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Sample records for methane hydrate-bearing deep

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  3. Microbial Communities from Methane Hydrate-Bearing Deep Marine Sediments in a Forearc Basin

    PubMed Central

    Reed, David W.; Fujita, Yoshiko; Delwiche, Mark E.; Blackwelder, D. Brad; Sheridan, Peter P.; Uchida, Takashi; Colwell, Frederick S.

    2002-01-01

    Microbial communities in cores obtained from methane hydrate-bearing deep marine sediments (down to more than 300 m below the seafloor) in the forearc basin of the Nankai Trough near Japan were characterized with cultivation-dependent and -independent techniques. Acridine orange direct count data indicated that cell numbers generally decreased with sediment depth. Lipid biomarker analyses indicated the presence of viable biomass at concentrations greater than previously reported for terrestrial subsurface environments at similar depths. Archaeal lipids were more abundant than bacterial lipids. Methane was produced from both acetate and hydrogen in enrichments inoculated with sediment from all depths evaluated, at both 10 and 35°C. Characterization of 16S rRNA genes amplified from the sediments indicated that archaeal clones could be discretely grouped within the Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota domains. The bacterial clones exhibited greater overall diversity than the archaeal clones, with sequences related to the Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and green nonsulfur groups. The majority of the bacterial clones were either members of a novel lineage or most closely related to uncultured clones. The results of these analyses suggest that the microbial community in this environment is distinct from those in previously characterized methane hydrate-bearing sediments. PMID:12147470

  4. Microbial communities from methane hydrate-bearing deep marine sediments in a forearc basin.

    PubMed

    Reed, David W; Fujita, Yoshiko; Delwiche, Mark E; Blackwelder, D Brad; Sheridan, Peter P; Uchida, Takashi; Colwell, Frederick S

    2002-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. Methane Recovery from Hydrate-bearing Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    J. Carlos Santamarina; Costas Tsouris

    2011-04-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  9. Fracturing Behavior of Methane-Hydrate-Bearing Sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konno, Y.; Jin, Y.; Yoneda, J.; Uchiumi, T.; Shinjou, K.; Nagao, J.

    2016-12-01

    As a part of a Japanese national hydrate research program (MH21, funded by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry), we performed laboratory experiments of hydraulic fracturing in methane-hydrate-bearing sediment. Distilled water was injected into methane-hydrate-bearing sand which was artificially made in a tri-axial pressure cell. X-ray computed tomography revealed that tensile failure was occurred after a rapid drop in the injection pressure. It was found that generated fractures cause a significant increase in the effective water permeability of hydrate-bearing sand. The result contributes fundamental understanding of the accumulation mechanism of gas hydrates in sediments and shows that hydraulic fracturing is one of promising enhanced recovery methods for low-permeable gas hydrate reservoirs.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

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

  11. Methane hydrate-bearing seeps as a source of aged dissolved organic carbon to the oceans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, J.W.; Bauer, J.E.; Waite, W.F.; Osburn, C.L.; Chapman, N.R.

    2011-01-01

    Marine sediments contain about 500-10,000 Gt of methane carbon, primarily in gas hydrate. This reservoir is comparable in size to the amount of organic carbon in land biota, terrestrial soils, the atmosphere and sea water combined, but it releases relatively little methane to the ocean and atmosphere. Sedimentary microbes convert most of the dissolved methane to carbon dioxide. Here we show that a significant additional product associated with microbial methane consumption is methane-derived dissolved organic carbon. We use ??14 C and ??13 C measurements and isotopic mass-balance calculations to evaluate the contribution of methane-derived carbon to seawater dissolved organic carbon overlying gas hydrate-bearing seeps in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. We show that carbon derived from fossil methane accounts for up to 28% of the dissolved organic carbon. This methane-derived material is much older, and more depleted in 13 C, than background dissolved organic carbon. We suggest that fossil methane-derived carbon may contribute significantly to the estimated 4,000-6,000 year age of dissolved organic carbon in the deep ocean, and provide reduced organic matter and energy to deep-ocean microbial communities. ?? 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  12. Methane hydrate-bearing seeps as a source of aged dissolved organic carbon to the oceans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, John; Waite, William F.; Bauer, James E.; Osburn, Christopher L.; Chapman, N. Ross

    2011-01-01

    Marine sediments contain about 500–10,000 Gt of methane carbon1, 2, 3, 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 combined1, 4, but it releases relatively little methane to the ocean and atmosphere5. Sedimentary microbes convert most of the dissolved methane to carbon dioxide6, 7. Here we show that a significant additional product associated with microbial methane consumption is methane-derived dissolved organic carbon. We use Δ14C and δ13C 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 13C, 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 ocean8, and provide reduced organic matter and energy to deep-ocean microbial communities.

  13. Stress and Dilatancy Relation of Methane Hydrate Bearing Sand with Various Fines Content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyodo, M.

    2016-12-01

    This study presents an experimental and numerical study on the shear behaviour of methane hydrate bearing sand with variable confining pressures and methane hydrate saturations. A representative grading curve of Nankai Trough is selected as the grain size distribution of host sand to artificially produce the methane hydrate bearing sand. A shear strength estimation equation for methane hydrate bearing sand from test results is established. A simple constitutive model has been proposed to predict the stress-strain response of methane hydrate bearing sand based on a few well-known relationships. Experimental results indicate that the inclination of stress-dilatancy curve becomes steeper with a rise in methane hydrate saturation. A revised stress-dilatancy equation has been integrated with this simple model to consider the variance in the inclination of stress-dilatancy curve. The mean stress Pcr at critical state when the peak stress ratio reduces to the residual stress ratio increases with the level of methane hydrate saturation. The dilatancy parameter a tends to increase with the methane hydrate saturation. The shear deformability parameter A exhibits a decreasing tendency with the rise in methane hydrate saturation at each confining pressure. This model is capable of reasonably predicting the strength and stiffness enhancement and the dilation behaviour as methane hydrate saturation increases. The volumetric variation from contraction to expansion of MH bearing sand at a lower confining pressure and only pure volumetric contraction a higher confining pressure can be represented by this simple model.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Microbial community structure in methane hydrate-bearing sediments of freshwater Lake Baikal.

    PubMed

    Kadnikov, Vitaly V; Mardanov, Andrey V; Beletsky, Alexey V; Shubenkova, Olga V; Pogodaeva, Tatiana V; Zemskaya, Tamara I; Ravin, Nikolai V; Skryabin, Konstantin G

    2012-02-01

    Gas hydrates in marine sediments have been known for many years but recently hydrates were found in the sediments of Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater basin in the world. Marine gas hydrates are associated with complex microbial communities involved in methanogenesis, methane oxidation, sulfate reduction and other biotransformations. However, the contribution of microorganisms to the formation of gas hydrates remains poorly understood. We examined the microbial communities in the hydrate-bearing sediments and water column of Lake Baikal using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Aerobic methanotrophic bacteria dominated the water sample collected at the lake floor in the hydrate-bearing site. The shallow sediments were dominated by Archaea. Methanogens of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales were abundant, whereas representatives of archaeal lineages known to perform anaerobic oxidation of methane, as well as sulfate-reducing bacteria, were not found. Affiliation of archaea to methanogenic rather than methane-oxidizing lineages was supported by analysis of the sequences of the methyl coenzyme M reductase gene. The deeper sediments located at 85-90 cm depth close to the hydrate were dominated by Bacteria, mostly assigned to Chloroflexi, candidate division JS1 and Caldiserica. Overall, our results are consistent with the biological origin of methane hydrates in Lake Baikal. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. Effect of well construction on the mechanical state of unconsolidated methane hydrate-bearing sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, T.; Soga, K.; Yamamoto, K.

    2016-12-01

    World's first offshore production of gas from methane hydrate-bearing sediment was accomplished in Nankai Trough off the coast of Japan. The achievement signals the beginning of exploitation of methane hydrate as a new source of energy, as an estimated amount of the new gas resource significantly exceeds that of the existing conventional oil and gas resources. Conventional gas reservoirs exist in consolidated sediment (i.e. rocks) thousands of metres below seafloor, and such sediment is hard enough to resist deformation. Methane hydrate reservoirs, on the other hand, lies only a couple of hundreds of metres down the seafloor, which means the sediment is unconsolidated (i.e. soils) and is readily deformed. In addition, the hydrate melts away in the pore space when it releases gas, giving rise to a significant rearrangement of stresses in the sediment. Well construction in methane hydrate reservoir might affect the mechanical state of the sediment to the point where the interpretation of the fracture pressure test becomes difficult and sand production could be enhanced. Existing numerical simulations tend to overlook soil mechanics, which is more appropriate than rock mechanics to model unconsolidated sediment, and the effect of methane hydrate on soil's mechanical behaviour is missed. In the present research, the construction of well in unconsolidated hydrate-bearing sediment was modelled with finite element analysis incorporating the critical state soil mechanics. Results showed that cement shrinkage in the well annulus would have a significant effect on the principal stresses and directions of the sediment even if the magnitude of the shrinkage was 0.1%. Cement shrinkage would also promote the generation of plastic strains, potentially enhancing sand production. Results also showed that the direction of fracture inferred from a fracture pressure test at Nankai Trough might have been vertical, indicating it was developed at the cement-sediment interface.

  20. Geomechanical Behavior of Hydrate-Bearing Sediments in the Ulleung Basin during Methane Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, G. C.; Kim, A. R.; KIM, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    The potential of methane hydrate deposits in the Ulleung Basin of the Korean East Sea was suggested by the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources between 2000 and 2004. In a few years, a pilot production project is planned as the world's second offshore methane production project. The basin has a water depth of 1500-2300 m; however, the depth of the hydrate occurrence zone is relatively shallow (about 100-200 mbsf) for gas hydrate production. There is high potential for geomechanical stability problems such as seafloor subsidence, differential settlement, effective stress concentrations, marine landslides, and wellbore instability. In this study, 2D axisymmetric numerical modeling is conducted to simulate the depressurization process in the Ulleung Basin for methane gas production. The coupled mechanical-flow-thermal model used for this purpose incorporates the physical processes of hydrate dissociation, the pore fluid flow, thermal advection, and the geomechanical response of hydrate-bearing sediments. Using the coupled model, two high-potential sites are compared with respect to the pore pressure, temperature change, production efficiency, and geomechanical stability. During depressurization, deformation of the sediments around the production well occurs due to the pore pressure difference and the increase in the effective stress in the depressurized region. This tendency becomes more pronounced due to the decrease in the stiffness of the hydrate-bearing sediments, which is caused by hydrate dissociation. In addition, the latent heat induced by methane hydrate dissociation and thermal advection due to the pore fluid flow have greater effects on the dissociation range and pace than do the geomechanical behaviors. Meanwhile, higher production efficiency, a larger latent heat effect and less settlement are induced in the site, which consists of thick sand layers with greater stiffness and permeability levels than mud layers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De la Fuente, Maria

    2016-04-01

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

  2. Thin-Layering Effect On Estimating Seismic Attenuation In Methane Hydrate-Bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, K.; Matsushima, J.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic attenuation is one of the important parameters that provide information concerning both the detection and quantitative assessment of gas-hydrates. We estimated seismic attenuation (1/Q) from surface seismic data acquired at Nankai Trough in Japan. We adapt the Q-versus offset (QVO) method to calculate robust and continuous interval attenuations from CMP gathers. We could observe high attenuation in methane hydrate bearing sediments over the BSR region. However some negative 1/Q values are also shown. This means that the amplitude of high frequency components is increasing with depth. Such results may be due to tuning effect. Here, we carried out numerical test to see how thin-layering effect influences on seismic attenuation results. The results showed that tuning considerably influences the attenuation results, and causes the lower 1/Q values (lower attenuation) and negative 1/Q values.

  3. Laboratory Formation Of Non-Cementing, Methane Hydrate-Bearing Sand Samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waite, W. F.; Bratton, P. M.; Mason, D. H.

    2009-12-01

    Field studies suggest that methane hydrate, a crystalline solid composed of methane "guest" molecules in a hydrogen-bonded water-molecule matrix, commonly forms as a non-cementing component of the sediment fabric. Samples containing laboratory-formed hydrate must mimic this non-cementing behavior to be useful for calibrating models relating hydrate concentration in sediment to bulk in situ physical properties such as acoustic wave speed or permeability. In this study, we compare our experimental results from two gas-hydrate formation techniques: waterflood and dissolved-phase flow. In the waterflood approach, partially water-saturated sand is pressurized with methane gas. Because water initially tends to collect via capillary action at sand grain contacts, the resulting hydrate also forms at these contacts, resulting in sand with intergranular cement. Following initial hydrate formation, the remaining free gas is purged by waterflooding the sample. Hydrate formed prior to the waterflood is thought to eventually reform away from sand grain contacts, creating the desired non-cementing hydrate-bearing sand. We observe that waterflooding results in rapid and significant secondary hydrate growth, decreasing porosity and permeability to an extent that may prevent additional water circulation. Because free gas is difficult to flush, the final sample is a mixture of sand, water, hydrate and free methane gas that cannot be characterized without direct imaging capabilities. The extent to which hydrate continues to act as a cementing agent following the waterflood is not known. In the dissolved-phase flow approach, water containing dissolved-phase methane is circulated through a water-saturated sand sample. In our modified dissolved-phase approach, methane-rich water is first circulated through a "seed" chamber containing methane hydrate prior to flowing through the water-saturated sand sample. Methane hydrate in the "seed" chamber dissolves in the circulating water

  4. Role of critical state framework in understanding geomechanical behavior of methane hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, Shun; Xie, Xiao-Guang; Leung, Yat Fai

    2016-08-01

    A proper understanding of geomechanical behavior of methane hydrate-bearing sediments is crucial for sustainable future gas production. There are a number of triaxial experiments conducted over synthetic and natural methane hydrate (MH)-bearing sediments, and several soil constitutive models have been proposed to describe their behavior. However, the generality of a sophisticated model is questioned if it is tested only for a limited number of cases. Furthermore, it is difficult to experimentally determine the associated parameters if their physical meanings and significance are not elucidated. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that a simple extension of the critical state framework is sufficient to capture the geomechanical behavior of MH-bearing soils from various sources around the world, while the significance of each parameter is quantified through variance-based global sensitivity analyses. Our results show that the influence of hydrates can be largely represented by one hydrate-dependent parameter, pcd', which controls the expansion of the initial yield surface. This is validated through comparisons with shearing and volumetric response of MH-bearing soils tested at various institutes under different confining stresses and with varying degrees of hydrate saturation. Our study suggests that the behavior of MH-bearing soils can be reasonably predicted based on pcd' and the conventional critical state parameters of the host sediments that can be obtained through typical geotechnical testing procedures.

  5. 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.

  6. Simultaneous measurement for thermal conductivity, diffusivity, and specific heat of methane hydrate bearing sediments recovered from Nankai-Trough wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muraoka, M.; Ohtake, M.; Susuki, N.; Yamamoto, Y.; Suzuki, K.; Tsuji, T.

    2014-12-01

    This study presents the results of the measurements of the thermal constants of natural methane-hydrate-bearing sediments samples recovered from the Tokai-oki test wells (Nankai-Trough, Japan) in 2004. The thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat of the samples were simultaneously determined using the hot-disk transient method. The thermal conductivity of natural hydrate-bearing sediments decreases slightly with increasing porosity. In addition, the thermal diffusivity of hydrate-bearing sediment decrease as porosity increases. We also used simple models to calculate the thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity. The results of the distribution model (geometric-mean model) are relatively consistent with the measurement results. In addition, the measurement results are consistent with the thermal diffusivity, which is estimated by dividing the thermal conductivity obtained from the distribution model by the specific heat obtained from the arithmetic mean. In addition, we discuss the relation between the thermal conductivity and mineral composition of core samples in conference. Acknowledgments. This work was financially supported by MH21 Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan on the National Methane Hydrate Exploitation Program planned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

  7. Microbial Communities in Methane Hydrate-Bearing Sediments from the Alaskan North Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, A.; Briggs, B.; Colwell, F.

    2008-12-01

    High latitude soils and sediments often contain large quantities of methane as well as microbial communities capable of producing and consuming the methane. We studied the microbial communities collected from hydrate-bearing sediments on the Alaskan North Slope to determine how abiotic variables (e.g., grain size, hydrate presence, original depositional environment) may control the type and distribution of microbes in the sediments. The cores were acquired from sub-permafrost, Eocene (35-36 million years ago [MYA]) sediments laid down as a marine transgressive series within which hydrates are believed to have formed 1.5 MYA. Forty samples, eight of which originally contained hydrates, were acquired from depths of ca. 606-666 meters below land surface. Five samples from drilling fluids acquired from the same depth range were included in the analysis as a control for contamination during the drilling and handling of cores. DNA was extracted from the samples (typically <1 ng DNA/g sediment was recovered) and then amplified using polymerase chain reaction with primers specific for bacterial and archaeal 16S rDNA. Only bacterial DNA amplicons were detected. Terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (t-RFLP) was used to measure bacterial diversity in the respective samples. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) was then used to determine the abiotic variables that may have influenced bacterial diversity. NMDS analysis revealed that sediment samples were distinct from those obtained from drilling fluids suggesting that the samples were not contaminated by the drilling fluids. All samples had evidence of microbial communities and sample depth, temperature, and hydrate presence appeared to have some influence on community diversity. Samples sharing these environmental parameters often shared common t-RFLP profiles. Further examination of selected samples using clone libraries should help to identify the key taxa present in these unique sediments and yield a

  8. Measurements of Gas-Water Relative Permeability for Methane-Hydrate-Bearing Sediments using X-ray Computed-Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konno, Y.; Jin, Y.; Nagao, J.

    2012-04-01

    Oceanic gas hydrate deposits at high saturations have been found within sandy sediments in areas such as the Eastern Nankai Trough and the Gulf of Mexico. The recent discovery of these deposits has stimulated research and development programs exploring the use of gas hydrates as energy resources. Depressurization is thought to be a promising method for gas recovery from gas hydrates deposits; however, considerable water production is expected when this method is applied for oceanic gas hydrate deposits. The prediction of water production is a critical problem for successful gas production from these deposits. The gas-water relative permeability of gas-hydrate-bearing sediments is a key parameter to predict gas-water-ratio (GWR) during gas production. However, the experimental measurement of gas-water relative permeability for gas-hydrate-bearing sediments is a challenging problem due to a phase change (gas hydrate formation/dissociation) during gas-water flooding test. We used X-ray computed tomography (CT) and a newly-developed core holder to measure gas-water relative permeability for gas-hydrate-bearing sediments. X-ray CT was used to image a displacement front and quantify density changes during water flooding test in methane-hydrate-bearing cores. We obtained CT images every two minutes during a water flooding test for a gas-saturated methane-hydrate-bearing core. The movement of displacement front was captured from these CT images. Quantitative analysis of density change was also done to analyze the change of gas/water saturations. We developed a multi-sensor-tap core holder to minimize capillary end effect on the pressure measurements. To be able to obtain CT images by X-ray, the core holder was made of aluminum alloy. We successfully measured pressure differences of the intermediate section of the core during water flooding test. The change of pressure differences during water flooding test showed strong correlation with the movement of displacement front

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-09-15

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

  10. A New Critical State Model for Geomechanical Behavior of Methane Hydrate-Bearing Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, J. S.; Xing, P.; Rutqvist, J.; Seol, Y.; Choi, J. H.

    2014-12-01

    Methane hydrate bearing sands behave like sands once the hydrate has dissociated, but could exhibit a substantial increase in the shear strength, stiffness and dilatancy as the degree of hydrate saturation increases. A new critical state model was developed that incorporates the spatially mobilized plane (SMP) concept, which has been proven effective in modeling mechanical behavior of sands. While this new model was built on the basic constructs of the critical state model, important enhancements were introduced. The model adopted the t-stress concept, which defined the normal and shear stress on the SMP, in describing the plastic behavior of the soil. In this connection the versatile Matsuoka-Nakai yield criterion was also employed, which defined the general three dimensional yield behavior. The resulting constitutive law was associated in the t-stress space, but became non-associated in the conventional p-q stress space as it should be for sands. The model also introduced a generalized degree of hydrate saturation concept that was modified from the pioneering work of the Cambridge group. The model gives stress change when the sands are subjected to straining, and/or to hydrate saturation changes. The performance of the model has been found satisfactory using data from laboratory triaxial tests on reconstituted samples and core samples taken from Nankai Trough, Japan. The model has been implemented into FLAC3D. A coupling example with the multiphase flow code, TOUGH+, is presented which simulates the mechanical behavior of a sample when the surrounding temperature has been raised, and the hydrate undergoes state change and no longer resides in the stability zone.

  11. Upscale modelling of methane hydrate-bearing turbidite sediment for estimating its mechanical behaviour and the gas production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, T.; Soga, K.; Yamamoto, K.

    2016-12-01

    Enormous amounts of methane gas could be extracted from methane hydrate in offshore sediment. In fact, Japan has successfully produced the natural gas for about a week from hydrate-bearing sandy turbidite sediment in Nankai Trough. The primary challenge to longer production is instability of the turbidite sediment during production. The turbidite is comprised of alternating thin layers of hydrate-bearing sand and hydrate-free clay. The thickness of each layer at Nankai Trough was as thin as just 0.1 m while the overall thickness of the turbidite was over 30 m. In an attempt to model gas production from the turbidite and its mechanical behaviour, conventional numerical analysis suffers prohibitive computation cost because of the necessity to divide the turbidite zone into thin separate layers with isotropic mechanical and hydraulic properties. In the present research, a homogenization technique for the turbidite was developed as well as an anisotropic constitutive soil model, in order to model the turbidite as anisotropic homogenous soil. Results showed that the homogenized turbidite produced very similar results when the vertical mesh size was varied from 1 m to 3 m with regard to gas and water production and the mechanical behaviour. That was not the case when turbidite was modelled as separate sand and clay layers with isotropic soil constitutive model. As a result, computation time could be shortened using the developed turbidite homogenization technique and anisotropic soil model without compromising the accuracy. Moreover, the homogenization was applied to simulate the gas production at the Nankai Trough and a good agreement was obtained between the simulation and field data. It thus indicates that methane gas production from arbitrary methane hydrate-bearing turbidite and its mechanical behaviour could be simulated with high accuracy and reduced computation cost.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Seol, Yongkoo; Kneafsey, Timothy J.

    2009-06-01

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

  13. Multiple-pressure-tapped core holder combined with X-ray computed tomography scanning for gas-water permeability measurements of methane-hydrate-bearing sediments.

    PubMed

    Konno, Yoshihiro; Jin, Yusuke; Uchiumi, Takashi; Nagao, Jiro

    2013-06-01

    We present a novel setup for measuring the effective gas-water permeability of methane-hydrate-bearing sediments. We developed a core holder with multiple pressure taps for measuring the pressure gradient of the gas and water phases. The gas-water flooding process was simultaneously detected using an X-ray computed tomography scanner. We successfully measured the effective gas-water permeability of an artificial sandy core with methane hydrate during the gas-water flooding test.

  14. Methane hydrate-bearing sediments in the Terrebonne basin, northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meazell, K.; Flemings, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    We characterize the geological, geophysical, and thermodynamic state of three dipping, hydrate-bearing sands in the Terrebonne mini basin of the northern Gulf of Mexico, and describe three potential drilling locations to sample these hydrate reservoirs. Within the sand bodies, there is a prominent negative polarity seismic reflection (opposite phase to the seafloor reflector) that we interpret to record the boundary between gas hydrate above and free gas below. This anomaly is the Bottom Simulating Reflector (BSR) and the base of the Gas Hydrate Stability Zone (BGHSZ). Above the BSR, reflection seismic data record these reservoirs with a positive polarity while below it, they record the reservoirs with a negative polarity event. Within the sand bodies, seismic amplitudes are generally strongest immediately above and below the BSR and weaken in updip and downdip directions. Beneath the BSR, two of the reservoirs have a strong negative amplitude event that parallels structure that we interpret to record a gas-water contact, while the third reservoir does not clearly record this behavior. Much like the seafloor, the BSR is bowl-shaped, occurring at greatest depths in the northwest and rising near salt bodies in the south and east. In the north east area of previous exploration, the BSR is found at a depth of 2868 meters below sealevel, implying a geothermal gradient of 20.1oC/km for type I hydrates. Logging while drilling data reveal that the sands are composed of numerous thin, hydrocarbon-charged, coarse-grained sediments. Hydrate saturation in these sands is greatest near the BGHSZ. Pressure coring is proposed for three wells that will penetrate the reservoirs at different structural elevations in order to further elucidate reservoir conditions of the sands.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, T.; Waseda, A.

    2003-04-01

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

  18. Fluid flow, methane fluxes, carbonate precipitation and biogeochemical turnover in gas hydrate-bearing sediments at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Margin: numerical modeling and mass balances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luff, Roger; Wallmann, Klaus

    2003-09-01

    A numerical model was applied to investigate and to quantify biogeochemical processes and methane turnover in gas hydrate-bearing surface sediments from a cold vent site situated at Hydrate Ridge, an accretionary structure located in the Cascadia Margin subduction zone. Steady state simulations were carried out to obtain a comprehensive overview on the activity in these sediments which are covered with bacterial mats and are affected by strong fluid flow from below. The model results underline the dominance of advective fluid flow that forces a large inflow of methane from below (869 μmol cm -2 a -1) inducing high oxidation rates in the surface layers. Anaerobic methane oxidation is the major process, proceeding at a depth-integrated rate of 870 μmol cm -2 a -1. A significant fraction (14%) of bicarbonate produced by anaerobic methane oxidation is removed from the fluids by precipitation of authigenic aragonite and calcite. The total rate of carbonate precipitation (120 μmol cm -2 a -1) allows for the build-up of a massive carbonate layer with a thickness of 1 m over a period of 20,000 years. Aragonite is the major carbonate mineral formed by anaerobic methane oxidation if the flow velocity of methane-charge fluids is high enough (≥10 cm a -1) to maintain super-saturation with respect to this highly soluble carbonate phase. It precipitates much faster within the studied surface sediments than previously observed in abiotic laboratory experiments, suggesting microbial catalysis. The investigated station is characterized by high carbon and oxygen turnover rates (≈1000 μmol cm -2 a -1) that are well beyond the rates observed at other continental slope sites not affected by fluid venting. This underlines the strong impact of fluid venting on the benthic system, even though the flow velocity of 10 cm a -1 derived by the model is relative low compared to fluid flow rates found at other cold vent sites. Non-steady state simulations using measured fluid flow

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Malinverno, A.; Pohlman, J.W.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. The results of pressure coring in Nankai gas-production test site, and plan for pressure core analysis of natural gas-hydrate bearing deep-sea sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    As a part of the Methane hydrate research and development (R&D) program in Japan, the first gas-production test from marine methane hydrate deposits is planned to be conducted during first quarter of 2013. The Daini Atsumi Knoll, that is located in the Nankai Trough region along the southeastern margin of Japan has been selected as the production test site by the Methane Hydrate Research Consortium in Japan (MH21). We had already carried out pressure core sampling using Pressure Temperature Core Sampler (PTCS) at 2004 near the test site, however we could not maintain their pressure after core recovery although the samples were stored as frozen material using liquid nitrogen at that time. To grasp better condition of gas hydrate bearing sediments around test-well, we decided to conduct pressure coring and analyses on them again to before starting gas production test. In June-July 2012, the pressure coring operation with Hybrid Pressure Core Sampler (Hybrid PCS) and Pressure Core Analysis/Transfer System (PCATS) was conducted. As the result of coring, more than 20m long pressure cores were taken by Hybrid PCS, successfully (pressure-maintained). They were analyzed and cut, and a part of them were transferred into Pressure Storage Cambers under gas hydrate stability P/T condition using PCATS. Also, the PCATS could take Gamma-ray density, P-wave velocity and high-resolution X-ray CT images of each core, thus, we could choose appropriate samples from each core for each specific experiment. The cores were stored under gas hydrate stability condition within Pressure Storage Cambers, and stored in refrigerator cabinet in Methane Hydrate Research Center (MHRC) of National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Many analyses; such as grain size distribution, gas volume measurement, mineral composition, micro-structure observation, permeability and strength/stiffness of sediments, are proposed by researcher of MHRC/AIST to understand relationships

  1. Instrumented Pressure Testing Chamber (IPTC) Characterization of Methane Gas Hydrate-Bearing Pressure Cores Collected from the Methane Production Test Site in the Eastern Nankai Trough, Offshore Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waite, W. F.; Santamarina, J. C.; Dai, S.; Winters, W. J.; Yoneda, J.; Konno, Y.; Nagao, J.; Suzuki, K.; Fujii, T.; Mason, D. H.; Bergeron, E.

    2014-12-01

    Pressure cores obtained at the Daini-Atsumi Knoll in the eastern Nankai Trough, the site of the methane hydrate production test completed by the Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21) project in March 2013, were recovered from ~300 meters beneath the sea floor at close to in situ pressure. Cores were subsequently stored at ~20 MPa and ~5°C, which maintained hydrate in the cores within stability conditions. Pressure core physical properties were measured at 10 MPa and ~6°C, also within the methane hydrate stability field, using the IPTC and other Pressure Core Characterization Tools (PCCTs). Discrete IPTC measurements were carried out in strata ranging from silty sands to clayey silts within the turbidite sequences recovered in the cores. As expected, hydrate saturations were greatest in more permeable coarser-grained layers. Key results include: 1) Where hydrate saturation exceeded 40% in sandy sediments, the gas hydrate binds sediment grains within the matrix. The pressure core analyses yielded nearly in situ mechanical properties despite the absence of effective stress in the IPTC. 2) In adjacent fine-grained sediment (hydrate saturation < 15%), hydrate did not significantly bind the sediment. IPTC results in these locations were consistent with the zero effective-stress limit of comparable measurements made in PCCT devices that are designed to restore the specimen's in situ effective stress. In sand-rich intervals with high gas hydrate saturations, the measured compressional and shear wave velocities suggest that hydrate acts as a homogeneously-distributed, load-bearing member of the bulk sediment. The sands with high gas hydrate saturations were prone to fracturing (brittle failure) during insertion of the cone penetrometer and electrical conductivity probes. Authors would like to express their sincere appreciation to MH21 and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for permitting this work to be disclosed at the 2014 Fall AGU meeting.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Daigle, Hugh; Cook, Ann; Malinverno, Alberto

    2015-10-14

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Daigle, Hugh; Cook, Ann; Malinverno, Alberto

    2015-10-14

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

  4. Thermal conductivity measurements in unsaturated hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Sheng; Cha, Jong-Ho; Rosenbaum, Eilis J.; Zhang, Wu; Seol, Yongkoo

    2015-08-01

    Current database on the thermal properties of hydrate-bearing sediments remains limited and has not been able to capture their consequential changes during gas production where vigorous phase changes occur in this unsaturated system. This study uses the transient plane source (TPS) technique to measure the thermal conductivity of methane hydrate-bearing sediments with various hydrate/water/gas saturations. We propose a simplified method to obtain thermal properties from single-sided TPS signatures. Results reveal that both volume fraction and distribution of the pore constituents govern the thermal conductivity of unsaturated specimens. Thermal conductivity hysteresis is observed due to water redistribution and fabric change caused by hydrate formation and dissociation. Measured thermal conductivity increases evidently when hydrate saturation Sh > 30-40%, shifting upward from the geometric mean model prediction to a Pythagorean mixing model. These observations envisage a significant drop in sediment thermal conductivity when residual hydrate/water saturation falls below ~40%, hindering further gas production.

