Widespread methane seepage along the continental margin off Svalbard - from Bjørnøya to Kongsfjorden


Contact
smau [ at ] marum.de

Abstract

Numerous articles have recently reported on gas seepage offshore Svalbard, because of gas emission that may be due to gas hydrate dissociation, possibly triggered by anthropogenic ocean warming. Here we report on findings for a much broader extent of seepage in water depths at and shallower than the gas hydrate stability zone. More than a thousand gas seepage sites imaged as acoustic flares generate a hundreds of kilometer-long plume. Most flares were detected in the vicinity of the Hornsund Fracture Zone. We postulate that the gas ascends from depth along the fracture zone; its discharge is focused on bathymetric highs and is constrained by glaciomarine and Holocene sediments in the troughs. A fraction of this dissolved methane (~1.8%) was oxidized whereas a minor but measureable fraction (0.05%) was transferred into the atmosphere in August 2015. The large scale seepage reported here is not linked to anthropogenic warming.



Item Type
Article
Authors
Divisions
Primary Division
Programs
Primary Topic
Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
41558
DOI 10.1038/srep4299

Cite as
Mau, S. , Römer, M. , Torres, M. E. , Bussmann, I. , Pape, T. , Damm, E. , Geprägs, P. , Wintersteller, P. , Hsu, C. W. , Loher, M. and Bohrmann, G. (2017): Widespread methane seepage along the continental margin off Svalbard - from Bjørnøya to Kongsfjorden , Scientific Reports, 7 (42997), pp. 1-13 . doi: 10.1038/srep4299


Share


Citation

Research Platforms

Campaigns


Actions
Edit Item Edit Item