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Sample records for active methane seeps

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Phosphogenesis at a Cretaceous methane seep from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Methane and sulfur cycling in terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    identified within the GHSZ, but do not yet appear to be associated with salt diapirism or any other geological phenomena with the capacity to drive active methane expulsion at the seafloor. Repeat acoustic and video surveys at an ~500 m2 seep field south of Nantucket Island demonstrated that some seeps are characterized by continuous gas emission, whereas other proximal seeps exhibit episodic gas emission with a temporal variability on the order of hours to days. While significant ephemerality of methane emission at the scale of individual plumes has been verified, ROV imagery of massive, but isolated, patches of authigenic carbonate and well-developed chemosynthetic communities suggest that emission of methane at the scale of the seep field has been persistent over hundreds to thousands of years.

  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. Lipid Biomarkers Indicating Aerobic Methanotrophy at Ancient Marine Methane- Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birgel, D.; Peckmann, J.

    2007-12-01

    The inventory of lipid biomarkers of a number of ancient methane-seep limestones has been studied over the last decade. The molecular fingerprints of the chemosynthesis-based microbial communities tend to be extremely well-preserved in these limestones. The key process at seeps is the anaerobic oxidation of methane, performed by consortia of sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanotrophic archaea. Compounds preserved within modern and ancient seep settings comprise C-13-depleted lipid biomarkers. Besides the occurrence of C-13- depleted isoprenoids (archaea) and n-alkyl-chains (bacteria), C-13-depleted hopanoids have been reported in seep limestones. Here, lipid biomarker data are presented from three ancient methane-seep limestones embedded in Miocene and Campanian strata. These examples provide strong evidence that methane was not solely oxidized by an anaerobic process. In a Miocene limestone, 3-beta-methylated hopanoids were found (delta C-13: -100 per mil). Most likely, 3-beta-methylated hopanepolyols, prevailing in aerobic methanotrophs were the precursor lipids. In another Miocene limestone, a series of C-13-depleted 4-methylated steranes (lanostanes; -80 to -70 per mil) is derived from aerobic methanotrophs. Lanosterol is the most likely precursor of lanostanes, known to be produced by aerobic methanotrophs, some of which are outstanding among bacteria in having the capacity to produce steroids. In a Campanian seep limestone a suite of conspicuous secohexahydrobenzohopanes (-110 to -107 per mil) is found. These hopanoids probably represent early degradation products of seep-endemic aerobic methanotrophs. This interpretation is supported by the presence of "regular" hopanoids that can be discriminated from the unusual secohexahydrobenzohopanes by only moderately low delta C-13 values (-49 to -42 per mil). Structural and carbon isotope data reveal that aerobic methanotrophy is more common at ancient methane- seeps than previously noticed. Our data indicate that

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Vesicomyid Clams Alter Biogeochemical Processes at Pacific Methane Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  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. PMID:22882187

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, T.; Ziebis, W.

    2010-03-01

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

  10. Methane from shallow seep areas of the NW Svalbard Arctic margin does not reach the sea surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silyakova, Anna; Greinert, Jens; Jansson, Pär; Ferré, Bénédicte

    2015-04-01

    Methane, an important greenhouse gas, leaks from large areas of the Arctic Ocean floor. One overall question is how much methane passes from the seabed through the water column, potentially reaching the atmosphere. Transport of methane from the ocean floor into and through the water column depends on many factors such as distribution of gas seeps, microbial methane oxidation, and ambient oceanographic conditions, which may trigger a change in seep activity. From June-July 2014 we investigated dissolved methane in the water column emanating from the "Prins Karls Forland seeps" area offshore the NW Svalbard Arctic margin. Measurements of the spatial variability of dissolved methane in the water column included 65 CTD stations located in a grid covering an area of 30 by 15 km. We repeated an oceanographic transect twice in a week for time lapse studies, thus documenting significant temporal variability in dissolved methane above one shallow seep site (~100 m water depth). Analysis of both nutrient concentrations and dissolved methane in water samples from the same transect, reveal striking similarities in spatial patterns of both dissolved methane and nutrients indicating that microbial community is involved in methane cycling above the gas seepage. Our preliminary results suggest that although methane release can increase in a week's time, providing twice as much dissolved gas to the water column, no methane from a seep reaches the sea surface. Instead it spreads horizontally under the pycnocline. Yet microbial communities react rapidly to the methane supply above gas seepage areas and may also have an important role as an effective filter, hindering methane release from the ocean to the atmosphere during rapid methane ebullition. This study is funded by CAGE (Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate), Norwegian Research Council grant no. 223259.

  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 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  14. Optical sensing for characterization of bubble plumes from methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizarro, O.; Camilli, R.; Whelan, J.

    2004-12-01

    Methane seeps are potentially a key contributor to atmospheric methane and to the global greenhouse gas budget. Improved estimates of methane flux from ocean floor seeps is required to understand the magnitude and characteristics of this contribution to the carbon cycle. % State of the art In steady, slow seeps a large portion of the gas is dissolved and oxidized before reaching the surface. However, in high-intensity methane seeps the bubble density, speed and size are such that a significant fraction of the gas can reach the atmosphere. Dissolved methane can be measured fairly reliably at the sea surface with traditional equilibration techniques. New types of in-situ chemical sensors can quantify dissolved methane deeper in the water column. Quantifying methane within the water column in the free gas phase (i.e., in the form of bubbles) remains a challenging problem. Current approaches rely either on indirect acoustic methods or direct collection of bubbles. Acoustic methods have the disadvantage of requiring extensive calibration, and can fail to distinguish the bubble signal from other sources of acoustic noise. Gas-capture techniques are mechanically complex, have a surface expression that introduces some noise, and can potentially alias episodic events. %how slow ? In both cases the fine scale structure such as herogeneity of the bubbling plume is lost. % Proposed We propose a vision-based system to detect and track bubble plumes. High speed optical imagery is propenables precise measurements of the motion of bubbles through a process involving identification of the individual bubbles (and rejection of other particles). Additional image processing steps are then used to estimate each bubble's volume and velocity. These are then integrated to produce an estimate of volumetric flux rate. This technique can also reveal fine scale variabilities in the spatial and temporal structure within the plume. %We discuss sensing configurations based on a stereo setup and

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  2. Formation of gas Hydrate and Carbonate Nodules Around Active Seeps of Thermogenic Methane at Eastern Margin of Japan Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiruta, A.; Matsumoto, R.; Ishida, Y.; Tomaru, H.; Snyder, G.; Aoyama, C.; Hiromatsu, M.

    2005-12-01

    A number of pockmarks, mounds, magnificent flares of gas plumes have been observed on a spur (Umitaka Spur) off Naoetsu in the eastern margin of Japan Sea during the cruises of UT04 (R and T/V Umitaka-maru, 2004) and NT05-09 (Natsushima, 2005). Fifteen piston cores, 5.5 m long, were deployed either on the mounds, into the pockmarks, or on a flat basin floor far from the plumes. Sediment cores are grey to olive black, silty clay. Thirteen cores among 15 are made up of an alternation of bioturbated and laminated units. Piston core PC15 successfully recovered white massive gas hydrate, ca. 2 m long, and carbonate nodules, ca.5 cm in diameter. PC05 and a grab sampler near PC15 also recovered carbonate nodules. Carbonate nodules are composed of calcite and/or aragonite. Microscopic observations have clearly demonstrated aragonite needles. δ13C are from -32.8 to -33.6 ‰ vs. PDB for calcite, from -8.2 to -23.5 ‰ for aragonite and from -11.4 to -16.6 ‰ for the mixture of both. d13C values are a bit heavier than methane of gas hydrate (-38.9 to -39.4 ‰). d18O value are from 3.0 to 3.1 permil for calcite, from 2.9 to 4.9 permil for aragonite and from 3.6 to 5.2 permil for the mixture of both. Ion concentration of the interstitial waters showed that sulfate-methane interface (SMI) range between 1.5 to 3 m. These are remarkably shallow when compared with the SMI on the Blake Ridge (5.0m to 20m, Borowski et al., 1999) and Nankai Trough (4.0m to 63m; Matsumoto and Chen, 2003). Methane flux on and around the spur are thought to be very strong. The shallowest SMI (ca.1.5m) were observed at PC03 and 04, both were located close to gas plumes. Interstitial water chemistry of PC01 decreases with depth, as 550 mM at 0 mbsf and 482 mM at 4 mbsf, whereas at PC03 illustrates an increase of chlorine concentration from 550 mM at 0 mbsf to 750 mM at 4 mbsf. Freshening of I. W at PC01 indicates existence of gas hydrate, Sh=0~12%, in sediments pore space. To the contrary, hyper

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  4. Comparison of Two Techniques to Calculate Methane Oxidation rates in Samples Obtained From the Hudson Canyon Seep Field in the North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonte, M.; Kessler, J. D.; Chepigin, A.; Kellermann, M. Y.; Arrington, E.; Valentine, D. L.; Sylva, S.

    2014-12-01

    Aerobic methane oxidation, or methanotrophy, is the dominant process by which methane is removed from the water column in oceanic environments. Therefore, accurately quantifying methane oxidation rates is crucial when constructing methane budgets on a local or global scale. Here we present a comparison of two techniques used to determine methane oxidation rates based on samples obtained over the Hudson Canyon seep field in the North Atlantic. Traditional methane oxidation rate measurements require inoculation of water samples with isotopically labeled methane and tracking the changes to methane concentrations and isotopes as the samples are incubated. However, the addition of methane above background levels is thought to increase the potential for methane oxidation in the sample. A new technique to calculate methane oxidation rates is based on kinetic isotope models and incorporates direct measurements of methane concentrations, methane 13C isotopes, and water current velocity. Acoustic instrumentation (ADCP) aboard the R/V Endeavor was used to obtain water current velocity data while water samples were collected for methane concentration and isotopic ratio analysis. Methane δ13C measurements allow us to attribute changes in methane concentration to either water dispersion or bacterial methane oxidation. The data obtained from this cruise will tell us a comprehensive story of methane removal processes from this active seep field. The kinetic isotope models will allow us to estimate the total flux of methane from the seep site and calculate methane oxidation rates at different depths and locations away from seafloor plumes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    Metanotrophic prokaryotes with their capacity to oxidize methane to biomass and CO2 contribute considerably in reduction of the global methane emission from oceans. Metagenomic studies of seabed sediments represent a new approach to detect marine methane seeps and to study whether the inhabiting microbial consortium represent a microbial methane filter. We have used next generation high throughput DNA sequencing technology to study microbial consortia and their potential metabolic processes in marine sediment samples from the Håkon Mosby mud volcano (HMMV) in the Barents Sea, the Tonya Seep in the Coal Oil Point area in California and from the pockmarked area at the Troll oil and gas field in the North Sea. Annotation of archaeal reads from the HMMV metagenome resulted in hits to all enzymes supposed to be involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) carried out by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME). The presence of several ANME taxa at HMMV has previously been well described (1). The stratification analysis of the Tonya seep sediment showed that both aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophs were present at both layers investigated, although total archaea, ANME-1, ANME-2 and ANME-3 were overabundant in the deepest layer. Several sulphate reducing taxa (possibly syntrophic ANME partners) were detected. The Tonya Seep sediment represent a robust methane filter where presently dominating methanotrophic taxa could be replaced by less abundant methanotrophs should the environmental conditions change (2). In the Troll pockmarked sediments several methanotrophic taxa including ANME-1, ANME-2 and candidate division NC10 were detected although there was an overabundance of autotrophic nitrifiers (e.g. Nitrosopumilis, Nitrococcus, Nitrospira) using CO2 as the carbon source. Methane migrating upwards through the sediments is probably oxidized to CO2 in AOM resulting in an upward CO2 flux. The CO2 entering the seafloor may contribute to maintain the pockmark structure

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Methane release from seeps offshore W-Svalbard: Considerations to extrapolate fluxes into the water/atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, J.; Veloso, M.; Mienert, J.; Sommer, S.; Bussmann, I.; Haren, H.

    2012-04-01

    Increased (5-100 nM) and sometimes strongly increased (> 100 nM) methane concentrations in the water column, at the sea surface and even in the atmosphere (8 ppm) have been reported from Arctic areas. Some increases are clearly related to localized methane seep sites, others show a strong link to river runoff or to a widely spread (diffuse) methane release from degrading organic matter possibly linked to thawing permafrost. An important question in the marine science community is if the warming of the Arctic is already accelerating methane fluxes from the seabed into the water column and whether we are experiencing a significant flux into the atmosphere. Marine methane fluxes from localized seep sites have been studied for several decades already and the general biogeochemical processes and transport mechanisms have been identified (e.g. AOM, carbonate precipitation, bubble release, sea-atmosphere fluxes) and are fairly well understood. But we still know very little about the temporal variability of methane release and the link to thawing offshore permafrost is still very un-researched. Two areas, the Eastern Siberian Shelf and W-Spitzbergen have been targeted by repeated research cruises to gain more knowledge about this topic. Here, we present work from W-Spitzbergen carried out from 2009 to 2011. Since the discovery of methane seepage offshore Svalbard in 2008 (Westbrook et al., 2008), there has been an international effort to study this area by geophysical, oceanographic, visual and geochemical methods. Repeated hydroacoustic surveys with singlebeam and multibeam systems proved that bubble release in seep areas, at the upper gas hydrate boundary and the shelf edge has been continuous over the three years period. However, specific bubble releasing vents do show intermediate activity with episodic or cyclic release. In addition to this inconstant release, changing currents and internal waves physically influence the methane distribution in the water column, in

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Isotopic evidence for the incorporation of methane-derived carbon into foraminifera from modern methane seeps, Hydrate Ridge, Northeast Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, T. M.; Kennett, J. P.; Valentine, D. L.

    2004-11-01

    The presence of modern methane seeps at Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon, provide an opportunity to study the influence of methane seeps on the ecology and geochemistry of living foraminifera. A series of cores were collected from the southern summit of Hydrate Ridge in 2002. Samples were preserved and stained to determine the δ 13C composition of three species of live (stained) and dead benthic foraminifera: Uvigerina peregrina, Cibicidoides mckannai, and Globobulimina auriculata. Specimens were examined under light and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and exhibit no evidence of diagenesis or authigenic carbonate precipitation. Individual living foraminifera from seep sites recorded δ 13C values from -0.4‰ to -21.2‰, indicating the isotopic influence of high methane concentrations. Average δ 13C values (calculated from single specimens) range from -1.28 to -5.64‰ at seep sites, and -0.81 to -0.85‰ at a control (off seep) site. Two distinct seep environments, distinguished by the presence of microbial mats or clam fields, were studied to determine environmental influences on δ 13C values. Individual foraminifera from microbial mat sites exhibited more depleted δ 13C values than those from clam field sites. We interpret these differences as an effect of food source and/or symbiotic microbes on foraminiferal carbon isotopic values, acting to magnify the negative δ 13C values recorded via the DIC pool. No statistical difference was found between δ 13C values of live vs. dead specimens. This suggests that authigenic carbonate precipitation did not play a dominant role in the observed isotopic compositions. However, a few dead specimens with extremely negative δ 13C composition (<-12‰) do indicate potential evidence for an authigenic influence on the recorded δ 13C composition.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Temporal variation in natural methane seep rate due to tides, Coal Oil Point area, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boles, J. R.; Clark, J. F.; Leifer, I.; Washburn, L.

    2001-11-01

    Two large steel tents (each 30 m by 30 m), open at the bottom to the seafloor, capture ˜16,800 m3 d-1 (594 MCF) of primarily methane from a large natural hydrocarbon seep, occurring a kilometer offshore in 67 m of water. The gas is piped to shore where it is metered and processed. The seep flow rate was monitored hourly for 9 months. Our results show that the tidal forcing causes the flow rate to vary by 4-7% around the mean. These results are the first quantitative documentation of the effect of tides on natural gas seepage in relatively deep water. Time series analyses of the 9 month record clearly show four principal tidal components with periods of 12.0, 12.4, 23.9, and 25.8 hours. High tide correlates with reduced flow, and low tide correlates with increased flow. The correlation indicates that each meter increase of sea height results in a decrease of 10-15 m3 hr-1 or 1.5-2.2% of the hourly flow rate. The observed changes are best accounted for by a pore activation model, whereby gas is released from small pores at low pressures but is inhibited at higher pressure. Pressure-dependent gas solubility changes are a less likely cause of flow variation. Our study implies that sea level differences, on a tidal timescale, can significantly change the gas seepage rate from sediments. Lower sea level in the last hundred thousand years would presumably allow higher gas loss from the sediment, assuming sufficient gas present, because of reduced hydrostatic pressure at the sediment-sea interface. The magnitude of this long-term change cannot be extrapolated from our tidal data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. PMID:25640518

  9. Temporal Variation in Natural Methane Seep Rate Due to Tides, Coal Oil Point Area, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boles, J. R.; Clark, J. F.; Leifer, I.; Washburn, L.

    2001-12-01

    Two large steel tents (each 30m by 30m) open at the bottom to the sea floor, capture about 16,800 m{3{ day -1 (594 MCF) of primarily methane from a large natural hydrocarbon seep, occurring a kilometer offshore in 67m of water. Hourly monitoring for 9 months shows the tidal forcing causes the flow rate to vary by 4-7% around the mean. These results are the first quantitative documentation of the effect of tides on natural gas seepage in relatively deep water. High tide correlates with reduced flow, low tide correlates with increased flow. The correlation indicates that each meter increase of sea height results in a decrease of 10 to 15 m3 hr-1 or 1.5 to 2.2% of the hourly flow rate. The observed cahnges are best accounted for by a pore activation mechanism, whereby gas is released from small pores at low pressure but is inhibited at higher pressure. Pressure dependent gas solubility changes are a less likely cause of flow variation. Our study implies that sea level differences, on a tidal time scale, can significantly change the gas seepage rate from sediments. Lower sea level in the last hundred thousand years would presumably allow higher gas loss from the sediment, assuming sufficient gas present, due to reduced hudrostatic pressure at the sediment-sea interface. The magnitude of this long term change cannot be extrapolated from our tidal data.

