Science.gov

Sample records for active methane seeps

  1. Authigenic carbonates from active methane seeps offshore southwest Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, Catherine; Blanc-Valleron, Marie-Madeleine; Demange, Jérôme; Boudouma, Omar; Foucher, Jean-Paul; Pape, Thomas; Himmler, Tobias; Fekete, Noemi; Spiess, Volkhard

    2012-12-01

    The southwest African continental margin is well known for occurrences of active methane-rich fluid seeps associated with seafloor pockmarks at water depths ranging broadly from the shelf to the deep basins, as well as with high gas flares in the water column, gas hydrate accumulations, diagenetic carbonate crusts and highly diverse benthic faunal communities. During the M76/3a expedition of R/V METEOR in 2008, gravity cores recovered abundant authigenic carbonate concretions from three known pockmark sites—Hydrate Hole, Worm Hole, the Regab pockmark—and two sites newly discovered during that cruise, the so-called Deep Hole and Baboon Cluster. The carbonate concretions were commonly associated with seep-benthic macrofauna and occurred within sediments bearing shallow gas hydrates. This study presents selected results from a comprehensive analysis of the mineralogy and isotope geochemistry of diagenetic carbonates sampled at these five pockmark sites. The oxygen isotope stratigraphy obtained from three cores of 2-5 m length indicates a maximum age of about 60,000-80,000 years for these sediments. The authigenic carbonates comprise mostly magnesian calcite and aragonite, associated occasionally with dolomite. Their very low carbon isotopic compositions (-61.0 < δ13C ‰ V-PDB < -40.1) suggest anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) as the main process controlling carbonate precipitation. The oxygen isotopic signatures (+2.4 < δ18O ‰ V-PDB < +6.2) lie within the range in equilibrium under present-day/interglacial to glacial conditions of bottom seawater; alternatively, the most positive δ18O values might reflect the contribution of 18O-rich water from gas hydrate decomposition. The frequent occurrence of diagenetic gypsum crystals suggests that reduced sulphur (hydrogen sulphide, pyrite) from sub-seafloor sediments has been oxidized by oxygenated bottom water. The acidity released during this process can potentially induce the dissolution of carbonate, thereby

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Timing of active methane seep events in the eastern margin of the Japan Sea based on benthic foraminifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oi, T.

    2015-12-01

    We study the late Quaternary assemblages and stable isotope analyses of benthic foraminifera from the marine core sediments around three methane seep area in the eastern margin of the Japan Sea. Study samples are collected on the Umitaka Spur (MD179-3304), a west part of the Oki Trough (UT14-PC1303&PC1305), and a north part of the Mogami Trough (HR14-RC1408). Each sedimentation rate is calculated by the ages of 14C, tephra, oxygen isotope events, and bottoms of the thin laminated layer.Obvious occurrences of the methane related foraminifera, Rutherfordoides sp., are found from three all core sediments, and these sedimentation ages range to 28-25ka, early part of the MIS 2. However, we never find the unique occurrences from RC1408 sections except of MIS 2 even if another low stand stage of MIS 6. Above Rutherfordoides distributions, rare benthic foraminiferal number shows an anoxic bottom condition where most benthic foraminifera couldn't live during the LGM (Oba et al., 1991), nonetheless, Rutherfordoides sp. lived continuously until the LGM. From the surface sediments, Rutherfordoides cornuta, lives on plural area from the northwest Pacific but not from the Japan Sea (Matoba and Nakagawa, 2009) is related to high methane gas content of the sediments in the Sagami Bay (Akimoto et al., 1996). Nakagawa et al. (2009) reported that distributions of Rutherfordoides rotundata (closely related R. cornuta) indicate that an expulsion of a large amount of methane occurred on the Umitaka Spur during the LGM due to a massive dissociation of subsurface methane hydrate. And, the negative carbon isotope peak signal of Rutherfordoides sp. from RC1408 in the Mogami Trough, also indicate to dissociations of methane hydrate and active methane seeps by the lowest sea level same as Umitaka Spur (Takeuchi et al., 2007). Acknowledgement This research was a part of METI's project entitled "FY2014 Promoting research and development on methane hydrate" .

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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).

  12. Evidence for microbial methane oxidation at cold seeps along the main active fault in the Marmara Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevalier, Nicolas; Birgel, Daniel; Lopez-Garcia, Purificacion; Taphanel, Marie-Helene; Bouloubassi, Ioanna

    2010-05-01

    The North Anatolian Fault in the Marmara Sea is a spectacular example of a seismically active fault where, in recent years, numerous sites of active fluid venting have been discovered and explored. During the MARNAUT cruise (2007), multidisciplinary sampling was carried out with the Nautile submersible in order to investigate biogeochemical and hydrogeological processes taking place at these newly discovered cold seeps. We have studied short sediment cores (< 20 cm) and authigenic carbonate crusts retrieved with the Nautile submersible from sub-basins of the Marmara Sea, aiming at gaining insight into microbial processes and assemblages in this recently discovered methane-rich setting and at comparing it with previously studied cold seeps. To do so, we investigated diagnostic microbial lipids and their carbon isotope composition, and, in selected sediment samples, we carried out cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The sediment core retrieved from the southern slope of the Çinarcik Basin, in an area of black patches, bacterial mats and polychaetes, contained abundant and strongly 13C-depleted archaeal and bacterial lipids. Archaeal lipids consisted mainly of archaeol, sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol, crocetane, and unsaturated PMIs, and showed δ13C values as low as -125 per mille. Concurrently, bacterial lipids (e.g. cyclopropyl-C17:0, C16:1?5, i-/ai-C15:0, and non-isoprenoidal glycerol monoethers), previously assigned to sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB), were identified with low δ13C values (-55 to -115 per mille). The structural and isotopic features of microbial lipids provided compelling evidence for anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) taking place within the upper 17 cm of the sediment core, mediated by methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulphate reducing bacteria. No biomarker evidence for aerobic oxidation of methane was found. Depth profiles of microbial lipids revealed the vertical zonation of AOM and associated microbial biomass, and implied that AOM is

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-31

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Authigenic minerals related to carbon and sulfur biogeochemical cycling from deep-sea active methane seeps offshore South-West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierre, C.; Blanc-Valleron, M.; Demange, J.; Boudouma, O.; Pape, T.; Himmler, T.; Fekete, N.; Spiess, V.

    2011-12-01

    The South-West African continental margin is well known for occurrences of active methane-rich fluid seeps that are associated with seafloor pockmarks in a broad range of water depths, from the shelf to the deep basins. High gas flares in the water column, luxurious oases of benthic fauna, gas hydrate accumulations and diagenetic carbonate crusts have been observed at these seeps. During the M76/3a expedition of R/V METEOR (summer 2008) gravity cores recovered abundant authigenic carbonate concretions from five pockmarks of the South-West African margin including previously studied sites (Hydrate Hole, Worm Hole, Regab Pockmark) and two sites (Deep Hole, Baboon Cluster) newly discovered during the cruise. Carbonate concretions were mostly associated to sediments settled by seep-associated benthic macrofauna and bearing shallow gas hydrates. We present new results of the comprehensive analysis of the mineralogy and isotope geochemistry of the diagenetic carbonates sampled in the five pockmarks. The mineralogy of authigenic carbonates is dominated by magnesian calcite and aragonite, associated occasionally with dolomite. The oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions of authigenic carbonates (+2.4 < δ18O % V-PDB < +6.2 ; -61.0 < δ13C % V-PDB < -40.1) indicate that microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was the main process controling carbonate precipitation within sub-seafloor sediments deposited from the glacial-time up to the present. The frequent occurrence of diagenetic gypsum crystals within the sediments demonstrates that bio-irrigation with oxygenated bottom water by the burrowing activity of benthic fauna caused the secondary oxidation of reduced sulfur (hydrogen sulfide and pyrite) that was produced by sulfate reducting bacteria as a by-product of AOM; during the sulfide oxidation process, the released acidity induced the partial dissolution of carbonates. Our results demonstrate also the strong link that existed between the carbon and sulfur cycles

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kevorkian, R.; Lloyd, K. G.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Microbial eukaryotic distributions and diversity patterns in a deep-sea methane seep ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Pasulka, Alexis L; Levin, Lisa A; Steele, Josh A; Case, David H; Landry, Michael R; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-09-01

    Although chemosynthetic ecosystems are known to support diverse assemblages of microorganisms, the ecological and environmental factors that structure microbial eukaryotes (heterotrophic protists and fungi) are poorly characterized. In this study, we examined the geographic, geochemical and ecological factors that influence microbial eukaryotic composition and distribution patterns within Hydrate Ridge, a methane seep ecosystem off the coast of Oregon using a combination of high-throughput 18S rRNA tag sequencing, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting, and cloning and sequencing of full-length 18S rRNA genes. Microbial eukaryotic composition and diversity varied as a function of substrate (carbonate versus sediment), activity (low activity versus active seep sites), sulfide concentration, and region (North versus South Hydrate Ridge). Sulfide concentration was correlated with changes in microbial eukaryotic composition and richness. This work also revealed the influence of oxygen content in the overlying water column and water depth on microbial eukaryotic composition and diversity, and identified distinct patterns from those previously observed for bacteria, archaea and macrofauna in methane seep ecosystems. Characterizing the structure of microbial eukaryotic communities in response to environmental variability is a key step towards understanding if and how microbial eukaryotes influence seep ecosystem structure and function.

  2. 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

  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. Phylogenetic placement of Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi (Schwager, 1866) from methane seeps and non-seep habitats on the Pacific margin.

    PubMed

    Burkett, A M; Rathburn, A E; Pérez, M E; Levin, L A; Cha, H; Rouse, G W

    2015-01-01

    Benthic foraminifera are among the most abundant groups found in deep-sea habitats, including methane seep environments. Unlike many groups, no endemic foraminiferal species have been reported from methane seeps, and to our knowledge, genetic data are currently sparse for Pacific deep-sea foraminifera. In an effort to understand the relationships between seep and non-seep populations of the deep-sea foraminifera Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi, a common paleo-indicator species, specimens from methane seeps in the Pacific were analyzed and compared to one another for genetic similarities of small subunit rDNA (SSU rDNA) sequences. Pacific Ocean C. wuellerstorfi were also compared to those collected from other localities around the world (based on 18S gene available on Genbank, e.g., Schweizer et al., 2009). Results from this study revealed that C. wuellerstorfi living in seeps near Costa Rica and Hydrate Ridge are genetically similar to one another at the species level. Individuals collected from the same location that display opposite coiling directions (dextral and sinstral) had no species level genetic differences. Comparisons of specimens with genetic information available from Genbank (SSU rDNA) showed that Pacific individuals, collected for this study, are genetically similar to those previously analyzed from the North Atlantic and Antarctic. These observations provide strong evidence for the true cosmopolitan nature of C. wuellerstorfi and highlight the importance of understanding how these microscopic organisms are able to maintain sufficient genetic exchange to remain within the same species between seep and non-seep habitats and over global distances.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, R. S.

    2006-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Source and fate of methane seeping from continental margin sediments offshore Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graves, C. A.; Stott, A.; Steinle, L.; Niemann, H.; Treude, T.; Berndt, C.; Wright, I. C.; Connelly, D.; James, R. H.

    2013-12-01

    A significant proportion of the world's organic carbon is currently trapped in and beneath submarine methane hydrates (e.g. Milkov, 2004). As ocean bottom waters warm, the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) contracts, releasing gaseous methane into the sediments and potentially into the overlying water column and the atmosphere. In 2008, more than 250 plumes of methane gas were discovered rising from the seabed offshore Svalbard immediately upslope of the current GHSZ. As recent increases in ocean bottom water temperature may have destabilized hydrate in sediments beneath the plume locations, gas seepage has been hypothesized to be the result of this process (Westbrook et al., 2009). The implications of methane seepage offshore Svalbard in the context of changing global climate depend on the source and fate of the methane in these bubble plumes. To provide support for, or evidence contrary to, a gas-hydrate dissociation mechanism for methane release and to constrain potential atmospheric emission signatures we have characterized the chemical and isotopic signatures of: (i) hydrate recovered from within the GHSZ, (ii) shallow gas in sediments near the seep sites, (iii) plume gas bubbles, and (iv) dissolved gas in the water column. The absence of significant proportions of higher hydrocarbons in all samples suggests that the methane has a biogenic source, while methane carbon isotopic signatures point to a mixed biogenic and thermogenic origin. The chemical and isotopic composition of the hydrate-bound methane is consistent with that of the free gas in sediments below the seafloor seeps as well as the gas that escapes into the overlying water column. Away from bubble plume inputs (δ13C-CH4 -51 to -57 ‰) dissolved methane concentrations decrease while δ13C-CH4 values increase, indicating active aerobic oxidation of methane in the water column and implying surface seawater δ13C-CH4 values of < -20 ‰. Despite widespread methane supersaturated surface waters

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Russell Scott

    2004-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiguna, Taufan; Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

    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 (56°29.90' N, 2°59.80' E, Norwegian Block 1/9, 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. In the vicinity of the gas seeps, sea floor observations showed small mats of giant sulphide-oxidizing bacteria above patches of black sediments as well as 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 AOM zone. This zone 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 of this horizon give evidence that AOM is mediated by archaea belonging to the ANME-1b group and Sulphate Reducing Bacteria (SRB) most likely belonging to the Seep-SRB1 cluster. The zone of active methane consumption was restricted to a distinct horizon of about 20 cm. Concentrations of 13C-depleted lipid biomarkers (e.g. 500 ng g-dw-1 biphythanes, 140 ng g-dw-1 fatty acid ai-C15:0), cell numbers (1.5×108 cells cm-3), AOM and SR rates (3 nmol cm-3 d

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. In situ spectrometric and chemical measurements of methane emissions from a natural marine hydrocarbon seep field, Coal Oil Point, California: Validation of methane remote sensing techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luyendyk, B. P.; Leifer, I.; Roberts, D.; Margolis, J. S.

    2006-12-01

    Remote sensing techniques can significantly improve our understanding of the sources and sinks of the important greenhouse gas methane. Field and laboratory studies used spectral and in-situ chemical measurements of geologic methane plumes from natural marine seepage and radiative-transfer calculations to test the feasibility of using NASA's Airborne Visual/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) for methane remote sensing of this marine source. Based on numerical MODTRAN simulations, the spectral region between 2200 and 2340 nm was chosen for its sensitivity to CH4 with mild sensitivity to water vapor interference. During one marine field study, an intense seep area was repeatedly transected by boat using flame ion detectors (FID) to characterize the methane plume along with detailed meteorological measurements. Based on a Gaussian plume dispersion model for 3 m/s wind speed, methane column-abundances were calculated and showed a plume with methane concentrations greater than 0.5 g/m2 extending downwind 70 m with a 20 m width, much larger than the 3 to 5 m AVIRIS pixel size. Most of the methane was in the lower 10 m. MODTRAN calculations showed this to be well above the noise equivalent detection level of AVIRIS. During a separate field study, FIDs at three heights above the sea surface (2.2, 3.6, and 5 m) measured methane concentrations as high as 200 ppm while transecting an active seep area. Simultaneous spectra were obtained with a field spectrometer. Several plumes were identified from the FID data and a clear relationship was shown between the presence of methane plumes along the incident path and the presence of methane absorption features in spectra. Methane absorption features above atmospheric background were not observed outside the plumes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Reconstructing Sulfur Cycling at Cretaceous Methane Seeps: Novel Perspectives from Carbonate-Associated Sulfate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hancock, L. G.; Lyons, T. W.; Gill, B. C.; Formolo, M.; Shapiro, R. S.; Tripati, A.; Loyd, S. J.; Bates, S. M.

