Articles | Volume 7, issue 4
19 Apr 2010
 | 19 Apr 2010

Dissolved methane during hypoxic events at the Boknis Eck time series station (Eckernförde Bay, SW Baltic Sea)

H. W. Bange, K. Bergmann, H. P. Hansen, A. Kock, R. Koppe, F. Malien, and C. Ostrau

Abstract. Dissolved CH4 was measured in the water column at the Boknis Eck (BE) time series station in the Eckernförde Bay (SW Baltic Sea) on a monthly basis from June 2006 to November 2008. The water column at BE was always supersaturated with CH4 and, therefore, CH4 was released to the atmosphere throughout the sampling period: the mean CH4 surface (1 m) saturation at BE was 554±317%. A pulse of enhanced CH4 emissions occurs when the CH4 accumulation in the hypoxic bottom layer during summer is terminated in late summer/autumn. We did not detect a straightforward relationship between periods of enhanced CH4 in the bottom layer and hypoxic events at BE: the sedimentary release of CH4 seemed to be mainly triggered by sedimenting organic material from phytoplankton blooms. We conclude that future CH4 emissions from BE will be determined by the intensity of phytoplankton blooms, which in turn will be influenced by eutrophication. However, hypoxic events seem to have only a modulating effect on the enhancement of sedimentary methanogenesis and the subsequent release of CH4 to the water column.

Final-revised paper