Abstract

The production of methane in anoxic environments can lead to significant accumulations of this gas in appropriate marine sediments. However, the uniformly low methane concentrations in marine, anoxic, sulfate-reducing sea water and sediments represents a balance between production by methanogenic bacteria and consumption by sulfate-reducing bacteria. The primary sink for anaerobically generated methane in marine sediments is sulfate reduction, not aerobic oxidation.

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