Freshwater lake to salt-water sea causing widespread hydrate dissociation in the Black Sea
|Copyright||The Author(s) 2017|
|Author(s)||Riboulot Vincent1, Ker Stephan1, Sultan Nabil1, Thomas Yannick1, Marsset Bruno1, Scalabrin Carla1, Ruffine Livio1, Boulart Cedric1, Ion Gabriel2|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : IFREMER, REM GM, BP70, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Natl Inst Marine Geol & Geoecol, RO-024053 Bucharest, Romania.
|Source||Nature Communications (2041-1723) (Nature Publishing Group), 2018-01 , Vol. 9 , N. 117 , P. 1-8|
Gas hydrates, a solid established by water and gas molecules, are widespread along the continental margins of the world. Their dynamics have mainly been regarded through the lens of temperature-pressure conditions. A fluctuation in one of these parameters may cause destabilization of gas hydrate-bearing sediments below the seafloor with implications in ocean acidification and eventually in global warming. Here we show throughout an example of the Black Sea, the world’s most isolated sea, evidence that extensive gas hydrate dissociation may occur in the future due to recent salinity changes of the sea water. Recent and forthcoming salt diffusion within the sediment will destabilize gas hydrates by reducing the extension and thickness of their thermodynamic stability zone in a region covering at least 2800 square kilometers which focus seepages at the observed sites. We suspect this process to occur in other world regions (e.g., Caspian Sea, Sea of Marmara).