  10. 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. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csar, A. J.; Sample, J.

    2007-12-01

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

  14. 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, III; 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. PMID:25916152

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

    PubMed

    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

  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. Active seeps, investment climate draw interest to Uganda

    SciTech Connect

    Patton, D.K.; Kashambuzi, R.; Rubondo, E.N.T.

    1995-05-01

    Production has not been established in Uganda, but the hydrocarbon generating capacity of its rift basin is clearly evident. Reports of oil seeps date to 1925 to observations by Wayland; who relates 52 hydrocarbon occurrences in and around Lake Albert. Although not all remain active, nine oil seeps in the rift basin are confirmed active at present. The Albertine graben, a part of the East African rift system, dominates the geology of Uganda. Other, larger basins of similar evolution in Africa include the Sirte basin and the Gulf of Suez basin. These prolific basins account for one third of Africa`s total reserves. The paper describes the geologic setting, reservoirs, source rocks, geologic seals, structures, exploration history, licenses available, and fiscal terms.

  7. Split-beam echo sounder observations of natural methane seep variability in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jerram, Kevin; Weber, Thomas C.; Beaudoin, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    A method for positioning and characterizing plumes of bubbles from marine gas seeps using an 18 kHz scientific split-beam echo sounder (SBES) was developed and applied to acoustic observations of plumes of presumed methane gas bubbles originating at approximately 1400 m depth in the northern Gulf of Mexico. A total of 161 plume observations from 27 repeat surveys were grouped by proximity into 35 clusters of gas vent positions on the seafloor. Profiles of acoustic target strength per vertical meter of plume height were calculated with compensation for both the SBES beam pattern and the geometry of plume ensonification. These profiles were used as indicators of the relative fluxes and fates of gas bubbles acoustically observable at 18 kHz and showed significant variability between repeat observations at time intervals of 1 h-7.5 months. Active gas venting was observed during approximately one third of the survey passes at each cluster. While gas flux is not estimated directly in this study owing to lack of bubble size distribution data, repeat surveys at active seep sites showed variations in acoustic response that suggest relative changes in gas flux of up to 1 order of magnitude over time scales of hours. The minimum depths of acoustic plume observations at 18 kHz averaged 875 m and frequently coincided with increased amplitudes of acoustic returns in layers of biological scatterers, suggesting acoustic masking of the gas bubble plumes in these layers. Minimum plume depth estimates were limited by the SBES field of view in only five instances.

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, R. S.; Bazard, D.

    2007-12-01

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

  7. High-resolution isotopic records ( δ 18O and δ 13C) and cathodoluminescence study of lucinid shells from methane seeps of the Eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lietard, Cécile; Pierre, Catherine

    2008-08-01

    We present high-resolution isotopic records and cathodoluminescence studies of recently dead and live bivalve specimens from cold seeps, in an attempt to reconstruct environmental conditions during organism growth, and thereby the possible variability of fluid-venting activity at the seafloor. Shells of the burrowing lucinid Myrtea aff. amorpha were collected at three localities near actively venting methane seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean deep sea, using the Nautile submersible during two French oceanographic cruises: from the Kazan mud volcano, in the vicinity of the Anaximander mounts (MEDINAUT cruise, 1998), and from the central pockmark province and the Amon mud volcano of the Nile deep-sea fan (NAUTINIL cruise, 2003). The oxygen and carbon isotope compositions of 18 shells from the various localities, and also from different sites at the same locality show a rather strong scatter (1.8 < δ 18O‰ < 3.4; -10.2 < δ 13C‰ < 2.2), and values lower than those expected for carbonate precipitated at equilibrium with present-day bottom waters. This means that warm methane-rich fluids were mixed with bottom seawater during precipitation of shell carbonates. We have tried to determine ontogenetic age of two shells by using cathodoluminescence as a sclerochronological proxy, because the direct counting of carbonate increments was not possible in these specimens. There is a relatively good correspondence between cathodoluminescence trends and oxygen isotope profiles that might support the link between manganese incorporation during growth and temperature. Eight specimens of lucinid shells were selected for high-resolution isotopic profiling. A few shells exhibit decreasing δ 18O and δ 13C values from the umbo to the actively growing ventral shell margin, which can be attributed to the commonly observed physiologically controlled deceleration of growth with increasing organism age, this metabolic effect corresponding to the increase of incorporation of respiratory

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goedert, James L.; Squires, Richard L.

    1990-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

    was by the activity of aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria localized inside the cells of these animals. Bacterial cells were also found in the trophosome tissue of Oligobrachia sp., but in cells of these bacteria, we did not observe the membrane structures typical of methanotrophs. The localization pattern of pogonophoras on the surface of reduced sediments suggests that the predominant bacteria in Oligobrachia tissues are sulfur-oxidizing endosymbionts. PMID:11195584

  13. Monitoring of a methane-seeping pockmark by cabled benthic observatory (Patras Gulf, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marinaro, Giuditta; Etiope, Giuseppe; Bue, Nadia Lo; Favali, Paolo; Papatheodorou, George; Christodoulou, Dimitris; Furlan, Flavio; Gasparoni, Francesco; Ferentinos, George; Masson, Michel; Rolin, Jean-François

    2006-11-01

    A new seafloor observatory, the gas monitoring module (GMM), has been developed for continuous and long-term measurements of methane and hydrogen sulphide concentrations in seawater, integrated with temperature (T), pressure (P) and conductivity data at the seafloor. GMM was deployed in April 2004 within an active gas-bearing pockmark in the Gulf of Patras (Greece), at a water depth of 42 m. Through a submarine cable linked to an onshore station, it was possible to remotely check, via direct phone connection, GMM functioning and to receive data in near-real time. Recordings were carried out in two consecutive campaigns over the periods April July 2004, and September 2004 January 2005, amounting to a combined dataset of ca. 6.5 months. This represents the first long-term monitoring ever done on gas leakage from pockmarks by means of CH4+H2S+T+P sensors. The results show frequent T and P drops associated with gas peaks, more than 60 events in 6.5 months, likely due to intermittent, pulsation-like seepage. Decreases in temperature in the order of 0.1 1°C (up to 1.7°C) below an ambient T of ca. 17°C (annual average) were associated with short-lived pulses (10 60 min) of increased CH4+H2S concentrations. This seepage “pulsation” can either be an active process driven by pressure build-up in the pockmark sediments, or a passive fluid release due to hydrostatic pressure drops induced by bottom currents cascading into the pockmark depression. Redundancy and comparison of data from different sensors were fundamental to interpret subtle proxy signals of temperature and pressure which would not be understood using only one sensor.

  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. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Metabolic associations with archaea drive shifts in hydrogen isotope fractionation in sulfate-reducing bacterial lipids in cocultures and methane seeps.

    PubMed

    Dawson, K S; Osburn, M R; Sessions, A L; Orphan, V J

    2015-09-01

    Correlation between hydrogen isotope fractionation in fatty acids and carbon metabolism in pure cultures of bacteria indicates the potential of biomarker D/H analysis as a tool for diagnosing carbon substrate usage in environmental samples. However, most environments, in particular anaerobic habitats, are built from metabolic networks of micro-organisms rather than a single organism. The effect of these networks on D/H of lipids has not been explored and may complicate the interpretation of these analyses. Syntrophy represents an extreme example of metabolic interdependence. Here, we analyzed the effect of metabolic interactions on the D/H biosignatures of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) using both laboratory maintained cocultures of the methanogen Methanosarcina acetivorans and the SRB Desulfococcus multivorans in addition to environmental samples harboring uncultured syntrophic consortia of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria (SRB) recovered from deep-sea methane seeps. Consistent with previously reported trends, we observed a ~80‰ range in hydrogen isotope fractionation (ε(lipid-water)) for D. multivorans grown under different carbon assimilation conditions, with more D-enriched values associated with heterotrophic growth. In contrast, for cocultures of D. multivorans with M. acetivorans, we observed a reduced range of ε(lipid-water) values (~36‰) across substrates with shifts of up to 61‰ compared to monocultures. Sediment cores from methane seep settings in Hydrate Ridge (offshore Oregon, USA) showed similar D-enrichment in diagnostic SRB fatty acids coinciding with peaks in ANME/SRB consortia concentration suggesting that metabolic associations are connected to the observed shifts in ε(lipid-water) values. PMID:25923659

  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. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  17. Pockmarks: self-scouring seep features?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

    of methane is favored. Precipitation occurs at a sufficient distance from active venting for the molecular and isotopic composition of seep gas to be masked by the generation of carbonate alkalinity from anaerobic methane oxidation.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 Central

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

    2005-01-01

    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 μM. 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. PMID:15811991

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Methane efflux from marine sediments in passive and active margins: Estimations from bioenergetic reaction-transport simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dale, A. W.; Van Cappellen, P.; Aguilera, D. R.; Regnier, P.

    2008-01-01

    A simplified version of a kinetic-bioenergetic reaction model for anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments [Dale, A.W., Regnier, P., Van Cappellen, P., 2006. Bioenergetic controls on anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in coastal marine sediments: a theoretical analysis. Am. J. Sci. 306, 246-294.] is used to assess the impact of transport processes on biomass distributions, AOM rates and methane release fluxes from the sea floor. The model explicitly represents the functional microbial groups and the kinetic and bioenergetic limitations of the microbial metabolic pathways involved in AOM. Model simulations illustrate the dominant control exerted by the transport regime on the activity and abundance of AOM communities. Upward fluid flow at active seep systems restricts AOM to a narrow subsurface reaction zone and sustains high rates of methane oxidation. In contrast, pore-water transport dominated by molecular diffusion leads to deeper and broader zones of AOM, characterized by much lower rates and biomasses. Under steady-state conditions, less than 1% of the upward dissolved methane flux reaches the water column, irrespective of the transport regime. However, a sudden increase in the advective flux of dissolved methane, for example as a result of the destabilization of methane hydrates, causes a transient efflux of methane from the sediment. The benthic efflux of dissolved methane is due to the slow growth kinetics of the AOM community and lasts on the order of 60 years. This time window is likely too short to allow for a significant escape of pore-water methane following a large scale gas hydrate dissolution event such as the one that may have accompanied the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-20

    Biosynthesis of organo-selenium is achieved by submerged fermentation of selenium-tolerant Pseudomonas PT-8. The end product of metabolic process is selenium-bearing exopolysaccharide (Se-EPS), which contains a higher content of uronic acid than the exopolysaccharide (EPS) by the strain without selenium in the culture medium. Selenium content in Se-EPS reached a maximum yield of 256.7 mg/kg when using an optimized culture condition. Crude Se-EPS was purified into two fractions-a pH neutral Se-EPS-1 and an acidic Se-EPS-2. Structure and chemical composition of Se-EPS-2 were investigated by chromatographic analyses. Results showed that Se-EPS-2 was a homogenous polysaccharide with molecular weight of 7.3 kDa, consisting of monosaccharides, rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, glucose and galactose with a molar ratio of 19.58:19.28:5.97:18.99:23.70:12.48, respectively. Compared to the EPS, the content of rhamnose in Se-EPS increased and molecular weight decreased. The Se-EPS had strong scavenging actions on DPPH•, •OH and •O2(-), which is much higher than the EPS. PMID:26917395

  10. Predicting hydrocarbon potential of an earth formation underlying a body of water by analysis of seeps containing low concentrations of methane

    SciTech Connect

    Demaison, G.J.; Kaplan, I.R.

    1982-07-20

    The present invention provides for on-site capture of methane at sea, for isotopic examination. Liquid and interfering gases are separated from the methane; the methane is oxidized to form carbon dioxide and water; and the carbon dioxide and water are isotopically analyzed for carbon and deuterium distribution to determine methane origin, as an aid to evaluation of hydrocarbon potential of an earth formation.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Influence of seep emission on the non-symbiont-bearing fauna and vagrant species at an active giant pockmark in the Gulf of Guinea (Congo-Angola margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olu, K.; Caprais, J. C.; Galéron, J.; Causse, R.; von Cosel, R.; Budzinski, H.; Ménach, K. Le; Roux, C. Le; Levaché, D.; Khripounoff, A.; Sibuet, M.

    2009-12-01

    Detailed surveying with an ROV found that a dense and diverse cold-seep community colonises a giant pockmark located at 3200 m depth, 8 km north from the deep Congo channel. Several types of assemblages, either dominated by Mytilidae and Vesicomyidae bivalves or Siboglinidae polychaetes, are distributed on the 800-m diameter active area. The site is characterised by a most active central zone in a depression with abundant carbonate concretions and high methane fluxes where high-density clusters of mussels and siboglinids dominate. In contrast, the peripheral zones display large fields of dead and live vesicomyids on soft sediment, with a lower mean density and lower methane concentration in seawater. The associated megafauna includes Alvinocarididae shrimps, echinoids, holothurians of the family Synaptidae, several species of gastropods, two species of galatheids, and Zoarcidae and Ophidiidae fishes. Multivariate analyses of video transect data show that the distribution of these major megafauna species at the pockmark scale is influenced by the habitat heterogeneity due to fluid or gas emission, occurrence of hydrates, substratum variability and by the presence of large symbiont-bearing species. Several assemblages dominated either by mytilids, vesicomyids, or siboglinids have been sampled for megafauna densities and biomass estimations and stable isotope measurements ( δ13C and δ15N) of dominant species and food sources. The highest estimates of megafauna densities have been obtained in mytilid beds. According to their stable isotopes values, non-symbiont-bearing species mainly rely on chemosynthesis-originated carbon, either as primary consumers of chemoautotrophic microorganisms, or at higher trophic level recycling organic matter, or relying on bivalve and tubeworm production. Most of them likely feed on different sources like shrimps, but differences according to habitat have been evidenced. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of galatheids and benthic or

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formolo, Michael J.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2013-10-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Atmospheric methane emissions along the western Svalbard margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Documented warming of intermediate waters by ~1oC over the past 30 years along the western Svalbard margin has been suggested as a driver of climate-change induced dissociation of marine methane hydrate. However, recent evidence suggests methane release from gas hydrate has been occurring for thousands of years near the upper limit of methane hydrate stability and that seasonal changes in bottom water temperature may be more important than longer-term warming of intermediate waters. Nevertheless, this area has been and remains an active area for researching the physical and climate controls of methane release from the seafloor, yet the amount of methane reaching the atmosphere (the ultimate climate driver) in this region is largely unknown. As part of the MOCA project led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), water column and atmospheric marine boundary layer methane data were collected in June 2014 aboard the R/V Helmer Hanssenduring a collaboration among CAGE at University of Tromsӧ, NILU, GEOMAR, and the USGS. The results provide a continuous record of surface methane concentration and carbon isotope data from continental slope sites near temperature-sensitive hydrate-bearing seeps along the shelf-break and upper slope, the deep-water pockmarked gas-venting Vestnesa Ridge and a shallow water seep area within the Forlandet moraine complex at the shelf. Surface water methane and associated data used to calculate sea-air fluxes were obtained with the cavity ring-down spectrometer-based USGS Gas Analysis System (USGS-GAS). Only the shallow seep site (~90 m water depth) had appreciable methane in surface waters. We conducted an exhaustive survey of this site, mapping the full extent of the surface methane plume. To provide three-dimensional constraints, we acquired 65 vertical dissolved methane profiles to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the subsurface methane plume. Using these data, we assess how effectively shallow arctic seeps

  20. Predicting hydrocarbon potential of an earth formation underlying a body of water by analysis of seeps containing low concentrations of methane using improved cryogenic entrapment

    SciTech Connect

    Demaison, G.J.; Kaplan, I.R.

    1987-04-21

    Method is described of on-site collection and examination of microliter concentrations of methane in sea water so as to predict hydrocarbon potential of an earth formation, the formation containing a hydrocarbon pool that is the source of the methane, the method comprising: (i) at known geographic locations, continuously sampling the sea water at a selected depth; (ii) continuously vacuum separating the collected sea water into liquid and gas phases; (iii) continuously monitoring the gas phase of the sea water for hydrocarbons; (iv) quantitatively separating methane in the gas phase of step (iii) from interfering gas species also in the gas phase of step (iii) in the presence of an air carrier vented to the atmosphere and flowing at a known flow rate; (v) quantitatively oxidizing the methane of step (iv) to carbon dioxide and water vapor and then cryogenically trapping out the resulting carbon dioxide and water vapor in the presence of the air carrier, using a bed of granules maintained at dry ice temperature and composed of an inert, porous organic polymer cross-linked to form a lattice network of high surface area for retention of the carbon dioxide without phase change and for trapping out of the water vapor by freezing; and (vi) isotopically examining the carbon and deuterium distribution of the carbon dioxide and water vapor of step (v) so as to determine biogenic and/or thermogenic origin of the methane.