  5. Linking pore-scale and basin-scale effects on diffusive methane transport in hydrate bearing environments through multi-scale reservoir simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nole, M.; Daigle, H.; Cook, A.; Malinverno, A.; Hillman, J. I. T.

    2016-12-01

    We explore the gas hydrate-generating capacity of diffusive methane transport induced by solubility gradients due to pore size contrasts in lithologically heterogeneous marine sediments. Through the use of 1D, 2D, and 3D reactive transport simulations, we investigate scale-dependent processes in diffusion-dominated gas hydrate systems. These simulations all track a sand body, or series of sands, surrounded by clays as they are buried through the gas hydrate stability zone. Methane is sourced by microbial methanogenesis in the clays surrounding the sand layers. In 1D, simulations performed in a Lagrangian reference frame demonstrate that gas hydrate in thin sands (3.6 m thick) can occur in high saturations (upward of 70%) at the edges of sand bodies within the upper 400 meters below the seafloor. Diffusion of methane toward the center of the sand layer depends on the concentration gradient within the sand: broader sand pore size distributions with smaller median pore sizes enhance diffusive action toward the sand's center. Incorporating downhole log- and laboratory-derived sand pore size distributions, gas hydrate saturations in the center of the sand can reach 20% of the hydrate saturations at the sand's edges. Furthermore, we show that hydrate-free zones exist immediately above and below the sand and are approximately 5 m thick, depending on the sand-clay solubility contrast. A moving reference frame is also adopted in 2D, and the angle of gravity is rotated relative to the grid system to simulate a dipping sand layer. This is important to minimize diffusive edge effects or numerical diffusion that might be associated with a dipping sand in an Eulerian grid system oriented orthogonal to gravity. Two-dimensional simulations demonstrate the tendency for gas hydrate to accumulate downdip in a sand body because of greater methane transport at depth due to larger sand-clay solubility contrasts. In 3D, basin-scale simulations illuminate how convergent sand layers in a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Characterization and physical properties of hydrate bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terzariol, M.; Santamarina, C.

    2016-12-01

    The amount of carbon trapped in hydrates is estimated to be larger than in conventional oil and gas reservoirs, thus methane hydrate is a promising energy resource. The high water pressure and the relatively low temperature needed for hydrate stability restrict the distribution of methane hydrates to continental shelves and permafrost regions. Stability conditions add inherent complexity to coring, sampling, handling, testing and data interpretation, have profound implications on potential production strategies. Thus a novel technology is developed for handling, transferring, and testing of natural hydrate bearing sediments without depressurization in order to preserve the sediment structure. Results from the first deployment of these tools on natural samples from Nankai Trough, Japan will also be summarized. Finally, to avoid consequences of poor sampling, a new multi-sensor in-situ characterization tool will be introduced.

  8. Thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortes, Douglas D.; Martin, Ana I.; Yun, Tae Sup; Francisca, Franco M.; Santamarina, J. Carlos; Ruppel, Carolyn

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  10. Thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cortes, Douglas D.; Martin, Ana I.; Yun, Tae Sup; Francisca, Franco M.; Santamarina, J. Carlos; Ruppel, Carolyn

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Water permeability in hydrate-bearing sediments: A pore-scale study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Sheng; Seol, Yongkoo

    2014-06-01

    Permeability is a critical parameter governing methane flux and fluid flow in hydrate-bearing sediments; however, limited valid data are available due to experimental challenges. Here we investigate the relationship between apparent water permeability (k') and hydrate saturation (Sh), accounting for hydrate pore-scale growth habit and meso-scale heterogeneity. Results from capillary tube models rely on cross-sectional tube shapes and hydrate pore habits, thus are appropriate only for sediments with uniform hydrate distribution and known hydrate pore character. Given our pore network modeling results showing that accumulating hydrate in sediments decreases sediment porosity and increases hydraulic tortuosity, we propose a modified Kozeny-Carman model to characterize water permeability in hydrate-bearing sediments. This model agrees well with experimental results and can be easily implemented in reservoir simulators with no empirical variables other than Sh. Results are also relevant to flow through other natural sediments that undergo diagenesis, salt precipitation, or bio-clogging.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inamori, T.; Hato, M.

    2002-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-08-01

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

  15. Elastic properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  16. Evidence for Freshwater Discharge at a Gas Hydrate-Bearing Seafloor Mound on the Beaufort Sea Continental Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Lorenson, T. D.; Hart, P. E.; Ruppel, C. D.; Joseph, C.; Torres, M. E.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    A deep-water (~2.5 km water depth) seafloor mound located ~150 km offshore of the North Slope Alaska, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM), contains a documented occurrence of gas hydrate; the first from the Beaufort Sea. Gases and porewater extracted from cores taken at the CSM summit several months after core recovery provided surprisingly consistent and outstanding results. Gases migrating into the structure are likely a mixture of primary microbial gas formed by carbonate reduction and secondary microbial gas formed from degraded thermogenic gases, linking the system to deep oil and gas generation (see companion abstract by Lorenson et al.). Pore fluids extracted from the base of the 572 cm-long hydrate-bearing core had chloride values as low as 160 mM, which equates to an ~80% freshwater contribution. Low chloride values, often interpreted as a product of gas hydrate dissociation in hydrate-bearing cores, were coincident with sulfate values in excess of 1 mM and as high as 22 mM (seawater is ~28mM). High sulfate concentrations generally indicate an absence of methane, and, thus, gas hydrate; therefore, an allochthonous source of freshwater is required. Potential sources are clay mineral dehydration, clay membrane filtration and/or a meteoric water influx. Several lines of evidence indicate the Canning Seafloor Mound is connected to either a deep, landward freshwater aquifer or to an unusually fresh oil field brine. First, Na/Cl ratios decrease from marine (~0.86) near the seafloor to distinctly higher values of 1.20 at the bottom of the core. Second, clay dehydration and ion filtration processes have not, to our knowledge, yielded fluids as fresh as measured in these near-seafloor sediments. Third, and most importantly, δ18O-δD systematics of fluid end members are entirely consistent with a meteoric water source and inconsistent with trends expected for either gas hydrate dissociation, smectite to illite clay dewatering or ion filtration

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  18. High dissolved methane concentrations in the deep-water Ulleung Basin, East Sea of Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Byong-Jae; Chun, Jong-Hwa

    2014-05-01

    As a part of the Korean National Gas Hydrate Program, a production test in the Ulleung Basin is planned to be performed in 2015. The targets are the gas hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs, which were found during the Second Ulleung Basin Gas Hydrate Drilling Expedition (UBGH2) in 2010. To ensure a safe production test, an environmental program has been conducted by the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) since 2012. This program includes a baseline survey using a KIGAM Seafloor Observation System (KISOS) and R/V TAMHAE II of KIGAM, development of a KIGAM Seafloor Monitoring System (KIMOS), and seafloor monitoring on various potential hazards associated with the dissociated gas from gas hydrates using the KIMOS during the production test. A survey for measuring the dissolved methane concentrations in the area at and nearby the gas hydrate production testing site was performed using R/V TAMHAE II and the KISOS. The water samples were also collected and analyzed to measure the dissolved methane concentrations by the SBE carousel water sampler installed in the KISOS and gas chromatography (GC) at KIGAM. The dissolved methane concentrations were also measured using a Frantech METS methane sensor installed in the KISOS. No dissolved methane anomaly was detected at the site where any evidence of gas hydrate presence has not been observed. On the other hand, the water analysis showed high dissolved methane concentrations at the water depth above and within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) at the site where gas hydrates were identified by drilling. However, these dissolved methane anomalies within the GHSZ were not detected by methane sensor. To examine these uncertain dissolved methane anomalies within the GHSZ, the water samples will be collected and analyzed once again, and the analytical result will be also carefully compared with the data collected using the methane sensor and deep ocean mass spectrometer (DOMS) developed by the University of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. The assessment of different production methods for hydrate bearing sediments - results from small and large scale experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schicks, Judith; Heeschen, Katja; Spangenberg, Erik; Luzi-Helbing, Manja; Beeskow-Strauch, Bettina; Priegnitz, Mike; Giese, Ronny; Abendroth, Sven; Thaler, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Natural gas hydrates occur at all active and passive continental margins, in permafrost regions, and deep lakes. Since they are supposed to contain enormous amounts of methane, gas hydrates are discussed as an energy resource. For the production of gas from hydrate bearing sediments, three different production methods were tested during the last decade: depressurization, thermal and chemical stimulation as well as combinations of these methods. In the framework of the SUGAR project we developed a Large Scale Reservoir Simulator (LARS) with a total volume of 425L to test these three methods in a pilot plant scale. For this purpose we formed hydrate from methane saturated brine in sediments under conditions close to natural gas hydrate deposits. The obtained hydrate saturations varied between 40-90%. Hydrate saturation and distribution were determined using electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). The volumes of the produced gas and water were determined and the gas phase was analyzed via gas chromatography. Multi-step depressurization, thermal stimulation applying in-situ combustion as well as chemical stimulation via the injection of CO2 and a CO2-N2-mixture were tested. Depressurization and thermal stimulation appear to be less complicated compared to the chemical stimulation. For the understanding of the macroscopically observed processes on a molecular level, we also performed experiments on a smaller scale using microscopic observation, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The results of these experiments are of particular importance for the understanding of the processes occurring during the CO2-CH4 swapping. Under the chosen experimental conditions the observations indicate a (partial) decomposition and reformation of the hydrate structure rather than a diffusion-controlled exchange of the molecules.

  1. Novel integrons and gene cassettes from a Cascadian submarine gas-hydrate-bearing core.

    PubMed

    Elsaied, Hosam; Stokes, Hatch W; Yoshioka, Hideyoshi; Mitani, Yasuo; Maruyama, Akihiko

    2014-02-01

    To determine whether integrons are present in a submarine gas hydrate community, metagenomic DNA was extracted from a gas-hydrate-bearing core, 150 m below the seafloor, from the Cascadian Margin. Integrons and gene cassettes were recovered by PCR from metagenomic DNA and sequenced. Thirty-seven integron integrase phylotypes were identified. The phylotypes were diverse and included members with homology to integrases from Methylomonas methanica, Desulfuromonas acetoxidans, Thermodesulfatator indicus, and marine uncultured bacteria. The gene cassette composition, 153 gene cassettes, was dominated by two types of encoded putative proteins. The first of these was predicted oxidoreductases, such as iron/sulfur cluster-binding proteins. A second type was alkyl transferases. Some cassette proteins showed homologies with those from methane-related archaea. These observations suggest that integrons may assist in the adaptation of microbial communities in this environment.

  2. Investigation of mechanical properties of hydrate-bearing pressure core sediments recovered from the Eastern Nankai Trough using transparent acrylic cell triaxial testing system (TACTT-system)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    Natural gas hydrate-bearing pressure core sediments have been sheared in compression using a newly developed Transparent Acrylic Cell Triaxial Testing (TACTT) system to investigate the geophysical and geomechanical behavior of sediments recovered from the deep seabed in the Eastern Nankai Trough, the first Japanese offshore production test region. The sediments were recovered by hybrid pressure core system (hybrid PCS) and pressure cores were cut by pressure core analysis tools (PCATs) on board. These pressure cores were transferred to the AIST Hokkaido centre and trimmed by pressure core non-destructive analysis tools (PNATs) for TACTT system which maintained the pressure and temperature conditions within the hydrate stability boundary, through the entire process of core handling from drilling to the end of laboratory testing. An image processing technique was used to capture the motion of sediment in a transparent acrylic cell, and digital photographs were obtained at every 0.1% of vertical strain during the test. Analysis of the optical images showed that sediments with 63% hydrate saturation exhibited brittle failure, although nonhydrate-bearing sediments exhibited ductile failure. In addition, the increase in shear strength with hydrate saturation increase of natural gas hydrate is in agreement with previous data from synthetic gas hydrate. This research was financially supported by the Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (MH21 Research Consortium) that carries out Japan's Methane Hydrate R&D Program by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Transformations in methane hydrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chou, I.-Ming; Sharma, A.; Burruss, R.C.; Shu, J.; Mao, Ho-kwang; Hemley, R.J.; Goncharov, A.F.; Stern, L.A.; Kirby, S.H.

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Response of oceanic hydrate-bearing sediments to thermalstresses

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-05-01

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

  9. Experimental investigation of depressurization-induced production behavior from hydrate-bearing sediments in various scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.; Ahn, T.; Lee, J.; Kim, S.

    2012-12-01

    Recently, concerns for gas hydrates have focused on methane hydrate since an enormous amount of natural gas hydrates, predominantly methane gas as guest gas molecules, is deposited in the worldwide permafrost regions and in marine sediments. Accordingly, it is considered as one of alternative/unconventional energy resources. Until now, the recovery schemes for natural gas caged in the solid state have not been commercialized. Depressurization has been known as the most promising method due to its economic feasibility according to previous lab-scale experiments and simulation studies. However, the results of a few field tests showed that the production characteristics in fields differed from those of lab-scale experiments. In this study, we investigated the depressurization-induced production behavior from hydrate-bearing sediments of various scale to expand the in-situ applicability of depressurization. Three different scales of sediment sample were used (i.e. centimeter-, meter-, and 10-meter-scale) and experimental apparatuses for each scales were developed. For meter-scale experiments, we used artificial particles which have similar grain size distribution of the GH-bearing sandy layers found in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea, Korea. Both artificial and in-situ core sediments were used for cm-scale experiments. After preparing the hydrate-bearing sediment samples, the fluid pressure of the sample were depressurized from the hydrate stability field to the designated pressure. The pressure, temperature, and the volume of produced fluids were recorded throughout the tests. The level of depressurization ranged from 10 to 40% of the initial pressures. In less than meter-scale experiments, the hydrate reformation potential increased with a smaller sample scale and a higher level of depressurization. In the meter-scale experiment, the pressure propagation was very fast and happened almost instantaneously. In 10-meter-scale experiments, the hydrate reformation was not

  10. Sedimentological Properties of Natural Gas Hydrates-Bearing Sands in the Nankai Trough and Mallik Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, T.; Tsuji, T.; Waseda, A.

    2009-12-01

    The Nankai Trough parallels the Japanese Island, where extensive BSRs have been interpreted from seismic reflection records. High resolution seismic surveys have definitely indicated gas hydrate distributions, and drilling the MITI Nankai Trough wells in 2000 and the METI Tokai-oki to Kumano-nada wells in 2004 have revealed subsurface gas hydrate in the eastern part of Nankai Trough. In 1998 and 2002 Mallik wells were drilled at Mackenzie Delta in the Canadian Arctic that also clarified the characteristics of gas hydrate-dominant sandy layers at depths from 890 to 1110 m beneath the permafrost zone. During the field operations, the LWD and wire-line well log data were continuously obtained and plenty of gas hydrate-bearing sand cores were recovered. Subsequence sedimentological and geochemical analyses performed on those core samples revealed the crucial geologic controls on the formation and preservation of natural gas hydrate in sediments. Pore-space gas hydrates reside in sandy sediments mostly filling intergranular porosity. Pore waters chloride anomalies, core temperature depression and core observations on visible gas hydrates confirm the presence of pore-space gas hydrates within moderate to thick sandy layers, typically 10 cm to a meter thick. Sediment porosities and pore-size distributions were obtained by mercury porosimetry, which indicate that porosities of gas hydrate-bearing sandy strata are approximately 45 %. According to grain size distribution curves, gas hydrate is dominant in fine- to very fine-grained sandy strata. Gas hydrate saturations are typically up to 80 % in pore volume throughout most of the hydrate-dominant sandy layers, which are estimated by well log analyses as well as pore water chloride anomalies. It is necessary for investigating subsurface fluid flow behaviors to evaluate both porosity and permeability of gas hydrate-bearing sandy sediments, and the measurements of water permeability for them indicated that highly saturated

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-03-31

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

  12. Microbial production and oxidation of methane in deep subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotelnikova, Svetlana

    2002-10-01

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

  13. Effects of core retrieval, handling, and preservation on hydrate-bearing samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kneafsey, T. J.; Lu, H.; Winters, W. J.; Hunter, R. B.

    2009-12-01

    Recovery, preservation, storage, and transport of samples containing natural gas hydrate cause changes in the stress conditions, temperature, pressure, and hydrate saturation of samples. Sample handling at the ground surface and sample preservation, either by freezing in liquid nitrogen (LN) or repressurization using methane, provides additional time and driving forces for sample alteration. The extent to which these disturbances alter the properties of the hydrate bearing sediments (HBS) depend on specific sample handling techniques, as well as on the sample itself. HBS recovered during India’s National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 01 and the 2007 BP Exploration Alaska - Department of Energy - U.S. Geological Survey (BP-DOE-USGS) Mount Elbert (ME) gas hydrate well on the Alaskan North Slope provide comparisons of sample alterations induced by multiple handling techniques. HBS samples from the NGHP and the ME projects were examined using x-ray computed tomography. Mount Elbert sand samples initially preserved in LN have non-uniform short “crack-like” low-density zones in the center that probably do not extend to the outside perimeter. Samples initially preserved by repressurization show fewer “crack-like” features and higher densities. Two samples were analyzed in detail by Lu and coworkers showing reduced hydrate saturations approaching the outer surface, while substantial hydrate remained in the central region. Non-pressure cored NGHP samples show relatively large altered regions approaching the core surface, while pressure-cored-liquid-nitrogen preserved samples have much less alteration.

  14. Modeling dissociation of hydrate bearing sediments under shear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, J. S.; Choi, J. H.; Seol, Y.; Rutqvist, J.

    2015-12-01

    To assess the stability of ground during gas production from hydrate bearing sediments, it is of fundamental importance that the constitutive model employed and the computational procedure adopted are capable and accurate. One way to establish credence is to investigate if observation from laboratory tests could be reproduced in analysis. From this consideration, this study modeled laboratory triaxial tests in which hydrate dissociation was induced when a certain level of shear stress was reached. During the dissociation, however, both the axial and the confining stresses were kept unchanged. There were basically two scenarios observed: If the applied shear stress was higher than the shear strength of the hydrate free host soil, failure would take place during the dissociation; otherwise the sample would remain stable. The dissociation was induced either by a temperature raise or through pore pressure reduction. To model such tests, a coupled procedure was employed: the geomechanical analysis was conducted in FLAC3D, and the multiphase flow was conducted in TOUGH+. In this study, an SMP critical state constitutive model was implemented in the FLAC3D. This study successfully reproduced the observation from the laboratory tests. It showed that if the dissociation was caused by temperature change alone, failure would take place during dissociation. On the other hand, the modeling results also showed that if the dissociation was induced by pressure reduction, a sample could remain stable during dissociation because the effective confining stress was raised, but it would fail afterwards when the pre-association fluid pressure was allowed to return and the pace of hydrate reformation lagged behind.

  15. Isolation of a methanogen from deep marine sediments that contain methane hydrates, and description of Methanoculleus submarinus sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Mikucki, Jill A; Liu, Yitai; Delwiche, Mark; Colwell, Frederick S; Boone, David R

    2003-06-01

    We isolated a methanogen from deep in the sediments of the Nankai Trough off the eastern coast of Japan. At the sampling site, the water was 950 m deep and the sediment core was collected at 247 m below the sediment surface. The isolated methanogen was named Nankai-1. Cells of Nankai-1 were nonmotile and highly irregular coccoids (average diameter, 0.8 to 2 micro m) and grew with hydrogen or formate as a catabolic substrate. Cells required acetate as a carbon source. Yeast extract and peptones were not required but increased the growth rate. The cells were mesophilic, growing most rapidly at 45 degrees C (no growth at /=55 degrees C). Cells grew with a maximum specific growth rate of 2.43 day(-1) at 45 degrees C. Cells grew at pH values between 5.0 and 8.7 but did not grow at pH 4.7 or 9.0. Strain Nankai-1 grew in a wide range of salinities, from 0.1 to 1.5 M Na(+). The described phenotypic characteristics of this novel isolate were consistent with the in situ environment of the Nankai Trough. This is the first report of a methanogenic isolate from methane hydrate-bearing sediments. Phylogenetic analysis of its 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that it is most closely related to Methanoculleus marisnigri (99.1% sequence similarity), but DNA hybridization experiments indicated a DNA sequence similarity of only 49%. Strain Nankai-1 was also found to be phenotypically similar to M. marisnigri, but two major phenotypic differences were found: strain Nankai-1 does not require peptones, and it grows fastest at a much higher temperature. We propose a new species, Methanoculleus submarinus, with strain Nankai-1 as the type strain.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen A. Holditch

    2006-12-31

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

  18. Physical property changes in hydrate-bearing sediment samples due to depressurization/repressurization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waite, W. F.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Santamarina, J. C.; Winters, W. J.; Yun, T.; Mason, D. H.; Ruppel, C. D.

    2006-12-01

    Physical property measurements on cores containing natural gas hydrate are typically performed on material exposed to non-in situ conditions at least briefly during recovery. In situ temperature and effective stress are difficult to maintain during core recovery, but pressure-coring systems such as the HYACINTH, Fugro, and IODP PCS can maintain in situ hydrostatic pressure during core retrieval. To simulate effects of transferring pressure-core samples to storage vessels, the USGS conducted physical property measurements on Ottawa sand samples containing methane gas and gas hydrate before and after samples were depressurized out of, then repressurized back into, the gas hydrate stability field. For measurements made along a sample's cylindrical axis, compressional and shear wave speed, shear strength, and thermal conductivity increased 10 to 30 percent following a 5 minute excursion from the gas hydrate stability field. Experiments were conducted in unsaturated sand in the presence of methane gas, and increases in measured physical property values resulting from the repressurization cycle can be attributed to a redistribution of water and gas hydrate within the sample. Redistribution of water and re-formation of gas hydrate is inferred from X- Ray Computed Tomography of a cylindrical hydrate-bearing Ottawa sand sample similar to the USGS samples. During the excursion from the gas hydrate stability field, images collected at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demonstrate gas hydrate dissociates first at the outer surface, where heat is efficiently transferred from a temperature-controlled bath. Upon repressurizing to stable conditions, gas hydrate remaining near the sample's central axis draws water away from the outer part of the sediment sample, and new gas hydrate grows most rapidly close along the central axis, where the original gas hydrate never dissociated during depressurization. These results can be compared to those obtained by Georgia Tech on water

  19. Seismic signature of gas hydrate bearing sediments on the Shikoku-oki forezrc zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komatsu, Y.; Kobayashi, T.; Fujii, T.

    2016-12-01

    In recent years, forearc zones are receiving attention as targets for commercial utilization of gas hydrates (e.g., Tokai-Kumano forearc basins). The shikoku-oki forearc zone including the Muroto basin and the Tosa basin is located between the SW Japan Arc and the Nankai Trough subduction zone. In this area, bottom simulating reflectors (BSR) have been widely observed and considered as representing lower boundaries of methane hydrate bearing deposits. Based on our 2D seismic reflection data, we divided the forearc zone into several geological domains: shelf slope, forearc basin, and frontal accretionary prism. The only base of the Quaternary sediments can be defined in the seismic data, because the reflections below younger sediments are obscure due to structural deformation and multiple reflections. We have identified two stratigraphic units in the seismic data that have been characterized by coring and dredge sampling. This forearc basin is characterized by partially landward (northwest)-tilted, various amplitude, laterally continuous reflectors. High-amplitude reflectors and low-amplitude reflectors are interpreted as submarine fan intercalating with turbidite sediments and slope apron composed mainly of hemipelagic mud sediments, respectively. A BSR is well developed throughout this forearc basin. The accretionary prism is strongly deformed by folding and faulting with seismically-deformed structure. BSRs are patchy developed in this zone. High density velocity analysis profile and spectral decomposition results combined with amplitude and frequency seismic attributes are used for the identification and characterization of gas hydrate deposits above the BSR. High velocity responses were identified within landward-dipping layers in the forearc basin. Several velocity anomalies occupy relatively small areas near the structural crest in the accretionary prism. These distributions show little relationship to tectonic structure.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Experimental study on mechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments using kaolin clay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yang-Hui; Song, Yong-Chen; Yu, Feng; Liu, Wei-Guo; Zhao, Jia-Fei

    2011-03-01

    A triaxial system is designed with a temperature range from -20 °C to 25 °C and a pressure range from 0 MPa to 30 MPa in order to improve the understanding of the mechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments. The mechanical properties of synthetic gas hydrate-bearing sediments (gas hydrate-kaolin clay mixture) were measured by using current experimental apparatus. The results indicate that: (1) the failure strength of gas hydrate-bearing sediments strongly depends on the temperature. The sediment's strength increases with the decreases of temperature. (2) The maximum deviator stress increases linearly with the confining pressure at a low-pressure stage. However, it fluctuates at a high-pressure stage. (3) Maximum deviator stress increases with increasing strain rate, whereas the strain-stress curve has no tremendous change until the axial strain reaches approximately 0.5%. (4) The internal friction angles of gas hydrate-bearing sediments are not sensitive to kaolin volume ratio. The cohesion shows a high kaolin volume ratio dependency.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Hydraulic and Mechanical Effects from Gas Hydrate Conversion and Secondary Gas Hydrate Formation during Injection of CO2 into CH4-Hydrate-Bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bigalke, N.; Deusner, C.; Kossel, E.; Schicks, J. M.; Spangenberg, E.; Priegnitz, M.; Heeschen, K. U.; Abendroth, S.; Thaler, J.; Haeckel, M.

    2014-12-01

    The injection of CO2 into CH4-hydrate-bearing sediments has the potential to drive natural gas production and simultaneously sequester CO2 by hydrate conversion. The process aims at maintaining the in situ hydrate saturation and structure and causing limited impact on soil hydraulic properties and geomechanical stability. However, to increase hydrate conversion yields and rates it must potentially be assisted by thermal stimulation or depressurization. Further, secondary formation of CO2-rich hydrates from pore water and injected CO2 enhances hydrate conversion and CH4 production yields [1]. Technical stimulation and secondary hydrate formation add significant complexity to the bulk conversion process resulting in spatial and temporal effects on hydraulic and geomechanical properties that cannot be predicted by current reservoir simulation codes. In a combined experimental and numerical approach, it is our objective to elucidate both hydraulic and mechanical effects of CO2 injection and CH4-CO2-hydrate conversion in CH4-hydrate bearing soils. For the experimental approach we used various high-pressure flow-through systems equipped with different online and in situ monitoring tools (e.g. Raman microscopy, MRI and ERT). One particular focus was the design of triaxial cell experimental systems, which enable us to study sample behavior even during large deformations and particle flow. We present results from various flow-through high-pressure experimental studies on different scales, which indicate that hydraulic and geomechanical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments are drastically altered during and after injection of CO2. We discuss the results in light of the competing processes of hydrate dissociation, hydrate conversion and secondary hydrate formation. Our results will also contribute to the understanding of effects of temperature and pressure changes leading to dissociation of gas hydrates in ocean and permafrost systems. [1] Deusner C, Bigalke N, Kossel E

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Depressurization-induced fines migration in hydrate-bearing clayey sands: X-ray CT imaging and quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, G.; Kwon, T. H.; Lee, J. Y.

    2016-12-01

    As gas and water flows induced by depressurization of hydrate-bearing sediments exert seepage forces on fines in sediments, such as clay particles, depressurization is reported to accompany the transport of fine particles through sediment pores, i.e., fines migration. Because such fines migration can cause pore clogging, the fines migration is considered as one of the critical phenomena contributing to the transport of fluids among various pore-scale processes associated with depressurization. However, quantification of fines migration during depressurization still remains poorly understood. This study thus investigated fines migration caused by depressurization using X-ray computerized tomography(X-ray CT) imaging. A host sediment was prepared by mixing fine sand with kaolinite clay minerals to achieve 10% mass fraction of fines (less than 75 um). Then, methane hydrate was synthesized in the host clayey sand, and thereafter water was injected to saturate the hydrate-bearing sediment sample. Step-wise depressurization was applied while the produced gas was collected through an outlet fluid port. X-ray CT imaging was conducted on the sediment sample over the courses of the experiment to monitor the sample preparation, hydrate formation, depressurization, and fines migration. Based on the calibration tests, the amount and locations of methane hydrate formed in the sample was estimated, and the gas migration path was also identified. Finally, the spatial distribution of fines after completion of depressurization was first assessed using the obtained X-ray images and then compared with the post-mortem mine-back results.Notably, we found that the middle part of the sample was clogged possibly by fines or by re-formed hydrate, leading to a big pressure difference between the inlet and outlet fluid port of the sample by 3 MPa. Owing to this clogging and the lost in pressure communication, hydrate dissociation first occurred at the bottom half and the hydrate dissociation

  8. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  11. Numerical simulations of sand production in interbedded hydrate-bearing sediments during depressurization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uchida, Shun; Lin, Jeen-Shang; Myshakin, Evgeniy; Seol, Yongkoo; Collett, Timothy S.; Boswell, Ray

    2017-01-01

    Geomechanical behavior of hydrate-bearing sediments during gas production is complex, involving changes in hydrate-dependent mechanical properties. When interbedded clay layers are present, the complexity is more pronounced because hydrate dissociation tends to occur preferentially in the sediments adjacent to the clay layers due to clay layers acting as a heat source. This would potentially lead to shearing deformation along the sand/clay contacts and may contribute to solid migration, which hindered past field-scale gas production tests. This paper presents a near-wellbore simulation of sand/clay interbedded hydrate-bearing sediments that have been subjected to depressurization and discusses the effect of clay layers on sand production.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-06-01

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

  13. Follow the Methane: The Search for Deep Biospheres on Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parnell, J.; Boyce, A. J.

    2010-03-01

    Methane seepages indicate gas pathways that could fuel microbial sulfate reduction at depth. Sulfur isotope studies can indicate microbial activity in the ancient deep biosphere on Earth, and could be applied to seek ancient deep biosphere on Mars.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Torres, Marta

    2014-01-31

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

  16. Past methane seepage and linked deep-water anoxia are logged in methane-derived carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stadnitskaia, A.; Liebetrau, V.; Eisenhauer, A.; Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.

