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Authors: Grassa, F.*
Capasso, G.*
Favara, R.*
Inguaggiato, S.*
Faber, E.*
Valenza, M.*
Title: Molecular and isotopic composition of free hydrocarbon gases from Sicily, Italy
Title of journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Series/Report no.: 31 (2004)
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 2004
DOI: 10.1029/2003GL019362
Keywords: Isotopic composition/chemistry
Organic geochemistry
Abstract: Chemical and isotopic data have been used as geochemical tracers for a genetic characterization of hydrocarbon gases from a total of eleven manifestations located in Eastern and Central-Southern Sicily (Italy). The molecular analysis shows that almost all the samples are enriched in methane (up to 93.2% Vol.), with the exception of four gas samples collected around Mt. Etna showing high mantle-derived CO2 content. Methane isotope signatures suggest that these are thermogenic gases or a mixture between thermogenic gases and microbial gases. Although samples from some mud volcanoes in Southern Sicily (Macalube di Aragona) show isotope signatures consistent with a mixing model between thermogenic and microbial, by combining the molecular compositions (C1/(C2 + C3))and the methane isotope ratios (d13C1), such a process seems to be excluded. Therefore, the occurrence of secondary post-genetic processes should be invoked. Two main hypotheses have been considered: the first hypothesis includes that the gas is produced by microbial activity and altered post-genetically by microbial oxidation of methane, while according to the second hypothesis thermogenic gas have modified their molecular ratios due to vertical migration.
Appears in Collections:05.02.01. Geochemical data
04.08.01. Gases
03.04.06. Hydrothermal systems
Papers Published / Papers in press

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