Osmosampler: A Salt-Gradient Powered Probe Device To Provide Temporal Records Of Pore Fluid Concentrations In The Deep Seabed

Chanton, Jeffrey P.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
A specialized Pore-Fluid Array sampler (PFA) was designed to collect and store pore-fluids to monitor temporal changes of ions and gases in gas hydrate bearing sediments. We tested the hypothesis that pore-fluid chemistry records hydrate formation or decomposition events and reflects local seismic activity. The PFA is a seafloor probe that consists of an interchangeable instrument package that houses OsmoSamplers, long-term pore-fluid samplers; a specialized low-dead volume fluid coupler; and eight sample ports along a 10-meter sediment probe shaft. The PFA was deployed at Mississippi Canyon 118, a Gulf of Mexico hydrate site. A 160-day record was acquired from the overlying water (OLW) and 1.3 meters below seafloor (mbsf). Fluids were measured for dissolved chloride, sulfate, and methane concentrations and dissolved inorganic carbon and methane stable carbon and deuterium isotope ratios. Chloride and sulfate did not change significantly over time, suggesting the absence of gas hydrate formation or decomposition events. Over the temporal record, methane concentrations averaged 4 mM at 1.3 mbsf and was thermogenic in origin (d13C-CH4 = -32.4±3.4?). The timing of an anomalous 14 mM methane spike coincided with a nearby earthquake (Mw=5.8), consistent with the hypothesis that pore-fluid chemistry reflects seismic events. Keywords: Osmosampler, gas hydrate, methane, stable isotopes
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