SOURCES, SINKS, AND CONCENTRATIONS OF LIGHT HYDROCARBONS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO

A survey of the concentrations of light hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico was made aboard the R.V. Alaminos. Coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico are not in equilibrium with the atmosphere insofar as low molecular weight hydrocarbons are concerned, even though methane in most of the open Gulf of Mexico is in fairly close equilibrium with the atmosphere. The coastal waters of the gulf act both as a source and as a sink for atmospheric methane. The important man-derived sources of methane in the gulf are ports with their associated shipping and industrial activity, offshore petroleum drilling and production operations, and open ocean shipping activity. High light hydrocarbon concentrations have been found in the vicinity of a tanker discharging 'clean ballast water.' The important natural sources include seepage from oil and gas reservoirs and anaerobic production of methane. The main sink for atmospheric methane in the Gulf of Mexico is in the Yucatan area, where there is major upwelling of deep water with low hydrocarbon concentrations. (Modified author abstract)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Revision of report dated 17 Nov 72. Originally published in Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 78, No. 24, pp. 5248-5258, Aug. 20, 1973.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Texas A&M University, College Station

    Department of Oceanography
    College Station, TX  USA  77843
  • Authors:
    • Brooks, J M
    • Sackett, W M
  • Publication Date: 1973-3-28

Media Info

  • Pagination: 12 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00057256
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Contract Numbers: NSF-GX-30196
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 1974 12:00AM