    2013-12-01

    The mechanisms of methane cycling have been studied extensively, but its full role in the chemical and organismal evolution of the ocean through time, including its closely coupled relationship to the sulfur cycle, is still largely unresolved. Modern and ancient seeps are ideal natural labs for studying coupled methane-sulfur cycles and their geochemical fingerprints as a function of the flux of methane through these systems and its availability in the ocean and marine sediments more generally. Many seep studies examine sulfur in pyrite, but pyrite formation in these settings is typically limited by the availability of reactive iron, thus only capturing the earliest diagenetic processes. In such cases, a better way to track sulfur and its role in modulating methane production and consumption is by following the pathways of dissolved sulfate, using carbonate-associated sulfate or CAS. While commonly used to track evolving seawater composition, CAS can also constrain conditions of diagenetic carbonate precipitation. This study focuses on a Cretaceous system of methane seeps, the Tepee Buttes in Colorado--which is marked by complex carbonate paragenesis--and traces sulfur, carbon, and oxygen isotopes to unravel ancient methane cycling, its relationship to sulfur metabolic pathways, and the preservational history of proxies such as CAS during burial. Burial history of this system is further unraveled through use of carbon and oxygen isotopes of various carbonate fabrics, including clumped isotope analysis. Additional geochemical measurements from the surrounding shales, such as data for redox sensitive metals, provide a context for the host setting in the Western Interior Seaway. Preliminary data suggest that paired isotopic and concentration measurements of CAS could be used to closely track spatiotemporal variation in rates of microbial sulfate reduction as coupled to anaerobic methane oxidation. These rates in both ancient and modern settings vary spatially and

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fields, L.; Joye, S. B.

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Biogeography, biodiversity and fluid dependence of deep-sea cold-seep communities at active and passive margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibuet, Myriam; Olu, Karine

    1998-01-01

    To date, several cold-seep areas which fuel chemosynthesis-based benthic communities have been explored, mainly by deployment of manned submersibles. They are located in the Atlantic and in the Eastern and Western Pacific oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea, in depths ranging between 400 and 6000 m in different geological contexts in passive and active margins. Our study is based on a review of the existent literature on 24 deep cold seeps. The geographic distribution of seeps, the variations of origin and composition of fluids, and rates of fluid flow are presented as they are important factors which explain the spatial heterogeneity and the biomass of biological communities. Methane-rich fluid of thermogenic and/or biogenic origin is the principal source of energy for high-productive communities; however, production of sulphide by sulphate reduction in the sediment also has a major role. The dominant seep species are large bivalves belonging to the families Vesicomyidae or Mytilidae. Other symbiont-containing species occur belonging to Solemyidae, Thyasiridae, Lucinidae bivalves, Pogonophora worms, Cladorhizidae and Hymedesmiidae sponges. Most of the symbiont-containing cold-seep species are new to science. Different symbiont-containing species rely on sulphide or methane oxidation, or both, via chemoautotrophic endosymbiotic bacteria. A total of 211 species, from which 64 are symbiont-containing species, have been inventoried. Patterns in biodiversity and biogeography are proposed. A large majority of the species are endemic to a seep area and the symbiont-containing species are mainly endemic to the cold-seep ecosystem. A comparison of species found in other deep chemosynthesis-based ecosystems, hydrothermal vents, whale carcass and shipwreck reduced habitats, reveals from the existing data, that only 13 species, of which five are symbiont-containing species occur, at both seeps and hydrothermal vents. The species richness of cold-seep communities decreases

  5. Microbial oxidation of methane, ethane, propane, and butane in marine gas seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinnaman, F. S.; Valentine, D. L.; Tyler, S.

    2005-12-01

    The microbial consumption of methane (C1), ethane (C2), propane (C3) and n-butane (nC4) in marine gas seeps was investigated using a stable isotope approach. Sediment samples were collected from the shallow hydrocarbon seeps at Coal Oil Point, Santa Barbara, CA and were used to quantify the natural distributions of C1-C4 hydrocarbons (concentrations and 13C) and as inoculum for laboratory experiments designed to quantify stable isotope fractionation associated with microbial C1-C4 consumption. Stable carbon isotope analyses of C1-C4 dissolved in pore fluids display significant enrichments in the 13C content of C1-C4 compared to the seep gas, and are interpreted as an indication of microbial oxidation. Distributions of sulfate in the sediment pore fluids indicate significant advection of pore fluids into the sediments likely driven by bubble flux. The advective flux of seawater into the sediments presumably expands the oxic zone and creates a habitat suitable for the aerobic oxidation of C1-C4. The maximum extent of oxidation was observed at a distance of 4-8 cm from individual gas vents, and at a depth of 6-10cm. Laboratory incubations of seep sediment demonstrate microbial consumption of C1-C4 hydrocarbons. Carbon and hydrogen isotope fractionation factors (ɛc and ɛh) for the aerobic oxidation of C1-C4 were determined as follows: ɛc was -31.4‰ ±1.6 for C1, -8.8‰ ±1.8 for C2, -5.4‰ ±0.7 for C3, and -3.1‰ ±0.7 for nC4; ɛh was -201.9‰ ±33.7, -62.7‰ ±7.4 for C2, and -16.3‰ ±2.0 for C3. Preferential oxidation of higher molecular weight hydrocarbons was noted in mixed gas incubations, along with possible inhibition of methane oxidation by the presence of C2-C4 gases. Application of the isotopic enrichment factors to observed pore water values indicates that as much as 75% of the dissolved hydrocarbons are consumed in the sediment.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. [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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The influence of methane seeps on the paleoecology and geochemistry of the Western Interior Seaway of North America: evidence from C and Sr isotopes in well-preserved shells of a seep fauna from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Pierre Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, J. K.; Landman, N. H.; Harries, P. J.; Larson, N. L.; Garb, M. P.; Klofak, S. M.; Myers, C.; Brezina, J.

    2011-12-01

    Methane seep deposits are common in the Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale of the U.S. Western Interior. They contain a rich fauna including ammonites (Baculites, Hoploscaphites, Didymoceras, Placenticeras, Solenoceras), bivalves (Lucina), gastropods, sponges, and crinoids. In an effort to understand the environment of these systems and their influence on the Seaway, we have examined a seep from the upper Campanian Didymoceras cheyennense Zone (~74.7 Ma) in Custer County, South Dakota (USA), in which the molluscs retain their original shell microstructure. Values of δ13C in the micritic limestone of the seep range from -11% to -47%, and the light values confirm the impact of anaerobic oxidation of methane on the isotopic composition of the dissolved inorganic carbon reservoir. Light δ13C values also are observed in well-preserved specimens of the ammonites Hoploscaphites (-1.2% to -7.6%) and Baculites (-0.6% to -14%). These values are significantly lighter than those measured in non-seep specimens. In a few specimens of Baculites, light δ13C values were observed through ontogeny. We conclude that the ammonite shells incorporated isotopically light dissolved inorganic carbon derived from seep methane and that these mobile animals were living in close proximity to the vent fluids. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio is also elevated in the limestone core and well-preserved shells of ammonites (0.707693 - 0.707728) compared with the coeval marine value (0.707658), suggesting that the seep fluids are imprinted with a radiogenic Sr signature, perhaps derived from isotopic exchange with granitic deposits at depth. In contrast with the pattern seen in δ13C, samples of D. cheyennense collected away from the seep show 87Sr/86Sr ratios that are comparable to the seep values. Thus the source of Sr from methane seeps may have been sufficient to imprint itself on the 87Sr/86Sr of the Western Interior Seaway at the time.

  14. 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.

  15. Linking Taxonomy with Environmental Geochemsitry: the Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane in Cold Seeps & deeply Buried Marine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    House, C. H.; Biddle, J. F.; Lipp, J. S.; Orphan, V. J.; Hinrichs, K.

    2005-12-01

    The linking of molecular taxonomy (including 16s rRNA) to environmental geochemistry is a powerful way to work out the interactions, metabolic activities, and food webs of microorganisms in their natural setting, whether it is sediment, soil, or a water column. To this end, we developed a method for coupling an extant microorganism's genetic information with geochemical data derived from the direct analysis of its cell. FISH-SIMS combines fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) with secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). FISH is a culture-independent technique used to visually identify naturally occurring microorganisms by staining their ribosomal RNA. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) is a method by which geochemical information can be obtained from microsamples. Using FISH-SIMS, a researcher can measure a target cell's isotopic or elemental composition in a mixed environment. The identification and study of methane-consuming microorganisms is an important step toward understanding the methane cycle and microbial response to methane release. The recent identification of two distinct Archaea capable of anaerobic methane oxidation was in part accomplished using FISH-SIMS. Because natural methane is highly depleted in 13C, FISH-SIMS is particularly powerful at determining if a particular cell, collected from the environment, consumed methane as a substrate for its cell carbon. This research demonstrated that both the ANME-1 and ANME-2 Archaea from the Eel River Methane Seep are highly depleted in 13C due to growth on methane. The deep marine biosphere is thought to contain abundant microbial inhabitants, estimated to be a tenth of the Earth's total biomass. Sediments from this environment were recovered during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 201, and were analyzed by both molecular biological and organic geochemical techniques. Of particular interest in these sediments were four sulfate/methane transition zones seen at ODP Sites 1227, 1229 and 1230, two of

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Phospholipid-Derived Fatty Acids and Their Stable and Radiocarbon Isotope Values as Indicators of Bacterial Methane Oxidation at a Thermogenic Methane Seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, C. T.; Dias, R. F.; Slater, G. F.; Reddy, C. M.; Mandernack, K. W.

    2004-12-01

    The importance of aerobic methanotrophy as a filter for biogenic methane emissions is well documented for environments such as natural wetlands, landfills, and rice paddies, but less is known about methane oxidation in soils overlying thermogenic methane seeps. We are utilizing phospholipid-derived fatty acids (PLFAs) extracted from soils overlying a high-rate, coal-bed methane seep in Southwestern Colorado to investigate the location and extent of bacterial methane consumption within the soil column. PLFAs have been widely used as indicators of both quantities and types of viable bacterial populations. Two specific PLFAs, 16:1ω 8 and 18:1ω 8, appear to be unique to type I and type II methanotrophs, respectively. We have detected higher abundances of these methanotroph biomarkers in surface soils ( ˜0-30 cm) under wetter soil conditions and near the water table ( ˜150 cm) under drier conditions. Maximum concentrations of both type I and type II methanotroph PLFA biomarkers were greatest in the shallow soils during wetter conditions with the type I maximum located just above the type II maximum. This is consistent with pure culture studies that have shown type I methanotrophs to prefer higher oxygen, lower methane conditions and type II methanotrophs to prefer lower oxygen, higher methane conditions. Soil gas methane concentrations during this wetter period were approximately 30% at 20 cm depth and 80% at 100 cm depth. During a drier period a type II methanotroph biomarker maximum was observed near the water table but no type I maximum was observed. Soil gas methane concentrations at this time were less than 1% at 20 cm and 25% at 100 cm. These data suggest that methanotrophs may consume a significant fraction of the methane as it rises through the soil column. Greater saturation of soil pore spaces during wetter conditions may inhibit atmospheric oxygen diffusion into deeper soils forcing methanotrophs to reside in the shallow soils and resulting in larger

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Identification of Novel Methane-, Ethane-, and Propane-Oxidizing Bacteria at Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps by Stable Isotope Probing ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Redmond, Molly C.; Valentine, David L.; Sessions, Alex L.

    2010-01-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps supply oil and gas to microorganisms in sediments and overlying water. We used stable isotope probing (SIP) to identify aerobic bacteria oxidizing gaseous hydrocarbons in surface sediment from the Coal Oil Point seep field located offshore of Santa Barbara, California. After incubating sediment with 13C-labeled methane, ethane, or propane, we confirmed the incorporation of 13C into fatty acids and DNA. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and sequencing of the 16S rRNA and particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) genes in 13C-DNA revealed groups of microbes not previously thought to contribute to methane, ethane, or propane oxidation. First, 13C methane was primarily assimilated by Gammaproteobacteria species from the family Methylococcaceae, Gammaproteobacteria related to Methylophaga, and Betaproteobacteria from the family Methylophilaceae. Species of the latter two genera have not been previously shown to oxidize methane and may have been cross-feeding on methanol, but species of both genera were heavily labeled after just 3 days. pmoA sequences were affiliated with species of Methylococcaceae, but most were not closely related to cultured methanotrophs. Second, 13C ethane was consumed by members of a novel group of Methylococcaceae. Growth with ethane as the major carbon source has not previously been observed in members of the Methylococcaceae; a highly divergent pmoA-like gene detected in the 13C-labeled DNA may encode an ethane monooxygenase. Third, 13C propane was consumed by members of a group of unclassified Gammaproteobacteria species not previously linked to propane oxidation. This study identifies several bacterial lineages as participants in the oxidation of gaseous hydrocarbons in marine seeps and supports the idea of an alternate function for some pmoA-like genes. PMID:20675448

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Ocean Bottom Gamma-Ray Anomaly Around Methane Seeps Related to Gas Hydrate- Bearing Zone in The Eastern Margin of Japan Sea and Off Southwest Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machiyama, H.; Kinoshita, M.; Lin, S.; Matsumoto, R.; Soh, W.

