of 58,000 barrels per day into the deep ocean, until it was recently capped resulting in a total of 4.9 million barrels released (National Incident Command Report, 2010). The methane component of the emission was estimated at 40-60%. As part of a NSF funded RAPID award, the sea-to-air flux of methane from the blowout at the Deepwater Horizon was measured on board the R/V Cape Hatteras from June 11-20 with substantial spatial and temporal resolution over the course of seven days in June 2010. Air and water concentrations were analyzed continuously from a flowing air line and a continuously flowing seawater equilibrator using cavity ring-down spectrometers (CRDS) and a gas chromatograph with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID). The results indicate a low flux of methane to the atmosphere (0.024 μmol m^{-2} d^{-1}) with atmospheric and seawater equilibrium mixing ratios averaging 1.86 ppm and 2.85 ppm, respectively within the survey area. Most of the methane emitted from the wellhead was not emitted to the atmosphere. It dissolved into the water column at depth.

  11. Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

    PubMed

    Osborn, Stephen G; Vengosh, Avner; Warner, Nathaniel R; Jackson, Robert B

    2011-05-17

    Directional drilling and hydraulic-fracturing technologies are dramatically increasing natural-gas extraction. In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction. In active gas-extraction areas (one or more gas wells within 1 km), average and maximum methane concentrations in drinking-water wells increased with proximity to the nearest gas well and were 19.2 and 64 mg CH(4) L(-1) (n = 26), a potential explosion hazard; in contrast, dissolved methane samples in neighboring nonextraction sites (no gas wells within 1 km) within similar geologic formations and hydrogeologic regimes averaged only 1.1 mg L(-1) (P < 0.05; n = 34). Average δ(13)C-CH(4) values of dissolved methane in shallow groundwater were significantly less negative for active than for nonactive sites (-37 ± 7‰ and -54 ± 11‰, respectively; P < 0.0001). These δ(13)C-CH(4) data, coupled with the ratios of methane-to-higher-chain hydrocarbons, and δ(2)H-CH(4) values, are consistent with deeper thermogenic methane sources such as the Marcellus and Utica shales at the active sites and matched gas geochemistry from gas wells nearby. In contrast, lower-concentration samples from shallow groundwater at nonactive sites had isotopic signatures reflecting a more biogenic or mixed biogenic/thermogenic methane source. We found no evidence for contamination of drinking-water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids. We conclude that greater stewardship, data, and-possibly-regulation are needed to ensure the sustainable future of shale-gas extraction and to improve public confidence in its use. PMID:21555547

  12. Biologic Indicators of Seabed Methane Venting Along the US Mid-Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prouty, N.; Roark, E. B.; Demopoulos, A. W.; Condon, D. J.; Davis, K.; Ross, S.; Brooke, S.

    2014-12-01

    Evidence of seabed methane venting along the US Mid-Atlantic Margin is confirmed by the presence of authigenic carbonates and methantrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus childressi, collected near areas of methane seepage. The biological indicators of methane venting presented here expand the understanding of widespread seepage identified by previous geophysical data. Both dead and living chemosynthetic mussels as well as authigenic carbonate samples were collected from Baltimore Canyon (360-430 m) and on the Virginia outer continental shelf (1600-1475 m). Stable isotope (carbon and sulfur) composition of mussel tissue material illustrates that the chemosynthetic communities are metabolically-dependent on methane rather than sulphide-oxidizing microbial symbionts. Average δ13C from tissue material was -62.80 ‰ and average δ34S was 12.58 ‰. Shell δ13C values were depleted relative to seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of methane concentration from cold seeps on shell growth. Lighter stable oxygen isotope values from shells collected at Baltimore Canyon reflect warmer temperatures relative to the colder and deeper Virginia seep site. However, at both sites isotopic disequilibrium relative to seawater δ18O suggests influence of enriched δ18O pore water. The chemical composition of the authigenic carbonates at both sites is dominated by aragonite rather than calcite, with an average δ13C signature of -46 ‰, a value expected from the microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment-water interface. This interpretation is supported by strontium isotope values close to modern seawater values. U/Th data are also reported from the authigenic carbonate stratigraphy to assess the timing and duration of methane venting along the US Mid-Atlantic Margin.

