Methane-derived carbonate chimney cropping out along the Enza riverbed, N. Italy (Pic: D. Oppo)

Methane-derived authigenic carbonates are one of the main by-products of methane consumption within the near-seafloor subsurface. We investigate their role as a record of past and present methane discharge.

Despite the understanding of methane-derived carbonates increased in the last decade, the details of their formation remain poorly solved. Among everything, how do the processes involved in their precipitation respond to variations of methane flux associated with changes in the environment? How can we better use the biogeochemical signatures recorded in the carbonates to interpret variations in fluid composition over time?