Methane in coastal and offshore waters of the Arabian Sea

Jayakumar, D. A. ; Naqvi, S. W. A. ; Narvekar, P. V. ; George, M. D. (2001) Methane in coastal and offshore waters of the Arabian Sea Marine Chemistry, 74 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0304-4203

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Measurements of methane (CH4) made during two surveys in the eastern and central Arabian Sea in April-May, 1996, and August-September, 1997, corresponding to late Spring Intermonsoon (SI) and Southwest Monsoon (SWM) seasons, respectively, revealed high spatial and temporal variability in surface saturation (110-2521%). The highest values were observed during the SWM in the inner shelf where coastal upwelling combined with freshwater runoff to produce very strong near-surface stratification. These values might result to a large extent from CH4 inputs from coastal wetlands through seasonal runoff as abnormally high saturations (up to ~13,000%) were recorded in the estuarine surface water. In situ production of CH4, favoured by very high biological production in conjunction with the prevalence of suboxic conditions in the upwelled water, could be the other major CH4 source. In comparison, sedimentary inputs of CH4 seemed to be of lesser importance in spite of previously-reported occurrence of gas-charged sediments in this region. Methane profiles in the open central Arabian Sea showed two maxima. The more pronounced deeper maximum, occurring at 150-200 m depth, was similar to the feature seen elsewhere in the oceans, but was probably intensified here due to an acute oxygen deficiency. It showed some correlation with the subsurface particle maximum characteristic of the denitrifying layer. The dominant mechanism of its formation might be in situ production within particles rather than advection from the continental shelf as concluded by previous workers. The less pronounced and previously unreported shallower maximum, occurring in the well-oxygenated upper 50 m of the water column, was more dynamic probably as a result of variability of the balance between CH4 production due to biological activity and its losses through microbial oxidation and air-sea exchange.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords:Methane; Carbon Cycling; Suboxic Environment; Coastal Upwelling; Arabian Sea
ID Code:21654
Deposited On:22 Nov 2010 11:06
Last Modified:08 Jun 2011 09:01

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