C-DEBI Newsletter – April 15, 2016 This newsletter is also accessible via our website.
Mark your calendar for this month’s Networked Speaker Series talk by Dr. Olivia Nigro from the University of Hawaii, who will present “Viruses in the oceanic basement: An integral component of microbial life” on 4/28/16 at 9:30AM Hawaii Time/12:30PM PST/3:30PM EST (website; add to iCal, gCal, Outlook, Outlook Online, Yahoo! Calendar). The intent of these half-hour talks is to connect all of us interested “deeply” or broadly in the deep biosphere. Note, these early career investigators were nominated by members of the community for their exciting research and effective communication!
Congratulations also to former C-DEBI postdoctoral fellow Dr. Annie Rowe (USC) for receiving a USC Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) 2016 Merit Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research!
We present three-dimensional simulations of coupled fluid and heat transport in the ocean crust, to explore patterns and controls on ridge-flank hydrothermal circulation on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Field studies have shown that there is large-scale fluid flow in the volcanic ocean crust in this region, including local convection and circulation between two basement outcrops separated by ~50 km. New simulations include an assessment of crustal permeability and aquifer thickness, outcrop permeability, the potential influence of multiple discharging outcrops, and a comparison between two-dimensional (profile) and three-dimensional representations of the natural system. Field observations that help to constrain new simulations include a modest range of flow rates between recharging and discharging outcrops, secondary convection adjacent to the recharging outcrop, crustal permeability determinations made in boreholes, and the lack of a regional seafloor heat flux anomaly as a consequence of advective heat loss from the crust. Three-dimensional simulations are most consistent with field observations when models use a crustal permeability of 3 × 10−13 to 2 × 10−12 m2, and the crustal aquifer is ≤300 m thick, values consistent with borehole observations. We find fluid flow rates and crustal cooling efficiencies that are an order of magnitude greater in three-dimensional simulations than in two-dimensional simulations using equivalent properties. Simulations including discharge from an additional outcrop can also replicate field observations but tend to increase the overall rate of recharge and reduce the flow rate at the primary discharge site.
Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW), West Antarctica, is an active component of the subglacial hydrological network located beneath 800 m of ice. The fill and drain behavior of SLW leads to long (years to decades) water residence times relative to those in mountain glacier systems. Here, we present the aqueous geochemistry of the SLW water column and pore waters from a 38-cm-long sediment core. Stable isotopes indicate that the water is primarily sourced from basal-ice melt with a minor contribution from seawater that reaches a maximum of ∼6% in pore water at the bottom of the sediment core. Silicate weathering products dominate the crustal (non-seawater) component of lake- and pore-water solutes, and there is evidence for cation exchange processes within the clay-rich lake sediments. The crustal solute component ranges from 6 meq L–1 in lake waters to 17 meq L–1 in the deepest pore waters. The pore-water profiles of the major dissolved ions indicate a more concentrated solute source at depth (>38 cm). The combination of significant seawater and crustal components to SLW lake and sediment pore waters in concert with ion exchange processes result in a weathering regime that contrasts with other subglacial systems. The results also indicate cycling of marine water sourced from the sediments back to the ocean during lake drainage events.
Education & Outreach
C-DEBI: K-16 Educator Small Grants The K-16 Educator Small program supports K-16 teachers who have attended a C-DEBI educator training program and have incorporated C-DEBI content into their classrooms. These awards up to $2500 support items including but not limited to the following: funds for student field trips, classroom supplies, travel for presenting C-DEBI curriculum at educator meetings, or additional professional development directly related to C-DEBI research. Proposals for funding should indicate how C-DEBI research content is being translated into the classroom and how the proposed activities connect to that content. Applications due May 01, 2016.
IODP-USSSP: School of Rock: Hands-on Research Experiences for Earth and Ocean Science Educators We are pleased to announce the 2016 School of Rock: Exploring Ocean Cores and Climate Connections: From Antarctica Across the Southern Ocean. This professional development program for formal and informal science educators will be held May 29 – June 6, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa on board the JOIDES Resolution. During the 7-10 day School of Rock event, educators have daily opportunities to conduct geological, physical and/or chemical analyses of sediment and hard-rock cores in laboratories on the ship or at the repository. Scientists who specialize in IODP research instruct participants on topics such as seafloor spreading, mid-ocean ridges, composition and structure of the oceanic crust, paleomagnetism, paleoceanography, biostratigraphy, sedimentology, hydrogeology, and methods for sampling the subseafloor environment. The workshop also provides educators with time to brainstorm and begin planning classroom activities based on their research and newly acquired knowledge. If accepted, all expenses for your travel will be covered by the program. For questions, email Sharon Cooper: firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline is April 20, 2016 so apply now!
Shanghai JiaoTong University 2016 International Summer School: Package 9: Advanced Molecular Geomicrobiology Instructors: Fengping Wang, Heath Mills and Brandi Kiel Reese. Classroom theory-based material and laboratory hands-on exercises will explore the history, development, and application of multiple molecular geomicrobiological procedures central to the characterization of prokaryotic ecosystems. Traditional molecular geomicrobiological protocols such as environmental DNA isolation, PCR sequencing, fluoresence in-situ hybridization as well as special techniques focusing on deep-sea microbial cultivation, including high-pressure incubation and anaerobic techniques, will also be provided. The participants will have the chance to gain a working knowledge of multiple fundamental procedures in molecular geomicrobiology. We welcome students who wants to explore Shanghai and geomicrobiology. Application deadline: April 30, 2016.
