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Sample records for active methane seeps

  1. Resistivity image beneath an area of active methane seeps in the west Svalbard continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Bedanta K.; Weitemeyer, Karen A.; Minshull, Timothy A.; Sinha, Martin C.; Westbrook, Graham K.; Marín-Moreno, Héctor

    2016-11-01

    The Arctic continental margin contains large amounts of methane in the form of methane hydrates. The west Svalbard continental slope is an area where active methane seeps have been reported near the landward limit of the hydrate stability zone. The presence of bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) on seismic reflection data in water depths greater than 600 m suggests the presence of free gas beneath gas hydrates in the area. Resistivity obtained from marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data provides a useful complement to seismic methods for detecting shallow hydrate and gas as they are more resistive than surrounding water saturated sediments. We acquired two CSEM lines in the west Svalbard continental slope, extending from the edge of the continental shelf (250 m water depth) to water depths of around 800 m. High resistivities (5-12 Ωm) observed above the BSR support the presence of gas hydrate in water depths greater than 600 m. High resistivities (3-4 Ωm) at 390-600 m water depth also suggest possible hydrate occurrence within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) of the continental slope. In addition, high resistivities (4-8 Ωm) landward of the GHSZ are coincident with high-amplitude reflectors and low velocities reported in seismic data that indicate the likely presence of free gas. Pore space saturation estimates using a connectivity equation suggest 20-50 per cent hydrate within the lower slope sediments and less than 12 per cent within the upper slope sediments. A free gas zone beneath the GHSZ (10-20 per cent gas saturation) is connected to the high free gas saturated (10-45 per cent) area at the edge of the continental shelf, where most of the seeps are observed. This evidence supports the presence of lateral free gas migration beneath the GHSZ towards the continental shelf.

  2. Activity and interactions of methane seep microorganisms assessed by parallel transcription and FISH-NanoSIMS analyses

    PubMed Central

    Dekas, Anne E; Connon, Stephanie A; Chadwick, Grayson L; Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-01-01

    To characterize the activity and interactions of methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and Deltaproteobacteria at a methane-seeping mud volcano, we used two complimentary measures of microbial activity: a community-level analysis of the transcription of four genes (16S rRNA, methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA), adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate reductase α-subunit (aprA), dinitrogenase reductase (nifH)), and a single-cell-level analysis of anabolic activity using fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS). Transcript analysis revealed that members of the deltaproteobacterial groups Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) and Desulfobulbaceae (DSB) exhibit increased rRNA expression in incubations with methane, suggestive of ANME-coupled activity. Direct analysis of anabolic activity in DSS cells in consortia with ANME by FISH-NanoSIMS confirmed their dependence on methanotrophy, with no 15NH4+ assimilation detected without methane. In contrast, DSS and DSB cells found physically independent of ANME (i.e., single cells) were anabolically active in incubations both with and without methane. These single cells therefore comprise an active ‘free-living' population, and are not dependent on methane or ANME activity. We investigated the possibility of N2 fixation by seep Deltaproteobacteria and detected nifH transcripts closely related to those of cultured diazotrophic Deltaproteobacteria. However, nifH expression was methane-dependent. 15N2 incorporation was not observed in single DSS cells, but was detected in single DSB cells. Interestingly, 15N2 incorporation in single DSB cells was methane-dependent, raising the possibility that DSB cells acquired reduced 15N products from diazotrophic ANME while spatially coupled, and then subsequently dissociated. With this combined data set we address several outstanding questions in methane seep microbial ecosystems and highlight the benefit of measuring microbial activity in the

  3. Activity and interactions of methane seep microorganisms assessed by parallel transcription and FISH-NanoSIMS analyses.

    PubMed

    Dekas, Anne E; Connon, Stephanie A; Chadwick, Grayson L; Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-03-01

    To characterize the activity and interactions of methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and Deltaproteobacteria at a methane-seeping mud volcano, we used two complimentary measures of microbial activity: a community-level analysis of the transcription of four genes (16S rRNA, methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA), adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate reductase α-subunit (aprA), dinitrogenase reductase (nifH)), and a single-cell-level analysis of anabolic activity using fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS). Transcript analysis revealed that members of the deltaproteobacterial groups Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) and Desulfobulbaceae (DSB) exhibit increased rRNA expression in incubations with methane, suggestive of ANME-coupled activity. Direct analysis of anabolic activity in DSS cells in consortia with ANME by FISH-NanoSIMS confirmed their dependence on methanotrophy, with no (15)NH4(+) assimilation detected without methane. In contrast, DSS and DSB cells found physically independent of ANME (i.e., single cells) were anabolically active in incubations both with and without methane. These single cells therefore comprise an active 'free-living' population, and are not dependent on methane or ANME activity. We investigated the possibility of N2 fixation by seep Deltaproteobacteria and detected nifH transcripts closely related to those of cultured diazotrophic Deltaproteobacteria. However, nifH expression was methane-dependent. (15)N2 incorporation was not observed in single DSS cells, but was detected in single DSB cells. Interestingly, (15)N2 incorporation in single DSB cells was methane-dependent, raising the possibility that DSB cells acquired reduced (15)N products from diazotrophic ANME while spatially coupled, and then subsequently dissociated. With this combined data set we address several outstanding questions in methane seep microbial ecosystems and highlight the benefit of measuring microbial activity in

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. Tracking Dissolved Methane Concentrations near Active Seeps and Gas Hydrates: Sea of Japan.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, G. T.; Aoki, S.; Matsumoto, R.; Tomaru, H.; Owari, S.; Nakajima, R.; Doolittle, D. F.; Brant, B.

    2015-12-01

    A number of regions in the Sea of Japan are known for active gas venting and for gas hydrate exposures on the sea floor. In this investigation we employed several gas sensors mounted on a ROV in order to determine the concentrations of dissolved methane in the water near these sites. Methane concentrations were determined during two-second intervals throughout each ROV deployment during the cruise. The methane sensor deployments were coupled with seawater sampling using Niskin bottles. Dissolved gas concentrations were later measured using gas chromatography in order to compare with the sensor results taken at the same time. The observed maximum dissolved methane concentrations were much lower than saturation values, even when the ROV manipulators were in contact with gas hydrate. Nonetheless, dissolved concentrations did reach several thousands of nmol/L near gas hydrate exposures and gas bubbles, more than two orders of magnitude over the instrumental detection limits. Most of the sensors tested were able to detect dissolved methane concentrations as low as 10 nmol/L which permitted detection when the ROV approached methane plume sites, even from several tens of meters above the sea floor. Despite the low detection limits, the methane sensors showed variable response times when returning to low-background seawater (~5nM). For some of the sensors, the response time necessary to return to background values occurred in a matter of minutes, while for others it took several hours. Response time, as well as detection limit, should be an important consideration when selecting methane sensors for ROV or AUV investigations. This research was made possible, in part, through funding provided by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

  10. Imaging Active and Relict Seafloor Methane Seep Sites: a Comparison of Seafloor 3D Seismic Reflectivity and Multibeam Sonar Backscatter Intensity at Omakere Ridge, Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golding, T. V.; Pecher, I. A.; Crutchley, G. J.; Klaeschen, D.; Papenberg, C. A.; Bialas, J.; Greinert, J.; Townend, J.; SO214 Shipboard Scientific Party

    2011-12-01

    Omakere Ridge is an anticlinal thrust ridge in water depths of 1100-1700 m on the Hikurangi Margin, east of the North Island of New Zealand, and an area of active seafloor methane seepage associated with an extensive gas hydrate province. Methane seep sites on the Hikurangi Margin are characterised by localised build-ups of hard authigenic carbonate and chemosynthetic seep fauna that exist on a seafloor otherwise characterised by soft, muddy sediments. Previous studies have shown that these seep sites appear as areas of high backscatter in sonar images, but backscatter data alone do not provide detailed information on the present level of activity of a seep site, or the thickness of the carbonate build-up. Here we present a comparison of seafloor seismic reflectivity and multibeam sonar backscatter intensity data collected from active and relict methane seep sites on Omakere Ridge. High-resolution P-Cable 3D seismic reflection data and 12 kHz EM120 multibeam sonar data were collected in March 2011 during the RV Sonne cruise SO214. Seafloor seismic amplitude maps have been derived from the shipboard post-stack migrated data cube. A pronounced acquisition artifact is manifest in the seafloor horizon slice as high and low amplitude stripes that alternate periodically in the crossline direction. We have removed this artifact from the seafloor horizon slice using Kx-Ky filtering, followed by direct sampling and deterministic removal of the very-low-frequency components in the spatial domain. The seismic amplitude map has then been transformed into a calibrated seafloor reflection coefficient map. Sonar backscatter mosaics have been created after correcting for instrument response, angular variation in backscatter and bathymetry. Several backscatter mosaics were incorporated into a stacked mosaic over the study area to attenuate random noise. The high sonar backscatter response at the seep sites is generally accompanied by high seismic reflectivity. However, the

  11. 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.

  12. Phosphogenesis at a Cretaceous methane seep from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Field Exploration of Methane Seep Near Atqasuk

    SciTech Connect

    Katey Walter, Dennis Witmer, Gwen Holdmann

    2008-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-31

    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.

  15. Advances in Optical Characterization of Methane Seeps and Bubble Plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizarro, O.; Farr, N.; Camilli, R.; Whelan, J.; Martens, C.; Goudreau, J.; Mendlovitz, H.; Camilli, L.

    2005-12-01

    Methane seeps are potentially a key contributor to the atmospheric methane reservoir and to the global greenhouse gas budget. Improved estimates of methane flux from ocean floor seeps are required to understand the magnitude and characteristics of this potential source. At less active, deep water seeps a large portion of the migrating gas is dissolved and oxidized before reaching the surface. However, in high-intensity, shallow water methane seeps the bubble density, speed and size are such that a significant fraction of the gas may reach the atmosphere. New types of in-situ chemical sensors are now available to quickly and reliably quantify dissolved methane throughout the water column. However, quantifying methane within the water column in the free gas phase (i.e., in bubbles) remains a challenging problem. Current approaches rely either on indirect acoustic methods or direct collection of bubbles. Acoustic methods have the disadvantage of requiring extensive calibration, and can fail to distinguish the bubble signal from other sources of acoustic noise. Gas-capture techniques are mechanically complex, have a surface expression that introduces some noise, and can potentially alias episodic events. In both cases the fine scale structure such as heterogeneity of the rising bubbling plume is lost. We describe a vision-based system to characterize bubble plumes and the seep features from which they emanate. Video-rate optical imagery from 3 cameras is used to generate precise measurements of the motion of bubbles. Lighting is provided by a distributed array of LED modules synchronized to the cameras. In order to conserve power and extend deployment times the system can be configured to be dormant until triggered by chemical sensors indicating high concentrations of methane. Plume characterization is based on the identification of the individual bubbles (and rejection of other particles). Additional image processing steps are then used to estimate each bubble

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Significance of aragonite cements around Cretaceous marine methane seeps

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  2. Hydrothermal vents and methane seeps: Rethinking the sphere of influence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levin, Lisa A.; Baco, Amy; Bowden, David; Colaco, Ana; Cordes, Erik E.; Cunha, Marina; Demopoulos, Amanda; Gobin, Judith; Grupe, Ben; Le, Jennifer; Metaxas, Anna; Netburn, Amanda; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew; Tunnicliffe, Verena; Van Dover, Cindy L.; Vanreusel, Ann; Watling, Les

    2016-01-01

    Although initially viewed as oases within a barren deep ocean, hydrothermal vent and methane seep communities are now recognized to interact with surrounding ecosystems on the sea floor and in the water column, and to affect global geochemical cycles. The importance of understanding these interactions is growing as the potential rises for disturbance from oil and gas extraction, seabed mining and bottom trawling. Here we synthesize current knowledge of the nature, extent and time and space scales of vent and seep interactions with background systems. We document an expanded footprint beyond the site of local venting or seepage with respect to elemental cycling and energy flux, habitat use, trophic interactions, and connectivity. Heat and energy are released, global biogeochemical and elemental cycles are modified, and particulates are transported widely in plumes. Hard and biotic substrates produced at vents and seeps are used by “benthic background” fauna for attachment substrata, shelter, and access to food via grazing or through position in the current, while particulates and fluid fluxes modify planktonic microbial communities. Chemosynthetic production provides nutrition to a host of benthic and planktonic heterotrophic background species through multiple horizontal and vertical transfer pathways assisted by flow, gamete release, animal movements, and succession, but these pathways remain poorly known. Shared species, genera and families indicate that ecological and evolutionary connectivity exists among vents, seeps, organic falls and background communities in the deep sea; the genetic linkages with inactive vents and seeps and background assemblages however, are practically unstudied. The waning of venting or seepage activity generates major transitions in space and time that create links to surrounding ecosystems, often with identifiable ecotones or successional stages. The nature of all these interactions is dependent on water depth, as well as

  3. Identification of Methanogens and Controls on Methane Production in Incubations of Natural Methane Seep Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kevorkian, R.; Lloyd, K. G.

    2014-12-01

    Methane, the most abundant hydrocarbon in Earth's atmosphere, is produced in large quantities in sediments underlying the world's oceans. Very little of this methane makes it to surface sediments as it is consumed by Anaerobic Methanotrophs (ANME's) in consortia with Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB). Less is known about which organisms are responsible for methane production in marine sediments, and whether that production is under thermodynamic control based on hydrogen concentrations. Although ANMEs have been found to be active in methanogenic sediments and incubations, it is currently unknown whether they are able to grow in methanogenic conditions. We demonstrated with bottle incubations of methane seep sediment taken from Cape Lookout Bight, NC, that hydrogen controls methane production. While sulfate was present the hydrogen concentration was maintained at below 2 nM. Only after the depletion of sulfate allowed hydrogen concentrations to rise above 5 nM did we see production of methane. The same sediments when spiked with methane gas demonstrated its complete removal while sulfate reduction occurred. Quantitative PCR shows that ANME-2 and ANME-1 increase in 16S copy number as methane increases. Total direct cell counts demonstrate a decline in cells with the decrease of sulfate until a recovery corresponding with production of methane. Our results strongly suggest that hydrogen concentrations influence what metabolic processes can occur in marine sediments, and that ANME-1 and ANME-2 are able to grow on the energy provided from methane production.

  4. Methane seeps along boundaries of receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, K. M.; Anthony, P. M.; Grosse, G.; Chanton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers, ice sheets, and permafrost form a 'cryosphere cap' that traps methane formed in the subsurface, restricting its flow to the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Despite model predictions that glacier melt and degradation of permafrost open conduits for methane's escape, there has been a paucity of field evidence for 'subcap' methane seepage to the atmosphere as a direct result of cryosphere disintegration in the terrestrial Arctic. Here, we document for the first time the release of sub-cryosphere methane to lakes, rivers, shallow marine fjords and the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of receding glaciers and permafrost thaw in Alaska and Greenland. Through aerial and ground surveys of 6,700 lakes and fjords in Alaska we mapped >150,000 gas seeps identified as bubbling-induced open holes in seasonal ice. Using gas flow rates, stable isotopes, and radiocarbon dating, we distinguished recent ecological methane from subcap, geologic methane. Subcap seeps had anomalously high bubbling rates, 14C-depletion, and stable isotope values matching microbial sources associated with sedimentary deposits and coal beds as well as thermogenic methane accumulations in Alaska. Since differential ice loading can overpressurize fluid reservoirs and cause sediment fracturing beneath ice sheets, and since the loss of glacial ice reduces normal stress on ground, opens joints, and activates faults and fissures, thereby increasing permeability of the crust to fluid flow, we hypothesized that in the previously glaciated region of Southcentral Alaska, where glacial wastage continues presently, subcap seeps should be disproportionately associated with neotectonic faults. Geospatial analysis confirmed that subcap seep sites were associated with faults within a 7 km belt from the modern glacial extent. The majority of seeps were located in areas affected by seismicity from isostatic rebound associated with deglaciation following the Little Ice Age (LIA; ca

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Constraining silica diagenesis in methane-seep deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  9. Water Column Methanotrophy Fueled by Methane from the Hudson Canyon Seep Field, US Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, M. C.; Chan, E. W.; Kellermann, M. Y.; Arrington, E.; Valentine, D. L.; Kessler, J. D.

    2014-12-01

    Several areas of methane seepage have recently been discovered along the US Atlantic margin, including parts of Hudson Canyon, offshore New York and New Jersey. However, little is known about the magnitude of seepage, the fate of this methane once it enters the water column, or the bacteria that may consume it. In July 2014, water column methane concentrations were measured throughout Hudson Canyon and methane oxidation tracked using a 13C-methane tracer. Samples for microbial community composition analysis were collected throughout the water column in areas with and without active seepage. 16S rRNA gene sequencing will be used to compare microbial communities from different depths, locations, and in samples with low and high methane concentrations and oxidation rates. DNA stable isotope probing experiments with 13C-labeled methane were also conducted and will be used to detect active water column methanotrophs from seep and non-seep sites. In addition, mesocosm experiments were used for high resolution measurements of methane oxidation, with samples for microbial community composition taken at several time points. 16S rRNA gene sequencing will be used to track changes in methanotrophic bacteria and the overall microbial community as methane was consumed.

  10. Multiple archaeal groups mediate methane oxidation in anoxic cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Orphan, Victoria J; House, Christopher H; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; McKeegan, Kevin D; DeLong, Edward F

    2002-05-28

    No microorganism capable of anaerobic growth on methane as the sole carbon source has yet been cultivated. Consequently, information about these microbes has been inferred from geochemical and microbiological observations of field samples. Stable isotope analysis of lipid biomarkers and rRNA gene surveys have implicated specific microbes in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here we use combined fluorescent in situ hybridization and secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses, to identify anaerobic methanotrophs in marine methane-seep sediments. The results provide direct evidence for the involvement of at least two distinct archaeal groups (ANME-1 and ANME-2) in AOM at methane seeps. Although both archaeal groups often occurred in direct physical association with bacteria, they also were observed as monospecific aggregations and as single cells. The ANME-1 archaeal group more frequently existed in monospecific aggregations or as single filaments, apparently without a bacterial partner. Bacteria associated with both archaeal groups included, but were not limited to, close relatives of Desulfosarcina species. Isotopic analyses suggest that monospecific archaeal cells and cell aggregates were active in anaerobic methanotrophy, as were multispecies consortia. In total, the data indicate that the microbial species and biotic interactions mediating anaerobic methanotrophy are diverse and complex. The data also clearly show that highly structured ANME-2/Desulfosarcina consortia are not the sole entities responsible for AOM at marine methane seeps. Other microbial groups, including ANME-1 archaea, are capable of anaerobic methane consumption either as single cells, in monospecific aggregates, or in multispecies consortia.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    A cold methane seep was discovered in a forearc sediment basin off the island Sumatra, exhibiting a methane-seep adapted microbial community. A defined seep center of activity, like in mud volcanoes, was not discovered. The seep area was rather characterized by a patchy distribution of active spots. The relevance of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was reflected by (13)C-depleted isotopic signatures of dissolved inorganic carbon. The anaerobic conversion of methane to CO(2) was confirmed in a (13)C-labeling experiment. Methane fueled a vital microbial community with cell numbers of up to 4 × 10(9) cells cm(-3) sediment. The microbial community was analyzed by total cell counting, catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). CARD-FISH cell counts and qPCR measurements showed the presence of Bacteria and Archaea, but only small numbers of Eukarya. The archaeal community comprised largely members of ANME-1 and ANME-2. Furthermore, members of the Crenarchaeota were frequently detected in the DGGE analysis. Three major bacterial phylogenetic groups (δ-Proteobacteria, candidate division OP9, and Anaerolineaceae) were abundant across the study area. Several of these sequences were closely related to the genus Desulfococcus of the family Desulfobacteraceae, which is in good agreement with previously described AOM sites. In conclusion, the majority of the microbial community at the seep consisted of AOM-related microorganisms, while the relevance of higher hydrocarbons as microbial substrates was negligible.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A biogeographic network reveals evolutionary links between deep-sea hydrothermal vent and methane seep faunas.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2016-12-14

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps are inhabited by members of the same higher taxa but share few species, thus scientists have long sought habitats or regions of intermediate character that would facilitate connectivity among these habitats. Here, a network analysis of 79 vent, seep, and whale-fall communities with 121 genus-level taxa identified sedimented vents as a main intermediate link between the two types of ecosystems. Sedimented vents share hot, metal-rich fluids with mid-ocean ridge-type vents and soft sediment with seeps. Such sites are common along the active continental margins of the Pacific Ocean, facilitating connectivity among vent/seep faunas in this region. By contrast, sedimented vents are rare in the Atlantic Ocean, offering an explanation for the greater distinction between its vent and seep faunas compared with those of the Pacific Ocean. The distribution of subduction zones and associated back-arc basins, where sedimented vents are common, likely plays a major role in the evolutionary and biogeographic connectivity of vent and seep faunas. The hypothesis that decaying whale carcasses are dispersal stepping stones linking these environments is not supported.

  16. Atmospheric methane emissions coupled to a CO2-sink at an Arctic shelf seep area offshore NW Svalbard: Introducing the "Seep-Fertilization Hypothesis"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, Jens; Pohlman, John; Silyakova, Anna; Mienert, Jürgen; Ruppel, Carolyn; Casso, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Documented warming of intermediate waters by ~1C over the past 30 years along the western Svalbard margin has been suggested as a driver of climate-change induced dissociation of marine methane hydrate. However, recent evidence suggests methane release has been occurring for thousands of years near the upper limit of methane hydrate stability zone and that seasonal changes in bottom water temperature may be more important than longer-term warming of intermediate waters. However, the existence of hydrates at the upper limit of the gas hydrate zone has been based on modeling results only and gas hydrates have not been sampled successfully. Yearly studies, undertaken during RV Helmer Hanssen cruises as part of CAGE have shown that no significant amount of methane reaches the upper water column and is being released towards the atmosphere from this ca. 400m deep sites. The same is true for a very active seep area at the shelf break in 240m water depth where detailed hydroacoustic studies show fluctuating fluxes between 71 and 114 T/yr in total. Here we focus on studies conducted with the USGS Gas Analysis System (USGS-GAS). Continuous surface water methane and carbon dioxide concentrations and associated data are used to calculate sea-air fluxes with this cavity ring-down spectrometer-based analytical system. Only the shallow seep site (~90 m water depth) had appreciable methane in surface waters. We conducted an exhaustive survey of this site, mapping the full extent of the surface methane plume. To provide three-dimensional constraints, we acquired 65 vertical dissolved methane profiles to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the subsurface methane plume. The USGS-GAS data show that methane beyond the 'normal' background fluxes of ~1 µmol m-2 d-1 is elevated at the intensively bubbling shallow seep site (max. 35 µmol m-2 d-1) and near the shallow coastal zone where the fluxes over a large area reach 25 µmol m-2 d-1. Comparing coastal and seep fluxes on

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-22

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  2. Micritic Peloids: Fossil Record of Biofilms Associated With Methane Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, R. S.

    2006-12-01

    Biofilms of archaea and bacteria are found where reduced hydrocarbons seep upward to the seafloor. The process of oxidizing the methane coupled with the reduction of seawater sulfate increases the alkalinity in the localized area and promotes the precipitation of carbonate minerals. The biofilms and carbonate deposits are ubiquitous in the modern oceans and the geologic record of hydrocarbon seeps goes back well into the Paleozoic. However, the paleontologic record of the microbes responsible for the production of the carbonates is poorly constrained. The few examples comprise casts and molds of filaments and cocci, framboidal pyrite of assumed biological affinity, organic biomarkers (lipids, hopanoids), and microbialite. Volumetrically, these fossils are insignificant compared with the total bulk of seep carbonate. Research into Mesozoic and Cenozoic seep carbonates from California, Oregon, Colorado, and South Dakota has yielded a new recognition for ancient biofilms. Micrite—the most common lithotype of seeps globally—exists as both peloids and groundmass. Common peloids of micrite average 0.5 mm in diameter (range from 0.1 to 0.7 mm), incorporate some siliciclastic material, and have distinct margins. Opaque minerals, likely sulfides, occur throughout the peloids. The matrix surrounding the peloids is a similar micrite, though in some samples, the peloids are surrounded by cement. Diagenesis leads to blurring of the peloid margins until a homogenous micrite groundmass with scattered sulfide and siliciclastic grains results. Use of a white card helps to outline original peloids. Increased levels of diagenesis can lead to crystal coarsening and obliterate original textures. These peloids are likely fecal pellets. A second population of peloids occur that are smaller (0.05 to 0.10 mm), darker in color, and with more diffuse boundaries. There are generally no siliciclastic grains intermixed with these peloids. These peloids occur in millimeter-scale clusters and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    flow path. The Elba aragonites, showed a carbon isotope signature of -14.9o vs. VPDB, mirroring the isotopic signature of the pore-water DIC at this sediment depth. Similar δ13C-compositions of -15.3o were obtained for the discharging methane, giving room for discussion about the origin of the gas. We suppose that AOM is the main driver for aragonite precipitation in the permeable sands at the shallow-water seeps because of (1) very low organic carbon contents (0.5 mg/g) in the sediment, (2) 13C enrichment in the methane gas, (3) elevated DIC concentrations in the pore-water, and (4) AOM in vitro activity. Thus, aragonite precipitates of the seep site near Elba may represent a unique system to study ongoing abiogenic seep carbonate formation at shallow depth as a modern analogue for seep carbonates occurring in the geological record.

  5. 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.

  6. Recognition of fossil prokaryotes in Cretaceous methane seep carbonates: relevance to astrobiology.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Russell Scott

    2004-01-01

    Recovery of prokaryotic body fossils from methane seep carbonates such as those of the Cretaceous Tepee Buttes of Colorado serves as a model for sampling in future astrobiological missions. The fossils, found primarily at the interface between paragenetic fabrics, suggest a sharp physicochemical gradient. Evidence of these microbial fossils occurs at a variety of scales. In the field, microbialite is found as meter-scale thrombolitic zones and centimeterscale stromatolitic crusts lining voids inferred to be the sites of ancient methane seepage. Petrographic fabrics suggestive of microbialite include indistinct peloids (0.1-1 mm in diameter) and crusts of authigenic micrite. Primary evidence obtained from scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy analysis comprises pinnate bacteria (0.3 microm in diameter and 1-1.5 microm long), sheaths (2-4 microm in diameter), coccoids (0.5-1 microm in diameter, up to 40 per cluster), and the presence of framboidal pyrite (6-8 microm in diameter). These results are in agreement with studies of other ancient and modern seeps and suggest a morphological conservatism of microbial form that can be incorporated into studies of extraterrestrial environments where it is presumed that reduced gases drive the metabolic activity of prokaryote-like organisms. Target areas that could serve as conduits for reduced gas seeps include tectonic or impact-driven faulting, zones of cryosphere melting, or other disruptions in crustal coherence. Ancient seeps, preserved as localized anomalous evaporite deposits in the sedimentary cover, could be detected by remote sensing.

  7. Recognition of Fossil Prokaryotes in Cretaceous Methane Seep Carbonates: Relevance to Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, Russell Scott

    2004-12-01

    Recovery of prokaryotic body fossils from methane seep carbonates such as those of the Cretaceous Tepee Buttes of Colorado serves as a model for sampling in future astrobiological missions. The fossils, found primarily at the interface between paragenetic fabrics, suggest a sharp physicochemical gradient. Evidence of these microbial fossils occurs at a variety of scales. In the field, microbialite is found as meter-scale thrombolitic zones and centimeterscale stromatolitic crusts lining voids inferred to be the sites of ancient methane seepage. Petrographic fabrics suggestive of microbialite include indistinct peloids (0.1-1 mm in diameter) and crusts of authigenic micrite. Primary evidence obtained from scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy analysis comprises pinnate bacteria (0.3 µm in diameter and 1-1.5 µm long), sheaths (2-4 µm in diameter), coccoids (0.5-1 µm in diameter, up to 40 per cluster), and the presence of framboidal pyrite (6-8 µm in diameter). These results are in agreement with studies of other ancient and modern seeps and suggest a morphological conservatism of microbial form that can be incorporated into studies of extraterrestrial environments where it is presumed that reduced gases drive the metabolic activity of prokaryote-like organisms. Target areas that could serve as conduits for reduced gas seeps include tectonic or impact-driven faulting, zones of cryosphere melting, or other disruptions in crustal coherence. Ancient seeps, preserved as localized anomalous evaporite deposits in the sedimentary cover, could be detected by remote sensing. Astrobiology 4, 438-449.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wiguna, Taufan Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiguna, Taufan; Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Anthony, Peter; Grosse, Guido; Chanton, Jeffrey

    2012-06-01

    Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as coal beds and natural gas deposits. In the Arctic, permafrost and glaciers form a `cryosphere cap' that traps gas leaking from these reservoirs, restricting flow to the atmosphere. With a carbon store of over 1,200Pg, the Arctic geologic methane reservoir is large when compared with the global atmospheric methane pool of around 5Pg. As such, the Earth's climate is sensitive to the escape of even a small fraction of this methane. Here, we document the release of 14C-depleted methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland, using aerial and ground surface survey data and in situ measurements of methane isotopes and flux. We mapped over 150,000 seeps, which we identified as bubble-induced open holes in lake ice. These seeps were characterized by anomalously high methane fluxes, and in Alaska by ancient radiocarbon ages and stable isotope values that matched those of coal bed and thermogenic methane accumulations. Younger seeps in Greenland were associated with zones of ice-sheet retreat since the Little Ice Age. Our findings imply that in a warming climate, disintegration of permafrost, glaciers and parts of the polar ice sheets could facilitate the transient expulsion of 14C-depleted methane trapped by the cryosphere cap.

  15. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna Inhabiting Authigenic Carbonate at Costa Rica Methane Seeps

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Lisa A.; Mendoza, Guillermo F.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Gonzalez, Jennifer P.; Jellison, Brittany; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew R.; Waren, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Carbonate communities: The activity of anaerobic methane oxidizing microbes facilitates precipitation of vast quantities of authigenic carbonate at methane seeps. Here we demonstrate the significant role of carbonate rocks in promoting diversity by providing unique habitat and food resources for macrofaunal assemblages at seeps on the Costa Rica margin (400–1850 m). The attendant fauna is surprisingly similar to that in rocky intertidal shores, with numerous grazing gastropods (limpets and snails) as dominant taxa. However, the community feeds upon seep-associated microbes. Macrofaunal density, composition, and diversity on carbonates vary as a function of seepage activity, biogenic habitat and location. The macrofaunal community of carbonates at non-seeping (inactive) sites is strongly related to the hydrography (depth, temperature, O2) of overlying water, whereas the fauna at sites of active seepage is not. Densities are highest on active rocks from tubeworm bushes and mussel beds, particularly at the Mound 12 location (1000 m). Species diversity is higher on rocks exposed to active seepage, with multiple species of gastropods and polychaetes dominant, while crustaceans, cnidarians, and ophiuroids were better represented on rocks at inactive sites. Macro-infauna (larger than 0.3 mm) from tube cores taken in nearby seep sediments at comparable depths exhibited densities similar to those on carbonate rocks, but had lower diversity and different taxonomic composition. Seep sediments had higher densities of ampharetid, dorvilleid, hesionid, cirratulid and lacydoniid polychaetes, whereas carbonates had more gastropods, as well as syllid, chrysopetalid and polynoid polychaetes. Stable isotope signatures and metrics: The stable isotope signatures of carbonates were heterogeneous, as were the food sources and nutrition used by the animals. Carbonate δ13Cinorg values (mean = -26.98‰) ranged from -53.3‰ to +10.0‰, and were significantly heavier than carbonate δ13

  16. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna Inhabiting Authigenic Carbonate at Costa Rica Methane Seeps.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Mendoza, Guillermo F; Grupe, Benjamin M; Gonzalez, Jennifer P; Jellison, Brittany; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew R; Waren, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Carbonate communities: The activity of anaerobic methane oxidizing microbes facilitates precipitation of vast quantities of authigenic carbonate at methane seeps. Here we demonstrate the significant role of carbonate rocks in promoting diversity by providing unique habitat and food resources for macrofaunal assemblages at seeps on the Costa Rica margin (400-1850 m). The attendant fauna is surprisingly similar to that in rocky intertidal shores, with numerous grazing gastropods (limpets and snails) as dominant taxa. However, the community feeds upon seep-associated microbes. Macrofaunal density, composition, and diversity on carbonates vary as a function of seepage activity, biogenic habitat and location. The macrofaunal community of carbonates at non-seeping (inactive) sites is strongly related to the hydrography (depth, temperature, O2) of overlying water, whereas the fauna at sites of active seepage is not. Densities are highest on active rocks from tubeworm bushes and mussel beds, particularly at the Mound 12 location (1000 m). Species diversity is higher on rocks exposed to active seepage, with multiple species of gastropods and polychaetes dominant, while crustaceans, cnidarians, and ophiuroids were better represented on rocks at inactive sites. Macro-infauna (larger than 0.3 mm) from tube cores taken in nearby seep sediments at comparable depths exhibited densities similar to those on carbonate rocks, but had lower diversity and different taxonomic composition. Seep sediments had higher densities of ampharetid, dorvilleid, hesionid, cirratulid and lacydoniid polychaetes, whereas carbonates had more gastropods, as well as syllid, chrysopetalid and polynoid polychaetes. Stable isotope signatures and metrics: The stable isotope signatures of carbonates were heterogeneous, as were the food sources and nutrition used by the animals. Carbonate δ13Cinorg values (mean = -26.98‰) ranged from -53.3‰ to +10.0‰, and were significantly heavier than carbonate δ13

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

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T.

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Methane-Oxidizing Bacteria Shunt Carbon to Microbial Mats at a Marine Hydrocarbon Seep

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Blair G.; Ding, Haibing; Bagby, Sarah C.; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Redmond, Molly C.; Andersen, Gary L.; Valentine, David L.

    2017-01-01

    The marine subsurface is a reservoir of the greenhouse gas methane. While microorganisms living in water column and seafloor ecosystems are known to be a major sink limiting net methane transport from the marine subsurface to the atmosphere, few studies have assessed the flow of methane-derived carbon through the benthic mat communities that line the seafloor on the continental shelf where methane is emitted. We analyzed the abundance and isotope composition of fatty acids in microbial mats grown in the shallow Coal Oil Point seep field off Santa Barbara, CA, USA, where seep gas is a mixture of methane and CO2. We further used stable isotope probing (SIP) to track methane incorporation into mat biomass. We found evidence that multiple allochthonous substrates supported the rich growth of these mats, with notable contributions from bacterial methanotrophs and sulfur-oxidizers as well as eukaryotic phototrophs. Fatty acids characteristic of methanotrophs were shown to be abundant and 13C-enriched in SIP samples, and DNA-SIP identified members of the methanotrophic family Methylococcaceae as major 13CH4 consumers. Members of Sulfuricurvaceae, Sulfurospirillaceae, and Sulfurovumaceae are implicated in fixation of seep CO2. The mats’ autotrophs support a diverse assemblage of co-occurring bacteria and protozoa, with Methylophaga as key consumers of methane-derived organic matter. This study identifies the taxa contributing to the flow of seep-derived carbon through microbial mat biomass, revealing the bacterial and eukaryotic diversity of these remarkable ecosystems. PMID:28289403

  2. Subseafloor to Sea-Air Interface Characterization of Methane Dynamics in the northern US Atlantic Margin Seep Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruppel, C. D.; Kluesner, J.; Danforth, W. W.; Casso, M.; Pohlman, J.

    2015-12-01

    Since the discovery of hundreds of northern US Atlantic margin (USAM) cold seeps in 2012 and 2013, the USGS Gas Hydrates Project has undertaken intensive studies of the along-margin gas hydrate/free gas distribution, the plumbing systems sustaining seeps, seafloor gas emissions, and sea-air methane flux. Interest in the USAM is motivated both by climate change (i.e., documented ocean warming may contribute to seepage) and energy resource (i.e., the amount of gas-in-place in hydrates on the USAM is about the same as that in the northern Gulf of Mexico) issues. USGS-led field efforts have included an April 2015 study to acquire high-resolution multichannel seismic data, coincident split-beam water column methane plume imaging data, and real-time sea-air methane flux measurements between Wilmington and Norfolk Canyons and a September 2015 cruise (with OSU, UCLA, and Geomar) to collect piston cores, multicores, heat flow data, subbottom imagery, CTDs, and coincident water column imagery from Block Canyon to the Currituck Slide. In April 2015, we discovered methane seeps not included in the previously-published database, but found that some known seeps were not active. New high-resolution multi-channel seismic data revealed clear differences between the deep gas distribution in mid-Atlantic upper slope zones that are replete with (up to 240 sites) and lacking in seeps. Based on sea-air flux measurements, even shallow-water outer shelf (~125 m water depth) seeps and a 900-m-high methane plume originating on the mid-slope do not contribute methane to the atmosphere. Using thermistors placed on piston core outriggers, we will in September 2015 acquire thermal data to identify zones of high fluid advection and to constrain background geotherms in areas where heat flow has never been measured. During that same cruise, we will collect a series of piston cores across the no-hydrate/hydrate transition on the upper slope to constrain fluid and gas dynamics in this zone.

  3. Methane seeps along boundaries of arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anthony, P.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Grosse, G.; Chanton, J.

    2014-12-01

    Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs. In the Arctic, impermeable icy permafrost and glacial overburden form a 'cryosphere cap' that traps gas leaking from these reservoirs, restricting flow to the atmosphere. We document the release of geologic methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska. Through aerial and ground surveys we mapped >150,000 seeps identified as bubbling-induced open holes in lake ice. Subcap methane seeps had anomalously high fluxes, 14C-depletion, and stable isotope values matching known coalbed and thermogenic methane accumulations in Alaska. Additionally, we observed younger subcap methane seeps in Greenland that were associated with ice-sheet retreat since the Little Ice Age. These correlations suggest that in a warming climate, continued disintegration of permafrost, glaciers, and parts of the polar ice sheets will relax pressure on subsurface seals and further open conduits, allowing a transient expulsion of geologic methane currently trapped by the cryosphere cap.

  4. Constraining spatial variability of methane ebullition seeps in thermokarst lakes using point process models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Anthony, Peter

    2013-07-01

    is an important but highly heterogeneous mode of methane emission in lakes. Variability in both spatial distribution and temporal flux creates difficulty in constraining uncertainties in whole lake emission estimates. Analysis of short- and long-term flux measurements on 162 ebullition seeps in 24 panarctic lakes confirmed that seep classes, identified a priori according to bubble patterns in winter lake ice, have distinct associated fluxes irrespective of lake or region. To understand the drivers of ebullition's spatial variability and uncover ways to better quantify ebullition in field work, we combined point-process modeling with field measurements of 2679 GPS-marked and classified ebullition seeps in three Alaskan thermokarst (thaw) lakes that varied by region, permafrost type, and seep distribution. Spatial analysis of field data revealed that seeps cluster above thawed permafrost soil mounds in lake bottoms. Seep density and clustering, determined from field observations, were used as parameters in a Poisson cluster process model to simulate seeps across entire lake surfaces. Sampling results indicated that (1) applying seep-class mean flux values to unmeasured seeps counted on ice-bubble surveys does not compromise accuracy of whole lake flux estimates; (2) three distributed 50 m2 ice-bubble survey transects more accurately estimate mean lake ebullition than 17 dispersed 0.2 m2 bubble traps; and (3) the uncertainty associated with whole lake mean ebullition estimated by lake-ice survey transects is inversely related to seep density. Findings suggest that transect field data collected on a large number of widely distributed lakes can be combined to provide a well-constrained, bottom-up estimate of regional lake ebullition.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Evidence of active methanogen communities in shallow sediments of the sonora margin cold seeps.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prouty, N. G.; Sahy, D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Roark, E. B.; Condon, D.; Brooke, S.; Ross, S. W.; Demopoulos, A. W. J.

    2016-09-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average δ13C signature of - 47 ‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment-water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon (δ13C and Δ13C) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U-Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7 ± 0.6 ka to 15.7 ± 1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0 ± 0.7 ka to 3.3 ± 1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that the

  12. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Sahy, Diana; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Roark, E. Brendan; Condon, Dan; Brooke, Sandra; Ross, Steve W.; Demopoulos, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus   sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average  signature of −47‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment–water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon ( and ) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus   sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U–Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7±0.6 ka to 15.7±1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0±0.7 ka to 3.3±1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that

  13. 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.

  14. Post-depositional alteration of benthic foraminifera in a methane seep environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Andrea; Cremiere, Antoine; Panieri, Giuliana; Lepland, Aivo; Knies, Jochen

    2016-04-01

    Benthic foraminifera tests from the sediment cores taken from the Vestnesa Ridge, one of the northernmost known marine methane hydrate reservoir, were studied for their visual appearance, mineral and stable carbon isotopic composition in order to explore their indicator potential in a methane seep environment. The Vestnesa Ridge is a sediment drift located in 1200m water depth at 79°N at Svalbard's northwestern continental margin. Observations of gas flares originating from pockmarks that are aligned along the crest of the ridge show ongoing methane emission. A distinct sediment layer containing a fossilized assemblage of chemosynthetic bivalves indicates methane seepage activity at least in the late Pleistocene. We have examined the state of preservation and geochemical characteristics of foraminifera tests from this bivalve shell horizon. Tests of the benthic foraminifera species Cassidulina neoteretis display a variable degree of post-depositional alteration and formation of diagenetic carbonate overgrowths on calcitic primary tests. Using binoculars, scanning electron microscope imagery and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, we distinguish visually and mineralogically different diagenetic phases on the external and internal test surfaces. Pristine and smooth test surfaces act as nucleation templates for precipitation of authigenic Mg-calcite crystals causing complete filling of chambers and encrustation of the external test surfaces. The presence of Mg-calcite indicates the overgrowth is precipitating in sulfate-poor sediments. In addition to benthic foraminifera, we have studied the mineralogical and stable carbon and oxygen isotope composition of authigenic carbonate nodules found in the bivalve shell horizon. The mineralogical nature of the carbonates and overgrowths on the foraminifera tests were found to be identical. The δ13C value of the carbonate nodules is as low as -32.3‰ indicating their methane-derived origin. Authigenic carbonate coated

  15. On the relationship between methane production and oxidation by anaerobic methanotrophic communities from cold seeps of the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Orcutt, Beth; Samarkin, Vladimir; Boetius, Antje; Joye, Samantha

    2008-05-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in the marine subsurface is a significant sink for methane in the environment, yet our understanding of its regulation and dynamics is still incomplete. Relatively few groups of microorganisms consume methane in subsurface environments--namely the anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME clades 1, 2 and 3), which are phylogenetically related to methanogenic archaea. Anaerobic oxidation of methane presumably proceeds via a 'reversed' methanogenic pathway. The ANME are generally associated with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and sulfate is the only documented final electron acceptor for AOM in marine sediments. Our comparative study explored the coupling of AOM with sulfate reduction (SR) and methane generation (MOG) in microbial communities from Gulf of Mexico cold seep sediments that were naturally enriched with methane and other hydrocarbons. These sediments harbour a variety of ANME clades and SRB. Following enrichment under an atmosphere of methane, AOM fuelled 50-100% of SR, even in sediment slurries containing petroleum-associated hydrocarbons and organic matter. In the presence of methane and sulfate, the investigated microbial communities produce methane at a small fraction ( approximately 10%) of the AOM rate. Anaerobic oxidation of methane, MOG and SR rates decreased significantly with decreasing concentration of methane, and in the presence of the SR inhibitor molybdate, but reacted differently to the MOG inhibitor 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES). The addition of acetate, a possible breakdown product of petroleum in situ and a potential intermediate in AOM/SR syntrophy, did not suppress AOM activity; rather acetate stimulated microbial activity in oily sediment slurries.

  16. Constraints on Methane and Methane Hydrate Distribution at a Gulf of Mexico Seep Using Waveform Inversion of Seismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, W.; Knapp, C. C.; Knapp, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    The seafloor mound at the Gulf of Mexico lease block MC (Mississippi Canyon) 118 is a known active seep lying directly above a salt dome. The site lies at 850-900 m water depth - within the methane hydrate stability zone, but there is no obvious BSR or other indicator of large quantities of gas or gas hydrate. Air-gun seismic data acquired with a 4180 cu in source and 7200 m, 288-channel hydrophone array, exhibit several bright, but laterally-limited reflections in the ~500 m sediment column above the salt. The bright spots are largely conformable with the strata, and there is no apparent pull-up or push-down associated with the bright spots, suggesting they are thin. There are also no significant frequency changes below the bright spots. We interpret the bright spots to be caused by gas, gas hydrate, or carbonate, or combinations of the three. The long offsets used to acquire these data allow for the analysis of refracted arrivals that not only provide accurate P-wave velocities, but also provide a background velocity profile for full waveform inversion. Preliminary results from the waveform inversion confirm at least some of the bright spots are free gas, constraining the position of the gas hydrate stability zone, but very thin (sub-wavelength) layers of carbonate and hydrate may also be present. Knowing the exact composition of the material responsible for the bright spots will better constrain the linkage between the salt tectonics (with implied fault activity) and seep activity, as well as the longevity of the hydrate system at MC 118.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-07

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2015-04-07

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  3. Increased methane emissions from deep osmotic and buoyant convection beneath submarine seeps as climate warms.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Silvana S S; Cartwright, Julyan H E

    2016-10-27

    High speeds have been measured at seep and mud-volcano sites expelling methane-rich fluids from the seabed. Thermal or solute-driven convection alone cannot explain such high velocities in low-permeability sediments. Here we demonstrate that in addition to buoyancy, osmotic effects generated by the adsorption of methane onto the sediments can create large overpressures, capable of recirculating seawater from the seafloor to depth in the sediment layer, then expelling it upwards at rates of up to a few hundreds of metres per year. In the presence of global warming, such deep recirculation of seawater can accelerate the melting of methane hydrates at depth from timescales of millennia to just decades, and can drastically increase the rate of release of methane into the hydrosphere and perhaps the atmosphere.

