Methane gas dynamics in sediments of Lake Kinneret, Israel, and their controls: Insights from a multiannual acoustic investigation and correlation analysis

Regina Katsman, Ernst Uzhansky, Andrey Lunkov, Boris Katsnelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methane (CH4) is the simplest and most common hydrocarbon in nature. CH4 gas content is accommodated in discrete bubbles in shallow aquatic sediments. The bubble dynamics there are controlled by a diversity of physical, mechanical and biogeochemical processes that vary spatially and temporally over the aquatic ecosystem. Previous studies explored these controls on gas dynamics in shallow aquatic sediments mostly separately, despite of their coupled nature. In this study, a multiannual (2015–2021) acoustic database on gas content in sediments of Lake Kinneret, Israel is compiled. Gas content is evaluated by acoustic applications based on the sound speed inferred from the reflection coefficient. A multivariate linear regression is fitted and a closed form expression of gas content dependence on the following predictors, which change spatially and temporally over the lake, is obtained: 1) water depth; 2) short-leaving CH4 production rate peaks fueled by punctuated phytoplankton bloom crashes; and 3) CH4 bubble dissolution rates. Our comprehensive multidisciplinary analysis indicates that short-leaving CH4 production peaks act as major controls on sediment gas content in Lake Kinneret, where the hydrodynamic regime and sloping bottom transport the autochthonous organic matter toward the profundal lake zone. In contrast, the water depth predictor has the least significance, which is explained mainly by lack of ebullition in the deepest part of the lake. Our novel process-based correlation analysis enables quantification and prediction of gas content dynamics in sediments of Lake Kinneret under changing spatial and temporal conditions. Our modeling could be extended to other marine and lacustrine ecosystems with different predictors and temporal variability. Predicting CH4 gas content dynamics is important for accurate evaluation and even reduction of a long-persisting uncertainty related to CH4 flux from aquatic sediments and for assessment of sediment load-bearing capabilities affected by gas presence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170480
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.


  • Acoustic applications
  • Aquatic muds
  • Methane bubbles
  • Regression analysis
  • Sediment gas dynamics controls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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