    2008-12-01

    JAMSTEC has conducted the ocean bottom gamma-ray measurement using ROVs and Submersibles since 1997. Gamma-ray spectrometer utilizes 3-inch spherical NaI(Tl) scintillator and the signal processor including DA converter in a pressure case. After processing data, we get total count rate (intensity value: count per second (cps)) of gamma ray and contents of K, U-, and Th-series radionuclides. The sensor was equipped to the side of the sample basket or foot of ROVs and submersibles, and always touches the seafloor when ROVs completely landed. Their results are posted on JAMSTEC website as a database. On the basis of past achievements, we present the results of the ocean bottom gamma-ray measurement at the methane seep sites related to gas hydrate off Joetsu in the eastern margin of Japan Sea and off southwest Taiwan. Off Joetsu: A number of mounds, large pockmarks (20 - 50 m deep and 200 - 500 m across), gas plumes, and gas hydrate are found at water depth of 900 - 1000 m in the Umitaka Spur and the Joetsu Knoll. Gamma-ray intensity values are 50 - 70 cps in normal muddy seafloor. On the other hand, the intensity values are 100 - 200 cps around methane venting sites, bacteria mats, and 'collapsed hydrate zone' which has an undulating, rugged seafloor with carbonate nodules and gravels. Contents of each radionuclide are also high. Low U/Th ratio suggests that there is less contribution of Rn accompanied with a recent fault activity. Off southwest Taiwan: Large, dense chemosynthetic communities, associated with carbonate pavements, were discovered at water depth of about 1100 - 1200 m on the top of the Formosa Ridge. Gamma-ray intensity values in normal muddy seafloor (120 - 150 cps) are higher than those around Japan. Since Th-series radionuclide easily absorbs other particles, it is commonly included in surface sediments. This may cause higher content of Th-series radionuclide in normal muddy seafloor. On the other hand, anomaly of gamma-ray intensity (200 - 300 cps

  7. Ecological release and niche partitioning under stress: Lessons from dorvilleid polychaetes in sulfidic sediments at methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Ziebis, Wiebke; Mendoza, Guillermo F.; Bertics, Victoria J.; Washington, Tracy; Gonzalez, Jennifer; Thurber, Andrew R.; Ebbe, Brigitte; Lee, Raymond W.

    2013-08-01

    Organisms inhabiting methane seep sediments are exposed to stress in the form of high levels of hydrogen sulfide, which result mainly from sulfate reduction coupled to anaerobic methane oxidation. Dorvilleidae (Polychaeta) have successfully invaded this ecosystem, and multiple species in divergent genetic clades co-occur at high densities. At methane seeps in the NE Pacific off California and Oregon, the genera Ophryotrocha, Parougia and Exallopus are especially well represented. To test the hypothesis that dorvilleid coexistence is facilitated by niche partitioning through sulfide tolerance and trophic patterns, we examined dorvilleid species-specific patterns of occurrence and nutrition at methane seeps off Eel R. [ER] on the Californian continental slope and at Hydrate Ridge [HR] on the Oregon continental slope, and in two habitats (clam bed and microbial mat) characterized by lower and higher hydrogen sulfide levels, respectively. Microelectrode measurements of hydrogen sulfide enabled characterization of environmental sulfide levels for species sampled in background sediment cores and in colonization trays. Dorvilleids tolerated H2S levels from 10 μM to over 2.6 mM, with the majority of species inhabiting sediments with similar environmental H2S concentrations (median 85-100 μM). Dorvilleid species richness was greater at HR than ER, but did not differ between clam bed and microbial mat habitats. Species distribution patterns reflected preferences for ER clam bed (lower sulfide levels), ER mat and HR clam bed (moderate sulfide levels), or HR mat (very high sulfide levels). Nutritional patterns, including trophic diversity and functional similarity, were examined using community stable isotope metrics based on δ15N and δ13C. Within each region, dorvilleid species exhibited multiple trophic strategies. Co-existing congeners typically exhibited distinct isotope signatures, suggesting trophic partitioning. Trophic diversity and δ15N range for whole

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

    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).

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Relationships between the distribution and stable isotopic composition of living benthic foraminifera and cold methane seep biogeochemistry in Monterey Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathburn, Anthony E.; PéRez, M. Elena; Martin, Jonathan B.; Day, Shelley A.; Mahn, Chris; Gieskes, Joris; Ziebis, Wiebke; Williams, David; Bahls, Amanda

    2003-12-01

    As part of an ongoing effort to explore the use of foraminifera as a means to assess modern and ancient methane release, we compared ambient pore water chemistry with the distribution and stable isotopic composition of living (rose Bengal stained) foraminifera in MBARI ROV Ventana tube cores taken from modern seepage areas (about 1000 m water depth) in Monterey Bay, California. Benthic foraminiferal isotopic differences between sites clearly indicate that methane-influenced pore waters affect foraminiferal distributions and carbonate isotope geochemistry. Carbon isotope signatures of living benthic foraminifera did not conform to the very negative (-30 to -48‰), methane-influenced carbon isotope values of the pore waters they live in. Instead, the influence of methane seep pore waters was reflected in the greater range and carbon isotopic variability of living seep foraminifera compared with published δ13C values of foraminifera living in nonseep habitats. It is not clear what relative influences biological, ecological, and physical factors have on the carbon isotopic signatures observed in seep foraminifera. Substantial carbon isotope differences can exist between individuals of the same seep species. For instance, δ13C values of living Globobulimina pacifica varied by as much as 2.9‰ between seeps within 8 km of each other, whereas δ13C values of living Uvigerina peregrina varied by as much as 1.95‰ within the same seep. Provided there is no diagenetic alteration of the test carbonate, isotopic results of individual seep foraminifera support the hypothesis that foraminifera can be used to assess past and present methane seepage.

  13. Air-sea flux of methane from selected marine hydrate/seep sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico during HYFLUX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, L.; Yvon-Lewis, S. A.; Kessler, J. D.; MacDonald, I.

    2009-12-01

    Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases, playing a significant role in global climate change and atmospheric chemistry. In spite of tremendous efforts made to constrain the strength of its sources and sinks, large uncertainties remain for some individual sources. Based on the previous observations and modeling studies, the flux of CH4 from marine hydrates and seeps to the atmosphere comprises a significant fraction of the entire methane flux from the global ocean. However, most of the estimates are based on the seafloor methane flux or discrete water column concentrations of methane and the averaged atmospheric methane ratios. In this study, we investigated three marine hydrate/seep sites in northern Gulf of Mexico in July of 2009 during the HYFLUX cruise. Continuous saturation-anomaly (deviation from equilibrium) measurements of methane, ethane and propane were made by alternately sampling the air or the headspace of Weiss-type equilibrator and analyzing it in a GC-FID system. Some 13CH4 measurements were also made continuously using a cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS). During this cruise, the maximum concentrations observed at the 3 marine hydrate/seep sites MC118, GC600, and GC185 were 14.5, 5.1, and 2.2 nmol/L, respectively. The air-sea fluxes, calculated from saturation anomalies, are used to create extremely high resolution flux maps for the three marine hydrate/seeps sites.

  14. Use of 16S rRNA Gene Based Clone Libraries to Assess Microbial Communities Potentially Involved in Anaerobic Methane Oxidation in a Mediterranean Cold Seep

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekas, A.; Orphan, V.

    2008-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Fossil bacterial ecosystem at methane seeps - Origin of organic matter from Be'eri sulfur deposit, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burhan, R. Y. P.; Trendel, J. M.; Adam, P.; Wehrung, P.; Albrecht, P.; Nissenbaum, A.

    2002-12-01

    The Be'eri sulfur mine (Israel) is a unique deposit mainly composed of sandstone intercalated with biogenic mats and possessing organic matter exceptionally depleted in 13C. Molecular and isotopic studies of free and bound biomarkers were performed to unravel the source of the organic matter co-occurring with sulfur in this deposit and to propose a paleoenvironmental model of bacterial life in a type of extreme environment. They showed that the biomarkers are all extremely 13C-depleted and almost exclusively composed of hopanoids and biphytane derivatives of bacterial origin, notably methanotrophic bacteria and acidophilic archaea. δ 13C values of individual components and of bulk organic carbon are in the -80% to -90% range and are among the lowest values ever measured for hopanoids. Organic matter in the sandstone and the mats differ mainly by the occurrence of 3-methylated hopanoids in the mats, which may reflect either different bacterial populations or different conditions of growth. These data demonstrate that the complete biomass of this deposit primarily derives from methanotrophic hopanoid-synthesizing bacteria consuming methane having seeped toward the surface, and that all other organisms - apparently only archaea and bacteria - must have been thriving on methane-derived carbon (methane, CO 2, biomass of methanotrophic bacteria). Unambiguous evidence for photosynthetic organisms in the environment of deposition could not be found. The Be'eri sulfur deposit is thus a fossil remain of an exclusively bacterial ecosystem fueled by methane as sole carbon source and having developed in an interstitial aqueous medium within the sandstone. Elemental sulfur from the deposit probably originates from the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide seeping along with methane, which could have been oxidized either abiotically or biologically by sulfur-oxidizing Beggiatoa-like bacteria and archaea. Further oxidation of elemental sulfur might explain the high acidity of the deposit

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Sediment biogeochemistry and microbial activity at natural hydrocarbon seeps and at sites impacted by anthropogenic hydrocarbon discharges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, S. B.; Sibert, R.; Battles, J.; Fields, L.; Kleindienst, S.; Crespo-Medina, M.; Hunter, K.; Meile, C. D.; Montoya, J. P.

    2013-12-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps occur along the seafloor where geologic faults facilitate transfer of deeply sourced fluids enriched in gas, oil, and dissolved organic matter through shallow sediments and into the water column. At natural seeps, microbial populations specialize in hydrocarbon degradation and rates of microbial activity, including sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane, can be extremely high. As a result, the biogeochemical signature of sediments near areas of active natural seepage is distinct: high concentrations of metabolic end products, such as dissolved inorganic carbon and hydrogen sulfide, abound, and often, high dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations result in the precipitation of authigenic carbonate minerals. We examined microbial processes and biogeochemical signatures at two natural seeps, Green Canyon 600 and Mississippi Canyon 118. Higher and more frequent seepage loci at the Green Canyon 600 site led to more widespread hotspots of elevated microbial activity and distinct geochemistry. However, rates of microbial activity were comparable at the two sites in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage. The microbial communities at the two sites were surprisingly different. The second group of sites was impacted by anthropogenic hydrocarbon discharges instead of natural seepage. One site, Oceanus 26, lies near the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo wellhead and was impacted by weathered oil sedimentation during the Macondo discharge. The second set of impacted sites, noted as Taylor Energy, lie near a sunken platform and compromised riser, which have together resulted in persistent hydrocarbon discharge to the adjacent oceanic system for more than 6 years. Rates of microbial activity in the upper sediments at Oceanus 26 were depressed relative to activity in the deeper layers, suggesting inhibition by the presence of weathered oil or an microbial community unable to weather the carbon available in the layer. At the Taylor energy site

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. The influence of methane seeps on the paleoceanography of the Western Interior Seaway of North America: evidence from stable isotopes in well-preserved shells of a seep fauna from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Pierre Shale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, J. K.; Landman, N. H.; Harries, P. J.; Larson, N. L.; Garb, M. P.; Klofak, S. M.; Brezina, J.

    2010-12-01

    Methane seep deposits are common in the Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale of the U.S. Western Interior. They contain a rich fauna including ammonites (Baculites, Hoploscaphites, Didymoceras, Placenticeras, Solenoceras), bivalves (Lucina), gastropods, sponges, and crinoids. In an effort to understand the environment of these systems, we have examined a vent from the upper Campanian Didymoceras cheyennense Zone in Custer County, South Dakota, in which the molluscs retain their original shell microstructure and thus isotopic composition. Measurements of the oxygen and carbon isotopic composition of Inoceramus, Lucina, Hoploscaphites, and Baculites from the central part of the vent as well as from the surrounding sea floor are consistent for each kind of organism, and the δ13C values suggest differences in their habitats relative to the source of methane. The oxygen isotopic values for specimens of Lucina, Hoploscaphites and Baculites average -1.8 ± 0.9‰, corresponding to water temperatures of ~23 ± 4 °C (assuming δ18O of the water = -1‰). Values of δ13C for these specimens range from ~-6‰ in Hoploscaphites to ~-3‰ in Baculites to ~-1‰ in Lucina. The δ13C values in the scaphite and baculite specimens are significantly lighter than values measured in non-seep specimens. This suggests that their shells incorporated isotopically light dissolved inorganic carbon derived from seep methane and that these mobile animals were living in close proximity to the vent fluids. In contrast, Inoceramus shells from both the central part of the vent as well as from the surrounding sea floor display δ18O ranging from -5.7 to -3.4‰ and δ13C ranging from 3.6 to 5.2‰. These results suggest non-equilibrium precipitation of carbonate in the shells of Inoceramus, consistent with results from prior studies. We explore the possibility that the seeps influenced the carbon isotope composition of dissolved inorganic carbon in the Western Interior Sea, as well as isotopic

  8. Multibeam sonar mapping of Siberian seeps: Evaluating trends in methane flux from shallow sub-sea permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stubbs, Christopher; Leifer, Ira; Luyendyk, Bruce; Semiletov, Igor

    2010-05-01

    The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) contains an estimated 1400 GT (109 tons = 1 GT) of carbon sequestered within and beneath a sub-sea permafrost unit that is overlain by thin sediments. This carbon pool includes methane (CH4) as free and dissolved gas, potentially extensive methane hydrate deposits, and carbon dioxide (CO2), yet its contribution has traditionally been ignored in global carbon stocks because of its assumed stability. The ESAS is very shallow averaging < 50 m depth over its 2x106 km2 area, 80% of which is predicted to contain originally sub-areal permafrost unit, now submerged due to transgression. Associated with transgression was a new thermal regime including enhanced heat transfer from warming Arctic Oceans and terrestrial riverine waters to the submerged permafrost, as well as from exothermic oxidation reactions and geothermal sources. As a result, large areas of integrity loss have been identified from widespread bubble ebullition and enhanced aqueous methane levels well above atmospheric equilibrium. The resulting thaw sediments (taliks) and structural breaches facilitate fluid and gas migration within the permafrost to overlying sediments where some microbial methane oxidation occurs. These destabilizing features may also provide a mechanism for enhanced heat transfer to methane hydrate deposits. The shallow nature of the ESAS means ascending bubbles in the water column experience minimal dissolution before venting to the atmosphere. Additionally, storm mixing extends to the seabed so that virtually all dissolved methane gas from bubbles and sediment fluid exchange is stripped from the oceanic waters and vented to the atmosphere prior to the microbial oxidation. Emission of CH4 and CO2 largely remain unquantified but potentially contribute significantly to atmospheric budgets. Further, rapid Arctic warming suggests these gas emissions could present a significant positive warming feedback. Given the rapid climate changes occurring and

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Sulfate reduction using methane in sediments beneath a bathyal ``cold seep'' giant clam community off Hatsushima Island, Sagami Bay, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masuzawa, Toshiyuki; Handa, Nobuhiko; Kitagawa, Hiroyuki; Kusakabe, Minoru

    1992-05-01

    Two sandy sediment cores (Cores D227-120 and D380) were collected from inside a deep-sea giant clam ( Calyptogena soyoae) community off Hatsushima Island, western Sagami Bay, central Japan (35°59.9'N, 139°13.6'E; 1160 m deep) and a muddy sediment core (Core D227-202) was obtained from outside the community by the submersible Shinkai 2000. The chloride concentration of the pore waters is constant vertically and sulfate reduction using sedimentary organic matter occurs in Core D227-202 (21 cm long). The chloride concentrations are lower by 7% at the 7.5-9 cm depth in Core D227-120 (9 cm long) and by 3% at the 11-12 cm depth in Core D380 (16 cm long) than those of the overlying bottom waters in the cores from inside of the community. Sulfate concentration decreases remarkably and dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, ammonium-N, and hydrogen sulfide concentrations increase significantly with increasing depth in Core D380. δ 34S values of sulfate ions increase from +20.5 to +35.3‰ and δ 13C values of dissolved inorganic carbon decrease drastically from -7.0 to -45‰ with increasing depth from the top to the bottom of the core, although the δ 13C values of the organic carbon of the sediments are -23.7 ± 0.9‰ in Core D380. These results indicate that sulfate reduction using methane is active within the sediments just beneath the living clams and that the hydrogen sulfide produced can be used by endosymbiotic sulfur oxidizing bacteria living in the gills of C. soyoae in the community.

