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Compositional variability and air-sea flux of ethane and propane in the plume of a large, marine seep field near Coal Oil Point, CA

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Mau,  S.
Microbial Habitat Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Mau, S., Heintz, M. B., Kinnaman, F. S., & Valentine, D. L. (2010). Compositional variability and air-sea flux of ethane and propane in the plume of a large, marine seep field near Coal Oil Point, CA. Geo-Marine Letters, 30(3-4), 367-378.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-CAC2-0
Abstract
Large quantities of methane (C1), ethane (C2), and propane (C3) emanate from shallow marine seeps near Coal Oil Point (COP), California. Concentrations of these gases were analyzed in the surface water down-current of the seep field over a 15-month period. The variable proportions of C1, C2, and C3 analyzed in gas bubbles emitted from 16 distinct seeps in the COP field encompass much of the variability found in the surface waters down-current. However, waters with disproportionate levels of C1 suggest the presence of additional C1 sources. Based on three spatial surveys, covering areas up to 280 km2, C2 and C3 air-sea fluxes were estimated to be in the order of 3.7 and 1.4 μmol day−1 m−2, respectively. Only 0.6% of C2 and 0.5% of C3 in the dissolved plume originating from the COP seep field are transferred to the atmosphere in the study area, with the fate of the remainder uncertain.