  1. 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

  2. Sounds of marine seeps: a study of bubble activity near a rigid boundary.

    PubMed

    Maksimov, A O; Burov, B A; Salomatin, A S; Chernykh, D V

    2014-09-01

    A passive acoustic method for detecting environmentally dangerous gas leaks from pipelines and methane naturally leaking from the seabed has been investigated. Gas escape involves the formation and release of bubbles of different sizes. Each bubble emits a sound at a specific frequency. Determination of the bubble radius from the frequency of its signature passive acoustic emission by use of so-called Minnaert formula has a restricted area of applicability near the seabed. The point is that the inertial mass and the damping constant of the birthing bubble are markedly different from those of a free bubble. The theoretical model for the bubble volume oscillations near the seabed has been proposed and an analytical solution has been derived. It was shown that the bispherical coordinates provide separation of variables and are more suitable for analysis of the volume oscillations of these constrained bubbles. Explicit formulas have been derived, which describe the dependence of the bubble emission near a rigid wall on its size and the separation distance between the bubble and the boundary. PMID:25190382

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  4. Anaerobic oxidation of methane related to methane seepage along the northern US Atlantic margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, T.; Krause, S.; Colwell, F. S.; Graw, M. F.; Pohlman, J.; Ruppel, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), coupled to sulfate reduction, is an important mechanism in marine sediments for reducing methane emissions into the atmosphere. Here we report on AOM and sulfate reduction activity determined from sediments collected at recently-discovered methane seeps along the northern US Atlantic margin (USAM), where more than 550 gas plumes rise from the seafloor. Many of these gas plumes lie within or above the upper limit of gas hydrate stability on the continental slope. Samples were taken by TV-multicorer and a piston corer aboard the R/V Sharp during a September 2015 expedition that was jointly organized by the US Geological Survey, the Oregon State University, GEOMAR, and UCLA. This presentation will display preliminary data of AOM activity from selected seeps at the USAM to discuss (1) the capacity of the methane biofilter in relation to well-known seep sites, (2) its influence on geochemistry (e.g., sulfide accumulation, carbonate formation) and biology (established chemosynthetic communities), and (3) its potential response to recent methane mobilization from dissociating gas hydrates.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. A comparison of hydrocarbon gases from springs and seeps of varied geologic provinces of the northwestern US

    SciTech Connect

    Lorenson, T.D.; Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1993-04-01

    The northwestern US hosts a remarkable quantity and variety of thermal springs and seeps. Although many studies have dealt with the liquids and non-hydrocarbon gases emanating from these sources, few have focused on hydrocarbon gases. methane in particular is now recognized as an important reactive trace gas in the earth's atmosphere. To understand better the magnitude and occurrence of natural sources of hydrocarbons to the atmosphere, the authors have begun a survey of these gases throughout the northwestern US. This area encompasses a number of different tectonic regimes: the Yellowstone Hot Spot, the northern Basin and Range province, the Cascade volcanic arc, and the Cascadia subduction complex. Methane is present in each area at concentration levels ranging from about 2 ppmv (parts per million by volume) to 99.9% (by volume). Hydrothermal activity in the Yellowstone area produces spring gases containing less than 4% methane, with CO[sub 2] as the balance gas. The Teton area has a wide variety of gas compositions with either methane, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen as the primary gas component. In the northern Great Basin, thermal springs and seeps typically occur along fault zones at the base of mountain ranges. Methane concentrations range from 0.2 to 47%, with HMW HC concentrations from 0 to 3,100 ppmv. Areas covered by the Cenozoic Columbia River basalts and the basalts of the Snake River Plain continue to have high heat flow and produce thermal springs and seeps, usually along fault zones. Gases from the southern Cascade volcanic arc (Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen) are composed typically of carbon dioxide, with minor amounts of methane (less than 0.2%); however some fumaroles at Mt. Lassen have minor quantities of HMW HC. Along the Pacific coast, melanges of the Cascadia subduction complex host many seeps and springs. In some seeps the gas consists almost exclusively of methane (94.3 to 99.9%) with amounts of HMW HC ranging from about 5 ppmv to 3.5%.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagna, Simona; Clari, Pierangelo; Martire, Luca

    1999-07-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-08-01

    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. PMID:27345621

  17. 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, ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Architecture and active site of particulate methane monooxygenase

    PubMed Central

    Culpepper, Megen A.; Rosenzweig, Amy C.

    2012-01-01

    Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) is an integral membrane metalloenzyme that oxidizes methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria, organisms that live on methane gas as their sole carbon source. Understanding pMMO function has important implications for bioremediation applications and for the development of new, environmentally friendly catalysts for the direct conversion of methane to methanol. Crystal structures of pMMOs from three different methanotrophs reveal a trimeric architecture, consisting of three copies each of the pmoB, pmoA, and pmoC subunits. There are three distinct metal centers in each protomer of the trimer, mononuclear and dinuclear copper sites in the periplasmic regions of pmoB and a mononuclear site within the membrane that can be occupied by copper or zinc. Various models for the pMMO active site have been proposed within these structural constraints, including dicopper, tricopper, and diiron centers. Biochemical and spectroscopic data on pMMO and recombinant soluble fragments, denoted spmoB proteins, indicate that the active site involves copper and is located at the site of the dicopper center in the pmoB subunit. Initial spectroscopic evidence for O2 binding at this site has been obtained. Despite these findings, questions remain about the active site identity and nuclearity and will be the focus of future studies. PMID:22725967

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

    PubMed

    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 (15)[Formula: see text] 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 (15)N-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 ((15)N-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 (15)N-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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Multi-scale monitoring of a marine geologic methane source in the Santa Barbara Channel using imaging spectrometry, ARCTAS-CARB in situ sampling and coastal hourly total hydrocarbon measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, E. S.; Leifer, I.; Roberts, D.; Dennison, P. E.; Margolis, J.; Moritsch, M.; Diskin, G. S.; Sachse, G. W.

    2009-12-01

    The Coal Oil Point (COP) hydrocarbon seep field off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA is one of the most active and best-studied marine geologic methane sources in the world and contributes to elevated terrestrial methane concentrations downwind. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability of this local source and the influence of meteorological conditions on transport and concentration. A methane plume emanating from Trilogy Seep was mapped with the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer at a 7.5 m resolution with a short-wave infrared band ratio technique. This structure agrees with the local wind speed and direction and is orthogonal to the surface currents. ARCTAS-CARB aircraft in situ sampling of lower-troposphere methane is compared to sub-hour total hydrocarbon concentration (THC) measurements from the Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District (SBAPCD) station located near COP. Hourly SBAPCD THC values from 1980-2008 demonstrate a decrease in seep source strength until the late 1990s, followed by a consistent increase. The occurrence of elevated SBAPCD THC values for onshore wind conditions as well as numerous positive outliers as high as 17 ppm suggests that seep field emissions are both quasi-steady state and transient, direct (bubble) and diffuse (outgassing). As demonstrated for the COP seeps, the combination of imaging spectrometry, aircraft in situ sampling, and ground-based monitoring provides a powerful approach for understanding local methane sources and transport processes.

  6. Rhizosphere activity and methane oxidation in a temperate forest soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, Catherine S.; Subke, Jens-Arne; Voke, Naomi R.; Holden, Robert D.; Ineson, Phil; Arn Teh, Yit

    2010-05-01

    Methane (CH4) concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere have increased dramatically over recent decades. An abundance of studies indicate that the magnitude of natural methane efflux from wetlands is likely to increase due to climate change. However, the role of vegetation and soils in upland methane oxidation are less well understood. Well-aerated soils are known to be sites of methane oxidation, and amongst a range of abiotic environmental parameters, soil moisture has been identified as critical regulator of the methane oxidation rates. However, the role of microbial activity within the soil, particularly C turnover in the plant rhizosphere, has not been investigated as a means for regulating methanotrophy. We combined a continuous soil CO2 efflux system (Li-Cor Biosciences, LI-8100) with a Cavity-Ringdown-Spectroscopy Fast Greenhouse Gas Analyser (Los Gatos Research Inc.) to measure soil CH4 oxidation in a pine forest in NE England. The soil has a shallow organic layer overlaying a well-draining sandy gley soil. Fluxes were measured from three different collar treatments: (1) excluding both root and ectomycorrhizal (EM) hyphae by trenching using deep collars, (2) excluding roots but allowing access by EM hyphae, and (3) unmodified forest soil (i.e. including both roots and EM hyphae). All collars were protected from natural throughfall, and received weekly-averaged amounts of throughfall based on collections in the stand. Data from two months in early summer 2009 indicate that CH4 oxidation in collars with an intact rhizosphere is more than twice that of either of the exclusion treatments (averaging approx. 90 g ha-1 d-1 in that period). We observed higher fluxes when soils were dryer (i.e. with increasing time since watering), indicating a significant influence of moisture. Despite the confounding effects of soil moisture associated with root water uptake in the unmodified soil collars, we argue that rhizosphere activity is an overlooked component in

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Can aquatic worms enhance methane production from waste activated sludge?

    PubMed

    Serrano, Antonio; Hendrickx, Tim L G; Elissen, Hellen H J; Laarhoven, Bob; Buisman, Cees J N; Temmink, Hardy

    2016-07-01

    Although literature suggests that aquatic worms can help to enhance the methane production from excess activated sludge, clear evidence for this is missing. Therefore, anaerobic digestion tests were performed at 20 and at 30°C with sludge from a high-loaded membrane bioreactor, the aquatic worm Lumbriculus variegatus, feces from these worms and with mixtures of these substrates. A significant synergistic effect of the worms or their feces on methane production from the high-loaded sludge or on its digestion rate was not observed. However, a positive effect on low-loaded activated sludge, which generally has a lower anaerobic biodegradability, cannot be excluded. The results furthermore showed that the high-loaded sludge provides an excellent feed for L. variegatus, which is promising for concepts where worm biomass is considered a resource for technical grade products such as coatings and glues. PMID:26998797

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Microbial activity and carbonate isotope signatures as a tool for identification of spatial differences in methane advection: a case study at the Pacific Costa Rican margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

    The forearc of the convergent margin offshore Costa Rica is a region characterized by strong advection of methane-charged fluids causing the formation of ubiquitous cold seeps (mounds). Presented here are the first measurements of microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulfate reduction (SR) rates in sediments from two mounds (11 and 12), applying radiotracer techniques in combination with numerical modelling. In addition, analysis of microbial, methane-dependent carbonate δ18O, δ13C, and 87Sr / 86Sr signatures constrained the origin of the carbonate-precipitating fluid. Average rates of microbial activities differed by a factor of ~5 to 6 between Mound 11 (AOM 140.71 (±40.84 SD) mmol m-2 d-1, SR 117.25 (±82.06 SD) mmol m-2 d-1) and Mound 12 (AOM 22.37 (±0.85 SD) mmol m-2 d-1, SR 23.99 (±5.79 SD) mmol m-2 d-1). Modelling results yielded upward fluid advection velocities of 200 cm yr-1 at Mound 11 and 15 cm yr-1 at Mound 12. Analysis of oxygen and carbon isotope variations of authigenic carbonates from the two locations revealed more enriched values for Mound 11 (δ18O : 3.18 to 6.15‰; δ13C: -14.14 to -29.56‰) compared to Mound 12 (δ18O : 3.09 to 4.48‰; δ13C : -39.53 to -48.98‰). The variation of carbonate 87Sr / 86Sr indicated considerable admixture of deep-source fluid at Mound 11, while seawater 87Sr / 86Sr characteristics prevailed at Mound 12 during precipitation. The present study is in accordance with previous work supporting considerable differences of methane flux between the two mounds. It also strengthens the hypothesis of a dominant deep fluid source with thermogenic methane at Mound 11 versus a shallow source of biogenic methane at Mound 12. The results demonstrate that measurements of methane-driven microbial activity in combination with numerical modelling are a valid tool for constraining recent methane fluxes in the study area. In addition, the analysis of methane-derived authigenic carbonates provides an independent

  4. 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

  5. The methane monooxygenase intrinsic activity of kinds of methanotrophs.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yingxin; Xin, Jiaying; Chen, Linlin; Xia, Chungu

    2009-06-01

    Methanotrophs have promising applications in the epoxidation of some alkenes and some chlorinated hydrocarbons and in the production of a biopolymer, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (poly-3-hydroxybutyrate; PHB). In contrast with methane monooxygenase (MMO) activity and ability of PHB synthesis of four kinds of methanotrophic bacteria Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b, M. trichosporium IMV3011, Methylococcus capsulatus HD6T, Methylomonas sp. GYJ3, and the mixture of the four kinds of strains, M. trichosporium OB3b is the highest of the four in the activity of propene epoxidation (10.72 nmol/min mg dry weight of cell [dwc]), the activity of naphthalene oxidation (22.7 mmol/mg dwc), and ability in synthesis of PHB(11% PHB content in per gram dry weight of cell in 84 h). It could be feasible to improve the MMO activity by mixing four kinds of methanotrophs. The MMO activity dramatically decreased when the cellular PHB accumulated in the second stage. The reason for this may be the dilution of the MMO system in the cells with increasing PHB contents. It has been found that the PHB contents at the level of 1-5% are beneficial to the cells for maintenance of MMO epoxidation activity when enough PHB have been accumulated. Moreover, it was also found that high particulate methane monooxygenase activity may contribute to the synthesis of PHB in the cell, which could be used to improve the yield of PHB in methanotrophs. PMID:19052919

  6. Bacterioplankton growth and production at the Louisiana hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-06-01

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

  7. Highly active composite catalysts for reforming of methane into syngas

    SciTech Connect

    Inui, T.; Saigo, K.; Ichino, K.

    1997-12-31

    Development in highly active catalysts for the reforming of methane with H{sub 2}O, CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O + CO{sub 2}, and partial oxidation of methane was conducted to produce hydrogen with high reaction rates. A Ni-based four component catalyst, Ni-Ce{sub 2}O{sub 3}-Pt-Rh supported on an alumina wash-coated ceramic fiber in a plate shape was suitable for the objective reaction. By combining the catalytic combustion reaction, methane conversion was markedly enhanced. Furthermore, by combining the combustion of ethane or ethylene, significantly high space-time yields of hydrogen such as 6,731 mol/1-h or 6,907 mol/l{center_dot}h, respectively at 700{degrees}C. In a reaction of CH{sub 4}-CO{sub 2}-H{sub 2}O-O{sub 2} on the four component catalyst, an extraordinary high space-time yield of hydrogen, 12,190 mol/l{center_dot}h was realized even under the very rapid operation conditions as 3 m-sec short contact time.

  8. Methane emissions from Earth’s degassing: Implications for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etiope, G.; Oehler, D. Z.; Allen, C. C.

    2011-02-01

    The presence of methane on Mars is of great interest, since one possibility for its origin is that it derives from living microbes. However, CH 4 in the martian atmosphere also could be attributable to geologic emissions released through pathways similar to those occurring on Earth. Using recent data on methane degassing of the Earth, we have estimated the relative terrestrial contributions of fossil geologic methane vs. modern methane from living methanogens, and have examined the significance that various geologic sources might have for Mars. Geologic degassing includes microbial methane (produced by ancient methanogens), thermogenic methane (from maturation of sedimentary organic matter), and subordinately geothermal and volcanic methane (mainly produced abiogenically). Our analysis suggests that ˜80% of the "natural" emission to the terrestrial atmosphere originates from modern microbial activity and ˜20% originates from geologic degassing, for a total CH 4 emission of ˜28.0×10 7 tonnes year -1. Estimates of methane emission on Mars range from 12.6×10 1 to 57.0×10 4 tonnes year -1 and are 3-6 orders of magnitude lower than that estimated for Earth. Nevertheless, the recently detected martian, Northern-Summer-2003 CH 4 plume could be compared with methane expulsion from large mud volcanoes or from the integrated emission of a few hundred gas seeps, such as many of those located in Europe, USA, Mid-East or Asia. Methane could also be released by diffuse microseepage from martian soil, even if macro-seeps or mud volcanoes were lacking or inactive. We calculated that a weak microseepage spread over a few tens of km 2, as frequently occurs on Earth, may be sufficient to generate the lower estimate of methane emission in the martian atmosphere. At least 65% of Earth's degassing is provided by kerogen thermogenesis. A similar process may exist on Mars, where kerogen might include abiogenic organics (delivered by meteorites and comets) and remnants of possible

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Binding of methane to activated mineral surfaces - a methane sink on Mars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nørnberg, P.; Knak Jensen, S. J.; Skibsted, J.; Jakobsen, H. J.; ten Kate, I. L.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Merrison, J. P.; Finster, K.; Bak, Ebbe; Iversen, J. J.; Kondrup, J. C.

    2015-10-01

    Tumbling experiments that simulate the wind erosion of quartz grains in an atmosphere of 13 C-enriched methane are reported. The eroded grains are analyzed by 13C and 29 Si solid-state NMR techniques after several months of tumbling. The analysis shows that methane has reacted with the eroded surface to form covalent Si-CH3 bonds, which stay intact for temperatures up to at least 250oC. These findings offer a model for a methane sink that might explain the fast disappearance of methane on Mars.

  15. 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.

  16. Remote detection of hydrocarbon seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Barringer, A. R.

    1985-05-14

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Methane and seismicity: A reply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gold, Thomas; Soter, Steven

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  2. Effects of zinc on particulate methane monooxygenase activity and structure.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warén, Anders; Bouchet, Philippe

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Use of a biologically active cover to reduce landfill methane emissions and enhance methane oxidation.

    PubMed

    Stern, Jennifer C; Chanton, Jeff; Abichou, Tarek; Powelson, David; Yuan, Lei; Escoriza, Sharon; Bogner, Jean

    2007-01-01

    Biologically-active landfill cover soils (biocovers) that serve to minimize CH4 emissions by optimizing CH4 oxidation were investigated at a landfill in Florida, USA. The biocover consisted of 50 cm pre-composted yard or garden waste placed over a 10-15 cm gas distribution layer (crushed glass) over a 40-100 cm interim cover. The biocover cells reduced CH4 emissions by a factor of 10 and doubled the percentage of CH4 oxidation relative to control cells. The thickness and moisture-holding capacity of the biocover resulted in increased retention times for transported CH4. This increased retention of CH4 in the biocover resulted in a higher fraction oxidized. Overall rates between the two covers were similar, about 2g CH4 m(-2)d(-1), but because CH4 entered the biocover from below at a slower rate relative to the soil cover, a higher percentage was oxidized. In part, methane oxidation controlled the net flux of CH4 to the atmosphere. The biocover cells became more effective than the control sites in oxidizing CH4 3 months after their initial placement: the mean percent oxidation for the biocover cells was 41% compared to 14% for the control cells (p<0.001). Following the initial 3 months, we also observed 29 (27%) negative CH4 fluxes and 27 (25%) zero fluxes in the biocover cells but only 6 (6%) negative fluxes and 22 (21%) zero fluxes for the control cells. Negative fluxes indicate uptake of atmospheric CH4. If the zero and negative fluxes are assumed to represent 100% oxidation, then the mean percent oxidation for the biocover and control cells, respectively, for the same period would increase to 64% and 30%. PMID:17005386

  10. 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).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1989-01-01

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

  12. [Effect of substances which change the proton-motive force on activity of methane microbe oxygenation].