  13. Assessment of in-place solution methane in tertiary sandstones: Texas Gulf Coast

    SciTech Connect

    Gregory, A.R.; Dodge, M.M.; Posey, J.S.; Morton, R.A.

    1981-01-01

    The higher prices obtained for commercial natural gas in recent years have stimulated interest in methane-saturated formation waters of sandstone reservoirs in the Texas Gulf Coast as a potential alternative source of energy. The objective of this project was to appraise the total volume of in-place methane dissolved in formation waters of deep sandstone reservoirs of the onshore Texas Gulf Coast within the stratigraphic section extending from the base of significant hydrocarbon production (8000 ft) to the deepest significant sandstone occurrence. Factors that must be evaluated to determine the total methane resource are reservoir bulk volume, porosity, and methane solubility. The latter is controlled by the temperature, pressure, and salinity of formation waters. Regional assessment of the volume and distribution of potential sandstone reservoirs was made from a data base of 880 electrical well logs, from which a grid of 24 structural dip cross sections and 4 strike cross sections was constructed. These cross sections extend from near the Wilcox outcrop to the coastline. Reservoir bulk volume was determined by mapping the structural and stratigraphic framework of Tertiary sandstone units. Structural and stratigraphic boundaries were used to divide the Texas Gulf Coast into 24 subdivisions. Methane content in each of nine formations or divisions of formations was determined for each subdivision. The total in-place methane for Tertiary sandstones below 8000 ft in the Texas Gulf Coast was found to be 690 TCF./sup 2/ The total in-place methane for effective Tertiary sandstones (sandstone units greater than 30 ft thick) below 8000 ft was 325 TCF.

  14. Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing

    PubMed Central

    Osborn, Stephen G.; Vengosh, Avner; Warner, Nathaniel R.; Jackson, Robert B.

    2011-01-01

    Directional drilling and hydraulic-fracturing technologies are dramatically increasing natural-gas extraction. In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction. In active gas-extraction areas (one or more gas wells within 1 km), average and maximum methane concentrations in drinking-water wells increased with proximity to the nearest gas well and were 19.2 and 64 mg CH4 L-1 (n = 26), a potential explosion hazard; in contrast, dissolved methane samples in neighboring nonextraction sites (no gas wells within 1 km) within similar geologic formations and hydrogeologic regimes averaged only 1.1 mg L-1 (P < 0.05; n = 34). Average δ13C-CH4 values of dissolved methane in shallow groundwater were significantly less negative for active than for nonactive sites (-37 ± 7‰ and -54 ± 11‰, respectively; P < 0.0001). These δ13C-CH4 data, coupled with the ratios of methane-to-higher-chain hydrocarbons, and δ2H-CH4 values, are consistent with deeper thermogenic methane sources such as the Marcellus and Utica shales at the active sites and matched gas geochemistry from gas wells nearby. In contrast, lower-concentration samples from shallow groundwater at nonactive sites had isotopic signatures reflecting a more biogenic or mixed biogenic/thermogenic methane source. We found no evidence for contamination of drinking-water samples with deep saline brines or fracturing fluids. We conclude that greater stewardship, data, and—possibly—regulation are needed to ensure the sustainable future of shale-gas extraction and to improve public confidence in its use. PMID:21555547

  15. Deep Vein Thrombosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... page from the NHLBI on Twitter. What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis? Español Deep vein thrombosis (throm-BO-sis), or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Blood clots occur when blood ...

  16. Deep Web video

    SciTech Connect

    None Available

    2009-06-01

    To make the web work better for science, OSTI has developed state-of-the-art technologies and services including a deep web search capability. The deep web includes content in searchable databases available to web users but not accessible by popular search engines, such as Google. This video provides an introduction to the deep web search engine.

  17. Deep Web video

    ScienceCinema

    None Available

    2012-03-28

    To make the web work better for science, OSTI has developed state-of-the-art technologies and services including a deep web search capability. The deep web includes content in searchable databases available to web users but not accessible by popular search engines, such as Google. This video provides an introduction to the deep web search engine.

