Award Dates: May 1, 2016 — April 30, 2017
Direct access to the serpentinite subsurface: a biogeochemical investigation of fluids to characterize a unique habitat
PI: Susan Q. Lang (University of South Carolina)
Building on the synthesis of carbon reservoirs in Earth’s subsurface, this chapter focuses on the forms, cycling, and fate of the carbon supporting microbial life in the terrestrial and marine subsurface. As the subsurface is estimated to host a vast reservoir of life on Earth, identifying the carbon compounds that life uses for energy and growth is key to understanding ecosystem functioning in the past and at present, and also for extrapolating these findings to the search for life in the universe. This chapter highlights advances in quantifying small carbon compounds, measuring rates of carbon turnover, and the fate of carbon in the deep biosphere.