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New insights into the transport processes controlling the sulfate-methane transition-zone near methane vents
Sultan, N.; Garziglia, S.; Ruffine, L. (2016). New insights into the transport processes controlling the sulfate-methane transition-zone near methane vents. NPG Scientific Reports 6(26701): 9 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep26701
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Sultan, N.
  • Garziglia, S.
  • Ruffine, L.

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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