Spatial and temporal variation of methane emissions in the coastal Balearic Sea, Western Mediterranean.

Susana Flecha, Diego Rueda, Mercedes de la Paz, Fiz F Perez, Joaquín Tintoré, Iris E Hendriks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methane (CH4) gas is the most important GHG after carbon dioxide, with open ocean areas acting as discreet CH4 sources and coastal regions as intense but variable CH4 sources to the atmosphere. Here, we report CH4 concentrations and air-sea fluxes in the coastal area of the Balearic Islands Archipelago (Western Mediterranean Basin). CH4 levels and related biogeochemical variables were measured in three coastal sampling sites between 2018 and 2021, with two located close to the densely populated island of Mallorca and one in a pristine area in the Cabrera Archipelago National Park. CH4 concentrations in seawater during the study period ranged from 2.7 to 10.9 nM, without significant differences between the sampling sites. Averaged estimated CH4 fluxes during the sampling period for the three stations oscillated between 0.2 and 9.7 μmol m−2 d−1 according to a seasonal pattern and in general all sites behaved as weak CH4 sources throughout the sampling period.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161249
JournalThe Science of the total environment
StatePublished - Dec 30 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-04
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the Cabrera National Park staff for all help and facilitating the work performed during this study and the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) for their invaluable help and use of their fixed station in the Bay of Palma. We thank Carlos Alejandro Morell-Lujan Williams, Andrea Carbonero and Juan Martínez Ayala (SOCIB) for their assistance with sample collection and analysis. Funding for this work was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science (SumaEco, RTI2018-095441-B-C21), the Government of the Balearic Islands through la Consellería d'Innovació, Recerca i Turisme (Projecte de recerca científica i tecnològica SEPPO, PRD2018/18) and the 2018 call of BBVA Foundation ―Ayudas a equipos de investigación científica‖ as the Posi-COIN Project. SF acknowledges the financial support of a ―Margalida Comas‖ and ―Vicenç Munt Estabilitat‖ postdoctoral contracts and project AAEE111/2017 from the Balearic Islands Government and the PTA2018-015585-I funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, DRC was supported by the JAE- Intro 2021 CSIC fellowship Programme. MP acknowledges the financial support during the study period to the contracts funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science CTM2015-74510-JIN and PTA2019-017983-I. This work is a contribution to CSIC’s Thematic Interdisciplinary Platform PTI WATER:iOS. We thank the AQUANITROMET service of Instituto Investigaciones Marinas for the methane analyses.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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