    2012-04-01

    The precipitation of carbonate in methane saturated environments is a common phenomenon that is caused by the increase of alkalinity due to the microbial process of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) accomplished by a consortium of sulfate reducing bacteria and methanotrophic archaea (Boetius et al., 2000). Since the formation of such carbonates is irrespective to climate changes and to the depth of the carbonate compensation, they represent unique archives of the time and duration of methane seepage, adjacent sedimentary/water column environments and associated bionetwork. The Nile Deep Sea Fan basin is known for the widespread occurrence of seabed methane/fluid seepage linked to mud volcanoes and pock marks. Massive accumulations of methane-derived carbonate pavements and up to one meter buildups were often encountered in the vicinity or even within mud volcano structures. Here we analyzed at high resolution the differences in stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions and lipid biomarker composition, accompanied with U/Th dating of the topmost part of a ~1 m-high carbonate edifice sited at the margin of the Amon mud volcano. The uppermost part of the edifice has been dated at ~7.8 - 9.1 kyr B.P. This is synchronous with the increase of fresh-water fluxes in the Eastern Mediterranean resulting in density stratification of the water column (~ 10.5 - 5.0 14C kyr B.P.), with the formation of S1 sapropel (~9.7 - 5.7 14C kyr B.P.; De Lange et al., 2008), and with the Holocene warm climatic optimum (Rohling and Hilgen, 1991). Significant changes of ^13CCaCO3 values, from -32 to -9‰ (VPDB), indicate swings in methane flux, which affected rates of AOM and the consequent production of 13C-depleted HCO3-. Lipid biomarkers revealed the presence of methanotrophic archaea of the ANME-2 group due to the dominance of sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol over archaeol and the low abundance of tetraether lipids (Blumenberg et al., 2004). Ecologically these archaea are associated with

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  18. Micro X-ray Computed Tomography Imaging and Ultrasonic Velocity Measurements of Hydrate-Bearing Porous Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindler, M.; Prasad, M.; Batzle, M. L.

    2015-12-01

    Naturally occurring gas hydrates contain significant amounts of natural gas which might be produced in the foreseeable future. Thus, it is necessary to understand the pore-space characteristics of hydrate reservoirs, especially the pore-scale distribution of hydrate and its interaction with the sediment. The goal of our research is to examine the distribution of hydrate in the pore space and the influence of hydrate pore-scale distribution on seismic velocities and sonic logs. We conducted laboratory measurements to obtain information about the distribution of hydrate in the pore space of synthetic porous media (glass beads). We used Tetrahydrofuran (THF) as a guest molecule since THF hydrate is a proxy for naturally occuring hydrate. We used micro X-ray computed tomography (MXCT) to image hydrate distribution in the pore space. In addition, we investigated the influence of hydrate saturation and distribution on ultrasonic velocities simultaneously with the MXCT imaging. We installed a torlon vessel and a cooling system in the MXCT scanner which allows us to form hydrate in the MXCT scanner at atmospheric pressure and a temperature of approximately 2°C. Both, MXCT images and ultrasonic velocity measurements, indicate that THF hydrate forms in the pore space while residual brine coats the grain surfaces and fills small pores. Our observations are in accordance with the pore-filling model of the effective medium theory of hydrate-bearing sediments. Based on this knowledge, it may be possible to calibrate seismic and well logging data to calculate the amount of natural gas stored in a hydrate reservoir. This information will help to make decisions regarding the producibility of methane hydrates and to develop safe production schemes.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, M.W.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Hydro-bio-geomechanical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments from Nankai Trough

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Santamarina, J.C.; Dai, Shifeng; Terzariol, M.; Jang, Jeonghwan; Waite, William F.; Winters, William J.; Nagao, J.; Yoneda, J.; Konno, Y.; Fujii, T.; Suzuki, K.

    2015-01-01

    Natural hydrate-bearing sediments from the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan, were studied using the Pressure Core Characterization Tools (PCCTs) to obtain geomechanical, hydrological, electrical, and biological properties under in situ pressure, temperature, and restored effective stress conditions. Measurement results, combined with index-property data and analytical physics-based models, provide unique insight into hydrate-bearing sediments in situ. Tested cores contain some silty-sands, but are predominantly sandy- and clayey-silts. Hydrate saturations Sh range from 0.15 to 0.74, with significant concentrations in the silty-sands. Wave velocity and flexible-wall permeameter measurements on never-depressurized pressure-core sediments suggest hydrates in the coarser-grained zones, the silty-sands where Sh exceeds 0.4, contribute to soil-skeletal stability and are load-bearing. In the sandy- and clayey-silts, where Sh < 0.4, the state of effective stress and stress history are significant factors determining sediment stiffness. Controlled depressurization tests show that hydrate dissociation occurs too quickly to maintain thermodynamic equilibrium, and pressure–temperature conditions track the hydrate stability boundary in pure-water, rather than that in seawater, in spite of both the in situ pore water and the water used to maintain specimen pore pressure prior to dissociation being saline. Hydrate dissociation accompanied with fines migration caused up to 2.4% vertical strain contraction. The first-ever direct shear measurements on never-depressurized pressure-core specimens show hydrate-bearing sediments have higher sediment strength and peak friction angle than post-dissociation sediments, but the residual friction angle remains the same in both cases. Permeability measurements made before and after hydrate dissociation demonstrate that water permeability increases after dissociation, but the gain is limited by the transition from hydrate saturation

  3. A novel apparatus for in situ measurement of thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jiafei; Wang, Bin; Yang, Lei; Cheng, Chuanxiao; Song, Yongchen

    2015-08-01

    An experimental apparatus was developed to synthesize natural gas hydrates and measure the thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments in situ. The apparatus works over a temperature range varying from -20 °C to 50 °C and up to a maximum pressure of 20 MPa. This apparatus is mainly composed of a thermal conductivity test system and a reaction cell, into which a lab-fabricated thermistor probe is inserted. This thermistor has excellent temperature sensitivity and can work at high pressures. The basic principles of this apparatus are discussed, and a series of experiments were performed to verify that the apparatus can be practically applied in chemical engineering. The thermistor-based measuring method was applied successfully in a high-pressure environment both with and without porous media.

  4. A novel apparatus for in situ measurement of thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jiafei; Wang, Bin; Yang, Lei; Cheng, Chuanxiao; Song, Yongchen

    2015-08-01

    An experimental apparatus was developed to synthesize natural gas hydrates and measure the thermal conductivity of hydrate-bearing sediments in situ. The apparatus works over a temperature range varying from -20 °C to 50 °C and up to a maximum pressure of 20 MPa. This apparatus is mainly composed of a thermal conductivity test system and a reaction cell, into which a lab-fabricated thermistor probe is inserted. This thermistor has excellent temperature sensitivity and can work at high pressures. The basic principles of this apparatus are discussed, and a series of experiments were performed to verify that the apparatus can be practically applied in chemical engineering. The thermistor-based measuring method was applied successfully in a high-pressure environment both with and without porous media.

  5. Mechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments during hydrate dissociation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, X. H.; Luo, D. S.; Lu, X. B.; Liu, L. L.; Liu, C. L.

    2017-08-01

    The changes in the mechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments (GHBS) induced by gas hydrate (GH) dissociation are essential to the evaluation of GH exploration and stratum instabilities. Previous studies present substantial mechanical data and constitutive models for GHBS at a given GH saturation under the non-dissociated condition. In this paper, GHBS was formed by the gas saturated method, GH was dissociated by depressurization until the GH saturation reached different dissociation degrees. The stress-strain curves were measured using triaxial tests at a same pore gas pressure and different confining pressures. The results show that the shear strength decreases progressively by 30%-90% of the initial value with GH dissociation, and the modulus decreases by 50% -75%. Simplified relationships for the modulus, cohesion, and internal friction angle with GH dissociated saturation were presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  7. A persistent oxygen anomaly reveals the fate of spilled methane in the deep Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Kessler, John D; Valentine, David L; Redmond, Molly C; Du, Mengran; Chan, Eric W; Mendes, Stephanie D; Quiroz, Erik W; Villanueva, Christie J; Shusta, Stephani S; Werra, Lindsay M; Yvon-Lewis, Shari A; Weber, Thomas C

    2011-01-21

    Methane was the most abundant hydrocarbon released during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond relevancy to this anthropogenic event, this methane release simulates a rapid and relatively short-term natural release from hydrates into deep water. Based on methane and oxygen distributions measured at 207 stations throughout the affected region, we find that within ~120 days from the onset of release ~3.0 × 10(10) to 3.9 × 10(10) moles of oxygen were respired, primarily by methanotrophs, and left behind a residual microbial community containing methanotrophic bacteria. We suggest that a vigorous deepwater bacterial bloom respired nearly all the released methane within this time, and that by analogy, large-scale releases of methane from hydrate in the deep ocean are likely to be met by a similarly rapid methanotrophic response.

  8. First discovery and formation process of authigenic siderite from gas hydrate-bearing mud volcanoes in fresh water: Lake Baikal, eastern Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krylov, Alexey; Khlystov, Oleg; Zemskaya, Tamara; Minami, Hirotsugu; Hachikubo, Akihiro; Nunokawa, Yutaka; Kida, Masato; Shoji, Hitoshi; Naudts, Lieven; Poort, Jeffrey; Pogodaeva, Tatiana

    2008-03-01

    We report on the first authigenic siderite (FeCO3) concretions recovered from near-bottom sediments at gas hydrate-bearing mud volcanoes in fresh water (Lake Baikal, Eastern Siberia). The carbonates appear as firm `plate-type' formations at the Malenky mud volcano (Southern Baikal Basin) and as soft nodules at the K-2 mud volcano (Central Baikal Basin). Calcium is the main divalent component which substitutes iron in the carbonate lattice (7 to 20 mol%). The δ 13C values of the carbonates (+3.3 to +6.8‰ at Malenky, and +16.5 to +21.9‰ PDB at K-2) indicate that their formation is due to methanogenesis. The latter was most likely caused by the microbial methyl-type (acetate) fermentation that is suggested from the isotopic composition of the accompanying methane hydrates and dissolved methane. General depletion of the siderites in 18O (-11.6 to -9.9 ‰ at Malenky, and -13.9 to -12.3‰ PDB at K-2) is mainly inherited from the isotope composition of pore water (-15.2 to -15.4‰ SMOW) at ambient temperature (3.5°C).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valin, Zenon C.; Collett, Timothy S.

    1992-01-01

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

  10. Microbial methane production in deep aquifer associated with the accretionary prism in Japan.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Hiroyuki; Nashimoto, Hiroaki; Shimizu, Mikio; Hattori, Shohei; Yamada, Keita; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Kato, Kenji

    2010-04-01

    To identify the methanogenic pathways present in a deep aquifer associated with an accretionary prism in Southwest Japan, a series of geochemical and microbiological studies of natural gas and groundwater derived from a deep aquifer were performed. Stable carbon isotopic analysis of methane in the natural gas and dissolved inorganic carbon (mainly bicarbonate) in groundwater suggested that the methane was derived from both thermogenic and biogenic processes. Archaeal 16S rRNA gene analysis revealed the dominance of H(2)-using methanogens in the groundwater. Furthermore, the high potential of methane production by H(2)-using methanogens was shown in enrichments using groundwater amended with H(2) and CO(2). Bacterial 16S rRNA gene analysis showed that fermentative bacteria inhabited the deep aquifer. Anaerobic incubations using groundwater amended with organic substrates and bromoethanesulfonate (a methanogen inhibitor) suggested a high potential of H(2) and CO(2) generation by fermentative bacteria. To confirm whether or not methane is produced by a syntrophic consortium of H(2)-producing fermentative bacteria and H(2)-using methanogens, anaerobic incubations using the groundwater amended with organic substrates were performed. Consequently, H(2) accumulation and rapid methane production were observed in these enrichments incubated at 55 and 65 degrees C. Thus, our results suggested that past and ongoing syntrophic biodegradation of organic compounds by H(2)-producing fermentative bacteria and H(2)-using methanogens, as well as a thermogenic reaction, contributes to the significant methane reserves in the deep aquifer associated with the accretionary prism in Southwest Japan.

  11. Global inventory of methane clathrate: sensitivity to changes in the deep ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buffett, Bruce; Archer, David

    2004-11-01

    We present a mechanistic model for the distribution of methane clathrate in marine sediments, and use it to predict the sensitivity of the steady-state methane inventory to changes in the deep ocean. The methane inventory is determined by binning the seafloor area according to water depth, temperature, and O 2 concentration. Organic carbon rain to the seafloor is treated as a simple function of water depth, and carbon burial for each bin is estimated using a sediment diagenesis model called Muds [Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles 16 (2002)]. The predicted concentration of organic carbon is fed into a clathrate model [J. Geophys. Res. 108 (2003)] to calculate steady-state profiles of dissolved, frozen, and gaseous methane. We estimate the amount of methane in ocean sediments by multiplying the sediment column inventories by the corresponding binned seafloor areas. Our estimate of the methane inventory is sensitive to the efficiency of methane production from organic matter and to the rate of fluid flow within the sediment column. Preferred values for these parameters are taken from previous studies of both passive and active margins, yielding a global estimate of 3×10 18 g of carbon (3000 Gton C) in clathrate and 2×10 18 g (2000 Gton C) in methane bubbles. The predicted methane inventory decreases by 85% in response to 3 °C of warming. Conversely, the methane inventory increases by a factor of 2 if the O 2 concentration of the deep ocean decreases by 40 μM or carbon rain increases by 50% (due to an increase in primary production). Changes in sea level have a small effect. We use these sensitivities to assess the past and future state of the methane clathrate reservoir.

  12. Digital Rock Physics of hydrate-bearing sediments: Determination of effective elastic properties on the microscale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sell, Kathleen; Saenger, Erik H.; Quintal, Beatriz; Enzmann, Frieder; Kersten, Michael

    2017-04-01

    To date, very little is known about the distribution of natural gas hydrates in sedimentary matrices and its influence on the seismic properties of the host rock, in particular at low hydrate concentration. Digital rock physics offers a unique approach to this issue yet requires good quality, high resolution 3D representations for the accurate modelling of petrophysical and transport properties. Although such models are readily available via in-situ synchrotron radiation X-ray tomography the analysis of such data asks for complex workflows and high computational power to maintain valuable results. More recently digital rock physics took also on data from a fairly new group of techniques focused on in-situ studies recreating complex settings that cannot be easily accessed by conventional means. Here, we present a best-practise procedure complementing high-resolution synchrotron-tomography data of hydrate-bearing sedimentary matrices from Chaouachi et al. (2015) with data post-processing, including image enhancement and segmentation as well as exemplary numerical simulations of acoustic wave propagation in 3D on realistic rock using the derived results. A combination of the tomography and 3D modelling opens a path to a more reliable deduction of properties of gas hydrate bearing sediments without a reliance on idealised and frequently imprecise models (Sell et al. 2016). The advantage of this method over traditional, often oversimplified models lays in a more faithful description of complex pore geometries and microstructures found in natural formations (Andrä et al., 2013b, a). References: Chaouachi, M., Falenty, A., Sell, K., Enzmann, F., Kersten, M., Haberthür, D., and Kuhs, W. F.: Microstructural evolution of gas hydrates in sedimentary matrices observed with synchrotron x-ray computed tomographic microscopy, Geochem. Geophy. Geosy., 16, 1711-1722, 2015. Sell, K., E. H. Saenger, A. Falenty, M. Chaouachi, D. Haberthür, F. Enzmann, W. F. Kuhs, and M. Kersten: On

  13. Joint Electrical and Seismic Interpretation of Gas Hydrate Bearing Sediments From the Cascadia Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, M.; Minshull, T.; Sinha, M.; Best, A.

    2008-12-01

    Gas hydrates are found in continental margin sediments worldwide. Their global importance as future energy reserves and their potential impact on slope stability and abrupt climate change all require better knowledge of where they occur and how much hydrate is present. However, current estimates of the distribution and volume of gas hydrate beneath the seabed range widely. Improved geophysical methods could provide much better constraints on hydrate concentrations. Geophysical measurements of seismic velocity and electrical resistivity using seabed or borehole techniques are often used to determine the hydrate saturation of sediments. Gas hydrates are well known to affect these physical properties; hydrate increases sediment p-wave velocity and electrical resistivity by replacing the conductive pore fluids, by cementing grains together and by blocking pores. A range of effective medium theoretical models have been developed to interpret these measurements in terms of hydrate content, but uncertainties about the pore-scale distribution of hydrate can lead to large uncertainties in the results. This study developed effective medium models to determine the seismic and electrical properties of hydrate bearing sediments in terms of their porosity, micro-structure and hydrate saturation. The seismic approach combines a Self Consistent Approximation (SCA) and Differential Effective Medium (DEM), which can model a bi-connected effective medium and allows the shape and alignment of the grains to be taken into account. The electrical effective medium method was developed to complement the seismic models and is based on the application of a geometric correction to the Hashin-Shrikman conductive bound. The electrical and seismic models are non-unique and hence it was necessary to develop a joint electrical and seismic interpretation method to investigate hydrate bearing sediments. The joint method allows two variables (taken from porosity, aspect ratio or hydrate saturation

  14. Steps Towards Understanding Large-scale Deformation of Gas Hydrate-bearing Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, S.; Deusner, C.; Haeckel, M.; Kossel, E.

    2016-12-01

    Marine sediments bearing gas hydrates are typically characterized by heterogeneity in the gas hydrate distribution and anisotropy in the sediment-gas hydrate fabric properties. Gas hydrates also contribute to the strength and stiffness of the marine sediment, and any disturbance in the thermodynamic stability of the gas hydrates is likely to affect the geomechanical stability of the sediment. Understanding mechanisms and triggers of large-strain deformation and failure of marine gas hydrate-bearing sediments is an area of extensive research, particularly in the context of marine slope-stability and industrial gas production. The ultimate objective is to predict severe deformation events such as regional-scale slope failure or excessive sand production by using numerical simulation tools. The development of such tools essentially requires a careful analysis of thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical behavior of gas hydrate-bearing sediments at lab-scale, and its stepwise integration into reservoir-scale simulators through definition of effective variables, use of suitable constitutive relations, and application of scaling laws. One of the focus areas of our research is to understand the bulk coupled behavior of marine gas hydrate systems with contributions from micro-scale characteristics, transport-reaction dynamics, and structural heterogeneity through experimental flow-through studies using high-pressure triaxial test systems and advanced tomographical tools (CT, ERT, MRI). We combine these studies to develop mathematical model and numerical simulation tools which could be used to predict the coupled hydro-geomechanical behavior of marine gas hydrate reservoirs in a large-strain framework. Here we will present some of our recent results from closely co-ordinated experimental and numerical simulation studies with an objective to capture the large-deformation behavior relevant to different gas production scenarios. We will also report on a variety of mechanically relevant

  15. Recoverable gas from hydrate-bearing sediments: Pore network model simulation and macroscale analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, Jaewon; Santamarina, J. Carlos

    2011-08-01

    The volume of hydrate expands into a significantly larger volume of water and gas upon dissociation. Gas recovery and capillary-trapped residual gas saturation are investigated by simulating hydrate dissociation within pore networks. A fluid pressure-controlled boundary condition is used to determine the amount of recovered gas as a function of volume expansion; in this form, results are applicable to gas production by either thermal stimulation or depressurization when production rates prevent secondary hydrate or ice formation. Simulation results show that gas recovery is proportional to gas expansion, initial hydrate saturation, and the sediment pore size distribution (i.e., capillary pressure). Gas recovery is not affected by pore size in coarse-grained sediments with pores larger than 1 μm. Hydrate-bearing sediments with low hydrate saturation yield low gas recovery. Macroscale close form solutions, validated using the numerical results, provide estimates for recoverable gas as a function of the initial hydrate saturation and the fluid expansion factor.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kars, M. A.; Kodama, K.

    2013-12-01

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

  18. Long-term fate of hydrate-bearing reservoirs during and after production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reagan, M. T.; Moridis, G. J.; Queiruga, A. F.

    2016-12-01

    Research into the development of feasible production strategies from gas hydrate reservoirs has largely assumed that such reservoirs are bounded by impermeable layers and free of connectivity to faults or fractures. Coupled flow-geomechnical studies have investgated wellbore and overburden stability during production, but have not answered questions about the post-production evolution of such reservoirs. This study investigates, via reservoir simulation, the possibility and potential consequences of uncontrolled gas release during production from hydrates by any of the known dissociation methods (with an emphasis on depressurization). We investigate the possibility of the free gas created by hydrate dissociation escaping along permeable faults, permeable boundaries, or other pathways adjacent to or intercepting the hydrate reservoir. We also investigate the long-term fate and transport of free gas upon the cessation of production operations in both in the presence and absence of permeable features. This work answers questions about the long-term fate of hydrate-bearing sediments, including (a) whether the cessation of production will be followed by considerable hydrate dissociation that lingers for a substantial time, (b) the potential for hydrate reformation after production to be a hazard-mitigating process, (c) the effect of common reservoir parameters and the buoyancy of the released gas on its transport through the subsurface, and (d) the possibility of significant gas emergence at environmentally sensitive locations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, X.

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Characteristics of gas hydrate-bearing sediments of the northern South China Sea: insight into past hydrate episodic dissociations and intensities of seepage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, F.; Su, X.; Zhou, Y.; Zhang, G.; Zhuang, C.; Lu, H.

    2016-12-01

    In 2013 the second China's major gas hydrate expedition, GMGS2, cored and recovered abundant gas hydrates at five sites, which were located in the South China Sea.Site GMGS08 (95m long) contained two gas hydrate intervals and five authigenic carbonate intervals. We analyzed carbon and oxygen isotopes of authigenic carbonates and foraminifera shells in sediments recovered at this site, in order to understanding of features of hydrate-bearing sediments and timing of gas hydrate dissociation and methane seepage at this site. An age of younger than 0.27 Ma was estimated for the 95 m sedimentary sequences at Site GMGS08. A detailed age model was further established by employing of U/Th and AMS14C dating of authigenic carbonates and seep bivalve fragments. These carbonates are featured by 13C-depleted (with a range from -38.9‰ to 56.7‰ δ13C) and positive δ18O (from 2.94‰ to 5.66‰ δ18O) values. A further analysis indicated the formation of carbonates were correlated to methane seepages derived from gas hydrate dissociation. Subsequently, these five authigenic carbonates intervals were seen as five hydrate episodic dissociation events since last 0.27Ma at this site. The most significant event during the period of 0.11 Ma to 0.13 Ma were account for the formation of thick authigenic carbonate (with the lowest -56.8‰ δ13C value) platform on paleo-seafloor at this site. The upmost authigenic carbonates interval is just overlying on the top of the upper gas hydrate occurrence zone, and it represents the latest methane seepage event with an age of 26ka to 36ka. Well correlated to these five events, it existed five intervals with strongly 13C-depleted carbon (-15.85‰ PDB) of foraminifera shells both from benthic and planktonic. The anomalous δ13C depletion records of planktonic G. ruber shells should be caused by formation of secondary authigenic carbonates on the shells, which were derived from the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). The analyses on carbonate

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    Marginal sea methane seep sediments sustain highly productive chemosynthetic ecosystems and are hotspots of intense biogeochemical cycling. Rich methane supply stimulates rapid microbial consumption of oxygen; these systems are thus usually hypoxic to anoxic. This and reported evidence for resident nitrogen fixation suggest the presence of an anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacterial community in methane seep sediments. To test this hypothesis, we employed detection of genes encoding 16S rRNA gene and hydrazine dehydrogenase (hzo) to investigate the structure, abundance and distribution of the anammox bacterial community in the methane seep sediments of the Okhotsk Sea. Diverse complements of Candidatus Scalindua-related 16S rRNA and hzo gene sequences were obtained. Most of the deep-sea sites harbored abundant hzo genes with copy numbers as high as 10(7)  g(-1) sediment. In general, anammox bacterial signatures were significantly more abundant in the deep-water sediments. Sediment porewater NO3-, NOx- (i.e. NO3- + NO2-), NOx-/NH4+ and sediment silt content correlated with in situ distribution patterns of anammox bacterial marker genes, likely because they determine anammox substrate availability and sediment geochemistry, respectively. The abundance and distribution of anammox bacterial gene markers indicate a potentially significant contribution of anammox bacteria to the marine N cycle in the deep-sea methane seep sediments. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Silvana S S; Cartwright, Julyan H E

    2016-10-27

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. The Water Retention Curves in THF Hydrate-Bearing Sediments - Experimental Measurement and Pore Scale Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahabadi, N.; Zheng, X.; Dai, S.; Seol, Y.; Zapata, C.; Yun, T.; Jang, J.

    2015-12-01

    The water retention curve (WRC) of hydrate-bearing sediments is critically important to understand the behaviour of hydrate dissociation for gas production. Most gas hydrates in marine environment have been formed from an aqueous phase (gas-dissolved water). However, the gas hydrate formation from an aqueous phase in a laboratory requires long period due to low gas solubility in water and is also associated with many experimental difficulties such as hydrate dissolution, difficult hydrate saturation control, and dynamic hydrate dissolution and formation. In this study, tetrahydrofuran (THF) is chosen to form THF hydrate because the formation process is faster than gas hydrate formation and hydrate saturation is easy to control. THF hydrate is formed at water-excess condition. Therefore, there is only water in the pore space after a target THF hydrate saturation is obtained. The pore habit of THF hydrate is investigated by visual observation in a transparent micromodel and X-ray computed tomography images; and the water retention curves are obtained under different THF hydrate saturation conditions. Targeted THF hydrate saturations are Sh=0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8. Results shown that at a given water saturation the capillary pressure increases as THF hydrate saturation increases. And the gas entry pressure increases with increasing hydrate saturation. The WRC obtained by experiments is also compared with the results of a pore-network model simulation and Lattice Boltzmann Method. The fitting parameters of van Genuchten equation for different hydrate saturation conditions are suggested for the use as input parameters of reservoir simulators.

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

    PubMed

    Andersen, D S; Van Weelden, M B; Trabue, S L; Pepple, L M

    2015-08-15

    Methane emission is an important tool in the evaluation of manure management systems due to the potential impact it has on global climate change. Field procedures used for estimating methane emission rates require expensive equipment, are time consuming, and highly variable between farms. The purpose of this paper is to report a simple laboratory procedure for estimating methane emission from stored manure. The test developed was termed a methane production rate (MPR) assay as it provides a short-term biogas production measurement. The MPR assay incubation time is short (3d), requires no sample preparation in terms of inoculation or dilution of manure, is incubated at room temperature, and the manure is kept stationary. These conditions allow for high throughput of samples and were chosen to replicate the conditions within deep-pit manure storages. In brief, an unaltered aliquot of manure was incubated at room temperature for a three-days to assay the current rate of methane being generated by the manure. The results from this assay predict an average methane emission factor of 12.2 ± 8.1 kg CH4 head(-1) yr(-1) per year, or about 5.5 ± 3.7 kg CH4 per finished animal, both of which compare well to literature values of 5.5 ± 1.1 kg CH4 per finished pig for deep-pit systems (Liu et al., 2013). The average methane flux across all sites and months was estimated to be 22 ± 17 mg CH4 m(-2)-min(-1), which is within literature values for deep-pit systems ranging from 0.24 to 63 mg CH4 m(-2)-min(-1) (Park et al., 2006) and similar to the 15 mg CH4 m(-2)-min(-1) estimated by (Zahn et al., 2001).

  7. Ecological and genomic profiling of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea in a deep granitic environment.

    PubMed

    Ino, Kohei; Hernsdorf, Alex W; Konno, Uta; Kouduka, Mariko; Yanagawa, Katsunori; Kato, Shingo; Sunamura, Michinari; Hirota, Akinari; Togo, Yoko S; Ito, Kazumasa; Fukuda, Akari; Iwatsuki, Teruki; Mizuno, Takashi; Komatsu, Daisuke D; Tsunogai, Urumu; Ishimura, Toyoho; Amano, Yuki; Thomas, Brian C; Banfield, Jillian F; Suzuki, Yohey

    2017-09-08

    Recent single-gene-based surveys of deep continental aquifers demonstrated the widespread occurrence of archaea related to Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens (ANME-2d) known to mediate anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). However, it is unclear whether ANME-2d mediates AOM in the deep continental biosphere. In this study, we found the dominance of ANME-2d in groundwater enriched in sulfate and methane from a 300-m deep underground borehole in granitic rock. A near-complete genome of one representative species of the ANME-2d obtained from the underground borehole has most of functional genes required for AOM and assimilatory sulfate reduction. The genome of the subsurface ANME-2d is different from those of other members of ANME-2d by lacking functional genes encoding nitrate and nitrite reductases and multiheme cytochromes. In addition, the subsurface ANME-2d genome contains a membrane-bound NiFe hydrogenase gene putatively involved in respiratory H2 oxidation, which is different from those of other methanotrophic archaea. Short-term incubation of microbial cells collected from the granitic groundwater with (13)C-labeled methane also demonstrates that AOM is linked to microbial sulfate reduction. Given the prominence of granitic continental crust and sulfate and methane in terrestrial subsurface fluids, we conclude that AOM may be widespread in the deep continental biosphere.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 8 September 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.140.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Reactivation of Deep Subsurface Microbial Community in Response to Methane or Methanol Amendment

    PubMed Central

    Rajala, Pauliina; Bomberg, Malin

    2017-01-01

    Microbial communities in deep subsurface environments comprise a large portion of Earth’s biomass, but the microbial activity in these habitats is largely unknown. Here, we studied how microorganisms from two isolated groundwater fractures at 180 and 500 m depths of the Outokumpu Deep Drillhole (Finland) responded to methane or methanol amendment, in the presence or absence of sulfate as an additional electron acceptor. Methane is a plausible intermediate in the deep subsurface carbon cycle, and electron acceptors such as sulfate are critical components for oxidation processes. In fact, the majority of the available carbon in the Outokumpu deep biosphere is present as methane. Methanol is an intermediate of methane oxidation, but may also be produced through degradation of organic matter. The fracture fluid samples were incubated in vitro with methane or methanol in the presence or absence of sulfate as electron acceptor. The metabolic response of microbial communities was measured by staining the microbial cells with fluorescent redox sensitive dye combined with flow cytometry, and DNA or cDNA-derived amplicon sequencing. The microbial community of the fracture zone at the 180 m depth was originally considerably more respiratory active and 10-fold more numerous (105 cells ml-1 at 180 m depth and 104 cells ml-1 at 500 m depth) than the community of the fracture zone at the 500 m. However, the dormant microbial community at the 500 m depth rapidly reactivated their transcription and respiration systems in the presence of methane or methanol, whereas in the shallower fracture zone only a small sub-population was able to utilize the newly available carbon source. In addition, the composition of substrate activated microbial communities differed at both depths from original microbial communities. The results demonstrate that OTUs representing minor groups of the total microbial communities play an important role when microbial communities face changes in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Origin Of Methane Gas And Migration Through The Gas Hydrate Stability Zone Beneath The Permafrost Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, T.; Waseda, A.; Namikawa, T.

