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Atmospheric methane flux from bubbling seeps: spatially extrapolated quantification from a Black Sea shelf area
Greinert, J.; McGinnis, D.F.; Naudts, L.; Linke, P.; De Batist, M. (2010). Atmospheric methane flux from bubbling seeps: spatially extrapolated quantification from a Black Sea shelf area. JGR: Oceans 115(C1): 18 pp.
In: Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION: Washington. ISSN 2169-9275; e-ISSN 2169-9291, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Greinert, J., more
  • McGinnis, D.F.
  • Naudts, L., more
  • Linke, P.
  • De Batist, M., more

    Bubble transport of methane from shallow seep sites in the Black Sea west of the Crimea Peninsula between 70 and 112 m water depth has been studied by extrapolation of results gained through different hydroacoustic methods and direct sampling. Ship-based hydroacoustic echo sounders can locate bubble releasing seep sites very precisely and facilitate their correlation with geological or other features at the seafloor. Here, the backscatter strength of a multibeam system was integrated with single-beam data to estimate the amount of seeps/m2 for different backscatter intensities, resulting in 2709 vents in total. Direct flux measurements by submersible revealed methane fluxes from individual vents of 0.32–0.85 l/min or 14.5–37.8 mmol/min at ambient pressure and temperature conditions. A conservative estimate of 30 mmol/min per site was used to estimate the flux into the water to be 1219–1355 mmol/s. The flux to the atmosphere was calculated by applying a bubble dissolution model taking release depth, temperature, gas composition, and bubble size spectra into account. The flux into the atmosphere (3930–4533 mol/d) or into the mixed layer (6186–6899 mol/d) from the 21.8 km2 large study area is three times higher than independently measured fluxes of dissolved methane for the same area using geochemical methods (1030–2495 mol/d). The amount of methane dissolving in the mixed layer is 2256–2366 mol/d. This close match shows that the hydroacoustic approach for extrapolating the number of seeps/m2 and the applied bubble dissolution model are suitable to extrapolate methane fluxes over larger areas.

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