Global rate and distribution of H2 gas produced by serpentinization within oceanic lithosphere


Journal Article

©2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. It has recently been estimated that serpentinization within continental lithosphere produces H2 at rates comparable to oceanic lithosphere (both are ~1011 mol H2/yr). Here we present a simple model that suggests that H2 production rates along the mid-oceanic ridge alone (i.e., excluding other marine settings) may exceed continental production by an order of magnitude (~1012 mol H2/yr). In our model, H2 production rates increase with spreading rate and the net thickness of serpentinizing peridotite (S-P) in a column of lithosphere. Lithosphere with a faster spreading rate therefore requires a relatively smaller net thickness of S-P to produce H2 at the same rate as lithosphere with a slower rate and greater thickness of S-P. We apply our model globally, incorporating an inverse relationship between spreading rate and net thickness of S-P to be consistent with observations that serpentinization is more common within lithosphere spreading at slower rates.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Worman, SL; Pratson, LF; Karson, JA; Klein, EM

Published Date

  • January 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 6435 - 6443

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1944-8007

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0094-8276

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/2016GL069066

Citation Source

  • Scopus