    PubMed

    Malashenko, Iu P; Sokolov, I G; Rokitko, P V; Romanovskaia, V A

    2006-01-01

    High extracellular concentration of K+ stimulated methane oxygenation with Methylomonas rubra 15 [Russian character: see text], Methylococcus thermophilus 111 [Russian character: see text] and Methylococcus capsulatus 494 at neutral value of pH. That was determined by K+ arrival to the cells at neutral medium pH that resulted in the increase of pH difference between the exterior and interior sides of the membrane (ApH) and, respectively, in the increase of the methane oxygenation rate. Thus, methane monooxygenation depends on the availability of ion gradients on a membrane. Ionophores valinomycin and monensin inhibited methane oxygenation by the cells of Methylomonas rubra 15 [Russian character: see text] that evidenced for the methane oxygenation dependence on the protone-motive force which could be formed as the result both of protons displacement with oxygenation of methane monooxygenation products and of the gradient of potassium and sodium ions. Protonophore FCCP suppressed completely methane oxygenation in Methylococcus capsulatus 494 and M. thermophilus 111 [Russian character: see text] at neutral pH, and took no effect at the alkaline values of pH. This suggests that FCCP dissipates the proton-motive force and does not inhibit methane monooxygenase activity. The results obtained indicate that the process of methane oxygenation should be combined with energy generation in a form of the transmembrane electric charge (delta psi) and proton gradient (deltapH). PMID:17243361

  13. Mass wasting, methane venting, and biological communities on the Mendocino transform fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stakes, Debra S.; Trehu, Anne M.; Goffredi, Shana K.; Naehr, Thomas H.; Duncan, Robert A.

    2002-05-01

    Chemosynthetic cold-seep vestimentiferan tubeworms and vesicomyid clams inhabiting oceanic basaltic rock have been discovered on the Gorda Escarpment sector of the Mendocino transform fault 73 km west of Cape Mendocino, northern California. The sparse cold-seep animals are “biomarkers” that identify zones of focused fluid venting from a methane gas horizon seismically imaged as a bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) within sediments on the southern flank of the escarpment. This is the first example of a methane-based cold-seep community on exposed oceanic basement rock within an area dominated by transform tectonics. This discovery extends the range of known environments in which the subsurface flow and venting of methane-rich fluids are linked both with geological activity and chemosynthetic communities. Observations by remotely operated vehicle of the distribution of the animals, sediment, basaltic talus, and basement outcrop delineate a large slump headscarp that channels subsurface fluid. Seismic surveys of the southern flank of the Mendocino transform fault (the Vizcaino block) define a BSR hosted in the thick sedimentary sequence that projects to the wall of the Gorda Escarpment at the same depth as the chemosynthetic community. The well-defined BSR in the marine sediment of the Vizcaino block results from an accumulation of methane gas possibly capped by methane hydrate. The isotopic composition of Mg-calcite found along the headscarp (δ13C = -65‰; δ18O = 4.8‰) is consistent with fluids derived from dissociated methane hydrate. We propose that the tectonic uplift along this transform margin has resulted in the lateral, northward movement of methane from the Vizcaino sedimentary sequence to the east-trending wall of the north-facing Gorda Escarpment.

  14. Low δ13C in tests of live epibenthic and endobenthic foraminifera at a site of active methane seepage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackensen, Andreas; Wollenburg, Jutta; Licari, Laetitia

    2006-06-01

    To investigate the use of benthic foraminifera as a means to document ancient methane release, we determined the stable isotopic composition of tests of live (Rose Bengal stained) and dead specimens of epibenthic Fontbotia wuellerstorfi, preferentially used in paleoceanographic reconstructions, and of endobenthic high-latitude Cassidulina neoteretis and Cassidulina reniforme from a cold methane-venting seep off northern Norway. We collected foraminiferal tests from three push cores and nine multiple cores obtained with a remotely operated vehicle and a video-guided multiple corer, respectively. All sampled sites except one control site are situated at the Håkon Mosby mud volcano (HMMV) on the Barents Sea continental slope in 1250 m water depth. At the HMMV in areas densely populated by pogonophoran tube worms, δ13C values of cytoplasm-containing epibenthic F. wuellerstorfi are by up to 4.4‰ lower than at control site, thus representing the lowest values hitherto reported for this species. Live C. neoteretis and C. reniforme reach δ13C values of -7.5 and -5.5‰ Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite (VPDB), respectively, whereas δ13C values of their empty tests are higher by 4‰ and 3‰. However, δ13C values of empty tests are never lower than those of stained specimens, although they are still lower than empty tests from the control site. This indicates that authigenic calcite precipitates at or below the sediment surface are not significantly influencing the stable isotopic composition of foraminiferal shells. The comparatively high δ13C results rather from upward convection of pore water and fluid mud during active methane venting phases at these sites. These processes mingle tests just recently calcified with older ones secreted at intermittent times of less or no methane discharge. Since cytoplasm-containing specimens of suspension feeder F. wuellerstorfi are almost exclusively found attached to pogonophores, which protrude up to 3 cm above the sediment, and δ13C

  15. The occurrence of NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase in Corbula caribea, from a natural oil seep at La Brea, Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Azad; Agard, John

    2004-04-01

    Corbula caribea is the most common non-polychaete macrofaunal organism identified at a large natural oil seep at La Brea in south Trinidad. It is hypothesized that these animals may possess (NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase) a component of the Mixed Function Oxygenase system (MFO), which may allow them to ameliorate the potentially deleterious effects resulting from exposure to the high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons within this environment. This study was designed to determine whether organisms from the seep site showed greater enzyme activity when compared to organisms from a non-seep reference site. NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase activity was determined by incubating 10 microm cryostat sections with nitro-blue tetrazolium. The reaction product was determined by visual assessment and quantified by measuring the relative mean stain intensity. The intense staining, indicative of enzyme activity was evident in the digestive epithelia of seep animals. Observations indicated that organisms from the seep showed more intense staining, indicating greater enzyme activity, when compared to animals from a non-seep reference site. The relative stain intensity of NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase determined for organisms from the seep was 61.30. This was significantly higher than the stain intensity determined for organisms from the non-seep reference site (7.11). This supported visual assessments, which suggested that the seep organisms showed higher enzyme activity than organisms from the non-seep site. The results suggest that NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase may be present in Corbula caribea from the seep site and not in those from the non-seep site. It is possible that this enzyme may contribute to these animals ability to tolerate chronic exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons and offer then a selective advantage for survival the seep environment. PMID:15041435

  16. Role of multiple gene copies in particulate methane monooxygenase activity in the methane-oxidizing bacterium Methylococcus capsulatus Bath.

    PubMed

    Stolyar, S; Costello, A M; Peeples, T L; Lidstrom, M E

    1999-05-01

    Genes for the subunits of particulate methane monooxygenase, PmoABC, have been sequenced from the gamma-proteobacterial methanotroph Methylococcus capsulatus Bath. M. capsulatus Bath contains two complete copies of pmoCAB, as well as a third copy of pmoC. The two pmoCAB regions were almost identical at the nucleotide sequence level, differing in only 13 positions in 3183 bp. At the amino acid level, each translated gene product contained only one differing residue in each copy. However, the pmoC3 sequence was more divergent from the two other pmoC copies at both the far N-terminus and far C-terminus. Chromosomal insertion mutations were generated in all seven genes. Null mutants could not be obtained for pmoC3, suggesting that it may play an essential role in growth on methane. Null mutants were obtained for pmoC1, pmoC2, pmoA1, pmoA2, pmoB1 and pmoB2. All of these mutants grew on methane, demonstrating that both gene copies were functional. Copy 1 mutants showed about two-thirds of the wild-type whole-cell methane oxidation rate, while copy 2 mutants showed only about one-third of the wild-type rate, indicating that both gene copies were necessary for wild-type particulate methane monooxygenase activity. It was not possible to obtain double null mutants that were defective in both pmo copies, which may indicate that some expression of pMMO is important for growth. PMID:10376840

  17. Occurrence, distribution and expression of gas seeps and gas hydrates on the northeastern continental slope of Sakhalin Island, Sea of Okhotsk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Y.; Hong, J.; Baranov, B.; Shoji, H.; Obzhirov, A.

    2012-12-01

    The northeastern Sakhalin continental slope (NESS), Okhotsk Sea is characterized by an abundant occurrence of gas hydrate and gas seeps. Under the frameworks of Korea-Russia-Japan international projects (CHAOS and SSGH), we have carried out multidisciplinary surveys to investigate gas hydrate accumulation and active gas seepage phenomena on the NESS since 2003. During the surveys, about moe than nine hundred gas seeps were detected in a 2,650 km2 area of the NESS. Active gas seeps on the NESS were evident from features in the water column, on the seafloor, and in the subsurface by geophysical methods: well-defined hydroacoustic anomalies (gas flares), side-scan sonar seafloor structures with high backscatter intensity (seepage structures), bathymetric structures (pockmarks and mounds), and gas- and gas-hydrate-related seismic features (bottom-simulating reflectors, gas chimneys, high-amplitude reflectors, and acoustic blanking). They are also evident from ground-truths; high methane concentrations in seawater, near-bottom gas hydrates and antigenic carbonates. These features are generally related; a gas flare emits at a topographic mound with high backscatter intensity, below which a gas chimney is present. We interpret that gas chimneys producing enhanced reflection on high-resolution seismic profiles are active pathways for upward gas migration to the seafloor.

  18. Activity and community structure of methane-oxidising bacteria in a wet meadow soil.

    PubMed

    Horz, Hans-Peter; Raghubanshi, Akhilesh S; Heyer, Jürgen; Kammann, Claudia; Conrad, Ralf; Dunfield, Peter F

    2002-09-01

    The structure and activity of the methane-oxidising microbial community in a wet meadow soil in Germany were investigated using biogeochemical, cultivation, and molecular fingerprinting techniques. Both methane from the atmosphere and methane produced in anaerobic subsurface soil were oxidised. The specific affinity (first-order rate constant) for methane consumption was highest in the top 20 cm of soil and the apparent half-saturation constant was 137-300 nM CH(4), a value intermediate to measured values in wetland soils versus well-aerated upland soils. Most-probable-number (MPN) counting of methane-oxidising bacteria followed by isolation and characterisation of strains from the highest positive dilution steps suggested that the most abundant member of the methane-oxidising community was a Methylocystis strain (10(5)-10(7) cells g(-1) d.w. soil). Calculations based on kinetic data suggested that this cell density was sufficient to account for the observed methane oxidation activity in the soil. DNA extraction directly from the same soil samples, followed by PCR amplification and comparative sequence analyses of the pmoA gene, also detected Methylocystis. However, molecular community fingerprinting analyses revealed a more diverse and dynamic picture of the methane-oxidising community. Retrieved pmoA sequences included, besides those closely related to Methylocystis spp., others related to the genera Methylomicrobium and Methylocapsa, and there were differences across samples which were not evident in MPN analyses. PMID:19709259

  19. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 9, October 1, 1994--December 31, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Wu, H.J.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1995-04-20

    Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that have been found to possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane activation. This project is designed to evaluate these carbon-based materials for conversion of methane into higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with evaluation of the results and technical reporting. The results and accomplishments for this quarter are as follows: Reconstituted fullerene soot was prepared by adding C{sub 60} to a toluene-extracted Terrasimco fullerene soot; K-doped fullerene soots of different potassium concentrations were prepared; Fullerene soot doped with cesium was prepared by addition of cesium carbonate; The reconstituted fullerene soot was tested for methane activation. K-doped soots at different K concentrations were tested for methane activation. K-doped soot was examined for methane activation in the presence of co-feeds of either ethane or ethylene; a higher selectivity to C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} hydrocarbons was observed for the K-soot than when these reactions were conducted using soot as a catalyst, or when thermally induced. The Cs-doped soot was tested for methane activation; the selectivity for hydrocarbons from the methane conversion catalyzed by this soot was found to be higher than catalyzed by fullerene soot but lower than by K-soot.

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:25871932

  2. 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.

  3. The origin of gas seeps and shallow gas in northern part of South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, M.; Jin, X.

    2003-04-01

    vary in different places. Gas chimneys can be found on seafloor, which show blank zone on seismic profiles, locally with pit holes. The geochemical analyses of gas samples from gas seeps indicate its composition is dominated by hydrocarbon gas, the other include CO_2, N_2 and O_2. The gas has high dry index, and heavier δ13C_1.This shows that the gas is of matured- over matured thermogenic gas. The geochemical characteristics of extracts from sediments in the area are similar to those of penetrated source rock of Neogene in the basin, indicating the gas is from the matured source rock in the basin, the diapric zone and fault act as the migration pathway. The gas samples on slope were obtained through degasification of sediments collected by SONNE. Geochemical analyses show that the gas composition is dominated by methane, with high dry index and heavier δ13C_1, belonging to typical thermogenic gas. On maturity chart, the gas samples on upper slope fall in the area near the boundary of condensate, indicating higher maturity, while those on lower slope has lower maturity and fall in the area near oil window. The gas samples from deep sea basin is mixed gas of thermogenic gas and biogas. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider the deep buried source rock as the origin of the gas, and the active faults are the migration pathway. As stated above, the gas seeps and shallow gas in northern part of South China Sea were mainly originated from deep buried source rock, migrated through diapric zone or active faults. Their distribution and occurrence have directly relation with the source rock type and maturity, and the tectonic active of the underlying basins. The petroleum exploration has proved that Yinggehai basin and Qiongdongnan basin on the western part are favored for gas generation, while the Pearl River Mouth Basin and Beibu Gulf basin on the eastern part are favored for oil generation. This may account for the distribution of gas seeps which concentrated in the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Deep-sea hydrocarbon seep communities: evidence for energy and nutritional carbon sources

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, J.M.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; Fisher, C.R.; Macko, S.A.; Cole, K.; Childress, J.J.; Bidigare, R.R.; Vetter, R.D.

    1987-11-20

    Mussels, clams, and tube worms collected in the vicinity of hydrocarbon seeps on the Louisiana slope contain mostly dead carbon, indicating that dietary carbon is largely derived from seeping oil and gas. Enzyme assays, elemental sulfur analysis, and carbon dioxide fixation studies demonstrate that vestimentiferan tube worms and three clam species contain intracellular, autotrophic sulfur bacterial symbionts. Carbon isotopic ratios of 246 individual animal tissues were used to differentiate heterotrophic (delta/sup 14/C = -14 to -20 per mil), sulfur-based (delta/sup 14/C = -30 to -42 per mil), and methane-based (delta/sup 13/C = <-40 per mil) energy sources. Mussels with symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria reflect the carbon isotopic composition of the methane source. Isotopically light nitrogen and sulfur confirm the chemoautotrophic nature of the seep animals. Sulfur-based chemosynthetic animals contain isotopically light sulfur, whereas methane-based symbiotic mussels more closely reflect the heavier oceanic sulfate pool. The nitrogen requirement of some seep animals may be supported by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Some grazing neogastropods have isotopic values characteristic of chemosynthetic animals, suggesting the transfer of carbon into the background deep-sea fauna.

  6. 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.

  7. Anaerobic oxidation of methane: an "active" microbial process.

    PubMed

    Cui, Mengmeng; Ma, Anzhou; Qi, Hongyan; Zhuang, Xuliang; Zhuang, Guoqiang

    2015-02-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is an important sink of methane that plays a significant role in global warming. AOM was first found to be coupled with sulfate reduction and mediated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). ANME, often forming consortia with SRB, are phylogenetically related to methanogenic archaea. ANME-1 is even able to produce methane. Subsequently, it has been found that AOM can also be coupled with denitrification. The known microbes responsible for this process are Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera (M. oxyfera) and Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens (M. nitroreducens). Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera belongs to the NC10 bacteria, can catalyze nitrite reduction through an "intra-aerobic" pathway, and may catalyze AOM through an aerobic methane oxidation pathway. However, M. nitroreducens, which is affiliated with ANME-2d archaea, may be able to catalyze AOM through the reverse methanogenesis pathway. Moreover, manganese (Mn(4+) ) and iron (Fe(3+) ) can also be used as electron acceptors of AOM. This review summarizes the mechanisms and associated microbes of AOM. It also discusses recent progress in some unclear key issues about AOM, including ANME-1 in hypersaline environments, the effect of oxygen on M. oxyfera, and the relationship of M. nitroreducens with ANME. PMID:25530008

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Biogeochemical and microbiological data indicate that the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has an important role in carbon and sulfur cycling at marine seeps. Yet, little is known about the bacterial hydrocarbon degraders active in situ. Here, we provide the link between previous biogeochemical measurements and the cultivation of degraders by direct identification of SRB responsible for butane and dodecane degradation in complex on-site microbiota. Two contrasting seep sediments from Mediterranean Amon mud volcano and Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were incubated with 13C-labeled butane or dodecane under sulfate-reducing conditions and analyzed via complementary stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques. Using DNA- and rRNA-SIP, we identified four specialized clades of alkane oxidizers within Desulfobacteraceae to be distinctively active in oxidation of short- and long-chain alkanes. All clades belong to the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade, substantiating the crucial role of these bacteria in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation at marine seeps. The identification of key enzymes of anaerobic alkane degradation, subsequent β-oxidation and the reverse Wood–Ljungdahl pathway for complete substrate oxidation by protein-SIP further corroborated the importance of the DSS clade and indicated that biochemical pathways, analog to those discovered in the laboratory, are of great relevance for natural settings. The high diversity within identified subclades together with their capability to initiate alkane degradation and growth within days to weeks after substrate amendment suggest an overlooked potential of marine benthic microbiota to react to natural changes in seepage, as well as to massive hydrocarbon input, for example, as encountered during anthropogenic oil spills. PMID:24722631

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Biogeochemical and microbiological data indicate that the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has an important role in carbon and sulfur cycling at marine seeps. Yet, little is known about the bacterial hydrocarbon degraders active in situ. Here, we provide the link between previous biogeochemical measurements and the cultivation of degraders by direct identification of SRB responsible for butane and dodecane degradation in complex on-site microbiota. Two contrasting seep sediments from Mediterranean Amon mud volcano and Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were incubated with (13)C-labeled butane or dodecane under sulfate-reducing conditions and analyzed via complementary stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques. Using DNA- and rRNA-SIP, we identified four specialized clades of alkane oxidizers within Desulfobacteraceae to be distinctively active in oxidation of short- and long-chain alkanes. All clades belong to the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade, substantiating the crucial role of these bacteria in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation at marine seeps. The identification of key enzymes of anaerobic alkane degradation, subsequent β-oxidation and the reverse Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for complete substrate oxidation by protein-SIP further corroborated the importance of the DSS clade and indicated that biochemical pathways, analog to those discovered in the laboratory, are of great relevance for natural settings. The high diversity within identified subclades together with their capability to initiate alkane degradation and growth within days to weeks after substrate amendment suggest an overlooked potential of marine benthic microbiota to react to natural changes in seepage, as well as to massive hydrocarbon input, for example, as encountered during anthropogenic oil spills. PMID:24722631

  10. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 2, January 1, 1993--March 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1993-07-07

    The objectives of this project are to test novel fullerene based catalysts for application in methane activation. Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that have been found to possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane conversion to higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with the synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with the testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with the evaluation of the results and technical reporting requirements. This quarter we prepared fullerene soot and conducted experiments to determined its reactivity towards methane, hydrogen, and ethylene. The results are summarized: (1) Soot containing approximately 12-14 wt % fullerenes was prepared by the discharge method of Haufler et al. SRI is in the process of developing methodology to produce large scale amounts of fullerenes and fullerene based materials and is working with a private company to that end. In order to provide a background of fullerene soot and describe some of these methods we have included Appendix A. (2) We conducted some preliminary experiments in order to determine the temperature regime at which fullerene based soot would begin to be active for methane activation. We also were interested to determine if the soot would interact with methane or any of the product gases to undergo hydrogenation or methanation reactions.

