A conduit dilation model of methane venting from lake sediments
Scandella, Benjamin P.
Hemond, Harold F.
Ruppel, Carolyn D.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordGreenhouse gas; Methane flux; Freshwater methane; Gas conduits; Effective stress; Ebullition
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, but its effects on Earth's climate remain poorly constrained, in part due to uncertainties in global methane fluxes to the atmosphere. An important source of atmospheric methane is the methane generated in organic-rich sediments underlying surface water bodies, including lakes, wetlands, and the ocean. The fraction of the methane that reaches the atmosphere depends critically on the mode and spatiotemporal characteristics of free-gas venting from the underlying sediments. Here we propose that methane transport in lake sediments is controlled by dynamic conduits, which dilate and release gas as the falling hydrostatic pressure reduces the effective stress below the tensile strength of the sediments. We test our model against a four-month record of hydrostatic load and methane flux in Upper Mystic Lake, Mass., USA, and show that it captures the complex episodicity of methane ebullition. Our quantitative conceptualization opens the door to integrated modeling of methane transport to constrain global methane release from lakes and other shallow-water, organic-rich sediment systems, and to assess its climate feedbacks.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 38 (2011): L06408, doi:10.1029/2011GL046768.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Determining the flux of methane into Hudson Canyon at the edge of methane clathrate hydrate stability Weinstein, Alexander; Navarrete, Luis; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Weber, Thomas C.; Leonte, Mihai; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Arrington, Eleanor C.; Valentine, David L.; Scranton, Mary I.; Kessler, John D. (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-10-13)Methane seeps were investigated in Hudson Canyon, the largest shelf-break canyon on the northern U.S. Atlantic Margin. The seeps investigated are located at or updip of the nominal limit of methane clathrate hydrate ...
Methane fluxes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere at northern high latitudes during the past century : a retrospective analysis with a process-based biogeochemistry model Zhuang, Qianlai; Melillo, Jerry M.; Kicklighter, David W.; Prinn, Ronald G.; McGuire, A. David; Steudler, Paul A.; Felzer, Benjamin S.; Hu, Shaomin (American Geophysical Union, 2008-08-18)We develop and use a new version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) to study how rates of methane (CH4) emissions and consumption in high-latitude soils of the Northern Hemisphere have changed over the past century ...
Stable isotopic evidence in support of active microbial methane cycling in low-temperature diffuse flow vents at 9°50’N East Pacific Rise Proskurowski, Giora; Lilley, Marvin D.; Olson, Eric J. (2008-01)A unique dataset from paired low- and high-temperature vents at 9°50’N East Pacific Rise provides insight into the microbiological activity in low-temperature diffuse fluids. The stable carbon isotopic composition of CH4 ...