  4. Increased methane emissions from deep osmotic and buoyant convection beneath submarine seeps as climate warms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, Silvana S. S.; Cartwright, Julyan H. E.

    2016-10-01

    High speeds have been measured at seep and mud-volcano sites expelling methane-rich fluids from the seabed. Thermal or solute-driven convection alone cannot explain such high velocities in low-permeability sediments. Here we demonstrate that in addition to buoyancy, osmotic effects generated by the adsorption of methane onto the sediments can create large overpressures, capable of recirculating seawater from the seafloor to depth in the sediment layer, then expelling it upwards at rates of up to a few hundreds of metres per year. In the presence of global warming, such deep recirculation of seawater can accelerate the melting of methane hydrates at depth from timescales of millennia to just decades, and can drastically increase the rate of release of methane into the hydrosphere and perhaps the atmosphere.

  5. Increased methane emissions from deep osmotic and buoyant convection beneath submarine seeps as climate warms

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Silvana S. S.; Cartwright, Julyan H. E.

    2016-01-01

    High speeds have been measured at seep and mud-volcano sites expelling methane-rich fluids from the seabed. Thermal or solute-driven convection alone cannot explain such high velocities in low-permeability sediments. Here we demonstrate that in addition to buoyancy, osmotic effects generated by the adsorption of methane onto the sediments can create large overpressures, capable of recirculating seawater from the seafloor to depth in the sediment layer, then expelling it upwards at rates of up to a few hundreds of metres per year. In the presence of global warming, such deep recirculation of seawater can accelerate the melting of methane hydrates at depth from timescales of millennia to just decades, and can drastically increase the rate of release of methane into the hydrosphere and perhaps the atmosphere. PMID:27807343

  6. HYFLUX: Satellite Exploration of Natural Hydrocarbon Seeps and Discovery of a Methane Hydrate Mound at GC600

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Pineda, O. G.; MacDonald, I. R.; Shedd, W.; Zimmer, B.

    2009-12-01

    Analysis of natural hydrocarbon seeps is important to improve our understanding of methane flux from deeper sediments to the water column. In order to quantify natural hydrocarbon seep formations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, a set of 686 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was analyzed using the Texture Classifying Neural Network Algorithm (TCNNA), which processes SAR data to delineate oil slicks. This analysis resulted in a characterization of 396 natural seep sites distributed in the northern GOM. Within these sites, a maximum of 1248 individual vents where identified. Oil reaching the sea-surface is deflected from its source during transit through the water column. This presentation describes a method for estimating locations of active oil vents based on repeated slick detection in SAR. One of the most active seep formations was detected in MMS lease block GC600. A total of 82 SAR scenes (collected by RADARSAT-1 from 1995 to 2007) was processed covering this region. Using TCNNA the area covered by each slick was computed and Oil Slicks Origins (OSO) were selected as single points within detected oil slicks. At this site, oil slick signatures had lengths up to 74 km and up to 27 km^2 of area. Using SAR and TCNNA, four active vents were identified in this seep formation. The geostatistical mean centroid among all detections indicated a location along a ridge-line at ~1200m. Sea truth observations with an ROV, confirmed that the estimated location of vents had a maximum offset of ~30 m from their actual locations on the seafloor. At the largest vent, a 3-m high, 12-m long mound of oil-saturated gas hydrate was observed. The outcrop contained thousands of ice worms and numerous semi-rigid chimneys from where oily bubbles were escaping in a continuous stream. Three additional vents were found along the ridge; these had lower apparent flow, but were also plugged with gas hydrate mounds. These results support use of SAR data for precise delineation of active seep

  7. Ophiolites and Gas Seeps as Terrestrial Analogs for Methane Origin and Degassing on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoell, M.; Etiope, G.

    2010-12-01

    If confirmed, the recently-discovered methane (CH4) plume on Mars, in the Northern Summer of 2003, would reflect an emission of ~ 19 x103 tonnes y-1 and possibly even ~ 57 x104 tonnes y-1. Serpentinization in ophiolitic rocks is one of the main processes that are inferred for the origin of methane on Mars. Ophiolites or, hydrated mineral-bearing rocks in general on Earth could serve as analogs. So far, however, most of these “analog” studies focused on mineralogical and microbiological processes associated to ophiolitic environments. Analog studies specifically dealing with methane emissions to the Earth’s surface are missing. One of the observations of Mars methane is the transient release of large amounts of methane in a relatively short period, probably a few months. This would imply the existence of a mechanism of gas accumulations in the subsurface and episodic release to the surface. Such release mechanisms may be similar to certain weak and intermittent gas seeps or small mud volcanoes on Earth, rather than to steady, continuous degassing of methane from mineral reactions. Currently, it is not clear whether low-temperature serpentinization can be an abiogenic methane “kitchen” where methane might be generated fast enough to sustain vigorous and long-lasting seeps. In cases of fluxes of the order of several tonnes per year, a pressurized accumulation must exist. In case of lower fluxes, probably gas accumulations are not necessary and low temperature serpentinization can be fast enough to charge episodic seeps. These concepts are fundamental to our understanding of potential sources for the martian methane, and they need to be studied with the support of analog seepage data on Earth. Two examples are presented: (1) a case of terrestrial abiogenic CH4 seepage from ophiolitic rocks at the “eternal fires of Chimaera” in Turkey. Estimated flux data from the abiogenic gas seep of Chimaera in Turkey (>20 tonnes of CH4 per year) suggest a great

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. Observation of alive benthos under a sharp hypoxia and high H2S concentrations inside the microbial mats (methane seeps in the shallows of Black Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulin, M.

    2009-04-01

    In 2008 experimental as well as in situ investigations were implemented for studying of vitality and locomotion activity of the micro- and meiobenthos associated with the gas seeps. Research area: near-shore shallow field with the gas seeps, southern sector of Tarkhankut Cape, NW Crimea Peninsula, Black Sea. Cuvette LDO-oxymeter coupled with other sensors and also life-time diagnostics of the organisms including microscopic video filming were used for this case. Concentrations of dissolved methane in the pore space of microbial mats were varied from 27 to 1076 µL/cm3 (220 on average). Content of organic matter of the uppermost seep mats was approximately in 50 times higher than at the background stations. Probably, such enrichments is attractive for benthic organisms. At the same time, H2S-pollution of seep microbiotope environment is detected as critical (Eh = -400/-460 mV). Near to the gas seeps alive and active Polychaeta, Nematoda, Harpacticoida and Ciliata were found. It is important, that anoxia-adapted organisms of the last two groups were quickly died at contact with air.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Cruise summary for P-1-02-SC: acoustic imaging of natural oil and gas seeps and measurement of dissolved methane concentration in coastal waters near Pt. Conception, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, T.D.; Dougherty, Jennifer A.; Ussler, William; Paull, Charles K.

    2003-01-01

    Water-column acoustic anomalies and methane concentrations were documented in coastal waters surrounding Pt. Conception, California, in March 2002. The purpose of this survey, supported by the Minerals Management Service, was to locate active oil and gas seeps in the area as a background for further studies to determine hydrocarbon flux, mainly oil, into the environment. Objectives in reaching this goal are to (1) document the locations and geochemically fingerprint natural seeps within the offshore southern Santa Maria Basin; (2) geochemically fingerprint coastal tar residues and potential sources, both onshore and offshore, in this region; (3) establish chemical correlations between offshore active seeps and coastal residues thus linking seep sources to oil residues; (4) measure the rate of natural seepage of individual seeps and attempt to assess regional natural oil and gas seepage rates; (5) attempt to predict transport pathways of oil from seep sources to the coastline and; (6) interpret the petroleum system history for the natural seeps. This survey, addressing objective 1, focused on the area from offshore Surf Beach to the north and Gaviota to the south in water depths ranging from 20 to 500m. In addition, nine stations were sampled outside this area to provide a regional context. Water-column methane concentrations were measured in water samples collected from the R/V Point Sur with Niskin bottles from various depths. A total of 724 water samples from 94 stations were collected.

  13. Stable isotopic evidence for methane seeps in Neoproterozoic postglacial cap carbonates.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ganqing; Kennedy, Martin J; Christie-Blick, Nicholas

    2003-12-18

    The Earth's most severe glaciations are thought to have occurred about 600 million years ago, in the late Neoproterozoic era. A puzzling feature of glacial deposits from this interval is that they are overlain by 1-5-m-thick 'cap carbonates' (particulate deep-water marine carbonate rocks) associated with a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion. Cap carbonates have been controversially ascribed to the aftermath of almost complete shutdown of the ocean ecosystems for millions of years during such ice ages--the 'snowball Earth' hypothesis. Conversely, it has also been suggested that these carbonate rocks were the result of destabilization of methane hydrates during deglaciation and concomitant flooding of continental shelves and interior basins. The most compelling criticism of the latter 'methane hydrate' hypothesis has been the apparent lack of extreme isotopic variation in cap carbonates inferred locally to be associated with methane seeps. Here we report carbon isotopic and petrographic data from a Neoproterozoic postglacial cap carbonate in south China that provide direct evidence for methane-influenced processes during deglaciation. This evidence lends strong support to the hypothesis that methane hydrate destabilization contributed to the enigmatic cap carbonate deposition and strongly negative carbon isotopic anomalies following Neoproterozoic ice ages. This explanation requires less extreme environmental disturbance than that implied by the snowball Earth hypothesis.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fields, L.; Joye, S. B.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Authigenic carbonate mounds from active methane seeps on the southern Aquitaine Shelf (Bay of Biscay, France): Evidence for anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane and submarine groundwater discharge during formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, Catherine; Demange, Jérome; Blanc-Valleron, Marie-Madeleine; Dupré, Stéphanie

    2017-02-01

    The widespread methane emissions that were discovered in 2013 on the Aquitaine Shelf at water depth between 140 and 220 m are associated with authigenic carbonate crusts that cover meter-high subcircular reliefs of 10-100 m in diameter. These authigenic carbonates are primarily aragonite plus calcite and dolomite, which cement the fine- to medium-grained sandy sediment. The carbonate cement is often pierced by numerous circular cavities of 5-10 μm in diameter that are considered to be moulds of gas bubbles. Conversely, micron-sized cavities in the aragonite crystals are attributed to dissolution features, in relation to the production of CO2 during the aerobic oxidation of methane. The oxygen isotopic compositions of bulk carbonate (+1.7 to +3.7‰) and aragonite cements obtained from microsampling (-0.1 to +1.4‰) indicate that these carbonates were precipitated in mixtures of seawater and freshwater, i.e., in the context of submarine groundwater discharge at the seafloor. The carbon isotopic compositions of authigenic carbonates (-51.9 to -38.1‰) and of aragonite cements (-49.9 to -29.3‰) show that the dissolved inorganic carbon of pore fluids was mostly produced by the anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane and also partly from the groundwater system.

  19. Simultaneous quantification of methane and carbon dioxide fluxes reveals that a shallow arctic methane seep is a net sink for greenhouse gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Greinert, J.; Ruppel, C. D.; Silyakova, A.; Vielstädte, L.; Magen, C.; Casso, M.; Bunz, S.; Mienert, J.

    2015-12-01

    Warming of high-latitude continental-margin oceans has the potential to release large quantities of carbon from gas hydrate and other sedimentary reservoirs. To assess how carbon mobilized from the seafloor might amplify global warming or alter ocean chemistry, a robust analysis of the concentrations and isotopic content of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water column and atmosphere is required. To this effect, a gas analysis system consisting of three cavity ring-down spectrometers was developed to obtain a real-time, three-dimensional characterization of the distribution and isotopic variability of methane and CO2 at a shallow (<100 m water depth) bubbling methane seep offshore of western Svalbard. Surface water methane concentrations from the continuous-flow CRDS system agreed remarkably well with discrete samples analyzed by the GC-based headspace analysis technique and with a CRDS-based discrete sample analysis module. Reliable carbon isotope data were also obtained from the CRDSs once an isotopic calibration routine was applied. The resulting data revealed that CO2 uptake from the atmosphere within the surface water methane plume overlying the gas seep was elevated by 36-45% relative to surrounding waters. In comparison to the positive radiative forcing effect expected from the methane emissions, the negative radiative forcing potential from CO2 uptake was 32-43 times greater. Lower water temperatures, elevated chlorophyll-fluorescence and 13C-enriched CO2 within the surface methane plume suggest that bubble-driven upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water stimulated CO2 uptake by phytoplankton. The observation that a shallow methane seep has a net negative radiative forcing effect challenges the widely-held perception that methane seeps contribute to the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden.

  20. Authigenic Mg-calcite at a cold methane seep site in the Laptev Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kravchishina, M. D.; Lein, A. Yu.; Savvichev, A. S.; Reykhard, L. E.; Dara, O. M.; Flint, M. V.

    2017-01-01

    Authigenic minerals were studied in Holocene shelf sediments of the Laptev Sea (cold methane seep site, water depth 71 m). The study presents the first finds of large hard carbonate concretions with Mg-calcite cement in recent sediments of the Arctic shelf seas. These concretions differ from previously reported glendonites and concretions from bottom sediments of the White Sea, Kara Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, etc. A study of the morphology, microstructure, and composition of these newly reported concretions revealed the multistage formation of carbonates (structural varieties of Mg-calcite and aragonite). It was shown that organic matter played an important role in the formation of authigenic carbonates, i.e., in the formation of sedimentary-diagenetic Mg-calcite. The role of methane as a possible source for authigenic carbonate formation was estimated. It was found that methane-derived Mg-calcite accounts for 17-35% of concretion materials. Mg-calcite had δ13C-Ccarb values between-24 and-23‰ and δ13C-Corg values between-44.5 and-88.5‰.

  1. Acid-Tolerant Moderately Thermophilic Methanotrophs of the Class Gammaproteobacteria Isolated From Tropical Topsoil with Methane Seeps

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Tajul; Torsvik, Vigdis; Larsen, Øivind; Bodrossy, Levente; Øvreås, Lise; Birkeland, Nils-Kåre

    2016-01-01

    Terrestrial tropical methane seep habitats are important ecosystems in the methane cycle. Methane oxidizing bacteria play a key role in these ecosystems as they reduce methane emissions to the atmosphere. Here, we describe the isolation and initial characterization of two novel moderately thermophilic and acid-tolerant obligate methanotrophs, assigned BFH1 and BFH2 recovered from a tropical methane seep topsoil habitat. The new isolates were strictly aerobic, non-motile, coccus-shaped and utilized methane and methanol as sole carbon and energy source. Isolates grew at pH range 4.2–7.5 (optimal 5.5–6.0) and at a temperature range of 30–60°C (optimal 51–55°C). 16S rRNA gene phylogeny placed them in a well-separated branch forming a cluster together with the genus Methylocaldum as the closest relatives (93.1–94.1% sequence similarity). The genes pmoA, mxaF, and cbbL were detected, but mmoX was absent. Strains BFH1 and BFH2 are, to our knowledge, the first isolated acid-tolerant moderately thermophilic methane oxidizers of the class Gammaproteobacteria. Each strain probably denotes a novel species and they most likely represent a novel genus within the family Methylococcaceae of type I methanotrophs. Furthermore, the isolates increase our knowledge of acid-tolerant aerobic methanotrophs and signify a previously unrecognized biological methane sink in tropical ecosystems. PMID:27379029

  2. [Detection of methane in the water column at gas and oil seep sites in central and southern Lake Baikal].

    PubMed

    Zakharenko, A S; Pimenov, N V; Ivanov, V G; Zemskaia, T I

    2015-01-01

    Microbiological and biogeochemical investigation of the water column of oligotrophic Lake Baikal at the sites of the K2 and Bolshoy mud volcanoes and the Gorevoy Utes oil seep was carried out in July 2013. Total microbial numbers (TMN), cell numbers of type I and type II methanotrophs, and methane concentrations were measured; the rate of methane oxidation was determined. Methane concentrations in Lake Baikal water column varied from 0.09 to 1 μL/L, while methane oxidation rates varied from 0.007 to 0.9 nL/(L day). The highest rates of methane oxidation were revealed in the near-bottom water horizons at the sites of the Bolshoy mud volcano and the Gorevoy Utes oil seep. These were the sites where the most pronounced anomalies in methane concentration were also detected. TMN varied from 0.123 x 10(6) to 1.64 x 10(6) cells/mL. Methanotrophic bacteria were revealed in the water column at all sites, their abundance did not always correlate with methane concentrationsand the rates of methane oxidation. Methanotrophs constituted not more than 1.63% of the total microbial number, with their highest abundance in the upper 200 m of the water column.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Investigation of Metal Bioavailability and Microbial Metal Utilization in Methane Seep Ecosystems through Integration of Geochemical and Biological Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, J. B.; Gadh, V.; Steele, J. A.; Adkins, J. F.; Orphan, V. J.

    2012-12-01

    Methane hydrate seeps are important sources of greenhouse gases and host unique microbial communities that couple anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulfate reduction. Microbial enzymes that catalyze the reactions driving these anaerobic metabolisms require transition metals such as Fe, Ni, Co, Zn, and Mo as essential cofactors. These metals are expected to be drawn down to low concentrations by precipitation as sulfide phases in the highly sulfidic porewaters at methane seep ecosystems. However, in situ concentrations of biologically-important metals in sulfidic methane seep pore fluids and the relative importance of different metals for anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) vs. sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are unknown. We are integrating geochemical and metagenomic datasets with nano-scale maps of cellular metal distributions to gain insights into metal bioavailability and utilization in methane seep ecosystems. We have measured porewater profiles of dissolved metals (V, Ni, Cu, Co, Fe, Mn, Zn, Mo and W) from three habitat types at Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon: Calyptogena clam beds, microbial mats and sites with low methane flux. Highly sulfidic sediment porewaters beneath microbial mats contained the lowest metal concentrations, suggesting that microbes inhabiting these environments may be limited by metal scarcity. Cobalt occurred at particularly low abundances (≤5 nM in all cores and frequently at sub-nanomolar levels). We also analyzed the taxonomic distribution of ABC (ATP-binding cassette) metal transporters in metagenomes from environmentally-enriched consortia of ANME-2 and SRB from Eel River Basin methane seeps. Our findings suggest that both ANME and SRB possess genes encoding ABC transporters with high affinity for Fe, Ni, Co, Zn and Mo. Combined with our geochemical data, these results imply that ANME-SRB consortia in highly sulfidic environments have specialized mechanisms that allow them to acquire metal micronutrients

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. The Role of Seep Ecosystems in Distribution Patterns of Deep-Sea Megafauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, J.; McKelvey, Z.; Jacobson, A.; Hoerauf, E.; Van Dover, C. L.

    2015-12-01

    One of the key questions about methane seeps is the sphere of influence on the surrounding area they provide in terms of habitat structure, food sources, and geochemical environment. Understanding the distribution of megafauna relative to the seep environment is an initial step toward understanding these ecosystem properties. Systematic photo surveys using AUV Sentry were conducted at 4 methane seeps at the Blake Ridge Diapir and a seep at Cape Fear Diapir. Distributions of dominant seep features (bivalves, carbonates, bacterial mats) were used to define the active seep site. Geospatial mapping indicates that non-seep-endemic taxa (those not hosting chemoautotrophic endosymbionts) either avoid (e.g., sea urchins, certain sea cucumbers), are attracted to (e.g., squat lobsters, cake urchins) or show no distributional bias to (e.g., sea stars, certain fish) the presence of a seep. Further investigation into these faunal relationships may improve understanding of services that seeps provide to the larger ocean ecosystem.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Benthic Gouge Marks in the Canadian Beaufort Sea: Associations Between Whales and Methane Seeps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smalls, P. T.; Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S.

    2015-12-01

    Numerous distinctive depressions were observed on the seafloor during twenty-eight remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives conducted on the shelf edge and upper slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Surface ship and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) multibeam bathymetric maps were used to identify potential methane seepage sites, such as areas with persistent water column acoustic anomalies and the tops of mud volcanoes. ROV dives were conducted at these sites and at background sites for stratigraphic sampling. The high abundance of these distinctive depressions stimulated an analysis of the video observations made on these ROV dives. Depressions were analyzed to document their characteristics, to help determine their origin, and to establish whether their frequency varies with bottom type. One hundred fifty-two of the depressions observed had shared characteristics consisting of an "oval-shaped" depression with raised ridged edges that extended laterally along the flanks, and traces of uplifted sediment either in or around the depression. Similar depressions have been called "gouge marks" and attributed to bottom feeding beaked whales in previous studies. The size and water depth of the measured depressions matched well with beak sizes and feeding depths of beaked whale species known to exist in this area. This supports the conclusion that beaked whales created the depressions. The occurrence of these gouge marks and the estimates of the total area observed on these ROV dives (~45,000 m2), suggests they are common (e.g., ~4,000 per km2) features on the seafloor in this area of the Arctic. Gouges were also found 2.25 times more often at suspected methane seep-sites when normalized for depth and area. This suggests that the whales are preferentially attracted to seepage sites. While the reason for this possible preferential feeding behavior is unknown, it provides an intriguing avenue for further research.

  12. Carbon isotopes of benthic foraminifera associated with methane seeps in Four-Way Closure Ridge, offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, W. R.; Wei, K. Y.; Mii, H. S.; Lin, Y. S.; Huang, J. J.; Wang, P. L.; Lin, A. T.

    2015-12-01

    Release of large amounts of methane from marine gas hydrate reservoirs has been considered as a possible trigger of climate change, which can be recorded by the variation of carbon isotopes (δ13C) of the benthic foraminifera. In modern analogs, previous studies have suggested that δ13C becomes more negative when influenced by methane seeps. However, values of δ13C of benthic foraminifera might vary with different species and sedimentary settings in different regions. Seismic profiles in offshore southwestern Taiwan show the existence of Bottom Simulating Reflector (BSR) in the region, indicative of gas hydrate reservoirs. Various methane seepages have been found, and they are suspected to be related to the gas hydrates buried underneath. A better understanding of the δ13C signals of benthic foraminifera near the methane seepages can further clarify the origin of the methane and to evaluate it as a proxy of methane release for the geologic past. We have analyzed δ13C of benthic foraminifera Uvigerina proboscidea (150-250 mm) in the topmost 15 cm sediments in five marine cores (OR1-1092-WFWC-1, OR1-1092-WFWC-4, OR1-1092-WFWC-6, OR3-1806-C5-2 and OR3-1806-C10) collected from the Four-Way Closure Ridge in offshore southwestern Taiwan (water depth from 1330 to 1580 m). Our results show that δ13C values of U. proboscidea range from -0.98‰ to -6.21‰ (VPDB) for core OR3-1806-C5-2, which is considered as a seeps-influenced site. On the other hand, δ13C values of U. proboscidea from the background sites range from -0.40‰ to -1.00‰. The difference between the methane seep-affected and the background sites is in the range of 0.00‰ to 5.01‰, comparable to those documented in previous studies in other areas. The significant negative excursion in carbon isotopes in the seep site foraminifera is likely caused by incorporation of light inorganic carbon generated by methanotrophy in the system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, Philip; Linke, Peter; Treude, Tina

    2014-05-01

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

  14. High resolution measurements of methane and carbon dioxide in surface waters over a natural seep reveal dynamics of dissolved phase air-sea flux.

    PubMed

    Du, Mengran; Yvon-Lewis, Shari; Garcia-Tigreros, Fenix; Valentine, David L; Mendes, Stephanie D; Kessler, John D

    2014-09-02

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps are sources of methane and carbon dioxide to the ocean, and potentially to the atmosphere, though the magnitude of the fluxes and dynamics of these systems are poorly defined. To better constrain these variables in natural environments, we conducted the first high-resolution measurements of sea surface methane and carbon dioxide concentrations in the massive natural seep field near Coal Oil Point (COP), California. The corresponding high resolution fluxes were calculated, and the total dissolved phase air-sea fluxes over the surveyed plume area (∼363 km(2)) were 6.66 × 10(4) to 6.71 × 10(4) mol day(-1) with respect to CH4 and -6.01 × 10(5) to -5.99 × 10(5) mol day(-1) with respect to CO2. The mean and standard deviation of the dissolved phase air-sea fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide from the contour gridding analysis were estimated to be 0.18 ± 0.19 and -1.65 ± 1.23 mmol m(-2) day(-1), respectively. This methane flux is consistent with previous, lower-resolution estimates and was used, in part, to conservatively estimate the total area of the dissolved methane plume at 8400 km(2). The influx of carbon dioxide to the surface water refutes the hypothesis that COP seep methane appreciably influences carbon dioxide dynamics. Seeing that the COP seep field is one of the biggest natural seeps, a logical conclusion could be drawn that microbial oxidation of methane from natural seeps is of insufficient magnitude to change the resulting plume area from a sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide to a source.

  15. Molecular evidence that phylogenetically diverged ciliates are active in microbial mats of deep-sea cold-seep sediment.

    PubMed

    Takishita, Kiyotaka; Kakizoe, Natsuki; Yoshida, Takao; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2010-01-01

    Cold seeps are areas of the seafloor where hydrogen sulfide- and methane-rich fluid seepage occurs, often sustaining chemosynthetic ecosystems. It is well known that both archaea and bacteria oxidize sulfides and methane to produce chemical energy and that several endemic animals use this energy to thrive in cold seeps. On the other hand, there is little knowledge regarding diversity and ecology of microbial eukaryotes in this ecosystem. In this study we isolated environmental RNA and DNA from microbial mats of cold-seep sediment in Sagami Bay, Japan, and retrieved eukaryotic small-subunit ribosomal RNA sequences with polymerase chain reaction methods followed by clone library construction. Most RNA-derived clones obtained were from ciliates, although DNA-derived clones were mainly from the fungus Cryptococcus curvatus, suggesting that ciliates are active in the environment. The ciliate sequences were phylogenetically diverse, and represented eight known class lineages as well as undesignated lineages. Because most ciliates are bacterivorous, it is highly likely that the ciliates for which sequences were recovered play a role in the food web of this ecosystem as grazers of microbial mats. In addition, given that the environment studied is under highly reduced (anoxic) conditions, based on the prokaryotic community structure deduced from T-RFLP profiles, the ciliates detected may be obligatory or facultative anaerobes.

  16. The methane hydrate formation and the resource estimate resulting from free gas migration in seeping seafloor hydrate stability zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, Jinan; Liang, Deqing; Wu, Nengyou; Fan, Shuanshi

    2009-10-01

    It is a typical multiphase flow process for hydrate formation in seeping seafloor sediments. Free gas can not only be present but also take part in formation of hydrate. The volume fraction of free gas in local pore of hydrate stable zone (HSZ) influences the formation of hydrate in seeping seafloor area, and methane flux determines the abundance and resource of hydrate-bearing reservoirs. In this paper, a multiphase flow model including water (dissolved methane and salt)-free gas hydrate has been established to describe this kind of flow-transfer-reaction process where there exists a large scale of free gas migration and transform in seafloor pore. In the order of three different scenarios, the conversions among permeability, capillary pressure, phase saturations and salinity along with the formation of hydrate have been deducted. Furthermore, the influence of four sorts of free gas saturations and three classes of methane fluxes on hydrate formation and the resource has also been analyzed and compared. Based on the rules drawn from the simulation, and combined information gotten from drills in field, the methane hydrate(MH) formation in Shenhu area of South China Sea has been forecasted. It has been speculated that there may breed a moderate methane flux below this seafloor HSZ. If the flux is about 0.5 kg m -2 a -1, then it will go on to evolve about 2700 ka until the hydrate saturation in pore will arrive its peak (about 75%). Approximately 1.47 × 10 9 m 3 MH has been reckoned in this marine basin finally, is about 13 times over preliminary estimate.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Dinitrogen and Cyanide Fixation by Methane Seep Microorganisms Revealed by FISH- SIMS And Implications for AOM Productivity and Nitrogenase Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekas, A.; Orphan, V.

    2008-12-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), mediated by methane oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate reducing bacterial symbionts (SRB), minimizes the flux of methane from marine sediment to the overlying water column. Understanding the factors determining AOM productivity, and particularly the rates of methane catabolism and anabolism, is of interest to both modern and ancient investigations of climate and bulk carbon isotopic change. It has been hypothesized that nitrogen availability in methane seeps is temporally variable, and that the seep biomass may be at least partially nitrogen limited. The recent finding of nif genes, those necessary for the production of nitrogenase, in enrichments of ANME and SRB consortia suggested that the organisms mediating AOM have the potential to fix dinitrogen. In the present study we incubated methane seep sediment with nitrogen-deplete artificial marine media and a headspace of methane (CH4) and either 15N-labeled dinitrogen (15N2), cyanide (C15N-), or ammonia (15NH3) in order to (1) test the ability of these currently unculturable microorganisms to fix nitrogen and other triple bonded substrates, (2) investigate which AOM partner was responsible for the fixation, (3) compare growth rates on different nitrogen sources, and (4) characterize the phylogeny of these methane seep-associated nitrogenases. Fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nano-scale Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy imaging (FISH-SIMS) revealed incorporation of 15N into ANME and SRB biomass of up to 0.06 15N fractional abundance in the 15N2 incubation, and up to 0.02 in the C15N- incubation, after 6 and 4 months, respectively. This represents a nearly ten-fold enrichment of 15N compared to the measured natural 15N fractional abundance (0.0036). The NanoSIMS ion images of ANME/SRB aggregates from 15N2 incubations show evidence for 15N enrichment in both partners with the highest incorporation of 15N within the methanotrophic ANME cells. Cyanide incubations

  20. Diagenetic Mg-calcite overgrowths on foraminiferal tests in the vicinity of methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panieri, Giuliana; Lepland, Aivo; Whitehouse, Martin J.; Wirth, Richard; Raanes, Morten P.; James, Rachael H.; Graves, Carolyn A.; Crémière, Antoine; Schneider, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and some episodes of past global warming appear to coincide with its massive release from seafloor sediments as suggested by carbon isotope records of foraminifera. Here, we present structural, geochemical, and stable carbon isotope data from single foraminiferal calcite tests and authigenic Mg-calcite overgrowths in a sediment core recovered from an area of active methane seepage in western Svalbard at ca. 340 m water depth. The foraminifera are from intervals in the core where conventional bulk foraminiferal δ13 C values are as low as -11.3 ‰. Mg/Ca analyses of the foraminiferal tests reveal that even tests for which there is no morphological evidence for secondary authigenic carbonate can contain Mg-rich interlayers with Mg/Ca up to 220 mmol/mol. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the contact point between the biogenic calcite and authigenic Mg-calcite layers shows that the two phases are structurally indistinguishable and they have the same crystallographic orientation. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) analyses reveal that the Mg-rich layers are strongly depleted in 13C (δ13 C as low as -34.1 ‰). These very low δ13 C values indicate that the authigenic Mg-calcite precipitated from pore waters containing methane-derived dissolved inorganic carbon at the depth of the sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ). As the depth of the SMTZ can be located several meters below the sediment-seawater interface, interpretation of low foraminiferal δ13 C values in ancient sediments in terms of the history of methane seepage at the seafloor must be undertaken with care.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  7. Patterns of subsurface fluid-flow at cold seeps: the Hikurangi Margin, offshore New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbenhoeft, A.; Bialas, J.; Klaucke, I.; Crutchley, G. J.; Papenberg, C. A.; Netzeband, G. L.

    2012-12-01

    Based on multichannel seismic, geoacoustic, and methane sensor data, four different areas along the Hikurangi Margin show multiple indications for seep activity including bright spots, transparent zones, vertical chimneys, and the occurrence and distribution of bottom simulating reflectors. Locations where these features reach the seafloor are characterised by high backscatter intensity on sidescan sonar images and transparent zones in sediment echosounder profiles, while methane sensors show episodic, elevated methane concentrations near the seep sites. Methane discharge is facilitated by reduced hydrostatic pressure during low tides. The greatest number of seeps at Opouawe Bank correlates with the highest methane activity along the Hikurangi Margin. High heat flow values on flanks of ridges and low heat flow values on anticlines reflect a topographic effect on subsurface temperatures. Elevated heat flow occurs in the vicinity of seeps on Opouawe Bank. We propose that there are two drivers behind methane seepage with respect to the migration pathways of methane through the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) to the seafloor: (1) structurally controlled and (2) stratigraphically controlled. In the structural model, vertical chimneys are the major pathways for methane through the GHSZ. Part of the upwardly migrating methane forms gas hydrate within the chimney. In the stratigraphic model, methane migration is stratigraphically controlled beneath seeps that are located on bathymetric highs and/or where subsurface anticlines occur beneath seeps. The structurally controlled seeps produce higher methane escape at the seafloor than those that are stratigraphically controlled. A combination of both driving mechanisms results in the highest methane seepage rates at the Tui Seep on Opouawe Bank.

  8. Methane fates in the benthos and water column at cold seep sites along the continental margin of Central and North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansman, Roberta L.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Levin, Lisa A.; Aluwihare, Lihini I.

    2017-02-01

    The potential influence of methane seeps on carbon cycling is a key question for global assessments, but the study of carbon cycling in surface sediments and the water column of cold seep environments is complicated by the high temporal and spatial variability of fluid and gas fluxes at these sites. In this study we directly examined carbon sources supporting benthic and planktonic food webs at venting methane seeps using isotopic and molecular approaches that integrate this variability. At four seep environments located along North and Central America, microorganisms from two size fractions were collected over several days from 2800 to 9050 l of seawater to provide a time-integrated measure of key microbial groups and the carbon sources supporting the overall planktonic microbial community. In addition to water column measurements, the extent of seafloor methane release was estimated at two of the sites by examining the stable carbon isotopic signature (δ13C) of benthic metazoan infauna. This signature reveals carbon sources fueling the base of the food chain and thus provides a metric that represents a time-integrated view of the dominant microbial processes within the sediment. The stable carbon isotopic composition of microbial DNA (δ13C-DNA), which had values between -17.0 and -19.5‰, indicated that bulk planktonic microbial production was not ultimately linked to methane or other 13C-depleted seep-derived carbon sources. Instead these data support the importance of organic carbon derived from either photo- or chemoautotrophic CO2 fixation to the planktonic food web. Results of qPCR of microbial DNA sequences coding for a subunit of the particulate methane monooxygenase gene (pmoA) showed that only a small percentage of the planktonic microbial community were potential methane oxidizers possessing pmoA (<5% of 16S rRNA gene copies). There was an overall decrease of 13C-depleted carbon fueling the benthic metazoan community from 3 to 5 cm below the seafloor

  9. Relative abundances of methane- and sulphur-oxidising symbionts in the gills of a cold seep mussel and link to their potential energy sources.

    PubMed

    Duperron, S; Guezi, H; Gaudron, S M; Pop Ristova, P; Wenzhöfer, F; Boetius, A

    2011-11-01

    Bathymodiolus mussels are key species in many deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. They often harbour two types of endosymbiotic bacteria in their gills, sulphur- and methane oxidisers. These bacteria take up sulphide and methane from the environment and provide energy to their hosts, supporting some of the most prolific ecosystems in the sea. In this study, we tested whether symbiont relative abundances in Bathymodiolus gills reflect variations in the highly spatially dynamic chemical environment of cold seep mussels. Samples of Bathymodiolus aff. boomerang were obtained from two cold seeps of the deep Gulf of Guinea, REGAB (5°47.86S, 9°42.69E, 3170 m depth) and DIAPIR (6°41.58S, 10°20.94E, 2700 m depth). Relative abundances of both symbiont types were measured by means of 3D fluorescence in situ hybridisation and image analysis and compared considering the local sulphide and methane concentrations and fluxes assessed via benthic chamber incubations. Specimens inhabiting areas with highest methane content displayed higher relative abundances of methane oxidisers. The bacterial abundances correlated also with carbon stable isotope signatures in the mussel tissue, suggesting a higher contribution of methane-derived carbon to the biomass of mussels harbouring higher densities of methane-oxidising symbionts. A dynamic adaptation of abundances of methanotrophs and thiotrophs in the gill could be a key factor optimising the energy yield for the symbiotic system and could explain the success of dual symbiotic mussels at many cold seeps and hydrothermal vents of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

  10. Joint Interpretation of Electromagnetic and Seismic Data to Determine Gas and Methane Hydrate Distribution within the Nyegga CNE03 Seep.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jegen, M. D.; Hölz, S.; Cukur, D.; Sommer, M.; Attias, E.; Weitemeyer, K.; Berndt, C.

    2014-12-01

    The presence of the Nyegga pockmark field within the gas hydrate stability field on the Norwegian continental slope points to possible methane release through cold seeps. It is, however, not clear how the methane may migrate through the still existing hydrate stability zone as the gas should form new hydrate further up in the section. In an effort to better understand the physical processes and quantify the hydrate/gas distribution in the area, GEOMAR and the University of Southampton collected different types of electromagnetic data sets with different depth ranges and resolution in a region, which has been extensively covered by seismic investigation. The presence of hydrate within seafloor sediments causes an increase in both the bulk modulus, and hence the seismic velocity, and in the electrical resistivity. The presence of gas decreases seismic velocity but increases electrical resistivity. Both seismic and controlled source electromagnetic methods can and have been used to estimate hydrate and gas content. Since seismic velocity and the electrical resistivity are sensitive also to a range of other parameters such as lithology, porosity and pore fluid salinity, single rock property parameter investigations are hampered by many uncertainties. However, since the sensitivities are different for the two properties, determination of both velocity and resistivity for the same volume of sea bed provides a powerful tool for distinguishing the contribution of hydrate or gas from that of other parameters. In this work we report on a new type of 3D electromagnetic high resolution tomography experiment which was focused on the CNE03 chimney in the centre of the region. The data indicates the presence of a highly resistive zone, where seismic travel time tomography has shown the presence of gas hydrates within the chimney. The distribution of methane hydrate concentrations are derived based on a joint interpretation of seismic velocity and electrical resistivities.

  11. Methane flux estimation of a large seep area offshore Svalbard based on visual observations and inverse hydroacoustic modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veloso, Mario; Mienert, Jurgen; De Batist, Marc; Greinert, Jens

    2014-05-01

    A seep site area at west of Prins Karl Forland (Svalbard) has been monitored since 2009 in order to evaluate its changes in space and time. Hydroacoustic data captured over four years have been used to understand the dynamic of the gas release and quantify the flow rate of gas coming from the seabed. Echograms indicate that gas release occurs between 200 and 400 mbsl and show that some of the acoustic flares reach the surface. Hydroacoustic data was captured with the EK60 echosounder system which uses a split-beam technique to determine the backscattering position inside the beam. The data obtained gives accurate information of the spatial distribution of the backscattering produced by bubble release. Gas release spot positions have been obtained using a geometrical average of spatial distribution of the backscattering, produced by the bubble cloud above the seafloor. An inverse hydroacoustic method developed by Muyakshin et al (Muyakshin et al. 2010) has been used to quantify the flow rate of the gas release. The method uses as input the backscattering volume strength (SV ) of the bubble release above the seafloor, bubble size distribution (BSD) obtained from underwater video footage and bubble rising speed (BRS) values determined by models developed by different researchers (e.g., Leifer and Patro, 2002, Woolf 1993, Mendelson 1967). Gridding and interpolation of the acoustic information obtained from Sv values has been carried out, adapting the method in order to be used over a large area. Flow rate calculations of a selected area (~220 mbsl) have been carried out (using different BRS models and merged data from different years) giving values between 220 and 347 T/yr of methane assuming continuous discharge and a bubble containing 100% of CH4. Temporal variability of methane fluxes was evaluated using the 'common' insonified areas with acoustic information of gas release over the seafloor. Comparison of calculated fluxes from common areas have shown that methane

  12. Comparison of Archaeal and Bacterial Diversity in Methane Seep Carbonate Nodules and Host Sediments, Eel River Basin and Hydrate Ridge, USA.

    PubMed

    Mason, Olivia U; Case, David H; Naehr, Thomas H; Lee, Raymond W; Thomas, Randal B; Bailey, Jake V; Orphan, Victoria J

    2015-10-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) impacts carbon cycling by acting as a methane sink and by sequestering inorganic carbon via AOM-induced carbonate precipitation. These precipitates commonly take the form of carbonate nodules that form within methane seep sediments. The timing and sequence of nodule formation within methane seep sediments are not well understood. Further, the microbial diversity associated with sediment-hosted nodules has not been well characterized and the degree to which nodules reflect the microbial assemblage in surrounding sediments is unknown. Here, we conducted a comparative study of microbial assemblages in methane-derived authigenic carbonate nodules and their host sediments using molecular, mineralogical, and geochemical methods. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene diversity from paired carbonate nodules and sediments revealed that both sample types contained methanotrophic archaea (ANME-1 and ANME-2) and syntrophic sulfate-reducing bacteria (Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae), as well as other microbial community members. The combination of geochemical and molecular data from Eel River Basin and Hydrate Ridge suggested that some nodules formed in situ and captured the local sediment-hosted microbial community, while other nodules may have been translocated or may represent a record of conditions prior to the contemporary environment. Taken together, this comparative analysis offers clues to the formation regimes and mechanisms of sediment-hosted carbonate nodules.

  13. Molecular evidence that deep-branching fungi are major fungal components in deep-sea methane cold-seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Nagahama, Takahiko; Takahashi, Eriko; Nagano, Yuriko; Abdel-Wahab, Mohamed A; Miyazaki, Masayuki

    2011-08-01

    The motile cells of chytrids were once believed to be relics from the time before the colonization of land by fungi. However, the majority of chytrids had not been found in marine but freshwater environments. We investigated fungal diversity by a fungal-specific PCR-based analysis of environmental DNA in deep-sea methane cold-seep sediments, identifying a total of 35 phylotypes, 12 of which were early diverging fungi (basal fungi, ex 'lower fungi'). The basal fungi occupied a major portion of fungal clones. These were phylogenetically placed into a deep-branching clade of fungi and the LKM11 clade that was a divergent group comprised of only environmental clones from aquatic environments. As suggested by Lara and colleagues, species of the endoparasitic genus Rozella, being recently considered of the earliest branching taxa of fungi, were nested within the LKM11 clade. In the remaining 23 phylotypes identified as the Dikarya, the majority of which were similar to those which appeared in previously deep-sea studies, but also highly novel lineages associated with Soil Clone Group I (SCGI), Entorrhiza sp. and the agaricomycetous fungi were recorded. The fungi of the Dikarya may play a role in the biodegradation of lignin and lignin-derived materials in deep-sea, because the characterized fungal species related to the frequent phylotypes within the Dikarya have been reported to possess an ability to degrade lignin.

  14. Active oil seep at Nevada gold mine holds intrigue for more exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Pinnell, M.L.; Blake, J.G. ); Hulen, J.B. )

    1991-07-15

    This paper reports on an active oil seep has been discovered in one of Nevada's famous Carlin-type low grade disseminated gold deposits. This unique seep, at the Yankee gold mine in White Pine County, may have important implications for both oil and gas and gold exploration in the Basin and Range province of the western U.S. The open pit Yankee mine, near the western margin of Long Valley, exploits one of numerous Carlin-type gold ore bodies in the alligator Ridge mining district; all are currently owned and operated by USMX Corp.

  15. Diversity, abundance and distribution of amoA-encoding archaea in deep-sea methane seep sediments of the Okhotsk Sea.

    PubMed

    Dang, Hongyue; Luan, Xi-Wu; Chen, Ruipeng; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Guo, Lizhong; Klotz, Martin G

    2010-06-01

    The ecological characteristics of amoA-encoding archaea (AEA) in deep-sea sediments are largely unsolved. This paper aimed to study the diversity, structure, distribution and abundance of the archaeal community and especially its AEA components in the cold seep surface sediments of the Okhotsk Sea, a marginal sea harboring one of the largest methane hydrate reservoirs in the world. Diverse archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences were identified, with the majority being related to sequences from other cold seep and methane-rich sediment environments. However, the AEA diversity and abundance were quite low as revealed by amoA gene analyses. Correlation analysis indicates that the abundance of the archaeal amoA genes was correlated with the sediment organic matter content. Thus, it is possible that the amoA-carrying archaea here might utilize organic matter for a living. The affiliation of certain archaeal amoA sequences to the GenBank sequences originally obtained from deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments indicated that the related AEA either have a wide range of temperature adaptation or they have a thermophilic evolutionary history in the modern cold deep-sea sediments of the Okhotsk Sea. The dominance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria over AEA may indicate that bacteria play a significant role in nitrification in the Okhotsk Sea cold seep sediments.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Cold seep epifaunal communities on the Hikurangi margin, New Zealand: composition, succession, and vulnerability to human activities.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Classification of sea-floor features associated with methane seeps along the Gulf of Cádiz continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    León, Ricardo; Somoza, Luis; Medialdea, Teresa; Maestro, Adolfo; Díaz-del-Río, Victor; Fernández-Puga, María del Carmen

    2006-06-01

    Based on recently gathered swath-bathymetry, high- to ultra-high-resolution seismic, and underwater camera data, along with dredging and coring samples, this paper examines the relationship between sea-floor features and the nature of hydrocarbon-enriched fluid and gas leaks from degassing of deeply buried sediments along the continental margin of the Gulf of Cádiz (eastern Central Atlantic). A classification into three main groups is proposed on the basis of the morphology and nature of deposits: (1) mud volcanoes, (2) methane-derived authigenic carbonates (MDAC) mounds, and (3) crater-like pockmarks. Mud volcanoes are, topographically, cone-shaped sea-floor edifices, built up from catastrophic mud and fluid degassing, intercalated with periods of inactivity. So far more than 25 mud volcanoes have been discovered in the Gulf of Cádiz, named in memory of deceased colleagues (e.g., Ginsburg and Baraza), or researchers' birth places (e.g. Faro, Cibeles, Almazán, San Petersburgh, Yuma, Rabat, Bonjardim, Coruña, Gades). These structures range from 800 to 2500 m in diameter and tower 150-300 m above the seabed. The volcanoes consistently feature a well-defined outer ring or circular terrace and an inner dome. All mud volcanoes are built up of episodes of mud-breccia flows, intercalated with deep-current deposits, with evident indications of gas saturation: degassing structures, a strong H 2S smell, and chemosynthetic fauna (such as Pogonophora sp. tube worms and Calyptogena sp.). Commonly observed carbonate crusts and slabs overlying some mud volcanoes are thought to have been formed by slow, diffuse venting during periods of inactivity or slower rates of fluid venting following the ejection of mud. A "fermentation" process, the result of microbial-mediated oxidation of hydrocarbon-enriched fluids, seems to play an important role in the growth of large deep-water carbonate mounds and chimneys during periods of low methane-seep fluid pressure. More than 400 crater

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Assessing submarine gas hydrate at active seeps on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand, using controlled source electromagnetic data with constraints from seismic, geochemistry, and heatflow data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwalenberg, K.; Haeckel, M.; Pecher, I. A.; Toulmin, S. J.; Hamdan, L. J.; Netzeband, G.; Wood, W.; Poort, J.; Jegen, M. D.; Coffin, R. B.

