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

Geology

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DOI:10.1130/0091-7613(1992)020<0319:BSDISL>2.3.CO;2

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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
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