Geochemical and geological constraints on the composition of marine sediment pore fluid: Possible link to gas hydrate deposits

TitleGeochemical and geological constraints on the composition of marine sediment pore fluid: Possible link to gas hydrate deposits
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMazumdar, A, Joao, HM, Peketi, A, Dewangan, P, Kocherla, M, Joshi, RK, Ramprasad, T
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology

Pore water sulfate consumption in marine sediments is controlled by microbially driven sulfate reduction via organo-clastic and methane oxidation processes. In this work, we present sediment pore fluid compositions of 10 long sediment cores and high resolution seismic data from the Krishna–Godavari (K–G) basin, Bay of Bengal. Our results show occurrence of transient (S and kink types) and steady state (quasi-linear) sulfate concentration profiles which are attributed partly to the anaerobic oxidation of methane ( δ 13 C CH 4 : −84.8 to −100.1‰ VPDB) and organo-clastic sulfate reduction. Influence of AOM on alkalinity is evident from the presence of authigenic carbonate layers with highly depleted carbon isotope ratios in core MD161-8. The authigenic carbonates represent the paleo-SMTZs and suggest marked fluctuation in vertical methane flux. Our geophysical data show the acoustic signatures of upward fluid migration from shallow sub-surface, whereas, coring during NGHP expedition-01 confirms the presence of sub-surface gas hydrate deposits in K–G basin which can be linked to deep methane sources. The geochemical analysis suggests that shallow methane source can be attributed to high burial flux of labile organic matter due to high sedimentation rate. Sampling sites with high methane flux from the shallow gas source are characterized by quasi-linear sulfate concentration profile and a shallow sulfate methane transition zone (SMTZ) and may not be necessarily linked to deeper gas hydrate deposits. In contrast, the deep methane source results in a transient kink type sulfate profile and a deeper SMTZ. We have observed a close link between the occurrence of gas hydrate and the S/kink type sulfate profile. We interpret the short lived ‘kink’ in the sulfate profiles as a result of recent enhancement in vertical methane flux possibly driven by reactivation of fault-fractures systems which provide the conduits for fluid flow.