Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 3611-3626, 2006
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Effects of methane outgassing on the Black Sea atmosphere
K. Kourtidis, I. Kioutsioukis, and S. Rapsomanikis
Lab. of Atmospheric Pollution and Pollution Control Engineering of Atmospheric Pollutants, Dept. of Environmental Engineering, Demokritus University of Thrace, 67100 Xanthi, Greece

Abstract. Methane in air and seawater was measured in the Eastern Black Sea during the 10–18 December 1999 BIGBLACK project cruise. The measurements allowed for the calculation of supersaturation ratios and methane fluxes across the air-sea interface. CH4 mixing ratios in air were generally in the 1.8–2.0 ppmv range, while surface (4 m depth) seawater concentrations varied from 5 to 100 ppmv. Above active seep areas, the water was supersaturated at around 500% with respect to the overlying atmosphere. Accordingly, flux densities varied greatly and were up to 4000 umol m-2 day-1. In the Sevastopol harbour, supersaturations up to around 3000%, similar to those at the Danube Delta, were observed, while in the Istanbul harbour supersaturations could not be determined because the very high values of water concentrations have led to detector saturation. Simple modelling shows that the observed fluxes do not have any substantial impact in the methane content of the Black Sea atmosphere, as they could only raise its concentrations by less than 1 ppb. On the other hand, calculations performed as part of the CRIMEA project, show that mud volcano eruptions could episodically raise the methane concentrations well above their regional background for several tens of kilometres downwind.

Citation: Kourtidis, K., Kioutsioukis, I., and Rapsomanikis, S.: Effects of methane outgassing on the Black Sea atmosphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 3611-3626, doi:10.5194/acpd-6-3611-2006, 2006.
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