  11. Quantifying Contributions of Atmospheric CH4 from Different Sources Using A Coupling Automated CH4, CO2 and Rn Measurements in A Shallow Natural Seep Field at Yinggehai Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DU, M.

    2015-12-01

    Natural seeps are significant sources of methane to the global atmospheric methane budget. However submarine groundwater discharge is non-negligible source of methane and carbon dioxide to surface water and the atmosphere. In this study, a coupled continious equlibrator-methane-carbon dioxide-radon measurement was performed in a shallow natural seepfield at Yinggehai Basin, China and at the adjecting well, so as to quantify the contributions of methane and carbon dioxide from different sources.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report number 10, January 1--March 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Du, Y.; Wu, H.J.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1995-06-10

    Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane activation. This project is designed to evaluate these carbon-based materials for conversion of methane into higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks: synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots; testing of catalysts; and evaluation of the results and technical reporting. The authors had two objectives for this quarter. The first objective was to complete their study of the K-doped fullerene soots to include the selectivity of these materials as a function of methane conversion. The second objective was to identify and evaluate other metal promoters, and the combination of transition and alkali metals to enhance the selectivity of the methane conversion process and hopefully reduce the temperature of reaction. Results from these two tasks are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Ammonia-methane two-stage anaerobic digestion of dehydrated waste-activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Nakashimada, Yutaka; Ohshima, Yasutaka; Minami, Hisao; Yabu, Hironori; Namba, Yuzaburo; Nishio, Naomichi

    2008-07-01

    The study investigated methane production from dehydrated waste-activated sludge (DWAS) with approximately 80% water content under thermophilic conditions. The repeated batch-wise treatment of DWAS using methanogenic sludge unacclimated to high concentrations of ammonia, increased the ammonia production up to 7,600 mg N per kilogram total wet sludge of total ammonia concentration, and stopped the methane production. Investigation revealed that the loading ratio of DWAS for methanogenic sludge influences anaerobic digestion. Methane production significantly decreased and ammonia concentration increased with the increase in loading ratio of DWAS. Since the semicontinuous culture revealed that approximately 50% of organic nitrogen in DWAS converted to ammonia at sludge retention time (SRT) after 4 days at 37 degrees C and 1.33 days at 55 degrees C, the previous stripping of the ammonia produced from DWAS was carried out. The stripping of ammonia increased methane production significantly. This ammonia-methane two-stage anaerobic digestion demonstrated a successful methane production at SRT 20 days in the semicontinuous operation using a laboratory-scale reactor system. PMID:18491038

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Aharon, P.; Fu, B.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-19

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

  6. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 6, January 1, 1994--March 31, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S,; Wu, H.J.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1994-05-24

    Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that have been found to possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane activation. This project is designed to evaluate these carbon based materials for conversion of methane into higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with the synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with the testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with the evaluation of the results and technical reporting requirements. The results and accomplishments for this quarter are as follows: A fullerene soot (obtained from Ulvick Labs) and an extracted soot (obtained from MER) were treated with carbon dioxide to obtain high surface area soots of greater than 600 m{sup 2}/g; A palladium-C{sub 60} complex was synthesized and characterized by a surface analysis by laser ionization (SALI) instrument; Fullerene soot and Norit-A carbon were tested as catalysts for methane activation and the order of reactivity was found to be Soot > Norit-A > no catalyst; Increases in surface area of the soot did not significantly alter the methane conversion activity; Hydrogen and helium were tested as diluents, with helium causing an increase in selectivity towards C{sub 2} hydrocarbons for the fullerene soot catalyzed reactions; and The MER extracted soot was found to be more reactive towards methane conversion, but less selective towards C{sub 2} hydrocarbons than the Ulvick fullerene soot.

  7. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Final progress report, September 30, 1992--April 30, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Du, Y.; Wu, H.J.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1996-06-11

    This final report summarizes the results of our research under Contract No. DE-AC22-92PC92112, Novel Catalysts for Methane Activation. In this research we prepared and tested fullerene soots for converting methane into higher hydrocarbons. We conducted the methane conversions using dehydrocoupling conditions, primarily in the temperature regimes of 600{degrees}-1000{degrees}C and atmospheric pressures. The research was divided into three sections. The first section focused on comparing fullerene soots with other forms of carbon such as acetylene black and Norit-A. We found that the fullerene soot was indeed more reactive than the other forms of carbon. However, due to its high reactivity, it was not selective. The second section focused on the effect of metals on the reactivity of the soots, including both transition metals and alkali metals. We found that potassium could enhance the selectivities of fullerene soot to higher hydrocarbons, but the effect was unique to fullerene soot and did not improve the performance of other forms of carbon. The third part focused on the use of co-feeds for methane activation to enhance the selectivities and lower the temperature threshold of methane activation.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:16329971

  12. 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

  13. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 8, July 1, 1994--September 30, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Wu, H.J.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1994-11-28

    Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that have been found to possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane activation. This project is designed to evaluate these carbon based materials for conversion of methane into higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with the synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with the testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with the evaluation of the results and technical reporting requirements. The results and accomplishments for this quarter are summarized below. In addition, the authors recently presented work on the use of fullerene based catalysts for methane activation at the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC this Fall. The paper is found in Appendix A of this report.

  14. Activation of Methane Promoted by Adsorption of CO on Mo2 C2 (-) Cluster Anions.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qing-Yu; Ma, Jia-Bi; Li, Zi-Yu; Zhao, Chongyang; Ning, Chuan-Gang; Chen, Hui; He, Sheng-Gui

    2016-05-01

    Atomic clusters are being actively studied for activation of methane, the most stable alkane molecule. While many cluster cations are very reactive with methane, the cluster anions are usually not very reactive, particularly for noble metal free anions. This study reports that the reactivity of molybdenum carbide cluster anions with methane can be much enhanced by adsorption of CO. The Mo2 C2 (-) is inert with CH4 while the CO addition product Mo2 C3 O(-) brings about dehydrogenation of CH4 under thermal collision conditions. The cluster structures and reactions are characterized by mass spectrometry, photoelectron spectroscopy, and quantum chemistry calculations, which demonstrate that the Mo2 C3 O(-) isomer with dissociated CO is reactive but the one with non-dissociated CO is unreactive. The enhancement of cluster reactivity promoted by CO adsorption in this study is compared with those of reported systems of a few carbonyl complexes. PMID:27060286

  15. CH Bond Activation of Methane by a Transient η(2)-Cyclopropene/Metallabicyclobutane Complex of Niobium.

    PubMed

    Li, Chen; Dinoi, Chiara; Coppel, Yannick; Etienne, Michel

    2015-10-01

    This study challenges the problem of the activation of a CH bond of methane by soluble transition metal complexes. High pressure solution NMR, isotopic labeling studies, and kinetic analyses of the degenerate exchange of methane in the methyl complex [Tp(Me2)NbCH3(c-C3H5)(MeCCMe)] (1) are reported. Stoichiometric methane activation by the mesitylene complex [Tp(Me2)Nb(CH2-3,5-C6H3Me2)(c-C3H5) (MeCCMe)] (2) giving 1 is also realized. Evidence is provided that these reactions proceed via an intramolecular abstraction of a β-H of the cyclopropyl group to form either methane or mesitylene from 1 or 2, respectively, yielding the transient unsaturated η(2)-cyclopropene/metallabicyclobutane intermediate [Tp(Me2)Nb(η(2)-c-C3H4) (MeCCMe)] A. This is followed by its mechanistic reverse 1,3-CH bond addition of methane yielding the product. PMID:26374390

  16. 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. PMID:23211725

  17. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 4, July 1, 1993--September 30, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Wu, H.J.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1993-12-03

    The objectives of this project are to test novel fullerene based catalysts for application in methane activation. Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that have been found to possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane conversion to higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with the synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with the testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with the evaluation of the results and technical reporting requirements. This quarter the authors concentrated on Task 2. In this task they expanded the capabilities of the system so they can include the effect of diluents during the methane activation experiments and continued work on evaluating the fullerene soot. They investigated the base-line conditions for both thermal reactions and soot-catalyzed reactions of methane. They also added the capability to add diluents such as hydrogen and helium into the reaction system to determine their respective effects on selectivity during the methane activation experiments. They found that the fullerene soot significantly decreased the threshold for the methane activation and C{sub 2} products at temperatures as low as 800{degrees}C, whereas the pure thermal reaction required temperatures in the range of 900 to 950{degrees}C. However, under their conditions the selectivity to C{sub 2} was much lower for the fullerene soot, than for the thermal case. They found that the presence of H{sub 2} helped the selectivity to some degree at a given temperature, but still formed a considerable amount of coke under these condition.

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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

  3. 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.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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.; et al

    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

  5. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 12, July 1, 1995--September 30, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Du, Y.; Wu, H.J.

    1995-12-01

    Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane activation. This project is designed to evaluate these carbon-based materials for conversion of methane into higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with evaluation of the results and technical reporting. Due to money constraints we have not done any technical work during this period. However, we hope to continue our work and produce a final report including recommendations for future research when funds are available.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, H.; Hull, I.

    2005-12-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Short-term variations of methane concentrations and methanotrophic activity in a coastal inlet (Eckernförde Bay, Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, Helge; Richner, Dominik; Steinle, Lea; Schneider von Deimling, Jens; Urban, Peter; Hoffmann, Jasper; Schmidt, Mark; Treude, Tina; Lehmann, Moritz F.

    2015-04-01

    Large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane are produced in anoxic sediments of continental margins and may be liberated into the overlying water column and, potentially, into the atmosphere where it further contributes to global warming. 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. In anoxic sediments, specialised archaea oxidise methane with sulphate in a process that has been termed the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). In addition, aerobic bacteria at the sediment surface and the water column have the potential to consume methane (aerobic oxidation of methane; MOx) that has by passed the benthic, microbial filter. 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 high 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 (though 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 extent 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Seasonal methane accumulation and release from a gas emission site in the central North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mau, S.; Gentz, T.; Körber, J.-H.; Torres, M. E.; Römer, M.; Sahling, H.; Wintersteller, P.; Martinez, R.; Schlüter, M.; Helmke, E.

    2015-09-01

    We investigated dissolved methane distributions along a 6 km transect crossing active seep sites at 40 m water depth in the central North Sea. These investigations were done under conditions of thermal stratification in summer (July 2013) and homogenous water column in winter (January 2014). Dissolved methane accumulated below the seasonal thermocline in summer with a median concentration of 390 nM, whereas during winter, methane concentrations were typically much lower (median concentration of 22 nM). High-resolution methane analysis using an underwater mass-spectrometer confirmed our summer results and was used to document prevailing stratification over the tidal cycle. We contrast estimates of methane oxidation rates (from 0.1 to 4.0 nM day-1) using the traditional approach scaled to methane concentrations with microbial turnover time values and suggest that the scaling to concentration may obscure the ecosystem microbial activity when comparing systems with different methane concentrations. Our measured and averaged rate constants (k') were on the order of 0.01 day-1, equivalent to a turnover time of 100 days, even when summer stratification led to enhanced methane concentrations in the bottom water. Consistent with these observations, we could not detect known methanotrophs and pmoA genes in water samples collected during both seasons. Estimated methane fluxes indicate that horizontal transport is the dominant process dispersing the methane plume. During periods of high wind speed (winter), more methane is lost to the atmosphere than oxidized in the water. Microbial oxidation seems of minor importance throughout the year.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Chemoautolithotrophic Primary Production as a Fuel for Heterotrophs in Hydrocarbon Seeps: an Examination of Mobile Benthic Fauna and Seep Residents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macavoy, S. E.; Morgan, E.; Fisher, C. R.; Carney, R. S.; Macko, S. A.

    2006-05-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico supports dense aggregations of tube worms and mussels that are symbiotic with chemoautolithotrophic bacteria. Associated with these communities are numerous heterotrophic fauna plus free-living bacteria. The usage of chemosynthetic production by invertebrate fauna within or near the seeps is largely unknown. Here we examine the stable C, N and S isotope signatures of fauna from 2 chemosynthetic communities to identify ranges of chemoautolithotrophic primary production and determine the usage of that primary production by heterotrophic invertebrates. The isotope range for chemosynthetic production is different between sites. A seep dominated by methane-utilizing mussels (GC233) had the most depleted d13C and d15N (-50 to -65° and -9 to -12°, respectively) but most enriched d34S (11 to 6°). A site dominated by both tube worms and mussels (GC 234) there were two sources of C, one between -24 and -30° and another of approximately -40°. d15N and d34S at GC234 ranged from 1 to 5° and -10 to 6°, respectively. We estimate that hagfish captured 1 km from the communities derived at least 10 percent of their C from chemosynthetic sources. Giant isopods, captured with the hagfish show negligible chemosynthetic usage.

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:26526543

  20. Control of substrate access to the active site in methane monooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung Jae; McCormick, Michael S; Lippard, Stephen J; Cho, Uhn-Soo

    2013-02-21

    Methanotrophs consume methane as their major carbon source and have an essential role in the global carbon cycle by limiting escape of this greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. These bacteria oxidize methane to methanol by soluble and particulate methane monooxygenases (MMOs). Soluble MMO contains three protein components, a 251-kilodalton hydroxylase (MMOH), a 38.6-kilodalton reductase (MMOR), and a 15.9-kilodalton regulatory protein (MMOB), required to couple electron consumption with substrate hydroxylation at the catalytic diiron centre of MMOH. Until now, the role of MMOB has remained ambiguous owing to a lack of atomic-level information about the MMOH-MMOB (hereafter termed H-B) complex. Here we remedy this deficiency by providing a crystal structure of H-B, which reveals the manner by which MMOB controls the conformation of residues in MMOH crucial for substrate access to the active site. MMOB docks at the α(2)β(2) interface of α(2)β(2)γ(2) MMOH, and triggers simultaneous conformational changes in the α-subunit that modulate oxygen and methane access as well as proton delivery to the diiron centre. Without such careful control by MMOB of these substrate routes to the diiron active site, the enzyme operates as an NADH oxidase rather than a monooxygenase. Biological catalysis involving small substrates is often accomplished in nature by large proteins and protein complexes. The structure presented in this work provides an elegant example of this principle. PMID:23395959

  1. Geochemical characteristics of bitumens and seeps from Tanzania

    SciTech Connect

    Mpanju, F. ); Philp, P. )

    1991-03-01

    A number of bitumen extracts from prospective source rocks and oil seeps of potential oil-producing areas in Tanzania have been characterized by a variety of geochemical techniques. The data obtained from this study have provided additional insight into the source rock potential of these areas. However, in this paper it is proposed to discuss in detail the results from two of the more unusual samples in this region, namely Wingayongo and Pemba. The Wingayongo bitumens isolated from an exposed Neocomian-aged sandstone, possibly a paleoreservoir, are almost totally devoid of n-alkanes and steranes and dominated by hopane-type biomarkers with the so-called immature {beta}{beta}-stereochemistry at the C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions. There is no typical evidence of biodegradation having occurred leading to the proposal of an unusual source material or maturity history for this sample. The Pemba seep samples were also characterized by relatively high concentrations of hopanes with the immature stereochemistry at the C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions and a virtual absence of n-alkanes and steranes. The aromatic fractions contained relatively high concentrations of hopanic acids, with the immature stereochemistry at C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions and a virtual absence of n-alkanes and steranes. The aromatic fractions contained relatively high concentrations of hopanic acids, with the immature stereochemistry at C{sub 17} and C{sub 21}. On the basis of these data, it is proposed that the seeps in the Pemba region are not true oil seeps. Rather they are formed as a result of extremely high levels of bacterial activity with the bacteria utilizing natural gas in the region as the substrate. The net result is a material referred to in other areas of the world as paraffin dirt whose occurrence results from extensive microbial activity in the region and not directly from seepage of products having a thermal origin.

  2. Airborne Oceanographic Lidar results: SEEP II, Fluorosensing missions. Final report, 11 March--12 May 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-03-01

    A series of 6 missions were flown with the NASA Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) in support of the Department of Energy (DOE) funded Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) II investigations. SEEP II is the second major SEEP field study. The initial series of experiments, termed SEEP I, were conducted in the New York Bight in 1984. The SEEP II study site is located on the Atlantic Shelf east of the Delmarva Peninsula. SEEP II ship sampling and instrumented mooring activities began in February, 1988 and are scheduled to continue through the 1989 spring phytoplankton bloom. The results described in this report were obtained with the AOL on six flights arranged to span the annual spring phytoplankton bloom on the mid-Atlantic Shelf. The AOL field missions were designed to gather information on the surface layer distribution of the phytoplankton photopigments, chlorophyll and phycoerythrin, and sea surface temperature (SST) over a wide area surrounding the moorings. The flight lines were arranged to provide an assessment of these parameters from the shoreline across shelf and slope waters. On most of the missions, sampling was extended into the western edge of the Gulf Stream.