  5. [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.

  6. [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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Laboratory investigation of a passive acoustic method for measurement of underwater gas seep ebullition.

    PubMed

    Greene, Chad A; Wilson, Preston S

    2012-01-01

    Passive acoustic techniques are of interest as a low-power means of quantifying underwater point-source gas ebullition. Toward the development of systems for logging natural seep activity, laboratory experiments were performed that exploited the bubble's Minnaert natural frequency for the measurement of gas flow from a model seep. Results show agreement among acoustic, optical, and gas trap ebullition measurements over the range of emission rates from 0 to 10 bubbles per second. A mathematical model is proposed to account for the real gas behavior of bubbles which cannot be approximated as ideal, such as methane at marine depths exceeding 30 m.

  1. Laboratory investigation of a passive acoustic method for measurement of underwater gas seep ebullition.

    PubMed

    Greene, Chad A; Wilson, Preston S

    2012-01-01

    Passive acoustic techniques are of interest as a low-power means of quantifying underwater point-source gas ebullition. Toward the development of systems for logging natural seep activity, laboratory experiments were performed that exploited the bubble's Minnaert natural frequency for the measurement of gas flow from a model seep. Results show agreement among acoustic, optical, and gas trap ebullition measurements over the range of emission rates from 0 to 10 bubbles per second. A mathematical model is proposed to account for the real gas behavior of bubbles which cannot be approximated as ideal, such as methane at marine depths exceeding 30 m. PMID:22280731

  2. Seafloor methane: Atlantic bubble bath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, John

    2014-09-01

    The release of large quantities of methane from ocean sediments might affect global climate change. The discovery of expansive methane seeps along the US Atlantic margin provides an ideal test bed for such a marine methane-climate connection.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Environmental effects of submarine seeping natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dando, P. R.; Hovland, M.

    1992-10-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Dioxygen Activation in Soluble Methane Monooxygenase

    PubMed Central

    Tinberg, Christine E.; Lippard, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    CONSPECTUS The controlled oxidation of methane to methanol is a chemical transformation of great industrial importance that is underutilized because of inefficient and costly synthetic procedures. Methane monooxygenase enzymes (MMOs) from methanotrophic bacteria achieve this chemistry efficiently under ambient conditions. In this Account we discuss the first step in the oxidation of methane at the carboxylate-bridged diiron active site of the soluble MMO (sMMO), namely, the reductive activation of atmospheric O2. The results provide benchmarks against which the dioxygen activation mechanisms of other bacterial multicomponent monooxygenases can be measured. Molecular oxygen reacts rapidly with the reduced, diiron(II) center of the hydroxylase component of sMMO (MMOH). The first spectroscopically characterized intermediate that results from this process is an antiferromagnetically coupled peroxodiiron(III) species, P*, in which the iron atoms have identical environments. P* converts to a second peroxodiiron(III) unit, Hperoxo, in a process accompanied by the transfer of a proton, probably with the assistance of a residue near the active site. Proton-promoted O–O bond scission and rearrangement of the diiron core then leads to a diiron(IV) unit termed Q that is directly responsible for the oxidation of methane to methanol. In the first half of this Account we provide a detailed discussion of these processes, with particular emphasis on possible structures of the intermediates. The geometries of P* and Hperoxo are currently unknown, and recent synthetic modeling chemistry has highlighted the need for further structural characterization of Q, previously assigned as a di(μ-oxo)diiron(IV) `diamond core'. In the second half of the Account, we discuss in detail proton transfer during the O2 activation events. The role of protons in promoting O–O bond cleavage, thereby initiating the conversion of Hperoxo to Q, was previously a controversial topic. Recent studies

  12. 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

  13. Bacterial diversity and biogeochemistry of different chemosynthetic habitats of the REGAB cold seep (West African margin, 3160 m water depth)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pop Ristova, P.; Wenzhöfer, F.; Ramette, A.; Zabel, M.; Fischer, D.; Kasten, S.; Boetius, A.

    2012-07-01

    The giant pockmark REGAB (West African margin, 3160 m water depth) is an active methane-emitting cold seep ecosystem, where the energy derived from microbially mediated oxidation of methane supports high biomass and diversity of chemosynthetic communities. Bare sediments interspersed with heterogeneous chemosynthetic assemblages of mytilid mussels, vesicomyid clams and siboglinid tubeworms form a complex seep ecosystem. To better understand if benthic bacterial communities reflect the patchy distribution of chemosynthetic fauna, all major chemosynthetic habitats at REGAB were investigated using an interdisciplinary approach combining porewater geochemistry, in situ quantification of fluxes and consumption of methane, as well bacterial community fingerprinting. This study revealed that sediments populated by different fauna assemblages show distinct biogeochemical activities and are associated with distinct sediment bacterial communities. The methane consumption and methane effluxes ranged over one to two orders of magnitude across habitats, and reached highest values at the mussel habitat, which hosted a different bacterial community compared to the other habitats. Clam assemblages had a profound impact on the sediment geochemistry, but less so on the bacterial community structure. Moreover, all clam assemblages at REGAB were restricted to sediments characterized by complete methane consumption in the seafloor, and intermediate biogeochemical activity. Overall, variations in the sediment geochemistry were reflected in the distribution of both fauna and microbial communities; and were mostly determined by methane flux.

  14. Bacterial diversity and biogeochemistry of different chemosynthetic habitats of the REGAB cold seep (West African margin, 3160 m water depth)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pop Ristova, P.; Wenzhöfer, F.; Ramette, A.; Zabel, M.; Fischer, D.; Kasten, S.; Boetius, A.

    2012-12-01

    The giant pockmark REGAB (West African margin, 3160 m water depth) is an active methane-emitting cold seep ecosystem, where the energy derived from microbially mediated oxidation of methane supports high biomass and diversity of chemosynthetic communities. Bare sediments interspersed with heterogeneous chemosynthetic assemblages of mytilid mussels, vesicomyid clams and siboglinid tubeworms form a complex seep ecosystem. To better understand if benthic bacterial communities reflect the patchy distribution of chemosynthetic fauna, all major chemosynthetic habitats at REGAB were investigated using an interdisciplinary approach combining pore water geochemistry, in situ quantification of fluxes and consumption of methane, as well as bacterial community fingerprinting. This study revealed that sediments populated by different fauna assemblages show distinct biogeochemical activities and are associated with distinct sediment bacterial communities. The methane consumption rates and methane effluxes ranged over one to two orders of magnitude across habitats, and reached highest values at the mussel habitat, which hosted a different bacterial community compared to the other habitats. Clam assemblages had a profound impact on the sediment geochemistry, but less so on the bacterial community structure. Moreover, all clam assemblages at REGAB were restricted to sediments characterized by complete methane consumption in the seafloor, and intermediate biogeochemical activity. Overall, variations in the sediment geochemistry were reflected in the distribution of both fauna and microbial communities; and were mostly determined by methane flux.

  15. 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

  16. Molecular evidence demonstrating the basidiomycetous fungus Cryptococcus curvatus is the dominant microbial eukaryote in sediment at the Kuroshima Knoll methane seep.

    PubMed

    Takishita, Kiyotaka; Tsuchiya, Masashi; Reimer, James D; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2006-04-01

    The Kuroshima Knoll, located in the southern Ryukyu Arc, is known to actively bubble with gas containing methane and hydrogen sulfide from numerous fissures in the large carbonate pavement. Although ecological studies regarding macrobenthos and bacteria from Kuroshima Knoll have been intensively conducted, the community structure and ecological importance of microbial eukaryotes (protists) have not yet been investigated. In the present study, we directly extracted DNA from sediment of the Kuroshima Knoll at a depth of 640 m and constructed genetic libraries of PCR-amplified eukaryotic small-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA). Although the SSU rDNA sequences of several types of benthic foraminifers were retrieved from the surface of the sediment, all other sequences (just below the sediment surface to approximately 9 cm below sediment surface) were derived from the basidiomycetous yeast Cryptococcus curvatus. Furthermore, sequences of the internal transcribed spacer of rDNA (ITS-rDNA) retrieved from the same sediment were identical to that of C. curvatus originating from terrestrial habitats. The diversity of microbial eukaryotes in the Kuroshima Knoll sediment seems to be extremely low and significantly different from that of other marine environments previously reported.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Paleozoic Hydrocarbon-Seep Limestones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peckmann, J.

    2007-12-01

    To date, five Paleozoic hydrocarbon-seep limestones have been recognized based on carbonate fabrics, associated fauna, and stable carbon isotopes. These are the Middle Devonian Hollard Mound from the Antiatlas of Morocco [1], Late Devonian limestone lenses with the dimerelloid brachiopod Dzieduszyckia from the Western Meseta of Morocco [2], Middle Mississippian limestones with the dimerelloid brachiopod Ibergirhynchia from the Harz Mountains of Germany [3], Early Pennsylvanian limestones from the Tantes Mound in the High Pyrenees of France [4], and Late Pennsylvanian limestone lenses from the Ganigobis Shale Member of southern Namibia [5]. Among these examples, the composition of seepage fluids varied substantially as inferred from delta C-13 values of early diagenetic carbonate phases. Delta C-13 values as low as -50 per mil from the Tantes Mound and -51 per mil from the Ganigobis limestones reveal seepage of biogenic methane, whereas values of -12 per mil from limestones with Dzieduszyckia associated with abundant pyrobitumen agree with oil seepage. Intermediate delta C-13 values of carbonate cements from the Hollard Mound and Ibergirhynchia deposits probably reflect seepage of thermogenic methane. It is presently very difficult to assess the faunal evolution at seeps in the Paleozoic based on the limited number of examples. Two of the known seeps were typified by extremely abundant rhynchonellide brachiopods of the superfamily Dimerelloidea. Bivalve mollusks and tubeworms were abundant at two of the known Paleozoic seep sites; one was dominated by bivalve mollusks (Hollard Mound, Middle Devonian), another was dominated by tubeworms (Ganigobis Shale Member, Late Pennsylvanian). The tubeworms from these two deposits are interpreted to represent vestimentiferan worms, based on studies of the taphonomy of modern vestimentiferans. However, this interpretation is in conflict with the estimated evolutionary age of vestimentiferans based on molecular clock methods

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2012-07-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Carbonate-hosted methanotrophy represents an unrecognized methane sink in the deep sea.

    PubMed

    Marlow, Jeffrey J; Steele, Joshua A; Ziebis, Wiebke; Thurber, Andrew R; Levin, Lisa A; Orphan, Victoria J

    2014-01-01

    The atmospheric flux of methane from the oceans is largely mitigated through microbially mediated sulphate-coupled methane oxidation, resulting in the precipitation of authigenic carbonates. Deep-sea carbonates are common around active and palaeo-methane seepage, and have primarily been viewed as passive recorders of methane oxidation; their role as active and unique microbial habitats capable of continued methane consumption has not been examined. Here we show that seep-associated carbonates harbour active microbial communities, serving as dynamic methane sinks. Microbial aggregate abundance within the carbonate interior exceeds that of seep sediments, and molecular diversity surveys reveal methanotrophic communities within protolithic nodules and well-lithified carbonate pavements. Aggregations of microbial cells within the carbonate matrix actively oxidize methane as indicated by stable isotope FISH-nanoSIMS experiments and (14)CH4 radiotracer rate measurements. Carbonate-hosted methanotrophy extends the known ecological niche of these important methane consumers and represents a previously unrecognized methane sink that warrants consideration in global methane budgets. PMID:25313858

  14. 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, ...

  15. Record Methane Storage in Monolithic and Powdered Activated Carbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soo, Yuchoong; Nordwald, E.; Hester, B.; Romanos, J.; Isaacson, B.; Stalla, D.; Moore, D.; Kraus, M.; Burress, J.; Dohnke, E.; Pfeifer, P.

    2010-03-01

    The Alliance for Collaborative Research in Alternative Fuel Technology (ALL-CRAFT) has developed activated carbons from corn cob as adsorbent materials for methane gas storage by physisorption at low pressures. KOH activated carbons were compressed into carbon monolith using chemical binders. High pressure methane isotherms up to 250 bar at room temperature on monolithic and powdered activated carbons were measured gravimetrically and volumetrically. Record methane storage capacities of 250 g CH4/kg carbon and 130 g CH4/liter carbon at 35 bar and 293 K have been achieved. BET surface area, porosity, and pore size distributions were measured from sub-critical nitrogen isotherms. Pore entrances were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A prototype adsorbed natural gas (ANG) tank, loaded with carbon monoliths, was tested in Kansas City.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The methane-rich, hydrothermally heated sediments of the Guaymas Basin are inhabited by thermophilic microorganisms, including anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (mainly ANME-1) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (e.g., HotSeep-1 cluster). We studied the microbial carbon flow in ANME-1/ HotSeep-1 enrichments in stable-isotope–probing experiments with and without methane. The relative incorporation of 13C from either dissolved inorganic carbon or methane into lipids revealed that methane-oxidizing archaea assimilated primarily inorganic carbon. This assimilation is strongly accelerated in the presence of methane. Experiments with simultaneous amendments of both 13C-labeled dissolved inorganic carbon and deuterated water provided further insights into production rates of individual lipids derived from members of the methane-oxidizing community as well as their carbon sources used for lipid biosynthesis. In the presence of methane, all prominent lipids carried a dual isotopic signal indicative of their origin from primarily autotrophic microbes. In the absence of methane, archaeal lipid production ceased and bacterial lipid production dropped by 90%; the lipids produced by the residual fraction of the metabolically active bacterial community predominantly carried a heterotrophic signal. Collectively our results strongly suggest that the studied ANME-1 archaea oxidize methane but assimilate inorganic carbon and should thus be classified as methane-oxidizing chemoorganoautotrophs. PMID:23129626

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  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. Distribution and in situ abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria in diverse marine hydrocarbon seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Kleindienst, Sara; Ramette, Alban; Amann, Rudolf; Knittel, Katrin

    2012-10-01

    Marine gas and hydrocarbon seeps are hot spots of sulfate reduction which is fuelled by methane, other short-chain alkanes or a complex mixture of hydrocarbons. In this study, we investigated the global distribution and abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in eight gas and hydrocarbon seeps by catalysed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH). The majority of Deltaproteobacteria were assigned to specific SRB groups, i.e. 83 ± 14% at gas seeps and 61 ± 35% at hydrocarbon seeps, indicating that the probe set used was sufficient for classification of marine SRB. Statistical analysis showed that SRB abundance and distribution were significantly influenced by habitat type and sediment depth. Members of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade strongly dominated all sites. Our data indicated the presence of many diverse and highly specialized DSS species of low abundance rather than a single abundant subgroup. In addition, SEEP-SRB2, an uncultured deep-branching deltaproteobacterial group, was ubiquitously found in high abundances at all sites. SEEP-SRB2 members occurred either in a novel association with methanotrophic archaea in shell-type ANME-2/SEEP-SRB2 consortia, in association with ANME-1 archaea in Black Sea microbial mats or as single cells. Two other uncultured groups, SEEP-SRB3 and SEEP-SRB4, were preferentially detected in surface sediments from mud volcanoes.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-05

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-21

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

  14. 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.

