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Authors: D'Alessandro, W.* 
Bellomo, S.* 
Brusca, L.* 
Fiebig, J.* 
Longo, M.* 
Martelli, M.* 
Pecoraino, G.* 
Salerno, F.* 
Title: Hydrothermal methane fluxes from the soil at Pantelleria island (Italy)
Issue Date: 2009
Series/Report no.: /187 (2009)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2009.08.018
Keywords: hydrothermal systems
gas geochemistry
isotope composition
methane output
methanotrophic consumption
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.01. Atmosphere::01.01.07. Volcanic effects 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
Abstract: Chemical and isotopic analyses of the main gas manifestations of the island of Pantelleria (Italy) were used to gain insight on the origin of the released methane. Results indicate that the most probable origin is through abiogenic reactions within the hydrothermal system. Methane and CO2 flux measurements from the soils were made with the accumulation chamber method in an area of about 0.015 km2 within the main fumarolic area of the island (Favara Grande). The 23 measurements range from –34 to 3550 mg m-2 d-1 for CH4 and from 0.6 to 379 g m-2 d-1 for CO2. The relationships between CH4 and CO2 fluxes and the CH4/CO2 ratios in the gases collected between 25 and 100 cm depth provide evidence for methanotrophic processes within the soils. Methane output for the surveyed area was calculated in 2.5 t a-1 and extrapolated to about 5-10 t a-1 for the entire volcanic/hydrothermal system of the island. Previous higher estimates of the CH4 output at Pantelleria (Etiope et al., 2007 - J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 165, 76 – 86) were based on soil CO2 output and CH4/CO2 ratios in fumarolic gases; the present work provides the first direct CH4 flux data and it suggests that methanotrophic activity in the soil could be substantial in reducing the CH4 emission to the atmosphere.
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