  3. Enhancement of anaerobic biohydrogen/methane production from cellulose using heat-treated activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Lay, C H; Chang, F Y; Chu, C Y; Chen, C C; Chi, Y C; Hsieh, T T; Huang, H H; Lin, C Y

    2011-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion is an effective technology to convert cellulosic wastes to methane and hydrogen. Heat-treatment is a well known method to inhibit hydrogen-consuming bacteria in using anaerobic mixed cultures for seeding. This study aims to investigate the effects of heat-treatment temperature and time on activated sludge for fermentative hydrogen production from alpha-cellulose by response surface methodology. Hydrogen and methane production was evaluated based on the production rate and yield (the ability of converting cellulose into hydrogen and methane) with heat-treated sludge as the seed at various temperatures (60-97 degrees C) and times (20-60 min). Batch experiments were conducted at 55 degrees C and initial pH of 8.0. The results indicate that hydrogen and methane production yields peaked at 4.3 mmol H2/g cellulose and 11.6 mmol CH4/g cellulose using the seed activated sludge that was thermally treated at 60 degrees C for 40 min. These parameter values are higher than those of no-treatment seed (HY 3.6 mmol H2/g cellulose and MY 10.4 mmol CH4/g cellulose). The maximum hydrogen production rate of 26.0 mmol H2/L/d and methane production rate of 23.2 mmol CH4/L/d were obtained for the seed activated sludge that was thermally treated at 70 degrees C for 50 min and 60 degrees C for 40 min, respectively. PMID:21902022

  4. Catalytic deactivation of methane steam reforming catalysts. I. Activation

    SciTech Connect

    Agnelli, M.E.; Demicheli, M.C.; Ponzi, E.N.

    1987-08-01

    An alumina-supported catalyst was studied both in its original state and after activation and sintering. Chemical composition and textural properties were determined, and crystalline compounds were identified. Active-phase and support transformations occurring during activation were determined by differential thermoanalysis (DTA), temperature-programmed reduction (TPR), and X-ray diffraction. The catalyst activated by means of various procedures was characterized by measuring crystallite size.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. A Non-Steady-State Condition in Sediments at the Gashydrate Stability Boundary off West Spitsbergen: Evidence for Gashydrate Dissociation or Just Dynamic Methane Transport?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, T.; Krause, S.; Bertics, V. J.; Steinle, L.; Niemann, H.; Liebetrau, V.; Feseker, T.; Burwicz, E.; Krastel, S.; Berndt, C.

    2014-12-01

    In 2008, a large area with several hundred methane plumes was discovered along the West Spitsbergen continental margin at water depths between 150 and 400 m (Westbrook et al. 2009, GRL 36, doi:10.1029/2009GL039191). Many of the observed plumes were located at the boundary of gas hydrate stability (~400 m water depth). It was speculated that the methane escape at this depth was correlated with gas hydrate destabilization caused by recent increases in water temperatures recorded in this region. In a later study, geochemical analyses of authigenic carbonates and modeling of heat flow data combined with seasonal changes in water temperature demonstrated that the methane seeps were active already prior to industrial warming but that the gas hydrate system nevertheless reacts very sensitive to even seasonal temperature changes (Berndt et al. 2014, Science 343: 284-287). Here, we report about a methane seep site at the gas hydrate stability boundary (394 m water depth) that features unusual geochemical profiles indicative for non-steady state conditions. Sediment was recovered with a gravity corer (core length 210 cm) and samples were analyzed to study porewater geochemistry, methane concentration, authigenic carbonates, and microbial activity. Porewater profiles revealed two zones of sulfate-methane transition at 50 and 200 cm sediment depth. The twin zones were confirmed by a double peaking in sulfide, total alkalinity, anaerobic oxidation of methane, and sulfate reduction. δ18O values sharply increased from around -2.8 ‰ between 0 and 126 cm to -1.2 ‰ below 126 cm sediment depth. While U/Th isotope measurements of authigenic seep carbonates that were collected from different depths of the core illustrated that methane seepage must be occurring at this site since at least 3000 years, the biogeochemical profiles suggest that methane flux must have been altered recently. By applying a multi-phase reaction-transport model using known initial parameters from the study

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Physical basis of coastal productivity: The SEEP and MASAR experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csanady, G. T.

    Two major cooperative experiments, code-named Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) I and II, were carried out on the northeast U.S. continental shelf and slope by an interdisciplinary group of scientists in the past decade. The work, supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Health and Environmental Research, had the broad aim of determining whether or to what extent energy-related human activities interfere with the high biological productivity of coastal waters. Much of SEEP I work was reported in a dedicated issue of Continental Shelf Research, including a summary article on the experiment as a whole [Walsh et al., 1988[. A parallel experiment, supported by the Minerals Management Service and code-named Mid Atlantic Slope and Rise (MASAR), had the objective of exploring physical processes over the continental slope and rise, including especially currents in the upper part of the water column. A good deal of MASAR work was also reported in the SEEP issue just mentioned, mainly in an article by Csanady and Hamilton (1988). There have been other papers and publications on these experiments, and more are forthcoming. While many questions remain, our horizons have broadened considerably after a decade of work on this problem, as if our aeroplane had just emerged from clouds to expose an interesting landscape. In this article I shall try to describe the physical (-oceanographic) features of that landscape, not in the chronological order in which we have espied them, but as the logic of the subject dictates.

  14. Methane Uptake in a Semi-Arid Grassland Affected by Elevated CO2 and Warming: Role of Methanotroph Activity and Gas Diffusion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Semiarid rangelands represent a significant global sink for methane (CH4) where methane uptake is controlled by methanotroph activity and the diffusivity of CH4 into the soil. Because increasing soil moisture causes diffusivity to fall but methanotroph activity to rise, methane uptake rates show a h...

  15. K2S-activated carbons developed from coal and their methane adsorption behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Yan-Yan; Yang, Wen; Chu, Wei

    2014-10-01

    The main purpose of this work is to prepare various activated carbons by K2S activation of coal with size fractions of 60-80 meshes, and investigate the microporosity development and corresponding methane storage capacities. Raw coal is mixed with K2S powder, and then heated at 750 °C-900 °C for 30 min-150 min in N2 atmosphere to produce the adsorbents. The texture and surface morphology are characterized by a N2 adsorption/desorption isotherm at 77 K and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The chemical properties of carbons are confirmed by ultimate analysis. The crystal structure and degree of graphitization are tested by X-ray diffraction and Raman spectra. The relationship between sulfur content and the specific surface area of the adsorbents is also determined. K2S activation is helps to bring about better development of pore texture. These adsorbents are microporous materials with textural parameters increasing in a range of specific surface area 72.27 m2/g-657.7 m2/g and micropore volume 0.035 cm3/g-0.334 cm3/g. The ability of activated carbons to adsorb methane is measured at 298 K and at pressures up to 5.0 MPa by a volumetric method. The Langmuir model fits the experimental data well. It is concluded that the high specific surface area and micropore volume of activated carbons do determine methane adsorption capacity. The adsorbents obtained at 800 °C for 90 min with K2S/raw coal mass ratios of 1.0 and 1.2 show the highest methane adsorption capacities amounting to 106.98 mg/g and 106.17 mg/g, respectively.

  16. 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

  17. 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., III

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Estrogenic activity of bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)methanes with cyclic hydrophobic structure.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Tomohiro; Ogawa, Takumi; Kitao, Souichiro; Sato, Manabu; Oda, Akifumi; Ohta, Kiminori; Endo, Yasuyuki

    2015-11-01

    Monoalkylated bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)methanes (e.g., 1) are reported to show weak binding affinity for estrogen receptor (ER). We hypothesized that introduction of appropriately located hydrophobic substituents in these compounds would increase the binding affinity. Indeed, we found that bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)methane bearing a 3,3-dimethylcyclohexyl group (7) shows potent ERα binding affinity, comparable to that of estradiol. Bulkier substituents could be introduced at the 3,3-position without decreasing the affinity. However, the position of the substituents was critical: the 4,4-dimethylcyclohexyl derivative (2) showed very weak binding affinity. The compounds with high ER-binding affinity showed predominantly agonistic activity, together with weak antagonistic activity at high concentration, in cell proliferation assay with human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Further structure-function studies of these compounds and their derivatives might lead to the development of more selective and potent estrogen receptor modulators. PMID:26462053

  20. Active Site Dependent Reaction Mechanism over Ru/CeO2 Catalyst toward CO2 Methanation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; He, Shan; Chen, Hao; Wang, Bin; Zheng, Lirong; Wei, Min; Evans, David G; Duan, Xue

    2016-05-18

    Oxygen vacancy on the surface of metal oxides is one of the most important defects which acts as the reactive site in a variety of catalytic reactions. In this work, operando spectroscopy methodology was employed to study the CO2 methanation reaction catalyzed by Ru/CeO2 (with oxygen vacancy in CeO2) and Ru/α-Al2O3 (without oxygen vacancy), respectively, so as to give a thorough understanding on active site dependent reaction mechanism. In Ru/CeO2 catalyst, operando XANES, IR, and Raman were used to reveal the generation process of Ce(3+), surface hydroxyl, and oxygen vacancy as well as their structural evolvements under practical reaction conditions. The steady-state isotope transient kinetic analysis (SSITKA)-type in situ DRIFT infrared spectroscopy undoubtedly substantiates that CO2 methanation undergoes formate route over Ru/CeO2 catalyst, and the formate dissociation to methanol catalyzed by oxygen vacancy is the rate-determining step. In contrast, CO2 methanation undergoes CO route over Ru surface in Ru/α-Al2O3 with the absence of oxygen vacancy, demonstrating active site dependent catalytic mechanism toward CO2 methanation. In addition, the catalytic activity evaluation and the oscillating reaction over Ru/CeO2 catalyst further prove that the oxygen vacancy catalyzes the rate-determining step with a much lower activation temperature compared with Ru surface in Ru/α-Al2O3 (125 vs 250 °C). PMID:27135417

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  2. Active methane venting observed at giant pockmarks along the U.S. mid-Atlantic shelf break

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, Kori R.; Cormier, Marie-Helene; Weissel, Jeffrey K.; Driscoll, Neal W.; Kastner, Miriam; Solomon, Evan A.; Robertson, Gretchen; Hill, Jenna C.; Singh, Hanumant; Camilli, Richard; Eustice, Ryan

    2008-03-01

    Detailed near-bottom investigation of a series of giant, kilometer scale, elongate pockmarks along the edge of the mid-Atlantic continental shelf confirms that methane is actively venting at the site. Dissolved methane concentrations, which were measured with a commercially available methane sensor (METS) designed by Franatech GmbH mounted on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), are as high as 100 nM. These values are well above expected background levels (1-4 nM) for the open ocean. Sediment pore water geochemistry gives further evidence of methane advection through the seafloor. Isotopically light carbon in the dissolved methane samples indicates a primarily biogenic source. The spatial distribution of the near-bottom methane anomalies (concentrations above open ocean background), combined with water column salinity and temperature vertical profiles, indicate that methane-rich water is not present across the entire width of the pockmarks, but is laterally restricted to their edges. We suggest that venting is primarily along the top of the pockmark walls with some advection and dispersion due to local currents. The highest methane concentrations observed with the METS sensor occur at a small, circular pockmark at the southern end of the study area. This observation is compatible with a scenario where the larger, elongate pockmarks evolve through coalescing smaller pockmarks.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonetti, Antonello

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

  6. 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.

  7. Enhancement of sludge reduction and methane production by removing extracellular polymeric substances from waste activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Minh Tuan; Mohd Yasin, Nazlina Haiza; Miyazaki, Toshiki; Maeda, Toshinari

    2014-12-01

    The management of waste activated sludge (WAS) recycling is a concern that affects the development of the future low-carbon society, particularly sludge reduction and biomass utilization. In this study, we investigated the effect of removing extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which play important roles in the adhesion and flocculation of WAS, on increased sludge disintegration, thereby enhancing sludge reduction and methane production by anaerobic digestion. EPS removal from WAS by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) significantly enhanced sludge reduction, i.e., 49 ± 5% compared with 27 ± 1% of the control at the end the digestion process. Methane production was also improved in WAS without EPS by 8881 ± 109 CH4 μmol g(-1) dry-weight of sludge. Microbial activity was determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and real-time polymerase chain reaction, which showed that the hydrolysis and acetogenesis stages were enhanced by pretreatment with 2% EDTA, with a larger methanogenic community and better methane production. PMID:25277968

  8. Characterization and structural analysis of an active particulate methane monooxygenase trimer from Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath).

    PubMed

    Kitmitto, Ashraf; Myronova, Natalia; Basu, Piku; Dalton, Howard

    2005-08-23

    The oxidation of methane to methanol in methanotrophs is catalyzed by the enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO). Two distinct forms of this enzyme exist, a soluble cytoplasmic MMO (sMMO) and a membrane-bound particulate form (pMMO). We describe here the biochemical characterization of a stable and active purified pMMO hydroxylase (pMMO-H) and report a three-dimensional (3D) structure, determined by electron microscopy and single-particle analysis at 23 A resolution. Both biochemical and structural data indicate that pMMO hydroxylase is trimeric, with each monomer unit comprised of three polypeptides of 47, 26, and 23 kDa. Comparison of the recent crystal structure [Lieberman, R. L., and Rosenzweig, A. C. (2005) Nature 434, 177] of an uncharacterized pMMO-H complex with the three-dimensional (3D) structure determined here yielded a good match between the principal features and the organization of the enzyme monomers into trimers. The data presented here advance our current understanding of particulate methane monooxygenase function by the characterization of an active form of the enzyme and the corresponding 3D structure. PMID:16101279

  9. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 3, April 1, 1993--June 30, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1993-08-31

    The objectives of this project are to test novel fullerene based catalysts for application in methane activation. Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that have been found to possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane conversion to higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with the synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with the testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with the evaluation of the results and technical reporting requirements. This quarter we prepared fuuerene soot and metallized fullerene soot and rebuilt our experimental testing system to be more suitable for the evaluation of the catalysts. The results and accomplishments are presented.

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:26836607

  12. Methane activation by metal-free Lewis acid centers only - a computational design and mechanism study.

    PubMed

    Ma, Gongli; Li, Zhen Hua

    2016-04-20

    In the present computational study by using the density functional theory (DFT) method, we found that silylboranes, which have metal-free Lewis acid centers only, can break the C-H bond of the exceedingly unreactive methane. The study shows that, unlike the activation mechanism of small molecules by the frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs), the Lewis acidic boron center plays a key role in breaking the C-H bond of methane. Detailed analyses indicate that in the transition state the C-H bond is substantially activated by the empty 2p orbital of boron (2pB) primarily due to the orbital interaction between the C-H σ-bonding orbital and 2pB. On the other hand, the orbital interaction between the C-H σ-anti-bonding orbital and the B-Si σ-bonding orbital also contributes to the activation but plays a minor role. A statistical method was used to find the relationship between the reactivity of 57 silylboranes and their electronic properties. The results indicate that the boron center does have more prominent effect on the reactivity, especially the occupancy (n) and energy (ε) of 2pB, where lowering n and ε will increase the reactivity of the silylboranes. Based on the activation mechanism and taking kinetic and thermodynamic possibilities, as well as the possible side reactions, into consideration, three silylboranes suitable for methane activation under mild experimental conditions were designed. The analogous line of thought can be used as a hint for further experimental realizations, even under ambient conditions. This strategy can also be expected to be transplanted to more extensive C-H activation of hydrocarbons. PMID:27064140

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Paleo-methane emissions recorded in foraminifera near the landward limit of the gas hydrate stability zone offshore western Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panieri, Giuliana; Graves, Carolyn A.; James, Rachael H.

    2016-02-01

    We present stable isotope and geochemical data from four sediment cores from west of Prins Karls Forland (ca. 340 m water depth), offshore western Svalbard, recovered from close to sites of active methane seepage, as well as from shallower water depths where methane seepage is not presently observed. Our analyses provide insight into the record of methane seepage in an area where ongoing ocean warming may be fueling the destabilization of shallow methane hydrate. The δ13C values of benthic and planktonic foraminifera at the methane seep sites show distinct intervals with negative values (as low as -27.8‰) that do not coincide with the present-day depth of the sulfate methane transition zone (SMTZ). These intervals are interpreted to record long-term fluctuations in methane release at the present-day landward limit of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). Shifts in the radiocarbon ages obtained from planktonic foraminifera toward older values are related to methane-derived authigenic carbonate overgrowths of the foraminiferal tests, and prevent us from establishing the chronology of seepage events. At shallower water depths, where seepage is not presently observed, no record of past methane seepage is recorded in foraminifera from sediments spanning the last 14 ka cal BP (14C-AMS dating). δ13C values of foraminiferal carbonate tests appear to be much more sensitive to methane seepage than other sediment parameters. By providing nucleation sites for authigenic carbonate precipitation, foraminifera thus record the position of even a transiently stable SMTZ, which is likely to be a characteristic of temporally variable methane fluxes.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:27259187

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Three sectors of the south Barbados prism between 1000 and 2000 m depth were explored by the French submersible Nautile. Chemosynthesis-based benthic communities were discovered on several structures affected by diapirism, including mud volcanoes, domes and an anticlinal ridge. The communities are associated with the expulsion of methane-rich fluids which is a wide-spread process in the area. These communities are dominated by large bivalves and vestimentiferans which harbour chemoautotrophic symbiotic bacteria. The symbiotic bivalves include two species of Mytilidae and one of Vesicomyidae, with dominance of a methanotrophic mussel. Cartography of the benthic communities, interpretation of thermal measurements and observation of sedimentary patterns have been used to define the life habits of each of the three species of symbiotic bivalves. Each species has a characteristic preference for different conditions of edaphic and fluid flow: the dominant methanotrophic mussel appears to require high velocity vents and hard substratum. The vesicomyids and the other species of mussel are able to take up sulfide from the sediments, and so are associated with low seepages, but also require soft sediment. The three bivalve species are assumed successively to colonize the top of a diapiric ridge, in a succession related to the temporal evolution of fluid flow and sedimentation. The composition of the bivalve assemblages, their densities and biomasses all differ between the several mud volcanoes and domes studied, and these parameters are thought to be related to the spatial and temporal variations of fluid expulsion through the structures, and the lithification processes linked to fluid expulsion. One very active dome is at present colonized by an exceptionally large and dense population of the methanotrophic mussel. In contrast, communities in another area, on the domes and volcanoes that are currently inactive, were colonized by only a few living vesicomyids and mussels

  19. Bacteriohemerythrin bolsters the activity of the particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) in Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath).

