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Sample records for mexico hydrocarbon seep

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-01-01

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

  2. Important geological and biological impacts of natural hydrocarbon seeps: Northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, H.H. )

    1993-11-01

    Large volumes of siliciclastic sediments, input especially during periods of lowered sea level, and compensating salt tectonics have produced a continental slope that is arguably the most complex in today's oceans. Faults associated with deformation of salt and shale provide the primary migration routes for hydrocarbon gases, crude oil, brines, and formation fluids to the modern sea floor. Since the mid 1980s, it has become increasingly clearer that this process has an extremely important impact on the geomorphology, sedimentology, and biology of the modern continental slope. Hydrocarbon source, flux rate, and water depth are important determinants of sea-floor response. Under rapid flux conditions mud volcanoes (to 1 km wide and 50 m high) result, and hydrate hills (rich with authigenic carbonates), carbonate lithoherms, and isolated communities of chemosymbiotic organisms with associated hardgrounds represent much slower flux responses. In numerous moderate- to low-flux cases, cold seep products function to support islands of productivity for communities of chemosymbiotic organisms that contribute both directly (shell material) and through chemical byproducts to the production of massive volumes of calcium-magnesium carbonate in the form of hardgrounds, stacked slabs, and discrete moundlike buildups (commonly >20m). Seep-related carbonates of the Gulf of Mexico continental slope, as well those formed through degassing of accretionary prisms along active margins, are now thought to create hardgrounds and discrete buildups that are excellent analogs for many problematic carbonate buildups in ancient deep-water siliciclastic rocks.

  3. Exploration and Discovery of Hydrocarbon Seeps, Coral Ecosystems, and Shipwrecks in the Deep Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shank, T. M.; Hsing, P.; Carney, R. S.; Herrera, S.; Heyl, T.; Munro, C.; Bors, E.; Kiene, W.; Vecchione, M.; Evans, A.; Irion, J.; Warren, D.; Malik, M.; Lobecker, M.; Potter, J.

    2012-12-01

    Between March 20 and April 6, 2012, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer served as a platform for ship-board and shore-side scientists to explore the deep Gulf of Mexico, targeting the northern West Florida Escarpment, DeSoto Canyon, the vicinity (within 11km) of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) well, and deepwater shipwrecks. We systematically explored and discovered natural hydrocarbon seeps, diverse coral ecosystems, wooden and iron-hulled shipwrecks more than 100 years old colonized by coral communities, and sperm whale habitat between 600 and 1200m. A total of sixteen dives took advantage of new and recent maps to explore and groundtruth both hard and soft-bottom habitats, from cretaceous carbonates to mounds of coral rubble. The final ROV dive successfully groundtruthed expected methane-release areas imaged by the ship's mapping systems up to 1150m above the seafloor. The source of the mapping imagery was a stream of bubbles issuing from beneath thriving seep mussel communities. We visited five sites in the Mississippi Canyon (MC) area (lease blocks MC294, MC297, MC388, MC255, and MC036; the DWH incident took place in MC252). These sites were 11.3 km SW, 6.8 km SW, 7.6 km SW, 25.7 km E, and 27.4 km to the NE of the DWH, respectively. We used high-definition imaging systems on the Little Hercules ROV and Seirios camera platform to document more than 130 coral colonies and over 400 associated individual animals to continue to assessing the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All of these efforts were conducted to provide fundamental knowledge of unknown and poorly known regions, ecosystems, and items of historical significance in the deep Gulf of Mexico.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Stable isotope trophic patterns in echinoderm megafauna in close proximity to and remote from Gulf of Mexico lower slope hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carney, Robert Spencer

    2010-11-01

    Hydrocarbon-seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico have a high biomass that is exploited as a food source to varying degrees by the photosynthesis-dependent fauna inhabiting the surrounding mud bottom. A decline concurrent with ocean depth in detritus influx to that background habitat results in a much lower background biomass. The biomass contrast between population-rich seeps and depauperate mud bottom leads to the prediction that seep utilization by the background fauna should be extensive at all depths and should increase with depth. Species depth zonation makes like-species comparisons over the full depth of the Gulf of Mexico impossible. Seeps and normal bottom above 1000 m have different fauna from those below 1000 m. Lower slope seeps are surrounded by a fauna rich in echinoderm species, especially asteroids, ophiuroids, and holothuroids. All three taxa have species that are abundant within seeps and are probably endemic to them. They also contain species found only in mud background or within mud and seeps backgrounds. Tissue analyses of δ13C and δ15N of echinoderms collected by ROV within seeps and trawling away from seeps indicate a pattern of utilization similar to that found in upper slope seeps exploited by different taxa. Seastar and ophiuroid species abundant in or endemic to seeps have tissue isotope values reflecting seep chemosynthetic input via a free-living microbial detritus or predation. A single seep-endemic deposit-feeding holothuroid showed distinct seep tissue values. Background deposit-feeding holothuroids collected within seeps showed either no or only minor incorporation of seep carbon, indicating either a lack of access to seep detritus or short feeding times within the seep. A predicted extensive utilization of seep productivity at the deeper seeps was not found. Seeps may be relatively closed systems that require special adaptations of species in order for them to enter, exploit, and survive. Alternately, the surrounding deep

  6. Species Distribution and Population Connectivity of Deep-Sea Mussels at Hydrocarbon Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Faure, Baptiste; Schaeffer, Stephen W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seepage is widespread and patchy in the Gulf of Mexico, and six species of symbiont containing bathymodiolin mussels are found on active seeps over wide and overlapping depth and geographic ranges. We use mitochondrial genes to discriminate among the previously known and a newly discovered species and to assess the connectivity among populations of the same species in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Our results generally validate the morphologically based distribution of the three previously known GoM species of Bathymodiolus, although we found that approximately 10% of the morphologically based identifications were incorrect and this resulted in some inaccuracies with respect to their previously assigned depth and geographical distribution patterns. These data allowed us to confirm that sympatry of two species of Bathymodiolus within a single patch of mussels is common. A new species of bathymodiolin, Bathymodiolus sp. nov., closely related to B. heckerae was also discovered. The two species live at the same depths but have not been found in sympatry and both have small effective population sizes. We found evidence for genetic structure within populations of the three species of Bathymodiolinae for which we had samples from multiple sites and suggest limited connectivity for populations at some sites. Despite relatively small sample sizes, genetic diversity indices suggest the largest population sizes for B. childressi and Tamu fisheri and the smallest for B. heckerae and B. sp. nov. among the GoM bathymodiolins. Moreover, we detected an excess of rare variants indicating recent demographic changes and population expansions for the four species of bathymodiolins from the Gulf of Mexico. PMID:25859657

  7. Species distribution and population connectivity of deep-sea mussels at hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Faure, Baptiste; Schaeffer, Stephen W; Fisher, Charles R

    2015-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seepage is widespread and patchy in the Gulf of Mexico, and six species of symbiont containing bathymodiolin mussels are found on active seeps over wide and overlapping depth and geographic ranges. We use mitochondrial genes to discriminate among the previously known and a newly discovered species and to assess the connectivity among populations of the same species in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Our results generally validate the morphologically based distribution of the three previously known GoM species of Bathymodiolus, although we found that approximately 10% of the morphologically based identifications were incorrect and this resulted in some inaccuracies with respect to their previously assigned depth and geographical distribution patterns. These data allowed us to confirm that sympatry of two species of Bathymodiolus within a single patch of mussels is common. A new species of bathymodiolin, Bathymodiolus sp. nov., closely related to B. heckerae was also discovered. The two species live at the same depths but have not been found in sympatry and both have small effective population sizes. We found evidence for genetic structure within populations of the three species of Bathymodiolinae for which we had samples from multiple sites and suggest limited connectivity for populations at some sites. Despite relatively small sample sizes, genetic diversity indices suggest the largest population sizes for B. childressi and Tamu fisheri and the smallest for B. heckerae and B. sp. nov. among the GoM bathymodiolins. Moreover, we detected an excess of rare variants indicating recent demographic changes and population expansions for the four species of bathymodiolins from the Gulf of Mexico.

  8. Short- and Long-Term Dynamics of Gas Hydrate at GC600: A Gulf of Mexico Hydrocarbon Seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Johansen, C.; Silva, M.; Daneshgar, S.; Garcia-Pineda, O. G.; Shedd, W. W.

    2014-12-01

    The GC600 hydrocarbon seep is located at 1200 m in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Satellite data show it to be one of the most prolific sources of natural oil slicks in the entire GOM. We mapped its seafloor oil and gas vents with 3-D seismic, swath-bathymetry acoustics and submersible observations, documenting gas hydrate deposits, brine pools, benthic fauna, and authigenic carbonates. Geophysical profiles show subbottom locations of salt bodies and migration conduits. We deployed time-lapse imaging systems focused on individual vents to quantify release rates. Oil and gas flow upward along the flanks of an allochthonous salt body from source rocks at 10,000 m and migrate to the seafloor from faults emanating from the salt. Venting to the water column and surface consists of oily bubbles and occurs in two fields separated by ~1 km. The NW vent field (Megaplume) appears to be a more recent expression and hosts about three highly active vents; while the SE vent field (Birthday Candles) hosts more than 10 vents that are generally slower. We measured discharge rates of 2.6 cm3 s-1 and Megaplume and 0.09 cm3 s-1 at Birthday Candles. Although surface deposits of gas hydrate were evident at both vent fields, the Birthday Candles area featured dozens of conical mounds formed by gas hydrate that were dark brown due to large amounts of liquid oil perfused throughout the deposits. Large brine pools indicated gas hydrate formation at the seafloor. Venting occurred in horizontal fissures on the mounds, in which oil and hydrate combined to form short-lived chimneys and balloon-like structures. Ice worms (Hesiocaeca methanicola) were extremely abundant in burrows extending from the sediment into the gas hydrate. Proceeding farther to the SE, venting is reduced and absent, but surface carbonate deposits suggest relict gas hydrate mounds. We propose that the NW to SE trend at GC600 encompasses the progressive development of a biogeochemical filter that sequesters and

  9. Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seep communities. V. Biofacies and shell orientation of autochthonous shell beds below storm wave base

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, W.R.; Staff, G.M.; Powell, E.N.; MacDonald, I.R. )

    1990-02-01

    Clam and mussel assemblages associated with petroleum seepage on the Louisiana continental slope form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northwestern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Four distinct biofacies are present at the seeps, dominated respectively by mussels, lucinid clams, vesicomyid clams and tubeworms. Each primary seep site is typically composed of a series of not necessarily contiguous, autochthonous beds dominated by one biofacies. Mussels and tubeworms often co-occur, but neither normally co-occur with lucinid or vesicomyid clams. Lucinid and vesicomyid clam beds have the best chance of preservation. Despite essentially undisturbed accumulation in quiet water below storm wave base, concavity ratios rarely differ from 1:1 and frequency of articulation may be low. Dominantly concave-up valves previously reported in quiet water may result from man's fishing activities. Significant variability in shell orientation, frequency of articulation and concavity ratio between adjacent samples indicates that many individual stratigraphically-equivalent samples should be used in any taphofacies analysis of assemblages formed in low-energy environments. Lucinid beds which form below the sediment surface and vesicomyid beds which form on the sediment surface differed significantly in shell orientation and articulation frequency. Assemblages forming below storm wave base in low-energy environments may comprise a wide variety of taphofacies depending upon whether formation occurs primarily beneath the sediment surface or on the sediment surface, despite contemporaneous formation under similar environmental conditions.

  10. Macro-ecology of Gulf of Mexico cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Cordes, Erik E; Bergquist, Derk C; Fisher, Charles R

    2009-01-01

    Shortly after the discovery of chemosynthetic ecosystems at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, similar ecosystems were found at cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past two decades, these sites have become model systems for understanding the physiology of the symbiont-containing megafauna and the ecology of seep communities worldwide. Symbiont-containing bi-valves and siboglinid polychaetes dominate the communities, including five bathymodiolin mussel species and six vestimentiferan (siboglinid polychaete) species in the Gulf of Mexico. The mussels include the first described examples of methanotrophic symbiosis and dual methanotrophic/thiotrophic symbiosis. Studies with the vestimentiferans have demonstrated their potential for extreme longevity and their ability to use posterior structures for subsurface exchange of dissolved metabolites. Ecological investigations have demonstrated that the vestimentiferans function as ecosystem engineers and identified a community succession sequence from a specialized high-biomass endemic community to a low-biomass community of background fauna over the life of a hydrocarbon seep site.

  11. Elevated surface chlorophyll associated with natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Souza, N. A.; Subramaniam, A.; Juhl, A. R.; Hafez, M.; Chekalyuk, A.; Phan, S.; Yan, B.; MacDonald, I. R.; Weber, S. C.; Montoya, J. P.

    2016-03-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps occur on the sea floor along continental margins, and account for up to 47% of the oil released into the oceans. Hydrocarbon seeps are known to support local benthic productivity, but little is known about their impact on photosynthetic organisms in the overlying water column. Here we present observations with high temporal and spatial resolution of chlorophyll concentrations in the northern Gulf of Mexico using in situ and shipboard flow-through fluorescence measurements from May to July 2012, as well as an analysis of ocean-colour satellite images from 1997 to 2007. All three methods reveal elevated chlorophyll concentrations in waters influenced by natural hydrocarbon seeps. Temperature and nutrient profiles above seep sites suggest that nutrient-rich water upwells from depth, which may facilitate phytoplankton growth and thus support the higher chlorophyll concentrations observed. Because upwelling occurs at natural seep locations around the world, we conclude that offshore hydrocarbon seeps, and perhaps other types of deep ocean vents and seeps at depths exceeding 1,000 m, may influence biogeochemistry and productivity of the overlying water column.

  12. Investigating Hydrocarbon Seep Environments with High-Resolution, Three-Dimensional Geographic Visualizations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doolittle, D. F.; Gharib, J. J.; Mitchell, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detailed photographic imagery and bathymetric maps of the seafloor acquired by deep submergence vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) are expanding how scientists and the public view and ultimately understand the seafloor and the processes that modify it. Several recently acquired optical and acoustic datasets, collected during ECOGIG (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) and other Gulf of Mexico expeditions using the National Institute for Undersea Science Technology (NIUST) Eagle Ray, and Mola Mola AUVs, have been fused with lower resolution data to create unique three-dimensional geovisualizations. Included in these data are multi-scale and multi-resolution visualizations over hydrocarbon seeps and seep related features. Resolution of the data range from 10s of mm to 10s of m. When multi-resolution data is integrated into a single three-dimensional visual environment, new insights into seafloor and seep processes can be obtained from the intuitive nature of three-dimensional data exploration. We provide examples and demonstrate how integration of multibeam bathymetry, seafloor backscatter data, sub-bottom profiler data, textured photomosaics, and hull-mounted multibeam acoustic midwater imagery are made into a series a three-dimensional geovisualizations of actively seeping sites and associated chemosynthetic communities. From these combined and merged datasets, insights on seep community structure, morphology, ecology, fluid migration dynamics, and process geomorphology can be investigated from new spatial perspectives. Such datasets also promote valuable inter-comparisons of sensor resolution and performance.

  13. Hydrocarbon Seeps Formations: a Study Using 3-D Seismic Attributes in Combination with Satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Analyzing the magnitude of oil discharges from natural hydrocarbon seeps is important in improving our understanding of carbon contribution as oil migrates from deeper sediments to the water column, and then eventually to the atmosphere. Liquid hydrocarbon seepage in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is associated with deep cutting faults, associated with vertical salt movement, that provide conduits for the upward migration of oil and gas. Seeps transform surface geology and generate prominent geophysical targets that can be identified on 3-D seismic data as seafloor amplitude anomalies maps that correlate with the underlying deep fault systems. Using 3D seismic data, detailed mapping of the northern GOM has identified more than 21,000 geophysical anomalies across the basin. In addition to seismic data, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images have proven to be a reliable tool for localizing natural seepage of oil. We used a Texture Classifier Neural Network Algorithm (TCNNA) to process more than 1200 SAR images collected over the GOM. We quantified more than 900 individual seep formations distributed along the continental shelf and in deep water. Comparison of the geophysical anomalies with the SAR oil slick targets shows good general agreement between the distributions of the two indicators. However, there are far fewer active oil slicks than geophysical anomalies, most of which are probably associated with gas seepage. By examining several sites where the location of active venting can be determined by submersibles observations, we found that the active oily vents are often spatially offset from the most intense geophysical targets (i.e. GC600, GC767, GC204, etc). In addition to the displacement of the oil by deep sea currents, we propose that during the 100K years of activity, the location of the vents on the seafloor probably migrate as carbonate cementation reduces the permeability of the upper sediment. Many of the geophysical targets may represent

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fields, L.; Joye, S. B.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  17. Satellite SAR inventory of Gulf of Mexico oil seeps and shallow gas hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, O.; MacDonald, I. R.; Zimmer, B.; Shedd, W.; Frye, M.

    2009-04-01

    Satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the RADARSAT platform were used to detect and inventory persistent layers of oil released from natural seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Previously published inventories of natural oil seeps in the Gulf have been limited in scope and have relied on manual interpretation of satellite images (Mitchell et al. 1999; De Beukelaer et al. 2003). We developed a texture classifying neural network algorithm (TCNNA) to rapidly identify floating oil-layers in a semi-supervised operation. Oil layers, known as slicks, were recognized as long (10 km), narrow (100 m), often curvilinear streaks with distinct points of origin where oil reaches the ocean surface. After training the TCNNA over known seep areas and under a range of environmental and viewing conditions, the procedure was applied to 426 separate images that covered ocean areas of 100x100 km (Standard Beam Mode), 102 images that covered ocean areas of 450x450 km(ScanSAR Wide Beam Mode), and 84 images that covered ocean areas of 300x300 km (ScanSAR Narrow Beam Mode). This image data-set was collected between 1994 and 2007. It covered the entire Gulf of Mexico with a repeat rate of 4 to109, with the highest concentration over the continental slope. This effort identified a total of 4957 slicks among all the images. Of these, 287 appeared a single time in isolated locations and may therefore be false targets. The remaining slicks appeared in groups of up to 9 separate features, clustered in areas of 1 to 6.5 km across. When slicks appear within the same area in repeated images, they are judged to have a persistent source—a bubbling vent on the seafloor (MacDonald et al. 2002). Persistent sources represent geologic formations defined by migrating hydrocarbons that may include multiple separate vents. A total of 559 formations were defined by repeated imaging; these comprised a maximum of 1995 and a minimum of 1263 individual vents. This total was distributed between U

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  19. Mercury concentrations, speciation, and isotopic composition in sediment from a cold seep in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Brown, Garry; Sleeper, Kenneth; Johnson, Marcus W; Blum, Joel D; Cizdziel, James V

    2013-12-15

    Total-Hg, monomethylmercury (MMHg), and mercury isotopic composition was determined in sediment from a cold seep and background sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM). Total-Hg averaged 50 ng/g (n=28), ranged from 31 to 67 ng/g, and decreased with depth (0-15 cm). MMHg averaged 0.91 ng/g (n=18), and ranged from 0.2 to 1.9 ng/g. There was no significant difference for total-Hg or MMHg between cold seep and background sites. δ(202)Hg ranged from -0.5 to -0.8‰ and becomes more negative with depth (r=0.989). Mass independent fractionation (Δ(199)Hg) was small but consistently positive (0.04-0.12‰); there was no difference between cold seeps (Δ(199)Hg = +0.09±0.03; n=7, 1SD) and background sites (Δ(199)Hg=+0.07±0.02; n=5, 1SD). This suggests that releases of hydrocarbons at the cold seep do not significantly alter Hg levels, and that cold seeps are likely not major sources of MMHg to nGoM waters.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boelmann, J.; Zielinski, O.

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leifer, Ira; Boles, Jim

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  4. Anaerobic degradation of propane and butane by sulfate-reducing bacteria enriched from marine hydrocarbon cold seeps

    PubMed Central

    Jaekel, Ulrike; Musat, Niculina; Adam, Birgit; Kuypers, Marcel; Grundmann, Olav; Musat, Florin

    2013-01-01

    The short-chain, non-methane hydrocarbons propane and butane can contribute significantly to the carbon and sulfur cycles in marine environments affected by oil or natural gas seepage. In the present study, we enriched and identified novel propane and butane-degrading sulfate reducers from marine oil and gas cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and Hydrate Ridge. The enrichment cultures obtained were able to degrade simultaneously propane and butane, but not other gaseous alkanes. They were cold-adapted, showing highest sulfate-reduction rates between 16 and 20 °C. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene libraries, followed by whole-cell hybridizations with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes showed that each enrichment culture was dominated by a unique phylotype affiliated with the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus cluster within the Deltaproteobacteria. These phylotypes formed a distinct phylogenetic cluster of propane and butane degraders, including sequences from environments associated with hydrocarbon seeps. Incubations with 13C-labeled substrates, hybridizations with sequence-specific probes and nanoSIMS analyses showed that cells of the dominant phylotypes were the first to become enriched in 13C, demonstrating that they were directly involved in hydrocarbon degradation. Furthermore, using the nanoSIMS data, carbon assimilation rates were calculated for the dominant cells in each enrichment culture. PMID:23254512

  5. Bivalves from the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous hydrocarbon seep carbonates from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Hryniewicz, Krzysztof; Little, Crispin T S; Nakrem, Hans Arne

    2014-09-02

    The bivalve fauna from the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous hydrocarbon seep deposits from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard comprises at least 17 species, four of which belong to chemosymbiotic taxa often found at seeps. These are the solemyid Solemya (Petrasma) cf. woodwardiana; Nucinella svalbardensis sp. nov., which belongs to a group of large Nucinella species known from seeps and deep water environments; the lucinid bivalve, Tehamatea rasmusseni sp. nov., included in a genus widely distributed in other Jurassic-Cretaceous seeps; and Cretaxinus hurumi gen. et sp. nov., which is the oldest known thyasirid and is discussed in relation to other large seep-restricted genera in this family. The remaining species in the fauna belong to 'background' genera known from coeval normal marine sediments, mostly from the Boreal area. These include the nuculid Dacromya chetaensis, two new malletiids (Mesosaccella rogovi sp. nov. and M. toddi sp. nov.), the oxytomiid Oxytoma octavia, at least three Buchia species, at least two pectinids, including Camptonectes (Costicamptonectes) aff. milnelandensis and Camptonectes (Camptochlamys) clatrathus, the limid Pseudolimea arctica, the arcticid Pseudotrapezium aff. groenlandicum, and the pholadomyid Goniomya literata. The large number of 'background' species in the bivalve fauna is probably a reflection of the shallow-water setting of the Svalbard seeps. This might also explain the lack of the seep-restricted modiomorphid bivalve Caspiconcha from the fauna. With solemyids, Nucinella, lucinids and thyasirids, the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous bivalve seep fauna of Svalbard contains typical representatives of the Mesozoic bivalve seep faunas, both long established and young evolutionary colonists.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  7. Ethane and propane emissions to the ocean and atmosphere from 550-1200 m seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, E. A.; Kastner, M.; Leifer, I.

    2009-12-01

    Ethane (C2) and propane (C3) are highly reactive trace gases in the atmosphere that are important precursors of organic aerosols and contribute to ozone formation. The global flux of C2 and C3 based on tropospheric removal are 13-15.5 and 12 Tg/yr, respectively. Current emission inventories that include fossil fuel, biomass burning, biofuels, and waste treatment underestimate the global flux by ~2-5 Tg/yr. Previous studies have indicated that the open ocean contributes only marginally to global C2 and C3 budgets, but very few studies have investigated the natural emissions from marine seeps and their potential significance to global C2 and C3 fluxes. During a recent study at 3 seeps at depths from 550-600 m in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), a submersible was used to collect water column samples immediately adjacent to 5 bubble plumes from the seafloor vents to the sea surface. Bottom water C2 and C3 concentrations above the seeps ranged from 24.3-2220 and 15.8-385 nM, respectively. Ethane and propane concentrations decrease by ~50-95% in the bottom 200 m. Mixed layer C2 and C3 concentrations were extremely high ranging from 6.3-147 and 4.0-110 nM. These mixed layer C2 and C3 concentrations are up to 1×105 and 5×105 times saturation with respect to atmospheric equilibrium. In general, C1/C2 and C2/C3 ratios decrease from the seafloor to the mixed layer with surface ratios lower than previously reported from marine seeps and the ocean, indicating preferential loss of light hydrocarbons from the plumes during water column transit. Preliminary results from numerical bubble models show the importance of bubble plume-driven upwelling flows, bubble size, and pressure effects for enhancing hydrocarbon transfer to the mixed layer. Based on contemporaneous wind speeds at the study sites, preliminary estimates for the diffusive C2 and C3 fluxes to the atmosphere above the seeps range from 10-400 μmol/m2d; 2-4 orders of magnitude greater than estimates from the open ocean

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  9. Geochemical analysis of potash mine seep oils, collapsed breccia pipe oil shows and selected crude oils, Eddy County, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Palacas, J.G.; Snyder, R.P.; Baysinger, J.P.; Threlkeld, C.N.

    1982-01-01

    Oil shows, in the form of oil stains and bleeding oil, in core samples from two breccia pipes, Hills A and C, Eddy County, New Mexico, and seepage oils in a potash mine near Hill C breccia pipe are geochemically similar. The geochemical similarities strongly suggest that they belong to the same family of oils and were derived from similar sources. The oils are relatively high in sulfur (0.89 to 1.23 percent), rich in hydrocarbons (average 82 percent), relatively high in saturated hydrocarbon/aromatic hydrocarbon ratios (average 2.9), and based on analysis of seep oils alone, have a low API gravity (average 19.4?). The oils are for the most part severely biodegraded as attested by the loss of n-paraffin molecules. Geochemical comparison of seven crude oils collected in the vicinity of the breccia pipes indicates that the Yates oils are the likely source of the above family of oils. Six barrels of crude oil that were dumped into a potash exploration borehole near Hill C breccia pipe, to release stuck casing, are considered an unlikely source of the breccia pipe and mine seep oils. Volumetric and hydrodynamic constraints make it highly improbable that such a small volume of 'dumped' oil could migrate over distances ranging from about 600 feet to 2.5 miles to the sites of the oil shows.

  10. An evaluation of petrogenic hydrocarbons in northern Gulf of Alaska continental shelf sediments - The role of coastal oil seep inputs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kolak, J.J.; Payne, J.R.; Van Kooten, G. K.

    2007-01-01

    We compared hydrocarbons in water, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and riparian sediment collected from coastal watersheds along the Yakataga foreland with corresponding hydrocarbons in Gulf of Alaska benthic sediments. This comparison allows an evaluation of hydrocarbon contributions to marine sediments from natural oil seeps, coal and organic matter (e.g., kerogen) associated with eroding siliciclastic rocks. The samples from oil seeps show extensive loss of low-molecular weight n-alkanes (hydrocarbon fingerprints on the SPM and riparian sediment samples collected upstream from the oil seeps. After entering the fluvial systems, hydrocarbons from seep oils are rapidly diluted, and associate with the SPM phase as oil-mineral-aggregates (OMA). Johnston Creek, the watershed containing the most prolific seep, conveys detectable seep-derived hydrocarbons to the Gulf of Alaska, but overall seep inputs are largely attenuated by the (non-seep) petrogenic hydrocarbon content of the high SPM loads. In contrast to the geochemical signature of seep oil, Gulf of Alaska benthic sediments are characterized by abundant alkylated naphthalene homologues, relatively smooth n-alkane envelopes (n-C9 through n-C34, but with elevated levels of n-C27, n-C29, and n-C31), and small UCMs. Further, hydrocarbons in benthic sediments are highly intercorrelated. Taken together, these characteristics indicate that seep oil is a negligible petrogenic hydrocarbon source to the Gulf of Alaska continental shelf. Coaly material separated from the benthic sediment samples using a dense liquid (???2.00 g cm-3) also accounted for a minor portion of the total PAH (1-6%) and total n-alkanes (0.4-2%) in the benthic samples. Most of the hydrocarbon burden in the sediments is found in the denser sediment fraction and likely derives from organic matter contributed by denudation of siliciclastic formations in

  11. Modification of sediment geochemistry by the hydrocarbon seep tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi: A combined empirical and modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dattagupta, Sharmishtha; Arthur, Michael A.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2008-05-01

    The sulfide-oxidizing symbiotic tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi is a dominant member of deep-sea hydrocarbon seep ecosystems on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor. This tubeworm forms large aggregations that can live for centuries and provide habitat for an assortment of associated fauna. Previous studies have suggested that persistence of these tubeworms for such long time periods is contingent upon their ability to supply sediments with sulfate. To examine this hypothesis, we characterized the tubeworm's geochemical environment using pore water peepers and compared the measured depth profiles with those predicted by a sulfur diffusion-reaction-supply model. We found a large range of sulfide concentrations in the tubeworm habitat, indicating that this species can live under conditions of both high and low sulfide availability. In sediments rich in hydrocarbons, we found compelling evidence that tubeworms enhance microbial sulfide production, likely through a combination of sulfide uptake and sulfate release through their root-like structures buried in the sediment. Our in situ empirical data combined with the results of the geochemical model corroborate previous physiological studies that indicate that tubeworms release between 70% and 90% of the sulfate produced during sulfide oxidation by their symbionts across their roots into the surrounding sediment. In sediments low in hydrocarbon content, sulfide production is hydrocarbon-limited rather than sulfate-limited, and our model predicts that tubeworm growth could be limited by low sulfide availability.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  13. Initial results of comparing cold-seep carbonates from mussel- and tubeworm-associated environments at Atwater Valley lease block 340, northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Roberts, Harry H.

    2010-11-01

    Chemosymbiotic macrofauna (such as mussels and tubeworms) and authigenic carbonates are typical of many hydrocarbon seeps. To address whether mussels and tubeworms could impact the sediment geochemistry of their habitat where authigenic carbonates are precipitated, a comparative study of petrographic and geochemical features of the authigenic carbonates from mussel- and tubeworm-associated environments at hydrocarbon seeps in Atwater Valley lease area block 340 (AT340) of the Gulf of Mexico was undertaken. Both mussel- and tubeworm-associated carbonates are dominated by high-magnesium calcite (HMC) and aragonite, and two tubeworm-associated carbonate samples have minor amounts of dolomite. The δ13C values of all carbonates are low, ranging from -60.8‰ to -35.5‰ PDB. Although there is much overlap, surprisingly the δ13C values of mussel-associated carbonates are generally higher than those of tubeworm-associated carbonates (-51.8‰ vs. -54.8‰ for an average of over 60 subsamples). It is suggested that (1) carbon isotopic vital effect of seep mussels and tubeworms, (2) fluid physical pumping of mussels, and (3) release of sulfate by tubeworm roots may be responsible for the relatively lower δ13C values of tubeworm-associated carbonates. It has been suggested that the heterogeneities in mineralogy and stable carbon isotope geochemistry of the seep carbonates may be attributed to the activity of macrofauna (mussels and tubeworms) and associated microbes. Our observations also suggest that at AT340 the geochemical evolution of seep macrofauna is from a mussel-dominated environment to a mixed mussel-tubeworm environment, and finally to a mostly tubeworm-dominated environment. This evolution is controlled mainly by the habitat, e.g., hydrocarbon seep flux.

  14. Epizooic metazoan meiobenthos associated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations from cold seeps of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Bright, M; Plum, C; Riavitz, L A; Nikolov, N; Martinez Arbizu, P; Cordes, E E; Gollner, S

    2010-11-01

    The abundance and higher taxonomic composition of epizooic metazoan meiobenthic communities associated with mussel and tubeworm aggregations of hydrocarbon seeps at Green Canyon, Atwater Valley, and Alaminos Canyon in depths between 1400 and 2800 m were studied and compared to the infaunal community of non-seep sediments nearby. Epizooic meiofaunal abundances of associated meiobenthos living in tubeworm bushes and mussel beds at seeps were extremely low (usually <100 ind. 10 cm(-2)), similar to epizooic meiofauna at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and the communities were composed primarily of nematodes, copepods, ostracods, and halacarids. In contrast, epizooic meiobenthic abundance is lower than previous studies have reported for infauna from seep sediments. Interestingly, non-seep sediments contained higher abundances and higher taxonomic diversity than epizooic seep communities, although in situ primary production is restricted to seeps.

  15. Epizooic metazoan meiobenthos associated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations from cold seeps of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Bright, M.; Plum, C.; Riavitz, L.A.; Nikolov, N.; Martinez Arbizu, P.; Cordes, E.E.; Gollner, S.

    2010-01-01

    The abundance and higher taxonomic composition of epizooic metazoan meiobenthic communities associated with mussel and tubeworm aggregations of hydrocarbon seeps at Green Canyon, Atwater Valley, and Alaminos Canyon in depths between 1400 and 2800 m were studied and compared to the infaunal community of non-seep sediments nearby. Epizooic meiofaunal abundances of associated meiobenthos living in tubeworm bushes and mussel beds at seeps were extremely low (usually <100 ind. 10 cm−2), similar to epizooic meiofauna at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and the communities were composed primarily of nematodes, copepods, ostracods, and halacarids. In contrast, epizooic meiobenthic abundance is lower than previous studies have reported for infauna from seep sediments. Interestingly, non-seep sediments contained higher abundances and higher taxonomic diversity than epizooic seep communities, although in situ primary production is restricted to seeps. PMID:21264038

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1990-01-01

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

  17. Jurassic hydrocarbon seep-carbonates in the High Atlas Basin (Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodin, Stephane; Kothe, Tim; Rose, Johannes; Krencker, Francois-Nicolas; Kabiri, Lahcen

    2015-04-01

    In the central High Atlas Basin of Morocco, the occurrence of Jurassic hydrocarbon seeps is observed in two distinct horizons: (1) the uppermost Polymorphum ammonite zone (Lower Toarcian) and (2) the Sauzei (eq. Propiquans) ammonite zone (Lower Bajocian). The Toarcian seep-carbonates are made of 5 - 6cm in diameter, half-spherical concretions that surround two vertical and closely spaced tubes, parallel to each other. Each tube is less than 1cm in diameter and filled with late diagenetic cements. The tubes are interpreted as burrow trace fossil. The concretions are embedded within an organic-matter rich interval and resemble to the Tisoa siphonalis concretions described in the upper Pliensbachian of Western Europe. Carbon isotope values decrease from the rim to the center of the concretion (from 1 to -7 per mil) whereas oxygen isotope values remain stable around -7 per mil. The C-isotope values of the concretion rim are similar to the bulk carbon isotope values of the embedding rocks. The most negative C-isotope values indicate that the carbon source of the carbonate precipitated in the centre of the concretion is likely sourced from the organoclastic sulfate reduction zone. The Bajocian seep-carbonates are observed within the dark calcareous mudstone of the Sauzei zone. One peculiarly well-exposed seep system shows the presence of a plumbing system leading to a 20cm thick carbonate crust showing the occasional occurrence of chimney structures on its upper part. The high abundance of serpulids clusters within the carbonate crust shows that it was precipitated at the water-sediment interface. The pipe structures of the plumbing system are composed of an external micritic rim enclosing a central tube that can be up to 12cm large. A complex, multi-phased infilling is observed in the inner part of the pipe and separated from the rim by a millimetric pyritized crust. Carbon isotope values are comprised between -20 per mil and -8 per mil for the micritic rim, whereas the

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-01

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

  19. Temperature-Dependent Variations in Sulfate-Reducing Communities Associated with a Terrestrial Hydrocarbon Seep

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Ting-Wen; Lin, Li-Hung; Lin, Yue-Ting; Song, Sheng-Rong; Wang, Pei-Ling

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps are an important source of naturally emitted methane over geological time. The exact community compositions responsible for carbon cycling beneath these surface features remain obscure. As sulfate reduction represents an essential process for anoxic organic mineralization, this study collected muddy fluids from a high-temperature hydrocarbon seep in Taiwan and analyzed community structures of sulfate-supplemented sediment slurries incubated anoxically at elevated temperatures. The results obtained demonstrated that sulfate consumption occurred between 40°C and 80°C. Dominant potential sulfate reducers included Desulfovibrio spp., Desulfonatronum spp., Desulforhabdus spp., and Desulfotomaculum spp. at 40°C, Thermodesulfovibrio spp. at 50°C, Thermodesulfovibrio spp. and Thermacetogenium spp. at 60°C, Thermacetogenium spp. and Archaeoglobus spp. at 70°C, and Archaeoglobus spp. at 80°C. None of these potential sulfate reducers exceeded 7% of the community in the untreated sample. Since no exogenous electron donor was provided during incubation, these sulfate reducers appeared to rely on the degradation of organic matter inherited from porewater and sediments. Aqueous chemistry indicated that fluids discharged in the region represented a mixture of saline formation water and low-salinity surface water; therefore, these lines of evidence suggest that deeply-sourced, thermophilic and surface-input, mesophilic sulfate-reducing populations entrapped along the subsurface fluid transport could respond rapidly once the ambient temperature is adjusted to a range close to their individual optima. PMID:25273230

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-09-01

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

  3. Deep sequencing of Myxilla (Ectyomyxilla) methanophila, an epibiotic sponge on cold-seep tubeworms, reveals methylotrophic, thiotrophic, and putative hydrocarbon-degrading microbial associations.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Shawn M; Lee, On On; Lafi, Feras F; Yang, Jiangke; Wang, Yong; Young, Craig M; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2013-02-01

    The encrusting sponge Myxilla (Ectyomyxilla) methanophila (Poecilosclerida: Myxillidae) is an epibiont on vestimentiferan tubeworms at hydrocarbon seeps on the upper Louisiana slope of the Gulf of Mexico. It has long been suggested that this sponge harbors methylotrophic bacteria due to its low δ(13)C value and high methanol dehydrogenase activity, yet the full community of microbial associations in M. methanophila remained uncharacterized. In this study, we sequenced 16S rRNA genes representing the microbial community in M. methanophila collected from two hydrocarbon-seep sites (GC234 and Bush Hill) using both Sanger sequencing and next-generation 454 pyrosequencing technologies. Additionally, we compared the microbial community in M. methanophila to that of the biofilm collected from the associated tubeworm. Our results revealed that the microbial diversity in the sponges from both sites was low but the community structure was largely similar, showing a high proportion of methylotrophic bacteria of the genus Methylohalomonas and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria of the genera Cycloclasticus and Neptunomonas. Furthermore, the sponge microbial clone library revealed the dominance of thioautotrophic gammaproteobacterial symbionts in M. methanophila. In contrast, the biofilm communities on the tubeworms were more diverse and dominated by the chemoorganotrophic Moritella at GC234 and methylotrophic Methylomonas and Methylohalomonas at Bush Hill. Overall, our study provides evidence to support previous suggestion that M. methanophila harbors methylotrophic symbionts and also reveals the association of PAH-degrading and thioautotrophic microbes in the sponge.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Pengfei; Feng, Dong; Chen, Duofu

    2014-06-01

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

  5. Community composition and temporal change at deep Gulf of Mexico cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lessard-Pilon, Stephanie; Porter, Matthew D.; Cordes, Erik E.; MacDonald, Ian; Fisher, Charles R.

    2010-11-01

    Specialized cold-seep communities have been known to exist in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) since the mid-1980s, but only recently has extensive research been carried out on sites at depths >1000 m. This study uses a combination of imagery and analyses within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) framework to examine the composition of mussel and tubeworm communities at depths between 2200 and 2800 m in the Gulf of Mexico, spatial relations among the fauna, and changes in these communities over time. Photomosaics at three discrete seep communities were obtained in 2006 and a video mosaic of another community was obtained in 1992. Each of these communities was re-imaged in 2007. In addition, quantitative physical collections were made within two of the photomosaic sites and used to confirm the identification of megafauna, quantify the occurrence of smaller and cryptic macrofauna, and allow first-order calculations of biomass within the sites. Substrate type had a significant effect on community composition. Significant associations were identified between live mussels with anemones, shrimp, and sea cucumbers, and between tubeworm aggregations and Munidopsis sp. crabs and encrusting fauna, indicating differences in the composition of megafauna associated with adjacent mussel and tubeworm aggregations. Little change was seen in the total area colonized by foundation fauna (tubeworms and mussels) between years at any site. However, significant changes occurred in the positions of mussels, even over periods of a single year, at all sites, and evidence for the establishment of new tubeworm aggregations between 1992 and 2007 was noted at one site. These photomosaics provide data suggesting that environmental conditions can change over small spatial and temporal scales and mussels move in response to these changes. The successional trends are examined and compared to the patterns that have been documented in shallow (<1000-m depth) Gulf of Mexico seep communities.

  6. Stable isotopes provide new insights into vestimentiferan physiological ecology at Gulf of Mexico cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Becker, Erin Leigh; Macko, Stephen A; Lee, Raymond W; Fisher, Charles R

    2011-02-01

    On the otherwise low-biomass seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) continental slope, natural oil and gas seeps are oases of local primary production that support lush animal communities. Hundreds of seep communities have been documented on the continental slope, and nutrition derived from seeps could be an important link in the overall GoM food web. Here, we present a uniquely large and cohesive data set of δ(13)C, δ(15)N, and δ(34)S compositions of the vestimentiferan tubeworms Escarpia laminata and Lamellibrachia sp. 1, which dominate biomass at GoM seeps and provide habitat for hundreds of other species. Our sampling design encompassed an entire region of the GoM lower slope, allowing us for the first time to assess spatial variability in isotope compositions and to robustly address long-standing hypotheses about how vestimentiferans acquire and cycle nutrients over their long lifespan (200+ years). Tissue δ(13)C values provided strong evidence that larger adult vestimentiferans use their buried roots to take up dissolved inorganic carbon from sediment pore water, while very small individuals use their plume to take up carbon dioxide from the seawater. δ(34)S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (<1 m(2) area), indicating high variability in the inorganic sulfur pools on a very small spatial scale. This finding supports the hypothesis that vestimentiferans use their roots to cycle sulfate and sulfide between their symbionts and free-living consortia of sulfate-reducing archaea in the sediment. Finally, consistent differences in δ(15)N between two cooccurring vestimentiferan species provided the first strong evidence for partitioning of inorganic resources, which has significant implications for the ecology and evolution of this taxonomic group.

  7. New records and a new species of bivalve (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from Miocene hydrocarbon seep deposits, North Island, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Saether, Kristian P; Jingeng, Sha; Little, Crispin T S; Campbell, Kathleen A

    2016-08-18

    Fourteen bivalve taxa belonging to 11 families are present in at least 13 early to middle Miocene hydrocarbon seep deposits in the East Coast Basin, North Island, New Zealand. Among these are at least three new species, one of which, Semeloidea (s. l.) bexhavenensis sp. nov. (Lasaeidae), is described here. New distribution data are recorded for bivalve species in the families Limidae, Propeamussiidae, Malleidae and Solemyidae. Additional morphological details of Gigantidas coseli (Mytilidae) and Pratulum quinarium (Cardiidae) are provided based upon previously unrecorded internal shell features. Palaeoecological analysis indicates that bivalves utilized a broad range of modes of life and niches within the New Zealand Miocene seep environment, and no more than ca. 30% of these bivalve species were likely to have been obligate to seeps.

  8. Hydrocarbon Seepage and Gas Hydrate Deposits in the Southern Gulf of Mexico - Results From R/V Sonne Cruise 174.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naehr, T. H.; MacDonald, I. R.; Bohrmann, G.; Briones, E. E.

    2003-12-01

    During October and November 2003, the German ship R/V Sonne visited the Campeche Escarpment in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The primary objectives of the cruise were the following: 1) extend our knowledge of gas hydrates buried just below the seafloor in the deep ocean; 2) determine whether natural hydrocarbon seeps in the southern Gulf of Mexico support chemosynthetic fauna, and 3) pinpoint sites for future exploration with deep-diving submersibles. Recent findings indicate that marine deposits of gas hydrate represent an important contribution to the global carbon cycle. Methane released from the gas hydrate reservoir may interact with other components of the Earth system influencing climate and is a potential source of energy. Although most gas hydrate is buried under hundreds of meters of marine sediment, the Gulf of Mexico is one place where it exists at or near the seafloor, where it can be sampled and studied. Gas hydrate is one component of the natural hydrocarbon system of the Gulf of Mexico; other components - known primarily from the northern Gulf - include oil seeps that produce natural oil "spills" visible from space and lush communities of chemosynthetic tubeworms and mussels. Natural oil seeps also occur in the southern Gulf of Mexico on the Campeche Escarpment and were expected to harbor chemosynthetic fauna and possibly gas hydrates. Recently, satellite remote sensing has been successfully used to pinpoint active seeps based on the unusual synthetic aperture radar signature generated by oil slicks on the sea surface in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Using a combination of satellite image analyses, acoustic profiling techniques, detailed bathymetric mapping, and interpretation of seafloor reflectivity data, we were able to identify and study such areas of active seafloor seepage of hydrocarbons in the previously unexplored southern Gulf of Mexico.

  9. Benthic Community Structure and Sediment Geochemical Properties at Hydrocarbon Seeps Along the Continental Slope of the Western North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demopoulos, A. W.; Bourque, J. R.; Brooke, S.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, methane seepage has been increasingly documented along the continental slope of the U.S. Atlantic margin. In 2012 and 2013, two seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (410-450 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (1600 m). Both sites contain extensive mussel beds and microbial mats. Sediment cores and grab samples were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300 mm) in relationship to the associated sediment environment (organic carbon and nitrogen, stable isotopes 13C and 15N, grain size, and depth) of mussel beds, mats, and slope habitats. Macrofaunal densities in microbial mats were four times greater than those present in mussel beds and slope sediments. Macrofaunal communities were distinctly different both between depths and among habitat types. Specifically, microbial mat sediments were dominated by the annelid families Dorvilleidae, Capitellidae, and Tubificidae, while mussel habitats had higher proportions of crustaceans. Diversity was lower in Baltimore microbial mat habitats, but higher in mussel and slope sediments compared to Norfolk seep habitats found at deeper depths. Multivariate statistical analysis identified sediment carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratios and 13C values as important variables for structuring the macrofaunal communities. Higher C:N ratios were present within microbial mat habitats and depleted 13C values occurred in sediments adjacent to mussel beds found in Norfolk Canyon seeps. Differences in the quality and source of organic matter present in the seep habitats are known to be important drivers in macrofaunal community structure and associated food webs. The multivariate analysis provides new insight into the relative importance of the seep sediment quality in supporting dense macrofaunal communities compared

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the distribution and abundance of viruses in deep-sea cold-seep environments. Like hydrothermal vents, seeps support communities of macrofauna that are sustained by chemosynthetic bacteria. Sediments close to these communities are hypothesized to be more microbiologically active and therefore to host higher numbers of viruses than non-seep areas. Push cores were taken at five types of Gulf of Mexico habitats at water depths below 1000 m using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The habitats included non-seep reference sediment, brine seeps, a microbial mat, an urchin field, and a pogonophoran worm community. Samples were processed immediately for enumeration of viruses and prokaryotes without the addition of a preservative. Prokaryote counts were an order of magnitude lower in sediments directly in contact with macrofauna (urchins, pogonophorans) compared to all other samples (107 vs. 108 cells g-1 dry weight) and were highest in areas of elevated salinity (brine seeps). Viral-Like Particle (VLP) counts were lowest in the reference sediments and pogonophoran cores (108 VLP g-1 dry wt), higher in brine seeps (109 VLP g-1 dry wt), and highest in the microbial mats (1010 VLP g-1 dry wt). Virus-prokaryote ratios (VPR) ranged from <5 in the reference sediment to >30 in the microbial mats and >60 in the urchin field. VLP counts and VPR were all significantly greater than those reported from sediments in the deep Mediterranean Sea and in most cases were higher than recent data from a cold-seep site near Japan. The high VPR suggest that greater microbial activity in or near cold-seep environments results in greater viral production and therefore higher numbers of viruses.