    2005-12-01

    In 1998 and 2002 Mallik wells were drilled at Mackenzie Delta in the Canadian Arctic that clarified the characteristics of gas hydrate-dominant sandy layers at depths from 890 to 1110 m beneath the permafrost zone. Continuous downhole well log data as well as visible gas hydrates have confirmed pore-space hydrate as intergranular pore filling within sandy layers whose saturations are up to 80% in pore volume, but muddy sediments scarcely contain. Plenty of gas hydrate-bearing sand core samples have been obtained from the Mallik wells. According to grain size distributions pore-space hydrate is dominant in medium- to very fine-grained sandy strata. Methane gas accumulation and original pore space large enough to occur within host sediments may be required for forming highly saturated gas hydrate in pore system. The distribution of a porous and coarser-grained host rock should be one of the important factors to control the occurrence of gas hydrate, as well as physicochemical conditions. Subsequent analyses in sedimentology and geochemistry performed on gas hydrate-bearing sandy core samples also revealed important geologic and sedimentological controls on the formation and concentration of natural gas hydrate. This appears to be a similar mode for conventional oil and gas accumulations. It is necessary for investigating subsurface fluid flow behaviors to evaluate both porosity and permeability of gas hydrate-bearing sandy sediments, and the measurements of water permeability for them indicate that highly saturated sands may have permeability of a few millidarcies. The isotopic data of methane show that hydrocarbon gas contained in gas hydrate is generated by thermogenic decomposition of kerogen in deep mature sediments. Based on geochemical and geological data, methane is inferred to migrate upward closely associated with pore water hundreds of meters into and through the hydrate stability zone partly up to the permafrost zone and the surface along faults and

  15. Comment on "A persistent oxygen anomaly reveals the fate of spilled methane in the deep Gulf of Mexico".

    PubMed

    Joye, Samantha B; Leifer, Ira; MacDonald, Ian R; Chanton, Jeffery P; Meile, Christof D; Teske, Andreas P; Kostka, Joel E; Chistoserdova, Ludmila; Coffin, Richard; Hollander, David; Kastner, Miriam; Montoya, Joseph P; Rehder, Gregor; Solomon, Evan; Treude, Tina; Villareal, Tracy A

    2011-05-27

    Kessler et al. (Reports, 21 January 2011, p. 312) reported that methane released from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout, approximately 40% of the total hydrocarbon discharge, was consumed quantitatively by methanotrophic bacteria in Gulf of Mexico deep waters over a 4-month period. We find the evidence explicitly linking observed oxygen anomalies to methane consumption ambiguous and extension of these observations to hydrate-derived methane climate forcing premature.

  16. Comment on “A Persistent Oxygen Anomaly Reveals the Fate of Spilled Methane in the Deep Gulf of Mexico”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, Samantha B.; Leifer, Ira; MacDonald, Ian R.; Chanton, Jeffery P.; Meile, Christof D.; Teske, Andreas P.; Kostka, Joel E.; Chistoserdova, Ludmila; Coffin, Richard; Hollander, David; Kastner, Miriam; Montoya, Joseph P.; Rehder, Gregor; Solomon, Evan; Treude, Tina; Villareal, Tracy A.

    2011-05-01

    Kessler et al. (Reports, 21 January 2011, p. 312) reported that methane released from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout, approximately 40% of the total hydrocarbon discharge, was consumed quantitatively by methanotrophic bacteria in Gulf of Mexico deep waters over a 4-month period. We find the evidence explicitly linking observed oxygen anomalies to methane consumption ambiguous and extension of these observations to hydrate-derived methane climate forcing premature.

  17. Non-Fickian diffusion and the accumulation of methane bubbles in deep-water sediments.

    PubMed

    Goldobin, D S; Brilliantov, N V; Levesley, J; Lovell, M A; Rochelle, C A; Jackson, P D; Haywood, A M; Hunter, S J; Rees, J G

    2014-05-01

    In the absence of fractures, methane bubbles in deep-water sediments can be immovably trapped within a porous matrix by surface tension. The dominant mechanism of transfer of gas mass therefore becomes the diffusion of gas molecules through porewater. The accurate description of this process requires non-Fickian diffusion to be accounted for, including both thermal diffusion and gravitational action. We evaluate the diffusive flux of aqueous methane considering non-Fickian diffusion and predict the existence of extensive bubble mass accumulation zones within deep-water sediments. The limitation on the hydrate deposit capacity is revealed; too weak deposits cannot reach the base of the hydrate stability zone and form any bubbly horizon.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kietäväinen, Riikka; Purkamo, Lotta

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kietäväinen, Riikka; Purkamo, Lotta

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  3. A long-term cultivation of an anaerobic methane-oxidizing microbial community from deep-sea methane-seep sediment using a continuous-flow bioreactor.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Methane discharge from a deep-sea submarine mud volcano into the upper water column by gas hydrate-coated methane bubbles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauter, Eberhard J.; Muyakshin, Sergey I.; Charlou, Jean-Luc; Schlüter, Michael; Boetius, Antje; Jerosch, Kerstin; Damm, Ellen; Foucher, Jean-Paul; Klages, Michael

    2006-03-01

    The assessment of climate change factors includes a constraint of methane sources and sinks. Although marine geological sources are recognized as significant, unfortunately, most submarine sources remain poorly quantified. Beside cold vents and coastal anoxic sediments, the large number of submarine mud volcanoes (SMV) may contribute significantly to the oceanic methane pool. Recent research suggests that methane primarily released diffusively from deep-sea SMVs is immediately oxidized and, thus, has little climatic impact. New hydro-acoustic, visual, and geochemical observations performed at the deep-sea mud volcano Håkon Mosby reveal the discharge of gas hydrate-coated methane bubbles and gas hydrate flakes forming huge methane plumes extending from the seabed in 1250 m depth up to 750 m high into the water column. This depth coincides with the upper limit of the temperature-pressure field of gas hydrate stability. Hydrographic evidence suggests bubble-induced upwelling within the plume and extending above the hydrate stability zone. Thus, we propose that a significant portion of the methane from discharged methane bubbles can reach the upper water column, which may be explained due to the formation of hydrate skins. As the water mass of the plume rises to shallow water depths, methane dissolved from hydrated bubbles may be transported towards the surface and released to the atmosphere. Repeated acoustic surveys performed in 2002 and 2003 suggest continuous methane emission to the ocean. From seafloor visual observations we estimated a gas flux of 0.2 (0.08-0.36) mol s -1 which translates to several hundred tons yr -1 under the assumption of a steady discharge. Besides, methane was observed to be released by diffusion from sediments as well as by focused outflow of methane-rich water. In contrast to the bubble discharge, emission rates of these two pathways are estimated to be in the range of several tons yr -1 and, thus, to be of minor importance. Very low

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  7. Follow the methane: the search for a deep biosphere, and the case for sampling serpentinites, on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parnell, John; Boyce, Adrian J.; Blamey, Nigel J. F.

    2010-10-01

    If life occurs elsewhere in the Solar System, there is a strong likelihood that it occurs in a deep biosphere beneath the planetary surface. The evidence for methane in the martian atmosphere has drawn attention to the possible role of serpentinites in fuelling a deep biosphere through the generation of hydrogen and/or methane. Serpentinites represent a good target for the search for biosignatures in a range of reaction products. Isotopic measurements in each of methane, sulphide and carbonate in serpentinites can help determine evidence of biological activity. We show that ancient terrestrial serpentinites retain methane that could be subject to the measurement of carbon and hydrogen isotopes. There is, therefore, potential to sample serpentinites on Mars and test for evidence of life in the deep geological record of Mars.

  8. Reverse transcriptase directs viral evolution in a deep ocean methane seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, B. G.; Bagby, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Deep ocean methane seeps are sites of intense microbial activity, with complex communities fueled by aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophy. Methane consumption in these communities has a substantial impact on the global carbon cycle, yet little is known about their evolutionary history or their likely evolutionary trajectories in a warming ocean. As in other marine systems, viral predation and virally mediated horizontal gene transfer are expected to be major drivers of evolutionary change in these communities; however, the host cells' resistance to cultivation has impeded direct study of the viral population. We conducted a metagenomic study of viruses in the anoxic sediments of a deep methane seep in the Santa Monica Basin in the Southern California Bight. We retrieved 1660 partial viral genomes, tentatively assigning 1232 to bacterial hosts and 428 to archaea. One abundant viral genome, likely hosted by Clostridia species present in the sediment, was found to encode a diversity-generating retroelement (DGR), a module for reverse transcriptase-mediated directed mutagenesis of a distal tail fiber protein. While DGRs have previously been described in the viruses of human pathogens, where diversification of viral tail fibers permits infection of a range of host cell types, to our knowledge this is the first description of such an element in a marine virus. By providing a mechanism for massively broadening potential host range, the presence of DGRs in these systems may have a major impact on the prevalence of virally mediated horizontal gene transfer, and even on the phylogenetic distances across which genes are moved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-18

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

  12. Gas hydrate dissociation via in situ combustion of methane - lab studies and field tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luzi-Helbing, Manja; Schicks, Judith M.; Spangenberg, Erik; Giese, Ronny

    2013-04-01

    would have to be used for the catalytic combustion of methane. However, only a part of the hydrate-bound methane gas could be produced during the experiment. The residual gas remained in the pore space. Currently the pilot-scale reactor is developed to a borehole tool with an outer diameter of 90 mm and ca. 5 m length. The first field test is planned for summer 2013 at the continental deep drilling KTB in Windischeschenbach, Germany. In future, we aim for a field test in hydrate-bearing sediments.

  13. A two-dimensional model of the passive coastal margin deep sedimentary carbon and methane cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, D. E.; Buffett, B. A.; McGuire, P. C.

    2012-08-01

    We present a new geologic-time and basin-spatial scale model of the continental margin methane cycle. The model, SpongeBOB, is used to simulate evolution of the carbon cycle in a passive sedimentary continental margin in response to changing oceanographic and geologic forcing over a time scale of 200 million years. The geochemistry of the sediment column is altered by the addition of vertical high-permeability channels intended to mimic the effects of heterogeneity in the real sediment column due to faults, and produces results consistent with measured pore-water tracers SO42- and 129I. Pore water dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations are consistent with chemical weathering (CaCO3 formation from igneous rocks) at depth within the sediment column. The carbon isotopic composition of the DIC is consistent with a methane production efficiency from particulate organic carbon (POC) of 50%, which is somewhat lower than redox balance with the H / C of organic matter in the model. The hydrate inventory in the model is somewhat less sensitive to temperature than our previous results with a one-dimensional model, quite sensitive to reasonable changes in POC, and extremely sensitive to the ability of methane bubbles to rise within the sediment column, and how far gas-phase methane can get through the sediment column before it redissolves when it reaches undersaturated conditions. Hydrate formation is also sensitive to deep respiration of migrating petroleum. Other phenomena which we simulated had only a small impact on the hydrate inventory, including thermogenic methane production and production/decomposition of dissolved organic carbon.

  14. A two-dimensional model of the passive coastal margin deep sedimentary carbon and methane cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, D. E.; Buffett, B. A.; McGuire, P. C.

    2012-03-01

    We present a new geologic-time and basin-spatial scale model of the continental margin methane cycle. The model, SpongeBOB, is used to simulate evolution of the carbon cycle in a passive sedimentary continental margin in response to changing oceanographic and geologic forcing over a time scale of 140 million years. The model is somewhat less sensitive to temperature than our previous results with a one-dimensional model, but is more sensitive to reasonable changes in POC than it is to reasonable changes in temperature. This behavior could lead to higher inventories of hydrate during hothouse climate conditions, rather than lower as generally assumed, due to the enrichment of the sediments in organic carbon. The hydrate inventory in the model is extremely sensitive to the ability of methane bubbles to rise within the sediment column, and how far gas-phase methane can get through the sediment column before it redissolves when it reaches undersaturated conditions. Hydrate formation is also sensitive to deep respiration of migrating petroleum in the model. The geochemistry of the sediment column is altered by the addition of vertical high-permeability chimneys intended to mimic the effects of heterogeneity in the real sediment column due to faults and chimneys, and produces results consistent with measured pore-water tracers SO42- and 129I. Pore water DIC concentrations are consistent with chemical weathering at depth within the sediment column. The carbon isotopic composition of the DIC is consistent with a methane production efficiency from POC of 50%, which is somewhat lower than redox balance with the H/C of organic matter in the model. Other phenomena which we simulated had only small impact on the hydrate inventory, including thermogenic methane, dissolved organic carbon, and sediment transport characteristics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Deep Uranus Cloud Structure and Methane Mixing Ratio as Constrained by Keck AO Imaging Observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sromovsky, Lawrence A.; Fry, P. M.

    2006-09-01

    Keck AO imaging of Uranus in 2004 with H and H-continuum filters provide deep views of scattered light in the Uranian atmosphere with different sensitivities to methane absorption and collision-induced absorption by Hydrogen. After deconvolution, these images provide accurate low-latitude center-to-limb (east-west) profiles out to view angles of nearly 80 degrees, permitting solutions for both cloud properties and the methane mixing ratio. After accounting for a very small high-altitude haze contribution, the observed central disk I/F values for H and H-continuum filters can be modeled using an opaque semi-infinite cloud of very low albedo (near 0.04), a broken cloud of high albedo (fractional coverage near 0.04-.06), or a continuous cloud of low optical depth (0.2-1.0) containing particles of high single-scattering albedo. For low methane mixing ratios (0.5-1 percent) the central disk I/F values require a deep cloud (near 8 bars), while for the high methane mixing ratios (2-4 percent) a higher altitude solution is possible (near 3 bars). However, the observed slightly limb-brightened and relatively flat center-to-limb H-continuum profile is only consistent with an optically thin cloud. The best-fit solution is a low methane mixing ratio (0.75-1.0 percent vmr), and a deep low opacity cloud (optical depth ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 for scattering asymmetry parameters ranging from 0 to 0.3). This CH4 mixing ratio is slightly below the lower limit of the Baines et al. (1995, Icarus 114, 328-340) result of 1.6(+0.7/-0.5) percent. This work was supported by NASA's Planetary Astronomy and Planetary Atmospheres programs and the W.M. Keck Observatory. We thank those of Hawaiian ancestry whose generous hospitality in allowing use of their sacred mountain made the observations possible.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. Methane-related metabolisms of deep-sea sediments captured with a colonization experiment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, S. A.; Wheat, C. G.; Orcutt, B.; Kopf, A.; Saffer, D. M.; Toczko, S.

    2016-12-01

    NanTroSEIZE is a multi-expedition project of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) designed to investigate the Nankai Trough subduction zone. In 2016, a long-term borehole instrument package known as the "GeniusPlug" was collected from Hole C0010A after a six-year deployment within the sediment of a major fault zone, at a depth of 400 mbsf. This GeniusPlug included a set of osmotically-driven pumps, which continuously pumped in situ deep seated, formation water through a microbiological colonization experiment (flow-through osmo colonization system (FLOCS)). This FLOCS experiment contained cassettes of olivine, barite, and sediment collected from nearby Hole C0004D, to serve as colonization substrates. While similar FLOCS have been deployed within boreholes in the igneous oceanic crust, this FLOCS experiment represents the first to be deployed within a sedimentary environment, and thus represents the first opportunity to observe how pore water communities colonize sediment and rock substrates. Initial geochemistry results suggest that conditions within the FLOCS experiment were similar to a methane-sulfate transition zone, and initial enrichment cultures inoculated with the FLOCS substrates demonstrate methane production. Here, we will present integrated results of culturing experiments and culture-independent genomic investigations as a means to elucidate the methane-related metabolisms of these colonizing communities.

  19. Sulfur isotopic evidence for the origin of elemental sulfur in gas hydrate-bearing sediments of the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Zhiyong; Sun, Xiaoming; Strauss, Harald; Lu, Yang; Xu, Li; Lu, Hongfeng; Teichert, Barbara M. A.; Peckmann, Jörn

    2017-04-01

    Elemental sulfur is a common intermediate in the sulfur cycle and contributes significantly to the fractionation of stable sulfur isotopes in different reservoirs in shelfal marine sediments (e.g., Canfield and Thamdrup, 1994). However, no study dedicated to the isotopic composition of elemental sulfur in seep environments has been conducted to the best of our knowledge, thus limiting further insight into the biochemical pathways involving elemental sulfur in such environments. In this study, elemental sulfur and pyrite were extracted from the sediment of a 200-m long gas hydrate-bearing core, which was obtained from the gas hydrate drilling expedition to the northern South China Sea in 2013 (Zhang et al., 2015). The sulfur isotopic composition of elemental sulfur was found to vary from -16 to +23 per mill, and pyrite yielded values ranging from -34 to +18 per mill. Interestingly, elemental sulfur revealed higher 34S contents (up to 30 per mill) than the associated pyrite in most sediment layers. Since elemental sulfur is only produced during oxidative pathways in the sulfur cycle, the studied elemental sulfur apparently represents the oxidation product of hydrogen sulfide by various electron acceptors such as Mn(IV) oxides or Fe(III) oxides (e.g., Thamdrup et al., 1993; Yao and Millero, 1996). Since there is little sulfur isotope fractionation for oxidative processes (Fry et al., 1986), the enrichment of elemental sulfur in 34S points to a pool of hydrogen sulfide depleted in 32S, which is best interpreted to result from sulfate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane. References: Canfield D.E. and Thamdrup B. (1994) The production of 34S-depleted sulfide during bacterial disproportionation of elemental sulfur. Science 266, 1973. Fry B., Cox J., Gest H. and Hayer J.M. (1986) Discrimination between 34S and32S during bacterial metabolism of inorganic sulfur compounds. J. Bacteriol. 165, 328-330. Thamdrup B., Finster K., Hansen W. and Bak F. (1993) Bacterial

  20. Distinctive Geomorphology of Gas Venting and Near Seafloor Gas Hydrate-Bearing sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Caress, D. W.; Lundsten, E.; Anderson, K.; Gwiazda, R.; McGann, M. L.; Edwards, B. D.; Riedel, M.; Herguera, J.

    2012-12-01

    High-resolution multibeam bathymetry and chirp seismic-reflection profiles collected with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) complimented by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) observations and sampling reveal the fine scale geomorphology associated with gas venting and/or near subsurface gas hydrate accumulations along the Pacific North American continental margin (Santa Monica Basin, Hydrate Ridge, Eel River, Barkley Canyon, and Bullseye Vent) and along the transform faults in the Gulf of California. At the 1 m multibeam grid resolution of the new data, distinctive features and textures that are undetectable at lower resolution, show the impact of gas venting, gas hydrate development, and related phenomena on the seafloor morphology. Together a suite of geomorphic characteristics illustrates different stages in the development of seafloor gas venting systems. The more mature and/or impacted areas are associated with widespread exposures of methane-derived carbonates, which form broken and irregular seafloor pavements with karst-like voids in between the cemented blocks. These mature areas also contain elevated features >10 m high and circular seafloor craters with diameters of 3-50 m that appear to be associated with missing sections of the original seafloor. Smaller mound-like features (<10 m in diameter and 1-3 m higher than the surrounding seafloor) occur at multiple sites. Solid lenses of gas hydrate are occasionally exposed along fractures on the sides of these mounds and suggest that these are push-up features associated with gas hydrate growth within the near seafloor sediments. The youngest appearing features are associated with more-subtle (<3 m in diameter and ~0.5 m high) seafloor mounds, the crests of which are crossed with small cracks lined with white bacterial mats. ROV-collected (<1.5 m long) cores obtained from these subtle mounds encountered a hard layer at 30-60 cm sub-bottom. When this layer was penetrated, methane bubbles gushed out and

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2015-04-07

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

  3. Deep Subsurface Biodegradation of Sedimentary Organic Matter in a Methane-Rich Shale Gas Reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formolo, M. J.; Petsch, S.; Salacup, J.; Waldron, P.; Martini, A.; Nusslein, K.

    2006-12-01

    Extensive, sustained subsurface microbial activity in the Antrim Shale (Late Devonian, Michigan Basin, USA) has led to the accumulation of an important unconventional natural gas resource, from which is produced ~14 million m3 of methane per day. Both geochemical and molecular evidence supports a community comprising diverse methanogens, fermentative microorganisms, and little else. The diversity of methanogens is strongly associated with a sharp gradient in formation water salinity spanning 10-4000 mM Cl-1. Analysis of hydrocarbon biomarkers within the Antrim reveal patterns of degradation that are directly associated with zones of active methanogenesis, with marked differences observed between methane- producing and non-producing sections of the formation. Maturity and source indicators show that these patterns do not result from varying degrees of thermal maturity or source inputs across the Basin, but instead demonstrate that biodegradation is confined solely to regions of the Basin exhibiting extensive methanogenesis. Calculated biodegradation indices provide evidence for nearly quantitative loss of saturated hydrocarbons, specifically n-alkanes and acyclic isoprenoids, during biodegradation associated with methanogenesis. These results are the first to document deep subsurface ancient sedimentary organic matter biodegradation associated with the formation of economic microbial gas reserves within low permeability, thermally-immature source rocks. As such, the results provide insight into microbial activity in the deep subsurface, specifically the role that methanogen-dominated communities may play in carbon-rich, electron acceptor-poor sedimentary basins.

  4. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  6. Methane hydrate formation in partially water-saturated Ottawa sand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    Bulk properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediment strongly depend on whether hydrate forms primarily in the pore fluid, becomes a load-bearing member of the sediment matrix, or cements sediment grains. Our compressional wave speed measurements through partially water-saturated, methane hydrate-bearing Ottawa sands suggest hydrate surrounds and cements sediment grains. The three Ottawa sand packs tested in the Gas Hydrate And Sediment Test Laboratory Instrument (GHASTLI) contain 38(1)% porosity, initially with distilled water saturating 58, 31, and 16% of that pore space, respectively. From the volume of methane gas produced during hydrate dissociation, we calculated the hydrate concentration in the pore space to be 70, 37, and 20% respectively. Based on these hydrate concentrations and our measured compressional wave speeds, we used a rock physics model to differentiate between potential pore-space hydrate distributions. Model results suggest methane hydrate cements unconsolidated sediment when forming in systems containing an abundant gas phase.

  7. Methane hydrate formation in partially water-saturated Ottawa sand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    Bulk properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediment strongly depend on whether hydrate forms primarily in the pore fluid, becomes a load-bearing member of the sediment matrix, or cements sediment grains. Our compressional wave speed measurements through partially water-saturated, methane hydrate-bearing Ottawa sands suggest hydrate surrounds and cements sediment grains. The three Ottawa sand packs tested in the Gas Hydrate And Sediment Test Laboratory Instrument (GHASTLI) contain 38(1)% porosity, initially with distilled water saturating 58, 31, and 16% of that pore space, respectively. From the volume of methane gas produced during hydrate dissociation, we calculated the hydrate concentration in the pore space to be 70, 37, and 20% respectively. Based on these hydrate concentrations and our measured compressional wave speeds, we used a rock physics model to differentiate between potential pore-space hydrate distributions. Model results suggest methane hydrate cements unconsolidated sediment when forming in systems containing an abundant gas phase.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Methane Emission From the Congo Deep Sea Fan and Subsequent Aerobic Oxidation in the Quaternary Tropical Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handley, L.; Cooke, M. P.; Talbot, H. M.; Wagner, T.

    2008-12-01

    . 500 and 600 ka and compound-specific stable carbon isotope analyses confirm that the amino-BHPs are of methanotrophic origin. Although suspected to be primarily biogenic in origin, δ13C values of ca. -42‰ further suggest a potential contribution from deep thermogenic sources to the emitted methane. Ongoing sea surface temperature reconstruction, using the TEX86 proxy, seeks to investigate potential perturbations in local climate with relation to these previously unrecognized emission events. The hopanoid record pushes direct evidence for aerobic microbial oxidation of methane far back into the geological record. This process is believed to be intrinsically linked with methane gas hydrate dissolution. Thus, the variability in amino-BHP abundance could provide an indicator for methane emission events, directly linking key aspects of structural geology with gas hydrate stability, deep ocean processes, and methane cycling.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  12. Abiogenic methane in deep-seated mid-ocean ridge environments: Insights from stable isotope analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Deborah S.; Früh-Green, Gretchen L.

    1999-05-01

    production of methane at greenschist facies conditions. Although total methane concentrations are low (0.3-0.6 mmol/kg) in the SWIR samples, on a global scale, plutonic layer 3 comprises ˜60% of the oceanic crust and thus represents a potentially immense reservoir (˜1019 gCH4) for abiogenic methane in mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. Production of methane and hydrocarbon species should be a common process in mid-ocean ridge systems where high-temperature fluids interact with mafic mineral phases. This is particularly significant because carbon-bearing fluids may provide sustenance to subsurface-and vent-associated microbial communities and therefore represent an important link between deep-seated hydrothermal systems and more shallow crustal environments.

  13. Corrigendum to ;Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps; [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 449 (2016) 332-344

    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.

    2017-10-01

    The authors have discovered a calculation error in reporting the assumed Δ14C signature of methane. According to Pohlman et al. (2009), the lower limit of gas-hydrate bearing methane is 0.12 pMC, equivalent to -998.8‰

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Imaging seismic velocities for hydrate-bearing sediments using converted waves near Yuan-An Ridge, off southwest Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, W. B.; Shih, T. Y.; Lin, W. Y.; Wang, T. K.; Liu, C. S.; Wang, Y.

    2014-10-01

    Data from P-waves and from S-waves generated by P-S conversion on reflection from airgun shots recorded along four lines of ocean bottom seismometers were used to construct 2-D velocity sections near the Yuan-An Ridge, off southwest Taiwan. The locations of the ocean bottom seismometers were determined to high accuracy by an inversion based on the shot traveltimes. Traveltime inversion and forward modeling of multicomponent wide-angle seismic data result in detailed P-wave (Vp) and S-wave (Vs) velocities of hydrate-bearing sediment layers. The inversion indicates a relatively high P-wave velocity beneath topographic ridges which represent a series of thrust-cored anticlines develop in the accretionary wedge. S-wave velocities of the sediments over the entire section, down to 400 m below seafloor, range from 320 to 570 ms-1. We suggested the lateral variation in Vp/Vs profiles in the hydrate-affected zones may be related to the migration conduit of gas-rich fluid and a characteristic of hydrate content. We model Vp using equations based on a modification of Wood’s equation to estimate the gas hydrate saturation. The hydrate saturation varies from 5% at the top ∼200 m below the seafloor to 10-15% of pore space close to the bottom simulating reflector (BSR) in the survey area.

  16. Deep-Water Acoustic Anomalies from Methane Hydrate in the Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Warren T.; Barth, Ginger A.; Scholl, David W.; Lebedeva-Ivanova, Nina

    2015-01-01

    A recent expedition to the central Bering Sea, one of the most remote locations in the world, has yielded observations confirming gas and gas hydrates in this deep ocean basin. Significant sound speed anomalies found using inversion of pre-stack seismic data are observed in association with variable seismic amplitude anomalies in the thick sediment column. The anomalously low sound speeds below the inferred base of methane hydrate stability indicate the presence of potentially large quantities of gas-phase methane associated with each velocity-amplitude anomaly (VAMP). The data acquired are of such high quality that quantitative estimates of the concentrations of gas hydrates in the upper few hundred meters of sediment are also possible, and analyses are under way to make these estimates. Several VAMPs were specifically targeted in this survey; others were crossed incidentally. Indications of many dozens or hundreds of these features exist throughout the portion of the Bering Sea relevant to the U.S. extended continental shelf (ECS) consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

  17. About transformation of the deep-water methane bubbles into hydrate powder and hydrate foam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egorov, A. V.; Nigmatulin, R. I.; Rozhkov, A. N.; Sagalevich, A. M.; Chernyaev, E. S.

    2012-04-01

    During the Russian Academy of Sciences "MIRI na Baikale, 2008-2010" expedition, deep-water experiments with the bubbles of methane seeping from the bottom at depths 405, 860 and 1400 meters were carried out. These depths correspond to gas hydrate stability zone. Bubbles were caught by the trap which was looked like an inverted glass. It was found that the behavior of bubbles in a trap depends on the depth. At depth of 405 meters formation of hydrates was not observed. Having got to a trap at the depth of 860 meters, bubbles became covered by solid hydrate envelope, kept the initial form, and after a time period collapsed in a number of hydrate fragments which showed all properties of a granular matter. No visible changes in the hydrate granular matter were observed in the course of lifting it to a depth of 380 meters. Shallower, the decomposition of the hydrate granular matter into methane gas was observed. In the experiments at depth of 1400 meters the caught bubbles, becoming covered by hydrate envelope formed solid hydrate foam in the trap. At lifting this foam structure was deformed slightly but simultaneously a free gas left the foam and filled the trap. The volume of free gas in the trap at lifting varied according to the Boyle-Mariotte law.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Nakagawa, S.; Kneafsey, T.J.

    2011-05-03

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Identification, visualization, and sorting of translationally active microbial consortia from deep-sea methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzenpichler, R.; Connon, S. A.; Goudeau, D.; Malmstrom, R.; Woyke, T.; Orphan, V. J.

    2015-12-01

    Within the past few years, great progress has been made in tapping the genomes of individual cells separated from environmental samples. Unfortunately, however, most often these efforts have been target blind, as they did not pre-select for taxa of interest or focus on metabolically active cells that could be considered key species of the system at the time. This problem is particularly pronounced in low-turnover systems such as deep sea sediments. In an effort to tap the genetic potential hidden within functionally active cells, we have recently developed an approach for the in situ fluorescent tracking of protein synthesis in uncultured cells via bioorthogonal non-canonical amino acid-tagging (BONCAT). This technique depends on the incorporation of synthetic amino acids that carry chemically modifiable tags into newly made proteins, which later can be visualized via click chemistry-mediated fluorescence-labeling. BONCAT is thus able to specifically target proteins that have been expressed in reaction to an experimental condition. We are particularly interested in using BONCAT to understand the functional potential of slow-growing syntrophic consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria which together catalyze the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine methane seeps. In order to specifically target consortia that are active under varying environmental regimes, we are studying different subpopulations of these inter-domain consortia via a combination of BONCAT with rRNA-targeted FISH. We then couple the BONCAT-enabled staining of active consortia with their separation from inactive members of the community via fluorescence-activated cell-sorting (FACS) and metagenomic sequencing of individual consortia. Using this approach, we were able to identify previously unrecognized AOM-partnerships. By comparing the mini-metagenomes obtained from individual consortia with each other we are starting to gain a more hollistic understanding

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-07

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

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

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2016-12-14

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Methane under-saturated fluids in deep-sea sediments: Implications for gas hydrate stability and rates of dissolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapham, Laura L.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Chapman, Ross; Martens, Christopher S.