    2009-12-01

    Electrical resistivity is one of the key properties useful for evaluating submarine gas hydrate deposits. Gas hydrates are electrically insulating in contrast to the conductive pore fluid. Where they form in sufficient quantities the bulk resistivity of the sub-seafloor is elevated. CSEM data were collected in 2007 as part of the German - International “New Vents” project on R/V Sonne, cruise SO191, at three target areas on the Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand. The margin is characterized by widespread bottom simulating reflectors (BSR), seep structures, and active methane and fluid venting indicating the potential for gas hydrate formation. Opouawe Bank is one of the ridge and basin systems on the accretionary wedge and is located off the Wairarapa coast at water depths of 1000-1100 m. The first observed seep sites (North Tower, South Tower, Pukeko, Takahe, and Tui) were identified from individual gas flares in hydro-acoustic data and video observations during voyages on R/V Tangaroa. Seismic reflection data collected during SO191 subsequently identified more than 25 new seep structures. Two intersecting CSEM profiles have been surveyed across North Tower, South Tower, and Takahe. 1-D inversion of the data reveals anomalously high resistivities at North Tower and South Tower, moderately elevated resistivities at Takahe, and normal background resistivities away from the seeps. The high resistivities are attributed to gas hydrate layers at intermediate depths beneath the seeps. At South Tower the hydrate concentration could be possibly as much as 25% of the total sediment volume within a 50m thick layer. This conforms with geochemical pore water analyses which show a trend of increased methane flux towards South Tower. At Takahe, gas pockets and patchy gas hydrate, as well as sediment heterogeneities and carbonates, or temperature driven upward fluid flow indicated by the observed higher heat flow at this site may explain the resistivity pattern

  4. Methanotrophic gastropods from a bathyal hydrocarbon seep, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, L.C.; Aharon, P.; Gupta, S. )

    1992-01-01

    Two gastropods, Neritina sp. and Truncatella sp., collected live from a Gulf of Mexico active gas seep with the submersible Johnson Sea Link in September 1991, apparently incorporate methane-derived carbon in their soft tissues. Flesh of an individual Neritina sp. had a delta C-13 of [minus]50.92 per mil PDB, and that of two coexisting individuals of Truncatella sp. had values of [minus]45.11 and [minus]49.27 per mil. These isotope values are comparable to those reported for the methanotrophic mytilid bivalve Bathymodiolus sp. from other hydrocarbon seeps on the Gulf of Mexico, and are lighter than published isotopic values of chemosynthetic organisms with sulfur-oxidizing symbionts. The anomalously light carbon-isotopic values of Neritina sp. and Truncatella sp. may steam from one of three causes: (1) these gastropods host symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria, (2) their chief food is methane-oxidizing bacteria present at the seep, or (3) they incorporate some carbon from the periostracum of mussels on which they may graze. The presence of abundant juveniles of Bathymodiolus, reported to settle preferentially in areas of active seepage and high methane release, indicates that methane was abundant and supported a community with multiple trophic levels. Generally, studies of hydrocarbon-seep communities have focused on larger community members, especially bivalves and tube worms. The presence of living Neritina and Truncatella at the authors sampling site, however, draws attention to the fact that these gastropods are integral and significant parts of hydrocarbon-seep communities. Both gastropod species are members of genera that characteristically inhabit shallow marine, intertidal, and semiterrestrial environments. The presence of these genera in bathyal hydrocarbon seeps indicates that they have very broad environmental ranges, thus limiting their utility in paleoecologic reconstructions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Trace Elemental Geochemistry of Pacific Margin Seep and Non-seep Benthic Foraminifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkett, A. M.; Rathburn, A. E.; De Deckker, P.; Perez, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    As part of a continued effort to evaluate factors that influence carbonate biogeochemistry of living foraminifera, stable isotopic and trace elemental analyses of epibenthic and infaunal species of benthic foraminifera collected from the Pacific margin revealed clues for assessment of the presence, history and origin of cold and hydrothermal methane seepage sites. Hydrothermal seeps have only recently been discovered, prioritizing their recognition and assessments of the origins/sources of these anomalously warm environments. Trace elements were analyzed with a laser ablation ICP-MS at the Australian National University, avoiding contamination and allowing measurements of recently generated chambers. Living Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi and Uvigerina peregrina collected from active methane seeps on the east Pacific margin (Costa Rica, Alaska and Hydrate Ridge) have a wider range in both stable isotopic signals and some trace elemental values (e.g., Mg/Ca) compared to nearby inactive areas. Comparisons of additional trace elemental values (e.g., Li/Ca, Cd/Ca, B/Ca, and Ba/Ca) from living Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi and Uvigerina peregrina from these unique seafloor environments provide additional information in the geochemical influences of cold and hydrothermal seepage on foraminiferal calcite geochemistry. Seep environments are often the result of complex tectonic processes, have implications in past rapid climatic shifts and in future climate change predictions and models, and can influence modern ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles in ways which are not fully understood. Benthic foraminiferal geochemistry provides a potential means to identify seep fluid origins, elucidate seep fluid records and recognize hydrothermal seeps and their spatial and temporal history.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  8. Active archaeal communities at cold seep sediments populated by Siboglinidae tubeworms from the Storegga Slide.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Cassandre Sara; Dinasquet, Julie; Pignet, Patricia; Prieur, Daniel; Toffin, Laurent

    2010-10-01

    Siboglinid tubeworms in cold seep sediments can locally modify the geochemical gradients of electron acceptors and donors, hence creating potential microhabitats for prokaryotic populations. The archaeal communities associated with sediments populated by Oligobrachia haakonmosbiensis and Sclerolinum contortum Siboglinid tubeworms in the Storegga Slide were examined in this study. Vertical distribution of archaeal communities was investigated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis based on 16S rRNA genes. The active fraction of the archaeal community was assessed by using reverse-transcribed rRNA. Archaeal communities associated with sediments colonized by tubeworms were affiliated with uncultivated archaeal lineages of the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. The composition of the active archaeal populations changed with depth indicating a reorganization of microbial communities. 16S rRNA gene libraries were dominated by sequences affiliated to the Rice Cluster V which are unusual in marine sediment samples. Moreover, this study provides the first evidence of living Crenarchaeota of the Rice Cluster V in cold seep sediments. Furthermore, the Storegga Slide sediments harbored a high diversity of other minor groups of uncultivated lineages including Terrestrial Miscellaneous Euryarchaeotal Group, Marine Benthic Group (MBG)-D, MBG-E, Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Euryarchaeotal Group, Lake Dagow Sediment, Val Kotinen Lake clade III, and Sippenauer Moor 1. Thus, we hypothesize that the vertical geochemical imprint created by the tubeworms could support broad active archaeal populations in the Siboglinidae-populated Storegga Slide sediments.

  9. Characterization of Sea-Air Methane Fluxes Around a Seafloor Gas Seep in the Central Laptev Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geibel, M. C.; Thornton, B. F.; Prytherch, J.; Brooks, I. M.; Salisbury, D. J.; Tjernstrom, M. K. H.; Semiletov, I. P.; Mörth, C. M.; Humborg, C.; Crill, P. M.

    2015-12-01

    The fate of CH4 released from thawing subsea permafrost on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) is unclear. In recent years, interest has focused on the possibility of large emissions of CH4 directly to the atmosphere from this remote area. It is uncertain how high those emissions are and whether they are primarily of biogenic or thermogenic nature, or some combination of sources. The SWERUS-C3 expedition onboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden during July-August 2014 sought to document possible CH4 release from subsea permafrost, and to understand mechanisms and magnitudes of such CH4 being released to the atmosphere. During the first leg of the expedition continuous high-resolution measurements were made to determine the in situ concentrations of CH4 in both the atmosphere and surface water. During SWERUS-C3, several underwater gas flares were found within the ESAS region showing elevated CH4 concentrations collocated in the surface waters. Here we focus on one seep area, a so-called "mega-flare" site, in the central Laptev Sea. Over individual gas flares of this site the surface water concentration of CH4 reached as high as 200ppm. The atmospheric concentrations of CH4 briefly (< 1 s) reached a maximum of ~3.2 ppm. More typical atmospheric values around the seeps were between 1.9-2.0 ppm (background values were approximately 1.88 ppm). However, such peak concentrations in both air and water were highly localized, returning to background levels within a few hundred meters of the source seeps. Together with continuous high-precision eddy-covariance measurements that were made during the SWERUS-C3 expedition, the combined dataset allows an intensive analysis these highly inhomogeneous gas flares. This gives the opportunity to calculate accurate high-resolution CH4 fluxes and thus give a better insight into the current rates of subsea CH4 outgassing reaching the atmosphere.

  10. Characterization of C1-Metabolizing Prokaryotic Communities in Methane Seep Habitats at the Kuroshima Knoll, Southern Ryukyu Arc, by Analyzing pmoA, mmoX, mxaF, mcrA, and 16S rRNA Genes

    PubMed Central

    Inagaki, Fumio; Tsunogai, Urumu; Suzuki, Masae; Kosaka, Ayako; Machiyama, Hideaki; Takai, Ken; Nunoura, Takuro; Nealson, Kenneth H.; Horikoshi, Koki

    2004-01-01

    Samples from three submerged sites (MC, a core obtained in the methane seep area; MR, a reference core obtained at a distance from the methane seep; and HC, a gas-bubbling carbonate sample) at the Kuroshima Knoll in the southern Ryuku arc were analyzed to gain insight into the organisms present and the processes involved in this oxic-anoxic methane seep environment. 16S rRNA gene analyses by quantitative real-time PCR and clone library sequencing revealed that the MC core sediments contained abundant archaea (∼34% of the total prokaryotes), including both mesophilic methanogens related to the genus Methanolobus and ANME-2 members of the Methanosarcinales, as well as members of the δ-Proteobacteria, suggesting that both anaerobic methane oxidation and methanogenesis occurred at this site. In addition, several functional genes connected with methane metabolism were analyzed by quantitative competitive-PCR, including the genes encoding particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA), soluble methane monooxygenase (mmoX), methanol dehydrogenese (mxaF), and methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcrA). In the MC core sediments, the most abundant gene was mcrA (2.5 × 106 copies/g [wet weight]), while the pmoA gene of the type I methanotrophs (5.9 × 106 copies/g [wet weight]) was most abundant at the surface of the MC core. These results indicate that there is a very complex environment in which methane production, anaerobic methane oxidation, and aerobic methane oxidation all occur in close proximity. The HC carbonate site was rich in γ-Proteobacteria and had a high copy number of mxaF (7.1 × 106 copies/g [wet weight]) and a much lower copy number of the pmoA gene (3.2 × 102 copies/g [wet weight]). The mmoX gene was never detected. In contrast, the reference core contained familiar sequences of marine sedimentary archaeal and bacterial groups but not groups specific to C1 metabolism. Geochemical characterization of the amounts and isotopic composition of pore water methane and

  11. Diversity and Characteristics of Benthic Foraminifera in Cold Seep Areas in the Active Margin of the northeastern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Meng-Ting; Thomas, Ellen; Wei, Kuo-Yen; Lin, Yu-Shih; Lin, Saulwood; Tien-Shun Lin, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    The active continental margin in northeastern South China Sea (SCS) has been considered to have high potential to be a reservoir of gas hydrate, based on geographic features, geophysical evidences, as well as geochemical analyses of samples from the water column, pore water and sediments. Compared to a typical sea floor area, cold seep areas have more food for benthos and more diverse habitats. As a result, we can expect a higher species diversity of benthic organisms in cold seep areas of the SCS. Based on preliminary results of species identification of benthic foraminiferal assemblages in the upper most sediments (0-5 cm) of box cores collected around cold seeps at water depth ~1300m, the species diversity is significantly higher at seep sites (Shannon-Wiener index = 274) than at background sites (Shannon-Wiener index = 3). The faunal assemblages consist of ~68% calcareous benthic foraminifera (CBF) and ~32% agglutinated benthic foraminifera (ABF) at seep sites. On the other hand, faunal assemblages are composed of only ~24% CBF and ~76% ABF at background sites. By staining the sample with rose Bengal-ethanol solution, we were able to recognize in-situ individuals which were alive at the time of collection, and separate them from dead specimens. Among the living individuals, the most abundant CBF species in seep sites is Bulimina aculeata (~51% in the living CBF fauna), followed by the typical 'shelf-species,' Lenticulina inornata, (~10%) and the common 'brackish-species,' Miliolinella subrotunda, (~9%), while the most abundant ABF species is Cribrostomoides subglobosus (~19% in the living ABF fauna). The most common species thus are typical for shallower, more food rich environments.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Alteration of rare earth element distribution as a result of microbial activity and empirical methane injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, D. J.; Davies, N. W.; Thurber, A. R.; Haley, B. A.; Colwell, F. S.

    2014-12-01

    impacted by microbial activity, including that involved with methane cycling. This has broad implications to identifying the role of novel methane seeps in global carbon cycles and our understanding of REE distributions within marine sediments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Abyssal seep site cementation

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-01-01

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

  17. Methane activation on supported transition metal catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carstens, Jason Ned

    At present, there is considerable interest in utilizing methane more efficiently as both a fuel source and as a starting material for the production of other, more valuable products. However, methane is a very stable molecule with strong C-H bonds that are difficult to break. This makes methane combustion or the formation of carbon-carbon bonds quite difficult. The present work focuses on the use of supported transition metal catalysts as a means of activating methane (i.e. breaking C-H bonds) at low temperatures to produce valuable products or energy. The conversion of methane into higher hydrocarbons. A low temperature (<750 K), direct process to effectively convert methane into higher hydrocarbons would be quite desirable. Such a process is thermodynamically feasible if the reaction is broken up into two separate steps. The first step is the adsorption of methane onto a transition metal catalyst at temperatures above about 600 K to produce a surface carbon species. The second step is a low temperature (<373 K) hydrogenation to convert the carbon species into higher hydrocarbons. T. Koerts et al. have pursued this approach by dissociatively absorbing methane onto silica supported transition metal catalysts at temperatures ranging between 573 K and 773 K. The result was a surface carbonaceous species and hydrogen. In the second step, the carbonaceous intermediates produced small alkanes upon hydrogenation around 373 K. A maximum yield to higher hydrocarbons of 13% was obtained on a ruthenium catalyst. The present study was conducted to further investigate the nature of the carbonaceous species reported by Koerts. Methane combustion. This investigation was conducted in an effort to better understand the mechanism of methane combustion on Pd catalysts. In the first part of this study, temperature programmed reduction (TPR) was used to investigate the oxidation and reduction dynamics of a 10 wt% Pd/ZrOsb2 catalyst used for methane combustion. TPR experiments indicate

  18. Evaluating Active Methane Hydrate Dissociation Along the Washington Margin in Response to Bottom Water Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whorley, T. L.; Solomon, E. A.; Torres, M. E.; Johnson, H. P.; Berg, R. D.; Philip, B. T.

    2015-12-01

    Water column temperature data acquired on the upper continental slope (UCS) of the Washington (WA) section of the Cascadia margin shows gradual warming of bottom water at the upper limit of the methane hydrate stability zone (MHSZ) over the last 4 decades. Thermal models based on these records predict downslope retreat of the MHSZ by ~1-2 km (~40 m in depth), potentially destabilizing methane hydrate and releasing CH4into the sediment and water column. To test for contemporaneous methane hydrate dissociation along the UCS of the WA margin, we conducted a comprehensive geophysical and geochemical survey of active seep sites at the upper limit of the MHSZ from 48° to 46°N on the R/V Thompson in October 2014. We identified 9 active seep sites within this corridor and imaged 22 bubble plumes that commonly rise to ~300 m water depth with some reaching to near the sea surface. Some seep sites appear to be controlled by local margin structure, mainly extensional faults and ridges. We collected 22 gravity cores and 20 CTD/hydrocasts from the 9 seeps and processed ~350 sediment samples for pore water chemistry. Hydrocarbons heavier than CH4were not detected in bottom water samples, suggesting any gas hydrate present is Structure I. Preliminary pore water data show decreasing salinity downcore at each site with measured values as low as 10 psu and the sulfate-methane transition zone occurs between 50-80 cm below the sea floor. Pore water solute, noble gas, and isotope ratio data indicate freshening from at least one site is not the result of hydrate dissociation, but rather is due to clay dehydration at depths where temperatures exceed 60°C. Very few of the sites show pore water profiles that are in steady state, suggesting a dynamic biogeochemical system at the UCS along the entire WA margin. Further analyses and modeling are underway to constrain the nature and timing of these transient profiles and whether they are the result of recent methane hydrate dissociation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Diversity of microbial eukaryotes in sediment at a deep-sea methane cold seep: surveys of ribosomal DNA libraries from raw sediment samples and two enrichment cultures.

    PubMed

    Takishita, Kiyotaka; Yubuki, Naoji; Kakizoe, Natsuki; Inagaki, Yuji; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2007-07-01

    Recent culture-independent surveys of eukaryotic small-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) from many environments have unveiled unexpectedly high diversity of microbial eukaryotes (microeukaryotes) at various taxonomic levels. However, such surveys were most probably biased by various technical difficulties, resulting in underestimation of microeukaryotic diversity. In the present study on oxygen-depleted sediment from a deep-sea methane cold seep of Sagami Bay, Japan, we surveyed the diversity of eukaryotic rDNA in raw sediment samples and in two enrichment cultures. More than half of all clones recovered from the raw sediment samples were of the basidiomycetous fungus Cryptococcus curvatus. Among other clones, phylotypes of eukaryotic parasites, such as Apicomplexa, Ichthyosporea, and Phytomyxea, were identified. On the other hand, we observed a marked difference in phylotype composition in the enrichment samples. Several phylotypes belonging to heterotrophic stramenopiles were frequently found in one enrichment culture, while a phylotype of Excavata previously detected at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent dominated the other. We successfully established a clonal culture of this excavate flagellate. Since these phylotypes were not identified in the raw sediment samples, the approach incorporating a cultivation step successfully found at least a fraction of the "hidden" microeukaryotic diversity in the environment examined.

  1. Abiotic methane flux from the Chimaera seep and Tekirova ophiolites (Turkey): Understanding gas exhalation from low temperature serpentinization and implications for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etiope, Giuseppe; Schoell, Martin; Hosgörmez, Hakan

    2011-10-01

    The emission of abiotic methane (CH 4) into the atmosphere from low temperature serpentinization in ophiolitic rocks is documented to date only in four countries, the Philippines, Oman, New Zealand, and Turkey. Serpentinization produces large amounts of hydrogen (H 2) which in theory may react with CO 2 or CO to form hydrocarbons (Fischer-Tropsch Type synthesis, FTT). Similar mechanisms have been invoked to explain the CH 4 detected on Mars, so that understanding flux and exhalation modality of ophiolitic gas on Earth may contribute to decipher the potential degassing on Mars. This work reports the first direct measurements of gas (CH 4, CO 2) flux ever done on onshore ophiolites with present-day serpentinization. We investigated the Tekirova ophiolites at Çirali, in Turkey, hosting the Chimaera seep, a system of gas vents issuing from fractures in a 5000 m 2 wide ophiolite outcrop. At this site at least 150-190 t of CH 4 is annually released into the atmosphere. The molecular and isotopic compositions of C 1-C 5 alkanes, CO 2, and N 2 combined with source rock maturity data and thermogenic gas formation modelling suggested a dominant abiotic component (~ 80-90%) mixed with thermogenic gas. Abiotic H 2-rich gas is likely formed at temperatures below 50 °C, suggested by the low deuterium/hydrogen isotopic ratio of H 2 (δD H2: - 720‰), consistent with the low geothermal gradient of the area. Abiotic gas synthesis must be very fast and effective in continuously producing an amount of gas equivalent to the long-lasting (> 2 millennia) emission of > 100 t CH 4 yr - 1 , otherwise pressurised gas accumulation must exist. Over the same ophiolitic formation, 3 km away from Chimaera, we detected an invisible microseepage of abiotic CH 4 with fluxes from 0.07 to 1 g m - 2 d - 1 . On Mars similar fluxes could be able to sustain the CH 4 plume apparently recognised in the Northern Summer 2003 (10 4 or 10 5 t yr - 1 ) over the wide olivine bedrock and outcrops of hydrated

  2. Pockmarks: self-scouring seep features?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Laura L.; Kelley, Joseph T.; Belknap, Daniel F.; Barnhardt, Walter A.; Koons, Peter O.

    2011-01-01

    Pockmarks, or seafloor craters, occur worldwide in a variety of geologic settings and are often associated with fluid discharge. The mechanisms responsible for pockmark preservation, and pockmarks? relation to active methane venting are not well constrained. Simple numerical simulations run in 2-and 3-dimensions, and corroborated by flume tank experiments, indicate turbulence may play a role in pockmark maintenance, and, potentially, in pockmark excavation. Morphological analysis of the pockmarks indicates an abundance of flat-bottomed and/or elongated pockmarks. Pockmarks transition into furrows as the bay narrows and tidal flow is enhanced, providing unmistakable evidence of post-formation evolution. We hypothesize that some pockmarks formed from seafloor perturbations (e.g., gas or methane discharge), are1 maintained and gradually modified by vortical flow. This hypothesis provides a mechanism for pockmark preservation and enlargement without active fluid venting, which has implications for the interpretation of seafloor seep features in gas hydrates areas.

  3. Activated carbon monoliths for methane storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chada, Nagaraju; Romanos, Jimmy; Hilton, Ramsey; Suppes, Galen; Burress, Jacob; Pfeifer, Peter

    2012-02-01

    The use of adsorbent storage media for natural gas (methane) vehicles allows for the use of non-cylindrical tanks due to the decreased pressure at which the natural gas is stored. The use of carbon powder as a storage material allows for a high mass of methane stored for mass of sample, but at the cost of the tank volume. Densified carbon monoliths, however, allow for the mass of methane for volume of tank to be optimized. In this work, different activated carbon monoliths have been produced using a polymeric binder, with various synthesis parameters. The methane storage was studied using a home-built, dosing-type instrument. A monolith with optimal parameters has been fabricated. The gravimetric excess adsorption for the optimized monolith was found to be 161 g methane for kg carbon.

  4. Biogeochemical signatures and microbial activity of different cold-seep habitats along the Gulf of Mexico deep slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, Samantha B.; Bowles, Marshall W.; Samarkin, Vladimir A.; Hunter, Kimberley S.; Niemann, Helge

    2010-11-01

    Microorganisms and the processes they mediate serve as the metabolic foundation of cold seeps. We characterized a suite of biogeochemical constituents and quantified rates of two key microbial processes, Sulfate Reduction (SR) and Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane (AOM), to assess variability between habitats at water depths exceeding 1000 m in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Rates of SR were highest in sediments beneath microbial mats, lower in brine-influenced and oil-influenced sediments, and lowest in animal habitats. Sediments collected near tubeworms had the highest SR rates for animal habitats. Rates of AOM generally were low, but higher rates were associated with brine-influenced, oil-influenced, tubeworm- and urchin-inhabited sediments. Rates of both SR and AOM were orders of magnitude lower at deep-slope sites compared to upper-slope sites examined previously. As observed at upper-slope sites, SR and AOM rates were often loosely coupled. At one site, AOM rates exceeded SR rates, suggesting that an alternate electron acceptor for AOM is possible. Extremely depleted δ13C values in methane illustrated the broad significance of biogenic methane production at deep-slope sites. Brine-influenced habitats were characterized by extremely high concentrations of ammonium and dissolved organic carbon, serving as important focused sources of these chemicals to adjacent environments.

  5. Natural gas seeps in the French Alps: Sources and pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloppmann, Wolfram; Blessing, Michaela; Proust, Eric; Gal, Frédéric; Bentivegna, Gaetan; Henry, Benoit; Defossez, Pierrick; Catherine, Lerouge; Humez, Pauline; Mayer, Bernhard; Millot, Romain; Gaucher, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Natural gas emanations are part of the geochemical baseline to take into account when assessing global greenhouse gas emissions and potential impacts of conventional and unconventional gas exploration and exploitation on groundwater. Examples of such natural gas macro-seeps are known in several parts of the world (Etiope et al., 2009). Only a limited number of them have been characterized for their gas and isotopic compositions. Such analyses can provide essential information for baseline studies, providing insight in the sources (biogenic vs. thermogenic or modified thermogenic) and pathways of such seeps and may allow for distinction of natural seeps from stray gas leakage associated with human activities. Here, we report gas concentrations and multi-isotope data (δ13C and δ2H of methane and ethane, δ13C and δ18O of CO2, 3He/4He ratio) of two gas seeps in the French subalpine chains, both in a similar geological and structural position within Middle Jurassic claystones along the eastern border of the large synclinal structures of the Vercors and the Chartreuse massifs (Moss, 1992). The "ardent fountain" (fontaine ardente) of Le Gua, 30 km south of Grenoble has most likely the longest continuous written record of existence of any individual natural gas seep, mentioned explicitly as early as the first quarter of the 5th century (Augustin of Hippo (St. Augustin), approx. 426) This natural seep was described in the past as a "wet seep" associated with a spring, whereas the second investigated seep, Rochasson near Meylan north of Grenoble, is a dry seep. Both seeps contain methane and ethane with thermogenic C and H isotope signatures, comparable with a seep in the Northern Swiss Alps at Giswil (Etiope et al., 2010) but with a higher dryness (C1/(C2+C3)>1000) for the Le Gua seep, possibly due to molecular fractionation upon advective fluid+gas migration (Etiope et al., 2009). Maturity (R0) of the reservoir rocks deduced from δ13C(CH4), δ13C(C2H6) is similar to

  6. Halobacillus profundi sp. nov. and Halobacillus kuroshimensis sp. nov., moderately halophilic bacteria isolated from a deep-sea methane cold seep.

    PubMed

    Hua, Ngoc-Phuc; Kanekiyo, Atsuko; Fujikura, Katsunori; Yasuda, Hisato; Naganuma, Takeshi

    2007-06-01

    Two Gram-positive, rod-shaped, moderately halophilic bacteria were isolated from a deep-sea carbonate rock at a methane cold seep in Kuroshima Knoll, Japan. These bacteria, strains IS-Hb4(T) and IS-Hb7(T), were spore-forming and non-motile. They were able to grow at temperatures as low as 9 degrees C and hydrostatic pressures up to 30 MPa. Based on high sequence similarity of their 16S rRNA genes to those of type strains of the genus Halobacillus, from 96.4 % (strain IS-Hb7(T) to Halobacillus halophilus NCIMB 9251(T)) to 99.4 % (strain IS-Hb4(T) to Halobacillus dabanensis D-8(T)), the strains were shown to belong to this genus. DNA-DNA relatedness values of 49.5 % and 1.0-33.0 %, respectively, were determined between strains IS-Hb4(T) and IS-Hb7(T) and between these strains and other Halobacillus type strains. Both strains showed the major menaquinone MK7 and L-orn-D-Asp cell-wall peptidoglycan type. Straight-chain C(16 : 0), unsaturated C(16 : 1)omega7c alcohol and C(18 : 1)omega7c and cyclopropane C(19 : 0) cyc fatty acids were predominant in both strains. The DNA G+C contents of IS-Hb4(T) and IS-Hb7(T) were respectively 43.3 and 42.1 mol%. Physiological and biochemical analyses combined with DNA-DNA hybridization results allowed us to place strains IS-Hb4(T) (=JCM 14154(T)=DSM 18394(T)) and IS-Hb7(T) (=JCM 14155(T)=DSM 18393(T)) in the genus Halobacillus as the respective type strains of the novel species Halobacillus profundi sp. nov. and Halobacillus kuroshimensis sp. nov.

  7. The relative contribution of methanotrophs to microbial communities and carbon cycling in soil overlying a coal-bed methane seep

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mills, Christopher T.; Slater, Gregory F.; Dias, Robert F.; Carr, Stephanie A.; Reddy, Christopher M.; Schmidt, Raleigh; Mandernack, Kevin W.

    2013-01-01

    Seepage of coal-bed methane (CBM) through soils is a potential source of atmospheric CH4 and also a likely source of ancient (i.e. 14C-dead) carbon to soil microbial communities. Natural abundance 13C and 14C compositions of bacterial membrane phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and soil gas CO2 and CH4 were used to assess the incorporation of CBM-derived carbon into methanotrophs and other members of the soil microbial community. Concentrations of type I and type II methanotroph PLFA biomarkers (16:1ω8c and 18:1ω8c, respectively) were elevated in CBM-impacted soils compared with a control site. Comparison of PLFA and 16s rDNA data suggested type I and II methanotroph populations were well estimated and overestimated by their PLFA biomarkers, respectively. The δ13C values of PLFAs common in type I and II methanotrophs were as negative as −67‰ and consistent with the assimilation of CBM. PLFAs more indicative of nonmethanotrophic bacteria had δ13C values that were intermediate indicating assimilation of both plant- and CBM-derived carbon. Δ14C values of select PLFAs (−351 to −936‰) indicated similar patterns of CBM assimilation by methanotrophs and nonmethanotrophs and were used to estimate that 35–91% of carbon assimilated by nonmethanotrophs was derived from CBM depending on time of sampling and soil depth.

  8. The relative contribution of methanotrophs to microbial communities and carbon cycling in soil overlying a coal-bed methane seep.

    PubMed

    Mills, Christopher T; Slater, Gregory F; Dias, Robert F; Carr, Stephanie A; Reddy, Christopher M; Schmidt, Raleigh; Mandernack, Kevin W

    2013-06-01

    Seepage of coal-bed methane (CBM) through soils is a potential source of atmospheric CH4 and also a likely source of ancient (i.e. (14) C-dead) carbon to soil microbial communities. Natural abundance (13) C and (14) C compositions of bacterial membrane phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and soil gas CO2 and CH4 were used to assess the incorporation of CBM-derived carbon into methanotrophs and other members of the soil microbial community. Concentrations of type I and type II methanotroph PLFA biomarkers (16:1ω8c and 18:1ω8c, respectively) were elevated in CBM-impacted soils compared with a control site. Comparison of PLFA and 16s rDNA data suggested type I and II methanotroph populations were well estimated and overestimated by their PLFA biomarkers, respectively. The δ(13) C values of PLFAs common in type I and II methanotrophs were as negative as -67‰ and consistent with the assimilation of CBM. PLFAs more indicative of nonmethanotrophic bacteria had δ(13) C values that were intermediate indicating assimilation of both plant- and CBM-derived carbon. Δ(14) C values of select PLFAs (-351 to -936‰) indicated similar patterns of CBM assimilation by methanotrophs and nonmethanotrophs and were used to estimate that 35-91% of carbon assimilated by nonmethanotrophs was derived from CBM depending on time of sampling and soil depth.

  9. Dual symbiosis in a Bathymodiolus sp. mussel from a methane seep on the Gabon continental margin (Southeast Atlantic): 16S rRNA phylogeny and distribution of the symbionts in gills.

    PubMed

    Duperron, Sébastien; Nadalig, Thierry; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Sibuet, Myriam; Fiala-Médioni, Aline; Amann, Rudolf; Dubilier, Nicole

    2005-04-01

    Deep-sea mussels of the genus Bathymodiolus (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) harbor symbiotic bacteria in their gills and are among the dominant invertebrate species at cold seeps and hydrothermal vents. An undescribed Bathymodiolus species was collected at a depth of 3,150 m in a newly discovered cold seep area on the southeast Atlantic margin, close to the Zaire channel. Transmission electron microscopy, comparative 16S rRNA analysis, and fluorescence in situ hybridization indicated that this Bathymodiolus sp. lives in a dual symbiosis with sulfide- and methane-oxidizing bacteria. A distinct distribution pattern of the symbiotic bacteria in the gill epithelium was observed, with the thiotrophic symbiont dominating the apical region and the methanotrophic symbiont more abundant in the basal region of the bacteriocytes. No variations in this distribution pattern or in the relative abundances of the two symbionts were observed in mussels collected from three different mussel beds with methane concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 33.7 microM. The 16S rRNA sequence of the methanotrophic symbiont is most closely related to those of known methanotrophic symbionts from other bathymodiolid mussels. Surprisingly, the thiotrophic Bathymodiolus sp. 16S rRNA sequence does not fall into the monophyletic group of sequences from thiotrophic symbionts of all other Bathymodiolus hosts. While these mussel species all come from vents, this study describes the first thiotrophic sequence from a seep mussel and shows that it is most closely related (99% sequence identity) to an environmental clone sequence obtained from a hydrothermal plume near Japan.

  10. Investigation of shallow gas hydrate occurrence and gas seep activity on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Young Keun; Baranov, Boris; Obzhirov, Anatoly; Salomatin, Alexander; Derkachev, Alexander; Hachikubo, Akihiro; Minami, Hrotsugu; Kuk Hong, Jong

    2016-04-01

    The Sakhalin continental slope has been a well-known gas hydrate area since the first finding of gas hydrate in 1980's. This area belongs to the southernmost glacial sea in the northern hemisphere where most of the area sea is covered by sea ice the winter season. Very high organic carbon content in the sediment, cold sea environment, and active tectonic regime in the Sakhalin slope provide a very favorable condition for occurring shallow gas hydrate accumulation and gas emission phenomena. Research expeditions under the framework of a Korean-Russian-Japanese long-term international collaboration projects (CHAOS, SSGH-I, SSGH-II projects) have been conducted to investigate gas hydrate occurrence and gas seepage activities on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia from 2003 to 2015. During the expeditions, near-surface gas hydrate samples at more than 30 sites have been retrieved and hundreds of active gas seepage structures on the seafloor were newly registered by multidisciplinary surveys. The gas hydrates occurrence at the various water depths from about 300 m to 1000 m in the study area were accompanied by active gas seepage-related phenomena in the sub-bottom, on the seafloor, and in the water column: well-defined upward gas migration structures (gas chimney) imaged by high-resolution seismic, hydroacoustic anomalies of gas emissions (gas flares) detected by echosounders, seafloor high backscatter intensities (seepage structures) imaged by side-scan sonar and bathymetric structures (pockmarks and mounds) mapped by single/multi-beam surveys, and very shallow SMTZ (sulphate-methane transition zone) depths, strong microbial activities and high methane concentrations measured in sediment/seawater samples. The highlights of the expeditions are shallow gas hydrate occurrences around 300 m in the water depth which is nearly closed to the upper boundary of gas hydrate stability zone in the area and a 2,000 m-high gas flare emitted from the deep seafloor.

  11. Methane activation and oxidation in sulfuric acid.

    PubMed

    Goeppert, Alain; Dinér, Peter; Ahlberg, Per; Sommer, Jean

    2002-07-15

    The H/D exchange observed when methane is contacted with D(2)SO(4) at 270-330 degrees C shows that the alkane behaves as a sigma base and undergoes rapid and reversible protonation at this temperature. DFT studies of the hydrogen exchange between a monomer and a dimer of sulfuric acid and methane show that the transition states involved in the exchange are bifunctional, that is one hydrogen atom is transferred from a hydroxy group in sulfuric acid to methane, while one hydrogen atom is abstracted from methane by a non-hydroxy oxygen atom in sulfuric acid. All the transition states include a CH(5) moiety, which shows similarities to the methanium ion CH(5) (+). The calculated potential activation energy of the hydrogen exchange for the monomer is 174 kJ mol(-1), which is close to the experimental value (176 kJ mol(-1)). Solvation of the monomer and the transition state of the monomer with an extra sulfuric acid molecule, decrease the potential activation energy by 6 kJ mol(-1). The acid-base process is in competition, however, with an oxidative process involving methane and sulfuric acid which leads to CO(2), SO(2), and water, and thus to a decrease of acidity and loss of reactivity of the medium.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Comparison of the microbial diversity in cold-seep sediments from different depths in the Nankai Trough.

    PubMed

    Arakawa, Shizuka; Sato, Takako; Yoshida, Yasuhiko; Usami, Ron; Kato, Chiaki

    2006-02-01

    We have investigated the molecular phylogeny of cold-seep sediments obtained from the Nankai Trough, at depths of about 600, 2,000, and 3,300 m, and compared the microbial diversity profiles of those sediments samples. The gamma-Proteobacteria that might function as sulfide oxidizers and the symbiotically related delta-Proteobacteria which might function as sulfate reducers were identified amongst the bacteria from all depths of the sediments. However, anoxic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME) and methanogens were only found in the 600 m deep sediments. These results indicated that the cold-seep microbial sulfur circulation system could be functioning in the shallow seep sediment at a depth of 600 m and the microbial activities at these sites might be more dynamic than at other deeper cold-seep sites.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    biofilms. Despite the variations in taxonomic diversity at both sites, functional diversity inferred from sequencing data is similar. The presence of Thaumarchaeota taxa at both locations suggests ammonia oxidation. Methanogenic archaeal taxa may indicate methanogenesis, but it is possible that these archaea are using methanogenesis pathways in reverse (methanotrophy). Clostridia and Bacteriodetes were present at both seep sources, which suggests anaerobic fermentation is a viable metabolism. The ability of Clostridia to form spores may be advantageous at the ephemeral Yanartas seep. The contrast between anaerobic taxa abundances at both locations may be due to the difference in surface mixing at the seeps' surface expressions. Sequencing reads from both localities revealed a preponderance of methanogens, fermenters, and nitrifiers that may be remnants of a deep subsurface population exposed abruptly to atmospheric conditions. Further work is necessary to determine which metabolisms are most active within the microbial community, and to ascertain the biogenecity of the methane at both seeps.

  16. Biosynthesis of selenium rich exopolysaccharide (Se-EPS) by Pseudomonas PT-8 and characterization of its antioxidant activities.

    PubMed

    Ye, Shuhong; Zhang, Jiajia; Liu, Zhaofang; Zhang, Yu; Li, Jiang; Li, Yao Olive

    2016-05-20

    Biosynthesis of organo-selenium is achieved by submerged fermentation of selenium-tolerant Pseudomonas PT-8. The end product of metabolic process is selenium-bearing exopolysaccharide (Se-EPS), which contains a higher content of uronic acid than the exopolysaccharide (EPS) by the strain without selenium in the culture medium. Selenium content in Se-EPS reached a maximum yield of 256.7 mg/kg when using an optimized culture condition. Crude Se-EPS was purified into two fractions-a pH neutral Se-EPS-1 and an acidic Se-EPS-2. Structure and chemical composition of Se-EPS-2 were investigated by chromatographic analyses. Results showed that Se-EPS-2 was a homogenous polysaccharide with molecular weight of 7.3 kDa, consisting of monosaccharides, rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, glucose and galactose with a molar ratio of 19.58:19.28:5.97:18.99:23.70:12.48, respectively. Compared to the EPS, the content of rhamnose in Se-EPS increased and molecular weight decreased. The Se-EPS had strong scavenging actions on DPPH•, •OH and •O2(-), which is much higher than the EPS.

  17. First evidence of widespread active methane seepage in the Southern Ocean, off the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Römer, M.; Torres, M.; Kasten, S.; Kuhn, G.; Graham, A. G. C.; Mau, S.; Little, C. T. S.; Linse, K.; Pape, T.; Geprägs, P.; Fischer, D.; Wintersteller, P.; Marcon, Y.; Rethemeyer, J.; Bohrmann, G.

    2014-10-01

    An extensive submarine cold-seep area was discovered on the northern shelf of South Georgia during R/V Polarstern cruise ANT-XXIX/4 in spring 2013. Hydroacoustic surveys documented the presence of 133 gas bubble emissions, which were restricted to glacially-formed fjords and troughs. Video-based sea floor observations confirmed the sea floor origin of the gas emissions and spatially related microbial mats. Effective methane transport from these emissions into the hydrosphere was proven by relative enrichments of dissolved methane in near-bottom waters. Stable carbon isotopic signatures pointed to a predominant microbial methane formation, presumably based on high organic matter sedimentation in this region. Although known from many continental margins in the world's oceans, this is the first report of an active area of methane seepage in the Southern Ocean. Our finding of substantial methane emission related to a trough and fjord system, a topographical setting that exists commonly in glacially-affected areas, opens up the possibility that methane seepage is a more widespread phenomenon in polar and sub-polar regions than previously thought.

  18. Environmental effects of submarine seeping natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dando, P. R.; Hovland, M.

    1992-10-01

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

  19. Sidescan sonar imagery of widespread fossil and active cold seeps along the central Chilean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaucke, Ingo; Weinrebe, Wilhelm; Linke, Peter; Kläschen, Dirk; Bialas, Jörg

    2012-12-01

    The central Chilean subduction zone between 35°S and 37°S was investigated in order to identify, document and possibly understand fluid flow and fluid venting within the forearc region. Several areas were mapped using multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, high-resolution sidescan sonar, chirp subbottom profiling and reflection seismic data. On a subsequent cruise ground-truthing observations were made using a video sled. In general, this dataset shows surprisingly little evidence of fluid venting along the mid-slope region, in contrast to other subduction zones such as Central America and New Zealand. There were abundant indications of active and predominantly fossil fluid venting along the upper slope between 36.5°S and 36.8°S at the seaward margin of an intraslope basin. Here, backscatter anomalies suggest widespread authigenic carbonate deposits, likely the result of methane-rich fluid expulsion. There is unpublished evidence that these fluids are of biogenic origin and generated within the slope sediments, similar to other accretionary margins but in contrast to the erosional margin off Central America, where fluids have geochemical signals indicating an origin from the subducting plate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Chen, Duofu

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  4. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Himmler, Tobias; Bayon, Germain; Wangner, David; Enzmann, Frieder; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2016-11-01

    Authigenic carbonate build-ups develop at seafloor methane-seeps, where microbially mediated sulphate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane facilitates carbonate precipitation. Despite being valuable recorders of past methane seepage events, their role as archives of atmospheric processes has not been examined. Here we show that cyclic sedimentation pulses related to the Indian monsoon in concert with authigenic precipitation of methane-derived aragonite gave rise to a well-laminated carbonate build-up within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan (northern Arabian Sea). U–Th dating indicates that the build-up grew during past ~1,130 years, creating an exceptional high-resolution archive of the Indian monsoon system. Monsoon-controlled formation of seep-carbonates extends the known environmental processes recorded by seep-carbonates, revealing a new relationship between atmospheric and seafloor processes.

  5. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux

    PubMed Central

    Himmler, Tobias; Bayon, Germain; Wangner, David; Enzmann, Frieder; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    Authigenic carbonate build-ups develop at seafloor methane-seeps, where microbially mediated sulphate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane facilitates carbonate precipitation. Despite being valuable recorders of past methane seepage events, their role as archives of atmospheric processes has not been examined. Here we show that cyclic sedimentation pulses related to the Indian monsoon in concert with authigenic precipitation of methane-derived aragonite gave rise to a well-laminated carbonate build-up within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan (northern Arabian Sea). U–Th dating indicates that the build-up grew during past ~1,130 years, creating an exceptional high-resolution archive of the Indian monsoon system. Monsoon-controlled formation of seep-carbonates extends the known environmental processes recorded by seep-carbonates, revealing a new relationship between atmospheric and seafloor processes. PMID:27876764

  6. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux.

    PubMed

    Himmler, Tobias; Bayon, Germain; Wangner, David; Enzmann, Frieder; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2016-11-23

    Authigenic carbonate build-ups develop at seafloor methane-seeps, where microbially mediated sulphate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane facilitates carbonate precipitation. Despite being valuable recorders of past methane seepage events, their role as archives of atmospheric processes has not been examined. Here we show that cyclic sedimentation pulses related to the Indian monsoon in concert with authigenic precipitation of methane-derived aragonite gave rise to a well-laminated carbonate build-up within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan (northern Arabian Sea). U-Th dating indicates that the build-up grew during past ~1,130 years, creating an exceptional high-resolution archive of the Indian monsoon system. Monsoon-controlled formation of seep-carbonates extends the known environmental processes recorded by seep-carbonates, revealing a new relationship between atmospheric and seafloor processes.

