Stromatolitic fabric of authigenic carbonate crusts in 4850 m water depth, Aleutian accretionary margin: Result of anaerobic methane oxidation by archaea at cold seeps

Greinert, Jens, Bohrmann, Gerhard and Elvert, M. (2002) Stromatolitic fabric of authigenic carbonate crusts in 4850 m water depth, Aleutian accretionary margin: Result of anaerobic methane oxidation by archaea at cold seeps International Journal of Earth Sciences, 91 . pp. 698-711. DOI 10.1007/s00531-001-0244-9.

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Abstract

Methane seepage leads to Mg-calcite and aragonite precipitation at a depth of 4,850 m on the Aleutian accretionary margin. Stromatolitic and oncoid growth structures imply encrustation of microorganisms (microbial mats) in the host sediment with a unique growth direction downward into the sediment, forming crust-shaped lithologies. Biomarker investigations of the residue after carbonate dissolution show strong enrichments in crocetane and archaeol, which contain extremely low δ13C values. This indicates the presence of methane-consuming archaea, and δ13C values of –42 to –51‰ PDB indicate that methane is the carbon source for the carbonate crusts. Thus, it appears that stromatolitic encrustations of methanotrophic anaerobic archaea probably occurs in a consortium with sulphate-reducing bacteria and that carbonate precipitation proceeds downward into the sediment, where ascending cold fluids provide a methane source. Strontium and oxygen isotope analyses as well as 14C ages of the carbonates suggest that the fluids come from deep within the sediment and that carbonate precipitation began about 3,000 years ago.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Aleutian accretionary margin · Anaerobic methane oxidation · Archaea · Fluid seepage · Stromatolitic fabric
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00531-001-0244-9
ISSN: 1437-3254
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2013 12:52
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2017 11:46
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/21401

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