    2010-10-01

    Deep-sea sediments contain Earth's largest reservoir of methane (CH 4, 3000 GTons C) trapped within ice-like crystals known as gas hydrates. Understanding the controls on gas hydrate stability is critical because methane released from hydrate destabilization is hypothesized to be a powerful agent of past and potentially future climate change. Hydrates are stable under high pressure, low temperature, moderate salinity, and saturated gas conditions. Yet, the degree of gas saturation is rarely known in nature because in situ dissolved pore-water CH 4 concentrations are rarely measured. Here, we report measurements of these concentrations in sediments immediately surrounding deep-sea gas hydrate deposits and show that pore-fluids are greatly under-saturated with respect to expected values for equilibrium with methane gas hydrate. This indicates that the hydrates are dissolving, even though they are found within the appropriate pressure and temperature stability field. However, dissolution rates calculated from the in situ CH 4 data are significantly less than dissolution rates predicted for methane-under-saturated pore-water in direct contact with pure methane gas hydrate if equilibrium CH 4 concentrations exist immediately adjacent to the hydrate surface. Diffusion-retarding factors found naturally in ocean sediments, such as oil coatings or biofilms, appear to enhance stability in outcropping hydrate deposits. The in situ seafloor evidence provided herein leads us to hypothesize that the stability of the worldwide hydrate deposits may be much greater than predicted from diffusion kinetics because biological (microbial excretion of slime or surfactants) and/or physical processes (oil coatings) effectively armor and stabilize exposed hydrate surfaces, substantially retarding their dissolution.

  13. Origin and evolution of the interstitial waters of gas hydrate-bearing sediments, eastern margin of Japan Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiruta, A.; Matsumoto, R.; Snyder, G.; Tomaru, H.

    2007-12-01

    delta O-18, respectively [2]). Thus, the low Cl- waters are not likely to be related with ground water. For alternate explanations, there are two other possibilities. First is deep diagenetic waters formed in such processes as dehydration of clay mineral, carbonate precipitation and basalt alternation [3]. The other possible mechanism is gas hydrate formation/dissociation. Gas hydrate water tends to become isotopically lower than ambient waters and residual waters are depleted in D and O-18. If gas hydrates continue to form in such residual water, the isotopic composition of gas hydrate could be depleted in D and O-18 relative to sea water. Dissociation of such gas hydrate would produce low Cl- and isotopically low waters. Wide distribution of low Cl- and isotopically low waters in the study area seem to indicate massive dissociation of gas hydrate after continual formation by active methane flux. Sea level change in last glacial maximum must have caused gas hydrate dissociation at base of gas hydrate stability zone. Reference [1] Aoyama C. et al., 2004, OCEAN'S04 MTS/IEEE TECNO-OCEAN'04 p. 1004-1009 [2] Mizota C. et. al., 1994, Geochem. J., 28, p. 387-410 [3] Tomaru H. et al., Pro. ODP, Sci. results, vol. 204, Ocean Drilling Program, College Station, TX, pp.1-20

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  16. Metabolic activity of subterranean microbial communities in deep granitic groundwater supplemented with methane and H2

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Karsten

    2013-01-01

    It was previously concluded that opposing gradients of sulphate and methane, observations of 16S ribosomal DNA sequences displaying great similarity to those of anaerobic methane-oxidizing Archaea and a peak in sulphide concentration in groundwater from a depth of 250–350 m in Olkiluoto, Finland, indicated proper conditions for methane oxidation with sulphate. In the present research, pressure-resistant, gas-tight circulating systems were constructed to enable the investigation of attached and unattached anaerobic microbial populations from a depth of 327 m in Olkiluoto under in situ pressure (2.4 MPa), diversity, dissolved gas and chemistry conditions. Three parallel flow cell cabinets were configured to allow observation of the influence on microbial metabolic activity of 11 mℳ methane, 11 mℳ methane plus 10 mℳ H2 or 2.1 mℳ O2 plus 7.9 mℳ N2 (that is, air). The concentrations of these gases and of organic acids and carbon, sulphur chemistry, pH and Eh, ATP, numbers of cultivable micro-organisms, and total numbers of cells and bacteriophages were subsequently recorded under batch conditions for 105 days. The system containing H2 and methane displayed microbial reduction of 0.7 mℳ sulphate to sulphide, whereas the system containing only methane resulted in 0.2 mℳ reduced sulphate. The system containing added air became inhibited and displayed no signs of microbial activity. Added H2 and methane induced increasing numbers of lysogenic bacteriophages per cell. It appears likely that a microbial anaerobic methane-oxidizing process coupled to acetate formation and sulphate reduction may be ongoing in aquifers at a depth of 250–350 m in Olkiluoto. PMID:23235288

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Thermal Properties of Methane Hydrate by Experiment and Modeling and Impacts on Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Warzinski, R.P.; Gamwo, I.K.; Rosenbaum, E.M.; Jiang, Hao; Jordan, K.D.; English, N.J.; Shaw, D.W.

    2008-07-01

    Thermal properties of pure methane hydrate, under conditions similar to naturally occurring hydrate-bearing sediments being considered for potential production, have been determined both by a new experimental technique and by advanced molecular dynamics simulation (MDS). A novel single-sided, Transient Plane Source (TPS) technique has been developed and used to measure thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity values of low-porosity methane hydrate formed in the laboratory. The experimental thermal conductivity data are closely matched by results from an equilibrium MDS method using in-plane polarization of the water molecules. MDS was also performed using a non-equilibrium model with a fully polarizable force field for water. The calculated thermal conductivity values from this latter approach were similar to the experimental data. The impact of thermal conductivity on gas production from a hydrate-bearing reservoir was also evaluated using the Tough+/Hydrate reservoir simulator.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  20. Constraints on the Space Density of Methane Dwarfs and the Substellar Mass Function from a Deep Near-Infrared Survey.

    PubMed

    Herbst; Thompson; Fockenbrock; Rix; Beckwith

    1999-11-20

    We report preliminary results of a deep near-infrared search for methane-absorbing brown dwarfs; almost 5 yr after the discovery of Gl 229b, there are only a few confirmed examples of this type of object. New J-band, wide-field images, combined with preexisting R-band observations, allow efficient identification of candidates by their extreme (R-J) colors. Follow-up measurements with custom filters can then confirm objects with methane absorption. To date, we have surveyed a total of 11.4 deg2 to J approximately 20.5 and R approximately 25. Follow-up CH4 filter observations of promising candidates in one-fourth of these fields have turned up no methane-absorbing brown dwarfs. With 90% confidence, this implies that the space density of objects similar to Gl 229b is less than 0.012 pc-3. These calculations account for the vertical structure of the Galaxy, which can be important for sensitive measurements. Combining published theoretical atmospheric models with our observations sets an upper limit of alpha

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Jonathan J. Kolak; Robert C. Burruss

    2006-03-15

    Coal samples of different rank (lignite to anthracite) were extracted in the laboratory with supercritical CO{sub 2} (40{sup o}C; 10 MPa) to evaluate the potential for mobilizing non-methane hydrocarbons during CO{sub 2} storage (sequestration) or enhanced coal bed methane recovery from deep ({approximately} 1-km depth) coal beds. The total measured alkane concentrations mobilized from the coal samples ranged from 3.0 to 64 g tonne{sup -1} of dry coal. The highest alkane concentration was measured in the lignite sample extract; the lowest was measured in the anthracite sample extract. Substantial concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were also mobilized from these samples: 3.1-91 g tonne{sup -1} of dry coal. The greatest amounts of PAHs were mobilized from the high-volatile bituminous coal samples. The distributions of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons mobilized from the coal samples also varied with rank. In general, these variations mimicked the chemical changes that occur with increasing degrees of coalification and thermal maturation. For example, the amount of PAHs mobilized from coal samples paralleled the general trend of bitumen formation with increasing coal rank. The coal samples yielded hydrocarbons during consecutive extractions with supercritical CO{sub 2}, although the amount of hydrocarbons mobilized declined with each successive extraction. These results demonstrate that the potential for supercritical CO{sub 2} to mobilize non-methane hydrocarbons from coal beds, and the effect of coal rank on this process, are important to consider when evaluating deep coal beds for CO{sub 2} storage. 36 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seol, Yongkoo; Kneafsey, Timothy J.

    2011-08-01

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

  8. Model of Methane Hydrate Formation in Mid-ocean Ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrievsky, A. N.; Balanyuk, I. E.; Sorokhtin, O. G.; Matveenkov, V. V.; Dongaryan, L. Sh.

    2003-04-01

    MODEL OF METHANE HYDRATE FORMATION IN MID-OCEAN RIDGES A.N. Dmitrievsky, I.E. Balanyuk, O.G.Sorokhtin, V.V. Matveenkov, and L.Sh. Dongaryan P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow, Russia, balanyuk@sio.rssi.ru One among the most perspective direction in studying the ocean floor is the research of hydrothermal fields within the most active zones — rift valleys, where the processes of spreading of the ocean floor, uplift of the deep matter to the surface of the ocean floor, and creation of the new oceanic crust occur. Volcanic activity in these zones is accompanied with the formation of the hydrothermal system executing separation, transfer, and precipitation of a series of chemical elements. It is known that ore deposits with high concentration of iron, manganese, copper, nickel, cobalt are formed as a result of hydrothermal activity. It is much less known that hydrothermal activity in these zones has important but not so evident result — the formation of hydrocarbons in the form of methane hydrates. We propose the hypothesis of formation of methane hydrate deposits over the shallow slopes of the mid-oceanic ridges as an outcome of the action of two factors: the thermal convection of water in fractured-porous rocks of the crust and the reaction of serpentinization of the crust. The intensive exhalation of hydrocarbons takes place in the process of serpentinization. The conditions of water convection in the porous media are favorable for the formation and accumulation of methane hydrates in the near-surface layers of the oceanic crust. The carbonic-acid gas dissolved in the seawater is involved into the process of methane hydrate formation. It was established that the most favorable conditions for this mechanism are over the slopes of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. All types of water areas where gas hydrates occur can be conditionally subdivided into following geodynamic zones: the abyssal basins of the inner and marginal seas, the

  9. Evaluation of Heat Induced Methane Release from Methane Hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Phylogenetic and enzymatic diversity of deep subseafloor aerobic microorganisms in organics- and methane-rich sediments off Shimokita Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Tohru; Koide, Osamu; Mori, Kozue; Shimamura, Shigeru; Matsuura, Takae; Miura, Takeshi; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Morono, Yuki; Nunoura, Takuro; Imachi, Hiroyuki; Inagaki, Fumio; Takai, Ken; Horikoshi, Koki

    2008-07-01

    "A meta-enzyme approach" is proposed as an ecological enzymatic method to explore the potential functions of microbial communities in extreme environments such as the deep marine subsurface. We evaluated a variety of extra-cellular enzyme activities of sediment slurries and isolates from a deep subseafloor sediment core. Using the new deep-sea drilling vessel "Chikyu", we obtained 365 m of core sediments that contained approximately 2% organic matter and considerable amounts of methane from offshore the Shimokita Peninsula in Japan at a water depth of 1,180 m. In the extra-sediment fraction of the slurry samples, phosphatase, esterase, and catalase activities were detected consistently throughout the core sediments down to the deepest slurry sample from 342.5 m below seafloor (mbsf). Detectable enzyme activities predicted the existence of a sizable population of viable aerobic microorganisms even in deep subseafloor habitats. The subsequent quantitative cultivation using solid media represented remarkably high numbers of aerobic, heterotrophic microbial populations (e.g., maximally 4.4x10(7) cells cm(-3) at 342.5 mbsf). Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the predominant cultivated microbial components were affiliated with the genera Bacillus, Shewanella, Pseudoalteromonas, Halomonas, Pseudomonas, Paracoccus, Rhodococcus, Microbacterium, and Flexibacteracea. Many of the predominant and scarce isolates produced a variety of extra-cellular enzymes such as proteases, amylases, lipases, chitinases, phosphatases, and deoxyribonucleases. Our results indicate that microbes in the deep subseafloor environment off Shimokita are metabolically active and that the cultivable populations may have a great potential in biotechnology.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daigle, H.; Rice, M. A.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-14

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Integrated reservoir characterization for the gas hydrate-bearing sediments around the 2nd offshore production test site in the eastern Nankai Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    Following the 1st offshore production test from gas hydrate reservoir that was conducted in 2013, JOGMEC is planning to conduct the 2nd offshore production test in the eastern Nankai Trough. In May and Jun 2016, the pre-drilling survey was performed on ahead of the production test, and a total of 5 wells logging data were newly obtained around the test site: one well for geological survey, two wells for monitoring wells, and two production wells (only for the part shallower than the gas hydrate reservoir). In order to evaluate the reservoir potential around the test site, we conducted the integrated reservoir characterization using the latest new wells, existed wells, and 3D seismic data. In the present study, we focused on the following geological and geophysical evaluation results: 1) lateral continuity of the formation by well log correlation and gas hydrate-bearing conditions by the resistivity log data, 2) 3D internal reservoir architecture by integration of 3D seismic and well data. Based on the well log correlation between newly obtained 3 wells and existed wells, lateral continuities of dominant sand layers are fairly good and the formation beddings are stable without major structural gaps around the test site. However, petrophysical analysis from the resistivity log shows that the gas hydrate-bearing conditions are heterogeneous within each layer. Especially, in the upper unit of the reservoir, high resistivity layers are getting scarce for the structural up-dip side. In the lower unit of the reservoir, low resistivity zones associated with the low gas hydrate saturation are distributed in the reservoir, which do not exist at a same stratigraphic level. In order to comprehend the 3D internal reservoir architecture, we performed integrated analysis using 3D seismic and well log data. The RMS amplitude map generated from reservoir top horizon shows the northeast-southwest trending anomalies around the production test site. The relationship between the

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Detection of potential methane gas pathways in deep South African gold mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mkhabela, Mbali; Manzi, Musa

    2017-08-01

    At a number of gold mines in South Africa, methane gas has been encountered when drilling into faults and/or dykes extending to depths beyond 7000 m. Methane gas has been reported to migrate up through structures from within the basin to the mine working environments (∼3000 m depth) and caused explosions. The Booysens Shale is one of the possible source rocks for hydrocarbons and it forms the footwall to the gold-bearing Ventersdorp Contact Reef (VCR, ∼1.5 m thick). The Booysens Shale lies at depths between 3500 and 4500 m below the surface and can be best described as a base of the divergent clastic wedge, hosting the quartzite and conglomerate units that sub-crop against the VCR towards the west of the gold mining areas. Geometric attributes (dip and dip azimuth) and instantaneous attributes (phase, frequency and envelope) computed for the Booysens Shale and VCR horizons provide insight into structures that extend from the Booysens Shale into the overlying mining level (i.e. VCR). These attributes successfully mapped the structures (faults and dykes) that have displaced both the VCR and Booysens Shale horizons. The edge-detection attributes were particularly useful in delineating faults with throws below the traditional seismic resolution criteria (e.g. a quarter of the dominant wavelength) that were not visible in the conventional seismic interpretation. The structural analysis using seismic attributes gives a new visual representation of geological structures that may be probable conduits for hydrocarbons, particularly methane, migrating from the Booysens Shale to the VCR mining levels.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. 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. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Myung W.; Collett, Timothy S.

    2005-01-01

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

  3. On the path to the digital rock physics of gas hydrate-bearing sediments - processing of in situ synchrotron-tomography data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sell, Kathleen; Saenger, Erik H.; Falenty, Andrzej; Chaouachi, Marwen; Haberthür, David; Enzmann, Frieder; Kuhs, Werner F.; Kersten, Michael

    2016-08-01

    To date, very little is known about the distribution of natural gas hydrates in sedimentary matrices and its influence on the seismic properties of the host rock, in particular at low hydrate concentration. Digital rock physics offers a unique approach to this issue yet requires good quality, high-resolution 3-D representations for the accurate modeling of petrophysical and transport properties. Although such models are readily available via in situ synchrotron radiation X-ray tomography, the analysis of such data asks for complex workflows and high computational power to maintain valuable results. Here, we present a best-practice procedure complementing data from Chaouachi et al. (2015) with data post-processing, including image enhancement and segmentation as well as exemplary numerical simulations of an acoustic wave propagation in 3-D using the derived results. A combination of the tomography and 3-D modeling opens a path to a more reliable deduction of properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments without a reliance on idealized and frequently imprecise models.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kars, Myriam; Kodama, Kazuto

    2015-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Volumetric strain associated with methane desorption and its impact on coalbed gas production from deep coal seams

    SciTech Connect

    Cui, X.J.; Bustin, R.M.

    2005-09-01

    For deep coal seams, significant reservoir pressure drawdown is required to promote gas desorption because of the Langmuir-type isotherm that typifies coals. Hence, a large permeability decline may occur because of pressure drawdown and the resulting increase in effective stress, depending on coal properties and the stress field during production. However, the permeability decline can potentially be offset by the permeability enhancement caused by the matrix shrinkage associated with methane desorption. The predictability of varying permeability is critical for coalbed gas exploration and production-well management. We have investigated quantitatively the effects of reservoir pressure and sorption-induced volumetric strain on coal-seam permeability with constraints from the adsorption isotherm and associated volumetric strain measured on a Cretaceous Mesaverde Group coal (Piceance basin) and derived a stress-dependent permeability model. Our results suggest that the favorable coal properties that can result in less permeability reduction during earlier production and an earlier strong permeability rebound (increase in permeability caused by coal shrinkage) with methane desorption include (1) large bulk or Young's modulus; (2) large adsorption or Langmuir volume; (3) high Langmuir pressure; (4) high initial permeability and dense cleat spacing; and (5) low initial reservoir pressure and high in-situ gas content. Permeability variation with gas production is further dependent on the orientation of the coal seam, the reservoir stress field, and the cleat structure. Well completion with injection of N2 and displacement of CH{sub 4} only results in short-term enhancement of permeability and does not promote the overall gas production for the coal studied.

  8. Fine scale control of microbial communities in deep marine sediments that contain hydrates and high concentrations of methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colwell, F.; Hangsterfer, A.; Brodie, E.; Daly, R.; Holland, M.; Briggs, B.; Carini, P.; Torres, M.; Kastner, M.; Long, P.; Schaef, H. T.; Delwiche, M.; Winters, W.; Riedel, M.

    2007-12-01

    Deep subseafloor sediments with high concentrations of organic carbon and microbially-generated methane contain microbial communities that play an important role in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon. However, we still have a limited understanding of the fine (centimeter) scale sediment properties (e.g., grain size, presence/absence of hydrates) that determine key microbial attributes in deep marine sediments. Our objective is to determine the quantity, diversity, and distribution of microbial communities in the context of abiotic properties in gas-rich marine sediments. DNA was extracted from deep marine sediments cored from various continental shelf locations including offshore India and the Cascadia Margin. Abiotic characterization of the same sediments included grain size analysis, chloride concentrations in sediment pore waters, and presence of hydrates in the sediments as determined by thermal anomalies. As in past studies of such systems, most of the samples yielded low levels of DNA (0.3-1.5 ng/g of sediment). Bacterial DNA appeared to be more easily amplified than archaeal DNA. Initial attempts to amplify DNA using primers specific for the methanogen functional gene, methyl- CoM-reductase, were unsuccessful. Infrequently, cores from relatively shallow sediments (e.g., 0.5 mbsf Leg 204, 1251B-1H) from central (Hydrate Ridge), and northern Cascadia (offshore Vancouver Island), and from India's eastern margin contained macroscopically visible, pigmented biofilms. One of these biofilms was composed of high concentrations of cell clusters when viewed microscopically. The predominant cells in the Hydrate Ridge biofilm were large (ca. 10 um) cocci and preliminary characterization of the 16S rDNA amplified and sequenced from this biofilm suggests the prevalence of a microbe with 97% similarity to mycobacteria. These discrete biofilm communities appear to be distinctive relative to the normally sparse distribution of cells in the sediments. By determining how the

  9. 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. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Evaluation of CO2 Substitution for CH4 as a Mechanism for Concurrent Gas Production and CO2 Sequestration in Hydrate-Bearing Geologic Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moridis, G. J.; Reagan, M. T.; Silpngarmlert, S.

    2010-12-01

    Natural hydrates in geologic media contain CH4 in overwhelming abundance. In addition to the conventional methods of CH4-hydrate dissociation (depressurization, thermal stimulation, the use of inhibitors, and combinations thereof), CO2 substitution for CH4 has been proposed as a potential method that could simultaneously achieve two goals: the release of CH4 from the CH4-hydrates for gas production, and the replacement of CH4 by CO2 in the clathrates, thus forming either binary CH4+CO2-hydrates or pure CO2-hydrates and enabling CO2 sequestration. The reaction of CO2 substitution for CH4 in the clathrates is thermodynamically favorable, resulting in binary or CO2-hydrates that are more thermodynamically stable than CH4-hydrates. In this numerical study we first evaluate the performance of a new equation-of-state (EOS) module developed as a code unit for the TOUGH+ general simulator. The EOS describes the thermodynamic and flow behavior of binary CH4+CO2-hydrates in geologic media, and covers the entire composition spectrum in both the gas and the hydrate phase. The EOS includes fast parametric relationships that describe the 3-dimensional P-T-X phase diagram of the CH4+CO2+H2O system, which (a) were developed from 3D regression of thermodynamic data obtained from the CSMGem code (a statistical thermodynamics simulator that is based on the minimization of Gibbs energy of hydrate systems) and (b) were validated using laboratory measurements. The TOUGH+ simulator with the CH4+CO2-hydrate EOS is then validated using results from laboratory studies that involve replacement of CH4 by CO2 in hydrate-bearing cores. Finally, we investigate the technical feasibility of such replacement at the reservoir scale, and the conditions under which it may be successful, in realistic settings involving systems of vertical and horizontal wells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    A new sorbent for solid-phase extraction was synthesized by chemical immobilization of nitro-substituted tris(indolyl)methane on silica in new and green deep eutectic solvents. Elemental analysis results indicated that deep eutectic solvents could be an alternative to the traditional solvents in preparing nitro-substituted tris(indolyl)methane modified silica. Coupled with high performance liquid chromatography, the extraction performance of the sorbent was evaluated by using four organic acids as model analytes. The rebinding experiments results showed that the nitro-substituted tris(indolyl)methane modified silica sorbent had a good adsorption capacity towards the selected organic acids. Under the appropriate experimental conditions, good precision and wide linear ranges with coefficient of determination (R(2)) of higher than 0.9957 were obtained, and the limits of detection were in the range of 0.50-2.0μgL(-1) for the organic acids tested. The developed solid-phase extraction-high performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection (SPE-HPLC-DAD) method was successfully applied for the determination of organic acids in two drinking samples with recoveries ranging from 76.7% to 110.0% and 67.7% to 104.0% for all the selected organic acids, respectively. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glein, Christopher R.

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Methane Gradients Associated With a Small, Deep Lake on the Ice-Free Margin of Western Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, K. D.; White, J. R.; Young, S.; Pratt, L. M.

    2012-12-01

    Northern wetlands are thought to contribute from < 6 - 25 % of Earth's annual atmospheric methane inputs. However, despite extensive areal coverage, little is known about methane emissions from small lakes (< 540 ha) in the Arctic. We report initial results of methane concentrations in air, soil and water column associated with Potentilla Lake (informal name), near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland (N 67° 04.888', W 050° 21.084'). Potentilla Lake has a surface area of 1.8 ha and a maximum depth of 8 m. We measured methane concentrations in the hypolimnion, metalimnion, and epilimnion of Potentilla Lake as well as surrounding soils and atmosphere. The dissolved methane concentrations in the water column were collected using a gas stripping method. Methane concentrations in atmosphere, soils and water were analyzed on a Los Gatos Instruments MCIA employing cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy with off-axis ICOS technology. Additionally, a Boreal open-path laser (OPL) for methane was used to measure the average atmospheric methane concentration across the long axis (283 m) of the lake for a period of 37 hrs from 12:00 pm on July 20, to 1:00 am on July 22, 2012. The laser was 0.8 m above the surface of the lake and micrometeorology was collected with a Davis Vantage Vue meteorological station. The OPL measured atmospheric methane concentrations once every minute and 13 seconds while the meteorological station recorded conditions every minute. A linear interpolation was used to pair the data for statistical analysis in order to correct for the differing data collection rates. Hypolimnetic methane concentration was 6000 ppm, metalimnetic concentration was 22 ppm, and the concentration of methane in the epilimnion was 62 ppm. Atmospheric methane concentrations from the OPL ranged from 1.56 to 1.85 ppmv over the duration of the measurement period and showed statistically significant relationships with wind speed (y = -0.0237x + 1.7241, P << 0.01, R2 = 0.19) and humidity (y = 0

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2013-05-01

    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 <0.4 wt.% total organic carbon (OC) and primarily consists of glacially-derived material that was deposited 14,900-15,900 yrs BP during the retreat of the late Quaternary Cordilleran Ice Sheet. We hypothesize this aged and exceptionally low-OC content sedimentary OM is biologically refractory, thereby limiting degradation of non-methane OM by sulfate reduction and maximizing methane consumption by sulfate-dependent AOM. A radiocarbon-based dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) isotope mass balance model demonstrates that respired DIC in sediment pore fluids is derived from a fossil carbon source that is devoid of 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.

  16. CO2 Exchange in a Methane Hydrate Reservoir: Ignik Sikumi #1 Alaska Field Trial Operations and Summary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hester, K. C.; Farrell, H.; Howard, J. J.; Martin, K.; Raterman, K.; Schoderbek, D.; Smith, B.; Silpngarmlert, S.

    2012-12-01

    In the winter of 2012, a CO2 exchange field trial was performed at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of CO2 hydrate exchange technology, developed in the laboratory, on a natural methane hydrate-bearing reservoir. This included verifying the chemical exchange of CO2 with methane in addition to maintaining injectivity. Drilled in 2011, the Ignik Sikumi #1 well was perforated in February 2012. The pilot was designed as a 'huff and puff' style test where a single well is used first for injection then followed with production. The target for the test was a 10 m sand zone estimated to contain 70-80% hydrate saturation. For 13 days, over 5600 m3 of a CO2 mixture (77mol% N2, 23 mol% CO2) were injected in the hydrate-bearing interval. Injectivity was maintained over this period. Following injection, flow back commenced over a 30 day period. The production started by maintaining a bottom hole pressure above the dissociation pressure above methane hydrate. At later times, the bottom hole pressure was lowered causing both pore space fluids to be produced along with dissociation of non-exchanged original methane hydrate. In total, over 23,700 m3 of methane was produced over the production period.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    SciTech Connect

    Donn McGuire; Thomas Williams; Bjorn Paulsson; Alexander Goertz

    2005-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, L.; Wu, N.

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  1. Sulfate reduction and methane oxidation activity below the sulfate-methane transition zone in Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin sediments: Implications for deep sulfur cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, Tina; Krause, Stefan; Maltby, Johanna; Dale, Andrew W.; Coffin, Richard; Hamdan, Leila J.

    2014-11-01

    Two ∼6 m long sediment cores were collected along the ∼300 m isobath on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin. Both cores showed distinct sulfate-methane transition zones (SMTZ) at 105 and 120 cm below seafloor (cmbsf). Sulfate was not completely depleted below the SMTZ but remained between 30 and 500 μM. Sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) determined by radiotracer incubations were active throughout the methanogenic zone. Although a mass balance could not explain the source of sulfate below the SMTZ, geochemical profiles and correlation network analyses of biotic and abiotic data suggest a cryptic sulfur cycle involving iron, manganese and barite. Inhibition experiments with molybdate and 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) indicated decoupling of sulfate reduction and AOM and competition between sulfate reducers and methanogens for substrates. While correlation network analyses predicted coupling of AOM to iron reduction, the addition of manganese or iron did not stimulate AOM. Since none of the classical archaeal anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME) were abundant, the involvement of unknown or unconventional phylotypes in AOM is conceivable. The resistance of AOM activity to inhibitors implies deviation from conventional enzymatic pathways. This work suggests that the classical redox cascade of electron acceptor utilization based on Gibbs energy yields does not always hold in diffusion-dominated systems, and instead biotic processes may be more strongly coupled to mineralogy.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-09-01

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

  3. Temporal evolution of methane cycling and phylogenetic diversity of archaea in sediments from a deep-sea whale-fall in Monterey Canyon, California.

    PubMed

    Goffredi, Shana K; Wilpiszeski, Regina; Lee, Ray; Orphan, Victoria J

    2008-02-01

    Whale-falls represent localized areas of extreme organic enrichment in an otherwise oligotrophic deep-sea environment. Anaerobic remineralization within these habitats is typically portrayed as sulfidogenic; however, we demonstrate that these systems are also favorable for diverse methane-producing archaeal assemblages, representing up to 40% of total cell counts. Chemical analyses revealed elevated methane and depleted sulfate concentrations in sediments under the whale-fall, as compared to surrounding sediments. Carbon was enriched (up to 3.5%) in whale-fall sediments, as well as the surrounding sea floor to at least 10 m, forming a 'bulls eye' of elevated carbon. The diversity of sedimentary archaea associated with the 2893 m whale-fall in Monterey Canyon (California) varied both spatially and temporally. 16S rRNA diversity, determined by both sequencing and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, as well as quantitative PCR of the methyl-coenzyme M reductase gene, revealed that methanogens, including members of the Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales, were the dominant archaea (up to 98%) in sediments immediately beneath the whale-fall. Temporal changes in this archaeal community included the early establishment of methylotrophic methanogens followed by development of methanogens thought to be hydrogenotrophic, as well as members related to the newly described methanotrophic lineage, ANME-3. In comparison, archaeal assemblages in 'reference' sediments collected 10 m from the whale-fall primarily consisted of Crenarchaeota affiliated with marine group I and marine benthic group B. Overall, these results indicate that whale-falls can favor the establishment of metabolically and phylogenetically diverse methanogen assemblages, resulting in an active near-seafloor methane cycle in the deep sea.

  4. Molecular isotopic evidence for anaerobic oxidation of methane in deep-sea hydrothermal vent environment in Okinawa Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, M.; Takai, K.; Inagaki, F.