  7. Rethinking biological activation of methane and conversion to liquid fuels.

    PubMed

    Haynes, Chad A; Gonzalez, Ramon

    2014-05-01

    If methane, the main component of natural gas, can be efficiently converted to liquid fuels, world reserves of methane could satisfy the demand for transportation fuels in addition to use in other sectors. However, the direct activation of strong C-H bonds in methane and conversion to desired products remains a difficult technological challenge. This perspective reveals an opportunity to rethink the logic of biological methane activation and conversion to liquid fuels. We formulate a vision for a new foundation for methane bioconversion and suggest paths to develop technologies for the production of liquid transportation fuels from methane at high carbon yield and high energy efficiency and with low CO2 emissions. These technologies could support natural gas bioconversion facilities with a low capital cost and at small scales, which in turn could monetize the use of natural gas resources that are frequently flared, vented or emitted.

  8. Methane seepage along the Hikurangi Margin offshore New Zealand: 6 years of multidisciplinary studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, J.; Bialas, J.; Klaucke, I.; Crutchley, G.; Dale, A.; Linke, P.; Sommer, S.; Bowden, D.; Rowden, A.; de Haas, H.; de Stigter, H.; Faure, K.

    2012-12-01

    Detailed studies in 2006, 2007 and 2011 along the east coast of New Zealand's North Island highlighted the close link of sub-bottom fluid pathways and seafloor expressions of methane seepage such as clam fields, carbonate build-ups, tubeworms, bacterial mats and methane release (Marine Geology 272). Prior to our studies, only accidental observations of hydroacoustic anomalies, recoveries of calyptogena shells and methane-derived carbonate chimneys indicated active seepage. Wide areas of the sub-seafloor show BSR structures, gas migration pathways, gas chimneys and blanking zones, which are closely linked to actual seep sites. Sidescan surveys showed four prominent seep areas at Omakere Ridge in 1120m water depth, three of them perfectly matching the shapes and locations of faults seen in high resolution 3D-seismic surveys. The fourth seep, Bear's Paw, on its western side represents an old seep which developed into a cold water coral habitat. At the actively seeping eastern part, gas hydrates could be retrieved and bubble release was observed hydroacoustically and confirmed by high dissolved methane values (380nM). No strong microbial oxidation effects could be found in δ13C values plotting along a mixing curve between pure seep (-70 ‰PDB) and atmospheric methane (-47 ‰PDB). Lander deployments show a tide-influenced gas discharge with sometimes eruptive bubble release with possible plume development transporting methane-charged water higher up into the water column. Rock Garden, with just above 600m water depth at its top outside the gas hydrate stability zone, hosts two main seep areas. ROV observations at Faure Site document eruptive releases of free gas from decimeter-wide craters at the seafloor. Flux estimates show peak releases of 420ml/min with bubbles up to 9mm in diameter. Concentrations of dissolved methane reach up to 3500nM close to the bottom, but higher concentrations are limited to below 400m of water depth; here, methane is transported towards

  9. A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Lisa A.; Orphan, Victoria J.; Rouse, Greg W.; Rathburn, Anthony E.; Ussler, William; Cook, Geoffrey S.; Goffredi, Shana K.; Perez, Elena M.; Waren, Anders; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Chadwick, Grayson; Strickrott, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Upon their initial discovery, hydrothermal vents and methane seeps were considered to be related but distinct ecosystems, with different distributions, geomorphology, temperatures, geochemical properties and mostly different species. However, subsequently discovered vents and seep systems have blurred this distinction. Here, we report on a composite, hydrothermal seep ecosystem at a subducting seamount on the convergent Costa Rica margin that represents an intermediate between vent and seep ecosystems. Diffuse flow of shimmering, warm fluids with high methane concentrations supports a mixture of microbes, animal species, assemblages and trophic pathways with vent and seep affinities. Their coexistence reinforces the continuity of reducing environments and exemplifies a setting conducive to interactive evolution of vent and seep biota. PMID:22398162

  10. Marine oil seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, R.F. )

    1991-03-01

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

  11. Biological methane oxidation: regulation, biochemistry, and active site structure of particulate methane monooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Raquel L; Rosenzweig, Amy C

    2004-01-01

    Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) is a three-subunit integral membrane enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of methane to methanol. Although pMMO is the predominant methane oxidation catalyst in nature, it has proved difficult to isolate, and most questions regarding its molecular structure, active site composition, chemical mechanism, and genetic regulation remain unanswered. Copper ions are believed to play a key role in both pMMO regulation and catalysis, and there is some evidence that the enzyme contains iron as well. A number of research groups have solubilized and purified or partially purified pMMO. These preparations have been characterized by biochemical and biophysical methods. In addition, aspects of methane monooxygenase gene regulation and copper accumulation in methanotrophs have been studied. This review summarizes for the first time the often controversial pMMO literature, focusing on recent progress and highlighting unresolved issues.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. [Sulfate reduction and microbial processes of the methane cycle in the sediments of the Sevastopol bay].

    PubMed

    Pimenov, N V; Egorov, V N; Kanapatskiĭ, T A; Malakhova, T V; Artemov, Iu G; Sigalevich, P A; Malakhova, L V

    2013-01-01

    The rates of microbial processes of sulfate reduction and of the methane cycle were measured in the bottom sediments of the Sevastopol basin, where seeps of gaseous methane have been previously found. Typically for marine environments, sulfate reduction played the major role in the terminal phase of decomposition of organic matter (OM) in reduced sediments of this area. The rate of this process depended on the amount of available OM. The rate of methanogenesis in the sediments increased with depth, peaking in the subsurface horizons, where decreased sulfate concentration was detected in the pore water. The highest rates of sulfate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation were found close to the methane-sulfate transition zone as is typical of most investigated marine sediments. The data on the carbon isotopic composition of gaseous methane from the seeps and dissolved CH4 from the bottom sediments, as well as on the rates of microbial methanogenesis and methane oxidation indicate that the activity of the methane seeps results from accumulation of biogenic methane in the cavities of the underlying geological structures with subsequent periodic release of methane bubbles into the water column.

  14. Manifestation of carbonate-barite mineralization around methane seeps in the Sea of Okhotsk (the western slope of the Kuril Basin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derkachev, A. N.; Nikolaeva, N. A.; Baranov, B. V.; Barinov, N. N.; Mozherovskiy, A. V.; Minami, H.; Hachikubo, A.; Shoji, H.

    2015-05-01

    First data are reported on a new manifestation of carbonate-barite mineralization found at a site of methane emanations on the western slope of the Kuril Basin, Sea of Okhotsk. Morphological types of barite, aragonite, and low-magnesian calcite are considered in detail; the results of carbon and oxygen isotope study of carbonate concretions and crusts are presented. It is shown that the barite was formed in sediments owing to the diffusion infiltration of the barium-rich fluids through sedimentary succession. The component and isotope compositions of gases are determined and the relatively elevated content of heavy hydrocarbons is revealed. It was assumed that the relatively heavy isotope composition of carbonates is caused by the influence of fluid released from deep sedimentary horizons owing to the dehydration of clay minerals during post- sedimentation transformations. Obtained data show that the origin of carbonate-barite mineralization is related to the migration of hydrocarbons (mainly methane) and barium-bearing cold gas-fluid flows, which were derived not only from near-surface reservoirs but also from deeper-seated sources.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-01

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

  16. Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing Reveals Biosynthesis Dynamics of Slow Growing Methane Based Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Marlow, Jeffery; Skennerton, Connor T.; Li, Zhou; Chourey, Karuna; Hettich, Robert L.; Pan, Chongle; Orphan, V.

    2016-04-29

    Marine methane seep habitats represent an important control on the global flux of methane between the subsurface and water column reservoirs. Meta-omics studies have begun to outline community-wide metabolic potential, but expression patterns of proteins that enact sulfate-mediated anaerobic methane oxidation in seeps are poorly characterized. Proteomic stable isotope probing (proteomic SIP) offers an additional layer of information for characterizing phylogenetically specific, functionally relevant activity in mixed microbial communities. Here we applied proteomic SIP to 15NH4+ and CH4 amended seep sediment microcosms in an attempt to track the protein synthesis of slow-growing, low-energy microbial systems. Across all samples, 3495 proteins were identified, 21% of which were 15N-labeled. We observed active synthesis (15N enrichment) of all proteins believed to be involved in sulfate reduction and reverse methanogenesis including methylenetetrahydromethanopterin reductase (Mer). The abundance and phylogenetic range of methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) orthologs produced during incubation experiments suggests that seeps provide sufficient niches for multiple organisms performing analogous metabolisms. Twenty-eight previously unreported post-translational modifications of McrA were measured, indicating dynamic enzymatic machinery and offering a dimension of functional diversity beyond gene-dictated sequence. RNA polymerase associated with putative sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria and aerobic Gammaproteobacteria were more abundant among pre-incubation proteins, suggesting diminished metabolic activity in long-term anoxic, sulfidic experimental incubations. Twenty-six proteins of unknown function were detected in all proteomic experiments and actively expressed in labeled experiments, suggesting that they play important roles in methane seep ecosystems. The addition of stable isotope probing to environmental proteomics experiments provides a mechanism to begin

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Vertical distribution and diversity of bacteria and archaea in sulfide and methane-rich cold seep sediments located at the base of the Florida Escarpment.

    PubMed

    Reed, Andrew J; Lutz, Richard A; Vetriani, Costantino

    2006-06-01

    The bacterial and archaeal communities of the sediments at the base of the Florida Escarpment (Gulf of Mexico, USA) were investigated using molecular phylogenetic analysis. The total microbial community DNA of each of three vertical zones (top, middle and bottom) of a sediment core was extracted and the 16S rRNA genes were amplified by PCR, cloned and sequenced. Shannon-Weaver Diversity measures of bacteria were high in all three zones. For the archaea, diversity was generally low, but increased with depth. The archaeal clonal libraries were dominated by representatives of four groups of organisms involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (ANME groups). Phylogenetic analysis of bacteria suggests the dominance of epsilon-proteobacteria in the top zone, the epsilon-, delta- and gamma-proteobacteria in the middle zone and the delta-proteobacteria in the bottom zone of the core. Members of the Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteroidetes group, the Chloroflexi/green non-sulfur bacteria, the Gram+ (Firmicutes), the Planctomyces, candidate division WS3 and Fusobacterium were also detected. Our data suggest that the community structure and diversity of microorganisms can shift greatly within small vertical distances, possibly in response to changes in the physical and chemical conditions.

  20. A kinetic model for the methane hydrate precipitated from venting gas at cold seep sites at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia margin, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yuncheng; Chen, Duofu; Cathles, Lawrence M.

    2013-09-01

    develop a kinetic model for hydrate crystallization from methane gas venting through shallow sediments at Hydrate Ridge on the Cascadia margin of Oregon that predicts how pore water chlorinity, temperature, and crystallized hydrate evolve after the onset of steady venting. Predictions are compared to observations at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1249. In the preferred model, calculated gas hydrate saturation and chloride concentrations reach those observed at depths less than 20 m below seafloor (bsf) under the southern summit of Hydrate Ridge in ~650 years, and the vertical water flux must be less than 50 kg/m2/yr. Hydrate accumulates more slowly between 20 m bsf and the base of the hydrate stability zone where there is no free gas, accumulating to observed levels of a few volume percent of hydrate in 105 to 106 years, depending on the water flux that is assumed through this zone. This dichotomy means that the presently observed gas venting must have been diverted to this area ~650 years ago, or be episodic and infrequent. If the gas venting for the last 650 years has been as observed today, the latent heat of hydrate precipitation in the upper 20 m of sediments would have caused the temperature to increase ~0.8°C at ~20 m bsf and ~0.2°C at ~100 m bsf. This would have caused a ~5 m rise in the elevation of the base of hydrate stability zone, and decreased the rate of hydrate crystallization from 1.5 kg CH4/m2/yr 650 years ago to 0.7 kg CH4/m2/yr today.

  1. New Isotopic Constraints on the Sources of Methane at Sites of Active Continental Serpentinization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D. T.; Gruen, D.; Morrill, P. L.; Rietze, A.; Nealson, K. H.; Kubo, M. D.; Cardace, D.; Schrenk, M. O.; Hoehler, T. M.; McCollom, T. M.; Etiope, G.; Hosgormez, H.; Schoell, M.; Ono, S.

    2014-12-01

    At continental sites of serpentinization, high concentrations of reduced gases (e.g., H2, CH4) are frequently found in association with highly-alkaline groundwater. Identification of the process(es) responsible for the generation of methane—as well as the source(s) of C & H—in these environments has been challenging. The difficulty is due to both the wide range of processes (microbial, thermal, abiotic) that could be involved, and the limited number of parameters that are accessible to currently-available analytical technologies (e.g., δ13C, δD). The recent development of a new technique based on tunable infrared laser spectroscopy [1] has enabled the fully-resolved quantification of four isotopologues of methane: 12CH4, 13CH4, 12CH3D, and 13CH3D, a doubly-substituted ("clumped") isotopologue. We used this technique to measure 13CH3D in gases sampled from continental sites of serpentinization, in order to provide independent constraints on C-H bond-forming processes involved in the generation of the methane found in these systems. Our study sites are hosted in ultramafic units that are presently undergoing serpentinization. These include The Cedars peridotite body (Calif., USA) [2], the Coast Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory (Calif., USA) [3], and the Chimaera seep (Tekirova Ophiolite, Turkey) [4]. Preliminary measurements indicate that Δ13CH3D (the deviation of the abundance of 13CH3D from the stochastic distribution) in methane sampled from these sites spans nearly the entire range of thermodynamically-predicted values, from >+5‰ (13CH3D-based apparent equilibrium temperature < 45 °C) to ~0‰ (Tapparent → ∞). The new 13CH3D data is complemented by conventional geochemical analyses (e.g., dissolved ions/organics, δ13C, δD) on samples collected during the same field campaigns. Our study demonstrates that the measurement of 13CH3D provides a new dimension of isotopic constraints for unraveling the complex processes controlling the distribution

  2. Links between methane flux and transcriptional activities of methanogens and methane oxidizers in a blanket peat bog.

    PubMed

    Freitag, Thomas E; Toet, Sylvia; Ineson, Phil; Prosser, James I

    2010-07-01

    The relationship between biogeochemical process rates and microbial functional activity was investigated by analysis of the transcriptional dynamics of the key functional genes for methanogenesis (methyl coenzyme M reductase; mcrA) and methane oxidation (particulate methane monooxygenase; pmoA) and in situ methane flux at two peat soil field sites with contrasting net methane-emitting and -oxidizing characteristics. qPCR was used to quantify the abundances of mcrA and pmoA genes and transcripts at two soil depths. Total methanogen and methanotroph transcriptional dynamics, calculated from mcrA and pmoA gene : transcript abundance ratios, were similar at both sites and depths. However, a linear relationship was demonstrated between surface mcrA and pmoA transcript dynamics and surface flux rates at the methane-emitting and methane-oxidizing sites, respectively. Results indicate that methanotroph activity was at least partially substrate-limited at the methane-emitting site and by other factors at the methane-oxidizing site. Soil depth also contributed to the control of surface methane fluxes, but to a lesser extent. Small differences in the soil water content may have contributed to differences in methanogen and methanotroph activities. This study therefore provides a first insight into the regulation of in situ, field-level surface CH(4) flux at the molecular level by an accurate reflection of gene : transcript abundance ratios for the key genes in methane generation and consumption.

  3. Autotrophy as a predominant mode of carbon fixation in anaerobic methane-oxidizing microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Kellermann, Matthias Y; Wegener, Gunter; Elvert, Marcus; Yoshinaga, Marcos Yukio; Lin, Yu-Shih; Holler, Thomas; Mollar, Xavier Prieto; Knittel, Katrin; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2012-11-20

    The methane-rich, hydrothermally heated sediments of the Guaymas Basin are inhabited by thermophilic microorganisms, including anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (mainly ANME-1) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (e.g., HotSeep-1 cluster). We studied the microbial carbon flow in ANME-1/ HotSeep-1 enrichments in stable-isotope-probing experiments with and without methane. The relative incorporation of (13)C from either dissolved inorganic carbon or methane into lipids revealed that methane-oxidizing archaea assimilated primarily inorganic carbon. This assimilation is strongly accelerated in the presence of methane. Experiments with simultaneous amendments of both (13)C-labeled dissolved inorganic carbon and deuterated water provided further insights into production rates of individual lipids derived from members of the methane-oxidizing community as well as their carbon sources used for lipid biosynthesis. In the presence of methane, all prominent lipids carried a dual isotopic signal indicative of their origin from primarily autotrophic microbes. In the absence of methane, archaeal lipid production ceased and bacterial lipid production dropped by 90%; the lipids produced by the residual fraction of the metabolically active bacterial community predominantly carried a heterotrophic signal. Collectively our results strongly suggest that the studied ANME-1 archaea oxidize methane but assimilate inorganic carbon and should thus be classified as methane-oxidizing chemoorganoautotrophs.

  4. Activation energy of methyl radical decay in methane hydrate.

    PubMed

    Takeya, Kei; Nango, Kouhei; Sugahara, Takeshi; Ohgaki, Kazunari; Tani, Atsushi

    2005-11-10

    The thermal stability of gamma-ray-induced methyl radicals in methane hydrate was studied using the ESR method at atmospheric pressure and 210-260 K. The methyl radical decay proceeded with the second-order reaction, and ethane molecules were generated from the dimerization process. The methyl radical decay proceeds by two different temperature-dependent processes, that is, the respective activation energies of these processes are 20.0 +/- 1.6 kJ/mol for the lower temperature region of 210-230 K and 54.8 +/- 5.7 kJ/mol for the higher temperature region of 235-260 K. The former agrees well with the enthalpy change of methane hydrate dissociation into ice and gaseous methane, while the latter agrees well with the enthalpy change into liquid water and gaseous methane. The present findings reveal that methane hydrates dissociate into liquid (supercooled) water and gaseous methane in the temperature range of 235-260 K.

  5. New insights on methane cycling from analyses of carbonate samples from the Cascadia Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joseph, C.; Torres, M. E.; Martin, R.; Rose, K.; Ryan, T.; Pohlman, J.; Snyder, G. T.

    2010-12-01

    In regions of the seafloor where methane flux is high, microbial communities thrive using methane and sulfide as an energy source. As methane becomes oxidized by these communities alkalinity increases, stimulating the precipitation of authigenic carbonate. Geochemical analysis of these carbonates can provide clues as to the hydrocarbon source, temperature, environmental conditions, and microbiological pathways involved in methane oxidation. In this study, we have undertaken isotopic and chemical analyses of disseminated carbonate grains, carbonate concretions, bulk sediment, and pore water collected from modern and fossil methane-seep regions of the Cascadia margin. XRD analyses of sediments recovered from three active seep sites, known to host gas hydrates and support anaerobic methane oxidation (AMO), have documented the presence of rhodochrosite (MnCO3) and high manganese calcite. Similarly, high manganese calcite was observed in carbonates sampled from coastal fossil methane seeps exposed from Oregon to Vancouver Island, and have also been reported in carbonates recovered from fault zones on the Oregon slope. These samples have low d13C values, consistent with a methane-carbon source, and anomalously low oxygen isotope values resulting from the disassociation of 18O enriched hydrate. Pore water samples collected from the active seeps show that manganese concentrations decline near the sulfate methane interface (SMI) and MnO2 and MnO(OH) minerals are found in the bulk sediment above the SMI. Microbial manganese reduction relies on reducing solid substrates while providing free Mn2+ to surrounding pore waters, and potentially fractionating oxygen. Because this process occurs near the SMI, elevated Mn/Ca ratios thus far suggest the possibility that carbonates with anomalous oxygen isotopic values may reflect a component of manganese-dependent AOM.

  6. SHEEP CREEK SEEP CHARACTERIZATION

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. Abyssal seep site cementation: west Florida escarpment

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-02-01

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

  10. Methane-induced Activation Mechanism of Fused Ferric Oxide-Alumina Catalysts during Methane Decomposition.

    PubMed

    Reddy Enakonda, Linga; Zhou, Lu; Saih, Youssef; Ould-Chikh, Samy; Lopatin, Sergei; Gary, Daniel; Del-Gallo, Pascal; Basset, Jean-Marie

    2016-08-09

    Activation of Fe2 O3 -Al2 O3 with CH4 (instead of H2 ) is a meaningful method to achieve catalytic methane decomposition (CMD). This reaction of CMD is more economic and simple against commercial methane steam reforming (MSR) as it produces COx -free H2 . In this study, for the first time, structure changes of the catalyst were screened during CH4 reduction with time on stream. The aim was to optimize the pretreatment conditions through understanding the activation mechanism. Based on results from various characterization techniques, reduction of Fe2 O3 by CH4 proceeds in three steps: Fe2 O3 →Fe3 O4 →FeO→Fe0. Once Fe0 is formed, it decomposes CH4 with formation of Fe3 C, which is the crucial initiation step in the CMD process to initiate formation of multiwall carbon nanotubes.

  11. Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing Reveals Biosynthesis Dynamics of Slow Growing Methane Based Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Marlow, Jeffrey J.; Skennerton, Connor T.; Li, Zhou; Chourey, Karuna; Hettich, Robert L.; Pan, Chongle; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2016-01-01

    Marine methane seep habitats represent an important control on the global flux of methane. Nucleotide-based meta-omics studies outline community-wide metabolic potential, but expression patterns of environmentally relevant proteins are poorly characterized. Proteomic stable isotope probing (proteomic SIP) provides additional information by characterizing phylogenetically specific, functionally relevant activity in mixed microbial communities, offering enhanced detection through system-wide product integration. Here we applied proteomic SIP to 15NH4+ and CH4 amended seep sediment microcosms in an attempt to track protein synthesis of slow-growing, low-energy microbial systems. Across all samples, 3495 unique proteins were identified, 11% of which were 15N-labeled. Consistent with the dominant anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) activity commonly observed in anoxic seep sediments, proteins associated with sulfate reduction and reverse methanogenesis—including the ANME-2 associated methylenetetrahydromethanopterin reductase (Mer)—were all observed to be actively synthesized (15N-enriched). Conversely, proteins affiliated with putative aerobic sulfur-oxidizing epsilon- and gammaproteobacteria showed a marked decrease over time in our anoxic sediment incubations. The abundance and phylogenetic range of 15N-enriched methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) orthologs, many of which exhibited novel post-translational modifications, suggests that seep sediments provide niches for multiple organisms performing analogous metabolisms. In addition, 26 proteins of unknown function were consistently detected and actively expressed under conditions supporting AOM, suggesting that they play important roles in methane seep ecosystems. Stable isotope probing in environmental proteomics experiments provides a mechanism to determine protein durability and evaluate lineage-specific responses in complex microbial communities placed under environmentally relevant conditions. Our work here

  12. Assessing the role of spatial structure on cell-specific activity and interactions within uncultured methane-oxidizing syntrophic consortia (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orphan, V. J.; McGlynn, S.; Chadwick, G.; Dekas, A.; Green-Saxena, A.

    2013-12-01

    Sulfate-coupled anaerobic oxidation of methane is catalysed through symbiotic associations between archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria and represents the dominant sink for methane in the oceans. These methane-oxidizing symbiotic consortia form well-structured multi-celled aggregations in marine methane seeps, where close spatial proximity is believed to be essential for efficient exchange of substrates between syntrophic partners. The nature of this interspecies metabolic relationship is still unknown however there are a number of hypotheses regarding the electron carrying intermediate and ecophysiology of the partners, each of which should be affected by, and influence, the spatial arrangement of archaeal and bacterial cells within aggregates. To advance our understanding of the role of spatial structure within naturally occurring environmental consortia, we are using spatial statistical methods combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization and high-resolution nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-nanoSIMS) to quantify the effect of spatial organization and intra- and inter-species interactions on cell-specific microbial activity within these diverse archaeal-bacterial partnerships.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-03

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

  14. Geological settings and seafloor morphodynamic evolution linked to methane seepage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Landeghem, Katrien J. J.; Niemann, Helge; Steinle, Lea I.; O'Reilly, Shane S.; Huws, Dei G.; Croker, Peter F.

    2015-08-01

    Methane seeps have been shown to be a powerful agent in modifying seabed morphology, amongst others by cementation processes such as the formation of methane-derived authigenic carbonates (MDACs). The cements stabilise mobile sediment particles and thereby promote the formation of edifices such as mounds on various scales. The release of methane from shallow subsurface sources, when concentrated in seeps, has proven hazardous to offshore construction activities. In this paper, methane cycling and MDAC precipitation is explored as a potential "finger on the pulse" for the recognition of shallow gas pockets and active gas seepage. This would provide a valuable planning tool for seabed engineering developments in areas of potential gas seepage. Measurements of methane concentrations in the Irish Sea are correlated with a unique record of longer-term morphological evolution (up to 11 years) of MDAC structures and subsurface geological settings which would favour the build-up of shallow gas. It was found that gas seepage activity associated with fault zones correlates with carbonate mound steepness. Cessation of gas seepage results in a relatively slow process of erosion and burial of the mounds, eventually producing a subdued carbonate mound morphology after several decades. The Quaternary glacial legacy equally seems to define the distribution and geometry of the MDAC structures. In this case, methane gas locally concentrated in sands and gravels capped by clayey glacial sediments may percolate upwards to the seafloor. A link between methane seeps and the formation of unusually large, trochoidally shaped sediment waves observed on continental shelves worldwide is deemed unlikely. However, the observations suggest that gas percolating through sediment waves may be capped by muddy sediments which have deposited on the sediment waves due to anoxic conditions or eroded from a neighbouring cliff. Other sediment waves in the Irish Sea were found to have a step

  15. Zero Valent Iron Significantly Enhances Methane Production from Waste Activated Sludge by Improving Biochemical Methane Potential Rather Than Hydrolysis Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-01

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system.

  16. Polyhydroxyalkanoates in waste activated sludge enhances anaerobic methane production through improving biochemical methane potential instead of hydrolysis rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qilin; Sun, Jing; Zhang, Chang; Xie, Guo-Jun; Zhou, Xu; Qian, Jin; Yang, Guojing; Zeng, Guangming; Liu, Yiqi; Wang, Dongbo

    2016-01-01

    Anaerobic sludge digestion is the main technology for sludge reduction and stabilization prior to sludge disposal. Nevertheless, methane production from anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is often restricted by the poor biochemical methane potential and slow hydrolysis rate of WAS. This work systematically investigated the effect of PHA levels of WAS on anaerobic methane production, using both experimental and mathematical modeling approaches. Biochemical methane potential tests showed that methane production increased with increased PHA levels in WAS. Model-based analysis suggested that the PHA-based method enhanced methane production by improving biochemical methane potential of WAS, with the highest enhancement being around 40% (from 192 to 274 L CH4/kg VS added; VS: volatile solid) when the PHA levels increased from 21 to 143 mg/g VS. In contrast, the hydrolysis rate (approximately 0.10 d‑1) was not significantly affected by the PHA levels. Economic analysis suggested that the PHA-based method could save $1.2/PE/y (PE: population equivalent) in a typical wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The PHA-based method can be easily integrated into the current WWTP to enhance methane production, thereby providing a strong support to the on-going paradigm shift in wastewater management from pollutant removal to resource recovery.

  17. Zero Valent Iron Significantly Enhances Methane Production from Waste Activated Sludge by Improving Biochemical Methane Potential Rather Than Hydrolysis Rate

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system. PMID:25652244

  18. Polyhydroxyalkanoates in waste activated sludge enhances anaerobic methane production through improving biochemical methane potential instead of hydrolysis rate.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qilin; Sun, Jing; Zhang, Chang; Xie, Guo-Jun; Zhou, Xu; Qian, Jin; Yang, Guojing; Zeng, Guangming; Liu, Yiqi; Wang, Dongbo

    2016-01-21

    Anaerobic sludge digestion is the main technology for sludge reduction and stabilization prior to sludge disposal. Nevertheless, methane production from anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is often restricted by the poor biochemical methane potential and slow hydrolysis rate of WAS. This work systematically investigated the effect of PHA levels of WAS on anaerobic methane production, using both experimental and mathematical modeling approaches. Biochemical methane potential tests showed that methane production increased with increased PHA levels in WAS. Model-based analysis suggested that the PHA-based method enhanced methane production by improving biochemical methane potential of WAS, with the highest enhancement being around 40% (from 192 to 274 L CH4/kg VS added; VS: volatile solid) when the PHA levels increased from 21 to 143 mg/g VS. In contrast, the hydrolysis rate (approximately 0.10 d(-1)) was not significantly affected by the PHA levels. Economic analysis suggested that the PHA-based method could save $1.2/PE/y (PE: population equivalent) in a typical wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The PHA-based method can be easily integrated into the current WWTP to enhance methane production, thereby providing a strong support to the on-going paradigm shift in wastewater management from pollutant removal to resource recovery.

  19. Polyhydroxyalkanoates in waste activated sludge enhances anaerobic methane production through improving biochemical methane potential instead of hydrolysis rate

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qilin; Sun, Jing; Zhang, Chang; Xie, Guo-Jun; Zhou, Xu; Qian, Jin; Yang, Guojing; Zeng, Guangming; Liu, Yiqi; Wang, Dongbo

    2016-01-01

    Anaerobic sludge digestion is the main technology for sludge reduction and stabilization prior to sludge disposal. Nevertheless, methane production from anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is often restricted by the poor biochemical methane potential and slow hydrolysis rate of WAS. This work systematically investigated the effect of PHA levels of WAS on anaerobic methane production, using both experimental and mathematical modeling approaches. Biochemical methane potential tests showed that methane production increased with increased PHA levels in WAS. Model-based analysis suggested that the PHA-based method enhanced methane production by improving biochemical methane potential of WAS, with the highest enhancement being around 40% (from 192 to 274 L CH4/kg VS added; VS: volatile solid) when the PHA levels increased from 21 to 143 mg/g VS. In contrast, the hydrolysis rate (approximately 0.10 d−1) was not significantly affected by the PHA levels. Economic analysis suggested that the PHA-based method could save $1.2/PE/y (PE: population equivalent) in a typical wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The PHA-based method can be easily integrated into the current WWTP to enhance methane production, thereby providing a strong support to the on-going paradigm shift in wastewater management from pollutant removal to resource recovery. PMID:26791952

  20. Zero valent iron significantly enhances methane production from waste activated sludge by improving biochemical methane potential rather than hydrolysis rate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-05

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system.

  1. The mechanism of methane and dioxygen activation in the catalytic cycle of methane monooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Shteinman, A A

    1995-03-27

    The binuclear structure of the active center of methane monooxygenase plays a determining role in dioxygen activation and in selectivity and specificity of alkane oxidation with this enzyme. A new mechanism is suggested for binding and activation of O2, which involves side-on binding of O2-(2) to iron atoms followed by its conversion to the bis-mu-oxo complex considered as an alternative of ferryl in CH4 activation. This mechanism results in the sequence of the cleavage of the O-O bond of peroxide O/O2-instead of the opposite sequence O2-/O, which takes place in the case of heme monooxygenase cytochrome P-450. Therefore, in this case there is no necessity of the charge relay system [N.B. Gerber and S.G. Sligar, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 114 (1992) 8742] for the transformation of O2 to an active intermediate. The experiment for checking this hypothesis is suggested.

  2. Activities That Reduce Global Anthropogenic Methane Emissions Grant - Closed Announcement FY 2012

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Grant to fund eligible projects for activities that advance near-term, cost-effective methane abatement or recovery and use as a clean energy source, and support the goals of of theGlobal Methane Initiative.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Food-Web Complexity in Guaymas Basin Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps.

    PubMed

    Portail, Marie; Olu, Karine; Dubois, Stanislas F; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Gelinas, Yves; Menot, Lénaick; Sarrazin, Jozée

    In the Guaymas Basin, the presence of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in close proximity, similar sedimentary settings and comparable depths offers a unique opportunity to assess and compare the functioning of these deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. The food webs of five seep and four vent assemblages were studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. Although the two ecosystems shared similar potential basal sources, their food webs differed: seeps relied predominantly on methanotrophy and thiotrophy via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and vents on petroleum-derived organic matter and thiotrophy via the CBB and reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycles. In contrast to symbiotic species, the heterotrophic fauna exhibited high trophic flexibility among assemblages, suggesting weak trophic links to the metabolic diversity of chemosynthetic primary producers. At both ecosystems, food webs did not appear to be organised through predator-prey links but rather through weak trophic relationships among co-occurring species. Examples of trophic or spatial niche differentiation highlighted the importance of species-sorting processes within chemosynthetic ecosystems. Variability in food web structure, addressed through Bayesian metrics, revealed consistent trends across ecosystems. Food-web complexity significantly decreased with increasing methane concentrations, a common proxy for the intensity of seep and vent fluid fluxes. Although high fluid-fluxes have the potential to enhance primary productivity, they generate environmental constraints that may limit microbial diversity, colonisation of consumers and the structuring role of competitive interactions, leading to an overall reduction of food-web complexity and an increase in trophic redundancy. Heterogeneity provided by foundation species was identified as an additional structuring factor. According to their biological activities, foundation species may have the potential to partly release the

  6. Food-Web Complexity in Guaymas Basin Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps

    PubMed Central

    Olu, Karine; Dubois, Stanislas F.; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Gelinas, Yves; Menot, Lénaick; Sarrazin, Jozée

    2016-01-01

    In the Guaymas Basin, the presence of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in close proximity, similar sedimentary settings and comparable depths offers a unique opportunity to assess and compare the functioning of these deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. The food webs of five seep and four vent assemblages were studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. Although the two ecosystems shared similar potential basal sources, their food webs differed: seeps relied predominantly on methanotrophy and thiotrophy via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and vents on petroleum-derived organic matter and thiotrophy via the CBB and reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycles. In contrast to symbiotic species, the heterotrophic fauna exhibited high trophic flexibility among assemblages, suggesting weak trophic links to the metabolic diversity of chemosynthetic primary producers. At both ecosystems, food webs did not appear to be organised through predator-prey links but rather through weak trophic relationships among co-occurring species. Examples of trophic or spatial niche differentiation highlighted the importance of species-sorting processes within chemosynthetic ecosystems. Variability in food web structure, addressed through Bayesian metrics, revealed consistent trends across ecosystems. Food-web complexity significantly decreased with increasing methane concentrations, a common proxy for the intensity of seep and vent fluid fluxes. Although high fluid-fluxes have the potential to enhance primary productivity, they generate environmental constraints that may limit microbial diversity, colonisation of consumers and the structuring role of competitive interactions, leading to an overall reduction of food-web complexity and an increase in trophic redundancy. Heterogeneity provided by foundation species was identified as an additional structuring factor. According to their biological activities, foundation species may have the potential to partly release the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Methane Oxidation and Molecular Characterization of Methanotrophs from a Former Mercury Mine Impoundment.

    PubMed

    Baesman, Shaun M; Miller, Laurence G; Wei, Jeremy H; Cho, Yirang; Matys, Emily D; Summons, Roger E; Welander, Paula V; Oremland, Ronald S

    2015-06-23

    The Herman Pit, once a mercury mine, is an impoundment located in an active geothermal area. Its acidic waters are permeated by hundreds of gas seeps. One seep was sampled and found to be composed of mostly CO₂ with some CH₄ present. The δ(13)CH₄ value suggested a complex origin for the methane: i.e., a thermogenic component plus a biological methanogenic portion. The relatively (12)C-enriched CO₂ suggested a reworking of the ebullitive methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Therefore, we tested bottom sediments for their ability to consume methane by conducting aerobic incubations of slurried materials. Methane was removed from the headspace of live slurries, and subsequent additions of methane resulted in faster removal rates. This activity could be transferred to an artificial, acidic medium, indicating the presence of acidophilic or acid-tolerant methanotrophs, the latter reinforced by the observation of maximum activity at pH = 4.5 with incubated slurries. A successful extraction of sterol and hopanoid lipids characteristic of methanotrophs was achieved, and their abundances greatly increased with increased sediment methane consumption. DNA extracted from methane-oxidizing enrichment cultures was amplified and sequenced for pmoA genes that aligned with methanotrophic members of the Gammaproteobacteria. An enrichment culture was established that grew in an acidic (pH 4.5) medium via methane oxidation.

  10. Methane Oxidation and Molecular Characterization of Methanotrophs from a Former Mercury Mine Impoundment

    PubMed Central

    Baesman, Shaun M.; Miller, Laurence G.; Wei, Jeremy H.; Cho, Yirang; Matys, Emily D.; Summons, Roger E.; Welander, Paula V.; Oremland, Ronald S.

    2015-01-01

    The Herman Pit, once a mercury mine, is an impoundment located in an active geothermal area. Its acidic waters are permeated by hundreds of gas seeps. One seep was sampled and found to be composed of mostly CO2 with some CH4 present. The δ13CH4 value suggested a complex origin for the methane: i.e., a thermogenic component plus a biological methanogenic portion. The relatively 12C-enriched CO2 suggested a reworking of the ebullitive methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Therefore, we tested bottom sediments for their ability to consume methane by conducting aerobic incubations of slurried materials. Methane was removed from the headspace of live slurries, and subsequent additions of methane resulted in faster removal rates. This activity could be transferred to an artificial, acidic medium, indicating the presence of acidophilic or acid-tolerant methanotrophs, the latter reinforced by the observation of maximum activity at pH = 4.5 with incubated slurries. A successful extraction of sterol and hopanoid lipids characteristic of methanotrophs was achieved, and their abundances greatly increased with increased sediment methane consumption. DNA extracted from methane-oxidizing enrichment cultures was amplified and sequenced for pmoA genes that aligned with methanotrophic members of the Gammaproteobacteria. An enrichment culture was established that grew in an acidic (pH 4.5) medium via methane oxidation. PMID:27682090

  11. Methane oxidation and molecular characterization of methanotrophs from a former mercury mine impoundment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baesman, Shaun; Miller, Laurence G.; Wei, Jeremy H.; Cho, Yirang; Matys, Emily D.; Summons, Roger E.; Welander, Paula V.; Oremland, Ronald S.

    2015-01-01

    The Herman Pit, once a mercury mine, is an impoundment located in an active geothermal area. Its acidic waters are permeated by hundreds of gas seeps. One seep was sampled and found to be composed of mostly CO2 with some CH4 present. The δ13CH4 value suggested a complex origin for the methane: i.e., a thermogenic component plus a biological methanogenic portion. The relatively 12C-enriched CO2 suggested a reworking of the ebullitive methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Therefore, we tested bottom sediments for their ability to consume methane by conducting aerobic incubations of slurried materials. Methane was removed from the headspace of live slurries, and subsequent additions of methane resulted in faster removal rates. This activity could be transferred to an artificial, acidic medium, indicating the presence of acidophilic or acid-tolerant methanotrophs, the latter reinforced by the observation of maximum activity at pH = 4.5 with incubated slurries. A successful extraction of sterol and hopanoid lipids characteristic of methanotrophs was achieved, and their abundances greatly increased with increased sediment methane consumption. DNA extracted from methane-oxidizing enrichment cultures was amplified and sequenced for pmoA genes that aligned with methanotrophic members of the Gammaproteobacteria. An enrichment culture was established that grew in an acidic (pH 4.5) medium via methane oxidation.

  12. H2S mediated thermal and photochemical methane activation

    PubMed Central

    Baltrusaitis, Jonas; de Graaf, Coen; Broer, Ria; Patterson, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Sustainable, low temperature methods of natural gas activation are critical in addressing current and foreseeable energy and hydrocarbon feedstock needs. Large portions of natural gas resources are still too expensive to process due to their high content of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) in mixture with methane, CH4, altogether deemed as sub-quality or “sour” gas. We propose a unique method for activating this “sour” gas to form a mixture of sulfur-containing hydrocarbon intermediates, CH3SH and CH3SCH3, and an energy carrier, such as H2. For this purpose, we computationally investigated H2S mediated methane activation to form a reactive CH3SH species via direct photolysis of sub-quality natural gas. Photoexcitation of hydrogen sulfide in the CH4+H2S complex results in a barrier-less relaxation via a conical intersection to form a ground state CH3SH+H2 complex. The resulting CH3SH can further be heterogeneously coupled over acidic catalysts to form higher hydrocarbons while the H2 can be used as a fuel. This process is very different from a conventional thermal or radical-based processes and can be driven photolytically at low temperatures, with enhanced controllability over the process conditions currently used in industrial oxidative natural gas activation. Finally, the proposed process is CO2 neutral, as opposed to the currently industrially used methane steam reforming (SMR). PMID:24150813

  13. H2S-mediated thermal and photochemical methane activation.

    PubMed

    Baltrusaitis, Jonas; de Graaf, Coen; Broer, Ria; Patterson, Eric V

    2013-12-02

    Sustainable, low-temperature methods for natural gas activation are critical in addressing current and foreseeable energy and hydrocarbon feedstock needs. Large portions of natural gas resources are still too expensive to process due to their high content of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) mixed with methane, deemed altogether as sub-quality or "sour" gas. We propose a unique method of activation to form a mixture of sulfur-containing hydrocarbon intermediates, CH3SH and CH3SCH3 , and an energy carrier such as H2. For this purpose, we investigated the H2S-mediated methane activation to form a reactive CH3SH species by means of direct photolysis of sub-quality natural gas. Photoexcitation of hydrogen sulfide in the CH4 + H2S complex resulted in a barrierless relaxation by a conical intersection to form a ground-state CH3SH + H2 complex. The resulting CH3SH could further be coupled over acidic catalysts to form higher hydrocarbons, and the resulting H2 used as a fuel. This process is very different from conventional thermal or radical-based processes and can be driven photolytically at low temperatures, with enhanced control over the conditions currently used in industrial oxidative natural gas activation. Finally, the proposed process is CO2 neutral, as opposed to the current industrial steam methane reforming (SMR).

  14. Methane activation using Kr and Xe in a dielectric barrier discharge reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Jo, Sungkwon; Lee, Dae Hoon Kim, Kwan-Tae; Kang, Woo Seok; Song, Young-Hoon

    2014-10-15

    Methane has interested many researchers as a possible new energy source, but the high stability of methane causes a bottleneck in methane activation, limiting its practical utilization. To determine how to effectively activate methane using non-thermal plasma, the conversion of methane is measured in a planar-type dielectric barrier discharge reactor using three different noble gases—Ar, Kr, and Xe—as additives. In addition to the methane conversion results at various applied voltages, the discharge characteristics such as electron temperature and electron density were calculated through zero-dimensional calculations. Moreover, the threshold energies of excitation and ionization were used to distinguish the dominant particle for activating methane between electrons, excited atoms, and ionized atoms. From the experiments and calculations, the selection of the additive noble gas is found to affect not only the conversion of methane but also the selectivity of product gases even under similar electron temperature and electron density conditions.

  15. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California

    PubMed Central

    Hawley, Erik R.; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alex; Jansson, Janet; Pati, Amrita; Tringe, Susannah; Gilbert, Jack A.; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of its main constituents. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders – and their metabolic capabilities – may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep. PMID:25197496

  16. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California.

    PubMed

    Hawley, Erik R; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Glavina Del Rio, Tijana; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alex; Jansson, Janet; Pati, Amrita; Tringe, Susannah; Gilbert, Jack A; Lorenson, Thomas D; Hess, Matthias

    2014-06-15

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of its main constituents. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders - and their metabolic capabilities - may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep.

  17. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California

    SciTech Connect

    Hawley, Erik R.; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; del Rio, Tijana G.; Foster, Brian; Copeland, A.; Jansson, Janet K.; Pati, Amrita; Gilbert, Jack A.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-02

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of the main constituents of crude oil. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders and their metabolic capabilities may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, Erwin

    2014-10-01

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

  19. Management of dryland saline seeps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Discussed is the identification, diagnosis, control, and reclamation of dryland saline seep problems as found in the North American Great Plains. Saline seeps develop because of geologic stratifications within the soil profile and insufficient use of precipitation by crops used in dryland farming s...

  20. Methane recovery from water hyacinth through anaerobic activated sludge process

    SciTech Connect

    Savaswat, N.; Khana, P.

    1986-02-01

    The concepts of phase separation, anaerobic activated sludge process, and alkali pretreatment have been incorporated in this investigation with the objective of developing rational and cost-effective designs of diphasic anaerobic activated sludge systems, with and without alkali treatment, for methane recovery from water hyacinth (WH). Evaluation of process kinetics and optimization analyses of laboratory data reveal that a diphasic system with alkali treatment could be designed with an alkali pretreatment step (3.6% Na/sub 2/CO/sub 3/ + 2.5% Ca(OH)/sub 2/ (w/w) of WH, 24 h duration) followed by an open acid phase (2.1 days HRT) and closed methane reactor with sludge recycle (5.7 days HRT, 7.7 days MCRT) for gas yield of 50 L/kg WH/d at 35-37/sup 0/C. Likewise, a diphasic system without alkali treatment could be designed with an open acid phase (2 days HRT) followed by closed methane reactor with sludge recycle (3.2 days HRT, 6 days MCRT) for gas yield of 32.5 L/kg WH/d at 35-37/sup 0/C. Detailed economic analyses bring forth greater cost-efficacy of the diphasic system without alkali treatment and reveal that the advantage accrued in terms of higher gas yield is overshadowed by the cost of chemicals in the diphasic system with alkali treatment.

  1. Methane recovery from water hyacinth through anaerobic activated sludge process

    SciTech Connect

    Saraswat, N.; Khanna, P.