  11. Evidence of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in chemosynthetic mussels from the Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Willett, K.; Thomsen, J.; Wilson, C.; McDonald, S.; Safe, S.

    1995-12-31

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that controls expression of various genes including cytochrome P450. Polynuclear aromatic and halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons are agonists for the AhR in fish and mammalian species. Previously, a homologous AhR has not been identified in marine invertebrate species. Chemosynthetic mussels were collected from gas and petroleum seeps in the Gulf of Mexico to investigate the presence of the AhR and the induction of the cytochrome P450 system. Aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase and glutathione S-transferase activities in the gill and hepatopancreas were elevated in the petroleum seep mussels relative to those from the gas seep. A nuclear AhR in the hepatopancreas was detected in both mussel populations after treatment with [{sup 3}H]-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (tcdd) followed by sucrose density gradient analysis. Gel mobility shift assays using a labeled dioxin responsive element (DRE) oligonucleotide and tcdd-transformed mussel cytosol showed a retarded band which could be competed with excess unlabeled DRE. Results from gel shifts indicated specific binding of the tcdd-mussel AhR complex to its responsible element. Finally, PCR primers designed to amplify a 700 base pair region of the human AhR detected AhR mRNA in both mussel populations. The sequence of this PCR product is being determined. The presence of the AhR in marine invertebrates has important implications in the evolutionary age of the AhR.

  12. Natural hydrocarbon seepage on the continental slope to the east of Mississippi Canyon in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman Talukder, Asrarur; Ross, Andrew; Crooke, Emma; Stalvies, Charlotte; Trefry, Christine; Qi, Xiubin; Fuentes, David; Armand, Stephane; Revill, Andrew

    2013-06-01

    5 June to 15 September 2010, a multidisciplinary marine survey was undertaken onboard the M/V Ryan Chouest in the region of the BP Deepwater Horizon incident site in the Gulf of Mexico. The primary objective of the survey was the continuous monitoring of hydrocarbon abundance from sea surface down to a maximum depth of 120 m. Compound abundances were inferred using a hydrocarbon sensor array with associated vertical cast system. In order to better understand the potential inputs from natural seepage in the vicinity of the spill, a Simrad EK60 high-resolution split beam echo sounder, operated at 38 kHz, was included in the survey between 7 July and 15 September 2010. During this period, three fields of natural seeps characterized by hydroacoustic flares were studied in detail. These seep fields are at water depths of approximately 430 m, 880 m, and 1370 m. They are associated with extensive cold seep systems. In particular, the area around Seep Field 1 (the vicinity of Deepwater Horizon) seems to present a vast area of active natural seepages in the Gulf of Mexico. The repeat surveys at two of the fields suggested that the cold seep systems here were active, with expulsions of hydrocarbons into the water column, at least during the periods of our acoustic surveys. Multiple lines of evidence gathered during the survey indicated that the observed hydroacoustic flares at the three fields identified consisted of oily bubble streams of gases of thermogenic origin. However, direct observation and sampling are required to reveal the precise nature of the flares. In the deep water Gulf of Mexico, the formation of a hydrate rim around bubbles seems to be a very important mechanism for the long transport of methane and oil in the water column.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  14. Bedded Barite Deposits from Sonora (nw Mexico): a Paleozoic Analog for Modern Cold Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canet, C.; Anadón, P.; González-Partida, E.; Alfonso, P.; Rajabi, A.; Pérez-Segura, E.; Alba-Aldave, L. A.

    2013-05-01

    The Mazatán barite deposits represent an outstanding example of Paleozoic bedded barite, a poorly understood type of mineral deposit of major economic interest. The largest barite bodies of Mazatán are hosted within an Upper Carboniferous flysch succession, which formed part of an accretionary wedge related to the subduction of the Rheic Ocean beneath Gondwana. As well, a few barite occurrences are hosted in Upper Devonian, pre-orogenic turbidites. A variety of mineralized structures is displayed by barite, including: septaria nodules, enterolitic structures, rosettes and debris-flow conglomerates. Barite is accompanied by chalcedony, pyrite (framboids) and berthierine. Gas-rich fluid inclusions in barite were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy and methane was identified, suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the environment within which barite precipitated. 13C-depleted carbonates (δ13C: -24.3 to -18.8‰) were found in the barite deposits; they formed through anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction, and yield negative δ18O values (-11.9 to -5.2‰) reflecting the isotopic composition of Devonian-Carboniferous seawater. Methane-derived carbonates occur in modern hydrocarbon seeps and have been reported from Mesozoic and Cenozoic seep sediments, but they have never before been described in Paleozoic bedded barite deposits. δ34S of barite varies from +17.6 to +64.1‰, with the lowest values overlapping the range for coeval seawater sulfate; this distribution indicates a process of sulfate reduction. Barite precipitation can be explained by mixing of methane- and barium-rich fluids with pore-water (seawater) containing sulfate residual from microbial reduction. Two analyses from barite gave an 87Sr/86Sr within and slightly above the range for seawater at the time of deposition, with 0.708130 and 0.708588, which would preclude the involvement of hydrothermal fluids in the mineralization process.

  15. Quantification of gas bubble emissions from submarine hydrocarbon seeps at the Makran continental margin (offshore Pakistan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RöMer, Miriam; Sahling, Heiko; Pape, Thomas; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Spieß, Volkhard

    2012-10-01

    Evidence for twelve sites with gas bubble emissions causing hydroacoustic anomalies in 18 kHz echosounder records (`flares') was obtained at the convergent Makran continental margin. The hydroacoustic anomalies originating from hydrocarbon seeps at water depths between 575 and 2870 m disappeared after rising up to 2000 m in the water column. Dives with the remotely operated vehicle `Quest 4000 m' revealed that several individual bubble vents contributed to one hydroacoustic anomaly. Analyzed gas samples suggest that bubbles were mainly composed of methane of microbial origin. Bubble size distributions and rise velocities were determined and the volume flux was estimated by counting the emitted bubbles and using their average volume. We found that a low volume flux (Flare 1 at 575 mbsl: 90 ml/min) caused a weak hydroacoustic signal in echograms whereas high volume fluxes (Flare 2 at 1027 mbsl: 1590 ml/min; Flare 5 C at 2870 mbsl: 760 ml/min) caused strong anomalies. The total methane bubble flux in the study area was estimated by multiplying the average methane flux causing a strong hydroacoustic anomaly in the echosounder record with the total number of equivalent anomalies. An order-of-magnitude estimate further considers the temporal variability of some of the flares, assuming a constant flux over time, and allows a large range of uncertainty inherent to the method. Our results on the fate of bubbles and the order-of-magnitude estimate suggest that all of the ˜40 ± 32 × 106 mol methane emitted per year within the gas hydrate stability zone remain in the deep ocean.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Coastal pollution hazards in southern California observed by SAR imagery: stormwater plumes, wastewater plumes, and natural hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Digiacomo, Paul M.; Washburn, Libe; Holt, Benjamin; Jones, Burton H.

    2004-01-01

    Stormwater runoff plumes, municipal wastewater plumes, and natural hydrocarbon seeps are important pollution hazards for the heavily populated Southern California Bight (SCB). Due to their small size, dynamic and episodic nature, these hazards are difficult to sample adequately using traditional in situ oceanographic methods. Complex coastal circulation and persistent cloud cover can further complicate detection and monitoring of these hazards. We use imagery from space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR), complemented by field measurements, to examine these hazards in the SCB. The hazards are detectable in SAR imagery because they deposit surfactants on the sea surface, smoothing capillary and small gravity waves to produce areas of reduced backscatter compared with the surrounding ocean. We suggest that high-resolution SAR, which obtains useful data regardless of darkness or cloud cover, could be an important observational tool for assessment and monitoring of coastal marine pollution hazards in the SCB and other urbanized coastal regions.

  18. Association of oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities with oil discoveries, upper continental slope, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; MacDonald, I.R.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; Guinasso, N.L. Jr. )

    1993-09-01

    A belt of sea-floor oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities has been mapped across the upper continental slope, offshore Louisiana, at depths ranging from 2000 to 1000 m. Visibly oil-stained sediments and thelmogenic gas hydrates have been recovered using piston cores and research submarines. Biomarker fingerprinting of seep oils suggests an origin from deeply buried Cretaceous or Jurassic source rocks characterized by marine kerogen. The abundance of seeps provides a unique opportunity to define their relationship to oil discoveries including Auger, Cooper, Jolliet, Marquette, Vancouver, Popeye, and Mars. Seeps are preferentially distributed over shallow salt ridges that rim intrasalt basin cooking pots, over salt diapirs, and along shallow fault traces near discoveries. Diagnostic seep-related features on the sea floor include gas hydrate mounds and outcrops, pockmarks and craters, mud volcanoes, and carbonate buildups. Many of the 50 chemosynthetic communities including tube worms, mussels, or clams thus far documented in the gulf occur near discoveries. Recent imagery from orbital platforms, including the space shuttle, shows that natural oil slicks are common on the sea surface in this area. Additional mapping of seep distributions should contribute to better defining of the limits of the deep Gulf play fairway.

  19. Novel alkane hydroxylase gene (alkB) diversity in sediments associated with hydrocarbon seeps in the Timor Sea, Australia.

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps provide inputs of petroleum hydrocarbons to widespread areas of the Timor Sea. Alkanes constitute the largest proportion of chemical components found in crude oils, and therefore genes involved in the biodegradation of these compounds may act as bioindicators for this ecosystem's response to seepage. To assess alkane biodegradation potential, the diversity and distribution of alkane hydroxylase (alkB) genes in sediments of the Timor Sea were studied. Deduced AlkB protein sequences derived from clone libraries identified sequences only distantly related to previously identified AlkB sequences, suggesting that the Timor Sea maybe a rich reservoir for novel alkane hydroxylase enzymes. Most sequences clustered with AlkB sequences previously identified from marine Gammaproteobacteria though protein sequence identities averaged only 73% (with a range of 60% to 94% sequence identities). AlkB sequence diversity was lower in deep water (>400 m) samples off the continental slope than in shallow water (<100 m) samples on the continental shelf but not significantly different in response to levels of alkanes. Real-time PCR assays targeting Timor Sea alkB genes were designed and used to quantify alkB gene targets. No correlation was found between gene copy numbers and levels of hydrocarbons measured in sediments using sensitive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques, probably due to the very low levels of hydrocarbons found in most sediment samples. Interestingly, however, copy numbers of alkB genes increased substantially in sediments exposed directly to active seepage even though only low or undetectable concentrations of hydrocarbons were measured in these sediments in complementary geochemical analyses due to efficient biodegradation.

  20. Using Stable Isotope Compositions of Animal Tissues to Infer Trophic Interactions in Gulf of Mexico Lower Slope Seep Communities

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed the tissue carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotope contents of macrofaunal communities associated with vestimentiferan tubeworms and bathymodiolin mussels from the Gulf of Mexico lower continental slope (970-2800 m). Shrimp in the genus Alvinocaris associated with vestimentiferans from shallow (530 m) and deep (1400-2800 m) sites were used to test the hypothesis that seep animals derive a greater proportion of their nutrition from seeps (i.e. a lower proportion from the surface) at greater depths. To account for spatial variability in the inorganic source pool, we used the differences between the mean tissue δ13C and δ15N of the shrimp in each collection and the mean δ 13C and δ15N values of the vestimentiferans from the same collection, since vestimentiferans are functionally autotrophic and serve as a baseline for environmental isotopic variation. There was a significant negative relationship between this difference and depth for both δ13C and δ15N (p=0.02 and 0.007, respectively), which supports the hypothesis of higher dependence on seep nutrition with depth. The small polychaete worm Protomystides sp. was hypothesized to be a blood parasite of the vestimentiferan Escarpialaminata. There was a highly significant linear relationship between the δ13C values of Protomystides sp. and the E. laminata individuals to which they were attached across all collections (p < 0.001) and within a single collection (p = 0.01), although this relationship was not significant for δ15N and δ34S. We made several other qualitative inferences with respect to the feeding biology of the taxa occurring in these lower slope seeps, some of which have not been described prior to this study. PMID:24324572

  1. Diversity and functional analysis of bacterial communities associated with natural hydrocarbon seeps in acidic soils at Rainbow Springs, Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    Hamamura, Natsuko; Olson, Sarah H; Ward, David M; Inskeep, William P

    2005-10-01

    In this paper we describe the bacterial communities associated with natural hydrocarbon seeps in nonthermal soils at Rainbow Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Soil chemical analysis revealed high sulfate concentrations and low pH values (pH 2.8 to 3.8), which are characteristic of acid-sulfate geothermal activity. The hydrocarbon composition of the seep soils consisted almost entirely of saturated, acyclic alkanes (e.g., n-alkanes with chain lengths of C15 to C30, as well as branched alkanes, predominately pristane and phytane). Bacterial populations present in the seep soils were phylogenetically characterized by 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis. The majority of the sequences recovered (>75%) were related to sequences of heterotrophic acidophilic bacteria, including Acidisphaera spp. and Acidiphilium spp. of the alpha-Proteobacteria. Clones related to the iron- and sulfur-oxidizing chemolithotroph Acidithiobacillus spp. were also recovered from one of the seep soils. Hydrocarbon-amended soil-sand mixtures were established to examine [14C]hexadecane mineralization and corresponding changes in the bacterial populations using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments. Approximately 50% of the [14C]hexadecane added was recovered as 14CO2 during an 80-day incubation, and this was accompanied by detection of heterotrophic acidophile-related sequences as dominant DGGE bands. An alkane-degrading isolate was cultivated, whose 16S rRNA gene sequence was identical to the sequence of a dominant DGGE band in the soil-sand mixture, as well as the clone sequence recovered most frequently from the original soil. This and the presence of an alkB gene homolog in this isolate confirmed the alkane degradation capability of one population indigenous to acidic hydrocarbon seep soils.

  2. Tracing the composition and origin of fluids at an ancient hydrocarbon seep (Hollard Mound, Middle Devonian, Morocco): A Nd, REE and stable isotope study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakubowicz, M.; Dopieralska, J.; Belka, Z.

    2015-05-01

    For the first time, Nd isotope signatures combined with rare earth element (REE) concentrations were used in investigations of ancient seep carbonates. The study was performed on the fossil hydrocarbon seep deposit of the Middle Devonian Hollard Mound (eastern Anti-Atlas, Morocco), where Nd isotopes, REE concentrations, and carbon and oxygen isotope ratios were measured to investigate the origin, former migration pathways and composition of fluids. Relatively high εNd values compared to local Eifelian seawater, as well as consistently appearing positive Eu anomalies in MREE-enriched shale-normalized REE patterns of the seep carbonates provided evidence for interaction between the seeping fluids and the Lower Devonian basaltic volcaniclastics underlying the studied seep deposit. Strongly reducing conditions and increased temperature of methane formation could have constituted an additional factor in the Eu-enrichment of the investigated carbonate phases. The presence of exclusively negative Ce anomalies in these carbonates is in line with observations of other workers that seep limestones may not necessarily display positive Ce anomalies indicative of precipitation under anoxic conditions. The negative Ce anomalies are attributed here to mixing between anoxic pore waters and oxic, Ce-depleted seawater, necessary to enable carbonate precipitation at seeps. The methane-rich fluids ascended most likely from below the volcaniclastic unit and inherited the enriched εNd signatures and positive Eu anomalies due to fluid-rock interactions during their seepage to the seafloor. The carbon isotope data are most consistent with thermogenic origin of methane, although contribution of abiotic and biogenic methane sources cannot be excluded. Our results indicate that neodymium isotope and rare earth element analyses constitute one of the most valuable tools for reconstructing former fluid migration patterns. The study shows also that Nd isotopes and Eu anomalies can serve as

  3. Methane Fluxes to the Atmosphere from Perennial Hydrocarbon Plumes in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, E.; Kastner, M.; MacDonald, I.

    2006-12-01

    Methane is a radiatively important trace gas in the atmosphere playing a significant role in greenhouse warming and ozone destruction. The current atmospheric methane budget, however, is still clouded by large uncertainties in the individual source strengths. Estimates of the flux of methane from the ocean to the atmosphere range from 5-15 Tg/yr, but do not include seafloor methane seepage. The large uncertainty in the magnitude of this flux emphasizes the importance of better constraining the spatial and temporal variations in marine methane emissions. Improved constraints on the natural input of methane from the oceans will enable better estimates of changes in anthropogenic inputs over time and their contribution to global climate change. The northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) contains prolific seafloor gas vents, oil seeps, and gas hydrate deposits. During two research expeditions in the GOM in 2002 and 2003, methane concentrations and carbon isotopic ratios were measured within the water column by a novel experiment in which bubble plumes from 5 seafloor seeps and one mud volcano were sampled with an ascending submersible from the seafloor to the sea surface. Traditionally, CTD casts have been used to sample methane in the water column, which, because of currents, at best only meander through these relatively narrow plumes. Based on δ13C-DIC values of pore waters extracted from push cores at the seeps, methane is not consumed by anaerobic oxidation in the sediment column, thus all of the methane advecting from depth enters the water column. The δ13C of the bottom water methane ranges from -54.38 to -45.91‰, indicating most of it is thermogenic in origin. The gas bubbles also contain C2-C4 hydrocarbons and are coated with oil, which inhibits methane oxidation and bubble dissolution during ascent. This is observed in the only slight increase in δ13C- CH4 to the surface within the plumes. Surface waters have an average δ13C-CH4 of - 47.00‰, thus using an

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-01

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

  5. Presence and diversity of anammox bacteria in cold hydrocarbon-rich seeps and hydrothermal vent sediments of the Guaymas Basin.

    PubMed

    Russ, Lina; Kartal, Boran; Op den Camp, Huub J M; Sollai, Martina; Le Bruchec, Julie; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Godfroy, Anne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Jetten, Mike S M

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermally active sediments are highly productive, chemosynthetic areas which are characterized by the rapid turnover of particulate organic matter under extreme conditions in which ammonia is liberated. These systems might be suitable habitats for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria but this has not been investigated in detail. Here we report the diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria in sediments that seep cold hydrocarbon-rich fluids and hydrothermal vent areas of the Guaymas Basin in the Cortés Sea using the unique functional anammox marker gene, hydrazine synthase (hzsA). All clones retrieved were closely associated to the "Candidatus Scalindua" genus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two distinct clusters of hzsA sequences (Ca. Scalindua hzsA cluster I and II). Comparison of individual sequences from both clusters showed that several of these sequences had a similarity as low as 76% on nucleotide level. Based on the analysis of this phylomarker, a very high interspecies diversity within the marine anammox group is apparent. Absolute numbers of anammox bacteria in the sediments samples were determined by amplification of a 257 bp fragment of the hszA gene in a qPCR assay. The results indicate that numbers of anammox bacteria are generally higher in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments compared to the vent areas and the reference zone. Ladderanes, lipids unique to anammox bacteria were also detected in several of the sediment samples corroborating the hzsA analysis. Due to the high concentrations of reduced sulfur compounds and its potential impact on the cycling of nitrogen we aimed to get an indication about the key players in the oxidation of sulfide in the Guaymas Basin sediments using the alpha subunit of the adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (aprA). Amplification of the aprA gene revealed a high number of gammaproteobacterial aprA genes covering the two sulfur-oxidizing bacteria aprA lineages as well as sulfate-reducers.

  6. Bacterial Endophytes Isolated from Plants in Natural Oil Seep Soils with Chronic Hydrocarbon Contamination

    PubMed Central

    Lumactud, Rhea; Shen, Shu Yi; Lau, Mimas; Fulthorpe, Roberta

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial endophytic communities of four plants growing abundantly in soils highly contaminated by hydrocarbons were analyzed through culturable and culture-independent means. Given their tolerance to the high levels of petroleum contamination at our study site, we sought evidence that Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, Trifolium aureum, and Dactylis glomerata support high levels of hydrocarbon degrading endophytes. A total of 190 isolates were isolated from four plant species. The isolates were identified by partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis, with class Actinobacteria as the dominant group in all species except S. canadensis, which was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria. Microbacterium foliorum and Plantibacter flavus were present in all the plants, with M. foliorum showing predominance in D. glomerata and both endophytic bacterial species dominated T. aureum. More than 50% of the isolates demonstrated degradative capabilities for octanol, toluene, naphthalene, kerosene, or motor oil based on sole carbon source growth screens involving the reduction of tetrazolium dye. P. flavus isolates from all the sampled plants showed growth on all the petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) substrates tested. Mineralization of toluene and naphthalene was confirmed using gas-chromatography. 16S based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed significant differences between the endophytic bacterial communities showing them to be plant host specific at this site. To our knowledge, this is the first account of the degradation potential of bacterial endophytes in these commonly occurring pioneer plants that were not previously known as phytoremediating plants. PMID:27252685

  7. Hydrocarbon flux from natural deepwater Gulf of Mexico vents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Andrew J.; Flemings, Peter B.; Fulton, Patrick M.

    2014-06-01

    High salinities and high temperatures at the seafloor record the upward flow of water and hydrocarbons from depth at natural vents in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. We present a multiphase heat- and solute-transport model, in which water supplied from depth transports heat and salt, and hydrocarbon transports heat. We show that there is a unique water and hydrocarbon flux that simulates the observed salinity and temperature. We estimate the hydrocarbon flux to be 3.2-15×104 t yr and 1.8-8.0×104 t yr from two vents at lease blocks MC852/853 and GB425. These fluxes are 1-4 orders of magnitude greater than previous estimates from individual deepwater vents. If these results are extrapolated to the entire Gulf of Mexico, then we estimate the regional hydrocarbon flux to be at least 100× greater than previous estimates and 14-120% of the hydrocarbon flux from the Macondo oil spill. Large natural seepage may inoculate marine basins such as the Gulf of Mexico from oil spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout by sustaining populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria.

  8. Hydrocarbon flux from natural deepwater Gulf of Mexico vents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flemings, P. B.; Smith, A. J.

    2012-12-01

    Natural vents that expel water and hydrocarbons are present on continental margins around the world. The expelled fluids support biological vent communities, escape to the ocean and atmosphere, and may contribute significantly to oceanic and atmospheric carbon budgets. We describe two vents in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) at lease blocks MC852/853 and GB425 that have significant flow, high salinities, and elevated temperatures. We use a steady state multi-phase flow model and show that there is a unique water and hydrocarbon flux that simulates the observed salinity and temperature. We estimate the hydrocarbon flux at each vent to be 2.0-9.9x104 t yr-1 and 1.7-7.1x104 t yr-1, respectively. We extrapolate these results and estimate the hydrocarbon flux from the entire Gulf of Mexico to be 9.7-55x106 t yr-1. This flux is at least 50x greater than previous estimates11 and is 6-40% of the hydrocarbon flux from the Macondo oil spill. Large natural seepage may inoculate marine basins such as the Gulf of Mexico from oil spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout by sustaining populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria.

  9. Authigenic carbonate formation at hydrocarbon seeps in continental margin sediments: A comparative study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Naehr, T.H.; Eichhubl, P.; Orphan, V.J.; Hovland, M.; Paull, C.K.; Ussler, W.; Lorenson, T.D.; Greene, H. Gary

    2007-01-01

    Authigenic carbonates from five continental margin locations, the Eel River Basin, Monterey Bay, Santa Barbara Basin, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the North Sea, exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These precipitates include aragonite, low- and high-Mg calcite, and dolomite. The carbon isotopic composition of carbonates varies widely, ranging from -60??? to +26???, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted microbial and thermogenic methane and residual, 13C-enriched, bicarbonate. A similarly large variability of ??18O values (-5.5??? to +8.9???) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of these sites, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. Samples depleted in 18O are consistent with formation deeper in the sediment or mixing of pore fluids with meteoric water during carbonate precipitation. A wide range of isotopic and mineralogical variation in authigenic carbonate composition within individual study areas but common trends across multiple geographic areas suggest that these parameters alone are not indicative for certain tectonic or geochemical settings. Rather, the observed variations probably reflect local controls on the flux of carbon and other reduced ions, such as faults, fluid conduits, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the sediment, and the temporal evolution of the local carbon reservoir. Areas with seafloor carbonates that indicate formation at greater depth below the sediment-water interface must have undergone uplift and erosion in the past or are still being uplifted. Consequently, the occurrence of carbonate slabs on the seafloor in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage is commonly an indicator of exhumation following carbonate precipitation in the shallow subsurface. Therefore, careful petrographic and geochemical analyses are critical components necessary for the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  11. Origins of hydrocarbon gas seeping out from offshore mud volcanoes in the Nile delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prinzhofer, Alain; Deville, Eric

    2013-04-01

    This paper discusses the origin of gas seepages (free gas or dissolved gas in ground water or brine) sampled with the Nautile submarine during the Nautinil cruise at the seafloor of the deep water area of the Nile turbiditic system on different mud volcanoes and brine pools. Generally, the gas is wet and includes C1, C2, C3, iC4, nC4, CO2. These gas samples show no evidence of biodegradation which is not the case of the gas present in the deep hydrocarbon accumulations at depth. It indicates that the gas expelled by the mud volcanoes is not issued from direct leakages from deep gas fields. The collected gas samples mainly have a thermogenic origin and show different maturities. Some samples show very high maturities indicating that these seepages are sourced from great depths, below the Messinian salt. Moreover, the different chemical compositions of the gas samples reflect not only differences in maturity but also the fact that the gas finds its origin in different deep source rocks. Carbon dioxide has an organic signature and cannot result from carbonate decomposition or mantle fluids. The crustal-derived radiogenic isotopes show that the analyzed gas samples have suffered a fractionation processes after the production of the radiogenic isotopes, due either to oil occurrence at depth interacting with the flux of gas, and/or fractionation during the fluid migration.

  12. Presence and diversity of anammox bacteria in cold hydrocarbon-rich seeps and hydrothermal vent sediments of the Guaymas Basin

    PubMed Central

    Russ, Lina; Kartal, Boran; op den Camp, Huub J. M.; Sollai, Martina; Le Bruchec, Julie; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Godfroy, Anne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Jetten, Mike S. M.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermally active sediments are highly productive, chemosynthetic areas which are characterized by the rapid turnover of particulate organic matter under extreme conditions in which ammonia is liberated. These systems might be suitable habitats for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria but this has not been investigated in detail. Here we report the diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria in sediments that seep cold hydrocarbon-rich fluids and hydrothermal vent areas of the Guaymas Basin in the Cortés Sea using the unique functional anammox marker gene, hydrazine synthase (hzsA). All clones retrieved were closely associated to the “Candidatus Scalindua” genus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two distinct clusters of hzsA sequences (Ca. Scalindua hzsA cluster I and II). Comparison of individual sequences from both clusters showed that several of these sequences had a similarity as low as 76% on nucleotide level. Based on the analysis of this phylomarker, a very high interspecies diversity within the marine anammox group is apparent. Absolute numbers of anammox bacteria in the sediments samples were determined by amplification of a 257 bp fragment of the hszA gene in a qPCR assay. The results indicate that numbers of anammox bacteria are generally higher in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments compared to the vent areas and the reference zone. Ladderanes, lipids unique to anammox bacteria were also detected in several of the sediment samples corroborating the hzsA analysis. Due to the high concentrations of reduced sulfur compounds and its potential impact on the cycling of nitrogen we aimed to get an indication about the key players in the oxidation of sulfide in the Guaymas Basin sediments using the alpha subunit of the adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (aprA). Amplification of the aprA gene revealed a high number of gammaproteobacterial aprA genes covering the two sulfur-oxidizing bacteria aprA lineages as well as sulfate

  13. Marine oil seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, R.F. )

    1991-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Distribution of subsurface hydrocarbon seepage in near surface marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Abrams, M.A. )

    1993-02-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps in surficial marine sediments are of two types: ACTIVE: Where gas bubbles, pockmarks, or bright spots are visible on seismic records and/or the presence of chemosynthetic communities in conjunction with large concentrations of migrated-hydrocarbons. Generally in areas where generation and migration of hydrocarbons from the source rock is ongoing today (i.e., maximum burial) and/or where significant migration pathways have developed from tectonic activity. PASSIVE: Where concentrations of migrated hydrocarbons are so low that few or no geophysical anomalies are seen. Typically in areas where generation and expulsion is relict (no longer at maximum burial) and/or regional seals prevent significant vertical migration. The type of seep strongly controls the distribution of migrated hydrocarbons in the near surface sediments and should dictate the sampling equipment and approach required to detect seeps. Active seeps or macroseeps, usually can be detected near the water-sediment interface, within the water column, and at relatively large distances from major leak points. Most conventional sediment and water samplers will capture active seeps, Precise location of sampling is typically not critical to detect active seeps. The Gulf of Mexico, Santa Barbara Channel, and parts of the North Sea have active hydrocarbon seeps.

  16. Hydrocarbons emissions from Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Plant, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Navarro, Karina; Navarro-González, Rafael; de la Rosa, José; Peralta, Oscar; Castro, Telma; Imaz, Mireya

    2014-05-01

    One of the most important environmental issues related to the use of geothermal fluids to generate electricity is the emission of non-condensable gases to the atmosphere. Mexico has one of the largest geothermal plants in the world. The facility is located at Cerro Prieto, Baja California, roughly 30 km south of Mexicali and the international boundary between Mexico and United States. The Cerro Prieto power plant has 13 units grouped on four individual powerhouses. Gas samples from 9 units of the four powerhouses were collected during 4 campaigns conducted in May-July, 2010, February, 2012, December, 2012, and May, 2013. Gas samples from the stacks were collected in 1000 ml Pyrex round flasks with Teflon stopcocks, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Methane was the most abundant aliphatic hydrocarbon, with a concentration that ranged from less than 1% up to 3.5% of the total gas mixture. Normal alkanes represented the second most abundant species, and displayed a decreasing abundance with increasing carbon number in the homologous series. Isoalkanes were also present as isobutane and isopentane. Cycloalkanes occurring as cyclopentane and cyclohexane, were detected only at trace level. Unsaturated hydrocarbons (alkenes and alkynes) were not detected. Benzene was detected at levels ranging from less than 1% up to 3.4% of the total gas mixture. Other aromatic hydrocarbons detected were toluene, and xylenes, and were present at lower concentrations (

  17. Origin of hydrocarbons in Gulf of Mexico basin: A reappraisal

    SciTech Connect

    Bissada, K.K.; Katz, B.J.; Barnicle, S.C.; Schunk, D.J.

    1988-01-01

    The origin of hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico basin has been a subject of controversy for many years. One argument invokes source rocks of average organic enrichment, pervasively distributed throughout the Tertiary sequence and closely associated with the reservoir system. Another argument invokes exceptionally rich, discrete source rocks not in contact with the reservoirs, possibly in pre-Tertiary sequences. Continued exploration success in the basin hinges on the resolution of this controversy because of implications on patterns of hydrocarbon migration within the basin and the timing of petroleum generation relative to reservoir and trap development. Geochemical analyses of hundreds of crude oils, natural gases, and nonreservoir rocks from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic trends along the northern Gulf of Mexico basin indicate the general inadequacy of the Tertiary section to source the huge oil accumulations within Cenozoic reservoirs. Furthermore, other than the biogenic gas, isotopic data indicate that the majority of nonassociated gases found in Cenozoic accumulations have been thermogenically derived from much greater depths where maturation is consistent with dry gas generation. Geochemical data from several Mesozoic units in the basin, but outside the Cenozoic trend proper, indicate the existence of excellent Mesozoic source rocks. It is proposed that such units extend below the Cenozoic producing trends and are drained by deep-seated faults and piercement salt structures. Maturation history, structural style, and patterns of migration and remigration control the variable productivity along the various trends.

  18. Gas and gas hydrate distribution around seafloor seeps in Mississippi Canyon, Northern Gulf of Mexico, using multi-resolution seismic imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, W.T.; Hart, P.E.; Hutchinson, D.R.; Dutta, N.; Snyder, F.; Coffin, R.B.; Gettrust, J.F.

    2008-01-01

    To determine the impact of seeps and focused flow on the occurrence of shallow gas hydrates, several seafloor mounds in the Atwater Valley lease area of the Gulf of Mexico were surveyed with a wide range of seismic frequencies. Seismic data were acquired with a deep-towed, Helmholz resonator source (220-820 Hz); a high-resolution, Generator-Injector air-gun (30-300 Hz); and an industrial air-gun array (10-130 Hz). Each showed a significantly different response in this weakly reflective, highly faulted area. Seismic modeling and observations of reversed-polarity reflections and small scale diffractions are consistent with a model of methane transport dominated regionally by diffusion but punctuated by intense upward advection responsible for the bathymetric mounds, as well as likely advection along pervasive filamentous fractures away from the mounds.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Megafauna recovered from a cold hydrocarbon seep in the deep Alaskan Beaufort Sea, including a new species of Axinus (Thracidae: Bivalvia: Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, C. L.; Valentich-Scott, P.; Lorenson, T. D.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    Several specimens of a new species of Axinus and a single well-worn gastropod columella provisionally assigned to the genus Neptunea (Buccinidae: Gastropoda: Mollusca) were recently recovered from at least two cores, the longest of which is 5.72 m long, from a large seafloor mound, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM). The CSM is located at 2,530 m water depth on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea slope north of Camden Bay and is a fluid explosion feature containing methane hydrate and methane-saturated sediments overlying a folded and faulted deep basin. Only two modern species of Axinus are currently known. Axinus grandis (Verrill & Smith, 1885) is a northern Atlantic species and the recently described species, A. cascadiensis Oliver and Holmes (2007), is only known from Baby Bare Seamount, Cascadia Basin, northeastern Pacific Ocean. Common fragments, single valves, and a single articulated specimen represent this new Axinus species. These shells were distributed over nearly the entire length of the primary core. All specimens show wear and (or) dissolution. The age of these specimens is unknown and no living representatives were encountered. The genus Axinus has a fossil record back to the early Eocene in England and the Paleocene and Eocene in Egypt. Biogeographically the genus appears to have originated in the Tethys Sea and became established in the Atlantic Ocean during the Eocene, spreading across the Arctic Ocean in the late Tertiary. With the opening of the Bering Strait in the latest Miocene or early Pliocene the genus Axinus migrated southwest into the northeast Pacific. Interestingly, hydrocarbon seep deposits are also present on the adjacent North Slope of Alaska in the Marsh Anticline at Carter Creek, Camden Bay. These rocks, the Nuwok beds, contain abundant Thracidae bivalve of the genus Thracia, but not Axinus, however the rocks also represent cold seep deposits. These rocks have been variously dated from Oligocene to Pliocene and the exact age

  1. Tectono-Stratigraphy of the Seeps on the Guaymas Basin at the Sonora Margin, Gulf of California, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa Albornoz, L. J.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Escobar-Briones, E. G.; Godfroy, A.; Fouquet, Y.

    2013-05-01

    Recently several hydrothermal and gas seeps systems has been located precisely at the Sonora margin within the Guaymas Basin (GB), Gulf of California. Since late 1970's , several marine studies had reported two main hydrothermal systems in the Guaymas Rift (one at the Northern Rift, and other at the Southern Rift) and a cold seeps system at the Satellite Basin in the Sonora-margin lower edge. During the campaign BIG10, onboard the IFREMER vessel, NO L'Atalante, the EM122 echo-sounder log more than 30,000 water column acoustic images, which allows us to create a data base of the bubble plumes active systems on the northern part of the GB and the Sonora Margin. These plumes are the expression on the water column of an active seeps site during the cruise time. These images document the presence of the cold seep activity around the scarp of the Guaymas Transform Fault (GTF), and within the Satellite Basin. Few active plumes are first located off-axis, on both sides of the Northern Rift. Although it is not observed any plume within NR. Sub-bottom profiles and bathymetric data logged during the campaign GUAYRIV10, onboard the UNAM vessel, BO EL PUMA, are analyzed to determine the shallow tectonic-stratigraphy of GB near the Sonora Margin. We analyze 17 high-resolution seismic profiles (13 with NE-SW strike and 3 with NW-SE strike). From this data set, the continental shelf stratigraphy at the Sonora Margin tilts toward the slope, showing 3 low angle unconformities due to tectonics and slope angle changes. The strata slope changes angle up to 60°. However, the constant trans-tension shear along the GTF causes gravitation instability on the slope, generating a few submarine landslides close to the Northern Rift, and the rotation of blocks, tilting toward the shelf. To the north, the GTF splits in two fault escarpments, forming a narrow pull-apart basin, known as Satellite Basin. The submarine canyon from the Sonora River flows through the Satellite Basin into the GB

  2. Receptor model source apportionment of nonmethane hydrocarbons in Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Mugica, V; Watson, J; Vega, E; Reyes, E; Ruiz, M E; Chow, J

    2002-03-29

    With the purpose of estimating the source contributions of nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHC) to the atmosphere at three different sites in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, 92 ambient air samples were measured from February 23 to March 22 of 1997. Light- and heavy-duty vehicular profiles were determined to differentiate the NMHC contribution of diesel and gasoline to the atmosphere. Food cooking source profiles were also determined for chemical mass balance receptor model application. Initial source contribution estimates were carried out to determine the adequate combination of source profiles and fitting species. Ambient samples of NMHC were apportioned to motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapor, handling and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas), asphalt operations, painting operations, landfills, and food cooking. Both gasoline and diesel motor vehicle exhaust were the major NMHC contributors for all sites and times, with a percentage of up to 75%. The average motor vehicle exhaust contributions increased during the day. In contrast, LP gas contribution was higher during the morning than in the afternoon. Apportionment for the most abundant individual NMHC showed that the vehicular source is the major contributor to acetylene, ethylene, pentanes, n-hexane, toluene, and xylenes, while handling and distribution of LP gas was the major source contributor to propane and butanes. Comparison between CMB estimates of NMHC and the emission inventory showed a good agreement for vehicles, handling and distribution of LP gas, and painting operations; nevertheless, emissions from diesel exhaust and asphalt operations showed differences, and the results suggest that these emissions could be underestimated.

  3. Chronic, Anthropogenic Hydrocarbon Releases in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daneshgar Asl, S.; Amos, J.; Woods, P.; Garcia-Pineda, O. G.; MacDonald, I. R.

    2012-12-01

    We used satellite remote sensing to quantify hydrocarbon releases cataloged in the Gulf of Mexico. Satellite SAR has frequently been used for detecting small volume releases of oil in the Gulf. Hydrocarbon compounds reduce water surface roughness and therefore can be detected on SAR images as dark areas. We compiled National Response Center (NRC) oil and hazardous materials spill reports in the Gulf of Mexico submitted by the polluters and by passers-by, collected and filtered by SkyTruth from 2001 to 2012 and determined whether the reports coincided with archived SAR images. So, 316 out of a total 4,574 reports could be investigated from 64 SAR images over the report locations. Some of the images covered multiple reports and oil releases described one report could be observed in more than one image. Current information on platforms, pipeline locations, and ages provided by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) can also help us in identifying sources of anthropogenic pollution. The visibility analysis indicated 66 reports of releases were from pipeline, platforms or other anthropogenic sources. Of these, 21 could be seen in SAR images. There were also 133 reports of releases from unknown sources. Of these, 28 were visible in the images. Moreover, 103 anthropogenic reports were attributed to the Taylor offshore platform (platform 23051 in Mississippi Canyon Block 20) which was destroyed during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and subsequently removed. Of those, 55 were visible in the SAR images and were significantly larger when compared with other reported anthropogenic slicks. The rest of the reports were coded invisible for reasons such as attendance of multiple slicks which makes the decision difficult, report falling outside of the image, image contrast, noisy image, no slick at all, wrong coding, and no slick at the site but another slick in proximity. We then focused on the size of the visible reports which were extracted. The

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Chemistry and mineralogy of pyrite-enriched sediments at a passive margin sulfide brine seep: abyssal Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Commeau, R.F.; Paull, C.K.; Commeau, J.A.; Poppe, L.J.

    1987-01-01

    Pyrite is rapidly accumulating at the contact between the Cretaceous limestones of the Florida Platform and the hemipelagic sediments of the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Sediments sampled with the submersible "Alvin" in 3266 m of water are associated with a dense community of organisms that depend on chemosynthetic primary production as a food source. Analysis of the chemistry, mineralogy, and textural composition of these sediments indicate that iron sulfide mineralization is occurring at the seafloor within an anoxic micro-habitat sustained by the advection of hydrogen sulfide-charged saline brines from the adjacent platform. The chemosynthetic bacteria that directly overlie the sediments oxidize hydrogen sulfide for energy and provide elemental sulfur that reacts with iron monosulfide to form some of the pyrite. The sediments are mixtures of pyrite (??? 30 wt.%), BaSr sulfates (??? 4 wt.%), clays, and locally derived biogenic carbonates and are progressively being cemented by iron sulfides. Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide produces locally acidic conditions that corrode the adjacent limestones. Potential sources of S, H2S, Fe, Ba, and Sr are discussed. ?? 1987.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-08-01

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

  7. Stress and musculoskeletal discomfort among hydrocarbon industry workers in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Avila-Chaurand, R; Prado-León, L R; González-Muñoz, E L

    2012-01-01

    This study of 114 workers in the hydrocarbon industry was conducted to identify the relationship between stress and musculoskeletal discomfort, and to view the roles played by such factors as age, schooling, obesity, workplace and job seniority. All factors except seniority were found to affect the presence of musculoskeletal discomfort in some area of the body.

  8. HYDROCARBON AND CARBONYL OZONE PRECURSORS IN MEXICO CITY AMBIENT AIR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Urban air pollution is an environmental problem in many cities around the world that has serious immediate and long-term implications to the health of the population and to the physical environment. Mexico City, in particular, faces a severe air pollution problem. The city is...

  9. Estimates for biogenic non-methane hydrocarbons and nitric oxide emissions in the Valley of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velasco, Erik

    Biogenic non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol (methylbutenol or MBO) and nitrogen oxide (NO) emissions were estimated for the Valley of Mexico developing a spatially and temporally resolved emission inventory for air quality models. The modeling domain includes all the Metropolitan Mexico City Area, the surrounding forests and agriculture fields. The estimates were based on several sources of land use and land cover data and a biogenic emission model; the biomass density and tree characteristics were obtained from reforestation program data. The biogenic emissions depend also on climatic conditions, mainly temperature and solar radiation. The temperature was obtained from a statistical revision of the last 10 yr data reported by the Mexico City Automatic Atmospheric Monitoring Network, while the solar radiation data were obtained from measurements performed in a typical oak forest in the Valley and from sources of total solar radiation data for Mexico City. The results indicated that 7% of total hydrocarbon emissions in Mexico Valley are due to vegetation and NO emissions from soil contribute with 1% to the total NO x emissions.

  10. Influence of parasitism in controlling the health, reproduction and PAH body burden of petroleum seep mussels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Eric N.; Barber, Robert D.; Kennicutt, Mahlon C., II; Ford, Susan E.

    1999-12-01

    Petroleum seep mussels are often exposed to high hydrocarbon concentrations in their natural habitat and, thus, offer the opportunity to examine the relationship between parasitism, disease and contaminant exposure under natural conditions. This is the first report on the histopathology of cold-seep mussels. Seep mussels were collected by submersible from four primary sites in the Gulf of Mexico, lease blocks Green Canyon (GC) 184, GC-234, GC-233, and Garden Banks 425 in 550-650 m water depth. Five types of parasites were identified in section: (1) gill "rosettes" of unknown affinity associated with the gill bacteriocytes, (2) gill "inclusions" similar to chlamydia/rickettsia inclusions, (3) extracellular gill ciliates, (4) body "inclusions" that also resemble chlamydial/rickettsial inclusions, and (5) Bucephalus-like trematodes. Comparison to shallow-water mytilids demonstrates that: (1) both have similar parasite faunas; (2) seep mytilids are relatively heavily parasitized; and (3) infection intensities are extremely high in comparison to shallow-water mytilids for Bucephalus and chlamydia/rickettsia. In this study, the lowest prevalence for chlamydia/rickettsia was 67%. Prevalences of 100% were recorded from three populations. Bucephalus prevalence was ⩾70% in three of 10 populations. The parasite fauna was highly variable between populations. Some important parasites were not observed in some primary sites. Even within primary sites, some important parasites were not observed in some populations. Bucephalus may exert a significant influence on seep mussel population dynamics. Forty percent of the populations in this study are severely reproductively compromised by Bucephalus infection. Only a fraction of petroleum seep mussel populations are maintaining the entire beta-level population structure of this species. Variation in two parasites, gill ciliates and Bucephalus, explained most of the variation in PAH body burden between mussel populations. PAHs are

  11. Research Spotlight: Toxic hydrocarbons measured in Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Mohi; Tretkoff, Ernie

    Oil contains compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which can be toxic. These compounds were released into the water during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which was larger than any previously studied release of oil. The impacts of the oil spill on marine life are not yet certain. Diercks et al. present initial observations of the distributions of PAH in subsurface water near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  12. Interaction between hydrocarbon seepage, chemosynthetic communities and bottom water redox at cold seeps of the Makran accretionary prism: insights from habitat-specific pore water sampling and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, D.; Sahling, H.; Nöthen, K.; Bohrmann, G.; Zabel, M.; Kasten, S.

    2011-09-01

    The interaction between fluid seepage, bottom water redox, and chemosynthetic communities was studied at cold seeps across one of the world's largest oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) located at the Makran convergent continental margin. Push cores were obtained from seeps within and at the lower boundary of the core-OMZ with a remotely operated vehicle. Extracted pore water was analyzed for sulfide and sulfate contents. Depending on oxygen availability, seeps were either colonized by microbial mats or by mats and macrofauna. The latter, including ampharetid polychaetes and vesicomyid clams, occurred in distinct benthic habitats which were arranged in a concentric fashion around gas orifices. At most sites colonized by microbial mats, hydrogen sulfide was exported into the bottom water. Where macrofauna was widely abundant, hydrogen sulfide was consumed within the sediment. Numerical modeling of pore water profiles was performed in order to assess rates of fluid advection and bioirrigation. While the magnitude of upward fluid flow decreased from 11 cm yr-1 to <1 cm yr-1 and the sulfate/methane transition zone (SMTZ) deepened with increasing distance from the central gas orifice, the fluxes of sulfate into the SMTZ did not significantly differ (6.6-9.3 mol m-2 yr-1). Depth-integrated rates of bioirrigation increased from 162 cm yr-1 in central habitats characterized by microbial mats and sparse macrofauna to 348 cm yr-1 in habitats of large and small vesicomyid clams. These results reveal that chemosynthetic macrofauna inhabiting the outer seep habitats at the lower boundary of the OMZ efficiently bioirrigate and thus transport sulfate into the upper 10 to 15 cm of the sediment. In this way bioirrigation compensates for the lower upward flux of methane in outer habitats and stimulates rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate high enough to provide sulfide for chemosynthesis. Through bioirrigation macrofauna engineer their geochemical environment and fuel

  13. {Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aliphatic hydrocarbons in gas and particle phases in two sites of Mexico: MILAGRO project}

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amador-Muñoz, O.; Villalobos-Pietrini, R.; Castro, T.; Gaspariano-Larino, R.

    2009-04-01

    Aliphatic hydrocarbons are markers of anthropogenic and biogenic emission sources1; meanwhile PAHs are generated by incomplete combustion sources2. The last ones are important compounds due to their carcinogenic and mutagenic properties3,4. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify aliphatic hydrocarbons and PAHs in gas and particles phases of the atmospheric aerosol and to determine the day and night time behavior during the MILAGRO (Megacity Initiative: Local Global and Research Observations) campaign. The gas phase was collected on polyurethane foam, while particles less than 2.5 m (PM2.5) were collected on glass fiber filters covered with Teflon (TIGF, pallflex) of 8x10 in. Samplings were carried out with a high volume sampler (Tisch) with a flow of 1.13 m3 min-1 at two sites: Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (T0) and Tecamac (T1) located at North and Northeast of Mexico City, respectively during day (7:00 am-7:00 pm) and night time (7:00 pm-7:00 am) from 1 to 29 of March, 2006. Ninteen PAHs and 23 aliphatic hydrocarbons from n-C13H28 to n-C35H72 were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in impact mode. The samples were spiked with deuterads PAHs and aliphatics hydrocarbons before ultrasound extraction. Medians comparisons were made with Mann-Whitney U test. PAHs with molecular weight (MW) less than 228 g mol-1 were distributed in the gas phase, in both sites. Higher concentrations of PAHs ≥ 228 g mol-1 in PM2.5, were observed during night period (p

  14. Hydrocarbon concentrations in the American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, in Laguna de Terminos, Campeche, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Gold-Bouchot, G.; Norena-Barroso, E.; Zapata-Perez, O.

