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Title: Assessing the response of methane hydrates to environmental change at the Svalbard continental margin

Abstract

This project reflects the results of cooperative research efforts between the US Department of Energy and scientists from Norway and Germany, who collaboratively designed the study, collected and analyzed samples from the water column and sediment and arrive at conclusions presented in joint publications. The main goal of the project was to assess the role of gas hydrate deposits in modulating methane discharge revealed through water column data, and assess the changes in environmental parameters, geochemical and microbiological conditions that drive the methane release in this high latitude region. Samples and data were collected from seven expeditions that encompassed extensive water column surveys, gravity coring, remotely-operated towed instrumentation and seafloor drilling campaigns. Geochemical and microbiological results were interpreted in the context of correlative geophysical data and numerical models, to generate a comprehensive and interdisciplinary view of the processes operating along the Svalbard margin. Incubation experiments complement the filed observations and provide additional data on the microbiological response to methane change. Collectively our results show that methane seepage in this margin is a component of a large methane plume, the Svalbard plume, which is not associated with gas hydrate processes. Consistently, numerical models of data from shallow (gravity cores offshore Storfjordrenna,more » bearing gas hydrate) and deep (MeBo drilling offshore Prins Karls Foreland) sediment samples show that methane and gas hydrate dynamics at sites that lie within the upper edge of gas hydrate stability are not responding to modern changes in bottom water temperature. Rather the data point to a long history of methane release, dominantly controlled by large scale Earth system changes (e.g., geology, oceanography, and glaciology) with gas hydrate as a temporary methane reservoir. Further results document the episodicity of the methane release, the role of microbes in sequestering methane carbon into authigenic carbonate, reaction networks involved in carbon recycling pathways at the sulfate-methane transition, and response of microbial communities to changes in methane flux allowing for a richer understanding of microbial ecology in response to change at methane seep sites.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE), Oil and Natural Gas (FE-30)
Contributing Org.:
Norwegian Centre of Excellence, Centre for Arctic gas hydrates, Environment, and Climate (CAGE), Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme (project number 223259), NORCRUST (project number 715 255150); Germany (German Research Foundation); MARUM University of Bremen, Deep Carbon Observatory
OSTI Identifier:
1479469
Report Number(s):
DE-FE-0013531-FinalReport
DOE Contract Number:  
FE0013531
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Arctic; methane seepage; gas hydrate; Svalbard

Citation Formats

Torres, Marta E., and Colwell, Frederick. Assessing the response of methane hydrates to environmental change at the Svalbard continental margin. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1479469.
Torres, Marta E., & Colwell, Frederick. Assessing the response of methane hydrates to environmental change at the Svalbard continental margin. United States. doi:10.2172/1479469.
Torres, Marta E., and Colwell, Frederick. Mon . "Assessing the response of methane hydrates to environmental change at the Svalbard continental margin". United States. doi:10.2172/1479469. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1479469.
@article{osti_1479469,
title = {Assessing the response of methane hydrates to environmental change at the Svalbard continental margin},
author = {Torres, Marta E. and Colwell, Frederick},
abstractNote = {This project reflects the results of cooperative research efforts between the US Department of Energy and scientists from Norway and Germany, who collaboratively designed the study, collected and analyzed samples from the water column and sediment and arrive at conclusions presented in joint publications. The main goal of the project was to assess the role of gas hydrate deposits in modulating methane discharge revealed through water column data, and assess the changes in environmental parameters, geochemical and microbiological conditions that drive the methane release in this high latitude region. Samples and data were collected from seven expeditions that encompassed extensive water column surveys, gravity coring, remotely-operated towed instrumentation and seafloor drilling campaigns. Geochemical and microbiological results were interpreted in the context of correlative geophysical data and numerical models, to generate a comprehensive and interdisciplinary view of the processes operating along the Svalbard margin. Incubation experiments complement the filed observations and provide additional data on the microbiological response to methane change. Collectively our results show that methane seepage in this margin is a component of a large methane plume, the Svalbard plume, which is not associated with gas hydrate processes. Consistently, numerical models of data from shallow (gravity cores offshore Storfjordrenna, bearing gas hydrate) and deep (MeBo drilling offshore Prins Karls Foreland) sediment samples show that methane and gas hydrate dynamics at sites that lie within the upper edge of gas hydrate stability are not responding to modern changes in bottom water temperature. Rather the data point to a long history of methane release, dominantly controlled by large scale Earth system changes (e.g., geology, oceanography, and glaciology) with gas hydrate as a temporary methane reservoir. Further results document the episodicity of the methane release, the role of microbes in sequestering methane carbon into authigenic carbonate, reaction networks involved in carbon recycling pathways at the sulfate-methane transition, and response of microbial communities to changes in methane flux allowing for a richer understanding of microbial ecology in response to change at methane seep sites.},
doi = {10.2172/1479469},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}