    2003-04-01

    Large amount of methane in anoxic marine sediments as well as cold seeps and hydrothermal vents is recycled through for an anoxic oxidation of methane processes. Now that combined results of field and laboratory studies revealed that microbiological activity associated with syntrophic consortium of archaea performing reversed methanogenesis and sulfate-reducing bacteria is significant roles in methane recycling, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). In this study, we examined the diversity of archaeal and bacterial assemblages of AOM using compound-specific stable carbon isotopic and phylogenetic analyses. "Iheya North" in Okinawa Trough is sediment-rich, back arc type hydrothermal system (27^o47'N, 126^o53'E). Sediment samples were collected from three sites where are "bubbling sites", yellow-colored microbial mats are formed with continuous bubbling from the seafloor bottom, vent mussel's colonies site together with slowly venting and simmering, and control site off 100 m distance from thermal vent. This subsea floor structure has important effect in the microbial ecosystem and interaction between their activity and geochemical processes in the subseafloor habitats. Culture-independent, molecular biological analysis clearly indicated the presence of thermophilic methanogens in deeper area having higher temperatures and potential activity of AMOs consortium in the shallower area. AMO is composed with sulfate-reducing bacterial components (Desulfosarcina spp.) and anoxic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME-2). These results were consistent with the results of compound-specific carbon analysis of archaeal biomarkers. They showed extremely depleted 13C contents (-80 ppm ˜ -100 ppm), which also appeared to be capable of directly oxidizing methane.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Spatial variations of bacterial communities and related biogeochemical activity of cold seep sites in the Eastern Mediterranean deep sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pop Ristova, P.; Felden, J.; Wenzhöfer, F.; Ramette, A.; Boetius, A.

    2012-04-01

    Cold seeps ecosystems, characterized by emissions of the potential greenhouse gas methane, and often associated with vast repositories of gas hydrates, represent patchy and isolated deep-sea oases of life. They host highly dynamic habitats that are spatially fragmented and temporarily variable. Microorganisms mediate all major geochemical processes at cold seeps i.e. anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulphide oxidation, which in turn enables high biomasses and biodiversity of chemosynthetic organisms to be sustained. Cold seeps are also characterized by high habitat heterogeneity and by dynamic geological, geochemical and biogenic processes influencing seep biodiversity. The deep Eastern Mediterranean sea, encompassing numerous geologically different cold seep sites, offers a unique opportunity for the study of habitat heterogeneity and effects on microbial communities at various spatial scales in relation to their biogeochemical environment. A combined approach, using molecular (ARISA and 454 pyrosequencing) and geochemical techniques (porewater analysis, ex situ radiotracer incubations and in situ quantifications of methane, oxygen and sulphide fluxes), was applied to investigate the biogeochemical activity and related bacterial diversity of hydrate-bearing seep-habitats. Here we present data on the comparison on large (> 100 km) and small (0.01 - 100 m) spatial scales, i.e. between and within different cold seep ecosystems, such as the Amon mud volcano, the Amsterdam mud volcano and the Central Pockmark area. Methane effluxes, sediment AOM rates and total oxygen uptake differed by an order of magnitude among habitats within a single cold seep structure, indicating high sediment heterogeneity on small (100 m) spatial scales. Conversely, similar geochemical conditions prevailed at seep-habitats separated by hundreds of kilometers. The bacterial community structures followed similar patterns, and highest variations could be detected at cold seeps with contrasting

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  8. Estimating gas escape through taliks in relict submarine permafrost and methane hydrate deposits under natural climate variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederick, J. M.; Buffett, B. A.

    2013-12-01

    Permafrost-associated methane hydrate deposits exist at shallow depths within the sediments of the Arctic continental shelves. This icy carbon reservoir is thought to be a relict of cold glacial periods, when sea levels are much lower, and shelf sediments are exposed to freezing air temperatures. During interglacials, rising sea levels flood the shelf, bringing dramatic warming to the permafrost and gas hydrate bearing sediments. Degradation of this shallow-water reservoir has the potential to release large quantities of methane gas directly to the atmosphere. Although relict permafrost-associated gas hydrate deposits likely make up only a small fraction of the global hydrate inventory, they have received a disproportionate amount of attention recently because of their susceptibility to climate change. This study is motivated by several recent field studies which report elevated methane levels in Arctic coastal waters. While these observations are consistent with methane release as a result of decomposing submarine permafrost and gas hydrates, the source of gas cannot easily be distinguished from other possibilities, including the escape of deep thermogenic gas through permeable pathways such as faults, or microbial activity on thawing organic matter within the shelf sediments. In this study, we investigate the response of relict Arctic submarine permafrost and permafrost-associated gas hydrate deposits to warming with a two-dimensional, finite-volume model for two-phase flow of pore fluid and methane gas within Arctic shelf sediments. We track the evolution of temperature, salinity, and pressure fields with prescribed boundary conditions, and account for latent heat of water ice and methane hydrate formation during growth/decay of permafrost or methane hydrate. The permeability structure of the sediments is coupled to changes in permafrost. We assess the role of taliks (unfrozen portions of continuous permafrost) as a pathway for methane gas escape and make

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  10. Methane Hydrates: Chapter 8

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Carbon isotope (δ13C) excursions suggest times of major methane release during the last 14 kyr in Fram Strait, the deep-water gateway to the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Consolaro, C.; Rasmussen, T. L.; Panieri, G.; Mienert, J.; Bünz, S.; Sztybor, K.

    2015-04-01

    We present results from a sediment core collected from a pockmark field on the Vestnesa Ridge (~ 80° N) in the eastern Fram Strait. This is the only deep-water gateway to the Arctic, and one of the northernmost marine gas hydrate provinces in the world. Eight 14C AMS dates reveal a detailed chronology for the last 14 ka BP. The δ 13C record measured on the benthonic foraminiferal species Cassidulina neoteretis shows two distinct intervals with negative values termed carbon isotope excursion (CIE I and CIE II, respectively). The values were as low as -4.37‰ in CIE I, correlating with the Bølling-Allerød interstadials, and as low as -3.41‰ in CIE II, correlating with the early Holocene. In the Bølling-Allerød interstadials, the planktonic foraminifera also show negative values, probably indicating secondary methane-derived authigenic precipitation affecting the foraminiferal shells. After a cleaning procedure designed to remove authigenic carbonate coatings on benthonic foraminiferal tests from this event, the 13C values are still negative (as low as -2.75‰). The CIE I and CIE II occurred during periods of ocean warming, sea-level rise and increased concentrations of methane (CH4) in the atmosphere. CIEs with similar timing have been reported from other areas in the North Atlantic, suggesting a regional event. The trigger mechanisms for such regional events remain to be determined. We speculate that sea-level rise and seabed loading due to high sediment supply in combination with increased seismic activity as a result of rapid deglaciation may have triggered the escape of significant amounts of methane to the seafloor and the water column above.

  12. Early diagenesis in the sediments of the Congo deep-sea fan dominated by massive terrigenous deposits: Part III - Sulfate- and methane- based microbial processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastor, L.; Toffin, L.; Decker, C.; Olu, K.; Cathalot, C.; Lesongeur, F.; Caprais, J.-C.; Bessette, S.; Brandily, C.; Taillefert, M.; Rabouille, C.

    2017-08-01

    Geochemical profiles (SO42-, H2S, CH4, δ13CH4) and phylogenetic diversity of Archaea and Bacteria from two oceanographic cruises dedicated to the lobes sediments of the Congo deep-sea fan are presented in this paper. In this area, organic-rich turbidites reach 5000 m and allow the establishment of patchy cold-seep-like habitats including microbial mats, reduced sediments, and vesicomyid bivalves assemblages. These bivalves live in endosymbiosis with sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and use sulfides to perform chemosynthesis. In these habitats, unlike classical abyssal sediments, anoxic processes are dominant. Total oxygen uptake fluxes and methane fluxes measured with benthic chambers are in the same range as those of active cold-seep environments, and oxygen is mainly used for reoxidation of reduced compounds, especially in bacterial mats and reduced sediments. High concentrations of methane and sulfate co-exist in the upper 20 cm of sediments, and evidence indicates that sulfate-reducing microorganisms and methanogens co-occur in the shallow layers of these sediments. Simultaneously, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate as the electron acceptor is evidenced by the presence of ANMEs (ANaerobic MEthanotroph). Dissolved sulfide produced through the reduction of sulfate is reoxidized through several pathways depending on the habitat. These pathways include vesicomyid bivalves uptake (adults or juveniles in the bacterial mats habitats), reoxidation by oxygen or iron phases within the reduced sediment, or reoxidation by microbial mats. Sulfide uptake rates by vesicomyids measured in sulfide-rich sea water (90±18 mmol S m-2 d-1) were similar to sulfide production rates obtained by modelling the sulfate profile with different bioirrigation constants, highlighting the major control of vesicomyids on sulfur cycle in their habitats.

  13. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

  16. Methane Hydrate Formation in Thick Sand Reservoirs: Long-range Gas Transport or Short-range Methane Diffusion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, K.; Flemings, P. B.

    2016-12-01

    We developed two 2-D numerical models to simulate hydrate formation by long range methane gas transport and short-range methane diffusion. We interpret that methane hydrates in thick sands are most likely formed by long range gas transport where methane gas is transported upward into the hydrate stability zone (HSZ) under buoyancy and locally forms hydrate to its stability limit. In short-range methane diffusion, methane is generated locally by biodegradation of organic matter in mud and diffused into bounding sands where it forms hydrate. We could not simulate enough methane transport by diffusion to account for its observed concentration in thick sands. In our models, we include the capillary effect on dissolved methane solubility and on the hydrate phase boundary, sedimentation and different compaction in sand and mud, fracture generation as well as the fully coupled multiphase flow and multicomponent transport. We apply our models to a 12 meter-thick hydrate-bearing sand layer at Walker Ridge 313, Northern Gulf of Mexico. With the long-range gas transport, hydrate saturation is greater than 90% and salinity is increased from seawater to about 8 wt.% through the entire sand. With short-range diffusion, hydrate saturation is more than 90% at the sand base and is less than 10% in the overlying section; salinity is close to seawater when sand is deposited to 800 meter below seafloor by short-range methane diffusion. With short-range diffusion, the amount of hydrate formed is much less than that interpreted from the well log data. Two transient gas layers separated by a hydrate layer are formed from short-range diffusion caused by capillary effect. This could be interpreted as a double bottom simulating reflector. This study provides further insights into different hydrate formation mechanisms, and could serve as a base to confirm the hydrate formation mechanism in fields.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  18. Laboratory measurements of the 5-20 cm wavelength opacity of ammonia, water vapor, and methane under simulated conditions for the deep jovian atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellotti, Amadeo; Steffes, Paul G.; Chinsomboom, Garrett

    2016-12-01

    Over the past decade, several extensive laboratory studies have been conducted of the microwave opacity of ammonia and water vapor in preparation for interpretation of the precise measurements of jovian microwave emission to be made with the Microwave Radiometer (MWR) instrument aboard the NASA Juno Mission. (See, e.g., Hanley et al. [2009] Icarus, 202, 316-335; Karpowicz and Steffes [2011a] Icarus 212, 210-223; Karpowicz and Steffes [2011b] Icarus 214, 783; Devaraj et al. [2014] Icarus, 241, 165-179) These works included models for the opacity of these constituents valid over the pressure and temperature ranges measured in the laboratory experiments (temperatures up to 500 K and pressures up to 100 bars). However, studies of the microwave emission made using these models indicate that significant contributions to the emission at the 24-cm and 50-cm wavelengths to be measured by the Juno MWR will be made by layers of the atmosphere with temperatures at or exceeding 600 K. While the ammonia opacity models described by Hanley et al. (2009) and Devraj et al. (2014) give consistent results at temperatures up to 500 K (within 6%), they diverge significantly at temperatures and pressures exceeding 550 K and 50 bars, respectively. Similarly, at temperatures above 500 K, the model for water vapor opacity developed by Karpowicz and Steffes (2011a,b) exhibits non-physical attributes. To resolve these ambiguities, we have conducted laboratory measurements of the microwave opacity of ammonia at temperatures up to 600 K and that for water vapor at temperatures up to 600 K. Additionally, since the microwave opacity of ammonia is influenced by pressure-broadening from methane (a significant constituent in jovian atmospheres), measurements of the effects of methane on the ammonia absorption spectrum have also been conducted. These measurements have resulted in updated models for the opacities of ammonia and water vapor under conditions of the deep jovian atmosphere.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  20. The WAIS Divide deep ice core WD2014 chronology - Part 1: Methane synchronization (68-31 ka BP) and the gas age-ice age difference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buizert, C.; Cuffey, K. M.; Severinghaus, J. P.; Baggenstos, D.; Fudge, T. J.; Steig, E. J.; Markle, B. R.; Winstrup, M.; Rhodes, R. H.; Brook, E. J.; Sowers, T. A.; Clow, G. D.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R. L.; Sigl, M.; McConnell, J. R.; Taylor, K. C.

    2015-02-01

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide (WAIS Divide, WD) ice core is a newly drilled, high-accumulation deep ice core that provides Antarctic climate records of the past ∼68 ka at unprecedented temporal resolution. The upper 2850 m (back to 31.2 ka BP) have been dated using annual-layer counting. Here we present a chronology for the deep part of the core (67.8-31.2 ka BP), which is based on stratigraphic matching to annual-layer-counted Greenland ice cores using globally well-mixed atmospheric methane. We calculate the WD gas age-ice age difference (Δage) using a combination of firn densification modeling, ice-flow modeling, and a data set of δ15N-N2, a proxy for past firn column thickness. The largest Δage at WD occurs during the Last Glacial Maximum, and is 525 ± 120 years. Internally consistent solutions can be found only when assuming little to no influence of impurity content on densification rates, contrary to a recently proposed hypothesis. We synchronize the WD chronology to a linearly scaled version of the layer-counted Greenland Ice Core Chronology (GICC05), which brings the age of Dansgaard-Oeschger (DO) events into agreement with the U/Th absolutely dated Hulu Cave speleothem record. The small Δage at WD provides valuable opportunities to investigate the timing of atmospheric greenhouse gas variations relative to Antarctic climate, as well as the interhemispheric phasing of the "bipolar seesaw".

  1. The strength and rheology of methane clathrate hydrate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Methane clathrate hydrate (structure I) is found to be very strong, based on laboratory triaxial deformation experiments we have carried out on samples of synthetic, high-purity, polycrystalline material. Samples were deformed in compressional creep tests (i.e., constant applied stress, ??), at conditions of confining pressure P = 50 and 100 MPa, strain rate 4.5 ?? 10-8 ??? ?? ??? 4.3 ?? 10-4 s-1, temperature 260 ??? T ??? 287 K, and internal methane pressure 10 ??? PCH4 ??? 15 MPa. At steady state, typically reached in a few percent strain, methane hydrate exhibited strength that was far higher than expected on the basis of published work. In terms of the standard high-temperature creep law, ?? = A??ne-(E*+PV*)/RT the rheology is described by the constants A = 108.55 MPa-n s-1, n = 2.2, E* = 90,000 J mol-1, and V* = 19 cm3 mol-1. For comparison at temperatures just below the ice point, methane hydrate at a given strain rate is over 20 times stronger than ice, and the contrast increases at lower temperatures. The possible occurrence of syntectonic dissociation of methane hydrate to methane plus free water in these experiments suggests that the high strength measured here may be only a lower bound. On Earth, high strength in hydrate-bearing formations implies higher energy release upon decomposition and subsequent failure. In the outer solar system, if Titan has a 100-km-thick near-surface layer of high-strength, low-thermal conductivity methane hydrate as has been suggested, its interior is likely to be considerably warmer than previously expected.

  2. TOUGH+HYDRATE v1.2 User's Manual: A Code for the Simulation of System Behavior in Hydrate-Bearing Geologic Media

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-01

    TOUGH+HYDRATE v1.2 is a code for the simulation of the behavior of hydratebearing geologic systems, and represents the second update of the code since its first release [Moridis et al., 2008]. By solving the coupled equations of mass and heat balance, TOUGH+HYDRATE can model the non-isothermal gas release, phase behavior and flow of fluids and heat under conditions typical of common natural CH4-hydrate deposits (i.e., in the permafrost and in deep ocean sediments) in complex geological media at any scale (from laboratory to reservoir) at which Darcy’s law is valid. TOUGH+HYDRATE v1.2 includes both an equilibrium and a kinetic model of hydrate formation and dissociation. The model accounts for heat and up to four mass components, i.e., water, CH4, hydrate, and water-soluble inhibitors such as salts or alcohols. These are partitioned among four possible phases (gas phase, liquid phase, ice phase and hydrate phase). Hydrate dissociation or formation, phase changes and the corresponding thermal effects are fully described, as are the effects of inhibitors. The model can describe all possible hydrate dissociation mechanisms, i.e., depressurization, thermal stimulation, salting-out effects and inhibitor-induced effects. TOUGH+HYDRATE is a member of TOUGH+, the successor to the TOUGH2 [Pruess et al., 1991] family of codes for multi-component, multiphase fluid and heat flow developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It is written in standard FORTRAN 95/2003, and can be run on any computational platform (workstation, PC, Macintosh) for which such compilers are available.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  4. Clumped Methane Isotopologue Temperatures of Microbial Methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Anomalous preservation of pure methane hydrate at 1 atm

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. The elastic wave velocity response of methane gas hydrate formation in vertical gas migration systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bu, Q. T.; Hu, G. W.; Ye, Y. G.; Liu, C. L.; Li, C. F.; Best, A. I.; Wang, J. S.

    2017-06-01

    Knowledge of the elastic wave velocities of hydrate-bearing sediments is important for geophysical exploration and resource evaluation. Methane gas migration processes play an important role in geological hydrate accumulation systems, whether on the seafloor or in terrestrial permafrost regions, and their impact on elastic wave velocities in sediments needs further study. Hence, a high-pressure laboratory apparatus was developed to simulate natural continuous vertical migration of methane gas through sediments. Hydrate saturation (S h) and ultrasonic P- and S-wave velocities (V p and V s) were measured synchronously by time domain reflectometry (TDR) and by ultrasonic transmission methods respectively during gas hydrate formation in sediments. The results were compared to previously published laboratory data obtained in a static closed system. This indicated that the velocities of hydrate-bearing sediments in vertical gas migration systems are slightly lower than those in closed systems during hydrate formation. While velocities increase at a constant rate with hydrate saturation in the closed system, P-wave velocities show a fast-slow-fast variation with increasing hydrate saturation in the vertical gas migration system. The observed velocities are well described by an effective-medium velocity model, from which changing hydrate morphology was inferred to cause the fast-slow-fast velocity response in the gas migration system. Hydrate forms firstly at the grain contacts as cement, then grows within the pore space (floating), then finally grows into contact with the pore walls again. We conclude that hydrate morphology is the key factor that influences the elastic wave velocity response of methane gas hydrate formation in vertical gas migration systems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  8. Postdepositional losses of methane sulfonate, nitrate, and chloride at the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica deep-drilling site in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weller, R.; Traufetter, F.; Fischer, H.; Oerter, H.; Piel, C.; Miller, H.

    2004-04-01

    We quantified postdepositional losses of methane sulfonate (MSA-), nitrate, and chloride at the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) drilling site in Dronning Maud Land (DML) (75°S, 0°E). Analyses of four intermediate deep firn cores and 13 snow pits were considered. We found that about 26 ± 13% of the once deposited nitrate and typically 51 ± 20% of MSA- were lost, while for chloride, no significant depletion could be observed in firn older than one year. Assuming a first order exponential decay rate, the characteristic e-folding time for MSA- is 6.4 ± 3 years and 19 ± 6 years for nitrate. It turns out that for nitrate and MSA- the typical mean concentrations representative for the last 100 years were reached after 5.4 and 6.5 years, respectively, indicating that beneath a depth of around 1.2-1.4 m postdepositional losses can be neglected. In the area of investigation, only MSA- concentrations and postdepositional losses showed a distinct dependence on snow accumulation rate. Consequently, MSA- concentrations archived at this site should be significantly dependent on the variability of annual snow accumulation, and we recommend a corresponding correction. With a simple approach, we estimated the partial pressure of the free acids MSA, HNO3, and HCl on the basis of Henry's law assuming that ionic impurities of the bulk ice matrix are localized in a quasi-brine layer (QBL). In contrast to measurements, this approach predicts a nearly complete loss of MSA-, NO3-, and Cl-.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-24

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

  11. Thermal Conductivity Measurements in Porous Mixtures of Methane Hydrate and Quartz Sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  13. Simulations of Carbon Dioxide Storage and Methane Production from Guest Molecule Exchange of Hydrates Using Reactive Transport Modeling and Gibbs Energy Minimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darnell, K.; Flemings, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate guest molecule exchange of hydrates as a method for simultaneous carbon dioxide storage and methane production. We simulate N2/CO2 binary gas mixture injection into marine and terrestrial methane hydrate bearing sediments. Different compositions of the injected gas can lead to four possible outcomes: 1) Injected gas flows downstream past methane hydrate and does not alter the methane hydrate, 2) Injected gas causes complete dissociation of methane hydrate, which creates a gas mixture of methane and injected gas that flows downstream, 3) Injected gas causes complete dissociation of methane hydrate with flow of methane gas downstream and all injected gas replaces methane in the hydrate cage, 4) Injected gas causes partial dissociation of methane hydrate with some replacement of methane in the hydrate cage and downstream flow of a methane and injected gas mixture. We focus on how composition of injected gas affects the outcome of the injection process, and then determine the optimal injection mixture of N2/CO2 for carbon dioxide storage and methane production. Our simulations combine dynamic flash calculations using the Gibbs energy minimization of Ballard and Sloan (2004) with 1-d reactive transport modeling. This work provides insight into the efficiency of the guest molecule exchange process in methane hydrate systems. Our results can be directly incorporated into simulations of more complex geometries and field settings such as the Ignik Sikumi Gas Hydrate Field Trial. ReferencesBallard, A. L., and Sloan, E. D. (2004). The next generation of hydrate prediction: Part III. Gibbs energy minimization formalism. Fluid phase equilibria, 218(1), 15-31.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederick, Jennifer Mary

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. Metagenomic analysis reveals the contribution of anaerobic methanotroph-1b in the oxidation of methane at the Ulleung Basin, East Sea of Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Woo; Kwon, Kae Kyoung; Bahk, Jang-Jun; Lee, Dong-Hun; Lee, Hyun Sook; Kang, Sung Gyun; Lee, Jung-Hyun

    2016-12-01

    We have previously identified a sulfate methane transition zone (SMTZ) within the methane hydrate-bearing sediment in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea of Korea, and the presence of ANME-1b group in the sediment has been shown by phylogenetic analysis of a 16S rRNA gene. Herein, we describe taxonomic and functional profiling in the SMTZ sample by metagenomic analysis, comparing with that of surface sediment. Metagenomic sequences of 115 Mbp and 252 Mbp were obtained from SMTZ and surface sediments, respectively. The taxonomic profiling using BLASTX against the SEED within MG-RAST showed the prevalence of methanogens (19.1%), such as Methanosarcinales (12.0%) and Methanomicrobiales (4.1%) predominated within the SMTZ metagenome. A number of 185,200 SMTZ reads (38.9%) and 438,484 surface reads (62.5%) were assigned to functional categories, and methanogenesis-related reads were statistically significantly overrepresented in the SMTZ metagenome. However, the mapping analysis of metagenome reads to the reference genomes, most of the sequences of the SMTZ metagenome were mapped to ANME-1 draft genomes, rather than those of methanogens. Furthermore, the two copies of the methyl-coenzyme M reductase gene (mcrA) segments of the SMTZ metagenome were clustered with ANME-1b in the phylogenetic cluster. These results indicate that ANME-1b reads were miss-annotated to methanogens due to limitation of database. Many of key genes necessary for reverse methanogenesis were present in the SMTZ metagenome, except for N (5),N (10)-methenyl-H4MPT reductase (mer) and CoB-CoM heterodisulfide reductase subunits D and E (hdrDE). These data suggest that the ANME-1b represents the primary player the anaerobic methane oxidation in the SMTZ, of the methane hydrate-bearing sediment at the Ulleung Basin, East Sea of Korea.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Frank R. Rack; Peter Schultheiss; Melanie Holland

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Sinking methane.

    PubMed

    Reay, David S

    2003-02-01

    Concentrations of the powerful greenhouse gas, methane, in our atmosphere have doubled since the beginning of the industrial age. Reducing these levels is a vital part of global efforts to combat global warming. Could we make use of the Earth's own methane sinks?

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Byong-Jae

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Evolution of a spherical hydrate-free inclusion in a porous matrix filled with methane hydrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsiberkin, Kirill; Lyubimov, Dmitry V.; Lyubimova, Tatyana P.; Zikanov, Oleg

    2014-02-01

    The behavior of a small isolated hydrate-free inclusion (a gas bubble) within a porous matrix filled with methane hydrate and either water or methane gas is analyzed. Simplifying assumptions of spherical symmetry, an infinite uniform porous medium, and negligible effects of background temperature and pressure variations focus the investigation on the features of the dynamics of a single bubble determined by a phase transition. Two solutions are presented: an exact solution of the Stefan problem obtained when the effects of gas and water flow are neglected, and a numerical solution of the full problem. The solutions are in good agreement with each other and with known asymptotic dependencies, confirming that the effects of inertia and convection transport can be neglected in the case of small inclusions. It is found that, after an initial adjustment, the radius of any small bubble decreases with time following a self-similar solution of the Stefan problem. The lifetime of a bubble is evaluated as a function of initial radius and the system's physical parameters. Possible effects of such inclusions on the filtration of methane to the surface and other aspects of the dynamics of hydrate-bearing deposits are discussed.

  4. Evolution of a spherical hydrate-free inclusion in a porous matrix filled with methane hydrate.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    The behavior of a small isolated hydrate-free inclusion (a gas bubble) within a porous matrix filled with methane hydrate and either water or methane gas is analyzed. Simplifying assumptions of spherical symmetry, an infinite uniform porous medium, and negligible effects of background temperature and pressure variations focus the investigation on the features of the dynamics of a single bubble determined by a phase transition. Two solutions are presented: an exact solution of the Stefan problem obtained when the effects of gas and water flow are neglected, and a numerical solution of the full problem. The solutions are in good agreement with each other and with known asymptotic dependencies, confirming that the effects of inertia and convection transport can be neglected in the case of small inclusions. It is found that, after an initial adjustment, the radius of any small bubble decreases with time following a self-similar solution of the Stefan problem. The lifetime of a bubble is evaluated as a function of initial radius and the system's physical parameters. Possible effects of such inclusions on the filtration of methane to the surface and other aspects of the dynamics of hydrate-bearing deposits are discussed.

  5. Electrical properties of methane hydrate + sediment mixtures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Modeling the Formation of Hydrate-Filled Veins in Fine-Grained Sediments from in Situ Microbial Methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malinverno, A.; Cook, A.; Daigle, H.

    2016-12-01

    Continental margin sediments are dominantly fine-grained silt and clay, and methane hydrates in these sediments are often found in semi-vertical veins and fractures. In several instances, these hydrate veins occupy discrete depth intervals that are a few tens of meters thick and are surrounded by hydrate-free sediments. As they are not connected with gas sources beneath the base of the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), these isolated hydrate-bearing intervals have been interpreted as formed by in situ microbial methane. To investigate the formation of these hydrate deposits, we applied a time-dependent advection-diffusion-reaction model that includes the effects of sedimentation, compaction, solute diffusion, and microbial methane generation. Microbial methane generation depends on the amount of metabolizable organic carbon deposited at the seafloor, whose progressive degradation produces methane beneath the sulfate reduction zone. If the amount of organic carbon entering the methanogenic zone is kept constant in time, we found that the computed amounts of hydrate formed in discrete intervals within the GHSZ are well below those estimated from observations. On the other hand, if the deposition of organic carbon is higher in a given time interval, methane generation during burial is more intense in the corresponding sediment interval, resulting in enhanced hydrate formation. With variations in organic carbon deposition comparable to those generally observed in continental margins, our model was able to reproduce the methane hydrate contents that were estimated from drilling. These results support the suggestion that in situ microbial generation associated with transient organic carbon deposition is the source of methane that forms isolated intervals of hydrate-filled veins in fine-grained sediments.

  7. Saturn Methane Image

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-03-05

    NASA's Cassini narrow angle camera took this image of Saturn on Feb. 16, 2004, from a distance of 66.1 million kilometers (41.1 million miles) in a special filter which reveals clouds and haze high in the atmosphere. The image scale is 397 kilometers (247 miles) per pixel. The MT2 spectral filter samples a near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum where methane gas absorbs light at a wavelength of 727 nanometers. In the image, methane gas is uniformly mixed with hydrogen, the main gas in Saturn's atmosphere. Dark locales are places of strong methane absorption, relatively free of high clouds; the bright areas are places with high, thick clouds which shield the methane below. Image details reveal a high, thick equatorial cloud and a relatively deep or thin haze encircling the pole, as well as several distinct latitude bands with different cloud height attributes. It also shows a high atmospheric disturbance, just south of the equator, which has persisted throughout the 1990s in images returned by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Four of Saturn's moons are visible (clockwise from above right): Enceladus (499 kilometers, or 310 miles across); Mimas (396 kilometers, or 245 miles across); Tethys (1,060 kilometers, or 659 miles across); and Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across). The imaging team enhanced the brightness of Mimas and Enceladus by a factor of three. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05381

  8. Breaking methane

    PubMed Central

    Rosenzweig, Amy C.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-12

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

  10. Emerging topics in marine methane biogeochemistry.

    PubMed

    Valentine, David L

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    GEOPECO Working Group

    2001-02-01

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

  13. Cyclic formation and dissociation of methane hydrate within partially water saturated sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kneafsey, T. J.; Nakagawa, S.