    1995-02-01

    Laguna de Terminos is a 2,500 km{sup 2} coastal lagoon in the southern Gulf of Mexico, located between 18{degrees} 20` and 19{degrees} 00` N, and 91{degrees} 00` and 92{degrees} 20` W (Figure 1). It is a shallow lagoon, with a mean depth of 3.5 m and connected to the Gulf of Mexico through two permanent inlets, Puerto Real to the east and Carmen to the west. Several rivers, most of them from the Grijalva-Usumacinta basin (the largest in Mexico and second largest in the Gulf of Mexico), drain into the lagoon with a mean annual discharge of 6 X 10{sup 9} m{sup 3}/year. This lagoon has been studied systematically, and is probably one of the best known in Mexico. An excellent overview of this lagoon can be found in Yanez-Arancibia and Day. The continental shelf north of Terminos, the Campeche Bank, is the main oil-producing zone in Mexico with a production of about 2 X 10{sup 6} barrels/day. It is also the main shrimp producer in the southern Gulf, with a mean annual catch of 18,000 tonnes/year, which represents 38 to 50% of the national catch in the Gulf of Mexico. The economic importance of this region, along with its extremely high biodiversity, both in terms of species and habitats, has prompted the Mexican government to study the creation of a wildlife refuge around Terminos. Thus, it is very important to know the current levels of pollutants in this area, as a contribution to the management plan of the proposed protected area. This paper looks at hydrocarbon concentrations in oyster tissue. 14 refs., 3 figs., 21 tabs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  18. Petroleum hydrocarbons in sediment from the northern Gulf of Mexico shoreline, Texas to Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenbauer, Robert J.; Campbell, Pamela L.; Lam, Angela; Lorenson, T.D.; Hostettler, Frances D.; Thomas, Burt; Wong, Florence L.

    2011-01-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbons were extracted and analyzed from shoreline sediment collected from the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) coastline that could potentially be impacted by Macondo-1 (M-1) well oil. Sediment was collected before M-1 well oil made significant local landfall and analyzed for baseline conditions by a suite of diagnostic petroleum biomarkers. Oil residue in trace quantities was detected in 45 of 69 samples. With the aid of multivariate statistical analysis, three different oil groups, based on biomarker similarity, were identified that were distributed geographically along the nGOM from Texas to Florida. None of the sediment hydrocarbon extracts correlated with the M-1 well oil extract, however, the similarity of tarballs collected at one site (FL-18) with the M-1 well oil suggests that some oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill may have been transported to this site in the Florida Keys, perhaps by a loop current, before that site was sampled.

  19. Pollution by petroleum hydrocarbons in sediments from continental shelf of Tabasco State, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Botello, A.V.; Gonzalez, C.; Diaz, G. )

    1991-10-01

    The Wider Caribbean is potentially one of the largest oil producing areas in the world. Major petroleum production areas include Louisiana and Texas, USA; the Bay of Campeche, Mexico; Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela; and Gulf of Paria, Trinidad; all of which are classified as production accident high-risk zones. About 5 million of barrels are transported every day in the Caribbean, thus generating an intense tanker traffic. It has been estimated that oil discharges from tank washings within the Wider Caribbean could be as high as 7 million barrels/year. For all those reasons petroleum pollution is considered as the major environmental problem in the Wider Caribbean area and increasing day to day due to the use of petroleum as the main energy source. On the other hand, the continental shelf of Tabasco state actually represents one of the most productive areas for crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Sediments were collected from this area and analyzed for hydrocarbons.

  20. Upper Permian (Guadalupian) facies and their association with hydrocarbons - Permian basin, west Texas and New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, R.F.; Kendall, C.G.S.C.; Harris, P.M.

    1986-03-01

    Outcrops of Guadalupian sedimentary rocks in the Permian basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico are a classic example of the facies relationships that span a carbonate shelf. In the subsurface, these rocks form classic hydrocarbon-facies taps. Proceeding from basin to the updip termination of the shelf, the facies are (1) deep-water basin, (2) an apron of allochthonous carbonates, (3) carbonate shelf margin or reef, (4) carbonate sand flats, (5) carbonate barrier islands, (6) lagoon, and (7) coastal playas and supratidal salt flats (sabkhas). Over a half century of exploration drilling has shown that hydrocarbons in the Permian rocks of the Permian basin have accumulated at the updip contact of the lagoonal dolomites and clastics with the coastal evaporites, and in the basinal channel-fill clastics. The shelf marginal (reef) facies contain cavernous porosity, but commonly are water saturated. These facies relationships and hydrocarbon occurrences provide an exploration model with which to explore and rank hydrocarbon potential in other carbonate provinces. 16 figures, 3 tables.

  1. Presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in top soils from rural terrains in Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Rutilio; Vega, Salvador; Gutiérrez, Rey; Gibson, Richard; Schettino, Beatriz; Ramirez, María de Lourdes

    2012-03-01

    A soil survey was carried out to determine the levels and sources and concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in 2 semi-rural terrains in Mexico City (Tlahuac and Milpa Alta) during 2008-2009. PAH determination was made by Soxhlet extraction and chromatographic clean-up with final analysis by gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. The concentrations in Tlahuac were 9.13 mg/kg (dry season) and 11.22 mg/kg (wet season) and in Milpa Alta were 11.43 mg/kg (dry season) and 35.77 mg/kg (wet season). The variation of total PAH concentrations are due to environmental and anthropogenic conditions within Mexico City and also the addition of compost to the soils. According to Mexican regulations BaP, DaA, BbF and Ind were within the permissible limit (2 mg/kg) for agricultural and residential soils and BkF was close to the limit (8 mg/kg). The total PAH concentrations do however surpass the permissible European limit of 1,000 μg/kg and there is probably some risk to human health, in spite of measures aimed at decreasing contamination in Mexico City. Long term monitoring of soils will be necessary.

  2. A sea floor observatory for studying the hydrocarbon system within the gas hydrate stability zone of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woolsey, J.; McGee, T.; Lutken, C.; Geresi, E.

    2003-04-01

    A presentation at the Oceans 98 Conference in Nice described a then newly initiated program to install a net of acoustic vertical line arrays (VLAs) on the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the project has evolved into the development of a multi-sensor sea floor observatory that incorporates geochemical as well as geophysical systems. Some of these systems, including a prototype VLA, have been successfully tested and others are in final stages of development. Initial deployment is expected in 2004 with full operations to begin in 2005. The observatory is designed to provide long term, more-or-less continuous monitoring of conditions in the lower water column and sub-bottom sediments proximal to and within the hydrate stability zone (HSZ). The primary purpose is to promote a better understanding of the complex interactions which take place therein with the near-seabed hydrocarbon system. The manifestations of this complex system are the hydrate bodies, massive and surficial; mud, sand and brine seeps and flows; gas vents, quiescent to vigorous and chemosynthetic biological communities. The complexity of the HSZ, its various features and phenomena, relates to the instability of the zone itself; superimposed over an irregular, unstable salt sheet, permeated by migrating hydrocarbon and other fluids, subjected to ubiquitous seismicity, active fault zones, and the effects of transiting warm loop currents. Under these various conditions hydrates form and dissociate with relative rapidity and gas is expelled into the water column in variable amounts at irregular intervals. The particular instability of hydrates and proximal fault zones with venting gas represent significant geohazards to bottom-founded installations typical of deep conventional oil and gas production. The latter also contributes substantial quantities of hydrocarbon gases to the water column and eventually to the atmosphere as green house gases. These real concerns provide

  3. SHEEP CREEK SEEP CHARACTERIZATION

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Hydrocarbons derived from petroleum in bottled drinking water from Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Vega, Salvador; Gutiérrez, Rey; Ortiz, Rutilio; Schettino, Beatriz; Ramírez, Maria de Lourdes; Pérez, José Jesus

    2011-06-01

    This paper describes the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aliphatic hydrocarbons (AHs) derived from petroleum in bottled drinking water samples that were collected over 1 year from Mexico City in two bottle sizes (1.5 and 19 L), all brought in supermarkets. The analysis was by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. -Concentrations of AHs (9.26-1.74 μg/L) were greater than PAHs (20.15-12.78 ng/L). Individual concentrations of PAHs such as fluoranthene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene and benzo(ghi)perylene were comparable with data reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Total concentrations of PAHs for all samples (BDW1: 12.78 μg/L, BDW2: 16.72 μg/L, BDW3: 14.62 μg/L, BDW4: 20.15 μg/L and BDW5: 13.23 ng/L) were below the maximum permissible European level of 100 ng/L; no regulations exist for AHs although their values were greater than PAHs (BDW1: 3.11 μg/L, BDW2: 8.45 μg/L, BDW3: 1.74 μg/L, BDW4: 4.75 μg/L and BDW5: 9.26 μg/L).

  5. Comprehensive Chemical Characterization of Hydrocarbons in NIST Standard Reference Material 2779 Gulf of Mexico Crude Oil.

    PubMed

    Worton, David R; Zhang, Haofei; Isaacman-VanWertz, Gabriel; Chan, Arthur W H; Wilson, Kevin R; Goldstein, Allen H

    2015-11-17

    Comprehensive chemical information is needed to understand the environmental fate and impact of hydrocarbons released during oil spills. However, chemical information remains incomplete because of the limitations of current analytical techniques and the inherent chemical complexity of crude oils. In this work, gas chromatography (GC)-amenable C9-C33 hydrocarbons were comprehensively characterized from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Standard Reference Material (NIST SRM) 2779 Gulf of Mexico crude oil by GC coupled to vacuum ultraviolet photoionization mass spectrometry (GC/VUV-MS), with a mass balance of 68 ± 22%. This technique overcomes one important limitation faced by traditional GC and even comprehensive 2D gas chromatography (GC×GC): the necessity for individual compounds to be chromatographically resolved from one another in order to be characterized. VUV photoionization minimizes fragmentation of the molecular ions, facilitating the characterization of the observed hydrocarbons as a function of molecular weight (carbon number, NC), structure (number of double bond equivalents, NDBE), and mass fraction (mg kg(-1)), which represent important metrics for understanding their fate and environmental impacts. Linear alkanes (8 ± 1%), branched alkanes (11 ± 2%), and cycloalkanes (37 ± 12%) dominated the mass with the largest contribution from cycloalkanes containing one or two rings and one or more alkyl side chains (27 ± 9%). Linearity and good agreement with previous work for a subset of >100 components and for the sum of compound classes provided confidence in our measurements and represents the first independent assessment of our analytical approach and calibration methodology. Another crude oil collected from the Marlin platform (35 km northeast of the Macondo well) was shown to be chemically identical within experimental errors to NIST SRM 2779, demonstrating that Marlin crude is an appropriate surrogate oil for researchers conducting

  6. Volatile liquid hydrocarbons in waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Sauer, T.C. Jr.

    1980-03-01

    Concentrations of volatile liquid hydrocarbons (VLH), C/sub 6/-C/sub 14/ hydrocarbons, were determined in 1977 in coastal, shelf, and open-ocean surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. In open-ocean, nonpetroleum-polluted surface water, VLH concentrations were 60 ng.liter/sup -1/ while in heavily polluted Louisiana shelf and coastal water values reached 500 ng.liter/sup -1/. Caribbean surface samples had very low concentrations, 30 ng.liter/sup -1/. The relationship between anthropogenic gaseous hydrocarbons and VLH was approximately linear. Aromatic VLH accounted for 60 to 85% of the total VLH in surface waters. Cycloalkane concentrations were < 1.0 ng.liter/sup -1/ in open ocean water, 60 to 100 ng.liter/sup -1/ in polluted water (20% of total VLH). Alkanes were 15 ng.liter/sup -1/ in open ocean water, 40 ng.liter/sup -1/ in polluted water. The concentrations of five major VLH compounds (aromatics) in water samples - benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m/sup -/, p-xylenes, and o-xylene (called BTX) - were sufficient to predict the total VLH. The empirically determined relationship is VLH (ng.liter/sup -1/) = 1.42 BTX (ng.liter/sup -1/); r = 0.96. Subsurface VLH concentrations in samples of polluted waters collected from depths of 50 m were only 35 to 40 ng.liter/sup -1/ below surface concentrations. Open ocean subsurface samples had concentrations of only 30 ng.liter/sup -1/ at 30 to 50-m depths, comparable to those of Caribbean surface water.

  7. Particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon spatial variability and aging in Mexico City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornhill, D. A.; Herndon, S. C.; Onasch, T. B.; Wood, E. C.; Zavala, M.; Molina, L. T.; Gaffney, J. S.; Marley, N. A.; Marr, L. C.

    2007-11-01

    As part of the Megacities Initiative: Local and Global Research Observations (MILAGRO) study in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area in March 2006, we measured particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other gaseous species and particulate properties at six locations throughout the city. The measurements were intended to support the following objectives: to describe spatial and temporal patterns in PAH concentrations, to gain insight into sources and transformations of PAHs, and to quantify the relationships between PAHs and other pollutants. Total particulate PAHs at the Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (T0 supersite) located near downtown averaged 50 ng m-3, and aerosol active surface area averaged 80 mm2 m-3. PAHs were also measured on board the Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory, which visited six sites encompassing a mixture of different land uses and a range of ages of air parcels transported from the city core. Weak intersite correlations suggest that local sources are important and variable and that exposure to PAHs cannot be represented by a single regional-scale value. The relationships between PAHs and other pollutants suggest that a variety of sources and ages of particles are present. Among carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon dioxide, particulate PAHs are most strongly correlated with NOx. Mexico City's PAH-to-black carbon mass ratio of 0.01 is similar to that found on a freeway loop in the Los Angeles area and approximately 8-30 times higher than that found in other cities. Ratios also indicate that primary combustion particles are rapidly coated by secondary aerosol in Mexico City. If so, the lifetime of PAHs may be prolonged if the coating protects them against photodegradation or heterogeneous reactions.

  8. Abyssal seep site cementation

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  10. Chronostratigraphic hydrocarbon plays and depositional styles in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Seni, S.J.; Brooke, J.; Marin, D.

    1995-10-01

    Sand-body reservoirs in the Federal OCS of the northern Gulf of Mexico were classified into 98 chronostratigraphic plays by style, structural style, and engineering parameters. Cumulative gas production is apportioned to three primary depositional styles: progradational (65%), submarine fan (16%), and aggradational (12%). In contrast, cumulative oil production is distributed primarily as progradational (58%), aggradational (23%), and submarine fan (16%). On the continental shelf, progradational environments are hydrocarbon rich owing to favorable sandstone-to-shale ratios and traps over salt structures and faulted anticlines. Submarine fan plays dominate downdip of the modern shelf edge. Remaining recoverable gas reserves for progradational (48%), submarine fan (28%), and aggradational (16%) reveal a decline of progradational plays and an increase of submarine fan plays. Average porosity varies between fan plays (26%), progradational plays (29%), and aggradational or retrogradational plays (28%) (statistical significance, 85% to 98%), in part as a function of play depth, which is greatest for submarine fan plays (11,631 ft). Average pay thickness of fan (45 ft) and retrogradational (34 ft) plays is higher than that of aggradational and progradational plays (31 ft) (statistical significance, 85% to 99%). Proved hydrocarbons are unequally distributed within chronozones in the Gulf. Forty-two percent of the original recoverable oil is concentrated in two chronozones-the lower Pleistocene Lenticulina 1 to Buliminella 1 (22.8%) and the upper Miocene Bigeneria A to Cristellaria K (20.4%). Gas is more uniformly distributed. Of the original recoverable gas, 29% exists in two chronozones-the lower Pleistocene Lenticulina 1 to Valvulina H (18.6%) and the upper Pleistocene Hyalinea balithica to Sangamon (10.6%). New discoveries will probably be made in submarine fan plays in Pleistocene to Miocene strata on the slope and in Miocene and older fan facies on the shelf.

  11. Petrography and geochemistry of barite chimneys associated with hydrocarbon vents on the Gulf of Mexico slope

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, B.

    1995-10-01

    Barite chimneys up to 30 cm high were recently documented and recovered from hydrocarbon venting areas on the Louisiana Slope in the Gulf of Mexico in water depths of 510-520 m. The chimneys are dominated by barite (BaSO{sub 4}) associated with minor amounts of pyrite, iron oxide, Mg-calcite, and detrital silicates. The barites display distinct string-like and dendritic-like morphologies assembled from rosette assemblages that are typically 20 to 40 {mu}m in diameter. The interiors of chimneys, exhibit macroscopic growth layers 1 to 5 mm thick which alternate between dark-gray and light-yellow colors. Compared with barites from hydrothermal, marine, and continental settings, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) barites are more enriched in Sr(average 15.5 mol% and maximum 30 mol%) and Ca(average 2.8 mol% and maximum 4.6 mol%). Backscatter images and electron microprobe traverse analyses indicate that most barite crystals exhibit rhythmic chemical zonations because of the variation of concentrations of Sr and Ca. The {delta}{sup 34}S(from 20.30 to 28.87{per_thousand}) and {delta}{sup 18}O(from 9.5 to 13.6{per_thousand}) of GOM barites suggest that the barite chimneys may form at or above the sediment-water interface from Ba-, Sr-, and Ca-rich formation fluids dissolving the underlying Jurassic-age salt and mixing with sulfate-rich seawater. Bacterial reduction of sulfate took place in the formation of some barite chimneys.

  12. Succession of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in the aftermath of the deepwater horizon oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Dubinsky, Eric A; Conrad, Mark E; Chakraborty, Romy; Bill, Markus; Borglin, Sharon E; Hollibaugh, James T; Mason, Olivia U; M Piceno, Yvette; Reid, Francine C; Stringfellow, William T; Tom, Lauren M; Hazen, Terry C; Andersen, Gary L

    2013-10-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill produced large subsurface plumes of dispersed oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico that stimulated growth of psychrophilic, hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. We tracked succession of plume bacteria before, during and after the 83-day spill to determine the microbial response and biodegradation potential throughout the incident. Dominant bacteria shifted substantially over time and were dependent on relative quantities of different hydrocarbon fractions. Unmitigated flow from the wellhead early in the spill resulted in the highest proportions of n-alkanes and cycloalkanes at depth and corresponded with dominance by Oceanospirillaceae and Pseudomonas. Once partial capture of oil and gas began 43 days into the spill, petroleum hydrocarbons decreased, the fraction of aromatic hydrocarbons increased, and Colwellia, Cycloclasticus, and Pseudoalteromonas increased in dominance. Enrichment of Methylomonas coincided with positive shifts in the δ(13)C values of methane in the plume and indicated significant methane oxidation occurred earlier than previously reported. Anomalous oxygen depressions persisted at plume depths for over six weeks after well shut-in and were likely caused by common marine heterotrophs associated with degradation of high-molecular-weight organic matter, including Methylophaga. Multiple hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria operated simultaneously throughout the spill, but their relative importance was controlled by changes in hydrocarbon supply.

  13. Spatial and temporal variability of particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Mexico City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornhill, D. A.; de Foy, B.; Herndon, S. C.; Onasch, T. B.; Wood, E. C.; Zavala, M.; Molina, L. T.; Gaffney, J. S.; Marley, N. A.; Marr, L. C.

    2008-06-01

    As part of the Megacities Initiative: Local and Global Research Observations (MILAGRO) study in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area in March 2006, we measured particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other gaseous species and particulate properties, including light absorbing carbon or effective black carbon (BC), at six locations throughout the city. The measurements were intended to support the following objectives: to describe spatial and temporal patterns in PAH concentrations, to gain insight into sources and transformations of PAHs and BC, and to quantify the relationships between PAHs and other pollutants. Total particulate PAHs at the Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo (T0 supersite) located near downtown averaged 50 ng m-3, and aerosol active surface area averaged 80 mm2 m-3. PAHs were also measured on board the Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory, which visited six sites encompassing a mixture of different land uses and a range of ages of air parcels transported from the city core. A combination of analyses of time series, back trajectories, concentration fields, pollutant ratios, and correlation coefficients supports the concept of T0 as an urban source site, T1 as a receptor site with strong local sources, Pedregal and PEMEX as intermediate sites, Pico Tres Padres as a vertical receptor site, and Santa Ana as a downwind receptor site. Weak intersite correlations suggest that local sources are important and variable and that exposure to PAHs and BC cannot be represented by a single regional-scale value. The relationships between PAHs and other pollutants suggest that a variety of sources and ages of particles are present. Among carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon dioxide, particulate PAHs are most strongly correlated with NOx. Mexico City's PAH/BC mass ratio of 0.01 is similar to that found on a freeway loop in the Los Angeles area and approximately 8 30 times higher than that found in other cities. Evidence also suggests that primary

  14. Hydrocarbons in Deep-Sea Sediments following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Romero, Isabel C; Schwing, Patrick T; Brooks, Gregg R; Larson, Rebekka A; Hastings, David W; Ellis, Greg; Goddard, Ethan A; Hollander, David J

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) over 87 days. Sediment and water sampling efforts were concentrated SW of the DWH and in coastal areas. Here we present geochemistry data from sediment cores collected in the aftermath of the DWH event from 1000-1500 m water depth in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. Cores were analyzed at high-resolution (at 2 mm and 5 mm intervals) in order to evaluate the concentration, composition and input of hydrocarbons to the seafloor. Specifically, we analyzed total organic carbon (TOC), aliphatic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), and biomarker (hopanes, steranes, diasteranes) compounds to elucidate possible sources and transport pathways for deposition of hydrocarbons. Results showed higher hydrocarbon concentrations during 2010-2011 compared to years prior to 2010. Hydrocarbon inputs in 2010-2011 were composed of a mixture of sources including terrestrial, planktonic, and weathered oil. Our results suggest that after the DWH event, both soluble and highly insoluble hydrocarbons were deposited at enhanced rates in the deep-sea. We proposed two distinct transport pathways of hydrocarbon deposition: 1) sinking of oil-particle aggregates (hydrocarbon-contaminated marine snow and/or suspended particulate material), and 2) advective transport and direct contact of the deep plume with the continental slope surface sediments between 1000-1200 m. Our findings underline the complexity of the depositional event observed in the aftermath of the DWH event in terms of multiple sources, variable concentrations, and spatial (depth-related) variability in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead.

  15. Hydrocarbons in Deep-Sea Sediments following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Isabel C.; Schwing, Patrick T.; Brooks, Gregg R.; Larson, Rebekka A.; Hastings, David W.; Ellis, Greg; Goddard, Ethan A.; Hollander, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) over 87 days. Sediment and water sampling efforts were concentrated SW of the DWH and in coastal areas. Here we present geochemistry data from sediment cores collected in the aftermath of the DWH event from 1000 – 1500 m water depth in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. Cores were analyzed at high-resolution (at 2 mm and 5 mm intervals) in order to evaluate the concentration, composition and input of hydrocarbons to the seafloor. Specifically, we analyzed total organic carbon (TOC), aliphatic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), and biomarker (hopanes, steranes, diasteranes) compounds to elucidate possible sources and transport pathways for deposition of hydrocarbons. Results showed higher hydrocarbon concentrations during 2010-2011 compared to years prior to 2010. Hydrocarbon inputs in 2010-2011 were composed of a mixture of sources including terrestrial, planktonic, and weathered oil. Our results suggest that after the DWH event, both soluble and highly insoluble hydrocarbons were deposited at enhanced rates in the deep-sea. We proposed two distinct transport pathways of hydrocarbon deposition: 1) sinking of oil-particle aggregates (hydrocarbon-contaminated marine snow and/or suspended particulate material), and 2) advective transport and direct contact of the deep plume with the continental slope surface sediments between 1000-1200 m. Our findings underline the complexity of the depositional event observed in the aftermath of the DWH event in terms of multiple sources, variable concentrations, and spatial (depth-related) variability in the DeSoto Canyon, NE of the DWH wellhead. PMID:26020923

  16. Hydrocarbon source apportionment in Mexico City using the chemical mass balance receptor model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vega, Elizabeth; Mugica, Violeta; Carmona, Rocío.; Valencia, Edgar

    A field study was conducted in Mexico City during May-November 1997 to determine non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) species emitted from different sources: application of slow curing asphalt pavement, liquefied petroleum gas (vapour phase), dry cleaning, graphic arts, landfill, emissions of motor vehicle exhaust inside a tunnel, hot soak, whole gasoline, painting operations and degreasing. Forty-five ambient air samples of NMHC were simultaneously collected from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. at three different sites, Xalostoc, Pedregal and La Merced, denominated receptors, during the spring and fall of 1996. In both cases samples were collected in stainless-steel canisters and analysed by gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection system. Based on these measurements the chemical mass receptor model (CMB) was applied to estimate the contribution of the different NMHC source to ambient pollution. The average results for the two sampling periods showed that the major sources of NMHC for the three sites were: motor vehicle exhaust with an average contribution of 54.9, 57.4 and 63.8% for Xalostoc, Pedregal and La Merced, respectively, followed by handling and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas with 28.5% in Xalostoc, 20.0% in Pedregal and 24.0% in La Merced.

  17. Hydrocarbon concentrations in sediments and clams (Rangia cuneata) in Laguna de Pom, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Alvarez-Legorreta, T.; Gold-Bouchot, G.; Zapata-Perez, O.

    1994-01-01

    Laguna de Pom is a coastal lagoon within the Laguna de Terminos system in southern Gulf of Mexico. It belongs to the Grijalva-Usumacinta basin, and is located between 18{degrees} 33{prime} and 18{degrees} 38{prime} north latitude and 92{degrees} 01{prime} and 92{degrees} 14{prime} west longitude, in the Coastal Plain physiographic Province of the Gulf. It is ellipsoidal and approximately 10 km long, with a surface area of 5,200 ha and a mean depth of 1.5 m. Water salinity and temperature ranges are 0 to 13 {per_thousand} and 25{degrees} to 31{degrees}C, respectively. Benthic macrofauna is dominated by bivalves such as the clams Rangia cuneata, R. flexuosa, and Polymesoda carolineana. These clams provide the basis of an artisanal fishery, which is the main economic activity in the region. The presence of several oil-processing facilities around the lagoon is very conspicuous, which together with decreasing yields has created social conflicts, with the fishermen blaming the mexican state oil company (PEMEX) for the decrease in the clam population. This work aims to determine if the concentration of hydrocarbons in the clams (R. cuneata) and sediments of Laguna de Pom are responsible for the declining clam fishery. 11 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  18. Evolution and hydrocarbon potential of offshore Pinar Del Rio area, Southern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Tenreyro-Perez, R.; Lopez-Rivera, J.G.; Fernandez-Carmona, J.; Lopez-Quintero, J.O.

    1996-09-01

    The evolution of Southeast Gulf of Mexico comprises three main periods: pre-orogenic, syn-orogenic and post-orogenic. During pre-orogenic time, from Lower Jurassic to Campanian, the stages are the rift of Pangaea and the thermal subsidence (or drift). In drift stage two domains interacted in the space; the carbonate platforms (Bahamas, Yucatan, Organos and others), and the deepwater basins. These fluctuations were dictated by the differential subsidence and horizontal displacements of basement blocks as well as by the eustatic movements of the ocean. The Organos platform, for example, was entirely drowned since Upper Jurassic and the sedimentation continued in deepwater environment. The collision between Great Antilles Volcanic Arc and the continental margins since Upper Cretaceous modeled the Cuban orogen. Here, the southern facies thrusted over the northern section with simultaneous strike-slip movements. The interaction suddenly ceased in Eocene. The source rock levels are considerably more frequent in the deepwater domain than in the platforms. The Lower and Upper Jurassic as well as Lower and Middle Cretaceous horizons contain very high levels of organic matter. The offshore seismic shows the transition from the thrusted belt to the foreland basin with a typical triangle zone configuration. Reservoirs are expected in the Cretaceous section covered by seals conformed by early foreland basin sediments of Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene age. Foothill structures has a great potential for hydrocarbon exploration.

  19. The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert; Parent, Horacio; Garrido, Alberto; Moriya, Kazuhiro

    2015-04-01

    The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina Andrzej Kaim, Robert G. Jenkins, Horacio Parent, Alberto C. Garrido The hydrocarbon seep deposits are known from Early Jurassic of Argentina since the report of Gomez-Perez (2003). The latter author identified very negative δ13C values (down to -33) and several fabrics typical for seep carbonates. Nevertheless she identified no macrofaunal assemblages apart from worm tubes. We re-visited the locality of Gomez-Perez (named here La Elina) and we were able to collect several molluscs associated with the seep carbonate. The most common and diversified are molluscs and worm tubes. We identified at least three species of gastropods, including the oldest-known species of neomphalids, lucinid and protobranch bivalves and numerous ammonoids. Unlike another known Early Jurassic seep from Oregon and the only Late Triassic seep (also from Oregon) there are no brachiopods associated with this seep. Therefore we consider the seep at La Elina as the oldest seep of modern aspect where the fauna is dominated by molluscs and not brachiopods.

  20. Management of dryland saline seeps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Non-methane hydrocarbons source apportionment at different sites in Mexico City during 2002-2003

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vega, E.; Sanchez, G.; Molina, L.

    2007-09-01

    The atmospheric concentrations of a variety of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) collected at different sites, representing urban and rural environments within Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) during 1997, 2002 and 2003 field campaigns, were compared and used as an input for the Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) receptor model to determine the source contribution of NMHC to the atmosphere. A common feature at all the locations was the dominance of alkenes (59%), aromatics (16%) and olefins (9%) in the average NMHC burden. At the urban sites the interquartile range of NMHC concentrations showed stabilization over this period with a slight increase in the concentrations of propane and butanes in the southwest site of the MCMA in 2003 due to the increased use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The receptor model CMB version 8.0 was used to apportion the NMHC sources at six locations within the MCMA, representing the heavily industrialized, commercial, residential and rural areas. For the 2003 field campaign, the contribution of vehicular emissions dominated the NMHC concentrations (19.7%±7.1% for gasoline vehicles and 35.4%±17.5% for diesel vehicles) followed by the emissions of marketing and handling of LPG (29.9%±8.0%). The NMHC concentrations showed a weekly cycle with the highest levels towards the end of the week and lowest at weekend and beginning of the week, suggesting that both emissions and accumulations process play a key role in building up NMHC levels. The toluene to benzene ratio was used to determine photochemical ageing of the air samples during the 2003 field campaign. The database was divided into periods with similar wind circulation pattern; the results suggest that ageing process within the MCMA is generally suppressed by the amount of fresh emissions.

  2. Does the "sleeping Dragon" Really Sleep?: the Case for Continuous Long-Term Monitoring at a Gulf of Mexico Cold Seep Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R. M.; Lapham, L.; Farr, N.; Lutken, C.; MacDonald, I. R.; Macelloni, L.; Riedel, M.; Sleeper, K.; Chanton, J.

    2011-12-01

    Continuous porewater monitoring indicates that the methane flux away from exposed hydrate mounds can vary considerably over time. Recently, we retrieved a Pore Fluid Array instrument pack from a hydrate outcrop adjacent to a NEPTUNE Canada observatory node. The sampler was designed to continuously collect and store sediment pore fluids over the course of 9 months. On analysis, we observed a 35mM variation in methane concentrations corresponding with an abrupt shift in current direction at the site. Video and resistivity data have led to previous speculation that hydrate growth and dissolution/dissociation may be seasonally variable. Cumulatively, these findings suggest that the persistence of hydrate outcrops may be extremely dynamic, driven by fluctuations in physical conditions on short time scales. Short-term monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico within Mississippi Canyon lease block 118 (MC118), a known hydrate-bearing site, indicates that physical conditions even at these depths (~540-890m) may be highly variable. Pressure can vary within hours, and recorded temperature changes of ~1.5°C have been associated with passing storms. Moreover, increased particle abundance was observed at the site in 2007 suggesting that organic matter flux to the sediments may vary on the scale of months to years. These inputs have the potential to alter the chemical environment surrounding the hydrate, thereby affecting dissolution rates. Continuous, long-term observations of physical conditions at MC118 could provide information about the potential for natural perturbations to impact hydrate dynamics on the scale of weeks or even days necessary for assessing the long-term persistence of hydrate outcrops. Sleeping Dragon is a massive hydrate outcrop at MC118 that has been monitored since 2006. Three years ago, researchers returning to the site found it visibly diminished relative to previous observations. This apparent shift toward net dissolution of the mound may have been

  3. Metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with Santa Barbara seep oil.

    PubMed

    Hawley, Erik R; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alexander; del Rio, Tijana Glavina; Pati, Amrita; Jansson, Janet R; Gilbert, Jack A; Tringe, Susannah Green; Lorenson, Thomas D; Hess, Matthias

    2014-12-01

    The metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with natural oils seeping into the Pacific Ocean offshore the coast of Santa Barbara (California, USA) were determined to complement already existing metagenomes generated from microbial communities associated with hydrocarbons that pollute the marine ecosystem. This genomics resource article is the first of two publications reporting a total of four new metagenomes from oils that seep into the Santa Barbara Channel.

  4. Macondo-1 well oil-derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mesozooplankton from the northern Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitra, Siddhartha; Kimmel, David G.; Snyder, Jessica; Scalise, Kimberly; McGlaughon, Benjamin D.; Roman, Michael R.; Jahn, Ginger L.; Pierson, James J.; Brandt, Stephen B.; Montoya, Joseph P.; Rosenbauer, Robert J.; Lorenson, T.D.; Wong, Florence L.; Campbell, Pamela L.

    2012-01-01

    Mesozooplankton (>200 μm) collected in August and September of 2010 from the northern Gulf of Mexico show evidence of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that distributions of PAHs extracted from mesozooplankton were related to the oil released from the ruptured British Petroleum Macondo-1 (M-1) well associated with the R/VDeepwater Horizon blowout. Mesozooplankton contained 0.03–97.9 ng g−1 of total PAHs and ratios of fluoranthene to fluoranthene + pyrene less than 0.44, indicating a liquid fossil fuel source. The distribution of PAHs isolated from mesozooplankton extracted in this study shows that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill may have contributed to contamination in the northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

  5. Upper Jurassic Norphlet formation: new frontier for hydrocarbon prospecting in the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico regions

    SciTech Connect

    Mancini, E.A.; Mink, R.M.; Bearden, B.L.

    1984-04-01

    Since the discovery of oil in 1967 from the Smackover Formation at Toxey field, Choctaw County, Alabama, and of condensate in 1968 from the Norphlet Formation at Flomaton field, Escambia County, Alabama, the Upper Jurassic has become the primary exploration target in southwestern Alabama. Norphlet petroleum traps in the region are principally combination traps involving favorable stratigraphy and salt anticlines (Copeland field), extensional fault traps associated with salt movement (Flomaton field), and faulted salt anticlines (Hatter's Pond and Lower Mobile Bay-Mary Ann fields). Reservoir rocks include marine, dune, and fluvial sandstone lithofacies. Sandstone porosity involves both primary intergranular and secondary dissolution and fracture. Smackover algal carbonate mudstone is probably the source for much of the Norphlet hydrocarbon, but downdip Norphlet marine shales may also be source rocks. The central and eastern Gulf of Mexico regions should continue to be excellent areas to explore for hydrocarbons in the years ahead. Successful Norphlet petroleum prospecting in the area has involved the identification of favorable sandstone lithofacies and structural hydrocarbon traps by using geologic and geophysical methods. Future Norphlet discoveries will require the delineation of stratigraphic and structural/stratigraphic combination hydrocarbon traps using seismic-stratigraphic techniques.

  6. Upper Jurassic Norphlet formation: new frontier for hydrocarbon prospecting in the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico regions

    SciTech Connect

    Mancini, E.A.; Mink, R.M.; Bearden, B.L.

    1984-04-01

    Since the discovery of oil in 1967 from the Smackover Formation at Toxey field, Choctaw County, Alabama, and of condensate in 1968 from the Norphlet Formation at Flomaton field, Escambia County, Alabama, the Upper Jurassic has become the primary exploration target in southwestern Alabama. Norphlet petroleum traps in the region are principally combination traps involving favorable stratigraphy and salt anticlines (Copeland field), exensional fault traps associated with salt movement (Flomaton field), and faulted salt anticlines (Hatter's Pond and Lower Mobile Bay-Mary Ann fields). Reservoir rocks include marine, dune, and fluvial sandstone lithofacies. Sandstone porosity involves both primary intergranular and secondary dissolution and fracture. Smackover algal carbonate mudstone is probably the source for much of the Norphlet hydrocarbon, but downdip Norphlet marine shales may also be source rocks. The central and eastern Gulf of Mexico regions should continue to be excellent areas to explore for hydrocarbons in the years ahead. Successful Norphlet petroleum prospecting in the area has involved the identification of favorable sandstone lithofacies and structural hydrocarbon traps by using geologic and geophysical methods. Future Norphlet discoveries will require the delineation of stratigraphic and structural/stratigraphic combination hydrocarbon traps using seismic-stratigraphic techniques.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  8. Constraining silica diagenesis in methane-seep deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Impact of hydrocarbons, PCBs and heavy metals on bacterial communities in Lerma River, Salamanca, Mexico: Investigation of hydrocarbon degradation potential.

    PubMed

    Brito, Elcia M S; De la Cruz Barrón, Magali; Caretta, César A; Goñi-Urriza, Marisol; Andrade, Leandro H; Cuevas-Rodríguez, Germán; Malm, Olaf; Torres, João P M; Simon, Maryse; Guyoneaud, Remy

    2015-07-15

    Freshwater contamination usually comes from runoff water or direct wastewater discharges to the environment. This paper presents a case study which reveals the impact of these types of contamination on the sediment bacterial population. A small stretch of Lerma River Basin, heavily impacted by industrial activities and urban wastewater release, was studied. Due to industrial inputs, the sediments are characterized by strong hydrocarbon concentrations, ranging from 2 935 to 28 430μg·kg(-1) of total polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These sediments are also impacted by heavy metals (e.g., 9.6μg·kg(-1) of Cd and 246μg·kg(-1) of Cu, about 8 times the maximum recommended values for environmental samples) and polychlorinated biphenyls (ranging from 54 to 123μg·kg(-1) of total PCBs). The bacterial diversity on 6 sediment samples, taken from upstream to downstream of the main industrial and urban contamination sources, was assessed through TRFLP. Even though the high PAH concentrations are hazardous to aquatic life, they are not the only factor driving bacterial community composition in this ecosystem. Urban discharges, leading to hypoxia and low pH, also strongly influenced bacterial community structure. The bacterial bioprospection of these samples, using PAH as unique carbon source, yielded 8 hydrocarbonoclastic strains. By sequencing the 16S rDNA gene, these were identified as similar to Mycobacterium goodii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas lundensis or Aeromonas veronii. These strains showed high capacity to degrade naphthalene (between 92 and 100% at 200mg·L(-1)), pyrene (up to 72% at 100mg·L(-1)) and/or fluoranthene (52% at 50mg·L(-1)) as their only carbon source on in vitro experiments. These hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria were detected even in the samples upstream of the city of Salamanca, suggesting chronical contamination, already in place longer before. Such microorganisms are clearly potential candidates for hydrocarbon degradation in the

  10. Observations of bubbles in natural seep flares at MC 118 and GC 600 using in situ quantitative imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Binbin; Socolofsky, Scott A.; Breier, John A.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.

    2016-04-01

    This paper reports the results of quantitative imaging using a stereoscopic, high-speed camera system at two natural gas seep sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the Gulf Integrated Spill Research G07 cruise in July 2014. The cruise was conducted on the E/V Nautilus using the ROV Hercules for in situ observation of the seeps as surrogates for the behavior of hydrocarbon bubbles in subsea blowouts. The seeps originated between 890 and 1190 m depth in Mississippi Canyon block 118 and Green Canyon block 600. The imaging system provided qualitative assessment of bubble behavior (e.g., breakup and coalescence) and verified the formation of clathrate hydrate skins on all bubbles above 1.3 m altitude. Quantitative image analysis yielded the bubble size distributions, rise velocity, total gas flux, and void fraction, with most measurements conducted from the seafloor to an altitude of 200 m. Bubble size distributions fit well to lognormal distributions, with median bubble sizes between 3 and 4.5 mm. Measurements of rise velocity fluctuated between two ranges: fast-rising bubbles following helical-type trajectories and bubbles rising about 40% slower following a zig-zag pattern. Rise speed was uncorrelated with hydrate formation, and bubbles following both speeds were observed at both sites. Ship-mounted multibeam sonar provided the flare rise heights, which corresponded closely with the boundary of the hydrate stability zone for the measured gas compositions. The evolution of bubble size with height agreed well with mass transfer rates predicted by equations for dirty bubbles.

  11. Ecological risk assessment for small omnivorous mammals exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: a case study in northeastern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Flores-Serrano, Rosa María; Iturbe-Argüelles, Rosario; Pérez-Casimiro, Guillermina; Ramírez-González, Adriana; Flores-Guido, José Salvador; Kantún-Balam, Jesús Martín

    2014-04-01

    An ecological risk assessment (ERA) was performed using the hazard quotient (HQ) method to evaluate the risks of oral exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) for medium sized omnivorous mammals. This is the first in a series of three papers. In Mexico there is little experience in performing this kind of assessment for the terrestrial compartment, in particular for birds and mammals exposed to hydrocarbons. The purpose of this paper is to perform an ERA and to establish if the omnivorous mammalian species living in the area are at risk of adverse effects. The studied site is a land that in past years had been used for the disposition of petroleum tank bottom sludges, and scrap metals. Soil and water samples were collected and analyzed, and we obtained a list of the site's wildlife species as well as samples of the specimens, which were analyzed also. HQs were calculated for the hydrocarbons identified as chemicals of potential ecological concern (COPECs) and the omnivorous mammals of the site were evaluated. Toxicity reference values (TRVs) were taken from the appropriate literature, and the doses of exposure were estimated considering the ingestion of water, soil, and diet. Results indicated that potential risks associated to the oral exposure route were less than benchmarks for effects (in all cases HQ<1). The methodology is adequate in terms of the parameters considered in the calculations, but it was concluded that in order to reduce uncertainty, more research is required in Mexico. This should be primarily aimed at obtaining TRVs for mammals, and consider test species with body weights more similar to those found in the local fauna.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, Erwin

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Preliminary Analysis of Manual and Automated Seep Detection in Multibeam Water-Column Backscatter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna, L.; Auner, L.; Weller, E.; Paton, M.; Doucet, M.; Lobecker, E.

    2014-12-01

    Identifying and locating gaseous seafloor seeps using multibeam sonar water-column backscatter is a growing interest in the scientific, energy, and resource management communities. Until recently, seeps were manually detected when viewing water-column backscatter returns in post-processing software. This manual procedure is time consuming and subjective. To examine this subjectivity, the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research conducted a quality control test using data collected during an expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in the Gulf of Mexico from March to April, 2014. Water-column backscatter data was post-processed underway in FMMidwater and seep coordinates were manually geopicked from the beam fan. Ten percent of the original survey lines were independently re-processed using the same manual detection methods but with a different observer. Results show that manual seep selection can be highly variable between two different individuals. To help reduce this subjectivity and time required to manually detect seeps, QPS, Inc. developed a Feature Detection Tool for FMMidwater that uses an algorithm developed by the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. To test the tool, the 10% subset of survey lines were run through the Feature Detection Tool using default settings, and the automatically detected seeps were compared with the manual geopicks. Not surprisingly, initial results show there can be variability between manual and algorithm seeps. Scrutiny of the automatic picks shows that the tool identified 60% of the seeps detected, and verified, by the independent manually-detecting observers. 32% of the seeps identified manually were missed by the tool, but 8% additional seeps were identified by the algorithm that had been missed through manual detection. The automatic detection showed several false positives, requiring manual intervention, but at a significantly lower level of effort than manual scrutinization of the raw

  14. Mexico.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Semaan, Leslie

    The text explores Mexico's history, geography, art, religion, and lifestyles in the context of its complex economy. The text focuses on Mexico's economy and reasons for its current situation. Part I of this teaching unit includes: Teacher Overview, Why Study Mexico, Mexico Fact Sheet, Map of Mexico, the Land and Climate, History, Government,…

  15. Vehicle traffic as a source of particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure in the Mexico City metropolitan area.

    PubMed

    Marr, Linsey C; Grogan, Lisa A; Wöhrnschimmel, Henry; Molina, Luisa T; Molina, Mario J; Smith, Thomas J; Garshick, Eric

    2004-05-01

    Surface properties of aerosols in the Mexico City metropolitan area have been measured in a variety of exposure scenarios related to vehicle emissions in 2002, using continuous, real-time instruments. The objective of these experiments is to describe ambient and occupational particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations associated with vehicular traffic and facilities using diesel vehicles. Median total particulate PAH concentrations along Mexico City's roadways range from 60 to 910 ng m(-3), averaged over a minimum of 1 h. These levels are approximately 5 times higher than concentrations measured in the United States and among the highest measured ambient values reported in the literature. The ratio of particulate PAH concentration to aerosol active surface area is much higher along roadways and in other areas of fresh vehicle emissions, compared to ratios measured at sites influenced more by aged emissions or noncombustion sources. For particles freshly emitted by vehicles, PAH and elemental carbon (EC) concentrations are correlated because they both originate during the combustion process. Comparison of PAH versus EC and active surface area concentrations at different locations suggests that surface PAH concentrations may diminish with particle aging. These results indicate that exposure to vehicle-related PAH emissions on Mexico City's roadways may present an important public health risk.

  16. The microbial nitrogen cycling potential is impacted by polyaromatic hydrocarbon pollution of marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Scott, Nicole M; Hess, Matthias; Bouskill, Nick J; Mason, Olivia U; Jansson, Janet K; Gilbert, Jack A

    2014-01-01

    During hydrocarbon exposure, the composition and functional dynamics of marine microbial communities are altered, favoring bacteria that can utilize this rich carbon source. Initial exposure of high levels of hydrocarbons in aerobic surface sediments can enrich growth of heterotrophic microorganisms having hydrocarbon degradation capacity. As a result, there can be a localized reduction in oxygen potential within the surface layer of marine sediments causing anaerobic zones. We hypothesized that increasing exposure to elevated hydrocarbon concentrations would positively correlate with an increase in denitrification processes and the net accumulation of dinitrogen. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the relative abundance of genes associated with nitrogen metabolism and nitrogen cycling identified in 6 metagenomes from sediments contaminated by polyaromatic hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and 3 metagenomes from sediments associated with natural oil seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel. An additional 8 metagenomes from uncontaminated sediments from the Gulf of Mexico were analyzed for comparison. We predicted relative changes in metabolite turnover as a function of the differential microbial gene abundances, which showed predicted accumulation of metabolites associated with denitrification processes, including anammox, in the contaminated samples compared to uncontaminated sediments, with the magnitude of this change being positively correlated to the hydrocarbon concentration and exposure duration. These data highlight the potential impact of hydrocarbon inputs on N cycling processes in marine sediments and provide information relevant for system scale models of nitrogen metabolism in affected ecosystems.

