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Quantitative analysis of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments: A modeling perspective
Regnier, P.; Dale, A. W.; Arndt, S.; LaRowe, D. E. ; Mogollón, J.; Van Cappellen, P. (2011). Quantitative analysis of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments: A modeling perspective. Earth-Sci. Rev. 106(1-2): 105-130.
In: Earth-Science Reviews. Elsevier: Amsterdam; Lausanne; London; New York; Oxford; Shannon. ISSN 0012-8252, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 229237 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    methane; marine sediments; anaerobic oxidation of methane; geomicrobiology; modeling

Authors  Top 
  • Regnier, P., more
  • Dale, A. W.
  • Arndt, S., more
  • LaRowe, D. E.
  • Mogollón, J.
  • Van Cappellen, P.

    Recent developments in the quantitative modeling of methane dynamics and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments are critically reviewed. The first part of the review begins with a comparison of alternative kinetic models for AOM. The roles of bioenergetic limitations, intermediate compounds and biomass growth are highlighted. Next, the key transport mechanisms in multi-phase sedimentary environments affecting AOM and methane fluxes are briefly treated, while attention is also given to additional controls on methane and sulfate turnover, including organic matter mineralization, sulfur cycling and methane phase transitions. In the second part of the review, the structure, forcing functions and parameterization of published models of AOM in sediments are analyzed. The six-orders-of-magnitude range in rate constants reported for the widely used bimolecular rate law for AOM emphasizes the limited transferability of this simple kinetic model and, hence, the need for more comprehensive descriptions of the AOM reaction system. The derivation and implementation of more complete reaction models, however, are limited by the availability of observational data. In this context, we attempt to rank the relative benefits of potential experimental measurements that should help to better constrain AOM models. The last part of the review presents a compilation of reported depth-integrated AOM rates (SAOM). These rates reveal the extreme variability of SAOM in marine sediments. The model results are further used to derive quantitative relationships between SAOM and the magnitude of externally impressed fluid flow, as well as between SAOM and the depth of the sulfate–methane transition zone (SMTZ). This review contributes to an improved understanding of the global significance of the AOM process, and helps identify outstanding questions and future directions in the modeling of methane cycling and AOM in marine sediments.

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