The distribution of methane and hydrogen sulfide in basin sediments of the central and southern Baltic Sea

Schmaljohann, Rolf, Piker, L. and Imhoff, Johannes F. (1998) The distribution of methane and hydrogen sulfide in basin sediments of the central and southern Baltic Sea Meyniana, 50 . pp. 191-211.

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The distribution of methane and hydrogen sulfide concentrations in sediments of various basins of the Baltic Sea was investigated during 4 cruises in 1995 and 1996. Significant differences in the concentrations of both compounds were recorded between the basins and also between different areas within the Gotland Deep. High-methane sediments with distinctly increasing concentrations from the surface to deeper layers were distinguished from low-methane sediments without a clear gradient.
Methane concentrations exhibited a fair correlation with the sediment accumulation rate, determined by measuring the total thickness of the post-Ancylus Holocene sequence on echosounding profiles in the Gotland Deep. Only weak correlations were observed with the content of organic matter in the surface layers of the sediments. Hydrogen sulfide concentrations in the sediments showed a positive correlation with methane concentrations, but, in contrast to methane concentrations, were strongly influenced by the transition from oxic to anoxic conditions in the
water column between 1995 and 1996. Sediments in the deepest part of the Gotland Basin (> 237 m water depth), covering an area of approximately 35 km2, were characterized by especially high accumulation rates (> 70 cm/ka) and high methane and hydrogen sulfide contents. Concentrations of these compounds decreased rapidly towards the slope of the basin.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Methane, hydrogen sulfide, basin sediments, Baltic Sea
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-MI Marine Microbiology
Refereed: No
ISSN: 0076-7689
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2017 13:47

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