Skip to main content

The influence of coupling mode of methane leakage and debris input on anaerobic oxidation of methane

Abstract

Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is an important biogeochemical process, which has important scientific significance for global climate change and atmospheric evolution. This research examined the δ34S, terrigenous clastic indices of TiO2 and Al2O3, and times for formation of the Ba front at site SH1, site SH3 and site 973–4 in the South China Sea. Three different coupling mechanisms of deposition rate and methane flux were discovered. The different coupling mechanisms had different effects on the role of AOM. At site 973–4, a high deposition rate caused a rapid vertical downward migration of the sulphate-methane transition zone (SMTZ), and the higher input resulted in mineral dissolution. At site SH3, the deposition rate and methane flux were basically in balance, so the SMTZ and paleo-SMTZ were the most stable of any site, and these were in a slow process of migration. At site SH1, the methane flux dominated the coupled mode, so the movement of the SMTZ at site SH1 was consistent with the general understanding. Understanding the factors influencing the SMTZ is important for understanding the early diagenesis process.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Berner R A. 1981. A new geochemical classification of sedimentary environments. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 51(2): 359–365

    Google Scholar 

  2. Dickens G R. 2001. Sulfate profiles and barium fronts in sediment on the Blake Ridge: Present and past methane fluxes through a large gas hydrate reservoir. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 65: 529–543, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7037(00)00556-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Dickens G R, Owen R M. 1996. Sediment geochemical evidence for an early-middle Gilbert (early Pliocene) productivity peak in the North Pacific Red Clay Province. Marine Micropaleontology, 27: 107–120, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-8398(95)00054-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Dong Huaimin, Sun Jianmeng, Zhu Jinjiang, et al. 2019. Developing a new hydrate saturation calculation mode for hydrate-bearing sediments. Fuel, 248: 27–37, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2019.03.038

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Egger M, Kraal P, Jilbert T, et al. 2016. Anaerobic oxidation of methane alters sediment records of sulfur, iron and phosphorus in the Black Sea. Biogeosciences, 13(18): 5333–5355, doi: https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-5333-2016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Egger M, Rasigraf O, Sapart C J, et al. 2015. Iron-mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane in brackish coastal sediments. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(1): 277–283

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Feng Dong, Chen Duofu. 2015. Authigenic carbonates from an active cold seep of the northern South China Sea: new insights into fluid sources and past seepage activity. Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 122: 74–83, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.02.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Feng Dong, Qiu Jianwen, Hu Yu, et al. 2018. Cold seep systems in the South China Sea: an overview. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 168: 3–16, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2018.09.021

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Hsu S K, Chiang C W, Evans R L, et al. 2014. Marine controlled source electromagnetic method used for the gas hydrate investigation in the offshore area of SW Taiwan. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 92: 224–232, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2013.12.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Jin Guangrong, Lei Hongwu, Xu Tianfu, et al. 2019. Seafloor subsidence induced by gas recovery from a hydrate-bearing sediment using multiple well system. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 107: 438–450, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2019.05.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Kotelnikova S. 2002. Microbial production and oxidation of methane in deep subsurface. Earth-Science Reviews, 58(3): 367–395

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Leventhal J S. 1983. An interpretation of carbon and sulfur relationships in black sea sediments as indicators of environments of deposition. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 47(1): 133–137, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-7037(83)90097-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Li Niu, Feng Dong, Chen Linying, et al. 2016a. Using sediment geochemistry to infer temporal variation of methane flux at a cold seep in the South China Sea. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 77: 835–845, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.07.026

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Li Niu, Feng Dong, Chen Linying, et al. 2017. Compositions of foraminifera-rich turbidite sediments from the Shenhu area on the northern slope of the South China Sea: implication for the presence of deep water bottom currents. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 138: 148–160, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2017.02.010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Li Chengfeng, Hu Gaowei, Zhang Wei, et al. 2016b. Influence of foraminifera on formation and occurrence characteristics of natural gas hydrates in fine-grained sediments from Shenhu area, South China Sea. Science China Earth Sciences, 59(11): 2223–2230, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-016-5005-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Li Li, Wang Hui, Luo Buchiren, et al. 2008. The characterizations and paleoceanographic significances of organic and inorganic carbon in northern South China Sea during past 40 ka. Marine Geology & Quaternary Geology (in Chinese), 28(6): 79–85

