Dissolved methane concentration and flux in the coastal zone of the Southern California Bight-Mexican sector: Possible influence of wastewater


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Karel.Castro-Morales [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

We measured dissolved methane concentrations ([CH4]) in the coastal zone of the Southern California Bight-Mexican sector (SCBMex) during two cruises: S1 in the USA–Mexico Border Area (BA) during a short rainstorm and S2 in the entire SCBMex during a drier period a few days later. High spatial variability in surface mixed layer (ML) [CH4] was observed, ranging from 2.2 nmol L−1 to 17.8 nmol L−1. ML-[CH4] was supersaturated at all BA stations during both cruises. The highest [CH4] was 72.4 nmol L−1 (2819 % supersaturated) measured at 10 m depth during S2, about 3 km southwest of the discharge point of the South Bay Ocean Outfall (SBOO). Our results show an apparent connection between wastewater treatment discharges and [CH4]. Application of a sewer CH4 production model suggests that the SBOO may be a large source of CH4 to the BA and points to the need to consider point sources in developing coastal marine CH4 budgets for highly populated areas. Based on our data, the SCBMex appears to be a relatively strong source of CH4 to the atmosphere compared to other Pacific Basin areas. The average BA sea-to-air CH4 flux (F) during S1 was (15.5 ± 8.6) × 10−2 nmol m−2 s−1, about 1.5 times higher than F during S2, which had a flux of (9.5 ± 6.9) × 10−2 nmol m−2 s−1 mainly due to the higher wind speed during S1.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
35906
DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.04.017

Cite as
Castro-Morales, K. , Macias-Zamora, J. , Canino-Herrera, S. R. and Burke, R. A. (2014): Dissolved methane concentration and flux in the coastal zone of the Southern California Bight-Mexican sector: Possible influence of wastewater , Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 144 , pp. 65-74 . doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.04.017


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