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Sample records for active seep sites

  1. Microbial community changes along the active seepage site of one cold seep in the Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Huiluo; Zhang, Weipeng; Wang, Yong; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    The active seepage of the marine cold seeps could be a critical process for the exchange of energy between the submerged geosphere and the sea floor environment through organic-rich fluids, potentially even affecting surrounding microbial habitats. However, few studies have investigated the associated microbial community changes. In the present study, 16S rRNA genes were pyrosequenced to decipher changes in the microbial communities from the Thuwal seepage point in the Red Sea to nearby marine sediments in the brine pool, normal marine sediments and water, and benthic microbial mats. An unexpected number of reads from unclassified groups were detected in these habitats; however, the ecological functions of these groups remain unresolved. Furthermore, ammonia-oxidizing archaeal community structures were investigated using the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene. Analysis of amoA showed that planktonic marine habitats, including seeps and marine water, hosted archaeal ammonia oxidizers that differed from those in microbial mats and marine sediments, suggesting modifications of the ammonia oxidizing archaeal (AOA) communities along the environmental gradient from active seepage sites to peripheral areas. Changes in the microbial community structure of AOA in different habitats (water vs. sediment) potentially correlated with changes in salinity and oxygen concentrations. Overall, the present results revealed for the first time unanticipated novel microbial groups and changes in the ammonia-oxidizing archaea in response to environmental gradients near the active seepages of a cold seep. PMID:26284035

  2. Microbial community changes along the active seepage site of one cold seep in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Cao, Huiluo; Zhang, Weipeng; Wang, Yong; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    The active seepage of the marine cold seeps could be a critical process for the exchange of energy between the submerged geosphere and the sea floor environment through organic-rich fluids, potentially even affecting surrounding microbial habitats. However, few studies have investigated the associated microbial community changes. In the present study, 16S rRNA genes were pyrosequenced to decipher changes in the microbial communities from the Thuwal seepage point in the Red Sea to nearby marine sediments in the brine pool, normal marine sediments and water, and benthic microbial mats. An unexpected number of reads from unclassified groups were detected in these habitats; however, the ecological functions of these groups remain unresolved. Furthermore, ammonia-oxidizing archaeal community structures were investigated using the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene. Analysis of amoA showed that planktonic marine habitats, including seeps and marine water, hosted archaeal ammonia oxidizers that differed from those in microbial mats and marine sediments, suggesting modifications of the ammonia oxidizing archaeal (AOA) communities along the environmental gradient from active seepage sites to peripheral areas. Changes in the microbial community structure of AOA in different habitats (water vs. sediment) potentially correlated with changes in salinity and oxygen concentrations. Overall, the present results revealed for the first time unanticipated novel microbial groups and changes in the ammonia-oxidizing archaea in response to environmental gradients near the active seepages of a cold seep. PMID:26284035

  3. Abyssal seep site cementation

    SciTech Connect

    Neumann, A.C.; Paull, C.K.; Commeau, R.; Commeau, J.

    1988-01-01

    The deepest submarine cements known so far occur along the 3,300-m deep base of the Florida escarpment and are associated with methane-bearing brine seeps, which emanate there. These deep Holocene carbonates, which occur as surficial and buried crusts, burrow fillings, and friable horizons, were sampled via ALVIN. The carbonates form irregular halos extending up to 20 m from seeps colonized by chemosynthetic fauna. Mussels, gastropods, and clams, the carbonate components of the community, produce a shell hash that is locally cemented by coarsely crystalline low-Mg calcite. Halos of palisade calcite are reminiscent of ancient examples of marine cements. Also present are carbonate hemipelagics cemented by micrite into crusts and burrow fillings. The degree of cementation varies from pervasive to light. Slabs of cemented crust up to 30 cm thick contrast with typical shallow crusts and exhibit irregular tops and smooth bottoms indicating different chemical gradients and pathways.

  4. SeepC: Preliminary Characterization of Atlantic Margin Seep Ecosystems from Norfolk Canyon to New England Seep Sites.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, P. J.; Ball, B.; Cole, E.; LaBella, A.; Wagner, J.; Van Dover, C. L.; Skarke, A. D.; Ruppel, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Since 2013, more than 500 seep sites have been located along the continental margin of the eastern US using acoustic signals of gas plumes in the water column. During a July 2015 R/V Atlantis expedition, scientists used the submersible Alvin to explore seep sites at depths of 300 to 1500 m. Study sites ranged from Norfolk Canyon north to New England Seep 2 and included Baltimore, Veatch, and Shallop Canyon sites, as well as new unnamed sites between Norfolk and Baltimore Canyons. Mussels dominated the seep sites (cf ''Bathymodiolus'' childressi) but only small populations (<10s of individuals) were observed at seep sites associated with Shallop Canyon. B. heckerae, the dominant mussel at the Blake Ridge and Cape Fear seep sites (sites associated with salt diapirs off the Carolinas), appear to be present at only one of the Atlantic Margin seeps. At the Norfolk Canyon site, dead B. heckerae shells were observed and live individuals may be within the explored area. The abundant vesicomyid clam of Blake Ridge and Cape Fear sites was absent at the continental margin seeps. Apart from B. childressi, the most conspicuous megafaunal invertebrate species at the newly explored seeps was the red crab, Chaceon sp. and the rock crab, Cancer sp. These crabs are not seep endemic but they were especially abundant at the seeps and were observed to feed and mate on the seep grounds. Molecular tools will be used to explore the genetic structure of mussel populations from Norfolk to New England seeps, and stable isotope methods will be used to test for differences among sites in the source of carbon used by mussels. Alvin video transects and photo-mosaics will be used to collect data on macrofauna associated with seeps and to test the hypothesis that shallow seeps (300-500m) support more diverse assemblages than deep sites (1000-1500m).

  5. Abyssal seep site cementation: west Florida escarpment

    SciTech Connect

    Neumann, A.C.; Paull, C.K.; Commeau, R.; Commeau, J.; Chanton, J.; Martens, C.; Gardemal, M.; Trumbull, W.; Showers, W.

    1988-02-01

    The deepest submarine cements known so far occur along the 3300-m deep base of the Florida escarpment and are associated with methane-bearing brine seeps, which emanate there. These deep Holocene carbonates, which occur as surficial and buried crusts, burrow fillings, and friable horizons, were sampled via ALVIN. The carbonates form irregular halos extending up to 20 m from seeps colonized by chemosynthetic fauna. Mussels, gastropods, and clams, the carbonate components of the community, produce a shell hash that is locally cemented by coarsely crystalline low-Mg calcite. Halos of palisade calcite are reminiscent of ancient examples of marine cements. Also present are carbonate hemipelagics cemented by micrite into crusts and burrow fillings. The degree of cementation varies from pervasive to light. Slabs of cemented crust up to 30 cm thick contrast with typical shallow crusts and exhibit irregular tops and smooth bottoms indicating different chemical gradients and pathways. Bulk /delta//sup 13/C values of the carbonates are low, ranging from /minus/ 2.4 to /minus/ 48.5 /per thousand/ (PDB) and implicating as the carbonate source the biogenic methane that occurs in high concentrations at the seeps. The interaction of methane and sulfate in these cement reactions is still unclear. The presence of course mollusk-fragment hardgrounds overlying an eroded limestone and covered by hemipelagics, if encountered elsewhere, could be mistaken for a much shallower setting. The erosion of limestone scarps and the concurrent development of deep hardgrounds containing a fossil chemosynthetic fauna at the unconformity is a scenario that needs to be included in the growing list of limestone facies interpretations.

  6. Rare earth elements of seep carbonates: Indication for redox variations and microbiological processes at modern seep sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Lin, Zhijia; Bian, Youyan; Chen, Duofu; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Roberts, Harry H.

    2013-03-01

    At marine seeps, methane is microbially oxidized resulting in the precipitation of carbonates close to the seafloor. Methane oxidation leads to sulfate depletion in sediment pore water, which induces a change in redox conditions. Rare earth element (REE) patterns of authigenic carbonate phases collected from modern seeps of the Gulf of Mexico, the Black Sea, and the Congo Fan were analyzed. Different carbonate minerals including aragonite and calcite with different crystal habits have been selected for analysis. Total REE content (ΣREE) of seep carbonates varies widely, from 0.1 ppm to 42.5 ppm, but a common trend is that the ΣREE in microcrystalline phases is higher than that of the associated later phases including micospar, sparite and blocky cement, suggesting that ΣREE may be a function of diagenesis. The shale-normalized REE patterns of the seep carbonates often show different Ce anomalies even in samples from a specific site, suggesting that the formation conditions of seep carbonates are variable and complex. Overall, our results show that apart from anoxic, oxic conditions are at least temporarily common in seep environments.

  7. Chemosynthetic trophic support for the benthic community at an intertidal cold seep site at Mocha Island off central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sellanes, Javier; Zapata-Hernández, Germán; Pantoja, Silvio; Jessen, Gerdhard L.

    2011-12-01

    We analyzed C and N stable isotope ratios of benthic fauna and their potential food sources at an intertidal methane seep site and a control site without emanation at Mocha Island (central Chile). The objective was to trace the origin of the main food sources used by the local heterotrophic fauna, based on the hypothesis that chemosynthetic production could be partially fueling the local food web at the seep site. Food sources sampled at both sites included macroalgae, particulate organic matter and bacteria-like filaments found growing over the red algae Gelidium lingulatum within the areas of active methane release. At the control site, located 11 km away from the gas emanation, fauna exhibited moderate δ 13C values ranging from -16.2‰ (in a nereid polychaete) to -14.8‰ (in a cirolanid isopod), which were consistent with those of the potential photosynthetic food sources sampled at this site (-20.2 to -16.5‰). δ 13C values of the photosynthetic food sources at the seep site similarly ranged between -25.4 and -17.9‰. However, a portion of the animals at this site were consistently more 13C-depleted, with δ 13C values close to that of the seeping methane (-43.8‰) and the bacteria-like filaments (-39.2 ± 2.5‰) also collected at this site. Specific examples were the Marphysa sp. polychaetes (δ 13C = -44.7 ± 0.6‰), the Schistomeringos sp. dorvilleid polychaetes (δ 13C = -42.9‰), and the tanaid crustacean Zeuxo marmoratus (δ 13C = -37.3 ± 0.2‰). The significantly higher δ 13C values of the herbivorous gastropod Tegula atra at the seep site (-29.3 ± 3.1‰) than at the control site (-12.6 ± 0.3‰) also indicated differences among sites of the preferred carbon sources of this species. Mixing model estimates indicate that at the seep site bacteria-like filaments could be contributing up to ˜60% of the assimilated diet of selected invertebrates. Furthermore, several indicators of trophic structure, based in isotopic niche metrics, indicate a

  8. Active seeps, investment climate draw interest to Uganda

    SciTech Connect

    Patton, D.K.; Kashambuzi, R.; Rubondo, E.N.T.

    1995-05-01

    Production has not been established in Uganda, but the hydrocarbon generating capacity of its rift basin is clearly evident. Reports of oil seeps date to 1925 to observations by Wayland; who relates 52 hydrocarbon occurrences in and around Lake Albert. Although not all remain active, nine oil seeps in the rift basin are confirmed active at present. The Albertine graben, a part of the East African rift system, dominates the geology of Uganda. Other, larger basins of similar evolution in Africa include the Sirte basin and the Gulf of Suez basin. These prolific basins account for one third of Africa`s total reserves. The paper describes the geologic setting, reservoirs, source rocks, geologic seals, structures, exploration history, licenses available, and fiscal terms.

  9. Application of parasound data for sediment study on methane seep site at Simeulue basin

    SciTech Connect

    Wiguna, Taufan Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-30

    The Parasound data presents sea depth and sub-bottom profiler. In terms of geological terminology, parasound data represents significant recent surface sedimentary structures that valuable for the selection of subsequent sampling site such as sampling at methane seep site. Therefore, Parasound is used to detailing methane seep at surface sediment following seismic data interpretation. In this study, parasound is used to focus observe area especially for sediment study on methane seep site. The Parasound systems works both as narrow beam sounder use high frequency and as sediment echosounder use low frequency. Parasound acquisition applies parametric effect. It produces additional frequency by nonlinear acoustic interaction of finite amplitude waves. Parasound transducers have 128 elements on 1 m2 and need transmission power up to 70 kW. The results of this study are discovered large seep carbonate with porous surface which means there are gas expulsions passing through that rock.

  10. Morphology of Florida Escarpment chemosynthetic brine seep community sites

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Spiess, F.N.; Curray, J.R.; Twitchell, D.

    1988-01-01

    The Florida Escarpment near 26/sup 0/N was surveyed with Deep-Two, Seabeam, and GLORIA in the area where chemosynthetic communities were discovered via ALVIN in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Seabeam bathymetry and GLORIA images indicate that the escarpment is a generally straight cliff with average slopes of about 45/sup 0/ from 2,200 to more than 3,250 m. The escarpment's face is cut by 2-km wide box canyons whose head walls are as steep as the intervening escarpment's face. The shapes of these canyons are difficult to explain with the traditional models of canyon formation. Sidescan sonar images and bottom photographs reveal that the escarpment's face is composed of a series of long, straight bedding-plane terraces which are truncated along nearly vertical orthogonal joints. Exposure of these truncated strata indicate the face of the escarpment is eroded. The contact between the basal escarpment and the flat-lying abyssal hemipelagic sediments is abrupt. Apparently, chemosynthetic communities line extensive sections of the escarpment base where reduced brines seep out into the sea floor. The morphology suggests joints and deep seeps are controlling factors in scarp retreat.

  11. Three-dimensional structure of fluid conduits sustaining an active deep marine cold seep

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hornbach, M.J.; Ruppel, C.; Van Dover, C.L.

    2007-01-01

    Cold seeps in deep marine settings emit fluids to the overlying ocean and are often associated with such seafloor flux indicators as chemosynthetic biota, pockmarks, and authigenic carbonate rocks. Despite evidence for spatiotemporal variability in the rate, locus, and composition of cold seep fluid emissions, the shallow subseafloor plumbing systems have never been clearly imaged in three dimensions. Using a novel, high-resolution approach, we produce the first three-dimensional image of possible fluid conduits beneath a cold seep at a study site within the Blake Ridge gas hydrate province. Complex, dendritic features diverge upward toward the seafloor from feeder conduits at depth and could potentially draw flow laterally by up to 103 m from the known seafloor seep, a pattern similar to that suggested for some hydrothermal vents. The biodiversity, community structure, and succession dynamics of chemosynthetic communities at cold seeps may largely reflect these complexities of subseafloor fluid flow.

  12. Carbonate-cemented hardgrounds: a subtle indicator for seep activity offshore Humboldt Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, R. S.; Bazard, D.

    2007-12-01

    Active hydrocarbon seeps are common in the accretionary prism of the Cascadia subduction zone. In Humboldt County, California, the prism is exposed at the surface as a series of fault-propagated anticlines trending NW-SE. Offshore of the town of Samoa, a northwest-plunging anticline is breached at approximately 40 meters water depth, allowing hydrocarbons to seep out to the seafloor (40.8° N, 124.25° W). The assumed microbial activity at the seep leads to the production of interstitial carbonate cements forming hardgrounds. Cementation is pervasive and blocks eroded from the seep area of the seabed are transported onshore during storm events. Blocks collected from the beach range from 3--40 centimeters across. The sediments of the blocks are palimpsest transgressive deposits composed mostly of immature fine sand, but ranging from very fine to rounded gravels 4 cm diameter. Cementation is not dependent on grain size as all of the sediment sizes are cemented. In rare void spaces, a concentric banding of cements is obvious. The interstitial cements preserve original sedimentary structures including graded beds and high-angle cross-beds. Centimeter-scale subspherical concretions occur on the undersides of some blocks. There is no disruption of bedding in contrast to other seeps where the expulsion of gas can create pockmarks, brecciation, and other disturbances. Unlike the better studied seeps farther south in the Eel River basin, the Samoa seeps do not seem to host a rich chemosynthetic fauna. Whole and (mostly) fragmented shells preserved by the cemented sands represent a typical benthic inner shelf community including Dendraster, Macoma, and Olivella. Burrows preserved in the sands are largely horizontal and 1--2 mm diameter. Seep carbonate-cemented hardgrounds are less well studied then the more obvious meter-scale 'chemoherm' deposits. However, they may be more prevalent in the rock record and provide a new proxy for locating ancient seeps and hydrocarbon

  13. New Seep Sites along the West-African Passive Margin Identified from Seismo-Acoustic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fekete, N.; Spiess, V.; Caparachin, C.; Ding, F.; Gehrmann, R.; Riepshoff, H.; Trampe, A.; Foucher, J.-P.

    2009-04-01

    Recent and ongoing venting activity is documented offshore West Africa by large pockmarks, as has been observed by previous marine expeditions along the continental margin (e.g. Meteor Cruises M47/3 and M56). In summer 2008, an interdisciplinary campaign was carried out in cooperation between the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen and IFREMER, Brest. The main scientific goal of the cruise was to assess the influence of different geological settings on the nature of venting and related features. Multi-frequency seismo-acoustic tools including swath bathymetry, sediment echosounder, flare imagery, and high-resolution multichannel seismics were utilized within the scope of geophysical studies for investigating the distribution of seep structures and associated subsurface feeder systems. Observations confirm a widespread occurrence of pockmarks along the continental margins of Gabon, Congo and Angola in deep water. Spatial surveys have further shown that venting-related features are present on different scales, particularly with sizes of tens of meters in diameter and topographical expressions on the meter scale. While these structures seem to be related to relatively shallow gas reservoirs, larger ones reveal roots to gas reservoirs in several hundred meters below the seafloor. At some sites, gas flares of a few hundred to over a thousand meters height could be identified within the water column. Comparing target areas north and south of the Congo Canyon, it has become evident that different driving forces and sedimentary and tectonic boundary conditions may be responsible for fluid venting and its distribution. While in the north, a thick sediment cover restricts seepage to selected zones of weakness and higher permeability, salt diapirism in the south is massively fracturing overlying sediments, creating numerous promising morphological features at the seafloor. However, only a few active vents could be found in the area of salt diapirism

  14. The Role of Seep Ecosystems in Distribution Patterns of Deep-Sea Megafauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, J.; McKelvey, Z.; Jacobson, A.; Hoerauf, E.; Van Dover, C. L.

    2015-12-01

    One of the key questions about methane seeps is the sphere of influence on the surrounding area they provide in terms of habitat structure, food sources, and geochemical environment. Understanding the distribution of megafauna relative to the seep environment is an initial step toward understanding these ecosystem properties. Systematic photo surveys using AUV Sentry were conducted at 4 methane seeps at the Blake Ridge Diapir and a seep at Cape Fear Diapir. Distributions of dominant seep features (bivalves, carbonates, bacterial mats) were used to define the active seep site. Geospatial mapping indicates that non-seep-endemic taxa (those not hosting chemoautotrophic endosymbionts) either avoid (e.g., sea urchins, certain sea cucumbers), are attracted to (e.g., squat lobsters, cake urchins) or show no distributional bias to (e.g., sea stars, certain fish) the presence of a seep. Further investigation into these faunal relationships may improve understanding of services that seeps provide to the larger ocean ecosystem.

  15. Escarpment seeps at Shiprock, New Mexico. [Risk posed by seep water to human health and the environment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-10-01

    The purpose of this report is to characterize the seeps identified at the Shiprock UMTRA Project site during the prelicensing custodial care inspection conducted in December of 1990, to evaluate the relationship between the seeps and uranium processing activities or tailings disposal, and to evaluate the risk posed by the seep water to human health and the environment. The report provides a brief description of the geology, groundwater hydrology, and surface water hydrology. The locations of the seeps and monitor wells are identified, and the water quality of the seeps and groundwater is discussed in the context of past activities at the site. The water quality records for the site are presented in tables and appendices; this information was used in the risk assessment of seep water.

  16. Active oil seep at Nevada gold mine holds intrigue for more exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Pinnell, M.L.; Blake, J.G. ); Hulen, J.B. )

    1991-07-15

    This paper reports on an active oil seep has been discovered in one of Nevada's famous Carlin-type low grade disseminated gold deposits. This unique seep, at the Yankee gold mine in White Pine County, may have important implications for both oil and gas and gold exploration in the Basin and Range province of the western U.S. The open pit Yankee mine, near the western margin of Long Valley, exploits one of numerous Carlin-type gold ore bodies in the alligator Ridge mining district; all are currently owned and operated by USMX Corp.

  17. Insights into the activity, formation and origin of seep systems on the seafloor in the SW Barents Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangelsdorf, Kai; Nickel, Julia C.; di Primio, Rolando; Kallmeyer, Jens; Horsfield, Brian; Stoddart, Daniel; Brunstad, Harald

    2014-05-01

    The southwestern Loppa High region, being part of the Barents Sea located in the north of Norway, is a promising area for oil and gas exploration since hydrocarbon discoveries have been made in this area in recent time. Additionally, surface features for hydrocarbon seepage, so called "cold seeps" have been detected on the seafloor, comprising extensive pockmark fields, carbonate crusts bearing areas and fault related gas flares. Leaking hydrocarbons are of specific interest since they are potential indicators for hydrocarbon reservoirs in the subsurface and the emitting hydrocarbons such as the greenhouse gas methane can have significant impact on the evolution of global warming when reaching the atmosphere. In this study cold seep systems like huge pockmark areas and carbonate crust sites from the SW Loppa High region were examined in detail, in order to determine the activity, formation and spatial distribution of the different seepage structures as well as the origin and timing of the seeping hydrocarbon fluids. The sample material comprising sediment cores from pockmarks, reference sites and carbonate crust areas as well as carbonate crust samples have been analyzed applying a combined biogeochemical and microbiological approach. In the carbonate crust area diagnostic biomarkers for the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) were detected in the sediments as well as in the corresponding carbonate crusts. Their depth profiles show a distinct interval of higher concentrations, which points towards a shallow AOM zone in the investigated core. The biomarkers were also characterized by very negative carbon isotope signatures, indicating the involvement of the source microorganisms in the process of AOM. These data and active gas bubbling during sampling indicate the presence of methane at the carbonate crust site. In contrast in the pockmark areas active release of gas from the sediment could not be observed, neither in the gas measurement nor in the biogeochemical

  18. Intense gas bubble emissions in the Kerch seep area - A newly discovered high-flux seep site in the Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Römer, M.; Sahling, H.; Pape, T.; Bahr, A.; Feseker, T.; Wintersteller, P.; Bohrmann, G.

    2012-04-01

    More than 500 bubble-induced hydroacoustic anomalies (flares) were found in the water column above the seafloor in the study area comprising about 430 km2 at the Don-Kuban paleo-fan (Eastern Black Sea) by using ship mounted single beam and multibeam echosounders. Almost all flares originated from the seafloor above the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ), which in that region is located below ~700 m water depth. This observation confirms the sealing mechanism of gas hydrate, which impedes migration of free gas through the GHSZ and subsequent bubble emission from the seafloor. However, an intense seep site, called the "Kerch seep area" was discovered as an exception at 890 m water depth well within the GHSZ. In situ temperature measurements in shallow sediments indicate locally elevated temperatures probably caused by enhanced upward fluid flow. The base of the GHSZ in this region is generally situated at about 150 m below the seafloor. However, the local thermal anomalies result in a thinning of the gas hydrate occurrence zone to only a few meters below the seafloor and allow free gas to reach the seafloor. At sites where gas migrated into near-surface deposits, shallow gas hydrate deposits evolved and up-doming of overlying sediments led to the formation of mounds rising several meters from the surrounding seafloor. Further gas bubbles ascending from greater depth are accumulated below the gas hydrate layer at the base of the mound structures and migrate horizontally to their rims. At the mound edges gas bubbles either might form fresh gas hydrates and increase the extent of the mound structures by pushing up overlying sediments or escape at several sites into the water column. Two mounds were mapped in ultra-high resolution during dives with the autonomous underwater vehicle 'AUV MARUM SEAL 5000'. Several individual flares were detected in the Kerch seep area using hydroacoustic systems. Repeated surveys in that area conducted during three cruises within four years

  19. Estimation of past intermittent methane seep activity using radiocarbon dating of Calyptogena shells in the eastern Nankai subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagasaki, K.; Ashi, J.; Yokoyama, Y.; Miyairi, Y.; Kuramoto, S.

    2013-12-01

    Radioisotope carbon dating samples from the deep ocean has always been a difficult phenomenon due to the carbon offset present. This research presents a way of utilizing such method to date shell samples in order to study past fault activities. The research presented will be based on the preliminary data collected thus far. The Nankai and the Tokai regions are common areas for cold seeps, where seepage of hydrogen sulfide and methane rich fluid occurs. These various substances encourage the growth of Calyptogena colonies to flourish at these sites. Cold seeps generally occur at tectonically active continental margins and are mostly ephemeral. This suggests that the cold seep events are possibly influenced by the tectonic activity during the plate divergence. In 1997, a submersible dive by Shinkai 2000 discovered an unusually large Calyptogena colony ranging over 200 m2 off Daini Tenryu Knoll. Majority of the shells were fossilized with few live shells remaining. It is assumed that past tectonic events in the region may have caused a high flux of methane fluid or gas to be released, making it possible to support such a vast scale colony to survive until their eventual death. Previous attempt to reconstruct the cold seep activity history through amino acid racemisation dating revealed two different age grouped shells. Further data using a different method is required to prove its reliability, as acid racemization dating technique can easily be affected by seawater temperature changes and microbial activity. This consequently alters the protein structure of the sample and its overall age. As 14C radioisotope dating is not affected by temperature change, it will provide additional information to the accuracy of the acid racemisation dating of the shell. However, the possibility of contamination is likely due to the shells incorporating older carbon from the sediments during their early stages of growth. The old carbon value can be calculated by subtracting the formerly

  20. Evidence of Active Methanogen Communities in Shallow Sediments of the Sonora Margin Cold Seeps

    PubMed Central

    L'Haridon, Stéphane; Godfroy, Anne; Roussel, Erwan G.; Cragg, Barry A.; Parkes, R. John; Toffin, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    In the Sonora Margin cold seep ecosystems (Gulf of California), sediments underlying microbial mats harbor high biogenic methane concentrations, fueling various microbial communities, such as abundant lineages of anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME). However, the biodiversity, distribution, and metabolism of the microorganisms producing this methane remain poorly understood. In this study, measurements of methanogenesis using radiolabeled dimethylamine, bicarbonate, and acetate showed that biogenic methane production in these sediments was mainly dominated by methylotrophic methanogenesis, while the proportion of autotrophic methanogenesis increased with depth. Congruently, methane production and methanogenic Archaea were detected in culture enrichments amended with trimethylamine and bicarbonate. Analyses of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting and reverse-transcribed PCR-amplified 16S rRNA sequences retrieved from these enrichments revealed the presence of active methylotrophic Methanococcoides burtonii relatives and several new autotrophic Methanogenium lineages, confirming the cooccurrence of Methanosarcinales and Methanomicrobiales methanogens with abundant ANME populations in the sediments of the Sonora Margin cold seeps. PMID:25769831

  1. Impact of anaerobic oxidation of methane on the geochemical cycle of redox-sensitive elements at cold-seep sites of the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yu; Feng, Dong; Liang, Qianyong; Xia, Zhen; Chen, Linying; Chen, Duofu

    2015-12-01

    Cold hydrocarbon seepage is a frequently observed phenomenon along continental margins worldwide. However, little is known about the impact of seeping fluids on the geochemical cycle of redox-sensitive elements. Pore waters from four gravity cores (D-8, D-5, D-7, and D-F) collected from cold-seep sites of the northern South China Sea were analyzed for SO42-, Mg2+, Ca2+, Sr2+, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), δ13CDIC, dissolved Fe, Mn, and trace elements (e.g. Mo, U). The sulfate concentration-depth profiles, δ13CDIC values and (ΔDIC+ΔCa2++ΔMg2+)/ΔSO42- ratios suggest that organoclastic sulfate reduction (OSR) is the dominant process in D-8 core. Besides OSR, anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is partially responsible for depletion of sulfate at D-5 and D-7 cores. The sulfate consumption at D-F core is predominantly caused by AOM. The depth of sulfate-methane interface (SMI) and methane diffusive flux of D-F core are calculated to be ~7 m and 0.035 mol m-2 yr-1, respectively. The relatively shallow SMI and high methane flux at D-F core suggest the activity of gas seepage in this region. The concentrations of dissolved uranium (U) were inferred to decrease significantly within the iron reduction zone. It seems that AOM has limited influence on the U geochemical cycling. In contrast, a good correlation between the consumption of sulfate and the removal of molybdenum (Mo) suggests that AOM has a significantly influence on the geochemical cycle of Mo at cold seeps. Accordingly, cold seep environments may serve as an important potential sink in the marine geochemical cycle of Mo.