    PubMed

    Chen, Kelvin H-C; Wu, Hsin-Hui; Ke, Si-Fu; Rao, Ya-Ting; Tu, Chia-Ming; Chen, Yu-Ping; Kuei, Kuo-Hsuan; Chen, Ying-Siao; Wang, Vincent C-C; Kao, Wei-Chun; Chan, Sunney I

    2012-06-01

    Recently, a native bacteriohemerythrin (McHr) has been identified in Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath). Both the particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) and McHr are over-expressed in cells of this bacterium when this strain of methanotroph is cultured and grown under high copper to biomass conditions. It has been suggested that the role of the McHr is to provide a shuttle to transport dioxygen from the cytoplasm of the cell to the intra-cytoplasmic membranes for consumption by the pMMO. Indeed, McHr enhances the activity of the pMMO when pMMO-enriched membranes are used to assay the enzyme activity. We find that McHr can dramatically improve the activity of pMMO toward the epoxidation of propylene to propylene oxide. The maximum activity is observed at a pMMO to McHr concentration ratio of 4:1, where we have obtained specific activities of 103.7nmol propylene oxide/min/mg protein and 122.8nmol propylene oxide/min/mg protein at 45°C when the turnover is driven by NADH and duroquinol, respectively. These results are consistent with the suggestion that the bacterium requires McHr to deliver dioxygen to the pMMO in the intra-cytoplasmic membranes to accomplish efficient catalysis of methane oxidation when the enzyme is over-expressed in the cells. PMID:22484247

  20. Novel catalysts for methane activation. Quarterly report No. 7, April 1, 1994--June 30, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschon, A.S.; Wu, H.J.; Malhotra, R.; Wilson, R.B.

    1994-09-01

    Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of carbon that have been found to possess unusual properties, some of which may be ideal for methane activation. This project is designed to evaluate these carbon based materials for conversion of methane into higher hydrocarbons. The project is divided into three technical tasks. Task 1 deals with the synthesis and characterization of the fullerenes and fullerene soots, Task 2 with the testing of the catalysts, and Task 3 with the evaluation of the results and technical reporting requirements. The results and accomplishments for this quarter are summarized below; soots were prepared either by extraction in toluene or sublimation of the lower fullerenes (such as C{sub 60}/C{sub 70}); a fullerene soot was prepared by adding C{sub 60} to an extracted soot; fullerene soot was doped with platinum and nickel by incipient wetness techniques, and a nickel fullerene complex was synthesized using organometallic techniques; soot from three manufactures were tested for methane activation and found to exhibit small but notable differences in reactivity; increasing the surface area of soots by partial oxidation with C0{sub 2} did not cause significant changes in the reactivities; the effect of the extraction and sublimation of C{sub 60}/C{sub 70} was determined to be minor; the effect of added C{sub 60} to an extracted MER soot was determined to be beneficial; acetylene black was tested and found to have higher activity and lower selectivity than a Norit-A carbon; and nickel and platinum doped soots were found to be more active than the undoped soots.

  1. 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

    2016-09-01

    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. PMID:27518766

  2. Effect of biomass concentration on methane oxidation activity using mature compost and graphite granules as substrata.

    PubMed

    Xie, S; O'Dwyer, T; Freguia, S; Pikaar, I; Clarke, W P

    2016-10-01

    Reported methane oxidation activity (MOA) varies widely for common landfill cover materials. Variation is expected due to differences in surface area, the composition of the substratum and culturing conditions. MOA per methanotrophic cell has been calculated in the study of natural systems such as lake sediments to examine the inherent conditions for methanotrophic activity. In this study, biomass normalised MOA (i.e., MOA per methanotophic cell) was measured on stabilised compost, a commonly used cover in landfills, and on graphite granules, an inert substratum widely used in microbial electrosynthesis studies. After initially enriching methanotrophs on both substrata, biomass normalised MOA was quantified under excess oxygen and limiting methane conditions in 160ml serum vials on both substrata and blends of the substrata. Biomass concentration was measured using the bicinchoninic acid assay for microbial protein. The biomass normalised MOA was consistent across all compost-to-graphite granules blends, but varied with time, reflecting the growth phase of the microorganisms. The biomass normalised MOA ranged from 0.069±0.006μmol CH4/mg dry biomass/h during active growth, to 0.024±0.001μmol CH4/mg dry biomass/h for established biofilms regardless of the substrata employed, indicating the substrata were equally effective in terms of inherent composition. The correlation of MOA with biomass is consistent with studies on methanotrophic activity in natural systems, but biomass normalised MOA varies by over 5 orders of magnitude between studies. This is partially due to different methods being used to quantify biomass, such as pmoA gene quantification and the culture dependent Most Probable Number method, but also indicates that long term exposure of materials to a supply of methane in an aerobic environment, as can occur in natural systems, leads to the enrichment and adaptation of types suitable for those conditions. PMID:27515185

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  5. A water column study of methane around gas flares located at the West Spitsbergen continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentz, Torben; Damm, Ellen; Schneider von Deimling, Jens; Mau, Susan; McGinnis, Daniel Frank; Schlüter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In the Arctic Seas, the West Spitsbergen continental margin represents a prominent methane seep area. In this area, free gas formation and gas ebullition as a consequence of hydrate dissociation due to global warming are currently under debate. Recent studies revealed shallow gas accumulation and ebullition of methane into the water column at more than 250 sites in an area of 665 km2. We conducted a detailed study of a subregion of this area, which covers an active gas ebullition area of 175 km2 characterized by 10 gas flares reaching from the seafloor at~245 m up to 50 m water depth to identify the fate of the released gas due to dissolution of methane from gas bubbles and subsequent mixing, transport and microbial oxidation. The oceanographic data indicated a salinity-controlled pycnocline situated ~20 m above the seafloor. A high resolution sampling program at the pycnocline at the active gas ebullition flare area revealed that the methane concentration gradient is strongly controlled by the pycnocline. While high methane concentrations of up to 524 nmol L-1 were measured below the pycnocline, low methane concentrations of less than 20 nmol L-1 were observed in the water column above. Variations in the δ13CCH4 values point to a 13C depleted methane source (~-60‰ VPDB) being mainly mixed with a background values of the ambient water (~-37.5‰ VPDB). A gas bubble dissolution model indicates that ~80% of the methane released from gas bubbles into the ambient water takes place below the pycnocline. This dissolved methane will be laterally transported with the current northwards and most likely microbially oxidized in between 50 and 100 days, since microbial CH4 oxidation rates of 0.78 nmol d-1 were measured. Above the pycnocline, methane concentrations decrease to local background concentration of ~10 nmol L-1. Our results suggest that the methane dissolved from gas bubbles is efficiently trapped below the pycnocline and thus limits the methane concentration in

  6. Biogeochemical Investigations of Methane Seepage, Hydrate Ridge, OR.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valentine, D. L.; Solem, R. C.; Kastner, M.; Wardlaw, G. D.; Boone, D. R.; Kendall, M.; Wang, X.; Hill, T. M.; Purdy, A.; Bartlett, D. H.

    2003-12-01

    During July, 2002 we conducted a series of biogeochemical studies at the southern summit of Hydrate Ridge, OR. Using the DSV Alvin we collected sediment push cores from 2 distinct types of seep environments (clam beds and microbial mats) and from control sites (bare sediment). Samples from each setting were analyzed for the depth distributions of microbial abundance, most probable number counts for methanogenic archaea, volatile organic acids, dissolved organic carbon (including δ 13C), total organic carbon (including δ 13C and Δ 14C), sulfate, alkalinity (including δ 13C-DIC), δ 13C-CH4, as well as the distribution of bacterial and archaeal 16S rDNA genes. These distributions provide the basis for a comparative analysis of the distinct seep environments and of biogeochemical controls on methane hydrate. Primary production in the seeps appears to be driven by anaerobic methane oxidation in the sediments and sulfide oxidation at the sediment-water interface. However, results indicate distinctive microbial habitats in the different seep settings. Results further indicate a vigorous, secondary microbial community living off the wastes of the primary producers. High levels (up to 4%) of 13C-depleted ( ˜-45‰ ) organic carbon in the seeps and high C:N ratios (as high as 50:1) indicate a buildup of CH4-derived organic carbon, and raise the possibility of nitrogen limitation impacting seep communities.

  7. Activated carbon derived from waste coffee grounds for stable methane storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, K. Christian; Baek, Seung Bin; Lee, Wang-Geun; Meyyappan, M.; Kim, Kwang S.

    2015-09-01

    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 m2 g-1 and a micropore volume of 0.574 cm3 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.

  8. Sulfur and Trace Metal Chemistry of a Methane Charged Brine Pool and Adjacent Porewaters in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilhooly, W. P.; Cable, J. E.; Carney, R. S.; Macko, S. A.; Lyons, T. W.

    2007-12-01

    A systematic study of a methane brine pool on the Louisiana continental slope reveals the extent to which steep chemical gradients associated with an anoxic hypersaline basin control the establishment and distribution of chemosynthetic organisms. The seep site, located in the Green Canyon lease block (GC233), provides habitat for a bivalve-dominated community of chemosynthetic mussels ( Bathymodiolus childressi). The pool is a brine-filled pockmark centered over a salt diapir buried within 500 m of the seafloor along which methane and vent fluids migrate to the surface. The depression slopes along its southern margin where brine overflows onto the seafloor. This study sought to establish the chemistry of the brine in an effort to better understand fluid transport to the seafloor and the extent to which brine influences chemosynthetic activity at a methane seep site. Ten sediment push cores were collected during submersible operations within the brine spillway and in upslope background sediments distal to the pool. Initial chemical analyses indicate the brine (128 ppt) is anoxic, chloride-rich (1994.8 mM) and sulfur-poor ([SO42-] = 0.4 mM, [HS-] = 8.2 uM). Steep porewater Cl- and Sr2+ concentration gradients observed in sediments downslope of the brine pool clearly indicate mixing between brine and seawater end members. Porewater sulfur profiles from sediments within the brine outflow indicate complete sulfate consumption within 30 cm below seafloor and sulfide production as great as 5 mM. The paired isotopic composition of dissolved sulfate and sulfide (Δ34SSO4-HS = 40‰) is consistent with bacterial sulfate reduction, potentially driven by the anaerobic oxidation of methane or non-methane hydrocarbons. The brine was nearly devoid of dissolved Mo (22 nM) and enriched in Mn (6.3 uM), relative to measured seawater casts ([Mo] = 112 nM; [Mn] below detection). Dissolved Mo enrichments, up to 392.8 nM, in surficial sediments decrease with depth may indicate brine

  9. A survey of methane isotope abundance (14C, 13C, 2H) from five nearshore marine basins that reveals unusual radiocarbon levels in subsurface waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, J. D.; Reeburgh, W. S.; Valentine, D. L.; Kinnaman, F. S.; Peltzer, E. T.; Brewer, P. G.; Southon, J.; Tyler, S. C.

    2008-12-01

    Methane (CH4) in the subsurface ocean is often supersaturated compared to equilibrium with the modern atmosphere. In order to investigate sources of CH4 to the subsurface ocean, isotope surveys (14C-CH4,δ13C-CH4, δ2H-CH4) were conducted at five locations: Skan Bay (SB), Santa Barbara Basin (SBB), Santa Monica Basin (SMB), Cariaco Basin (CB), and the Guaymas Basin (GB). Depth distributions of CH4 concentration and isotopic abundance were determined for both the sediment and water column at the SB, SBB, SMB, and CB sites; CH4 emitted from seeps on the continental shelf adjacent to the SBB as well as seeps and decomposing clathrate hydrates in the GB was also collected, purified, and analyzed. Methane isotope distributions in the sediments were consistent with known methanogenic and methanotrophic activity; seep- and clathrate-hydrate-derived CH4 was found to be depleted in radiocarbon. However, surprising results were obtained in the water column at all sites investigated. In SB the radiocarbon content of the subsurface CH4 concentration maximum was on average 41% less than its suspected sediment CH4 source, suggesting CH4 seepage in the bay. In the SBB, SMB, and CB, the 14C-CH4 contents in the subsurface ocean were 1.2 to 3.6 times greater than modern carbon quantities suggesting a source of 14C from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, nuclear power plant effluents, or cosmogenic isotope production.

  10. Evidence for oxygen binding at the active site of particulate methane monooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Culpepper, Megen A; Cutsail, George E; Hoffman, Brian M; Rosenzweig, Amy C

    2012-05-01

    Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) is an integral membrane metalloenzyme that converts methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria. The enzyme consists of three subunits, pmoB, pmoA, and pmoC, organized in an α(3)β(3)γ(3) trimer. Studies of intact pMMO and a recombinant soluble fragment of the pmoB subunit (denoted as spmoB) indicate that the active site is located within the soluble region of pmoB at the site of a crystallographically modeled dicopper center. In this work, we have investigated the reactivity of pMMO and spmoB with oxidants. Upon reduction and treatment of spmoB with O(2) or H(2)O(2) or pMMO with H(2)O(2), an absorbance feature at 345 nm is generated. The energy and intensity of this band are similar to those of the μ-η(2):η(2)-peroxo-Cu(II)(2) species formed in several dicopper enzymes and model compounds. The feature is not observed in inactive spmoB variants in which the dicopper center is disrupted, consistent with O(2) binding to the proposed active site. Reaction of the 345 nm species with CH(4) results in the disappearance of the spectroscopic feature, suggesting that this O(2) intermediate is mechanistically relevant. Taken together, these observations provide strong new support for the identity and location of the pMMO active site. PMID:22540911

  11. 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

  12. Abiotic Methane in Land-Based Serpentinized Peridotites: New Discoveries and Isotope Surprises

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiticar, M. J.; Etiope, G.

    2014-12-01

    Until 2008, abiotic methane in land-based serpentinized ultramafic rocks was documented (including gas and C- and H- isotope compositions) only at sites in Oman, Philippines, New Zealand and Turkey. Methane emanates from seeps and/or hyperalkaline water springs along faults and is associated with molecular hydrogen. These were considered to be very unusual and rare occurrences of gas. Now, methane is documented for peridotite-based springs or seeps (in ophiolites, orogenic massifs or intrusions) in US, Canada, Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Japan, New Caledonia, Portugal, Spain and United Arab Emirates. Gas flux measurements are indicating that methane can also flux as invisible microseepages from the ground, through fractured peridotites, even far removed from seeps and springs. Methane C-isotope ratios range from -6 to -37 permil (VPDB) for dominantly abiotic methane. The more 13-C depleted values, e.g., California, are likely mixed with biotic gas (microbial and thermogenic gas). Methane H-isotope ratios cover a wide range from -118 to -333 permil (VSMOW). The combination of C- and H-isotopes clearly distinguish biotic from abiotic methane. Radiocarbon (14-C) analysis from bubbling seeps in Italian peridotites indicate that the methane is fossil (pMC <0.2), i.e., older than 50,000 years, similar to the Chimaera seeps in Turkey. So, methane observed in the hyperalkaline waters cannot be produced in the same waters because these are only a few thousands years old. The low temperatures of land-based peridotites (generally <100 °C at depths of 3-4 km) also constrain methane production. We discuss some hypotheses concerning gas generation in water vs. dry systems, i.e., in deeper, older, waters or in unsaturated rocks). We also discuss low vs. high temperatures, i.e., at the present-day low T conditions or at higher temperatures eventually occurring in the early stages of peridotite emplacement on land.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Comparing activated carbon of different particle sizes on enhancing methane generation in upflow anaerobic digester.

