Sahy Diana

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Corrigendum to “Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps” [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 449 (2016) 332–344]

2017-08-03 , Prouty, Nancy G. , Sahy, Diana , Ruppel, Carolyn D. , Roark, E. Brendan , Condon, Daniel J. , Brooke, Sandra , Ross, Steve W. , Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.

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Focused fluid flow and methane venting along the Queen Charlotte fault, offshore Alaska (USA) and British Columbia (Canada)

2020-11-02 , Prouty, Nancy G. , Brothers, Daniel S. , Kluesner, Jared W. , Barrie, J. Vaughn , Andrews, Brian D. , Lauer, Rachel M. , Greene, H. Gary , Conrad, James E. , Lorenson, Thomas D. , Law, Michael D. , Sahy, Diana , Conway, Kim , McGann, Mary L. , Dartnell, Peter

Fluid seepage along obliquely deforming plate boundaries can be an important indicator of crustal permeability and influence on fault-zone mechanics and hydrocarbon migration. The ∼850-km-long Queen Charlotte fault (QCF) is the dominant structure along the right-lateral transform boundary that separates the Pacific and North American tectonic plates offshore southeastern Alaska (USA) and western British Columbia (Canada). Indications for fluid seepage along the QCF margin include gas bubbles originating from the seafloor and imaged in the water column, chemosynthetic communities, precipitates of authigenic carbonates, mud volcanoes, and changes in the acoustic character of seismic reflection data. Cold seeps sampled in this study preferentially occur along the crests of ridgelines associated with uplift and folding and between submarine canyons that incise the continental slope strata. With carbonate stable carbon isotope (δ13C) values ranging from −46‰ to −3‰, there is evidence of both microbial and thermal degradation of organic matter of continental-margin sediments along the QCF. Both active and dormant venting on ridge crests indicate that the development of anticlines is a key feature along the QCF that facilitates both trapping and focused fluid flow. Geochemical analyses of methane-derived authigenic carbonates are evidence of fluid seepage along the QCF since the Last Glacial Maximum. These cold seeps sustain vibrant chemosynthetic communities such as clams and bacterial mats, providing further evidence of venting of reduced chemical fluids such as methane and sulfide along the QCF.

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Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

2016-06-03 , Prouty, Nancy G. , Sahy, Diana , Ruppel, Carolyn D. , Roark, E. Brendan , Condon, Daniel J. , Brooke, Sandra , Ross, Steve W. , Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.

The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average View the MathML sourceδC13 signature of −47‰−47‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment–water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon (View the MathML sourceδC13 and View the MathML sourceΔC13) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U–Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7±0.6 ka14.7±0.6 ka to 15.7±1.6 ka15.7±1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0±0.7 ka1.0±0.7 ka to 3.3±1.3 ka3.3±1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that the Baltimore Canyon site probably has not been within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) in the past 20 ka, meaning that in-situ release of methane from dissociating gas hydrate cannot be sustaining the seep. We cannot rule out updip migration of methane from dissociation of gas hydrate that occurs farther down the slope as a source of the venting at Baltimore Canyon, but consider that the history of rapid sediment accumulation and overpressure may play a more important role in methane emissions at this site.