    1986-02-01

    The concepts of phase separation, anaerobic activated sludge process, and alkali pretreatment have been incorporated in this investigation with the objective of developing rational and cost-effective designs of diphasic anaerobic activated sludge systems, with and without alkali treatment, for methane recovery from water hyacinth (WH). Evaluation of process kinetics and optimization analyses of laboratory data reveal that a diphasic system with alkali treatment could be designed with an alkali pretreatment step (3.6% Na/sub 2/CO/sub 3/ + 2.5% Ca(OH)/sub 2/ (w/w) of WH, 24 h duration) followed by an open acid phase (2.1 days HRT) and closed methane reactor with sludge recycle (5.7 days HRT, 7.7 days MCRT) for gas yield of 50 l/kg WH/d at 35-37/sup 0/C. Likewise, a diphasic system without alkali treatment could be designed with an open acid phase (2 days HRT) followed by close methane reactor with sludge recycle (3.2 days HRT, 6 days MCRT) for gas yield of 32.5 l.kg WH/d at 35-37/sup 0/C. Detailed economic analyses bring forth greater cost-efficacy of the diphasic system without alkali treatment and reveal that the advantage accrued in terms of higher gas yield is overshadowed by the cost of chemicals in the diphasic system with alkali treatment.

  2. 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.

  3. Temporal resilience and dynamics of anaerobic methane-oxidizing microbial communities to short-term changes in methane partial pressures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klasek, S.; Tiantian, Y.; Torres, M. E.; Colwell, F. S.; Wang, F.; Liang, L.

    2015-12-01

    Marine sediments produce tens to hundreds of teragrams of methane annually, which is released from the seabed at thousands of cold seeps distributed globally along continental margins. Around 80-90% of this methane is consumed in shallower sediment layers before reaching the hydrosphere, in a microbially-mediated process known as anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) However, cold seeps appear to exhibit temporal variation in gas flux intensity, and AOM filter efficiency at cold seeps generally decreases with fluid flow rate. To our knowledge, the degree to which temporal heterogeneity in subsurface methane flux stimulates AOM community growth and adaptation to increased methane concentrations has not been investigated. Static high-pressure bioreactors were used to incubate sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) and methanogenic zone sediments underlying a Mediterranean mud volcano gas flare under in situ temperature and pressure at 8 MPa methane. Sulfide production rates of 0.4 μmol/cm3/day in both sediment regimes after 4 months of incubation suggested the resilience of the marine subsurface methane filter may extend well below the SMTZ (40 cm). Similar incubations of SMTZ samples from below a gas flare off Svalbard at saturating (3.8 MPa) and 0.2 MPa methane are being sampled after 1 week, 4 weeks, and 4 months; sulfide production rates of 8-18 nmol/cm3/day were first observed after 4 weeks of incubation. Sediment samples at all specified time points for both sets of incubations were collected for nucleic acid extraction and cell fixation. Anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) are expected dominant taxa in enriched and non-enriched communities. 16S rDNA community analysis is expected to reveal additional microbial players involved in the short-term adaptation to higher methane partial pressures in the marine subsurface. Increased AOM community activity (RNA/DNA ratio) and copy numbers of methane cycling transcripts (mcr

  4. Comparative study of vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portail, M.; Olu, K.; Escobar-Briones, E.; Caprais, J. C.; Menot, L.; Waeles, M.; Cruaud, P.; Sarradin, P. M.; Godfroy, A.; Sarrazin, J.

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the ecological processes and connectivity of chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems requires comparative studies. In the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico), the presence of seeps and vents in the absence of a biogeographic barrier, and comparable sedimentary settings and depths offers a unique opportunity to assess the role of ecosystem-specific environmental conditions on macrofaunal communities. Six seep and four vent assemblages were studied, three of which were characterised by common major foundation taxa: vesicomyid bivalves, siboglinid tubeworms and microbial mats. Macrofaunal community structure at the family level showed that density, diversity and composition patterns were primarily shaped by seep- and vent-common abiotic factors including methane and hydrogen sulfide concentrations, whereas vent environmental specificities (higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH) were not significant. The type of substratum and the heterogeneity provided by foundation species were identified as additional structuring factors and their roles were found to vary according to fluid regimes. At the family level, seep and vent similarity reached at least 58 %. All vent families were found at seeps and each seep-specific family displayed low relative abundances (< 5 %). Moreover, 85 % of the identified species among dominant families were shared between seep and vent ecosystems. This study provides further support to the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems.

  5. Oxygen and sulfur isotope fractionation during methane dependent sulfate reduction in high pressure continuous incubation studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deusner, C.; Brunner, B.; Holler, T.; Widdel, F.; Ferdelman, T. G.

    2009-12-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction in marine sediments is an important sink in the global methane budget. However, many aspects of methane dependent sulfate reduction are not fully understood. We developed a novel high pressure biotechnical system to simulate marine conditions with high concentrations of dissolved gases, e.g. at gas seeps and gas hydrate systems. The system allows for batch, fed-batch and continuous gas-phase free incubation. We employ this system to study the kinetics and isotope fractionation during AOM at varying methane partial pressures up to 10 MPa. We present the results of long-term continuous and fed-batch incubations with highly active naturally enriched biomass from microbial mats from the Black Sea. During these experiments the methane partial pressure was increased stepwise from 0.1 to 10 MPa. The methane dependent sulfate reduction rate increased from 0.1 mmol/l/d to 3.5 mmol/l/d resulting from the increase in methane concentration and microbial growth. Sulfate reduction was negligible in the absence of methane. The sulfur and oxygen isotope fractionation during sulfate reduction was strongly influenced by the concentration of dissolved methane. Sulfur isotope fractionation was highest at low methane concentrations, and lowest at high methane concentrations. Relative to sulfate reduction rates, oxygen isotope exchange between sulfate and water was highest at low methane concentrations, and lowest at high methane concentrations.

  6. In-situ and on-line measurement of gas flux at a hydrocarbon seep from the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Pengfei; Feng, Dong; Chen, Duofu

    2014-06-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps in the marine environment are important sources of methane and other greenhouse gases to the ocean and the atmosphere. Accurate quantification of methane flux at hydrocarbon seeps is therefore necessary to evaluate their influence on the global methane budget and climate change. Hydrocarbon seeps on the seabed produce a near-shore gas bubble zone along the shallow western coast of Hainan Island, northern South China Sea. An in-situ and on-line gas flux measuring device was deployed over a hydrocarbon seep to quantify the gas flux by equal volume exchange venting from the seabed offshore of Ledong Town, Hainan Island, over 19 days. The physiochemical parameters and the dissolved methane concentration of the bottom water at the hydrocarbon seep were also measured. The gas flux from the hydrocarbon seep varied from 22 to 77 l/day with the tidal period and was strongly negatively correlated with water depth. The flux data from the seep suggests that the variation in hydrostatic pressure induced by tidal forcing and ocean swell may control the variation of the gas flux. The bottom water dissolved methane concentration, ranging from 26 to 74 nmol/L, was negatively correlated with temperature and water depth at the seabed and positively with the gas flux. The total gas volume released from the hydrocarbon seep was 30.5 m3 for the 19-day period, providing an estimated gas flux of 600 m3/yr. The 120 known hydrocarbon seeps along the eastern edge of the Yinggehai Basin could vent a large quantity of methane from the seafloor, which suggests that hydrocarbon seeps on the continental margin of the northern South China Sea may be an important natural source of methane to the atmosphere.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Timing of methane efflux along the Norwegian and US Atlantic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahy, Diana; Condon, Daniel; Lepland, Aivo; Crémière, Antoine; Noble, Stephen; Ruppel, Carolyn

    2016-04-01

    Methane-related authigenic carbonates (MDAC) provide a robust archive of past methane emissions from cold seeps located along continental margins. MDAC are amenable to U-Th geochronology which can be used to assess the timing and drivers of fluid flow (Teichert et al., 2003; Bayon et al., 2013). The difficulty of sourcing MDAC typically precludes the assembly of datasets with sufficient geographic coverage and resolution to investigate the processes triggering and sustaining methane seeps on a regional scale. To address this, two collaborative projects led by the British, Norwegian and US geological surveys are currently underway, targeting methane seeps located along the Norwegian and US Atlantic margins (Skarke et al., 2014). MDAC samples collected for the two projects come from a range of depths (300-2000 m), and are linked to a variety of processes (e.g. collapse of grounded ice sheet, salt diapirism, dissociation of upper slope gas hydrates, emissions from deep reservoirs through fault networks). MDAC typically present as matrix-supported conglomerate /sandstone/ siltstone, and consist of detrital material of variable grainsize (depending on locality) encased in an aragonite and/or calcite cement. Interconnected voids within the MDAC, which likely represent fluid conduits, are often at least partially filled with clean (>90%), layered aragonite. The latter are ideal materials for U-Th geochronology, and can yield U-Th dates with precision approaching 0.5 % (2σ), with thicker (ca. 2 cm) layered cavity fills showing resolvable growth histories on the order of 1 kyr. While measurements on cavity-filling aragonite give a snapshot of seep activity, quantifying the entire methane emission history of a sample, and crucially, the timing of the onset of emissions, requires the analysis of MDAC groundmass. Such analyses are more challenging as initial detrital 230Th included in the samples must be accounted for. While precise dating of the onset of methane emissions at

  10. Pt +-mediated activation of methane: theory and experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinemann, Christoph; Wesendrup, Ralf; Schwarz, Helmut

    1995-06-01

    A combined theoretical and experimental study on the Pt +-mediated activation of methane is presented. Dehydrogenation of CH 4 by thermalized Pt + cations (Pt + + CH 4 ← PtCH 2+ + H 2) proceeds along a doublet ground state potential energy surface and is found to be reversible under the conditions of Fourier transform ion-cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. The recently reported oxidation of the cationic platinum carbene PtCH 2+ by O 2 produces electronically excited Pt + cations, which are detected in the 4F9/2 state by means of charge-transfer bracketing experiments.

  11. Methane activation using noble gases in a dielectric barrier discharge reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Jo, Sungkwon; Hoon Lee, Dae; Seok Kang, Woo; Song, Young-Hoon

    2013-08-15

    The conversion of methane is measured in a planar-type dielectric barrier discharge reactor using three different noble gases—He, Ne, and Ar—as additives. The empirical results obtained clearly indicate that methane activation is considerably affected by thy type of noble gas used. Through 0-D calculations, the discharge parameters inside the reactor, i.e., electron temperature and electron density, are estimated using experiment results. A comparison of the discharge characteristics and experimental results shows that the electron temperature is an important factor in achieving high methane activation and the mixture with Ar gas shows the highest methane conversion. These results are constructed using the mechanisms of energy and charge transfer from excited and ionized noble gas atoms to methane molecules, considering the number density of active atoms of noble gases. Finally, electron temperatures obtained for gas mixtures having different reactant compositions and concentrations are analyzed to estimate methane activation.

  12. Microbial methane consumption in the oligotrophic surface waters of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, S. B.

    2011-12-01

    The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) accounts for ten percent of the world ocean shelf area and is the shallowest shelf (average depth < 50m). This area is home to a tremendous stock of hydrocarbons, mostly as methane associated with shallow, permafrost-associated hydrates. Thus, the ESAS represents an enormous potential atmospheric methane source that could result from global warming-triggered permafrost destabilization; such a massive methane infusion to the atmosphere from the Arctic could exacerbate and/or accelerate global warming. Increased methane fluxes could occur as numerous weak seeps or strong bubble plumes over large areas. Due to the shallow, well-mixed nature of the ESAS and its oligotrophic waters, the majority of methane entering ESAS water may avoids microbial oxidation and escape to the atmosphere. As part of an international research effort that aims to describe the patterns and controls methane dynamics within the ESAS, we documented methane concentrations and methane oxidation rates and examined environmental and microbiological factors that could regulate methane oxidation activity. Methane concentrations varied spatially and temporally and surface water concentrations were substantially super-saturated at most sites. The highest methane concentrations observed were hundreds of nanomolar. Despite the relatively methane concentrations, methane oxidation rates, determined with tritium-labeled methane tracer, were low, ranging from 10's of picomoles per liter per day to 3 nanomoles per liter per day. By and large, the turnover time for the methane pool was hundreds to thousands of days, which means that methane would be vented to the atmosphere before it was microbially oxidized. The exception to this pattern was in fresh water near the mouth of a river, where methane oxidation rates were high such that the pool turnover time was roughly 4 days. Available data suggest that nutrient availability limits accumulation of methanotroph biomass and

  13. Effects of Zinc on Particulate Methane Monooxygenase Activity and Structure*

    PubMed Central

    Sirajuddin, Sarah; Barupala, Dulmini; Helling, Stefan; Marcus, Katrin; Stemmler, Timothy L.; Rosenzweig, Amy C.

    2014-01-01

    Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) is a membrane-bound metalloenzyme that oxidizes methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria. Zinc is a known inhibitor of pMMO, but the details of zinc binding and the mechanism of inhibition are not understood. Metal binding and activity assays on membrane-bound pMMO from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) reveal that zinc inhibits pMMO at two sites that are distinct from the copper active site. The 2.6 Å resolution crystal structure of Methylocystis species strain Rockwell pMMO reveals two previously undetected bound lipids, and metal soaking experiments identify likely locations for the two zinc inhibition sites. The first is the crystallographic zinc site in the pmoC subunit, and zinc binding here leads to the ordering of 10 previously unobserved residues. A second zinc site is present on the cytoplasmic side of the pmoC subunit. Parallels between these results and zinc inhibition studies of several respiratory complexes suggest that zinc might inhibit proton transfer in pMMO. PMID:24942740

  14. Identification of members of the metabolically active microbial populations associated with Beggiatoa species mat communities from Gulf of Mexico cold-seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Mills, Heath J; Martinez, Robert J; Story, Sandra; Sobecky, Patricia A

    2004-09-01

    In this study, the composition of the metabolically active fraction of the microbial community occurring in Gulf of Mexico marine sediments (water depth, 550 to 575 m) with overlying filamentous bacterial mats was determined. The mats were mainly composed of either orange- or white-pigmented Beggiatoa spp. Complementary 16S ribosomal DNA (crDNA) was obtained from rRNA extracted from three different sediment depths (0 to 2, 6 to 8, and 10 to 12 cm) that had been subjected to reverse transcription-PCR amplification. Domain-specific 16S PCR primers were used to construct 12 different 16S crDNA libraries containing 333 Archaea and 329 Bacteria clones. Analysis of the Archaea clones indicated that all sediment depths associated with overlying orange- and white-pigmented microbial mats were almost exclusively dominated by ANME-2 (95% of total Archaea clones), a lineage related to the methanogenic order Methanosarcinales. In contrast, bacterial diversity was considerably higher, with the dominant phylotype varying by sediment depth. An equivalent number of clones detected at 0 to 2 cm, representing a total of 93%, were related to the gamma and delta classes of Proteobacteria, whereas clones related to delta-Proteobacteria dominated the metabolically active fraction of the bacterial community occurring at 6 to 8 cm (79%) and 10 to 12 cm (85%). This is the first phylogenetics-based evaluation of the presumptive metabolically active fraction of the Bacteria and Archaea community structure investigated along a sediment depth profile in the northern Gulf of Mexico, a hydrocarbon-rich cold-seep region.

  15. Macroseepage of Methane and Light Alkanes at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doezema, L. A.; Weber, D.; Schuffels, S.; Marquez, A.; Taylor, C.; Raya, P.; Howard, D.; Contreras, P.; Fusco, K.; Morales, F.; Nwachuku, I.

    2015-12-01

    Natural seepage of methane has been theorized to be an underreported source of global methane. Recent studies have also suggested that light alkane flux that is given off in combination with the methane also is underreported in local and global budgets. This study investigated macroseepage, visible seepage, at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, CA. More than 100 samples were collected from individual seeps using stainless steel flux chambers and canisters and were analyzed for methane and C2-C5 alkanes using gas chromatography equipped with flame ionization detectors (GC-FID). Maximum hourly fluxes from individual seeps were over 70 g of methane and over 720 mg, 670 mg, 200 mg, 20 mg, 14 mg, and 0.2 mg for ethane, propane, i-butane, n-butane, i-pentane, and n-pentane respectively. In addition to the active seepage sites, a significant amount of methane and light alkanes was also found to come from outgassing from standing tar deposits. Using gas ratios found in this study along with overall methane emission estimates from another recent study, the La Brea Tar Pits were found to be a significant source of light alkanes in the South Coast Air Basin, contributing approximately 2% towards the overall budget.

  16. [Microbial Processes and Genesis of Methane Gas Jets in the Coastal Areas of the Crimea Peninsula].

    PubMed

    Malakhova, T V; Kanapatskii, T A; Egorov, V N; Malakhova, L V; Artemov, Yu G; Evtushenko, D B; Gulin, S B; Pimenov, N V

    2015-01-01

    Hydroasoustic techniques were used for detection and mapping of gas jet areas in the coastal regions of the Crimean peninsula. Gas seep areas in the bays Laspi, Khersones, and Kazach'ya were chosen for detailed microbiological investigation. The first type of gas jets, observed in the Laspi Bay, was probably associated with discarge of deep thermogenic methane along the faults. Methane isotopic composition was char- acterized by Δ13C of -35.3 degrees. While elevated rates of aerobic methane oxidation were revealed in the sandy sediments adjacent to the methane release site, no evidence of bacterial mats was found. The second type of gas emission, observed in the Khersones Bay, was accompanied by formation of bacterial biofilms of the "Thiodendron" microbial community type, predominated by filamentous, spirochete-like organisms, in the areas of gas seepage. The isotopic composition of methane was there considerably lower (-60.4 degrees), indicating a considerable contribution of modern microbial methane to the gas bubbles discharged in this bay. Activity of the third type of gas emission, the seeps of the Kazach'ya Bay, probably depended directly on modern microbial processes of organic matter degradation in the upper sediment layers. The rates of sulfate reduction and methanogenesis were 260 and 34 μmol dm(-3) day(-1), respectively. Our results indicate different mechanisms responsible for formation of methane jets in the Laspi Bay and in the coastal areas of the Heracles Peninsula, where the bays Kazach'ya and Khersones are located.

  17. Differences in the Nature of Active Sites for Methane Dry Reforming and Methane Steam Reforming over Nickel Aluminate Catalysts

    DOE PAGES

    Rogers, Jessica L.; Mangarella, Michael C.; D’Amico, Andrew D.; ...

    2016-07-20

    In this paper, the Pechini synthesis was used to prepare nickel aluminate catalysts with the compositions NiAl4O7, NiAl2O4, and Ni2Al2O5. The samples have been characterized by N2 physisorption, temperature-programmed reduction (TPR), temperature-programmed oxidation (TPO), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Characterization results indicate unique structural properties and excellent regeneration potential of nickel aluminates. Prepared samples were tested when unreduced and reduced prior to reaction for methane dry reforming and methane steam reforming reactivity. NiAl2O4 in the reduced and unreduced state as well as NiAl4O7 in the reduced state are activemore » and stable for methane dry reforming due to the presence of 4-fold coordinated oxidized nickel. The limited amount of metallic nickel in these samples minimizes carbon deposition. Finally, on the other hand, the presence of metallic nickel is required for methane steam reforming. Ni2Al2O5 in the reduced and unreduced states and NiAl2O4 in the reduced state are found to be active for methane steam reforming due to the presence of sufficiently small nickel nanoparticles that catalyze the reaction without accumulating carbonaceous deposits.« less

  18. Late Pleistocene to Holocene sedimentation and hydrocarbon seeps on the continental shelf of a steep, tectonically active margin, southern California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Hart, Patrick E.; Lorenson, T.D.; Ryan, Holly F.; Wong, Florence L.; Sliter, Ray W.; Conrad, James E.

    2009-01-01

    Small, steep, uplifting coastal watersheds are prolific sediment producers that contribute significantly to the global marine sediment budget. This study illustrates how sedimentation evolves in one such system where the continental shelf is largely sediment-starved, with most terrestrial sediment bypassing the shelf in favor of deposition in deeper basins. The Santa Barbara-Ventura coast of southern California, USA, is considered a classic area for the study of active tectonics and of Tertiary and Quaternary climatic evolution, interpretations of which depend upon an understanding of sedimentation patterns. High-resolution seismic-reflection data over >570 km2 of this shelf show that sediment production is concentrated in a few drainage basins, with the Ventura and Santa Clara River deltas containing most of the upper Pleistocene to Holocene sediment on the shelf. Away from those deltas, the major factor controlling shelf sedimentation is the interaction of wave energy with coastline geometry. Depocenters containing sediment 5-20 m thick exist opposite broad coastal embayments, whereas relict material (bedrock below a regional unconformity) is exposed at the sea floor in areas of the shelf opposite coastal headlands. Locally, natural hydrocarbon seeps interact with sediment deposition either to produce elevated tar-and-sediment mounds or as gas plumes that hinder sediment settling. As much as 80% of fluvial sediment delivered by the Ventura and Santa Clara Rivers is transported off the shelf (some into the Santa Barbara Basin and some into the Santa Monica Basin via Hueneme Canyon), leaving a shelf with relatively little recent sediment accumulation. Understanding factors that control large-scale sediment dispersal along a rapidly uplifting coast that produces substantial quantities of sediment has implications for interpreting the ancient stratigraphic record of active and transform continental margins, and for inferring the distribution of hydrocarbon resources

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Climate reconstruction from a methane influenced environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sztybor, K.; Rasmussen, T. L.; Mienert, J.; Bunz, S.; Consolaro, C.

    2013-12-01

    Sediment cores have been collected from Vestnesa Ridge, western Svalbard margin, from within and outside an active pockmark with methane gas flares. The lithological log, X-ray, magnetic susceptibility and numerous AMS dates were used to constrain the age model and for high-resolution inter-core correlation. Other proxies used in order to reconstruct the dynamics of changes of bottom water properties as well as North Atlantic hydrography were oxygen and carbon isotopes of benthic and planktonic foraminifera and assemblage counts. The main purpose of the study is to resolve the frequency of CH4 emissions from the seafloor through time in relation to past climate change. The magnetic susceptibility record from the pockmark core shows very low and constant values without the pattern typical for the western Svalbard. The seeping of methane clearly destroyed the signal. Benthic foraminifera within several intervals are depleted in δ13C, indicating increased methane flux from the seafloor. Carbon isotope values measured in planktonic foraminifera shells are also extremely low (<-10 ‰), which can be caused by coating of AOM (Anaerobic oxidation of methane)-derived carbonates (authigenic overgrowth). Moreover methane seepage affects the outcomes of AMS dating. Our results suggest that radiocarbon dates measured in bivalve shells are approximately 3000 cal years too old. In a methane influenced environment a multiproxy approach is necessary for more accurate paleoclimate reconstructions.

  2. Turbine tent measurements of marine hydrocarbon seeps on subhourly timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leifer, Ira; Boles, Jim

    2005-01-01

    Three turbine seep-tents simultaneously measured marine seep gas fluxes with high time resolution (0.2 s) at multiple locations. Tents were inverted polyvinyl cones, 2-m diameter, 1-m tall, and weighted on their lower skirt edges. Rising gas bubbles induce vertical fluid motions, which were measured by laboratory-calibrated turbines in chimneys on top of the tents. Initial deployment was at an active seep area in the Coal Oil Point seep field, in the Santa Barbara Channel, California. The three tents simultaneously collected data for continuous time periods of 2 hours in both the morning and afternoon. Seabed temperature and pressure were acquired every 3 s over the same time periods as the flux measurements from a conductivity temperature depth, CTD, mounted on one tent. Results strongly suggest that oceanic swell had a significant forcing effect on the flux at a subhourly timescale. There was an inverse relationship between effect of swell height on the flux and flux. Swells from 1 to 4 m height and periodicities of 7 and 12 s caused variations of ˜1% to 4% from the average flux. Proposed mechanisms to explain the observations are diffusion with surrounding sediments, termed gas charging, swell induced changes in fracture size, termed fracture forcing, and swell induced vent activation/deactivation, termed pore activation. On the basis of the seep frequency response, we propose pore activation was dominant.

  3. Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing Reveals Biosynthesis Dynamics of Slow Growing Methane Based Microbial Communities

    DOE PAGES

    Marlow, Jeffery; Skennerton, Connor T.; Li, Zhou; ...

    2016-04-29

    Marine methane seep habitats represent an important control on the global flux of methane between the subsurface and water column reservoirs. Meta-omics studies have begun to outline community-wide metabolic potential, but expression patterns of proteins that enact sulfate-mediated anaerobic methane oxidation in seeps are poorly characterized. Proteomic stable isotope probing (proteomic SIP) offers an additional layer of information for characterizing phylogenetically specific, functionally relevant activity in mixed microbial communities. Here we applied proteomic SIP to 15NH4+ and CH4 amended seep sediment microcosms in an attempt to track the protein synthesis of slow-growing, low-energy microbial systems. Across all samples, 3495 proteinsmore » were identified, 21% of which were 15N-labeled. We observed active synthesis (15N enrichment) of all proteins believed to be involved in sulfate reduction and reverse methanogenesis including methylenetetrahydromethanopterin reductase (Mer). The abundance and phylogenetic range of methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) orthologs produced during incubation experiments suggests that seeps provide sufficient niches for multiple organisms performing analogous metabolisms. Twenty-eight previously unreported post-translational modifications of McrA were measured, indicating dynamic enzymatic machinery and offering a dimension of functional diversity beyond gene-dictated sequence. RNA polymerase associated with putative sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria and aerobic Gammaproteobacteria were more abundant among pre-incubation proteins, suggesting diminished metabolic activity in long-term anoxic, sulfidic experimental incubations. Twenty-six proteins of unknown function were detected in all proteomic experiments and actively expressed in labeled experiments, suggesting that they play important roles in methane seep ecosystems. The addition of stable isotope probing to environmental proteomics experiments provides a mechanism to

  4. Importance of seep primary production to Lophelia pertusa and associated fauna in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Erin L.; Cordes, Erik E.; Macko, Stephen A.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2009-05-01

    To investigate the importance of seep primary production to the nutrition of Lophelia pertusa and associated communities and examine local trophic interactions, we analyzed stable carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur compositions in seven quantitative L. pertusa community collections. A significant seep signature was only detected in one of the 35 species tested ( Provanna sculpta, a common seep gastropod) despite the presence of seep fauna at the three sample sites. A potential predator of L. pertusa was identified ( Coralliophila sp.), and a variety of other trophic interactions among the fauna occupying the coral framework were suggested by the data, including the galatheid crab Munidopsis sp. 2 feeding upon hydroids and the polychaete Eunice sp. feeding upon the sabellid polychaete Euratella sp. Stable carbon abundances were also determined for different sections of L. pertusa skeleton representing different stages in the growth and life of the aggregation. There was no temporal trend detected in the skeleton isotope values, suggesting that L. pertusa settles in these areas only after seepage has largely subsided. Isotope values of individual taxa that were collected from both L. pertusa and vestimentiferan habitats showed decreasing reliance upon seep primary production with average age of the vestimentiferan aggregation, and finally, no seep signature was detected in the coral collections. Together our data suggest that it is the presence of authigenic carbonate substrata, a product of past seep microbial activity, as well as hydrodynamic processes that drive L. pertusa occurrence at seep sites in the Gulf of Mexico, not nutritional dependence upon primary production by seep microbes.

  5. Biogeochemical Evidence that Thermophilic Archaea Mediate the Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

    Distributions and isotopic analyses of lipids from sediment cores at a hydrothermally active site in the Guaymas Basin with a steep sedimentary temperature gradient revealed the presence of archaea that oxidize methane anaerobically. The presence of strongly 13C-depleted lipids at greater depths in the sediments suggests that microbes involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane are present and presumably active at environmental temperatures of >30°C, indicating that this process can occur not only at cold seeps but also at hydrothermal sites. The distribution of the membrane tetraether lipids of the methanotrophic archaea shows that these organisms have adapted their membrane composition to these high environmental temperatures. PMID:12620859

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Activation of Methane by the Pyridine Radical Cation and its Substituted Forms in the Gas Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Guohua; Stewart, Hamish; Liu, Zeyu; Wang, Yongcheng; Stace, Anthony J.

    2015-08-01

    We present an experimental study of methane activation by pyridine cation and its substituents in the gas phase. Mass spectrometric experiments in an ion trap demonstrate that pyridine cation and some of its substituent cations are able to react with methane. The deuterated methane experiment has confirmed that the hydrogen atom in the ionic product of reaction does come from methane. The collected information about kinetic isotope effects has been used to distinguish the nature of the bond activation as a hydrogen abstraction. Furthermore, experimental results demonstrated that the substituent groups on the pyridine ring can crucially influence their reactivity in methane bond activation processes. Density functional calculation (DFT) was employed to study the electronic structures of the complex and reaction mechanism of CH4+C5H5N+. The calculations confirmed the hypothesis from the experimental observation, namely, the reaction is rapid with no energy barrier.

  8. Differences in the Nature of Active Sites for Methane Dry Reforming and Methane Steam Reforming over Nickel Aluminate Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, Jessica L.; Mangarella, Michael C.; D’Amico, Andrew D.; Gallagher, James R.; Dutzer, Michael R.; Stavitski, Eli; Miller, Jeffrey T.; Sievers, Carsten

    2016-07-20

    In this paper, the Pechini synthesis was used to prepare nickel aluminate catalysts with the compositions NiAl4O7, NiAl2O4, and Ni2Al2O5. The samples have been characterized by N2 physisorption, temperature-programmed reduction (TPR), temperature-programmed oxidation (TPO), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Characterization results indicate unique structural properties and excellent regeneration potential of nickel aluminates. Prepared samples were tested when unreduced and reduced prior to reaction for methane dry reforming and methane steam reforming reactivity. NiAl2O4 in the reduced and unreduced state as well as NiAl4O7 in the reduced state are active and stable for methane dry reforming due to the presence of 4-fold coordinated oxidized nickel. The limited amount of metallic nickel in these samples minimizes carbon deposition. Finally, on the other hand, the presence of metallic nickel is required for methane steam reforming. Ni2Al2O5 in the reduced and unreduced states and NiAl2O4 in the reduced state are found to be active for methane steam reforming due to the presence of sufficiently small nickel nanoparticles that catalyze the reaction without accumulating carbonaceous deposits.

  9. Imaging hydrological processes in headwater riparian seeps with time-lapse electrical resistivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The activation of subsurface seepage in response to precipitation events represents a potentially important pathway of nitrogen (N) delivery to streams in agricultural catchments. We used electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) and shallow piezometers to elucidate how seep and non-seep areas within the...

  10. Paleo-environmental controls on cold seep carbonate authigenesis in the Sea of Marmara

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crémière, Antoine; Bayon, Germain; Ponzevera, Emmanuel; Pierre, Catherine

    2013-08-01

    The factors controlling fluid emission dynamics at ocean margins are poorly understood. In particular, there are significant uncertainties on how fluid seepage at cold seeps may have responded to abrupt environmental changes in the geological past. This study reports on a detailed geochemical investigation of seafloor carbonate crusts sampled at cold seeps along the submerged part of the North Anatolian Fault system in the Sea of Marmara - an inland sea, which has experienced major paleo-environmental changes over the last deglaciation period. We also analyzed a series of authigenic carbonate concretions recovered from two sediment cores at the Western-High ridge, an active fluid venting area. The ages of seafloor carbonate crusts derived from isochron U-Th dating cover the last 7 kyr, suggesting that fluid activity along the fault system remained continuous over that time interval. In the sediment cores, carbonate concretions are concentrated at the lacustrine-to-marine transition, which corresponds to the period when Mediterranean waters flowed into the Marmara Basin about 12-14 kyr ago. U-Th isotopic data indicate that most of these concretions formed later during the Holocene, around 9-10 kyr ago, a period coinciding with an important anoxic event that led to the deposition of a sapropel layer in the Sea of Marmara. Based upon these results, we suggest that the absence of carbonate concretions in the lacustrine sediment unit indicates that dissolved sulfate concentrations in the Marmara lake pore waters during glacial time were too low to promote significant anaerobic methane oxidation, thereby preventing sedimentary carbonate authigenesis. In contrast, the progressive inflow of Mediterranean waters into the glacial Marmara lake after 15 ka provided a source of dissolved sulfate that allowed anaerobic oxidation of methane to proceed within the anoxic sediment. Importantly, the synchronism between the main phase of authigenic carbonate precipitation at the

  11. Analysis of methane monooxygenase genes in mono lake suggests that increased methane oxidation activity may correlate with a change in methanotroph community structure.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ju-Ling; Joye, Samantha B; Scholten, Johannes C M; Schäfer, Hendrik; McDonald, Ian R; Murrell, J Colin

    2005-10-01

    Mono Lake is an alkaline hypersaline lake that supports high methane oxidation rates. Retrieved pmoA sequences showed a broad diversity of aerobic methane oxidizers including the type I methanotrophs Methylobacter (the dominant genus), Methylomicrobium, and Methylothermus, and the type II methanotroph Methylocystis. Stratification of Mono Lake resulted in variation of aerobic methane oxidation rates with depth. Methanotroph diversity as determined by analysis of pmoA using new denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis primers suggested that variations in methane oxidation activity may correlate with changes in methanotroph community composition.

  12. Sources of fluids and gases expelled at cold seeps offshore Georgia, eastern Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reitz, Anja; Pape, Thomas; Haeckel, Matthias; Schmidt, Mark; Berner, Ulrich; Scholz, Florian; Liebetrau, Volker; Aloisi, Giovanni; Weise, Stephan M.; Wallmann, Klaus

    2011-06-01

    Four seep sites located within an ˜20 km 2 area offshore Georgia (Batumi seep area, Pechori Mound, Iberia Mound, and Colkheti Seep) show characteristic differences with respect to element concentrations, and oxygen, hydrogen, strontium, and chlorine isotope signatures in pore waters, as well as impregnation of sediments with petroleum and hydrocarbon potential. All seep sites have active gas seepage, near surface authigenic carbonates and gas hydrates. Cokheti Seep, Iberia Mound, and Pechori Mound are characterized by oil-stained sediments and gas seepage decoupled from deep fluid advection and bottom water intrusion induced by gas bubble release. Pechori Mound is further characterized by deep fluid advection of lower salinity pore fluids. The Pechori Mound pore fluids are altered by mineral/water reactions at elevated temperatures (between 60 and 110 °C) indicated by heavier oxygen and lighter chlorine isotope values, distinct Li and B enrichment, and K depletion. Strontium isotope ratios indicate that fluids originate from late Oligocene strata. This finding is supported by the occurrence of hydrocarbon impregnations within the sediments. Furthermore, light hydrocarbons and high molecular weight impregnates indicate a predominant thermogenic origin for the gas and oil at Pechori Mound, Iberia Mound, and Colkheti Seep. C 15+ hydrocarbons at the oil seeps are allochtonous, whereas those at the Batumi seep area are autochthonous. The presence of oleanane, an angiosperm biomarker, suggests that the hydrocarbon source rocks belong to the Maikopian Formation. In summary, all investigated seep sites show a high hydrocarbon potential and hydrocarbons of Iberia Mound, Colkheti Seep, and Pechori Mound are predominantly of thermogenic origin. However, only at the latter seep site advection of deep pore fluids is indicated.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  14. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols

    PubMed Central

    Lau, M C Y; Stackhouse, B T; Layton, A C; Chauhan, A; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Chourey, K; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Bennett, P C; Lamarche-Gagnon, G; Burton, N; Pollard, W H; Omelon, C R; Medvigy, D M; Hettich, R L; Pfiffner, S M; Whyte, L G; Onstott, T C

    2015-01-01

    Methane (CH4) emission by carbon-rich cryosols at the high latitudes in Northern Hemisphere has been studied extensively. In contrast, data on the CH4 emission potential of carbon-poor cryosols is limited, despite their spatial predominance. This work employs CH4 flux measurements in the field and under laboratory conditions to show that the mineral cryosols at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high Arctic consistently consume atmospheric CH4. Omics analyses present the first molecular evidence of active atmospheric CH4-oxidizing bacteria (atmMOB) in permafrost-affected cryosols, with the prevalent atmMOB genotype in our acidic mineral cryosols being closely related to Upland Soil Cluster α. The atmospheric (atm) CH4 uptake at the study site increases with ground temperature between 0 °C and 18 °C. Consequently, the atm CH4 sink strength is predicted to increase by a factor of 5–30 as the Arctic warms by 5–15 °C over a century. We demonstrate that acidic mineral cryosols are a previously unrecognized potential of CH4 sink that requires further investigation to determine its potential impact on larger scales. This study also calls attention to the poleward distribution of atmMOB, as well as to the potential influence of microbial atm CH4 oxidation, in the context of regional CH4 flux models and global warming. PMID:25871932

  15. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols.

    PubMed

    Lau, M C Y; Stackhouse, B T; Layton, A C; Chauhan, A; Vishnivetskaya, T A; Chourey, K; Ronholm, J; Mykytczuk, N C S; Bennett, P C; Lamarche-Gagnon, G; Burton, N; Pollard, W H; Omelon, C R; Medvigy, D M; Hettich, R L; Pfiffner, S M; Whyte, L G; Onstott, T C

    2015-08-01

    Methane (CH4) emission by carbon-rich cryosols at the high latitudes in Northern Hemisphere has been studied extensively. In contrast, data on the CH4 emission potential of carbon-poor cryosols is limited, despite their spatial predominance. This work employs CH4 flux measurements in the field and under laboratory conditions to show that the mineral cryosols at Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high Arctic consistently consume atmospheric CH4. Omics analyses present the first molecular evidence of active atmospheric CH4-oxidizing bacteria (atmMOB) in permafrost-affected cryosols, with the prevalent atmMOB genotype in our acidic mineral cryosols being closely related to Upland Soil Cluster α. The atmospheric (atm) CH4 uptake at the study site increases with ground temperature between 0 °C and 18 °C. Consequently, the atm CH4 sink strength is predicted to increase by a factor of 5-30 as the Arctic warms by 5-15 °C over a century. We demonstrate that acidic mineral cryosols are a previously unrecognized potential of CH4 sink that requires further investigation to determine its potential impact on larger scales. This study also calls attention to the poleward distribution of atmMOB, as well as to the potential influence of microbial atm CH4 oxidation, in the context of regional CH4 flux models and global warming.

  16. Dioxygen activation in methane monooxygenase: a theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Gherman, Benjamin F; Baik, Mu-Hyun; Lippard, Stephen J; Friesner, Richard A

    2004-03-10

    Using broken-symmetry unrestricted Density Functional Theory, the mechanism of enzymatic dioxygen activation by the hydroxylase component of soluble methane monooxygenase (MMOH) is determined to atomic detail. After a thorough examination of mechanistic alternatives, an optimal pathway was identified. The diiron(II) state H(red) reacts with dioxygen to give a ferromagnetically coupled diiron(II,III) H(superoxo) structure, which undergoes intersystem crossing to the antiferromagnetic surface and affords H(peroxo), a symmetric diiron(III) unit with a nonplanar mu-eta(2):eta(2)-O(2)(2)(-) binding mode. Homolytic cleavage of the O-O bond yields the catalytically competent intermediate Q, which has a di (mu-oxo)diiron(IV) core. A carboxylate shift involving Glu243 is essential to the formation of the symmetric H(peroxo) and Q structures. Both thermodynamic and kinetic features agree well with experimental data, and computed spin-exchange coupling constants are in accord with spectroscopic values. Evidence is presented for pH-independent decay of H(red) and H(peroxo). Key electron-transfer steps that occur in the course of generating Q from H(red) are also detailed and interpreted. In contrast to prior theoretical studies, a requisite large model has been employed, electron spins and couplings have been treated in a quantitative manner, potential energy surfaces have been extensively explored, and quantitative total energies have been determined along the reaction pathway.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-07

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

  18. Detection and spatiotemporal analysis of methane ebullition on thermokarst lake ice using high-resolution optical aerial imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindgren, P. R.; Grosse, G.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Meyer, F. J.

    2016-01-01

    Thermokarst lakes are important emitters of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. However, accurate estimation of methane flux from thermokarst lakes is difficult due to their remoteness and observational challenges associated with the heterogeneous nature of ebullition. We used high-resolution (9-11 cm) snow-free aerial images of an interior Alaskan thermokarst lake acquired 2 and 4 days following freeze-up in 2011 and 2012, respectively, to detect and characterize methane ebullition seeps and to estimate whole-lake ebullition. Bubbles impeded by the lake ice sheet form distinct white patches as a function of bubbling when lake ice grows downward and around them, trapping the gas in the ice. Our aerial imagery thus captured a snapshot of bubbles trapped in lake ice during the ebullition events that occurred before the image acquisition. Image analysis showed that low-flux A- and B-type seeps are associated with low brightness patches and are statistically distinct from high-flux C-type and hotspot seeps associated with high brightness patches. Mean whole-lake ebullition based on optical image analysis in combination with bubble-trap flux measurements was estimated to be 174 ± 28 and 216 ± 33 mL gas m-2 d-1 for the years 2011 and 2012, respectively. A large number of seeps demonstrated spatiotemporal stability over our 2-year study period. A strong inverse exponential relationship (R2 > = 0.79) was found between the percent of the surface area of lake ice covered with bubble patches and distance from the active thermokarst lake margin. Even though the narrow timing of optical image acquisition is a critical factor, with respect to both atmospheric pressure changes and snow/no-snow conditions during early lake freeze-up, our study shows that optical remote sensing is a powerful tool to map ebullition seeps on lake ice, to identify their relative strength of ebullition, and to assess their spatiotemporal variability.

  19. Activation of methane by transition metal-substituted aluminophosphate molecular sieves

    DOEpatents

    Iton, Lennox E.; Maroni, Victor A.

    1991-01-01

    Aluminophosphate molecular sieves substituted with cobalt, manganese or iron and having the AlPO.sub.4 -34 or AlPO.sub.4 -5, or related AlPO.sub.4 structure activate methane starting at approximately 350.degree. C. Between 400.degree. and 500.degree. C. and at methane pressures .ltoreq.1 atmosphere the rate of methane conversion increases steadily with typical conversion efficiencies at 500.degree. C. approaching 50% and selectivity to the production of C.sub.2+ hydrocarbons approaching 100%. The activation mechanism is based on reduction of the transition metal(III) form of the molecular sieve to the transition metal(II) form with accompanying oxidative dehydrogenation of the methane. Reoxidation of the - transition metal(II) form to the transition metal(III) form can be done either chemically (e.g., using O.sub.2) or electrochemically.

  20. Diverse sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade are the key alkane degraders at marine seeps.

    PubMed

    Kleindienst, Sara; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Stagars, Marion; von Netzer, Frederick; von Bergen, Martin; Seifert, Jana; Peplies, Jörg; Amann, Rudolf; Musat, Florin; Lueders, Tillmann; Knittel, Katrin

    2014-10-01

    Biogeochemical and microbiological data indicate that the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has an important role in carbon and sulfur cycling at marine seeps. Yet, little is known about the bacterial hydrocarbon degraders active in situ. Here, we provide the link between previous biogeochemical measurements and the cultivation of degraders by direct identification of SRB responsible for butane and dodecane degradation in complex on-site microbiota. Two contrasting seep sediments from Mediterranean Amon mud volcano and Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were incubated with (13)C-labeled butane or dodecane under sulfate-reducing conditions and analyzed via complementary stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques. Using DNA- and rRNA-SIP, we identified four specialized clades of alkane oxidizers within Desulfobacteraceae to be distinctively active in oxidation of short- and long-chain alkanes. All clades belong to the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade, substantiating the crucial role of these bacteria in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation at marine seeps. The identification of key enzymes of anaerobic alkane degradation, subsequent β-oxidation and the reverse Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for complete substrate oxidation by protein-SIP further corroborated the importance of the DSS clade and indicated that biochemical pathways, analog to those discovered in the laboratory, are of great relevance for natural settings. The high diversity within identified subclades together with their capability to initiate alkane degradation and growth within days to weeks after substrate amendment suggest an overlooked potential of marine benthic microbiota to react to natural changes in seepage, as well as to massive hydrocarbon input, for example, as encountered during anthropogenic oil spills.

  1. Monocopper active site for partial methane oxidation in Cu-exchanged 8MR zeolites

    SciTech Connect

    Kulkarni, Ambarish R.; Zhao, Zhi -Jian; Siahrostami, Samira; Nørskov, Jens K.; Studt, Felix

    2016-08-17

    Direct conversion of methane to methanol using oxygen is experiencing renewed interest owing to the availability of new natural gas resources. Copper-exchanged zeolites such as mordenite and ZSM-5 have shown encouraging results, and di- and tri-copper species have been suggested as active sites. Recently, small eight-membered ring (8MR) zeolites including SSZ-13, -16, and -39 have been shown to be active for methane oxidation, but the active sites and reaction mechanisms in these 8MR zeolites are not known. In this work, we use density functional theory (DFT) calculations to systematically evaluate monocopper species as active sites for the partial methane oxidation reaction in Cu-exchanged SSZ-13. On the basis of kinetic and thermodynamic arguments, we suggest that [CuIIOH]+ species in the 8MR are responsible for the experimentally observed activity. Furthermore, our results successfully explain the available spectroscopic data and experimental observations including (i) the necessity of water for methanol extraction and (ii) the effect of Si/Al ratio on the catalyst activity. Monocopper species have not yet been suggested as an active site for the partial methane oxidation reaction, and our results suggest that [CuIIOH]+ active site may provide complementary routes for methane activation in zeolites in addition to the known [Cu–O–Cu]2+ and Cu3O3 motifs.

