In recent years, methane and other light hydrocarbons with an apparently abiotic origin have been identified in an increasing number of geologic fluids on Earth. These compounds have been found in a variety of geologic settings, including seafloor hydrothermal systems, fracture networks in crystalline rocks from continental and oceanic crust, volcanic gases, and gas seeps from serpentinized rocks (e.g., Abrajano et al. 1990; Kelley 1996; Sherwood Lollar 2002, 2008; Fiebig et al. 2007, 2009; Proskurowski et al. 2008; Taran et al. 2010b). Understanding the origin of these compounds has significant implications for...

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