    Google Scholar 

  17. Lim Y C, Lin S, Yang T F, et al. 2011. Variations of methane induced pyrite formation in the accretionary wedge sediments offshore southwestern Taiwan. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 28(10): 1829–1837, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2011.04.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Lin S, Hsieh W C, Lim Y C, et al. 2006. Methane migration and its influence on sulfate reduction in the Good Weather Ridge region, South China Sea continental margin sediments. Terrestrial Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, 17: 883–902, doi: https://doi.org/10.3319/TAO.2006.17.4.883(GH)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Lin Zhiyong, Sun Xiaoming, Lu Yang, et al. 2017. The enrichment of heavy iron isotopes in authigenic pyrite as a possible indicator of sulfate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane: insights from the South China Sea. Chemical Geology, 449: 15–29, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.11.032

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Lin Zhiyong, Sun Xiaoming, Lu Yang, et al. 2018. Iron isotope constraints on diagenetic iron cycling in the Taixinan seepage area, South China Sea. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 168: 112–124, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2018.01.007

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Liu Xiaoyu, Feng Xiuli, Sun Yongfu, et al. 2019. Acoustic and biological characteristics of seafloor depressions in the North Yellow Sea Basin of China: Active fluid seepage in shallow water seafloor. Marine Geology, 414: 34–46, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2019.05.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Liu Tieshu, He Shibin. 2001. Deepwater hydrocarbon potential along the north continental margin, the South China Sea. China Offshore Oil and Gas (Geology) (in Chinese), 15(3): 164–170

    Google Scholar 

  23. Liu Jiarui, Izon G, Wang J, et al. 2018. Vivianite formation in methane-rich deep-sea sediments from the South China Sea. Biogeosciences, 15(20): 6329–6348, doi: https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-6329-2018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Liu Weiguo, Wang Zheng, Li Xiangzhong. 2016. The contribution of aquatic plants to sedimentary n-alkanes δ13c values using to qualify compositions of terrigenous plants in lake Qinghai on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary Sciences (in Chinese), 36(3): 623–629

    Google Scholar 

  25. Lloyd K G, Lapham L, Teske A. 2006. An anaerobic methane-oxidizing community of ANME-1b archaea in hypersaline Gulf of Mexico sediments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 72(11): 7218–7230, doi: https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00886-06

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Lu Yang, Liu Yufei, Sun Xiaoming, et al. 2017. Intensity of methane seepage reflected by relative enrichment of heavy magnesium isotopes in authigenic carbonates: A case study from the South China Sea. Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 129: 10–21, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2017.09.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Panieri G, Bünz S, Fornari D J, et al. 2017. An integrated view of the methane system in the pockmarks at Vestnesa Ridge, 79°N. Marine Geology, 390: 282–300, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2017.06.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Sato H, Hayashi K I, Ogawa Y, et al. 2012. Geochemistry of deep sea sediments at cold seep sites in the Nankai Trough: insights into the effect of anaerobic oxidation of methane. Marine Geology, 323–235: 47–55

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Shao Lei, Li Xuejie, Geng Jianhua, et al. 2007. Deep water bottom current sedimentation in the northern South China Sea. Science in China Series D (in Chinese), 50(7): 1060–1066, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-007-0015-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Su Zheng, He Yong, Wu Nengyou, et al. 2012. Evaluation on gas production potential from laminar hydrate deposits in Shenhu Area of South China Sea through depressurization using vertical wells. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 86–87: 87–98, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2012.03.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Su Ming, Hsiung Kanhsi, Zhang Cuimei, et al. 2015. The linkage between longitudinal sediment routing systems and basin types in the northern South China Sea in perspective of source-to-sink. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 111: 1–13, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2015.05.011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Su Ming, Xie Xinong, Wang Zhenfen, et al. 2016. Sedimentary evolution of the Central Canyon System in the Qiongdongnan Basin, northern South China Sea. Petroleum Research, 1: 81–92, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2096-2495(17)30033-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Tong Hongpeng, Feng Dong, Cheng Hai, et al. 2013. Authigenic carbonates from seeps on the northern continental slope of the South China Sea: new insights into fluid sources and geochronology. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 43: 260–271, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.01.011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Wang Changkun. 2013. The magnetic parameters and its environmental implications in sediments since late Pleistocene from Dongsha area, South China Sea (in Chinese). Beijing: China University of Geosciences

    Google Scholar 

  35. Wang Jiaze, Li Anchun, Xu Kehui, et al. 2015. Clay mineral and grain size studies of sediment provenances and paleoenvironment evolution in the middle Okinawa Trough since 17 ka. Marine Geology, 366: 49–61, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2015.04.007

