Thermogenic hydrocarbons from the offshore Calypso hydrothermal field, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Botz , R., Wehner , H., Schmitt, M., Worthington , T., Schmidt, Mark and Stoffers , P. (2002) Thermogenic hydrocarbons from the offshore Calypso hydrothermal field, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Chemical Geology, 186 (3/4). pp. 235-248. DOI 10.1016/S0009-2541(01)00418-1.

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Abstract

Hydrothermal gases from shallow seafloor vents in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand contain CO2, CH4, and the higher gaseous hydrocarbons up to i-, n-C4H10. The gases are similar to those discharged at fumaroles on the nearby White Island. Carbon isotope compositions for CO2 fall between −3.4‰ and −5.5‰ PDB and reflect a shallow magmatic carbon source. The δ13C values of CH4 range from −24.6‰ to −28.9‰ PDB and the δD values vary between −122‰ and −135‰ SMOW. The CH4 isotope values and the presence of the higher hydrocarbon compounds such as C2H6 and C3H8 with δ13C values near −20‰ PDB suggest hydrocarbon production by high-temperature maturation of sedimentary organic matter and mixing (∼1:1) of the thermogenic CH4 with abiogenic CH4.

Long-chained hydrocarbons occur in dredged samples close to the active vents. Their n-alkane distribution has a high to moderate odd–even predominance and an extensive hopane series, indicative of higher land-plant waxes and prokaryotic membranes in the source. Substantial amounts of unsubstituted polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) mark the transition from aliphatic- to aromatic-dominated bitumens, consistent with extensive source maturation resulting from thermal stress. The bitumens are interpreted as pyrolysates derived from buried near-coastal vegetation and terrestrial detritus under various thermal regimes, mixed with immature seafloor organic matter.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Geochemistry; hydrothermal vents; hydrocarbons; carbon dioxide; methane; isotope ratios; TAUPO VOLCANIC ZONE; POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC-HYDROCARBONS; CARBON ISOTOPE FRACTIONATION; WHITE-ISLAND VOLCANO; BACK-ARC BASIN; RED-SEA; ORGANIC-MATTER; NATURAL GASES; NORTH-ISLAND; METHANE
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0009-2541(01)00418-1
ISSN: 0009-2541
Expeditions/Models:
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2011 09:34
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 07:59
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/11643

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