Salt and Methane Generation Initiated by Membrane Polarisation
Earth Sciences
Volume 7, Issue 2, April 2018, Pages: 53-57
Received: Dec. 8, 2017; Accepted: Jan. 23, 2018; Published: Feb. 9, 2018
Views 338      Downloads 17
Zoltán Unger, Department of Geography, Eötvös Loránd University, Szombathely, Hungary; O&GD Central Ltd., Budapest, Hungary
David Leclair, O&GD Central Ltd., Budapest, Hungary
Article Tools
Follow on us
The existence of deep marine hypersaline anoxic basins (DHAB) has been well-documented starting with the MedRiff Project in the Eastern Mediterranean. We suppose that there is analogy between the recent and ancient DHABs. This premise allows us to hypothesize that some methane accumulations in geological reservoirs may have been generated by historical euryhaline bacteria. The extreme life conditions of the bacteria and the facieses, as found in currently existing supersaturated salt brines DHABs, may have also existed in the geological past. Since salt basins overlap some of the most productive gas provinces, this article aims to introduce a new approach to salt and methane generation. It highlights the need to reconsider the classical approach to salt and methane generation due to new observations. Hereby we describe a new mechanism for DHAB generation due to membrane polarization. These phenomena generate a surface on which seawater of normal salinity meets the underneath brine of high salinity, and there is no diffusion between them. Hence we presume that non-crystalized, over-pressured, salty brine is the appropriate material to trap and host methane. Following overburden by deposited basin sediments, this viscous, gas-saturated brine can be an engine for diapir formation, which is prior to the crystalline phase. This new idea redefines our search for salt and methane deposits yet it requires further research and consideration, along with the new approach of salt diapir formation in specific salt basins.
Salt and Methane Generation, DHAB, Membrane Polarization, Surface Tension, Flocculation, Coagulation, Reverse Osmotic Pressure, Salt Diapir Formation
To cite this article
Zoltán Unger, David Leclair, Salt and Methane Generation Initiated by Membrane Polarisation, Earth Sciences. Vol. 7, No. 2, 2018, pp. 53-57. doi: 10.11648/
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Antunes, A., Kamanda-Ngugi, D., Stingl, U., 2011, Microbiology of the Red Sea (and other) deep-sea anoxic brine lakes, Environmental Microbiology Reports 3 (4), pp. 416–433.
Arrhenius, S. & Lachman, R., 2003, The physical–chemical conditions relating to the formation of salt deposits and their application to geologic problems. In: Milestones in Geosciences (Ed. by Dr. Wolf-Christian Dullo), pp. 62-74.
Berry, F. A. F., 1969, Relative factors influencing membrane filtration effects in geologic environments, in Chemical Geology, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp. 295-301.
Borin, S., Brusetti, L., Mapelli, F., D’Auria, G., Brusa, T., Marzorati, M., Rizzi, A., Yakimov, M., Marty, D., De Lange, G. J., Van der Wielen, P., Bolhuis, H., McGenity, T. J., Polymenakou, P. N., Malinverno, E., Giuliano, L., Corselli, C., Daffonchio, D., 2008, Sulphur cycling and methanogenesis primarily drive microbial colonization of the highly sulfidic Urania deep hypersaline basin, in PNAS June 9, 2009 vol. 106 no. 239151-9156.
Cao, Fangyu & Liu, Ying & Xu, Jiajun & He, Yadong & Hammouda, B & Qiao, Rui & Yang, Bao. (2015). Probing Nanoscale Thermal Transport in Surfactant Solutions. Scientific Reports. 5. 16040. 10.1038/srep16040.
Corselli, C., Basso, D., Lange, G., Thomson, J., 1995, Mediterranean Ridge Accretionary Complex yields rich surprises, in EOS, Transactions AGU, 76, p. 313.
Clarke F. W., 1920, The data of geochemistry, USGS Bulletin 695, pp. 212-254.
Harris, G. D., 1908, Rock salt, its origin, geological occurrences, and economic importance in the state of Louisiana; Lousiana Geol. Survey Bull. 7, p. 173.
Jackson, M. P. A., Vendeville, B. C., Schultz-Ela, D. D., 1994, Structural Dynamics of Salt Systems, in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science Vol. 22, pp93-117.
Karisiddaiah, S. M., 2000, Diverse methane concentrations in anoxic brines and underlying sediments, eastern Mediterranean Sea Deep-Sea Research I 47 pp. 1999-2008.
MEDRIFF Consortium, 1995, Three brine lakes discovered in the seafloor of the Eastern Mediterranean. EOS, Transactions of American Geophysical Union 76, 313.
Franz Posepny, 1871, Studien aus dem Salinargebiete Siebenbürgen, p. 178.
Thomas S., 2008, Salt’s Effects on Petroleum Systems, GEOExPro, Vol. 5, No. 5.
Wanek, F., 2008, Az Erdélyi-medence földgáztelepeinek és azok felszíni jeleinek ismerete Nyulas Ferenc halálától, az 1908-as (újbóli) felfedezésig (The discovery history of the natural gas deposits from the Transylvanian Basin beginning with the death of Ferenc Nyulas until it’s (re) discovery in 1908), Műszaki Szemle (Technical Review), 44. Historia Scientiarum – 5. (Tudománytörténeti különkiadás /Special Issue in History of Sciences), 3-16.
Yakimov, M. M., La Cono, V., Slepak, V. Z., La Spada, G., Arcadi, E., Messina, E., Borghini, M., Monticelli, S. L., Rojo, D., Barbas, C., Golyshina, O. V., Ferrer, M., Golyshin, P., Giuliano, L., 2013, Microbial life in the Lake Medee, the largest deep-sea salt-saturated formation. Sci. Rep. 3, 3554.
Walls, M. L., 1998, Marine colloids: A neglected dimension. Nature 391, 530-531.
H. Ward, S. H (1990) Resistivity and Induced Polarization Methods. Geotechnical and Environmental Geophysics: pp. 147-190.
Science Publishing Group
NEW YORK, NY 10018
Tel: (001)347-688-8931