Deep-biosphere methane production stimulated by geofluids in the Nankai accretionary complex

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  • Akira Ijiri, JAMSTEC, Res & Dev Ctr Submarine Resources
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  • Fumio Inagaki, JAMSTEC, Res & Dev Ctr Ocean Drilling Sci
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  • Yusuke Kubo, JAMSTEC, Ctr Deep Earth Explorat
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  • Rishi R. Adhikari, Univ Bremen, University of Bremen, Dept Geosci
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  • Shohei Hattori, Tokyo Inst Technol, Sch Mat & Chem Technol, Dept Chem Sci & Engn, Midori Ku
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  • Tatsuhiko Hoshino, Japan Agcy Marine Earth Sci & Technol JAMSTEC, Kochi Inst Core Sample Res, JAMSTEC, Res & Dev Ctr Submarine Resources
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  • Hiroyuki Imachi, JAMSTEC, Dept Subsurface Geobiol Anal & Res
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  • Shinsuke Kawagucci, JAMSTEC, Dept Subsurface Geobiol Anal & Res
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  • Yuki Morono, JAMSTEC, Res & Dev Ctr Submarine Resources
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  • Yoko Ohtomo, Hokkaido Univ, Fac Engn
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  • Shuhei Ono, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dept Earth Atmospher & Planetary Sci
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  • Sanae Sakai, JAMSTEC, Dept Subsurface Geobiol Anal & Res
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  • Ken Takai, Tokyo Inst Technol, Earth Life Sci Inst, Meguro Ku
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  • Tomohiro Toki, Univ Ryukyus, Fac Sci, Dept Chem Biol & Marine Sci
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  • David T. Wang, ExxonMobil Upstream Res Co
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  • Marcos Y. Yoshinaga, Univ Bremen, University of Bremen, Dept Geosci
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  • Gail L. Arnold
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  • Juichiro Ashi, Univ Tokyo, University of Tokyo, Atmosphere & Ocean Res Inst, Dept Chem Oceanog
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  • David H. Case, CALTECH, California Institute of Technology, Div Geol & Planetary Sci
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  • Tomas Feseker, GeoFact GmbH
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  • Kai-Uwe Hinrichs, Univ Bremen, University of Bremen, Dept Geosci
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  • Yojiro Ikegawa, Cent Res Inst Elect Power Ind, Civil Engn Res Lab
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  • Minoru Ikehara, Kochi Univ, Ctr Adv Marine Core Res
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  • Jens Kallmeyer, GFZ German Res Ctr Geosci, Helmholtz Association, Helmholtz-Center Potsdam GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Helmholtz Ctr Potsdam
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  • Hidenori Kumagai, JAMSTEC, Res & Dev Ctr Submarine Resources
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  • Mark A. Lever
  • Sumito Morita, Natl Inst Adv Ind Sci & Technol, Inst Georesources & Environm
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  • Ko-ichi Nakamura, AIST
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  • Yuki Nakamura, Univ Tokyo, University of Tokyo, Atmosphere & Ocean Res Inst, Dept Chem Oceanog
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  • Manabu Nishizawa, JAMSTEC, Dept Subsurface Geobiol Anal & Res
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  • Victoria J. Orphan, CALTECH, California Institute of Technology, Div Geol & Planetary Sci
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  • Hans Roy
  • Frauke Schmidt, Univ Bremen, University of Bremen, Dept Geosci
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  • Atsushi Tani, Osaka Univ, Osaka University, Grad Sch Sci, Dept Earth & Space Sci
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  • Wataru Tanikawa, JAMSTEC, Res & Dev Ctr Submarine Resources
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  • Takeshi Terada, Marine Works Japan Ltd
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  • Hitoshi Tomaru, Chiba Univ, Grad Sch Sci, Dept Earth Sci
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  • Takeshi Tsuji, Kyushu Univ, Dept Earth Resources Engn, Int Inst Carbon Neutral Energy Res
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  • Urumu Tsunogai, Nagoya Univ, Nagoya University, Grad Sch Environm Studies, Chikusa Ku
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  • Yasuhiko T. Yamaguchi, Lake Biwa Environm Res Inst
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  • Naohiro Yoshida, Tokyo Inst Technol, Earth Life Sci Inst, Meguro Ku

Microbial life inhabiting subseafloor sediments plays an important role in Earth's carbon cycle. However, the impact of geodynamic processes on the distributions and carbon-cycling activities of subseafloor life remains poorly constrained. We explore a submarine mud volcano of the Nankai accretionary complex by drilling down to 200 m below the summit. Stable isotopic compositions of water and carbon compounds, including clumped methane isotopologues, suggest that similar to 90% of methane is microbially produced at 16 degrees to 30 degrees C and 300 to 900 m below seafloor, corresponding to the basin bottom, where fluids in the accretionary prism are supplied via megasplay faults. Radiotracer experiments showed that relatively small microbial populations in deep mud volcano sediments (10(2) to 10(3) cells cm(-3)) include highly active hydrogenotrophic methanogens and acetogens. Our findings indicate that subduction-associated fluid migration has stimulated microbial activity in the mud reservoir and that mud volcanoes may contribute more substantially to the methane budget than previously estimated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4631
JournalScience Advances
Volume4
Issue6
Number of pages15
ISSN2375-2548
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

    Research areas

  • MULTIPLY-SUBSTITUTED ISOTOPOLOGUES, MARINE SUBSURFACE SEDIMENTS, CARBON ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION, SUBMARINE MUD VOLCANO, INTACT POLAR LIPIDS, FORE-ARC BASIN, SUBSEAFLOOR SEDIMENTS, MICROBIAL LIPIDS, CASCADIA MARGIN, ORGANIC-ACIDS

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