Impact of sea-level and bottom water temperature change on methane-hydrate stability; IODP Site U1517, Hikurangi Margin

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Author(s): Screaton, Elizabeth; Torres, Marta E.; Dugan, Brandon; Heeschen, Katja U.; Mountjoy, Joshu J.; Owari, Satoko; Rose, Paula S.; Pecher, Ingo Andreas; Barnes, Philip M.; LeVay, Leah J.
International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), Expedition 372 Scientists
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University of Florida, Geological Sciences Department, Gainesville, FL, United States
Oregon State University, United States
Colorado School of Mines, United States
BGR, Germany
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
Chiba University, Japan
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, United States
University of Auckland, New Zealand
International Ocean Discovery Program, United States
Volume Title: AGU 2018 fall meeting
Source: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Vol.2018; American Geophysical Union 2018 fall meeting, Washington, DC, Dec. 10-14, 2018. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States
Note: In English
Summary: We present a simple evaluation of the changes in gas hydrate stability zones expected across the most recent glacial/interglacial to evaluate gas hydrate formation and dissociation across climatic conditions. We describe a numerical modeling approach which is used to test whether a broad peak in chloride concentrations observed in Site U1517 in the Hikurangi Margin could be due to recent downward migration of the base of gas hydrate stability (BGHS) following the last glacial maximum (LGM). These simulations of gas hydrate stability shifts consider sea-level changes, propagation of bottom-water temperature (BWT) changes into the sediment, and solute diffusion. Thermal and chloride diffusion are simulated using a one-dimensional fully-implicit finite-difference model. Our results indicate that although BWT changes affect the BGHS at Site U1517, simulations with and without BWT changes can create a broad chloride peak. If the Site U1517 chlorinity peak is due to recent methane-hydrate formation, this suggests that methane released by previous dissociation remains within the sediments to be re-sequestered as hydrate forms. In other words, there was no significant loss of methane to the bottom water. These results are in agreement with the majority of the literature based on analyses of sediment records, and consistent with observations that there is no methane signal in atmospheric records. The combined modeling and observations presented here suggest that continental margin systems are continuing to adapt to changing sea levels and bottom water temperatures. We indicate when chloride peaks can be expected to provide evidence about these changes and caution about the potential of misattribution to other processes. Interactions between methane hydrate dynamics and slope instability were also considered. Site U1517 was located to investigate the Tuaheni slide complex. P/T changes across glacial/interglacials likely resulted in generation of methane gas at the BGHS at some point. Even though methane accumulations may have impacted slope stability in some margins, that seems unlikely at the Tuaheni slide because gas hydrates at Site U1517 occur >65 meters beneath the slide mass.
Year of Publication: 2018
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
IODP2 International Ocean Discovery Program
Key Words: 02 Geochemistry; Aliphatic hydrocarbons; Alkanes; Expedition 372; Gas hydrates; Hikurangi Margin; Hydrocarbons; IODP Site U1517; International Ocean Discovery Program; Methane; Organic compounds; Pacific Ocean; Sea-surface temperature; South Pacific; Southwest Pacific; West Pacific
Coordinates: S384947 S384947 E1782834 E1782834
Record ID: 2019050442
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by, and/or abstract, Copyright, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States