|Authors:||Berberich, Gabriele M.|
Ellison, Aaron M.
Berberich, Martin B.
|Title:||Can a red wood-ant nest be associated with fault-related CH4 micro-seepage?|
|Other Titles:||A case study from continuous short-term in-situ sampling|
|Abstract:||We measured methane (CH4) and stable carbon isotope of methane (δ13C-CH4) concentrations in ambient air and within a red wood-ant (RWA; Formica polyctena) nest in the Neuwied Basin (Germany) using high-resolution in-situ sampling to detect microbial, thermogenic, and abiotic fault-related micro-seepage of CH4. Methane degassing from RWA nests was not synchronized with earth tides, nor was it influenced by micro-earthquake degassing or concomitantly measured RWA activity. Two δ13C-CH4 signatures were identified in nest gas: −69‰ and −37‰. The lower peak was attributed to microbial decomposition of organic matter within the RWA nest, in line with previous observations that RWA nests are hot-spots of microbial CH4. The higher peak has not been reported in previous studies. We attribute this peak to fault-related CH4 emissions moving via fault networks into the RWA nest, which could originate either from thermogenic or abiotic CH4 formation. Sources of these micro-seepages could be Devonian schists, iron-bearing “Klerf Schichten”, or overlapping micro-seepage of magmatic CH4 from the Eifel plume. Given the abundance of RWA nests on the landscape, their role as sources of microbial CH4 and biological indicators for abiotically-derived CH4 should be included in estimation of methane emissions that are contributing to climatic change.|
|Subject Headings:||Red wood ants|
CH4; δ 13C-CH4
|Appears in Collections:||Arbeitsgebiet Bildsignalverarbeitung|
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