Methane Dynamics in Sediments from Mangrove-dominated Costal Lagoons

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Pei-Chuan Chuang, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, United States, Adina Paytan, UCSC-Inst Marine Sciences, Santa Cruz, CA, United States and Megan B Young, USGS California Water Science Center Menlo Park, Menlo Park, CA, United States
Porewater methane and sulfate concentrations from cored sediments have been measured in two coastal mangrove ecosystems (Celestún and Chelem Lagoons) on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Methane exists in shallow sediments while sulfate is not depleted and stable carbon isotopes of methane (-87.27‰ ~ -62.08‰) imply high methane fluxes/production rates below and within the cored sediment depths. The preliminary results from a transport-reaction model show that methane emitted to the water column from these sediments could be 17.8 mg m-2 d-1 in Celestún Lagoon and much higher (565 mg m-2 d-1) in Chelem Lagoon. Since the water depths are shallow (mostly less than 100 cm), the high fluxes of methane could contribute to the atmosphere. The objectives of this study will aim to understand the biogeochemical cycles for methane and sulfate in sediments. A numerical transport-reaction model will be applied to the sedimentary geochemical data (methane, sulfate, chloride, particulate organic carbon (POC) and stable carbon isotopes of headspace methane) from the two lagoons to estimate sulfate reduction, methane oxidation and production rates and advective methane fluxes. The modeled results will be used to discuss the role of methane from mangrove areas and their potential contribution to the global methane cycle.