  17. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation potential of Gulf of Mexico native coastal microbial communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Kappell, Anthony D; Wei, Yin; Newton, Ryan J; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; McLellan, Sandra L; Hristova, Krassimira R

    2014-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout resulted in oil transport, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. The microbial communities of these shorelines are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic degradation of PAHs. To investigate the Gulf Coast beach microbial community response to hydrocarbon exposure, we examined the functional gene diversity, bacterial community composition, and PAH degradation capacity of a heavily oiled and non-oiled beach following the oil exposure. With a non-expression functional gene microarray targeting 539 gene families, we detected 28,748 coding sequences. Of these sequences, 10% were uniquely associated with the severely oil-contaminated beach and 6.0% with the non-oiled beach. There was little variation in the functional genes detected between the two beaches; however the relative abundance of functional genes involved in oil degradation pathways, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were greater in the oiled beach. The microbial PAH degradation potentials of both beaches, were tested in mesocosms. Mesocosms were constructed in glass columns using sands with native microbial communities, circulated with artificial sea water and challenged with a mixture of PAHs. The low-molecular weight PAHs, fluorene and naphthalene, showed rapid depletion in all mesocosms while the high-molecular weight benzo[α]pyrene was not degraded by either microbial community. Both the heavily oiled and the non-impacted coastal communities showed little variation in their biodegradation ability for low molecular weight PAHs. Massively-parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from mesocosm DNA showed that known PAH degraders and genera frequently associated with oil hydrocarbon degradation represented a major portion of the bacterial community. The observed similar response by microbial communities from beaches with a different recent history of oil exposure suggests that Gulf Coast beach communities are

  18. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation potential of Gulf of Mexico native coastal microbial communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    PubMed Central

    Kappell, Anthony D.; Wei, Yin; Newton, Ryan J.; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; McLellan, Sandra L.; Hristova, Krassimira R.

    2014-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout resulted in oil transport, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. The microbial communities of these shorelines are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic degradation of PAHs. To investigate the Gulf Coast beach microbial community response to hydrocarbon exposure, we examined the functional gene diversity, bacterial community composition, and PAH degradation capacity of a heavily oiled and non-oiled beach following the oil exposure. With a non-expression functional gene microarray targeting 539 gene families, we detected 28,748 coding sequences. Of these sequences, 10% were uniquely associated with the severely oil-contaminated beach and 6.0% with the non-oiled beach. There was little variation in the functional genes detected between the two beaches; however the relative abundance of functional genes involved in oil degradation pathways, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were greater in the oiled beach. The microbial PAH degradation potentials of both beaches, were tested in mesocosms. Mesocosms were constructed in glass columns using sands with native microbial communities, circulated with artificial sea water and challenged with a mixture of PAHs. The low-molecular weight PAHs, fluorene and naphthalene, showed rapid depletion in all mesocosms while the high-molecular weight benzo[α]pyrene was not degraded by either microbial community. Both the heavily oiled and the non-impacted coastal communities showed little variation in their biodegradation ability for low molecular weight PAHs. Massively-parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from mesocosm DNA showed that known PAH degraders and genera frequently associated with oil hydrocarbon degradation represented a major portion of the bacterial community. The observed similar response by microbial communities from beaches with a different recent history of oil exposure suggests that Gulf Coast beach communities are

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. The effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on seabed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Siddhartha; Lalicata, Joseph J; Allison, Mead A; Dellapenna, Timothy M

    2009-06-01

    To assess the extent to which Hurricanes Katrina and Rita affected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), sediment cores were analyzed in late 2005 from: a shallow shelf, a deeper shelf, and a marsh station. Sediment geochronology, fabric, and geochemistry show that the 2005 storms deposited approximately 10cm of sediment to the surface of a core at 5-12A. Bulk carbon geochemistry and PAH isomers in this top layer suggest that the source of sediment to the top portion of core 5-12A was from a relatively more marine area. Particulate PAHs in the marsh core (04M) appeared unaffected by the storms while sediments in the core from Station 5-1B (deeper shelf) were affected minimally (some possible storm-derived deposition). Substantial amounts of PAH-laden particles may have been displaced from the seabed in shallow areas of the water column in the GOM by these 2005 storms.

  1. Benthic foraminifera of bathyal hydrocarbon vents of the Gulf of Mexico: Initial report on communities and stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen Gupta, Barun K.; Aharon, Paul

    1994-06-01

    Substrates associated with active hydrocarbon vents in bathyal Gulf of Mexico support numerous foraminiferal species, with a few of them showing unusually high relative abundances. In the 584- to 695-m-depth range,Bolivina ordinaria, Gavelinopsis translucens, andCassidulina neocarinata strongly dominate the vent community, whereasBolivina subaenariensis andUvigerina laevis play this role around a vent at 216 m water depth. The bathymetric imprint on the foraminiferal record is also seen in theδ 18O compositions of some species, includingUvigerina peregrina. The adaptation of foraminiferal communities to bacterial (Beggiatoa) mats, in which the redox boundary is very close to the sediment—water interface, and anomalous depletions of13C inU. peregrina (relative to the same species from nonventing sites) indicate that several species are probably facultative anaerobes and tolerant of H2S toxicity.

  2. Geomicrobiological linkages between short-chain alkane consumption and sulfate reduction rates in seep sediments

    PubMed Central

    Bose, Arpita; Rogers, Daniel R.; Adams, Melissa M.; Joye, Samantha B.; Girguis, Peter R.

    2013-01-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps are ecosystems that are rich in methane, and, in some cases, short-chain (C2–C5) and longer alkanes. C2–C4 alkanes such as ethane, propane, and butane can be significant components of seeping fluids. Some sulfate-reducing microbes oxidize short-chain alkanes anaerobically, and may play an important role in both the competition for sulfate and the local carbon budget. To better understand the anaerobic oxidation of short-chain n-alkanes coupled with sulfate-reduction, hydrocarbon-rich sediments from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) were amended with artificial, sulfate-replete seawater and one of four n-alkanes (C1–C4) then incubated under strict anaerobic conditions. Measured rates of alkane oxidation and sulfate reduction closely follow stoichiometric predictions that assume the complete oxidation of alkanes to CO2 (though other sinks for alkane carbon likely exist). Changes in the δ13C of all the alkanes in the reactors show enrichment over the course of the incubation, with the C3 and C4 incubations showing the greatest enrichment (4.4 and 4.5‰, respectively). The concurrent depletion in the δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) implies a transfer of carbon from the alkane to the DIC pool (−3.5 and −6.7‰ for C3 and C4 incubations, respectively). Microbial community analyses reveal that certain members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are selectively enriched as the incubations degrade C1–C4 alkanes. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that distinct phylotypes are enriched in the ethane reactors, while phylotypes in the propane and butane reactors align with previously identified C3–C4 alkane-oxidizing sulfate-reducers. These data further constrain the potential influence of alkane oxidation on sulfate reduction rates (SRRs) in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments, provide insight into their contribution to local carbon cycling, and illustrate the extent to which short-chain alkanes can serve as electron donors and govern microbial

  3. Geomicrobiological linkages between short-chain alkane consumption and sulfate reduction rates in seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Bose, Arpita; Rogers, Daniel R; Adams, Melissa M; Joye, Samantha B; Girguis, Peter R

    2013-01-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps are ecosystems that are rich in methane, and, in some cases, short-chain (C2-C5) and longer alkanes. C2-C4 alkanes such as ethane, propane, and butane can be significant components of seeping fluids. Some sulfate-reducing microbes oxidize short-chain alkanes anaerobically, and may play an important role in both the competition for sulfate and the local carbon budget. To better understand the anaerobic oxidation of short-chain n-alkanes coupled with sulfate-reduction, hydrocarbon-rich sediments from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) were amended with artificial, sulfate-replete seawater and one of four n-alkanes (C1-C4) then incubated under strict anaerobic conditions. Measured rates of alkane oxidation and sulfate reduction closely follow stoichiometric predictions that assume the complete oxidation of alkanes to CO2 (though other sinks for alkane carbon likely exist). Changes in the δ(13)C of all the alkanes in the reactors show enrichment over the course of the incubation, with the C3 and C4 incubations showing the greatest enrichment (4.4 and 4.5‰, respectively). The concurrent depletion in the δ(13)C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) implies a transfer of carbon from the alkane to the DIC pool (-3.5 and -6.7‰ for C3 and C4 incubations, respectively). Microbial community analyses reveal that certain members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are selectively enriched as the incubations degrade C1-C4 alkanes. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that distinct phylotypes are enriched in the ethane reactors, while phylotypes in the propane and butane reactors align with previously identified C3-C4 alkane-oxidizing sulfate-reducers. These data further constrain the potential influence of alkane oxidation on sulfate reduction rates (SRRs) in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments, provide insight into their contribution to local carbon cycling, and illustrate the extent to which short-chain alkanes can serve as electron donors and govern microbial community

  4. Concentrations and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface coastal sediments of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Coastal sediments in the northern Gulf of Mexico have a high potential of being contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), due to extensive petroleum exploration and transportation activities. In this study we evaluated the spatial distribution and contamination sources of PAHs, as well as the bioavailable fraction in the bulk PAH pool, in surface marsh and shelf sediments (top 5 cm) of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Results PAH concentrations in this region ranged from 100 to 856 ng g−1, with the highest concentrations in Mississippi River mouth sediments followed by marsh sediments and then the lowest concentrations in shelf sediments. The PAH concentrations correlated positively with atomic C/N ratios of sedimentary organic matter (OM), suggesting that terrestrial OM preferentially sorbs PAHs relative to marine OM. PAHs with 2 rings were more abundant than those with 5–6 rings in continental shelf sediments, while the opposite was found in marsh sediments. This distribution pattern suggests different contamination sources between shelf and marsh sediments. Based on diagnostic ratios of PAH isomers and principal component analysis, shelf sediment PAHs were petrogenic and those from marsh sediments were pyrogenic. The proportions of bioavailable PAHs in total PAHs were low, ranging from 0.02% to 0.06%, with higher fractions found in marsh than shelf sediments. Conclusion PAH distribution and composition differences between marsh and shelf sediments were influenced by grain size, contamination sources, and the types of organic matter associated with PAHs. Concentrations of PAHs in the study area were below effects low-range, suggesting a low risk to organisms and limited transfer of PAHs into food web. From the source analysis, PAHs in shelf sediments mainly originated from direct petroleum contamination, while those in marsh sediments were from combustion of fossil fuels. PMID:24641695

  5. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in chronically petroleum-contaminated soils in Mexico and the effects of petroleum hydrocarbons on spore germination.

    PubMed

    Franco-Ramírez, Alicia; Ferrera-Cerrato, Ronald; Varela-Fregoso, Lucía; Pérez-Moreno, Jesús; Alarcón, Alejandro

    2007-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have been hypothesized to enhance plant adaptation and growth in petroleum-contaminated soils. Nevertheless, neither AMF-biodiversity under chronically petroleum-contaminated soils nor spore germination response to petroleum hydrocarbons has been well studied. Chronically petroleum-contaminated rhizosphere soil and roots from Echinochloa polystachya, Citrus aurantifolia and C. aurantium were collected from Activo Cinco Presidentes, Tabasco, Mexico. Root colonization and spore abundance were evaluated. Additionally, rhizosphere soil samples were propagated using Sorghum vulgare L. as a plant trap under greenhouse conditions; subsequently, AMF-spores were identified. AMF-colonization ranged from 63 to 77% while spore number ranged from 715 to 912 in 100 g soil, suggesting that AMF tolerate the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in the rhizosphere. From grass species, four AMF-morphospecies were identified: Glomus ambisporum, G. sinuosum (previously described as Sclerocystis sinuosum), Acaulospora laevis, and Ambispora gerdermanni. From citrus trees, four AMF-species were also identified: Scutellospora heterogama, G. ambisporum, Acaulospora scrobiculata, and G. citricola. In a second study, it was observed that spore germination and hyphal length of G. mosseae, G. ambisporum, and S. heterogama were significantly reduced by either volatile compounds of crude oil or increased concentrations of benzo[a ]pyrene or phenanthrene in water-agar.

  6. Distribution and Attenuation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Gulf of Mexico Seawater from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Accident.

    PubMed

    Boehm, Paul D; Murray, Karen J; Cook, Linda L

    2016-01-19

    The extended duration of the oil release from the Deepwater Horizon accident (April 20-July 15, 2010) triggered a need to characterize environmental exposures in four dimensions through sampling and tracking the changes in distributions, concentrations, and compositions of oil and total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (TPAH) in the Gulf of Mexico over time and space. More than 11,000 water samples were collected offshore during more than 100 cruises and were measured for 50 parent and alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Elevated concentrations (greater than 1 ppb) of TPAH were largely limited to an area within about 20 km of the wellhead in the subsurface deepwaters at 1000-1200 m depth to the southwest of the wellhead and in the top 3 m underlying the surface oil. Concentrations decreased with distance and time, and changes in the PAH composition indicate that these changes were due to differential solubilization, photodegradation, evaporation, and/or biodegradation of individual PAH compounds. These limited areas of elevated PAH concentrations disappeared within weeks after the release was stopped.

  7. Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on bioavailable polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Gulf of Mexico coastal waters

    PubMed Central

    Allan, Sarah E.; Smith, Brian W.; Anderson, Kim A.

    2012-01-01

    An estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil and 2.1 million gallons of dispersants were released into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. There is a continued need for information about the impacts and long-term effects of the disaster on the Gulf of Mexico. The objectives of this study were to assess bioavailable polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the coastal waters of four Gulf Coast states that were impacted by the spill. For over a year, beginning in May 2010, passive sampling devices were used to monitor the bioavailable concentration of PAHs. Prior to shoreline oiling, baseline data were obtained at all the study sites, allowing for direct before and after comparisons of PAH contamination. Significant increases in bioavailable PAHs were seen following the oil spill, however, pre-oiling levels were observed at all sites by March, 2011. A return to elevated PAH concentrations, accompanied by a chemical fingerprint similar to that observed while the site was being impacted by the spill, was observed in Alabama in summer, 2011. Chemical forensic modeling demonstrated that elevated PAH concentrations are associated with distinctive chemical profiles. PMID:22321043

  8. Carbon isotope geochemistry of hydrocarbons in the Cerro Prieto geothermal field, Baja California Norte, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Des Marais, D.J.; Stallard, M.L.; Nehring, N.L.; Truesdell, A.H.

    1988-01-01

    Hydrocarbon abundances and stable-isotopic compositions were measured in wells M5, M26, M35 and M102, which represent a range of depths (1270-2000 m) and temperatures (275-330??C) in the field. In order to simulate the production of the geothermal hydrocarbons, gases were collected from the pyrolysis of lignite in the laboratory. This lignite was obtained from a well which sampled rock strata which are identical to those occurring in the field, but which have experienced much lower subsurface temperatures. In both the well and the laboratory observations, high-temperature environments favored higher relative concentrations of methane, ethane and benzene and generally higher ??13C-values in the individual hydrocarbons. The best correlation between the laboratory and well data is obtained when laboratory-produced gases from experiments conducted at lower (400??C) and higher (600??C) temperatures are mixed. This improved correlation suggests that the wells are sampling hydrocarbons produced from a spectrum of depths and temperatures in the sediments. ?? 1988.

  9. Carbon isotope geochemistry of hydrocarbons in the Cerro Prieto geothermal field, Baja California Norte, Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, D. J.; Stallard, M. L.; Nehring, N. L.; Truesdell, A. H.

    1988-01-01

    Hydrocarbon abundances and stable-isotopic compositions were measured in wells M5, M26, M35 and M102, which represent a range of depths (1270-2000 m) and temperatures (275-330 degrees C) in the field. In order to simulate the production of the geothermal hydrocarbons, gases were collected from the pyrolysis of lignite in the laboratory. This lignite was obtained from a well which sampled rock strata which are identical to those occurring in the field, but which have experienced much lower subsurface temperatures. In both the well and the laboratory observations, high-temperature environments favored higher relative concentrations of methane, ethane and benzene and generally higher delta 13C-values in the individual hydrocarbons. The best correlation between the laboratory and well data is obtained when laboratory-produced gases from experiments conducted at lower (400 degrees C) and higher (600 degrees C) temperatures are mixed. This improved correlation suggests that the wells are sampling hydrocarbons produced from a spectrum of depths and temperatures in the sediments.

  10. Consideration of the oasis analogy for chemosynthetic communities at Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon vents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carney, Robert S.

    1994-06-01

    The analogy between desert oasis and deep-sea chemosynthetic community arose from the biomass contrast between vents and the relatively depauperate background benthic fauna. Fully developed, the analogy helps pose questions about interactions with the background fauna with respect to resources, colonization, and persistence. The chemosynthetic sites of the Gulf of Mexico provide an opportunity to consider possible interactions between vent and nonvent fauna over a 3000-m depth range. It is postulated that deep chemosynthetic communities require the operation of geochemical transporting and concentrating processes to overcome low levels of in situ methane and sulfide production. Clathrate reservoirs may serve these functions. A few chemosynthetic species at the Gulf of Mexico upper slope sites are related to shallow-water sulfide species, but it can be speculated that the dominant chemosynthetic fauna may have originated in a wide spread deep sulfide biome of the Cretaceous. Generic endemism of consumers is low in Gulf of Mexico sites, suggesting a high level of colonization from the surrounding benthos. Chemosynthetic communities may avoid excessive colonization by predators in spite of the apparent food limitation of the surrounding benthos due to toxicity or an evolutionary mechanism selecting against specialized predators. The abundance of large predators is related to the composition of the surrounding benthos and is high at the Gulf of Mexico upper slope sites. Exclusion of chemosyntheic communities from shallower depths may be due to excessive predation by generalists.

  11. Presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in apple in rural terrains from Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Salinas, Rutilio Ortiz; González, Gilberto Díaz; Bermudez, Beatriz Schettino; Tolentino, Rey Gutiérrez; Vega Y León, Salvador

    2010-08-01

    This paper describes PAH concentrations in apple crops that are growing in rural terrains in Mexico City. The concentrations of individual PAHs showed great variability, there being low and high molecular weight compounds in dry (high molecular weight for Tlahuac 7.06 microg/g and Milpa Alta 3.96 microg/g) and wet months (high molecular weight for Tlahuac 11.25 microg/g and Milpa Alta 12.05 microg/g). Some PAHs indicators and cross plot ratios Ant/(Ant + Phe) and Flu/(Flu + Pyr) define fossil fuels and vegetation combustion as the source of contamination over the cuticle of the apples. It is likely that deposition (dry and wet) is the principal source o f contamination over the apple surface. This study reveals the presence of PAHs in apples due to the high air contamination of Mexico City.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  14. Significance of aragonite cements around Cretaceous marine methane seeps

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-05-01

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

  15. Non-methane hydrocarbons in the atmosphere of Mexico City: Results of the 2012 ozone-season campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaimes-Palomera, Mónica; Retama, Armando; Elias-Castro, Gabriel; Neria-Hernández, Angélica; Rivera-Hernández, Olivia; Velasco, Erik

    2016-05-01

    With the aim to strengthen the verification capabilities of the local air quality management, the air quality monitoring network of Mexico City has started the monitoring of selected non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs). Previous information on the NMHC characterization had been obtained through individual studies and comprehensive intensive field campaigns, in both cases restricted to sampling periods of short duration. This new initiative will address the NMHC pollution problem during longer monitoring periods and provide robust information to evaluate the effectiveness of new control measures. The article introduces the design of the monitoring network and presents results from the first campaign carried out during the first six months of 2012 covering the ozone-season (Mar-May). Using as reference data collected in 2003, results show reductions during the morning rush hour (6-9 h) in the mixing ratios of light alkanes associated with the consumption and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas and aromatic compounds related with the evaporation of fossil fuels and solvents, in contrast to olefins from vehicular traffic. The increase in mixing ratios of reactive olefins is of relevance to understand the moderate success in the ozone and fine aerosols abatement in recent years in comparison to other criteria pollutants. In the case of isoprene, the typical afternoon peak triggered by biogenic emissions was clearly observed for the first time within the city. The diurnal profiles of the monitored compounds are analyzed in terms of the energy balance throughout the day as a surrogate of the boundary layer evolution. Particular features of the diurnal profiles and correlation between individual NMHCs and carbon monoxide are used to investigate the influence of specific emission sources. The results discussed here highlight the importance of monitoring NMHCs to better understand the drivers and impacts of air pollution in large cities like Mexico City.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, R. S.

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  19. Black carbon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions from vehicles in the United States-Mexico border region: pilot study.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Kerry; Wagner, David; Lighty, JoAnn; Quintero Núñez, Margarito; Vazquez, F Adrian; Collins, Kimberly; Barud-Zubillaga, Alberto

    2006-03-01

    The investigators developed a system to measure black carbon (BC) and particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission factors during roadside sampling in four cities along the United States-Mexico border, Calexico/Mexicali and El Paso/Juarez. The measurement system included a photoacoustic analyzer for BC, a photoelectric aerosol sensor for particle-bound PAHs, and a carbon dioxide (CO2) analyzer. When a vehicle with measurable emissions passed the system probe, corresponding BC, PAH, and CO2 peaks were evident, and a fuel-based emission factor was estimated. A picture of each vehicle was also recorded with a digital camera. The advantage of this system, compared with other roadside methods, is the direct measurement of particulate matter components and limited interference from roadside dust. The study revealed some interesting trends: Mexican buses and all medium-duty trucks were more frequently identified as high emitters of BC and PAH than heavy-duty trucks or passenger vehicles. In addition, because of the high daily mileage of buses, they are good candidates for additional study. Mexican trucks and buses had higher average emission factors compared with U.S. trucks and buses, but the differences were not statistically significant. Few passenger vehicles had measurable BC and PAH emissions, although the highest emission factor came from an older model passenger vehicle licensed in Baja California.

  20. (234)Th as a tracer of vertical transport of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Puspa L; Maiti, Kanchan; Bosu, Somiddho; Jones, Patrick R

    2016-06-15

    Particle-mediated vertical flux of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) plays an important role in their removal from upper oceans and sets a limit on the amount delivered to the deep-sea sediments. In this study, we applied a one-dimensional steady-state (234)Th scavenging model to estimate vertical flux of PAHs in the northern Gulf of Mexico and compared them with sediment trap based flux estimates. The (234)Th-based ∑PAH43 fluxes were 6.7±1.0μgm(-2)d(-1) and 3.7±0.6μgm(-2)d(-1) while sediment trap-based fluxes were 4.0±0.6μgm(-2)d(-1) and 4.5±0.7μgm(-2)d(-1) at 150m and 250m, respectively. Alkylated homologues contributed to 80% of the total PAH fluxes which is in contrary to other regions where combustion derived parent PAHs dominate the fluxes. The results indicate that the (238)U-(234)Th disequilibria can be an effective tracer of particulate PAH fluxes in upper mesopelagic zones and can provide flux estimates with high spatial coverage needed to quantify their long term fate and transport in the marine systems.

  1. Geologic framework, regional aquifer properties (1940s-2009), and spring, creek, and seep properties (2009-10) of the upper San Mateo Creek Basin near Mount Taylor, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Langman, Jeff B.; Sprague, Jesse E.; Durall, Roger A.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, examined the geologic framework, regional aquifer properties, and spring, creek, and seep properties of the upper San Mateo Creek Basin near Mount Taylor, which contains areas proposed for exploratory drilling and possible uranium mining on U.S. Forest Service land. The geologic structure of the region was formed from uplift of the Zuni Mountains during the Laramide Orogeny and the Neogene volcanism associated with the Mount Taylor Volcanic Field. Within this structural context, numerous aquifers are present in various Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary formations and the Quaternary alluvium. The distribution of the aquifers is spatially variable because of the dip of the formations and erosion that produced the current landscape configuration where older formations have been exhumed closer to the Zuni Mountains. Many of the alluvial deposits and formations that contain groundwater likely are hydraulically connected because of the solid-matrix properties, such as substantive porosity, but shale layers such as those found in the Mancos Formation and Chinle Group likely restrict vertical flow. Existing water-level data indicate topologically downgradient flow in the Quaternary alluvium and indiscernible general flow patterns in the lower aquifers. According to previously published material and the geologic structure of the aquifers, the flow direction in the lower aquifers likely is in the opposite direction compared to the alluvium aquifer. Groundwater within the Chinle Group is known to be confined, which may allow upward migration of water into the Morrison Formation; however, confining layers within the Chinle Group likely retard upward leakage. Groundwater was sodium-bicarbonate/sulfate dominant or mixed cation-mixed anion with some calcium/bicarbonate water in the study area. The presence of the reduction/oxidation-sensitive elements iron and manganese in groundwater indicates reducing

  2. Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of Mexico was acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. In areal extent, Mexico is the third largest country on the continent of North America (not counting Greenland, which is a province of Denmark), comprised of almost 2 million square kilometers (756,000 square miles) of land. Home to roughly 100 million people, Mexico is second only to the United States in population, making it the world's largest Spanish-speaking nation. To the north, Mexico shares its border with the United States-a line that runs some 3,100 kilometers (1,900 miles) east to west. About half of this border is defined by the Rio Grande River, which runs southeast to the Gulf of Mexico (partially obscured by clouds in this image) and marks the dividing line between Texas and Mexico. Toward the upper left (northwest) corner of this image is the Baja California peninsula, which provides the western land boundary for the Gulf of California. Toward the northwestern side of the Mexican mainland, you can see the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains (brownish pixels) running southeast toward Lake Chapala and the city of Guadalajara. About 400 km (250 miles) east and slightly south of Lake Chapala is the capital, Mexico City. Extending northward from Mexico City is the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains, the irregular line of brownish pixels that seem to frame the western edges of the bright white cumulus clouds in this image. Between these two large mountain ranges is a large, relatively dry highland region. To the south, Mexico shares borders with Guatemala and Belize, both of which are located south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Image courtesy Reto Stockli, Brian Montgomery, and Robert Simmon, based on data from the MODIS Science Team

  3. Distributions and accumulation rates of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the northern Gulf of Mexico sediments.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Puspa L; Maiti, Kanchan; Overton, Edward B; Rosenheim, Brad E; Marx, Brian D

    2016-05-01

    Sediment samples collected from shelf, slope and interior basin of the northern Gulf of Mexico during 2011-2013, 1-3 years after the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, were utilized to characterize PAH pollution history, in this region. Results indicate that the concentrations of surface ΣPAH43 and their accumulation rates vary between 44 and 160 ng g(-1) and 6-55 ng cm(-2) y(-1), respectively. ΣPAH43 concentration profiles, accumulation rates and Δ(14)C values are significantly altered only for the sediments in the immediate vicinity of the DWH wellhead. This shows that the impact of DWH oil input on deep-sea sediments was generally limited to the area close to the spill site. Further, the PAHs source diagnostic analyses suggest a noticeable change in PAHs composition from higher to lower molecular weight dominance which reflects a change in source of PAHs in the past three years, back to the background composition. Results indicate low to moderate levels of PAH pollution in this region at present, which are unlikely to cause adverse effects on benthic communities.

  4. Comparison of two tunnel studies for non methane hydrocarbons in Mexico City

    SciTech Connect

    Mugica A, V.; Vega R, E.; Ruiz S, M.E.; Seila, R.

    1998-12-31

    Emissions from vehicles have long been considered a major source of pollutants involved in smog formation and ozone production. During the last few years, different control strategies have been taking place to reduce the high levels of ozone and some other atmospheric pollutants. Some of these strategies are: improvement of fuels, a program for compulsory vehicular emission test and the introduction of catalytic converters to be used in conjunction with unleaded gasoline since 1991. The comparison of the vehicular NMHC emission source profiles measured in a tunnel in Mexico City during March 1992 and May 1996 is presented. Samples were collected using stainless steel SUMMA{reg_sign} canisters and subsequent analyzed by gas chromatography with flame ionized detector. It was found that in general, the source profiles are similar, however, some differences were detected for some species. The sum of acetylene, ethylene and ethane contents, which are a typical combustion products, is lower for the 1996 source profile than for the 1992. In the same way, there is a small decrease of paraffin and olefin contents, except for hexane. Finally, significant differences were found for aromatic compounds, mainly toluene and xylenes which increased in 1996.

  5. Opposing seasonal trends for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and PM10: Health risk and sources in southwest Mexico City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amador-Muñoz, Omar; Bazán-Torija, S.; Villa-Ferreira, S. A.; Villalobos-Pietrini, Rafael; Bravo-Cabrera, José Luis; Munive-Colín, Zenaida; Hernández-Mena, Leonel; Saldarriaga-Noreña, H.; Murillo-Tovar, M. A.

    2013-03-01

    This study reports the measurement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in airborne particles ≤ 10 μm (PM10) during four years. Seasonal variation was observed for PM10 and PAH in southwest Mexico City, with major mass concentrations during the dry season (November-April). A non linear decreasing trend of PM10 was observed during this period, while a linear increase (in the four years) was obtained for benzo[a]pyrene (88 pg m- 3), phenanthrene (29 pg m- 3), fluoranthene (88 pg m- 3), and benzo[ghi]perylene (438 pg m- 3). Coronene also showed an increasing trend but it was nonlinear. This suggests that air control strategies implemented by the government contributed to maintaining PM10 under the 24 h maximum limit and resulted in a decreasing trend during this period. However, these strategies did not result in controlling some organic constituents with mutagenic and/or carcinogenic properties as it is the case of benzo[a]pyrene. The annual average of this PAH exceeded the UK recommendation. It was estimated a median (10th-90th) lifetime health risk of 7.6 (3.4-17.2) additional cases of cancer per 10 million people in this zone exists and the health risk of PAH is almost three times greater in dry seasons than it is in rainy seasons. Specific humidity, temperature and wind speed acted as cleaners for PM10 and PAH from the atmosphere. PAH diagnostic ratios and correlation and principal component analyses suggest incomplete combustion from gasoline and diesel engines as the main contributor to PAH found in southwest Mexico City, where factor 1 grouped all PAH emitted from gasoline engines during first three years. During last year, factor 1 only grouped PAH markers of diesel engines. This suggests a change of emission amounts between gasoline and diesel combustion sources or a contribution of other source(s) which changed the PAH profiles. During four years retene was always separated from factors which grouped the rest of PAH, due to its wood combustion

  6. Mexico.

    PubMed

    1988-02-01

    Focus in this discussion of Mexico is on the following: geography; the people; history; political conditions; the economy; foreign relations; and relations between the US and Mexico. As of July 1987, the population of Mexico numbered 81.9 million with an estimated annual growth rate of 2.09%. 60% of the population is Indian-Spanish (mestizo), 30% American Indian, 9% white, and 1% other. Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the 2nd most populous country in Latin America. Education is decentralized and expanded. Mexico's topography ranges from low desert plains and jungle-like coastal strips to high plateaus and rugged mountains. Hernan Cortes conquered Mexico in 1919-21 and founded a Spanish colony that lasted for almost 300 years. Independence from Spain was proclaimed by Father Miguel Hidalgo on September 16, 1810; the republic was established on December 6, 1822. Mexico's constitution of 1917 provides for a federal republic with a separation of powers into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Significant political themes of the administration of President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, who began his 6-year term in 1982, have been restructuring the economy, liberalizing trade practices, decentralizing government services, and eliminating corruption among public servants. In 1987, estimates put the real growth of the Mexican economy at 1.5%; the gross domestic product (GDP) had shrunk by 3.5% in 1986. Yet, on the positive side, Mexico's international reserves increased to record levels in 1987 (to about $15 billion), and its current account surplus reached more than $3 billion. Mexico has made considerable progress in moving to restructure its economy. It has substantially reduced impediments to international trade and has moved to reduce the number of parastatal firms. 1987 was the 2nd consecutive year in which Mexico recorded triple-digit inflation; inflation reached 158.8%. Other problems include

  7. Historical Distribution of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Shallow Sediments from Lake Chapala, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zárate-Del Valle, P. F.; Macías-Pérez, M. P.; Barajas-Martínez, C. D.; Gómez-Hermosillo, C. M.

    2008-12-01

    The incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and burning of vegetation and other organic materials release into the environment pollutants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are ubiquitous pollutants. The environmental behavior of PAHs is characterized by very low solubility, high hydrophobic sorptive capacity (kow), low volatility and general chemical stability. These characteristics mean, in practice, that PAHs are environmentally persistent compounds that in aquatic systems, are strongly held to solid surfaces present as both suspended particles and bottom sediment. Additionally, because of their high partition to organic carbon, PAHs show a high rate of bioconcentration and an easy way to enter the food chain. A benthos type sediment core was collected (CHA-C: N20° 15.105'; W103° 03.104') from the depocenter of lake Chapala. The first 40 cm of the sedimentary column representing an ecological history of ~ 150 years (210Pb dating) were cutted every 2 cm (n=20). For each core sectioned, the presence of PAHs was evaluated by GC-MS following methods from the USEPA (EPA 3540C, EPA 3620C, EPA 8270C). For the first 30 cm deep only products resulting of PAHs degradation were identified, namely: Butilisobutilphtalate, 1,2-benzenedicarboxaldehyde, phenol and, cinnamaldehyde; we attibute the presence of these products to a faster transformation of PAHs by photo and metabolic degradation as well as to chemical oxydation. For the 30-40 cm deep, the presence of the follwing PAHs was detected: 1H-indene, 1,2- difluor-3,4,5-trimetylbenzenethylnaphthalene, naphthalene, anthracene, and phenantren. A study is in progress to determine the presence of PAHs in other sites of the lake. We conclude that shallow sediment (40 cm deep) from Lake Chapala could constitute a potentially large pool of PAHs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. Detection of Natural Oil Seeps in the Atlantic Ocean Using MODIS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reahard, Ross; Jones, Jason B.; Mitchell, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Natural oil seepage is the release of crude oil into the ocean from fissures in the seabed. Oil seepage is a major contributor to the total amount of oil entering the world s oceans. According to a 2003 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 47 percent of oil entering the world s oceans is from natural seeps, and 53 percent is from human sources (extraction, transportation, and consumption). Oil seeps cause smooth oil slicks to form on the water s surface. Oil seeps can indicate the location of stores of fossil fuel beneath the ocean floor. Knowledge of the effect of oil seepage on marine life and marine ecosystems remains limited. In the past, remote sensing has been used to detect oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and off of the coast of southern California. This project utilized sun glint MODIS imagery to locate oil slicks off of the Atlantic coast, an area that had not previously been surveyed for natural oil seeps using remote sensing. Since 1982, the Atlantic Ocean has been closed to any oil and gas drilling. Recently, however, the U.S. Minerals Management Services (MMS) has proposed a lease for oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. Determining the location of seepage sites in the Atlantic Ocean will help MMS locate potential deposits of oil and natural gas, thereby reducing the risk of leasing areas for petroleum extraction that do not contain these natural resources.

  12. Migrating Tundra Peregrine Falcons accumulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons along Gulf of Mexico following Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Seegar, William S; Yates, Michael A; Doney, Gregg E; Jenny, J Peter; Seegar, Tom C M; Perkins, Christopher; Giovanni, Matthew

    2015-07-01

    Monitoring internal crude oil exposure can assist the understanding of associated risks and impacts, as well as the effectiveness of restoration efforts. Under the auspices of a long-term monitoring program of Tundra Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius) at Assateague (Maryland) and South Padre Islands (Texas), we measured the 16 parent (unsubstituted) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), priority pollutants identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and components of crude oil, in peripheral blood cells of migrating Peregrine Falcons from 2009 to 2011. The study was designed to assess the spatial and temporal trends of crude oil exposure associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill which started 20 April 2010 and was capped on 15 July of that year. Basal PAH blood distributions were determined from pre-DWH oil spill (2009) and unaffected reference area sampling. This sentinel species, a predator of shorebirds and seabirds during migration, was potentially exposed to residual oil from the spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Results demonstrate an increased incidence (frequency of PAH detection and blood concentrations) of PAH contamination in 2010 fall migrants sampled along the Texas Gulf Coast, declining to near basal levels in 2011. Kaplan-Meier peak mean ∑PAH blood concentration estimates varied with age (Juveniles-16.28 ± 1.25, Adults-5.41 ± 1.10 ng/g, wet weight) and PAHs detected, likely attributed to the discussed Tundra Peregrine natural history traits. Increased incidence of fluorene, pyrene and anthracene, with the presence of alkylated PAHs in peregrine blood suggests an additional crude oil source after DWH oil spill. The analyses of PAHs in Peregrine Falcon blood provide a convenient repeatable method, in conjunction with ongoing banding efforts, to monitoring crude oil contamination in this avian predator.

  13. Mollusks from late Mesozoic seep deposits, chiefly in California.

    PubMed

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert G; Tanabe, Kazushige; Kiel, Steffen

    2014-09-17

    Twenty-nine mollusk species from Late Jurassic to Eocene hydrocarbon seep deposits from California (USA), Japan, New Zealand, and Barbados are described and illustrated. Twenty species belong to Gastropoda and nine to Bivalvia. Seven new species, three new genera, and one new family are introduced. The gastropod Hikidea gen. nov. includes smooth-shelled Cantrainea-like colloniins from Cretaceous hydrocarbon seeps and plesiosaur falls. Hikidea osoensis sp. nov. is the oldest species of this genus. Chilodonta? reticulata sp. nov. is a distinctive vetigastropod though its supraspecific position is unclear. Phanerolepida onoensis sp. nov. is the first species of this colloniin genus from a seep deposit. We describe two new genera of Hokkaidoconchidae: Abyssomelania gen. nov. and Ascheria gen. nov.; this family includes now four genera (including Hokkaidoconcha and Humptulipsia) and ranges from the Late Jurassic to the Eocene. Abyssomelania is characterized by a large, high-spired shell and unusual widely-spaced prosocline riblets (here called abyssomelaniid riblets). Abyssomelania is represented by two new species: A. cramptoni sp. nov. from the Late Cretaceous of New Zealand and A. campbellae sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of California. Ascheria gen. nov. is characterized by a large high-spired cerithiform shell, a subsutural constriction, and mostly reticulate ornament. Two nominate species are included: Ascheria gigantea (Kiel et al., 2008) and A. eucosmeta (Ascher, 1906), both of Early Cretaceous age. Two further species potentially belonging to Ascheria from the Eocene of Barbados are reported in open nomenclature and are re-illustrated and re-described for comparison. Humtulipsia nobuharai sp. nov. is described based on specimens from the Campanian-Maastrichtian Sada Limestone seep deposit in Japan. The new family Paskentanidae fam. nov. is introduced for the genera Paskentana and Atresius. The species of this family are characterized by thin-shelled, broad

  14. Gulf of Mexico continental slope study annual report, year 2. Volume 2. Primary volume. Interim report 1985-1986. [Sampling for hydrocarbons

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-09-01

    This report, which was prepared in three volumes (Executive Summary, Primary Volume, and Appendix), details the findings of two years of sampling on the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths of 300-3000 m. Preliminary results from a third year of sampling are also presented. Physical and chemical measurements included: CTD casts at 35 stations; sediment characteristics, including hydrocarbons and bulk sediment parameters from 60 stations; tissue hydrocarbon levels of representative benthic organisms; and delta carbon-13 values from sediments and organisms, including comparison of areas of natural petroleum seepage to prevailing slope conditions. The biological oceanography section provides detailed enumeration of megafaunal specimens collected by trawling and of macro- and meiofaunal specimens collected with a 600 sq cm box core. Major megafaunal groups treated are Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and demersal fishes.

  15. Stimulated Emission of Energetic Particles (SEEP).

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-30

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

  16. Biogeography and potential exchanges among the atlantic Equatorial belt cold-seep faunas.

    PubMed

    Olu, Karine; Cordes, Erik E; Fisher, Charles R; Brooks, James M; Sibuet, Myriam; Desbruyères, Daniel

    2010-08-05

    Like hydrothermal vents along oceanic ridges, cold seeps are patchy and isolated ecosystems along continental margins, extending from bathyal to abyssal depths. The Atlantic Equatorial Belt (AEB), from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Guinea, was one focus of the Census of Marine Life ChEss (Chemosynthetic Ecosystems) program to study biogeography of seep and vent fauna. We present a review and analysis of collections from five seep regions along the AEB: the Gulf of Mexico where extensive faunal sampling has been conducted from 400 to 3300 m, the Barbados accretionary prism, the Blake ridge diapir, and in the Eastern Atlantic from the Congo and Gabon margins and the recently explored Nigeria margin. Of the 72 taxa identified at the species level, a total of 9 species or species complexes are identified as amphi-Atlantic. Similarity analyses based on both Bray Curtis and Hellinger distances among 9 faunal collections, and principal component analysis based on presence/absence of megafauna species at these sites, suggest that within the AEB seep megafauna community structure is influenced primarily by depth rather than by geographic distance. Depth segregation is observed between 1000 and 2000 m, with the middle slope sites either grouped with those deeper than 2000 m or with the shallower sites. The highest level of community similarity was found between the seeps of the Florida escarpment and Congo margin. In the western Atlantic, the highest degree of similarity is observed between the shallowest sites of the Barbados prism and of the Louisiana slope. The high number of amphi-atlantic cold-seep species that do not cluster according to biogeographic regions, and the importance of depth in structuring AEB cold-seep communities are the major conclusions of this study. The hydrothermal vent sites along the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) did not appear as "stepping stones" for dispersal of the AEB seep fauna, however, the south MAR and off axis regions should be further

  17. Using a video-corer to evaluate hydrocarbon fluxes in the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, C. C.; Wang, C. C.; Chen, H. H.; Lin, Y. S.; Huang, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    Many natural methane seeps exist in the northern South China Sea. Researchers have often used gravity corers or piston corers to collect sediments and bottom seawater for estimating methane fluxes of these seeps. The actual sampling locations of these corers are difficult to match seeping vents detected by scientific echo sounder because of the difficulty in positioning of these corers when sampling at sea,. Thus, the hydrocarbon fluxes of the seeping vents estimated using these corers might not be representative hydrocarbon fluxes of seeping vents in the northern South China Sea. In this study, we used a real-time video multicorer to collect surface sediments and bottom seawater samples. This real-time multicorer can accurately obtain surface sediments and bottom seawater samples on hydrocarbon seeping vents. To estimate hydrocarbon diffusion fluxes of seeps in the northern South China Sea, we analyzed methane concentrations and carbon isotopes of methane in both porewater and bottom seawater. During the cruises conducted from August to December, 2014, methane fluxes in the study area ranged from 3 to 57000 μmol m-2 d-1 which are significantly higher than previously reported values (~160 μmol m-2 d-1). Besides, we have obtained some samples in the study area using real-time multicorer in 2015. These new results will be presented in the meeting. Overall, the observed result in this study suggests that the in-situ multicorer can be a suitable instrument sampling surface sediments and bottom seawater samples on hydrocarbon seeping vents.

  18. Morphology of Florida Escarpment chemosynthetic brine seep community sites

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Spiess, F.N.; Curray, J.R.; Twitchell, D.

    1988-01-01

    The Florida Escarpment near 26/sup 0/N was surveyed with Deep-Two, Seabeam, and GLORIA in the area where chemosynthetic communities were discovered via ALVIN in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Seabeam bathymetry and GLORIA images indicate that the escarpment is a generally straight cliff with average slopes of about 45/sup 0/ from 2,200 to more than 3,250 m. The escarpment's face is cut by 2-km wide box canyons whose head walls are as steep as the intervening escarpment's face. The shapes of these canyons are difficult to explain with the traditional models of canyon formation. Sidescan sonar images and bottom photographs reveal that the escarpment's face is composed of a series of long, straight bedding-plane terraces which are truncated along nearly vertical orthogonal joints. Exposure of these truncated strata indicate the face of the escarpment is eroded. The contact between the basal escarpment and the flat-lying abyssal hemipelagic sediments is abrupt. Apparently, chemosynthetic communities line extensive sections of the escarpment base where reduced brines seep out into the sea floor. The morphology suggests joints and deep seeps are controlling factors in scarp retreat.

  19. Mexico.

    PubMed

    1993-01-01

    The background notes on Mexico provide text and recent statistical information on the geography, population, government, economy, and foreign relations, specifically the North American Free Trade Agreement with US. The 1992 population is estimated at 89 million of which 60% are mestizo (Indian-Spanish), 30% are American Indian, 9% are Caucasian, and 1% are other. 90% are Roman Catholic. There are 8 years of compulsory education. Infant mortality is 30/1000 live births. Life expectancy for males is 68 years and 76 years for females. The labor force is comprised of 30% in services, 24% in agriculture and fishing, 19% in manufacturing, 13% in commerce, 7% in construction, 4% in transportation and communication, and .4% in mining. There are 31 states and a federal district. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was $3200 in 1991. Military expenditures were .5% of GDP in 1991. The average inflation rate is 19%. Mexico City with 20 million is the largest urban center in the world. In recent years, the economy has been restructured with market oriented reforms; the result has been a growth of GDP of 3.6% in 1991 from 2% in 1987. Dependence on oil exports has decreased. There has been privatization and deregulation of state-owned companies. Subsidies to inefficient companies have been stopped. Tariff rates were reduced. The financial debt has been reduced and turned into a surplus of .8% in 1992. Mexico's foreign debt has been reduced from its high in 1987 of $107 billion. Agricultural reforms have been ongoing for 50 years. Land was redistributed, but standards of living and productivity have improved only slightly. Rural land tenure regulations have been changed, and other economic reforms are expected. Mexico engages in ad hoc international groups and is selective about membership in international organizations.

  20. Questa baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality investigation. 20. Water chemistry of the Red River and selected seeps, tributaries, and precipitation, Taos County, New Mexico, 2000-2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verplanck, P.L.; McCleskey, R.B.; Nordstrom, D.K.

    2006-01-01

    As part of a multi-year project to infer the pre-mining ground-water quality at Molycorp's Questa mine site, surface-water samples of the Red River, some of its tributaries, seeps, and snow samples were collected for analysis of inorganic solutes and of water and sulfate stable isotopes in selected samples. The primary aim of this study was to document diel, storm event, and seasonal variations in water chemistry for the Red River and similar variations in water chemistry for Straight Creek, a natural analog site similar in topography, hydrology, and geology to the mine site for inferring pre-mining water-quality conditions. Red River water samples collected between 2000 and 2004 show that the largest variations in water chemistry occur during late summer rainstorms, often monsoonal in nature. Within hours, discharge of the Red River increased from 8 to 102 cubic feet per second and pH decreased from 7.80 to 4.83. The highest concentrations of metals (iron, aluminum, zinc, manganese) and sulfate also occur during such events. Low-pH and high-solute concentrations during rainstorm runoff are derived primarily from alteration 'scar' areas of naturally high mineralization combined with steep topography that exposes continually altered rock because erosion is too rapid for vegetative growth. The year 2002 was one of the driest on record, and Red River discharge reflected the low seasonal snow pack. No snowmelt peak appeared in the hydrograph record, and a late summer storm produced the highest flow for the year. Snowmelt was closer to normal during 2003 and demonstrated the dilution effect of snowmelt on water chemistry. Two diel sampling events were conducted for the Red River, one during low flow and the other during high flow, at two locations, at the Red River gaging station and just upstream from Molycorp's mill site. No discernible diel trends were observed except for dissolved zinc and manganese at the upstream site during low flow. Straight Creek drainage water

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Environmental effects of submarine seeping natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dando, P. R.; Hovland, M.

    1992-10-01

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

  5. The carbon isotope biogeochemistry of the individual hydrocarbons in bat guano and the ecology of the insectivorous bats in the region of Carlsbad, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, D. J.; Mitchell, J. M.; Meinschein, W. G.; Hayes, J. M.

    1980-01-01

    The structures and C-13 contents of individual hydrocarbons extracted from bat guano found in the Carlsbad region of New Mexico are analyzed in order to elucidate details of the carbon flow in the plant-insect-bat ecosystem. Carbon isotopic analyses indicate that equivalent numbers of plants with C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways occupy the feeding area of the bats, which supports alfalfa and cotton as well as native plants. The molecular composition of the guano is consistent with an origin in two distinct populations of insects with different feeding habits, one of which may graze predominantly on crops. It is also pointed out that isotopic analyses of more ancient guano deposits may be useful in characterizing prevalent vegetation and climate of earlier periods.

