Surface to Lower Biosphere Limit: Long-term Geobiology Reference Transect Why Biology Needs a DUSEL. Duane P. Moser Desert Research Institute Las Vegas, NV. Outline:. Insights and frustrations from prior work General concepts to incorporate into design
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Surface to Lower Biosphere Limit: Long-term Geobiology Reference Transect
Why Biology Needs a DUSEL
Duane P. Moser
Desert Research Institute
Las Vegas, NV
Outline: Reference Transect
Why Long-Term Reference Transect and why DUSEL? Reference Transect
Learning from persistent challenges from past
The Witwatersrand Deep Microbiology Project Reference Transect
TC Onstott and many, many others
Cren Group 2 Reference Transect
"Subsurface" Group 2
Cren Group 1c
Cren Group 1b
Marine Group 1
Northam Group 1
"Sed Archaea 1"
16S rRNA Tree by Thomas Gihring
Science: Accepted pending revisions
L-H Lin, P-L Wang, D. Rumble, J. Lippmann-Pipke, E. Boice, L. Pratt, B. Sherwood Lollar, E. Brodie, T. Hazen, G. Andersen, T. DeSantis, D.P. Moser, D. Kershaw, and T.C. Onstott
Brett Tipple, 3.3 kmbls in Mpneng
Why Long-Term ? Crustal Biome
Microbial Community Development in Boreholes Crustal Biome
borehole fluid, 1 hour
borehole fluid, 48 hours
borehole fluid, 30 days
borehole fluid, 70 days
unweighted arithmetic average clustering based on binary, presence/absence distance measures
Bacterial 16S rDNA clone distribution
Percent of clones
Borehole fluids, 30 days:
Drilling fluid and service water communities no longer detected.
Desulfotomaculum and taxa deeply-branched Firmicutes appear.
Borehole fluid, 48 hours:
Still primarily Proteobacteria
Borehole fluid, 1 hour:
Most similar to the drilling fluid community.
Introduced community overprints indigenous community.
Divergent from service water.
Comamonadaceae, Hydrogenophaga, Thiobacillus, Thauera, Pseudomonas, Acenitobacter, Alishewanella, etc.
Borehole fluids, 70 days
Population has stabilized.
7 taxa closely-related to Desulfotomaculum and deeply-branched Firmicutes.
image courtest of Gordon Southam Crustal Biome
South Africa Subsurface Firmicute Groups (SASFG)
Major new bacterial lineages with one exception only found in South African subsurface below 1.5 km depth
Complete genome for SASFG-1 (LBNL). Sulfate reducing, spore former, motile, nitrogen fixer.
Tree by Thomas Gihring
Dec-98 Crustal Biome
Stable (Indigenous?) Populations
Bacterial T-RFLP data “community 16S rDNA fingerprint (3.2 kmbls Driefontein)”
Henderson Reference Transect Crustal Biome
In situ Experiments: Artificial Fracture Zone? Crustal Biome
Interface Between Oxic and Anoxic World Crustal Biome
Operation at ambient pressure?
New systems from industry/DOE (e.g. oil, geothermal)?
Conclusions Crustal Biome
Description of experiment: Crustal Biome a controlled platform for long-term geobiology laboratory, offering near-continuous coverage of an intact subsurface ecosystem block from shallow-aquifer to near the lower biosphere limit. the tracking of fluid migration in three dimensions and the testing of hypotheses concerning deep microbial colonization history. deep ecological reserve and gold-standard reference site, which could be sampled repeatedly over decades in response to new technologies.
Description of experiment: Crustal Biome Roughly ten side-wall boreholes of a minimum 500 m length ea. would be extended horizontally at interval, and into hotter depths by drilling into the mine floor. Holes would be sealed to ambient pressure and outfitted with sampling ports, packers and unreactive multilevel samplers to allow repeated sampling proximal to features and host rock types of interest. Holes in unsaturated zones would be sealed and packered to enable gas sampling and down-hole collection of surface biofilms. Microbial population structure in the boreholes would be assessed using the best available molecular tools, both temporally from time-zero and spatially to quantify the extent and persistence of mining-induced contamination. Facilities would be developed to enable to emplacement and recovery of long-term in situ mineral weathering and substrate addition experiments.
Anaerobic Ecosystems: Life’s Redox Footprint Crustal Biome
(What would you expect in the very deep subsurface?)
H20 + CO2
Nitrate and Mn(IV) Respiration
Fermentations (release H2)
Methanogenesis/Acetogenesis (consume H2)
1) No available respiratory electron acceptors?
A. Crustal Biome
Endolithic Sulfate Reducers
(a shot in the arm for radiolysis)
A. Witwatersrand quartzite core from 1.95 km depth in fracture zone. Pink = rhodamine tracer. B. 35S auto-radiographic image of core. C. Sulfate reducing bacteria with AgS xtals in pore.
Courtesy of Gordon Southam, Univ. of Western Ontario and Mark Davidson, Princeton University
Driefontein Consolidated Gold Mine Crustal Biome
D8A microbial population Crustal Biome
But wait a minute….. Crustal Biome
Methanogens and sulfate reducers are not supposed to cohabitate!
30 mM (radiolytic?) Sulfate
Vast excess (20,000 - 200,000 X) of abiogenic H2
An perfectly-poised, electron acceptor-controlled system?
CONTRIBUTORS Crustal Biome
TC Onstott , Mark Davidson, Bianca Mislowack Princeton U
Jim Fredrickson, Tom Gihring, and Fred Brockman PNNL
Lisa Pratt, Eric Boice Indiana Univ.
Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Julie Ward, Greg Slater U of Toronto
Gordon Southam, Greg Wanger U of Western Ontario
Ken Takai JAMSTEC
Brett Baker UC Berkeley
Tom Kieft New Mexico Tech
Sue Pfiffner, Tommy Phelps U of Tennessee, ORNL
Dave Boone, Adam Bonin, Anna Louise Reysenbach Portland State U
Johanna Lippmann U of Potsdam
Terry Hazen , Eoin Brodie, et al. LBNL
Li-Hung Lin National Taiwan U
Dawie Nel, Walter Seymor, Colin Ralston, etc. etc. Mine professionals
Rob Wilson and staff Turgis Ltd. Consultants
Derek Litterhauer and Esta VanHeerden Univ. of Free State
Chrissie Rey, Faculty, students and staff U of Witwatersrand
The western Witwatersrand Basin Crustal Biome
Dolomite (Ca2+/Na+ ratio 2.4)
Ventersdorp lava (Ca2+/Na+ ratio 1.4)
Witwatersrand quartzite (Ca2+/Na+ ratio 0.12)
d2H/d18O ratio and other chemistry matches other local waters aged to 3-30 MA
Hydrogen isotope equilibration temp = 60.5 oC e.g. 3 - 5 km source depth
54 oC temp is higher than geothermal gradient would predict (upwelling)
Ca2+/Na+ ratio and other geochem indicates water has not traversed shallower levels (lavas and dolomites)
Thus water most likely aged meteoric, with long flow path, trapped in the Witwatersrand Supergoup (nearest outcrop = 11 km away.
1) Boetius, A. 2005. Science, 307:1420-1422 Crustal Biome
2) Chapelle, F. H., . et al. 2002. Nature 415:312-315
3) Fry, N. K., J. K. Fredrickson, S. Fishbain, M. Wagner, and D. A. Stahl. 1997. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:1498-1504.
4) Kelly, D.S. et al. 2005, Science,307: 1428-1434
5) Stevens, T. O., and J. P. Mckinley. 1995. Science 270:450-454
From Kelly, D.S. et al. 2005, Science, 1428-1434