Gas hydrate destabilization: enhanced dewatering, benthic material turnover and large methane plumes at the Cascadia convergent margin.

Suess, Erwin, Torres, M., Bohrmann, Gerhard, Collier, R. W., Greinert, Jens , Linke, Peter , Rehder, Gregor, Tréhu, A., Wallmann, Klaus , Winckler, G. and Zuleger, E. (1999) Gas hydrate destabilization: enhanced dewatering, benthic material turnover and large methane plumes at the Cascadia convergent margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 170 . pp. 1-15. DOI 10.1016/S0012-821X(99)00092-8.

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Abstract

Mixed methane–sulfide hydrates and carbonates are exposed as a pavement at the seafloor along the crest of one of the accretionary ridges of the Cascadia convergent margin. Vent fields from which methane-charged, low-salinity fluids containing sulfide, ammonia, 4He, and isotopically light CO2 escape are associated with these exposures. They characterize a newly recognized mechanism of dewatering at convergent margins, where freshening of pore waters from hydrate destabilization at depth and free gas drives fluids upward. This process augments the convergence-generated overpressure and leads to local dewatering rates that are much higher than at other margins in the absence of hydrate. Discharge of fluids stimulates benthic oxygen consumption which is orders of magnitude higher than is normally found at comparable ocean depths. The enhanced turnover results from the oxidation of methane, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia by vent biota. The injection of hydrate methane from the ridge generates a plume hundreds of meters high and several kilometers wide. A large fraction of the methane is oxidized within the water column and generates δ13C anomalies of the dissolved inorganic carbon pool.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: gas hydrates; methane; helium; isotopes; hydrothermal vents; biota; oxidation; Cascadia subduction zone
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0012-821X(99)00092-8
ISSN: 0012-821X
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2008 15:05
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2017 08:16
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/4539

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