    2010-12-01

    For partially water-saturated sediments, laboratory experiments have shown that methane hydrate forms heterogeneously within a sample at the core scale. The heterogeneous distribution of hydrate in combination with grain-scale hydrate location (eg. grain cementing, load bearing, and pore filling), determines the overall mechanical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments including shear strength and seismic properties. For this reason, understanding the heterogeneity of hydrate-bearing sample is essential when the bulk properties of the sample are examined in the laboratory. We present a series of laboratory methane hydrate formation and dissociation experiments with concurrent x-ray CT imaging and low-frequency (near 1 kHz) seismic measurements. The seismic measurements were conducted using a new acoustic resonant bar technique called the Split Hopkinson Resonant Bar method, which allows using a small sediment core (3.75 cm diameter, 7.5 cm length). The experiment was conducted using a jacketed, pre-compacted, fine-grain silica sand sample with a 40% distilled water saturation. Under isotropic confining stress of 6.9 MPa and a temperature 4 oC, the hydrate was formed in the sample by injecting pure methane gas at 5.6 MPa. Once the hydrate formed, it was dissociated by reducing the pore pressure to 2.8 MPa. This cycle was repeated by three times (dissociation test for the third cycle was not done) to examine the resulting changes in the hydrate distribution and seismic signatures. The repeated formation of hydrate resulted in significant changes in its distribution, which resulted in differences in the overall elastic properties of the sample, determined from the seismic measurements. Interestingly, the time intervals between the dissociation and subsequent formation of hydrate affected the rate of hydrate formation, shorter intervals resulting in faster formation. This memory effect, possibly caused by the presence of residual “seed crystals” in the pore water

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-30

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

  17. Methane Painting

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-09-07

    Why does Saturn look like it's been painted with a dark brush in this infrared image, but Dione looks untouched? Perhaps an artist with very specific tastes in palettes? The answer is methane. This image was taken in a wavelength that is absorbed by methane. Dark areas seen here on Saturn are regions with thicker clouds, where light has to travel through more methane on its way into and back out of the atmosphere. Since Dione (698 miles or 1,123 kilometers across) doesn't have an atmosphere rich in methane the way Saturn does, it does not experience similar absorption -- the sunlight simply bounces off its icy surface. Shadows of the rings are seen cast onto the planet at lower right. This view looks toward Saturn from the unilluminated side of the rings, about 0.3 degrees below the ring plane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on May 27, 2015 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA18336

  18. Landfill Methane

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  19. Nonequilibrium clumped isotope signals in microbial methane

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Nonequilibrium clumped isotope signals in microbial methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Methane seep events of the southern Joetsu Knoll since middle Pleistocene based on benthic foraminifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oi, T.; Akiba, F.; Matsumoto, R.; Kakuwa, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Gas hydrates were collected at several sites off Joetsu which presented anomalous seismic structures. "Gas chimneys", major host structures for shallow gas hydrates, were recognized ROV off Joetsu in eastern margin of the Japan Sea, as were a number of active methane seeps. The assemblage components and carbon isotope of benthic foraminifera, which are ubiquitous in global marine settings, can indicate methane seep environments (Akimoto et al., 1994; Bhaumik and Gupta, 2007). Preliminary work by Oi et al. (2015) documented the obvious occurrences of methane related foraminifera, Rutherfordoides sp., in three core sediments recovered from Umitaka Spur, west Oki Trough and north Mogami Trough in the eastern margin of the Japan Sea, and found them to comprise the early part of the MIS 2, calculated to 28-25ka. These records suggest that active methane seep events might occur at the same time during early MIS 2, but were confined within the last 100ka. In this study, we analyzed benthic foraminiferal fossils from drilling core J04RB (core length 122 m; one of the gas hydrate bearing sites at a southern part of the Joetsu Knoll) in order to document methane seep events during the last 500ka. Firstly, we estimated sedimentation ages from diatom biostratigraphy and identification of Aso-1 tephra. Based on diatom components, we recognized a boundary between NPD (Neogene North Pacific diatom Zonations) 12 and NPD11, estimated at 300 ka (MIS8/9; Yanagisawa and Akiba, 1998). The bottom age was estimated to almost 530-560 ka (around MIS14) especially from the alternation with warm and cold diatom zones (Akiba et al., 2014). Secondary, we could suppose the paleoenvironments from benthic foraminifera as below. 1. The rare benthic foraminifera during the cold stages (MIS8, MIS10, and MIS12) indicate anoxic bottom conditions characteristic of falling sea level, just as with MIS 2. 2. We recognized the continuous distributions of tiny methane related specimens of Rutherfordoides sp

  2. Two Mechanisms for Methane Release at the Paleocene/Eocene Boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, M. E.; Cramer, B. S.; Mountain, G. S.; Mountain, G. S.; Katz, S.; Miller, K. G.; Miller, K. G.

    2001-12-01

    The rapid global warming of the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) has been attributed to a massive methane release from marine gas hydrate reservoirs. Two mechanisms have been proposed for this methane release. The first relies on a deepwater circulation change and water temperature increase that was sufficiently large and rapid to trigger massive thermal dissociation of gas hydrate frozen beneath the seafloor (Dickens et al., 1995). The second relies on slope failure (via erosion or seismic activity) of the oversteepened continental margins of the western North Atlantic to allow methane to escape from gas reservoirs trapped between the hydrate-bearing sediments and the underlying reef front (Katz et al., in press). We evaluate thermal dissociation by modeling heat flow through the sediments to show the effect of the temperature change on the gas hydrate stability zone through time. We use Paleocene bottom water temperatures (constrained by isotope records) and assume an instantaneous water temperature increase (i.e., no time allotted for ocean circulation change and water mass mixing). This yields an end-member minimum estimate of >2350 years necessary to melt all gas hydrate at locations shallower than 1570m; gas hydrates at greater depths remain frozen. We also use this model to predict the amount of C12-enriched methane that could have contributed to the carbon isotope excursion (CIE). Using reasonable methane distributions within sediments, we conclude that thermal dissociation alone cannot account for the full magnitude of the CIE. We propose that thermal dissociation did not initiate the CIE; rather, a different mechanism injected a large amount of carbon into the atmosphere, causing global greenhouse warming that could have led to subsequent thermal dissociation. Methane remains a plausible source for this initial carbon injection; however, initial release would have resulted from mechanical disruption of sediments rather than thermal dissociation

  3. Seasonal and spatial methane dynamics in the water column of the central Baltic Sea (Gotland Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakobs, G.; Holtermann, P.; Berndmeyer, C.; Rehder, G.; Blumenberg, M.; Jost, G.; Nausch, G.; Schmale, O.

    2014-12-01

    The influence of hydrodynamic events on the distribution of methane and its microbial turnover was investigated during the period from August 2011 to August 2013 along a transect from the eastern (EGB) to the western Gotland Basin (WGB), central Baltic Sea. The water column was characterized by a pronounced methane concentration gradient between the methane-rich deep anoxic and the methane-poor upper oxic water layer. In both basins, enhanced vertical turbulent diffusivities in fall (November 2011) and winter (February 2012) lead to an enhanced flux of methane from the deep anoxic water towards the oxic-anoxic transition zone (redox zone). In both basins, the increased vertical transport of methane in fall/winter was mirrored by reduced methane turnover times measured within the redox zone. Moreover, specific biomarkers indicative for aerobic methanotrophic bacteria implied an increase in the microbial population size from August 2011 till February 2012, indicating a methanotrophic community adapting to the variable methane fluxes. The deep water methane inventory of the EGB showed a seasonal pattern, with concentrations increasing during spring (May) and summer (August) and decreasing during fall (November) and winter (February) as a direct result of the seasonality of the vertical turbulent diffusivity. In contrast, the WGB showed no clear correlation between the seasons and the observed deep water methane variability. Here, the impact of lateral weak intrusions penetrating the deep water layer was identified as the main factor controlling the variability of the deep water methane concentration. Moreover, methane concentration and carbon stable isotopic data (δ13C CH4) demonstrate that the previously reported production of methane in the oxic water column below the thermocline occurs in the entire central Baltic Sea from May through November, and despite the large methane pool in the underlying anoxic deep water, might govern the moderate methane flux to the

  4. Coalbed Methane Outreach Program

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  5. METHANE: INDUSTRIAL SOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The chapter provides qualitative information on the magnitude of industrial sources of methane and, where possible, provides information to allow the reader to quantify methane emissions. One difficulty in quantifying methane emissions from industry is the inconsistent treatment ...

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  8. Modeling of hydrodynamics of water-methane heterogeneous system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsvetova, Elena A.

    2015-11-01

    To study the behavior of heterogeneous methane-water system, a mathematical model describing the joint processes of hydrodynamics, transport, and transformation of methane in a deep freshwater body is used. There are three phases of methane in the system: solid (hydrate), gaseous (bubbles) and dissolved in water. We discuss the physical origin of phase transitions in the specific conditions of Lake Baikal and possible mathematical formulations of problems. Some preliminary results of calculations are presented.

  9. Methane oxidation in Saanich Inlet during summer stratification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, K.; Fujii, T.

    2013-12-01

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

  11. Characterization of Methane Hydrate Growth from Aqueous Solution by Raman Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, I.; Lu, W.; Yuan, S.; Li, J.; Burruss, R. C.

    2009-12-01

    of the capsule to ~0 °C. It is difficult to recognize the nucleation and growth of hydrate crystals under a microscope, but Raman spectroscopy was used to identify and map the distribution of hydrate crystals along the capsule. Near the original vapor-aqueous phase boundary (V-A B), Raman signals show 100% methane hydrate. However, the lack of dissolved methane in the solution further away from the V-A B limited the growth of hydrate, as indicated by the increase in water/hydrate ratio when the Raman spectrum, which combines signals from both water and hydrate, was collected further away from the V-A B. We are investigating other possible ways to map the distribution of hydrate crystals around the glass beads, including x-ray computed tomography, to understand the nature of methane hydrate crystals that grow around grains in marine sediments from pore water. These observations will improve our ability to interpret the geophysical responses (e.g., electric and acoustic signals) obtained from hydrate-bearing sediments in the field.

  12. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-02-01

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

  13. Implementation of subsea system to monitor in-situ temperature and formation pressure in methane hydrates sediments for the production test in 2017, offshore Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimoto, K.

    2016-12-01

    The methane hydrates phase changes, from solid to fluid, is governed by pressure drop and heat transportation through a geological formation. For the world's first offshore production test of methane hydrates conducted in 2013, the MH21 research team installed distributed temperature sensing (DTS) cables and array type resistance temperature devices (RTD) behind the casings of the monitoring wells. The temperature monitoring was continued over the period of 18 months. As a result, the thermal response of the methane hydrate-bearing sediment during depressurization was observed, and the obtained data was used to evaluate the methane dissociation behavior and to estimate the dissociation front radius from a producer well. The second offshore production test is planned in the same area in 2017 with the extended period up to one month. Two sets of a pair of monitoring and producer well were drilled in 2016. A pair of monitoring and producer wells is only 20m apart. An improved monitoring system is prepared for the second test with additional pressure measurement capability with new features of subsea system. The planed formation pressure measurement is expected to contribute not only for the evaluation of methane hydrate phase changes and estimation of its areal distribution but also the analyzing the interference in the vicinity of the producer wells from the geo-mechanical point of view. The DTS resolution was improved with longer averaging time than the previously utilized system. To accomplish the continuous acquisition up running over longer than 18 months to cover pre-flow and post-flow periods, the subsea acquisition system was equipped with an exchangeable subsea batteries by ROV. As for the surface communication method, the acoustic transponder was added in the subsea system. In this technical presentation, the improvements on the monitoring system are discussed and the scientific objectives for new measurements such as formation pressure are presented.

  14. Up with methane

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-12-01

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

  15. Methane Plumes on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torres, M.E.; Trehu, A.M.; Cespedes, N.; Kastner, M.; Wortmann, U.G.; Kim, J.-H.; Long, P.; Malinverno, A.; Pohlman, J.W.; Riedel, M.; Collett, T.

    2008-01-01

    Expedition 311 of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) to northern Cascadia recovered gas-hydrate bearing sediments along a SW-NE transect from the first ridge of the accretionary margin to the eastward limit of gas-hydrate stability. In this study we contrast the gas gas-hydrate distribution from two sites drilled ~ 8??km apart in different tectonic settings. At Site U1325, drilled on a depositional basin with nearly horizontal sedimentary sequences, the gas-hydrate distribution shows a trend of increasing saturation toward the base of gas-hydrate stability, consistent with several model simulations in the literature. Site U1326 was drilled on an uplifted ridge characterized by faulting, which has likely experienced some mass wasting events. Here the gas hydrate does not show a clear depth-distribution trend, the highest gas-hydrate saturation occurs well within the gas-hydrate stability zone at the shallow depth of ~ 49??mbsf. Sediments at both sites are characterized by abundant coarse-grained (sand) layers up to 23??cm in thickness, and are interspaced within fine-grained (clay and silty clay) detrital sediments. The gas-hydrate distribution is punctuated by localized depth intervals of high gas-hydrate saturation, which preferentially occur in the coarse-grained horizons and occupy up to 60% of the pore space at Site U1325 and > 80% at Site U1326. Detailed analyses of contiguous samples of different lithologies show that when enough methane is present, about 90% of the variance in gas-hydrate saturation can be explained by the sand (> 63????m) content of the sediments. The variability in gas-hydrate occupancy of sandy horizons at Site U1326 reflects an insufficient methane supply to the sediment section between 190 and 245??mbsf. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-07-15

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

  19. Seismic velocities for hydrate-bearing sediments using weighted equation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, M.W.; Hutchinson, D.R.; Collett, T.S.; Dillon, William P.

    1996-01-01

    A weighted equation based on the three-phase time-average and Wood equations is applied to derive a relationship between the compressional wave (P wave) velocity and the amount of hydrates filling the pore space. The proposed theory predicts accurate P wave velocities of marine sediments in the porosity range of 40-80% and provides a practical means of estimating the amount of in situ hydrate using seismic velocity. The shear (S) wave velocity is derived under the assumption that the P to S wave velocity ratio of the hydrated sediments is proportional to the weighted average of the P to S wave velocity ratios of the constituent components of the sediment. In the case that all constituent components are known, a weighted equation using multiphase time-average and Wood equations is possible. However, this study showed that a three-phase equation with modified matrix velocity, compensated for the clay content, is sufficient to accurately predict the compressional wave velocities for the marine sediments. This theory was applied to the laboratory measurements of the P and S wave velocities in permafrost samples to infer the amount of ice in the unconsolidated sediment. The results are comparable to the results obtained by repeatedly applying the two-phase wave scattering theory. The theory predicts that the Poisson's ratio of the hydrated sediments decreases as the hydrate concentration increases and the porosity decreases. In consequence, the amplitude versus offset (AVO) data for the bottom-simulating reflections may reveal positive, negative, or no AVO anomalies depending on the concentration of hydrates in the sediments.

  20. The response of methane hydrate offshore Svalbard to ocean warming during the next three centuries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin-Moreno, Hector; Minshull, Tim; Westbrook, Graham; Sinha, Bablu; Sarkar, Sudipta

    2014-05-01

    Large-scale rapid release of methane from hydrate may have contributed to past abrupt climate change inferred from the geological record. The discovery in 2008 of numerous plumes of methane gas escaping from the seabed of the West Svalbard continental margin at ~400 m water depth, and the increase in the temperature of the West Spitsbergen current over the latter part of the 20th century, suggest that hydrate is dissociating in this region. We evaluate the possible effect on this system of future climate change, using output from a range of established climate models to drive a hydrate system model. We model the dynamic response of hydrate-bearing sediments to predicted seabed temperature changes, over the range of water depths for which hydrate destabilisation may be occurring and the periods for which climate model output is available, using the TOUGH + HYDRATE (T+H) v1.2 code. We constrain the present-day sub-seabed distribution of gas and hydrate by using seismic data that image the BSR in water depths of more than 580 m and the upper limit of gas-related reflectors in shallower water. We "grow" this initial distribution by running the T+H model over the past 2 kyr, driven by a model of changing ocean temperature, to provide a present-day sub-seabed distribution of gas and hydrate that is close to that indicated by the seismic data. Our results suggest that the active dissociation area between latitudes of 78°26'N-78°40'N (~25 km length) will extend to ~480 m water depth by 2100 CE and to ~550 m by the 2300 CE. Over the next century, 3.9-6.9 Gg yr-1 of methane may be released on the West Svalbard margin, and over the next three centuries 5.3-29 Gg yr-1. Emissions increase with time because the area over which they occur grows over time. The time of first methane emission at a given water depth is controlled by the rate of warming of the overlying ocean. The methane flux until 2050 CE is relatively insensitive to choice of climate model or scenario, but there

  1. Heat pipe methanator

    DOEpatents

    Ranken, William A.; Kemme, Joseph E.

    1976-07-27

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

  2. Using the Deepwater Horizon Disaster to Investigate Natural Biogeochemical Cycling Associated with Rapid Methane Emissions (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, J. D.; Valentine, D. L.; Yvon-Lewis, S. A.; Heintz, M. B.; Hu, L.; Garcia Tigreros, F.; Du, M.; Chan, E. W.

    2010-12-01

    On April 20, a violent methane discharge severed the Deepwater Horizon rig from its well and oil and gas began spilling into the deep Gulf of Mexico at depths of ca. 1.5 km simulating a natural, rapid, and short-term methane release in deepwater. Given the estimated rates of emission of total material as well as the fraction methane by weight, one can estimate that a total of 0.1 to 0.3 Tg (10^12 g) of methane were emitted from a localized area in only 83 days. Measurements of methane oxidation and sea-air methane flux were measured in June indicating that at that time, oxidation rates were slow and sea-air fluxes were relatively insignificant. A deepwater methane plume was identified and in June 2010, the depth of the methane plume was on average from 950 - 1150 m with the maximum methane concentration measured being 183 μM. Analyses of diffusion, advective mixing, and methane oxidation were used to estimate that this plume has a lifetime of years to decades with the main controlling factor being the rate of methane oxidation. The persistent nature of this deepwater methane plume allows it to be used as a natural laboratory to investigate key hypotheses concerning the biogeochemical cycling of methane and oxygen associated with rapid, short-term methane discharges.

  3. Homicide by methane gas.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    Ruminant livestock represent the single largest anthropogenic source of the potent greenhouse gas methane, which is generated by methanogenic archaea residing in ruminant digestive tracts. While differences between individual animals of the same breed in the amount of methane produced have been observed, the basis for this variation remains to be elucidated. To explore the mechanistic basis of this methane production, we measured methane yields from 22 sheep, which revealed that methane yields are a reproducible, quantitative trait. Deep metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing demonstrated a similar abundance of methanogens and methanogenesis pathway genes in high and low methane emitters. However, transcription of methanogenesis pathway genes was substantially increased in sheep with high methane yields. These results identify a discrete set of rumen methanogens whose methanogenesis pathway transcription profiles correlate with methane yields and provide new targets for CH4 mitigation at the levels of microbiota composition and transcriptional regulation. © 2014 Shi et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  7. Methane photochemistry and methane production on Neptune

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-06-01

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

  8. Methane photochemistry and methane production on Neptune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1988-06-01

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

  9. Methane photochemistry and methane production on Neptune

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  10. Methane photochemistry and methane production on Neptune

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  11. Methane emission from sewers.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1973-01-01

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

  13. Methane carbon stable isotope signatures in waters and sediments of the Laptev Sea Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samarkin, V.; Semiletov, I. P.; Finke, N.; Shakhova, N. E.; Joye, S. B.

    2012-12-01

    There are a number of areas characterized high water column methane concentrations and active seafloor methane seepage zones along the shelf of the Laptev Sea. Degrading subsea permafrost, which is rich in organic carbon and possibly containing metastable methane gas hydrates, is considered a potent source of methane in this area. To better understand possible methane sources generating high methane areas of the Laptev Sea, carbon stable isotope signatures of water column methane and in surface and deep drill core sediment samples were obtained during summer 2011 and spring 2012 field campaigns. The δ13C values of methane dissolved in seawater at the drill site varied from -37.8 to -75.7 ‰. The range of δ13C values of methane in the surface sediments was from -51.3 to -58.2 ‰ and in drill core samples (up to 26.5 m depth) values ranged from -77.8 to -100 ‰. Methane carbon isotope signatures in seawater reflect various sources of methane and the influence of active aerobic methane oxidation in seawater and surface sediments. Significant depletion of methane from drill core with δ13C (to -100‰) is characteristic of hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis at cold near 0°C in situ temperatures, which was confirmed with δ14C-radiotracer rate incubations.

  14. Methane-Powered Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

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

  15. Mars methane engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bui, Hung; Coletta, Chris; Debois, Alain

    1994-01-01

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

  16. Dissolved methane in the US GEOTRACES Arctic section

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitmore, L. M.; Shiller, A. M.

    2016-02-01

    Methane is a greenhouse gas with a warming potential greater than that of carbon dioxide. The sediments of the Arctic Ocean are host to large reservoirs of methane which may be released as a consequence of climate change and thereby serve as a positive feedback. Determination of the distribution of dissolved methane in the Arctic Ocean and fluxes of this gas to the atmosphere is thus of great interest. We are currently determining dissolved methane in the Arctic Ocean, both in discrete samples from Niskin bottles as well as in continuous underway surface sampling, as part of the US GEOTRACES Arctic section. This section began in the Aleutians, headed north through the Bering and Chukchi Seas and arrived at the North Pole on 5 Sept. 2015 aboard USCGC Healy before heading south again. Preliminary results show near-surface dissolved methane concentrations ranging from near atmospheric equilibrium to values at least double atmospheric. With depth, concentrations typically increase to maxima associated with either the chlorophyll max or with apparent off-shelf methane transport. In deep waters of the Makarov Basin, dissolved methane is near 1 nM in concentration, similar to deep waters of other ocean basins.

  17. Methane emissions from cattle.

    PubMed

    Johnson, K A; Johnson, D E

    1995-08-01

    Increasing atmospheric concentrations of methane have led scientists to examine its sources of origin. Ruminant livestock can produce 250 to 500 L of methane per day. This level of production results in estimates of the contribution by cattle to global warming that may occur in the next 50 to 100 yr to be a little less than 2%. Many factors influence methane emissions from cattle and include the following: level of feed intake, type of carbohydrate in the diet, feed processing, addition of lipids or ionophores to the diet, and alterations in the ruminal microflora. Manipulation of these factors can reduce methane emissions from cattle. Many techniques exist to quantify methane emissions from individual or groups of animals. Enclosure techniques are precise but require trained animals and may limit animal movement. Isotopic and nonisotopic tracer techniques may also be used effectively. Prediction equations based on fermentation balance or feed characteristics have been used to estimate methane production. These equations are useful, but the assumptions and conditions that must be met for each equation limit their ability to accurately predict methane production. Methane production from groups of animals can be measured by mass balance, micrometeorological, or tracer methods. These techniques can measure methane emissions from animals in either indoor or outdoor enclosures. Use of these techniques and knowledge of the factors that impact methane production can result in the development of mitigation strategies to reduce methane losses by cattle. Implementation of these strategies should result in enhanced animal productivity and decreased contributions by cattle to the atmospheric methane budget.

  18. Detecting Methane Leaks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Song Jin

    2007-05-31

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

  20. Production, consumption, and migration of methane in accretionary prism of southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Nai-Chen; Yang, Tsanyao Frank; Hong, Wei-Li; Chen, Hsuan-Wen; Chen, Hsiao-Chi; Hu, Ching-Yi; Huang, Yu-Chun; Lin, Saulwood; Lin, Li-Hung; Su, Chih-Chieh; Liao, Wei-Zhi; Sun, Chih-Hsien; Wang, Pei-Ling; Yang, Tao; Jiang, Shao-Yong; Liu, Char-Shine; Wang, Yunshuen; Chung, San-Hsiung

    2017-08-01

    To systematically quantify the production, consumption, and migration of methane, 210 sediment cores were collected from offshore southwestern Taiwan and analyzed for their gas and aqueous geochemistry. These data, combined with published results, were used to calculate the diffusive methane fluxes across different geochemical transitions and to develop scenarios of mass balance and constrain deep microbial and thermogenic methane production rates within the accretionary prism. The results showed that methane diffusive fluxes ranged from 2.71 × 10-3 to 2.78 × 10-1 and from -1.88 × 10-1 to 3.97 mmol m-2 d-1 at the sulfate-methane-transition-zone (SMTZ) and sediment-seawater interfaces, respectively. High methane fluxes tend to be associated with structural features, suggesting a strong structural control on the methane transport. A significant portion of ascending methane (>50%) is consumed by anaerobic oxidation of methane at the SMTZ at most sites, indicating effective biological filtration. Gas compositions and isotopes revealed a transition from the predominance of microbial methane in the passive margin to thermogenic methane at the upper slope of the active margin and onshore mud volcanoes. Methane production and consumption at shallow depths were nearly offset with a small fraction of residual methane discharged into seawater. The flux imbalance arose primarily due to the larger production of methane through deep microbial and thermogenic processes at a magnitude of 1512-43,096 Tg Myr-1 and could be likely accounted for by the sequestration of methane into hydrate forms, and clay absorption.

  1. Deep subsurface microbial processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  2. The future of methane

    SciTech Connect

    Howell, D.G.

    1995-12-31

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

  3. Methanation assembly using multiple reactors

    DOEpatents

    Jahnke, Fred C.; Parab, Sanjay C.

    2007-07-24

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

  4. Eagle Fort Shale Play Methane Source and Fate Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  5. [Progress in Raman spectroscopic measurement of methane hydrate].

    PubMed

    Xu, Feng; Zhu, Li-hua; Wu, Qiang; Xu, Long-jun

    2009-09-01

    Complex thermodynamics and kinetics problems are involved in the methane hydrate formation and decomposition, and these problems are crucial to understanding the mechanisms of hydrate formation and hydrate decomposition. However, it was difficult to accurately obtain such information due to the difficulty of measurement since methane hydrate is only stable under low temperature and high pressure condition, and until recent years, methane hydrate has been measured in situ using Raman spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy, a non-destructive and non-invasive technique, is used to study vibrational modes of molecules. Studies of methane hydrate using Raman spectroscopy have been developed over the last decade. The Raman spectra of CH4 in vapor phase and in hydrate phase are presented in this paper. The progress in the research on methane hydrate formation thermodynamics, formation kinetics, decomposition kinetics and decomposition mechanism based on Raman spectroscopic measurements in the laboratory and deep sea are reviewed. Formation thermodynamic studies, including in situ observation of formation condition of methane hydrate, analysis of structure, and determination of hydrate cage occupancy and hydration numbers by using Raman spectroscopy, are emphasized. In the aspect of formation kinetics, research on variation in hydrate cage amount and methane concentration in water during the growth of hydrate using Raman spectroscopy is also introduced. For the methane hydrate decomposition, the investigation associated with decomposition mechanism, the mutative law of cage occupancy ratio and the formulation of decomposition rate in porous media are described. The important aspects for future hydrate research based on Raman spectroscopy are discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    The Curiosity rover recently detected a background of 0.7 ppb and spikes of 7 ppb of methane on Mars. This in situ measurement reorients our understanding of the martian environment and its potential for life, as the current theories do not entail any geological source or sink of methane that varies sub-annually. In particular, the 10-fold elevation during the southern winter indicates episodic sources of methane that are yet to be discovered. Here we suggest a near-surface reservoir could explain this variability. Using the temperature and humidity measurements from the rover, we find that perchlorate salts in the regolith deliquesce to form liquid solutions, and deliquescence progresses to deeper subsurface in the season of the methane spikes. We therefore formulate the following three testable hypotheses. The first scenario is that the regolith in Gale Crater adsorbs methane when dry and releases this methane to the atmosphere upon deliquescence. The adsorption energy needs to be 36 kJ mol(-1) to explain the magnitude of the methane spikes, higher than existing laboratory measurements. The second scenario is that microorganisms convert organic matter in the soil to methane when they are in liquid solutions. This scenario does not require regolith adsorption but entails extant life on Mars. The third scenario is that deep subsurface aquifers produce the bursts of methane. Continued in situ measurements of methane and water, as well as laboratory studies of adsorption and deliquescence, will test these hypotheses and inform the existence of the near-surface reservoir and its exchange with the atmosphere. Mars-Methane-Astrobiology-Regolith. Astrobiology 16, 539-550.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-12-31

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

  13. Geoengineering treatment of methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lockley, Andrew; Gardian, Alan

    2010-05-01

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

  14. Methanogenesis in the hot and deep: implication for the deep biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takai, K.; Nakamura, K.; Toki, T.; Tsunogai, U.

    2008-12-01

    Microbial methanogenesis in the deep-sea and deep subseafloor is a key process in the carbon cycle of Earth. Hyperthermophilic methanogens are important primary producers in the deep, hot ecosystem and may represent the most ancient type of life flourishing in the early Earth. Nevertheless, the biogeochemical function and impact of methanogens in deep sea and deep subseafloor are poorly understood, in part because it is difficult to replicate the high temperatures and hydrostatic pressures in the laboratory. We develop a new technique for cultivation of chemolithoautotrophs under high hydrostatic pressures. Using this technique, growth, survival and methane production of a newly isolated, hyperthermophilic methanogen Methanopyrus kandleri strain 116 are characterized under high temperatures and hydrostatic pressures. The results renewed the previous record of upper temperature limit (UTL) for life and the stable carbon isotopic fractionation of the microbiological methane production. These new findings are of great implication for the limits of life and function in the deep biosphere.

  15. Methane-derived authigenic carbonates from the northern Gulf of Mexico - MD02 Cruise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Y.; Matsumoto, R.; Paull, C.K.; Ussler, W.; Lorenson, T.; Hart, P.; Winters, W.

    2007-01-01

    Authigenic carbonates were sampled in piston cores collected from both the Tunica Mound and the Mississippi Canyon area on the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico during a Marion Dufresne cruise in July 2002. The carbonates are present as hardgrounds, porous crusts, concretions or nodules and shell fragments with or without carbonate cements. Carbonates occurred at gas venting sites which are likely to overlie gas hydrates bearing sediments. Electron microprobe, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thinsection investigations show that these carbonates are high-Mg calcite (6-21??mol% MgCO3), with significant presence of framboidal pyrite. All carbonates are depleted in 13C (??13C = - 61.9 to - 31.5??? PDB) indicating that the carbon is derived mainly from anaerobic methane oxidation (AMO). Age estimates based on 14C dating of shell fragments and on regional sedimentation rates indicate that these authigenic carbonates formed within the last 1000??yr in the Mississippi Canyon and within 5500??yr at the Tunica Mound. The oxygen isotopic composition of carbonates ranges from + 3.4 to + 5.9??? PDB. Oxygen isotopic compositions and Mg2+ contents of carbonates, and present in-situ temperatures of bottom seawater/sediments, show that some of these carbonates, especially from a core associated with underlying massive gas hydrates precipitated in or near equilibrium with bottom-water. On the other hand, those carbonates more enriched in 18O are interpreted to have precipitated from 18O-rich fluids which are thought to have been derived from the dissociation of gas hydrates. The dissociation of gas hydrates in the northern Gulf of Mexico within the last 5500??yr may be caused by nearby salt movement and related brines. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Deuterated methane observed on saturn.

