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

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Engelen,  B.
Marine Geochemistry Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Cypionka,  H.
ICBM MPI Bridging Group for Marine Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Treude,  T.
Flux Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Inagaki,  F.
Permanent Research Group Microsensor, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;
Microbial Habitat Group, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Engelen, B., Ziegelmueller, K., Wolf, L., Kopke, B., Gittel, A., Cypionka, H., et al. (2008). Fluids from the oceanic crust support microbial activities within the deep biosphere. Geomicrobiology Journal, 25(1), 56-66.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-CDBA-7
Abstract
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.