A Persistent Oxygen Anomaly Reveals the Fate of Spilled Methane in the Deep Gulf of Mexico

  title={A Persistent Oxygen Anomaly Reveals the Fate of Spilled Methane in the Deep Gulf of Mexico},
  author={John D. Kessler and David L. Valentine and Molly C Redmond and Mengran Du and Eric W. Chan and Stephanie D. Mendes and Erik W. Quiroz and Christie J Villanueva and S. S. Shusta and Lindsay M Werra and Shari Yvon-Lewis and Thomas C. Weber},
  pages={312 - 315}
Methane released during the Deepwater Horizon blowout was degraded by methanotrophic bacteria. Methane was the most abundant hydrocarbon released during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Beyond relevancy to this anthropogenic event, this methane release simulates a rapid and relatively short-term natural release from hydrates into deep water. Based on methane and oxygen distributions measured at 207 stations throughout the affected region, we find that within ~120 days… 
The rise and fall of methanotrophy following a deepwater oil-well blowout
The blowout of the Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 injected up to 500,000 tonnes of natural gas, mainly methane, into the deep sea1. Most of the methane released was thought to
Rapid microbial respiration of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in offshore surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was one of the largest oil spills in history, and the fate of this oil within the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem remains to be fully understood. The goal of this
Succession of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in the aftermath of the deepwater horizon oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill produced large subsurface plumes of dispersed oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico that stimulated growth of psychrophilic, hydrocarbon degrading bacteria, but their relative importance was controlled by changes in hydrocarbon supply.
Microbial responses to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: from coastal wetlands to the deep sea.
Results have shown an unexpectedly rapid response of deep-sea Gammaproteobacteria to oil and gas and documented a distinct succession correlated with the control of the oil flow and well shut-in.
Nutrient depletion as a proxy for microbial growth in Deepwater Horizon subsurface oil/gas plumes
The Deepwater Horizon accident resulted in a substantial uncontrolled hydrocarbon release to the northern Gulf of Mexico, much of which was entrained in deep submerged plumes. While bio-degradation
Environmental controls on marine methane oxidation : from deep-sea brines to shallow coastal systems
Methane is the most abundant greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and accounts for ~25% of atmospheric warming since the onset of industrialization. Large amounts of methane are stored in the ocean
Assessment of the spatial and temporal variability of bulk hydrocarbon respiration following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • M. Du, J. Kessler
  • Environmental Science
    Environmental science & technology
  • 2012
Oxygen-based analyses suggest that methane was the dominant hydrocarbon controlling the bulk respiration rates, that the rates peaked around 11 July, and that the addition of dispersants to the wellhead effectively accelerated hydrocarbon respiration.
Comment on “A Persistent Oxygen Anomaly Reveals the Fate of Spilled Methane in the Deep Gulf of Mexico”
The evidence explicitly linking observed oxygen anomalies to methane consumption ambiguous and extension of these observations to hydrate-derived methane climate forcing premature is found.
Methane-oxidizing seawater microbial communities from an Arctic shelf
Abstract. Marine microbial communities can consume dissolved methane before it can escape to the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Seawater over the shallow Arctic shelf is characterized
Distinct methane-dependent biogeochemical states in Arctic seafloor gas hydrate mounds
This work investigates microbial communities in gas hydrate-bearing seafloor mounds at Storfjordrenna, offshore Svalbard in the high Arctic, where distinct methane concentration profiles are identified that include steady-state, recently-increasing subsurface diffusive flux, and active gas seepage.


Methane flux to the atmosphere from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster
The sea‐to‐air flux of methane from the blowout at the Deepwater Horizon was measured with substantial spatial and temporal resolution over the course of seven days in June 2010. Air and water
Propane Respiration Jump-Starts Microbial Response to a Deep Oil Spill
Investigation of deep underwater hydrocarbon plumes in the Gulf of Mexico found propane and ethane trapped in the deep water may promote rapid hydrocarbon respiration by low-diversity bacterial blooms, priming bacterial populations for degradation of other hydrocarbons in the aging plume.
The Source and Fate of Massive Carbon Input During the Latest Paleocene Thermal Maximum.
The deposition of a mud clast interval and seismic evidence for slope disturbance provide evidence to confirm the gas hydrate dissociation hypothesis and identify the Blake Nose as a site of methane release.
Deep-Sea Oil Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria
It is reported that the dispersed hydrocarbon plume stimulated deep-sea indigenous γ-Proteobacteria that are closely related to known petroleum degraders, and the potential exists for intrinsic bioremediation of the oil plume in the deep-water column without substantial oxygen drawdown.
Tracking Hydrocarbon Plume Transport and Biodegradation at Deepwater Horizon
Results from a subsurface hydrocarbon survey using an autonomous underwater vehicle and a ship-cabled sampler indicate the presence of a continuous plume of oil, more than 35 kilometers in length, at approximately 1100 meters depth that persisted for months without substantial biodegradation.
Fate of rising methane bubbles in stratified waters: How much methane reaches the atmosphere?
There is growing concern about the transfer of methane originating from water bodies to the atmosphere. Methane from sediments can reach the atmosphere directly via bubbles or indirectly via vertical
Dissociation of oceanic methane hydrate as a cause of the carbon isotope excursion at the end of the Paleocene
Isotopic records across the “Latest Paleocene Thermal Maximum“ (LPTM) indicate that bottom water temperature increased by more than 4°C during a brief time interval (<104 years) of the latest