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Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments from the Skagerrak (Denmark): II. Reaction-transport modeling
Dale, A. W.; Regnier, P.; Knab, N. J.; Jørgensen, B. B. ; Van Cappellen, P. (2008). Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments from the Skagerrak (Denmark): II. Reaction-transport modeling. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 72(12): 2880-2894.
In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Elsevier: Oxford,New York etc.. ISSN 0016-7037; e-ISSN 1872-9533, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Dale, A. W.
  • Regnier, P.
  • Knab, N. J.
  • Jørgensen, B. B.
  • Van Cappellen, P.

    A steady-state reaction-transport model is applied to sediments retrieved by gravity core from two stations (S10 and S13) in the Skagerrak to determine the main kinetic and thermodynamic controls on anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). The model considers an extended biomass-implicit reaction network for organic carbon degradation, which includes extracellular hydrolysis of macromolecular organic matter, fermentation, sulfate reduction, methanogenesis, AOM, acetogenesis and acetotrophy. Catabolic reaction rates are determined using a modified Monod rate expression that explicitly accounts for limitation by the in situ catabolic energy yields. The fraction of total sulfate reduction due to AOM in the sulfate–methane transition zone (SMTZ) at each site is calculated. The model provides an explanation for the methane tailing phenomenon which is observed here and in other marine sediments, whereby methane diffuses up from the SMTZ to the top of the core without being consumed. The tailing is due to bioenergetic limitation of AOM in the sulfate reduction zone, because the methane concentration is too low to engender favorable thermodynamic drive. AOM is also bioenergetically inhibited below the SMTZ at both sites because of high hydrogen concentrations (~3–6 nM). The model results imply there is no straightforward relationship between pore water concentrations and the minimum catabolic energy needed to support life because of the highly coupled nature of the reaction network. Best model fits are obtained with a minimum energy for AOM of ~11 kJ mol-1, which is within the range reported in the literature for anaerobic processes.

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