  18. Deep Space Telecommunications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuiper, T. B. H.; Resch, G. M.

    2000-01-01

    The increasing load on NASA's deep Space Network, the new capabilities for deep space missions inherent in a next-generation radio telescope, and the potential of new telescope technology for reducing construction and operation costs suggest a natural marriage between radio astronomy and deep space telecommunications in developing advanced radio telescope concepts.

  19. Towards Biogeochemical Modeling of Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane: Characterization of Microbial Communities in Methane-bearing North American Continental Margin Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graw, M. F.; Solomon, E. A.; Chrisler, W.; Krause, S.; Treude, T.; Ruppel, C. D.; Pohlman, J.; Colwell, F. S.

    2015-12-01

    Methane advecting through continental margin sediments may enter the water column and potentially contribute to ocean acidification and increase atmospheric methane concentrations. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), mediated by syntrophic consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria (ANME-SRB), consumes nearly all dissolved methane in methane-bearing sediments before it reaches the sediment-water interface. Despite the significant role ANME-SRB play in carbon cycling, our knowledge of these organisms and their surrounding microbial communities is limited. Our objective is to develop a metabolic model of ANME-SRB within methane-bearing sediments and to couple this to a geochemical reaction-transport model for these margins. As a first step towards this goal, we undertook fluorescent microscopic imaging, 16S rRNA gene deep-sequencing, and shotgun metagenomic sequencing of sediments from the US Pacific (Washington) and northern Atlantic margins where ANME-SRB are present. A successful Illumina MiSeq sequencing run yielded 106,257 bacterial and 857,834 archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences from 12 communities from the Washington Margin using both universal prokaryotic and archaeal-specific primer sets. Fluorescent microscopy confirmed the presence of cells of the ANME-2c lineage in the sequenced communities. Microbial community characterization was coupled with measurements of sediment physical and geochemical properties and, for samples from the US Atlantic margin, 14C-based measurements of AOM rates and 35S-based measurements of sulfate reduction rates. These findings have the potential to increase understanding of ANME-SRB, their surrounding microbial communities, and their role in carbon cycling within continental margins. In addition, they pave the way for future efforts at developing a metabolic model of ANME-SRB and coupling it to geochemical models of the US Washington and Atlantic margins.

  20. Methane Pyrolysis and Disposing Off Resulting Carbon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharma, P. K.; Rapp, D.; Rahotgi, N. K.

    1999-01-01

    Sabatier/Electrolysis (S/E) is a leading process for producing methane and oxygen for application to Mars ISPP. One significant problem with this process is that it produces an excess of methane for combustion with the amount of oxygen that is produced. Therefore, one must discard roughly half of the methane to obtain the proper stoichiometric methane/oxygen mixture for ascent from Mars. This is wasteful of hydrogen, which must be brought from Earth and is difficult to transport to Mars and store on Mars. To reduced the problem of transporting hydrogen to Mars, the S/E process can be augmented by another process which reduces overall hydrogen requirement. Three conceptual approaches for doing this are (1) recover hydrogen from the excess methane produced by the S/E process, (2) convert the methane to a higher hydrocarbon or other organic with a lower H/C ratio than methane, and (3) use a separate process (such as zirconia or reverse water gas shift reaction) to produce additional oxygen, thus utilizing all the methane produced by the Sabatier process. We report our results here on recovering hydrogen from the excess methane using pyrolysis of methane. Pyrolysis has the advantage that it produces almost pure hydrogen, and any unreacted methane can pass through the S/E process reactor. It has the disadvantage that disposing of the carbon produced by pyrolysis presents difficulties. Hydrogen may be obtained from methane by pyrolysis in the temperature range 10000-12000C. The main reaction products are hydrogen and carbon, though very small amounts of higher hydrocarbons, including aromatic hydrocarbons are formed. The conversion efficiency is about 95% at 12000C. One needs to distinguish between thermodynamic equilibrium conversion and conversion limited by kinetics in a finite reactor.

