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Distribution, Vertical Position And Ecological Implications Of Shallow Gas In Bahia Blanca Estuary (Argentina).


There has been a growing interest in the study of shallow gas due its importance in relation to the marine environment, climate change and human activities. In Bahia Blanca estuary, Argentina, shallow gas has a wide distribution. Acoustic turbidity and blanking are the main seismic evidence for the presence of shallow gas in the estuary. The former prevails in the inner sector of the estuary where gas is either near or in contact with the seabed. Gas deposits are generally associated with paleochannels corresponding to the Holocene paleodeltaic environment. Distribution studies of shallow gas in this estuary are necessary because its presence implies not only a geological risk for harbor activities but also because it may have noxious effects on the marine ecosystem, mainly on benthic communities. The comparison of benthic communities at a gas site (GS) with those at a control site (CS) indicated that gas could generate impoverishment in terms of individuals' abundance (GS: N = 357; CS: N = 724). Also, diversity indices showed great differences in the community structure at each site. This indicates that methane gas may act as a natural disturbance agent in estuarine ecosystems. The presence of gas in seabed sediments must therefore be taken into account when distribution studies are conducted of estuarine benthic communities.

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Title Annotation:Latest Research
Author:Bravo, M.E.; Aliotta, S.; Fiori, S.; Ginsberg, S.
Publication:Argentina Petrochemical
Date:Jul 17, 2019
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