Formation of methane-related authigenic carbonates in a highly dynamic biogeochemical system in the Krishna–Godavari Basin, Bay of Bengal
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We report the abundant occurrence of authigenic Fe-rich carbonate, high Mg-calcite (HMC) and low Mg-calcite from 11 cores recovered from the Krishna–Godavari Basin (K–G Basin), Bay of Bengal. The cores were collected as part of the Indian gas hydrate exploration program on board R/V Marion Dufresne (MD-161: May, 2007) in different environments, including mounds (mud diapirs), mass flows, and hemipelagic sediments over a range of water depths from 647 to 2079 m. Authigenic carbonates range in size from 1 mm to 12 cm and display various morphologies like roundish or platy (micro-) nodules and tube-like forms. From the cores, 173 carbonate samples have been investigated for their depth distribution, mineralogy, geochemical and stable isotopic composition. The stable carbon isotopic composition of 46 out of 88 measured carbonate samples are around -50‰ which allows the differentiation into methane-related carbonates (HMC), especially at Sites 8 and 15, but also in low abundance at Sites 1, 5, 9 and 12. Results indicate that the carbonates at Site 8 and 15 represent paleo methane seepage locations. The Fe-rich carbonates occur abundantly at many sites in the K–G Basin. Their varying carbon isotopic composition indicates that probably not only sulfate reduction through organic matter degradation but also methanogenesis are the responsible processes for their formation.
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