  6. The distribution of hydrocarbons in surface and deepwater plumes during the MC252 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spier, C. L.; Stringfellow, W. T.; Sonnenthal, E. L.; Conrad, M. E.; Hazen, T. C.

    2011-12-01

    The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform on April 20, 2010 resulted in the 3rd largest global oil spill in history. Oil discharged from the Macondo 252 well (MC252) almost continuously for over 83 days, releasing an estimated 172 to 200 million gallons of oil. We investigated the chemical composition of the surface plume extending as far as 200m below the surface oil slick for comparison to a defined deep-ocean plume and tested the hypothesis that the formation of the deepwater plume could be explained, at least in part, as a function of hydrocarbon physical properties. Hydrocarbon data were acquired from the NOAA website. Results of one and two ring aromatic hydrocarbons collected in water samples between 0.3 and 1750m below surface between 5/8/2010 and 6/28/2010 were included in this analysis. Two major plumes were identified including a near-surface plume (0.3 to 200m) and a deepwater plume between approximately 1000 and 1400m below surface. In the deepwater plume, hydrocarbons were measured most frequently in a southwest direction from the MC252 well, but high levels of hydrocarbons were also occasionally observed to the north and west. Sampling bias toward the southwest, where 38% of the total samples were taken, may underestimate the distribution of hydrocarbons in deepwater to the north, northwest, and west, where 8%, 12% and 18% of the samples were taken, respectively. Different hydrocarbons were found in the deepwater plume and in the surface plume. The deepwater plume was enriched in monoaromatic hydrocarbons, including BTEX compounds. High concentrations of monoaromatic compounds were not detected in the near-surface plume. The near-surface plume was enriched in diaromatic hydrocarbons, but diaromatic compounds were also found in the deep-water plume. The vertical distribution of aromatic hydrocarbons appears to be related to their log octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow) values. These results suggest that the distribution of

  7. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated activity of particulate organic matter from the Paso del Norte airshed along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    PubMed

    Arrieta, Daniel E; Ontiveros, Cynthia C; Li, Wen-Whai; Garcia, Jose H; Denison, Michael S; McDonald, Jacob D; Burchiel, Scott W; Washburn, Barbara Shayne

    2003-08-01

    In this study, we determined the biologic activity of dichloromethane-extracted particulate matter < 10 micro m in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) obtained from filters at three sites in the Paso del Norte airshed, which includes El Paso, Texas, USA; Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and Sunland Park, New Mexico, USA. The extracts were rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and had significant biologic activity, measured using two in vitro assay systems: ethoxyresorufin-(O-deethylase (EROD) induction and the aryl hydrocarbon-receptor luciferase reporter system. In most cases, both EROD (5.25 pmol/min/mg protein) and luciferase activities (994 relative light units/mg) were highest in extracts from the Advance site located in an industrial neighborhood in Juarez. These values represented 58% and 55%, respectively, of induction associated with 1 micro M ss-naphthoflavone exposures. In contrast, little activity was observed at the Northeast Clinic site in El Paso, the reference site. In most cases, luciferase and EROD activity from extracts collected from the Tillman Health Center site, situated in downtown El Paso, fell between those observed at the other two sites. Overall, a statistically significant correlation existed between PM10 and EROD and luciferase activities. Chemical analysis of extracts collected from the Advance site demonstrated that concentrations of most PAHs were higher than those reported in most other metropolitan areas in the United States. Calculations made with these data suggest a cancer risk of 5-12 cases per 100,000 people. This risk estimate, as well as comparisons with the work of other investigators, raises concern regarding the potential for adverse health effects to the residents of this airshed. Further work is needed to understand the sources, exposure, and effects of PM10 and particulate organic material in the Paso del Norte airshed.

  8. Aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated activity of particulate organic matter from the Paso del Norte airshed along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    PubMed Central

    Arrieta, Daniel E; Ontiveros, Cynthia C; Li, Wen-Whai; Garcia, Jose H; Denison, Michael S; McDonald, Jacob D; Burchiel, Scott W; Washburn, Barbara Shayne

    2003-01-01

    In this study, we determined the biologic activity of dichloromethane-extracted particulate matter < 10 micro m in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) obtained from filters at three sites in the Paso del Norte airshed, which includes El Paso, Texas, USA; Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, and Sunland Park, New Mexico, USA. The extracts were rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and had significant biologic activity, measured using two in vitro assay systems: ethoxyresorufin-(O-deethylase (EROD) induction and the aryl hydrocarbon-receptor luciferase reporter system. In most cases, both EROD (5.25 pmol/min/mg protein) and luciferase activities (994 relative light units/mg) were highest in extracts from the Advance site located in an industrial neighborhood in Juarez. These values represented 58% and 55%, respectively, of induction associated with 1 micro M ss-naphthoflavone exposures. In contrast, little activity was observed at the Northeast Clinic site in El Paso, the reference site. In most cases, luciferase and EROD activity from extracts collected from the Tillman Health Center site, situated in downtown El Paso, fell between those observed at the other two sites. Overall, a statistically significant correlation existed between PM10 and EROD and luciferase activities. Chemical analysis of extracts collected from the Advance site demonstrated that concentrations of most PAHs were higher than those reported in most other metropolitan areas in the United States. Calculations made with these data suggest a cancer risk of 5-12 cases per 100,000 people. This risk estimate, as well as comparisons with the work of other investigators, raises concern regarding the potential for adverse health effects to the residents of this airshed. Further work is needed to understand the sources, exposure, and effects of PM10 and particulate organic material in the Paso del Norte airshed. PMID:12896850

  9. Investigation of population structure in Gulf of Mexico Seepiophila jonesi (Polychaeta, Siboglinidae) using cross-amplified microsatellite loci

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Chunya; Schaeffer, Stephen W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2016-01-01

    Background Vestimentiferan tubeworms are some of the most recognizable fauna found at deep-sea cold seeps, isolated environments where hydrocarbon rich fluids fuel biological communities. Several studies have investigated tubeworm population structure; however, much is still unknown about larval dispersal patterns at Gulf of Mexico (GoM) seeps. As such, researchers have applied microsatellite markers as a measure for documenting the transport of vestimentiferan individuals. In the present study, we investigate the utility of microsatellites to be cross-amplified within the escarpiid clade of seep vestimentiferans, by determining if loci originally developed for Escarpia spp. could be amplified in the GoM seep tubeworm, Seepiophila jonesi. Additionally, we determine if cross-amplified loci can reliably uncover the same signatures of high gene flow seen in a previous investigation of S. jonesi. Methods Seventy-seven S. jonesi individuals were collected from eight seep sites across the upper Louisiana slope (<1,000 m) in the GoM. Forty-eight microsatellite loci that were originally developed for Escarpia laminata (18 loci) and Escarpia southwardae (30 loci) were tested to determine if they were homologous and polymorphic in S. jonesi. Loci found to be both polymorphic and of high quality were used to test for significant population structuring in S. jonesi. Results Microsatellite pre-screening identified 13 (27%) of the Escarpia loci were homologous and polymorphic in S. jonesi, revealing that microsatellites can be amplified within the escarpiid clade of vestimentiferans. Our findings uncovered low levels of heterozygosity and a lack of genetic differentiation amongst S. jonesi from various sites and regions, in line with previous investigations that employed species-specific polymorphic loci on S. jonesi individuals retrieved from both the same and different seep sites. The lack of genetic structure identified from these populations supports the presence of

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Interactions between nitrogen cycling and methane oxidation in the pelagic waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, S. B.; Weber, S.; Battles, J.; Montoya, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Methane is an important greenhouse gas that plays a critical role in climate variation. Although a variety of marine methane sources and sinks have been identified, key aspects of the fate of methane in the ocean remain poorly constrained. At cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, methane is introduced into the overlying water column via fluid escape from the seabed. We quantified the fate of methane in the water column overlying seafloor cold seeps, in a brine basin, and at several control sites. Our goals were to determine the factors that regulated methane consumption and assimilation and to explore how these controlling factors varied among and between sites. In particular, we examined the impact of nitrogen availability on methane oxidation and studied the ability of methane oxidizing bacteria to fix molecular nitrogen. Methane oxidation rates were highest in the methane rich bottom waters of natural hydrocabron seeps. At these sites, inorganic nitrogen addition stimulated methane oxidation in laboratory experiments. In vitro shipboard experiments revealed that rates of methane oxidation and nitrogen fixation were correlated strongly, suggesting that nitrogen fixation may have been mediated by methanotrophic bacteria. The highest rates of methane oxidation and nitrogen fixation were observed in the deepwater above at natural hydrocarbon seeps. Rates of methane oxidation were substantial along the chemocline of a brine basin but in these ammonium-rich brines, addition of inorganic nitrogen had little impact on methane oxidation suggesting that methanotrophy in these waters were not nitrogen limited. Control sites exhibited the lowest methane concentrations and methane oxidation rates but even these waters exhibited substantial potential for methane oxidation when methane and inorganic nitrogen concentrations were increased. Together, these data suggest that the availability of inorganic nitrogen plays a critical role in regulating methane oxidation in

  13. Dispersants as Used in Response to the MC252-Spill Lead to Higher Mobility of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Oil-Contaminated Gulf of Mexico Sand

    PubMed Central

    Zuijdgeest, Alissa; Huettel, Markus

    2012-01-01

    After the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, large volumes of crude oil were washed onto and embedded in the sandy beaches and sublittoral sands of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Some of this oil was mechanically or chemically dispersed before reaching the shore. With a set of laboratory-column experiments we show that the addition of chemical dispersants (Corexit 9500A) increases the mobility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in saturated permeable sediments by up to two orders of magnitude. Distribution and concentrations of PAHs, measured in the solid phase and effluent water of the columns using GC/MS, revealed that the mobility of the PAHs depended on their hydrophobicity and was species specific also in the presence of dispersant. Deepest penetration was observed for acenaphthylene and phenanthrene. Flushing of the columns with seawater after percolation of the oiled water resulted in enhanced movement by remobilization of retained PAHs. An in-situ benthic chamber experiment demonstrated that aromatic hydrocarbons are transported into permeable sublittoral sediment, emphasizing the relevance of our laboratory column experiments in natural settings. We conclude that the addition of dispersants permits crude oil components to penetrate faster and deeper into permeable saturated sands, where anaerobic conditions may slow degradation of these compounds, thus extending the persistence of potentially harmful PAHs in the marine environment. Application of dispersants in nearshore oil spills should take into account enhanced penetration depths into saturated sands as this may entail potential threats to the groundwater. PMID:23209777

  14. Sulfur redox reactions: Hydrocarbons, native sulfur, Mississippi Valley-type deposits, and sulfuric acid karst in the Delaware Basin, New Mexico and Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, C.A.

    1995-02-01

    Hydrocarbons, native sulfur, Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) deposits, and sulfuric acid karst in the Delaware Basin, southeastern New Mexico, and west Texas, USA, are all genetically related through a series of sulfur redox reactions. The relationship began with hydrocarbons in the basin that reacted with sulfate ions from evaporite rock to produce isotopically light ({delta}{sup 34}S = -22 to -12) H{sub 2}S and bioepigenetic limestone (castiles). This light H{sub 2}S was then oxidized at the redox interface to produce economic native sulfur deposits ({delta}{sup 34}S = -15 to +9) in the castiles, paleokarst, and along graben-boundary faults. This isotopically light H{sub 2}S also migrated from the basin into its margins to accumulate in structural (anticlinal) and stratigraphic (Yates siltstone) traps, where it formed MVT deposits within the zone of reduction ({delta}{sup 34}S = -15 to +7). Later in time, in the zone of oxidation, this H{sub 2}S reacted with oxygenated water to produce sulfuric acid, which dissolved the caves (e.g., Carlsbad Cavern and Lechuguilla Cave, Guadalupe Mountains). Massive gypsum blocks on the floors of the caves ({delta}{sup 34}S = -25 to +4) were formed as a result of this reaction. The H{sub 2}S also produced isotopically light cave sulfur ({delta}{sup 34}S = -24 to -15), which is now slowly oxidizing to gypsum in the presence of vadose drip water. 16 refs., 10 figs.

  15. Experimental evaluation of hydrocarbon detection with the Long-Offset Time-Domain Electromagnetic Method in the Cretaceous carbonates of the Tampico Misantla basin, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurtado Cardador, Manuel; Cuevas, Antonio L.; Watanabe, Hidehiko; Saito, Akira; Wada, Kazushige; Ishikawa, Hidehiro; Okuzumi, Koichi

    2003-02-01

    In Mexico, an experimental study with a Long-Offset Time-Domain Electromagnetic Method (LOTDEM) was carried out in the Tampico-Misantla basin of northeastern Mexico. The main objective was to evaluate this method for hydrocarbon exploration. The selected area is suitable for LOTDEM experiments because high quality seismic data, geological information and well logging data are available. The results obtained are excellent, and allow us to determine the types of fluids present in the rock pores and fractures of the studied geological structures. Resistivity anomalies correlate in position and depth with the geological structures observed in the seismic sections where the LOTDEM survey was carried out, and with well logging data from the nearby Franco Española oil field. In the studied area, these structures are 800-1200 m deep, in carbonate rocks with high clay content and are invaded by salt water. Consequently, the resistivity and primary porosities are very low. The main reservoirs of oil and gas in this region are a naturally fractured basinal facies, consisting of fine-grained limestones and shaly limestones, that corresponds to the Cretaceous units San Felipe, Agua Nueva, Tamaulipas Superior and Tamaulipas Inferior. The fractured rocks reservoirs are very difficult to detect, even with well logs. However, the results of this survey show the higher resolution, the greater depth of investigation, and the advantages that the LOTDEM method present compared to the traditional frequency domain electric and electromagnetic (FEM) methods.

  16. Biogenic methane from abyssal brine seeps at the base of the Florida escarpment

    SciTech Connect

    Martens, C.S.; Chanton, J.P.; Paull, C.K. )

    1991-08-01

    Dissolved methane is present at concentrations exceeding 10mM in the pore waters of sulfidic, salt-brine-enriched sediments underlying chemosynthetic communities at the base of the Florida escarpment. Light hydrocarbon samples were obtained from brine seep sediments by means of an in situ probe and push cores deployed by the deep submersible Alvin. Pore-water methane had a {delta}{sup 13}C value of {minus}83.3 {plus minus}7.0 (Peedee belemnite, N = 17), contained < 1.3% modern carbon, and was enriched over ethane concentrations by 10{sup 3} to 10{sup 5}; these results all indicate a fossil, biogenic carbon source within the Florida platform. Methane-rich brine fluids arriving at seep sites are depleted in dissolved sulfate, although they have been diluted twenty-fold with sulfate-rich seawater during transit. It appears that sulfate reduction and methano-genesis are important processes within the platform.

  17. High rates of denitrification and nitrate removal in cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Marshall; Joye, Samantha

    2011-03-01

    We measured denitrification and nitrate removal rates in cold seep sediments from the Gulf of Mexico. Heterotrophic potential denitrification rates were assayed in time-series incubations. Surficial sediments inhabited by Beggiatoa exhibited higher heterotrophic potential denitrification rates (32 μM N reduced day(-1)) than did deeper sediments (11 μM N reduced day(-1)). Nitrate removal rates were high in both sediment horizons. These nitrate removal rates translate into rapid turnover times (<1 day) for the nitrate pool, resulting in a faster turnover for the nitrate pool than for the sulfate pool. Together, these data underscore the rigorous nature of internal nitrogen cycling at cold seeps and the requirement for novel mechanisms to provide nitrate to the sediment microbial community.

  18. Field Exploration of Methane Seep Near Atqasuk

    SciTech Connect

    Katey Walter, Dennis Witmer, Gwen Holdmann

    2008-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  20. Seeps regulate stream nitrate concentration in a forested Appalachian catchment.

    PubMed

    O'Driscoll, Michael A; DeWalle, David R

    2010-01-01

    Surface seeps can be defined as locations where upwelling ground water saturates the surface for most of the year and excess ground water can be delivered to the stream channel via surface flowpaths. If a stream is predominantly fed by seeps, then ground water added to the stream via these surface flowpaths may result in reduced interactions with the subsurface riparian zone. It is generally believed that seep ground water that upwells and then flows along surface flowpaths can be subject to diminished denitrification and biologic uptake processes. Seep effects on stream nitrate (NO(3)) concentration were studied in Baldwin Creek (5.35 km(2)), southwestern Pennsylvania. Nitrate retention within seep zones was evaluated over a 1-yr period (May 2002-2003) using a monthly, nested (top and bottom of seep) sampling approach along 15 individual seeps. Seep samples were analyzed for NO(3)-N, NH(3)-N, and dissolved organic carbon, along with stream waters and streamflow measurements at seven stream stations. Seeps were generally NO(3) sinks with concentrations decreasing downseep: 31% median annual reduction and 73% maximum monthly reduction. During cold and wet periods, seeps frequently behaved as NO(3) sources to the stream (NO(3) concentrations increased or remained constant downseep). Seep temperature and discharge were related to seasonal variability in seep NO(3) retention. Seasonal variations in stream NO(3) concentration have been attributed to upland soil and vegetation processes in numerous watersheds. At Baldwin Creek, seep NO(3) processing regulated the seasonal variability of stream NO(3) concentrations. These results suggest that seeps provide important water quality functions and can modulate the effects of elevated regional N deposition in Appalachian catchments.

  1. Application of Satellite SAR for Discovery and Quantification of Natural Marine Oil Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amos, J.; Lai, R.; Zimmer, B.; Leiva, A.; MacDonald, I.

    2006-12-01

    Natural marine oil seeps discharge gassy drops from the seafloor. Oil drops and gas bubbles reach the surface from water depths as great as 3000m. The oil spreads rapidly, forming an invisible layer that drifts down-wind and down-current in long, linear streaks called slicks. Oil slicks are visible in SAR data because the surfactant dampens capillary waves and reduces backscatter. Application of SAR as an exploration tool in energy prospecting is well-established. We have applied this technique for discovering the chemosynthetic communities that colonize the seafloor in the vicinity of deep-water seeps on the continental margin of the Gulf of Mexico. The management goal for this effort is to prevent harmful impact to these communities resulting from exploration or production activities. The scientific goals are to delineate the zoogeography of the chemosynthetic fauna, which is widespread on continental margins, and to establish study sites where their life history can be investigated. In the course of an ongoing, multidisciplinary study in the spring and summer of 2006, we explored 20 possible sites where SAR and geophysical data indicated seeps might occur. SAR was only partly diagnostic: all sites with SAR-detected slicks were found to have biologic communities, but communities were also found at geophysical anomalies that did not produce slicks. We acquired over 60 RADARSAT SAR images from the northern Gulf of Mexico in cooperation with the Alaska Satellite Facility. The ship RV ATLANTIS was at sea during the acquisition and collected synoptic weather and oceanographic data. To automate interpretation of large image dataset we have employed texture recognition with use of a library of textons applied iteratively to the images. This treatment shows promise in distinguishing floating oil from false targets generated by rain fronts and other phenomena. One goal of the analysis is to delineate bounding boxes to quantify the ocean area covered by the thin oil layer

  2. High-resolution AUV mapping and sampling of a deep hydrocarbon plume in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, J. P.; Zhang, Y.; Thomas, H.; Rienecker, E.; Nelson, R.; Cummings, S.

    2010-12-01

    During NOAA cruise GU-10-02 on the Ship Gordon Gunter, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Dorado was deployed to map and sample a deep (900-1200 m) volume centered approximately seven nautical miles southwest of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. Dorado was equipped to detect optical and chemical signals of hydrocarbons and to acquire targeted samples. The primary sensor reading used for hydrocarbon detection was colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) fluorescence (CF). On June 2 and 3, ship cast and subsequent AUV surveys detected elevated CF in a layer between 1100 and 1200 m depth. While the deep volume was mapped in a series of parallel vertical sections, the AUV ran a peak-capture algorithm to target sample acquisition at layer signal peaks. Samples returned by ship CTD/CF rosette sampling and by AUV were preliminarily examined at sea, and they exhibited odor and fluorometric signal consistent with oil. More definitive and detailed results on these samples are forthcoming from shore-based laboratory analyses. During post-cruise analysis, all of the CF data were analyzed to objectively define and map the deep plume feature. Specifically, the maximum expected background CF over the depth range 1000-1200 m was extrapolated from a linear relationship between depth and maximum CF over the depth range 200 to 1000 m. Values exceeding the maximum expected background in the depth range 1000-1200 m were interpreted as signal from a hydrocarbon-enriched plume. Using this definition we examine relationships between CF and other AUV measurements within the plume, illustrate the three-dimensional structure of the plume boundary region that was mapped, describe small-scale layering on isopycnals, and examine short-term variations in plume depth, intensity and hydrographic relationships. Three-dimensional representation of part of a deep hydrocarbon plume mapped and sampled by AUV on June 2-3, 2010.

  3. Basin-Wide Temperature Constraints On Gas Hydrate Stability In The Gulf Of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Reagan, M. T.; Guinasso, N. L.; Garcia-Pineda, O. G.

    2012-12-01

    Gas hydrate deposits commonly occur at the seafloor-water interface on marine margins. They are especially prevalent in the Gulf of Mexico where they are associated with natural oil seeps. The stability of these deposits is potentially challenged by fluctuations in bottom water temperature, on an annual time-scale, and under the long-term influence of climate change. We mapped the locations of natural oil seeps where shallow gas hydrate deposits are known to occur across the entire Gulf of Mexico basin based on a comprehensive review of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data (~200 images). We prepared a bottom water temperature map based on the archive of CTD casts from the Gulf (~6000 records). Comparing the distribution of gas hydrate deposits with predicted bottom water temperature, we find that a broad area of the upper slope lies above the theoretical stability horizon for structure 1 gas hydrate, while all sites where gas hydrate deposits occur are within the stability horizon for structure 2 gas hydrate. This is consistent with analytical results that structure 2 gas hydrates predominate on the upper slope (Klapp et al., 2010), where bottom water temperatures fluctuate over a 7 to 10 C range (approx. 600 m depth), while pure structure 1 hydrates are found at greater depths (approx. 3000 m). Where higher hydrocarbon gases are available, formation of structure 2 gas hydrate should significantly increase the resistance of shallow gas hydrate deposits to destabilizing effects variable or increasing bottom water temperature. Klapp, S.A., Bohrmann, G., Kuhs, W.F., Murshed, M.M., Pape, T., Klein, H., Techmer, K.S., Heeschen, K.U., and Abegg, F., 2010, Microstructures of structure I and II gas hydrates from the Gulf of Mexico: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 27, p. 116-125.Bottom temperature and pressure for Gulf of Mexico gas hydrate outcrops and stability horizons for sI and sII hydrate.

  4. Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria and the Bacterial Community Response in Gulf of Mexico Beach Sands Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill▿†‡

    PubMed Central

    Kostka, Joel E.; Prakash, Om; Overholt, Will A.; Green, Stefan J.; Freyer, Gina; Canion, Andy; Delgardio, Jonathan; Norton, Nikita; Hazen, Terry C.; Huettel, Markus

    2011-01-01

    A significant portion of oil from the recent Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was transported to the shoreline, where it may have severe ecological and economic consequences. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify and characterize predominant oil-degrading taxa that may be used as model hydrocarbon degraders or as microbial indicators of contamination and (ii) to characterize the in situ response of indigenous bacterial communities to oil contamination in beach ecosystems. This study was conducted at municipal Pensacola Beach, FL, where chemical analysis revealed weathered oil petroleum hydrocarbon (C8 to C40) concentrations ranging from 3.1 to 4,500 mg kg−1 in beach sands. A total of 24 bacterial strains from 14 genera were isolated from oiled beach sands and confirmed as oil-degrading microorganisms. Isolated bacterial strains were primarily Gammaproteobacteria, including representatives of genera with known oil degraders (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter). Sequence libraries generated from oiled sands revealed phylotypes that showed high sequence identity (up to 99%) to rRNA gene sequences from the oil-degrading bacterial isolates. The abundance of bacterial SSU rRNA gene sequences was ∼10-fold higher in oiled (0.44 × 107 to 10.2 × 107 copies g−1) versus clean (0.024 × 107 to 1.4 × 107 copies g−1) sand. Community analysis revealed a distinct response to oil contamination, and SSU rRNA gene abundance derived from the genus Alcanivorax showed the largest increase in relative abundance in contaminated samples. We conclude that oil contamination from the DH spill had a profound impact on the abundance and community composition of indigenous bacteria in Gulf beach sands, and our evidence points to members of the Gammaproteobacteria (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter) and Alphaproteobacteria (Rhodobacteraceae) as key players in oil degradation there. PMID:21948834

  5. A conceptual model for hydrocarbon accumulation and seepage processes inside Chapopote asphalt volcanism site, Southern Gulf of Mexico: from high resolution seismic point of view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, F.; Spiess, V.; Fekete, N.; Keil, H.; Bohrmann, G.

    2007-05-01

    As part of the German R/V Meteor M67/2 expedition in 2006 to the southern Gulf of Mexico, a set of 2D high resolution seismic profiles was acquired across the Chapopote knoll to study sea floor asphalt occurrences and their origin. Based on regional seismic stratigraphy studies, correlated to DSDP sites, a higher reflective coarse grained sediment unit of Late Miocene age is identified as a potential shallow gas reservoir, overlain by a low permeability fine grained Pliocene and Pleistocene cover. As a result of salt diapirism, local uplift has caused reduced accumulation rates above the diaper since the late Pliocene, while the rates had been uniform throughout the area before. This has further improved the seal properties, since more fine grained material deposited in elevated locations. Nevertheless, on the crest of Chapopote, sediments above the coarse sediment unit are only around 150-75 m thick. Since oil and gas production can well be expected at depth in Jurassic and Tertiary source rocks, the presence of high amplitude reflector packages within the reservoir unit is interpreted as a result of the presence of hydrocarbons. This interpretation is further supported by the observation that some reflectors are cross-cutting and/or reveal a drop in instantaneous frequency. But, the thin seal above the reservoir unit, located directly underneath a widespread occurrence of asphalts at the sea floor, probably facilitates the leakage of hydrocarbons trapped inside the reservoir through a ~ 750 m wide acoustically chaotic zone partly aided by faulting. Since the top of Chapopote shows a high structural complexity, more seepage sites may exist beyond where seafloor asphalts have been found so far. Evolution and structure of the migration and reservoir system, which may be deep rooted, will be discussed both with respect to shallow gas and asphalt occurrences.

  6. Landsat detection of oil from natural seeps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Deutsch, M.; Estes, J.E.

    1980-01-01

    Oil on the ocean surface from the natural seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, could not be detected on frames of any of the four bands of standard Landsat positive or negative film transparencies, nor could the slicks be detected using digital scaling, density slicing, or ratioing techniques. Digital contrast-stretch enhancement, however, showed the distribution of oil on the surface. - from Authors

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-23

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

  13. Distribution and concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons associated with the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Sammarco, Paul W; Kolian, Steve R; Warby, Richard A F; Bouldin, Jennifer L; Subra, Wilma A; Porter, Scott A

    2013-08-15

    We examined the geographic extent of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination in sediment, seawater, biota, and seafood during/after the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (April 20-July 15, 2010; 28.736667°N, -88.386944°W). TPH, PAHs, and 12 compound classes were examined, particularly C1-benzo(a)anthracenes/chrysenes, C-2-/C-4-phenanthrenes/anthracenes, and C3-naphthalenes. Sediment TPH, PAHs, and all classes peaked near Pensacola, Florida, and Galveston, Texas. Seawater TPH peaked off Pensacola; all of the above classes peaked off the Mississippi River, Louisiana and Galveston. Biota TPH and PAHs peaked near the Mississippi River; C-3 napthalenes peaked near the spill site. Seafood TPH peaked near the spill site, with PAHs and all classes peaking near Pensacola. We recommend that oil concentrations continued to be monitored in these media well after the spill has ceased to assist in defining re-opening dates for fisheries; closures should be maintained until hydrocarbon levels are deemed within appropriate limits.

  14. Sulfuric acid speleogenesis of Carlsbad Cavern and its relationship to hydrocarbons, Delaware basin, New Mexico and Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, C.A. )

    1990-11-01

    Sulfur-isotope data and pH-dependence of the mineral endellite support the hypothesis that Carlsbad Cavern and other caves in the Guadalupe Mountains were dissolved primarily by sulfuric acid rather than by carbonic acid. Floor gypsum deposits up to 10 m thick and native sulfur in the caves are significantly enriched in {sup 32}S; {delta}{sup 34}S values as low as {minus}25.8 {per thousand} (CDT) indicate that the cave sulfur and gypsum are the end products of microbial reactions associated with hydrocarbons. A model for a genetic connection between hydrocarbons in the basin and caves in the Guadalupe Mountains is proposed. As the Guadalupe Mountains were uplifted during the late Pliocene-Pleistocene, oil and gas moved updip in the basin. The gas reacted with sulfate anions derived from dissolution of the Castile anhydrite to form H{sub 2}S, CO{sub 2}, and castile limestone. The hydrogen sulfide rose into the Capitan reef along joints, forereef carbonate beds, or Bell Canyon siliciclastic beds and there reacted with oxygenated groundwater to form sulfuric acid and Carlsbad Cavern. A sulfuric-acid mode of dissolution may be responsible for large-scale porosity of some Delaware basin reservoirs and for oil-field karst reservoirs in other petroleum basins of the world. 8 figs.

  15. Concentrations in human blood of petroleum hydrocarbons associated with the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Sammarco, Paul W; Kolian, Stephan R; Warby, Richard A F; Bouldin, Jennifer L; Subra, Wilma A; Porter, Scott A

    2016-04-01

    During/after the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill, cleanup workers, fisherpersons, SCUBA divers, and coastal residents were exposed to crude oil and dispersants. These people experienced acute physiological and behavioral symptoms and consulted a physician. They were diagnosed with petroleum hydrocarbon poisoning and had blood analyses analyzed for volatile organic compounds; samples were drawn 5-19 months after the spill had been capped. We examined the petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in the blood. The aromatic compounds m,p-xylene, toluene, ethylbenzene, benzene, o-xylene, and styrene, and the alkanes hexane, 3-methylpentane, 2-methylpentane, and iso-octane were detected. Concentrations of the first four aromatics were not significantly different from US National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey/US National Institute of Standards and Technology 95th percentiles, indicating high concentrations of contaminants. The other two aromatics and the alkanes yielded equivocal results or significantly low concentrations. The data suggest that single-ring aromatic compounds are more persistent in the blood than alkanes and may be responsible for the observed symptoms. People should avoid exposure to crude oil through avoidance of the affected region, or utilizing hazardous materials suits if involved in cleanup, or wearing hazardous waste operations and emergency response suits if SCUBA diving. Concentrations of alkanes and PAHs in the blood of coastal residents and workers should be monitored through time well after the spill has been controlled.

  16. Induction of c-Jun by air particulate matter (PM₁₀) of Mexico city: Participation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

    PubMed

    Salcido-Neyoy, Martha Estela; Sánchez-Pérez, Yesennia; Osornio-Vargas, Alvaro Román; Gonsebatt, María Eugenia; Meléndez-Zajgla, Jorge; Morales-Bárcenas, Rocío; Petrosyan, Pavel; Molina-Servin, Edith Danny; Vega, Elizabeth; Manzano-León, Natalia; García-Cuellar, Claudia M

    2015-08-01

    The carcinogenic potential of urban particulate matter (PM) has been partly attributed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) content, which activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Here we report the effect of PM with an aerodynamic size of 10 μm (PM10) on the induction of AhR pathway in A549 cells, evaluating its downstream targets CYP1B1, IL-6, IL-8 and c-Jun. Significant increases in CYP1B1 protein and enzyme activity; IL-6 and IL-8 secretion and c-Jun protein were found in response to PM10. The formation of PAH-DNA adducts was also detected. The involvement of AhR pathway was confirmed with Resveratrol as AhR antagonist, which reversed CYP1B1 and c-Jun induction. Nevertheless, in IL-6 and IL-8 secretion, the Resveratrol was ineffective, suggesting an effect independent of this pathway. Considering the role of c-Jun in oncogenesis, its induction by PM may be contributing to its carcinogenic potential through induction of AhR pathway by PAHs present in PM10.

  17. A paradox resolved: sulfide acquisition by roots of seep tubeworms sustains net chemoautotrophy.

    PubMed

    Freytag, J K; Girguis, P R; Bergquist, D C; Andras, J P; Childress, J J; Fisher, C R

    2001-11-06

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms, symbiotic with sulfur-oxidizing chemoautotrophic bacteria, dominate many cold-seep sites in the Gulf of Mexico. The most abundant vestimentiferan species at these sites, Lamellibrachia cf. luymesi, grows quite slowly to lengths exceeding 2 meters and lives in excess of 170-250 years. L. cf. luymesi can grow a posterior extension of its tube and tissue, termed a "root," down into sulfidic sediments below its point of original attachment. This extension can be longer than the anterior portion of the animal. Here we show, using methods optimized for detection of hydrogen sulfide down to 0.1 microM in seawater, that hydrogen sulfide was never detected around the plumes of large cold-seep vestimentiferans and rarely detectable only around the bases of mature aggregations. Respiration experiments, which exposed the root portions of L. cf. luymesi to sulfide concentrations between 51-561 microM, demonstrate that L. cf. luymesi use their roots as a respiratory surface to acquire sulfide at an average rate of 4.1 micromol x g(-1) x h(-1). Net dissolved inorganic carbon uptake across the plume of the tubeworms was shown to occur in response to exposure of the posterior (root) portion of the worms to sulfide, demonstrating that sulfide acquisition by roots of the seep vestimentiferan L. cf. luymesi can be sufficient to fuel net autotrophic total dissolved inorganic carbon uptake.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Natural and unnatural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Garcia‐Pineda, O.; Beet, A.; Daneshgar Asl, S.; Feng, L.; Graettinger, G.; French‐McCay, D.; Holmes, J.; Hu, C.; Huffer, F.; Leifer, I.; Muller‐Karger, F.; Solow, A.; Silva, M.; Swayze, G.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract When wind speeds are 2–10 m s−1, reflective contrasts in the ocean surface make oil slicks visible to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) under all sky conditions. Neural network analysis of satellite SAR images quantified the magnitude and distribution of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico from persistent, natural seeps and from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) discharge. This analysis identified 914 natural oil seep zones across the entire Gulf of Mexico in pre‐2010 data. Their ∼0.1 µm slicks covered an aggregated average of 775 km2. Assuming an average volume of 77.5 m3 over an 8–24 h lifespan per oil slick, the floating oil indicates a surface flux of 2.5–9.4 × 104 m3 yr−1. Oil from natural slicks was regionally concentrated: 68%, 25%, 7%, and <1% of the total was observed in the NW, SW, NE, and SE Gulf, respectively. This reflects differences in basin history and hydrocarbon generation. SAR images from 2010 showed that the 87 day DWH discharge produced a surface‐oil footprint fundamentally different from background seepage, with an average ocean area of 11,200 km2 (SD 5028) and a volume of 22,600 m3 (SD 5411). Peak magnitudes of oil were detected during equivalent, ∼14 day intervals around 23 May and 18 June, when wind speeds remained <5 m s−1. Over this interval, aggregated volume of floating oil decreased by 21%; area covered increased by 49% (p < 0.1), potentially altering its ecological impact. The most likely causes were increased applications of dispersant and surface burning operations. PMID:27774370

  20. Natural and unnatural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, I R; Garcia-Pineda, O; Beet, A; Daneshgar Asl, S; Feng, L; Graettinger, G; French-McCay, D; Holmes, J; Hu, C; Huffer, F; Leifer, I; Muller-Karger, F; Solow, A; Silva, M; Swayze, G

    2015-12-01

    When wind speeds are 2-10 m s(-1), reflective contrasts in the ocean surface make oil slicks visible to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) under all sky conditions. Neural network analysis of satellite SAR images quantified the magnitude and distribution of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico from persistent, natural seeps and from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) discharge. This analysis identified 914 natural oil seep zones across the entire Gulf of Mexico in pre-2010 data. Their ∼0.1 µm slicks covered an aggregated average of 775 km(2). Assuming an average volume of 77.5 m(3) over an 8-24 h lifespan per oil slick, the floating oil indicates a surface flux of 2.5-9.4 × 10(4) m(3) yr(-1). Oil from natural slicks was regionally concentrated: 68%, 25%, 7%, and <1% of the total was observed in the NW, SW, NE, and SE Gulf, respectively. This reflects differences in basin history and hydrocarbon generation. SAR images from 2010 showed that the 87 day DWH discharge produced a surface-oil footprint fundamentally different from background seepage, with an average ocean area of 11,200 km(2) (SD 5028) and a volume of 22,600 m(3) (SD 5411). Peak magnitudes of oil were detected during equivalent, ∼14 day intervals around 23 May and 18 June, when wind speeds remained <5 m s(-1). Over this interval, aggregated volume of floating oil decreased by 21%; area covered increased by 49% (p < 0.1), potentially altering its ecological impact. The most likely causes were increased applications of dispersant and surface burning operations.

  1. Natural and unnatural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Garcia-Pineda, O.; Beet, A.; Daneshgar Asl, S.; Feng, L.; Graettinger, G.; French-McCay, D.; Holmes, J.; Hu, C.; Huffer, F.; Leifer, I.; Muller-Karger, F.; Solow, A.; Silva, M.; Swayze, G.

    2015-12-01

    When wind speeds are 2-10 m s-1, reflective contrasts in the ocean surface make oil slicks visible to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) under all sky conditions. Neural network analysis of satellite SAR images quantified the magnitude and distribution of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico from persistent, natural seeps and from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) discharge. This analysis identified 914 natural oil seep zones across the entire Gulf of Mexico in pre-2010 data. Their ˜0.1 µm slicks covered an aggregated average of 775 km2. Assuming an average volume of 77.5 m3 over an 8-24 h lifespan per oil slick, the floating oil indicates a surface flux of 2.5-9.4 × 104 m3 yr-1. Oil from natural slicks was regionally concentrated: 68%, 25%, 7%, and <1% of the total was observed in the NW, SW, NE, and SE Gulf, respectively. This reflects differences in basin history and hydrocarbon generation. SAR images from 2010 showed that the 87 day DWH discharge produced a surface-oil footprint fundamentally different from background seepage, with an average ocean area of 11,200 km2 (SD 5028) and a volume of 22,600 m3 (SD 5411). Peak magnitudes of oil were detected during equivalent, ˜14 day intervals around 23 May and 18 June, when wind speeds remained <5 m s-1. Over this interval, aggregated volume of floating oil decreased by 21%; area covered increased by 49% (p < 0.1), potentially altering its ecological impact. The most likely causes were increased applications of dispersant and surface burning operations.

  2. Natural and unnatural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacDonald, Ian R.; O. Garcia-Pineda,; A. Beet,; S. Daneshgar Asl,; L. Feng,; D. G. Graettinger,; D. French-McCay,; J. Holmes,; C. Hu,; F. Huffer,; I. Leifer,; F. Mueller-Karger,; A. Solow,; M. Silva,; Swayze, Gregg A.

    2015-01-01

    When wind speeds are 2 – 10 m s−1, reflective contrasts in the ocean surface make oil slicks visible to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) under all sky conditions. Neural network analysis of satellite SAR images quantified the magnitude and distribution of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico from persistent, natural seeps and from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) discharge. This analysis identified 914 natural oil seep zones across the entire Gulf of Mexico in pre-2010 data. Their ∼0.1 µm slicks covered an aggregated average of 775 km2. Assuming an average volume of 77.5 m3over an 8 – 24 h lifespan per oil slick, the floating oil indicates a surface flux of 2.5 – 9.4 × 104 m3 y−1. Oil from natural slicks was regionally concentrated: 68%, 25%, 7%, and <1% of the total was observed in the NW, SW, NE and SE Gulf, respectively. This reflects differences in basin history and hydrocarbon generation. SAR images from 2010 showed that the 87-day DWH discharge produced a surface-oil footprint fundamentally different from background seepage, with an average ocean area of 11,200 km2 (SD 5,028) and a volume of 22,600 m3 (SD 5,411). Peak magnitudes of oil were detected during equivalent, ∼14-day intervals around 23 May and 18 June, when wind speeds remained <5 m s−1. Over this interval, aggregated volume of floating oil decreased by 21%; area covered increased by 49% (p < .1), potentially altering its ecological impact. The most likely causes were increased applications of dispersant and surface burning operations.

  3. The carbon isotope biogeochemistry of the individual hydrocarbons in bat guano and the ecology of insectivorous bats in the region of Carlsbad, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desmarais, D. J.; Mitchell, J. M.; Meinschein, W. G.; Hayes, J. M.

    1980-01-01

    The structures and C-13 contents of individual alkanes extracted from bat guano found in the Carlsbad region of New Mexico can be related to both the photosynthetic pathways of the local plants and the feeding habits of the insects that support the bats. Carbon isotopic analyses of the 62 most important plant species in the Pecos River Valley, the most significant feeding area for the Carlsbad bats, reveal the presence of 29 species with C3 photosynthesis and 33 species, mostly grasses, with C4 photosynthesis. Although the abundances of nonagricultural C3 and C4 plants are similar, alfalfa and cotton, both C3 plants, constitute over 95 per cent of the crop biomass. The molecular composition of the bat guano hydrocarbons is fully consistent with an insect origin. Two isotopically distinct groups of insect branched alkanes were discerned. These two groups of alkanes derived from two chemotaxonomically distinct populations of insects possessing distinctly different feeding habits. It is likely that one population grazes predominantly on crops whereas the other population prefers native vegetation. This and other isotopic evidence supports the notion that crop pests constitute a major percentage of the bats' diet.

  4. Sidescan backscatter variations of cold seeps on the Hikurangi Margin (New Zealand): indications for different stages in seep development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumke, Ines; Klaucke, Ingo; Berndt, Christian; Bialas, Jörg

    2014-06-01

    Cold seeps on the Hikurangi Margin off New Zealand exhibit various seabed morphologies producing different intensity patterns in sidescan backscatter images. Acoustic backscatter characteristics of 25 investigated seep sites fall into four distinct types characterised by variations in backscatter intensity, distribution and inferred structural heights. The types reflect different carbonate morphologies including up to 20-m-high structures (type 1), low-relief crusts (type 2), scattered blocks (type 3) and carbonate-free sites (type 4). Each seep corresponds to a single type; intermediates were not observed. This correlates well with published data on seep fauna at each site, with the four types representing three different faunal habitats of successive stages of seep development. Backscatter signatures in sidescan sonar images of cold seeps may therefore serve as a convenient proxy for variations in faunal habitats.

  5. 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.

  6. Natural and Unnatural Oil Layers on the Surface of the Gulf of Mexico Detected and Quantified in Synthetic Aperture RADAR Images with Texture Classifying Neural Network Algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Garcia-Pineda, O. G.; Morey, S. L.; Huffer, F.

    2011-12-01

    Effervescent hydrocarbons rise naturally from hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and reach the ocean surface. This oil forms thin (~0.1 μm) layers that enhance specular reflectivity and have been widely used to quantify the abundance and distribution of natural seeps using synthetic aperture radar (SAR). An analogous process occurred at a vastly greater scale for oil and gas discharged from BP's Macondo well blowout. SAR data allow direct comparison of the areas of the ocean surface covered by oil from natural sources and the discharge. We used a texture classifying neural network algorithm to quantify the areas of naturally occurring oil-covered water in 176 SAR image collections from the Gulf of Mexico obtained between May 1997 and November 2007, prior to the blowout. Separately we also analyzed 36 SAR images collections obtained between 26 April and 30 July, 2010 while the discharged oil was visible in the Gulf of Mexico. For the naturally occurring oil, we removed pollution events and transient oceanographic effects by including only the reflectance anomalies that that recurred in the same locality over multiple images. We measured the area of oil layers in a grid of 10x10 km cells covering the entire Gulf of Mexico. Floating oil layers were observed in only a fraction of the total Gulf area amounting to 1.22x10^5 km^2. In a bootstrap sample of 2000 replications, the combined average area of these layers was 7.80x10^2 km^2 (sd 86.03). For a regional comparison, we divided the Gulf of Mexico into four quadrates along 90° W longitude, and 25° N latitude. The NE quadrate, where the BP discharge occurred, received on average 7.0% of the total natural seepage in the Gulf of Mexico (5.24 x10^2 km^2, sd 21.99); the NW quadrate received on average 68.0% of this total (5.30 x10^2 km^2, sd 69.67). The BP blowout occurred in the NE quadrate of the Gulf of Mexico; discharged oil that reached the surface drifted over a large area north of 25° N. Performing a

  7. Characterization of coal-derived hydrocarbons and source-rock potential of coal beds, San Juan Basin, New Mexico and Colorado, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, D.D.; Clayton, J.L.; Pawlewicz, M.J.

    1989-01-01

    Coal beds are considered to be a major source of nonassociated gas in the Rocky Mountain basins of the United States. In the San Juan basin of northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado, significant quantities of natural gas are being produced from coal beds of the Upper Cretaceous Fruitland Formation and from adjacent sandstone reservoirs. Analysis of gas samples from the various gas-producing intervals provided a means of determining their origin and of evaluating coal beds as source rocks. The rank of coal beds in the Fruitland Formation in the central part of the San Juan basin, where major gas production occurs, increases to the northeast and ranges from high-volatile B bituminous coal to medium-volatile bituminous coal (Rm values range from 0.70 to 1.45%). On the basis of chemical, isotopic and coal-rank data, the gases are interpreted to be thermogenic. Gases from the coal beds show little isotopic variation (??13C1 values range -43.6 to -40.5 ppt), are chemically dry (C1/C1-5 values are > 0.99), and contain significant amounts of CO2 (as much as 6%). These gases are interpreted to have resulted from devolatilization of the humic-type bituminous coal that is composed mainly of vitrinite. The primary products of this process are CH4, CO2 and H2O. The coal-generated, methane-rich gas is usually contained in the coal beds of the Fruitland Formation, and has not been expelled and has not migrated into the adjacent sandstone reservoirs. In addition, the coal-bed reservoirs produce a distinctive bicarbonate-type connate water and have higher reservoir pressures than adjacent sandstones. The combination of these factors indicates that coal beds are a closed reservoir system created by the gases, waters, and associated pressures in the micropore coal structure. In contrast, gases produced from overlying sandstones in the Fruitland Formation and underlying Pictured Cliffs Sandstone have a wider range of isotopic values (??13C1 values range from -43.5 to -38

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Abyssal seep site cementation: west Florida escarpment

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-02-01

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

  11. Mutagenicity and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with extractable organic matter from airborne particles ⩽10 μm in southwest Mexico City

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villalobos-Pietrini, Rafael; Amador-Muñoz, Omar; Waliszewski, Stefan; Hernández-Mena, Leonel; Munive-Colín, Zenaida; Gómez-Arroyo, Sandra; Bravo-Cabrera, José Luis; Frías-Villegas, Alejandro

    A year-long sampling and analysis of 24 h airborne particles equal to or less than 10 μm (PM 10) was conducted in Southwest (SW) Mexico City in 1998. The amount of airborne PM 10 and its extractable organic matter (EOM) were highly correlated. The year 1998 was particularly dry with many fires, and higher values of PM 10 and EOM were obtained in the fire period (February-May) compared to the without fire period (January, June-December). The indirect-acting mutagenicity ( Salmonella typhimurium strain TA98 with mammalian metabolic activation, S9) did not correlate with the monthly concentrations of PM 10 and EOM, while the direct-acting mutagenicity (strains TA98 and YG1021, without mammalian metabolic activation) did correlate. The highest monthly mutagenic potency of TA98+S9 and of TA98-S9 were registered in May which correspond to the fire period, while for YG1021 the highest was in December, a without fire month. The highest TA98+S9/TA98-S9 ratios appeared from April to September (with the exception of June), indicating that emission of the direct mutagens occurred in the rest of the year (the coldest months), and December showed the highest mutagenicity of YG1021. The correlation of this mutagenicity with the number of ground-based inversions indicated a greater emissions of nitroarenes in the coldest months emitted mainly by vehicular traffic as shown by the correlation between YG1021 with CO and with NO 2. We did not find a correlation in the EOM of the complex mixtures between TA98+S9 and the total concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) nor between TA98+S9 and specific PAH. The analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry indicated the presence of retene, a PAH found in the fire period and considered a softwood burning marker. The concentrations of fluoranthene and benz[ a]anthracene correlated with that of retene and with the burned area; they were the only PAH that presented significant differences between the periods with fire and

  12. Temporal variation of nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in PM10 and PM2.5 collected in Northern Mexico City.

