Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Previously unknown sink for methane deep discovered deep in granitic rock

08.05.2015

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.


Schematic image of the preferential occurrence of methane oxidation at the transition to a deep sulphate-rich water.

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, henrik.drake@lnu.se

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150507/ncomms8020/abs/ncomms8020.html

Christina Dahlgren | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Mars’ atmosphere well protected from the solar wind
08.12.2017 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

nachricht Study reveals significant role of dust in mountain ecosystems
07.12.2017 | University of Wyoming

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>