Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 30, Issue 3–4, pp 313–319 | Cite as

Isotopic composition of gas hydrates in subsurface sediments from offshore Sakhalin Island, Sea of Okhotsk

  • Akihiro HachikuboEmail author
  • Alexey Krylov
  • Hirotoshi Sakagami
  • Hirotsugu Minami
  • Yutaka Nunokawa
  • Hitoshi Shoji
  • Tatiana Matveeva
  • Young K. Jin
  • Anatoly Obzhirov


Hydrate-bearing sediment cores were retrieved from recently discovered seepage sites located offshore Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk. We obtained samples of natural gas hydrates and dissolved gas in pore water using a headspace gas method for determining their molecular and isotopic compositions. Molecular composition ratios C1/C2+ from all the seepage sites were in the range of 1,500–50,000, while δ13C and δD values of methane ranged from −66.0 to −63.2‰ VPDB and −204.6 to −196.7‰ VSMOW, respectively. These results indicate that the methane was produced by microbial reduction of CO2. δ13C values of ethane and propane (i.e., −40.8 to −27.4‰ VPDB and −41.3 to −30.6‰ VPDB, respectively) showed that small amounts of thermogenic gas were mixed with microbial methane. We also analyzed the isotopic difference between hydrate-bound and dissolved gases, and discovered that the magnitude by which the δD hydrate gas was smaller than that of dissolved gas was in the range 4.3–16.6‰, while there were no differences in δ13C values. Based on isotopic fractionation of guest gas during the formation of gas hydrate, we conclude that the current gas in the pore water is the source of the gas hydrate at the VNIIOkeangeologia and Giselle Flare sites, but not the source of the gas hydrate at the Hieroglyph and KOPRI sites.


Flare Pore Water Bottom Simulate Reflector Seepage Site Plot Capillary Column 
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We greatly appreciate the support of the shipboard crews of R/V Akademik M.A. Lavrentyev during the expeditions of LV32 (CHAOS1), LV36 (CHAOS2), and LV39 (CHAOS3). The CF-IRMS measurements were supported by Tomoko Kosaka, Takahiro Ozeki, and Yukihiro Saito. We also acknowledge the two reviewers for their helpful comments. This work was supported by funding agencies in Japan (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI 18206099 and 19550077, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology KAKENHI 19740323), the Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Grant PM08030, the Grant RFFI 06-08-96928, and the Grant Goskontract 02.515.11.5017.

Supplementary material

367_2009_178_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (32 kb)
ESM Table 2 Molecular and isotopic compositions of hydrate-bound gas at each of the sites located offshore Sakhalin Island, Sea of Okhotsk (n.d.: not determined). (PDF 32 kb)
367_2009_178_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (29 kb)
ESM Table 3 Molecular and isotopic compositions of dissolved gas in pore water at Hieroglyph, KOPRI, VNIIOkeangeologia, and Giselle Flare (n.d.: not determined). (PDF 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akihiro Hachikubo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexey Krylov
    • 2
  • Hirotoshi Sakagami
    • 1
  • Hirotsugu Minami
    • 1
  • Yutaka Nunokawa
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Shoji
    • 1
  • Tatiana Matveeva
    • 2
  • Young K. Jin
    • 3
  • Anatoly Obzhirov
    • 4
  1. 1.Kitami Institute of TechnologyKitamiJapan
  2. 2.All-Russia Research Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the World OceanSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Korea Polar Research InstituteIncheonSouth Korea
  4. 4.V.I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RASVladivostokRussia

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