  2. Monocopper active site for partial methane oxidation in Cu-exchanged 8MR zeolites

    DOE PAGES

    Kulkarni, Ambarish R.; Zhao, Zhi -Jian; Siahrostami, Samira; ...

    2016-08-17

    Direct conversion of methane to methanol using oxygen is experiencing renewed interest owing to the availability of new natural gas resources. Copper-exchanged zeolites such as mordenite and ZSM-5 have shown encouraging results, and di- and tri-copper species have been suggested as active sites. Recently, small eight-membered ring (8MR) zeolites including SSZ-13, -16, and -39 have been shown to be active for methane oxidation, but the active sites and reaction mechanisms in these 8MR zeolites are not known. In this work, we use density functional theory (DFT) calculations to systematically evaluate monocopper species as active sites for the partial methane oxidationmore » reaction in Cu-exchanged SSZ-13. On the basis of kinetic and thermodynamic arguments, we suggest that [CuIIOH]+ species in the 8MR are responsible for the experimentally observed activity. Furthermore, our results successfully explain the available spectroscopic data and experimental observations including (i) the necessity of water for methanol extraction and (ii) the effect of Si/Al ratio on the catalyst activity. Monocopper species have not yet been suggested as an active site for the partial methane oxidation reaction, and our results suggest that [CuIIOH]+ active site may provide complementary routes for methane activation in zeolites in addition to the known [Cu–O–Cu]2+ and Cu3O3 motifs.« less

  3. Coalbed Methane Outreach Program

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Coalbed Methane Outreach Program, voluntary program seeking to reduce methane emissions from coal mining activities. CMOP promotes profitable recovery/use of coal mine methane (CMM), addressing barriers to using CMM instead of emitting it to atmosphere.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Identification of Methanotrophic Biomarker Lipids in the Symbiont-Containing Gills of Seep Mussels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, L. L.; Zahiralis, K. D.; Klein, H. P.; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Mussels collected from hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico grow with methane as sole carbon and energy source due to a symbiotic association with methane-oxidizing bacteria. Transmission electron micrographs of mussel gills show cells with stacked intracytoplasmic membranes similar to type I methanotrophic bacteria. Methanotrophs are known to synthesize several types of cyclic triterpenes, hopanoids and methyl sterols, as well as unique monounsaturated fatty acid, double bond positional isomers that serve as biomarkers for this group. Lipid analysis of dissected mussels demonstrated the presence of these biomarkers predominantly in the gill tissue with much smaller amounts in mantle and remaining body tissues. Gill tissue contained 1150 micrograms/g dry wt. of hopanepolyol derivatives and diplopterol while the mantle tissue contained only 17 micrograms/g. The C16 monounsaturated fatty acids (16:1) characteristic of type I methanotrophic membranes dominated the gill tissue making up 53% of the total while only 5% 16:1 was present in the mantle tissue. The methyl sterol distribution was more dispersed. The predominant sterol in all tissues was cholesterol with lesser amounts of other desmethyl and 4-methyl sterols. The gill and mantle tissues contained 3461 micrograms (17% methyl) and 2750 micrograms (5% methyl) sterol per gm dry wt., respectively. Methyl sterol accounted for 44% of the sterol esters isolated from the gill, suggesting active demethylation of the methanotrophic sterols in this tissue. The use of lipid biomarkers could provide an effective means for identifying host-symbiont relationships.

  6. Methane transport from the active layer to lakes in the Arctic using Toolik Lake, Alaska, as a case study.

    PubMed

    Paytan, Adina; Lecher, Alanna L; Dimova, Natasha; Sparrow, Katy J; Kodovska, Fenix Garcia-Tigreros; Murray, Joseph; Tulaczyk, Slawomir; Kessler, John D

    2015-03-24

    Methane emissions in the Arctic are important, and may be contributing to global warming. While methane emission rates from Arctic lakes are well documented, methods are needed to quantify the relative contribution of active layer groundwater to the overall lake methane budget. Here we report measurements of natural tracers of soil/groundwater, radon, and radium, along with methane concentration in Toolik Lake, Alaska, to evaluate the role active layer water plays as an exogenous source for lake methane. Average concentrations of methane, radium, and radon were all elevated in the active layer compared with lake water (1.6 × 10(4) nM, 61.6 dpm⋅m(-3), and 4.5 × 10(5) dpm⋅m(-3) compared with 1.3 × 10(2) nM, 5.7 dpm⋅m(-3), and 4.4 × 10(3) dpm⋅m(-3), respectively). Methane transport from the active layer to Toolik Lake based on the geochemical tracer radon (up to 2.9 g⋅m(-2)⋅y(-1)) can account for a large fraction of methane emissions from this lake. Strong but spatially and temporally variable correlations between radon activity and methane concentrations (r(2) > 0.69) in lake water suggest that the parameters that control methane discharge from the active layer also vary. Warming in the Arctic may expand the active layer and increase the discharge, thereby increasing the methane flux to lakes and from lakes to the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming. More work is needed to quantify and elucidate the processes that control methane fluxes from the active layer to predict how this flux might change in the future and to evaluate the regional and global contribution of active layer water associated methane inputs.

  7. Methane transport from the active layer to lakes in the Arctic using Toolik Lake, Alaska, as a case study

    PubMed Central

    Paytan, Adina; Lecher, Alanna L.; Dimova, Natasha; Sparrow, Katy J.; Kodovska, Fenix Garcia-Tigreros; Murray, Joseph; Tulaczyk, Slawomir; Kessler, John D.

    2015-01-01

    Methane emissions in the Arctic are important, and may be contributing to global warming. While methane emission rates from Arctic lakes are well documented, methods are needed to quantify the relative contribution of active layer groundwater to the overall lake methane budget. Here we report measurements of natural tracers of soil/groundwater, radon, and radium, along with methane concentration in Toolik Lake, Alaska, to evaluate the role active layer water plays as an exogenous source for lake methane. Average concentrations of methane, radium, and radon were all elevated in the active layer compared with lake water (1.6 × 104 nM, 61.6 dpm⋅m−3, and 4.5 × 105 dpm⋅m−3 compared with 1.3 × 102 nM, 5.7 dpm⋅m−3, and 4.4 × 103 dpm⋅m−3, respectively). Methane transport from the active layer to Toolik Lake based on the geochemical tracer radon (up to 2.9 g⋅m−2⋅y−1) can account for a large fraction of methane emissions from this lake. Strong but spatially and temporally variable correlations between radon activity and methane concentrations (r2 > 0.69) in lake water suggest that the parameters that control methane discharge from the active layer also vary. Warming in the Arctic may expand the active layer and increase the discharge, thereby increasing the methane flux to lakes and from lakes to the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming. More work is needed to quantify and elucidate the processes that control methane fluxes from the active layer to predict how this flux might change in the future and to evaluate the regional and global contribution of active layer water associated methane inputs. PMID:25775530

  8. Quantifying the flux and fate of methane into the Hudson Canyon at the edge of methane clathrate hydrate stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, J. D.; Leonte, M.; Garcia-Tigreros Kodovska, F.; Chan, E. W.; Valentine, D. L.; Kellermann, M. Y.; Arrington, E. C.; Navarrete, L. C.; Weinstein, A.; Chepigin, A.; Weber, T.; Ruppel, C. D.; Scranton, M. I.

    2015-12-01

    Methane seeps were investigated in the Hudson Canyon, along the northern US Atlantic Margin on the R/V Endeavor in July 2014. These seeps are located along the upper feather-edge of the methane clathrate hydrate stability zone. Water column samples were collected guided by the acoustic identification of bubble streams in a 32 km2 region. This presentation details the measurements of dissolved methane concentration, natural stable isotopes, potential methane oxidation rates, and current velocity which were used in chemical and isotopic models to quantify (1) the total emission of methane to the water column in this region and (2) the extent of aerobic methane oxidation. In addition, the timing, efficiency, and kinetics of aerobic methane oxidation were investigated with mesocosm incubations of seawater in a unique experimental design that enabled high temporal resolution data acquisition. Finally, the ultimate fate of methane carbon was assessed with high precision measurements of pH.

  9. Thermal Imagery of Groundwater Seeps: Possibilities and Limitations.

    PubMed

    Mundy, Erin; Gleeson, Tom; Roberts, Mark; Baraer, Michel; McKenzie, Jeffrey M

    2017-03-01

    Quantifying groundwater flow at seepage faces is crucial because seepage faces influence the hydroecology and water budgets of watersheds, lakes, rivers and oceans, and because measuring groundwater fluxes directly in aquifers is extremely difficult. Seepage faces provide a direct and measurable groundwater flux but there is no existing method to quantitatively image groundwater processes at this boundary. Our objective is to determine the possibilities and limitations of thermal imagery in quantifying groundwater discharge from discrete seeps. We developed a conceptual model of temperature below discrete seeps, observed 20 seeps spectacularly exposed in three dimensions at an unused limestone quarry and conducted field experiments to examine the role of diurnal changes and rock face heterogeneity on thermal imagery. The conceptual model suggests that convective air-water heat exchange driven by temperature differences is the dominant heat transfer mechanism. Thermal imagery is effective at locating and characterizing the flux of groundwater seeps. Areas of active groundwater flow and ice growth can be identified from thermal images in the winter, and seepage rates can be differentiated in the summer. However, the application of thermal imagery is limited by diverse factors including technical issues of image acquisition, diurnal changes in radiation and temperature, and rock face heterogeneity. Groundwater discharge rates could not be directly quantified from thermal imagery using our observations but our conceptual model and experiments suggest that thermal imagery could quantify groundwater discharge when there are large temperature differences, simple cliff faces, non-freezing conditions, and no solar radiation.

  10. Carbon cycling fed by methane seepage at the shallow Cumberland Bay, South Georgia, sub-Antarctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geprägs, Patrizia; Torres, Marta E.; Mau, Susan; Kasten, Sabine; Römer, Miriam; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2016-04-01

    Recent studies have suggested that the marine contribution of methane from shallow regions and melting marine-terminating glaciers may have been underestimated. Here we report on methane sources and potential sinks associated with methane seeps in Cumberland Bay, South Georgia's largest fjord system. The average organic carbon content in the upper 8 m of the sediment is around 0.65 wt %; this observation combined with Parasound data suggest that the methane gas accumulations probably originate from peat-bearing sediments currently located several tens of meters below the seafloor. Only one of our cores indicates upward advection; instead most of the methane is transported via diffusion. Sulfate and methane flux estimates indicate that a large fraction of methane is consumed by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Carbon cycling at the sulfate-methane transition (SMT) results in a marked fractionation of the δ13C-CH4 from an estimated source value of -65‰ to a value as low as -96‰ just below the SMT. Methane concentrations in sediments are high, especially close to the seepage sites (˜40 mM); however, concentrations in the water column are relatively low (max. 58 nM) and can be observed only close to the seafloor. Methane is trapped in the lowermost water mass; however, measured microbial oxidation rates reveal very low activity with an average turnover of 3.1 years. We therefore infer that methane must be transported out of the bay in the bottom water layer. A mean sea-air flux of only 0.005 nM/m2 s confirms that almost no methane reaches the atmosphere.

  11. Fine-Scale Community Structure Analysis of ANME in Nyegga Sediments with High and Low Methane Flux

    PubMed Central

    Roalkvam, Irene; Dahle, Håkon; Chen, Yifeng; Jørgensen, Steffen Leth; Haflidason, Haflidi; Steen, Ida Helene

    2012-01-01

    To obtain knowledge on how regional variations in methane seepage rates influence the stratification, abundance, and diversity of anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME), we analyzed the vertical microbial stratification in a gravity core from a methane micro-seeping area at Nyegga by using 454-pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene tagged amplicons and quantitative PCR. These data were compared with previously obtained data from the more active G11 pockmark, characterized by higher methane flux. A down core stratification and high relative abundance of ANME were observed in both cores, with transition from an ANME-2a/b dominated community in low-sulfide and low methane horizons to ANME-1 dominance in horizons near the sulfate-methane transition zone. The stratification was over a wider spatial region and at greater depth in the core with lower methane flux, and the total 16S rRNA copy numbers were two orders of magnitude lower than in the sediments at G11 pockmark. A fine-scale view into the ANME communities at each location was achieved through operational taxonomical units (OTU) clustering of ANME-affiliated sequences. The majority of ANME-1 sequences from both sampling sites clustered within one OTU, while ANME-2a/b sequences were represented in unique OTUs. We suggest that free-living ANME-1 is the most abundant taxon in Nyegga cold seeps, and also the main consumer of methane. The observation of specific ANME-2a/b OTUs at each location could reflect that organisms within this clade are adapted to different geochemical settings, perhaps due to differences in methane affinity. Given that the ANME-2a/b population could be sustained in less active seepage areas, this subgroup could be potential seed populations in newly developed methane-enriched environments. PMID:22715336

  12. Comparative study of vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portail, M.; Olu, K.; Escobar-Briones, E.; Caprais, J. C.; Menot, L.; Waeles, M.; Cruaud, P.; Sarradin, P. M.; Godfroy, A.; Sarrazin, J.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the ecological processes and connectivity of chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems requires comparative studies. In the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico), the presence of seeps and vents in the absence of biogeographic barrier, comparable sedimentary settings and depths offers a unique opportunity to assess the role of ecosystem specific environmental conditions on macrofaunal communities. Six seep and four vent assemblages were studied, three of which were characterised by common major foundation taxa: vesicomyid bivalves, siboglinid tubeworms and microbial mats. Macrofaunal community structure at the family level showed that density, diversity and composition patterns were primarily shaped by seep and vent common abiotic factors including methane and hydrogen sulphide concentrations. The type of substratum and the heterogeneity provided by foundation species were identified as additional structuring factors and their roles were found to vary according to fluid regimes. Surprisingly, the presence of vent environmental specificities, with higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH was not significant in explaining community patterns. Moreover, Guaymas seep and vent shared an important number of common species suggesting frequent connections between the two ecosystems. Finally, this study provides further support for the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems.

  13. Metatranscriptomic analysis of diminutive Thiomargarita-like bacteria ("Candidatus Thiopilula" spp.) from abyssal cold seeps of the Barbados Accretionary Prism.

    PubMed

    Jones, Daniel S; Flood, Beverly E; Bailey, Jake V

    2015-05-01

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

  14. Automated Characterization and Quantification of Hydrocarbon Seeps Based on Frontal Illuminated Video Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boelmann, J.; Zielinski, O.

    2015-04-01

    Hydrocarbon releases, either natural or due to anthropogenic activities, are of major relevance for the marine environment. In this work we specify our approach to quantify these seeps by subsea imaging utilizing camera systems and frontal illumination setups on board remotely operated vehicles. This work showcases, based on a campaign in the region west of Svalbard, improved methodological guidelines for the seep quantification operation together with a novel automated post-mission evaluation. The comparison of automated quantification with manual information extraction illustrates the efficiency of this new method while processing comparable estimates of seep characteristics.

  15. Gas-phase activation of methane by ligated transition-metal cations

    PubMed Central

    Schröder, Detlef; Schwarz, Helmut

    2008-01-01

    Motivated by the search for ways of a more efficient usage of the large, unexploited resources of methane, recent progress in the gas-phase activation of methane by ligated transition-metal ions is discussed. Mass spectrometric experiments demonstrate that the ligands can crucially influence both reactivity and selectivity of transition-metal cations in bond-activation processes, and the most reactive species derive from combinations of transition metals with the electronegative elements fluorine, oxygen, and chlorine. Furthermore, the collected knowledge about intramolecular kinetic isotope effects associated with the activation of C–H(D) bonds of methane can be used to distinguish the nature of the bond activation as a mere hydrogen-abstraction, a metal-assisted mechanism or more complex reactions such as formation of insertion intermediates or σ-bond metathesis. PMID:18955709

  16. Enhancing methane production from waste activated sludge using a novel indigenous iron activated peroxidation pre-treatment process.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xu; Wang, Qilin; Jiang, Guangming

    2015-04-01

    Methane production from anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor methane potential of WAS. This study presents a novel pre-treatment strategy based on indigenous iron (in WAS) activated peroxidation to enhance methane production from WAS. Pre-treatment of WAS for 30 min at 50mg H2O2/g total solids (dry weight) and pH 2.0 (iron concentration in WAS was 7 mg/g TS) substantially enhanced WAS solubilization. Biochemical methane potential tests demonstrated that methane production was improved by 10% at a digestion time of 16d after incorporating the indigenous iron activated peroxidation pre-treatment. Model-based analysis indicated that indigenous iron activated peroxidation pre-treatment improved the methane potential by 13%, whereas the hydrolysis rate was not significantly affected. The economic analysis showed that the proposed pre-treatment method can save the cost by $112,000 per year in a treatment plant with a population equivalent of 300,000.

  17. 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.

  18. Methane-derived carbonates as archives of past seepage activity along the Norwegian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crémière, Antoine; Lepland, Aivo; Sahy, Diana; Noble, Stephen R.; Condon, Daniel J.; Chand, Shyam; Stoddart, Daniel; Halvard Pedersen, Jon; Sauer, Simone; Brunstad, Harald; Birger Pedersen, Rolf; Thornes, Terje

    2014-05-01

    Assessment of timing and flux rates of past methane discharges is in part hindered by the lack of robust age constraints. Authigenic carbonate crusts forming in shallow sediments due to the oxidation of methane are recorders of seepage that can be dated by using U-daughter decay affording the unique opportunity to constrain the absolute timing of methane release events. Methane-derived carbonate crusts exhibiting characteristic 13C-depleted isotopic signatures were collected from several seepage sites on the Norwegian continental shelf, including sites in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. The U-Th dating results constrain the main episode of carbonate crust formation in the Barents and Norwegian seas during the time interval between 14 and 7 ka. Such ages suggest that the methane seepage along the northern Norwegian margin was most active after the collapse of the Scandinavian ice sheet and deglaciation of the area that took place at about 15 ka. The methane flux for the carbonate crust formation was likely provided by the dissociation of methane hydrates that extensively formed in underlying sediments during the last glacial period, but became unstable due to depressuring effects of retreating ice sheet. The precipitation of studied North Sea carbonate crusts occurred more recently, from 6 to 1 ka, suggesting that their formation is unrelated to the glacial history of the area and gas hydrate stability. Carbonate crust formation in the North Sea is likely related to the methane seepage from the hydrocarbon reservoir and the dating results allow an assessment of the seepage history within individual conduits.

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Valentine, David

    2012-09-30

    process as a biofilter by studying the distribution of methane oxidation and disposition of methanotrophic populations in the Pacific Ocean. We investigated several environments including the basins offshore California, the continental margin off Central America, and the shallow waters around gas seeps. We succeeded in identifying the distributions of activity in these environments, identified potential physical and chemical controls on methanotrophic activity, we further revealed details about the methanotrophic communities active in these settings, and we developed new approaches to study methanotrophic communities. These findings should improve our capacity to predict the methanotrophic response in ocean waters, and further our ability to generate specific hypotheses as to the ecology and efficacy of pelagic methanotrophic communites. The discharge of methane and other hydrocarbons to Gulf of Mexico that followed the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon provided a unique opportunity to study the methanotorphic biofilter in the deep ocean environment. We set out to understand the consumption of methane and the bloom of methanotrophs resulting from this event, as a window into the regional scale release of gas hydrate under rapid warming scenarios. We found that other hydrocarbon gases, notably propane and ethane, were preferred for consumption over methane, but that methane consumption accelerated rapidly and drove the depletion of methane within a matter of months after initial release. These results revealed the identity of the responsible community, and point to the importance of the seed population in determining the rate at which a methanotrophic community is able to respond to an input of methane. Collectively, these results provide a significant advance in our understanding of the marine methanotrohic biofilter, and further provide direction and context for future investigations of this important phenomenon. This project has resulted in fourteen publications to date

  1. Pore size distribution analysis of activated carbons prepared from coconut shell using methane adsorption data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmadpour, A.; Okhovat, A.; Darabi Mahboub, M. J.

    2013-06-01

    The application of Stoeckli theory to determine pore size distribution (PSD) of activated carbons using high pressure methane adsorption data is explored. Coconut shell was used as a raw material for the preparation of 16 different activated carbon samples. Four samples with higher methane adsorption were selected and nitrogen adsorption on these adsorbents was also investigated. Some differences are found between the PSD obtained from the analysis of nitrogen adsorption isotherms and their PSD resulting from the same analysis using methane adsorption data. It is suggested that these differences may arise from the specific interactions between nitrogen molecules and activated carbon surfaces; therefore caution is required in the interpretation of PSD obtained from the nitrogen isotherm data.

  2. Characterization of a deep-sea microbial mat from an active cold seep at the Milano mud volcano in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Heijs, Sander K; Damsté, Jaap S Sinninghe; Forney, Larry J

    2005-09-01

    A white, filamentous microbial mat at the Milano mud volcano in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea was sampled during the Medinaut cruise of the R/V Nadir in 1998. The composition of the mat community was characterized using a combination of phylogenetic and lipid biomarker methods. The mat sample was filtered through 0.2 and 5-microm filters to coarsely separate unicellular and filamentous bacteria. Analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences amplified from the total community DNA from these fractions showed that similar archaeal populations were present in both fractions. However, the bacterial populations in the fractions differed from one another, and were more diverse than the archaeal ones. Lipid analysis showed that bacteria were the dominant members of the mat microbial community and the relatively low delta(13)C carbon isotope values of bulk bacterial lipids suggested the occurrence of methane- and sulfide-based chemo(auto)trophy. Consistent with this, the bacterial populations in the fractions were related to Alpha-, Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria, most of which were chemoautotrophic bacteria that utilize hydrogen sulfide (or reduced sulfur compounds) and/or methane. The most common archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences were related to those of previously identified Archaea capable of anaerobic methane oxidation. Although the filamentous organisms observed in the mat were not conclusively identified, our results indicated that the Eastern Mediterranean deep-sea microbial mat community might be sustained on a combination of methane- and sulfide-driven chemotrophy.

  3. Tracing the Origin of Methane and Water on Mars: Active Regions and their Seasonal Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villanueva, Geronimo; Mumma, M. J.; Novak, R. E.

    2009-09-01

    We have detected methane on Mars [1,2], and measured it simultaneously with water using powerful ground-based telescopes. Its presence in such a strongly oxidized atmosphere (CO2, 95.3%) requires recent release; the ultimate origin of this methane is uncertain, but it could either be abiotic or biotic. In this paper, we present the spatial distributions of methane and water-vapor on Mars extracted from our complete spectral database now spanning seven years, and we compare these with other geological parameters. Both gases are depleted at vernal equinox but are enhanced in warm seasons (spring/summer), though often with dissimilar spatial distributions. In Northern Summer we observe a polar outburst of water but no methane, while in Southern Spring we observe release of abundant methane but little water. Regions of methane release appear mainly over ancient terrain (Noachian/Hesperian, older than 3 billion years) known to have a rich hydration history. There is ample evidence that ancient Mars was wet and likely hosted habitable conditions. Moreover, the presence of extensive volcanism probably gave rise to widespread hydrothermal activity and the formation of rich aqueous subsurface reservoirs. Methane produced by geological processes (e.g., serpentinization) or by living organisms at that time could have been incorporated into hydrates. If such processes remain active on Mars below the permafrost, the byproduct gases (i.e. CH4 and H2S) may be trapped as hydrates at the base of the cryosphere. [1] Mumma et al. (2009) Science, 323, 1041. [2] Villanueva et al. (2009), submitted. This work was funded by NASA grants 08-PAST08-0034 (Planetary Astronomy) and 08-PATM080-0031 (Planetary Atmospheres) and grants from the NSF RUI Program (AST-0505765 and AST-0805540). We acknowledge the NASA-IRTF and Keck-2 telescopes for observing time.

  4. Seep Carbonates From Tubeworm- and Mussel-Associated Environments at Atwater Valley, Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, D.; Roberts, H. H.; Chen, D.

    2008-12-01

    During 2006 and 2007, MMS and NOAA jointly supported cruises where fifteen hydrocarbon seep sites at greater than 1000 m water depth on the lower Louisiana slope in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) were explored. These sites contain numerous authigenic carbonates as well as high-density communities of tubeworms and mussels. However, the integrated petrographic and geochemical characterization of the tubeworm- and mussel-associated carbonates remains poorly known. Here, a comparative study of petrographic and geochemical features of the carbonate samples from tubeworm- and mussel- associated environments was approached for an active and complex seep site at Atwater Valley lease block 340 (AT 340) at 2200 m water depth in the GOM. The carbonate morphologies include concretion, blocky and massive carbonates up to several meters in size, and irregularly shaped carbonates, some of them are displaying high porosity. Some are highly brecciaed with aragonite layers of varying thicknesses lining fractures and voids. Lithologically, the carbonates are microcrystalline Mg-calcite, calcite and aragonite containing peloids, clasts and shell fragments. The carbon isotopic composition of carbonates varies narrowly, ranging from -46.45 ‰ to - 60.81 ‰, indicating 13C-depleted carbon source probably methane of microbial origin. But the common trend is that the tubeworm-associated carbonates have more depleted δ13C values when compared to mussel-associated carbonates. A similarly small variability of δ18O values (+3.12 ‰ to +5.09 ‰) demonstrates the temperature and/or fluid composition did not change greatly during carbonate. The total content of rare earth elements (REE) of the 5% HNO3-treated solution of the carbonates is from 6.54 ppm to 29.41 ppm. The shale-normalized REE patterns show slightly positive Ce anomalies, suggests that the carbonates precipitated under anoxic conditions. The possible factors (i.e. habitat of chemosynthetic animals, depth of carbonate precipitation

  5. Electrostatic and Charge-Induced Methane Activation by a Concerted Double C-H Bond Insertion.

    PubMed

    Geng, Caiyun; Li, Jilai; Weiske, Thomas; Schlangen, Maria; Shaik, Sason; Schwarz, Helmut

    2017-02-01

    A mechanistically unique, simultaneous activation of two C-H bonds of methane has been identified during the course of its reaction with the cationic copper carbide, [Cu-C](+). Detailed high-level quantum chemical calculations support the experimental findings obtained in the highly diluted gas phase using FT-ICR mass spectrometry. The behavior of [Cu-C](+)/CH4 contrasts that of [Au-C](+)/CH4, for which a stepwise bond-activation scenario prevails. An explanation for the distinct mechanistic differences of the two coinage metal complexes is given. It is demonstrated that the coupling of [Cu-C](+) with methane to form ethylene and Cu(+) is modeled very well by the reaction of a carbon atom with methane mediated by an oriented external electric field of a positive point charge.

  6. Molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses of the microbial mats in deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea.

    PubMed

    Arakawa, Shizuka; Sato, Takako; Sato, Rumi; Zhang, Jing; Gamo, Toshitaka; Tsunogai, Urumu; Hirota, Akinari; Yoshida, Yasuhiko; Usami, Ron; Inagaki, Fumio; Kato, Chiaki

    2006-08-01

    Microbial communities inhabiting deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea were characterized by molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses. White patchy microbial mats were observed along the fault offshore the Hokkaido Island and sediment samples were collected from two stations at the southern foot of the Shiribeshi seamount (M1 site at a depth of 2,961 m on the active fault) and off the Motta Cape site (M2 site at a depth of 3,064 m off the active fault). The phylogenetic and terminal-restriction fragment polymorphism analyses of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes revealed that microbial community structures were different between two sampling stations. The members of ANME-2 archaea and diverse bacterial components including sulfate reducers within Deltaproteobacteria were detected from M1 site, indicating the occurrence of biologically mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane, while microbial community at M2 site was predominantly composed of members of Marine Crenarchaeota group I, sulfate reducers of Deltaproteobacteria, and sulfur oxidizers of Epsilonproteobacteria. Chemical analyses of seawater above microbial mats suggested that concentrations of sulfate and methane at M1 site were largely decreased relative to those at M2 site and carbon isotopic composition of methane at M1 site shifted heavier ((13)C-enriched), the results of which are consistent with molecular analyses. These results suggest that the mat microbial communities in deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea are significantly responsible for sulfur and carbon circulations and the geological activity associated with plate movements serves unique microbial habitats in deep-sea environments.

  7. Endosymbiotic microflora of the vestimentiferan tubeworm ( Lamellibrachia sp.) from a bathyal cold seep.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Hiroyuki; Higashide, Yukimasa; Naganuma, Takeshi

    2003-01-01

    Gutless vestimentiferan tubeworms are known to harbor endosymbiotic bacteria in a specialized tissue, the trophosome, which consists of lobules. The endosymbionts of vestimentiferans inhabiting sulfide-rich hydrothermal vents are monospecific for their host. In contrast, previous studies suggest that vestimentiferas of methane-rich seeps may host multispecific symbionts. Phylogenetic analysis and dot-blot hybridization of 16S ribosomal RNA genes (16S rDNA) detected 4 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the trophosome of the vestimentifera Lamellibrachia species from a bathyal methane-seep. The OTUs were closely related to 16S rDNA of the species belonging to alpha -Proteobacteria ( Sulfitobacter), beta- Proteobacteria ( Janthinobacterium), and gamma -Proteobacteria ( Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas). Localizations of the 4 OTUs within the trophosome were confirmed by in situ hybridization (ISH). ISH signals of the alpha-proteobacterial OTU were observed in the innermost zone of the trophosome lobules. In contrast, ISH signals of the beta- and gamma-proteobacterial OTUs were observed at the periphery of the lobules; however, whether they occur inside or outside the lobules remains unclear. These results support the possibility that the studied methane-seep tubeworm has a microflora composed of multispecific endosymbionts.

  8. The world's most spectacular marine hydrocarbon seeps (Coal Oil Point, Santa Barbara Channel, California): Quantification of emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hornafius, J. Scott; Quigley, Derek; Luyendyk, Bruce P.

    1999-09-01

    We used 50 kHz sonar data to estimate natural hydrocarbon emission rates from the 18 km2 marine seep field offshore from Coal Oil Point, Santa Barbara, California. The hydrocarbon gas emission rate is 1.7 ± 0.3 × 105 m3 d-1 (including gas captured by a subsea seep containment device) and the associated oil emission rate is 1.6 ± 0.2 × 104 Ld-1 (100 barrels d-1). The nonmethane hydrocarbon emission rate from the gas seepage is 35±7 td-1 and a large source of air pollution in Santa Barbara County. Our estimate is equal to twice the emission rate from all the on-road vehicle traffic in the county. Our estimated methane emission rate for the Coal Oil Point seeps (80±12 td-1) is 4 times higher than previous estimates. The most intense areas of seepage correspond to structural culminations along anticlinal axes. Seep locations are mostly unchanged from those documented in 1946, 1953, and 1973. An exception is the seepage field that once existed near offshore oil platform Holly. A reduction in seepage within a 1 km radius around this offshore platform is correlated with reduced reservoir pressure beneath the natural seeps due to oil production. Our findings suggest that global emissions of methane from natural marine seepage have been underestimated and may be decreasing because of oil production.

  9. Perovskite-supported palladium for methane oxidation - structure-activity relationships.

    PubMed

    Eyssler, Arnim; Lu, Ye; Matam, Santhosh Kumar; Weidenkaff, Anke; Ferri, Davide

    2012-01-01

    Palladium is the precious metal of choice for methane oxidation and perovskite-type oxides offer the possibility to stabilize it as PdO, considered crucial for catalytic activity. Pd can adopt different oxidation and coordination states when associated with perovskite-type oxides. Here, we review our work on the effect of perovskite composition on the oxidation and coordination states of Pd and its influence on catalytic activity for methane oxidation in the case of typical Mn, Fe and Co perovskite-based oxidation catalysts. Especially X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy is shown to be crucial to fingerprint the different coordination states of Pd. Pd substitutes Fe and Co in the octahedral sites but without modifying catalytic activity with respect to the Pd-free perovskite. On LaMnO(3) palladium is predominantly exposed at the surface thus bestowing catalytic activity for methane oxidation. However, the occupancy of B-cation sites of the perovskite structure by Pd can be exploited to cyclically activate Pd and to protect it from particle growth. This is explicitly demonstrated for La(Fe, Pd)O(3), where catalytic activity for methane oxidation is enhanced under oscillating redox conditions at 500 °C, therefore paving the way to the practical application in three-way catalysts for stoichiometric natural gas engines.

  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 sulfate

  11. 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.

  12. In vitro Screening of Essential Oil Active Compounds for Manipulation of Rumen Fermentation and Methane Mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Joch, M.; Cermak, L.; Hakl, J.; Hucko, B.; Duskova, D.; Marounek, M.

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of 11 active compounds of essential oils (ACEO) on rumen fermentation characteristics and methane production. Two trials were conducted. In trial 1, ACEO (eugenol, carvacrol, citral, limonene, 1,4-cineole, p-cymene, linalool, bornyl acetate, α-pinene, and β-pinene) at a dose of 1,000 μL/L were incubated for 24 h in diluted rumen fluid with a 70:30 forage:concentrate substrate (16.2% crude protein; 36.6% neutral detergent fiber). Three fistulated Holstein cows were used as donors of rumen fluid. The reduction in methane production was observed with nine ACEO (up to 86% reduction) compared with the control (p<0.05). Among these, only limonene, 1,4-cineole, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene did not inhibit volatile fatty acid (VFA) production, and only bornyl acetate produced less methane per mol of VFA compared with the control (p<0.05). In a subsequent trial, the effects on rumen fermentation and methane production of two concentrations (500 and 2,000 μL/L) of bornyl acetate, the most promising ACEO from the first trial, were evaluated using the same in vitro incubation method that was used in the first trial. In trial 2, monensin was used as a positive control. Both doses of bornyl acetate decreased (p<0.05) methane production and did not inhibit VFA production. Positive effects of bornyl acetate on methane and VFA production were more pronounced than the effects of monensin. These results confirm the ability of bornyl acetate to decrease methane production, which may help to improve the efficiency of energy use in the rumen. PMID:26954157

  13. Stimulated Emission of Energetic Particles (SEEP).

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-30

    a.... W W w w w w w I I li IJr Ir % i "f J2 I l AD-A 188 724 MLMSCD068456 For Period Ending 30 September 1987 CD Contract N00014-79-C4824 0 IC FILE...CLASSIFICATION 0 -UNCLASSIFIED/UNLIMITED [ SAME AS RPT C:" DTIC USERS UNCLASSIFIED 22a NAME OF RESPONSIBLE INDIVIDUAL 22b TELEPHONE (Include Area Code) 22c O...34---" ,. LMSC/D068456 . 0 SEEP FINAL REPORT I. OBJECTIVES OF THE SEEP PROGRAM The SEEP (Stimulated Emission of Energetic Particles) program had important

  14. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols

    DOE PAGES

    Lau, Maggie C.Y.; Stackhouse, B.; Layton, Alice C.; ...

    2015-01-01

    The transition of Arctic carbon-rich cryosols into methane (CH₄)-emitting wetlands due to global warming is a rising concern. However, the spatially predominant mineral cryosols and their CH₄ emission potential are poorly understood. Fluxes measured in situ and estimated under laboratory conditions coupled with -omics analysis indicate (1) mineral cryosols in the Canadian high Arctic contain atmospheric CH₄-oxidizing bacteria; (2) the atmospheric CH⁺ uptake flux increases with ground temperature; and, as a result, (3) the atmospheric CH₄ sink strength will increase by a factor of 5-30 as the Arctic warms by 5-15 °C over a century. We demonstrated that acidic mineralmore » cryosols have previously unrecognized potential of negative CH₄ feedback.« less

  15. An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols

    SciTech Connect

    Lau, Maggie C.Y.; Stackhouse, B.; Layton, Alice C.; Chauhan, Archana; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Chourey, Karuna; Mykytczuk, N. C.S.; Bennett, Phil C.; Lamarche-Gagnon, G.; Burton, N.; Renholm, J.; Hettich, R. L.; Pollard, W. H.; Omelon, C. R.; Medvigy, David M.; Pffifner, Susan M.; Whyte, L. G.; Onstott, T. C.

    2015-01-01

    The transition of Arctic carbon-rich cryosols into methane (CH₄)-emitting wetlands due to global warming is a rising concern. However, the spatially predominant mineral cryosols and their CH₄ emission potential are poorly understood. Fluxes measured in situ and estimated under laboratory conditions coupled with -omics analysis indicate (1) mineral cryosols in the Canadian high Arctic contain atmospheric CH₄-oxidizing bacteria; (2) the atmospheric CH⁺ uptake flux increases with ground temperature; and, as a result, (3) the atmospheric CH₄ sink strength will increase by a factor of 5-30 as the Arctic warms by 5-15 °C over a century. We demonstrated that acidic mineral cryosols have previously unrecognized potential of negative CH₄ feedback.

  16. Interactions between nitrogen cycling and methane oxidation in the pelagic waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, S. B.; Weber, S.; Battles, J.; Montoya, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Methane is an important greenhouse gas that plays a critical role in climate variation. Although a variety of marine methane sources and sinks have been identified, key aspects of the fate of methane in the ocean remain poorly constrained. At cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, methane is introduced into the overlying water column via fluid escape from the seabed. We quantified the fate of methane in the water column overlying seafloor cold seeps, in a brine basin, and at several control sites. Our goals were to determine the factors that regulated methane consumption and assimilation and to explore how these controlling factors varied among and between sites. In particular, we examined the impact of nitrogen availability on methane oxidation and studied the ability of methane oxidizing bacteria to fix molecular nitrogen. Methane oxidation rates were highest in the methane rich bottom waters of natural hydrocabron seeps. At these sites, inorganic nitrogen addition stimulated methane oxidation in laboratory experiments. In vitro shipboard experiments revealed that rates of methane oxidation and nitrogen fixation were correlated strongly, suggesting that nitrogen fixation may have been mediated by methanotrophic bacteria. The highest rates of methane oxidation and nitrogen fixation were observed in the deepwater above at natural hydrocarbon seeps. Rates of methane oxidation were substantial along the chemocline of a brine basin but in these ammonium-rich brines, addition of inorganic nitrogen had little impact on methane oxidation suggesting that methanotrophy in these waters were not nitrogen limited. Control sites exhibited the lowest methane concentrations and methane oxidation rates but even these waters exhibited substantial potential for methane oxidation when methane and inorganic nitrogen concentrations were increased. Together, these data suggest that the availability of inorganic nitrogen plays a critical role in regulating methane oxidation in

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. 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

  19. MERLIN : a Franco-German active space mission dedicated to atmospheric methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bousquet, P.; Marshall, J.; Pierangelo, C.; Ehret, G.; Bacour, C.; Chevallier, F.; Gibert, F.; Crevoisier, C. D.; Edouart, D.; Esteve, F.; Chinaud, J.; Armante, R.; Berthier, S.; Alpers, M.; Millet, B.

    2015-12-01

    The Methane Remote Sensing Lidar Mission (MERLIN), currently in phase B, is a joint cooperation between France and Germany on the development, launch and operation of a space LIDAR dedicated to the retrieval of total methane (CH4) atmospheric columns. Atmospheric methane is the second most anthropogenic gas, contributing 20% to climate radiative forcing but also plying an important role in atmospheric chemistry as a precursor of tropospheric ozone and low-stratosphere water vapour. For the first time, measurements of atmospheric composition will be performed from space thanks to an IPDA (Integrated Path Differential Absorption) LIDAR (Light Detecting And Ranging), with a precision (target 20 ppb for a 50km aggregation along the trace) and accuracy (target 3 ppb) sufficient to improve the constraints on methane fluxes compared to current observation networks. The very low systematic error target is ambitious compared to current methane space mission, but achievable because of the differential active measurements of MERLIN, which guarantees almost no contamination by aerosols or water vapour cross-sensitivity. As an active mission, MERLIN will deliver data for all seasons and all altitudes, day and night. Here, we present the MERLIN mission and its objectives in terms of reduction of uncertainties on methane surface emissions. To do so, we propose an OSSE analysis (observing system simulation experiment) to estimate the uncertainty reduction brought by MERLIN. The originality of our system is to transfer both random and systematic errors from the observation space to the flux space, thus providing more realistic error reductions than currently provided in OSSE only using the random part of errors. To do so, a precise analysis of causes of errors has been done for the MERLIN mission and is also presented.

  20. MERLIN : a Franco-German active space mission dedicated to atmospheric methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bousquet, Philippe; Gibert, Fabien; Marshall, Julia; Pierangelo, Clémence; Ehret, Gerhard; Bacour, Cédric; Chevallier, Frédéric; Crevoisier, Cyril; Edouart, Dimitri; Esteve, Frédéric; Chinaud, Jordi; Armante, Raymond; Kiemle, Christoph; Alpers, Matthias; Tinto, Fransesc; Millet, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    The Methane Remote Sensing Lidar Mission (MERLIN), currently in phase B, is a joint cooperation between France and Germany on the development, launch and operation of a space LIDAR dedicated to the retrieval of total methane (CH4) atmospheric columns. Atmospheric methane is the second most anthropogenic gas, contributing 20% to climate radiative forcing but also plying an important role in atmospheric chemistry as a precursor of tropospheric ozone and low-stratosphere water vapour. For the first time, measurements of atmospheric composition will be performed from space thanks to an IPDA (Integrated Path Differential Absorption) LIDAR (Light Detecting And Ranging), with a precision (target 20 ppb for a 50km aggregation along the trace) and accuracy (target 3 ppb) sufficient to improve the constraints on methane fluxes compared to current observation networks. The very low systematic error target is ambitious compared to current methane space mission, but achievable because of the differential active measurements of MERLIN, which guarantees almost no contamination by aerosols or water vapour cross-sensitivity. As an active mission, MERLIN will deliver data for all seasons and all altitudes, day and night. Here, we present the MERLIN mission and its objectives in terms of reduction of uncertainties on methane surface emissions. To do so, we propose an OSSE analysis (observing system simulation experiment) to estimate the uncertainty reduction brought by MERLIN. An analysis of causes of errors has been done for the MERLIN mission and is presented. The originality of our system is to transfer both random and systematic errors from the observation space to the flux space, thus providing more realistic error reductions than currently provided in OSSE only using the random part of errors. Error reductions are presented using two different atmospheric transport models, TM3 and LMDZ, and compared with error reductions achieved with the GOSAT passive mission.

  1. Tracing the composition and origin of fluids at an ancient hydrocarbon seep (Hollard Mound, Middle Devonian, Morocco): A Nd, REE and stable isotope study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakubowicz, M.; Dopieralska, J.; Belka, Z.

    2015-05-01

    For the first time, Nd isotope signatures combined with rare earth element (REE) concentrations were used in investigations of ancient seep carbonates. The study was performed on the fossil hydrocarbon seep deposit of the Middle Devonian Hollard Mound (eastern Anti-Atlas, Morocco), where Nd isotopes, REE concentrations, and carbon and oxygen isotope ratios were measured to investigate the origin, former migration pathways and composition of fluids. Relatively high εNd values compared to local Eifelian seawater, as well as consistently appearing positive Eu anomalies in MREE-enriched shale-normalized REE patterns of the seep carbonates provided evidence for interaction between the seeping fluids and the Lower Devonian basaltic volcaniclastics underlying the studied seep deposit. Strongly reducing conditions and increased temperature of methane formation could have constituted an additional factor in the Eu-enrichment of the investigated carbonate phases. The presence of exclusively negative Ce anomalies in these carbonates is in line with observations of other workers that seep limestones may not necessarily display positive Ce anomalies indicative of precipitation under anoxic conditions. The negative Ce anomalies are attributed here to mixing between anoxic pore waters and oxic, Ce-depleted seawater, necessary to enable carbonate precipitation at seeps. The methane-rich fluids ascended most likely from below the volcaniclastic unit and inherited the enriched εNd signatures and positive Eu anomalies due to fluid-rock interactions during their seepage to the seafloor. The carbon isotope data are most consistent with thermogenic origin of methane, although contribution of abiotic and biogenic methane sources cannot be excluded. Our results indicate that neodymium isotope and rare earth element analyses constitute one of the most valuable tools for reconstructing former fluid migration patterns. The study shows also that Nd isotopes and Eu anomalies can serve as

  2. Growth and activity of ANME clades with different sulfate and sulfide concentrations in the presence of methane

    PubMed Central

    Timmers, Peer H. A.; Widjaja-Greefkes, H. C. A.; Ramiro-Garcia, Javier; Plugge, Caroline M.; Stams, Alfons J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Extensive geochemical data showed that significant methane oxidation activity exists in marine sediments. The organisms responsible for this activity are anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) that occur in consortia with sulfate-reducing bacteria. A distinct zonation of different clades of ANME (ANME-1, ANME-2a/b, and ANME-2c) exists in marine sediments, which could be related to the localized concentrations of methane, sulfate, and sulfide. In order to test this hypothesis we performed long-term incubation of marine sediments under defined conditions with methane as a headspace gas: low or high sulfate (±4 and ±21 mM, respectively) in combination with low or high sulfide (±0.1 and ±4 mM, respectively) concentrations. Control incubations were also performed, with only methane, high sulfate, or high sulfide. Methane oxidation was monitored and growth of subtypes ANME-1, ANME-2a/b, and ANME-2c assessed using qPCR analysis. A preliminary archaeal community analysis was performed to gain insight into the ecological and taxonomic diversity. Almost all of the incubations with methane had methane oxidation activity, with the exception of the incubations with combined low sulfate and high sulfide concentrations. Sulfide inhibition occurred only with low sulfate concentrations, which could be due to the lower Gibbs free energy available as well as sulfide toxicity. ANME-2a/b appears to mainly grow in incubations which had high sulfate levels and methane oxidation activity, whereas ANME-1 did not show this distinction. ANME-2c only grew in incubations with only sulfate addition. These findings are consistent with previously published in situ profiling analysis of ANME subclusters in different marine sediments. Interestingly, since all ANME subtypes also grew in incubations with only methane or sulfate addition, ANME may also be able to perform anaerobic methane oxidation under substrate limited conditions or alternatively perform additional metabolic processes. PMID

  3. [Surface characteristics of alkali modified activated carbon and the adsorption capacity of methane].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Meng-Zhu; Li, Lin; Liu, Jun-Xin; Sun, Yong-Jun; Li, Guo-Bin

    2013-01-01

    Coconut shell based activated carbon was modified by alkali with different concentrations. The surface structures of tested carbons were observed and analyzed by SEM and BET methods. Boehm's titration and SEM/EDS methods were applied to assay the functional groups and elements on the carbon surface. The adsorption of methane on tested carbons was investigated and adsorption behavior was described by the adsorption isotherms. Results showed that surface area and pore volume of modified carbon increased and surface oxygen groups decreased as the concentration of the alkali used increased, with no obvious change in pore size. When concentration of alkali was higher than 3.3 mol x L(-1), the specific surface area and pore volume of modified carbon was larger than that of original carbon. Methane adsorption capacity of alkali modified carbon increased 24%. Enlargement of surface area and pore volume, reduction of surface oxygen groups will benefit to enhance the methane adsorption ability on activated carbon. Adsorption behavior of methane followed the Langmuir isotherm and the adsorption coefficient was 163.7 m3 x mg(-1).

