Freshwater lake to salt-water sea causing widespread hydrate dissociation in the Black Sea

Type Article
Date 2018-01
Language English
Author(s) Riboulot VincentORCID1, Ker StephanORCID1, Sultan NabilORCID1, Thomas Yannick1, Marsset Bruno1, Scalabrin CarlaORCID1, Ruffine LivioORCID1, 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
DOI 10.1038/s41467-017-02271-z
WOS© Times Cited 55

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).

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Riboulot Vincent, Ker Stephan, Sultan Nabil, Thomas Yannick, Marsset Bruno, Scalabrin Carla, Ruffine Livio, Boulart Cedric, Ion Gabriel (2018). Freshwater lake to salt-water sea causing widespread hydrate dissociation in the Black Sea. Nature Communications, 9(117), 1-8. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :