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Authors: Kordella, Stavroula* 
Ciotoli, Giancarlo* 
Dimas, Xenophon* 
Papatheodorou, George* 
Etiope, Giuseppe* 
Title: Increased methane emission from natural gas seepage at Katakolo Harbour (Western Greece)
Journal: Applied Geochemistry 
Series/Report no.: /116 (2020)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2020.104578
Abstract: Geological gas seepage in petroleum-bearing sedimentary basins is an important natural source of atmospheric methane. In methane budget models geological emissions are generally considered constant over time, not affecting decadal atmospheric methane changes. Here, we report the case of a considerable sub-decadal variation of methane seepage from one of the largest thermogenic gas seep sites in Europe, Katakolo Harbour (Western Peloponnese, Greece). Based on gas flux measurements by accumulation chamber performed in 2010 and 2018, methane emission from cracks and fissures throughout the asphalt and concrete pavement of the harbour increased about four times (from 57 to 225 kg d􀀀 1) with emission factor changing from ~4,000 to 15,000 t km􀀀 2 y􀀀 1. Multiple lines of evidence, including mechanical deformation and fissuring of concrete and asphalt pavement, increased exhalation with constant fissure conditions, and no significant cracking with operating corrosion from 2004 to 2010, suggest that the methane emission increase is mainly due to intensification of subsurface gas flow (seepage) after 2010. Deep gas pressure and fault permeability variations, likely induced by the numerous earthquakes of the region, might have played a role. We estimate that if similar short-term variations of emission factor occur in large seepage areas worldwide, the global geological methane emission can significantly change, contributing to decadal changes of atmospheric methane budget.
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