Modeling Of Chemosynthetic Ecosystem Around Methane Seepage And The Application For Hydrothermal Vents - Structure Of Ecosystem Model

Yamazaki, Tetsuo
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
Natural cold seepages are characterized as rapid upward transports of methane from deeper parts of geological structures to the seafloor. Thermogenic and/or biogenic methane generated in deep sediments moves up to seafloor, and major part of methane is consumed in anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and hydrogen sulfide is created in anaerobic sulfate reduction by consortium of microorganisms. Then the hydrogen sulfide is utilized by chemosynthetic communities near the seafloor, such as Acharax, Calyptogena, Bathymodiolus, and the mat-forming bacteria Beggiatoa (Fig. 1). When the supply of methane is large or rapid, remaining methane escapes from seafloor, and it is aerobically oxidized in seawater. A mass balance ecosystem model of chemosynthetic community around natural cold seepages in sediment layer and on seafloor has been created and improved by the authors (Yamazaki et al., 2005; Takeuchi et al., 2007). The model is constructed from 3 main processes as schematically shown in Fig. 2: (1) Methane supply process; (2) Ecosystem process; (3) Water column process. The part of chemosynthetic communities is in the ecosystem process. A numerical model CANDI (Carbon And Nutrient Diagenesis) was developed by Boudreau (1996) to simulate the biogeochemical processes such as organic matter, oxidant, nutrient, bi-product, and pH diagenesis in aquatic surface sediments. Then, the improved version named C. CANDI was developed (Luff and Wallmann, 2003; Luff et al., 2004). The authors created the same type carbon and nutrient diagenesis process model with calcium carbonate formation like C. CANDI (Yamazaki et al., 2005), and have added the sulfur oxidizing and immobilization processes (Takeuchi et al., 2007). The sulfur oxidizing and immobilization processes are connected with the carbon and nutrient diagenesis process model.
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