  15. Constraining Microbial Cycling of Carbon and Sulfur and Relationships to Macrofaunal Ecology in Cretaceous Cold Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, T.; Shapiro, R.; Benjamin, G.; Bates, S.; Anderson, J.; Gilhooly, W.; Parsons-Hubbard, K.

    2007-12-01

    The Pierre Shale in Colorado hosts an extensive fault-controlled network of Late Cretaceous fossil-rich carbonate accumulations expressed topographically as the Teepee Buttes. An ancient methane seep origin for these features is clear from carbonate-carbon isotope values that are as light as -50 per mil and from organic biomakers that point to abundant aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophy. A primary goal is to identify the patterns of sulfate reduction linked to anaerobic oxidation of methane (and other possible hydrocarbons) through a detailed isotopic study of sulfur preserved as carbonate-associated sulfate trapped within authigenic and biogenic phases. We are further constraining these patterns by calibrating them against our studies of modern seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Delineating micro- and macrofaunal symbiotic linkages driven by chemosynthetic (sulfide-oxidizing) bacterial communities is a related goal. Through ongoing analysis of shell material, we hope to fingerprint thiotrophic activity within specific organisms, including lucinid bivalves. Consistent with the abundant benthic macrofauna, C- S-Fe analysis of the host shales indicates that bottom waters were oxygenated at the time of seep activity. Our work expands on previous studies to include a detailed paragenesis of the carbonate fabrics, which is aided by high-resolution C isotope and trace element analysis. Our results show that early-formed carbonates are characterized by depleted C isotope values, comparatively heavy O, low Fe contents, and high Sr and Mg. Late carbonates show isotope and elemental relationships that are generally opposite those of the early precipitates. Botryoidal cements, pelsparites, and yellow calcite dominate the early diagenetic forms. Blocky white sparry cements formed later, and micrite is mostly a product of later micritization of early fabrics and correspondingly shows broad geochemical properties. The overarching focus of all this work is to understand the timing

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Bacterioplankton growth and production at the Louisiana hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-06-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Effect of azithromycin on enhancement of methane production from waste activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Minh Tuan; Maeda, Toshinari; Mohd Yusoff, Mohd Zulkhairi; Ogawa, Hiroaki I

    2014-07-01

    In the methane production from waste activated sludge (WAS), complex bacterial interactions in WAS have been known as a major contribution to methane production. Therefore, the influence of bacterial community changes toward methane production from WAS was investigated by an application of antibiotics as a simple means for it. In this study, azithromycin (Azm) as an antibiotic was mainly used to observe the effect on microbial changes that influence methane production from WAS. The results showed that at the end of fermentation, Azm enhanced methane production about twofold compared to control. Azm fostered the growth of acid-producing bacterial communities, which synthesized more precursors for methane formation. DGGE result showed that the hydrolysis as well as acetogenesis stage was improved by the dominant of B1, B2 and B3 strains, which are Clostridium species. In the presence of Azm, the total population of archaeal group was increased, resulting in higher methane productivity achievement.

  6. Gas seep induced interstitial water circulation: observations and environmental implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Hara, S. C. M.; Dando, P. R.; Schuster, U.; Bennis, A.; Boyle, J. D.; Chui, F. T. W.; Hatherell, T. V. J.; Niven, S. J.; Taylor, L. J.

    1995-07-01

    An interstitial water circulation, generated by gas flow through a permeable sediment, was observed at an intertidal site on the Kattegat coast of Denmark. Concentrations of methane dissolved in the interstitial water of the near-surface sediment decreased sharply only centimetres away from gas seeps venting almost pure methane (≈99% methane). Water was driven out of the sediment by the rising bubbles of gas at the seep and was replaced by an equivalent draw-down of overlying, oxygenated water into the surrounding sediment. This process steepened the chemical gradients close to the gas flow channel, with the effects progressively diminishing with increasing distance from the seep. The position of the redox potential discontinuity (RPD) moved by as much as 7 cm deeper into the sediment close to the seep: this effect was less marked, but still detectable, 50 cm away. The degree of displacement from the "normal" sediment profiles depended on the magnitude of the interstitial flow rate. The distribution of pore water pH and sulphate: sodium ratios were also dependent on the flow rate of the circulating water. The concentrations of sulphide, thiosulphate and sulphite in the interstitial water from the top 10 cm of sediment, were high at a seep, decreased to a minimum at 20-30 cm distance, then increased again at 40-50 cm distance. Laboratory experiments confirmed that gas bubbling through a fluid filled permeable matrix generated a flow, out of the sediment at the gas exit and into the sediment over the peripheral surfaces surrounding the outlet. Experimentally determined rates of dispersion, for gas flow rates of 3-20 ml min -1, for a 40 g l -1 sodium chloride solution, were 62.5 × 10 -9 to 540 × 10 -9 m 2 s -1, 40-400 times the molecular diffusion coefficient. Linear interstitial fluid velocities of 3-12 mm min -1, were recorded at 14-3 cm from the seep axis respectively, with a gas flow rate of 5 ml min -1. Two-dimensional modelling of the experimental system

  7. Methanotrophic Bacteria Maintaining and Coexisting With a Methanogenic Consortium in Soils at Man-Made Natural gas Seeps at Petroleum Well Sites in Western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arkadakskiy, S.; Muehlenbachs, K.

    2007-12-01

    Unwanted leakage of natural gas (>90% vol. CH4) in soil is ubiquitous at petroleum well sites in western Canada. Long term monitoring at several of those man-made seeps demonstrates that aerobic methanotrophy is the most important microbially mediated process in the soil. Bacterial oxidation of methane is severely impeded by soil freezing in winter and also in soils contaminated with liquid hydrocarbons. Soil gas compositions and carbon stable isotope data demonstrate that bacterial methanogenesis also occurs in deeper sections of the soil column at a number of the seeps. While methanogenic activity is common in soil contaminated with liquid hydrocarbons, it is also detected in soils where no evidence of oil contamination has been found (i.e., in "clean" soils). Methanogenic activity in "clean" soils occurs in the summer when soil temperature and moisture are comparatively high. Results also demonstrate that at this time of the year metanotrophic bacteria move upwards in the soil column whereby consuming nearly all available oxygen methanotrops are, thus, providing a habitat for the methane producing microorganisms. The concentrations of electron acceptors other than CO2 (HCO2) in soil moisture are very low or below detection, hence, indicating that methanogenesis is the energetically favorable terminal electron acceptor process in this environment. Conspicuous lack of soil biomass of methanotrophic origin evident from the low concentrations of soil organic matter (SOM) and the comparatively high carbon stable isotope composition of SOM, suggests that fermenting bacteria from the methanogenic consortium metabolize lysed cells and polysaccharide film left over from the demise of methanotrophic bacteria in winter, therefore practically feeding of the latter. Methane generated by the methanogens mixes with leaking gas and it is, sometimes, completely consumed by the methanotrophs. The seasonal interplay of methanogenic and methanotrophic bacteria at the man

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Hydroasoustic techniques were used for detection and mapping of gas jet areas in the coastal regions of the Crimean peninsula. Gas seep areas in the bays Laspi, Khersones, and Kazach'ya were chosen for detailed microbiological investigation. The first type of gas jets, observed in the Laspi Bay, was probably associated with discarge of deep thermogenic methane along the faults. Methane isotopic composition was char- acterized by Δ13C of -35.3 degrees. While elevated rates of aerobic methane oxidation were revealed in the sandy sediments adjacent to the methane release site, no evidence of bacterial mats was found. The second type of gas emission, observed in the Khersones Bay, was accompanied by formation of bacterial biofilms of the "Thiodendron" microbial community type, predominated by filamentous, spirochete-like organisms, in the areas of gas seepage. The isotopic composition of methane was there considerably lower (-60.4 degrees), indicating a considerable contribution of modern microbial methane to the gas bubbles discharged in this bay. Activity of the third type of gas emission, the seeps of the Kazach'ya Bay, probably depended directly on modern microbial processes of organic matter degradation in the upper sediment layers. The rates of sulfate reduction and methanogenesis were 260 and 34 μmol dm(-3) day(-1), respectively. Our results indicate different mechanisms responsible for formation of methane jets in the Laspi Bay and in the coastal areas of the Heracles Peninsula, where the bays Kazach'ya and Khersones are located. PMID:26964364

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Climate reconstruction from a methane influenced environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  14. 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).

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-04-29

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

  16. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Atmospheric methane oxidizers are present and active in Canadian high Arctic soils.

    PubMed

    Martineau, Christine; Pan, Yao; Bodrossy, Levente; Yergeau, Etienne; Whyte, Lyle G; Greer, Charles W

    2014-08-01

    The melting of permafrost and the associated potential for methane emissions to the atmosphere are major concerns in the context of global warming. However, soils can also represent a significant sink for methane through the activity of methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). In this study, we looked at the activity, diversity, and community structure of MOB at two sampling depths within the active layer in three soils from the Canadian high Arctic. These soils had the capacity to oxidize methane at low (15 ppm) and high (1000 ppm) methane concentrations, but rates differed greatly depending on the sampling date, depth, and site. The pmoA gene sequences related to two genotypes of uncultured MOB involved in atmospheric methane oxidation, the 'upland soil cluster gamma' and the 'upland soil cluster alpha', were detected in soils with near neutral and acidic pH, respectively. Other groups of MOB, including Type I methanotrophs and the 'Cluster 1' genotype, were also detected, indicating a broader diversity of MOB than previously reported for Arctic soils. Overall, the results reported here showed that methane oxidation at both low and high methane concentrations occurs in high Arctic soils and revealed that different groups of atmospheric MOB inhabit these soils.

  20. Growth and Methane Oxidation Rates of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Archaea in a Continuous-Flow Bioreactor

    PubMed Central

    Girguis, Peter R.; Orphan, Victoria J.; Hallam, Steven J.; DeLong, Edward F.

    2003-01-01

    Anaerobic methanotrophic archaea have recently been identified in anoxic marine sediments, but have not yet been recovered in pure culture. Physiological studies on freshly collected samples containing archaea and their sulfate-reducing syntrophic partners have been conducted, but sample availability and viability can limit the scope of these experiments. To better study microbial anaerobic methane oxidation, we developed a novel continuous-flow anaerobic methane incubation system (AMIS) that simulates the majority of in situ conditions and supports the metabolism and growth of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea. We incubated sediments collected from within and outside a methane cold seep in Monterey Canyon, Calif., for 24 weeks on the AMIS system. Anaerobic methane oxidation was measured in all sediments after incubation on AMIS, and quantitative molecular techniques verified the increases in methane-oxidizing archaeal populations in both seep and nonseep sediments. Our results demonstrate that the AMIS system stimulated the maintenance and growth of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea, and possibly their syntrophic, sulfate-reducing partners. Our data demonstrate the utility of combining physiological and molecular techniques to quantify the growth and metabolic activity of anaerobic microbial consortia. Further experiments with the AMIS system should provide a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of methane oxidation in anoxic marine environments. The AMIS may also enable the enrichment, purification, and isolation of methanotrophic archaea as pure cultures or defined syntrophic consortia. PMID:12957936

  1. 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.

  2. [Activity of methane-oxidizing bacteria in the adsorbed state].

    PubMed

    Nesterov, A I; Nazarenko, A V

    1975-01-01

    Adsorption of pure cultures of methane oxidizing bacteria, Methylosinus trichosporium 20 and Methylococcus ucrainicus 21, on glass and coal was studied; the former strain was sorbed on both sorbents, the latter strain was sorbed on coal but not on glass. The rate of methane oxidation by the cells of adsorbed microorganisms was higher than in the case of free cells, and increased with a decrease in dimensions of the sorbent particles. PMID:1207502

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Free nitrous acid (FNA)-based pretreatment enhances methane production from waste activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qilin; Ye, Liu; Jiang, Guangming; Jensen, Paul D; Batstone, Damien J; Yuan, Zhiguo

    2013-10-15

    Anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is currently enjoying renewed interest due to the potential for methane production. However, methane production is often limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor methane potential of WAS. This study presents a novel pretreatment strategy based on free nitrous acid (FNA or HNO2) to enhance methane production from WAS. Pretreatment of WAS for 24 h at FNA concentrations up to 2.13 mg N/L substantially enhanced WAS solubilization, with the highest solubilization (0.16 mg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/mg volatile solids (VS), at 2.13 mg HNO2-N/L) being six times that without FNA pretreatment (0.025 mg COD/mg VS, at 0 mg HNO2-N/L). Biochemical methane potential tests demonstrated methane production increased with increased FNA concentration used in the pretreatment step. Model-based analysis indicated FNA pretreatment improved both hydrolysis rate and methane potential, with the highest improvement being approximately 50% (from 0.16 to 0.25 d(-1)) and 27% (from 201 to 255 L CH4/kg VS added), respectively, achieved at 1.78-2.13 mg HNO2-N/L. Further analysis indicated that increased hydrolysis rate and methane potential were related to an increase in rapidly biodegradable substrates, which increased with increased FNA dose, while the slowly biodegradable substrates remained relatively static.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. New sludge pretreatment method to improve methane production in waste activated sludge digestion.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dong; Chen, Yinguang; Zhao, Yuxiao; Zhu, Xiaoyu

    2010-06-15

    During two-phase sludge anaerobic digestion, sludge is usually hydrolyzed and acidified in the first phase, then methane is produced in the second stage. To get more methane from sludge, most studies in literature focused on the increase of sludge hydrolysis. In this paper a different sludge pretreatment method, i.e., pretreating sludge at pH 10 for 8 d is reported, by which both waste activated sludge hydrolysis and acidification were increased, and the methane production was significantly improved. First, the effect of different sludge pretreatment methods on methane yield was compared. The pH 10 pretreated sludge showed the highest accumulative methane yield (398 mL per g of volatile suspended solids), which was 4.4-, 3.5-, 3.1-, and 2.3-fold of the blank (unpretreated), ultrasonic, thermal, and thermal-alkaline pretreated sludge, respectively. Nevertheless, its total time involved in the first (hydrolysis and acidification) and second (methanogenesis) stages was 17 (8 + 9) d, which was almost the same as other pretreatments. Then, the mechanisms for pH 10 pretreatment significantly improving methane yield were investigated. It was found that pretreating sludge at pH 10 caused the greatest sludge hydrolysis, acidification, soluble C:N and C:P ratios, and Fe(3+) concentration with a suitable short-chain fatty acids composition in the first stage, which resulted in the highest microorganism activity (ATP) and methane production in the second phase. Further investigation on the second phase microorganisms with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicated that there were much greater active methanogenesis Archaea when methane was produced with the pH 10 pretreated sludge, and the predominant morphology of the microcolonies suggest a shift to Methanosarcina sp. like.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-24