  2. Characterisation of the Nematode Community of a Low-Activity Cold Seep in the Recently Ice-Shelf Free Larsen B Area, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Hauquier, Freija; Ingels, Jeroen; Gutt, Julian; Raes, Maarten; Vanreusel, Ann

    2011-01-01

    Background Recent climate-induced ice-shelf disintegration in the Larsen A (1995) and B (2002) areas along the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula formed a unique opportunity to assess sub-ice-shelf benthic community structure and led to the discovery of unexplored habitats, including a low-activity methane seep beneath the former Larsen B ice shelf. Since both limited particle sedimentation under previously permanent ice coverage and reduced cold-seep activity are likely to influence benthic meiofauna communities, we characterised the nematode assemblage of this low-activity cold seep and compared it with other, now seasonally ice-free, Larsen A and B stations and other Antarctic shelf areas (Weddell Sea and Drake Passage), as well as cold-seep ecosystems world-wide. Principal Findings The nematode community at the Larsen B seep site differed significantly from other Antarctic sites in terms of dominant genera, diversity and abundance. Densities in the seep samples were high (>2000 individuals per 10 cm2) and showed below-surface maxima at a sediment depth of 2–3 cm in three out of four replicates. All samples were dominated by one species of the family Monhysteridae, which was identified as a Halomonhystera species that comprised between 80 and 86% of the total community. The combination of high densities, deeper density maxima and dominance of one species is shared by many cold-seep ecosystems world-wide and suggested a possible dependence upon a chemosynthetic food source. Yet stable 13C isotopic signals (ranging between −21.97±0.86‰ and −24.85±1.89‰) were indicative of a phytoplankton-derived food source. Conclusion The recent ice-shelf collapse and enhanced food input from surface phytoplankton blooms were responsible for the shift from oligotrophic pre-collapse conditions to a phytodetritus-based community with high densities and low diversity. The parthenogenetic reproduction of the highly dominant Halomonhystera species is rather unusual for marine

  3. Marine oil seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, R.F. )

    1991-03-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbons of both biogenic and thermogenic origin are common constituents of the marine water column and sediment of the continental shelves. Approximately 0.25 million metric tons of oil per year, constituting about 8% of the oil input into the sea, is derived from natural seeps, the rest being anthropogenic. Seepage has occurred world-wide for millions of years and must have been many times greater in the past, when enormous oil deposits, such as the Orinoco Oil Belt, were first exposed to erosion. Although the amount varies from site to site with time, seepage is pervasive in polar and temperate seas. Marine-seep oil is intensely weathered and thus can be distinguished chemically from recent biogenic or undegraded crude oil. The degraded oil from seeps appears to have little deleterious effect on many marine organisms, which ingest and discharge the oil mostly unmetabolized. Chemical analyses suggest that a very large oil-rich layer in the Sargasso Sea originated from a large and as yet undetected seep. Oil seeps have long been used as guides for oil exploration onshore but have been underutilized for this purpose offshore because of oil-plume drift from the site of the seep and because natural oil slicks may be masked by spilled oil. At least one marine seep, in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, is producing oil and natural gas into two hollow steel pyramids from which the oil is collected by work boats and the natural gas is transported to shore by pipeline. This facility effectively reduces atmospheric pollution, controls marine oil pollution from the largest seep in the area, provides emission credits, and yields a modest economic benefit, but the seep is not known to have been used directly in oil exploration.

  4. Cold Seep Epifaunal Communities on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand: Composition, Succession, and Vulnerability to Human Activities

    PubMed Central

    Bowden, David A.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Baco, Amy R.; Levin, Lisa A.; Smith, Craig R.

    2013-01-01

    Cold seep communities with distinctive chemoautotrophic fauna occur where hydrocarbon-rich fluids escape from the seabed. We describe community composition, population densities, spatial extent, and within-region variability of epifaunal communities at methane-rich cold seep sites on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. Using data from towed camera transects, we match observations to information about the probable life-history characteristics of the principal fauna to develop a hypothetical succession sequence for the Hikurangi seep communities, from the onset of fluid flux to senescence. New Zealand seep communities exhibit taxa characteristic of seeps in other regions, including predominance of large siboglinid tubeworms, vesicomyid clams, and bathymodiolin mussels. Some aspects appear to be novel; however, particularly the association of dense populations of ampharetid polychaetes with high-sulphide, high-methane flux, soft-sediment microhabitats. The common occurrence of these ampharetids suggests they play a role in conditioning sulphide-rich sediments at the sediment-water interface, thus facilitating settlement of clam and tubeworm taxa which dominate space during later successional stages. The seep sites are subject to disturbance from bottom trawling at present and potentially from gas hydrate extraction in future. The likely life-history characteristics of the dominant megafauna suggest that while ampharetids, clams, and mussels exploit ephemeral resources through rapid growth and reproduction, lamellibrachid tubeworm populations may persist potentially for centuries. The potential consequences of gas hydrate extraction cannot be fully assessed until extraction methods and target localities are defined but any long-term modification of fluid flow to seep sites would have consequences for all chemoautotrophic fauna. PMID:24204691

  5. Evidence and biogeochemical implications for glacially-derived sediments in an active margin cold seep

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, John W.; Riedel, Michael; Novosel, Ivana; Bauer, James E.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Paull, Charles K.; Coffin, Richard B.; Grabowski, Kenneth S.; Knies, David L.; Hyndman, Roy D.; Spence, George D.

    2011-01-01

    Delineating sediment organic matter origins and sediment accumulation rates at gas hydratebearing and hydrocarbon seeps is complicated by the microbial transfer of 13C-depleted and 14Cdepleted methane carbon into sedimentary pools. Sediment 13C and 14C measurements from four cores recovered at Bullseye vent on the northern Cascadia margin are used to identify methane carbon assimilation into different carbon pools. While the total organic carbon (TOC) is mostly unaltered and primarily terrigenous in origin, planktonic foraminifera and the bulk carbonate display evidence of methane overprinting. Mass balance models are applied to determine the extent to which methane overprinting increased the radiocarbon ages of the biogenic foraminifera. The corrected and calibrated foraminifera ages between sediment depths of 70 and 573 cm are from 14.9 to 15.9 ka BP, which coincides with the retreat of the late Quaternary Cordilleran Ice Sheet from Vancouver Island. Uniform TOC _13C values of -24.5 ± 0.5‰ from the upper 8 meters of sediment at Bullseye vent suggest all cored material is Pleistocene-derived glacimarine material deposited as the ice edge retreated landward. Bullseye vent is located within an uplifted sediment block isolated from turbidite deposition and has been a site of non-deposition since the ice sheet retreated from the shelf. Biogeochemical implications of seep sediments being dominated by aged, organic-poor (<0.4 wt% TOC) material are that methane is the primary energy source, and microbes directly and indirectly associated with the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) will dominate the seep microbial community.

  6. Differential methane oxidation activity and microbial community composition at cold seeps in the Arctic off western Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gründger, Friederike; Svenning, Mette M.; Niemann, Helge; Silyakova, Anna; Serov, Pavel; Li Hong, Wei; Wegener, Gunter; Panieri, Giuliana; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    Most models considering climate change related bottom water warming suggest that gas hydrates may become destabilized, leading to the mobilization of methane into seabed and water column ecosystems, and, eventually, into the atmosphere. However, the capacity of methanotrophic microbes retaining methane in sediments and the hydrosphere is not well constrained. Here, we investigate the microbial utilization of methane in sediments and the water column, focusing on cold seeps discovered at the arctic continental margin of western Svalbard. We measured ex situ rates of methane oxidation and sulfate reduction in two active gas flare sites with different geological settings at the Vestnesa Ridge (1204 m water depth) and within a pingolike feature area southwest off Svalbard (PLF; 380 m water depth). Our results show contrarily situations at our two sampling sites: At Vestnesa Ridge we find high methane oxidation rates with values up to 2055 nmol cm‑3 d‑1 at the sediment surface where the sediments are oversaturated with methane. Whereas, methane concentration and oxidation rates are low in the overlying water column (2 pmol cm‑3 d‑1). In contrast, at the sediment surface at PLF methane concentration and oxidation rates are considerably lower (up to 1.8 nmol cm‑3 d‑1). While the overlying bottom water contains high concentration of methane and shows oxidation rates with values of up to 3.8 nmol cm‑3 d‑1. The data on methane oxidation and sulfate reduction activity are compared to the sediment geochemistry and to data from metagenomic analysis identifying the methanotrophic community composition. These results provide unique insight into the dynamic responses of the seabed biological filter at cold seeps in the Arctic off western Svalbard. This study is part of the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate and was supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme grant No. 223259.

  7. The occurrence of NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase in Corbula caribea, from a natural oil seep at La Brea, Trinidad.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Azad; Agard, John

    2004-04-01

    Corbula caribea is the most common non-polychaete macrofaunal organism identified at a large natural oil seep at La Brea in south Trinidad. It is hypothesized that these animals may possess (NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase) a component of the Mixed Function Oxygenase system (MFO), which may allow them to ameliorate the potentially deleterious effects resulting from exposure to the high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons within this environment. This study was designed to determine whether organisms from the seep site showed greater enzyme activity when compared to organisms from a non-seep reference site. NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase activity was determined by incubating 10 microm cryostat sections with nitro-blue tetrazolium. The reaction product was determined by visual assessment and quantified by measuring the relative mean stain intensity. The intense staining, indicative of enzyme activity was evident in the digestive epithelia of seep animals. Observations indicated that organisms from the seep showed more intense staining, indicating greater enzyme activity, when compared to animals from a non-seep reference site. The relative stain intensity of NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase determined for organisms from the seep was 61.30. This was significantly higher than the stain intensity determined for organisms from the non-seep reference site (7.11). This supported visual assessments, which suggested that the seep organisms showed higher enzyme activity than organisms from the non-seep site. The results suggest that NADPH-ferrihemoprotein reductase may be present in Corbula caribea from the seep site and not in those from the non-seep site. It is possible that this enzyme may contribute to these animals ability to tolerate chronic exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons and offer then a selective advantage for survival the seep environment. PMID:15041435

  8. Diversity of symbioses between chemosynthetic bacteria and metazoans at the Guiness cold seep site (Gulf of Guinea, West Africa)

    PubMed Central

    Duperron, Sébastien; Rodrigues, Clara F; Léger, Nelly; Szafranski, Kamil; Decker, Carole; Olu, Karine; Gaudron, Sylvie M

    2012-01-01

    Fauna from deep-sea cold seeps worldwide is dominated by chemosymbiotic metazoans. Recently, investigation of new sites in the Gulf of Guinea yielded numerous new species for which symbiosis was strongly suspected. In this study, symbioses are characterized in five seep-specialist metazoans recently collected from the Guiness site located at ∼600 m depth. Four bivalve and one annelid species belonging to families previously documented to harbor chemosynthetic bacteria were investigated using bacterial marker gene sequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and stable isotope analyses. Results support that all five species display chemosynthetic, sulfur-oxidizing γ-proteobacteria. Bacteria are abundant in the gills of bivalves, and in the trophosome of the siboglinid annelid. As observed for their relatives occurring at deeper sites, chemoautotrophy is a major source of carbon for animal nutrition. Although symbionts found in each host species are related to symbionts found in other metazoans from the same families, several incongruencies are observed among phylogenetic trees obtained from the different bacterial genes, suggesting a certain level of heterogeneity in symbiont strains present. Results provide new insights into the diversity, biogeography, and role of symbiotic bacteria in metazoans from the Gulf of Guinea, at a site located at an intermediate depth between the continental shelf and the deep sea. PMID:23233246

  9. [Detection of methane in the water column at gas and oil seep sites in central and southern Lake Baikal].

    PubMed

    Zakharenko, A S; Pimenov, N V; Ivanov, V G; Zemskaia, T I

    2015-01-01

    Microbiological and biogeochemical investigation of the water column of oligotrophic Lake Baikal at the sites of the K2 and Bolshoy mud volcanoes and the Gorevoy Utes oil seep was carried out in July 2013. Total microbial numbers (TMN), cell numbers of type I and type II methanotrophs, and methane concentrations were measured; the rate of methane oxidation was determined. Methane concentrations in Lake Baikal water column varied from 0.09 to 1 μL/L, while methane oxidation rates varied from 0.007 to 0.9 nL/(L day). The highest rates of methane oxidation were revealed in the near-bottom water horizons at the sites of the Bolshoy mud volcano and the Gorevoy Utes oil seep. These were the sites where the most pronounced anomalies in methane concentration were also detected. TMN varied from 0.123 x 10(6) to 1.64 x 10(6) cells/mL. Methanotrophic bacteria were revealed in the water column at all sites, their abundance did not always correlate with methane concentrationsand the rates of methane oxidation. Methanotrophs constituted not more than 1.63% of the total microbial number, with their highest abundance in the upper 200 m of the water column. PMID:25916152

  10. Distribution of Dissolved Hydrogen in Pore Water at Cold Seep Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, T.; Maegawa, K.; Tsunogai, U.; Ashi, J.; Kinoshita, M.; Gamo, T.

    2005-12-01

    White patches have been observed at the Oomine Ridge (33°7.32'N, 136°28.75'E) on the Nankai accretionary prism. During the KY04-11 cruise (2004. 9. 5 ~ 2004. 10. 2) of the R/V Kaiyo (JAMSTEC), a sediment sample was obtained with a piston corer from the seafloor at the Oomine Ridge. The recovered sediment was 268.5 cm long. Subsampled sediments for gas analysis were taken and were treated for the extraction of dissolved gas in the pore water. The gas samples were measured for CH4, δ13C(CH4), CO2, δ13C(CO2), and H2. The other subsamples for pore water analysis were taken from the residual sediment in the corer. The retrieved pore water samples were analyzed for NH4+, Cl-, SO42-, CH4, δ13C(CH4), CO2, δ13C(CO2), δ18O(H2O), and δD(H2O). Chloride concentrations and both isotopic signatures (δ18O and δD) of the pore water decreased with depth, suggesting that the pore water in this site was affected by seeping fluid characterized by Cl, δ18O, and δD-depleted. Sulfate concentrations rapidly decreased within 2 m, indicating that sulfate consumption occurred in the surface sediments and/or sulfate-free fluid flowing upward. Ammonium concentrations increased with depth even after sulfate was completely reduced, which indicates that there are processes of organic matter decomposition that are capable of producing ammonium after sulfate reduction is complete. Methane concentrations showed concave-upward depth profile and carbon isotopic compositions of methane were as low as _E0 ‰PDB, indicating that methane is derived from microbial production in sediments. We observed a significant H2 peak reaching 500 μmol/kg at the deepest sample, which would be produced as an intermediate during processes of organic matter decomposition in oxide-free environments.

  11. Spatial Structure and Activity of Sedimentary Microbial Communities Underlying a Beggiatoa spp. Mat in a Gulf of Mexico Hydrocarbon Seep

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, Karen G.; Albert, Daniel B.; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Chanton, Jeffrey P.; Pizarro, Oscar; Teske, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    Background Subsurface fluids from deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps undergo methane- and sulfur-cycling microbial transformations near the sediment surface. Hydrocarbon seep habitats are naturally patchy, with a mosaic of active seep sediments and non-seep sediments. Microbial community shifts and changing activity patterns on small spatial scales from seep to non-seep sediment remain to be examined in a comprehensive habitat study. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted a transect of biogeochemical measurements and gene expression related to methane- and sulfur-cycling at different sediment depths across a broad Beggiatoa spp. mat at Mississippi Canyon 118 (MC118) in the Gulf of Mexico. High process rates within the mat (∼400 cm and ∼10 cm from the mat's edge) contrasted with sharply diminished activity at ∼50 cm outside the mat, as shown by sulfate and methane concentration profiles, radiotracer rates of sulfate reduction and methane oxidation, and stable carbon isotopes. Likewise, 16S ribosomal rRNA, dsrAB (dissimilatory sulfite reductase) and mcrA (methyl coenzyme M reductase) mRNA transcripts of sulfate-reducing bacteria (Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae) and methane-cycling archaea (ANME-1 and ANME-2) were prevalent at the sediment surface under the mat and at its edge. Outside the mat at the surface, 16S rRNA sequences indicated mostly aerobes commonly found in seawater. The seep-related communities persisted at 12–20 cm depth inside and outside the mat. 16S rRNA transcripts and V6-tags reveal that bacterial and archaeal diversity underneath the mat are similar to each other, in contrast to oxic or microoxic habitats that have higher bacterial diversity. Conclusions/Significance The visual patchiness of microbial mats reflects sharp discontinuities in microbial community structure and activity over sub-meter spatial scales; these discontinuities have to be taken into account in geochemical and microbiological inventories of seep environments. In

  12. Assessing submarine gas hydrate at active seeps on the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand, using controlled source electromagnetic data with constraints from seismic, geochemistry, and heatflow data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwalenberg, K.; Haeckel, M.; Pecher, I. A.; Toulmin, S. J.; Hamdan, L. J.; Netzeband, G.; Wood, W.; Poort, J.; Jegen, M. D.; Coffin, R. B.

    2009-12-01

    Electrical resistivity is one of the key properties useful for evaluating submarine gas hydrate deposits. Gas hydrates are electrically insulating in contrast to the conductive pore fluid. Where they form in sufficient quantities the bulk resistivity of the sub-seafloor is elevated. CSEM data were collected in 2007 as part of the German - International “New Vents” project on R/V Sonne, cruise SO191, at three target areas on the Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand. The margin is characterized by widespread bottom simulating reflectors (BSR), seep structures, and active methane and fluid venting indicating the potential for gas hydrate formation. Opouawe Bank is one of the ridge and basin systems on the accretionary wedge and is located off the Wairarapa coast at water depths of 1000-1100 m. The first observed seep sites (North Tower, South Tower, Pukeko, Takahe, and Tui) were identified from individual gas flares in hydro-acoustic data and video observations during voyages on R/V Tangaroa. Seismic reflection data collected during SO191 subsequently identified more than 25 new seep structures. Two intersecting CSEM profiles have been surveyed across North Tower, South Tower, and Takahe. 1-D inversion of the data reveals anomalously high resistivities at North Tower and South Tower, moderately elevated resistivities at Takahe, and normal background resistivities away from the seeps. The high resistivities are attributed to gas hydrate layers at intermediate depths beneath the seeps. At South Tower the hydrate concentration could be possibly as much as 25% of the total sediment volume within a 50m thick layer. This conforms with geochemical pore water analyses which show a trend of increased methane flux towards South Tower. At Takahe, gas pockets and patchy gas hydrate, as well as sediment heterogeneities and carbonates, or temperature driven upward fluid flow indicated by the observed higher heat flow at this site may explain the resistivity pattern

  13. Analysis of past recurrent methane seep activity using radiocarbon dating of Calyptogena spp. shells in the eastern Nankai subduction zone, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagasaki, Kazuhiro; Ashi, Juichiro; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Miyairi, Yosuke; Kuramoto, Shin'ichi

    2016-04-01

    Fault activity around subduction zones have been widely studied and monitored through drilling of oceanic plates, studying piston cores, use of monitoring equipment or through visual analysis using submersible vehicles. Yet the understanding of how small scale faults near shallow regions of the seabed behave in relation to cold seep vent activity is still vague, especially determining when they were active in the past. In tectonically active margins such as the Nankai and Tokai regions off Japan, dense methane hydrate reservoirs have been identified. Cold seeps releasing methane rich hydrocarbon fluids are common here, supporting a wide variety of biological species that hold a symbiotic relationship with the chemosynthetic bacteria. In 1998 a large dead Calyptogena spp. bivalve colony (over 400m2 in size) was discovered off Tokai, Japan. It is unusual for a bivalve colony this size to mostly be dead, raising questions as to what caused their death. In this study we document the radiocarbon 14C age of these bivalve shells to attempt analysing the possible methane seep bahaviour in the past. The measured 14C age ranged in three age groups of 1396±36-1448±34, 1912±31-1938±35 and 5975±34. The 14C age of shells that were alive upon collection and the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in seawater show little difference (˜100 14C age) indicating that shells are not heavily affected by the dead carbon effect from cold seeps that is of biogenic or thermogenic origin, which can make the age to become considerably older than the actual age. Thus the novel calibration model used was based on the seawater DIC collected above the Calyptogena spp. colony site (1133±31), which resulted in the dead shells to be clustered around 1900 Cal AD. This proves to be interesting as the predicted epicenter of the Ansei-Tokai earthquake (M 8.4) in 1854 is extremely close to the bibalve colony site. Using geological data obtained using visual analysis and sub-seafloor structural

  14. SHEEP CREEK SEEP CHARACTERIZATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The materials presented represent an assessment of site conditions related to the LaCrone property seep, located in the NW 1/4 of Section 34, Township 7E, Range 2N, near Harden City, OK. The primary objective of the study was to identify possible source(s) for the saline water, ...

  15. Morphology of Florida escarpment chemosynthetic brine seep community sites: deep-tow, seabeam, and GLORIA surveys

    SciTech Connect

    Paull, C.K.; Spiess, F.N.; Curray, J.R.; Twitchell, D.

    1988-02-01

    The Florida Escarpment near 26/degree/N was surveyed with Deep-Tow, Seabeam, and GLORIA in the area where chemosynthetic communities were discovered via ALVIN in the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Seabeam bathymetry and GLORIA images indicate that the escarpment is a generally straight cliff with average slopes of about 45/degree/ from 2200 to more than 3250 m. The escarpment's face is cut by 2-km wide box canyons whose head walls are as steep as the intervening escarpment's face. The shapes of these canyons are difficult to explain with the traditional models of canyon formation. Sidescan sonar images and bottom photographs reveal that the escarpment's face is composed of a series of long, straight bedding-plain terraces which are truncated along nearly vertical orthogonal joints. Exposure of these truncated strata indicate the face of the escarpment is eroded. The contact between the basal escarpment and the flat-lying abyssal hemipelagic sediments is abrupt. Basal talus is uncommon because the abyssal floor is part of the distal Mississippi fan which is rapidly burying the escarpment. However, where talus occurs, it is in tongues of angular megabreccia of meter- and larger-sized blocks which indicate periodic catastrophic collapse. Sidescan images reveal bands of contrast in the reflective texture of the sea floor that extends 10-20 m from the base along more than 10% of the surveyed area. Photographic surveys show that these areas are associated with communities of abundant organisms. Apparently chemosynthetic communities line extensive sections of the escarpment base where reduced brines seep out into the sea floor. The morphology suggests joints and deep seeps are controlling factors in scarp retreat.

  16. Methane release from sediment seeps to the atmosphere is counteracted by highly active Methylococcaceae in the water column of deep oligotrophic Lake Constance.

    PubMed

    Bornemann, Maren; Bussmann, Ingeborg; Tichy, Lucas; Deutzmann, Jörg; Schink, Bernhard; Pester, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Methane emissions from freshwater environments contribute substantially to global warming but are under strong control of aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria. Recently discovered methane seeps (pockmarks) in freshwater lake sediments have the potential to bypass this control by their strong outgassing activity. Whether this is counteracted by pelagic methanotrophs is not well understood yet. We used a (3)H-CH4-radiotracer technique and pmoA-based molecular approaches to assess the activity, abundance and community structure of pelagic methanotrophs above active pockmarks in deep oligotrophic Lake Constance. Above profundal pockmarks, methane oxidation rates (up to 458 nmol CH4 l(-1) d(-1)) exceeded those of the surrounding water column by two orders of magnitude and coincided with maximum methanotroph abundances of 0.6% of the microbial community. Phylogenetic analysis indicated a dominance of members of the Methylococcaceae in the water column of both, pockmark and reference sites, with most of the retrieved sequences being associated with a water-column specific clade. Communities at pockmark and reference locations also differed in parts, which was likely caused by entrainment of sediment-hosted methanotrophs at pockmark sites. Our results show that the release of seep-derived methane to the atmosphere is counteracted by a distinct methanotrophic community with a pronounced activity throughout bottom waters. PMID:27267930

  17. Investigating Microbial Activity in Diazotrophic Methane Seep Sediment via Transcript Analysis and Single-Cell FISH-NanoSIMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekas, A. E.; Connon, S. A.; Chadwick, G.; Orphan, V. J.

    2012-12-01

    Methane seep microbial ecosystems are phylogenetically diverse and physiologically complex, and require culture-independent techniques to accurately investigate metabolic activity. In the present study we combine an RNA analysis of four key microbial genes with FISH-NanoSIMS analysis of single cells to determine the diversity of nitrogen fixing microorganisms (diazotrophs) present at a deep-sea methane-seeping site, as well as investigate the methane-dependency of a variety of community members. Recently, methane-dependent nitrogen fixation was observed in Mound 12 Costa Rica sediments, and was spatially correlated with the abundance of aggregates of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate reducing bacterial symbionts (SRB). Combined with the detection of 15N uptake from 15N2 in these aggregates, this suggested that the ANME-SRB aggregates are the primary diazotrophs in seep sediment. However, the diversity of dinitrogenase reductase (nifH) sequences recovered from several deep-sea locales, including Mound 12, suggests a greater diversity of diazotrophs in marine sediment. To investigate the activity of these potential diazotrophs in Mound 12 sediment, we investigated a suite of RNA transcripts in 15N2 incubations in both the presence and absence of methane: nifH, bacterial 16S rRNA, methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA), and adenosine-5'-phosposulfate reductase alpha subunit (aprA). No nifH transcripts were recovered in incubations without methane, consistent with previous measurements lacking 15N2 uptake in the same sediments. The activity of the bacterial community in general, assessed by variable transcription, was also greatly affected by the presence or absence of methane. Single-cell fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS) was employed to confirm diazotrophic activity (15N2 uptake) and protein synthesis (15NH4+ uptake) of particular species implicated as ecologically important by the

  18. Evidence of paleo-cold seep activity from the Bay of Bengal, offshore India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazumdar, A.; Dewangan, P.; JoäO, H. M.; Peketi, A.; Khosla, V. R.; Kocherla, M.; Badesab, F. K.; Joshi, R. K.; Roxanne, P.; Ramamurty, P. B.; Karisiddaiah, S. M.; Patil, D. J.; Dayal, A. M.; Ramprasad, T.; Hawkesworth, C. J.; Avanzinelli, R.

    2009-06-01

    We report evidence of paleo-cold seep associated activities, preserved in methane-derived carbonates in association with chemosynthetic clams (Calyptogena sp.) from a sediment core in the Krishna-Godavari basin, Bay of Bengal. Visual observations and calculations based on high-resolution wet bulk density profile of a core collected on board R/V Marion Dufresne (May 2007) show zones of sharp increase in carbonate content (10-55 vol %) within 16-20 meters below seafloor (mbsf). The presence of Calyptogena clam shells, chimneys, shell breccias with high Mg calcite cement, and pyrite within this zone suggest seepage of methane and sulfide-bearing fluid to the seafloor in the past. Highly depleted carbon isotopic values (δ13C ranges from -41 to -52‰ VPDB) from these carbonates indicate carbon derived via anaerobic oxidation of methane. Extrapolated mean calendar age (˜58.7 ka B.P.) of the clastic sediments at a depth of 16 mbsf is close to the upper limit of the U-Th based depositional age (46.2 ± 3.7 and 53.0 ± 1.6 ka) of authigenic carbonates sampled from this level, thereby constraining the younger age limit of the carbonate deposition/methane expulsion events. The observed carbonate deposition might have resulted from the flow of methane-enriched fluids through the fracture network formed because of shale diapirism.

  19. Identification, visualization, and sorting of translationally active microbial consortia from deep-sea methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzenpichler, R.; Connon, S. A.; Goudeau, D.; Malmstrom, R.; Woyke, T.; Orphan, V. J.

    2015-12-01

    Within the past few years, great progress has been made in tapping the genomes of individual cells separated from environmental samples. Unfortunately, however, most often these efforts have been target blind, as they did not pre-select for taxa of interest or focus on metabolically active cells that could be considered key species of the system at the time. This problem is particularly pronounced in low-turnover systems such as deep sea sediments. In an effort to tap the genetic potential hidden within functionally active cells, we have recently developed an approach for the in situ fluorescent tracking of protein synthesis in uncultured cells via bioorthogonal non-canonical amino acid-tagging (BONCAT). This technique depends on the incorporation of synthetic amino acids that carry chemically modifiable tags into newly made proteins, which later can be visualized via click chemistry-mediated fluorescence-labeling. BONCAT is thus able to specifically target proteins that have been expressed in reaction to an experimental condition. We are particularly interested in using BONCAT to understand the functional potential of slow-growing syntrophic consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria which together catalyze the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine methane seeps. In order to specifically target consortia that are active under varying environmental regimes, we are studying different subpopulations of these inter-domain consortia via a combination of BONCAT with rRNA-targeted FISH. We then couple the BONCAT-enabled staining of active consortia with their separation from inactive members of the community via fluorescence-activated cell-sorting (FACS) and metagenomic sequencing of individual consortia. Using this approach, we were able to identify previously unrecognized AOM-partnerships. By comparing the mini-metagenomes obtained from individual consortia with each other we are starting to gain a more hollistic understanding

  20. Biogeochemistry of a low-activity cold seep in the Larsen B area, western Weddell Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, H.; Fischer, D.; Graffe, D.; Knittel, K.; Montiel, A.; Heilmayer, O.; Nöthen, K.; Pape, T.; Kasten, S.; Bohrmann, G.; Boetius, A.; Gutt, J.