    PubMed

    Fink, U; Larson, H P

    1978-07-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Methane Emission by Camelids

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Methane emission by camelids.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

    The Curiosity rover recently detected a background of 0.7 ppb and spikes of 7 ppb of methane on Mars. This in situ measurement reorients our understanding of the martian environment and its potential for life, as the current theories do not entail any geological source or sink of methane that varies sub-annually. In particular, the 10-fold elevation during the southern winter indicates episodic sources of methane that are yet to be discovered. Here we suggest a near-surface reservoir could explain this variability. Using the temperature and humidity measurements from the rover, we find that perchlorate salts in the regolith deliquesce to form liquid solutions, and deliquescence progresses to deeper subsurface in the season of the methane spikes. We therefore formulate the following three testable hypotheses. The first scenario is that the regolith in Gale Crater adsorbs methane when dry and releases this methane to the atmosphere upon deliquescence. The adsorption energy needs to be 36 kJ mol-1 to explain the magnitude of the methane spikes, higher than existing laboratory measurements. The second scenario is that microorganisms convert organic matter in the soil to methane when they are in liquid solutions. This scenario does not require regolith adsorption but entails extant life on Mars. The third scenario is that deep subsurface aquifers produce the bursts of methane. Continued in situ measurements of methane and water, as well as laboratory studies of adsorption and deliquescence, will test these hypotheses and inform the existence of the near-surface reservoir and its exchange with the atmosphere.

  1. Mapping Pluto Methane Ice

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-09-24

    The Ralph/LEISA infrared spectrometer on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft mapped compositions across Pluto's surface as it flew past the planet on July 14, 2015. On the left, a map of methane ice abundance shows striking regional differences, with stronger methane absorption indicated by the brighter purple colors, and lower abundances shown in black. Data have only been received so far for the left half of Pluto's disk. At right, the methane map is merged with higher-resolution images from the spacecraft's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19953

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

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Nabil; Garziglia, Sébastien; Ruffine, Livio

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sultan, Nabil; Garziglia, Sébastien; Ruffine, Livio

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Methane-driven oceanic eruptions and mass extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryskin, Gregory

    2003-09-01

    Focusing on the Permian-Triassic boundary, ca. 251 Ma, I explore the possibility that mass extinction can be caused by an extremely fast, explosive release of dissolved methane (and other dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide) that accumulated in the oceanic water masses prone to stagnation and anoxia (e.g., in silled basins). The mechanism of the explosive release is the same as in the Lake Nyos disaster of 1986, i.e., a water-column eruption caused by the interplay of buoyancy forces and exsolution of dissolved gas. The eruption brings to the surface deep anoxic waters that cause extinctions in the marine realm. Terrestrial extinctions are caused by explosions and conflagrations that follow the massive release of methane (the air-methane mixture is explosive at methane concentrations between 5% and 15%) and by the eruption-triggered floods. This scenario accounts well for the available data, and may be relevant to other phenomena.

  5. Methane production from coal by a single methanogen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayumi, Daisuke; Mochimaru, Hanako; Tamaki, Hideyuki; Yamamoto, Kyosuke; Yoshioka, Hideyoshi; Suzuki, Yuichiro; Kamagata, Yoichi; Sakata, Susumu

    2016-10-01

    Coal-bed methane is one of the largest unconventional natural gas resources. Although microbial activity may greatly contribute to coal-bed methane formation, it is unclear whether the complex aromatic organic compounds present in coal can be used for methanogenesis. We show that deep subsurface-derived Methermicoccus methanogens can produce methane from more than 30 types of methoxylated aromatic compounds (MACs) as well as from coals containing MACs. In contrast to known methanogenesis pathways involving one- and two-carbon compounds, this “methoxydotrophic” mode of methanogenesis couples O-demethylation, CO2 reduction, and possibly acetyl-coenzyme A metabolism. Because MACs derived from lignin may occur widely in subsurface sediments, methoxydotrophic methanogenesis would play an important role in the formation of natural gas not limited to coal-bed methane and in the global carbon cycle.

  6. Methane production from coal by a single methanogen.

    PubMed

    Mayumi, Daisuke; Mochimaru, Hanako; Tamaki, Hideyuki; Yamamoto, Kyosuke; Yoshioka, Hideyoshi; Suzuki, Yuichiro; Kamagata, Yoichi; Sakata, Susumu

    2016-10-14

    Coal-bed methane is one of the largest unconventional natural gas resources. Although microbial activity may greatly contribute to coal-bed methane formation, it is unclear whether the complex aromatic organic compounds present in coal can be used for methanogenesis. We show that deep subsurface-derived Methermicoccus methanogens can produce methane from more than 30 types of methoxylated aromatic compounds (MACs) as well as from coals containing MACs. In contrast to known methanogenesis pathways involving one- and two-carbon compounds, this "methoxydotrophic" mode of methanogenesis couples O-demethylation, CO2 reduction, and possibly acetyl-coenzyme A metabolism. Because MACs derived from lignin may occur widely in subsurface sediments, methoxydotrophic methanogenesis would play an important role in the formation of natural gas not limited to coal-bed methane and in the global carbon cycle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  8. Methane heat transfer investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  9. Methane heat transfer investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, R. T.

    1984-01-01

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

  10. Enzymatic Oxidation of Methane

    SciTech Connect

    Sirajuddin, S; Rosenzweig, AC

    2015-04-14

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

  11. Electrochemical methane sensor

    DOEpatents

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

    1984-08-27

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

  12. Laser beam methane detector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hinkley, E. D., Jr.

    1981-01-01

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

  13. Methane Emissions from Upland Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Methane and sulfur cycling in terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  15. Mapping Deep-Water Gas Emissions With Sidescan Sonar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaucke, Ingo; Weinrebe, Wilhelm; Sahling, Heiko; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Bürk, Dietmar

    2005-09-01

    Emissions of methane gas from cold seeps on the seafloor have a strong impact on a number of biogeochemical processes. These processes include the development of deep-sea benthic ecosystems via the process of anaerobic oxidation of methane [Boetius et al., 2000] or the precipitation of carbonates [Ritger et al., 1987]. The fluxes of other chemical species associated with methane emissions may even influence the chemical composition of seawater [Aloisi et al., 2004]. Such gas emissions may have been much more intensive in the past with a strong impact onglobal climate [Dickens, 1999], as suggested bycarbon isotope data. Many international and national research projects, such as the METRO collaborative project (Methane and Methane Hydrates Within the Black Sea: Structural Analyses, Quantification and Impact of a Dynamic Methane Reservoir), part of the German research and development program Geotechnologien, focus on these cold seep sites and stimulate interdisciplinary work between a variety of scientific groups.

  16. Methane metabolism in the archaeal phylum Bathyarchaeota revealed by genome-centric metagenomics.

    PubMed

    Evans, Paul N; Parks, Donovan H; Chadwick, Grayson L; Robbins, Steven J; Orphan, Victoria J; Golding, Suzanne D; Tyson, Gene W

    2015-10-23

    Methanogenic and methanotrophic archaea play important roles in the global flux of methane. Culture-independent approaches are providing deeper insight into the diversity and evolution of methane-metabolizing microorganisms, but, until now, no compelling evidence has existed for methane metabolism in archaea outside the phylum Euryarchaeota. We performed metagenomic sequencing of a deep aquifer, recovering two near-complete genomes belonging to the archaeal phylum Bathyarchaeota (formerly known as the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group). These genomes contain divergent homologs of the genes necessary for methane metabolism, including those that encode the methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) complex. Additional non-euryarchaeotal MCR-encoding genes identified in a range of environments suggest that unrecognized archaeal lineages may also contribute to global methane cycling. These findings indicate that methane metabolism arose before the last common ancestor of the Euryarchaeota and Bathyarchaeota. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  17. Abiotic Methane Synthesis: Caveats and New Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, R.; Sharma, A.

    2005-12-01

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

  18. Dissolved methane in the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean, 1992-2009; sources and atmospheric flux

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, Thomas D.; Greinert, Jens; Coffin, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    Methane concentration and isotopic composition was measured in ice-covered and ice-free waters of the Arctic Ocean during eleven surveys spanning the years of 1992-1995 and 2009. During ice-free periods, methane flux from the Beaufort shelf varies from 0.14 to 0.43 mg CH4 m-2 day-1. Maximum fluxes from localized areas of high methane concentration are up to 1.52 mg CH4 m-2 day-1. Seasonal buildup of methane under ice can produce short-term fluxes of methane from the Beaufort shelf that varies from 0.28 to 1.01 to mg CH4 m-2 day-1. Scaled-up estimates of minimum methane flux from the Beaufort Sea and pan-Arctic shelf for both ice-free and ice-covered periods range from 0.02 Tg CH4 yr-1 and 0.30 Tg CH4 yr-1 respectively to maximum fluxes of 0.18 Tg CH4 yr-1 and 2.2 Tg CH4 yr-1 respectively. A methane flux of 0.36 Tg CH4 yr-1from the deep Arctic Ocean was estimated using data from 1993-94. The flux can be as much as 2.35 Tg CH4 yr-1 estimated from maximum methane concentrations and wind speeds of 12 m/s, representing only 0.42% of the annual atmospheric methane budget of ~560 Tg CH4 yr-1. There were no significant changes in methane fluxes during the time period of this study. Microbial methane sources predominate with minor influxes from thermogenic methane offshore Prudhoe Bay and the Mackenzie River delta and may include methane from gas hydrate. Methane oxidation is locally important on the shelf and is a methane sink in the deep Arctic Ocean.

  19. Using stable isotopes to unravel the role of sea-ice in the methane cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapart, Célia Julia; Zhou, Jiayun; Carnat, Gauthier; Delille, Bruno; Niemann, Helge; Röckmann, Thomas; van der Veen, Carina; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2015-04-01

    Methane plays an important role in the Earth's climate system. The atmospheric methane concentration has increased in concert with the industrialization, but since the mid 80's the methane growth rate decreased to reach a near-zero level in 2000 and started to increase again from 2007 on. However, the underlying variations in sources and/or sinks that cause these variations are to date not well understood. To predict future climate, it is essential to unravel the processes controlling the methane cycle, especially in the Arctic regions, which are highly vulnerable to climate change and contain large methane reservoirs. Recently, an unexpected methane excess has been reported above Arctic sea-ice showing that sea-ice might play a significant role in the methane cycle. Nonetheless, the nature of the process leading to methane production in or nearby sea-ice has not yet been identified. We applied a new multi-proxy approach merging atmospheric chemistry, glaciology and biogeochemistry to understand and quantify the processes responsible for the methane excess above sea-ice. We performed methane isotope (δ13C and δD) analyses on sea-ice samples, as well as geochemical measurements, to determine the possible pathways involved in methane production and removal in or nearby sea-ice. We will present results from sea-ice samples drilled above the shallow-shelf in Barrow (Alaska) from January to June 2009 as well as above deep Southern Ocean locations in 2013. It has long been thought that methane present in sea-water would oxidize in or under the sea ice, but our first stable isotope sea ice profiles show no significant oxidation pattern. On the other hand, we show that landfast sea ice from both the shallow-shelf of Barrow and our deeper Southern Ocean site is supersaturated in methane and that under specific conditions methane is likely formed in the ice.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-15

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

  2. Combustion of Methane Hydrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roshandell, Melika

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Methane formation and methane oxidation by methanogenic bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Zehnder, A J; Brock, T D

    1979-01-01

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

  5. The basics of coalbed methane

    SciTech Connect

    2006-12-15

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

  6. Possible Methane Sources and Sinks

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-12-16

    This illustration portrays possible ways methane might be added to Mars atmosphere sources and removed from the atmosphere sinks. NASA Curiosity Mars rover has detected fluctuations in methane concentration in the atmosphere.

  7. Leaking methane reservoirs offshore Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minshull, T. A.; Westbrook, G. K.; Weitemeyer, K. A.; Sinha, M. C.; Goswami, B. K.; Marsset, B.

    2012-10-01

    Methane hydrate—a solid substance in which methane is trapped within ice-like crystals—is stable at low temperatures and high pressures and may be destabilized by ocean warming on both geological and human time scales. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and methane released from hydrate provides a potential positive feedback mechanism in global climate change [e.g., Archer and Buffett, 2005]—in theory, the more methane is released by the hydrates, the warmer the climate gets, causing the ocean to warm and release more methane. However, methane escaping from the seabed is oxidized and dissolved in the ocean, and insufficient methane may reach the atmosphere to affect the climate significantly. Its importance for climate change therefore depends on whether the flux from the seabed is great enough to overcome solution in the ocean and perturb atmospheric concentrations over sufficiently long time scales.

  8. Methane in well water from Lake Charles, Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, H.E.; Beck, J.N. )

    1992-05-01

    The Chicot aquifer underlies all or parts of 13 parishes in Southwestern Louisiana. The uses of the aquifer include agricultural, industrial and provides nearly 100% of the potable water for the area. Southwestern Louisiana has a large natural gas industry and its associated distribution facilities. Agriculture is unique in this region in that there is extensive rice production and crawfish farming which results in large areas being seasonally flooded. Much of this coastal region consists of fresh and brackish marsh. Methane gas has been found in varying concentrations throughout the environment. Concentrations of 1.6 ppm in atmospheric samples were reported by Stauffer et al. (1985). Relatively high concentrations of dissolved methane have been reported to occur in natural ecosystems as a result of leakage of hydrocarbon deposits, and also from biogenic sources. In deep subsurface environments, such as groundwater, methanogenesis has also been reported. Often the presence of methane in these deep subsurface systems is due to waste leachate contamination. Methane can degas from groundwater and accumulate in wells or buildings thereby posing a potential explosion hazard. In addition, groundwater containing dissolved methane can serve as a primary energy source for the development of microbial communities. Gunsalus et al. (1962) reported substantial microbial growth at the air-water interface of a methane-supersaturated well system in which microbial oxidation of methane provided the necessary energy for microbial growth. Microbial growth within a well system could create taste and odor problems among other things that would directly affect water quality. 8 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Max, Michael D.; Clifford, Stephen M.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Max, Michael D.; Clifford, Stephen M.

    2000-01-01

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

  11. The state, potential distribution, and biological implications of methane in the Martian crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Max, Michael D.; Clifford, Stephen M.

    2000-02-01

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

  12. High volume methane gas hydrate deposits in fine grained sediments from the Krishna-Godavari Basin: Analysis from Micro CT scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rees, E. V.; Clayton, C.; Priest, J.; Schultheiss, P. J.

    2009-12-01

    The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) Expedition 1, of 2006, investigated several methane gas hydrate deposits on the continental shelf around the coast of India. Using pressure coring techniques (HYACINTH and PCS), intact gas-hydrate bearing, fine-grained sediment cores were recovered during the expedition. Once recovered, these cores were rapidly depressurized and submerged in liquid nitrogen, therefore preserving the structure and form of the hydrate within the host sediment. High resolution X-Ray CT scanning was later employed to image the internal structure of the gas hydrate, analyze the trends in vein orientation, and collect volumetric data. A scanning resolution of 0.08mm allowed for a detailed view of the three-dimensional distribution of the hydrate within the sediment from which detailed analysis of vein orientation could be made. Two distinct directions of vein growth were identified in each core section studied, which suggested the presence of a specific stress regime in the Krishna-Godavari basin during hydrate formation. In addition, image segmentation of gas hydrate from the sediment allowed for volumetric analysis of the hydrate content within each core section. Results from this analysis showed that high volumes of gas hydrate, up to approximately 70% of the pore space, were present. This high volume of methane gas hydrate can have a significant impact on the stability of the host sediment if dissociation of the hydrate were to occur in-situ, through the development of excess pore pressure, increase in water content and change in salinity of the host sediment.

  13. Catalytic aromatization of methane.

    PubMed

    Spivey, James J; Hutchings, Graham

    2014-02-07

    Recent developments in natural gas production technology have led to lower prices for methane and renewed interest in converting methane to higher value products. Processes such as those based on syngas from methane reforming are being investigated. Another option is methane aromatization, which produces benzene and hydrogen: 6CH4(g) → C6H6(g) + 9H2(g) ΔG°(r) = +433 kJ mol(-1) ΔH°(r) = +531 kJ mol(-1). Thermodynamic calculations for this reaction show that benzene formation is insignificant below ∼600 °C, and that the formation of solid carbon [C(s)] is thermodynamically favored at temperatures above ∼300 °C. Benzene formation is insignificant at all temperatures up to 1000 °C when C(s) is included in the calculation of equilibrium composition. Interestingly, the thermodynamic limitation on benzene formation can be minimized by the addition of alkanes/alkenes to the methane feed. By far the most widely studied catalysts for this reaction are Mo/HZSM-5 and Mo/MCM-22. Benzene selectivities are generally between 60 and 80% at methane conversions of ∼10%, corresponding to net benzene yields of less than 10%. Major byproducts include lower molecular weight hydrocarbons and higher molecular weight substituted aromatics. However, carbon formation is inevitable, but the experimental findings show this can be kinetically limited by the use of H2 or oxidants in the feed, including CO2 or steam. A number of reactor configurations involving regeneration of the carbon-containing catalyst have been developed with the goal of minimizing the cost of regeneration of the catalyst once deactivated by carbon deposition. In this tutorial review we discuss the thermodynamics of this process, the catalysts used and the potential reactor configurations that can be applied.

  14. Methane reforming in a temperature-controlled DBD reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levko, Dmitry; Raja, Laxminarayan

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Phytoremediation of Atmospheric Methane

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-04-15

    bacterial genes for the three subunit proteins of the soluble methane monooxygenase and with two associated genes, the mmoG and the mmoC. The...plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, with the bacterial genes for the three subunit proteins of the soluble methane monooxygenase and with two associated genes...transcription and activity, perhaps as a chaperone.  Here we report that we have transformed a plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, with the  bacterial  genes for the

  16. Methane-Powered Airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  17. Geologic studies of deep natural gas resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyman, T. S.; Kuuskraa, V.A.

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Starvation and recovery in the deep-sea methanotroph Methyloprofundus sedimenti.

    PubMed

    Tavormina, Patricia L; Kellermann, Matthias Y; Antony, Chakkiath Paul; Tocheva, Elitza I; Dalleska, Nathan F; Jensen, Ashley J; Valentine, David L; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Jensen, Grant J; Dubilier, Nicole; Orphan, Victoria J

    2017-01-01

    In the deep ocean, the conversion of methane into derived carbon and energy drives the establishment of diverse faunal communities. Yet specific biological mechanisms underlying the introduction of methane-derived carbon into the food web remain poorly described, due to a lack of cultured representative deep-sea methanotrophic prokaryotes. Here, the response of the deep-sea aerobic methanotroph Methyloprofundus sedimenti to methane starvation and recovery was characterized. By combining lipid analysis, RNA analysis, and electron cryotomography, it was shown that M. sedimenti undergoes discrete cellular shifts in response to methane starvation, including changes in headgroup-specific fatty acid saturation levels, and reductions in cytoplasmic storage granules. Methane starvation is associated with a significant increase in the abundance of gene transcripts pertinent to methane oxidation. Methane reintroduction to starved cells stimulates a rapid, transient extracellular accumulation of methanol, revealing a way in which methane-derived carbon may be routed to community members. This study provides new understanding of methanotrophic responses to methane starvation and recovery, and lays the initial groundwork to develop Methyloprofundus as a model chemosynthesizing bacterium from the deep sea. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Methane-related microbial processes and metabolic stratification in a terrestrial mud volcano, southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, T.; Lin, L.; Wang, P.; Chu, P.; Wu, J.

    2009-12-01

    Mud volcanoes are distinct geological features with fluid, sediment and hydrocarbon-enriched gas mixtures emitted from deep sedimentary environments. Without microbial attenuation in the water column, methane emission to atmosphere from terrestrial mud volcanoes constitutes a significant proportion to the global methane inventory. Microorganisms mediating methane transformation would be particularly enriched in such environments. Their activity, distribution, and diversity involved remain not well-constrained. At Shin-Yan-Ny-Hu Mud Volcanoes (SYNHMV) of southwestern Taiwan, we performed series of measurements and analyses on the pore water and eruptive water samples using geochemical and molecular approaches, in order to determine microbial processes and community assemblages responsible for methane transformation. Geochemical measurements indicated that sulfate depletion was companied with methane increase as the depth increased. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) more depleted in 13C was observed at the depth of sulfate-methane transition zone (SMT, at ~12cm depth) than at other depth intervals. These characteristics of methane, sulfate, and DIC isotope profiles and the presence of ANME-1 sequences showed a high similarity with those of marine sediments, indicating the existence of active anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). From bottom to top, the increasing δ13C values of methane with the greatest value occurring in the eruptive surface water suggests methanogenesis and/or methane oxidation over the entire depth range. The contribution of microbial methane could be supported by molecular data of which methanogen-related archaea distributed throughout the entire depths, and the community structures were characterized by Methanosarcinales dominating at shallow depths and Methanomicrobiales dominating in deep sediments. The affinities and activities to substrate addition for methanogenesis appeared to be depth-dependent. Bacterial sequences affiliated with methane

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  3. Methane emissions from natural wetlands

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-09-01

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

  4. Methane Clathrate Hydrate Prospecting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duxbury, N.; Romanovsky, V.

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Sulfate, Methane, Alkalinity, Calcium and Carbon Isotope (δ13C) Profiles as an Indicator of Upward Methane Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, S.; Bhatnagar, G.; Chapman, W. G.; Dickens, G. R.; Dugan, B.; Hirasaki, G. J.

    2009-12-01

    The upward flux of methane is an important determinant for the amount of hydrate that may potentially be present in the sediments. One approach to measure methane flux is to relate sulfate methane transition (SMT) depth to the methane flux via anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) reaction (Borowski et al., 1996; Dickens and Snyder, 2009). However, numerous prominent authors such as Kastner argue that consumption of pore water sulfate in shallow sediments is a result of oxidation of particulate organic carbon (POC) as opposed to methane. Another contradictory argument between these two groups is based on the carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) across the SMT. The articles in Fire in the ice by Kastner et al. (2008) and Dickens and Snyder (2009) focus on these two important arguments in the gas hydrate community and warrant more detailed modeling to help resolve the questions raised by these two groups. We examine the two hypotheses by the two groups and reconcile their interpretations using Bhatnagar’s 1-D model (2008). This model computes methane and sulfate mass balances with both advective and diffusive fluxes. In addition to the mass balances, sulfate consumption reactions following the two pathways (i.e. POC driven and anaerobic oxidation of methane) have been included in the current model. Setting the model parameters to represent zero net flux, and thus assuming a closed system, we are able to justify Kastner’s interpretations. Bicarbonate (DIC) or alkalinity, Ca2+ (for calculating carbonate precipitation), and δ13C in DIC profiles are computed in addition to the sulfate and methane profiles along depth to provide an understanding of the contribution due to the deep bicarbonate flux. This deep flux of bicarbonate profile would validate Dickens’ interpretations and justify the dominance of the AOM reaction for consumption of sulfate in shallow sediments. This model serves as a tool to interpret methane flux with the

  6. The landfill methane balance: Model and practical applications

    SciTech Connect

    Bogner, J.; Spokas, K.

    1995-10-01

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

  7. Methane Emissions from Deciduous Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, A. L.; Teama, D.; Khalil, M. K.; Shearer, M. J.; Rosenstiel, T. N.

    2008-12-01

    There is some disagreement today over whether terrestrial plants present a significant source of methane to the atmosphere. Even if the plants are recognized as a source, there is no clear method to extrapolate plant emissions to the global atmospheric budget of methane and estimates vary widely. There is also no consensus on a mechanism for methane production and/or plant-mediated transport to the atmosphere. Here, we present preliminary data showing a significant flux of methane to the atmosphere from three wetland deciduous tree species. Ash (Fraxinus latifolia), cottonwood (Populus deltoides L.), and willow (Salix fluviatillis) were grown in a greenhouse under inundated rice-cultivation conditions using a rice straw amendment equivalent to 3 t/ha to enhance below ground anaerobic methane production. Results of measurements of redox potential and methane concentrations in soil pore water show significant methane production similar to that observed in rice plots (Oryza sative L. 'M-103') and controls of the same treatment. Measurements of the stable carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of methane dissolved in soil pore water show no significant difference from rice plots showing no discernable difference in bulk carbon substrate. Methane flux from trees, measured using static flux chamber and bag-tree enclosures, was found to be significantly higher than control treatments (i.e., no plants) but lower than rice plants overall. The carbon isotopic composition of emitted methane from tree species was found to be approximately 8‰ enriched in δ13C compared with methane emitted from rice. This difference in δ13C of emitted methane observed between rice and trees suggests the mechanisms contributing to regulating plant-mediated methane transport (e.g. transport, oxidation, carbon sources) may be quite distinct between diverse plant functional types. Identifying the mechanistic basis of this response will be a key development towards developing more accurate estimates

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-02

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

  9. Methane hydrate formation in confined nanospace can surpass nature

    DOE PAGES

    Casco, Mirian E.; Silvestre-Albero, Joaquín; Ramírez-Cuesta, Anibal J.; ...

    2015-03-02

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

  10. Methane hydrate formation in confined nanospace can surpass nature

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-02

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

  11. Project identification for methane reduction options

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, T.

    1996-12-31

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

  12. Solid methane on Triton and Pluto - 3- to 4-micron spectrophotometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spencer, John R.; Buie, Marc W.; Bjoraker, Gordon L.

    1990-01-01

    Methane has been identified in the Pluto/Charon system on the basis of absorption features in the reflectance spectrum at 1.5 and 2.3 microns; attention is presently given to observations of a 3.25 micron-centered deep absorption feature in Triton and Pluto/Charon system reflectance spectra. This absorption may indicate the presence of solid methane, constituting either the dominant surface species or a mixture with a highly transparent substance, such as N2 frost.

  13. Genomic markers of ancient anaerobic microbial pathways: sulfate reduction, methanogenesis, and methane oxidation.

    PubMed

    Teske, Andreas; Dhillon, Ashita; Sogin, Mitchell L

    2003-04-01

    Genomic markers for anaerobic microbial processes in marine sediments-sulfate reduction, methanogenesis, and anaerobic methane oxidation-reveal the structure of sulfate-reducing, methanogenic, and methane-oxidizing microbial communities (including uncultured members); they allow inferences about the evolution of these ancient microbial pathways; and they open genomic windows into extreme microbial habitats, such as deep subsurface sediments and hydrothermal vents, that are analogs for the early Earth and for extraterrestrial microbiota.

  14. Coal Bed Methane Primer

    SciTech Connect

    Dan Arthur; Bruce Langhus; Jon Seekins

    2005-05-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-07

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 49 new T dwarfs identified using methane imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Methane/nitrogen separation process

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-09-23

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

  5. Methane/nitrogen separation process

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-01-01

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

  6. Methanogens, Methane and Gastrointestinal Motility

    PubMed Central

    Triantafyllou, Konstantinos; Chang, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic fermentation of the undigested polysaccharide fraction of carbohydrates produces hydrogen in the intestine which is the substrate for methane production by intestinal methanogens. Hydrogen and methane are excreted in the flatus and in breath giving the opportunity to indirectly measure their production using breath testing. Although methane is detected in 30%-50% of the healthy adult population worldwide, its production has been epidemiologically and clinically associated with constipation related diseases, like constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation. While a causative relation is not proven yet, there is strong evidence from animal studies that methane delays intestinal transit, possibly acting as a neuromuscular transmitter. This evidence is further supported by the universal finding that methane production (measured by breath test) is associated with delayed transit time in clinical studies. There is also preliminary evidence that antibiotic reduction of methanogens (as evidenced by reduced methane production) predicts the clinical response in terms of symptomatic improvement in patients with constipation predominant irritable bowel syndrome. However, we have not identified yet the mechanism of action of methane on intestinal motility, and since methane production does not account for all constipation associated cases, there is need for high quality clinical trials to examine methane as a biomarker for the diagnosis or as a biomarker that predicts antibiotic treatment response in patients with constipation related disorders. PMID:24466443

  7. On methane pyrolysis special applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Biological and biochemical methane reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1989-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-25

    The process of nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo) was recently discovered and shown to be mediated by "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera" (M. oxyfera). Here, evidence for n-damo in three different freshwater wetlands located in southeastern China was obtained using stable isotope measurements, quantitative PCR assays, and 16S rRNA and particulate methane monooxygenase gene clone library analyses. Stable isotope experiments confirmed the occurrence of n-damo in the examined wetlands, and the potential n-damo rates ranged from 0.31 to 5.43 nmol CO2 per gram of dry soil per day at different depths of soil cores. A combined analysis of 16S rRNA and particulate methane monooxygenase genes demonstrated that M. oxyfera-like bacteria were mainly present in the deep soil with a maximum abundance of 3.2 × 10(7) gene copies per gram of dry soil. It is estimated that ∼0.51 g of CH4 m(-2) per year could be linked to the n-damo process in the examined wetlands based on the measured potential n-damo rates. This study presents previously unidentified confirmation that the n-damo process is a previously overlooked microbial methane sink in wetlands, and n-damo has the potential to be a globally important methane sink due to increasing nitrogen pollution.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brady, L.L.

    2000-01-01

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

  13. Effects of the 2014 Major Baltic Inflow on methane dynamics in the water column of the Central Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myllykangas, Jukka-Pekka; Jilbert, Tom; Jakobs, Gunnar; Rehder, Gregor; Hietanen, Susanna

    2017-04-01

    The Baltic Sea is a brackish water body which exhibits strong salinity stratification between its almost fresh surface and the comparatively high salinity deep waters. Due to this stratification, the sub-halocline deep waters are insulated from the surface and are typically anoxic and contain large amounts of methane. Deep water renewal occurs predominantly by irregular inflow phenomena, during which specific meteorological conditions cause large amounts of oxic and highly saline North Sea water to enter the Baltic via the Danish straits. In late 2014, the third largest inflow ever recorded entered the Baltic Sea and caused considerable changes in the southern and central Baltic water column oxygen conditions and consequently also in the deep-water methane pool. We studied these changes during 2015 on six cruises spanning between March and December. Following the inflow, methane that had previously accumulated in the stagnant deep waters was largely removed over a period of several months. Based on methane oxidation rate measurements, stable isotope data and comparisons to changes in corresponding phosphate inventories, we show strong evidence that most of the methane removal observed was due microbial oxidation. The intruding water masses interacted with the old stagnant water masses, creating complex redox environments, which seemed ideal for microbial oxidation of methane. However, a considerable amount of methane was also removed by physical displacement to other parts of the Baltic Sea, the relative importance of these two process changing over time. By the end of 2015, the deep waters were turning anoxic again and methane started accumulating, indicating that the ability of the inflow to ventilate the Baltic Sea was relatively short-lived.

  14. Deep Earthquakes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frohlich, Cliff

    1989-01-01

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

  15. Consumption of atmospheric methane by tundra soils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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