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-24

    Methane emissions in the Arctic are important, and may be contributing to global warming. While methane emission rates from Arctic lakes are well documented, methods are needed to quantify the relative contribution of active layer groundwater to the overall lake methane budget. Here we report measurements of natural tracers of soil/groundwater, radon, and radium, along with methane concentration in Toolik Lake, Alaska, to evaluate the role active layer water plays as an exogenous source for lake methane. Average concentrations of methane, radium, and radon were all elevated in the active layer compared with lake water (1.6 × 10(4) nM, 61.6 dpm⋅m(-3), and 4.5 × 10(5) dpm⋅m(-3) compared with 1.3 × 10(2) nM, 5.7 dpm⋅m(-3), and 4.4 × 10(3) dpm⋅m(-3), respectively). Methane transport from the active layer to Toolik Lake based on the geochemical tracer radon (up to 2.9 g⋅m(-2)⋅y(-1)) can account for a large fraction of methane emissions from this lake. Strong but spatially and temporally variable correlations between radon activity and methane concentrations (r(2) > 0.69) in lake water suggest that the parameters that control methane discharge from the active layer also vary. Warming in the Arctic may expand the active layer and increase the discharge, thereby increasing the methane flux to lakes and from lakes to the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming. More work is needed to quantify and elucidate the processes that control methane fluxes from the active layer to predict how this flux might change in the future and to evaluate the regional and global contribution of active layer water associated methane inputs. PMID:25775530

  2. Effects of 17β-estradiol pollution on water microbial methane oxidation activity.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Aidong; Zong, Fengjiao; Zhao, Ying; Liu, Chenxiao; Chen, Jing

    2014-04-01

    17β-estradiol (17β-E2), a widespread and natural estrogen in the environment, has imposed a serious threat to the safety and function of aquatic ecosystems because of worsening pollution and high potential toxicity. In the present study, the authors focus on the impact of 17β-E2 pollution on water microbial methane oxidation function. The authors investigated the mechanism of its influence on water microbial activity and discuss the growth rate of methane-oxidizing bacteria. The results showed that 17β-E2 could significantly inhibit the function of water microbial methane oxidation. When 17β-E2 concentration was ≥ 5 ng L(-1) , the methane oxidation rate increased with increasing 17β-E2 and finally settled to a constant value. Furthermore, the authors found no significant linear correlation between 17β-E2 concentrations and its methane oxidation rate. However, increasing 17β-E2 dramatically improved water microbial community activity, because a significant or highly significant promotion in the generation rate of CO2 was measured. Moreover, within a certain period of time and at certain concentrations, positive linear correlation existed between water CO2 generation rate and 17β-E2 concentrations. In addition, the growth rate of culturable methane-oxidizing bacteria was promoted when 17β-E2 pollution concentration from 2 ng L(-1) to 20 ng L(-1) . Therefore, 17β-E2 pollution can inhibit microbial methane oxidation function in water, which indirectly promotes the release of water methane and directly contributes to the rate of water-generated and released CO2 . Specifically, 17β-E2 pollution can promote water emissions of greenhouse gases. Environ

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xu; Wang, Qilin; Jiang, Guangming

    2015-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Relation between methane hydrate-bearing formations and geological phenomena on the seafloor in the eastern Nankai Trough, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagakubo, S.; Kobayashi, T.; Inamori, T.; Saeki, T.; Shimoda, N.; Fujii, T.; Morita, S.; Tanahashi, M.

    2007-12-01

    In 2002, a series of high-resolution 3D seismic surveys was conducted in the Tokai-Oki, the Daini-Atsumi Knoll, the Kumano-nada in the eastern Nankai Trough, Japan. Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21) conducted resource assessment of methane hydrate in the eastern Nankai Trough by various seismic data analyses combining results of the exploratory wells conducted in 2005. By these analyses, occurrence of methane hydrate in the eastern Nankai Trough is coming to light. The MH21 has also interpreted the relation between methane hydrate-bearing formations and various geological phenomena on the seafloor, such as pockmarks and carbonate outcrops, using the 3D seismic data in the three survey areas. Bathymetric maps and seafloor amplitude maps constructed by the high-resolution 3D data provided lots of information on the seafloor. Some areas show very high intensity on the seafloor amplitude maps. It is expected that the areas showing strong amplitude correspond to the distribution of carbonate outcrops which are likely precipitated by methane seep activities. By checking the seafloor amplitude maps, seismic sections and methane seep sites observed by the previous submersible dives, some significant correlations are recognized between methane hydrate-bearing formations and various phenomena on the seafloor. It may be likely that the occurrence of methane hydrate and the geological phenomena on the seafloor have a strong implication with some typical geologic structures, e.g. shallow fault, highly-permeable sediments and hydraulic fractures, which may control the fluid migration. Besides, in this study we learnt that bathymetric map and seafloor amplitude map constructed by the high- resolution 3D seismic data are very useful not only for interpretation of relation between methane hydrate-bearing formation and various phenomena on the seafloor but also for designing the following seafloor investigations. This study is conducted by the MH21.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-09-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Nature of methane activation over oxide centers. Annual report, September 1987-September 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Marcelin, G.; Agarwal, S.K.; Migone, R.A.

    1988-10-01

    The oxidative coupling of methane was studied over alkali-promoted antimony oxide and lead-magnesia catalysts. Reaction studies were used in conjunction with bulk and surface characterization of the catalysts to attempt to characterize the active centers. It was found that both acidity and availability of strong oxidizing sites can influence the selectivities of the various products of the reaction.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Diversity and methane oxidation of active epibiotic methanotrophs on live Shinkaia crosnieri.

    PubMed

    Watsuji, Tomo-o; Yamamoto, Asami; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Ueda, Kenji; Kawagucci, Shinsuke; Takai, Ken

    2014-05-01

    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.

  15. Methane flux in potential hydrate-bearing sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Nai-Chen; Yang, Tsanyao Frank; Chuang, Pei-Chuan; Hong, Wei-Li; Chen, Hsuan-Wen; Lin, Saulwood; Lin, Li-Hung; Mastumoto, Ryo; Hiruta, Akihiro; Sun, Chih-Hsien; Wang, Pei-Ling; Yang, Tau; Jiang, Shao-yong; Wang, Yun-shuen; Chung, San-Hsiung; Chen, Cheng-Hong

    2016-04-01

    Methane in interstitial water of hydrate-bearing marine sediments ascends with buoyant fluids and is discharged into seawater, exerting profound impacts on ocean biogeochemistry and greenhouse effects. Quantifying the exact magnitude of methane transport across different geochemical transitions in different geological settings would provide bases to better constrain global methane discharge to seawater and to assess physio-chemical contexts imposed on microbial methane production and consumption and carbon sequestration in marine environments. Using sediments collected from different geological settings offshore southwestern Taiwan through decadal exploration on gas hydrates, this study analyzed gas and aqueous geochemistry and calculated methane fluxes across different compartments. Three geochemical transitions, including sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ), shallow sediments, and sediment-seawater interface were specifically focused for the flux calculation. The results combined with previous published data showed that methane fluxes at three interfaces of 2.71×10-3 to 3.52×10-1, 5.28×10-7 to 1.08×100, and 1.34×10-6 to 3.17×100 mmol m-2 d-1, respectively. The ranges of fluxes suggest that more than 90 % of methane originating from depth was consumed by anaerobic methanotrophy at the SMTZ, and further >90% of the remnant methane was removed by aerobic methanotrophy prior to reaching the sediment-seawater interface. Exceptions are sites at cold seeps where the percentage of methane released into seawater can reach more than 80% of methane at depth. Most sites with such high methane fluxes are located at active margin where thrusts and diapirism are well developed. Carbon mass balance method was applied for the calculation of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and organotrophic sulfate reduction rates at SMTZ. Results indicated that AOM rates were comparable with fluxes deduced from concentration gradients for most sites. At least 60% of sulfate

  16. Enhancing catalytic activity and stability for CO2 methanation on Ni@MOF-5 via control of active species dispersion.

    PubMed

    Zhen, Wenlong; Li, Bo; Lu, Gongxuan; Ma, Jiantai

    2015-01-31

    A novel, highly active catalyst Ni@MOF-5 showed unexpected activity at low temperature for CO2 methanation. The characterization results indicated that Ni was uniformly and highly dispersed over MOF-5. This catalyst showed high stability and almost no deactivation in long term stability tests up to 100 h. PMID:25518948

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Activity and distribution of methane-oxidizing bacteria in flooded rice soil microcosms and in rice plants (Oryza sativa)

    SciTech Connect

    Bosse, U.; Frenzel, P.

    1997-04-01

    Methane is an important greenhouse gas, and its atmospheric concentration has been increasing for decades. Flooded rice fields are one of the major sources of methane emissions to the atmosphere. These emissions are the net result of methane production by methanogenic bacteria in anoxic environments and methane oxidation by methane oxidizing bacteria in oxic environments. This study describes both the activity and distribution of methane oxidizing bacteria in microcosms used as a model for flooded rice fields. Then the process was characterized and localized, and finally the distribution of these organisms on the roots and culm, the size of the rhizosphere and the changes associated with plant age were examined. 59 refs., 8 figs., 2 tabs.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Two-Dimensional Heat Transfer Modeling of the Formosa Ridge Offshore SW Taiwan: Implication for Fluid Migrating Paths of a Cold Seep Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Y.; Chi, W.; Liu, C.; Shyu, C.

    2011-12-01

    The Formosa Ridge, a small ridge located on the passive China continental slope offshore southwestern Taiwan, is an active cold seep site. Large and dense chemosynthetic communities were found there by the ROV Hyper-Dolphin during the 2007 NT0705 cruise. A vertical blank zone is clearly observed on all the seismic profiles across the cold seep site. This narrow zone is interpreted to be the fluid conduit of the seep site. Previous studies suggest that cold sea water carrying large amount of sulfate could flow into the fluid system from flanks of the ridge, and forms a very effective fluid circulation system that emits both methane and hydrogen sulfide to feed the unusual chemosynthetic communities observed at the Formosa Ridge cold seep site. Here we use thermal signals to study possible fluid flow migration paths. In 2008 and 2010, we have collected vdense thermal probe data at this site. We also study the temperatures at Bottom-Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) based on methane hydrate phase diagram. We perform 2D finite element thermal conductive simulations to study the effects of bathymetry on the temperature field in the ridge, and compare the simulation result with thermal probe and BSR-derived datasets. The boundary conditions include insulated boundaries on both sides, and we assign a fix temperature at the bottom of the model using an average regional geothermal gradient. Sensitivity tests and thermal probe data from a nearby region give a regional background geothermal gradient of 0.04 to 0.05 °C/m. The outputs of the simulation runs include geothermal gradient and temperature at different parts of the model. The model can fit the geothermal gradient at a distance away from the ridge where there is less geophysics evidence of fluid flow. However our model over-predicts the geothermal gradient by 50% at the ridge top. We also compare simulated temperature field and found that under the flanks of the ridge the temperature is cooled by 2 °C compared with the

  3. 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

  4. Effect of packing material on methane activation in a dielectric barrier discharge reactor

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-12-15

    The conversion of methane is measured in a planar-type dielectric barrier discharge reactor using γ-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} (sphere), α-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} (sphere), and γ-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} (16–20 mesh). Investigations on the surface properties and shape of the three packing materials clearly indicate that methane activation is considerably affected by the material used. Capacitances inside the discharge gap are estimated from charge–voltage plots, and a comparison of the generated and transferred charges for different packing conditions show that the difference in surface properties between γ- and α-phase Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} affects the discharge characteristics. Moreover, all packing conditions show different charge characteristics that are related to the electron density. Finally, the packing material's shape affects the local electron temperature, which is strongly related to methane conversion. The combined results indicate that both microscale and macroscale variations in a packing material affect the discharge characteristics, and a packing material should be considered carefully for effective methane activation.

  5. [Surface characteristics of alkali modified activated carbon and the adsorption capacity of methane].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Meng-Zhu; Li, Lin; Liu, Jun-Xin; Sun, Yong-Jun; Li, Guo-Bin

    2013-01-01

    Coconut shell based activated carbon was modified by alkali with different concentrations. The surface structures of tested carbons were observed and analyzed by SEM and BET methods. Boehm's titration and SEM/EDS methods were applied to assay the functional groups and elements on the carbon surface. The adsorption of methane on tested carbons was investigated and adsorption behavior was described by the adsorption isotherms. Results showed that surface area and pore volume of modified carbon increased and surface oxygen groups decreased as the concentration of the alkali used increased, with no obvious change in pore size. When concentration of alkali was higher than 3.3 mol x L(-1), the specific surface area and pore volume of modified carbon was larger than that of original carbon. Methane adsorption capacity of alkali modified carbon increased 24%. Enlargement of surface area and pore volume, reduction of surface oxygen groups will benefit to enhance the methane adsorption ability on activated carbon. Adsorption behavior of methane followed the Langmuir isotherm and the adsorption coefficient was 163.7 m3 x mg(-1).

  6. 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.

  7. Contribution to the evaluation of density of methane adsorbed on activated carbon.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Reinoso, Francisco; Almansa, Cristina; Molina-Sabio, Miguel

    2005-11-01

    The adsorption isotherms of N(2) at -196 degrees C, CO(2) at 0 degrees C, and CH(4) at 25 degrees C on 35 activated carbons with a wide range of micropore volumes and pore size distributions have been compared to evaluate the density of adsorbed methane. Results indicate that methane is adsorbed in the micropores of the activated carbon with a density that is a function of the carbon porosity because methane is packed more compactly in narrow than in wide micropores. An experimental procedure is proposed to evaluate the density in both types of micropores as a function of pressure. Its application to these porous carbons indicates that density of adsorbed methane increases rapidly with pressure on narrow micropores, the increase becoming slower above 1.5 MPa. The value reached at 3 MPa is 0.21 g/cm(3), near that estimated as the limiting value, 0.23 g/cm(3). Density in wide micropores is low, 0.09 g/cm(3) at 3 MPa, but it continuously increases with pressure.