    PubMed

    Valle-Hernández, B L; Mugica-Alvarez, V; Salinas-Talavera, E; Amador-Muñoz, O; Murillo-Tovar, M A; Villalobos-Pietrini, R; De Vizcaya-Ruíz, A

    2010-10-15

    With the aim to determine the presence of individual nitro-PAH contained in particles in the atmosphere of Mexico City, a monitoring campaign for particulate matter (PM(10) and PM(2.5)) was carried out in Northern Mexico City, from April 2006 to February 2007. The PM(10) annual median concentration was 65.2μgm(-3) associated to 7.6μgm(-3) of solvent-extractable organic matter (SEOM) corresponding to 11.4% of the PM(10) concentration and 38.6μgm(-3) with 5.9μgm(-3) SEOM corresponding to 15.2% for PM(2.5). PM concentration and SEOM varied with the season and the particle size. The quantification of nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (nitro-PAH) was developed through the standards addition method under two schemes: reference standard with and without matrix, the former giving the best results. The recovery percentages varied with the extraction method within the 52 to 97% range depending on each nitro-PAH. The determination of the latter was effected with and without sample purification, also termed fractioning, giving similar results. 8 nitro-PAH were quantified, and their sum ranged from 111 to 819pgm(-3) for PM(10) and from 58 to 383pgm(-3) for PM(2.5), depending on the season. The greatest concentration was for 9-Nitroanthracene in PM(10) and PM(2.5), detected during the cold-dry season, with a median (10th-90th percentiles) concentration in 235pgm(-3) (66-449pgm(-3)) for PM(10) and 73pgm(-3) (18-117pgm(-3)) for PM(2.5). The correlation among mass concentrations of the nitro-PAH and criteria pollutants was statistically significant for some nitro-PAH with PM(10), SEOM in PM(10), SEOM in PM(2.5), NO(X), NO(2) and CO, suggesting either sources, primary or secondary origin. The measured concentrations of nitro-PAH were higher than those reported in other countries, but lower than those from Chinese cities. Knowledge of nitro-PAH atmospheric concentrations can aid during the surveillance of diseases (cardiovascular and cancer risk) associated with these

  13. Serum adipocyte-fatty acid binding protein (FABP4) levels in women from Mexico exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

    PubMed

    Ochoa-Martínez, Ángeles C; Ruíz-Vera, Tania; Pruneda-Álvarez, Lucia G; González-Palomo, Ana K; Almendarez-Reyna, Claudia I; Pérez-Vázquez, Francisco J; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is a very important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Correspondingly, adipocyte-fatty acid binding protein (FABP4, also known as aP2 and AFABP) has been proposed as a new, meaningful and useful biomarker to predict metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate serum FABP4 levels in Mexican women exposed to PAHs. Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene ((1-OHP), exposure biomarker for PAHs) levels were quantified using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique, and serum FABP4 concentrations were analyzed using a commercially available ELISA kit. The mean urinary 1-OHP level found in women participating in this study was 1.30 ± 1.10 μmol/mol creatinine (2.45 ± 2.10 μg/g creatinine). Regarding serum FABP4 concentrations, the levels ranged from 3.80 to 62.5 ng/mL in the assessed population. Moreover, a significant association (p < 0.001) was found between urinary 1-OHP levels and serum FABP4 concentrations in women after adjusting for potential confounding variables. The presented data in this study can be considered only as a starting point for further studies. Then, in order to elucidate whether FABP4 represents a risk factor for CVD disease in humans exposed to air contaminants (such as PAHs), large epidemiological studies are necessary.

  14. Relationship between Overpressure and the Formation of Hydrocarbon-Rich Solitary Waves during Sedimentary Basin Diagenesis: A Case Study of the Eugene Island 330 Field in the Gulf of Mexico Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, A.; Appold, M. S.; Nunn, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    Hydrocarbons in shallow (< 1 km depth) Pleistocene sand reservoirs of the Eugene Island 330 field in the northern Gulf of Mexico basin are thought to have originated from Early Tertiary source sediments at depths of about 4.5 km. Despite the low permeability of the intervening sediments, hydrocarbons appear to have moved rapidly through these sediments, most likely as discrete pressure pulses (solitary waves) along the Red growth fault system. The purpose of the present research was to evaluate the mechanics of solitary wave formation and movement during sedimentation, diagenesis, and source rock maturation in the Eugene Island hydrocarbon field. A detailed two-dimensional model coupling sedimentation, compaction, hydrocarbon generation, heat transport, and multi-phase fluid flow predicted overpressures of 50 MPa by 0.5 Ma in the hydrocarbon source sediments, with about 93% of the overpressure caused by compaction disequilibrium and the remainder by hydrocarbon generation. Movement along the Red growth fault was rapid enough to cause a pressure decrease of several MPa from the upthrown block to the downthrown block, consistent with field observations. The average pressure generation rate at the base of the Red fault during the period of hydrocarbon formation was predicted to be 9.6x10-7 Pa/s. However, for the most likely values of fault permeability, basal heat flow, and organic carbon content of the source rocks, too little hydrocarbon was able to migrate along the Red fault by conventional Darcian flow and accumulate in the Pleistocene reservoirs relative to field observations. Only when the permeability of the shale-bounded portions of the Red fault was increased by an order of magnitude, the basal heat flow was increased from 60 to 70 mW/m2, and the organic carbon content of the source rocks was increased from 5% to 10% was hydrocarbon transport by conventional Darcian flow through the Red fault great enough to accumulate in the reservoirs in amounts

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

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Interannual Variability and Trends of C2-C11 Non-Methane Hydrocarbons in a Subtropical Area close to the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappenglück, Bernhard

    2016-04-01

    Speciated C2-C11 non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) have been measured online on an hourly basis at Lake Jackson/TX close to the Gulf of Mexico. Altogether 48 NMHCs, including the GAW NMHC compounds, along with NO, NO2, NOx, O3 have been collected continuously from January 2004-December 2013 under the auspices of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Data was screened for background conditions representing marine wind sectors. The data set represents a combination of marine air masses mixed with local biogenic emissions. The data analysis addresses photochemical processing of air masses as reflected in the relationship of ln(n-butane/ethane) vs. ln(propane/ethane) and ln(i-butane/ethane) vs. ln(n-butane/ethane). In addition, key NMHC relationships for radical chemistry, e.g. i-butane vs n-butane for OH and Cl chemistry and i-pentane vs. n-pentane for NO3 chemistry, are discussed. Seasonal analysis revealed a clear trend with maximum NMHC mixing ratios in winter time and lowest mixing ratios in summer reflecting the impact of photochemical processes in summer. Propene equivalents were highest during summertime, with significant contributions from alkenes, including isoprene. The relation of propane/ethane vs ethane indicates seasonal variation with lowest values (i.e. most aged air masses) in winter. Contrary to usual GAW NMHC sampling procedures, which at least requires routine daytime samples (e.g. for canister samplings), continuous NMHC data collection allows to analyze nighttime data, which is least impacted by photochemical processes and potentially well-suited for trend analysis. Corresponding trend analysis for the Lake Jackson data suggests an overall slight decrease of selected NMHCs over the 2004-2013 period.

  18. Recognition of deep-water benthic assemblages in the fossil record: Taphonomy and community characteristics of Louisiana continental slope petroleum seep assemblages

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    Chemoautotrophic benthic assemblages associated with petroleum seepage form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Five biofacies are associated with petroleum seepage, dominated respectively by vestimentiferan tubeworms, lucinid, thyasirid and vesicomyid clams and mytilid mussels. The taphonomy of petroleum seep death assemblages includes dissolution as the most pervasive mode of shell alteration. The dominant species in each assemblage reflect the taphonomic signature of the assemblage they dominate. The taphonomic attributes of petroleum seep death assemblages are similar to those of ancient autochthonous benthic assemblages. Paleoecological characteristics representative of cold seep assemblages include: high density-low diversity molluscan assemblages dominated by large individuals, high molluscan biomass concentrations aligned in linear trends, carbons with depleted [delta][sup 13]C values associated with faunally depauperate shales, laminated or massive sedimentary structures, variable articulation frequencies, poor shell preservation, and a trophic structure dominated by one trophic group. The Campanian Tepee Buttes share many paleoecological characteristics with recognized ancient seep assemblages. Methane and hydrogen sulfide-rich fluids from underlying strata were transported along fault conduits to supply a localized nutrient source for lucinid-dominated benthic communities. The Tepee Butte assemblages were dominated by dense accumulations of Nymphalucina occidentalis with moderate to high articulation frequencies. The lucinids probably used H[sub 2]S as a nutrient source. Cold seeps can be recognized in the fossil record, based on criteria developed by the study of modern cold seep death assemblages, because the paleoecological characteristics of cold seep assemblages are very conservative.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Petroleum-influenced beach sediments of the Campeche Bank, Mexico: diversity and bacterial community structure assessment.

    PubMed

    Rosano-Hernández, María C; Ramírez-Saad, Hugo; Fernández-Linares, Luis

    2012-03-01

    The bacterial diversity and community structure were surveyed in intertidal petroleum-influenced sediments of ≈ 100 km of a beach, in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The beach was divided in twenty sampling sites according to high, moderate and low petroleum influence. Densities of cultured heterotrophic (HAB) and hydrocarbon degrading bacteria (HDB) were highly variable in sediments, with little morphological assortment in colonies. PCR-RISA banding patterns differentiated distinct communities along the beach, and the bacterial diversity changed inversely to the degree of petroleum hydrocarbon influence: the higher TPH concentration, the lower genotype diversity. Seven DNA sequences (Genbank EF191394 -EF191396 and EF191398 -EF191401) were affiliated to uncultured members of Gemmatimonas, Acidobacterium, Desulfobacteraceae, Rubrobacterales, Actinobacterium and the Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria group; all the above taxa are known for having members with active roles in biogeochemical transformations. The remaining sequences (EF191388 - EF191393 and EF191397) affiliated to Pseudoalteromonas, and to oil-degrading genera such as Pseudomonas, Vibrio and Marinobacter, being the last one an obligate oil-degrading bacterium. An exchange of bacteria between the beach and the oil seep environment, and the potential cleaning-up role of bacteria at the southern Gulf of Mexico are discussed.

  2. Hydrocarbon pneumonia

    MedlinePlus

    Pneumonia - hydrocarbon ... Coughing Fever Shortness of breath Smell of a hydrocarbon product on the breath Stupor (decreased level of ... Most children who drink or inhale hydrocarbon products and develop ... hydrocarbons may lead to rapid respiratory failure and death.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  4. Carbon Sources to Authigenic Carbonate Rock at Chemosynthetic Communities: Lower Slope of the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sassen, R.; Jung, W.; Zhang, C.; Defreitas, D. A.

    2004-12-01

    Flux of biogenic methane, crude oil and associated hydrocarbon gases occurs from the deep subsurface to the seafloor, water column, and atmosphere of the Gulf of Mexico slope. Chemosynthetic communities occur at sites of relatively high gas flux, frequently with gas hydrate, but always with authigenic carbonate rock \\(ACR\\). ACR contains carbonate carbon derived from microbial hydrocarbon oxidation that geologically sequesters much fossil carbon, perturbing the carbon cycle. ACR was collected using the ALVIN from sites with chemosynthetic communities in Alaminos Canyon, Atwater Valley, and the Florida Escarpment areas at water depths as much as 3.3 km. Bulk δ 13C was measured and carbonate petrology used to identify carbonate cements, normal marine carbonate, and non-carbonate components such as metal oxides and sulfides. ACR is depleted in 13C. However, the δ 13C of major hydrocarbon types is typically more depleted in 13C than the associated ACR. For example, the mean δ 13C of biogenic methane seeps in the Gulf slope is -74.0\\permil PDB but the lightest bulk ACR measured in the study area is -46.6\\permil PDB. Carbonate cements from hydrocarbon oxidation are shown to enclose skeletal remains of chemosynthetic fauna such as mussels, clams, as well as other fauna characterized by normal marine carbonate \\(\\sim 0\\permil PDB\\). The best explanation of why the δ 13C of ACR does not closely correspond to that of the hydrocarbon starting products is that normal marine carbon dilutes the δ 13C from hydrocarbon oxidation and thus affects the bulk isotopic properties of ACR.

  5. Pockmarks: self-scouring seep features?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Soda ash treatment of a strontium-90-contaminated groundwater seep

    SciTech Connect

    Spalding, B.P.; Munro, I.I.

    1983-01-01

    A /sup 90/Sr-contaminated groundwater seep on the perimeter of a low-level radioactive solid waste disposal area at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) was treated by burying 315 kg of soda ash in the groundwater flow path leading to the seep, and placing 45 kg of soda ash on the surface of the seep. The concentration of /sup 90/Sr in the seep water fell from an average of 7000 Bq L/sup -1/ to 900 Bq L/sup -1/ for the 90 d after burial, followed by a period of gradual rise back to pretreatment levels over the next 100 d. The electrical conductivity and pH of the seep water increased following soda ash burial, while water hardness fell. Hardness was highly correlated (r = 0.84) with /sup 90/Sr concentrations over the entire 2-year observation period, indicating the similar behavior of /sup 90/Sr and soluble Ca and Mg. This in situ softening of, and /sup 90/Sr precipitation from, the seep water was achieved by coprecipitation of /sup 90/Sr with Ca(Mg)CO/sub 3/ until the buried soda ash was depleted by dissolution in the groundwater. The soda ash treatment of groundwater seeps appears to be most practical as an interim technique for those situations requiring an immediate, but temporary, corrective action. During this limited but effective period, more permanent corrective actions could be planned at the source of contamination. The electrical conductivity, pH, and hardness of the larger surface stream, into which this seep discharges, were not affected by the soda ash burial, most likely due to the approximately 2000-fold dilution effected by this stream.

  9. Development of saline seeps in Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Kenneth S.; ,

    1994-01-01

    Saline seeps are an increasingly serious problem in semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States. They result when excessive recharge of the shallow ground water in soils raises the water table locally to within one meter of the land surface, and the salinity of the shallow water is increased through evaporation. In this connection, a comprehensive study is being undertaken in Oklahoma and Texas to determine the geologic setting, hydrology, soils, land use, and history of saline-seep development.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-02

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

    group and Sulphate Reducing Bacteria (SRB) most likely belonging to the Seep-SRB1 cluster. The zone of active methane consumption was restricted to a distinct horizon of about 20 cm. Concentrations of 13C-depleted lipid biomarkers (e.g. 500 ng g-dw-1 biphythanes, 140 ng g-dw-1 fatty acid ai-C15:0), cell numbers (1.5x108 cells cm-3), AOM and SR rates (3 nmol cm-3 d-1 in the SMTZ are 2-3 orders of magnitude lower compared to AOM zones of highly active cold seeps such as Hydrate Ridge or the Gulf of Mexico.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Isolation of marine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading Cycloclasticus strains from the Gulf of Mexico and comparison of their PAH degradation ability with that of Puget Sound Cycloclasticus strains

    SciTech Connect

    Geiselbrecht, A.D.; Hedlund, B.P.; Tichi, M.A.; Staley, J.T.

    1998-12-01

    Phenanthrene- and naphthalene-degrading bacteria were isolated from four offshore and nearshore locations in the Gulf of Mexico by using a modified most-probable-number technique. The concentrations of these bacteria ranged from 10{sup 2} to 10{sup 6} cells per ml of wet surficial sediment in mildly contaminated and noncontaminated sediments. A total of 23 strains of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria were obtained. Based on partial 16S ribosomal DNA sequences and Phenotypic characteristics, these 23 strains are members of the genus Cycloclasticus. Three representatives were chosen for a complete phylogenetic analysis, which confirmed the close relationship of these isolates to type strain Cycloclasticus pugetii PS-1, which was isolated from Puget Sound. PAH substrate utilization tests which included high-molecular-weight PAHs revealed that these isolates had similar, broad substrate ranges which included naphthalene, substituted naphthalenes, phenanthrene, biphenyl, anthracene, acenaphthene, and fluorene. Degradation of pyrene and fluoranthene occurred only when the strains were incubated with phenanthrene. Two distinct partial PAH dioxygenase iron sulfur protein (ISP) gene sequences were PCR amplified from Puget Sound and Gulf of Mexico Cycloclasticus strains. Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences revealed that one ISP type is related to the bph type of ISP sequences, while the other ISP type is related to the nah type of ISP sequences. The predicted ISP amino acid sequences for the Gulf of Mexico and Puget Sound strains are identical, which supports the hypothesis that these geographically separated isolates are closely related phylogentically. Cycloclasticus species appear to be numerically important and widespread PAH-degrading bacteria in both Puget Sound and the Gulf of Mexico.

  15. Origin of gasoline-range hydrocarbons and their migration by solution in carbon dioxide in Norton basin, Alaska.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.; Claypool, G.E.

    1980-01-01

    Carbon dioxide from a submarine seep in Norton Sound carries a minor component of gas- and gasoline-range hydrocarbons. The molecular and isotopic compositions of the hydrocarbon gases and the presence of gasoline-range hydrocarbons indicate that these molecules are derived from thermal alteration of marine and/or nonmarine organic matter buried within Norton basin. The gasoline-range hydrocarbon distribution suggests that the hydrocarbon mixture is an immature petroleum-like condensate of lower temperature origin than normal crude oil. The submarine seep provides a natural example in support of a carbon dioxide solution transport mechanism thought to be operative in the migration of hydrocarbons in certain reservoirs.-Authors

  16. Evolution of Hydrocarbon-Degrading Microbial Communities in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Well Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, G.; Dubinsky, E. A.; Chakraborty, R.; Hollibaugh, J. T.; Hazen, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill created large plumes of dispersed oil and gas that remained deep in the water column and stimulated growth of several deep-sea bacteria that can degrade hydrocarbons at cold temperatures. We tracked microbial community composition before, during and after the 83-day spill to determine relationships between microbial dynamics, and hydrocarbon and dissolved-oxygen concentrations. Dominant bacteria in plumes shifted drastically over time and were dependent on the concentration of hydrocarbons, and the relative quantities of insoluble and soluble oil fractions. Unmitigated flow from the wellhead early in the spill resulted in the highest concentrations of oil and relatively more n-alkanes suspended in the plume as small oil droplets. These conditions resulted in near complete dominance by alkane-degrading Oceanospirillales, Pseudomonas and Shewanella. Six-weeks into the spill overall hydrocarbon concentrations in the plume decreased and were almost entirely composed of BTEX after management actions reduced emissions into the water column. These conditions corresponded with the emergence of Colwellia, Pseudoalteromonas, Cycloclasticus and Halomonas that are capable of degrading aromatic compounds. After the well was contained dominant plume bacteria disappeared within two weeks after the spill and transitioned to an entirely different set of bacteria dominated by Flavobacteria, Methylophaga, Alteromonas and Rhodobacteraceae that were found in anomalous oxygen depressions throughout August and are prominent degraders of both high molecular weight organic matter as well as hydrocarbons. Bio-Sep beads amended with volatile hydrocarbons from MC-252 oil were used from August through September to create hydrocarbon-amended traps for attracting oil-degrading microbes in situ. Traps were placed at multiple depths on a drilling rig about 600-m from the original MC-252 oil spill site. Microbes were isolated on media using MC-252 oil as the sole

  17. Macondo oil in deep-sea sediments: Part 2 - Distribution and distinction from background and natural oil seeps.

    PubMed

    Stout, Scott A; Payne, James R; Ricker, Robert W; Baker, Gregory; Lewis, Christopher

    2016-10-15

    Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the spilled Macondo oil was severely weathered during its transport within the deep-sea plume as discrete particles, which were subsequently deposited on the seafloor. The Macondo oil deposited in deep-sea sediments was distinguished from ambient (background) hydrocarbons and naturally-seeped and genetically-similar oils in the Mississippi Canyon region using a forensic method based upon a systematic, multi-year study of 724 deep-sea sediment cores collected in late 2010 and 2011. The method relied upon: (1) chemical fingerprinting of the distinct features of the wax-rich, severely-weathered Macondo oil; (2) hydrocarbon concentrations, considering a core's proximity to the Macondo well or to known or apparent natural oil seeps, and also vertically within a core; and (3) results from proximal cores and flocculent material from core supernatants and slurp gun filters. The results presented herein establish the geographic extent of "fingerprintable" Macondo oil recognized on the seafloor in 2010/2011.

  18. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  19. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. Resistivity structure of the Del Mar methane seep.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kannberg, P. K.; Constable, S.

    2015-12-01

    In March of 2015 we mapped the resistivity structure of the Del Mar methane seep in the inner California borderlands using a deep towed electromagnetic (EM) source and receiver array. Located in the San Diego trough at a depth of 1km, the seep site is on the flank of a mound associated with a transpressive step in the San Diego trough fault. The seep site has previously been associated with seafloor pockmarks, acoustic wipeouts, chemosynthetic communities, and active methane bubble venting. Controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) surveys are performed by deep-towing an EM source that is transmitting a known signal; this signal is detected by towed receivers. This transmitted signal is altered by the electrical properties of the surrounding environment. Compared to seismic methods, EM methods are largely insensitive to free gas, making it an especially useful tool for detecting electrically resistive methane hydrate in areas of active gas venting. We used a 50m dipole transmitting 100A, with 3-axis electric field receivers spaced at 130m, 230m, 330m, and 430m behind the transmitter dipole center. The receiver data are inverted using MARE2DEM, a finite element 2D inversion routine. The inversion results show the background resistivity of the trough sediments to be about 1-2 ohmm, and are largely featureless outside of the seep site. However at the seep site we see a decanter-shaped 100 ohmm resistor whose base is 100m below the seafloor, and 1km wide at its widest. This feature narrows at the top to form a pipe structure about 200m wide that extends to the seafloor. These resistive structures are interpreted to be methane hydrate resulting from methane rich fluid flow along faults associated with the transpressional system that brackets the seep site.

  4. Petroleum degradation and associated microbial signatures at the Chapopote asphalt volcano, Southern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubotz, Florence; Lipp, Julius S.; Elvert, Marcus; Kasten, Sabine; Mollar, Xavier Prieto; Zabel, Matthias; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2011-08-01

    At the Chapopote Knoll in the Southern Gulf of Mexico, deposits of asphalt provide the substrate for a prolific cold seep ecosystem extensively colonized by chemosynthetic communities. This study investigates microbial life and associated biological processes within the asphalts and surrounding oil-impregnated sediments by analysis of intact polar membrane lipids (IPLs), petroleum hydrocarbons and stable carbon isotopic compositions (δ 13C) of hydrocarbon gases. Asphalt samples are lightly to heavily biodegraded suggesting that petroleum-derived hydrocarbons serve as substrates for the chemosynthetic communities. Accordingly, detection of bacterial diester and diether phospholipids in asphalt samples containing finely dispersed gas hydrate suggests the presence of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria. Biological methanogenesis contributes a substantial fraction to the methane captured as hydrate in the shallow asphalt deposits evidenced by significant depletion in 13C relative to background thermogenic methane. In sediments, petroleum migrating from the subsurface stimulates both methanogenesis and methanotrophy at a sulfate-methane transition zone 6-7 m below the seafloor. In this zone, microbial IPLs are dominated by archaeal phosphohydroxyarchaeols and archaeal diglycosidic diethers and tetraethers. Bacterial IPLs dominate surface sediments that are impregnated by severely biodegraded oil. In the sulfate-reduction zone, diagnostic IPLs indicate that sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) play an important role in petroleum degradation. A diverse mixture of phosphohydroxyarchaeols and mixed phospho- and diglycosidic archaeal tetraethers in shallow oil-impregnated sediments point to the presence of anaerobic methane-oxidizing ANME-2 and ANME-1 archaea, respectively, or methanogens. Archaeal IPLs increase in relative abundance with increasing sediment depth and decreasing sulfate concentrations, accompanied by a shift of archaeol-based to tetraether-based archaeal IPLs. The

  5. Helium systematics of cold seep fluids at Monterey Bay, California, USA: Temporal variations and mantle contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Füri, E.; Hilton, D. R.; Brown, K. M.; Tryon, M. D.

    2009-08-01

    We report helium isotope ratios (3He/4He) as well as helium and neon abundance results for submarine cold seep fluids from Extrovert Cliff in Monterey Bay, California. Samples were collected in copper tubing attached to submarine flux meters operating in continuous pumping mode. Following instrumentation recovery, the tubing was sectioned to produce for the first time a high-resolution time series of dissolved He and Ne variations over a time span of several days. Noble gas concentrations are variable and appear affected by interaction with a hydrocarbon phase within the aquifer. However, it is still possible to resolve the He signal into components associated with air equilibration, excess air entrainment, and terrigenic fluxes (both crustal and mantle-derived). The mantle He contribution reaches ˜25-30% in some samples (up to 2.3 RA, where RA = air 3He/4He). Our quasi-continuous He-Ne record shows remarkable fluctuations over time scales of only a few hours and reflects the combined effects of gas stripping by hydrocarbons and an episodic input of mantle-derived fluids.

  6. Cold-seep mollusks are older than the general marine mollusk fauna.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen; Little, Crispin T S

    2006-09-08

    The origin and possible antiquity of faunas at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps have been debated since their discovery. We used the fossil record of seep mollusks to show that the living seep genera have significantly longer geologic ranges than the marine mollusks in general, but have ranges similar to those of deep-sea taxa, suggesting that seep faunas may be shaped by the factors that drive the evolution of life in the deep sea in general. Our data indicate that deep-sea anoxic/dysoxic events did not affect seep faunas, casting doubt on the suggested anoxic nature and/or global extent of these events.

  7. Phosphogenesis at a Cretaceous methane seep from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

    studied sites (average 9.4±1.8 ka, n=16) and the regional anoxic sapropel event support the idea that the drop in bottom water dissolved oxygen content was probably a key factor to enhance microbial activity and associated carbonate precipitation at that time. Overall, these results provide straightforward evidence that fluid emission dynamics and hydrocarbon oxidation at cold seeps can be directly related to changing environmental conditions through time.

  10. 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.

  11. Morphology of Florida escarpment chemosynthetic brine seep community sites: deep-tow, seabeam, and GLORIA surveys

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Spiess, F.N.; Curray, J.R.; Twitchell, D.

    1988-02-01

    The Florida Escarpment near 26/degree/N was surveyed with Deep-Tow, Seabeam, and GLORIA in the area where chemosynthetic communities were discovered via ALVIN in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Seabeam bathymetry and GLORIA images indicate that the escarpment is a generally straight cliff with average slopes of about 45/degree/ from 2200 to more than 3250 m. The escarpment's face is cut by 2-km wide box canyons whose head walls are as steep as the intervening escarpment's face. The shapes of these canyons are difficult to explain with the traditional models of canyon formation. Sidescan sonar images and bottom photographs reveal that the escarpment's face is composed of a series of long, straight bedding-plain terraces which are truncated along nearly vertical orthogonal joints. Exposure of these truncated strata indicate the face of the escarpment is eroded. The contact between the basal escarpment and the flat-lying abyssal hemipelagic sediments is abrupt. Basal talus is uncommon because the abyssal floor is part of the distal Mississippi fan which is rapidly burying the escarpment. However, where talus occurs, it is in tongues of angular megabreccia of meter- and larger-sized blocks which indicate periodic catastrophic collapse. Sidescan images reveal bands of contrast in the reflective texture of the sea floor that extends 10-20 m from the base along more than 10% of the surveyed area. Photographic surveys show that these areas are associated with communities of abundant organisms. Apparently chemosynthetic communities line extensive sections of the escarpment base where reduced brines seep out into the sea floor. The morphology suggests joints and deep seeps are controlling factors in scarp retreat.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Use of LANDSAT-1 data for the detection and mapping of saline seeps in Montana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    May, G. A. (Principal Investigator); Petersen, G. W.

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. April, May, and August are the best times to detect saline seeps. Specific times within these months would be dependent upon weather, phenology, and growth conditions. Saline seeps can be efficiently and accurately mapped, within resolution capabilities, from merged May and August LANDSAT 1 data. Seeps were mapped by detecting salt crusts in the spring and indicator plants in the fall. These indicator plants were kochia, inkweed, and foxtail barley. The total hectares of the mapped saline seeps were calculated and tabulated. Saline seeps less than two hectares in size or that have linear configurations less than 200 meters in width were not mapped using the LANDSAT 1 data. Saline seep signatures developed in the Coffee Creek test site were extended to map saline seeps located outside this area.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-22

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Cold-seep habitat mapping: High-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Jamie K. S.; McEntee, Molly H.; Brothers, Laura L.; German, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Carl L.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2013-08-01

    Relationships among seep community biomass, diversity, and physiographic controls such as underlying geology are not well understood. Previous efforts to constrain these relationships at the Blake Ridge Diapir were limited to observations from piloted deep-submergence vehicles. In August 2012, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry collected geophysical and photographic data over a 0.131 km2 area at the Blake Ridge Diapir seeps. A nested survey approach was used that began with a regional or reconnaissance-style survey using sub-bottom mapping systems to locate and identify seeps and underlying conduits. This survey was followed by AUV-mounted sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder systems mapping on a mesoscale to characterize the seabed physiography. At the most detailed survey level, digital photographic imaging was used to resolve sub-meter characteristics of the biology. Four pockmarks (25-70 m diameter) were documented, each supporting chemosynthetic communities. Concentric zonation of mussels and clams suggests the influence of chemical gradients on megafaunal distribution. Data collection and analytical techniques used here yield high-resolution habitat maps that can serve as baselines to constrain temporal evolution of seafloor seeps, and to inform ecological niche modeling and resource management.

  17. Cold-seep habitat mapping: high-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagner, Jamie K.S.; McEntee, Molly H.; Brothers, Laura L.; German, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Carl L.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2013-01-01

    Relationships among seep community biomass, diversity, and physiographic controls such as underlying geology are not well understood. Previous efforts to constrain these relationships at the Blake Ridge Diapir were limited to observations from piloted deep-submergence vehicles. In August 2012, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry collected geophysical and photographic data over a 0.131 km2 area at the Blake Ridge Diapir seeps. A nested survey approach was used that began with a regional or reconnaissance-style survey using sub-bottom mapping systems to locate and identify seeps and underlying conduits. This survey was followed by AUV-mounted sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder systems mapping on a mesoscale to characterize the seabed physiography. At the most detailed survey level, digital photographic imaging was used to resolve sub-meter characteristics of the biology. Four pockmarks (25–70 m diameter) were documented, each supporting chemosynthetic communities. Concentric zonation of mussels and clams suggests the influence of chemical gradients on megafaunal distribution. Data collection and analytical techniques used here yield high-resolution habitat maps that can serve as baselines to constrain temporal evolution of seafloor seeps, and to inform ecological niche modeling and resource management.

  18. 78 FR 9420 - Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (CPA) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 227

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-08

    ... and unitization of transboundary hydrocarbon reservoirs, allocation of production, inspections, safety... United Mexican States Concerning Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico V...) Lightering Zones (6) Indicated Hydrocarbons List (7) Military Areas (8) Safety Zones for Certain...

  19. Summary of the 1995 assessment of conventionally recoverable hydrocarbon resources of the Gulf of Mexico and atlantic outer continental shelf as of January 1, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Lore, G.L.; Brooke, J.P.; Cooke, D.W.; Klazynski, R.J.; Olson, D.L.

    1996-08-01

    The principal purpose of this report is to present estimates of the total endowment of conventionally recoverable oil and gas that may be present beneath the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic continental margin. Secondary objectives are to briefly describe the geologic and mathematical methodologies employed in the assessment, present an economic analysis of the undiscovered conventionally recoverable resources of the area, and provide a historical perspective in which to review the results.

  20. Using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography to explore the geochemistry of the Santa Barbara oil seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, Christopher; Nelson, Robert

    2013-03-27

    The development of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC x GC) has expanded the analytical window for studying complex mixtures like oil. Compared to traditional gas chromatography, this technology separates and resolves at least an order of magnitude more compounds, has a much larger signal to noise ratio, and sorts compounds based on their chemical class; hence, providing highly refined inventories of petroleum hydrocarbons in geochemical samples that was previously unattainable. In addition to the increased resolution afforded by GC x GC, the resulting chromatograms have been used to estimate the liquid vapor pressures, aqueous solubilities, octanol-water partition coefficients, and vaporization enthalpies of petroleum hydrocarbons. With these relationships, powerful and incisive analyses of phase-transfer processes affecting petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures in the environment are available. For example, GC x GC retention data has been used to quantitatively deconvolve the effects of phase transfer processes such as water washing and evaporation. In short, the positive attributes of GC x GC-analysis have led to a methodology that has revolutionized the analysis of petroleum hydrocarbons. Overall, this research has opened numerous fields of study on the biogeochemical "genetics" (referred to as petroleomics) of petroleum samples in both subsurface and surface environments. Furthermore, these new findings have already been applied to the behavior of oil at other seeps as well, for petroleum exploration and oil spill studies.

  1. Restriction to large-scale gene flow vs. regional panmixia among cold seep Escarpia spp. (Polychaeta, Siboglinidae).

    PubMed

    Cowart, Dominique A; Huang, Chunya; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Carney, Susan L; Fisher, Charles R; Schaeffer, Stephen W

    2013-08-01

    The history of colonization and dispersal in fauna distributed among deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems remains enigmatic and poorly understood because of an inability to mark and track individuals. A combination of molecular, morphological and environmental data improves understanding of spatial and temporal scales at which panmixia, disruption of gene flow or even speciation may occur. Vestimentiferan tubeworms of the genus Escarpia are important components of deep -sea cold seep ecosystems, as they provide long-term habitat for many other taxa. Three species of Escarpia, Escarpia spicata [Gulf of California (GoC)], Escarpia laminata [Gulf of Mexico (GoM)] and Escarpia southwardae (West African Cold Seeps), have been described based on morphology, but are not discriminated through the use of mitochondrial markers (cytochrome oxidase subunit 1; large ribosomal subunit rDNA, 16S; cytochrome b). Here, we also sequenced the exon-primed intron-crossing Haemoglobin subunit B2 intron and genotyped 28 microsatellites to (i) determine the level of genetic differentiation, if any, among the three geographically separated entities and (ii) identify possible population structure at the regional scale within the GoM and West Africa. Results at the global scale support the occurrence of three genetically distinct groups. At the regional scale among eight sampling sites of E. laminata (n = 129) and among three sampling sites of E. southwardae (n = 80), no population structure was detected. These findings suggest that despite the patchiness and isolation of seep habitats, connectivity is high on regional scales.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.; Wright, B.A.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation

  4. Dynamic Autoinoculation and the Microbial Ecology of a deep Water Hydrocarbon Irruption

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-12-11

    The irruption of gas and oil Into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon event fed a deep sea bacterial bloom that consumed hydrocarbons in... of Mexico . Mixing processes also accelerated hydrocarbon degradation through an autoinoculation effect, where water masses, in which the hydrocarbon...current oscillation and mixing processes played a critical role in distributing hydrocarbons and associated bacterial blooms within the northeast Gulf

  5. Detection of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon microseepage in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming using isotopic, biogeochemical, and spectral reflectance techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Bammel, B.H.

    1992-01-01

    A stable isotope, biogeochemical, and gebotanical reflectance study was conducted at five areas in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. Three of the areas are active hydrocarbon producing fields, including Little Buffalo Basin, Bonanza, and Enigma oil fields. One area contains no surface or subsurface hydrocarbons, the Cody Base area. One area, Trapper Canyon, is a surface tar sand deposit. In each area numerous reflectance spectra were measured and leaf samples collected from sagebrush over and surrounding the fields. At Bonanza and Trapper Canyon, sagebrush plants were also growing directly in hydrocarbon impregnated formations. Unusually low [delta][sup 13]C values of calcite were found in calcite-bearing samples over the Little Buffalo Basin Field. The systematic distribution of these low [delta][sup 13]C values is correlated with the subsurface oil and gas production axis. Significant distinctions between the surface hydrocarbon occurrences at Trapper Canyon and Bonanza Seeps are highlighted by chemical differences in sagebrush leaves. At Trapper Canyon relatively high concentrations of aluminum and iron are found. Sagebrush leaves at the Bonanza Seeps contain relatively low concentrations of calcium and potassium, and a relatively high amount of organic material. Analyses from sagebrush growing over subsurface commercial hydrocarbon deposits tend to be relatively low in magnesium and relatively high in sodium. The increase in sodium may indicate subsurface reservoirs without regard to their hydrocarbon content. The results of the geobotanical reflectance study shows that a significant blue shift of the green peak and red trough positions is the most reliable indicator of hydrocarbon-induced stress in sagebrush plants, and can only be detected where the sage is actually growing in visible surface or near-surface hydrocarbons. Spectral reflectance intensity data have no significant correlation with the presence of surface or subsurface hydrocarbons.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Lipid Biomarkers and Carbon Isotopic Composition from Authigenic Carbonates and Seep Sediments from the US Mid-Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, P.; Prouty, N.; Demopoulos, A. W.; Roark, B.; Coykendall, K.

    2015-12-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), mediated by Archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria, is common in continental margin sediment and can result in authigenic carbonate precipitation. A lipid biomarker study was undertaken in Mid-Atlantic submarine canyons, focusing specifically on Baltimore and Norfolk canyons, to determine biomarker variability of carbonate rock and the associated sediment in cold seep communities dominated by chemosynthetic mussels, Bathymodiolus childressi. Preliminary 16S metagenomic results confirm the presence of free-living sulfur-reducing bacteria and methantrophic endosymbiotic bacteria in the mussels. Depleted d13C values in both the mussel tissue (-63 ‰) and authigenic carbonates (-48 ‰) support methanotrophy as the dominant nutritional pathway and AOM as the main driver of carbonate precipitation. In addition, paired 14C and 230Th dates are highly discordant, reflecting dilution of the 14C pool with fossil hydrocarbon derived carbon. Seep and canyon sediment, as well as authigenic carbonates, were collected and analyzed for a suite of biomarkers, including sterols, alcohols, alkanes and fatty acids, as well as δ13C values of select biomarkers, to elucidate pathways of organic matter cycling. A comparison of terrestrial biomarker signatures (e.g., n-alkane carbon preference index and C23 / (C23 + C29) values, HMW n-alkanes and C29 sterols) suggests that terrestrial inputs dominate the submarine canyon surface sediment, whereas seep sediment is predominantly marine autochthonous (i.e., cholesterol and 5α-cholestanol). Lipid biomarker profiles (e.g., n-alkanes in the C15 to C33 range) from authigenic carbonates mirror those found in the seep sediment, suggesting that the organisms mediating carbonate precipitation on the seafloor are characteristic of the assemblages present in the sediment at these sites. With widespread methane leakage recently discovered along the Atlantic Margin, the presence of AOM-mediated carbonate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  10. A survey of microbial community diversity in marine sediments impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic shorelines, Texas to Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lisle, John T.; Stellick, Sarah H.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial community genomic DNA was extracted from sediment samples collected along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts from Texas to Florida. Sample sites were identified as being ecologically sensitive and (or) as having high potential of being impacted by Macondo-1 (M-1) well oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout. The diversity within the microbial communities associated with the collected sediments provides a baseline dataset to which microbial community-diversity data from impacted sites could be compared. To determine the microbial community diversity in the samples, genetic fingerprints were generated and compared. Specific sequences within the community genomic DNA were first amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with a primer set that provides possible resolution to the species level. A second nested PCR was performed on the primary PCR products using a primer set on which a GC-clamp was attached to one of the primers. The nested PCR products were separated using denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) that resolves the nested PCR products based on sequence dissimilarities (or similarities), forming a genomic fingerprint of the microbial diversity within the respective samples. Samples with similar fingerprints were grouped and compared to oil-fingerprint data from the same sites (Rosenbauer and others, 2011). The microbial community fingerprints were generally grouped into sites that had been shown to contain background concentrations of non-Deepwater Horizon oil. However, these groupings also included sites where no oil signature was detected. This report represents some of the first information on naturally occurring microbial communities in sediment from shorelines along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts from Texas to Florida.

  11. Evolution and biogeography of deep-sea vent and seep invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Van Dover, C L; German, C R; Speer, K G; Parson, L M; Vrijenhoek, R C

    2002-02-15

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are submarine springs where nutrient-rich fluids emanate from the sea floor. Vent and seep ecosystems occur in a variety of geological settings throughout the global ocean and support food webs based on chemoautotrophic primary production. Most vent and seep invertebrates arrive at suitable habitats as larvae dispersed by deep-ocean currents. The recent evolution of many vent and seep invertebrate species (<100 million years ago) suggests that Cenozoic tectonic history and oceanic circulation patterns have been important in defining contemporary biogeographic patterns.

  12. Formation and migration of Natural Gases: gas composition and isotopes as monitors between source, reservoir and seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoell, M.; Etiope, G.

    2015-12-01

    Natural gases form in tight source rocks at temperatures between 120ºC up to 200ºC over a time of 40 to 50my depending on the heating rate of the gas kitchen. Inferring from pyrolysis experiments, gases after primary migration, a pressure driven process, are rich in C2+ hydrocarbons (C2 to C5). This is consistent with gas compositions of oil-associated gases such as in the Bakken Shale which occur in immediate vicinity of the source with little migration distances. However, migration of gases along porous rocks over long distances (up to 200km in the case of the Troll field offshore Norway) changes the gas composition drastically as C2+ hydrocarbons tend to be retained/sequestered during migration of gas as case histories from Virginia and the North Sea will demonstrate. Similar "molecular fractionation" is observed between reservoirs and surface seeps. In contrast to gas composition, stable isotopes in gases are, in general, not affected by the migration process suggesting that gas migration is a steady state process. Changes in isotopic composition, from source to reservoir to surface seeps, is often the result of mixing of gases of different origins. Examples from various gas provinces will support this notion. Natural gas basins provide little opportunity of tracking and identifying gas phase separation. Future research on experimental phase separation and monitoring of gas composition and gas ratio changes e.g. various C2+ compound ratios over C1 or isomer ratios such as iso/n ratios in butane and pentane may be an avenue to develop tracers for phase separation that could possibly be applied to natural systems of retrograde natural condensate fields.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kevorkian, R.; Lloyd, K. G.

    2014-12-01

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

  15. Day and night trophic variations of dominant fish species in a lagoon influenced by freshwater seeps.

    PubMed

    Arceo-Carranza, D; Vega-Cendejas, M E; Hernández de Santillana, M

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the trophic structure and nycthemeral variations in the diet of dominant fish species (Ariopsis felis, Bairdiella chrysoura, Micropogonias undulatus, Eucinostomus gula, Eucinostomus argenteus, Lagodon rhomboides and Sphoeroides testudineus) in Celestun Lagoon, a biosphere reserve located in the southern Gulf of Mexico, and influenced by freshwater seeps. A total of 1473 stomachs were analysed and nine trophic groups were recorded. Bray-Curtis analyses with analyses of similarity (ANOSIM) statistical tests were used to determine two groups of feeding guilds: zoobenthivores and omnivores, with significant differences between time and habitat. The relationships between fish feeding habits, size class and environmental variables were investigated using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). Most of the species showed a low niche breadth with high specialization towards amphipod consumption, with the exception of L. rhomboides (0·60), which indicated generalist feeding. This study in a protected area is an important source of information for drawing up conservation policies in relation to the management of aquatic resources, and will aid in the establishment of priority areas for conservation.

  16. Characterizing Methane Emissions at Local Scales with a 20 Year Total Hydrocarbon Time Series, Imaging Spectrometry, and Web Facilitated Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, Eliza Swan

    Methane is an important greenhouse gas for which uncertainty in local emission strengths necessitates improved source characterizations. Although CH4 plume mapping did not motivate the NASA Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) design and municipal air quality monitoring stations were not intended for studying marine geological seepage, these assets have capabilities that can make them viable for studying concentrated (high flux, highly heterogeneous) CH4 sources, such as the Coal Oil Point (COP) seep field (˜0.015 Tg CH4 yr-1) offshore Santa Barbara, California. Hourly total hydrocarbon (THC) data, spanning 1990 to 2008 from an air pollution station located near COP, were analyzed and showed geologic CH4 emissions as the dominant local source. A band ratio approach was developed and applied to high glint AVIRIS data over COP, resulting in local-scale mapping of natural atmospheric CH4 plumes. A Cluster-Tuned Matched Filter (CTMF) technique was applied to Gulf of Mexico AVIRIS data to detect CH4 venting from offshore platforms. Review of 744 platform-centered CTMF subsets was facilitated through a flexible PHP-based web portal. This dissertation demonstrates the value of investigating municipal air quality data and imaging spectrometry for gathering insight into concentrated methane source emissions and highlights how flexible web-based solutions can help facilitate remote sensing research.

  17. Soil-borne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in El Paso, Texas: Analysis of a potential problem in the United States/Mexico border region

    PubMed Central

    De La Torre-Roche, Roberto J.; Lee, Wen-Yee; Campos-Díaz, Sandra I.

    2009-01-01

    Ultrasonic extraction followed by Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE) and thermal desorption inline coupled with Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (TD/GC/MS)was used to perform a comprehensive determination of soil-borne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in El Paso, Texas. The method provided good sensitivity and faster processing time for the analysis. The total PAHs in El Paso soil ranged from 0.1 to 2225.5 µg kg−1. Although the majority of PAH concentrations did not exceed the soil screening levels regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the existence of PAHs in this ecosystem is ubiquitous. Naphthalene were found in 100% of the soil samples; while the heavy PAHs (five- and six-ring) were not often detected and mostly remained in closer proximity to industrial areas and major traffic points. The results ruled out the possibility of petroleum refining as the significant source of local soil-borne PAH contamination, but they suggested that the PAHs found in El Paso soil were closely linked to human activities and possible other industrial processes. PMID:18768257

  18. Experimental study of clay-hydrocarbon interactions relevant to the biodegradation of the Deepwater Horizon oil from the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Warr, Laurence N; Friese, André; Schwarz, Florian; Schauer, Frieder; Portier, Ralph J; Basirico, Laura M; Olson, Gregory M

    2016-11-01

    Adding clay to marine oil pollution represents a promising approach to enhance bacterial hydrocarbon degradation in nutrient poor waters. In this study, three types of regionally available clays (Ca-bentonite, Fuller's Earth and kaolin) were tested to stimulate the biodegradation of source and weathered oil collected from the Deepwater Horizon spill. The weathered oil showed little biodegradation prior to experimentation and was extensively degraded by bacteria in the laboratory in a similar way as the alkane-rich source oil. For both oils, the addition of natural clay-flakes showed minor enhancement of oil biodegradation compared to the non-clay bearing control, but the clay-oil films did limit evaporation. Only alkanes of a molecular weight (MW) > 420 showed significant reduction by enhanced biodegradation following natural clay treatment. In contrast, all fertilized clay flakes showed major bacterial degradation of the oil, with a 6-10 times reduction in alkane content, and an up to 8 fold increase in the rate of O2 consumption. Compared to the control, such treatment showed particular reduction of longer chained alkanes (MW > 226). The application of natural and fertilized clay flakes also showed selective reduction of PAHs, mainly in the MW range of 200-300, but without significant change in the toxicity indices measured. These results imply that a large variety of clays may be used to boost oil biodegradation by aiding attachment of fertilizing nutrients to the oil.