    2009-06-01

    First videographic indication of an Antarctic cold seep ecosystem was recently obtained from the collapsed Larsen B ice shelf, western Weddell Sea (Domack et al., 2005). Within the framework of the R/V Polarstern expedition ANTXXIII-8, we revisited this area for geochemical, microbiological and further videographical examinations. During two dives with ROV Cherokee (MARUM, Bremen), several bivalve shell agglomerations of the seep-associated, chemo syntheticclam Calyptogena sp. were found in the trough of the Crane and Evans glacier. The absence of living clam specimens indicates that the flux of sulphide and hence the seepage activity is diminished at present. This impression was further substantiated by our geochemical observations. Concentrations of thermogenic methane were moderately elevated with 2 μM in surface sediments of a clam patch, increasing up to 9 μM at a sediment depth of about 1 m in the bottom sections of the sediment cores. This correlated with a moderate decrease in sulphate from 28 mM at the surface down to 23.4 mM, an increase in sulphide to up to 1.43 mM and elevated rates of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) of up to 600 pmol cm-3 d-1 at about 1 m below the seafloor. Molecular analyses indicate that methanotrophic archaea related to ANME-3 are the most likely candidates mediating AOM in sediments of the Larsen B seep (Domack et al., 2005; EOS 86, 269-276).

  1. Biogeochemistry of a low-activity cold seep in the Larsen B area, western Weddell Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, H.; Fischer, D.; Graffe, D.; Knittel, K.; Montiel, A.; Heilmayer, O.; Nöthen, K.; Pape, T.; Kasten, S.; Bohrmann, G.; Boetius, A.; Gutt, J.

    2009-11-01

    First videographic indication of an Antarctic cold seep ecosystem was recently obtained from the collapsed Larsen B ice shelf, western Weddell Sea (Domack et al., 2005). Within the framework of the R/V Polarstern expedition ANTXXIII-8, we revisited this area for geochemical, microbiological and further videographical examinations. During two dives with ROV Cherokee (MARUM, Bremen), several bivalve shell agglomerations of the seep-associated, chemosynthetic clam Calyptogena sp. were found in the trough of the Crane and Evans glacier. The absence of living clam specimens indicates that the flux of sulphide and hence the seepage activity is diminished at present. This impression was further substantiated by our geochemical observations. Concentrations of thermogenic methane were moderately elevated with 2 μM in surface sediments of a clam patch, increasing up to 9 μM at a sediment depth of about 1 m in the bottom sections of the sediment cores. This correlated with a moderate decrease in sulphate from about 28 mM at the surface down to 23.4 mM, an increase in sulphide to up to 1.43 mM and elevated rates of the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) of up to 600 pmol cm-3 d-1 at about 1 m below the seafloor. Molecular analyses indicate that methanotrophic archaea related to ANME-3 are the most likely candidates mediating AOM in sediments of the Larsen B seep.

  2. Transpressional segment boundaries in strike-slip fault systems offshore southern California: Implications for fluid expulsion and cold seep habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maloney, Jillian M.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Pasulka, Alexis L.; Dawson, Katherine S.; Case, David H.; Frieder, Christina A.; Levin, Lisa A.; Driscoll, Neal W.

    2015-05-01

    The importance of tectonics and fluid flow in controlling cold seep habitats has long been appreciated at convergent margins but remains poorly understood in strike-slip systems. Here we present geophysical, geochemical, and biological data from an active methane seep offshore from Del Mar, California, in the inner California borderlands (ICB). The location of this seep appears controlled by localized transpression associated with a step in the San Diego Trough fault zone and provides an opportunity to examine the interplay between fluid expulsion and restraining step overs along strike-slip fault systems. These segment boundaries may have important controls on seep locations in the ICB and other margins characterized by strike-slip faulting (e.g., Greece, Sea of Marmara, and Caribbean). The strike-slip fault systems offshore southern California appear to have a limited distribution of seep sites compared to a wider distribution at convergent plate boundaries, which may influence seep habitat diversity and connectivity.

  3. Activity and interactions of methane seep microorganisms assessed by parallel transcription and FISH-NanoSIMS analyses

    PubMed Central

    Dekas, Anne E; Connon, Stephanie A; Chadwick, Grayson L; Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-01-01

    To characterize the activity and interactions of methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and Deltaproteobacteria at a methane-seeping mud volcano, we used two complimentary measures of microbial activity: a community-level analysis of the transcription of four genes (16S rRNA, methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA), adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate reductase α-subunit (aprA), dinitrogenase reductase (nifH)), and a single-cell-level analysis of anabolic activity using fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS). Transcript analysis revealed that members of the deltaproteobacterial groups Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) and Desulfobulbaceae (DSB) exhibit increased rRNA expression in incubations with methane, suggestive of ANME-coupled activity. Direct analysis of anabolic activity in DSS cells in consortia with ANME by FISH-NanoSIMS confirmed their dependence on methanotrophy, with no 15NH4+ assimilation detected without methane. In contrast, DSS and DSB cells found physically independent of ANME (i.e., single cells) were anabolically active in incubations both with and without methane. These single cells therefore comprise an active ‘free-living' population, and are not dependent on methane or ANME activity. We investigated the possibility of N2 fixation by seep Deltaproteobacteria and detected nifH transcripts closely related to those of cultured diazotrophic Deltaproteobacteria. However, nifH expression was methane-dependent. 15N2 incorporation was not observed in single DSS cells, but was detected in single DSB cells. Interestingly, 15N2 incorporation in single DSB cells was methane-dependent, raising the possibility that DSB cells acquired reduced 15N products from diazotrophic ANME while spatially coupled, and then subsequently dissociated. With this combined data set we address several outstanding questions in methane seep microbial ecosystems and highlight the benefit of measuring microbial activity in the

  4. Activity and interactions of methane seep microorganisms assessed by parallel transcription and FISH-NanoSIMS analyses.

    PubMed

    Dekas, Anne E; Connon, Stephanie A; Chadwick, Grayson L; Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-03-01

    To characterize the activity and interactions of methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and Deltaproteobacteria at a methane-seeping mud volcano, we used two complimentary measures of microbial activity: a community-level analysis of the transcription of four genes (16S rRNA, methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA), adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate reductase α-subunit (aprA), dinitrogenase reductase (nifH)), and a single-cell-level analysis of anabolic activity using fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS). Transcript analysis revealed that members of the deltaproteobacterial groups Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) and Desulfobulbaceae (DSB) exhibit increased rRNA expression in incubations with methane, suggestive of ANME-coupled activity. Direct analysis of anabolic activity in DSS cells in consortia with ANME by FISH-NanoSIMS confirmed their dependence on methanotrophy, with no (15)NH4(+) assimilation detected without methane. In contrast, DSS and DSB cells found physically independent of ANME (i.e., single cells) were anabolically active in incubations both with and without methane. These single cells therefore comprise an active 'free-living' population, and are not dependent on methane or ANME activity. We investigated the possibility of N2 fixation by seep Deltaproteobacteria and detected nifH transcripts closely related to those of cultured diazotrophic Deltaproteobacteria. However, nifH expression was methane-dependent. (15)N2 incorporation was not observed in single DSS cells, but was detected in single DSB cells. Interestingly, (15)N2 incorporation in single DSB cells was methane-dependent, raising the possibility that DSB cells acquired reduced (15)N products from diazotrophic ANME while spatially coupled, and then subsequently dissociated. With this combined data set we address several outstanding questions in methane seep microbial ecosystems and highlight the benefit of measuring microbial activity in

  5. Origin and transport of pore fluids in the Nankai accretionary prism inferred from chemical and isotopic compositions of pore water at cold seep sites off Kumano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, Tomohiro; Higa, Ryosaku; Ijiri, Akira; Tsunogai, Urumu; Ashi, Juichiro

    2014-12-01

    We used push corers during manned submersible dives to obtain sediment samples of up to 30 cm from the subseafloor at the Oomine Ridge. The concentrations of B in pore water extracted from the sediment samples from cold seep sites were higher than could be explained by organic matter decomposition, suggesting that the seepage fluid at the site was influenced by B derived from smectite-illite alteration, which occurs between 50°C and 160°C. Although the negative δ18OH2O and δDH2O values of the pore fluids cannot be explained by freshwater derived from clay mineral dehydration (CMD), we considered the contribution of pore fluids in the shallow sediments of the accretionary prism, which showed negative δ18OH2O and δDH2O values according to the results obtained during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expeditions 315 and 316. We calculated the mixing ratios based on a four-end-member mixing model including freshwater derived from CMD, pore fluids in the shallow (SPF) accretionary prism sediment, seawater (SW), and freshwater derived from methane hydrate (MH) dissociation. However, the Oomine seep fluids were unable to be explained without four end members, suggesting that deep-sourced fluids in the accretionary prism influenced the seeping fluids from this area. This finding presents the first evidence of deep-sourced fluids at cold seep sites in the Oomine Ridge, indicating that a megasplay fault is a potential pathway for the deep-sourced fluids.

  6. Resistivity structure of the Del Mar methane seep.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kannberg, P. K.; Constable, S.

    2015-12-01

    In March of 2015 we mapped the resistivity structure of the Del Mar methane seep in the inner California borderlands using a deep towed electromagnetic (EM) source and receiver array. Located in the San Diego trough at a depth of 1km, the seep site is on the flank of a mound associated with a transpressive step in the San Diego trough fault. The seep site has previously been associated with seafloor pockmarks, acoustic wipeouts, chemosynthetic communities, and active methane bubble venting. Controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) surveys are performed by deep-towing an EM source that is transmitting a known signal; this signal is detected by towed receivers. This transmitted signal is altered by the electrical properties of the surrounding environment. Compared to seismic methods, EM methods are largely insensitive to free gas, making it an especially useful tool for detecting electrically resistive methane hydrate in areas of active gas venting. We used a 50m dipole transmitting 100A, with 3-axis electric field receivers spaced at 130m, 230m, 330m, and 430m behind the transmitter dipole center. The receiver data are inverted using MARE2DEM, a finite element 2D inversion routine. The inversion results show the background resistivity of the trough sediments to be about 1-2 ohmm, and are largely featureless outside of the seep site. However at the seep site we see a decanter-shaped 100 ohmm resistor whose base is 100m below the seafloor, and 1km wide at its widest. This feature narrows at the top to form a pipe structure about 200m wide that extends to the seafloor. These resistive structures are interpreted to be methane hydrate resulting from methane rich fluid flow along faults associated with the transpressional system that brackets the seep site.

  7. Biosynthesis of selenium rich exopolysaccharide (Se-EPS) by Pseudomonas PT-8 and characterization of its antioxidant activities.

    PubMed

    Ye, Shuhong; Zhang, Jiajia; Liu, Zhaofang; Zhang, Yu; Li, Jiang; Li, Yao Olive

    2016-05-20

    Biosynthesis of organo-selenium is achieved by submerged fermentation of selenium-tolerant Pseudomonas PT-8. The end product of metabolic process is selenium-bearing exopolysaccharide (Se-EPS), which contains a higher content of uronic acid than the exopolysaccharide (EPS) by the strain without selenium in the culture medium. Selenium content in Se-EPS reached a maximum yield of 256.7 mg/kg when using an optimized culture condition. Crude Se-EPS was purified into two fractions-a pH neutral Se-EPS-1 and an acidic Se-EPS-2. Structure and chemical composition of Se-EPS-2 were investigated by chromatographic analyses. Results showed that Se-EPS-2 was a homogenous polysaccharide with molecular weight of 7.3 kDa, consisting of monosaccharides, rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, glucose and galactose with a molar ratio of 19.58:19.28:5.97:18.99:23.70:12.48, respectively. Compared to the EPS, the content of rhamnose in Se-EPS increased and molecular weight decreased. The Se-EPS had strong scavenging actions on DPPH•, •OH and •O2(-), which is much higher than the EPS. PMID:26917395

  8. Depth-related structure and ecological significance of cold-seep communities—a case study from the Sea of Okhotsk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahling, Heiko; Galkin, Sergey V.; Salyuk, Anatoly; Greinert, Jens; Foerstel, Hilmar; Piepenburg, Dieter; Suess, Erwin

    2003-12-01

    We discovered and investigated several cold-seep sites in four depth zones of the Sea of Okhotsk off Northeast Sakhalin: outer shelf (160-250 m), upper slope (250-450 m), intermediate slope (450-800 m), and Derugin Basin (1450-1600 m). Active seepage of free methane or methane-rich fluids was detected in each zone. However, seabed photography and sampling revealed that the number of chemoautotrophic species decreases dramatically with decreasing water depth. At greatest depths in the Derugin Basin, the seeps were inhabited by bacterial mats and bivalves of the families Vesicomyidae ( Calyptogena aff. pacifica, C. rectimargo, Archivesica sp.), Solemyidae ( Acharax sp.) and Thyasiridae ( Conchocele bisecta). In addition, pogonophoran tubeworms of the family Sclerolinidae were found in barite edifices. At the shallowest sites, on the shelf at 160 m, the seeps lack chemoautotrophic macrofauna; their locations were indicated only by the patchy occurrence of bacterial mats. Typical seep-endemic metazoans with chemosynthetic symbionts were confined to seep sites at depths below 370 m. A comparative analysis of the structure of seep and background communities suggests that differences in predation pressure may be an important determinant of this pattern. The abundance of predators such as carnivorous brachyurans and asteroids, which can invade seeps from adjacent habitats and efficiently prey on sessile seep bivalves, decreased very pronouncedly with depth. We conclude from the obvious correlation with the conspicuous pattern in the distribution of seep assemblages that, on the shelf and at the upper slope, predator pressure may be high enough to effectively impede any successful settlement of viable populations of seep-endemic metazoans. However, there was also evidence that other depth-related factors, such as bottom-water current, sedimentary regimes, oxygen concentrations and the supply of suitable settling substrates, may additionally regulate the distribution of seep

  9. Methanotrophic gastropods from a bathyal hydrocarbon seep, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, L.C.; Aharon, P.; Gupta, S. )

    1992-01-01

    Two gastropods, Neritina sp. and Truncatella sp., collected live from a Gulf of Mexico active gas seep with the submersible Johnson Sea Link in September 1991, apparently incorporate methane-derived carbon in their soft tissues. Flesh of an individual Neritina sp. had a delta C-13 of [minus]50.92 per mil PDB, and that of two coexisting individuals of Truncatella sp. had values of [minus]45.11 and [minus]49.27 per mil. These isotope values are comparable to those reported for the methanotrophic mytilid bivalve Bathymodiolus sp. from other hydrocarbon seeps on the Gulf of Mexico, and are lighter than published isotopic values of chemosynthetic organisms with sulfur-oxidizing symbionts. The anomalously light carbon-isotopic values of Neritina sp. and Truncatella sp. may steam from one of three causes: (1) these gastropods host symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria, (2) their chief food is methane-oxidizing bacteria present at the seep, or (3) they incorporate some carbon from the periostracum of mussels on which they may graze. The presence of abundant juveniles of Bathymodiolus, reported to settle preferentially in areas of active seepage and high methane release, indicates that methane was abundant and supported a community with multiple trophic levels. Generally, studies of hydrocarbon-seep communities have focused on larger community members, especially bivalves and tube worms. The presence of living Neritina and Truncatella at the authors sampling site, however, draws attention to the fact that these gastropods are integral and significant parts of hydrocarbon-seep communities. Both gastropod species are members of genera that characteristically inhabit shallow marine, intertidal, and semiterrestrial environments. The presence of these genera in bathyal hydrocarbon seeps indicates that they have very broad environmental ranges, thus limiting their utility in paleoecologic reconstructions.

  10. Massive barite deposits and carbonate mineralization in the Derugin Basin, Sea of Okhotsk: precipitation processes at cold seep sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, Jens; Bollwerk, Sandra M.; Derkachev, Alexander; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Suess, Erwin

    2002-10-01

    : 9.0-17.6‰ SMOW) strongly point to biological sulfate reduction processes. The isotope ranges of both S and O can be exclusively explained as the result of a mixture of residual sulfate after a biological sulfate reduction and isotopic fractionation with 'normal' seawater sulfate. While massive barite deposits are commonly assumed to be of hydrothermal origin, the assemblage of cheomautotrophic clams, methane-derived carbonates, and non-thermally equilibrated barite sulfate strongly implies that these barites have formed at ambient bottom water temperatures and form the features of a Giant Cold Seep setting that has been active for at least 49 000 yr.

  11. Investigation of shallow gas hydrate occurrence and gas seep activity on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Young Keun; Baranov, Boris; Obzhirov, Anatoly; Salomatin, Alexander; Derkachev, Alexander; Hachikubo, Akihiro; Minami, Hrotsugu; Kuk Hong, Jong

    2016-04-01

    The Sakhalin continental slope has been a well-known gas hydrate area since the first finding of gas hydrate in 1980's. This area belongs to the southernmost glacial sea in the northern hemisphere where most of the area sea is covered by sea ice the winter season. Very high organic carbon content in the sediment, cold sea environment, and active tectonic regime in the Sakhalin slope provide a very favorable condition for occurring shallow gas hydrate accumulation and gas emission phenomena. Research expeditions under the framework of a Korean-Russian-Japanese long-term international collaboration projects (CHAOS, SSGH-I, SSGH-II projects) have been conducted to investigate gas hydrate occurrence and gas seepage activities on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia from 2003 to 2015. During the expeditions, near-surface gas hydrate samples at more than 30 sites have been retrieved and hundreds of active gas seepage structures on the seafloor were newly registered by multidisciplinary surveys. The gas hydrates occurrence at the various water depths from about 300 m to 1000 m in the study area were accompanied by active gas seepage-related phenomena in the sub-bottom, on the seafloor, and in the water column: well-defined upward gas migration structures (gas chimney) imaged by high-resolution seismic, hydroacoustic anomalies of gas emissions (gas flares) detected by echosounders, seafloor high backscatter intensities (seepage structures) imaged by side-scan sonar and bathymetric structures (pockmarks and mounds) mapped by single/multi-beam surveys, and very shallow SMTZ (sulphate-methane transition zone) depths, strong microbial activities and high methane concentrations measured in sediment/seawater samples. The highlights of the expeditions are shallow gas hydrate occurrences around 300 m in the water depth which is nearly closed to the upper boundary of gas hydrate stability zone in the area and a 2,000 m-high gas flare emitted from the deep seafloor.

  12. Tracking Dissolved Methane Concentrations near Active Seeps and Gas Hydrates: Sea of Japan.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, G. T.; Aoki, S.; Matsumoto, R.; Tomaru, H.; Owari, S.; Nakajima, R.; Doolittle, D. F.; Brant, B.

    2015-12-01

    A number of regions in the Sea of Japan are known for active gas venting and for gas hydrate exposures on the sea floor. In this investigation we employed several gas sensors mounted on a ROV in order to determine the concentrations of dissolved methane in the water near these sites. Methane concentrations were determined during two-second intervals throughout each ROV deployment during the cruise. The methane sensor deployments were coupled with seawater sampling using Niskin bottles. Dissolved gas concentrations were later measured using gas chromatography in order to compare with the sensor results taken at the same time. The observed maximum dissolved methane concentrations were much lower than saturation values, even when the ROV manipulators were in contact with gas hydrate. Nonetheless, dissolved concentrations did reach several thousands of nmol/L near gas hydrate exposures and gas bubbles, more than two orders of magnitude over the instrumental detection limits. Most of the sensors tested were able to detect dissolved methane concentrations as low as 10 nmol/L which permitted detection when the ROV approached methane plume sites, even from several tens of meters above the sea floor. Despite the low detection limits, the methane sensors showed variable response times when returning to low-background seawater (~5nM). For some of the sensors, the response time necessary to return to background values occurred in a matter of minutes, while for others it took several hours. Response time, as well as detection limit, should be an important consideration when selecting methane sensors for ROV or AUV investigations. This research was made possible, in part, through funding provided by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

  13. Airborne Oceanographic Lidar results: SEEP II, Fluorosensing missions. Final report, 11 March--12 May 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-03-01

    A series of 6 missions were flown with the NASA Airborne Oceanographic Lidar (AOL) in support of the Department of Energy (DOE) funded Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) II investigations. SEEP II is the second major SEEP field study. The initial series of experiments, termed SEEP I, were conducted in the New York Bight in 1984. The SEEP II study site is located on the Atlantic Shelf east of the Delmarva Peninsula. SEEP II ship sampling and instrumented mooring activities began in February, 1988 and are scheduled to continue through the 1989 spring phytoplankton bloom. The results described in this report were obtained with the AOL on six flights arranged to span the annual spring phytoplankton bloom on the mid-Atlantic Shelf. The AOL field missions were designed to gather information on the surface layer distribution of the phytoplankton photopigments, chlorophyll and phycoerythrin, and sea surface temperature (SST) over a wide area surrounding the moorings. The flight lines were arranged to provide an assessment of these parameters from the shoreline across shelf and slope waters. On most of the missions, sampling was extended into the western edge of the Gulf Stream.

  14. Ecology of Two Terrestrial Serpentinizing Fluid Seeps Offers a Glimpse of the Deep Biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woycheese, K. M.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Cardace, D.; Gulecal, Y.; Arcilla, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    biofilms. Despite the variations in taxonomic diversity at both sites, functional diversity inferred from sequencing data is similar. The presence of Thaumarchaeota taxa at both locations suggests ammonia oxidation. Methanogenic archaeal taxa may indicate methanogenesis, but it is possible that these archaea are using methanogenesis pathways in reverse (methanotrophy). Clostridia and Bacteriodetes were present at both seep sources, which suggests anaerobic fermentation is a viable metabolism. The ability of Clostridia to form spores may be advantageous at the ephemeral Yanartas seep. The contrast between anaerobic taxa abundances at both locations may be due to the difference in surface mixing at the seeps' surface expressions. Sequencing reads from both localities revealed a preponderance of methanogens, fermenters, and nitrifiers that may be remnants of a deep subsurface population exposed abruptly to atmospheric conditions. Further work is necessary to determine which metabolisms are most active within the microbial community, and to ascertain the biogenecity of the methane at both seeps.

  15. Enumeration of viruses and prokaryotes in deep-sea sediments and cold seeps of the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2010-01-01

    Little is known about the distribution and abundance of viruses in deep-sea cold-seep environments. Like hydrothermal vents, seeps support communities of macrofauna that are sustained by chemosynthetic bacteria. Sediments close to these communities are hypothesized to be more microbiologically active and therefore to host higher numbers of viruses than non-seep areas. Push cores were taken at five types of Gulf of Mexico habitats at water depths below 1000 m using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The habitats included non-seep reference sediment, brine seeps, a microbial mat, an urchin field, and a pogonophoran worm community. Samples were processed immediately for enumeration of viruses and prokaryotes without the addition of a preservative. Prokaryote counts were an order of magnitude lower in sediments directly in contact with macrofauna (urchins, pogonophorans) compared to all other samples (107 vs. 108 cells g-1 dry weight) and were highest in areas of elevated salinity (brine seeps). Viral-Like Particle (VLP) counts were lowest in the reference sediments and pogonophoran cores (108 VLP g-1 dry wt), higher in brine seeps (109 VLP g-1 dry wt), and highest in the microbial mats (1010 VLP g-1 dry wt). Virus-prokaryote ratios (VPR) ranged from <5 in the reference sediment to >30 in the microbial mats and >60 in the urchin field. VLP counts and VPR were all significantly greater than those reported from sediments in the deep Mediterranean Sea and in most cases were higher than recent data from a cold-seep site near Japan. The high VPR suggest that greater microbial activity in or near cold-seep environments results in greater viral production and therefore higher numbers of viruses.

  16. Biogeochemical processes and microbial diversity of the Gullfaks and Tommeliten methane seeps (Northern North Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegener, G.; Shovitri, M.; Knittel, K.; Niemann, H.; Hovland, M.; Boetius, A.

    2008-02-01

    Fluid-flow related seafloor structures and gas seeps were detected in the North Sea in the 1970s and 1980s by acoustic sub-bottom profiling and oil rig surveys. A variety of features like pockmarks, gas vents and authigenic carbonate cements were found to be associated with sites of oil and gas exploration, indicating a link between these surface structures and underlying deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we performed acoustic surveys and videographic observation at Gullfaks, Holene Trench, Tommeliten, Witch's Hole and the giant pockmarks of the UK Block 15/25, to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cold seep ecosystems in the Northern North Sea. The most active gas seep sites, i.e. Gullfaks and Tommeliten, were investigated in detail: at both sites gas bubbles escaped continuously from small holes in the seabed to the water column, reaching the upper mixed surface layer as indicated by acoustic images of the gas flares. At Gullfaks a 0.1 km2 large gas emission site was detected on a flat sandy seabed, covered by filamentous sulfide-oxidizing bacteria. At Tommeliten we found a patchy distribution of small bacterial mats indicating sites of gas seepage. Here the seafloor consists of layers of sand and stiff clay, and gas emission was observed from small cracks in the seafloor. At both sites the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction is the major source of sulfide. Molecular analyses targeting specific lipid biomarkers and 16 S rRNA gene sequences identified an active microbial community dominated by sulfide-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as methanotrophic bacteria and archaea. Carbon isotope values of specific microbial fatty acids and alcohols were highly depleted, indicating that the microbial community at both gas seeps incorporates methane or its metabolites. The microbial community composition of both shallow seeps show high similarities to the deep water seeps associated with gas hydrates

  17. Hydrocarbon seep-carbonates of a Miocene forearc (East Coast Basin), North Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Kathleen A.; Francis, David A.; Collins, Mike; Gregory, Murray R.; Nelson, Campbell S.; Greinert, Jens; Aharon, Paul

    2008-02-01

    An ancient hydrocarbon seep province of 14 isolated, authigenic carbonate deposits has been identified in fine-grained, deep-marine siliciclastic strata of the Miocene East Coast Basin, North Island, New Zealand. These forearc sediments have been uplifted and complexly deformed into accretionary ridges, adjacent to the still-active Hikurangi convergent margin. Older active and passive margin strata (mid-Cretaceous to Oligocene in age) underlie the Neogene sequence, and contain oil- and gas-prone source rocks. Older Mesozoic meta-sedimentary rocks constitute the backstop against which the current phase of subduction-related sedimentation has accumulated (~ 24 Ma-present). The seep-carbonates (up to 10 m thick, 200 m across) archive methane signatures in their depleted carbon isotopes (to δ13C -51.7‰ PDB), and contain chemosynthesis-based paleocommunities (e.g. worm tubes, bathymodioline mussels, and vesicomyid, lucinid and thyasirid bivalves) typical of other Cenozoic and modern seeps. Northern and southern sites are geographically separated, and exhibit distinct lithological and faunal differences. Structural settings are variable. Seep-associated lithologies also are varied, and suggest carbonate development in sub-seafloor, seafloor and physically reworked (diapiric expansion, gas explosion, gravity slide or debris flow) settings, similar to Italian Apennine seep deposits of overlapping ages. Peculiar attributes of the New Zealand Miocene seep deposits are several, including digitate thrombolites of clotted microbial micrite encased in thick, isopachous horizons and botryoids of aragonite. Seep plumbing features are also well-exposed at some sites, displaying probable gas-explosion breccias filled with aragonite, tubular concretions (fluid conduits), and carbonate-cemented, thin sandstone beds and burrows within otherwise impermeable mudstones. A few seeps were large enough to develop talus-debris piles on their flanks, which were populated by lucinid bivalves

  18. An overview of the latest results of cold seep research along the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, J.; Faure, K.; Bialas, J.; Linke, P.; Pecher, I.; Rowden, A.