  4. Impacts of inoculum pre-treatments on enzyme activity and biochemical methane potential.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bing; Strömberg, Sten; Nges, Ivo Achu; Nistor, Mihaela; Liu, Jing

    2016-05-01

    Biochemical methane potential (BMP) tests were carried out to investigate the influence of inoculum pre-treatments (filtration and pre-incubation) on methane production from cellulose and wheat straw. First-order model and Monod model were used to evaluate the kinetic constants of the BMP assays. The results demonstrated that fresh inoculum was the best option to perform BMP tests. This was evidenced by highest enzyme activity (0.11 U/mL) and highest methane yields for cellulose (356 NmL CH4/gVS) as well as wheat straw (261 NmL CH4/gVS). Besides, high biodegradability (85.8% for cellulose and 61.3% for wheat straw) was also obtained when the fresh inoculum was used. Moreover, a kinetic evaluation showed that inoculum pre-incubation at 37°C or storage at 4°C introduced a lag-time whereas the effects on hydrolysis rate were less consequent. In summary, pre-treatments affected the enzyme activity of the inoculum, and further on, significantly influenced the methane production and the degradation kinetics of the investigated substrates. It is recommended that filtration of inoculum should be avoided unless in case too large particles therein.

  5. A unique isotopic fingerprint during sulfate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antler, G.; Turchyn, A. V.; Herut, B.; Sivan, O.

    2014-12-01

    Bacterial sulfate reduction is responsible for the majority of anaerobic methane oxidation in modern marine sediments. This sulfate-driven AOM can often metabolize all the methane produced within marine sediments, preventing any from reaching the overlying ocean. In certain areas, however, methane concentrations are high enough to form bubbles, which can reach the seafloor, only partially metabolized through sulfate-driven AOM; these areas where methane bubbles into the ocean are called cold seeps, or methane seeps. We use the sulfur and oxygen isotopes of sulfate (d34SSO4 and d18OSO4) in locations where sulfate-driven AOM is occurring both in methane seeps as well as lower flux methane transition zones to show that in methane seeps, the d34SSO4 and d18OSO4 data during the coupled sulfate reduction fall into a very narrow range and with a close to linear relationship (slope 0.37± 0.01 (R^2= 0.98, n=52, 95% confidence interval). In the studied environments, considerably different physical properties exist, excluding the possibility that this linear relationship can be attributed to physical processes such as diffusion, advection or mixing of two end-members. This unique isotopic signature emerges during bacterial sulfate reduction by methane in 'cold' seeps and differs when sulfate is reduced by either organic matter oxidation or by a slower, diffusive flux of methane within marine sediments. We show also that this unique isotope fingerprint is preserved in the rock record in authigenic build-ups of carbonates and barite associated with methane seeps, and may serve as a powerful tool for identifying catastrophic methane release in the geological record.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Widespread methane leakage from the sea floor on the northern US Atlantic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

    Methane emissions from the sea floor affect methane inputs into the atmosphere, ocean acidification and de-oxygenation, the distribution of chemosynthetic communities and energy resources. Global methane flux from seabed cold seeps has only been estimated for continental shelves, at 8 to 65 Tg CH4 yr-1, yet other parts of marine continental margins are also emitting methane. The US Atlantic margin has not been considered an area of widespread seepage, with only three methane seeps recognized seaward of the shelf break. However, massive upper-slope seepage related to gas hydrate degradation has been predicted for the southern part of this margin, even though this process has previously only been recognized in the Arctic. Here we use multibeam water-column backscatter data that cover 94,000 km2 of sea floor to identify about 570 gas plumes at water depths between 50 and 1,700 m between Cape Hatteras and Georges Bank on the northern US Atlantic passive margin. About 440 seeps originate at water depths that bracket the updip limit for methane hydrate stability. Contemporary upper-slope seepage there may be triggered by ongoing warming of intermediate waters, but authigenic carbonates observed imply that emissions have continued for more than 1,000 years at some seeps. Extrapolating the upper-slope seep density on this margin to the global passive margin system, we suggest that tens of thousands of seeps could be discoverable.

  9. Widespread methane leakage from the sea floor on the northern US Atlantic margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skarke, Adam; Ruppel, Carolyn; Kodis, Mali'o; Brothers, Daniel S.; Lobecker, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Methane emissions from the sea floor affect methane inputs into the atmosphere, ocean acidification and de-oxygenation, the distribution of chemosynthetic communities and energy resources. Global methane flux from seabed cold seeps has only been estimated for continental shelves, at 8 to 65 Tg CH4 yr−1, yet other parts of marine continental margins are also emitting methane. The US Atlantic margin has not been considered an area of widespread seepage, with only three methane seeps recognized seaward of the shelf break. However, massive upper-slope seepage related to gas hydrate degradation has been predicted for the southern part of this margin, even though this process has previously only been recognized in the Arctic. Here we use multibeam water-column backscatter data that cover 94,000 km2 of sea floor to identify about 570 gas plumes at water depths between 50 and 1,700 m between Cape Hatteras and Georges Bank on the northern US Atlantic passive margin. About 440 seeps originate at water depths that bracket the updip limit for methane hydrate stability. Contemporary upper-slope seepage there may be triggered by ongoing warming of intermediate waters, but authigenic carbonates observed imply that emissions have continued for more than 1,000 years at some seeps. Extrapolating the upper-slope seep density on this margin to the global passive margin system, we suggest that tens of thousands of seeps could be discoverable.

  10. Immunological detection of enzymes for sulfate reduction in anaerobic methane-oxidizing consortia.

    PubMed

    Milucka, Jana; Widdel, Friedrich; Shima, Seigo

    2013-05-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction (SR) at marine gas seeps is performed by archaeal-bacterial consortia that have so far not been cultivated in axenic binary or pure cultures. Knowledge about possible biochemical reactions in AOM consortia is based on metagenomic retrieval of genes related to those in archaeal methanogenesis and bacterial sulfate reduction, and identification of a few catabolic enzymes in protein extracts. Whereas the possible enzyme for methane activation (a variant of methyl-coenzyme M reductase, Mcr) was shown to be harboured by the archaea, enzymes for sulfate activation and reduction have not been localized so far. We adopted a novel approach of fluorescent immunolabelling on semi-thin (0.3-0.5 μm) cryosections to localize two enzymes of the SR pathway, adenylyl : sulfate transferase (Sat; ATP sulfurylase) and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (Dsr) in microbial consortia from Black Sea methane seeps. Both Sat and Dsr were exclusively found in an abundant microbial morphotype (c. 50% of all cells), which was tentatively identified as Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus-related bacteria. These results show that ANME-2 archaea in the Black Sea AOM consortia did not express bacterial enzymes of the canonical sulfate reduction pathway and thus, in contrast to previous suggestions, most likely cannot perform canonical sulfate reduction. Moreover, our results show that fluorescent immunolabelling on semi-thin cryosections which to our knowledge has been so far only applied on cell tissues, is a powerful tool for intracellular protein detection in natural microbial associations.

  11. Short-term variations of methane concentrations and methanotrophic activity in a coastal inlet (Eckernförde Bay, Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richner, Dominik; Niemann, Helge; Steinle, Lea; Schneider von Deimling, Jens; Urban, Peter; Hoffmann, Jasper; Schmidt, Mark; Treude, Tina; Lehmann, Moritz

    2016-04-01

    Large quantities of methane are produced in anoxic sediments of continental margins and may be liberated into the overlying water column and, potentially, into the atmosphere. However, a sequence of microbially mediated methane oxidation pathways in sediments and the water column mitigate the contribution of oceans to the atmospheric methane budget. Of particular importance are methanotrophic bacteria in the water column that mediate the aerobic oxidation of methane (MOx), and represent the final sink for methane before its release to the atmosphere where it acts as a potent greenhouse gas. However methane cycling in (aerobic) marine waters is not well constrained. Particularly little is known about spatiotemporal aspects of MOx activity and the underlying key physical, chemical and biological factors. Here we show results from our investigations on methane dynamics on very short time scales of hours to days in the Eckernförde Bay (E-Bay), a costal inlet of the Baltic Sea in northern Germany featuring seasonal bottom water hypoxia/anoxia. In autumn 2014, we observed highly spatiotemporal variations in water column methane contents and MOx activity: Anoxic bottom waters in a trough in the northern part of the bay contained extremely high methane concentrations of up to 800 nM, which sharply declined at the midwater redox interface (methane remained supersaturated with respect to the atmospheric equilibrium throughout the water column at all times). The methane decrease at the redox interface was related to highly active MOx communities consuming methane under microoxic conditions at rates of up 40 nM/d. About 12 hours later, the methane content and the extend of bottom water anoxia was much lower and MOx activity was highly reduced in the northern part but strongly elevated in the southern part of the bay. A few days later, bottom water anoxia, methane loading and MOx activity was partially re-established. In this contribution, we will discuss potential forcing

  12. Seasons on Saturn. II. Influence of solar activity on variation of methane absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2015-10-01

    Methane and ammonia in the atmosphere of Saturn are in the form of impurities at the level of less than tenths of a percentage. They take part in photochemical processes, the main products of which are hydrocarbons and ammonia NH3. Polyacetylenes absorb sunlight almost to 400 nm, and hydrocarbons <180 nm. Therefore, the solar activity cycle, the slope of the equator to the plane of the orbit, the orbital motion and the presence of the rings induce change in composition of the upper atmosphere. Radiation constants in the atmosphere depend on the physical and chemical conditions, decreasing from ~10 years at the visible clouds level, to months in tropopause, and days in stratosphere. The observed seasonal effects may be associated also with condensation and convection, and the dynamic time scale may be only tens of hours. The data analysis on the methane absorption distribution over the disk of Saturn for 1964-2012 showed a significant seasonal changes in the levels of visible clouds and above clouds haze. Changes of methane absorption along the meridian in the equinox 1966 and 1995, had the opposite course to the results in equinox 1980. But the expected differences in the change of methane absorption at the equinox 2009, similar to 1980, did not happen. Although all the physical and orbital characteristics of Saturn at equinoxes in these moments repeated, but the response to them were received various. A few years before the equinox in 1966, 1980 and 1995, the number of R, characterizing solar activity, varied from 40 to 180. Before equinox 2009 the Sun has minimal activity and the R value was practically zero. According to observations at the time of equinox 2009, convection in the Saturn's atmosphere stayed at a minimal level. After exiting of rings shadows in winter northern hemisphere deep cloud layer was "frozen" at the same low level at absence of active processes on the Sun. This allowed easily to register a thick layer of methane and ammonia gas. So how

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Deep-water hydrocarbon seeps in Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simoneit, B.R.T.; Lonsdale, P.F.; Edmond, J.M.; Shanks, Wayne C.

    1990-01-01

    Acoustically discovered hydrocarbon seeps along a transform fault zone on the Sonoran margin of Guaymas Basin and in the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin were examined and sampled during dives of DSV Alvin. Seepage of methane and heavier hydrocarbons occurs through shallow pockmarks along the eroding crest of a steep anticline, 1600 m below sea level. Extensive ledges of aragonite crop out around the rims of the pockmarks; isotopic analysis indicates that carbonate precipitation is a result of methane oxidation. Seepage zones within the pockmarks support dense communities of Calyptogena, half buried in the mud; tubeworms (Lamellibracheae sp.) have colonized many of the aragonite outcrops. Though the margin site is only a few kilometers from a high-temperature sulfide-precipitating and petroleum-discharging vent system at a nearby center, its structural setting is more akin to pockmarks described from continental shelves, and its chemosynthetic fauna is more like that around low temperature seeps on other continental slopes and margins (e.g. Oregon, U.S.A., and Japan). The seep in the Southern Trough is a condensate-type petroleum (C1-C40) and rises as a plume from a young vent-mound system about 2000 m below sea level. ?? 1990.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-23

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

  16. Determining the flux of methane into Hudson Canyon at the edge of methane clathrate hydrate stability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weinsten, A.; Navarrete, L; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Weber, T.C.; Leonte, M.; Kellermann, M.; Arrington, E.; Valentine, D.L.; Scranton, M.L; Kessler, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Methane seeps were investigated in Hudson Canyon, the largest shelf-break canyon on the northern US Atlantic Margin. The seeps investigated are located at or updip of the nominal limit of methane clathrate hydrate stability. The acoustic identification of bubble streams was used to guide water column sampling in a 32 km2 region within the canyon's thalweg. By incorporating measurements of dissolved methane concentration with methane oxidation rates and current velocity into a steady-state box model, the total emission of methane to the water column in this region was estimated to be 12 kmol methane per day (range: 6 – 24 kmol methane per day). These analyses suggest this methane is largely retained inside the canyon walls below 300 m water depth, and that it is aerobically oxidized to near completion within the larger extent of Hudson Canyon. Based on estimated methane emissions and measured oxidation rates, the oxidation of this methane to dissolved CO2 is expected to have minimal influences on seawater pH. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. Determining the flux of methane into Hudson Canyon at the edge of methane clathrate hydrate stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinstein, Alexander; Navarrete, Luis; Ruppel, Carolyn; Weber, Thomas C.; Leonte, Mihai; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Arrington, Eleanor C.; Valentine, David L.; Scranton, Mary I.; Kessler, John D.

    2016-10-01

    Methane seeps were investigated in Hudson Canyon, the largest shelf-break canyon on the northern U.S. Atlantic Margin. The seeps investigated are located at or updip of the nominal limit of methane clathrate hydrate stability. The acoustic identification of bubble streams was used to guide water column sampling in a 32 km2 region within the canyon's thalweg. By incorporating measurements of dissolved methane concentration with methane oxidation rates and current velocity into a steady state box model, the total emission of methane to the water column in this region was estimated to be 12 kmol methane per day (range: 6-24 kmol methane per day). These analyses suggest that the emitted methane is largely retained inside the canyon walls below 300 m water depth, and that it is aerobically oxidized to near completion within the larger extent of Hudson Canyon. Based on estimated methane emissions and measured oxidation rates, the oxidation of this methane to dissolved CO2 is expected to have minimal influences on seawater pH.

  18. Tempo and longevity of methane efflux along the US Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condon, D. J.; Sahy, D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Noble, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    The newly-discovered US Atlantic margin (USAM) methane seep province presents an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the timing and evolution of methane emissions along a passive continental margin, across a range of water depths (~300-2000meters), and at seeps linked to myriad processes (dissociation of upper slope gas hydrates, flow through fractured Eocene rock, and salt diapirism). The USAM seep province stretches nearly 1300 km from Nygren Canyon near Georges Bank in the north to the well-studied Blake Ridge Diapir seeps offshore South Carolina. Here we use methane derived authigenic carbonate (MDAC) samples retrieved by DSV Alvin on the July 2015 SeepC expedition led by C. Van Dover, supplemented by carbonates obtained on earlier expeditions, to date methane efflux at selected USAM seep sites using U-Th geochronology. MDAC U-Th analysis, carried out in conjunction with petrographic and tracer isotope analyses (e.g., δ13C), and a robust assessment of detrital Th corrections, will provide absolute dates for MDAC formation and inferentially methane efflux. Multiple dates, with associated information on petrographic context, can be obtained from each sample, and multiple samples were collected from seeps situated both on the upper continental slope, and in deepwater settings. The resulting dataset will constrain the tempo of methane efflux at each site, and the distribution of ages obtained at each seep may be used to distinguish between short-lived, or prolonged and/or episodic records of methane emission. Prior U-Th geochronologic analyses on two archive samples from Baltimore Canyon and Norfolk Canyon yielded ages corresponding to the Last Glacial Maximum and the end of the Holocene Thermal Maximum, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Enhanced methane storage of chemically and physically activated carbide-derived carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeon, Sun-Hwa; Osswald, Sebastian; Gogotsi, Yury; Singer, Jonathan P.; Simmons, Jason M.; Fischer, John E.; Lillo-Ródenas, María A.; Linares-Solano, Ángel

    Carbide-derived carbons (CDCs) produced by chlorination of carbides offer great potential for precise pore size control at the atomic level, making them attractive candidates for energy storage media. CDCs activated with CO 2 or KOH possess distinct improvements in porosity, displaying specific surface areas above 3000 m 2 g -1 and pore volumes above 1.3 cm 3 g -1. These correspond to gravimetric methane uptake of 16 wt% at 35 bar and 25 °C, close to the currently best reported material PCN-14, a metal-organic framework (MOF), at 35 bar and 17 °C or KOH activated anthracite at 35 bar and 25 °C. The best excess gravimetric methane uptake is obtained with a TiC-derived CDC activated with CO 2 at 975 °C for 2 h, namely a very large surface area of 3360 m 2 g -1 resulting in 18.5 wt% at 25 °C and 60 bar. To obtain realistic volumetric methane capacity, the packing density of completely dried CDC was measured, from which we obtain excess capacity of 145 v(STP) v -1 from CDC activated with CO 2 at 875 °C for 8 h, 81% of the DOE target (180 v(STP) v -1) at 35 bar and 25 °C. From small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements, pore radii of gyration (R g) between 0.5 nm and 1 nm are determined. Temperature-dependent methane isotherms show that the isosteric heat of adsorption reaches 24 kJ mol -1 at the initial stage of low loading.

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

    PubMed Central

    Flood, Beverly E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Enzymatic and metabolic activities of four anaerobic sludges and their impact on methane production from ensiled sorghum forage.

    PubMed

    Sambusiti, C; Rollini, M; Ficara, E; Musatti, A; Manzoni, M; Malpei, F

    2014-03-01

    Biochemical methane potential (BMP) tests were run on ensiled sorghum forage using four inocula (urban, agricultural, mixture of agricultural and urban, granular) and differences on their metabolic and enzymatic activities were also discussed. Results indicate that no significant differences were observed in terms of BMP values (258±14NmLCH4g(-1)VS) with a slightly higher value when agricultural sludge was used as inoculum. Significant differences can be observed among different inocula, in terms of methane production rate. In particular the fastest biomethanization occurred when using the urban sludge (hydrolytic kinetic constant kh=0.146d(-1)) while the slowest one was obtained from the agricultural sludge (kh=0.049d(-1)). Interestingly, positive correlations between the overall enzymatic activities and methane production rates were observed for all sludges, showing that a high enzymatic activity may favour the hydrolysis of complex substrate and accelerate the methanization process of sorghum.

  6. Methane activation by platinum: critical role of edge and corner sites of metal nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Viñes, Francesc; Lykhach, Yaroslava; Staudt, Thorsten; Lorenz, Michael P A; Papp, Christian; Steinrück, Hans-Peter; Libuda, Jörg; Neyman, Konstantin M; Görling, Andreas

    2010-06-11

    Complete dehydrogenation of methane is studied on model Pt catalysts by means of state-of-the-art DFT methods and by a combination of supersonic molecular beams with high-resolution photoelectron spectroscopy. The DFT results predict that intermediate species like CH(3) and CH(2) are specially stabilized at sites located at particles edges and corners by an amount of 50-80 kJ mol(-1). This stabilization is caused by an enhanced activity of low-coordinated sites accompanied by their special flexibility to accommodate adsorbates. The kinetics of the complete dehydrogenation of methane is substantially modified according to the reaction energy profiles when switching from Pt(111) extended surfaces to Pt nanoparticles. The CH(3) and CH(2) formation steps are endothermic on Pt(111) but markedly exothermic on Pt(79). An important decrease of the reaction barriers is observed in the latter case with values of approximately 60 kJ mol(-1) for first C-H bond scission and 40 kJ mol(-1) for methyl decomposition. DFT predictions are experimentally confirmed by methane decomposition on Pt nanoparticles supported on an ordered CeO(2) film on Cu(111). It is shown that CH(3) generated on the Pt nanoparticles undergoes spontaneous dehydrogenation at 100 K. This is in sharp contrast to previous results on Pt single-crystal surfaces in which CH(3) was stable up to much higher temperatures. This result underlines the critical role of particle edge sites in methane activation and dehydrogenation.

  7. Enrichment of specific electro-active microorganisms and enhancement of methane production by adding granular activated carbon in anaerobic reactors.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Yeol; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Park, Hee-Deung

    2016-04-01

    Direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) via conductive materials can provide significant benefits to anaerobic methane formation in terms of production amount and rate. Although granular activated carbon (GAC) demonstrated its applicability in facilitating DIET in methanogenesis, DIET in continuous flow anaerobic reactors has not been verified. Here, evidences of DIET via GAC were explored. The reactor supplemented with GAC showed 1.8-fold higher methane production rate than that without GAC (35.7 versus 20.1±7.1mL-CH4/d). Around 34% of methane formation was attributed to the biomass attached to GAC. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene demonstrated the enrichment of exoelectrogens (e.g. Geobacter) and hydrogenotrophic methanogens (e.g. Methanospirillum and Methanolinea) from the biomass attached to GAC. Furthermore, anodic and cathodic currents generation was observed in an electrochemical cell containing GAC biomass. Taken together, GAC supplementation created an environment for enriching the microorganisms involved in DIET, which increased the methane production rate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, D.; Peng, Y.

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Kinetics and activation thermodynamics of methane monooxygenase compound Q formation and reaction with substrates.

    PubMed

    Brazeau, B J; Lipscomb, J D

    2000-11-07

    The transient kinetics of formation and decay of the reaction cycle intermediates of the Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b methane monooxygenase (MMO) catalytic cycle are studied as a function of temperature and substrate type and deuteration. Kinetic evidence is presented for the existence of three intermediates termed compounds O, P, and P forming after the addition of O(2) to diferrous MMO hydroxylase (H(r)) and before the formation of the reactive intermediate compound Q. The Arrhenius plots for these reactions are linear and independent of substrate concentration and type, showing that substrate does not participate directly in the oxygen activation phase of the catalytic cycle. Analysis of the transient kinetic data revealed only small changes relative to the weak optical spectrum of H(r) for any of these intermediates. In contrast, large changes in the 430 nm spectral region are associated with the formation of Q. The decay reaction of Q exhibits an apparent first-order concentration dependence for all substrates tested, and the observed rate constant depends on the substrate type. The kinetics of the decay reaction of Q yield a nonlinear Arrhenius plot when methane is the substrate, and the rates in both segments of the plot increase linearly with methane concentration. Together these observations suggest that at least two reactions with a methane concentration dependence, and perhaps two methane molecules, are involved in the decay process. When CD(4) is used as the substrate, a large isotope effect and a linear Arrhenius plot are observed. Analogous plots for all other MMO substrates tested (e.g., ethane) are linear, and no isotope effect for deuterated analogues is observed. This demonstrates that a step other than C-H bond breaking is rate limiting for alternative MMO substrates. A two step Q decay mechanism is proposed that provides an explanation for the lack of an isotope effect for alternative MMO substrates and the fact that rate of oxidation of

  10. The vesicomyid bivalve habitat at cold seeps supports heterogeneous and dynamic macrofaunal assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillon, Erwan; Menot, Lénaïck; Decker, Carole; Krylova, Elena; Olu, Karine

    2017-02-01

    The high biodiversity found at cold seeps, despite elevated concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide, is attributed to multiple sources of habitat heterogeneity. In addition to geological and geochemical processes, biogenic habitats formed by large symbiont-bearing taxa, such as bivalves and siboglinid tubeworms, or by microbial mats drive the biodiversity of small-sized fauna. However, because these habitat-forming species also depend on geochemical gradients, the respective influence of abiotic and biotic factors in structuring associated macrofaunal communities is often unresolved. The giant pockmark Regab located at 3200 m depth on the Congo margin is characterized by different fluid-flow regimes, providing a mosaic of the most common biogenic habitats encountered at seeps: microbial mats, mussel beds, and vesicomyid clam beds; the latter being distributed along a gradient of environmental conditions from the center to the periphery of the pockmark. Here, we examined the structure of macrofaunal communities in biogenic habitats formed in soft sediment to (1) determine the influence of the habitats on the associated macrofaunal communities (inter-habitat comparison), (2) describe how macrofaunal communities vary among vesicomyid clam beds (intra-habitat comparison) and (3) assess the inter-annual variation in vesicomyid beds based on repeated sampling at a three-year interval. The highest densities were found in the microbial mat communities in intermediate fluid-flow areas, but they had low diversity - also observed in the sediment close to mussel beds. In contrast, vesicomyid beds harbored the highest diversity. The vesicomyid beds did not show a homogeneous macrofaunal community across sampled areas; instead, density and composition of macrofauna varied according to the location of the beds inside the pockmark. The clam bed sampled in the most active, central part of the pockmark resembled bacterial mat communities by the presence of highly sulfide

  11. Simultaneous enhancement of methane production and methane content in biogas from waste activated sludge and perennial ryegrass anaerobic co-digestion: The effects of pH and C/N ratio.

    PubMed

    Dai, Xiaohu; Li, Xiaoshuai; Zhang, Dong; Chen, Yinguang; Dai, Lingling

    2016-09-01

    It is necessary to find an appropriate strategy to simultaneously enhance the methane production and methane content in biogas from waste activated sludge (WAS) and grass co-digestion. In this study an efficient strategy, i.e., adjusting the initial pH 12 and C/N ratio 17/1, for simultaneous enhancement of methane production and methane content in biogas from WAS and perennial ryegrass co-digestion was reported. Experimental results indicated that the maximal methane production was 310mL/gVSadd at the optimum conditions after 30-d anaerobic digestion, which was, respectively, about 1.5- and 3.8-fold of the sole WAS and sole perennial ryegrass anaerobic digestion. Meanwhile, the methane content in biogas was about 74%, which was much higher than that of sole WAS (64%) or sole perennial ryegrass (54%) anaerobic digestion.

  12. Investigating Hydrocarbon Seep Environments with High-Resolution, Three-Dimensional Geographic Visualizations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doolittle, D. F.; Gharib, J. J.; Mitchell, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detailed photographic imagery and bathymetric maps of the seafloor acquired by deep submergence vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) are expanding how scientists and the public view and ultimately understand the seafloor and the processes that modify it. Several recently acquired optical and acoustic datasets, collected during ECOGIG (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) and other Gulf of Mexico expeditions using the National Institute for Undersea Science Technology (NIUST) Eagle Ray, and Mola Mola AUVs, have been fused with lower resolution data to create unique three-dimensional geovisualizations. Included in these data are multi-scale and multi-resolution visualizations over hydrocarbon seeps and seep related features. Resolution of the data range from 10s of mm to 10s of m. When multi-resolution data is integrated into a single three-dimensional visual environment, new insights into seafloor and seep processes can be obtained from the intuitive nature of three-dimensional data exploration. We provide examples and demonstrate how integration of multibeam bathymetry, seafloor backscatter data, sub-bottom profiler data, textured photomosaics, and hull-mounted multibeam acoustic midwater imagery are made into a series a three-dimensional geovisualizations of actively seeping sites and associated chemosynthetic communities. From these combined and merged datasets, insights on seep community structure, morphology, ecology, fluid migration dynamics, and process geomorphology can be investigated from new spatial perspectives. Such datasets also promote valuable inter-comparisons of sensor resolution and performance.

  13. Organic geochemical signatures controlling methane outgassing at active mud volcanoes in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DongHun, Lee; YoungKeun, Jin; JungHyun, Kim; Heldge, Niemann; JongKu, Gal; BoHyung, Choi

    2016-04-01

    Based on the water column acoustic anomalies related to active methane (CH4) venting, numerous active Mud Volcanoes (MVs) were recently identified at ~282, ~420, and ~740 m water depths on the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea (Paull et al., 2015). While geophysical aspects such as the multibeam bathymetric mapping are thoroughly investigated, biogeochemical processes controlling outgassing CH4 at the active MVs are not well constrained. Here, we investigated three sediment cores from the active MVs and one sediment core from a non-methane influenced reference site recovered during the ARA-05C expedition with the R/V ARAON in 2014. We analyzed lipid biomarkers and their stable carbon isotopic values (δ13C) in order to determine key biogeochemical processes involved in CH4 cycling in the MV sediments. Downcore CH4 and sulphate (SO42-) concentration measurements revealed a distinct sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) at the shallow sections of the cores (15 - 45 cm below seafloor (cm bsf) at 282 m MV, 420 m MV, and 740 m MV). The most abundant diagnostic lipid biomarkers in the SMTZ were sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol (-94‰) and archaeol (-66‰) with the sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol: archaeol ratio of 1.1 to 5, indicating the presence of ANME-2 or -3. However, we also found substantial amounts of monocyclic biphytane-1 (BP-1, -118‰), which is rather indicative for ANME-1. Nevertheless, the concentration of sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol was 2-fold higher than any other archaeal lipids, suggesting a predominant ANME-2 or -3 rather than ANME-1 as a driving force for the anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM) in these systems. We will further investigate the microbial community at the active MVs using nucleic acid (RNA and DNA) sequence analyses in near future. Our study provides first biogeochemical data set of the active MVs in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, which helps to better understand CH4 cycling mediated in these systems. Reference Paull, C.K., et al. (2015), Active mud

  14. Colonization of over a thousand Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi (foraminifera: Schwager, 1866) on artificial substrates in seep and adjacent off-seep locations in dysoxic, deep-sea environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkett, Ashley M.; Rathburn, Anthony E.; Elena Pérez, M.; Levin, Lisa A.; Martin, Jonathan B.

    2016-11-01

    After ~1 yr on the seafloor at water depths of ~700 m on Hydrate Ridge in the Pacific, eight colonization experiments composed primarily of a plastic mesh cube (from here on refered to as SEA3, for Seafloor Epibenthic Attachment Cubes) were colonized by 1076 Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi on ~1841 cm2 of experimental substrate. This species is typically considered an indicator of well-oxygenated conditions, and recruitment of such large numbers in bottom waters with low dissolved oxygen availability (0.24-0.37 mL/L) indicate that this taxon may not be as limited by oxygen as previously thought. Clues about substrate preferences were evident from the distribution, or lack thereof, of individuals among plastic mesh, coated steel frame, wooden dowels and reflective tape. Abundance, individual size distributions within cage populations and isotopic biogeochemistry of living foraminifera colonizing experimental substrates were compared between active seep and adjacent off-seep experiment locations, revealing potential differences between these environments. Few studies have examined foraminiferal colonization of hard substrates in the deep-sea and to our knowledge no previous study has compared foraminiferal colonization of active seep and off-seep substrates from the same region. This study provides initial results of recruitment, colonization, geochemical and morphological aspects of the paleoceanographically significant species, C. wuellerstorfi, from dynamic deep-sea environments. Further experimental deployments of SEA3s will provide a means to assess relatively unknown ecologic dynamics of important foraminiferal deep-sea species.

  15. Mechanistic Variants in Gas-Phase Metal-Oxide Mediated Activation of Methane at Ambient Conditions.

    PubMed

    Li, Jilai; Zhou, Shaodong; Zhang, Jun; Schlangen, Maria; Usharani, Dandamudi; Shaik, Sason; Schwarz, Helmut

    2016-09-07

    The C-H bond activation of methane mediated by a prototypical heteronuclear metal-oxide cluster, [Al2Mg2O5](•+), was investigated by using Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) in conjunction with high-level quantum mechanical calculations. Experimentally, hydrogen-atom abstraction from methane by the cluster ion [Al2Mg2O5](•+) takes place at ambient conditions. As to the mechanism, according to our computational findings, both the proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) and the conventional hydrogen-atom transfer (HAT) are feasible and compete with each other. This is in distinct contrast to the [XYO2](+) (X, Y = Mg, Al, Si) cluster oxide ions which activate methane exclusively via the PCET route (Li, J.; Zhou, S.; Zhang, J.; Schlangen, M.; Weiske, T.; Usharani, D.; Shaik, S.; Schwarz, H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 7973-7981). The electronic origins of the mechanistically rather complex reactivity scenarios of the [Al2Mg2O5](•+)/CH4 couple were elucidated. For the PCET mechanism, in which the Lewis acid-base pair [Al(+)-O(-)] of the cluster acts as the active site, a clear correlation has been established between the nature of the transition state, the corresponding barrier height, the Lewis acidity-basicity of the [M(+)-O(-)] unit, as well as the bond order of the M(+)-O(-) bond. Also addressed is the role of the spin and charge distributions of a terminal oxygen radical site in the direct HAT route. The knowledge of the factors that control the reactivity of PCET and HAT pathways not only deepens our mechanistic understanding of metal-oxide mediated C-H bond activation but may also provide guidance for the rational design of catalysts.

  16. Seeps regulate stream nitrate concentration in a forested Appalachian catchment.

    PubMed

    O'Driscoll, Michael A; DeWalle, David R

    2010-01-01

    Surface seeps can be defined as locations where upwelling ground water saturates the surface for most of the year and excess ground water can be delivered to the stream channel via surface flowpaths. If a stream is predominantly fed by seeps, then ground water added to the stream via these surface flowpaths may result in reduced interactions with the subsurface riparian zone. It is generally believed that seep ground water that upwells and then flows along surface flowpaths can be subject to diminished denitrification and biologic uptake processes. Seep effects on stream nitrate (NO(3)) concentration were studied in Baldwin Creek (5.35 km(2)), southwestern Pennsylvania. Nitrate retention within seep zones was evaluated over a 1-yr period (May 2002-2003) using a monthly, nested (top and bottom of seep) sampling approach along 15 individual seeps. Seep samples were analyzed for NO(3)-N, NH(3)-N, and dissolved organic carbon, along with stream waters and streamflow measurements at seven stream stations. Seeps were generally NO(3) sinks with concentrations decreasing downseep: 31% median annual reduction and 73% maximum monthly reduction. During cold and wet periods, seeps frequently behaved as NO(3) sources to the stream (NO(3) concentrations increased or remained constant downseep). Seep temperature and discharge were related to seasonal variability in seep NO(3) retention. Seasonal variations in stream NO(3) concentration have been attributed to upland soil and vegetation processes in numerous watersheds. At Baldwin Creek, seep NO(3) processing regulated the seasonal variability of stream NO(3) concentrations. These results suggest that seeps provide important water quality functions and can modulate the effects of elevated regional N deposition in Appalachian catchments.

  17. Activated carbon derived from waste coffee grounds for stable methane storage.

    PubMed

    Kemp, K Christian; Baek, Seung Bin; Lee, Wang-Geun; Meyyappan, M; Kim, Kwang S

    2015-09-25

    An activated carbon material derived from waste coffee grounds is shown to be an effective and stable medium for methane storage. The sample activated at 900 °C displays a surface area of 1040.3 m(2) g(-1) and a micropore volume of 0.574 cm(3) g(-1) and exhibits a stable CH4 adsorption capacity of ∼4.2 mmol g(-1) at 3.0 MPa and a temperature range of 298 ± 10 K. The same material exhibits an impressive hydrogen storage capacity of 1.75 wt% as well at 77 K and 100 kPa. Here, we also propose a mechanism for the formation of activated carbon from spent coffee grounds. At low temperatures, the material has two distinct types with low and high surface areas; however, activation at elevated temperatures drives off the low surface area carbon, leaving behind the porous high surface area activated carbon.

  18. Methane production and consumption in an active volcanic environment of Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Castaldi, Simona; Tedesco, Dario

    2005-01-01

    Methane fluxes were measured, using closed chambers, in the Crater of Solfatara volcano, Campi Flegrei (Southern Italy), along eight transects covering areas of the crater presenting different landscape physiognomies. These included open bare areas, presenting high geothermal fluxes, and areas covered by vegetation, which developed along a gradient from the central open area outwards, in the form of maquis, grassland and woodland. Methane fluxes decreased logarithmically (from 150 to -4.5 mg CH4 m(-2)day(-1)) going from the central part of the crater (fangaia) to the forested edges, similarly to the CO2 fluxes (from 1500 g CO2 m(-2)day(-1) in the centre of the crater to almost zero flux in the woodlands). In areas characterized by high emissions, soil presented elevated temperature (up to 70 degrees C at 0-10 cm depth) and extremely low pH (down to 1.8). Conversely, in woodland areas pH was higher (between 3.7 and 5.1) and soil temperature close to air values. Soil (0-10 cm) was sampled, in two different occasions, along the eight transects, and was tested for methane oxidation capacity in laboratory. Areas covered by vegetation mostly consumed CH4 in the following order woodland>macchia>grassland. Methanotrophic activity was also measured in soil from the open bare area. Oxidation rates were comparable to those measured in the plant covered areas and were significantly correlated with field CH4 emissions. The biological mechanism of uptake was demonstrated by the absence of activity in autoclaved replicates. Thus results suggest the existence of a population of micro-organisms adapted to this extreme environment, which are able to oxidize CH4 and whose activity could be stimulated and supported by elevated concentrations of CH4.

  19. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope, SEEP-II

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1990-01-01

    This project is a component of the SEEP-2 program to study shelf-slope exchange in the southern Middle Atlantic bight (MBA). It represents the physical oceanographic portion of the SEEP-2 research at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (L-DGO). Since the work consists of two parts: data analysis and theoretical modeling, this report will be divided into two parts to describe the progress of each activity. It covers work performed during the time interval March to December 1990 and is a sequel to the report submitted in February 1990. 25 figs.

  20. Fault zone controlled seafloor methane seepage in the rupture area of the 2010 Maule earthquake, Central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geersen, Jacob; Scholz, Florian; Linke, Peter; Schmidt, Mark; Lange, Dietrich; Behrmann, Jan H.; Völker, David; Hensen, Christian

    2016-11-01

    Seafloor seepage of hydrocarbon-bearing fluids has been identified in a number of marine fore arcs. However, temporal variations in seep activity and the structural and tectonic parameters that control the seepage often remain poorly constrained. Subduction zone earthquakes, for example, are often discussed to trigger seafloor seepage but causal links that go beyond theoretical considerations have not yet been fully established. This is mainly due to the inaccessibility of offshore epicentral areas, the infrequent occurrence of large earthquakes, and challenges associated with offshore monitoring of seepage over large areas and sufficient time periods. Here we report visual, geochemical, geophysical, and modeling results and observations from the Concepción Methane Seep Area (offshore Central Chile) located in the rupture area of the 2010 Mw. 8.8 Maule earthquake. High methane concentrations in the oceanic water column and a shallow subbottom depth of sulfate penetration indicate active methane seepage. The stable carbon isotope signature of the methane and hydrocarbon composition of the released gas indicate a mixture of shallow-sourced biogenic gas and a deeper sourced thermogenic component. Pristine fissures and fractures observed at the seafloor together with seismically imaged large faults in the marine fore arc may represent effective pathways for methane migration. Upper plate fault activity with hydraulic fracturing and dilation is in line with increased normal Coulomb stress during large plate-boundary earthquakes, as exemplarily modeled for the 2010 earthquake. On a global perspective our results point out the possible role of recurring large subduction zone earthquakes in driving hydrocarbon seepage from marine fore arcs over long timescales.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1993-01-01

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

  2. Source Characterization and Temporal Variation of Methane Seepage from Thermokarst Lakes on the Alaska North Slope in Response to Arctic Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2012-09-30

    reconnaissance surveys provided a strong impetus to visit this area in 2010. The seismic methods applied in Lake Teshekpuk were able to image pockmarks, widespread shallow gas in the sediments, and the relationship among different sediment packages on the lake's bottom, but even boomer seismics did not detect permafrost beneath the northern part of the lake. By characterizing the biogeochemistry of shallow TKL with methane seeps we showed that the radical seasonal shifts in ice cover and temperature. These seasonal environmental differences result in distinct consumption and production processes of biologically-relevant compounds. The combined effects of temperature, ice-volume and other lithological factors linked to seepage from the lake are manifest in the distribution of sedimentary methane in Lake Q during icecovered and ice-free conditions. The biogeochemistry results illustrated very active methanotrophy in TKLs. Substantial effort was subsequently made to characterize the nature of methanotrophic communities in TKLs. We applied stable isotope probing approaches to genetically characterize the methanotrophs most active in utilizing methane in TKLs. Our study is the first to identify methane oxidizing organisms active in arctic TKLs, and revealing that type I methanotrophs and type II methanotrophs are abundant and active in assimilating methane in TKLs. These organisms play an important role in limiting the flux of methane from these sites. Our investigations indicate that as temperatures increase in the Arctic, oxidation rates and active methanotrophic populations will also shift. Whether these changes can offset predicted increases in methanogenesis is an important question underlying models of future methane flux and resultant climate change. Overall our findings indicate that TKLs and their ability to act as both source and sink of methane are exceedingly sensitive to environmental change.

  3. Redox dynamics in the active layer of an Arctic headwater catchment; examining the potential for transfer of dissolved methane from soils to stream water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Street, Lorna E.; Dean, Joshua F.; Billett, Michael F.; Baxter, Robert; Dinsmore, Kerry J.; Lessels, Jason S.; Subke, Jens-Arne; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Wookey, Philip A.

    2016-11-01

    The linkages between methane production, transport, and release from terrestrial and aquatic systems are not well understood, complicating the task of predicting methane emissions. We present novel data examining the potential for the saturated zone of active layer soils to act as a source of dissolved methane to the aquatic system, via soil water discharge, within a headwater catchment of the continuous permafrost zone in Northern Canada. We monitored redox conditions and soil methane concentrations across a transect of soil profiles from midstream to hillslope and compare temporal patterns in methane concentrations in soils to those in the stream. We show that redox conditions in active layer soils become more negative as the thaw season progresses, providing conditions suitable for net methanogenesis and that redox conditions are sensitive to increased precipitation during a storm event—but only in shallower surface soil layers. While we demonstrate that methane concentrations at depth in the hillslope soils increase over the course of the growing season as reducing conditions develop, we find no evidence that this has an influence on stream water methane concentrations. Sediments directly beneath the stream bed, however, remain strongly reducing at depth throughout the thaw season and contain methane at concentrations 5 orders of magnitude greater than those in hillslope soils. The extent of substreambed methane sources, and the rates of methane transport from these zones, may therefore be important factors determining headwater stream methane concentrations under changing Arctic hydrologic regimes.

  4. Microbial methane turnover at mud volcanoes of the Gulf of Cadiz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, H.; Duarte, J.; Hensen, C.; Omoregie, E.; Magalhães, V. H.; Elvert, M.; Pinheiro, L. M.; Kopf, A.; Boetius, A.

    2006-11-01

    The Gulf of Cadiz is a tectonically active area of the European continental margin and characterised by a high abundance of mud volcanoes, diapirs, pockmarks and carbonate chimneys. During the R/V SONNE expedition "GAP-Gibraltar Arc Processes (SO-175)" in December 2003, several mud volcanoes were surveyed for gas seepage and associated microbial methane turnover. Pore water analyses and methane oxidation measurements on sediment cores recovered from the centres of the mud volcanoes Captain Arutyunov, Bonjardim, Ginsburg, Gemini and a newly discovered, mud volcano-like structure called "No Name" show that thermogenic methane and associated higher hydrocarbons rising from deeper sediment strata are completely consumed within the seabed. The presence of a distinct sulphate-methane transition zone (SMT) overlapping with high sulphide concentrations suggests that methane oxidation is mediated under anaerobic conditions with sulphate as the electron acceptor. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulphate reduction (SR) rates show maxima at the SMT, which was found between 20 and 200 cm below seafloor at the different mud volcanoes. In comparison to other methane seeps, AOM activity (<383 mmol m -2 year -1) and diffusive methane fluxes (<321 mmol m -2 year -1) in mud volcano sediments of the Gulf of Cadiz are low to mid range. Corresponding lipid biomarker and 16S rDNA clone library analysis give evidence that AOM is mediated by a mixed community of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and associated sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) in the studied mud volcanoes. Little is known about the variability of methane fluxes in this environment. Carbonate crusts littering the seafloor of mud volcanoes in the northern part of the Gulf of Cadiz had strongly 13C-depleted lipid signatures indicative of higher seepage activities in the past. However, actual seafloor video observations showed only scarce traces of methane seepage and associated biological processes at the seafloor. No

  5. Mapping methane from marine and terrestrial hydrocarbon seepage using AVIRIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorpe, A. K.; Bradley, E. S.; Funk, C.; Roberts, D. A.; Leifer, I.; Dennison, P. E.; Margolis, J.

