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Methane efflux from marine sediments in passive and active margins: Estimations from bioenergetic reaction–transport simulations
Dale, A. W.; Van Cappellen, P.; Aguilera, D. R.; Regnier, P. (2008). Methane efflux from marine sediments in passive and active margins: Estimations from bioenergetic reaction–transport simulations. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 265(3-4): 329-344.
In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0012-821X; e-ISSN 1385-013X, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    geomicrobial reaction networks; anaerobic oxidation of methane;reaction-transport model; methane fluxes; gas hydrates

Auteurs  Top 
  • Dale, A. W.
  • Van Cappellen, P.
  • Aguilera, D. R.
  • Regnier, P.

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

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