  8. Effect of packing material on methane activation in a dielectric barrier discharge reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The conversion of methane is measured in a planar-type dielectric barrier discharge reactor using γ-Al2O3 (sphere), α-Al2O3 (sphere), and γ-Al2O3 (16-20 mesh). Investigations on the surface properties and shape of the three packing materials clearly indicate that methane activation is considerably affected by the material used. Capacitances inside the discharge gap are estimated from charge-voltage plots, and a comparison of the generated and transferred charges for different packing conditions show that the difference in surface properties between γ- and α-phase Al2O3 affects the discharge characteristics. Moreover, all packing conditions show different charge characteristics that are related to the electron density. Finally, the packing material's shape affects the local electron temperature, which is strongly related to methane conversion. The combined results indicate that both microscale and macroscale variations in a packing material affect the discharge characteristics, and a packing material should be considered carefully for effective methane activation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Discovery of "Hydrothermal" Chemosynthetic Community in a Cold Seep Environment, Formosa Ridge: Seafloor Observation Results from First ROV Cruise, off Southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machiyama, H.; Lin, S.; Fujikura, K.; Huang, C.; Ku, C.; Lin, L.; Liu, C.; Morita, S.; Nunoura, T.; Soh, W.; Toki, T.; Yang, T. F.

    2007-12-01

    First ROV diving survey has been conducted around the selected three sites (Formosa Ridge, Sites C and G) in offshore SW Taiwan, where gas hydrate broadly occurs within the thick Quaternary marine sediments. The Formosa Ridge and Site G are located in the South China Sea Continental Slope, whereas Site C is located in the frontal portion of a fault-bend fold in the accretionary wedge off SW Taiwan. Large, dense chemosynthetic communities were discovered at water depth of about 1120 - 1140 m on the top of the Formosa Ridge by direct observation using ROV Hyper-Dolphin of JAMSTEC. Colonies are distributed in depressions or fissures of large, carbon-depleted authigenic carbonates. The community is dominated by deep- sea mussel, Bathymodiolus platifrons, and galatheid crab, Shinkaia crosnieri. Most of species corresponds to those of hydrothermal vent fields in the Okinawa Trough, such as the Hatoma Knoll and the Iheya Ridge. Methane gas bubbles were found within the colony, and methane hydrate was also found beneath the aggregation of B. platifrons, which is harboured endosymbiont methanotroph in their gill in the Okinawa Trough. On the other hand, S. crosnieri from the Okinawa Trough culture numerous epibiont sulfur-oxidizing bacteria on their carapace. Therefore, they require high concentration of H2S from the subseafloor fluids. Single channel seismic profiles show the presence of clear BSR underneath the Formosa Ridge, and suggest the possible upward migration of gassy fluids beneath the top of the ridge. Therefore, the 'hydrothermal' chemosynthetic communities are supported by unusual high concentrations of methane and H2S fluids from the subseafloor. This is first discovery of "hydrothermal" chemosynthetic communities in cold seep environments of the world. No active seeps and the related phenomena are found around the Site G. Large seep carbonates around the summit are often covered by mud veneer and organisms. Therefore, this mud volcano is inferred to be

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-23

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

  20. Deep-water hydrocarbon seeps in Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simoneit, B.R.T.; Lonsdale, P.F.; Edmond, J.M.; Shanks, Wayne C.

    1990-01-01

    Acoustically discovered hydrocarbon seeps along a transform fault zone on the Sonoran margin of Guaymas Basin and in the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin were examined and sampled during dives of DSV Alvin. Seepage of methane and heavier hydrocarbons occurs through shallow pockmarks along the eroding crest of a steep anticline, 1600 m below sea level. Extensive ledges of aragonite crop out around the rims of the pockmarks; isotopic analysis indicates that carbonate precipitation is a result of methane oxidation. Seepage zones within the pockmarks support dense communities of Calyptogena, half buried in the mud; tubeworms (Lamellibracheae sp.) have colonized many of the aragonite outcrops. Though the margin site is only a few kilometers from a high-temperature sulfide-precipitating and petroleum-discharging vent system at a nearby center, its structural setting is more akin to pockmarks described from continental shelves, and its chemosynthetic fauna is more like that around low temperature seeps on other continental slopes and margins (e.g. Oregon, U.S.A., and Japan). The seep in the Southern Trough is a condensate-type petroleum (C1-C40) and rises as a plume from a young vent-mound system about 2000 m below sea level. ?? 1990.

  1. Immunological detection of enzymes for sulfate reduction in anaerobic methane-oxidizing consortia.

    PubMed

    Milucka, Jana; Widdel, Friedrich; Shima, Seigo

    2013-05-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction (SR) at marine gas seeps is performed by archaeal-bacterial consortia that have so far not been cultivated in axenic binary or pure cultures. Knowledge about possible biochemical reactions in AOM consortia is based on metagenomic retrieval of genes related to those in archaeal methanogenesis and bacterial sulfate reduction, and identification of a few catabolic enzymes in protein extracts. Whereas the possible enzyme for methane activation (a variant of methyl-coenzyme M reductase, Mcr) was shown to be harboured by the archaea, enzymes for sulfate activation and reduction have not been localized so far. We adopted a novel approach of fluorescent immunolabelling on semi-thin (0.3-0.5 μm) cryosections to localize two enzymes of the SR pathway, adenylyl : sulfate transferase (Sat; ATP sulfurylase) and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (Dsr) in microbial consortia from Black Sea methane seeps. Both Sat and Dsr were exclusively found in an abundant microbial morphotype (c. 50% of all cells), which was tentatively identified as Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus-related bacteria. These results show that ANME-2 archaea in the Black Sea AOM consortia did not express bacterial enzymes of the canonical sulfate reduction pathway and thus, in contrast to previous suggestions, most likely cannot perform canonical sulfate reduction. Moreover, our results show that fluorescent immunolabelling on semi-thin cryosections which to our knowledge has been so far only applied on cell tissues, is a powerful tool for intracellular protein detection in natural microbial associations.

  2. Widespread methane leakage from the sea floor on the northern US Atlantic margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skarke, Adam; Ruppel, Carolyn; Kodis, Mali'o; Brothers, Daniel S.; Lobecker, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Methane emissions from the sea floor affect methane inputs into the atmosphere, ocean acidification and de-oxygenation, the distribution of chemosynthetic communities and energy resources. Global methane flux from seabed cold seeps has only been estimated for continental shelves, at 8 to 65 Tg CH4 yr−1, yet other parts of marine continental margins are also emitting methane. The US Atlantic margin has not been considered an area of widespread seepage, with only three methane seeps recognized seaward of the shelf break. However, massive upper-slope seepage related to gas hydrate degradation has been predicted for the southern part of this margin, even though this process has previously only been recognized in the Arctic. Here we use multibeam water-column backscatter data that cover 94,000 km2 of sea floor to identify about 570 gas plumes at water depths between 50 and 1,700 m between Cape Hatteras and Georges Bank on the northern US Atlantic passive margin. About 440 seeps originate at water depths that bracket the updip limit for methane hydrate stability. Contemporary upper-slope seepage there may be triggered by ongoing warming of intermediate waters, but authigenic carbonates observed imply that emissions have continued for more than 1,000 years at some seeps. Extrapolating the upper-slope seep density on this margin to the global passive margin system, we suggest that tens of thousands of seeps could be discoverable.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2010-11-01

    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.

  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. 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

  12. Synthesis, antitumor, and antibacterial activity of bis[4,5-diarylimidazol-2-ylidene]methane derivatives.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wukun; Chen, Xiaohua; Gust, Ronald

    2012-07-01

    Cationic [bis(1,3-diethyl-4,5-diarylimidazol-2-ylidene)]Au(I) bromide complexes have demonstrated considerable potential as new antitumor agents. In order to investigate whether the gold is crucial for the antitumor activity, the imidazole ligands were connected by a methylene bridge. Biological evaluation revealed that bis[1,3-diethyl-4,5-diarylimidazol-2-ylidene]methane compounds exhibited growth inhibition effects against mammary (MCF-7 and MDA-MB 231) and colon (HT-29) carcinoma cell lines. In comparison with gold complexes, the methylene derivatives showed drastically reduced cell growth inhibitory properties. However, the growth of bacteria was significantly inhibited by bis[1,3-diethyl-4,5-bis(4-methoxyphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene]methane dibromide (4) and opens a new application of this compound type.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [Potential activity of methane and ammonia oxidation by methanotropic communities from soda lakes of the southern Transbaikal].

    PubMed

    Khmelenina, V N; Eshinimaev, B Ts; Kaliuzhnaia, M G; Trotsenko, Iu A

    2000-01-01

    Radioisotopic measurements of the methane consumption by mud samples taken from nine Southern Transbaikal soda lakes (pH 9.5-10.6) showed an intense oxidation of methane in the muds of lakes Khuzhirta, Bumalai Nur, Gorbunka, and Suduntuiskii Torom, with the maximum oxidation rate in the mud of lakes Khuzhirta (33.2 nmol/(ml day)). The incorporation rate of the radioactive label from 14CH4 into 14CO2 was higher than into acid-stable metabolites. Optimum pH values for methane oxidation in water samples were 7-8, whereas mud samples exhibited two peaks of methane oxidation activity (at pH 8.15-9.4 and 5.8-7.0). The majority of samples could oxidize ammonium to nitrites; the oxidation was inhibited by methane. The PCR amplification analysis of samples revealed the presence of genes encoding soluble and particulate methane monooxygenase and methanol dehydrogenase. Three alkaliphilic methanotrophic bacteria of morphotype I were isolated from mud samples in pure cultures, one of which, B5, was able to oxidize ammonium to nitrites at pH 7-11. The data obtained suggest that methanotrophs are widely spread in the soda lakes of Southern Transbaikal, where they actively oxidize methane and ammonium. PMID:11008692

  17. Abundance, distribution and potential activity of methane oxidizing bacteria in permafrost soils from the Lena Delta, Siberia.

    PubMed

    Liebner, Susanne; Wagner, Dirk

    2007-01-01

    The methane oxidation potential of active layer profiles of permafrost soils from the Lena Delta, Siberia, was studied with regard to its respond to temperature, and abundance and distribution of type I and type II methanotrophs. Our results indicate vertical shifts within the optimal methane oxidation temperature and within the distribution of type I and type II methanotrophs. In the upper active layer, maximum methane oxidation potentials were detected at 21 degrees C. Deep active layer zones that are constantly exposed to temperatures below 2 degrees C showed a maximum potential to oxidize methane at 4 degrees C. Our results indicate a dominance of psychrophilic methanotrophs close to the permafrost table. Type I methanotrophs dominated throughout the active layer profiles but their number strongly fluctuated with depth. In contrast, type II methanotrophs were constantly abundant through the whole active layer and displaced type I methanotrophs close to the permafrost table. No correlation between in situ temperatures and the distribution of type I and type II methanotrophs was found. However, the distribution of type I and type II methanotrophs correlated significantly with in situ methane concentrations. Beside vertical fluctuations, the abundance of methane oxidizers also fluctuated according to different geomorphic units. Similar methanotroph cell counts were detected in samples of a flood plain and a polygon rim, whereas cell counts in samples of a polygon centre were up to 100 times lower. PMID:17227416

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Methane production and microbial community structure for alkaline pretreated waste activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Sun, Rui; Xing, Defeng; Jia, Jianna; Zhou, Aijuan; Zhang, Lu; Ren, Nanqi

    2014-10-01

    Alkaline pretreatment was studied to analyze the influence on waste activated sludge (WAS) reduction, methane production and microbial community structure during anaerobic digestion. Methane production from alkaline pretreated sludge (A-WAS) (pH = 12) increased from 251.2 mL/Ld to 362.2 mL/Ld with the methane content of 68.7% compared to raw sludge (R-WAS). Sludge reduction had been improved, and volatile suspended solids (VSS) removal rate and protein reduction had increased by ∼ 10% and ∼ 35%, respectively. The bacterial and methanogenic communities were analyzed using 454 pyrosequencing and clone libraries of 16S rRNA gene. Remarkable shifts were observed in microbial community structures after alkaline pretreatment, especially for Archaea. The dominant methanogenic population changed from Methanosaeta for R-WAS to Methanosarcina for A-WAS. In addition to the enhancement of solubilization and hydrolysis of anaerobic digestion of WAS, alkaline pretreatment showed significant impacts on the enrichment and syntrophic interactions between microbial communities.

  1. Effect of recirculation rate on methane production and SEBAR system performance using active stage digester.

    PubMed

    Tubtong, Cheevanuch; Towprayoon, Sirintornthep; Connor, Michael Anthony; Chaiprasert, Pawinee; Nopharatana, Annop

    2010-09-01

    A project was undertaken to examine the feasibility of treating organic wastes from Thai fruit and vegetable markets using the sequential batch anaerobic digester (SEBAR) approach. A key feature of the SEBAR system is the regular interchanging, or recirculation, of portions of leachate between each freshly filled digester and a support digester to which it is coupled until it is ready to operate independently. Leachate transfer from this support digester to the fresh waste digester provides additional alkalinity to help counteract the effects of early high acid release rates; it also helps build a balanced microbial population in the fresh waste digester. To optimize the leachate recirculation process, the effect of varying the quantities of leachate interchanged between freshly filled waste digesters and the still highly active support digesters to which they were coupled was studied. It was found that increasing the recirculation rate accelerated the onset of both waste degradation and methane production. The increasing of recirculation rate from 10% to 20% and 10% to 30% could reduce the SEBAR cycle period by approximately 7% and 22% without significant reduction in the amount of methane obtained from the systems. The methane yields were 0.0063, 0.0068 and 0.0077 l g(-1) VS added in the NEW digester per day using leachate recirculation rates of 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively. This finding has potentially important practical and economic implications for those using the SEBAR system to add value to market waste. PMID:20124320

  2. Spectroscopic definition of the copper active sites in mordenite: selective methane oxidation.

    PubMed

    Vanelderen, Pieter; Snyder, Benjamin E R; Tsai, Ming-Li; Hadt, Ryan G; Vancauwenbergh, Julie; Coussens, Olivier; Schoonheydt, Robert A; Sels, Bert F; Solomon, Edward I

    2015-05-20

    Two distinct [Cu-O-Cu](2+) sites with methane monooxygenase activity are identified in the zeolite Cu-MOR, emphasizing that this Cu-O-Cu active site geometry, having a ∠Cu-O-Cu ∼140°, is particularly formed and stabilized in zeolite topologies. Whereas in ZSM-5 a similar [Cu-O-Cu](2+) active site is located in the intersection of the two 10 membered rings, Cu-MOR provides two distinct local structures, situated in the 8 membered ring windows of the side pockets. Despite their structural similarity, as ascertained by electronic absorption and resonance Raman spectroscopy, the two Cu-O-Cu active sites in Cu-MOR clearly show different kinetic behaviors in selective methane oxidation. This difference in reactivity is too large to be ascribed to subtle differences in the ground states of the Cu-O-Cu sites, indicating the zeolite lattice tunes their reactivity through second-sphere effects. The MOR lattice is therefore functionally analogous to the active site pocket of a metalloenzyme, demonstrating that both the active site and its framework environment contribute to and direct reactivity in transition metal ion-zeolites.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Colonization of over a thousand Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi (foraminifera: Schwager, 1866) on artificial substrates in seep and adjacent off-seep locations in dysoxic, deep-sea environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkett, Ashley M.; Rathburn, Anthony E.; Elena Pérez, M.; Levin, Lisa A.; Martin, Jonathan B.

