Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Abiotic Hydrocarbons Discharge from A Felsic Rock-Hosted Hydrothermal System

Version 1 : Received: 25 April 2020 / Approved: 27 April 2020 / Online: 27 April 2020 (03:44:32 CEST)

How to cite: Chen, X.; Schmidt, M.; Ono, S.; Chen, C.A.; Ye, Y. Abiotic Hydrocarbons Discharge from A Felsic Rock-Hosted Hydrothermal System. Preprints 2020, 2020040475 Chen, X.; Schmidt, M.; Ono, S.; Chen, C.A.; Ye, Y. Abiotic Hydrocarbons Discharge from A Felsic Rock-Hosted Hydrothermal System. Preprints 2020, 2020040475

Abstract

Abiogenic hydrocarbons are fundamentally important for understanding the deep microbial communities and the origin of life. The generation of abiogenic hydrocarbons was proposed to be limited to ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems, fueled by the serpentinization product H2. Here, we present the discharge of short-chain alkanes from an andesitic rock-hosted Lutao geothermal field in the north Luzon arc, carrying abiotic chemical and isotopic signals. These abiogenic hydrocarbons were generated from CO2-H2O-rich fluid inclusions, where the long-term storage since Lutao volcanism (~ 1.3 Ma) allowed overcoming the sluggish kinetics of CO2 to CH4 reduction at temperatures of 174 - 206 oC. Natural abiogenic production of hydrocarbons, therefore, can be more ubiquitous than previously thought. The hypothesis regarding the origin of methane in Earth’s early atmosphere and its implication to the origin of life may require reconsideration.

Subject Areas

abiotic; hydrothermal; methane; clumped isotope

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