    2008-12-01

    Prior to 2006, the knowledge about cold seeps around New Zealand was based mainly on accidental recovery of seep fauna or methane-derived carbonates by fishermen and flares in echo sounders. Lewis and Marshall (1996) compiled these findings, providing the first details on 13 seep sites. Four of those are located at the Hikurangi Margin along the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. Since then, three international cruises in 2006 and 2007 enhanced our knowledge considerably about methane seepage along the Hikurangi Margin, an area which has in places very strong BSRs. Two cruises on RV TANGAROA in 2006 focused on extensive reconnaissance work as well as fauna sampling, geochemical pore water analyses and CTD casts including water sampling for methane analyses. Several new seep sites were discovered during these cruises. Using these data, very detailed investigations in four main working areas could be performed during a 10-weeks expedition with RV SONNE (SO191). All research topics currently discussed in the scientific community were addressed using state-of-the-art equipment (e.g. deep- tow side-scan and ROV-deployments). Fourteen institutes from seven countries were involved. Echosounder and sidescan surveys unmistakably revealed active seep sites by detecting bubbles in the water column and carbonate precipitation at the seafloor forming massive chemoherm complexes. These complexes are associated with typical seep fauna like tube worms, bivalve mollusk species (Calyptogena, Bathymodiolus),and bacterial mats. At the fringe of these chemoherms dark sediment patches were observed which exihibit a novel seep habitat dominated by dense beds of two new species of heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes. Bubble release was visually observed at several sites and recorded in the backscatter of various acoustic devices. At one site (680m water depth) very strong, pulsing outbursts could be observed repeatedly with methane fluxes of 20 to 25 l/min (60 to 74 mol

  19. Atmospheric methane emissions coupled to a CO2-sink at an Arctic shelf seep area offshore NW Svalbard: Introducing the "Seep-Fertilization Hypothesis"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, Jens; Pohlman, John; Silyakova, Anna; Mienert, Jürgen; Ruppel, Carolyn; Casso, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Documented warming of intermediate waters by ~1C over the past 30 years along the western Svalbard margin has been suggested as a driver of climate-change induced dissociation of marine methane hydrate. However, recent evidence suggests methane release has been occurring for thousands of years near the upper limit of methane hydrate stability zone and that seasonal changes in bottom water temperature may be more important than longer-term warming of intermediate waters. However, the existence of hydrates at the upper limit of the gas hydrate zone has been based on modeling results only and gas hydrates have not been sampled successfully. Yearly studies, undertaken during RV Helmer Hanssen cruises as part of CAGE have shown that no significant amount of methane reaches the upper water column and is being released towards the atmosphere from this ca. 400m deep sites. The same is true for a very active seep area at the shelf break in 240m water depth where detailed hydroacoustic studies show fluctuating fluxes between 71 and 114 T/yr in total. Here we focus on studies conducted with the USGS Gas Analysis System (USGS-GAS). Continuous surface water methane and carbon dioxide concentrations and associated data are used to calculate sea-air fluxes with this cavity ring-down spectrometer-based analytical system. Only the shallow seep site (~90 m water depth) had appreciable methane in surface waters. We conducted an exhaustive survey of this site, mapping the full extent of the surface methane plume. To provide three-dimensional constraints, we acquired 65 vertical dissolved methane profiles to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the subsurface methane plume. The USGS-GAS data show that methane beyond the 'normal' background fluxes of ~1 µmol m-2 d-1 is elevated at the intensively bubbling shallow seep site (max. 35 µmol m-2 d-1) and near the shallow coastal zone where the fluxes over a large area reach 25 µmol m-2 d-1. Comparing coastal and seep fluxes on

  20. Submeter Mapping Of Methane Seeps By ROV Observations And Measurements At The Hikurangi Margin, New Zeeland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naudts, L.; Greinert, J.; Poort, J.; Belza, J.; Vangampelaere, E.; Boone, D.; Linke, P.; Henriet, J.; de Batist, M.

    2008-12-01

    During R.V. Sonne cruise SO191-3, part of the "New (Zealand Cold) Vents" expedition, RCMG deployed their CHEROKEE ROV "Genesis" on the Hikurangi Margin. This accretionary margin, on the east coast of New Zealand, is related to the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate. Several cold seep locations as well as an extensive BSR, indicating the presence of gas hydrates, have been found at this margin. The aims of the ROV-work were to precisely localize active methane seeps, to conduct detailed visual observations of the seep structures and activity, and to perform measurements of physical properties and collect samples at and around the seep locations. The ROV allowed first ever visual observations of bubble- releasing seeps at the Hikurangi Margin. Seeps were observed at Faure Site and LM-3 in the Rock Garden area, at a flat to moderately undulating sea floor where soft sediments alternate with carbonate platforms. Bubble-releasing activity was very variable in time, with periods of almost non-activity (5 bubbles/second) alternating with periods of violent outbursts (190 bubbles/second). Bubbles sizes ranged from less than 5 mm to more than 20 mm. At Faure Site, bubble release was monitored over a period of 20 minutes, resulting in the observation of 6 outbursts, each lasting 1 minute at a 3 minute interval. These violent outbursts were accompanied by the displacement and resuspension of sediment grains and the formation of small depressions showing what is possibly an initial stage of pockmark formation. At the LM-3 site only some small bubbling seeps were observed near a large carbonate platform covered by Bathymodiolus mussels, Calyptogena shells and tube worms. Sediment-temperature measurements, in both areas, were largely comparable with the bottom-water temperature except at LM-3, at a site densely populated by polychaetes, where anomalous low sediment-temperature was measured. Overall, both seep areas are very confined in space and bottom

  1. Investigating Hydrocarbon Seep Environments with High-Resolution, Three-Dimensional Geographic Visualizations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doolittle, D. F.; Gharib, J. J.; Mitchell, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detailed photographic imagery and bathymetric maps of the seafloor acquired by deep submergence vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) are expanding how scientists and the public view and ultimately understand the seafloor and the processes that modify it. Several recently acquired optical and acoustic datasets, collected during ECOGIG (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) and other Gulf of Mexico expeditions using the National Institute for Undersea Science Technology (NIUST) Eagle Ray, and Mola Mola AUVs, have been fused with lower resolution data to create unique three-dimensional geovisualizations. Included in these data are multi-scale and multi-resolution visualizations over hydrocarbon seeps and seep related features. Resolution of the data range from 10s of mm to 10s of m. When multi-resolution data is integrated into a single three-dimensional visual environment, new insights into seafloor and seep processes can be obtained from the intuitive nature of three-dimensional data exploration. We provide examples and demonstrate how integration of multibeam bathymetry, seafloor backscatter data, sub-bottom profiler data, textured photomosaics, and hull-mounted multibeam acoustic midwater imagery are made into a series a three-dimensional geovisualizations of actively seeping sites and associated chemosynthetic communities. From these combined and merged datasets, insights on seep community structure, morphology, ecology, fluid migration dynamics, and process geomorphology can be investigated from new spatial perspectives. Such datasets also promote valuable inter-comparisons of sensor resolution and performance.

  2. Influence of seep emission on the non-symbiont-bearing fauna and vagrant species at an active giant pockmark in the Gulf of Guinea (Congo-Angola margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olu, K.; Caprais, J. C.; Galéron, J.; Causse, R.; von Cosel, R.; Budzinski, H.; Ménach, K. Le; Roux, C. Le; Levaché, D.; Khripounoff, A.; Sibuet, M.

    2009-12-01

    Detailed surveying with an ROV found that a dense and diverse cold-seep community colonises a giant pockmark located at 3200 m depth, 8 km north from the deep Congo channel. Several types of assemblages, either dominated by Mytilidae and Vesicomyidae bivalves or Siboglinidae polychaetes, are distributed on the 800-m diameter active area. The site is characterised by a most active central zone in a depression with abundant carbonate concretions and high methane fluxes where high-density clusters of mussels and siboglinids dominate. In contrast, the peripheral zones display large fields of dead and live vesicomyids on soft sediment, with a lower mean density and lower methane concentration in seawater. The associated megafauna includes Alvinocarididae shrimps, echinoids, holothurians of the family Synaptidae, several species of gastropods, two species of galatheids, and Zoarcidae and Ophidiidae fishes. Multivariate analyses of video transect data show that the distribution of these major megafauna species at the pockmark scale is influenced by the habitat heterogeneity due to fluid or gas emission, occurrence of hydrates, substratum variability and by the presence of large symbiont-bearing species. Several assemblages dominated either by mytilids, vesicomyids, or siboglinids have been sampled for megafauna densities and biomass estimations and stable isotope measurements ( δ13C and δ15N) of dominant species and food sources. The highest estimates of megafauna densities have been obtained in mytilid beds. According to their stable isotopes values, non-symbiont-bearing species mainly rely on chemosynthesis-originated carbon, either as primary consumers of chemoautotrophic microorganisms, or at higher trophic level recycling organic matter, or relying on bivalve and tubeworm production. Most of them likely feed on different sources like shrimps, but differences according to habitat have been evidenced. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of galatheids and benthic or

  3. Multiscale Image of a Seep Structure - Takahe, Offshore New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, S.; Dumke, I.; Bialas, J.; Crutchley, G.; Greinert, J.; Klaschen, D.; Klaucke, I.; Papenberg, C.

    2012-04-01

    We present a multi-scale geophysical study of a methane seep site "Takahe" on the southern Hikurangi Margin offshore New Zealand's North Island. Seismic, Parasound, sidescan sonar and subbottom profiler data were combined to image the spatial structure of the seep and its expression at the seafloor. The data were acquired in March of 2011 during the cruise SO214 with the German research vessel R/V Sonne. The aim of the project was to investigate cold seep structures within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). 2.5D seismic reflection data reveal the sub-seafloor structure of gas migration pathways beneath Takahe, which can be traced to a source that is at least as deep as the base of the GHSZ. The structure can be divided into three parts: i) a broad feeding base that narrows into an inverted bathtub-shaped funnel, ii) a narrow, vertical conduit extending upwards from the funnel to approximately 50 m beneath the seafloor and iii) a second bathtub-shaped expression fanning out from the top of the narrow conduit to the seafloor. Multiple Parasound transects acquired over Takahe reveal the shallow structure of the upper 50 m of the gas conduit in very high detail. The conduit penetrates a strong reflection representing an unconformity between less-consolidated sediments above and well-indurated "hard" sediments below. Shallow amplitude anomalies within the conduit are interpreted as free gas close to the seafloor. The high-frequency component of the Parasound system was used to image numerous flares in the water column, revealing that gas is actively venting from the seafloor at this site. Active venting is also suggested by several flares imaged in the water-column of the unprocessed sidescan sonar data. Takahe site is marked by slightly elevated backscatter over a 0.059 km2 large, oval-shaped area. Authigenic carbonates are not present on the seafloor, which distinguishes Takahe from the majority of seeps on Opouawe Bank. Takahe possibly is a relatively young seep

  4. Biogeochemical processes and microbial diversity of the Gullfaks and Tommeliten methane seeps (Northern North Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegener, G.; Shovitri, M.; Knittel, K.; Niemann, H.; Hovland, M.; Boetius, A.

    2008-08-01

    Fluid flow related seafloor structures and gas seeps were detected in the North Sea in the 1970s and 1980s by acoustic sub-bottom profiling and oil rig surveys. A variety of features like pockmarks, gas vents and authigenic carbonate cements were found to be associated with sites of oil and gas exploration, indicating a link between these surface structures and the underlying, deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we performed acoustic surveys and videographic observation at Gullfaks, Holene Trench, Tommeliten, Witch's Hole and the giant pockmarks of the UK Block 15/25, to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cold seep ecosystems in the Northern North Sea. The most active gas seep sites, i.e. Gullfaks and Tommeliten, were investigated in detail. At both sites, gas bubbles escaped continuously from small holes in the seabed to the water column, reaching the upper mixed surface layer. At Gullfaks a gas emitting, flat area of 0.1 km2 of sandy seabed covered by filamentous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria was detected. At Tommeliten, we found a patchy distribution of small bacterial mats indicating sites of gas seepage. Below the patches the seafloor consisted of sand from which gas emissions were observed. At both sites, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction (SR) was the major source of sulfide. Molecular analyses targeting specific lipid biomarkers and 16S rRNA gene sequences identified an active microbial community dominated by sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as methanotrophic bacteria and archaea. Stable carbon isotope values of specific, microbial fatty acids and alcohols from both sites were highly depleted in the heavy isotope 13C, indicating that the microbial community incorporates methane or its metabolites. The microbial community composition of both shallow seeps shows high similarities to the deep water seeps associated with gas hydrates such as Hydrate Ridge or the Eel River basin.

  5. Hydrothermal vents and methane seeps: Rethinking the sphere of influence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Levin, Lisa A.; Baco, Amy; Bowden, David; Colaco, Ana; Cordes, Erik E.; Cunha, Marina; Demopoulos, Amanda; Gobin, Judith; Grupe, Ben; Le, Jennifer; Metaxas, Anna; Netburn, Amanda; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew; Tunnicliffe, Verena; Van Dover, Cindy L.; Vanreusel, Ann; Watling, Les

    2016-01-01

    Although initially viewed as oases within a barren deep ocean, hydrothermal vent and methane seep communities are now recognized to interact with surrounding ecosystems on the sea floor and in the water column, and to affect global geochemical cycles. The importance of understanding these interactions is growing as the potential rises for disturbance from oil and gas extraction, seabed mining and bottom trawling. Here we synthesize current knowledge of the nature, extent and time and space scales of vent and seep interactions with background systems. We document an expanded footprint beyond the site of local venting or seepage with respect to elemental cycling and energy flux, habitat use, trophic interactions, and connectivity. Heat and energy are released, global biogeochemical and elemental cycles are modified, and particulates are transported widely in plumes. Hard and biotic substrates produced at vents and seeps are used by “benthic background” fauna for attachment substrata, shelter, and access to food via grazing or through position in the current, while particulates and fluid fluxes modify planktonic microbial communities. Chemosynthetic production provides nutrition to a host of benthic and planktonic heterotrophic background species through multiple horizontal and vertical transfer pathways assisted by flow, gamete release, animal movements, and succession, but these pathways remain poorly known. Shared species, genera and families indicate that ecological and evolutionary connectivity exists among vents, seeps, organic falls and background communities in the deep sea; the genetic linkages with inactive vents and seeps and background assemblages however, are practically unstudied. The waning of venting or seepage activity generates major transitions in space and time that create links to surrounding ecosystems, often with identifiable ecotones or successional stages. The nature of all these interactions is dependent on water depth, as well as

  6. Authigenic carbonates from an active cold seep of the northern South China Sea: New insights into fluid sources and past seepage activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Chen, Duofu

    2015-12-01

    Site F (also named Formosa ridge) represents the most vigorous cold seep on the northern South China Sea continental slope. In order to constrain the fluid sources and intensities of seepage, we investigated the petrography, mineralogy, stable carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions, element geochemistry and radiocarbon dating of authigenic carbonate rocks retrieved from the seafloor. Carbonate rocks mainly occurred as crusts, nodules, and nodular masses incorporated in carbonate breccias. The carbonates were comprised mainly of high-Mg calcite and aragonite. The δ13C of authigenic carbonate varied from -55.3‰ to -34.3‰ (mean: -48.5‰; n=47) vs. V-PDB, suggesting biogenic methane is the dominant carbon source fuelling the system. The δ18OCarbonate values were from +3.6‰ to +4.8‰ (mean: +3.9‰; n=47). The observed 18O-enrichement in relation to calculated equilibrium values in the carbonates probably reflects dissolution of gas hydrates. Combination of seafloor observations and the obtained AMS 14C ages suggest that (1) initiation of methane seepage from at least 10.6 ka ago; (2) environmental conditions may have been favorable for enhanced fluid seepage around 6 ka BP and (3) relatively low intensity of seepage from 2 ka BP till today.

  7. Gas flux and carbonate occurrence at a shallow seep of thermogenic natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinnaman, Franklin S.; Kimball, Justine B.; Busso, Luis; Birgel, Daniel; Ding, Haibing; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Valentine, David L.

    2010-06-01

    The Coal Oil Point seep field located offshore Santa Barbara, CA, consists of dozens of named seeps, including a peripheral ˜200 m2 area known as Brian Seep, located in 10 m water depth. A single comprehensive survey of gas flux at Brian Seep yielded a methane release rate of ˜450 moles of CH4 per day, originating from 68 persistent gas vents and 23 intermittent vents, with gas flux among persistent vents displaying a log normal frequency distribution. A subsequent series of 33 repeat surveys conducted over a period of 6 months tracked eight persistent vents, and revealed substantial temporal variability in gas venting, with flux from each individual vent varying by more than a factor of 4. During wintertime surveys sediment was largely absent from the site, and carbonate concretions were exposed at the seafloor. The presence of the carbonates was unexpected, as the thermogenic seep gas contains 6.7% CO2, which should act to dissolve carbonates. The average δ13C of the carbonates was -29.2 ± 2.8‰ VPDB, compared to a range of -1.0 to +7.8‰ for CO2 in the seep gas, indicating that CO2 from the seep gas is quantitatively not as important as 13C-depleted bicarbonate derived from methane oxidation. Methane, with a δ13C of approximately -43‰, is oxidized and the resulting inorganic carbon precipitates as high-magnesium calcite and other carbonate minerals. This finding is supported by 13C-depleted biomarkers typically associated with anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and their bacterial syntrophic partners in the carbonates (lipid biomarker δ13C ranged from -84 to -25‰). The inconsistency in δ13C between the carbonates and the seeping CO2 was resolved by discovering pockets of gas trapped near the base of the sediment column with δ13C-CO2 values ranging from -26.9 to -11.6‰. A mechanism of carbonate formation is proposed in which carbonates form near the sediment-bedrock interface during times of sufficient sediment coverage, in which anaerobic oxidation

  8. Cold seep status archived in authigenic carbonates: Mineralogical and isotopic evidence from Northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Yang; Sun, Xiaoming; Lin, Zhiyong; Xu, Li; Gong, Junli; Lu, Hongfeng

    2015-12-01

    Cold-seep carbonates are precipitated under high alkalinity conditions created by the anaerobic oxidation of methane in cold-seep sites. Multiple Ca-Mg-carbonate phases are identified, including aragonite, low-Mg calcite (LMC), high-Mg calcite (HMC), protodolomite, and dolomite. These phases result from different conditions that are related with cold-seep activities. Here, we report on the relationship between the Ca-Mg-carbonate phases and the cold-seep status. Authigenic carbonates were sampled from northern slope of South China Sea. Carbon isotopic compositions of samples from Shenhu area are lower than -40‰, indicating methane-derived carbon. The δ13C values of samples from Southwest (SW) Taiwan area range from ~-30‰ to ~-20‰, which is the result of the mixture of methane carbon and seawater carbon. Carbonate phases were identified according to the composition and structure results. Samples from Shenhu area are composed of protodolomite and HMC. Three zones were discovered from the center to the rim of the cross-section of the tube-like sample from SW Taiwan area. From the external to the internal zones, the carbonate phases are HMC; LMC and protodolomite; HMC, respectively. The intensity of superstructure reflections of the protodolomite from Shenhu area is stronger than that from SW Taiwan area, indicating higher MgCO3 content. Based on the formation conditions of Ca-Mg-carbonates from LMC to dolomite, those with higher MgCO3 content are formed in more active cold-seep environment. According to the distribution of carbonate phases in each sample, the cold seep flux was high in Shenhu area and was sustained for a long time. By contrast, the flux in SW Taiwan area was relatively low and not stable. It once became higher, but finally returned to low.

  9. Environmental effects of submarine seeping natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dando, P. R.; Hovland, M.

    1992-10-01

    It is suspected that most shallow reservoirs of natural gas vent to the surface to some degree. This seeping may be through diffusion of dissolved gas or by a flow of gas bubbles which entrain interstitial water during the rise through the sediments to the surface. Methane bubbles dissolved other gases, notably hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, during their ascent. Under suitable temperature-pressure conditions gas hydrates may be formed close to or at the seabed Black suphide-rich sediments and mats of sulphur oxidizing bacteria are frequently observed close to the sediments surface at seep sites, including a sharp oxic/anoxic boundary. Animal species associated with these gas seeps include both species which obtain nutrition from symbiotic methane-oxidizing bacteria and species with symbolic sulphur-oxidizing bacteria. It is suspected that at some microseepage an enhanced biomass of meiofauna and macrofauna is supported by a food chain based on free-living and symbiotic sulphur-oxidizing and methane-oxidizing bacteria. The most common seep-related features of sea floor topography are local depressions including pockmark craters. Winnowing of the sediment during their creation leads to an accumulation of larger detritis in the depressions. Where the deprssions overlies salt diapirs they may be filled with hypersaline solutions. In some areas dome-shaped features are associated with seepage and these may be colonized by coral reefs. Other reefs, "hard-grounds", columnar and disc-shaped protrusions, all formed of carbonate-cemented sediments, are common on the sea floor in seep areas. Much of the carbonate appears to be derived from carbon dioxide formed as a result of methane oxidation. The resulting hard-bottoms on the sea floor are often colonized by species not found on the neighboring soft-bottoms. As a result seep areas may be characterized by the presence of a rich epifauna.

  10. Tracking California seafloor seeps with bathymetry, backscatter and ROVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orange, Daniel L.; Yun, Janet; Maher, Norman; Barry, James; Greene, Gary

    2002-11-01

    The California (USA) margin includes two different tectonic regimes: subduction north of the Mendocino Triple Junction and translation south. Both margins include seeps, and their distribution can be inferred using seafloor bathymetry and backscatter as well as subsurface seismic data. Anomalous bathymetric and backscatter features related to fluid expulsion include headless submarine canyons, fault zones, anticlines, pockmarks, and mud volcanoes. Anomalous backscatter may be caused by authigenic carbonate (related to the bacterial oxidation of methane) or cold seep clams—both have an impedance and roughness that may be higher than the surrounding seafloor. Remote-operated vehicle (ROV) dives to such suspect seep sites document the presence of extensive authigenic carbonate, areally restricted cold seep communities, carpets of chemoautotrophic bacteria, and bubbling gas. Our operations in the Monterey Bay, on the translational California margin, and the Eel River basin, on the convergent margin, indicate that bathymetric and backscatter maps of the seafloor, if sufficiently high resolution, can be used to map seep sites, and that the distribution of such seeps can be used to constrain subsurface conduits of fluid flow. ROVs, due to their combination of visualization, propulsion, manipulation, sonar, and navigation, provide an excellent platform for ground-truthing, mapping, and sampling seafloor seeps.

  11. An overview of gas hydrate and cold seep research along the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand (2006 & 2007)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, J.; Faure, K.; Naudts, L.; de Batist, M.; Bialas, J.; Linke, P.; Pecher, I.; Rowden, R.

    2009-04-01

    Prior to 2006, the knowledge about cold seeps around New Zealand was based mainly on accidental recovery of seep fauna or methane-derived carbonates by fishermen and the detection of flares in fish-finding sonars. Lewis and Marshall (1996; NZJGG) compiled these findings, providing the first details on 13 seep sites. Four of those are located at the Hikurangi Margin along the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. Since then, three international cruises in 2006 and 2007 enhanced our knowledge considerably about methane seepage along the Hikurangi Margin, an area which has widely distributed and in places very strong BSR. Two cruises on the RV TANGAROA (led by GNS Science and NIWA, NZ) in 2006 focused on extensive reconnaissance work (multibeam mapping, seismic surveys, flare imaging, visual observations) as well as fauna sampling, geochemical pore water analyses and CTD casts including water sampling for methane analyses. Several new seep sites were discovered during these cruises. Using these data, very detailed investigations in four main working areas could be performed during a 10-week expedition with RV SONNE (SO191, led by IFM-GEOMAR, Germany). All research topics currently discussed in the scientific community were addressed using state-of-the-art equipment (e.g. deep-tow side-scan, TV-guided sampling, lander and ROV-deployments). Fourteen institutes from seven countries were involved (Australia, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland). Echosounder and sidescan surveys unmistakably revealed active seep sites by detecting bubbles in the water column and carbonate precipitation at the seafloor forming massive chemoherm complexes. These complexes are associated with typical seep fauna like tube worms, bivalve mollusk species (Calyptogena, Bathymodiolus),and bacterial mats. At the fringe of these chemoherms dark sediment patches were observed which exihibit a novel seep habitat dominated by dense beds of two new species of

  12. Use of LANDSAT-1 data for the detection and mapping of saline seeps in Montana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    May, G. A. (Principal Investigator); Petersen, G. W.

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. April, May, and August are the best times to detect saline seeps. Specific times within these months would be dependent upon weather, phenology, and growth conditions. Saline seeps can be efficiently and accurately mapped, within resolution capabilities, from merged May and August LANDSAT 1 data. Seeps were mapped by detecting salt crusts in the spring and indicator plants in the fall. These indicator plants were kochia, inkweed, and foxtail barley. The total hectares of the mapped saline seeps were calculated and tabulated. Saline seeps less than two hectares in size or that have linear configurations less than 200 meters in width were not mapped using the LANDSAT 1 data. Saline seep signatures developed in the Coffee Creek test site were extended to map saline seeps located outside this area.

  13. Adaptation to deep-sea methane seeps from Cretaceous shallow-water black shale environments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiel, Steffen; Wiese, Frank; Titus, Alan

    2013-04-01

    Sulfide-enriched environments in shallow water were considered as sites where animals acquire pre-adaptations enabling them to colonize deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps or where they survived extinction events in their deep-sea habitats. Here we present upper Cenomanian (early Late Cretaceous) shallow-water seep communities from the Tropic Shale in the Western Interior Seaway, USA, that lived during a time of extremely warm deep-water temperatures, which supposedly facilitates adaptations to the deep sea, and time-equivalent with a period of widespread oceanic and photic zone anoxia (OAE 2) that supposedly extinguished deep-water vent and seep faunas. Contrary to the expectation, the taxa inhabiting the Tropic Shale seeps were not found at any coeval or younger deep-water seep or vent deposit. This suggests that (i) pre-adaptations for living at deep-sea vents and seeps do not evolve at shallow-water methane seeps, and probably also not in sulfide-rich shallow-water environments in general; (ii) a low temperature gradient from shallow to deep water does not facilitate onshore-offshore adaptations to deep-sea vents and seeps; and (iii) shallow-water seeps did not act as refuges for deep-sea vent and seep animals. We hypothesize that the vast majority of adaptations to successfully colonize deep-sea vents and seeps are acquired below the photic zone.

  14. Efficiency and adaptability of the benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide cold seeps, offshore Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Krause, S.; Linke, P.; Hensen, C.; Dale, A. W.; Nuzzo, M.; Treude, T.

    2014-11-01

    Large amounts of methane are delivered by fluids through the erosive forearc of the convergent margin offshore Costa Rica and lead to the formation of cold seeps at the sediment surface. Besides mud extrusion, numerous cold seeps are created by landslides induced by seamount subduction or fluid migration along major faults. Most of the dissolved methane reaching the seafloor at cold seeps is oxidized within the benthic microbial methane filter by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Measurements of AOM and sulfate reduction as well as numerical modeling of porewater profiles revealed a highly active and efficient benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide site; a landslide on the continental slope between the Nicoya and Osa Peninsula. Integrated areal rates of AOM ranged from 12.9 ± 6.0 to 45.2 ± 11.5 mmol m-2 d-1, with only 1 to 2.5% of the upward methane flux being released into the water column. Additionally, two parallel sediment cores from Quepos Slide were used for in vitro experiments in a recently developed Sediment-F low-Through (SLOT) system to simulate an increased fluid and methane flux from the bottom of the sediment core. The benthic methane filter revealed a high adaptability whereby the methane oxidation efficiency responded to the increased fluid flow within 150-170 days. To our knowledge, this study provides the first estimation of the natural biogeochemical response of seep sediments to changes in fluid flow.

  15. Sulfur isotope and porewater geochemistry of Florida escarpment seep sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chanton, J.P.; Martens, C.S.; Paull, C.K.; Coston, J.A.

    1993-01-01

    Distributions of porewater constituents, SO4=, NH4+, Cl-, ???CO2, and H2S, solid phase iron, and sulfur concentrations, and the sulfur isotopic composition of dissolved and solid phases were investigated in sediments from abyssal seeps at the base of the Florida escarpment. Despite the apparent similarity of seep sediment porewater chemistry to that of typical marine sediments undergoing early diagenesis, relationships between chemical distributions and isotopic measurements revealed that the distribution of pore fluid constituents was dominated by processes occurring within the platform rather than by in situ microbial processes. Ammonium and sulfate concentrations were linearly correlated with chloride concentrations, indicating that variations in porewater chemistry were controlled by the admixture of seawater and a sulfate depleted brine with a chlorinity of 27.5 ?? 1.9%. and 2.2 ?? 1.3 mM ammonium concentration. At sites dominated by seepage, dissolved sulfate isotopic composition remained near seawater values despite depletion in porewater concentrations. Porewater ???CO2 concentrations were found to be elevated relative to seawater, but not to the extent predicted from the observed sulfate depletion. Sediment solid phase sulfur was predominantly pyrite, at concentrations as high as 20% S by weight. In contrast to typical marine deposits, pyrite concentrations were not related to the quantity of sedimentary organic matter. Pyrite ??34S values ranged from -29%. to + 21%. (CDT). However, only positive ??34S values were observed at sites associated with high pyrite concentrations. Isotopically heavy pyrite was observed at sites with porewater sulfate of seawater-like isotopic composition. Isotopically light pyrite was associated with sites where porewater sulfate exhibited ??34S values greater than those in seawater, indicating the activity of in situ microbial sulfate reduction. Thus, dual sulfide sources are suggested to explain the range in sediment pyrite

  16. Transcription, Signaling Receptor Activity, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Fatty Acid Metabolism Mediate the Presence of Closely Related Species in Distinct Intertidal and Cold-Seep Habitats.

