Abstract

Since their first discovery 20 years ago, numerous cold seeps have been found, mainly along active and passive continental margins. Methane gas plays a key role in the global carbon cycle and, as a highly potent greenhouse gas, in the control of the Earth's climate. In diffusion-controlled sediments, methane is completely oxidized within the sediment column and does not reach the overlying water. In contrast, at cold seeps, methane is transported to the sediment surface by advective forces. For geologic reasons, fluid advection and the respective methane flux are spatially and temporarily variable. Microbial communities of methane-oxidizing archaea in syntrophy with sulfate-reducing bacteria have been found to play a key role in consuming methane and thus controlling methane efflux from the sediments. Anaerobic oxidation of methane leads to the production of dissolved inorganic carbon and subsequent precipitation of carbonate, representing a permanent sink for methane-derived carbon. The metabolic pathway and the role of the different groups of methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria that are involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane remain poorly understood. There seem to be site-specific differences in the composition and function of the microbial communities. The upwelling of methane- and sulfide-rich fluids supports rich benthic communities of sulfur-oxidizing bacterial mats and abundant macrofauna species harboring thiotrophic or methanotrophic symbionts. Variation in fluid flow, and thus methane supply and hydrogen sulfide concentrations, are key factors controlling the occurrence and community structure of benthic communities.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound 90.0 East bound 180.0 West bound -180.0 South bound -90.0
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays

Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication - Monograph

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2005

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Monograph
marine
fluid flow drivers
geochemistry
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
90.0
East bound
180.0
West bound
-180.0
South bound
-90.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-ee30-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2009-10-07

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays