Bidirectional sulfate diffusion in saline-lake sediments: Evidence from Devils Lake, northeast North Dakota

Geology
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Abstract

Chemical and isotopic gradients in pore water in Devils Lake indicate that maximum rates of sulfate reduction occur between 1 and 3 cm depth in the bottom sediments. Dissolved sulfate diffuses into the sulfate-reduction zone upward from deeply buried saline pore water at an average rate of 1.4 x 10-5 μmol ⋅ cm-2 ⋅ s-1, and downward from the overlying water column at an average rate of 2.4 x 10-5 μmol ⋅ cm-2 ⋅ s-1. The result is a bidirectional flux of sulfate into the sulfate-reduction zone. Upward-diffusing sulfate provides a ready supply of electron acceptors for sulfate-reducing bacteria even at fairly great depths in the sediments. The abundance of electron acceptors enables sulfate-reducing bacteria to outcompete methanogenic bacteria for organic material and thereby suppress methane production. Suppression of methanogenesis may be widespread in sulfate-rich lakes and wetlands and may limit methane fluxes from these water bodies to the atmosphere.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Bidirectional sulfate diffusion in saline-lake sediments: Evidence from Devils Lake, northeast North Dakota
Series title Geology
DOI 10.1130/0091-7613(1992)020<0319:BSDISL>2.3.CO;2
Volume 20
Issue 4
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center, North Dakota Water Science Center, South Dakota Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geology
First page 319
Last page 322
Country United States
State North Dakota
Other Geospatial Devil's Lake
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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