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Wankel S D, Adams M M, Johnston D T, et al. 2012. Anaerobic methane oxidation in metalliferous hydrothermal sediments: influence on carbon flux and decoupling from sulfate reduction. Environmental Microbiology, 14(10): 2726–2740, doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1462-2920.2012.02825.X

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Wu Daidai, Xie Rui, Liu Jie, et al. 2020. Zone of metal-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane is an important sink for phosphorus in the Taixinan Basin, South China Sea. Marine Geology, 427: 106268, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2020.106268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Wu Nengyou, Yang Shengxiong, Wang Hongbin, et al. 2009. Gas-bearing fluid influx sub-system for gas hydrate geological system in Shenhu Area, northern South China Sea. Chinese Journal of Geophysics (in Chinese), 52(6): 1641–1650

    Google Scholar 

  39. Wu Nengyou, Zhang Haiqi, Yang Shengxiong, et al. 2011. Gas hydrate system of Shenhu area, northern South China Sea: geochemical results. Journal of Geological Research, 2011: 370298

    Google Scholar 

  40. Xie Rui, Wu Daidai, Liu Jie, et al. 2019. Evolution of gas hydrates inventory and anaerobic oxidation of methane (aom) after 40 ka in the Taixinan Basin, South China Sea. Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 152: 103084, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2019.103084

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Yao Bochu. 1996. Tectonic characterictics and evolution of the Nansha Trough. Gresearch of Eological South China Sea (in Chinese), (8): 1–13

  42. Zhang Jie, Lei Huaiyan, Chen Yong, et al. 2018a. Carbon and oxygen isotope composition of carbonate in bulk sediment in the southwest Taiwan Basin, South China Sea: methane hydrate decomposition history and its link to mud volcano eruption. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 98: 687–696, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.08.031

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Zhang Jie, Lei Huaiyan, Yang Ming, et al. 2018b. The interactions of P-S-Fe in sediment from the continental slope of northern South China Sea and their implication for the sulfate-methane transition zone. Earth Science Frontiers (in Chinese), 25: 285–293

    Google Scholar 

  44. Zhang Shengyin, Li Shuanglin, Dong Heping, et al. 2013. Distribution and source identification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon of surface sediments from the center part of South Yellow Sea, China. China Environmental Science (in Chinese), 33(7): 1263–1270

    Google Scholar 

  45. Zhang Wei, Liang Jinqiang, Lu Jing’an, et al. 2017. Accumulation features and mechanisms of high saturation natural gas hydrate in Shenhu Area, northern South China Sea. Petroleum Exploration and Development, 44(5): 708–719, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1876-3804(17)30082-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Zhang Weiyan, Zhang Fuyuan, Chen Ronghua, et al. 2002. Constituents of matter and sedimentation fluxes and sedimentation rates of deep-water sedimentation during the late pleistocene in the South China Sea. Acta Sedimentologica Sinica (in Chinese), 20(4): 668–674

    Google Scholar 

  47. Zhao Shaohua, Liu Zhifei, Chen Quan, et al. 2017. Spatiotemporal variations of deep-sea sediment components and their fluxes since the last glaciation in the northern South China Sea. Science China: Earth Sciences, 60(7): 1368–1381, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-016-9058-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Zheng Guodong, Xu Wang, Etiope G, et al. 2018. Hydrocarbon seeps in petroliferous basins in China: a first inventory. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 151: 269–284, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2017.10.037

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The samples were collected by the Haiyang-6 and GMGS1 Scientific Research Boat of the Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey, China. The authors thank the voyage scientists for their hard work in collecting the research samples. The authors also thank the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry CAS for total organic carbon analysis, Wuhan Institute of Science and Technology Co., Ltd. for trace elements analysis, and the Analysis and Testing Center of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan, China) for S isotope tests.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Daidai Wu.

Additional information

Foundation item

The Guangdong Basic and Applied Basic Research Fund Project under contract No. 2021A1515011509; the Municipal Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou under contract No. 201904010311; the Special Project for Marine Economy Development of Guangdong Province under contract No. GDME-2018D002.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Xie, R., Wu, D., Liu, J. et al. The influence of coupling mode of methane leakage and debris input on anaerobic oxidation of methane. Acta Oceanol. Sin. 40, 78–88 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13131-021-1803-5

Download citation

Key words

  • methane seep
  • terrestrial detrital material
  • anaerobic oxidation of methane
  • gas hydrate