Climatically driven emissions of hydrocarbons from marine sediments during deglaciation
Hill, T. M.
Kennett, J. P.
Valentine, David L.
Reddy, Christopher M.
Nelson, Robert K.
Behl, R. J.
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Marine hydrocarbon seepage emits oil and gas, including methane (~30 Tg CH4/year), to the ocean and atmosphere. Sediments from the California margin contain preserved tar, primarily formed via hydrocarbon weathering at the sea surface. We present a record of variation in the abundance of tar in sediments for the past 32ky, providing evidence for increases in hydrocarbon emissions prior to and during Termination IA (16-14 ka) and again over Termination IB (11-10 ka). Our study provides the first direct evidence for increased hydrocarbon seepage associated with deglacial warming via tar abundance in marine sediments, independent of previous geochemical proxies. Climate-sensitive gas hydrates may modulate thermogenic hydrocarbon seepage during deglaciation.
Author Posting. © The Authors, 2006. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of National Academy of Sciences for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103 (2006): 13570-13574, doi:10.1073/pnas.0601304103.
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