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Authors: Cremonini, S.* 
Etiope, G.* 
Italiano, F.* 
Martinelli, G.* 
Title: Evidence of Possible Enhanced Peat Burning by Deep-Origin Methane in the Po River Delta Plain (Italy)
Journal: Journal of Geology 
Series/Report no.: 4 / 116 (2008)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Issue Date: Jul-2008
DOI: 10.1086/588835
Keywords: Methane
gas flux
Po plain
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.05. Gases 
Abstract: A burning peat site in the Po Valley (Italy) has been investigated for the first time. Beyond the smoke from the smoldering combustion of peat, there are carbonatic concretions and huge amounts of methane in the soil (>60% by vol.), leading to fluxes to the atmosphere of the order of 10 to the power of 2/10 to the power of 3 mg m to the power of -2 d to the power of -1. A wide range of analyses (gas composition, stable isotopes of CH4 and CaCO3, methane radiocarbon) were performed in order to understand whether methane is produced by peat layers or seeps from deeper natural gas reservoirs. The quasi-fossil character of CH4, methane-derived carbonates, methane-stable isotopic compositions related to marine carbonates reduction, the presence of helium, and a fault corresponding to the burning site all converge to indicate that the major part of the methane ascends from deep horizons. Such methane seepage is likely to feed the peat combustion, explaining the observed phenomena and the large outbursts of historical gas-emission events.
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