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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-Convener: Alina Stadnitskaia 
 / Mon, 09 Apr, 13:30–17:00
 / Attendance Mon, 09 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Session description:
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with ever-rising atmospheric concentrations. 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 dynamics 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 methane-related microbe-mineral interactions
- methane in paleo environments
- methane in ice
- new technologies, methods and approaches in methane biogeoscience
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 dynamics, 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 dynamics. 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 monitoring methane and other greenhouse gases.