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Distribution, abundance and carbon isotopic composition of gaseous hydrocarbons in Big Soda Lake, Nevada: An alkaline, meromictic lake

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

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Abstract

Distribution and isotopic composition (??13C) of low molecular weight hydrocarbon gases were studied in Big Soda Lake (depth = 64 m), an alkaline, meromictic lake with permanently anoxic bottom waters. Methane increased with depth in the anoxic mixolimnion (depth = 20-35 m), reached uniform concentrations (55 ??M/l) in the monimolimnion (35-64 m) and again increased with depth in monimolimnion bottom sediments (>400 ??M/kg below 1 m sub-bottom depth). The ??13C[CH4] values in bottom sediment below 1 m sub-bottom depth (<-70 per mil) increased with vertical distance up the core (??13C[CH4] = -55 per mil at sediment surface). Monimolimnion ??13C[CH4] values (-55 to -61 per mil) were greater than most ??13C[CH4] values found in the anoxic mixolimnion (92% of samples had ??13C[CH4] values between -20 and -48 per mil). No significant concentrations of ethylene or propylene were found in the lake. However ethane, propane, isobutane and n-butane concentrations all increased with water column depth, with respective maximum concentrations of 260, 80, 23 and 22 nM/l encountered between 50-60 m depth. Concentrations of ethane, propane and butanes decreased with depth in the bottom sediments. Ratios of CH4 [C2H6 + C3H8] were high (250-620) in the anoxic mixolimnion, decreased to ~161 in the monimolimnion and increased with depth in the sediment to values as high as 1736. We concluded that methane has a biogenic origin in both the sediments and the anoxic water column and that C2-C4 alkanes have biogenic origins in the monimolimnion water and shallow sediments. The changes observed in ??13C[CH4] and CH4 (C2H6 + C3H8) with depth in the water column and sediments are probably caused by bacteria] processes. These might include anaerobic methane oxidation and different rates of methanogenesis and C2 to C4 alkane production by microorganisms. ?? 1983.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Distribution, abundance and carbon isotopic composition of gaseous hydrocarbons in Big Soda Lake, Nevada: An alkaline, meromictic lake
Series title:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume
47
Issue:
12
Year Published:
1983
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
First page:
2107
Last page:
2114