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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

Spatial distribution of methane in the Lake Biwa sediments and its carbon isotopic compositions

Jun Murase, Atsuko Sugimoto
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, P. 257-263, 2001


The spatial variation of methane contents and its stable carbon isotopic composition of sediments from a mesotrophic lake (Lake Biwa) were determined. Methane concentrations in the sediments (0–10 cm), ranging from 0.04 to 2.41 μmol ml-1, were weakly correlated with the amounts of organic carbon in the surface sediments (0–2 cm), but were poorly correlated with the nitrogen isotopic composition of the bulk sediments used as an indicator of the origin of the organic matter (autochthonous vs. allochthonous). The carbon isotopic composition of methane ranged from −61 to −80‰ and exhibited positive correlation with methane concentration and the carbon isotopic composition of total carbonate (ΣCO2). The apparent fractionation factor (αcCH4-CO2) between methane and ΣCO2 was in the range between 1.07 and 1.085, which were rather high compared to previously reported values in freshwater sediments. The results suggested that major parts of methane were produced via CO2-H2 in the Lake Biwa sediments.

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