Fluids contained in the basalt-hosted deep subsurface of the world’s oceans represent one of the most inaccessible and understudied biospheres on earth. Recent improvements in sampling infrastructure have allowed us to collect large volumes of crustal fluids (~104 L) from Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kits (CORKs) placed in boreholes located on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. We detected viruses within these fluids by TEM and epifluorescence microscopy in samples collected from 2010 to 2014. Viral abundance, determined by epifluorescence counts, indicated that concentrations of viruses in subsurface basement fluids (~105 ml-1) are lower than the overlying seawater, but are higher in abundance than microbial cells in the same samples. Analysis of TEM images revealed distinct viral morphologies (rod and spindle-shaped) that resemble the morphologies of viral families infecting archaea. There are very few, if any, direct observations of these viral morphologies in marine samples, although they have been observed in enrichment cultures and their signature genes detected in metagenomic studies from hydrothermal vents and marine sediments. Analysis of metagenomes from the JdFR crustal fluids revealed sequences with homology to bacterial viruses from families podoviridae, myoviridae and siphoviridae; and archaeal viruses from the rudiviridae, bicaudaviridae and fuselloviridae. Prokaryotic communities in fluids percolating through the basaltic basement rock of the JdFR flank are distinct from those inhabiting the overlying sediments and seawater. Likewise, our data support the idea that the viral assemblage in these fluids is distinct from viral assemblages in other marine and terrestrial aquatic environments. Our data also suggest that viruses contribute to the mortality of deep subsurface prokaryotes through cell lysis, and viruses may alter the genetic potential of their hosts through the processes of lysogenic conversion and horizontal gene transfer.
ECOGEO: Application for Training Workshop (25-26 Jul, Honolulu) is now open! We are happy to announce that the application for the 2nd ECOGEO workshop is now open. This workshop will focus on short workshop modules intended for early career researchers. We are looking for participants with a some knowledge or interest in ‘omics-based research but have not yet had a chance to gain much experience in applying these methods and tools to environmental ‘omics data experimental design and processing. Early career scientists, from students to new faculty, are encouraged to apply, so please forward this announcement to your networks! Completed applications will be reviewed in the order they are received, and we are limited to 45 participants.
DCO Symposium in Yokohama: Deep Life, Deep Energy, Reservoirs and Flues, and Extreme Physics and Chemistry, June 26, 2016 Recent progress of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is transforming our understanding of deep carbon in Earth. DCO leverages the knowledge and skills of a global, interdisciplinary research community of scientists with a shared passion for transforming our knowledge of carbon. Carbon is the most versatile and influential of all chemical elements, yet its nature, extent, and behavior remain largely unexplored on a planetary scale. The international DCO science community will expand our knowledge of deep carbon and its impacts on the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Register by June 21, 2016.
UNOLS: Call for Nominations: Deep Submergence Science Committee Chair Position The UNOLS Deep Submergence Science Committee (DeSSC) is seeking nominations for the Chair position that will open in spring 2016. The DeSSC is the UNOLS Committee charged with providing oversight and advice to the National Deep Submergence Facility (NDSF) Operator on matters concerning utilization, upgrades, and long-term planning of its vehicles (Alvin, Jason, and Sentry). The Committee strives to maintain awareness of new scientific tools, the needs of the users for new sensors and equipment to address important scientific questions, and to provide this information to the NDSF Operator, UNOLS, and funding agencies (NSF, NOAA and ONR). The DeSSC Chair presides over the biannual DESSC meetings and serves as a liaison between the deep submergence community, the NDSF operator, and the funding agencies. Important activities underway that require the attention of the DeSSC Chair include leading DeSSC in providing advice and guidance to the NDSF, engaging the next generation of NDSF users, and advancing the deep-ocean research agenda/vision in the US, including leading the implementation of DESCEND2 workshop recommendations. The DeSSC Chair also serves as a member of the UNOLS Council, which meets twice annually in person and once via web conference. The Term of office for the Chair position is three years with the possibility of reappointment for a second term. The new Chair would assume his/her responsibilities after the spring DeSSC 2016 meeting. To assist in the transition of leadership, the current DeSSC Chair, Peter Girguis, will continue to serve on the committee (but as a regular member) through December 2016. Cut-off date: April 22, 2016.
IODP-USSP: Host An Ocean Discovery Lecture Are you interested in having an Ocean Discovery Lecturer like C-DEBI researchers Andy Fisher and Jason Sylvan speak at your institution? We accept applications from any U.S. college, university, or nonprofit organization, and the application period is open until May 20, 2016.
IODP-USSSP: Special Call for Applications for Expeditions 367 & 368 The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is seeking scientists with expertise in sedimentology, petrology, organic geochemistry, and nannofossil, foraminifer, and diatom micropaleontology to sail on Expeditions 367/368 South China Sea Rifted Margin aboard the JOIDES Resolution. These two expeditions aim to understand the mechanisms of lithospheric breakup at a non-volcanic rifted margin. The deadline to apply for this special call is May 02, 2016.
Don’t forget to email me with any items you’d like to share in future newsletters! We will also broadcast this information on our social media outlets, Twitter and Facebook. You are what makes our deep biosphere community!
Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI)
University of Southern California
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, AHF 209, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371
Phone: 708-691-9563, Fax: 213-740-2437
Exploring life beneath the seafloor and making transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins.