About this Research Topic
Methane hydrates and free gas present in sedimentary deposits at active and passive margins have been recognized as large reservoirs for reduced carbon in the Earth's crust. Gas release to the ocean is either caused by primary venting of free gas of biogenic or thermogenic origin or by destabilization of previously formed methane hydrates. Methane seepage into the ocean fuels chemosynthetic biological communities at the seafloor, supports the formation of new habitats through long-term precipitation of carbonate hard grounds, and potentially has a regional impact on the chemistry and biology of the overlying water column.
There has been a rapid advance in the discovery of these sites, with a new appreciation for the widespread nature of hydrate and methane fueled systems at both active and passive continental margins and the recognition that geological or environmental events, such as earthquakes, submarine landslides, and ocean warming, can alter the release of sequestered methane into the ocean. Repeat measurements or continuous in-situ observations from ocean observatory networks exhibit the variation and overall dynamics of the systems. These discoveries have expanded our understanding of the role and scale of hydrocarbon-based processes within the earth-ocean-atmosphere system.
This Research Topic in Frontiers in Earth Science seeks to combine multi-disciplinary research to assess the current baseline of methane seepage to the global oceans and its environmental impact as well as to highlight recent advances in natural methane seep and gas hydrate system sciences.
We welcome contributions including, but not limited to:
- Geophysical surveys of the subsurface;
- Regional mapping of bubble streams;
- Analyses of source gases and hydrate and their fate in the water column;
- Investigations of biogeochemical cycles at seep sites; and
- Ecosystem-based studies of seep-driven chemosynthetic environments.
The submission of Original Research, Reviews and Method papers is most encouraged, however, other formats are welcomed too.
Keywords: methane seeps, hydrate, continental margins, carbon, biogeochemical cycles
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.