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Title: Glacial cycles influence marine methane hydrate formation

Abstract

Methane hydrates in fine-grained continental slope sediments often occupy isolated depth intervals surrounded by hydrate-free sediments. As they are not connected to deep gas sources, these hydrate deposits have been interpreted as sourced by in situ microbial methane. We investigate here the hypothesis that these isolated hydrate accumulations form preferentially in sediments deposited during Pleistocene glacial lowstands that contain relatively large amounts of labile particulate organic carbon, leading to enhanced microbial methanogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we apply an advection-diffusion-reaction model with a time-dependent organic carbon deposition controlled by glacioeustatic sea level variations. In the model, hydrate forms in sediments with greater organic carbon content deposited during the penultimate glacial cycle (~120-240 ka). As a result, the model predictions match hydrate-bearing intervals detected in three sites drilled on the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope, supporting the hypothesis of hydrate formation driven by enhanced organic carbon burial during glacial lowstands.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States)
  2. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
  3. Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1417464
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1418410
Grant/Contract Number:  
FE0013919; FE0023919
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Methane hydrates; Pleistocene glacial cycles; Microbial methanogenesis

Citation Formats

Malinverno, A., Cook, A. E., Daigle, H., and Oryan, B. Glacial cycles influence marine methane hydrate formation. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1002/2017GL075848.
Malinverno, A., Cook, A. E., Daigle, H., & Oryan, B. Glacial cycles influence marine methane hydrate formation. United States. doi:10.1002/2017GL075848.
Malinverno, A., Cook, A. E., Daigle, H., and Oryan, B. Fri . "Glacial cycles influence marine methane hydrate formation". United States. doi:10.1002/2017GL075848. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1417464.
@article{osti_1417464,
title = {Glacial cycles influence marine methane hydrate formation},
author = {Malinverno, A. and Cook, A. E. and Daigle, H. and Oryan, B.},
abstractNote = {Methane hydrates in fine-grained continental slope sediments often occupy isolated depth intervals surrounded by hydrate-free sediments. As they are not connected to deep gas sources, these hydrate deposits have been interpreted as sourced by in situ microbial methane. We investigate here the hypothesis that these isolated hydrate accumulations form preferentially in sediments deposited during Pleistocene glacial lowstands that contain relatively large amounts of labile particulate organic carbon, leading to enhanced microbial methanogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we apply an advection-diffusion-reaction model with a time-dependent organic carbon deposition controlled by glacioeustatic sea level variations. In the model, hydrate forms in sediments with greater organic carbon content deposited during the penultimate glacial cycle (~120-240 ka). As a result, the model predictions match hydrate-bearing intervals detected in three sites drilled on the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope, supporting the hypothesis of hydrate formation driven by enhanced organic carbon burial during glacial lowstands.},
doi = {10.1002/2017GL075848},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
issn = {0094-8276},
number = 2,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Drill site location map. Sites with LWD data are shown by red-filled circles (WR313-G, WR313-H, and GC955-H) and nearby industry wells with biostratigraphic data used to estimate sedimentation rates by white-filled circles (WR313-1 and GC955-1). Color images show water depth in meters.

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.