    2010-12-01

    Concentrations of atmospheric methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent per molecule than carbon dioxide (CO2), have more than doubled in the last two centuries. Due to a lack of direct measurements of sources and sinks, the global methane budget is poorly constrained and emissions of this important greenhouse gas are often underestimated in climate models. The Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) recently mapped methane emissions from the Coal Oil Point (COP) marine seep fields, a concentrated geologic methane source (0.015 Tg yr-1 from ~3 km2) located offshore from Santa Barbara, CA using a residual-based approach (Roberts et al. 2010) and short-wave infrared band ratios (Bradley et al. submitted). In this study, an additional cluster-tuned matched filter technique adapted from Funk et al. 2001 detected methane anomalies for COP that closely matched previous results and were in agreement with sonar-based seep surveys and flux buoy data. This technique was also applied to AVIRIS data acquired over the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, CA, a region known for natural oil and methane seepage. Significant anomalies were identified for known methane sources close to the tar pits where pipes have been established to prevent dangerous methane buildup. Therefore, imaging spectrometry using sensors like AVIRIS and planned satellite sensors like HyspIRI has the potential to greatly improve high spatial resolution mapping of methane emissions, thereby better constraining regional methane sources.

  6. Role of Lithology in Methane Flux from an Alaskan Thermokarst Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Disenhof, C. R.; Rose, K.; Wooller, M.; Pohlman, J.; Littlefield, K. V.

    2011-12-01

    Thermokarst lakes are prevalent forms on the Alaska North Slope (ANS) that can emit significant quantities of the greenhouse gas methane to the atmosphere. These lakes form in permafrost regions and grow as the water amplifies subsurface heating and causes further degradation of the permafrost. Areas of thawed ground (thaw-bulbs, or taliks) can develop beneath them. When a talik intersects fractures or permeable zones linked to free-gas accumulations, coal beds, or permafrost-associated gas hydrate, methane can be released from the lake. In 2009, a four-core transect extending from an active gas seep in Qalluuraq Lake (Lake Q), an Alaskan thermokarst lake, was taken for lithological analysis to complement paleoecological and biogeochemical studies investigating the current and historical flux of methane from this lake. As part of this study, we completed sedimentalogical analyses to constrain the lithology of the system and evaluate potential near-lake floor geologic controls on methane seepage at this site. Visual descriptions were completed for each core. Grain size, x-ray diffraction (XRD), petrographic, elemental (C and N) and accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) radiocarbon analyses were also conducted on subsamples from the cores. The major lithology of all four cores is a quartz-rich, chert-bearing, medium-grained sand. Organic material, including grasses, seed pods, and reworked coal fragments, was observed in some intervals as laminae or as dispersed material. XRD and petrographic analyses indicate quartz is the dominant mineral in every core, though some of the AMS dates on organic laminae in the cores fit with paleoecological reconstructions from the site relating to wetland succession. Though the modern Lake Q is a lacustrine environment, likely formed via thermokarst processes, its underlying sediment is fluvially reworked marine sand. Our analyses indicate that these sediments are part of the Gubik Formation, a Quaternary age sedimentary formation

  7. Constraints on Methane Distribution from Acoustic Profiles of Shallow Sediments Across the Alaska Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, W. T.; Hart, P. E.; Greinert, J.; de Batist, M. A.; Rose, K.; Coffin, R. B.

    2009-12-01

    In September of 2009 the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory, U. S. Dept of Energy, and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research conducted piston coring, acoustic profiling, and water sampling on the Alaskan Arctic shelf from the U. S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Sea, as part of the MITAS (Methane In The Arctic Shelf) project. The overall project objective is to determine the role of methane in arctic shelf processes by determining the source, distribution, and concentration of shallow (0-30m methane accumulations as well as active and potential methane seeps along selected transects across and along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea shelf. The specific objective of the acoustic program is to delineate gas (methane) by mapping bubble release into the water column (flare detection), and free gas indications as acoustic blanking and gas fronts in the sediment. The data consist of 3.5 kHz, 12 kHz profiles acquired using hull-mounted transducers on the Polar Sea, in conjunction with 3.5 kHz sub-bottom profiler and 180 kHz multi-beam data acquired from the Polar Sea's ASB (Arctic Service Boat). Acoustic profiles and images, as well as preliminary interpretations are discussed in the presentation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  9. Analysis of Bubble Plume Distributions to Evaluate Methane Hydrate Decomposition on the Cascadia Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, U. K.; Johnson, H. P.; Salmi, M.; Solomon, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    Methane gas is formed within the sediments of accretionary prisms by the biological and thermal degradation of organic matter. Some of this methane is trapped as solid-phase methane hydrate, the stability of which is temperature and pressure-dependent. Past fluctuations in global temperatures have resulted in the decomposition of continental margin gas hydrate reservoirs and subsequent emissions of methane, creating a positive feedback to global warming with additional impacts on the marine environment. Temperature data collected over the past four decades show that bottom water on the upper slope of the Washington State continental margin has undergone systematic warming. Thermal models of this heat propagation into the sediments indicate a 40 meter deepening of the methane hydrate stability depth (MHDS) that if correct, would suggest a preferential release of methane into the water column from these depths on the Cascadia margin. Location data for over 100 active methane seeps on the Cascadia margin were compiled from a variety of sources including research cruises, published literature, and local fishermen. Emission site locations show anomalous plume densities at depths associated with the MHDS, which lies at approximately 500 meters water depth in the NE Pacific. This supports the hypothesis that warming of seawater at intermediate depths due to contemporary climate change has begun to destabilize the Cascadia margin gas hydrate reservoir. While relatively small sample size and incomplete coverage due to the ad-hoc nature of data acquisition limit confidence in any conclusions drawn from this dataset, this study provides a framework for future analysis of methane plume distributions and supports the need for a comprehensive and systematic geophysical and geochemical examination of the Cascadia margin.

  10. Short-term monitoring of a gas seep field in the Katakolo bay (Western Greece) using Raman spectra DTS and DAS fibre-optic methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalari, A.; Mondanos, M.; Finfer, D.; Christodoulou, D.; Kordella, S.; Papatheodorou, G.; Geraga, M.; Ferentinos, G.

    2012-12-01

    A wide submarine seep of thermogenic gas in the Katakolo bay, Western Greece, was monitored passively using the intelligent Distributed Acoustic Sensor (iDAS) and Ultima Raman spectra Distributed Temperature Sensor (DTS), in order to study the thermal and noise signal of the bubble plumes released from the seafloor. Katakolo is one one of the most prolific thermogenic gas seepage zones in Europe and the biggest methane seep ever reported in Greece. Very detailed repetitive offshore gas surveys, including marine remote sensing (sub-bottom profiling, side scan sonar), underwater exploration by a towed instrumented system (MEDUSA), long-term monitoring benthic station (GMM), compositional and isotopic analyses, and flux measurements of gas, showed that: (a) gas seepage takes place over an extended area in the Katakolo harbour and along two main normal faults off the harbour; (b) at least 823 gas bubble ( 10-20 cm in diameter) plumes escaping over an area of 94,200 m2, at depths ranging from 5.5 to 16 m; (c) the gas consists mainly of methane and has H2S levels of hundreds to thousands ppmv, and shows significant amounts of other light hydrocarbons like ethane, propane, iso-butane and C6 alkanes, (d) offshore and onshore seeps release the same type of thermogenic gas; (e) due to the shallow depth, more than 90 % of CH4 released at the seabed enters the atmosphere, and (f) the gas seeps may produce severe geohazards for people, buildings and construction facilities due to the explosive and toxicological properties of methane and hydrogen sulfide, respectively. For the short-term monitoring, the deployment took place on a site located inside the harbour of Katakolo within a thermogenic gas seepage area where active faults are intersected. The iDAS system makes it possible to observe the acoustical signal along the entire length of an unmodified optical cable without introducing any form of point sensors such as Bragg gratings. When the bubble plumes are released by the

  11. Hydrogen production by thermo-catalytic decomposition of methane: Regeneration of active carbons using CO 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinilla, J. L.; Suelves, I.; Utrilla, R.; Gálvez, M. E.; Lázaro, M. J.; Moliner, R.

    Thermo-catalytic decomposition of methane using carbons as catalyst is a very attractive process for free CO 2-hydrogen production. One of the main drawbacks for the sustainability of the process is catalyst deactivation. In this work, regeneration of a deactivated active-carbon catalyst has been studied using CO 2 as activating agent under different regeneration conditions. It has been stated that during the regeneration stage, a compromise between the regeneration of the initial properties of the catalyst and the burn-off is needed in order to keep the sustainability of the process. Three deactivation-regeneration cycles have been performed for two sets of regeneration conditions. A progressive decreasing in the burn-off, surface area and surface oxygenated groups after each decomposition/regeneration cycle is observed. It can be explained considering that the carbon removed during the regeneration steps is not the carbon deposited from methane but the remaining initial catalyst, which is less resistant to gasification. The implication is that after three cycles of decomposition/regeneration, most of the carbon sample consists of carbon formed during the process since the initial catalyst has been gasified.

  12. Effects of Flavonoids on Rumen Fermentation Activity, Methane Production, and Microbial Population

    PubMed Central

    Abdullah, Norhani; Oskoueian, Armin

    2013-01-01

    This research was carried out to evaluate the effects of flavone, myricetin, naringin, catechin, rutin, quercetin, and kaempferol at the concentration of 4.5% of the substrate (dry matter basis) on the rumen microbial activity in vitro. Mixture of guinea grass and concentrate (60 : 40) was used as the substrate. The results showed that all the flavonoids except naringin and quercetin significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the dry matter degradability. The gas production significantly (P < 0.05) decreased by flavone, myricetin, and kaempferol, whereas naringin, rutin, and quercetin significantly (P < 0.05) increased the gas production. The flavonoids suppressed methane production significantly (P < 0.05). The total VFA concentration significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in the presence of flavone, myricetin, and kaempferol. All flavonoids except naringin and quercetin significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the carboxymethyl cellulase, filter paperase, xylanase, and β-glucosidase activities, purine content, and the efficiency of microbial protein synthesis. Flavone, myricetin, catechin, rutin, and kaempferol significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the population of rumen microbes. Total populations of protozoa and methanogens were significantly (P < 0.05) suppressed by naringin and quercetin. The results of this research demonstrated that naringin and quercetin at the concentration of 4.5% of the substrate (dry matter basis) were potential metabolites to suppress methane production without any negative effects on rumen microbial fermentation. PMID:24175289

  13. Natural flux of greenhouse methane from the Timor Sea to the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunskill, G. J.; Burns, K. A.; Zagorskis, I.

    2011-06-01

    Methane gas bubbles from the Cornea Seep were sampled at the sea surface in the Timor Sea continental shelf area in June 2005. Total bubble gas flux was 0.076 to 0.76 L m-2 h-1 during the 6 h d-1 periods of low neap tides in June 2005. This bubble gas contained an average of 26 mmol CH4 L-1 and about 0.16 and 0.006 mmol L-1 of ethane and propane. We estimate the daily flux from the sea surface to the atmosphere to be 0.012 to 0.12 mol CH4 m-2 d-1 or 0.13 to 1.3 t CH4 d-1 from an area of about 0.7 km2. This methane flux came from a 500 × 1400 m carbonate pavement dome on the seafloor at 84 m water depth. The seep hard ground was swath mapped, and 3.5 kHz subbottom profile data indicate that the seep dome was strongly reflective with poor penetration into the subsurface, consistent with the presence of a carbonate hard ground. Carbon and deuterium isotope ratios (δ13C = -41 to -42‰, δD = -157 to -158‰) of the seep bubble gas indicate that this methane had a thermogenic origin and was in the same isotopic range as gas within the Late Cretaceous Cornea oil and gas field. We could not detect inputs of fluids containing nutrients or short-lived radium isotopes at this site, commonly associated with other cold seeps. Tens to a hundred of kilometers seaward from the Cornea seep site, water column dissolved methane concentrations in this sector of the Timor Sea shelf and slope were 100-500 times supersaturated with respect to the atmosphere, and thus the water column is expected to be degassing additional methane to the atmosphere. Perhaps there are thousands of other methane seeps (of similar magnitude to the Cornea Seep) on this shelf and slope to account for all the excess dissolved methane (˜86,000 t) measured in the water column. These measured and calculated fluxes provide evidence for the hypothesis that shallow sea seeps may be a significant source of atmospheric methane, in contrast to deep sea vents, where most of the methane is dissolved and oxidized in

  14. Landsat detection of oil from natural seeps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Deutsch, M.; Estes, J.E.

    1980-01-01

    Oil on the ocean surface from the natural seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, could not be detected on frames of any of the four bands of standard Landsat positive or negative film transparencies, nor could the slicks be detected using digital scaling, density slicing, or ratioing techniques. Digital contrast-stretch enhancement, however, showed the distribution of oil on the surface. - from Authors

  15. SURVEY OF LOW FLOW DRAINAGES AND SEEPS IN COLORADO TO ASSESS IMPLEMENTABILITY OF PASSIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Low flow drainages and seeps are typically not evaluated for mitigation due to the perceived low impact on the watershed. However, localized metals concentrations and acidity can be at levels of concern. Future passage of a “Good Samaritan Act” should increase activity at curren...

  16. The active site of low-temperature methane hydroxylation in iron-containing zeolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, Benjamin E. R.; Vanelderen, Pieter; Bols, Max L.; Hallaert, Simon D.; Böttger, Lars H.; Ungur, Liviu; Pierloot, Kristine; Schoonheydt, Robert A.; Sels, Bert F.; Solomon, Edward I.

    2016-08-01

    An efficient catalytic process for converting methane into methanol could have far-reaching economic implications. Iron-containing zeolites (microporous aluminosilicate minerals) are noteworthy in this regard, having an outstanding ability to hydroxylate methane rapidly at room temperature to form methanol. Reactivity occurs at an extra-lattice active site called α-Fe(II), which is activated by nitrous oxide to form the reactive intermediate α-O; however, despite nearly three decades of research, the nature of the active site and the factors determining its exceptional reactivity are unclear. The main difficulty is that the reactive species—α-Fe(II) and α-O—are challenging to probe spectroscopically: data from bulk techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility are complicated by contributions from inactive ‘spectator’ iron. Here we show that a site-selective spectroscopic method regularly used in bioinorganic chemistry can overcome this problem. Magnetic circular dichroism reveals α-Fe(II) to be a mononuclear, high-spin, square planar Fe(II) site, while the reactive intermediate, α-O, is a mononuclear, high-spin Fe(IV)=O species, whose exceptional reactivity derives from a constrained coordination geometry enforced by the zeolite lattice. These findings illustrate the value of our approach to exploring active sites in heterogeneous systems. The results also suggest that using matrix constraints to activate metal sites for function—producing what is known in the context of metalloenzymes as an ‘entatic’ state—might be a useful way to tune the activity of heterogeneous catalysts.

  17. New insight into stratification of anaerobic methanotrophs in cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Roalkvam, Irene; Jørgensen, Steffen Leth; Chen, Yifeng; Stokke, Runar; Dahle, Håkon; Hocking, William Peter; Lanzén, Anders; Haflidason, Haflidi; Steen, Ida Helene

    2011-11-01

    Methane seepages typically harbor communities of anaerobic methane oxidizers (ANME); however, knowledge about fine-scale vertical variation of ANME in response to geochemical gradients is limited. We investigated microbial communities in sediments below a white microbial mat in the G11 pockmark at Nyegga by 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing and real-time quantitative PCR. A vertical stratification of dominating ANME communities was observed at 4 cmbsf (cm below seafloor) and below in the following order: ANME-2a/b, ANME-1 and ANME-2c. The ANME-1 community was most numerous and comprised single or chains of cells with typical rectangular morphology, accounting up to 89.2% of the retrieved 16S rRNA gene sequences. Detection rates for sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria possibly involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane were low throughout the core. However, a correlation in the abundance of Candidate division JS-1 with ANME-2 was observed, indicating involvement in metabolisms occurring in ANME-2-dominated horizons. The white microbial mat and shallow sediments were dominated by organisms affiliated with Sulfurovum (Epsilonproteobacteria) and Methylococcales (Gammaproteobacteria), suggesting that aerobic oxidation of sulfur and methane is taking place. In intermediate horizons, typical microbial groups associated with methane seeps were recovered. The data are discussed with respect to co-occurring microbial assemblages and interspecies interactions.

  18. Estimation of methane concentrations and loads in groundwater discharge to Sugar Run, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heilweil, Victor M.; Risser, Dennis W.; Conger, Randall W.; Grieve, Paul L.; Hynek, Scott A.

    2014-01-01

    A stream-sampling study was conducted to estimate methane concentrations and loads in groundwater discharge to a small stream in an active shale-gas development area of northeastern Pennsylvania. Grab samples collected from 15 streams in Bradford, Lycoming, Susquehanna, and Tioga Counties, Pa., during a reconnaissance survey in May and June 2013 contained dissolved methane concentrations ranging from less than the minimum reporting limit (1.0) to 68.5 micrograms per liter (µg/L). The stream-reach mass-balance method of estimating concentrations and loads of methane in groundwater discharge was applied to a 4-kilometer (km) reach of Sugar Run in Lycoming County, one of the four streams with methane concentrations greater than or equal to 5 µg/L. Three synoptic surveys of stream discharge and methane concentrations were conducted during base-flow periods in May, June, and November 2013. Stream discharge at the lower end of the reach was about 0.10, 0.04, and 0.02 cubic meters per second, respectively, and peak stream methane concentrations were about 20, 67, and 29 µg/L. In order to refine estimated amounts of groundwater discharge and locations where groundwater with methane discharges to the stream, the lower part of the study reach was targeted more precisely during the successive studies, with approximate spacing between stream sampling sites of 800 meters (m), 400 m, and 200 m, in May, June, and November, respectively. Samples collected from shallow piezometers and a seep near the location of the peak methane concentration measured in streamwater had groundwater methane concentrations of 2,300 to 4,600 µg/L. These field data, combined with one-dimensional stream-methane transport modeling, indicate groundwater methane loads of 1.8 ±0.8, 0.7 ±0.3, and 0.7 ±0.2 kilograms per day, respectively, discharging to Sugar Run. Estimated groundwater methane concentrations, based on the transport modeling, ranged from 100 to 3,200 µg/L. Although total methane load

  19. Detailed dynamics and seasonal persistence of methane venting from lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scandella, B. P.; Wood, H. G.; Ruppel, C. D.; Hemond, H.; Juanes, R.

    2012-12-01

    Lake-bottom sediments emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the overlying water column and atmosphere. A large fraction of the methane is released as bubbles, but constraining the magnitude of this methane flux is challenging because ebullition is patchy in space and episodic in time. Extrapolating observations from individual methane seeps to a larger scale in time or space can result in severe over- or under-estimation of the methane flux, yet to date observations have not combined large, complete spatial coverage with multiple-season deployment periods. We present methane ebullition data from a fixed-location multibeam sonar, which observes a large area (420 m2) over a deployment period of over 6 months and with sufficient spatiotemporal resolution to detect individual bubbles. The large amount of data generated by the system presents a challenge to identify bubble signals that are infrequent, short in duration, and spatially compact. Addressing this challenge yields processed ebullition signals, which are compared against vents detected in the water column and near-surface sediment during geophysical surveys that utilize a commercial fishfinder sonar and a 4-24 kHz chirp seismic towfish. The ebullition signals are then used to develop conceptual models relating distributed methanogenesis to ebullition at localized sites. In particular, the spacing and persistence of vents implies potential mechanisms for their creation and maintenance, while the ebullitive response to hydrostatic pressure variations is used to validate a conduit dilation model of methane venting. Finally, the level of synchronicity in activity between distant venting sites suggests the relative importance of the external hydrostatic forcing over internal dynamics of methane generation. The mechanistic understanding provided by this work is critical to upscaling gas flow measurements from individual vents to infer lake-wide fluxes to the water column and atmosphere. Map of maximum sonar

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Identifying active methane-oxidizers in thawed Arctic permafrost by proteomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, C. M.; Stackhouse, B. T.; Chourey, K.; Hettich, R. L.; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Pfiffner, S. M.; Layton, A. C.; Mykytczuk, N. C.; Whyte, L.; Onstott, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The rate of CH4 release from thawing permafrost in the Arctic has been regarded as one of the determining factors on future global climate. It is uncertain how indigenous microorganisms would interact with such changing environmental conditions and hence their impact on the fate of carbon compounds that are sequestered in the cryosol. Multitudinous studies of pristine surface cryosol (top 5 cm) and microcosm experiments have provided growing evidence of effective methanotrophy. Cryosol samples corresponding to active layer were sampled from a sparsely vegetated, ice-wedge polygon at the McGill Arctic Research Station at Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada (N79°24, W90°45) before the onset of annual thaw. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene indicated the occurrence of methanotroph-containing bacterial families as minor components (~5%) in pristine cryosol including Bradyrhizobiaceae, Methylobacteriaceae and Methylocystaceae within alpha-Proteobacteria, and Methylacidiphilaceae within Verrucomicrobia. The potential of methanotrophy is supported by preliminary analysis of metagenome data, which indicated putative methane monooxygenase gene sequences relating to Bradyrhizobium sp. and Pseudonocardia sp. are present. Proteome profiling in general yielded minute traces of proteins, which likely hints at dormant nature of the soil microbial consortia. The lack of specific protein database for permafrost posted additional challenge to protein identification. Only 35 proteins could be identified in the pristine cryosol and of which 60% belonged to Shewanella sp. Most of the identified proteins are known to be involved in energy metabolism or post-translational modification of proteins. Microcosms amended with sodium acetate exhibited a net methane consumption of ~65 ngC-CH4 per gram (fresh weight) of soil over 16 days of aerobic incubation at room temperature. The pH in microcosm materials remained acidic (decreased from initial 4.7 to 4.5). Protein extraction and

  2. Bedded Barite Deposits from Sonora (nw Mexico): a Paleozoic Analog for Modern Cold Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canet, C.; Anadón, P.; González-Partida, E.; Alfonso, P.; Rajabi, A.; Pérez-Segura, E.; Alba-Aldave, L. A.

    2013-05-01

    The Mazatán barite deposits represent an outstanding example of Paleozoic bedded barite, a poorly understood type of mineral deposit of major economic interest. The largest barite bodies of Mazatán are hosted within an Upper Carboniferous flysch succession, which formed part of an accretionary wedge related to the subduction of the Rheic Ocean beneath Gondwana. As well, a few barite occurrences are hosted in Upper Devonian, pre-orogenic turbidites. A variety of mineralized structures is displayed by barite, including: septaria nodules, enterolitic structures, rosettes and debris-flow conglomerates. Barite is accompanied by chalcedony, pyrite (framboids) and berthierine. Gas-rich fluid inclusions in barite were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy and methane was identified, suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the environment within which barite precipitated. 13C-depleted carbonates (δ13C: -24.3 to -18.8‰) were found in the barite deposits; they formed through anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction, and yield negative δ18O values (-11.9 to -5.2‰) reflecting the isotopic composition of Devonian-Carboniferous seawater. Methane-derived carbonates occur in modern hydrocarbon seeps and have been reported from Mesozoic and Cenozoic seep sediments, but they have never before been described in Paleozoic bedded barite deposits. δ34S of barite varies from +17.6 to +64.1‰, with the lowest values overlapping the range for coeval seawater sulfate; this distribution indicates a process of sulfate reduction. Barite precipitation can be explained by mixing of methane- and barium-rich fluids with pore-water (seawater) containing sulfate residual from microbial reduction. Two analyses from barite gave an 87Sr/86Sr within and slightly above the range for seawater at the time of deposition, with 0.708130 and 0.708588, which would preclude the involvement of hydrothermal fluids in the mineralization process.

  3. Widespread occurrence of an intranuclear bacterial parasite in vent and seep bathymodiolin mussels.

    PubMed

    Zielinski, Frank U; Pernthaler, Annelie; Duperron, Sébastien; Raggi, Luciana; Giere, Olav; Borowski, Christian; Dubilier, Nicole

    2009-05-01

    Many parasitic bacteria live in the cytoplasm of multicellular animals, but only a few are known to regularly invade their nuclei. In this study, we describe the novel bacterial parasite "Candidatus Endonucleobacter bathymodioli" that invades the nuclei of deep-sea bathymodiolin mussels from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Bathymodiolin mussels are well known for their symbiotic associations with sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria. In contrast, the parasitic bacteria of vent and seep animals have received little attention despite their potential importance for deep-sea ecosystems. We first discovered the intranuclear parasite "Ca. E. bathymodioli" in Bathymodiolus puteoserpentis from the Logatchev hydrothermal vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Using primers and probes specific to "Ca. E. bathymodioli" we found this intranuclear parasite in at least six other bathymodiolin species from vents and seeps around the world. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy analyses of the developmental cycle of "Ca. E. bathymodioli" showed that the infection of a nucleus begins with a single rod-shaped bacterium which grows to an unseptated filament of up to 20 microm length and then divides repeatedly until the nucleus is filled with up to 80,000 bacteria. The greatly swollen nucleus destroys its host cell and the bacteria are released after the nuclear membrane bursts. Intriguingly, the only nuclei that were never infected by "Ca. E. bathymodioli" were those of the gill bacteriocytes. These cells contain the symbiotic sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting that the mussel symbionts can protect their host nuclei against the parasite. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the "Ca. E. bathymodioli" belongs to a monophyletic clade of Gammaproteobacteria associated with marine metazoans as diverse as sponges, corals, bivalves, gastropods, echinoderms, ascidians and fish. We hypothesize that many of the sequences from this clade

  4. Active Thermochemical Tables: Sequential Bond Dissociation Enthalpies of Methane, Ethane, and Methanol and the Related Thermochemistry.

    PubMed

    Ruscic, Branko

    2015-07-16

    Active Thermochemical Tables (ATcT) thermochemistry for the sequential bond dissociations of methane, ethane, and methanol systems were obtained by analyzing and solving a very large thermochemical network (TN). Values for all possible C-H, C-C, C-O, and O-H bond dissociation enthalpies at 298.15 K (BDE298) and bond dissociation energies at 0 K (D0) are presented. The corresponding ATcT standard gas-phase enthalpies of formation of the resulting CHn, n = 4-0 species (methane, methyl, methylene, methylidyne, and carbon atom), C2Hn, n = 6-0 species (ethane, ethyl, ethylene, ethylidene, vinyl, ethylidyne, acetylene, vinylidene, ethynyl, and ethynylene), and COHn, n = 4-0 species (methanol, hydroxymethyl, methoxy, formaldehyde, hydroxymethylene, formyl, isoformyl, and carbon monoxide) are also presented. The ATcT thermochemistry of carbon dioxide, water, hydroxyl, and carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms is also included, together with the sequential BDEs of CO2 and H2O. The provenances of the ATcT enthalpies of formation, which are quite distributed and involve a large number of relevant determinations, are analyzed by variance decomposition and discussed in terms of principal contributions. The underlying reasons for periodic appearances of remarkably low and/or unusually high BDEs, alternating along the dissociation sequences, are analyzed and quantitatively rationalized. The present ATcT results are the most accurate thermochemical values currently available for these species.

  5. Equilibrium isotherms of methane onto activated carbons using a static volumetric method.

    PubMed

    Kavitha, T; Kaliappan, S

    2009-07-01

    The aim of this research is to develop a technology for the storage of biogas. The present work pertains to the measurement of the adsorption capacity of methane onto activated carbons at room temperature at pressure range varying from 1 atm to 10 atm. The results were obtained with a static volumetric method. Adsorption isotherms for methane on Sorbonorit 4, Norit SX Plus, Sorbonorit B3, Norit PAC 200 XC were plotted. The equilibrium pressure data were analysed using Langmuir, Dubinin-Astakhov's (DA) and Dubinin-Radushkevich (DR) equations. The DA equation described the isotherm behavior better with the exponent n equals to 1.0 for Sorbonorit 4, Sorbonorit B3, Norit PAC 200 XC and 1.7 for Norit SX Plus than the other equations. The order of the adsorption capacity is as follows: Sorbonorit 4 (4.6 mmol/g) > Norit PAC 200 XC (3.81 mmol/g) > Sorbonorit B3 (3.52 mmol/g) > Norit SX Plus (3.51 mmol/g).

  6. Synthesis and anticancer activity of di(3-thienyl)methanol and di(3-thienyl)methane.

    PubMed

    Kaushik, Nagendra Kumar; Kim, Hong Seon; Chae, Young June; Lee, Young Nam; Kwon, Gi-Chung; Choi, Eun Ha; Kim, In Tae

    2012-09-27

    Di(3-thienyl)methanol (2) and di(3-thienyl)methane (3) have been synthesized and screened against the T98G (brain cancer) cell line. Treatment induced cell death (MTT and macro-colony assay), growth inhibition, cytogenetic damage (micronuclei formation), were studied as cellular response parameters. Treatment with the compounds enhanced growth inhibition and cell death in a concentration dependent manner in both T98G and HEK (normal) cell lines. At higher concentrations (>20 µg/mL) the cytotoxic effects of the compounds were highly significant. The effect on clonogenic capacity and micronuclei formation observed after treatment of cells. Amongst the compounds, compound 2 exhibited potent activity against T98G brain cancer cells. Despite potent in vitro activity, both compounds exhibited less cytotoxicity against normal human HEK cells at all effective concentrations.

  7. Spectroscopic and XRD characterisation of zeolite catalysts active for the oxidative methylation of benzene with methane.

    PubMed

    Adebajo, Moses O; Long, Mervyn A; Frost, Ray L

    2004-03-01

    The benzene methylation with methane over zeolite catalysts was previously shown in our laboratory to require the presence of oxygen. Thus, a two-step mechanism involving the intermediate formation of methanol by partial oxidation of methane followed by the methylation of benzene with methanol in the second step, was postulated. This paper now reports the results of the characterisation of the zeolite catalysts used for the oxidative benzene methylation reaction in order to provide some information about their composition, structure, properties and their behaviour before and after the reaction. The catalysts were characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD), inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), FT-IR and solid state NMR. XRD results indicate that the crystalline structures of all the ZSM-5 and H-beta catalysts remained unchanged after batch reaction of benzene with methane over the catalysts in agreement with the observation that the catalysts recovered from the reactor could be reused without loss of activity. Elemental analyses and FT-IR data show that as the level of metal ion exchange increases, the Brönsted acid concentration decreases but this metal ion exchange does not totally remove Brönsted acidity. FT-IR results further show that only a small amount of acid sites is actually necessary for a catalyst to be active since used catalysts containing highly reduced Brönsted acidity are found to be reusable without any loss of their activity. 29Si and 27Al magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR together with FT-IR spectra also show that all the active zeolites catalysts contain some extra-framework octahedral aluminium in addition to the normal tetrahedral framework aluminium. The presence of this extra-lattice aluminium does not, however, have any adverse effect on the crystallinity of the catalysts both before and after oxidative benzene methylation reaction. There appears also to be no significant dealumination

  8. Spectroscopic and XRD characterisation of zeolite catalysts active for the oxidative methylation of benzene with methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adebajo, Moses O.; Long, Mervyn A.; Frost, Ray L.

    2004-03-01

    The benzene methylation with methane over zeolite catalysts was previously shown in our laboratory to require the presence of oxygen. Thus, a two-step mechanism involving the intermediate formation of methanol by partial oxidation of methane followed by the methylation of benzene with methanol in the second step, was postulated. This paper now reports the results of the characterisation of the zeolite catalysts used for the oxidative benzene methylation reaction in order to provide some information about their composition, structure, properties and their behaviour before and after the reaction. The catalysts were characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD), inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), FT-IR and solid state NMR. XRD results indicate that the crystalline structures of all the ZSM-5 and H-beta catalysts remained unchanged after batch reaction of benzene with methane over the catalysts in agreement with the observation that the catalysts recovered from the reactor could be reused without loss of activity. Elemental analyses and FT-IR data show that as the level of metal ion exchange increases, the Brönsted acid concentration decreases but this metal ion exchange does not totally remove Brönsted acidity. FT-IR results further show that only a small amount of acid sites is actually necessary for a catalyst to be active since used catalysts containing highly reduced Brönsted acidity are found to be reusable without any loss of their activity. 29Si and 27Al magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR together with FT-IR spectra also show that all the active zeolites catalysts contain some extra-framework octahedral aluminium in addition to the normal tetrahedral framework aluminium. The presence of this extra-lattice aluminium does not, however, have any adverse effect on the crystallinity of the catalysts both before and after oxidative benzene methylation reaction. There appears also to be no significant dealumination

  9. Sidescan backscatter variations of cold seeps on the Hikurangi Margin (New Zealand): indications for different stages in seep development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumke, Ines; Klaucke, Ingo; Berndt, Christian; Bialas, Jörg

    2014-06-01

    Cold seeps on the Hikurangi Margin off New Zealand exhibit various seabed morphologies producing different intensity patterns in sidescan backscatter images. Acoustic backscatter characteristics of 25 investigated seep sites fall into four distinct types characterised by variations in backscatter intensity, distribution and inferred structural heights. The types reflect different carbonate morphologies including up to 20-m-high structures (type 1), low-relief crusts (type 2), scattered blocks (type 3) and carbonate-free sites (type 4). Each seep corresponds to a single type; intermediates were not observed. This correlates well with published data on seep fauna at each site, with the four types representing three different faunal habitats of successive stages of seep development. Backscatter signatures in sidescan sonar images of cold seeps may therefore serve as a convenient proxy for variations in faunal habitats.

  10. Bacterial symbionts of Bathymodiolus mussels and Escarpia tubeworms from Chapopote, an asphalt seep in the Southern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Raggi, L; Schubotz, F; Hinrichs, K-U; Dubilier, N; Petersen, J M

    2013-07-01

    Chemosynthetic life was recently discovered at Chapopote, an asphalt hydrocarbon seep in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Preliminary morphological analyses indicated that one tubeworm and two mussel species colonize Chapopote. Our molecular analyses identified the tubeworm as Escarpia sp., and the mussels as Bathymodiolus heckerae and B. brooksi. Comparative 16S rRNA analysis and FISH showed that all three species harbour intracellular sulfur-oxidizing symbionts highly similar or identical to those found in the same host species from northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM). The mussels also harbour methane-oxidizing symbionts, and these shared highly similar to identical 16S rRNA sequences to their nGoM conspecifics. We discovered a novel symbiont in B. heckerae, which is closely related to hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria of the genus Cycloclasticus. In B. heckerae, we found key genes for the use of aromatic compounds, and its stable carbon isotope values were consistently higher than B. brooksi, indicating that the novel symbiont might use isotopically heavy aromatic hydrocarbons from the asphalt seep. This discovery is particularly intriguing because until now only methane and reduced sulfur compounds have been shown to power cold-seep chemosynthetic symbioses. The abundant hydrocarbons available at Chapopote would provide these mussel symbioses with a rich source of nutrition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  12. A gaseous measurement system for carbon-14 dioxide and carbon-14 methane: An analytical methodology to be applied in the evaluation of the carbon-14 dioxide and carbon-14 methane produced via microbial activity in volcanic tuff

    SciTech Connect

    Dolan, M.M.

    1987-05-06

    The objectives of this study were to develop a gaseous measurement system for the carbon-14 dioxide and carbon-14 methane produced via microbial activity or geochemical action on leachate in tuff; to determine the trapping efficiency of the system for carbon-14 dioxide; to determine the trapping efficiency of the system for carbon-14 methane; to apply the experimentally determined factors regarding the system's trapping efficiency for carbon-14 dioxide and carbon-14 methane to a trapping algorithm to determine the activity of the carbon-14 dioxide and carbon-14 methane in a mixed sample; to determine the minimum detectable activity of the measurement process in picocuries per liter; and to determine the lower limit or detection of the measurement process in counts per minute.

  13. Circadian Variability in Methane Oxidation Activity in the Root Zone of Rice Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroth, M. H.; Cho, R.; Zeyer, J.

    2009-12-01

    Methane is an important greenhouse gas with a warming potential about 20 times stronger than that of carbon dioxide. A main source of biogenic methane are rice-paddy soils. Methane is produced in flooded rice fields under anaerobic conditions. Conversely, methanotrophic microorganisms oxidize methane to carbon dioxide in the root zone of rice plants in the presence of molecular oxygen supplied to the roots through the plants’ aerenchyma, thus reducing overall methane emissions to the atmosphere. To quantify methane oxidation we adapted push-pull tests (PPTs), a technique originally developed for aquifer testing, in combination with a suitable microbial inhibitor for application in the root zone of rice plants. During a PPT, 70 ml of a test solution containing dissolved substrates (methane, oxygen), nonreactive tracers (argon, chloride) and the methanogenesis inhibitor 2-Bromoethane sulfonate was injected into the plant’s root zone, and after a rest period of two hours extracted from the same location. Reaction rate constants were calculated from extraction-phase breakthrough curves of substrates and tracers. We conducted a set of three different laboratory PPTs to quantify methane oxidation at day time, directly after dawn, and at night in the root zone of four different potted rice plants each. High diurnal methane oxidation rate constants (up to 23 h-1) were obtained for all rice plants. Methane oxidation potential decreased soon after nightfall. At night, rate constants were usually below 1 h-1. Methane oxidation rates were apparently independent of additional oxygen supplied via the injected test solutions, but strongly dependent on photosynthetically produced oxygen transported to the roots through the plants’ aerenchyma. Additional PPTs utilizing 13C-labeled methane are currently being conducted to corroborate these findings. Ultimately, this novel tool shall support efforts to quantitatively understand the controlling mechanisms of methane turnover in

  14. A new process for efficiently producing methane from waste activated sludge: alkaline pretreatment of sludge followed by treatment of fermentation liquid in an EGSB reactor.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dong; Chen, Yinguang; Zhao, Yuxiao; Ye, Zhengxiang

    2011-01-15

    In the literature the production of methane from waste activated sludge (WAS) was usually conducted in a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) after sludge was pretreated. It was reported in our previous publication that compared with other pretreatment methods the methane production in CSTR could be significantly enhanced when sludge was pretreated by NaOH at pH 10 for 8 days. In order to further improve methane production, this study reported a new process for efficiently producing methane from sludge, that is, sludge was fermented at pH 10 for 8 days, which was adjusted by Ca(OH)(2), and then the fermentation liquid was treated in an expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) for methane generation. First, for comparing the methane production observed in this study with that reported in the literature, the conventional operational model was applied to produce methane from the pH 10 pretreated sludge, that is, directly using the pH 10 pretreated sludge to produce methane in a CSTR. It was observed that the maximal methane production was only 0.61 m(3)CH(4)/m(3)-reactor/day. Then, the use of fermentation liquid of pH 10 pretreated sludge to produce methane in the reactors of up-flow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB), anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR) and EGSB was compared. The maximal methane production in UASB, ASBR, and EGSB reached 1.41, 3.01, and 12.43 m(3)CH(4)/m(3)-reactor/day, respectively. Finally, the mechanisms for EGSB exhibiting remarkably higher methane production were investigated by enzyme, adenosine-triphosphate (ATP), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses. It was found that the granular sludge in EGSB had the highest conversion efficiency of acetic acid to methane, and the greatest activity of hydrolysis and acidification enzymes and general physiology with much more Methanosarcinaceae.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Detection of low-chloride fluids beneath a cold seep field on the Nankai accretionary wedge off Kumano, south of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, T.; Tsunogai, U.; Gamo, T.; Kuramoto, S.; Ashi, J.

    2004-11-01

    Chemical and isotopic characteristics were determined for interstitial waters extracted from surface sediments in and around dense biological communities on the seafloor of the Nankai accretionary prism off Kumano, south of Japan. We found the following unique features when compared with usual interstitial water samples of normal seafloor in those of samples from bacterial mats on the Oomine Ridge, one of the outer ridge in the Nankai accretionary prism: (1) significant depletion of chloride concentration (maximum 10% depletion from bottom seawater), (2) high concentrations of CH4 and ΣCO2 (more than 660 μmol/kg and 60 mmol/kg, respectively), (3) sulfate depletion (more than 90% depletion compared to bottom seawater), and (4) δDH2O and δ18OH2O depletion [more than 4‰ and 0.7‰ depletion, respectively, compared to standard mean ocean water (SMOW)]. The highest CH4 value among these samples was comparable to the highest value so far reported at one of the most active seep areas in the Nankai Trough, suggesting that these sites should also be regarded as one of the most active seep sites in the Nankai Trough. The chemical compositions of the samples taken from the Oomine Ridge strongly suggest that the fluid originates not from normal sediment-seawater interaction at the sediment surface of hemipelagic environments, but from active seepage of fluids that are rich in CH4 and ΣCO2, depleted in Cl- and SO42-, and low in δDH2O and δ18OH2O compared to normal seawater. Values for the carbon isotopic composition (δ13CCH4) of the dissolved methane in the interstitial fluid [less than -70‰ PeeDee Belemnite (PDB)] and for the C2H6/CH4 ratio (less than 10-3) suggest that the methane originates from microbial production in a relatively shallow layer of sediment, not from the deep sedimentary layer of higher temperature than 60 °C at the depth of more than 300 m below the seafloor. The Cl-=0 mmol/kg extrapolated end-member δDH2O and δ18OH2O values of low

  17. Methane Activation by 5 d Transition Metals: Energetics, Mechanisms, and Periodic Trends.

    PubMed

    Armentrout, Peter B

    2017-01-01

    Although it has been known for almost three decades that several 5d transition-metal cations will activate methane at room temperature, a more detailed examination of these reactions across the periodic table has only recently been completed. In this Minireview, we compare and contrast studies of the kinetic energy dependence of these reactions as studied using guided-ion-beam tandem mass spectrometry. Thermochemistry for the various products observed (MH(+) , MH2(+) , MC(+) , MCH(+) , MCH2(+) , and MCH3(+) ) are collected and periodic trends evaluated and discussed. The mechanisms for the reactions as elucidated by synergistic quantum chemical calculations are also reviewed. Recent spectroscopic evidence for the structures of the MCH2(+) dehydrogenation products are discussed as well.

  18. Differentiating biotic from abiotic methane genesis in hydrothermally active planetary surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Oze, Christopher; Jones, L. Camille; Goldsmith, Jonas I.; Rosenbauer, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    Molecular hydrogen (H2) is derived from the hydrothermal alteration of olivine-rich planetary crust. Abiotic and biotic processes consume H2 to produce methane (CH4); however, the extent of either process is unknown. Here, we assess the temporal dependence and limit of abiotic CH4 related to the presence and formation of mineral catalysts during olivine hydrolysis (i.e., serpentinization) at 200 °C and 0.03 gigapascal. Results indicate that the rate of CH4 production increases to a maximum value related to magnetite catalyzation. By identifying the dynamics of CH4 production, we kinetically model how the H2 to CH4 ratio may be used to assess the origin of CH4 in deep subsurface serpentinization systems on Earth and Mars. Based on our model and available field data, low H2/CH4 ratios (less than approximately 40) indicate that life is likely present and active. PMID:22679287

  19. Recognition of deep-water benthic assemblages in the fossil record: Taphonomy and community characteristics of Louisiana continental slope petroleum seep assemblages

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    Chemoautotrophic benthic assemblages associated with petroleum seepage form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Five biofacies are associated with petroleum seepage, dominated respectively by vestimentiferan tubeworms, lucinid, thyasirid and vesicomyid clams and mytilid mussels. The taphonomy of petroleum seep death assemblages includes dissolution as the most pervasive mode of shell alteration. The dominant species in each assemblage reflect the taphonomic signature of the assemblage they dominate. The taphonomic attributes of petroleum seep death assemblages are similar to those of ancient autochthonous benthic assemblages. Paleoecological characteristics representative of cold seep assemblages include: high density-low diversity molluscan assemblages dominated by large individuals, high molluscan biomass concentrations aligned in linear trends, carbons with depleted [delta][sup 13]C values associated with faunally depauperate shales, laminated or massive sedimentary structures, variable articulation frequencies, poor shell preservation, and a trophic structure dominated by one trophic group. The Campanian Tepee Buttes share many paleoecological characteristics with recognized ancient seep assemblages. Methane and hydrogen sulfide-rich fluids from underlying strata were transported along fault conduits to supply a localized nutrient source for lucinid-dominated benthic communities. The Tepee Butte assemblages were dominated by dense accumulations of Nymphalucina occidentalis with moderate to high articulation frequencies. The lucinids probably used H[sub 2]S as a nutrient source. Cold seeps can be recognized in the fossil record, based on criteria developed by the study of modern cold seep death assemblages, because the paleoecological characteristics of cold seep assemblages are very conservative.

  20. C-H bond activation of methane in aqueous solution: a hybrid quantum mechanical/effective fragment potential study.

    PubMed

    Da Silva, Júlio C S; Rocha, Willian R

    2011-12-01

    In this study, we investigated the C-H bond activation of methane catalyzed by the complex [PtCl(4)](2-), using the hybrid quantum mechanical/effective fragment potential (EFP) approach. We analyzed the structures, energetic properties, and reaction mechanism involved in the elementary steps that compose the catalytic cycle of the Shilov reaction. Our B3LYP/SBKJC/cc-pVDZ/EFP results show that the methane activation may proceed through two pathways: (i) electrophilic addition or (ii) direct oxidative addition of the C-H bond of the alkane. The electrophilic addition pathway proceeds in two steps with formation of a σ-methane complex, with a Gibbs free energy barrier of 24.6 kcal