    2016-11-01

    After ~1 yr on the seafloor at water depths of ~700 m on Hydrate Ridge in the Pacific, eight colonization experiments composed primarily of a plastic mesh cube (from here on refered to as SEA3, for Seafloor Epibenthic Attachment Cubes) were colonized by 1076 Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi on ~1841 cm2 of experimental substrate. This species is typically considered an indicator of well-oxygenated conditions, and recruitment of such large numbers in bottom waters with low dissolved oxygen availability (0.24-0.37 mL/L) indicate that this taxon may not be as limited by oxygen as previously thought. Clues about substrate preferences were evident from the distribution, or lack thereof, of individuals among plastic mesh, coated steel frame, wooden dowels and reflective tape. Abundance, individual size distributions within cage populations and isotopic biogeochemistry of living foraminifera colonizing experimental substrates were compared between active seep and adjacent off-seep experiment locations, revealing potential differences between these environments. Few studies have examined foraminiferal colonization of hard substrates in the deep-sea and to our knowledge no previous study has compared foraminiferal colonization of active seep and off-seep substrates from the same region. This study provides initial results of recruitment, colonization, geochemical and morphological aspects of the paleoceanographically significant species, C. wuellerstorfi, from dynamic deep-sea environments. Further experimental deployments of SEA3s will provide a means to assess relatively unknown ecologic dynamics of important foraminiferal deep-sea species.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of isobutyrate supplementation on ruminal microflora, rumen enzyme activities and methane emissions in Simmental steers.

    PubMed

    Wang, C; Liu, Q; Zhang, Y L; Pei, C X; Zhang, S L; Wang, Y X; Yang, W Z; Bai, Y S; Shi, Z G; Liu, X N

    2015-02-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of isobutyrate supplementation on rumen microflora, enzyme activities and methane emissions in Simmental steers consuming a corn stover-based diet. Eight ruminally cannulated Simmental steers were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square experiment. The treatments were control (without isobutyrate), low isobutyrate (LIB), moderate isobutyrate (MIB) and high isobutyrate (HIB) with 8.4, 16.8 and 25.2 g isobutyrate per steer per day respectively. Isobutyrate was hand-mixed into the concentrate portion. Diet consisted of 60% corn stover and 40% concentrate [dry matter (DM) basis]. Dry matter intake (averaged 9 kg/day) was restricted to a maximum of 90% of ad libitum intake. Population of total bacteria, cellulolytic bacteria and anaerobic fungi were linearly increased, whereas that of protozoa and total methanogens was linearly reduced with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. Real-time PCR quantification of population of Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and Fibrobacter succinogenes was linearly increased with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. Activities of carboxymethyl cellulase, xylanase and β-glucosidase were linearly increased, whereas that of protease was linearly reduced. Methane production was linearly decreased with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. Effective degradabilities of cellulose and hemicellulose of corn stover were linearly increased, whereas that of crude protein in diet was linearly decreased with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. The present results indicate that isobutyrate supplemented improved microflora, rumen enzyme activities and methane emissions in steers. It was suggested that the isobutyrate stimulated the digestive micro-organisms or enzymes in a dose-dependent manner. In the experimental conditions of this trial, the optimum isobutyrate dose was approximately 16.8 g isobutyrate per steer per day.

  12. Methane production and consumption in an active volcanic environment of Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Castaldi, Simona; Tedesco, Dario

    2005-01-01

    Methane fluxes were measured, using closed chambers, in the Crater of Solfatara volcano, Campi Flegrei (Southern Italy), along eight transects covering areas of the crater presenting different landscape physiognomies. These included open bare areas, presenting high geothermal fluxes, and areas covered by vegetation, which developed along a gradient from the central open area outwards, in the form of maquis, grassland and woodland. Methane fluxes decreased logarithmically (from 150 to -4.5 mg CH4 m(-2)day(-1)) going from the central part of the crater (fangaia) to the forested edges, similarly to the CO2 fluxes (from 1500 g CO2 m(-2)day(-1) in the centre of the crater to almost zero flux in the woodlands). In areas characterized by high emissions, soil presented elevated temperature (up to 70 degrees C at 0-10 cm depth) and extremely low pH (down to 1.8). Conversely, in woodland areas pH was higher (between 3.7 and 5.1) and soil temperature close to air values. Soil (0-10 cm) was sampled, in two different occasions, along the eight transects, and was tested for methane oxidation capacity in laboratory. Areas covered by vegetation mostly consumed CH4 in the following order woodland>macchia>grassland. Methanotrophic activity was also measured in soil from the open bare area. Oxidation rates were comparable to those measured in the plant covered areas and were significantly correlated with field CH4 emissions. The biological mechanism of uptake was demonstrated by the absence of activity in autoclaved replicates. Thus results suggest the existence of a population of micro-organisms adapted to this extreme environment, which are able to oxidize CH4 and whose activity could be stimulated and supported by elevated concentrations of CH4.

  13. 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

  14. Pockmarks with Methane Derived Authigenic Carbonate in the Norwegian Trench, Northern North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, C.; Hovland, M.; Planke, S.; Rike, A.; Strout, J.; Svano, G.; Svensen, H.; Tjelta, T.

    2005-12-01

    Pockmarks are ubiquitous in large parts of the Norwegian Trench with some areas containing more than 25 pockmarks per km2. While the presence of these pockmarks has been known for a couple of decades, the timing and mechanism of their formation is not fully understood. A detailed ROV survey of a 0.25 km2 area containing one clustered and four normal pockmarks was conducted in March 2005. The main aim of this survey was to detect and sample any recent or on-going seep activity within the pockmarks and to provide high quality seafloor data for further investigations. Within our study area, carbonate rock and soft sediment samples were recovered. Furthermore, the area was mapped in high resolution by the use of ROV-mounted multibeam echosounder and sub-bottom profiler (Innomar parametric "pinger"). The high-resolution bathymetry image reveals that the clustered pockmark consists of a more than 10 m deep central depression with a diameter of about 100 m, surrounded by seven small pockmarks (5 m deep, 30 m in diameter). The four normal pockmarks are circular, with a typical depth of 5 m and diameter of 50 m. In addition, a number of very small unit pockmarks have been detected. These have diameters of about 1 m, and occur in clusters within the clustered pockmark and in long strings intersecting two of the normal pockmarks. The Innomar records reveal a high amplitude reflection at about 4 m depth indicating the presence of gas or a change in lithology. A carbonate rock was sampled from the central part of the clustered pockmark. The rock has a typical seep carbonate structure, which is documented by petrographical and x-ray diffraction analyses showing that the sample consists of fibrous and micritic aragonite, clay, a minor component of calcite and pyrite. The carbonate sample has a seep carbonate isotope signature (δ 13C=-56.4; δ 18O=4.0) and therefore a composition characteristic of methane derived authigenic carbonate (MDAC). Finally, genetic analyses give a

  15. 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

  16. Evidence for Oxygen Binding at the Active Site of Particulate Methane Monooxygenase

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 α3β3γ3 trimer. Studies of intact pMMO and a recombinant soluble fragment of the pmoB subunit, denoted 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 O2 and H2O2 or pMMO with H2O2, an absorbance feature at 345 nm is generated. The energy and intensity of this band are similar to that of the μ-η2:η2-peroxo CuII 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 O2 binding to the proposed active site. Reaction of the 345 nm species with CH4 results in disappearance of the spectroscopic feature, suggesting that this O2 intermediate is mechanistically relevant. Taken together, these observations provide strong new support for the identity and location of the pMMO active site. PMID:22540911

  17. Activity and diversity of methane-oxidizing bacteria in glacier forefields on siliceous and calcareous bedrock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauer, P. A.; Dam, B.; Liesack, W.; Zeyer, J.; Schroth, M. H.

    2012-01-01

    The global methane (CH4) cycle is largely driven by methanogenic archaea and methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB), but little is known about their activity and diversity in pioneer ecosystems. We conducted a field survey in forefields of 13 receding Swiss glaciers on both siliceous and calcareous bedrock to investigate and quantify CH4 turnover based on soil-gas CH4 concentration profiles, and to characterize MOB communities using pmoA sequencing and T-RFLP. Methane turnover was fundamentally different in the two bedrock categories. Of the 36 CH4 concentration profiles from siliceous locations, 11 showed atmospheric CH4 consumption at concentrations of ∼1-2 μl l-1 with soil-atmosphere CH4 fluxes of -0.14 to -1.1 mg m-2 d-1. Another 11 profiles showed no apparent activity, while the remaining 14 exhibited slightly increased CH4 concentrations of ∼2-10 μl l-1, most likely due to microsite methanogenesis. In contrast, all profiles from calcareous sites suggested a substantial, yet unknown CH4 source below our sampling zone, with soil-gas CH4 concentrations reaching up to 1400 μl l-1. Remarkably, most soils oxidized ∼90% of the deep-soil CH4, resulting in soil-atmosphere fluxes of 0.12 to 31 mg m-2 d-1. MOB showed limited diversity in both siliceous and calcareous forefields: all identified pmoA sequences formed only 5 OTUs and, with one exception, could be assigned to either Methylocystis or the as-yet-uncultivated Upland Soil Cluster γ (USCγ). The latter dominated T-RFLP patterns of all siliceous and most calcareous samples, while Methylocystis dominated in 4 calcareous samples. As Type I MOB are widespread in cold climate habitats with elevated CH4 concentrations, USCγ might be the corresponding Type I MOBs in habitats exposed to near-atmospheric CH4 concentrations.

  18. Activity and diversity of methane-oxidizing bacteria in glacier forefields on siliceous and calcareous bedrock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauer, P. A.; Dam, B.; Liesack, W.; Zeyer, J.; Schroth, M. H.

    2012-06-01

    The global methane (CH4) cycle is largely driven by methanogenic archaea and methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB), but little is known about their activity and diversity in pioneer ecosystems. We conducted a field survey in forefields of 13 receding Swiss glaciers on both siliceous and calcareous bedrock to investigate and quantify CH4 turnover based on soil-gas CH4 concentration profiles, and to characterize the MOB community by sequencing and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of pmoA. Methane turnover was fundamentally different in the two bedrock categories. Of the 36 CH4 concentration profiles from siliceous locations, 11 showed atmospheric CH4 consumption at concentrations of ~1-2 μL L-1 with soil-atmosphere CH4 fluxes of -0.14 to -1.1 mg m-2 d-1. Another 11 profiles showed no apparent activity, while the remaining 14 exhibited slightly increased CH4 concentrations of ~2-10 μL L-1 , most likely due to microsite methanogenesis. In contrast, all profiles from calcareous sites suggested a substantial, yet unknown CH4 source below our sampling zone, with soil-gas CH4 concentrations reaching up to 1400 μL L-1. Remarkably, most soils oxidized ~90 % of the deep-soil CH4, resulting in soil-atmosphere fluxes of 0.12 to 31 mg m-2 d-1. MOB showed limited diversity in both siliceous and calcareous forefields: all identified pmoA sequences formed only 5 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at the species level and, with one exception, could be assigned to either Methylocystis or the as-yet-uncultivated Upland Soil Cluster γ (USCγ). The latter dominated T-RFLP patterns of all siliceous and most calcareous samples, while Methylocystis dominated in 4 calcareous samples. Members of Upland Soil Cluster α (USCα) were not detected. Apparently, USCγ adapted best to the oligotrophic cold climate conditions at the investigated pioneer sites.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Source Characterization and Temporal Variation of Methane Seepage from Thermokarst Lakes on the Alaska North Slope in Response to Arctic Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2012-09-30

    reconnaissance surveys provided a strong impetus to visit this area in 2010. The seismic methods applied in Lake Teshekpuk were able to image pockmarks, widespread shallow gas in the sediments, and the relationship among different sediment packages on the lake's bottom, but even boomer seismics did not detect permafrost beneath the northern part of the lake. By characterizing the biogeochemistry of shallow TKL with methane seeps we showed that the radical seasonal shifts in ice cover and temperature. These seasonal environmental differences result in distinct consumption and production processes of biologically-relevant compounds. The combined effects of temperature, ice-volume and other lithological factors linked to seepage from the lake are manifest in the distribution of sedimentary methane in Lake Q during icecovered and ice-free conditions. The biogeochemistry results illustrated very active methanotrophy in TKLs. Substantial effort was subsequently made to characterize the nature of methanotrophic communities in TKLs. We applied stable isotope probing approaches to genetically characterize the methanotrophs most active in utilizing methane in TKLs. Our study is the first to identify methane oxidizing organisms active in arctic TKLs, and revealing that type I methanotrophs and type II methanotrophs are abundant and active in assimilating methane in TKLs. These organisms play an important role in limiting the flux of methane from these sites. Our investigations indicate that as temperatures increase in the Arctic, oxidation rates and active methanotrophic populations will also shift. Whether these changes can offset predicted increases in methanogenesis is an important question underlying models of future methane flux and resultant climate change. Overall our findings indicate that TKLs and their ability to act as both source and sink of methane are exceedingly sensitive to environmental change.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, Benjamin E. R.; Vanelderen, Pieter; Bols, Max L.; Hallaert, Simon D.; Böttger, Lars H.; Ungur, Liviu; Pierloot, Kristine; Schoonheydt, Robert A.; Sels, Bert F.; Solomon, Edward I.

    2016-08-01

    An efficient catalytic process for converting methane into methanol could have far-reaching economic implications. Iron-containing zeolites (microporous aluminosilicate minerals) are noteworthy in this regard, having an outstanding ability to hydroxylate methane rapidly at room temperature to form methanol. Reactivity occurs at an extra-lattice active site called α-Fe(II), which is activated by nitrous oxide to form the reactive intermediate α-O; however, despite nearly three decades of research, the nature of the active site and the factors determining its exceptional reactivity are unclear. The main difficulty is that the reactive species—α-Fe(II) and α-O—are challenging to probe spectroscopically: data from bulk techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and magnetic susceptibility are complicated by contributions from inactive ‘spectator’ iron. Here we show that a site-selective spectroscopic method regularly used in bioinorganic chemistry can overcome this problem. Magnetic circular dichroism reveals α-Fe(II) to be a mononuclear, high-spin, square planar Fe(II) site, while the reactive intermediate, α-O, is a mononuclear, high-spin Fe(IV)=O species, whose exceptional reactivity derives from a constrained coordination geometry enforced by the zeolite lattice. These findings illustrate the value of our approach to exploring active sites in heterogeneous systems. The results also suggest that using matrix constraints to activate metal sites for function—producing what is known in the context of metalloenzymes as an ‘entatic’ state—might be a useful way to tune the activity of heterogeneous catalysts.

  7. Mapping methane from marine and terrestrial hydrocarbon seepage using AVIRIS