A study published in Nature Communications, April 2015, by Henrik Drake of Linnaeus University, Sweden, and colleagues, explores a previously unknown sink for the greenhouse gas methane at great depth in fractured granitic rock.
The methane in the granite is consumed through microbe-mediated anaerobic oxidation, a process dominantly described from marine seabeds where it significantly mitigates the escape of methane to the atmosphere. However, the methane oxidation deep in the granite shows several intriguing differences compared to marine seabeds.
What makes the methane oxidation in the energy-poor fractured granite unique compared to other environments is the previously unseen magnitude of 13C-depletion in the carbonates precipitated during the methane oxidation.
The isotopic composition of co-genetic sulphide and specific biomarkers (e.g. fatty acids) preserved within the carbonates suggest presence of syntrophic consortia of methane oxidisers and sulphate-reducers.
Another unique feature in the fractured granite is that methane formed at shallow depth and oxidised at several hundred meters depth at the transition to a deep-seated sulphate-rich saline water.
This spatial distribution of methane and sulphate is completely opposite to what is observed during methane oxidation in near surface environments such as seabeds.
This previously unknown methane-trapping process of surficial methane at the transition to a deep sulphate-rich water can theoretically be widespread in the sparsely investigated deep terrestrial landscape. This process can thereby be of importance for the carbon cycling within the upper crust and for preventing methane to reach the atmosphere.
The results are presented in the article ”Extreme 13C-depletion of carbonates formed during oxidation of biogenic methane in fractured granite” in Nature Communications (open access).
Contact: Henrik Drake, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Dahlgren | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen
Shallow soils promote savannas in South America
20.10.2017 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research