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Bo Barker Jørgensen

Global diffusive fluxes of methane in marine sediments

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  • Matthias Egger
  • ,
  • Natascha Riedinger, Oklahoma State Univ, Oklahoma State University System, Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, Boones Pickens Sch Geol
  • ,
  • Jose M. Mogollon, Univ Utrecht, University of Utrecht, Fac Geosci, Dept Earth Sci Geochem
  • ,
  • Bo Barker Jorgensen

Anaerobic oxidation of methane provides a globally important, yet poorly constrained barrier for the vast amounts of methane produced in the subseafloor. Here we provide a global map and budget of the methane flux and degradation in diffusion-controlled marine sediments in relation to the depth of the methane oxidation barrier. Our new budget suggests that 45-61 Tg of methane are oxidized with sulfate annually, with approximately 80% of this oxidation occurring in continental shelf sediments (<200 m water depth). Using anaerobic oxidation as a nearly quantitative sink for methane in steady-state diffusive sediments, we calculate that similar to 3-4% of the global organic carbon flux to the seafloor is converted to methane. We further report a global imbalance of diffusive methane and sulfate fluxes into the sulfate-methane transition with no clear trend with respect to the corresponding depth of the methane oxidation barrier. The observed global mean net flux ratio between sulfate and methane of 1.4: 1 indicates that, on average, the methane flux to the sulfate-methane transition accounts for only similar to 70% of the sulfate consumption in the sulfate-methane transition zone of marine sediments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume11
Issue6
Pages (from-to)421-25
Number of pages5
ISSN1752-0894
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • COUPLED ANAEROBIC OXIDATION, SULFATE REDUCTION, ORGANIC-MATTER, BALTIC SEA, ELECTRON-TRANSFER, AARHUS BAY, IRON, DRIVEN, BIOGEOCHEMISTRY, DEGRADATION

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