    PubMed

    Van Campenhout, Jelle; Vanreusel, Ann; Van Belleghem, Steven; Derycke, Sofie

    2016-01-01

    Bathyal cold seeps are isolated extreme deep-sea environments characterized by low species diversity while biomass can be high. The Håkon Mosby mud volcano (Barents Sea, 1,280 m) is a rather stable chemosynthetic driven habitat characterized by prominent surface bacterial mats with high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Here, the nematode Halomonhystera hermesi thrives in high abundances (11,000 individuals 10 cm(-2)). Halomonhystera hermesi is a member of the intertidal Halomonhystera disjuncta species complex that includes five cryptic species (GD1-5). GD1-5's common habitat is characterized by strong environmental fluctuations. Here, we compared the transcriptomes of H. hermesi and GD1, H. hermesi's closest relative. Genes encoding proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation are more strongly expressed in H. hermesi than in GD1, and many genes were only observed in H. hermesi while being completely absent in GD1. Both observations could in part be attributed to high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Additionally, fatty acid elongation was also prominent in H. hermesi confirming the importance of highly unsaturated fatty acids in this species. Significant higher amounts of transcription factors and genes involved in signaling receptor activity were observed in GD1 (many of which were completely absent in H. hermesi), allowing fast signaling and transcriptional reprogramming which can mediate survival in dynamic intertidal environments. GC content was approximately 8% higher in H. hermesi coding unigenes resulting in differential codon usage between both species and a higher proportion of amino acids with GC-rich codons in H. hermesi. In general our results showed that most pathways were active in both environments and that only three genes are under natural selection. This indicates that also plasticity should be taken in consideration in the evolutionary history of Halomonhystera species. Such plasticity, as well as possible

  17. Transcription, Signaling Receptor Activity, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Fatty Acid Metabolism Mediate the Presence of Closely Related Species in Distinct Intertidal and Cold-Seep Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Van Campenhout, Jelle; Vanreusel, Ann; Van Belleghem, Steven; Derycke, Sofie

    2016-01-01

    Bathyal cold seeps are isolated extreme deep-sea environments characterized by low species diversity while biomass can be high. The Håkon Mosby mud volcano (Barents Sea, 1,280 m) is a rather stable chemosynthetic driven habitat characterized by prominent surface bacterial mats with high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Here, the nematode Halomonhystera hermesi thrives in high abundances (11,000 individuals 10 cm−2). Halomonhystera hermesi is a member of the intertidal Halomonhystera disjuncta species complex that includes five cryptic species (GD1-5). GD1-5’s common habitat is characterized by strong environmental fluctuations. Here, we compared the transcriptomes of H. hermesi and GD1, H. hermesi’s closest relative. Genes encoding proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation are more strongly expressed in H. hermesi than in GD1, and many genes were only observed in H. hermesi while being completely absent in GD1. Both observations could in part be attributed to high sulfide concentrations and low oxygen levels. Additionally, fatty acid elongation was also prominent in H. hermesi confirming the importance of highly unsaturated fatty acids in this species. Significant higher amounts of transcription factors and genes involved in signaling receptor activity were observed in GD1 (many of which were completely absent in H. hermesi), allowing fast signaling and transcriptional reprogramming which can mediate survival in dynamic intertidal environments. GC content was approximately 8% higher in H. hermesi coding unigenes resulting in differential codon usage between both species and a higher proportion of amino acids with GC-rich codons in H. hermesi. In general our results showed that most pathways were active in both environments and that only three genes are under natural selection. This indicates that also plasticity should be taken in consideration in the evolutionary history of Halomonhystera species. Such plasticity, as well as possible

  18. Methane and sulfur cycling in terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, L.; Wang, P.; Cheng, T.; Ling, Y.; Sun, C.; Chen, Y.; Wang, C.; Wu, J.; Chu, P.

    2009-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps are ubiquitous in marine and terrestrial environments where gaseous fluids with unconsolidated, fine-grained sediments ascend along fractures prior to being discharged on seafloor or land surface. Complex geological and microbial processes are involved in the sequestration of photosynthetically produced organic carbon into deep subsurface environments and cycling of methane and carbon dioxide back to atmosphere. Extensive studies conducted on marine settings indicate that geochemical stratification in sediment porewater is dynamically regulated by various microbial processes. Whether the experience accumulated over the decadal observation on marine settings could be applied to shallow and deep biosphere beneath terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps remains poorly constrained. To address the issue about how carbon and sulfur compounds were cycled in terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps, this presentation summarized the results obtained from samples collected in two sites (one at 60C and the other at 27C) of southwestern Taiwan. These sites characterized by continuously voluminous discharge of hydrocarbons were considered as the model analogs that would provide better constraints on microbial processes at ambient and high temperatures in seep-related subsurface environments. Our findings indicated that sulfate reduction and methanogenesis were active at temperatures up to 80C. Sulfate reducing and fermentative populations shifted substantially upon incubations at different temperatures, suggesting that degradation of organic carbon could only proceed with collaborative interactions among metabolisms. The proliferation of mesophilic sulfate reduction in sulfate-deprived terrestrial environments appears to be best facilitated by atmospheric oxidation of pyrite inherited in sediments. Sulfate produced in surface environments migrated downward to fuel sulfate reduction coupled to anaerobic methane oxidation near the sulfate-to-methane transition. Of various

  19. Spatial scales of bacterial community diversity at cold seeps (Eastern Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Pop Ristova, Petra; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Ramette, Alban; Felden, Janine; Boetius, Antje

    2015-06-01

    Cold seeps are highly productive, fragmented marine ecosystems that form at the seafloor around hydrocarbon emission pathways. The products of microbial utilization of methane and other hydrocarbons fuel rich chemosynthetic communities at these sites, with much higher respiration rates compared with the surrounding deep-sea floor. Yet little is known as to the richness, composition and spatial scaling of bacterial communities of cold seeps compared with non-seep communities. Here we assessed the bacterial diversity across nine different cold seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean deep-sea and surrounding seafloor areas. Community similarity analyses were carried out based on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) fingerprinting and high-throughput 454 tag sequencing and were combined with in situ and ex situ geochemical analyses across spatial scales of a few tens of meters to hundreds of kilometers. Seep communities were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria and shared, on average, 36% of bacterial types (ARISA OTUs (operational taxonomic units)) with communities from nearby non-seep deep-sea sediments. Bacterial communities of seeps were significantly different from those of non-seep sediments. Within cold seep regions on spatial scales of only tens to hundreds of meters, the bacterial communities differed considerably, sharing <50% of types at the ARISA OTU level. Their variations reflected differences in porewater sulfide concentrations from anaerobic degradation of hydrocarbons. This study shows that cold seep ecosystems contribute substantially to the microbial diversity of the deep-sea. PMID:25500510

  20. Spatial scales of bacterial community diversity at cold seeps (Eastern Mediterranean Sea)

    PubMed Central

    Pop Ristova, Petra; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Ramette, Alban; Felden, Janine; Boetius, Antje

    2015-01-01

    Cold seeps are highly productive, fragmented marine ecosystems that form at the seafloor around hydrocarbon emission pathways. The products of microbial utilization of methane and other hydrocarbons fuel rich chemosynthetic communities at these sites, with much higher respiration rates compared with the surrounding deep-sea floor. Yet little is known as to the richness, composition and spatial scaling of bacterial communities of cold seeps compared with non-seep communities. Here we assessed the bacterial diversity across nine different cold seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean deep-sea and surrounding seafloor areas. Community similarity analyses were carried out based on automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) fingerprinting and high-throughput 454 tag sequencing and were combined with in situ and ex situ geochemical analyses across spatial scales of a few tens of meters to hundreds of kilometers. Seep communities were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria and shared, on average, 36% of bacterial types (ARISA OTUs (operational taxonomic units)) with communities from nearby non-seep deep-sea sediments. Bacterial communities of seeps were significantly different from those of non-seep sediments. Within cold seep regions on spatial scales of only tens to hundreds of meters, the bacterial communities differed considerably, sharing <50% of types at the ARISA OTU level. Their variations reflected differences in porewater sulfide concentrations from anaerobic degradation of hydrocarbons. This study shows that cold seep ecosystems contribute substantially to the microbial diversity of the deep-sea. PMID:25500510

  1. Methane Seep Carbonates Host Distinct, Diverse, and Dynamic Microbial Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Pasulka, Alexis L.; Marlow, Jeffrey J.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Levin, Lisa A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Marine methane seeps are globally distributed geologic features in which reduced fluids, including methane, are advected upward from the subsurface. As a result of alkalinity generation during sulfate-coupled methane oxidation, authigenic carbonates form slabs, nodules, and extensive pavements. These carbonates shape the landscape within methane seeps, persist long after methane flux is diminished, and in some cases are incorporated into the geologic record. In this study, microbial assemblages from 134 native and experimental samples across 5,500 km, representing a range of habitat substrates (carbonate nodules and slabs, sediment, bottom water, and wood) and seepage conditions (active and low activity), were analyzed to address two fundamental questions of seep microbial ecology: (i) whether carbonates host distinct microbial assemblages and (ii) how sensitive microbial assemblages are to habitat substrate type and temporal shifts in methane seepage flux. Through massively parallel 16S rRNA gene sequencing and statistical analysis, native carbonates are shown to be reservoirs of distinct and highly diverse seep microbial assemblages. Unique coupled transplantation and colonization experiments on the seafloor demonstrated that carbonate-associated microbial assemblages are resilient to seep quiescence and reactive to seep activation over 13 months. Various rates of response to simulated seep quiescence and activation are observed among similar phylogenies (e.g., Chloroflexi operational taxonomic units) and similar metabolisms (e.g., putative S oxidizers), demonstrating the wide range of microbial sensitivity to changes in seepage flux. These results imply that carbonates do not passively record a time-integrated history of seep microorganisms but rather host distinct, diverse, and dynamic microbial assemblages. PMID:26695630

  2. Remote detection of hydrocarbon seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Barringer, A. R.

    1985-05-14

    A method of detecting hydrocarbon seeps in a sea or in earth is disclosed. The method involves interrogating aerosols formed above the sea or earth surface with an intense beam of primary light radiation generated aboard an aircraft or other vehicle. The spectral composition of the beam is selected to induce secondary light radiation in certain hydrocarbon materials contained in aerosols generated by hydrocarbon seeps rising to the sea or earth surface. The secondary light radiation is detected aboard the aircraft and subjected to spectral analysis to determine whether the composition of the aerosols is characteristic of aerosols generated by hydrocarbon seeps. Apparatus for implementing the method is also disclosed.

  3. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in the Concepción Methane Seep Area, Chilean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Linke, P.; Scholz, F.; Schmidt, M.; Liebetrau, V.; Treude, T.

    2012-04-01

    Within subduction zones of active continental margins, large amounts of methane can be mobilized by dewatering processes and transported to the seafloor along migration pathways. A recently discovered seep area located off Concepción (Chile) at water depth between 600 to 1100 mbsl is characterized by active methane vent sites as well as massive carbonates boulders and plates which probably are related to methane seepage in the past. During the SO210 research expedition "Chiflux" (Sept-Oct 2010), sediment from the Concepción Methane Seep Area (CSMA) at the fore arc of the Chilean margin was sampled to study microbial activity related to methane seepage. We sampled surface sediments (0-30cm) from sulfur bacteria mats, as well as clam, pogonophoran, and tubeworm fields with push cores and a TV-guided multicorer system. Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and sulfate reduction rates were determined using ex-situ radioisotope tracer techniques. Additionally, porewater chemistry of retrieved cores as well as isotopic composition and age record of surrounding authigenic carbonates were analyzed. The shallowest sulfate-methane-transition zone (SMTZ) was identified at 4 cm sediment depth hinting to locally strong fluid fluxes. However, a lack of Cl- anomalies in porewater profiles indicates a shallow source of these fluids, which is supported by the biogenic origin of the methane (δ13C -70‰ PDB). Sulfide and alkalinity was relatively high (up to 20 mM and 40 mEq, respectively). Rates of AOM and sulfate reduction within this area reached magnitudes typical for seeps with variation between different habitat types, indicating a diverse methane supply, which is affecting the depths of the SMTZ. Rates were highest at sulfur a bacteria mats (20 mmol m-2 d-1) followed by a large field of dead clams, a pogonophoran field, a black sediment spot, and a carbonate rich clam field. Lowest rates (0.2 mmol m-2 d-1) were measured in close vicinity to these hot spots. Abundant massive

  4. Macro-Ecology of Gulf of Mexico Cold Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cordes, Erik E.; Bergquist, Derk C.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Shortly after the discovery of chemosynthetic ecosystems at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, similar ecosystems were found at cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past two decades, these sites have become model systems for understanding the physiology of the symbiont-containing megafauna and the ecology of seep communities worldwide. Symbiont-containing bivalves and siboglinid polychaetes dominate the communities, including five bathymodiolin mussel species and six vestimentiferan (siboglinid polychaete) species in the Gulf of Mexico. The mussels include the first described examples of methanotrophic symbiosis and dual methanotrophic/thiotrophic symbiosis. Studies with the vestimentiferans have demonstrated their potential for extreme longevity and their ability to use posterior structures for subsurface exchange of dissolved metabolites. Ecological investigations have demonstrated that the vestimentiferans function as ecosystem engineers and identified a community succession sequence from a specialized high-biomass endemic community to a low-biomass community of background fauna over the life of a hydrocarbon seep site.

  5. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna Inhabiting Authigenic Carbonate at Costa Rica Methane Seeps

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Lisa A.; Mendoza, Guillermo F.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Gonzalez, Jennifer P.; Jellison, Brittany; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew R.; Waren, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Carbonate communities: The activity of anaerobic methane oxidizing microbes facilitates precipitation of vast quantities of authigenic carbonate at methane seeps. Here we demonstrate the significant role of carbonate rocks in promoting diversity by providing unique habitat and food resources for macrofaunal assemblages at seeps on the Costa Rica margin (400–1850 m). The attendant fauna is surprisingly similar to that in rocky intertidal shores, with numerous grazing gastropods (limpets and snails) as dominant taxa. However, the community feeds upon seep-associated microbes. Macrofaunal density, composition, and diversity on carbonates vary as a function of seepage activity, biogenic habitat and location. The macrofaunal community of carbonates at non-seeping (inactive) sites is strongly related to the hydrography (depth, temperature, O2) of overlying water, whereas the fauna at sites of active seepage is not. Densities are highest on active rocks from tubeworm bushes and mussel beds, particularly at the Mound 12 location (1000 m). Species diversity is higher on rocks exposed to active seepage, with multiple species of gastropods and polychaetes dominant, while crustaceans, cnidarians, and ophiuroids were better represented on rocks at inactive sites. Macro-infauna (larger than 0.3 mm) from tube cores taken in nearby seep sediments at comparable depths exhibited densities similar to those on carbonate rocks, but had lower diversity and different taxonomic composition. Seep sediments had higher densities of ampharetid, dorvilleid, hesionid, cirratulid and lacydoniid polychaetes, whereas carbonates had more gastropods, as well as syllid, chrysopetalid and polynoid polychaetes. Stable isotope signatures and metrics: The stable isotope signatures of carbonates were heterogeneous, as were the food sources and nutrition used by the animals. Carbonate δ13Cinorg values (mean = -26.98‰) ranged from -53.3‰ to +10.0‰, and were significantly heavier than carbonate δ13

  6. Biodiversity on the Rocks: Macrofauna Inhabiting Authigenic Carbonate at Costa Rica Methane Seeps.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Mendoza, Guillermo F; Grupe, Benjamin M; Gonzalez, Jennifer P; Jellison, Brittany; Rouse, Greg; Thurber, Andrew R; Waren, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Carbonate communities: The activity of anaerobic methane oxidizing microbes facilitates precipitation of vast quantities of authigenic carbonate at methane seeps. Here we demonstrate the significant role of carbonate rocks in promoting diversity by providing unique habitat and food resources for macrofaunal assemblages at seeps on the Costa Rica margin (400-1850 m). The attendant fauna is surprisingly similar to that in rocky intertidal shores, with numerous grazing gastropods (limpets and snails) as dominant taxa. However, the community feeds upon seep-associated microbes. Macrofaunal density, composition, and diversity on carbonates vary as a function of seepage activity, biogenic habitat and location. The macrofaunal community of carbonates at non-seeping (inactive) sites is strongly related to the hydrography (depth, temperature, O2) of overlying water, whereas the fauna at sites of active seepage is not. Densities are highest on active rocks from tubeworm bushes and mussel beds, particularly at the Mound 12 location (1000 m). Species diversity is higher on rocks exposed to active seepage, with multiple species of gastropods and polychaetes dominant, while crustaceans, cnidarians, and ophiuroids were better represented on rocks at inactive sites. Macro-infauna (larger than 0.3 mm) from tube cores taken in nearby seep sediments at comparable depths exhibited densities similar to those on carbonate rocks, but had lower diversity and different taxonomic composition. Seep sediments had higher densities of ampharetid, dorvilleid, hesionid, cirratulid and lacydoniid polychaetes, whereas carbonates had more gastropods, as well as syllid, chrysopetalid and polynoid polychaetes. Stable isotope signatures and metrics: The stable isotope signatures of carbonates were heterogeneous, as were the food sources and nutrition used by the animals. Carbonate δ13Cinorg values (mean = -26.98‰) ranged from -53.3‰ to +10.0‰, and were significantly heavier than carbonate δ13

  7. Petrology of a Jurassic cold seep carbonate mound, Great Valley Group, northern California

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, K.A.; Bottjer, D.J. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Ancient sites of chemosynthetic marine invertebrate communities have been increasingly described from the stratigraphic record. Fossil cold seeps are best identified by the stratigraphically restricted co-occurrence of anomalous carbonates and fossils of organisms that in modern environments are chemosymbiotic. A Late Jurassic (Tithonian) age fossil seep site is preserved in deep-water turbidites of the Stony Creek Formation (Great Valley Group). Two low-relief carbonate mounds contain an abundant and diverse fossil macrofauna including taxa whose modern counterparts are chemosymbiotic, as well as several associate taxa. Two broad carbonate fabric types are present: a bioturbated, peloidal, fossiliferous micrite with abundant flecks of organic matter and several wavy laminated marine cements. The micrite and cements are either irregularly interlayered on distinctly separated by corrosion surfaces coated with iron oxides that may mark pulses of H[sub 2]S-rich fluids to the seep. Petrographic observations indicate the following idealized paragenetic sequence: deposition of micrite, with contemporaneous biotic activity; corrosion event, with preferential preservation of some peloids; precipitation of pyrite on some corrosion surfaces and concentration of insoluble siltstone linings where corrosion has opened vugs; precipitation of blocky yellow calcite cement with organic-rich inclusions in void spaces and around peloids; growth of clear to gray, botryoidal to fibrous cement; and precipitation of late, clear calcite spar. Similar fabrics and abundant tube-like structures are present in another Great Valley carbonate lens of Early Cretaceous (Albian-Aptian) age exposed on the Cold Fork of Cottonwood Creek near Red Bluff, California. Detailed integration of petrological studies of these fabrics with stable isotope studies and fossil faunal distributions provide a powerful approach for understanding the history of development and individual fossil seeps.

  8. Efficiency and adaptability of the benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide cold seeps, offshore of Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, P.; Krause, S.; Linke, P.; Hensen, C.; Dale, A. W.; Nuzzo, M.; Treude, T.

    2015-11-01

    Large amounts of methane are delivered by fluids through the erosive forearc of the convergent margin offshore of Costa Rica and lead to the formation of cold seeps at the sediment surface. Besides mud extrusion, numerous cold seeps are created by landslides induced by seamount subduction or fluid migration along major faults. Most of the dissolved methane migrating through the sediments of cold seeps is oxidized within the benthic microbial methane filter by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Measurements of AOM and sulfate reduction as well as numerical modeling of porewater profiles revealed a highly active and efficient benthic methane filter at the Quepos Slide site, a landslide on the continental slope between the Nicoya and Osa Peninsula. Integrated areal rates of AOM ranged from 12.9 ± 6.0 to 45.2 ± 11.5 mmol m-2 d-1, with only 1 to 2.5 % of the upward methane flux being released into the water column. Additionally, two parallel sediment cores from Quepos Slide were used for in vitro experiments in a recently developed sediment-flow-through (SLOT) system to simulate an increased fluid and methane flux from the bottom of the sediment core. The benthic methane filter revealed a high adaptability whereby the methane oxidation efficiency responded to the increased fluid flow within ca. 170 d. To our knowledge, this study provides the first estimation of the natural biogeochemical response of seep sediments to changes in fluid flow.

  9. Application of Satellite SAR for Discovery and Quantification of Natural Marine Oil Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amos, J.; Lai, R.; Zimmer, B.; Leiva, A.; MacDonald, I.

    2006-12-01

    Natural marine oil seeps discharge gassy drops from the seafloor. Oil drops and gas bubbles reach the surface from water depths as great as 3000m. The oil spreads rapidly, forming an invisible layer that drifts down-wind and down-current in long, linear streaks called slicks. Oil slicks are visible in SAR data because the surfactant dampens capillary waves and reduces backscatter. Application of SAR as an exploration tool in energy prospecting is well-established. We have applied this technique for discovering the chemosynthetic communities that colonize the seafloor in the vicinity of deep-water seeps on the continental margin of the Gulf of Mexico. The management goal for this effort is to prevent harmful impact to these communities resulting from exploration or production activities. The scientific goals are to delineate the zoogeography of the chemosynthetic fauna, which is widespread on continental margins, and to establish study sites where their life history can be investigated. In the course of an ongoing, multidisciplinary study in the spring and summer of 2006, we explored 20 possible sites where SAR and geophysical data indicated seeps might occur. SAR was only partly diagnostic: all sites with SAR-detected slicks were found to have biologic communities, but communities were also found at geophysical anomalies that did not produce slicks. We acquired over 60 RADARSAT SAR images from the northern Gulf of Mexico in cooperation with the Alaska Satellite Facility. The ship RV ATLANTIS was at sea during the acquisition and collected synoptic weather and oceanographic data. To automate interpretation of large image dataset we have employed texture recognition with use of a library of textons applied iteratively to the images. This treatment shows promise in distinguishing floating oil from false targets generated by rain fronts and other phenomena. One goal of the analysis is to delineate bounding boxes to quantify the ocean area covered by the thin oil layer

  10. Geologic Significance of Newly Discovered Methane Seeps on the Northern US Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skarke, A. D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Kodis, M.; Lobecker, E.; Malik, M.

    2013-12-01

    identified within the GHSZ, but do not yet appear to be associated with salt diapirism or any other geological phenomena with the capacity to drive active methane expulsion at the seafloor. Repeat acoustic and video surveys at an ~500 m2 seep field south of Nantucket Island demonstrated that some seeps are characterized by continuous gas emission, whereas other proximal seeps exhibit episodic gas emission with a temporal variability on the order of hours to days. While significant ephemerality of methane emission at the scale of individual plumes has been verified, ROV imagery of massive, but isolated, patches of authigenic carbonate and well-developed chemosynthetic communities suggest that emission of methane at the scale of the seep field has been persistent over hundreds to thousands of years.

  11. Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane at a Marine Methane Seep in a Forearc Sediment Basin off Sumatra, Indian Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Siegert, Michael; Krüger, Martin; Teichert, Barbara; Wiedicke, Michael; Schippers, Axel

    2011-01-01

    A cold methane seep was discovered in a forearc sediment basin off the island Sumatra, exhibiting a methane-seep adapted microbial community. A defined seep center of activity, like in mud volcanoes, was not discovered. The seep area was rather characterized by a patchy distribution of active spots. The relevance of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) was reflected by 13C-depleted isotopic signatures of dissolved inorganic carbon. The anaerobic conversion of methane to CO2 was confirmed in a 13C-labeling experiment. Methane fueled a vital microbial community with cell numbers of up to 4 × 109 cells cm−3 sediment. The microbial community was analyzed by total cell counting, catalyzed reporter deposition–fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD–FISH), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). CARD–FISH cell counts and qPCR measurements showed the presence of Bacteria and Archaea, but only small numbers of Eukarya. The archaeal community comprised largely members of ANME-1 and ANME-2. Furthermore, members of the Crenarchaeota were frequently detected in the DGGE analysis. Three major bacterial phylogenetic groups (δ-Proteobacteria, candidate division OP9, and Anaerolineaceae) were abundant across the study area. Several of these sequences were closely related to the genus Desulfococcus of the family Desulfobacteraceae, which is in good agreement with previously described AOM sites. In conclusion, the majority of the microbial community at the seep consisted of AOM-related microorganisms, while the relevance of higher hydrocarbons as microbial substrates was negligible. PMID:22207865

  12. HYFLUX: Satellite Exploration of Natural Hydrocarbon Seeps and Discovery of a Methane Hydrate Mound at GC600

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Pineda, O. G.; MacDonald, I. R.; Shedd, W.; Zimmer, B.