  19. Sulfur isotope and porewater geochemistry of Florida escarpment seep sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chanton, J.P.; Martens, C.S.; Paull, C.K.; Coston, J.A.

    1993-01-01

    Distributions of porewater constituents, SO4=, NH4+, Cl-, ???CO2, and H2S, solid phase iron, and sulfur concentrations, and the sulfur isotopic composition of dissolved and solid phases were investigated in sediments from abyssal seeps at the base of the Florida escarpment. Despite the apparent similarity of seep sediment porewater chemistry to that of typical marine sediments undergoing early diagenesis, relationships between chemical distributions and isotopic measurements revealed that the distribution of pore fluid constituents was dominated by processes occurring within the platform rather than by in situ microbial processes. Ammonium and sulfate concentrations were linearly correlated with chloride concentrations, indicating that variations in porewater chemistry were controlled by the admixture of seawater and a sulfate depleted brine with a chlorinity of 27.5 ?? 1.9%. and 2.2 ?? 1.3 mM ammonium concentration. At sites dominated by seepage, dissolved sulfate isotopic composition remained near seawater values despite depletion in porewater concentrations. Porewater ???CO2 concentrations were found to be elevated relative to seawater, but not to the extent predicted from the observed sulfate depletion. Sediment solid phase sulfur was predominantly pyrite, at concentrations as high as 20% S by weight. In contrast to typical marine deposits, pyrite concentrations were not related to the quantity of sedimentary organic matter. Pyrite ??34S values ranged from -29%. to + 21%. (CDT). However, only positive ??34S values were observed at sites associated with high pyrite concentrations. Isotopically heavy pyrite was observed at sites with porewater sulfate of seawater-like isotopic composition. Isotopically light pyrite was associated with sites where porewater sulfate exhibited ??34S values greater than those in seawater, indicating the activity of in situ microbial sulfate reduction. Thus, dual sulfide sources are suggested to explain the range in sediment pyrite

  20. Long-Term Aspect of 1980's Submersible-Observed Methane Venting on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Upper Continental Slope: Mapping of Areal Extent and Aggregation: R/V Okeanos Explorer EX1203

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carney, R. S.; Roberts, H. H.; Malik, M.

    2012-12-01

    Since the initial discovery of hydrocarbon seeps and associated communities on the upper Louisiana continental slope in 1984 there has been extensive and nearly continuous multidisciplinary exploration of these systems for scientific and regulatory purposes. Four sites within a 45km by 25km rectangle centered at 27° 41' 26.92"N, 91° 28' 4.26"W in the Green Canyon seafloor leasing area were the initial sites confirmed as seep systems by direct observation using the submersible Johnson SeaLink. Hydrocarbon gas venting at these sites ranged from small volume intermittent flow to continuous bubble plumes. The points of emergence ranged from consolidated sediment in mineral-prone environments to fluid muds and brine. The latter two fluid-prone environments represented an active and a quiescent expulsion features. The NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program 2012 expedition 1203 carried out multibeam mapping of this region 6-8 May using both a Konsberg EM 302 288 beam system and a Simrad EK60 scientific echo sounder. Returns from both systems were processed for water column signals. More than 75 indications of bubble plumes were observed representing one of the highest densities as well as magnitudes of individual plumes found to date in the Gulf of Mexico. The plumes were aggregated on the flanks of salt diapirs, ridges between salt-withdrawal basins and areas of multiple slope failures. Correlation with observations begun in the 1980's is good indicating long-term venting. Previous research on gas mix and isotopic content indicated a regionally complex pattern of biogenic and thermogenic methane sources.

  1. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  2. Seep and stream nitrogen dynamics in two adjacent mixed land use watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many headwater catchments, stream flow originates from surface seeps and springs. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of seeps on nitrogen (N) dynamics within the stream and at the outlet of two adjacent mixed land use watersheds. Nitrogen concentrations in stream water wer...

  3. Seep and stream nitrogen dynamics in two adjacent mixed land use watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many headwater catchments, streamflow originates from surface seeps and springs. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of seeps on nitrogen (N) dynamics within the stream and at the outlet of two adjacent mixed land use watersheds. Nitrogen concentrations in stream water were...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Using Bathymodiolus tissue stable isotope signatures to infer biogeochemical process at hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, D.; Kiel, S.; Qiu, J.; Yang, Q.; Zhou, H.; Peng, Y.; Chen, D.

    2015-12-01

    Here we use stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the tissue of two bathymodiolin mussel species with different chemotrophic symbionts (methanotrophs in B. platifrons and sulfide-oxidizers in B. aduloides) to gain insights into the biogeochemical processes at an active site in 1120 m depth on the Formosa Ridge, called Site F. Because mussels with methanotrophic symbionts acquire the isotope signature of the used methane, the average δ13C values of B. platifrons (-70.3‰; n=36) indicates a biogenic methane source at Site F, consistent with the measured carbon isotope signature of methane (-61.1‰ to -58.7‰) sampled 1.5 m above the mussel beds. The only small offset between the δ13C signatures of the ascending methane and the authigenic carbonate at site F (as low as -55.3‰) suggests only minor mixing of the pore water with marine bicarbonate, which in turn may be used as an indicator for advective rather than diffusive seepage at this site. B. aduloides has much higher average δ13C values of -34.4‰ (n=9), indicating inorganic carbon (DIC) dissolved in epibenthic bottom water as its main carbon source. The DIC was apparently marine bicarbonate with a small contribution of 13C-depleted carbon from locally oxidized methane. The δ34S values of the two mussel species indicate that they used two different sulfur sources. B. platifrons (average δ34S = +6.4±2.6‰; n=36) used seawater sulfate mixed with isotopically light re-oxidized sulfide from the sulfate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), while the sulfur source of B. aduloides (δ34S = -8.0±3.1‰; n=9) was AOM-derived sulfide used by its symbionts. δ15N values differed between the mussels, with B. platifrons having a wider range of on average slightly lower values (mean = +0.5±0.7‰, n=36) than B. aduloides (mean = +1.1±0.0‰). These values are significantly lower than δ15N values of South China Sea deep-sea sediments (+5‰ to +6‰), indicating that the organic nitrogen is of local origin, possibly resulting from the activity of autotrophic bacteria and due to assimilation of isotopically light nitrate or ammonium by the symbionts. Acknowledgments: Financial support was provided by the NSF of China (Grants: 41422602 and 41373085) and the "Hundred Talents Program" of CAS.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Anthony, Peter

    2013-07-01

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

  8. High Diversity of Anaerobic Alkane-Degrading Microbial Communities in Marine Seep Sediments Based on (1-methylalkyl)succinate Synthase Genes

    PubMed Central

    Stagars, Marion H.; Ruff, S. Emil; Amann, Rudolf; Knittel, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Alkanes comprise a substantial fraction of crude oil and are prevalent at marine seeps. These environments are typically anoxic and host diverse microbial communities that grow on alkanes. The most widely distributed mechanism of anaerobic alkane activation is the addition of alkanes to fumarate by (1-methylalkyl)succinate synthase (Mas). Here we studied the diversity of MasD, the catalytic subunit of the enzyme, in 12 marine sediments sampled at seven seeps. We aimed to identify cosmopolitan species as well as to identify factors structuring the alkane-degrading community. Using next generation sequencing we obtained a total of 420 MasD species-level operational taxonomic units (OTU0.96) at 96% amino acid identity. Diversity analysis shows a high richness and evenness of alkane-degrading bacteria. Sites with similar hydrocarbon composition harbored similar alkane-degrading communities based on MasD genes; the MasD community structure is clearly driven by the hydrocarbon source available at the various seeps. Two of the detected OTU0.96 were cosmopolitan and abundant while 75% were locally restricted, suggesting the presence of few abundant and globally distributed alkane degraders as well as specialized variants that have developed under specific conditions at the diverse seep environments. Of the three MasD clades identified, the most diverse was affiliated with Deltaproteobacteria. A second clade was affiliated with both Deltaproteobacteria and Firmicutes likely indicating lateral gene transfer events. The third clade was only distantly related to known alkane-degrading organisms and comprises new divergent lineages of MasD homologs, which might belong to an overlooked phylum of alkane-degrading bacteria. In addition, masD geneFISH allowed for the in situ identification and quantification of the target guild in alkane-degrading enrichment cultures. Altogether, these findings suggest an unexpectedly high number of yet unknown groups of anaerobic alkane degraders

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Apparatus for hydrocarbon extraction

    DOEpatents

    Bohnert, George W.; Verhulst, Galen G.

    2013-03-19

    Systems and methods for hydrocarbon extraction from hydrocarbon-containing material. Such systems and methods relate to extracting hydrocarbon from hydrocarbon-containing material employing a non-aqueous extractant. Additionally, such systems and methods relate to recovering and reusing non-aqueous extractant employed for extracting hydrocarbon from hydrocarbon-containing material.

  12. Miocene shallow-marine cold seep carbonate in fold-and-thrust Western Foothills, SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chien, Chih-Wei; Huang, Chi-Yue; Chen, Zhong; Lee, Horng-Chun; Harris, Ron

    2012-08-01

    A mound-shaped authigenic carbonate buildup (50 m wide and 5 m high) occurred in the middle part of the Late Miocene shallow marine succession (the Hunghuatzu Formation) exposed along the Nantzuhsien River, SW Taiwan. The carbonate concretions are classified into four types based on morphology, which appeared to develop in upward sequence with vague boundaries: (1) flat-pipe shaped nodules: highly dolomitic small pipes or nodules subparallel to the host strata, (2) bulb-shaped nodules: discrete or combined small mesoclots with subspherical to irregular shapes, (3) mushroom-shaped concretions: large mushroom-like or irregular shaped blocks with chimney or vent structures, and (4) carbonated layers with sedimentary structures. These concretions are mainly composed of dolomite micrites, quartz, feldspar, muscovite, and clay minerals, ubiquitously interweaved with blackish brown colored low magnesium calcite (LMC) veins. Low δ13CVPDB values (-51.8‰ to -29.8‰) of all types of the carbonates reveal that the carbonates were mainly derived from anaerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons. Many samples are also 18O-depleted (δ18OVPDB: -11.5‰ to 1.00‰) due to the mixture with isotopically light LMC veins, likely precipitated from meteoric waters. There are numerous chemosymbiotic bivalve fossils (genus Monitilora? diameter 3-4 cm) in growth position just above the carbonate buildup. According to the geological and isotopic signatures, the Hunghuatzu carbonates are related to a cold seep pseudobioherm, which formed in a very shallow marine environment like tidal-flat in a passive margin setting. Exposures of the Hunghuatzu pseudobioherm may provide clues for tracking and comparing the evolution history of gas reservoir systems and hints of active tectonics of the SW Taiwan region.

  13. Mexico City, Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    In this rare clear view of Mexico City, Mexico (19.5N, 99.0W), the network of broad avenues and plazas of the capital city are very evident. The city, built on the remnants of a lake in the caldera of a tremendous extinct volcano, is home to over twenty million people and is slowly sinking as subsidence takes it's toll on the lakebed.

  14. Identification of Methanotrophic Lipid Biomarkers in Cold-Seep Mussel Gills: Chemical and Isotopic Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Summons, Roger E.; Dowling, Lesley M.; Zahiralis, Karen D.

    1995-01-01

    A lipid analysis of the tissues of a cold-seep mytilid mussel collected from the Louisiana slope of the Gulf of Mexico was used in conjunction with a compound-specific isotope analysis to demonstrate the presence of methanotrophic symbionts in the mussel gill tissue and to demonstrate the host's dependence on bacterially synthesized metabolic intermediates. The gill tissue contained large amounts of group-specific methanotrophic biomarkers, bacteriohopanoids, 4-methylsterols, lipopolysaccharide-associated hydroxy fatty acids, and type I-specific 16:1 fatty acid isomers with bond positions at delta-8, delta-10, and delta-ll. Only small amounts of these compounds were detected in the mantle or other tissues of the host animal. A variety of cholesterol and 4-methylsterol isomers were identified as both free and steryl esters, and the sterol double bond positions suggested that the major bacterially derived gill sterol(11.0% 4(alpha)-methyl-cholesta-8(14), 24-dien-3(beta)-ol) was converted to host cholesterol (64.2% of the gill sterol was cholest-5-en-3(beta)-ol). The stable carbon isotope values for gill and mantle preparations were, respectively, -59.0 and -60.4 per thousand for total tissue, -60.6 and -62.4 per thousand for total lipids, -60.2 and -63.9 per thousand for phospholipid fatty acids, and -71.8 and -73.8 per thousand for sterols. These stable carbon isotope values revealed that the relative fractionation pattern was similar to the patterns obtained in pure culture experiments with methanotrophic bacteria further supporting the conversion of the bacterial methyl-sterol pool.

  15. Resolving the origin of the petrogenic hydrocarbon background in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Boehm, P D; Page, D S; Burns, W A; Bence, A E; Mankiewicz, P J; Brown, J S

    2001-02-01

    The dominant sources of the petrogenic hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, AK (PWS), site of the 1989 Exxon-Valdez oil spill, are eroding Tertiary shales and residues of natural oil seepage. Mass balance considerations and statistical analyses of hydrocarbon fingerprints independently indicate that coal contributes generally less than 1% of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and chemical biomarkers in this background. This is environmentally significant because of presumed differences in the bioavailability of PAH in coal, seep oil residues, and shales. Coal particles are present in PWS sediments, but their PAH and chemical biomarker contributions are overwhelmed by those of seep oil residues and organic particles from shales of low-to-high thermally maturity. In the late Tertiary or early Quaternary, the currently exposed and eroding shale formations were heated into the oil-generation window and, consequently, are now relatively rich in extractable PAH and chemical biomarkers. The exposed and eroding coals in the area, in contrast, experienced long hot burial and are now thermally overmature with respect to oil generation. The concentrations of thermally sensitive PAH and biomarker compounds in PWS sediments are not consistent with a mature coal origin but are consistent with the low-to-high maturity shales and seep oils in the area.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wiguna, Taufan Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiguna, Taufan; Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Hydrocarbon Biodegradation in Hypersaline Environments

    PubMed Central

    Ward, David M.; Brock, T. D.

    1978-01-01

    When mineral oil, hexadecane, and glutamate were added to natural samples of varying salinity (3.3 to 28.4%) from salt evaporation ponds and Great Salt Lake, Utah, rates of metabolism of these compounds decreased as salinity increased. Rate limitations did not appear to relate to low oxygen levels or to the availability of organic nutrients. Some oxidation of l-[U-14C]glutamic acid occurred even at extreme salinities, whereas oxidation of [1-14C]hexadecane was too low to be detected. Gas chromatographic examination of hexane-soluble components of tar samples from natural seeps at Rozel Point in Great Salt Lake demonstrated no evidence of biological oxidation of isoprenoid alkanes subject to degradation in normal environments. Some hexane-soluble components of the same tar were altered by incubation in a low-salinity enrichment culture inoculated with garden soil. Attempts to enrich for microorganisms in saline waters able to use mineral oil as a sole source of carbon and energy were successful below, but not above, about 20% salinity. This study strongly suggests a general reduction of metabolic rate at extreme salinities and raises doubt about the biodegradation of hydrocarbons in hypersaline environments. PMID:16345276

  1. SEEP II, Shelf Edge Exchange Processes-II: Chlorophyll a fluorescence, temperature, and beam attenuation measurements from moored fluorometers

    SciTech Connect

    Medeiros, W.H.; Wirick, C.D.

    1992-02-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. The first SEEP experiment (SEEP I) was across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 and consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array. The second experiment (SEEP II) focused specifically of the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic Bight off the Delmarva peninsula. This report presents data collected during SEEP II. The SEEP II experiment consisted of a series of ten cruises and mooring arrays as well as over-flights by NASA aircraft. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Hydrographic data were collected on all cruises except SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07 during which benthic processes were investigated. Mooring arrays were deployed during three cruises in the Spring, Summer and Winter of 1988. Brookhaven National Laboratory deployed sixteen fluorometer instrument packages on their moorings with sensors to measure: the in vivo fluorescence of phytoplankton, temperature, subsurface light, dissolved oxygen, and water transparency. Data from the fluorometer, temperature, and transmissometer sensors are reported herein.

  2. Petroleum Weathering Associated with Hydrocarbon Migration and Seepage, a Case Study From the Santa Barbara Channel, CA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wardlaw, G. D.; Nelson, R. K.; Reddy, C. M.; Valentine, D. L.

    2005-12-01

    A 2003 report by the National Research Council estimates that 50 to 70 percent of oil that is released into the sea is from natural seeps (National Research Council, 2003), indicating that catastrophic oil spills or the runoff from roads and highways are not the major sources of oil in the marine environment. For example, approximately 37 tons of petroleum is emitted daily from seeps off the coast of Santa Barbara, California (Quigley et al. 1996). The Santa Barbara seeps are some of the most active in the world and have been releasing petroleum for thousands of years. Sheens of oil on the water surface and tar patches on the beaches are ubiquitous along the coastline of Santa Barbara and are continuing reminders of this natural process. Although the geochemistry of these seeps have been studied in the past, it has been hindered by the complexity of the petroleum hydrocarbons and the inability of traditional gas chromatography to separate, identify, and quantify each component of the oil. To expand on these previous efforts, we have begun to use comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC). This new technology provides at least an order of magnitude increase in the resolution and detection of petroleum hydrocarbons compared to traditional methods. Preliminary work using GCxGC has focused on examining the chemical composition of unrefined petroleum as it migrates up from depth through natural faults to the seafloor, from the seafloor to the sea surface, and from the sea surface to local beaches. Petroleum collected from a subsurface reservoir (Platform Holly Well 2342-15) is composed of a wide range of resolved petroleum hydrocarbons including n-alkanes, branched alkanes, cycloalkanes, linear alkane benzenes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, steranes, hopanes, cyclic isoprenoids, and very large branched biomarkers with 38 to 40 carbons. This product is significantly different than oil emerging from the seafloor at the Jackpot seep, which we believe is

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  4. Behavioural impairment in reef fishes caused by ocean acidification at CO2 seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munday, Philip L.; Cheal, Alistair J.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Rummer, Jodie L.; Fabricius, Katharina E.

    2014-06-01

    Experiments have shown that the behaviour of reef fishes can be seriously affected by projected future carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the ocean. However, whether fish can acclimate to elevated CO2 over the longer term, and the consequences of altered behaviour on the structure of fish communities, are unknown. We used marine CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea as a natural laboratory to test these questions. Here we show that juvenile reef fishes at CO2 seeps exhibit behavioural abnormalities similar to those seen in laboratory experiments. Fish from CO2 seeps were attracted to predator odour, did not distinguish between odours of different habitats, and exhibited bolder behaviour than fish from control reefs. High CO2 did not, however, have any effect on metabolic rate or aerobic performance. Contrary to expectations, fish diversity and community structure differed little between CO2 seeps and nearby control reefs. Differences in abundances of some fishes could be driven by the different coral community at CO2 seeps rather than by the direct effects of high CO2. Our results suggest that recruitment of juvenile fish from outside the seeps, along with fewer predators within the seeps, is currently sufficient to offset any negative effects of high CO2 within the seeps. However, continuous exposure does not reduce the effect of high CO2 on behaviour in natural reef habitat, and this could be a serious problem for fish communities in the future when ocean acidification becomes widespread as a result of continued uptake of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  5. Preliminary Engineering Report contaminated groundwater seeps 317/319/ENE area

    SciTech Connect

    1996-10-01

    When the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Facility Investigation (RFI) in the 317/319/ENE Area of Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E) was being completed, groundwater was discovered moving to the surface through a series of seeps. The seeps are located approximately 600 ft south of the ANL fence line in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Samples of this water were collected and analyzed for selected parameters. Two of five seeps sampled were found to contain detectable levels of organic contaminants. Three chemical species were identified: chloroform (14-25 {mu}g/L), carbon tetrachloride (56-340 {mu}g/L), and tetrachloroethylene (3-6 {mu}g/L). The other seeps did not contain detectable levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The water issuing from these two contaminated seeps flows into a narrow ravine, where it is visible as a trickle of water flowing through sand and gravel deposits on the floor of the ravine. Approximately 100-ft downstream of the seep area, the contaminated water is no longer visible, having drained back into the soil in the bed of the ravine. Figure 1 shows the location of the 317/319/ENE Area in relation to the ANL-E site and the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

  6. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Jennifer J.; Wood, Rachel A.; Haszeldine, R. Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  7. Saline-seep development in the Hailstone Basin, northern Stillwater County, Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, Barney D.; Custer, Stephen G.; Miller, Marvin R.

    1979-01-01

    As a result of an increase in saline seep occurrence in Montana, a study was begun in 1974 to determine the hydrogeology of saline seeps in the Hailstone basin. The aquifer is composed of colluvium of Holocene age. The impermeable Cretaceous Niobrara Formation underlies the saturated zone basinwide. The ground-water system is shallow, unconfined, and locally recharged. Ground-water levels and size of the saline seeps respond rapidly to precipitation in the basin. The appearance and growth of saline seeps are related to precipitation patterns; the agricultural practice of summer follow; topography; the presence of a shallow, unconfined, and locally recharged ground-water system; and a soluble salt source. Continuous cropping could reduce the amount of water percolating beneath local recharge areas, and thus minimize the water available for seep formation and growth. The lateral variation in chemical quality of water from wells suggests a shallow flow system. The field specific conductance of 29 ground-water samples collected in 1976 ranged from 2,160 to 14,000 micromhos per centimeter and averaged 6,660 micromhos per centimeter. Water from saline seeps in the study area contains principally sodium, magnesium, calcium, and sulfate. Nitrate is present in the ground water in concentrations of as much as 855 milligrams per liter. The high nitrate concentrations are interpreted to originate primarily from oxidation of organic material once native sod is broken by cultivation. (USGS).

  8. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, J.J.; Wood, R.A.; Haszeldine, R.S.

    2011-10-04

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/ flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less than Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized.

  9. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes, II: SEEP2-08, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 188

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 (Behrens and Flagg, 1986). Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. This project consisted of a series of ten cruises, a mooring array, and a series of over-flights by NASA aircraft. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the cruises, six of which were primarily mooring deployment or recovery cruises. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Two cruises (SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07) were dedicated to investigating benthic processes and hydrographic data were not collected.

  10. 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.

  11. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Jennifer J.; Wood, Rachel A.; Haszeldine, R. Stuart

    2011-10-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized.

  12. Cold seep biogenic carbonate crust in the Levantine basin is inhabited by burrowing Phascolosoma aff. turnerae, a sipunculan worm hosting a distinctive microbiota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Shemesh, Eli; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly; Coleman, Dwight F.; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-08-01

    Biogenic calcium carbonate crusts represent a cryptic habitat that is often associated with hydrocarbon seeps. Most biological observations of these crusts concern the external surfaces and the fauna inhabiting their inner cavities are generally neglected. Exposed carbonates in areas of active seepage at the 1100-m-deep base of the Palmachim slumping feature in the Levantine basin are intensively burrowed by metazoans, especially by sipunculans (peanut worms), identified by genetic and morphological markers as a potentially novel Phascolosoma sp., closely related to Phascolosoma turnerae (Rice, 1985) and named here P. aff. turnerae. Bacterial 16S-based tag encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) was utilized to analyze the bacterial community associated with P. aff. turnerae. We compared the bacterial community structure in P. aff. turnerae to the bacterial community structure associated with the sediment-water interface in adjacent gas seeps and in biofilm covering the carbonate crust hosting the sipunculan. A distinctive microbiota, capable of chemosynthesis and sulfide detoxification, was found in association with P. aff. turnerae.

  13. Diversity and distribution of methanotrophic archaea at cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Knittel, Katrin; Lösekann, Tina; Boetius, Antje; Kort, Renate; Amann, Rudolf

    2005-01-01

    In this study we investigated by using 16S rRNA-based methods the distribution and biomass of archaea in samples from (i) sediments above outcropping methane hydrate at Hydrate Ridge (Cascadia margin off Oregon) and (ii) massive microbial mats enclosing carbonate reefs (Crimea area, Black Sea). The archaeal diversity was low in both locations; there were only four (Hydrate Ridge) and five (Black Sea) different phylogenetic clusters of sequences, most of which belonged to the methanotrophic archaea (ANME). ANME group 2 (ANME-2) sequences were the most abundant and diverse sequences at Hydrate Ridge, whereas ANME-1 sequences dominated the Black Sea mats. Other seep-specific sequences belonged to the newly defined group ANME-3 (related to Methanococcoides spp.) and to the Crenarchaeota of marine benthic group B. Quantitative analysis of the samples by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that ANME-1 and ANME-2 co-occurred at the cold seep sites investigated. At Hydrate Ridge the surface sediments were dominated by aggregates consisting of ANME-2 and members of the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus branch (DSS) (ANME-2/DSS aggregates), which accounted for >90% of the total cell biomass. The numbers of ANME-1 cells increased strongly with depth; these cells accounted 1% of all single cells at the surface and more than 30% of all single cells (5% of the total cells) in 7- to 10-cm sediment horizons that were directly above layers of gas hydrate. In the Black Sea microbial mats ANME-1 accounted for about 50% of all cells. ANME-2/DSS aggregates occurred in microenvironments within the mat but accounted for only 1% of the total cells. FISH probes for the ANME-2a and ANME-2c subclusters were designed based on a comparative 16S rRNA analysis. In Hydrate Ridge sediments ANME-2a/DSS and ANME-2c/DSS aggregates differed significantly in morphology and abundance. The relative abundance values for these subgroups were remarkably different at Beggiatoa sites (80% ANME-2a, 20

  14. Northwestern Mexico as photographed from Skylab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    An oblique view of northwestern Mexico (30.0N, 113.5W), as photographed from the Skylab space station in Earth orbit by one of the Skylab 4 crewmen. This photograph was taken on a seep down the coast to document the fault patterns of southern California and northwest Mexico. The specific reason for the picture was to see of the Agua Blanca Fault in Baja California extends to the east toward the Gulf of California. No such extension was found. The fault appeard to disappear into an area of sand and heavily eroded material that obscured any feature that might be present deeper. This area of sand and loose material is the light-colored area in the center of Baja at the extreme north part of the photograph.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps provide convenient access to the deep subsurface biosphere community. Serpentinization--the hydrous alteration of ultramafics--produces hydrogen and possibly methane gas. Chemotrophic microbes utilize these compounds, and may form the base of the deep subsurface trophic web. Here, the geochemical environment of two terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps was characterized and community composition was determined. The first site is Yanartas in the Tekirova ophiolite complex (Turkey). Yanartas hosts gas and fluid seeps, the latter of which may be ephemeral. The second site is Manleluag Spring in the Zambales ophiolite range (the Philippines). In Manleluag, the fluid seeps result in the formation of large carbonate terraces. Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the small-subunit rDNA (universal primers) from Yanartas and Manleluag indicates distinct microbial communities, with some shared taxa. Methanogenic archaeal taxa were present in sediments collected from both seeps. The most dominant taxa were the Methanobacteria, with Manleluag sediments having a ten-fold higher abundance than Yanartas. The nitrifying archaea, Thaumarchaeota, were also found at both sites. Bacterial populations at both locations are diverse and primarily composed of heterotrophic taxa. At Yanartas, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria taxa are dominant (~60% total), while at Manleluag these taxa are only 10-20% of the total reads. Clostridia and Bacteriodetes comprise nearly 35% of the sequence data at the source seep in Manleluag; at Yanartas these taxa make up ~10% of sequence data. Down an outflow channel at Manleluag, the population shifted to Thermales and Hydrogenophilales (~50% of sequence data). At Yanartas Alpha- and Betaproteobacterial taxa continued to dominate downstream, but in one outflow channel an orange, mineralized biofilm is evident. This pigmentation may result from the carotenoid-producing Rhodobacteraceae, which were only found in the orange

  18. Microbial diversity in sediments associated with surface-breaching gas hydrate mounds in the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Mills, Heath J; Hodges, Cassie; Wilson, Kristin; Macdonald, Ian R; Sobecky, Patricia A

    2003-10-01

    Abstract A molecular phylogenetic approach was used to characterize the composition of microbial communities from two gas hydrate sedimentary systems in the Gulf of Mexico. Nucleic acids, extracted from sediments directly overlying surface-breaching gas hydrate mounds collected from a research submersible (water depth 550-575 m), were amplified with nine different 16S rDNA gene primer sets. The polymerase chain reaction primers targeted microorganisms at the domain-specific (Bacteria and Archaea) and group-specific (sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and putative anaerobic methane-oxidizing (ANME) archaea) level. Amplicons were obtained with five of the nine primer sets including two of the six SRB Groups (SRB Group 5 and Group 6) and used to generate five different clone libraries. Analysis of 126 clones from the Archaea library revealed that the sediments associated with naturally occurring gas hydrate harbored a low diversity. Sequence analysis indicated the majority of archaeal clones were most closely related to Methanosarcinales, Methanomicrobiales and distinct phylogenetic lineages within the ANME groups. The most frequently recovered phylotypes in the ANME library were related to either ANME-2 or Methanomicrobiales. In contrast to the two archaeal libraries, bacterial diversity was higher with the majority of the 126 bacterial clones most closely related to uncultured clones dominated by the delta- and epsilon-Proteobacteria. Interestingly, while 82% of the clones in the SRB Group 5 library were affiliated with delta-Proteobacteria, the vast majority (83%) of clones in the SRB Group 6 library was affiliated with the Firmicutes. This is the first phylogenetic-based description of microbial communities extant in methane-rich hydrate-associated sediments from a hydrocarbon seep region in the Gulf of Mexico.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Preliminary report on investigation of salt springs and seeps in a portion of the Permian Basin in Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, P.R.; Hardt, W.F.

    1965-01-01

    The Permian Basin (fig. 1) comprises a large area in the southern midcontinent region and includes major portions of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Within this basin brine springs and seeps discharge more than 20,000 tons per day of sodium chloride (common table salt). This brine contaminates many streams greatly impairing the utility of their waters. The water in some streams is of such poor quality it cannot be used for municipal and industrial purposes and for irrigation. Nor is the problem limited to the Permian Basin. The contaminated streams leaving the Permian Basin bring salty water to downstream areas of Arkansas and Louisiana, as well as to other parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Kansas. In no comparable area of the interior United States are natural sources of salt water so widespread or deleterious to the fresh water supply of so large a segment of the nation's population and industry. The Brazos River traverses the eastern part of the Permian Basin, and is potentially one of the principal sources of water in Texas. It carries an average daily load of 1,650 tons of sodium chloride (common table salt) into Possum Kingdom Reservoir, about 110 miles west of Dallas. More than 85 percent of this salt is contributed by the Salt Fork Brazos River, and more than one-half originates from Springs and seeps in Croton and Salt Croton Creeks, tributaries to the Salt Fork Brazos River. The undesirably high chloride content of the water impounded in Possum Kingdom Reservoir limits the utility of this water, although it is used for irrigation and by some industries. Understanding of the origin and hydrology of the natural brine is fundamental to consideration of engineering measures to control the flow of salt water to streams, or to general plans to alleviate the situation in any way that includes altering the brine-discharge system. Previous investigations of natural brine features have been directed toward describing the local details of

  1. A comparison of the biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in three different systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kagi, R.I.; Fisher, S.J.; Alexander, R.

    1996-10-01

    In three case studies, the circumstances in which petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation took place were markedly different. (1) Two reservoir-biodegraded oils from the Barrow Sub-basin. (2) Petroleum hydrocarbons from a condensate which had seeped into a mangrove creek bed. (3) Hydrocarbons in sediments exposed to drilling discharges from an off-shore petroleum platform. For each case, the progress of biodegradation of the aromatic hydrocarbons was studied in detail using GC-MS and GC-FTIR, so that the susceptibility to biodegradation of individual methylated naphthalenes and alkylphenanthrenes could be established. Striking similarities were observed in the progress of biodegradation in the three different environments, especially with the alkylnaphthalenes. One particularly prominent feature of all three systems was that 1,6 dimethyl substituted naphthalenes are more susceptible than other isomers. These similarities raise interesting questions about the mechanisms of biodegradation in these three systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  3. Source allocation by least-squares hydrocarbon fingerprint matching.

    PubMed

    Burns, William A; Mudge, Stephen M; Bence, A Edward; Boehm, Paul D; Brown, John S; Page, David S; Parker, Keith R

    2006-11-01

    There has been much controversy regarding the origins of the natural polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and chemical biomarker background in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Different authors have attributed the sources to various proportions of coal, natural seep oil, shales, and stream sediments. The different probable bioavailabilities of hydrocarbons from these various sources can affect environmental damage assessments from the spill. This study compares two different approaches to source apportionment with the same data (136 PAHs and biomarkers) and investigate whether increasing the number of coal source samples from one to six increases coal attributions. The constrained least-squares (CLS) source allocation method that fits concentrations meets geologic and chemical constraints better than partial least-squares (PLS) which predicts variance. The field data set was expanded to include coal samples reported by others, and CLS fits confirm earlier findings of low coal contributions to PWS.

  4. Source allocation by least-squares hydrocarbon fingerprint matching

    SciTech Connect

    William A. Burns; Stephen M. Mudge; A. Edward Bence; Paul D. Boehm; John S. Brown; David S. Page; Keith R. Parker

    2006-11-01

    There has been much controversy regarding the origins of the natural polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and chemical biomarker background in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Different authors have attributed the sources to various proportions of coal, natural seep oil, shales, and stream sediments. The different probable bioavailabilities of hydrocarbons from these various sources can affect environmental damage assessments from the spill. This study compares two different approaches to source apportionment with the same data (136 PAHs and biomarkers) and investigate whether increasing the number of coal source samples from one to six increases coal attributions. The constrained least-squares (CLS) source allocation method that fits concentrations meets geologic and chemical constraints better than partial least-squares (PLS) which predicts variance. The field data set was expanded to include coal samples reported by others, and CLS fits confirm earlier findings of low coal contributions to PWS. 15 refs., 5 figs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-20

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

  6. Imaging Hydrological Processes in Headwater Riparian Seeps with Time-Lapse Electrical Resistivity.

    PubMed

    Williams, Mark R; Buda, Anthony R; Singha, Kamini; Folmar, Gordon J; Elliott, Herschel A; Schmidt, John P

    2017-01-01

    Delineating hydrologic and pedogenic factors influencing groundwater flow in riparian zones is central in understanding pathways of water and nutrient transport. In this study, we combined two-dimensional time-lapse electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) (depth of investigation approximately 2 m) with hydrometric monitoring to examine hydrological processes in the riparian area of FD-36, a small (0.4 km(2) ) agricultural headwater basin in the Valley and Ridge region of east-central Pennsylvania. We selected two contrasting study sites, including a seep with groundwater discharge and an adjacent area lacking such seepage. Both sites were underlain by a fragipan at 0.6 m. We then monitored changes in electrical resistivity, shallow groundwater, and nitrate-N concentrations as a series of storms transitioned the landscape from dry to wet conditions. Time-lapse ERI revealed different resistivity patterns between seep and non-seep areas during the study period. Notably, the seep displayed strong resistivity reductions (∼60%) along a vertically aligned region of the soil profile, which coincided with strong upward hydraulic gradients recorded in a grid of nested piezometers (0.2- and 0.6-m depth). These patterns suggested a hydraulic connection between the seep and the nitrate-rich shallow groundwater system below the fragipan, which enabled groundwater and associated nitrate-N to discharge through the fragipan to the surface. In contrast, time-lapse ERI indicated no such connections in the non-seep area, with infiltrated rainwater presumably perched above the fragipan. Results highlight the value of pairing time-lapse ERI with hydrometric and water quality monitoring to illuminate possible groundwater and nutrient flow pathways to seeps in headwater riparian areas.

  7. Spawning, development, and the duration of larval life in a deep-sea cold-seep mussel.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Shawn M; Young, Craig M

    2009-04-01

    We describe culturing techniques and development for the cold-seep mussel "Bathymodiolus" childressi, the only deep-sea bivalve for which development has been detailed. Spawning was induced in mature mussels by injection of 2 mmol l(-1) serotonin into the anterior adductor muscle. The mean egg diameter is 69.15 +/- 2.36 microm (+/-S.D.; n = 50) and eggs are negatively buoyant. Cleavages are spiral and at 7-8 degrees C occur at a rate of one per 3-9 h through hatching, with free-swimming blastulae hatching by 40 h and shells beginning to develop by day 12. When temperature was raised to 12-14 degrees C after hatching, larvae developed to D-shell veligers by day 8 without being fed. Egg size and larval shell morphology indicate that "B." childressi has a planktotrophic larva, but we did not observe feeding in culture. Wide distribution of this species throughout the Gulf of Mexico and amphi-Atlantic distributions of closely related congeners suggest that larvae may spend extended periods in the plankton. Duration of larval life was estimated for "B." childressi by comparing calculated settlement times to known spawning seasons. These estimates suggest variability in the larval duration, with individuals spending more than a year in the plankton.

  8. Low-maturity Kulthieth Formation coal: A possible source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in benthic sediment of the northern Gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Kooten, G. K.; Short, J.W.; Kolak, J.J.

    2002-01-01

    The successful application of forensic geology to contamination studies involving natural systems requires identification of appropriate endmembers and an understanding of the geologic setting and processes affecting the systems. Studies attempting to delineate the background, or natural, source for hydrocarbon contamination in Gulf of Alaska (GOA) benthic sediments have invoked a number of potential sources, including seep oils, source rocks, and coal. Oil seeps have subsequently been questioned as significant sources of hydrocarbons present in benthic sediments of the GOA in part because the pattern of relative polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) abundance characteristic of benthic GOA sediments is inconsistent with patterns typical of weathered seep oils. Likewise, native coal has been dismissed in part because ratios of labile hydrocarbons to total organic carbon (e.g. PAH:TOC) for Bering River coal field (BRCF) sources are too low - i.e. the coals are over mature - to be consistent with GOA sediments. We present evidence here that native coal may have been prematurely dismissed, because BRCF coals do not adequately represent the geochemical signatures of coals elsewhere in the Kulthieth Formation. Contrary to previous thought, Kulthieth Formation coals east of the BRCF have much higher PAH: TOC ratios, and the patterns of labile hydrocarbons in these low thermal maturity coals suggest a possible genetic relationship between Kulthieth Formation coals and nearby oil seeps on the Sullivan anticline. Analyses of low-maturity Kulthieth Formation coal indicate the low maturity coal is a significant source of PAH. Source apportionment models that neglect this source will underestimate the contribution of native coals to the regional background hydrocarbon signature. ?? Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. on behalf of AEHS.

  9. Groundwater seeps in Taylor Valley Antarctica: an example of a subsurface melt event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, W. Berry; Welch, Kathleen A.; Carey, Anne E.; Doran, Peter T.; Wall, Diana H.; Virginia, Ross A.; Fountain, Andrew G.; Csathó, Bea M.; Tremper, Catherine M.

    The 2001/02 austral summer was the warmest summer on record in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, (˜78° S) since continuous records of temperature began in 1985. The highest stream-flows ever recorded in the Onyx River, Wright Valley, were also recorded that year (the record goes back to the 1969/70 austral summer). In early January 2002, a groundwater seep was observed flowing in the southwest portion of Taylor Valley. This flow has been named 'Wormherder Creek' (WHC) and represents an unusual event, probably occurring on a decadal time-scale. The physical characteristics of this feature suggest that it may have flowed at other times in the past. Other groundwater seeps, emanating from the north-facing slope of Taylor Valley, were also observed. Little work has been done previously on these very ephemeral seeps, and the source of water is unknown. These features, resembling recently described features on Mars, represent the melting of subsurface ice. The Martian features have been interpreted as groundwater seeps. In this paper we compare the chemistry of the WHC groundwater seep to that of the surrounding streams that flow every austral summer. The total dissolved solids content of WHC was ˜6 times greater than that of some nearby streams. The Na : Cl and SO4 : Cl ratios of the seep waters are higher than those of the streams, but the Mg : Cl and HCO3 : Cl ratios are lower, indicating different sources of solutes to the seeps compared to the streams. The enrichment of Na and SO4 relative to Cl may suggest significant dissolution of mirabilite within the previously unwetted soil. The proposed occurrence of abundant mirabilite in higher-elevation soils of the dry valley region agrees with geochemical models developed, but not tested, in the late 1970s. The geochemical data demonstrate that these seeps could be important in 'rinsing' the soils by dissolving and redistributing the long-term accumulation of salts, and perhaps improving habitat suitability for soil biota

  10. Hydrologic investigation and remediation of a post-remining acidic seep

    SciTech Connect

    Aljoe, W.W.; Linberg, N.A.

    1996-12-31

    Surface remining of coal pillars in abandoned underground workings in the Pittsburgh seam in southwestern Pennsylvania has often resulted in post-remining discharges whose water quality is the same or better than the pre-existing discharges. However, at one such operation in Washington County, PA, an increase in contaminant loading occurred at an outcrop seep after remining. This problem was believed to be at least partly related to a small unstrapped area of the old deep mine workings immediately upgradient from the seep. A hydrologic investigation that included a chemical tracer test, slug tests in the remined spoil, and water quality monitoring indicated that the mine pool in the old workings discharged through the seep. However, the water in the mine pool and much of the remined spoil was consistently alkaline; this suggested that the acidic water may have originated in other areas of the spoil and old workings, and passed rapidly to the seep through a highly transmissive portion of the spoil. Acting on this assumption, the mine operator successfully implemented a remediation scheme in which the spoil was excavated to intercept the acidic spoil water. The excavation was then re-emplaced with an anoxic limestone drain at its base. The drain now serves both to add alkalinity to the water and to divert the seep to an area where metals can be removed easily via precipitation in wetlands.

  11. Hot and Cold: Complex Biochemical Processes in a Mud Volcano Setting on the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordoloi, S.; Aharon, P.; Pape, T.

    2006-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps on the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) seafloor are conventionally defined as "cold", being characterized by hydrocarbon-rich fluid emissions at ambient sea floor temperature, mineralization of gas hydrates, precipitation of carbonates depleted in 13C, association with chemosynthetic fauna (mussel beds, tube worms etc.) and dominance of microbial processes fueled by venting hydrocarbons within the sediments. Analyses of carbonate phases, pore-fluids and biomarkers from cores (length~25cm) taken by ALVIN from an active mud volcano on the northern Gulf of Mexico slope (GC-272, 27°41`25"; 91°32`28") point towards a vent setting far more complex than sites previously investigated. We argue that the mud volcano setting in GC-272 is distinguished by episodes of cold methane venting when gas hydrates are forming in the sediment pore spaces (visually confirmed) alternating with periodic hot venting of warm brines (formation fluids) advected on the sea floor. We support our argument with the evidence that follows. Scalenohedral calcite crystals (1-2 mm in size) scattered within the sediment exhibit unusually negative δ18O values (down to -6‰ PDB) and δ13C values ranging from -2 ‰ to - 20‰ PDB. Temperature calculations based on the δ18O composition of the calcites and coexisting pore fluids yield a fluid temperature of ~45°C which is far higher than the recorded bottom water temperatures of ~8°C at a depth of 680 m. Pore fluid Na/Cl ratios (0.92-1.2) confirm the mixing of cold GOM bottom waters (Na/Cl=0.82) with advecting hot brines (Na/Cl=~1.0) resulting in a brine fluid at 45°C. The δ13C of the calcites is isotopically heavier by comparison with typical seep carbonates from the GOM suggesting a mixed carbon source consisting of pore fluid DIC, brine DIC and bottom seawater DIC. Hence the scalenohedral calcites are the product of hot venting episodes and are precipitated within the sediments from calcite-saturated pore-fluids (SI= ~5). Biomarker assays

  12. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope SEEP-2

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1991-01-01

    This project was a component of the SEEP-II program. It contributed to the instrumentation of the SEEP-II moored array to the processing and analysis of the time-series data of water temperature and currents, and to a theoretical modeling study of the circulation on the continental margin. We are responsible for nearly half of the current meters and thermistor chains that were deployed in the SEEP-II moored array on the continental margin off the Delmarva peninsula. Data tapes derived from three deployments of the instruments in this array were processed. A second component of this project was a theoretical study of the interaction of the Gulf Stream with the continental margin north of Cape Hatteras. The model shows how the topographic influence on the local vorticity balance leads to back-folding filaments of Gulf Stream water and to the Slope Sea gyre circulation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Natural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico visible from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Guinasso, N. L.; Ackleson, S. G.; Amos, J. F.; Duckworth, R.; Sassen, R.; Brooks, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    Natural oil seepage in the Gulf of Mexico causes persistent surface slicks that are visible from space in predictable locations. A photograph of the sun glint pattern offshore from Louisiana taken from the space shuttle Atlantis on May 5, 1989, shows at least 124 slicks in an area of about 15,000 km2; a thematic mapper (TM) image collected by the Landsat orbiter on July 31, 1991, shows at least 66 slicks in a cloud-free area of 8200 km2 that overlaps the area of the photograph. Samples and descriptions made from a surface ship, from aircraft, and from a submarine confirmed the presence of crude oil in floating slicks. The imagery data show surface slicks near eight locations where chemosynthetic communities dependent upon seeping hydrocarbons are known to occur on the seafloor. Additionally, a large surface slick above the location of an active mud volcano was evident in the TM image. In one location the combined set of observations confirmed the presence of a flourishing chemosynthetic community, active seafloor oil and gas seepage, crude oil on the sea surface, and slick features that were visible in both images. We derived an analytical expression for the formation of floating slicks based on a parameterization of seafloor flow rate, downstream movement on the surface, half-life of floating oil, and threshold thickness for detection. Applying this equation to the lengths of observed slicks suggested that the slicks in the Atlantis photograph and in the TM image represent seepage rates of 2.2-30 m3 1000 km-2 d-1 and 1.4-18 m3 1000 km-2 d-1, respectively. Generalizing to an annual rate suggests that total natural seepage in this region is of the order of at least 20,000 m3 yr-1 (120,000 barrels yr-1).

  15. Chemical and thermal variations in seeps discharged from a burning coal refuse pile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, D. L.; Doe, C. F.; Stuart, B. J.; Stoertz, M. W.

    2002-12-01

    Acid mine drainage generated by coal refuse piles is affecting the Moxahala watershed in Southeastern Ohio. The major contributor of acidity to this watershed is the Misco refuse pile. This pile was formed during the exploitation of the Misco Mine in Perry County, Ohio, in the early 1950's. In addition to the generation of acid mine drainage, the Misco Pile is burning. There is an impounded pond on the southwest end of the west gob pile, which was created when the valley was filled with refuse. The water from this pond flows into and throughout the gob pile and discharges on the northeast end into Bennet Run. At an elevation close to the elevation of the pond, two seeps are discharged. Temperature, specific conductivity, and pH was monitored in these seeps and correlated to rainfall. A lack of response of water temperature to small rainfall events was observed. This behavior suggest channeling of water inside the pile from the source pond to the main seep, and probably evaporation effects. In comparison, during high rainfall events, transfer of heat from the burning spots to the infiltrating water occurred and an increase in seep temperature was observed. A decrease in conductivity and an increase in pH was observed during the studied period as a dilution effect produced by an increased water storage within the pond and pile. Diurnal effects were stronger in the smaller seep, probably due to lower water velocities and greater residence time at the air-pile interface. From the location of the burning spots and seeps, a water velocity of 1 to 5 feet/s (0.3 to 1.7 m/s) was estimated. The pile can be viewed as a dual-porosity system of continuous conduits and matrix porosity. Only flow with sufficient head can penetrate and transfer heat from the hot areas in the matrix.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Waste Area Grouping 2 Remedial Investigation Phase 1 Seep Task data report: Contaminant source area assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Hicks, D.S.

