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Methane in the marine and terrestrial realm: geo(physical) aspects, biogeochemical cycling, microbial metabolisms, environmental impacts and climate change
Convener: Helge Niemann  | Co-Conveners: Tomas Feseker , Alina Stadnitskaia 
 / Thu, 16 Apr, 08:30–12:15
 / Attendance Thu, 16 Apr, 15:30–17:00

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. While anthropogenic sources are comparably well constrained, it is still a major challenge for science to understand and quantify the contribution of natural sources. One reason for this knowledge gap is that the spatial distribution of methane accumulations within marine and terrestrial realms are not fully resolved. Furthermore, geological and biogeochemical controls on methane cycling need further investigation for reliable estimations of the methane flux from individual sources to the atmosphere.

The topics of the session will include, but are not restricted to:

methane formation (biological and geological processes)
- subsurface fluid flow and methane/hydrocarbon transport mechanisms
geophysical manifestation of shallow gas and gas hydrates
thermal gradients and seepage mechanisms/dynamics
seep-related structures/systems
methane-rich, ‘terrestrial’ systems: wet lands (natural & artificial), lakes (from puddles to inland seas), rivers
geo- and bio-monitoring of methane emission
methane-associated microbial communities and biogeochemical reactions
methane in the food web
modelling of methane dynamics
methane-derived carbonates and microbe-mineral interactions
methane in paleo environments

The session will highlight the significance of (geo)physical, geological, (geo)chemical and (micro)biological controls on methane release in ocean, permafrost, wetlands and lake environments. We will also discuss recent advances on gas hydrate properties & occurrences in sediments. We aim at gathering scientists from the fields of geology, biogeochemistry, (geo)physics, modelling, chemistry, microbiology and ecology, to evaluate our current knowledge of marine and terrestrial methane turnover, interactions between element cycles and ecosystems, environmental controls and mechanisms. A further intention is to create synergies between marine and terrestrial sciences for a multifaceted view on methane cycling. This session is also an invitation to scientists from the wider field of environmental geo- and/or bio-engineering dealing with natural methane emissions as an alternative energy source. We also welcome specialists designing instruments for autonomous and continuous measurements of methane and other greenhouse gases.