    2009-12-01

    Analysis of natural hydrocarbon seeps is important to improve our understanding of methane flux from deeper sediments to the water column. In order to quantify natural hydrocarbon seep formations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, a set of 686 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images was analyzed using the Texture Classifying Neural Network Algorithm (TCNNA), which processes SAR data to delineate oil slicks. This analysis resulted in a characterization of 396 natural seep sites distributed in the northern GOM. Within these sites, a maximum of 1248 individual vents where identified. Oil reaching the sea-surface is deflected from its source during transit through the water column. This presentation describes a method for estimating locations of active oil vents based on repeated slick detection in SAR. One of the most active seep formations was detected in MMS lease block GC600. A total of 82 SAR scenes (collected by RADARSAT-1 from 1995 to 2007) was processed covering this region. Using TCNNA the area covered by each slick was computed and Oil Slicks Origins (OSO) were selected as single points within detected oil slicks. At this site, oil slick signatures had lengths up to 74 km and up to 27 km^2 of area. Using SAR and TCNNA, four active vents were identified in this seep formation. The geostatistical mean centroid among all detections indicated a location along a ridge-line at ~1200m. Sea truth observations with an ROV, confirmed that the estimated location of vents had a maximum offset of ~30 m from their actual locations on the seafloor. At the largest vent, a 3-m high, 12-m long mound of oil-saturated gas hydrate was observed. The outcrop contained thousands of ice worms and numerous semi-rigid chimneys from where oily bubbles were escaping in a continuous stream. Three additional vents were found along the ridge; these had lower apparent flow, but were also plugged with gas hydrate mounds. These results support use of SAR data for precise delineation of active seep

  13. Comparative composition, diversity and trophic ecology of sediment macrofauna at vents, seeps and organic falls.

    PubMed

    Bernardino, Angelo F; Levin, Lisa A; Thurber, Andrew R; Smith, Craig R

    2012-01-01

    Sediments associated with hydrothermal venting, methane seepage and large organic falls such as whale, wood and plant detritus create deep-sea networks of soft-sediment habitats fueled, at least in part, by the oxidation of reduced chemicals. Biological studies at deep-sea vents, seeps and organic falls have looked at macrofaunal taxa, but there has yet to be a systematic comparison of the community-level attributes of sediment macrobenthos in various reducing ecosystems. Here we review key similarities and differences in the sediment-dwelling assemblages of each system with the goals of (1) generating a predictive framework for the exploration and study of newly identified reducing habitats, and (2) identifying taxa and communities that overlap across ecosystems. We show that deep-sea seep, vent and organic-fall sediments are highly heterogeneous. They sustain different geochemical and microbial processes that are reflected in a complex mosaic of habitats inhabited by a mixture of specialist (heterotrophic and symbiont-associated) and background fauna. Community-level comparisons reveal that vent, seep and organic-fall macrofauna are very distinct in terms of composition at the family level, although they share many dominant taxa among these highly sulphidic habitats. Stress gradients are good predictors of macrofaunal diversity at some sites, but habitat heterogeneity and facilitation often modify community structure. The biogeochemical differences across ecosystems and within habitats result in wide differences in organic utilization (i.e., food sources) and in the prevalence of chemosynthesis-derived nutrition. In the Pacific, vents, seeps and organic-falls exhibit distinct macrofaunal assemblages at broad-scales contributing to ß diversity. This has important implications for the conservation of reducing ecosystems, which face growing threats from human activities. PMID:22496753

  14. Comparative Composition, Diversity and Trophic Ecology of Sediment Macrofauna at Vents, Seeps and Organic Falls

    PubMed Central

    Bernardino, Angelo F.; Levin, Lisa A.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Smith, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Sediments associated with hydrothermal venting, methane seepage and large organic falls such as whale, wood and plant detritus create deep-sea networks of soft-sediment habitats fueled, at least in part, by the oxidation of reduced chemicals. Biological studies at deep-sea vents, seeps and organic falls have looked at macrofaunal taxa, but there has yet to be a systematic comparison of the community-level attributes of sediment macrobenthos in various reducing ecosystems. Here we review key similarities and differences in the sediment-dwelling assemblages of each system with the goals of (1) generating a predictive framework for the exploration and study of newly identified reducing habitats, and (2) identifying taxa and communities that overlap across ecosystems. We show that deep-sea seep, vent and organic-fall sediments are highly heterogeneous. They sustain different geochemical and microbial processes that are reflected in a complex mosaic of habitats inhabited by a mixture of specialist (heterotrophic and symbiont-associated) and background fauna. Community-level comparisons reveal that vent, seep and organic-fall macrofauna are very distinct in terms of composition at the family level, although they share many dominant taxa among these highly sulphidic habitats. Stress gradients are good predictors of macrofaunal diversity at some sites, but habitat heterogeneity and facilitation often modify community structure. The biogeochemical differences across ecosystems and within habitats result in wide differences in organic utilization (i.e., food sources) and in the prevalence of chemosynthesis-derived nutrition. In the Pacific, vents, seeps and organic-falls exhibit distinct macrofaunal assemblages at broad-scales contributing to ß diversity. This has important implications for the conservation of reducing ecosystems, which face growing threats from human activities. PMID:22496753

  15. Methane from shallow seep areas of the NW Svalbard Arctic margin does not reach the sea surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silyakova, Anna; Greinert, Jens; Jansson, Pär; Ferré, Bénédicte

    2015-04-01

    Methane, an important greenhouse gas, leaks from large areas of the Arctic Ocean floor. One overall question is how much methane passes from the seabed through the water column, potentially reaching the atmosphere. Transport of methane from the ocean floor into and through the water column depends on many factors such as distribution of gas seeps, microbial methane oxidation, and ambient oceanographic conditions, which may trigger a change in seep activity. From June-July 2014 we investigated dissolved methane in the water column emanating from the "Prins Karls Forland seeps" area offshore the NW Svalbard Arctic margin. Measurements of the spatial variability of dissolved methane in the water column included 65 CTD stations located in a grid covering an area of 30 by 15 km. We repeated an oceanographic transect twice in a week for time lapse studies, thus documenting significant temporal variability in dissolved methane above one shallow seep site (~100 m water depth). Analysis of both nutrient concentrations and dissolved methane in water samples from the same transect, reveal striking similarities in spatial patterns of both dissolved methane and nutrients indicating that microbial community is involved in methane cycling above the gas seepage. Our preliminary results suggest that although methane release can increase in a week's time, providing twice as much dissolved gas to the water column, no methane from a seep reaches the sea surface. Instead it spreads horizontally under the pycnocline. Yet microbial communities react rapidly to the methane supply above gas seepage areas and may also have an important role as an effective filter, hindering methane release from the ocean to the atmosphere during rapid methane ebullition. This study is funded by CAGE (Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate), Norwegian Research Council grant no. 223259.

  16. Aragonite precipitation induced by anaerobic oxidation of methane in shallow-water seeps, Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiedling, Johanna; Kuhfuß, Hanna; Lott, Christian; Böttcher, Michael E.; Lichtschlag, Anna; Wegener, Gunter; Deusner, Christian; Bach, Wolfgang; Weber, Miriam

    2014-05-01

    flow path. The Elba aragonites, showed a carbon isotope signature of -14.9o vs. VPDB, mirroring the isotopic signature of the pore-water DIC at this sediment depth. Similar δ13C-compositions of -15.3o were obtained for the discharging methane, giving room for discussion about the origin of the gas. We suppose that AOM is the main driver for aragonite precipitation in the permeable sands at the shallow-water seeps because of (1) very low organic carbon contents (0.5 mg/g) in the sediment, (2) 13C enrichment in the methane gas, (3) elevated DIC concentrations in the pore-water, and (4) AOM in vitro activity. Thus, aragonite precipitates of the seep site near Elba may represent a unique system to study ongoing abiogenic seep carbonate formation at shallow depth as a modern analogue for seep carbonates occurring in the geological record.

  17. Control of Quaternary sea-level changes on gas seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riboulot, Vincent; Thomas, Yannick; Berné, Serge; Jouet, Gwénaël.; Cattaneo, Antonio

    2014-07-01

    Gas seeping to the seafloor through structures such as pockmarks may contribute significantly to the enrichment of atmospheric greenhouse gases and global warming. Gas seeps in the Gulf of Lions, Western Mediterranean, are cyclical, and pockmark "life" is governed both by sediment accumulation on the continental margin and Quaternary climate changes. Three-dimensional seismic data, correlated to multi-proxy analysis of a deep borehole, have shown that these pockmarks are associated with oblique chimneys. The prograding chimney geometry demonstrates the syn-sedimentary and long-lasting functioning of the gas seeps. Gas chimneys have reworked chronologically constrained stratigraphic units and have functioned episodically, with maximum activity around sea level lowstands. Therefore, we argue that one of the main driving mechanisms responsible for their formation is the variation in hydrostatic pressure driven by relative sea level changes.

  18. Brine induced low-Magnesium calcite formation at cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Roberts, Harry; Joye, Samantha; Heydari, Ezat

    2013-04-01

    Low-Mg calcite (LMC; < 5 mol% Mg), commonly observed during time intervals of "calcite seas," since the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, is a good indicator of low Mg/Ca ratio (< 2) in seawater. Calcite seas were coincident with times of active seawater-basalt interactions along mid-ocean ridges at high temperatures, which extract Mg from seawater and release Ca to it. In the modern aragonite sea, most carbonate minerals precipitate at the seafloor, including deposits from cold seep environments are primarily either aragonite or high-Mg calcite (HMC). Here, we report the finding of non-skeletal LMC from cold seeps in Alaminos Canyon block 601 (AC 601), 2200 m below the sea surface on northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) continental slope. Low-Mg calcite usually represents the only carbonate mineral in the studied samples. Dominant allochems in these seep carbonates are peloids, grain aggregates, pelagic forams, and fragments of mollusks and echinoids. The limestone is heavily cemented. The observed cements include micrite, microspar, mosaic, bladed, fan, and needle cements. The dissolution of grains and cements was observed. Not only originally aragonitic mollusks shells, but also carbonate cement have been dissolved. The aerobic oxidation of reduced chemical species such as methane and H2S is responsible for an increase in pCO2 and a decrease of pH, leading to local carbonate dissolution. The occurrence of oxic conditions is confirmed by the presence of negative Ce anomalies of the carbonates. Further, we report on analyses showing that the ambient porewater Mg/Ca ratio actually governs the carbonate mineralogy. The occurrence of LMC may be attributed to the brine fluids, which is relatively Mg-depleted (Mg/Ca mole ratio is below 0.7) compared to pore fluid of the subsurface sediments from the reference site (Mg/Ca mole ratio is above 4.1) that usually produce HMC. The 87Sr/86Sr values of LMC (mean = 0.708001, sd = 0.000034, n=2) are significantly lower than that of the

  19. Natural gas seeps in the French Alps: Sources and pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloppmann, Wolfram; Blessing, Michaela; Proust, Eric; Gal, Frédéric; Bentivegna, Gaetan; Henry, Benoit; Defossez, Pierrick; Catherine, Lerouge; Humez, Pauline; Mayer, Bernhard; Millot, Romain; Gaucher, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Natural gas emanations are part of the geochemical baseline to take into account when assessing global greenhouse gas emissions and potential impacts of conventional and unconventional gas exploration and exploitation on groundwater. Examples of such natural gas macro-seeps are known in several parts of the world (Etiope et al., 2009). Only a limited number of them have been characterized for their gas and isotopic compositions. Such analyses can provide essential information for baseline studies, providing insight in the sources (biogenic vs. thermogenic or modified thermogenic) and pathways of such seeps and may allow for distinction of natural seeps from stray gas leakage associated with human activities. Here, we report gas concentrations and multi-isotope data (δ13C and δ2H of methane and ethane, δ13C and δ18O of CO2, 3He/4He ratio) of two gas seeps in the French subalpine chains, both in a similar geological and structural position within Middle Jurassic claystones along the eastern border of the large synclinal structures of the Vercors and the Chartreuse massifs (Moss, 1992). The "ardent fountain" (fontaine ardente) of Le Gua, 30 km south of Grenoble has most likely the longest continuous written record of existence of any individual natural gas seep, mentioned explicitly as early as the first quarter of the 5th century (Augustin of Hippo (St. Augustin), approx. 426) This natural seep was described in the past as a "wet seep" associated with a spring, whereas the second investigated seep, Rochasson near Meylan north of Grenoble, is a dry seep. Both seeps contain methane and ethane with thermogenic C and H isotope signatures, comparable with a seep in the Northern Swiss Alps at Giswil (Etiope et al., 2010) but with a higher dryness (C1/(C2+C3)>1000) for the Le Gua seep, possibly due to molecular fractionation upon advective fluid+gas migration (Etiope et al., 2009). Maturity (R0) of the reservoir rocks deduced from δ13C(CH4), δ13C(C2H6) is similar to

  20. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in hypersaline cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Maignien, Loïs; Parkes, R John; Cragg, Barry; Niemann, Helge; Knittel, Katrin; Coulon, Stephanie; Akhmetzhanov, Andrey; Boon, Nico

    2013-01-01

    Life in hypersaline environments is typically limited by bioenergetic constraints. Microbial activity at the thermodynamic edge, such as the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulphate reduction (SR), is thus unlikely to thrive in these environments. In this study, carbon and sulphur cycling was investigated in the extremely hypersaline cold seep sediments of Mercator mud volcano. AOM activity was partially inhibited but still present at salinity levels of 292 g L(-1) (c. eightfold sea water concentration) with rates of 2.3 nmol cm(-3) day(-1) and was even detectable under saturated conditions. Methane and evaporite-derived sulphate comigrated in the ascending geofluids, which, in combination with a partial activity inhibition, resulted in AOM activity being spread over unusually wide depth intervals. Up to 79% of total cells in the AOM zone were identified by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as anaerobic methanotrophs of the ANME-1. Most ANME-1 cells formed monospecific chains without any attached partner. At all sites, AOM activity co-occurred with SR activity and sometimes significantly exceeded it. Possible causes of these unexpected results are discussed. This study demonstrates that in spite of a very low energy yield of AOM, microorganisms carrying this reaction can thrive in salinity up to halite saturation. PMID:22882187

  1. Salt site performance assessment activities

    SciTech Connect

    Kircher, J.F.; Gupta, S.K.

    1983-01-01

    During this year the first selection of the tools (codes) for performance assessments of potential salt sites have been tentatively selected and documented; the emphasis has shifted from code development to applications. During this period prior to detailed characterization of a salt site, the focus is on bounding calculations, sensitivity and with the data available. The development and application of improved methods for sensitivity and uncertainty analysis is a focus for the coming years activities and the subject of a following paper in these proceedings. Although the assessments to date are preliminary and based on admittedly scant data, the results indicate that suitable salt sites can be identified and repository subsystems designed which will meet the established criteria for protecting the health and safety of the public. 36 references, 5 figures, 2 tables.

  2. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R.; Woycheese, Kristin M.; Yargıçoğlu, Erin N.; Cardace, Dawn; Shock, Everett L.; Güleçal-Pektas, Yasemin; Temel, Mustafa

    2015-01-01

    Gas seeps emanating from Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite). Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ13C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (−25 to −28‰) relative to the carbonates (−11 to −20‰). We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ15N ratios ~3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and subsurface-surface interactions

  3. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey.

    PubMed

    Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R; Woycheese, Kristin M; Yargıçoğlu, Erin N; Cardace, Dawn; Shock, Everett L; Güleçal-Pektas, Yasemin; Temel, Mustafa

    2014-01-01

    Gas seeps emanating from Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite). Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ(13)C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (-25 to -28‰) relative to the carbonates (-11 to -20‰). We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ(15)N ratios ~3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and subsurface-surface interactions. PMID

  4. Elevated surface chlorophyll associated with natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Souza, N. A.; Subramaniam, A.; Juhl, A. R.; Hafez, M.; Chekalyuk, A.; Phan, S.; Yan, B.; MacDonald, I. R.; Weber, S. C.; Montoya, J. P.

    2016-03-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps occur on the sea floor along continental margins, and account for up to 47% of the oil released into the oceans. Hydrocarbon seeps are known to support local benthic productivity, but little is known about their impact on photosynthetic organisms in the overlying water column. Here we present observations with high temporal and spatial resolution of chlorophyll concentrations in the northern Gulf of Mexico using in situ and shipboard flow-through fluorescence measurements from May to July 2012, as well as an analysis of ocean-colour satellite images from 1997 to 2007. All three methods reveal elevated chlorophyll concentrations in waters influenced by natural hydrocarbon seeps. Temperature and nutrient profiles above seep sites suggest that nutrient-rich water upwells from depth, which may facilitate phytoplankton growth and thus support the higher chlorophyll concentrations observed. Because upwelling occurs at natural seep locations around the world, we conclude that offshore hydrocarbon seeps, and perhaps other types of deep ocean vents and seeps at depths exceeding 1,000 m, may influence biogeochemistry and productivity of the overlying water column.

  5. The potential of near-surface geophysical methods in a hierarchical monitoring approach for the detection of shallow CO2 seeps at geological storage sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauer, U.; Schuetze, C.; Dietrich, P.

    2013-12-01

    The MONACO project (Monitoring approach for geological CO2 storage sites using a hierarchic observation concept) aims to find reliable monitoring tools that work on different spatial and temporal scales at geological CO2 storage sites. This integrative hierarchical monitoring approach based on different levels of coverage and resolutions is proposed as a means of reliably detecting CO2 degassing areas at ground surface level and for identifying CO2 leakages from storage formations into the shallow subsurface, as well as CO2 releases into the atmosphere. As part of this integrative hierarchical monitoring concept, several methods and technologies from ground-based remote sensing (Open-path Fourier-transform infrared (OP-FTIR) spectroscopy), regional measurements (near-surface geophysics, chamber-based soil CO2 flux measurement) and local in-situ measurements (using shallow boreholes) will either be combined or used complementary to one another. The proposed combination is a suitable concept for investigating CO2 release sites. This also presents the possibility of adopting a modular monitoring concept whereby our monitoring approach can be expanded to incorporate other methods in various coverage scales at any temporal resolution. The link between information obtained from large-scale surveys and local in-situ monitoring can be realized by sufficient geophysical techniques for meso-scale monitoring, such as geoelectrical and self-potential (SP) surveys. These methods are useful for characterizing fluid flow and transport processes in permeable near-surface sedimentary layers and can yield important information concerning CO2-affected subsurface structures. Results of measurements carried out a natural analogue site in the Czech Republic indicate that the hierarchical monitoring approach represents a successful multidisciplinary modular concept that can be used to monitor both physical and chemical processes taking place during CO2 migration and seepage. The

  6. Does the "sleeping Dragon" Really Sleep?: the Case for Continuous Long-Term Monitoring at a Gulf of Mexico Cold Seep Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, R. M.; Lapham, L.; Farr, N.; Lutken, C.; MacDonald, I. R.; Macelloni, L.; Riedel, M.; Sleeper, K.; Chanton, J.

    2011-12-01

    Continuous porewater monitoring indicates that the methane flux away from exposed hydrate mounds can vary considerably over time. Recently, we retrieved a Pore Fluid Array instrument pack from a hydrate outcrop adjacent to a NEPTUNE Canada observatory node. The sampler was designed to continuously collect and store sediment pore fluids over the course of 9 months. On analysis, we observed a 35mM variation in methane concentrations corresponding with an abrupt shift in current direction at the site. Video and resistivity data have led to previous speculation that hydrate growth and dissolution/dissociation may be seasonally variable. Cumulatively, these findings suggest that the persistence of hydrate outcrops may be extremely dynamic, driven by fluctuations in physical conditions on short time scales. Short-term monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico within Mississippi Canyon lease block 118 (MC118), a known hydrate-bearing site, indicates that physical conditions even at these depths (~540-890m) may be highly variable. Pressure can vary within hours, and recorded temperature changes of ~1.5°C have been associated with passing storms. Moreover, increased particle abundance was observed at the site in 2007 suggesting that organic matter flux to the sediments may vary on the scale of months to years. These inputs have the potential to alter the chemical environment surrounding the hydrate, thereby affecting dissolution rates. Continuous, long-term observations of physical conditions at MC118 could provide information about the potential for natural perturbations to impact hydrate dynamics on the scale of weeks or even days necessary for assessing the long-term persistence of hydrate outcrops. Sleeping Dragon is a massive hydrate outcrop at MC118 that has been monitored since 2006. Three years ago, researchers returning to the site found it visibly diminished relative to previous observations. This apparent shift toward net dissolution of the mound may have been

  7. Pockmarks: self-scouring seep features?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Laura L.; Kelley, Joseph T.; Belknap, Daniel F.; Barnhardt, Walter A.; Koons, Peter O.

    2011-01-01

    Pockmarks, or seafloor craters, occur worldwide in a variety of geologic settings and are often associated with fluid discharge. The mechanisms responsible for pockmark preservation, and pockmarks? relation to active methane venting are not well constrained. Simple numerical simulations run in 2-and 3-dimensions, and corroborated by flume tank experiments, indicate turbulence may play a role in pockmark maintenance, and, potentially, in pockmark excavation. Morphological analysis of the pockmarks indicates an abundance of flat-bottomed and/or elongated pockmarks. Pockmarks transition into furrows as the bay narrows and tidal flow is enhanced, providing unmistakable evidence of post-formation evolution. We hypothesize that some pockmarks formed from seafloor perturbations (e.g., gas or methane discharge), are1 maintained and gradually modified by vortical flow. This hypothesis provides a mechanism for pockmark preservation and enlargement without active fluid venting, which has implications for the interpretation of seafloor seep features in gas hydrates areas.

  8. Phosphogenesis at a Cretaceous methane seep from New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwicker, Jennifer; Steindl, Florian; Smrzka, Daniel; Böttcher, Michael; Gier, Susanne; Kiel, Steffen; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    Phosphate-rich deposits have been a topic of intense research for decades. The process of phosphogenesis is mainly observed in marine sediments of coastal upwelling zones, where organic matter delivers sufficient phosphorus (P) to enable the formation of phosphorites. As P may be cycled within marine sediments on short timescales, only specific geochemical conditions allow for the precipitation and preservation of phosphate minerals. The processes that enable phosphogenesis are still a matter of debate, and not all mechanisms involved are fully understood. We expand the scope of known phosphorous-rich deposits further, with evidence of phosphogenesis at methane seeps. Cretaceous methane-seep limestones from Waipiro Bay, New Zealand, exhibit (1) a matrix composed of cryptocrystalline fluorapatite in between micritic spheroids and coated calcite grains, and (2) phosphatic spheroids within a micritic matrix. Due to the abundant spherical morphologies of phosphate and carbonate grains, and the exceptionally well preserved phosphate matrix, we suggest that their formation was associated with microbial activity. Methane seeps provide ideal conditions for chemosynthetic communities to thrive, and for the growth of bacterial mats at the sediment water interface. To understand these unique deposits, we derive a formation scenario for apatite and spheroidal carbonate, using detailed petrographical observations, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and electron microprobe analyses. Furthermore, it is shown that phase-specific stable carbon and oxygen isotopes confirm that both phosphate and carbonate formation occurred at a methane seep.

  9. Cold seep carbonates along the Norwegian margin, insights into U-Th geochronology and S geochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cremiere, A.; Lepland, A.; Wing, B. A.; Sahy, D.; Condon, D. J.; Chand, S.; Noble, S. R.; Bui, T. H.; Thorsnes, T.; Brunstad, H.

    2015-12-01

    Cold seep carbonates along the Norwegian margin, insights into U-Th geochronology and S geochemistryAuthigenic carbonate crusts form in shallow subsurface of marine sediments due to the microbial anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). As a result they are unique archives of the locus and intensity of past methane seepage that can be dated by using U-daughter decay affording the unique opportunity to constrain the absolute timing of methane release events. Because AOM is mainly driven by the microbial reduction of seawater sulfate, multiple sulfur isotope compositions of paired carbonate-associated sulfate (CAS) and pyrite in seep carbonates taken as proxies for porewater sulfate and sulfide, respectively, have the potential to reconstruct the biogeochemical conditions under which seep carbonates precipitate. Methane-derived carbonate crusts were collected from several seepage sites on the Norwegian continental shelf, including sites in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. The U-Th dating results constrain the main episode of carbonate crust formation in the Barents and Norwegian seas during the time interval between 14 and 7 ka. Such ages suggest that the methane seepage along the northern Norwegian margin was most active after the collapse of the Scandinavian ice sheet and deglaciation of the area that took place at about 15 ka. The methane flux for the carbonate crust formation was likely provided by the dissociation of methane hydrates that extensively formed in underlying sediments during the last glacial period, but became unstable due to depressuring effects of retreating ice sheet. The precipitation of studied North Sea carbonate crusts occurred more recently, from 6 to 1 ka, suggesting that their formation is unrelated to the glacial history of the area. The paired sulfur stable isotope compositions of pyrite-CAS record a large range of fractionation factors (from 30 to 70 ‰) reflecting change of sulfate-reduction rates possibly controlled

  10. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Jennifer J.; Wood, Rachel A.; Haszeldine, R. Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  11. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Jennifer J; Wood, Rachel A; Haszeldine, R Stuart

    2011-10-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO(2) onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO(2) leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO(2) seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO(2) stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO(2) degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO(2) poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO(2) seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO(2) flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO(2) seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  12. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, J.J.; Wood, R.A.; Haszeldine, R.S.

    2011-10-04

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/ flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less than Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized.

  13. Geochemical zonation and characteristics of cold seeps along the Makran continental margin off Pakistan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, D.; Bohrmann, G.; Zabel, M.; Kasten, S.

    2009-04-01

    Several highly dynamic and spatially extended cold seeps were found and analyzed on the Makran accretionary wedge off Pakistan during R/V Meteor cruise M74-3 in 2007. In water depths of 550m to 2870m along the continental slope nine different gas escape structures were examined some of which are situated within a stable oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) between 150m and 1100m water depth (von Rad et al., 1996, 2000). Echosounder data indicate several gas bubble streams in the water column. The gas seepage presumably originates from squeezing of massive sediment packages being compressed by subduction at the continental margin off Pakistan. Gas- and fluid venting and associated surface-near anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) feed several cold seepage systems in the seabed. The seep sites show strong inter- and intraspecific variability of benthic chemosynthetic microhabitats. Singular seeps are often colonized by different chemosynthetic organisms in a concentric fashion. The seep-center, where active bubble ebullition occurs, is often colonized by large hydrogen sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, which are surrounded by a rim inhabited by small chemosynthetic clams and tube worms. These different habitats and the associated sediments show distinct geochemical zonations and gradients. Geochemical analyses of pore water and sediment samples obtained via ROV (push corer) show that concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and alkalinity rapidly increase to >15 mmol/l and >35 mmol/l respectively several cm below the seafloor in the center of the cold seep. In places, sulfate is depleted to concentrations below detection limit at the same depth (ROV push core GeoB 12313-6). Ammonium concentrations in this core on the other hand show a different pattern: In the center of the cold seep, which is colonized by bacterial assemblages, ammonium concentrations fluctuate around 100 µmol/l and peak with 274.4 µmol/l just above the aforementioned sulfide maximum values at 5 cm followed by a rapid

  14. Methane emission and consumption at a North Sea gas seep (Tommeliten area)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemann, H.; Elvert, M.; Hovland, M.; Orcutt, B.; Judd, A.; Suck, I.; Gutt, J.; Joye, S.; Damm, E.; Finster, K.; Boetius, A.

    2005-11-01

    The North Sea hosts large coal, oil and gas reservoirs of commercial value. Natural leakage pathways of subsurface gas to the hydrosphere have been recognized during geological surveys (Hovland and Judd, 1988). The Tommeliten seepage area is part of the Greater Ekofisk area, which is situated above the Tommeliten Delta salt diapir in the central North Sea. In this study, we report of an active seep site (56°29.90'N, 2°59.80'E) located in the Tommeliten area, Norwegian Block 1/9, at 75 m water depth. Here, cracks in a buried marl horizon allow methane to migrate into overlying clay-silt and sandy sediments. Hydroacoustic sediment echosounding showed several venting spots coinciding with the apex of marl domes where methane is released into the water column and potentially to the atmosphere during deep mixing situations. In the vicinity of the gas seeps, sea floor observations showed small mats of giant sulphide-oxidizing bacteria above patches of black sediments and carbonate crusts, which are exposed 10 to 50 cm above seafloor forming small reefs. These Methane-Derived Authigenic Carbonates (MDACs) contain 13C-depleted, archaeal lipids indicating previous gas seepage and AOM activity. High amounts of sn2-hydroxyarchaeol relative to archaeol and low abundances of biphytanes in the crusts give evidence that ANaerobic MEthane-oxidising archaea (ANME) of the phylogenetic cluster ANME-2 were the potential mediators of Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane (AOM) at the time of carbonate formation. Small pieces of MDACs were also found subsurface at about 1.7 m sediment depth, associated with the Sulphate-Methane Transition Zone (SMTZ). The SMTZ of Tommeliten is characterized by elevated AOM and Sulphate Reduction (SR) rates, increased concentrations of 13C-depleted tetraether derived biphytanes, and specific bacterial Fatty Acids (FA). Further biomarker and 16S rDNA based analyses give evidence that AOM at the Tommeliten SMTZ is mediated by archaea belonging to the ANME-1b

  15. Bacterioplankton growth and production at the Louisiana hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larock, P. A.; Hyun, J.-H.; Bennison, B. W.

    1994-06-01

    The growth rate and potential production of bacterioplankton in cold hydrocarbon seeps located along the Louisiana coast were determined using a pulse-labeling technique. Surprisingly, community doubling times are on the order of 1.1 h, which compares to laboratory-grown cultures. We also found that there are differences in growth rates on relatively small geographic scales, suggesting the influence of site-specific geological features (e.g., gas hydrate mounds). Proceeding downslope to deeper waters, methane-oxidizing bacteria appeared to play a more significant role in community productivity. These preliminary experiments indicated, quite unexpectedly, that water column microbes are growing at a more rapid rate than in any other marine system so far studied and that methane may serve as a primary nutrient (carbon) source in these seep-associated microbial assemblages.

  16. Microbial characterization of a subzero, hypersaline methane seep in the Canadian High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Niederberger, Thomas D; Perreault, Nancy N; Tille, Stephanie; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Lacrampe-Couloume, Georges; Andersen, Dale; Greer, Charles W; Pollard, Wayne; Whyte, Lyle G

    2010-10-01

    We report the first microbiological characterization of a terrestrial methane seep in a cryo-environment in the form of an Arctic hypersaline (∼24% salinity), subzero (-5 °C), perennial spring, arising through thick permafrost in an area with an average annual air temperature of -15 °C. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries indicated a relatively low diversity of phylotypes within the spring sediment (Shannon index values of 1.65 and 1.39, respectively). Bacterial phylotypes were related to microorganisms such as Loktanella, Gillisia, Halomonas and Marinobacter spp. previously recovered from cold, saline habitats. A proportion of the bacterial phylotypes were cultured, including Marinobacter and Halomonas, with all isolates capable of growth at the in situ temperature (-5 °C). Archaeal phylotypes were related to signatures from hypersaline deep-sea methane-seep sediments and were dominated by the anaerobic methane group 1a (ANME-1a) clade of anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea. CARD-FISH analyses indicated that cells within the spring sediment consisted of ∼84.0% bacterial and 3.8% archaeal cells with ANME-1 cells accounting for most of the archaeal cells. The major gas discharging from the spring was methane (∼50%) with the low CH(4)/C(2+) ratio and hydrogen and carbon isotope signatures consistent with a thermogenic origin of the methane. Overall, this hypersaline, subzero environment supports a viable microbial community capable of activity at in situ temperature and where methane may behave as an energy and carbon source for sustaining anaerobic oxidation of methane-based microbial metabolism. This site also provides a model of how a methane seep can form in a cryo-environment as well as a mechanism for the hypothesized Martian methane plumes. PMID:20445635

  17. Preliminary Engineering Report contaminated groundwater seeps 317/319/ENE area

    SciTech Connect

    1996-10-01

    When the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Facility Investigation (RFI) in the 317/319/ENE Area of Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E) was being completed, groundwater was discovered moving to the surface through a series of seeps. The seeps are located approximately 600 ft south of the ANL fence line in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Samples of this water were collected and analyzed for selected parameters. Two of five seeps sampled were found to contain detectable levels of organic contaminants. Three chemical species were identified: chloroform (14-25 {mu}g/L), carbon tetrachloride (56-340 {mu}g/L), and tetrachloroethylene (3-6 {mu}g/L). The other seeps did not contain detectable levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The water issuing from these two contaminated seeps flows into a narrow ravine, where it is visible as a trickle of water flowing through sand and gravel deposits on the floor of the ravine. Approximately 100-ft downstream of the seep area, the contaminated water is no longer visible, having drained back into the soil in the bed of the ravine. Figure 1 shows the location of the 317/319/ENE Area in relation to the ANL-E site and the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

  18. Reverse transcriptase directs viral evolution in a deep ocean methane seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, B. G.; Bagby, S. C.