  1. Carbon isotope fractionation during microbial methane oxidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barker, James F.; Fritz, Peter

    1981-09-01

    Methane, a common trace constituent of groundwaters, occasionally makes up more than 20% of the total carbon in groundwaters1,2. In aerobic environments CH4-rich waters can enable microbial food chain supporting a mixed culture of bacteria with methane oxidation as the primary energy source to develop3. Such processes may influence the isotopic composition of the residual methane and because 13C/12C analyses have been used to characterize the genesis of methanes found in different environments, an understanding of the magnitude of such effects is necessary. In addition, carbon dioxide produced by the methane-utilizing bacteria can be added to the inorganic carbon pool of affected groundwaters. We found carbon dioxide experimentally produced by methane-utilizing bacteria to be enriched in 12C by 5.0-29.6‰, relative to the residual methane. Where methane-bearing groundwaters discharged into aerobic environments microbial methane oxidation occurred, with the residual methane becoming progressively enriched in 13C. Various models have been proposed to explain the 13C/12C and 14C content of the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) of groundwaters in terms of additions or losses during flow in the subsurface4,5. The knowledge of both stable carbon isotope ratios in various pools and the magnitude of carbon isotope fractionation during various processes allows geochemists to use the 13C/12C ratio of the DIC along with water chemistry to estimate corrected 14C groundwater ages4,5. We show here that a knowledge of the carbon isotope fractionation between CH4 and CO2 during microbial methane-utilization could modify such models for application to groundwaters affected by microbial methane oxidation.

  2. MERLIN: a space-based methane monitor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephan, C.; Alpers, M.; Millet, B.; Ehret, G.; Flamant, P.; Deniel, C.

    2011-10-01

    Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. The radiative forcing caused by methane contributes significantly to the warming of the atmosphere. To better understand the complex global Methane Cycle, it is necessary to apply space-based measurements techniques in order to obtain global coverage at high precision The Methane Remote Sensing Lidar Mission (MERLIN) is a joint French-German cooperation on a micro satellite mission for space-based measurement of spatial and temporal gradients of atmospheric methane columns on a global scale. MERLIN will be the first Integrated Path Differential Absorption LIDAR for methane monitoring from space. In contrast to passive methane missions, the LIDAR instrument allows to retrieve methane fluxes at all-latitudes, allseasons and during night as it is not relying on sunlight. First scientific studies show a substantial reduction of the prior methane flux uncertainties in key observational regions when using synthetic MERLIN observations in the flux inversion experiments. Furthermore, MERLIN observations can help to quantify and verify in scientific credible way national emission reduction scenarios as formulated in the Kyoto protocol. This paper reports on the present status of MERLIN and gives an overview on the joint mission concept with the German LIDAR on the French satellite platform MYRIADE.

  3. [Sources of Methane in the Boreal Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    In determining the global methane budget the sources of methane must be balanced with the sinks and atmospheric inventory. The approximate contribution of the different methane sources to the budget has been establish showing the major terrestrial inputs as rice, wetlands, bogs, fens, and tundra. Measurements and modeling of production in these sources suggest that temperature, water table height and saturation along with substratum composition are important in controlling methane production and emission. The isotopic budget of 13 C and D/H in methane can be used as a tool to clarify the global budget. This approach has achieved success at constraining the inputs. Studies using the isotopic approach place constraints on global methane production from different sources. Also, the relation between the two biogenic production pathways, acetate fermentation and CO2 reduction, and the effect of substratum composition can be made using isotope measurements shows the relation between the different biogenic, thermogenic and anthropogenic sources of methane as a function of the carbon and hydrogen isotope values for each source and the atmosphere, tropospheric composition. Methane emissions from ponds and fens are a significant source in the methane budget of the boreal region. An initial study in 1993 and 1994 on the isotopic composition of this methane source and the isotopic composition in relation to oxidation of methane at the sediment surface of the ponds or fen was conducted as part of our BOREAS project. The isotopic composition of methane emitted by saturated anoxic sediment is dependent on the sediment composition and geochemistry, but will be influenced by in situ oxidation, in part, a function of rooted plant activity. The influence of oxidation mediated by rooted plant activities on the isotopic composition of methane is not well known and will depend on the plant type, sediment temperature, and