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Long-lasting Microbial Methane Release at the Aquitaine Shelf Break (Bay of Biscay): Relation with the (Plio)-Pleistocene Sedimentary Progradation of the Continental Margin

Abstract : The recent identification of acoustic and visual gas release in the water column at the Aquitaine Shelf (140 and 220 m water depths) led to the discovery of a 200 km2 fluid system at the seafloor with 3000 bubbling sites associated with microbial methane (Dupré et al 2014; Ruffine et al. 2017). The moderate methane fluxes (measured in situ, on average 200 mLn/min per bubbling site) contribute to the formation of small-scale sub-circular authigenic carbonate mounds (with reliefs < 1 m in height) (Pierre et al. 2017). The emitted gases have neither a genetic link with thermogenic hydrocarbons from the Parentis Basin beneath, nor are issued from gas hydrate dissociation, but originate from microbial CO2 reduction. Based on estimated thickness and growth rate of authigenic carbonates, this system has lasted for at least several tens to possibly hundreds of kyears with a volume of escaping methane reaching 3.1012 Ln per 10 kyr. Seismic evidences for gas-charged layers and fossil authigenic carbonates point to organic matter source levels within the sedimentary deposits of the Late Pleistocene progradation system. The Aquitaine Shelf fluid system highlights the edge of continental shelves as preferential areas for bio-geological processes. The GAZCOGNE project is co-funded by TOTAL and IFREMER as part of the PAMELA (Passive Margin Exploration Laboratories) scientific project. References Dupré S, Berger L, Le Bouffant N, Scalabrin C, Bourillet J-F (2014) Fluid emissions at the Aquitaine Shelf (Bay of Biscay, France): a biogenic origin or the expression of hydrocarbon leakage? Cont. Shelf Res. 88:24-33 Pierre C, Demange J, Blanc-Valleron M-M, Dupré S (2017) Authigenic carbonate mounds from active methane seeps on the southern Aquitaine Shelf (Bay of Biscay, France): Evidence for anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane and submarine groundwater discharge during formation. Cont. Shelf Res. 133:13-25 Ruffine L, Donval J-P, Croguennec C, Bignon L, Birot D, Battani A, Bayon G, Caprais J-C, Lantéri N, Levaché D, Dupré S (2017) Gas Seepage along the Edge of the Aquitaine Shelf (France): Origin and Local Fluxes. Geofluids 2017:13
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02391748
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 4:40:12 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 22, 2020 - 12:39:00 PM

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Stéphanie Dupré, G. Michel, Catherine Pierre, Livio Ruffine, C. Scalabrin, et al.. Long-lasting Microbial Methane Release at the Aquitaine Shelf Break (Bay of Biscay): Relation with the (Plio)-Pleistocene Sedimentary Progradation of the Continental Margin. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2017, AGU, Dec 2017, New Orleans, United States. ⟨hal-02391748⟩

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