    2013-12-01

    Deep ocean methane seeps are sites of intense microbial activity, with complex communities fueled by aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophy. Methane consumption in these communities has a substantial impact on the global carbon cycle, yet little is known about their evolutionary history or their likely evolutionary trajectories in a warming ocean. As in other marine systems, viral predation and virally mediated horizontal gene transfer are expected to be major drivers of evolutionary change in these communities; however, the host cells' resistance to cultivation has impeded direct study of the viral population. We conducted a metagenomic study of viruses in the anoxic sediments of a deep methane seep in the Santa Monica Basin in the Southern California Bight. We retrieved 1660 partial viral genomes, tentatively assigning 1232 to bacterial hosts and 428 to archaea. One abundant viral genome, likely hosted by Clostridia species present in the sediment, was found to encode a diversity-generating retroelement (DGR), a module for reverse transcriptase-mediated directed mutagenesis of a distal tail fiber protein. While DGRs have previously been described in the viruses of human pathogens, where diversification of viral tail fibers permits infection of a range of host cell types, to our knowledge this is the first description of such an element in a marine virus. By providing a mechanism for massively broadening potential host range, the presence of DGRs in these systems may have a major impact on the prevalence of virally mediated horizontal gene transfer, and even on the phylogenetic distances across which genes are moved.

  19. Geochemical characteristics of bitumens and seeps from Tanzania

    SciTech Connect

    Mpanju, F. ); Philp, P. )

    1991-03-01

    A number of bitumen extracts from prospective source rocks and oil seeps of potential oil-producing areas in Tanzania have been characterized by a variety of geochemical techniques. The data obtained from this study have provided additional insight into the source rock potential of these areas. However, in this paper it is proposed to discuss in detail the results from two of the more unusual samples in this region, namely Wingayongo and Pemba. The Wingayongo bitumens isolated from an exposed Neocomian-aged sandstone, possibly a paleoreservoir, are almost totally devoid of n-alkanes and steranes and dominated by hopane-type biomarkers with the so-called immature {beta}{beta}-stereochemistry at the C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions. There is no typical evidence of biodegradation having occurred leading to the proposal of an unusual source material or maturity history for this sample. The Pemba seep samples were also characterized by relatively high concentrations of hopanes with the immature stereochemistry at the C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions and a virtual absence of n-alkanes and steranes. The aromatic fractions contained relatively high concentrations of hopanic acids, with the immature stereochemistry at C{sub 17} and C{sub 21} positions and a virtual absence of n-alkanes and steranes. The aromatic fractions contained relatively high concentrations of hopanic acids, with the immature stereochemistry at C{sub 17} and C{sub 21}. On the basis of these data, it is proposed that the seeps in the Pemba region are not true oil seeps. Rather they are formed as a result of extremely high levels of bacterial activity with the bacteria utilizing natural gas in the region as the substrate. The net result is a material referred to in other areas of the world as paraffin dirt whose occurrence results from extensive microbial activity in the region and not directly from seepage of products having a thermal origin.

  20. Evidences of the Presence of Methane Seeps in the Colombian Caribbean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gracia, Adriana; Rangel-Buitrago, Nelson; Sellanes, Javier

    2010-05-01

    For the first time in the southern Caribbean Sea Margin of Colombia (between 450 - 700 m deep) we confirm the presence of methane seep communities near the deltas of the Magdalena and Sinu rivers. Some evidences of the occurrence of those communities include: i) bivalves constituents of marine chemosynthesis-based communities, which are indicators of reducing environments as vesicomyid and lucinid bivalves (Vesicomya caribbea, Calyptogena ponderosa, Ectenagena modioliforma, Lucinoma spp. and Graecina colombiensis), together with the rare solemyid clam Acharax caribbaea, ii) other seep-associated fauna such as the trochid snail Cataegis meroglypta, iii) the first report of vestimentiferan tubeworms for the area and, iv) the presence of authigenic carbonates; these constructions form hard substrates colonized by sessile fauna. Additionally, more than 20 species of benthic non-seep fauna were found associated in the area. The collected fauna exhibits an elevated taxonomic similarity to other modern and fossil seep communities from the Caribbean (Barbados Prism, Gulf of Mexico, Cenozoic seep taxa from Barbados, Trinidad and Venezuela). The presence of these chemosymbiotic species seems to be related to mud diapirism activity in the South West of the Colombian coast, this geologic characteristic indicates tectonic and depositional processes associated with the aforementioned deltas. Further research is necessary to establish biological and geological interactions, geochemical and geophysical controls, and organization of cold seeps communities in this unexplored area of the Caribbean. Keywords: Methane, Chemosynthesis-based communities,Bivalves, Mud diapirs, Colombian Caribbean Sea

  1. Active Venting Sites On The Gas-Hydrate-Bearing Hikurangi Margin, Off New Zealand: ROV Measurements And Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naudts, L.; Poort, J.; Boone, D.; Linke, P.; Greinert, J.; de Batist, M.; Henriet, J.

    2007-12-01

    During R.V. Sonne cruise SO191-3, part of the "New (Zealand Cold) Vents" expedition, RCMG deployed a CHEROKEE ROV "Genesis" on the Hikurangi Margin. This accretionary margin, on the east coast of New Zealand, is related to the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate. Several cold vent locations as well as an extensive BSR, indicating the presence of gas hydrates, have been found at this margin. The aims of the ROV-work were to precisely localize active methane vents, to conduct detailed visual observations of the vent structures and activity, and to perform measurements of physical properties and collect samples at and around the vent locations. The three investigated areas generally have a flat to moderate undulating sea floor with soft sediments alternating with carbonate platforms. The different sites were sometimes covered with dense fields of live clams or shell debris, often in association with tube worms, sponges and/or soft tissue corals. Active bubble- releasing seeps were observed at Faure's site and LM-3 site. Bubble-releasing activity was very variable in time, with periods of almost non-activity alternating with periods of violent outbursts. Bubble release occurred mainly from prominent depressions in soft-sediment sea floor. Bottom-water sampling revealed sometimes high concentrations of methane. Sediment-temperature measurements were largely comparable with the bottom- water temperature except for a "raindrop site" (with dense populations of polychaetes), where anomalous low sediment-temperature was measured. Further analysis of the ROV data together with the integration of other datasets will enable us to produce a model characterizing seep structure and environment.

  2. Physical basis of coastal productivity: The SEEP and MASAR experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Csanady, G. T.

    Two major cooperative experiments, code-named Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) I and II, were carried out on the northeast U.S. continental shelf and slope by an interdisciplinary group of scientists in the past decade. The work, supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Health and Environmental Research, had the broad aim of determining whether or to what extent energy-related human activities interfere with the high biological productivity of coastal waters. Much of SEEP I work was reported in a dedicated issue of Continental Shelf Research, including a summary article on the experiment as a whole [Walsh et al., 1988[. A parallel experiment, supported by the Minerals Management Service and code-named Mid Atlantic Slope and Rise (MASAR), had the objective of exploring physical processes over the continental slope and rise, including especially currents in the upper part of the water column. A good deal of MASAR work was also reported in the SEEP issue just mentioned, mainly in an article by Csanady and Hamilton (1988). There have been other papers and publications on these experiments, and more are forthcoming. While many questions remain, our horizons have broadened considerably after a decade of work on this problem, as if our aeroplane had just emerged from clouds to expose an interesting landscape. In this article I shall try to describe the physical (-oceanographic) features of that landscape, not in the chronological order in which we have espied them, but as the logic of the subject dictates.

  3. Significance of aragonite cements around Cretaceous marine methane seeps

    SciTech Connect

    Savard, M.M.; Beauchamp, B.; Veizer, J.

    1996-05-01

    Detailed petrography and geochemistry of carbonate precipitates in Cretaceous cold seep mounds from the Canadian Arctic show spectacular early diagenetic products: some still-preserved splays and isopachous layers of fine, acicular aragonite, and large botryoids and crusts of low-magnesium calcite showing unusual entanglement of former fibrous calcite and aragonite. The latter mineralogy is suggested by clear, flat-terminated cathodoluminescence patterns interpreted as ancient crystal growth steps, and the former by rhombohedral terminations. The early cement phases very likely precipitated in cold Arctic water dominated by bicarbonates derived from bacterially oxidized methane: these cements have {delta}{sup 13}C values around {minus}44.0% and {delta}{sup 18}O values of 1.8 to 0.1% PDB. Coexistence of calcite and aragonite early cements in the Cretaceous seep mounds is unusual, because precipitation occurred in high-latitude, cold-water settings, and during a so-called calcite sea mode. As in modern marine hydrocarbon seeps, the chemistry of the Cretaceous system was apparently controlled by chemosynthetic bacterial activity, resulting in high a{sub HCO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}} that promoted precipitation of carbonates. The authors suggest that, locally, fluctuations in a{sub HCO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}}/a{sub SO{sub 4}{sup 2{minus}}} resulted in oscillating aragonite or calcite supersaturation, and hence, controlled the mineralogy of the early precipitates.

  4. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Program plan

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Wickliff, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1990-10-01

    DOE Order 5820.2A requires that low-level waste (LLW) disposal sites active on or after September 1988 and all transuranic (TRU) waste storage sites be monitored periodically to assure that radioactive contamination does not escape from the waste sites and pose a threat to the public or to the environment. This plan describes such a monitoring program for the active LLW disposal sites in SWSA 6 and the TRU waste storage sites in SWSA 5 North. 14 refs., 8 figs.

  5. Seep Carbonates From Tubeworm- and Mussel-Associated Environments at Atwater Valley, Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, D.; Roberts, H. H.; Chen, D.

    2008-12-01

    During 2006 and 2007, MMS and NOAA jointly supported cruises where fifteen hydrocarbon seep sites at greater than 1000 m water depth on the lower Louisiana slope in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) were explored. These sites contain numerous authigenic carbonates as well as high-density communities of tubeworms and mussels. However, the integrated petrographic and geochemical characterization of the tubeworm- and mussel-associated carbonates remains poorly known. Here, a comparative study of petrographic and geochemical features of the carbonate samples from tubeworm- and mussel- associated environments was approached for an active and complex seep site at Atwater Valley lease block 340 (AT 340) at 2200 m water depth in the GOM. The carbonate morphologies include concretion, blocky and massive carbonates up to several meters in size, and irregularly shaped carbonates, some of them are displaying high porosity. Some are highly brecciaed with aragonite layers of varying thicknesses lining fractures and voids. Lithologically, the carbonates are microcrystalline Mg-calcite, calcite and aragonite containing peloids, clasts and shell fragments. The carbon isotopic composition of carbonates varies narrowly, ranging from -46.45 ‰ to - 60.81 ‰, indicating 13C-depleted carbon source probably methane of microbial origin. But the common trend is that the tubeworm-associated carbonates have more depleted δ13C values when compared to mussel-associated carbonates. A similarly small variability of δ18O values (+3.12 ‰ to +5.09 ‰) demonstrates the temperature and/or fluid composition did not change greatly during carbonate. The total content of rare earth elements (REE) of the 5% HNO3-treated solution of the carbonates is from 6.54 ppm to 29.41 ppm. The shale-normalized REE patterns show slightly positive Ce anomalies, suggests that the carbonates precipitated under anoxic conditions. The possible factors (i.e. habitat of chemosynthetic animals, depth of carbonate precipitation

  6. Biogeography and Potential Exchanges Among the Atlantic Equatorial Belt Cold-Seep Faunas

    PubMed Central

    Olu, Karine; Cordes, Erik E.; Fisher, Charles R.; Brooks, James M.; Sibuet, Myriam; Desbruyères, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Like hydrothermal vents along oceanic ridges, cold seeps are patchy and isolated ecosystems along continental margins, extending from bathyal to abyssal depths. The Atlantic Equatorial Belt (AEB), from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Guinea, was one focus of the Census of Marine Life ChEss (Chemosynthetic Ecosystems) program to study biogeography of seep and vent fauna. We present a review and analysis of collections from five seep regions along the AEB: the Gulf of Mexico where extensive faunal sampling has been conducted from 400 to 3300m, the Barbados accretionary prism, the Blake ridge diapir, and in the Eastern Atlantic from the Congo and Gabon margins and the recently explored Nigeria margin. Of the 72 taxa identified at the species level, a total of 9 species or species complexes are identified as amphi-Atlantic. Similarity analyses based on both Bray Curtis and Hellinger distances among 9 faunal collections, and principal component analysis based on presence/absence of megafauna species at these sites, suggest that within the AEB seep megafauna community structure is influenced primarily by depth rather than by geographic distance. Depth segregation is observed between 1000 and 2000m, with the middle slope sites either grouped with those deeper than 2000m or with the shallower sites. The highest level of community similarity was found between the seeps of the Florida escarpment and Congo margin. In the western Atlantic, the highest degree of similarity is observed between the shallowest sites of the Barbados prism and of the Louisiana slope. The high number of amphi-atlantic cold-seep species that do not cluster according to biogeographic regions, and the importance of depth in structuring AEB cold-seep communities are the major conclusions of this study. The hydrothermal vent sites along the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) did not appear as “stepping stones” for dispersal of the AEB seep fauna, however, the south MAR and off axis regions should be further

  7. Pore Water Composition at Gas Seeps in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Understanding Flow Regime and Chemical Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, L. A.; Dugan, B.; Dickens, G. R.

    2006-12-01

    Cold seeps on continental slopes discharge large quantities of gas and fluid to the ocean. The expulsion rate and composition of seep fluids can vary significantly in space and time, which can affect local biological and chemical processes. The factors influencing variability in flux and composition, however, are not fully documented. For this study, we have collected and analyzed pore fluids at four sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Atwater Valley (AV), Mississippi Canyon (MC), Garden Banks (GB) and Keathley Canyon (KC). The magnitude of fluid discharge is likely highest at the GB and MC sites where active mounds are comparatively larger in size, high heat flux exists across the mounds, and recent mudflow deposits flank the mounds. The AV site samples characterize a smaller mound that may still be growing. Fluxes at the KC site are diffusive and methane-charged, but no mound exists. A comparison of the major ions and trace metals in the pore fluids shows large differences in composition. Pore water barium (Ba2+) values demonstrate the most variation between sites. The maximum Ba2+ values at the GB and MC sites reach 7,800 μM and 12,000 μM. This is two orders of magnitude greater than maximum values at the AV (176 μM) and KC (31 μM) sites. Other components, such as salinity, calcium (Ca2+) and strontium (Sr2+) also record differences in composition between the sites. Pore water salinity values measured at the MC and GB sites reach a maximum of 130 ‰, which is at least 2 times greater than values measured at the AV and KC sites. Differences in pore water Ca2+ and Sr2+ are similar to salinity; in general, maximum values are two times greater at GB and MC than at Atwater Valley and Keathley Canyon. The observed differences in pore water composition are the result of the seep fluid source and the chemical processes (e.g., dissolution and precipitation) that occur during migration. Fluid sources and reaction pathways will be evaluated by integrating pore water

  8. Cold seep and oxygen minimum zone associated sources of margin heterogeneity affect benthic assemblages, diversity and nutrition at the Cascadian margin (NE Pacific Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilini, Katja; Levin, Lisa A.; Vanreusel, Ann

    2012-04-01

    Hydrate Ridge (HR), located on the northeastern Pacific margin off Oregon, is characterized by the presence of outcropping hydrates and active methane seepage. Additionally, permanent low oxygen conditions overlay the benthic realm. This study evaluated the relative influence of both seepage and oxygen minima as sources of habitat heterogeneity and potential stress-inducing features on the bathyal metazoan benthos (primarily nematodes) at three different seep and non-seep HR locations, exposed to decreasing bottom-water oxygen concentrations with increasing water depth. The nematode seep communities at HR exhibited low diversity with dominance of only one or two genera (Daptonema and Metadesmolaimus), elevated average individual biomass and δ13C evidence for strong dependance on chemosynthesis-derived carbon, resembling deep-sea seeps worldwide. Although the HR seep habitats harbored a distinct nematode community like in other known seep communities, they differed from deep-sea seeps in well-oxygenated waters based on that they shared the dominant genera with the surrounding non-seep sediments overlain by oxygen-deficient bottom water. The homogenizing effect of the oxygen minimum zone on the seep nematode assemblages and surrounding sediments was constant with increasing water depth and concomitant greater oxygen-deficiency, resulting in a loss of habitat heterogeneity.

  9. Detection of Natural Oil Seeps in the Atlantic Ocean Using MODIS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reahard, Ross; Jones, Jason B.; Mitchell, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Natural oil seepage is the release of crude oil into the ocean from fissures in the seabed. Oil seepage is a major contributor to the total amount of oil entering the world s oceans. According to a 2003 study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 47 percent of oil entering the world s oceans is from natural seeps, and 53 percent is from human sources (extraction, transportation, and consumption). Oil seeps cause smooth oil slicks to form on the water s surface. Oil seeps can indicate the location of stores of fossil fuel beneath the ocean floor. Knowledge of the effect of oil seepage on marine life and marine ecosystems remains limited. In the past, remote sensing has been used to detect oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and off of the coast of southern California. This project utilized sun glint MODIS imagery to locate oil slicks off of the Atlantic coast, an area that had not previously been surveyed for natural oil seeps using remote sensing. Since 1982, the Atlantic Ocean has been closed to any oil and gas drilling. Recently, however, the U.S. Minerals Management Services (MMS) has proposed a lease for oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina. Determining the location of seepage sites in the Atlantic Ocean will help MMS locate potential deposits of oil and natural gas, thereby reducing the risk of leasing areas for petroleum extraction that do not contain these natural resources.

  10. Diverse sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade are the key alkane degraders at marine seeps

    PubMed Central

    Kleindienst, Sara; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Stagars, Marion; von Netzer, Frederick; von Bergen, Martin; Seifert, Jana; Peplies, Jörg; Amann, Rudolf; Musat, Florin; Lueders, Tillmann; Knittel, Katrin

    2014-01-01

    Biogeochemical and microbiological data indicate that the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has an important role in carbon and sulfur cycling at marine seeps. Yet, little is known about the bacterial hydrocarbon degraders active in situ. Here, we provide the link between previous biogeochemical measurements and the cultivation of degraders by direct identification of SRB responsible for butane and dodecane degradation in complex on-site microbiota. Two contrasting seep sediments from Mediterranean Amon mud volcano and Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were incubated with 13C-labeled butane or dodecane under sulfate-reducing conditions and analyzed via complementary stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques. Using DNA- and rRNA-SIP, we identified four specialized clades of alkane oxidizers within Desulfobacteraceae to be distinctively active in oxidation of short- and long-chain alkanes. All clades belong to the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade, substantiating the crucial role of these bacteria in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation at marine seeps. The identification of key enzymes of anaerobic alkane degradation, subsequent β-oxidation and the reverse Wood–Ljungdahl pathway for complete substrate oxidation by protein-SIP further corroborated the importance of the DSS clade and indicated that biochemical pathways, analog to those discovered in the laboratory, are of great relevance for natural settings. The high diversity within identified subclades together with their capability to initiate alkane degradation and growth within days to weeks after substrate amendment suggest an overlooked potential of marine benthic microbiota to react to natural changes in seepage, as well as to massive hydrocarbon input, for example, as encountered during anthropogenic oil spills. PMID:24722631

  11. Diverse sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade are the key alkane degraders at marine seeps.

    PubMed

    Kleindienst, Sara; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Stagars, Marion; von Netzer, Frederick; von Bergen, Martin; Seifert, Jana; Peplies, Jörg; Amann, Rudolf; Musat, Florin; Lueders, Tillmann; Knittel, Katrin

    2014-10-01

    Biogeochemical and microbiological data indicate that the anaerobic oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) has an important role in carbon and sulfur cycling at marine seeps. Yet, little is known about the bacterial hydrocarbon degraders active in situ. Here, we provide the link between previous biogeochemical measurements and the cultivation of degraders by direct identification of SRB responsible for butane and dodecane degradation in complex on-site microbiota. Two contrasting seep sediments from Mediterranean Amon mud volcano and Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were incubated with (13)C-labeled butane or dodecane under sulfate-reducing conditions and analyzed via complementary stable isotope probing (SIP) techniques. Using DNA- and rRNA-SIP, we identified four specialized clades of alkane oxidizers within Desulfobacteraceae to be distinctively active in oxidation of short- and long-chain alkanes. All clades belong to the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) clade, substantiating the crucial role of these bacteria in anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation at marine seeps. The identification of key enzymes of anaerobic alkane degradation, subsequent β-oxidation and the reverse Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for complete substrate oxidation by protein-SIP further corroborated the importance of the DSS clade and indicated that biochemical pathways, analog to those discovered in the laboratory, are of great relevance for natural settings. The high diversity within identified subclades together with their capability to initiate alkane degradation and growth within days to weeks after substrate amendment suggest an overlooked potential of marine benthic microbiota to react to natural changes in seepage, as well as to massive hydrocarbon input, for example, as encountered during anthropogenic oil spills. PMID:24722631

  12. Hydrocarbon geochemistry of cold seeps in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, T.D.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.; Orange, D.L.; Martin, J.B.

    2002-01-01

    Samples from four geographically and tectonically discrete cold seeps named Clam Flat, Clamfield, Horseshoe Scarp South, and Tubeworm City, within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary were analyzed for their hydrocarbon content. The sediment contains gaseous hydrocarbons and CO2, as well as high molecular weight aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons with various combinations of thermogenic and biogenic contributions from petroleum, marine, and terrigenous sources. Of particular interest is the cold seep site at Clamfield which is characterized by the presence of thermogenic hydrocarbons including oil that can likely be correlated with oil-saturated strata at Majors Creek near Davenport, CA, USA. At Clam Flat, the evidence for thermogenic hydrocarbons is equivocal. At Horseshoe Scarp South and Tubeworm City, hydrocarbon gases, mainly methane, are likely microbial in origin. These varied sources of hydrocarbon gases highlight the diverse chemical systems that appear at cold seep communities. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Educational Activity Sites for High School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Troutner, Joanne

    2005-01-01

    Finding quality Internet resources for high school students is a continuing challenge. Several high-quality web sites are presented for educators and students. These sites offer activities to learn how an art conservator looks at paintings, create a newspaper, research and develop an end product, build geometry and physics skills, explore science…

  14. Comparison of Two Techniques to Calculate Methane Oxidation rates in Samples Obtained From the Hudson Canyon Seep Field in the North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonte, M.; Kessler, J. D.; Chepigin, A.; Kellermann, M. Y.; Arrington, E.; Valentine, D. L.; Sylva, S.

    2014-12-01

    Aerobic methane oxidation, or methanotrophy, is the dominant process by which methane is removed from the water column in oceanic environments. Therefore, accurately quantifying methane oxidation rates is crucial when constructing methane budgets on a local or global scale. Here we present a comparison of two techniques used to determine methane oxidation rates based on samples obtained over the Hudson Canyon seep field in the North Atlantic. Traditional methane oxidation rate measurements require inoculation of water samples with isotopically labeled methane and tracking the changes to methane concentrations and isotopes as the samples are incubated. However, the addition of methane above background levels is thought to increase the potential for methane oxidation in the sample. A new technique to calculate methane oxidation rates is based on kinetic isotope models and incorporates direct measurements of methane concentrations, methane 13C isotopes, and water current velocity. Acoustic instrumentation (ADCP) aboard the R/V Endeavor was used to obtain water current velocity data while water samples were collected for methane concentration and isotopic ratio analysis. Methane δ13C measurements allow us to attribute changes in methane concentration to either water dispersion or bacterial methane oxidation. The data obtained from this cruise will tell us a comprehensive story of methane removal processes from this active seep field. The kinetic isotope models will allow us to estimate the total flux of methane from the seep site and calculate methane oxidation rates at different depths and locations away from seafloor plumes.

  15. Seeps and springs sampling and analysis plan for the environmental monitoring plan for Waste Area Grouping 6 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-08-01

    This Sampling and Analysis Plan addresses the monitoring, sampling, and analysis activities that will be conducted at seeps and springs and at two french drain outlets in support of the Environmental Monitoring Plan for Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 6. WAG 6 is a shallow-land-burial disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a research facility owned by the US Department of Energy and operated by Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. Initially, sampling will be conducted at as many as 15 locations within WAG 6 (as many as 13 seeps and 2 french drain outlets). After evaluating the results obtained and reviewing the observations made by field personnel during the first round of sampling, several seeps and springs will be chosen as permanent monitoring points, together with the two french drain outlets. Baseline sampling of these points will then be conducted quarterly for 1 year (i.e., four rounds of sampling after the initial round). The samples will be analyzed for various geochemical, organic, inorganic, and radiological parameters. Permanent sampling points having suitable flow rates and conditions may be outfitted with automatic flow-monitoring equipment. The results of the sampling and flow-monitoring efforts will help to quantify flux moving across the ungauged perimeter of the site and will help to identify changes in releases from the contaminant sources.

  16. Seeps and springs sampling and analysis plant for the Environmental Monitoring Plan at Waste Area Grouping 6, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    1995-09-01

    This Sampling and Analysis Plan addresses the monitoring, sampling, and analysis activities that will be conducted at seeps and springs and at two french drain outlets in support of the Environmental Monitoring Plan for Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 6. WAG 6 is a shallow-land-burial disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a research facility owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by Lockheed Martin Energy System, Inc. Initially, sampling will be conducted at as many as 15 locations within WAG 6 (as many as 13 seeps and 2 french drain outlets). After evaluating the results obtained and reviewing the observations made by field personnel during the first round of sampling, several seeps and springs will be chosen as permanent monitoring points, together with the two french drain outlets. Baseline sampling of these points will then be conducted quarterly for 1 year (i.e., four rounds of sampling after the initial round). The samples will be analyzed for various geochemical, organic, inorganic, and radiological parameters. Permanent sampling points having suitable flow rates and conditions may be outfitted with automatic flow-monitoring equipment. The results of the sampling and flow-monitoring efforts will help to quantify flux moving across the ungauged perimeter of the site and will help to identify changes in releases from the contaminant sources.

  17. Marine cold seeps and their manifestations: geological control, biogeochemical criteria and environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suess, Erwin

    2014-10-01

    Characteristics of cold seeps at different geologic settings are the subject of this review primarily based on results of the Research Consortium SFB 574. Criteria are drawn from examples on the erosive convergent margin off Costa Rica, the accretionary margin off Chile supplemented by examples from the transform margin of the Golf of Cadiz and the convergent Hikurangi margin off New Zealand. Others are from well-studied passive margins of the Black Sea, the Golf of Mexico, the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the South China Sea. Seeps at all settings transport water and dissolved compounds to the ocean through the seafloor by different forcing mechanism and from different depths of the submerged geosphere (10s of meters to 10s of km). The compounds sustain oasis-type ecosystems by providing bioactive reductants sulfide, methane and hydrogen. Hereby, the interaction between fluid composition, flux rates and biota results in a diagnostic hydrocarbon-metazoan-microbe-carbonate association; currently, well over 100 active sites are known. The single most important reaction is microbially mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane with secondary reactions involving S-biogeochemistry and carbonate mineral precipitation. Seep fluids and their seafloor manifestations provide clues as to source depth, fluid-sediment/rock interaction during ascent, lifetime and cyclicity of seepage events but less so on the magnitude of return flow. At erosive margins, Cl-depleted and B-enriched fluids from clay dehydration provide criteria for source depth and temperature. The upward material flow generates mud volcanoes at the seafloor above the projected location of dehydration at depth. At accretionary margins, fluids are derived from more shallow depths by compaction of sediments as they ride on the incoming oceanic plate; they are emitted through thrust faults. At highly sedimented margins, organic-rich and evaporite-containing strata (when present) determine the final fluid composition

  18. Influence of parasitism in controlling the health, reproduction and PAH body burden of petroleum seep mussels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, Eric N.; Barber, Robert D.; Kennicutt, Mahlon C., II; Ford, Susan E.