    1996-03-01

    This report presents the findings of the Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2, Phase 1 Remedial Investigation (RI) Seep Task efforts during 1993 and 1994 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The results presented here follow results form the first year of sampling, 1992, which are contained in the Phase 1 RI report for WAG 2 (DOE 1995a). The WAG 2 Seep Task efforts focused on contaminants in seeps, tributaries, and main streams within the White Oak Creek (WOC) watershed. This report is designed primarily as a reference for contaminants and a resource for guiding remedial decisions. Additional in-depth assessments of the Seep Task data may provide clearer understandings of contaminant transport from the different source areas in the WOC watershed. WAG 2 consists of WOC and its tributaries downstream of the ORNL main plant area, White Oak Lake, the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, and the associated flood plains and subsurface environment. The WOC watershed encompasses ORNL and associated WAGs. WAG 2 acts as an integrator for contaminant releases from the contaminated sites at ORNL and as the conduit transporting contaminants to the Clinch River. The main objectives of the Seep Task were to identify and characterize seeps, tributaries and source areas that are responsible for the contaminant releases to the main streams in WAG 2 and to quantify their input to the total contaminant release from the watershed at White Oak Dam (WOD). Efforts focused on {sup 90}Sr, {sup 3}H, and {sup 137}Cs because these contaminants pose the greatest potential human health risk from water ingestion at WOD. Bimonthly sampling was conducted throughout the WOC watershed beginning in March 1993 and ending in August 1994. Samples were also collected for metals, anions, alkalinity, organics, and other radionuclides.

  19. A comparison of hydrocarbon gases from natural sources in the northwestern United States

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

    The northwestern United States hosts a remarkable quantity and variety of thermal springs, seeps, and other natural-gas sources. Although many studies have dealt with the liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases emanating from these sources, few have focused on hydrocarbon gases. Of these gases, methane in particular is now recognized as an important reactive trace gas in the Earth's atmosphere that plays a significant role in global warming because of its greenhouse properties. To understand better the magnitude and occurrence of emissions of hydrocarbons from natural sources to the atmosphere, we have begun a survey of these gases throughout the northwestern United States. This area encompasses a number of different tectonic provinces: The Yellowstone hot spot, the northern Basin and Range Province, the Cascade volcanic arc, and the Cascadia subduction complex. Each province hosts springs and seeps with some unique compositions owing to the geological processes operating there. Methane is present in each area at concentration levels ranging from about 2 parts per million by volume (ppm-v) to 95.6 percent (by volume). Hydrothermal activity in the Yellowstone area produces spring gases containing less than 4 percent methane, with carbon dioxide as the balance gas. The Grand Teton National Park area, immediately to the south, has a wide variety of gas compositions with either methane, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen as the primary gas component. Where methane is abundant, higher molecular weight hydrocarbon gases (ethane, ethene, propane, propene, isobutane, and n-butane) are also found in ppm-v concentrations. In the northern Great Basin, thermal springs and seeps typically occur along fault zones at the base of mountain ranges. Methane concentrations range from 0.2 to 47 percent, with higher molecular weight hydrocarbon concentrations from 0 to 3,100 ppm-v. 47 refs., 8 figs., 4 tabs.

  20. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope, SEEP-II

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1990-01-01

    This project is a component of the SEEP-2 program to study shelf-slope exchange in the southern Middle Atlantic bight (MBA). It represents the physical oceanographic portion of the SEEP-2 research at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (L-DGO). Since the work consists of two parts: data analysis and theoretical modeling, this report will be divided into two parts to describe the progress of each activity. It covers work performed during the time interval March to December 1990 and is a sequel to the report submitted in February 1990. 25 figs.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-07-15

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

  2. Shelf edge exchange processes-II SEEP2-06, R/V Endeavor cruise 186

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984. Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the six cruises.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  4. The Role of SRB on the Formation of Protodolomite and Monohydrocalcite: Insights from Cold Seep Simulation Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, X.; Geesey, G.; Chen, X.

    2011-12-01

    Authigenic carbonates are very common at hydrocarbon seep sites on continental margin worldwide. Carbonate chimneys from the seep sites of the northeastern slope of the South China Sea are dominated by high-Mg calcite (HMC), with minor proto-dolomite, low-Mg calcite (LMC) and pyrite. HMC usually contains Mg less than 20 mol%, however, some of our samples contain HMC with Mg contents varied from 5-38mol%. The extreme high-Mg calcite approaches protodolomite composition; however, it still retains the structure of calcite. It has been known that the processes of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) by consortia of archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are responsible for the precipitation of carbonates. To understand the formation mechanism of the unusual extreme high-Mg calcite as well as protodolomite in modern marine environment, we designed a set of mineral precipitation experiments simulating the pore water of the sulfate-methane transition zone of the seep sites of the South China Sea. The artificial pore water was enriched with formate, ammonia nitrogen and phosphate to achieve a C: N: P ratio of 106:12:1. Autoclave-sterilized nutrient enriched artificial pore water medium was inoculated with the SRB Desulfovibrio desulfuricans strain G-20 and incubated anaerobically at 25°C for 10 months. The precipitates that formed after incubation were analyzed using XRD, SEM and EDX and the concentration of key elements in the aqueous phase was determined using ICP-AES. Our results show that in the presence of SRBs, the pH of medium increased from 7.5 to 8.3 resulting in the precipitation of a mineral phase dominated by rhombohedra monohydrocalcite aggregates. In addition, spherical carbonate precipitates with Mg:Ca ratios varying from 0.16 to 0.98 suggest the presence of HMC and protodolomite. In the absence of SRB, the pH of the medium exhibited no significant change during incubation and only a small amount of aragonite and silica was produced: no

  5. Asphalt volcanism and chemosynthetic life in the Campeche Knolls, Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, I R; Bohrmann, G; Escobar, E; Abegg, F; Blanchon, P; Blinova, V; Brückmann, W; Drews, M; Eisenhauer, A; Han, X; Heeschen, K; Meier, F; Mortera, C; Naehr, T; Orcutt, B; Bernard, B; Brooks, J; de Faragó, M

    2004-05-14

    In the Campeche Knolls, in the southern Gulf of Mexico, lava-like flows of solidified asphalt cover more than 1 square kilometer of the rim of a dissected salt dome at a depth of 3000 meters below sea level. Chemosynthetic tubeworms and bivalves colonize the sea floor near the asphalt, which chilled and contracted after discharge. The site also includes oil seeps, gas hydrate deposits, locally anoxic sediments, and slabs of authigenic carbonate. Asphalt volcanism creates a habitat for chemosynthetic life that may be widespread at great depth in the Gulf of Mexico.

  6. Asphalt Volcanism and Chemosynthetic Life in the Campeche Knolls, Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Bohrmann, G.; Escobar, E.; Abegg, F.; Blanchon, P.; Blinova, V.; Brückmann, W.; Drews, M.; Eisenhauer, A.; Han, X.; Heeschen, K.; Meier, F.; Mortera, C.; Naehr, T.; Orcutt, B.; Bernard, B.; Brooks, J.; de Faragó, M.

    2004-05-01

    In the Campeche Knolls, in the southern Gulf of Mexico, lava-like flows of solidified asphalt cover more than 1 square kilometer of the rim of a dissected salt dome at a depth of 3000 meters below sea level. Chemosynthetic tubeworms and bivalves colonize the sea floor near the asphalt, which chilled and contracted after discharge. The site also includes oil seeps, gas hydrate deposits, locally anoxic sediments, and slabs of authigenic carbonate. Asphalt volcanism creates a habitat for chemosynthetic life that may be widespread at great depth in the Gulf of Mexico.

  7. Subsurface gas hydrates in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boswell, Ray; Collett, Timothy S.; Frye, Matthew; Shedd, William; McConnell, Daniel R.; Shelander, Dianna

    2012-01-01

    The northernGulf of Mexico (GoM) has long been a focus area for the study of gashydrates. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, work focused on massive gashydrates deposits that were found to form at and near the seafloor in association with hydrocarbon seeps. However, as global scientific and industrial interest in assessment of the drilling hazards and resource implications of gashydrate accelerated, focus shifted to understanding the nature and abundance of "buried" gashydrates. Through 2005, despite the drilling of more than 1200 oil and gas industry wells through the gashydrate stability zone, published evidence of significant sub-seafloor gashydrate in the GoM was lacking. A 2005 drilling program by the GoM GasHydrate Joint Industry Project (the JIP) provided an initial confirmation of the occurrence of gashydrates below the GoM seafloor. In 2006, release of data from a 2003 industry well in Alaminos Canyon 818 provided initial documentation of gashydrate occurrence at high concentrations in sand reservoirs in the GoM. From 2006 to 2008, the JIP facilitated the integration of geophysical and geological data to identify sites prospective for gashydrate-bearing sands, culminating in the recommendation of numerous drilling targets within four sites spanning a range of typical deepwater settings. Concurrent with, but independent of, the JIP prospecting effort, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducted a preliminary assessment of the GoM gashydratepetroleum system, resulting in an estimate of 607 trillion cubic meters (21,444 trillion cubic feet) gas-in-place of which roughly one-third occurs at expected high concentrations in sand reservoirs. In 2009, the JIP drilled seven wells at three sites, discovering gashydrate at high saturation in sand reservoirs in four wells and suspected gashydrate at low to moderate saturations in two other wells. These results provide an initial confirmation of the complex nature and occurrence of gashydrate-bearing sands in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. SURVEY OF LOW FLOW DRAINAGES AND SEEPS IN COLORADO TO ASSESS IMPLEMENTABILITY OF PASSIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Low flow drainages and seeps are typically not evaluated for mitigation due to the perceived low impact on the watershed. However, localized metals concentrations and acidity can be at levels of concern. Future passage of a “Good Samaritan Act” should increase activity at curren...

  10. The Effect of Summer Environmental Education Program (SEEP) on Elementary School Students' Environmental Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erdogan, Mehmet

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Summer Environmental Education Program (SEEP) on elementary school students' environmental knowledge, affect, skills and behavior which are the main components of environmental literacy. The sample consisted of 45 students (25 males, 20 females) studying in 4th through 8th grades and living in…

  11. Linking nitrogen management, seep chemistry, and stream water quality in two agricultural headwater watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO3-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO3-N processin...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Microbial Sulfate Reduction at Cold Seeps Based on Analysis of Carbonate Associated Sulfate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, D.; Peng, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial sulfate reduction and coupled anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) are the dominant biogeochemical processes occurring at cold seeps in marine settings. These processes not only support the growth of chemosynthetic communities but also promote the precipitation of authigenic carbonates. However, investigations of microbial sulfate reduction have been conducted only using porewaters or seep-related barites. The fact is that many seeps are either inactive or do not precipitate any barite minerals. Thus, little is known about the microbial sulfate reduction at these seep environments. The occurrence of authigenic carbonate has been documented at almost all cold seep sites, which provide a unique opportunity to investigate the microbial sulfate reduction using such carbonate. The presentation is focused on the concentrations and isotopic signatures of carbonate associated sulfate (CAS). The aim of the project is to determine the role of sulfate and sulfate reduction during carbonate precipitation at cold seeps. The CAS concentrations are 67-537 ppm in high-Mg calcite, 51-181 ppm in low-Mg calcite, and 116-565 in aragonite. The δ34SCAS and δ18OCAS also vary considerably, ranging from 21.9‰ to 56.2‰ (V-CDT) and from 10.1‰ to 24.8‰ (V-SMOW), respectively. On δ34SCAS versus δ18OCAS plots, both aragonite and calcite show linear trends that project down toward those of open seawater sulfate. The trends suggest that sulfate has been isotopically modified to various degrees in pore fluids before being incorporated into carbonate lattice. The much narrower δ34SCAS and δ18OCAS ranges for aragonite than for calcite suggests a much "pickier" condition for aragonite formation during early diagenesis. Our results suggest that concentration and isotopic composition of CAS in seep carbonates may be controlled by the supply of pore-water sulfate during carbonate precipitation. The reliability of CAS in carbonate of early diagenetic origin as a proxy of

  18. A Multi-frequency Look at Gas Seeps on the Eastern Siberian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, L. A.; Jerram, K.; Weidner, E.; Weber, T.; Jakobsson, M.; Chernykh, D.; Ananiev, R.; Mohammad, R.; Semiletov, I. P.

    2015-12-01

    The Swedish-Russian-US Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions (SWERUS-C3) is a multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary program aimed at increasing our understanding of the climate-cryosphere-carbon system of the Eastern Siberian Arctic Ocean. In 2014 SWERUS-C3 carried out a two-leg field program on the Swedish Icebreaker ODEN. A component of the SWERUS-C3 program focused on water column mapping of the spatial distribution and geologic context of gas seeps using the acoustic systems on board ODEN (12 kHz EM122 multibeam echo sounder, 2-8 kHz SBP120 subbottom profiler, and an 18 kHz EK60 split-beam sonar). On Leg 2 of the 2014 expedition, a new wideband transceiver (EK80) was added to the split-beam echo sounder and calibrated, providing the ability to measure the acoustic response of the gas seeps over a much broader range of frequencies (15-30 kHz). While the broader bandwidth unquestionably provides higher target resolution a further objective of the broadband mapping was to determine whether information on bubble size distribution could be determined so as to help model the flux of gas coming from the seeps. On Leg 2 approximately 34 seeps were mapped, mostly in the vicinity of Herald Canyon. The wide-swath, high-resolution multibeam bathymetry (from the EM122) and high-resolution chirp sub-bottom profiling (from the SBP120 multibeam sub-bottom profiler) combined with water column imaging of seeps collected at both 12 kHz (from the EM122) and 15-30 kHz (from the EK80) offer an important opportunity to understand the spatial distribution of seeps and their relationship to local and regional processes as determined from seafloor and subsurface structure, as well as to explore the potential of extracting quantitative information about the magnitude of gas transport from the seeps.

  19. Another Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romano, Carlin

    2009-01-01

    A Mexican saying holds that "Como Mexico no hay dos"--There is only one Mexico. American media these days interpret that notion with a vengeance. Story after story depicts a country overrun by out-of-control drug wars and murder, where corrupt police officers trip over beheaded victims more often than they nab perpetrators. South of the…

  20. 78 FR 45558 - Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (WPA) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-29

    ... United States of America that addresses identification and unitization of transboundary hydrocarbon... Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico V. Information to Lessees The Information to Lessees (ITL...-to-Reefs (4) Lightering Zones (5) Indicated Hydrocarbons List (6) Military Areas (7) Safety Zones...

  1. A phylogenetic perspective on diversity of Galatheoidea (Munida, Munidopsis) from cold-water coral and cold seep communities in the western North Atlantic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coykendall, Dolly K.; Nizinski, Martha S.; Morrison, Cheryl

    2016-01-01

    Squat lobsters (Galatheoidea and Chirostyloidea), a diverse group of decapod crustaceans, are ubiquitous members of the deep-sea fauna. Within Galatheoidea, the genera Munida and Munidopsis are the most diverse, but accurate estimates of biodiversity are difficult due to morphological complexity and cryptic diversity. Four species of Munida and nine species of Munidopsis from cold-water coral (CWC) and cold seep communities in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean (NWA) and the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) were collected over eleven years and fifteen research cruises in order to assess faunal associations and estimate squat lobster biodiversity. Identification of the majority of specimens was determined morphologically. Mitochondrial COI sequence data, obtained from material collected during these research cruises, was supplemented with published sequences of congeners from other regions. The phylogenetic analysis of Munida supports three of the four NWA and GOM species (M. microphthalma, M. sanctipauli, and M. valida) as closely related taxa. The fourth species, Munida iris, is basal to most other species of Munida, and is closely related to M. rutllanti, a species found in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean (NEA). The majority of the nine species of Munidopsis included in our analyses were collected from chemosynthetic cold seep sites from the GOM. While seep taxa were scattered throughout the phylogenetic tree, four of these species (Munidopsis livida, M. similis, M. bermudezi, and M. species A) from the NWA and the GOM were part of a large eighteen-species clade that included species collected from Pacific Ocean chemosynthetic habitats, such as hydrothermal vents and whale falls. Shinkaia crosnieri was the sister taxon to the chemosynthetic clade, and M. livida was the most basal member of this clade. Munidopsis sp. B, an undescribed species with representative individuals collected from two GOM chemosynthetic sites, exhibited the largest genetic distance from other northern

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  3. Magnetic Susceptibility Measurements as a Proxy for Hydrocarbon Biodegradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mewafy, F.; Atekwana, E. A.; Slater, L. D.; Werkema, D.; Revil, A.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Skold, M.

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic susceptibility (MS) measurements have been commonly used in paleoclimate studies, as a proxy for environmental pollution such as heavy metal contamination, and for delineating zones of oil seeps related to hydrocarbon exploration. Few studies have assessed the use of MS measurements for mapping zones of oil pollution. In this study, we investigated the variation in magnetic susceptibility across a hydrocarbon contaminated site undergoing biodegradation. Our objective was to investigate if MS measurements could be used as a proxy indicator of intrinsic bioremediation linked to the activity of iron reducing bacteria. An improved understanding of the mechanisms generating geophysical signatures associated with microbial enzymatic activity could permit the development of geophysical imaging technologies for long-term, minimally invasive and sustainable monitoring of natural biodegradation at oil spill sites. We used a Bartington MS probe to measure MS data along fifteen boreholes within contaminated (both free phase and dissolved phase hydrocarbon plumes) and clean areas. Our results show the following: (1) an enhanced zone of MS straddling the water table at the contaminated locations, not observed at the clean locations; (2) MS values within the free product plume are higher compared to values within the dissolved product plume; (3) the MS values within the vadoze zone above the free product plume are higher compared to values within the dissolved product plume; 4) the zone of high MS is thicker within the free product plume compared to the dissolved product plume. We suggest that the zone of enhanced MS results from the precipitation of magnetite related to the oxidation of the hydrocarbons coupled to iron reduction. Our data documents a strong correlation between MS and hydrocarbon concentration. We conclude that recognition of these zones of enhanced magnetite formation allows for the application of MS measurements as a: (1) low cost, rapid monitoring

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  5. Identification of hydrocarbon sources in the benthic sediments of Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska following the Exxon Valdez oil spill

    SciTech Connect

    Page, D.S.; Boehm, P.D.; Douglas, G.S.; Bence, A.E.

    1995-12-31

    Advanced hydrocarbon fingerprinting methods and improved analytical methods make possible the quantitative discrimination of the multiple sources of hydrocarbons in the benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS) and the Gulf of Alaska. These methods measure an extensive range of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) at detection levels that are as much as two orders of magnitude lower than those obtained by standard Environmental Protection Agency methods. Nineteen hundred thirty six subtidal sediment samples collected in the sound and the eastern Gulf of Alaska in 1989, 1990, and 1991 were analyzed. Fingerprint analyses of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry data reveal a natural background of petrogenic and biogenic PAH. Exxon Valdez crude, its weathering products, and diesel fuel refined from Alaska North Slope crude are readily distinguished from the natural seep petroleum background and from each other because of their distinctive PAH distributions. Mixing models were developed to calculate the PAH contributions from each source to each sediment sample. These calculations show that most of the seafloor in PWS contains no detectable hydrocarbons from the Exxon Valdez spill, although elevated concentrations of PAH from seep sources are widespread. In those areas where they were detected, spill hydrocarbons were generally a small increment to the natural petroleum hydrocarbon background. Low levels of Exxon Valdez crude residue were present in 1989 and again in 1990 in nearshore subtidal sediments off some shorelines that had been heavily oiled. By 1991 these crude residues were heavily degraded and even more sporadically distributed. 58 refs., 18 figs., 5 tabs.

  6. 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

  7. Stable Carbon Isotope Evidence for Reduced Feeding of Gulf of Mexico Sturgeon during Their Prolonged River Residence Period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, B.; Schell, D. M.; Frazer, T.; Hoyer, M.; Chapman, F. A.

    2001-09-01

    Stable carbon isotope ratios were used to delineate food sources for Gulf of Mexico sturgeon ( Acipenser oxyrinchus de sotoi), an anadromous fish that migrates between Gulf of Mexico and the coastal rivers in south-east U.S.A. The large difference in isotope ratios (˜11‰) between freshwater food sources and fish muscle tissue suggests that the Gulf of Mexico sturgeon do not feed significantly in fresh waters. Isotope ratio data from this study and also from the literature indicate that the growth of Gulf of Mexico sturgeon is almost entirely supported by coastal marine food sources. It is likely that Gulf of Mexico sturgeon use the cool springs that seep into the river as a thermal refuge during their river residence in summer and that thermal barriers may prevent the fish from exploiting the rich food sources available in the warmer portions of the Suwannee River.

  8. Stable carbon isotopic compositions of intact polar lipids reveal complex carbon flow patterns among hydrocarbon degrading microbial communities at the Chapopote asphalt volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubotz, Florence; Lipp, Julius S.; Elvert, Marcus; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2011-08-01

    Seepage of asphalt forms the basis of a cold seep system at 3000 m water depth at the Chapopote Knoll in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Anaerobic microbial communities are stimulated in the oil-impregnated sediments as evidenced by the presence of intact polar membrane lipids (IPLs) derived from archaea and Bacteria at depths up to 7 m below the seafloor. Detailed investigation of stable carbon isotope composition (δ 13C) of alkyl and acyl moieties derived from a range of IPL precursors with distinct polar head groups resolved the complexity of carbon metabolisms and utilization of diverse carbon sources by uncultured microbial communities. In surface sediments most of the polar lipid-derived fatty acids with phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and diphosphatidylglycerol (DPG) head groups could be tentatively assigned to autotrophic sulfate-reducing bacteria, with a relatively small proportion involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane. Derivatives of phosphatidyl-( N)-methylethanolamine (PME) were abundant and could be predominantly assigned to heterotrophic oil-degrading bacteria. Archaeal IPLs with phosphate-based hydroxyarchaeols and diglycosidic glyceroldibiphytanylglyceroltetraethers (GDGTs) were assigned to methanotrophic archaea of the ANME-2 and ANME-1 cluster, respectively, whereas δ 13C values of phosphate-based archaeols and mixed phosphate-based and diglycosidic GDGTs point to methanogenic archaea. At a 7 m deep sulfate-methane transition zone that is linked to the upward movement of gas-laden petroleum, a distinct increase in abundance of archaeal IPLs such as phosphate-based hydroxyarchaeols and diglycosidic archaeol and GDGTs is observed; their δ 13C values are consistent with their origin from both methanotrophic and methanogenic archaea. This study reveals previously hidden, highly complex patterns in the carbon-flow of versatile microbial communities involved in the degradation of heavy oil including hydrocarbon gases

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  14. Egade, Mexico.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kubany, Elizabeth

    2001-01-01

    Presents a business school design in Mexico, whose spiral building sits atop a parking structure creating a compact, symbolic form for an arid urban landscape. Includes seven photographs, a floor plan, and sectional drawing. (GR)

  15. Geology and structure of the Pine River, Florida River, Carbon Junction, and Basin Creek gas seeps, La Plata County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fassett, James E.; Condon, Steven M.; Huffman, A. Curtis; Taylor, David J.

    1997-01-01

    Introduction: This study was commissioned by a consortium consisting of the Bureau of Land Management, Durango Office; the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; La Plata County; and all of the major gas-producing companies operating in La Plata County, Colorado. The gas-seep study project consisted of four parts; 1) detailed surface mapping of Fruitland Formation coal outcrops in the above listed seep areas, 2) detailed measurement of joint and fracture patterns in the seep areas, 3) detailed coal-bed correlation of Fruitland coals in the subsurface adjacent to the seep areas, and 4) studies of deep-seated seismic patterns in those seep areas where seismic data was available. This report is divided into three chapters labeled 1, 2, and 3. Chapter 1 contains the results of the subsurface coal-bed correla-tion study, chapter 2 contains the results of the surface geologic mapping and joint measurement study, and chapter 3, contains the results of the deep-seismic study. A preliminary draft of this report was submitted to the La Plata County Group in September 1996. All of the members of the La Plata Group were given an opportunity to critically review the draft report and their comments were the basis for revising the first draft to create this final version of a geologic report on the major La Plata County gas seeps located north of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

  16. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes, II: SEEP2-08, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 188. Hydrographic data report

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 (Behrens and Flagg, 1986). Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. This project consisted of a series of ten cruises, a mooring array, and a series of over-flights by NASA aircraft. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the cruises, six of which were primarily mooring deployment or recovery cruises. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Two cruises (SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07) were dedicated to investigating benthic processes and hydrographic data were not collected.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Reproductive traits of the cold-seep symbiotic mussel Idas modiolaeformis: gametogenesis and larval biology.

    PubMed

    Marylène Gaudron, Sylvie; Demoyencourt, Emile; Duperron, Sébastien

    2012-02-01

    We describe the first reproductive features of a chemosynthetic mussel collected at cold seeps from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Idas modiolaeformis (Bivalvia, Mytilidae) is a hermaphroditic species in which production of male and female gametes likely alternates, a feature regarded as an adaptation to patchy and ephemeral habitats. By using fluorescent in situ hybridization, we demonstrate that bacterial symbionts, while present within the gills, are absent within acini that enclose female gametes and male gametes. This supports the hypothesis of environmental acquisition of symbionts in chemosynthetic mytilids. Prodissoconch I (PI) is relatively small compared to prodissoconch II (PII), suggesting a planktotrophic larval stage. Diameters of the two larval shells are in the range of sizes reported for mytilids, with a PII size between that of the shallow Mytilus edulis and that of the cold-seep mussel "Bathymodiolus" childressi.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

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

  20. Chronic oiling of marine birds in California by natural petroleum seeps, shipwrecks, and other sources.

    PubMed

    Henkel, Laird A; Nevins, Hannahrose; Martin, Marida; Sugarman, Susan; Harvey, James T; Ziccardi, Michael H

    2014-02-15

    We assessed temporal and spatial patterns of chronic oiling of seabirds in California during 2005-2010, using data on: (1) live oiled birds reported to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) from throughout the state, and (2) dead oiled birds found during systematic monthly beached-bird surveys in central California. A mean of 245 (± 141 SD) live miscellaneous oiled birds (not associated with known oil spills) were reported to the OWCN per year, and 0.1 oiled dead birds km(-1) per month were found on beach surveys in central California. Chemical fingerprinting of oiled feathers from a subset of these birds (n=101) indicated that 89% of samples tested were likely from natural petroleum seeps off southern and central California. There was a pronounced peak during late winter in the number of oiled birds reported in southern California, which we theorize may be related to large storm waves disturbing underwater seeps.

  1. Biomarker chemistry and flux quantification methods for natural petroleum seeps and produced oils, offshore southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, T.D.; Leifer, Ira; Wong, Florence L.; Rosenbauer, Robert J.; Campbell, Pamela L.; Lam, Angela; Hostettler, Frances D.; Greinert, Jens; Finlayson, David P.; Bradley, Eliza S.; Luyendyk, Bruce P.

    2011-01-01

    Sustained, natural oil seepage from the seafloor is common off southern California, and is of great interest to resource managers, who are tasked with distinguishing natural from anthropogenic oil sources. The major purpose of this study was to build upon the work previously funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that has refined the oil-fingerprinting process to enable differentiation of the highly similar Monterey Formation oils from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) production and adjacent natural seeps. In these initial studies, biomarker and stable carbon isotope ratios were used to infer the age, lithology, organic-matter input, and depositional environment of the source rocks for 388 samples of produced crude oil, seep oil, and tarballs mainly from coastal California. The analysis resulted in a predictive model of oil source families that could be applied to samples of unknown origin.

  2. Short-term monitoring of a gas seep field in the Katakolo bay (Western Greece) using Raman spectra DTS and DAS fibre-optic methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalari, A.; Mondanos, M.; Finfer, D.; Christodoulou, D.; Kordella, S.; Papatheodorou, G.; Geraga, M.; Ferentinos, G.

    2012-12-01

    A wide submarine seep of thermogenic gas in the Katakolo bay, Western Greece, was monitored passively using the intelligent Distributed Acoustic Sensor (iDAS) and Ultima Raman spectra Distributed Temperature Sensor (DTS), in order to study the thermal and noise signal of the bubble plumes released from the seafloor. Katakolo is one one of the most prolific thermogenic gas seepage zones in Europe and the biggest methane seep ever reported in Greece. Very detailed repetitive offshore gas surveys, including marine remote sensing (sub-bottom profiling, side scan sonar), underwater exploration by a towed instrumented system (MEDUSA), long-term monitoring benthic station (GMM), compositional and isotopic analyses, and flux measurements of gas, showed that: (a) gas seepage takes place over an extended area in the Katakolo harbour and along two main normal faults off the harbour; (b) at least 823 gas bubble ( 10-20 cm in diameter) plumes escaping over an area of 94,200 m2, at depths ranging from 5.5 to 16 m; (c) the gas consists mainly of methane and has H2S levels of hundreds to thousands ppmv, and shows significant amounts of other light hydrocarbons like ethane, propane, iso-butane and C6 alkanes, (d) offshore and onshore seeps release the same type of thermogenic gas; (e) due to the shallow depth, more than 90 % of CH4 released at the seabed enters the atmosphere, and (f) the gas seeps may produce severe geohazards for people, buildings and construction facilities due to the explosive and toxicological properties of methane and hydrogen sulfide, respectively. For the short-term monitoring, the deployment took place on a site located inside the harbour of Katakolo within a thermogenic gas seepage area where active faults are intersected. The iDAS system makes it possible to observe the acoustical signal along the entire length of an unmodified optical cable without introducing any form of point sensors such as Bragg gratings. When the bubble plumes are released by the

  3. Physiological and ecological performance differs in four coral taxa at a volcanic carbon dioxide seep.

    PubMed

    Strahl, J; Stolz, I; Uthicke, S; Vogel, N; Noonan, S H C; Fabricius, K E

    2015-06-01

    Around volcanic carbon dioxide (CO2) seeps in Papua New Guinea, partial pressures of CO2 (pCO2) approximate those as predicted for the end of this century, and coral communities have low diversity and low structural complexity. To assess the mechanisms for such community shifts in response to ocean acidification, we examined the physiological performance of two hard corals that occur with increased or unaltered abundance at a seep site (mean pHTotal=7.8, pCO2=862 μatm) compared to a control site (mean pHTotal=8.1, pCO2=323 μatm), namely massive Porites spp. and Pocillopora damicornis, and two species with reduced abundance, Acropora millepora and Seriatopora hystrix. Oxygen fluxes, calcification, and skeletal densities were analyzed in corals originating from the seep and control site. Net photosynthesis rates increased considerably in Porites spp. and A. millepora and slightly in P. damicornis at increased pCO2, but remained unaltered in S. hystrix. Dark respiration rates remained constant in all corals investigated from both sites. Rates of light calcification declined in S. hystrix at high pCO2, but were unaffected by pCO2 in the other three coral taxa. Dark and net calcification rates remained unchanged in massive Porites and P. damicornis, but were drastically reduced at high pCO2 in A. millepora and S. hystrix. However, skeletal densities were similar at both seep and control sites in all coral taxa investigated. Our data suggest that the pCO2-tolerant corals were characterized by an increased ability to acclimatize to ocean acidification, e.g. by maintaining net calcification. Thus, robust corals, such as Porites spp. and P. damicornis, are more likely to persist for longer in a future high pCO2 world than those unable to acclimatize.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Petrology of a Jurassic cold seep carbonate mound, Great Valley Group, northern California

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, K.A.; Bottjer, D.J. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Ancient sites of chemosynthetic marine invertebrate communities have been increasingly described from the stratigraphic record. Fossil cold seeps are best identified by the stratigraphically restricted co-occurrence of anomalous carbonates and fossils of organisms that in modern environments are chemosymbiotic. A Late Jurassic (Tithonian) age fossil seep site is preserved in deep-water turbidites of the Stony Creek Formation (Great Valley Group). Two low-relief carbonate mounds contain an abundant and diverse fossil macrofauna including taxa whose modern counterparts are chemosymbiotic, as well as several associate taxa. Two broad carbonate fabric types are present: a bioturbated, peloidal, fossiliferous micrite with abundant flecks of organic matter and several wavy laminated marine cements. The micrite and cements are either irregularly interlayered on distinctly separated by corrosion surfaces coated with iron oxides that may mark pulses of H[sub 2]S-rich fluids to the seep. Petrographic observations indicate the following idealized paragenetic sequence: deposition of micrite, with contemporaneous biotic activity; corrosion event, with preferential preservation of some peloids; precipitation of pyrite on some corrosion surfaces and concentration of insoluble siltstone linings where corrosion has opened vugs; precipitation of blocky yellow calcite cement with organic-rich inclusions in void spaces and around peloids; growth of clear to gray, botryoidal to fibrous cement; and precipitation of late, clear calcite spar. Similar fabrics and abundant tube-like structures are present in another Great Valley carbonate lens of Early Cretaceous (Albian-Aptian) age exposed on the Cold Fork of Cottonwood Creek near Red Bluff, California. Detailed integration of petrological studies of these fabrics with stable isotope studies and fossil faunal distributions provide a powerful approach for understanding the history of development and individual fossil seeps.

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

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Russell Scott

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. The shelf edge exchange processes experiment, SEEP-II: an introduction to hypotheses, results and conclusions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biscaye, Pierre E.; Flagg, Charles N.; Falkowski, Paul G.

    The SEEP (Shelf Edge Exchange Processes)-II experiment was the second of two that took place in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) of the eastern U.S. continental shelf and slope. The experiment included an array of 10 multi-instrumented moorings deployed for 15 months and 10 oceanographic cruises, all designed to address the problem of the fate of continental shelf particulate matter in general, and organic carbon in particular. This paper provides the setting and background for the SEEP Program, the SEEP-II experiment and an introduction to the 18 papers constituting the subject of this special volume. Because those papers lack one of a general nature on the physical oceanographic setting of the experiment, that aspect is treated in somewhat more detail here. The results of the experiment overwhelmingly show that the working hypothesis on which the SEEP Program was undertaken and sponsored by the Department of Energy is not valid. That is, there is not an export to the adjacent slope and open ocean of a large proportion of the particulate matter introduced to and biologically generated in the waters of the continental shelf; most of the biogenic particulate matter is recycled by consumption (bacterial and otherwise) and oxidation on the shelf, and only a small proportion (of order ≪5%) is exported to the adjacent slope. The small amount that is exported appears to be deposited preferentially in the sediments of an area of the slope centered at about 1000 m, and the export and sedimentation to that depocenter appears to increase from the northern to the southern MAB.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, Russell Scott

    2004-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. SEEP 2 zooplankton data report: Winter, spring and summer collections at mooring 3 during 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, P.V.Z.; Smith, S.L.; Flagg, C.N.; Schwarting, E.M.

    1991-03-01

    The second Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP II) experiment was designed as an extension of SEEP I work and was a multidisciplinary effort to describe the transport of carbon along and across the shelf and slope of the middle Atlantic Bight. A significant portion of the zooplankton work conducted during this project was devoted to repeated net sampling in close proximity to a moored acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) in order to establish the calibration of the backscatter amplitude with respect to biomass in the water column. The Brookhaven ADCP was deployed at mooring site M-3 of the SEEP II study region. We used a multiple opening/closing net and environmental sensing system to collect stratified samples of zooplankton as close to the ADCP as towing conditions would allow. In addition, when MOCNESS tows were not feasible due to time constraints, Bongo nets were towed vertically in close proximity to the ADCP. The data in this report are the quantitative taxonomic analyses of the samples collected for ADCP calibration in 1988. 3 refs., 1 fig.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-05-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kimura, Hiroyuki; Higashide, Yukimasa; Naganuma, Takeshi

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Hydrologic response of hillslope seeps and headwater streams of the Fort Worth Prairie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slattery, Michael; Jones, Shannon

    2015-04-01

    There has been minimal research on the relationships among vegetation, topography, and hydrology of hillslope seeps and headwater streams in general, and in the Fort Worth Prairie ecoregion in particular. Unlike traditional descriptions of Midwestern tallgrass prairies, these riparian zones are often dominated by annuals. Due to the ephemeral or intermittent nature of headwater stream hydrology, the high variation of soil moisture restricts tallgrasses from dominating riparian zones. In this study we quantify the hydrologic regime of a Fort Worth Prairie hillslope hollow by analyzing the spatio-temporal response of soil moisture to precipitation and drying, its impact on runoff generation, and the vegetation-soil moisture relationship. We conducted the study between August 2012 to March 2013, under drought-like conditions that prevented streamflow. Results show that, despite extreme moisture stress, the hillslope seep completely saturates during wet periods and saturates along the hillslope base during dry conditions. Autumn vegetation most accurately aligns with moderate soil moisture conditions. This research describes Fort Worth Prairie headwater stream and seep habitats and provides a basis for how they function hydrologically to create a foundation for improved habitat management, protection, and restoration of riparian headwaters in North Central Texas.

  17. Site characterization and petroleum hydrocarbon plume mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Ravishankar, K.

    1996-12-31

    This paper presents a case study of site characterization and hydrocarbon contamination plume mapping/delineation in a gas processing plant in southern Mexico. The paper describes innovative and cost-effective use of passive (non-intrusive) and active (intrusive) techniques, including the use of compound-specific analytical methods for site characterization. The techniques used, on a demonstrative basis, include geophysical, geochemical, and borehole drilling. Geochemical techniques used to delineate the horizontal extent of hydrocarbon contamination at the site include soil gas surveys. The borehole drilling technique used to assess the vertical extent of contamination and confirm geophysical and geochemical data combines conventional hollow-stem auguring with direct push-probe using Geoprobe. Compound-specific analytical methods, such as hydrocarbon fingerprinting and a modified method for gasoline range organics, demonstrate the inherent merit and need for such analyses to properly characterize a site, while revealing the limitations of noncompound-specific total petroleum hydrocarbon analysis. The results indicate that the techniques used in tandem can properly delineate the nature and extent of contamination at a site; often supplement or complement data, while reducing the risk of errors and omissions during the assessment phase; and provide data constructively to focus site-specific remediation efforts. 7 figs.

  18. Soil Iodine Determination in Deccan Syneclise, India: Implications for Near Surface Geochemical Hydrocarbon Prospecting

    SciTech Connect

    Mani, Devleena; Kumar, T. Satish; Rasheed, M. A.; Patil, D. J.; Dayal, A. M.; Rao, T. Gnaneshwar; Balaram, V.

    2011-03-15

    The association of iodine with organic matter in sedimentary basins is well documented. High iodine concentration in soils overlying oil and gas fields and areas with hydrocarbon microseepage has been observed and used as a geochemical exploratory tool for hydrocarbons in a few studies. In this study, we measure iodine concentration in soil samples collected from parts of Deccan Syneclise in the west central India to investigate its potential application as a geochemical indicator for hydrocarbons. The Deccan Syneclise consists of rifted depositional sites with Gondwana-Mesozoic sediments up to 3.5 km concealed under the Deccan Traps and is considered prospective for hydrocarbons. The concentration of iodine in soil samples is determined using ICP-MS and the values range between 1.1 and 19.3 ppm. High iodine values are characteristic of the northern part of the sampled region. The total organic carbon (TOC) content of the soil samples range between 0.1 and 1.3%. The TOC correlates poorly with the soil iodine (r{sup 2} < 1), indicating a lack of association of iodine with the surficial organic matter and the possibility of interaction between the seeping hydrocarbons and soil iodine. Further, the distribution pattern of iodine compares well with two surface geochemical indicators: the adsorbed light gaseous hydrocarbons (methane through butane) and the propane-oxidizing bacterial populations in the soil. The integration of geochemical observations show the occurrence of elevated values in the northern part of the study area, which is also coincident with the presence of exposed dyke swarms that probably serve as conduits for hydrocarbon microseepage. The corroboration of iodine with existing geological, geophysical, and geochemical data suggests its efficacy as one of the potential tool in surface geochemical exploration of hydrocarbons. Our study supports Deccan Syneclise to be promising in terms of its hydrocarbon prospects.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    In the shallow-water organic-poor silicate sands off the West coast of Elba, Italy, we found aragonite precipitates within a radius of 10 cm to methane seeps in 20 - 40 cm sediment depth. The shallow seep site was mapped by SCUBA diving and in an area of 100 m2 nine gas emission spots were observed. The gas emission, containing 73 Vol. % methane, was measured to be 0.72 L m-2 d-1. Findings of anaerobic methane oxidizing archea (ANME 1, 2, 2a, 2b) and sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as in vitro rate measurements of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with a maximum of 67 ± 7 nmol CH4 cm-3 d-1 led to the hypothesis that carbonate precipitation is coupled to these microbial processes. Porewater analysis showed elevated concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (up to 15.5 mmol L-1) and hydrogen sulfide (up to 6.6 mmol L-1). The presence of bicarbonate and the ambient temperature (14 - 25 ° C) facilitate the precipitation of needle-shaped aragonite. Oxygen isotope compositions of the mineral are consistent with the ambient temperatures and may indicate a recent diagenetic formation of this mineral. Although precipitation should not be preserved in these sandy permeable sediments, influenced by seasonality, wave action, and fluid flow, we found up to 10-50 cm3 irregular pieces of cemented sand grains, very often encrusting dead seagrass rhizomes. Commonly known carbonate structures, especially from the deep sea, are chimneys, mounds, hardgrounds and nodules. These structures are well known from seep and vent sites, usually showing the same range of stable carbon isotope fractionation as the escaping methane. The permeable sediment at the Elba site possibly allows the gas to frequently change its pathway to the sediment surface and thus precipitation can occure at several spots and more irregular than in the reported sites. Preservation of precipitates, however, requires sufficient authigenic aragonite to be formed before fluid dynamics changed the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Hydrocarbon Spectral Database

    National Institute of Standards and Technology Data Gateway

    SRD 115 Hydrocarbon Spectral Database (Web, free access)   All of the rotational spectral lines observed and reported in the open literature for 91 hydrocarbon molecules have been tabulated. The isotopic molecular species, assigned quantum numbers, observed frequency, estimated measurement uncertainty and reference are given for each transition reported.

  3. Oxygenated Derivatives of Hydrocarbons

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For the book entitled “Insect Hydrocarbons: Biology, Biochemistry and Chemical Ecology”, this chapter presents a comprehensive review of the occurrence, structure and function of oxygenated derivatives of hydrocarbons. The book chapter focuses on the occurrence, structural identification and functi...

  4. Recovering hydrocarbons from hydrocarbon-containing vapors

    DOEpatents

    Mirza, Zia I.; Knell, Everett W.; Winter, Bruce L.

    1980-09-30

    Values are recovered from a hydrocarbon-containing vapor by contacting the vapor with quench liquid consisting essentially of hydrocarbons to form a condensate and a vapor residue, the condensate and quench fluid forming a combined liquid stream. The combined liquid stream is mixed with a viscosity-lowering liquid to form a mixed liquid having a viscosity lower than the viscosity of the combined liquid stream to permit easy handling of the combined liquid stream. The quench liquid is a cooled portion of the mixed liquid. Viscosity-lowering liquid is separated from a portion of the mixed liquid and cycled to form additional mixed liquid.

  5. Plant hydrocarbon recovery process

    SciTech Connect

    Dzadzic, P.M.; Price, M.C.; Shih, C.J.; Weil, T.A.

    1982-01-26

    A process for production and recovery of hydrocarbons from hydrocarbon-containing whole plants in a form suitable for use as chemical feedstocks or as hydrocarbon energy sources which process comprises: (A) pulverizing by grinding or chopping hydrocarbon-containing whole plants selected from the group consisting of euphorbiaceae, apocynaceae, asclepiadaceae, compositae, cactaceae and pinaceae families to a suitable particle size, (B) drying and preheating said particles in a reducing atmosphere under positive pressure (C) passing said particles through a thermal conversion zone containing a reducing atmosphere and with a residence time of 1 second to about 30 minutes at a temperature within the range of from about 200* C. To about 1000* C., (D) separately recovering the condensable vapors as liquids and the noncondensable gases in a condition suitable for use as chemical feedstocks or as hydrocarbon fuels.

  6. Subsea hydrocarbon sensor system

    SciTech Connect

    Marosko, R.J.; Warren, W.B.

    1981-08-04

    A hydrocarbon detection system is provided for use in a subsea hydrocarbon production installation which includes production tree assemblies, an electro-hydraulic control module located on the sea floor and remote from the production trees, cable assemblies interconnecting the control module with the production trees through magnetic coupling devices. A pair of inductive elements are electrically coupled by the surrounding sea water. Displacement of the conductive sea water by escaping hydrocarbons affects the coupling between the inductive elements to produce a hydrocarbon-presence-responsive output signal. The inductive elements are resonated within a selected frequency range by capacitors coupled with a primary inductor coil by auxiliary windings on a common core element. An excitation signal sweeps over the selected frequency range at a rate effective to produce a peak detected signal at the resonant frequency. The peak output signal is then monitored to form a control signal functionally related to the presence or absence of hydrocarbons in the sea water.

  7. Intense gas bubble emissions in the Kerch seep area - A newly discovered high-flux seep site in the Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Römer, M.; Sahling, H.; Pape, T.; Bahr, A.; Feseker, T.; Wintersteller, P.; Bohrmann, G.

    2012-04-01

    More than 500 bubble-induced hydroacoustic anomalies (flares) were found in the water column above the seafloor in the study area comprising about 430 km2 at the Don-Kuban paleo-fan (Eastern Black Sea) by using ship mounted single beam and multibeam echosounders. Almost all flares originated from the seafloor above the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), which in that region is located below ~700 m water depth. This observation confirms the sealing mechanism of gas hydrate, which impedes migration of free gas through the GHSZ and subsequent bubble emission from the seafloor. However, an intense seep site, called the "Kerch seep area" was discovered as an exception at 890 m water depth well within the GHSZ. In situ temperature measurements in shallow sediments indicate locally elevated temperatures probably caused by enhanced upward fluid flow. The base of the GHSZ in this region is generally situated at about 150 m below the seafloor. However, the local thermal anomalies result in a thinning of the gas hydrate occurrence zone to only a few meters below the seafloor and allow free gas to reach the seafloor. At sites where gas migrated into near-surface deposits, shallow gas hydrate deposits evolved and up-doming of overlying sediments led to the formation of mounds rising several meters from the surrounding seafloor. Further gas bubbles ascending from greater depth are accumulated below the gas hydrate layer at the base of the mound structures and migrate horizontally to their rims. At the mound edges gas bubbles either might form fresh gas hydrates and increase the extent of the mound structures by pushing up overlying sediments or escape at several sites into the water column. Two mounds were mapped in ultra-high resolution during dives with the autonomous underwater vehicle 'AUV MARUM SEAL 5000'. Several individual flares were detected in the Kerch seep area using hydroacoustic systems. Repeated surveys in that area conducted during three cruises within four years

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  9. Mexico City

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-18

    ... Two small brighter patches within the hazy area indicate low fog. In the left-hand panel, the city basin appears significantly clearer, but ... very high altitudes, in contrast to the low-lying haze and fog near Mexico City. When the stereo retrieval determines that a location is ...

  10. Spatial, temporal, and source variations of hydrocarbons in marine sediments from Baffin Bay, Eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Foster, Karen L; Stern, Gary A; Carrie, Jesse; Bailey, Joscelyn N-L; Outridge, Peter M; Sanei, Hamed; Macdonald, Robie W

    2015-02-15

    With declining sea ice conditions in Arctic regions owing to changing climate, the large prospective reservoirs of oil and gas in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait are increasingly accessible, and the interest in offshore exploration and shipping through these regions has increased. Both of these activities are associated with the risk of hydrocarbon releases into the marine ecosystem. However, hydrocarbons are also present naturally in marine environments, in some cases deriving from oil seeps. We have analyzed h