International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 100, Issue 6, pp 1413–1422

Anaerobic oxidation of methane in a cold-water coral carbonate mound from the Gulf of Cadiz

  • L. Maignien
  • D. Depreiter
  • A. Foubert
  • J. Reveillaud
  • L. De Mol
  • P. Boeckx
  • D. Blamart
  • J.-P. Henriet
  • N. Boon
Original Paper


The Gulf of Cadiz is an area of mud volcanism and gas venting through the seafloor. In addition, several cold-water coral carbonate mounds have been discovered at the Pen Duick escarpment amidst the El Arraiche mud volcano field on the Moroccan margin. One of these mounds -named Alpha mound- has been studied to examine the impact of the presence of methane on pore-water geochemistry, potential sulphate reduction (SR) rate and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) budget of the mound in comparison with off-mound and off-escarpment locations. Pore-water profiles of sulphate, sulphide, methane, and DIC from the on-mound location showed the presence of a sulphate to methane transition zone at 350 cm below the sea floor. This was well correlated with an increase in SR activity. 13C-depleted DIC at the transition zone (−21.9‰ vs. Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite) indicated that microbial methane oxidation significantly contribute to the DIC budget of the mound. The Alpha mound thus represents a new carbonate mound type where the presence and anaerobic oxidation of methane has an important imprint on both geochemistry and DIC isotopic signature and budget of this carbonate mound.


Cold-water carbonate mound Anaerobic oxidation of methane Gulf of Cadiz Methane 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Maignien
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Depreiter
    • 2
  • A. Foubert
    • 2
  • J. Reveillaud
    • 5
  • L. De Mol
    • 2
  • P. Boeckx
    • 4
  • D. Blamart
    • 3
  • J.-P. Henriet
    • 2
  • N. Boon
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology (LabMET)Ghent UniversityGentBelgium
  2. 2.Renard Center of Marine Geology (RCMG)Ghent UniversityGentBelgium
  3. 3.Laboratoire des Sciences de Climat et de l’EnvironnementLaboratoire mixte CNRS/CEAGif-sur-YvetteFrance
  4. 4.Laboratory of Applied Physical ChemistryGhent UniversityGentBelgium
  5. 5.Marine Biology LaboratoryGhent UniversityGentBelgium

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