The challenges of quantifying the carbon stored in Arctic marine gas hydrate

Marin-Moreno, Héctor; Giustiniani, Michela; Tinivella, Umberta; Piñero, Elena. 2016 The challenges of quantifying the carbon stored in Arctic marine gas hydrate. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 71. 76-82.

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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Marine and Petroleum Geology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was published in Marine and Petroleum Geology doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.11.014
Marin-Moreno_etal_2015.pdf - Accepted Version

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The quantification of the carbon stored in gas hydrate (GH) bearing marine sediments still remains a challenge. Despite recent efforts to develop approaches to better estimate the GH inventory globally, these estimates are still highly unconstrained due to insufficient field data and poor understanding of the mechanisms fuelling the GH stability zone (GHSZ). Here we use geophysically-derived GH saturations to constraint estimates of model-derived Arctic marine GH inventory at present. We also estimate the potential carbon released from GH dissociation under a seabed warming of 2 °C over 100 yr. We estimate an inventory ranging between 0.28 and 541 Gt of carbon, which upper bound results in average GH saturations of 0.25%. Our upper bound is mainly controlled by our imposed upwards carbon-rich fluid flow of 0.01 cm yr−1 and it is five times greater than the most recent estimate that only considers in-situ degradation of particulate organic carbon (POC). To obtain the seismically-inferred GH saturations of 5–10% offshore west of Svalbard and in the Beaufort Sea, an upwards advection of carbon-rich fluids equivalent to 0.02–0.04 cm yr−1 is required. This mechanism may be the most important source of carbon reaching the GHSZ in Arctic marine sediments. A 2 °C seabed temperature increase over 100 yr may reduce the GH inventory by about 88.44% (0.7 Gt C) if POC is the only source, and by about 5.4% (29.7 Gt C) if the main source of carbon is the upwards advection of carbon-rich fluids.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 02648172
Additional Keywords: Gas hydrate inventory; Uncertainty; Carbon-rich fluids; Ocean warming; Arctic
Date made live: 11 Feb 2016 14:07 +0 (UTC)

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