Methane in Lake Erie: Analysis of Mechanics of Production and of Amounts Produced

Frea, James I.
Ward, Thomas E.
Mallard, Gail E.
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U.S Department of Commerce
Microbial methonogenisis in the sediment and water column of the Western and Central Basins of Lake Erie was studied. Year to year methane production varies, but relative methanogenesis by geographical location is constant with near shore and harbors having highest production. The Western Basin generally supports more methane production than the Central Basin. Four species of methanogenic bacteria, Methanobacterium ruminantium, Methanobacterium strain M.Q.H., Methanospirillum hungattii, and Methanosarcina barkerii, were shown by the direct fluorescent antibody technique to be distributed in specific locations in the Lake and its harbors. Laboratory study of these same methanogenic species showed that they produce an average of 1.2 umoles of methane per hour per 10^8 cells. Methane accumulation does not inhibit methane production; hydrogen depletion terminates production.
methane , production , Lake Erie