EGU22-2002, updated on 27 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Insights on carbonate diagenesis in methanogenic zones from full-speciation reaction-transport modelling

Patrick Meister1, Gerhard Herda1, Elena Petrishcheva2, Susanne Gier1, Gerald R. Dickens3, Christian Bauer4, and Bo Liu5
Patrick Meister et al.
  • 1Department of Geology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 2Department of Lithospheric Research, University of Vienna, Austria
  • 3Department of Geology, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  • 4Institute of Mechanics and Mechatronics, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
  • 5Alfred-Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany

Diagenetic carbonates in marine sediments contribute to the global burial of carbonates (Schrag et al., 2013; Sun & Turchyn, 2014). The carbonates often form in zones of enhanced anaerobic microbial activity, where the consumption and release of metabolites leads to supersaturation of the porewater with respect to carbonate minerals.

Some diagenetic carbonates occur in zones of methanogenesis, where methane concentrations can be very high and reach gas hydrate stability. So far, it has not been clarified how carbonate formation is induced in methanogenic zones. The production of methane by both fermentation of acetate and reduction of carbonate by H2 is stoichiometrically linked to release of excess CO2 and, therefore, should lower carbonate supersaturation in the porewater.

Nevertheless, porewater extracted from drill-cores across methanogenic zones, as at ODP Site 1230 in the Peru-Chile Trench, shows very high total alkalinity of 150 mmol/l, buffering the acidification imposed by the CO2. Based on full-speciation reaction-transport modelling (Meister et al., 2022), it is possible to reproduce alkalinity production as a result of the combined effects of dissimilatory release of ammonia and dissolution/alteration of clay minerals under high pCO2 conditions. Hence, acidification of the fluid is buffered by mineral reactions. In this way, silicate alteration in marine sediments may represent a significant CO2 buffer that contributes to the formation and burial of diagenetic carbonates.

Schrag, D.P., Higgins, J.A., Macdonald, F.A., Johnston, D.T. (2013) Authigenic carbonate and the history of the global carbon cycle. Science 339, 540–3.

Sun, X., Turchyn A.V. (2014) Significant contribution of authigenic carbonate to marine carbon burial. Nature Geoscience 7, 201.

Meister, P., Herda, G., Petrishcheva, E., Gier, S., Dickens, G.R., Bauer, C., Liu, B. (2022) Microbial alkalinity production and silicate alteration in methane charged marine sediments: implications for porewater chemistry and diagenetic carbonate formation. Frontiers in Earth Science 9, 756591, 1-18.

How to cite: Meister, P., Herda, G., Petrishcheva, E., Gier, S., Dickens, G. R., Bauer, C., and Liu, B.: Insights on carbonate diagenesis in methanogenic zones from full-speciation reaction-transport modelling, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2002,, 2022.


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