EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - BG6.04 Methane fluxes on continental margins: ecosystems, drivers and controls (co-listed in CL)

Event Information
The deposition of organic material at continental margins and its burial below the sulfate zone is the basis for a microbiological production of vast amounts of methane. Methane is an aggressive greenhouse gas when emitted into the atmosphere. The continuous methane formation in shelf and margin sediments may lead to accumulations of free gas, gas hydrate reservoirs, fluid and mud flow as well as locally focussed methane emission. Related to methane accumulation and transport complex subsurface and surface structures form such as gas chimneys, pockmarks, mud volcanoes and carbonate cements. If methane reaches the seafloor, it becomes the basis of spectacular chemosynthetic ecosystems. Furthermore, methane-derived carbonates form rare hard grounds on continental margins and attract specific benthic communities and fish. From biogeochemical research on methane fluxes in past and present times, new facts and hypotheses have emerged on drivers and controls of such methane-fuelled ecosystems. Furthermore, combinations of new high resolution and in situ methods from a variety of disciplines allow a better insight on the role of methane in shaping margin habitats and ecosystems.

This session will highlight the most recent views on gas driven surface and subsurface geo-bio-spheres, and look at the importance of physical, geological, chemical and biological factors in regulating methane emission. We would like to bring together experts from geophysics, geology, oceanography, geochemistry, numerical modeling, microbiology and ecology to discuss current knowledge on drivers and controls of methane fluxes and associated ecosystems. We welcome contributions from EU 6th FP IP HERMES, ESF EUROCORES EuroMargins and other recent and current projects on cold seeps, fluid flow, gas hydrates, methane cycling.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers


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