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Mark Lever

Fluids from the oceanic crust support microbial activities within the deep biosphere

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Bert Engelen, University of Oldenburg
  • ,
  • Katja Ziegelmüller, University of Oldenburg
  • ,
  • Lars Wolf, University of Oldenburg
  • ,
  • Beate Köpke, University of Oldenburg
  • ,
  • Antje Gittel, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, University of Oldenburg
  • ,
  • Heribert Cypionka, University of Oldenburg
  • ,
  • Tina Treude, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
  • ,
  • Satoshi Nakagawa, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
  • ,
  • Fumio Inagaki, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
  • ,
  • Mark Alexander Lever
  • Bjørn Olav Steinsbu, University of Bergen
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Marine Ecology

The importance of crustal fluid chemical composition in driving the marine deep subseafloor biosphere was examined in northeast Pacific ridge-flank sediments. At IODP Site U1301, sulfate from crustal fluids diffuses into overlying sediments, forming a transition zone where sulfate meets in situ-produced methane. Enhanced cell counts and metabolic activity suggest that sulfate stimulates microbial respiration, specifically anaerobic methane oxidation coupled to sulfate reduction. Cell counts and activity are also elevated in basement-near layers. Owing to the worldwide expansion of the crustal aquifer, we postulate that crustal fluids may fuel the marine deep subseafloor biosphere on a global scale.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeomicrobiology Journal
Pages (from-to)56-66
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the crew, the shipboard scientific party of IODP Exp. 301 and the chief scientists for valuable support during the cruise. Special thanks go to Helge Nieman for his help with the AOM data analysis. This research used samples and data provided by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Funding for this research was provided by a grant of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • AOM, Deep biosphere, Exoenzymes, Expedition 301, Hydrothermal fluids, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, JOIDES Resolution, Juan de Fuca hydrogeology, Methanogenesis, Microbial activity, MPN, Oceanic crust, Rates, Subsurface microbiology, Sulfate reduction

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