Download URLhttps://www.bco-dmo.org/dataset/723493/data/download
Media Typetext/tab-separated-values
CreatedJanuary 12, 2018
ModifiedOctober 1, 2018
StatePreliminary and in progress
Brief DescriptionInventory of fluid and filter samples collected for carbon composition and isotope analysis

Acquisition Description

Detailed methodology for fluid recovery described in (Meyer et al., 2016).

All fluids transferred from sampling bags by peristaltic pump through Masterflex Bio-Pharm silicone tubing and PFA or PVDF fittings. All tubing and fittings precleaned with in 10% HCl and rinsed with MilliQ water.

Whole water samples transferred to pre-combusted amber glass bottles and sealed with PFTE-line lids and stored frozen at -80°C.

Samples meant for DIC and alkalinity measurements sampled according to NOSAMS protocol (http://www.whoi.edu/fileserver.do?id=75006&pt=2&p=75096). Poisoned samples stored at room temperature in the dark.

Samples meant for DOC analysis were filtered through pre-combusted 47 mm Sterlitech GF75 filters into pre-combusted amber glass bottles sealed with PFTE-lined lids. Sampled stored at ‑40°C until analysis.

Filters collected at the seafloor by the Mobile Pumping System (MPS) described in (Cowen et al., 2012).

Fluids filtered sequentially through 5 µm nylon woven mesh (Spectrum Labs), Whatman GF/F and Sterlitech GF75 and stored frozen at -80°C wrapped in pre-combusted aluminum foil.

Processing Description

BCO-DMO Processing:
- replaced spaces with underscores in parameter names;
- converted latitude and longitude to decimal degrees;
- replaced spaces with underscores in Location_Description.


Location_Description [site]
Location description/name
Sampling site identification.
Depth [depth]

Observation/sample depth below the sea surface. Units often reported as: meters, feet.

When used in a JGOFS/GLOBEC dataset the depth is a best estimate; usually but not always calculated from pressure; calculated either from CTD pressure using Fofonoff and Millard (1982; UNESCO Tech Paper #44) algorithm adjusted for 1980 equation of state for seawater (EOS80) or simply equivalent to nominal depth as recorded during sampling if CTD pressure was unavailable.

m_or_mbsf [unknown]
Indicates whether depth is water depth (m) or meters below seafloor (mbsf)
association with a community-wide standard parameter is not yet defined
Date_Sampled [date]
Date of sampling formatted as mm/dd/yyyy

date; generally reported in GMT as YYYYMMDD (year; month; day); also as MMDD (month; day); EqPac dates are local Hawaii time. ISO_Date format is YYYY-MM-DD (http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/iso8601.htm)

CTD_cast_or_Jason_Dive_Number [unknown]
"CTD" if CTD cast or Jason dive number
association with a community-wide standard parameter is not yet defined
Fluid_Volume_Sampled [unknown]
Fluid volume sampled
association with a community-wide standard parameter is not yet defined
Type_of_Sample_or_Treatment [sample_descrip]

Type of sample/treatment

text description of sample collected
storage_conditions [sample_descrip]
Description of storage conditions
text description of sample collected
notes [comment]
free text comments, may only have meaning to submitting PI

Dataset Maintainers

Peter R. GirguisHarvard University
Sunita R. Shah WalterHarvard University
Shannon RauchWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)

BCO-DMO Project Info

Project TitleCollaborative Research: A multidimensional approach to understanding microbial carbon cycling beneath the seafloor during cool hydrothermal circulation
AcronymSubseafloor Microbial Carbon Cycling
CreatedJune 24, 2016
ModifiedNovember 29, 2017
Project Description

NSF abstract:

The global ocean comprises Earth’s largest microbiome, with at least half of the ocean’s microbial biomass occurring beneath the ocean floor. In particular, oceanic crust encompasses the largest aquifer on Earth, with a liquid volume equal to approximately 2% of the ocean’s volume. It also harbors a substantial reservoir of microbial life that may influence global-scale biogeochemical cycles. This project investigates this largest actively flowing aquifer system on Earth- the fluids circulating through oceanic crust underlying the oceans and sediments. Despite advancing knowledge about life in the deep ocean, the understanding of microorganisms in the rocky oceanic crust and the fluids flowing through it remains rudimentary. This project is focused on understanding the linkages between microbial activity and the cycling of carbon in the cool, subseafloor biosphere. The balance between organic carbon-consuming and organic carbon-producing metabolisms within the crustal biosphere will be determined using seafloor observatories put in place by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) on the flanks of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, likely representative of the majority of global hydrothermal fluid circulation. The rates of microbial transformations of carbon will be determined using both geochemical and biological approaches. Results will help establish the extent to which microbially-mediated processes in the subseafloor influence carbon cycling in the ocean. This work will represent the first comprehensive description of carbon cycling in the cold oxic crustal aquifer. Two female postdocs will be supported on the grant, and both high school and community college students will also be involved through collaborations with Cape Cod Community College and Cambridge-Rindge and Latin School. The goal is to promote science, technology, engineering and math literacy among high-school and community college students through hand-on research experiences, peer-to-peer mentoring, and professional development opportunities. 

The goal of the project is to answer the question "is the cool crustal subseafloor biosphere net autotrophic or net heterotrophic?" The focus of the effort is at North Pond, an isolated sediment pond located on ridge flank oceanic crust 7-8 million years old on the western side of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The two objectives of the project are to:

1. Characterize suspended particles in subseafloor fluids with respect to their inorganic and organic carbon content, and natural 14C and 13C isotopic ratios, to determine microbially-mediated fluxes and processes.

2. Characterize the net influence of particle-associated and free-living microbial communities on subseafloor fluid primary production and remineralization, as well as the taxon-specific contributions to these same processes.

The integration of isotope geochemical and molecular biological approaches represents a significant cross-disciplinary advance in the understanding of the microbial ecology and geochemistry of the subseafloor biosphere in young oceanic crust and their role in maintaining global deep-sea redox balance. Expected outcomes include identifying signatures of autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism in particle-associated and free-living subseafloor microbial communities as well as quantification of autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism and associated taxon-abundances to provide insights into the net and specific microbial processes in crustal fluids on carbon fluxes.

Project Maintainers
Julie A. HuberWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)Lead Principal Investigator
Peter R. GirguisHarvard UniversityPrincipal Investigator