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Scientific Reports






Hydrocarbon vents have recently been reported to contribute considerable amounts of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the oceans. Many such hydrocarbon vents widely exist in the northern South China Sea (NSCS). To investigate if these hydrocarbon vent sites release DOC, we used a real-time video multiple-corer to collect bottom seawater and surface sediments at vent sites. We analyzed concentrations of DOC in these samples and estimated DOC fluxes. Elevated DOC concentrations in the porewaters were found at some sites suggesting that DOC may come from these hydrocarbon vents. Benthic fluxes of DOC from these sediments were 28 to 1264 µmol m−2 d−1 (on average ~321 µmol m−2 d−1 which are several times higher than most DOC fluxes in coastal and continental margin sediments. The results demonstrate that the real-time video multiple-corer can precisely collect samples at vent sites. The estimated benthic DOC flux from the methane venting sites (8.6 x 106 mol y-1, is 24% of the DOC discharge from the Pearl River to the South China Sea, indicating that these sediments make an important contribution to the DOC in deep waters.


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Hung, C. W., Huang, K. H., Shih, Y. Y., Lin, Y. S., Chen, H. H., Wang, C. C., . . . Burdige, D. J. (2016). Benthic fluxes of dissolved organic carbon from gas hydrate sediments in the northern South China Sea. Scientific Reports, 6, 1-8. doi: 10.1038/srep29597


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