Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2016

Presentation information

International Session (Oral)

Symbol S (Solid Earth Sciences) » S-IT Science of the Earth's Interior & Techtonophysics

[S-IT12] Tectonic processes on the incoming plate seaward of the trench: Inputs to subduction zones

Mon. May 23, 2016 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM 201B (2F)

Convener:*Makoto Yamano(Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo), Tomoaki Morishita(School of Natural System, Colleage of Science and Technology, Kanazawa University), Gou Fujie(Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology), Susanne Straub(Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia Univ., USA), Chair:Tomoaki Morishita(School of Natural System, Colleage of Science and Technology, Kanazawa University)

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM

[SIT12-09] Deep methane and helium emissions at convergent plate boundaries

★Invited papers

*Yuji Sano1, Takanori Kagoshima1, Naoya Kinoshita1, Naoto Takahata1, Susumu Sakata2, Tefang Lan3, Hsinyi Wen4, Ai-Ti Chen4, Yama Tomonaga5 (1.Division of Ocean and Earth Systems, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 2.Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, 3.Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, 4.Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, 5.Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology)

Keywords:methane gas, helium isotope, plate boundary

Methane plays an important role in the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere and in the chemistry of ozone reduction. Major methane emissions into the atmosphere originate from the biosphere (e.g., wetlands, rice paddies and animals), the geosphere (e.g., hydrocarbon basins and geothermal areas) and anthropogenic activity (e.g., natural gas production and distribution, coal mining). Natural methane emission from the geosphere is generally characterized by a radiocarbon-free signature (age > 50 kyrs) and may preserve information on the deep fluid in the Earth’s crust. In this work, the origin of methane in forearc and volcanic arc regions at subduction zones, and collision zone at convergent plate boundaries is discussed using the carbon isotope composition of methane together with the abundances and isotope signatures of associated volatile elements such as helium, argon and nitrogen. We collected methane-rich natural gas samples in the South Kanto gas field in Japan and from mud volcanoes in South Taiwan. For comparison, we acquired natural gases in the Akita and Niigata gas fields located in the volcanic arc region of Japan. Chemical composition (CH4, C2H6, C3H8, CO2, N2, O2, Ar, and He abundances), carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures (13C/12C of CH4, 15N/14N), noble-gas isotope ratios (3He/4He, 4He/20Ne, and 40Ar/36Ar) were measured using a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a continuous flow GC-IRMS system, and a noble gas mass spectrometer, respectively. The methane-rich gas in the South Kanto gas field shows a typical microbial signature characterized by light carbon isotopes, high CH4/(C2H6 + C3H8) and low 3He/4He ratios, while the natural gases in the Akita and Niigata region show a thermogenic signature with prevalence of heavy carbon isotopes, low CH4/(C2H6 + C3H8) and high 3He/4He ratios. These observations are consistent with those reported in the literature. On the other hand, methane-rich gases from mud volcanoes in South Taiwan show heavy carbon isotopes, CH4/(C2H6 + C3H8) ratios between microbial and thermogenic signatures and variable 3He/4He ratios, a part of which cannot be explained by a simple binary mixing of microbial and thermogenic methane. We also measured helium and carbon isotopes of submarine hydrothermal systems close to the Tokara Islands and within Kagoshima Bay. Gas geochemistry of the collected seawater and porewater samples is compared with those from the Japan Trench and the Nankai Trough. Finally, all methane-rich gases from submarine and on-land expressions of fluid emission are discussed within the frame work of the respective geotectonic settings.