    PubMed

    Xu, Suyun; He, Chuanqiu; Luo, Liwen; Lü, Fan; He, Pinjing; Cui, Lifeng

    2015-11-01

    Two sizes of conductive particles, i.e. 10-20 mesh granulated activated carbon (GAC) and 80-100 mesh powdered activated carbon (PAC) were added into lab-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors, respectively, to testify their enhancement on the syntrophic metabolism of alcohols and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) in 95days operation. When OLR increased to more than 5.8gCOD/L/d, the differences between GAC/PAC supplemented reactors and the control reactor became more significant. The introduction of activated carbon could facilitate the enrichment of methanogens and accelerate the startup of methanogenesis, as indicated by enhanced methane yield and substrate degradation. High-throughput pyrosequencing analysis showed that syntrophic bacteria and Methanosarcina sp. with versatile metabolic capability increased in the tightly absorbed fraction on the PAC surface, leading to the promoted syntrophic associations. Thus PAC prevails over than GAC for methanogenic reactor with heavy load. PMID:26298405

  16. The active site of low-temperature methane hydroxylation in iron-containing zeolites.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-08-18

    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. PMID:27535535

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. Parameter identification and modeling of the biochemical methane potential of waste activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Appels, Lise; Lauwers, Joost; Gins, Geert; Degrève, Jan; Van Impe, Jan; Dewil, Raf

    2011-05-01

    Anaerobic digestion is widely used in waste activated sludge treatment. In this paper, partial least-squares (PLS) is employed to identify the parameters that are determining the biochemical methane potential (BMP) of waste activated sludge. Moreover, a model is developed for the prediction of the BMP. A strong positive correlation is observed between the BMP and volatile fatty acids and carbohydrate concentrations in the sludge. A somewhat weaker correlation with COD is also present. Soluble organics (sCOD, soluble carbohydrates and soluble proteins) were shown not to influence the BMP in the observed region. This finding could be most-valuable in the context of application of sludge pretreatment methods. The obtained model was able to satisfactory predict the BMP. PMID:21476497

  5. 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. PMID:25760799

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Methane-related authigenic carbonates of eastern Mediterranean Sea mud volcanoes and their possible relation to gas hydrate destabilisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aloisi, Giovanni; Pierre, Catherine; Rouchy, Jean-Marie; Foucher, Jean-Paul; Woodside, John; Medinaut Scientific Party

    2000-12-01

    Nautile submersible investigations of mud volcanoes and brine seep areas of the eastern Mediterranean Sea during the MEDINAUT cruise in November 1998 discovered extensive areas of authigenic carbonate crusts associated with methane emissions. Carbonate crusts form pavements, round slabs and circular mounds on the central, most active parts of mud volcanoes and in a fault-related valley where brines have accumulated to form a submarine brine lake. Authigenic carbonate nodules have been recovered from the same areas during the MEDINETH cruise in July 1999. Large 13C depletions of authigenic calcite, aragonite and dolomite indicate methane as a major carbon source for the carbonate. Crust pavements are formed when methane from a freshly emplaced, methane-charged mud flow is oxidised at the seafloor. In this environment, where bottom waters provide the sulphate and magnesium, aragonite is favoured versus calcite and accounts for the majority of the methane-related authigenic carbonates. Calcite, when present, contains significant amounts of Mg 2+ (high-Mg calcite), and possibly other divalent ions in its crystal lattice. In areas of brine seep and accumulation, dolomitic nodules are present at shallow depth in the sediment. The 18O enrichment of the authigenic carbonates (up to 4‰ greater than calculated values for carbonates precipitating from modern eastern Mediterranean bottom waters) is interpreted as due to precipitation from 18O-rich fluids rather than as a temperature effect. The source of the 18O-rich fluids may be multiple and possibly includes the destabilisation of gas hydrates present at shallow subbottom depth, and the seepage of relic Messinian brines.

  11. Bacterial symbionts of Bathymodiolus mussels and Escarpia tubeworms from Chapopote, an asphalt seep in the Southern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Raggi, L; Schubotz, F; Hinrichs, K-U; Dubilier, N; Petersen, J M

    2013-07-01

    Chemosynthetic life was recently discovered at Chapopote, an asphalt hydrocarbon seep in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Preliminary morphological analyses indicated that one tubeworm and two mussel species colonize Chapopote. Our molecular analyses identified the tubeworm as Escarpia sp., and the mussels as Bathymodiolus heckerae and B. brooksi. Comparative 16S rRNA analysis and FISH showed that all three species harbour intracellular sulfur-oxidizing symbionts highly similar or identical to those found in the same host species from northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM). The mussels also harbour methane-oxidizing symbionts, and these shared highly similar to identical 16S rRNA sequences to their nGoM conspecifics. We discovered a novel symbiont in B. heckerae, which is closely related to hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria of the genus Cycloclasticus. In B. heckerae, we found key genes for the use of aromatic compounds, and its stable carbon isotope values were consistently higher than B. brooksi, indicating that the novel symbiont might use isotopically heavy aromatic hydrocarbons from the asphalt seep. This discovery is particularly intriguing because until now only methane and reduced sulfur compounds have been shown to power cold-seep chemosynthetic symbioses. The abundant hydrocarbons available at Chapopote would provide these mussel symbioses with a rich source of nutrition. PMID:23279012

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  13. Above- and below-ground methane fluxes and methanotrophic activity in a landfill-cover soil.

    PubMed

    Schroth, M H; Eugster, W; Gómez, K E; Gonzalez-Gil, G; Niklaus, P A; Oester, P

    2012-05-01

    Landfills are a major anthropogenic source of the greenhouse gas methane (CH(4)). However, much of the CH(4) produced during the anaerobic degradation of organic waste is consumed by methanotrophic microorganisms during passage through the landfill-cover soil. On a section of a closed landfill near Liestal, Switzerland, we performed experiments to compare CH(4) fluxes obtained by different methods at or above the cover-soil surface with below-ground fluxes, and to link methanotrophic activity to estimates of CH(4) ingress (loading) from the waste body at selected locations. Fluxes of CH(4) into or out of the cover soil were quantified by eddy-covariance and static flux-chamber measurements. In addition, CH(4) concentrations at the soil surface were monitored using a field-portable FID detector. Near-surface CH(4) fluxes and CH(4) loading were estimated from soil-gas concentration profiles in conjunction with radon measurements, and gas push-pull tests (GPPTs) were performed to quantify rates of microbial CH(4) oxidation. Eddy-covariance measurements yielded by far the largest and probably most representative estimates of overall CH(4) emissions from the test section (daily mean up to ∼91,500μmolm(-2)d(-1)), whereas flux-chamber measurements and CH(4) concentration profiles indicated that at the majority of locations the cover soil was a net sink for atmospheric CH(4) (uptake up to -380μmolm(-2)d(-1)) during the experimental period. Methane concentration profiles also indicated strong variability in CH(4) loading over short distances in the cover soil, while potential methanotrophic activity derived from GPPTs was high (v(max)∼13mmolL(-1)(soil air)h(-1)) at a location with substantial CH(4) loading. Our results provide a basis to assess spatial and temporal variability of CH(4) dynamics in the complex terrain of a landfill-cover soil. PMID:22143049

  14. Nitrate-based niche differentiation by distinct sulfate-reducing bacteria involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane

    PubMed Central

    Green-Saxena, A; Dekas, A E; Dalleska, N F; Orphan, V J

    2014-01-01

    Diverse associations between methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacterial groups (SRB) often co-occur in marine methane seeps; however, the ecophysiology of these different symbiotic associations has not been examined. Here, we applied a combination of molecular, geochemical and Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS) analyses of in situ seep sediments and methane-amended sediment incubations from diverse locations (Eel River Basin, Hydrate Ridge and Costa Rican Margin seeps) to investigate the distribution and physiology of a newly identified subgroup of the Desulfobulbaceae (seepDBB) found in consortia with ANME-2c archaea, and compared these with the more commonly observed associations between the same ANME partner and the Desulfobacteraceae (DSS). FISH analyses revealed aggregates of seepDBB cells in association with ANME-2 from both environmental samples and laboratory incubations that are distinct in their structure relative to co-occurring ANME/DSS consortia. ANME/seepDBB aggregates were most abundant in shallow sediment depths below sulfide-oxidizing microbial mats. Depth profiles of ANME/seepDBB aggregate abundance revealed a positive correlation with elevated porewater nitrate relative to ANME/DSS aggregates in all seep sites examined. This relationship with nitrate was supported by sediment microcosm experiments, in which the abundance of ANME/seepDBB was greater in nitrate-amended incubations relative to the unamended control. FISH-NanoSIMS additionally revealed significantly higher 15N-nitrate incorporation levels in individual aggregates of ANME/seepDBB relative to ANME/DSS aggregates from the same incubation. These combined results suggest that nitrate is a geochemical effector of ANME/seepDBB aggregate distribution, and provides a unique niche for these consortia through their utilization of a greater range of nitrogen substrates than the ANME/DSS. PMID:24008326

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Exceptional activity for methane combustion over modular Pd@CeO2 subunits on functionalized Al2O3.

    PubMed

    Cargnello, M; Delgado Jaén, J J; Hernández Garrido, J C; Bakhmutsky, K; Montini, T; Calvino Gámez, J J; Gorte, R J; Fornasiero, P

    2012-08-10

    There is a critical need for improved methane-oxidation catalysts to both reduce emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas, and improve the performance of gas turbines. However, materials that are currently available either have low activity below 400°C or are unstable at higher temperatures. Here, we describe a supramolecular approach in which single units composed of a palladium (Pd) core and a ceria (CeO(2)) shell are preorganized in solution and then homogeneously deposited onto a modified hydrophobic alumina. Electron microscopy and other structural methods revealed that the Pd cores remained isolated even after heating the catalyst to 850°C. Enhanced metal-support interactions led to exceptionally high methane oxidation, with complete conversion below 400°C and outstanding thermal stability under demanding conditions. PMID:22879514

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26329310

  19. Structures of the dehydrogenation products of methane activation by 5d transition metal cations.

    PubMed

    Lapoutre, V J F; Redlich, B; van der Meer, A F G; Oomens, J; Bakker, J M; Sweeney, A; Mookherjee, A; Armentrout, P B

    2013-05-23

    The activation of methane by gas-phase transition metal cations (M(+)) has been studied extensively, both experimentally and using density functional theory (DFT). Methane is exothermically dehydrogenated by several 5d metal ions to form [M,C,2H](+) and H2. However, the structure of the dehydrogenation product has not been established unambiguously. Two types of structures have been considered: a carbene structure where an intact CH2 fragment is bound to the metal (M(+)-CH2) and a carbyne (hydrido-methylidyne) structure with both a CH and a hydrogen bound to the metal separately (H-M(+)-CH). For metal ions with empty d-orbitals, an agostic interaction can occur that could influence the competition between carbene and carbyne structures. In this work, the gas phase [M,C,2H](+) (M = Ta, W, Ir, Pt) products are investigated by infrared multiple-photon dissociation (IR-MPD) spectroscopy using the Free-Electron Laser for IntraCavity Experiments (FELICE). Metal cations are formed in a laser ablation source and react with methane pulsed into a reaction channel downstream. IR-MPD spectra of the [M,C,2H](+) species are measured in the 300-3500 cm(-1) spectral range by monitoring the loss of H (2H in the case of [Ir,C,2H](+)). For each system, the experimental spectrum closely resembles the calculated spectrum of the lowest energy structure calculated using DFT: for Pt, a classic C(2v) carbene structure; for Ta and W, carbene structures that are distorted by agostic interactions; and a carbyne structure for the Ir complex. The Ir carbyne structure was not considered previously. To obtain this agreement, the calculated harmonic frequencies are scaled with a scaling factor of 0.939, which is fairly low and can be attributed to the strong redshift induced by the IR multiple-photon excitation process of these small molecules. These four-atomic species are among the smallest systems studied by IR-FEL based IR-MPD spectroscopy, and their spectra demonstrate the power of IR

  20. Alpha- and Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Codominate the Active Methane-Oxidizing Communities in an Acidic Boreal Peat Bog.

    PubMed

    Esson, Kaitlin C; Lin, Xueju; Kumaresan, Deepak; Chanton, Jeffrey P; Murrell, J Colin; Kostka, Joel E

    2016-04-15

    The objective of this study was to characterize metabolically active, aerobic methanotrophs in an ombrotrophic peatland in the Marcell Experimental Forest, in Minnesota. Methanotrophs were investigated in the field and in laboratory incubations using DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP), expression studies on particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) genes, and amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Potential rates of oxidation ranged from 14 to 17 μmol of CH4g dry weight soil(-1)day(-1) Within DNA-SIP incubations, the relative abundance of methanotrophs increased from 4%in situto 25 to 36% after 8 to 14 days. Phylogenetic analysis of the(13)C-enriched DNA fractions revealed that the active methanotrophs were dominated by the generaMethylocystis(type II;Alphaproteobacteria),Methylomonas, andMethylovulum(both, type I;Gammaproteobacteria). In field samples, a transcript-to-gene ratio of 1 to 2 was observed forpmoAin surface peat layers, which attenuated rapidly with depth, indicating that the highest methane consumption was associated with a depth of 0 to 10 cm. Metagenomes and sequencing of cDNApmoAamplicons from field samples confirmed that the dominant active methanotrophs wereMethylocystisandMethylomonas Although type II methanotrophs have long been shown to mediate methane consumption in peatlands, our results indicate that members of the generaMethylomonasandMethylovulum(type I) can significantly contribute to aerobic methane oxidation in these ecosystems. PMID:26873322

  1. Short-term changes in anaerobic oxidation of methane in response to varying methane and sulfate fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegener, G.; Boetius, A.

    2008-08-01

    A major role in global methane fluxes has been attributed to the process of anaerobic oxidation of methane, which is performed by consortia of methanotrophic archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria. An important question remains how these very slow growing microorganisms with generation times of 3 7 months respond to natural variations in methane fluxes at cold seeps. Here, we used an experimental flow-through column system filled with cold seep sediments naturally enriched in methanotrophic communities, to test their response to short-term variations in methane and sulfate fluxes. At stable methane and sulfate concentrations of ~2 mM and 28 mM, respectively, we measured constant rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulfide production (SR) for up to 160 days of incubation. When percolated with methane-free medium, the anaerobic methanotrophs ceased to oxidize methane and to produce sulfide. After a starvation phase of 40 days, the addition of methane restored former AOM and SR rates immediately. At methane concentrations between 0 2.3 mM we measured a linear correlation between methane availability, AOM and SR. At constant fluid flow rates of 30 m yr-1, ca. 50% of the methane was consumed by the ANME population at all concentrations tested. Reducing the sulfate concentration from 28 to 1 mM, a decrease in AOM and SR by 35% was observed. Hence, the marine anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME) are capable to consume substantial amounts of methane rising from the subsurface seabed to the hydrosphere over a wide range of fluxes of methane and sulfate.

  2. Violent Gas Venting on the Heng-Chun Mud Volcano, South China Sea Active Continental Margin offshore SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, S.; Cheng, W. Y.; Tseng, Y. T.; Chen, N. C.; Hsieh, I. C.; Yang, T. F.

    2014-12-01

    Accumulation of methane as gas hydrate under the sea floor has been considered a major trap for both thermal and biogenic gas in marine environment. Aided by rapid AOM process near the sea floor, fraction of methane escaping the sea floor has been considered at minuscule. However, most studies focused mainly on deepwater gas hydrate systems where gas hydrate remain relatively stable. We have studied methane seeps on the active margin offshore Taiwan, where rapid tectonic activities occur. Our intention is to evaluate the scale and condition of gas seeps in the tectonic active region. Towcam, coring, heat probe, chirp, multibeam bathymetric mapping and echo sounding were conducted at the study areas. Our results showed that gas is violently venting at the active margin, not only through sediments, but also through overlying sea water, directly into the atmosphere. Similar ventings, but, not in this scale, have also been identified previously in the nearby region. High concentrations of methane as well as traces of propane were found in sediments and in waters with flares. In conjunction, abundant chemosynthetic community, life mussel, clams, tube worms, bacterial mats together with high concentrations of dissolve sulfide, large authigenic carbonate buildups were also found. Our results indicate that methane could be another major green house gas in the shallow water active margin region.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  5. Adsorption equilibrium of binary methane/ethane mixtures in BPL activated carbon: isotherms and calorimetric heats of adsorption.

    PubMed

    He, Yufeng; Yun, Jeong-Ho; Seaton, Nigel A

    2004-08-01

    The adsorption of pure methane and ethane in BPL activated carbon has been measured at temperatures between 264 and 373 K and at pressures up to 3.3 MPa with a bench-scale high-pressure open-flow apparatus. The same apparatus was used to measure the adsorption of binary methane/ethane mixtures in BPL at 301.4 K and at pressures up to 2.6 MPa. Thermodynamic consistency tests demonstrate that the data are thermodynamically consistent. In contrast to two sets of data previously published, we found that the adsorption of binary methane/ethane in BPL behaves ideally (in the sense of obeying ideal adsorbed solution theory, IAST) throughout the pressure and gas-phase composition range studied. A Tian-Calvet type microcalorimeter was used to measure low-pressure isotherms, the isosteric heats of adsorption of pure methane and ethane in BPL activated carbon, and the individual heats of adsorption in binary mixtures, at 297 K and at pressures up to 100 kPa. The mixture heats of adsorption were consistent with IAST. PMID:15274571

  6. Activity, distribution, and abundance of methane-oxidizing bacteria in the near surface soils of onshore oil and gas fields.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kewei; Tang, Yuping; Ren, Chun; Zhao, Kebin; Wang, Wanmeng; Sun, Yongge

    2013-09-01

    Methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) have long been used as an important biological indicator for oil and gas prospecting, but the ecological characteristics of MOB in hydrocarbon microseep systems are still poorly understood. In this study, the activity, distribution, and abundance of aerobic methanotrophic communities in the surface soils underlying an oil and gas field were investigated using biogeochemical and molecular ecological techniques. Measurements of potential methane oxidation rates and pmoA gene copy numbers showed that soils inside an oil and gas field are hot spots of methane oxidation and MOB abundance. Correspondingly, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses in combination with cloning and sequencing of pmoA genes also revealed considerable differences in the methanotrophic community composition between oil and gas fields and the surrounding soils. Principal component analysis ordination furthermore indicated a coincidence between elevated CH4 oxidation activity and the methanotrophic community structure with type I methanotrophic Methylococcus and Methylobacter, in particular, as indicator species of oil and gas fields. Collectively, our results show that trace methane migrated from oil and gas reservoirs can considerably influence not only the quantity but also the structure of the methanotrophic community. PMID:23090054

  7. Improvement of methane production from waste activated sludge by on-site photocatalytic pretreatment in a photocatalytic anaerobic fermenter.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chunguang; Shi, Wansheng; Li, Huifang; Lei, Zhongfang; He, Leilei; Zhang, Zhenya

    2014-03-01

    This paper reports a new technology that using on-site TiO2-photocatalytic pretreatment in the anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) can enhance WAS degradation and methane production in a novel photocatalytic anaerobic fermenter. The fermenter consists of a photocatalytic unit and a digestion unit. The photocatalytic unit can constantly supply soluble organics and has less negative effect on the activity of methanogens at the optimal photocatalytic time of 4h per day. After anaerobic digestion for 35days, 1266.7ml/l-sludge of methane, 67.4% of volatile solid (VS) reduction and 60.5% of total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal were achieved in the photocatalytic anaerobic fermenter, compared with 923.2ml/l-sludge of methane, 48.9% of VS reduction and 43.5% TCOD removal in the control fermenter. The results indicate that timely utilization of solubilized organics by methanogens could avoid further mineralization by TiO2-photocatalysis, which not only improves methane production but also enhances WAS degradation. PMID:24462880

  8. Gas Hydrates Associated With oil an