New insights into the transport processes controlling the sulfate-methane-transition-zone near methane vents

Type Article
Date 2016-05
Language English
Author(s) Sultan NabilORCID1, Garziglia Sebastien1, Ruffine LivioORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Inst Carnot Ifremer EDROME, IFREMER, REM GM LAD, Paris, France.
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Nature Publishing Group), 2016-05 , Vol. 6 , N. 26701 , P. 9p.
DOI 10.1038/srep26701
WOS© Times Cited 17
Abstract Over the past years, several studies have raised concerns about the possible interactions between methane hydrate decomposition and external change. To carry out such an investigation, it is essential to characterize the baseline dynamics of gas hydrate systems related to natural geological and sedimentary processes. This is usually treated through the analysis of sulfate-reduction coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here, we model sulfate reduction coupled with AOM as a two-dimensional (2D) problem including, advective and diffusive transport. This is applied to a case study from a deep-water site off Nigeria’s coast where lateral methane advection through turbidite layers was suspected. We show by analyzing the acquired data in combination with computational modeling that a two-dimensional approach is able to accurately describe the recent past dynamics of such a complex natural system. Our results show that the sulfate-methane-transition-zone (SMTZ) is not a vertical barrier for dissolved sulfate and methane. We also show that such a modeling is able to assess short timescale variations in the order of decades to centuries.
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