    1999-12-01

    Petroleum seep mussels are often exposed to high hydrocarbon concentrations in their natural habitat and, thus, offer the opportunity to examine the relationship between parasitism, disease and contaminant exposure under natural conditions. This is the first report on the histopathology of cold-seep mussels. Seep mussels were collected by submersible from four primary sites in the Gulf of Mexico, lease blocks Green Canyon (GC) 184, GC-234, GC-233, and Garden Banks 425 in 550-650 m water depth. Five types of parasites were identified in section: (1) gill "rosettes" of unknown affinity associated with the gill bacteriocytes, (2) gill "inclusions" similar to chlamydia/rickettsia inclusions, (3) extracellular gill ciliates, (4) body "inclusions" that also resemble chlamydial/rickettsial inclusions, and (5) Bucephalus-like trematodes. Comparison to shallow-water mytilids demonstrates that: (1) both have similar parasite faunas; (2) seep mytilids are relatively heavily parasitized; and (3) infection intensities are extremely high in comparison to shallow-water mytilids for Bucephalus and chlamydia/rickettsia. In this study, the lowest prevalence for chlamydia/rickettsia was 67%. Prevalences of 100% were recorded from three populations. Bucephalus prevalence was ⩾70% in three of 10 populations. The parasite fauna was highly variable between populations. Some important parasites were not observed in some primary sites. Even within primary sites, some important parasites were not observed in some populations. Bucephalus may exert a significant influence on seep mussel population dynamics. Forty percent of the populations in this study are severely reproductively compromised by Bucephalus infection. Only a fraction of petroleum seep mussel populations are maintaining the entire beta-level population structure of this species. Variation in two parasites, gill ciliates and Bucephalus, explained most of the variation in PAH body burden between mussel populations. PAHs are

  19. A Peek at Fluid Flow in Monterey bay Cold Seeps Using Peepers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plant, J. N.; Wheat, C. G.; Jannasch, H.

    2001-12-01

    The egress of pore water from the oceanic crust along plate boundaries includes pore water and bound volatiles from sediment as well as seawater that have interacted with basement rock. The chemical composition of these fluids is governed by complex water-rock interactions that are also a function of temperature and pressure. Several such sites of fluid seepage were located in Monterey Bay (USA), which has active strike-slip faulting and evidence for compression in the northern portion of the bay. Fluid and chemical fluxes were determined from these seeps to provide insights to the mechanisms for fluid release and the chemical conditions under which this fluid was altered. Systematic variations in pore water chemical and thermal data provide a measure of the composition of the fluid at depth, an estimate of the speed of upwelling, and an assessment of chemical reactions that alter the fluid as it ascends to the seafloor. Pore water chemical data, which were collected from in-situ extractors ("peepers") that provide for a contamination-free sample, and thermal data indicate maximum upwelling speeds of 1-5 cm/yr at most seeps, with the exception of Extrovert Cliff where upwelling speeds are as high as hundreds of m/yr. These fluids are the most altered fluids in the bay (units mmol/kg: S 12; SO4 0; Ca 16.4; Mg 28.4; K 6.0; Sr 0.35; Li 0.038; Alk 15; Cl 560). Elucidating environmental conditions under which fluids from each of the sites formed may ultimately permit us to constrain some of the variables controlling tectonic phenomena in Monterey Bay and along plate margins in general.

  20. Infaunal and megafaunal benthic community structure associated with cold seeps at the Vestnesa Ridge (79 N°)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, Emmelie K. L.; Carroll, Michael L.; Sen, Arunima; Ambrose, William G., Jr.; Silyakova, Anna; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    Cold seeps are locations where hydrocarbons, sulfide or reduced compounds emanate from the seafloor, which may fuel chemoautotrophic production and form additional hard bottom substrate through carbonate precipitation. Chemosynthetic symbiosis, trophic interactions, and additional bottom substrate types can provide a heterogeneous environment for deep-sea organisms supporting macrofaunal communities including increased biodiversity and biomass. We combined quantitative benthic faunal samples with sea floor photographs from an active, methane seeping pockmark at Vestnesa Ridge (1200 meters depth) to examine community structure and biodiversity in a high Arctic deep cold seep. Quantitative data were compared with samples from the nearby inactive Svyatogor Ridge (1577-1706 meters depth). We measured highly elevated methane concentrations (up to 100x background levels) in the sediment at Vestnesa Ridge. Faunal abundance, species richness and biomass were significantly higher at the Vestnesa pockmark compared to inactive Svyatogor Ridge. Seabed photos from Vestnesa Ridge reveal high megafaunal diversity and biomass and cold seep features including carbonate crust and microbial mats. Our observations indicate that chemoautotrophic production enhances deep-sea biomass and diversity at Vestnesa Ridge. The focused methane emissions create a heterogeneous deep-sea habitat for chemo-associated organisms coexisting with heterotrophic conventional fauna in a high Arctic seep. Keywords: Arctic, benthic ecology, biodiversity, chemosynthesis, methane

  1. Field Exploration of Methane Seep Near Atqasuk

    SciTech Connect

    Katey Walter, Dennis Witmer, Gwen Holdmann

    2008-12-31

    Methane (CH{sub 4}) in natural gas is a major energy source in the U.S., and is used extensively on Alaska's North Slope, including the oilfields in Prudhoe Bay, the community of Barrow, and the National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska (NPRA). Smaller villages, however, are dependent on imported diesel fuel for both power and heating, resulting in some of the highest energy costs in the U.S. and crippling local economies. Numerous CH{sub 4} gas seeps have been observed on wetlands near Atqasuk, Alaska (in the NPRA), and initial measurements have indicated flow rates of 3,000-5,000 ft{sup 3} day{sup -1} (60-100 kg CH{sub 4} day{sup -1}). Gas samples collected in 1996 indicated biogenic origin, although more recent sampling indicated a mixture of biogenic and thermogenic gas. In this study, we (1) quantified the amount of CH{sub 4} generated by several seeps and evaluated their potential use as an unconventional gas source for the village of Atqasuk; (2) collected gas and analyzed its composition from multiple seeps several miles apart to see if the source is the same, or if gas is being generated locally from isolated biogenic sources; and (3) assessed the potential magnitude of natural CH{sub 4} gas seeps for future use in climate change modeling.

  2. Chemoautolithotrophic Primary Production as a Fuel for Heterotrophs in Hydrocarbon Seeps: an Examination of Mobile Benthic Fauna and Seep Residents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macavoy, S. E.; Morgan, E.; Fisher, C. R.; Carney, R. S.; Macko, S. A.

    2006-05-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico supports dense aggregations of tube worms and mussels that are symbiotic with chemoautolithotrophic bacteria. Associated with these communities are numerous heterotrophic fauna plus free-living bacteria. The usage of chemosynthetic production by invertebrate fauna within or near the seeps is largely unknown. Here we examine the stable C, N and S isotope signatures of fauna from 2 chemosynthetic communities to identify ranges of chemoautolithotrophic primary production and determine the usage of that primary production by heterotrophic invertebrates. The isotope range for chemosynthetic production is different between sites. A seep dominated by methane-utilizing mussels (GC233) had the most depleted d13C and d15N (-50 to -65° and -9 to -12°, respectively) but most enriched d34S (11 to 6°). A site dominated by both tube worms and mussels (GC 234) there were two sources of C, one between -24 and -30° and another of approximately -40°. d15N and d34S at GC234 ranged from 1 to 5° and -10 to 6°, respectively. We estimate that hagfish captured 1 km from the communities derived at least 10 percent of their C from chemosynthetic sources. Giant isopods, captured with the hagfish show negligible chemosynthetic usage.

  3. Waste Area Grouping 2 Remedial Investigation Phase 1 Seep Task data report: Contaminant source area assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Hicks, D.S.

    1996-03-01

    This report presents the findings of the Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2, Phase 1 Remedial Investigation (RI) Seep Task efforts during 1993 and 1994 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The results presented here follow results form the first year of sampling, 1992, which are contained in the Phase 1 RI report for WAG 2 (DOE 1995a). The WAG 2 Seep Task efforts focused on contaminants in seeps, tributaries, and main streams within the White Oak Creek (WOC) watershed. This report is designed primarily as a reference for contaminants and a resource for guiding remedial decisions. Additional in-depth assessments of the Seep Task data may provide clearer understandings of contaminant transport from the different source areas in the WOC watershed. WAG 2 consists of WOC and its tributaries downstream of the ORNL main plant area, White Oak Lake, the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, and the associated flood plains and subsurface environment. The WOC watershed encompasses ORNL and associated WAGs. WAG 2 acts as an integrator for contaminant releases from the contaminated sites at ORNL and as the conduit transporting contaminants to the Clinch River. The main objectives of the Seep Task were to identify and characterize seeps, tributaries and source areas that are responsible for the contaminant releases to the main streams in WAG 2 and to quantify their input to the total contaminant release from the watershed at White Oak Dam (WOD). Efforts focused on {sup 90}Sr, {sup 3}H, and {sup 137}Cs because these contaminants pose the greatest potential human health risk from water ingestion at WOD. Bimonthly sampling was conducted throughout the WOC watershed beginning in March 1993 and ending in August 1994. Samples were also collected for metals, anions, alkalinity, organics, and other radionuclides.

  4. Low dielectric response in enzyme active site

    PubMed Central

    Mertz, Edward L.; Krishtalik, Lev I.

    2000-01-01

    The kinetics of charge transfer depend crucially on the dielectric reorganization of the medium. In enzymatic reactions that involve charge transfer, atomic dielectric response of the active site and of its surroundings determines the efficiency of the protein as a catalyst. We report direct spectroscopic measurements of the reorganization energy associated with the dielectric response in the active site of α-chymotrypsin. A chromophoric inhibitor of the enzyme is used as a spectroscopic probe. We find that water strongly affects the dielectric reorganization in the active site of the enzyme in solution. The reorganization energy of the protein matrix in the vicinity of the active site is similar to that of low-polarity solvents. Surprisingly, water exhibits an anomalously high dielectric response that cannot be described in terms of the dielectric continuum theory. As a result, sequestering the active site from the aqueous environment inside low-dielectric enzyme body dramatically reduces the dielectric reorganization. This reduction is particularly important for controlling the rate of enzymatic reactions. PMID:10681440

  5. Benthic Community Structure and Sediment Geochemical Properties at Hydrocarbon Seeps Along the Continental Slope of the Western North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demopoulos, A. W.; Bourque, J. R.; Brooke, S.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, methane seepage has been increasingly documented along the continental slope of the U.S. Atlantic margin. In 2012 and 2013, two seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (410-450 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (1600 m). Both sites contain extensive mussel beds and microbial mats. Sediment cores and grab samples were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300 mm) in relationship to the associated sediment environment (organic carbon and nitrogen, stable isotopes 13C and 15N, grain size, and depth) of mussel beds, mats, and slope habitats. Macrofaunal densities in microbial mats were four times greater than those present in mussel beds and slope sediments. Macrofaunal communities were distinctly different both between depths and among habitat types. Specifically, microbial mat sediments were dominated by the annelid families Dorvilleidae, Capitellidae, and Tubificidae, while mussel habitats had higher proportions of crustaceans. Diversity was lower in Baltimore microbial mat habitats, but higher in mussel and slope sediments compared to Norfolk seep habitats found at deeper depths. Multivariate statistical analysis identified sediment carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratios and 13C values as important variables for structuring the macrofaunal communities. Higher C:N ratios were present within microbial mat habitats and depleted 13C values occurred in sediments adjacent to mussel beds found in Norfolk Canyon seeps. Differences in the quality and source of organic matter present in the seep habitats are known to be important drivers in macrofaunal community structure and associated food webs. The multivariate analysis provides new insight into the relative importance of the seep sediment quality in supporting dense macrofaunal communities compared

  6. Population structure of two deep sea tubeworms, Lamellibrachia luymesi and Seepiophila jonesi, from the hydrocarbon seeps of the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMullin, Erin R.; Nelson, Kimberlyn; Fisher, Charles R.; Schaeffer, Stephen W.

    2010-11-01

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms are a group of large sessile marine polychaete annelids (family Siboglinidae) found in the regions of hydrothermal venting or seepage of the reduced chemical hydrogen sulfide. Hydrocarbon seeps on the Louisiana Slope of the Gulf of Mexico support large communities of the co-occurring vestimentiferan species Lamellibrachia luymesi and Seepiophila jonesi. These sessile species have the opportunity to disperse between the patchy sites of active seepage on the seafloor during a planktonic larval stage. However, it is unclear whether dispersal occurs at a local or global scale. Four ( L. luymesi) and seven ( S. jonesi) microsatellite loci were used to test for population substructure among ten hydrocarbon seep sites on the Louisiana Slope. Both species showed high levels of allelic diversity, averaging 18.5 ( L. luymesi) and 22 ( S. jonesi) alleles/locus, respectively, and high observed heterozygosity at all microsatellite loci (0.71-0.9 in L. luymesi, 0.27-0.84 in S. jonesi). The two species showed a significant deficiency in heterozygotes compared to that predicted under the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. L. luymesi showed a small but significant amount of population structure, with a positive correlation between genetic and geographic distance among the sample sites spanning 540 km. S. jonesi, in contrast, showed no evidence for isolation by distance, but did show a significant genetic difference between aggregations of different ages. These results suggest that these two species differ in how larvae are able to colonize new seep sites through space ( L. luymesi) and though time ( S. jonesi).

  7. Reconnaissance Strategy for Seep Chemosynthetic Communities in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, I. R.; Roberts, H. H.; Fisher, C. R.; Bernard, B. B.; Joye, S.; Carney, R.; Hunt, J.; Shedd, W.

    2007-05-01

    The Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico hosts diverse chemosynthetic communities at oil and gas seeps. Exploration is needed to extend knowledge of the Gulf of Mexico chemosynthetic ecosystem in the zones anticipated to receive energy exploration and production activities over the coming decades. A nested survey approach can be used to identify representative sampling sites within this vast offshore area. Potential sites where chemosynthetic community could occur are selected on the basis geophysical, geochemical, and satellite remote-sensing indicators. Photo-reconnaissance using cost-effective camera systems is then used to confirm the presences or absence of chemosynthetic communities at high-probability sites. Follow-up sampling can then proceed with submersibles or ROVs to acquire tissue and or geochemical samples. However, because access is limited, submersible dives may not be possible at all sites. Two examples of this approach have recently been applied in the northern and southern Gulf of Mexico, respectively. We compared community characterizations obtained from the initial reconnaissance with more detailed characterizations forthcoming from submersible sampling. Our results show that major differences in community type and geochemical substrata are evident from preliminary reconnaissance, while details of animal densities and species compositions require targeted sampling with submersibles. However, given the limited access to submersibles, cost-effective surveys with deep-sea camera systems would greatly expand understanding of the zoogeography of chemosynthetic fauna in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

  8. Preservation and Significance of Vestimentiferan Tube Worms in Paleocene Cold Seep Carbonates, Panoche-Tumey Hills, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, H.; Hull, I.

    2005-12-01

    Vestimentiferan tube worms are the dominant chemosynthetic macroinvertebrates at many active cold seeps, but their remains are surprisingly rare in paleoseeps. A 20 km-long paleoseep system in the Panoche-Tumey Hills (PTH), northwestern San Joaquin Valley, is an exception. At this Paleocene site methane-derived carbonate masses (δ13C-depleted to -54 per mil) within the siliciclastic Moreno Formation contain abundant evidence of chemosynthetic communities, including ubiquitous microbialites and scattered remains of infaunal lucinid and nuculanid bivalves. Abundant tube structures also occur in the carbonates and though most are nondescript, a few well-preserved specimens suggest that many or all of these structures represent replaced vestimentiferan tube worm exoskeletons. Modern Vestimentifera secrete thin-walled, multi-layered tubes made of β-chitin and protein complexes which have high potential for chelation and microbe-mediated carbonate precipitation. The best-preserved PTH tubes are circular to oval in cross section, 7-10mm in diameter and multi-layered. The inner and outer layers consist of thin brownish sheaths, 0.1 to 0.5mm in diameter. The middle layer consists of isopachous radiaxial and microspar calcite cement (~2mm thick), with opposing crystal growth directions. The exterior surfaces of the outer sheaths have distinctive banding reminiscent of incremental growth lines. Less well-preserved tubes have progressively thicker and more complex cement rims and progressively less distinctive sheaths. Variable preservation may reflect degree of exposure to seep fluids, as poorly-preserved tubes are generally infilled with fluid-derived blocky calcite while well-preserved tubes are infilled with silty micrite matrix. Low δ13C values (to -20 per mil) indicate that some of the carbon and all tube-replacing cements was derived from seep fluids. In contrast to tube worm remains, suspect abiotic fluid conduits in the PTH are irregularly shaped, variable in size

  9. Methane oxidation in permeable sediments at hydrocarbon seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, T.; Ziebis, W.

    2010-03-01

    A shallow-water area in the Santa Barbara Channel (California), known collectively as the Coal Oil Point seep field, is one the largest natural submarine oil and gas emission areas in the world. Both gas and oil are seeping constantly through a predominantly sandy seabed into the ocean. This study focused on the methanotrophic activity within the surface sediments (0-15 cm) of the permeable seabed in the so-called Brian Seep area at a water depth ~10 m. Detailed investigations of biogeochemical parameters in the sediment surrounding active gas vents indicated that methane seepage through the permeable seabed induces a convective transport of fluids within the surface sediment layer, which results in a deeper penetration of oxidants (oxygen, sulfate) into the sediment, as well as in a faster removal of potentially inhibiting reduced end products (e.g. hydrogen sulfide). Methanotrophic activity was often found close to the sediment-water interface, indicating the involvement of aerobic bacteria. However, biogeochemical data suggests that the majority of methane is consumed by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction below the surface layer (>15 cm), where sulfate is still available in high concentrations. This subsurface maximum of AOM activity in permeable sands is in contrast to known deep-sea seep habitats, where upward fluid advection through more fine-grained sediments leads to an accumulation of AOM activity within the top 10 cm of the sediments, because sulfate is rapidly depleted.

  10. Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seep communities. V. Biofacies and shell orientation of autochthonous shell beds below storm wave base

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, W.R.; Staff, G.M.; Powell, E.N.; MacDonald, I.R. )

    1990-02-01

    Clam and mussel assemblages associated with petroleum seepage on the Louisiana continental slope form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northwestern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Four distinct biofacies are present at the seeps, dominated respectively by mussels, lucinid clams, vesicomyid clams and tubeworms. Each primary seep site is typically composed of a series of not necessarily contiguous, autochthonous beds dominated by one biofacies. Mussels and tubeworms often co-occur, but neither normally co-occur with lucinid or vesicomyid clams. Lucinid and vesicomyid clam beds have the best chance of preservation. Despite essentially undisturbed accumulation in quiet water below storm wave base, concavity ratios rarely differ from 1:1 and frequency of articulation may be low. Dominantly concave-up valves previously reported in quiet water may result from man's fishing activities. Significant variability in shell orientation, frequency of articulation and concavity ratio between adjacent samples indicates that many individual stratigraphically-equivalent samples should be used in any taphofacies analysis of assemblages formed in low-energy environments. Lucinid beds which form below the sediment surface and vesicomyid beds which form on the sediment surface differed significantly in shell orientation and articulation frequency. Assemblages forming below storm wave base in low-energy environments may comprise a wide variety of taphofacies depending upon whether formation occurs primarily beneath the sediment surface or on the sediment surface, despite contemporaneous formation under similar environmental conditions.

  11. Establishing criteria to distinguish oil- from methane-seep carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrzka, Daniel; Zwicker, Jennifer; Bach, Wolfgang; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Peckmann, Jörn

    2016-04-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps harbor biota depending on chemosynthesis that is preserved in the fossil record as part of authigenic carbonate deposits. Seep environments are characterized by emanation of methane-rich fluids, yet an increasing number of seeps have been discovered in recent years that are typified by seepage of crude oil. Fluid composition is an important factor governing the composition and diversity of seep-dwelling fauna at modern seeps, as different species have differing tolerances and requirements with regard to the emitted compounds. In this regard, oil seepage has a profound influence on the diversity and distribution of seep-endemic macrofauna and microbial communities. Despite current efforts to better understand oil seeps and their ecology, the confident identification of oil seeps in the geologic record still poses fundamental problems. We present new geochemical data that allow for a more reliable identification of oil seepage during the Phanerozoic. Clear, fibrous aragonite cements of modern and putative ancient oil- and methane-seep deposits were analyzed for their rare earth element (REE) content. This cement is common in seep limestones and represents a product of the anaerobic oxidation of methane and higher hydrocarbons. Clear aragonite is particularly pure and virtually free of detrital inclusions, making it an ideal mineral for comparative geochemical analyses. Its REE composition reveals that oil-seep deposits are significantly enriched in REEs compared to methane- seep deposits. Furthermore, bulk total organic carbon (TOC) measurements suggest that modern and putative ancient oil seep carbonates are enriched in organic carbon. The combined data serve as a promising tool for identifying oil seepage in the fossil record. Our results provide the foundation for an improved understanding of the adaptation of chemosynthesis-based life to oil as an energy source.

  12. In situ environment rather than substrate type dictates microbial community structure of biofilms in a cold seep system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, On On; Wang, Yong; Tian, Renmao; Zhang, Weipeng; Shek, Chun Shum; Bougouffa, Salim; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Batang, Zenon B.; Xu, Wei; Wang, Guang Chao; Zhang, Xixiang; Lafi, Feras F.; Bajic, Vladmir B.; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Using microscopic and molecular techniques combined with computational analysis, this study examined the structure and composition of microbial communities in biofilms that formed on different artificial substrates in a brine pool and on a seep vent of a cold seep in the Red Sea to test our hypothesis that initiation of the biofilm formation and spreading mode of microbial structures differs between the cold seep and the other aquatic environments. Biofilms on different substrates at two deployment sites differed morphologically, with the vent biofilms having higher microbial abundance and better structural features than the pool biofilms. Microbes in the pool biofilms were more taxonomically diverse and mainly composed of various sulfate-reducing bacteria whereas the vent biofilms were exclusively dominated by sulfur-oxidizing Thiomicrospira. These results suggest that the redox environments at the deployment sites might have exerted a strong selection on microbes in the biofilms at two sites whereas the types of substrates had limited effects on the biofilm development.

  13. More than three thousand years of microbial methane consumption at cold seeps offshore Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinle, Lea; Vögtli, Irina; Liebetrau, Volker; Krause, Stefan; Treude, Tina; Lehmann, Moritz; Niemann, Helge

    2014-05-01

    Microbial consumption retains a significant fraction of methane in marine sediments. Under anoxic conditions, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is mediated by archaea with sulfate as the terminal electron acceptor, whereas the aerobic oxidation of methane (MOx) is mediated by bacteria. MOx is typically less important in marine systems because oxygen availability in sediments is very low and methane is consumed in deeper sediments through AOM. At cold seeps, however, the methane flux can be high enough to bypass the AOM filter so that methane and oxygen overlap in surface sediments. The role of MOx thus becomes more significant at highly active cold seeps. To further test this hypothesis, and the applicability of MOx-signatures as a tracer for paleo seep activity, we investigated lipid biomarkers of methanotrophic communities in modern sediments and compared them to fossilised lipids in more than 3000 years old authigenic carbonate accretions. Sediments and carbonates were recovered in the direct vicinity of bubble release sites at cold seeps offshore Svalbard, systems that have been active for at least 3000 years (Berndt et al., 2014). Samples were recovered with the submersible JAGO during an expedition with R/V M.S. Merian (MSM 21/4) in 2012. The composition of lipid biomarkers and their associated stable carbon isotope signatures provide evidence for distinctly different methanotrophic communities in modern sediments and the old carbonates. In deeper sediments, where AOM rate measurements were maximal (~500 nmol ml-1 d-1 at ~5 cm sediment depth), the dominance of the 13C-depleted archaeal biomarker archaeol and the absence of sn2-hydroxyarchaeol and crocetane point to an AOM community dominated by ANME1-archaea. At the surface of the sediment core, we found 13C-depleted 4α-methylsteroids and diploptene, lipid biomarkers originating from MOx communities. The biomarker profiles are consistent with our visual observations. During sampling, methane bubbles

  14. Iron oxides stimulate sulfate-driven anaerobic methane oxidation in seeps

    PubMed Central

    Sivan, Orit; Antler, Gilad; Turchyn, Alexandra V.; Marlow, Jeffrey J.; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2014-01-01

    Seep sediments are dominated by intensive microbial sulfate reduction coupled to the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Through geochemical measurements of incubation experiments with methane seep sediments collected from Hydrate Ridge, we provide insight into the role of iron oxides in sulfate-driven AOM. Seep sediments incubated with 13C-labeled methane showed co-occurring sulfate reduction, AOM, and methanogenesis. The isotope fractionation factors for sulfur and oxygen isotopes in sulfate were about 40‰ and 22‰, respectively, reinforcing the difference between microbial sulfate reduction in methane seeps versus other sedimentary environments (for example, sulfur isotope fractionation above 60‰ in sulfate reduction coupled to organic carbon oxidation or in diffusive sedimentary sulfate–methane transition zone). The addition of hematite to these microcosm experiments resulted in significant microbial iron reduction as well as enhancing sulfate-driven AOM. The magnitude of the isotope fractionation of sulfur and oxygen isotopes in sulfate from these incubations was lowered by about 50%, indicating the involvement of iron oxides during sulfate reduction in methane seeps. The similar relative change between the oxygen versus sulfur isotopes of sulfate in all experiments (with and without hematite addition) suggests that oxidized forms of iron, naturally present in the sediment incubations, were involved in sulfate reduction, with hematite addition increasing the sulfate recycling or the activity of sulfur-cycling microorganisms by about 40%. These results highlight a role for natural iron oxides during bacterial sulfate reduction in methane seeps not only as nutrient but also as stimulator of sulfur recycling. PMID:25246590

  15. Detection of natural oil seeps as a guide to petroleum exploration using new generation remote sensor data

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, R.N.

    1989-03-01

    The remote-sensing literature gives ample reference to oil-seep related anomalies and their use as exploration guides. Little technical evidence has been published examining the cause-and-effect relationship between surface signature and petroleum traps. An attempt was made to detect spectral signatures (tonal and textural) related to known natural oil seeps to establish criteria for remote detection of additional seeps in frontier areas. Sites included a variety of physical settings where surface expression of geologic structure, topography, vegetation, and degree of field development were varied to determine the hypothetical potential for discovery by remote-sensing techniques. Test sites included known shallow fields in Indonesia, oil sands in northern Alberta, and giant fields in the Middle East and western US. Results indicated tonal data recorded by Landsat helped discriminate possible unique (i.e. seep-related) but site-dependent signatures. SPOT 10-m resolution panchromatic data were most useful for detecting subtle textural signatures that are possibly seep related. Additional information is being analyzed, and intersite correlations between surface and sensor are being examined.

  16. SURVEY OF LOW FLOW DRAINAGES AND SEEPS IN COLORADO TO ASSESS IMPLEMENTABILITY OF PASSIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Low flow drainages and seeps are typically not evaluated for mitigation due to the perceived low impact on the watershed. However, localized metals concentrations and acidity can be at levels of concern. Future passage of a “Good Samaritan Act” should increase activity at curren...

  17. Removal action report on Waste Area Grouping 4 seeps 4 and 6 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

    This report documents removal action activities for a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) non-time-critical removal action as described in the Action Memorandum prepared in 1996. The technical objective of this removal action was to reduce the release of strontium 90 ({sup 90}Sr) into an ephemeral tributary to White Oak Creek from Waste Area Grouping 4 (WAG 4) seeps, as measured at Monitoring Station (MS) 1 at ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN. Design was initiated in early January 1996 and grouting activities were completed in late October 9996. Portions of four waste disposal trenches were injected using low-temperature permeation grouting technology with multiple formulations of grouts to reduce the in situ hydraulic conductivity of the waste materials and ultimately reduce the off-site transport of {sup 90}Sr.

  18. Active site specificity of plasmepsin II.

    PubMed Central

    Westling, J.; Cipullo, P.; Hung, S. H.; Saft, H.; Dame, J. B.; Dunn, B. M.

    1999-01-01

    Members of the aspartic proteinase family of enzymes have very similar three-dimensional structures and catalytic mechanisms. Each, however, has unique substrate specificity. These distinctions arise from variations in amino acid residues that line the active site subsites and interact with the side chains of the amino acids of the peptides that bind to the active site. To understand the unique binding preferences of plasmepsin II, an enzyme of the aspartic proteinase class from the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, chromogenic octapeptides having systematic substitutions at various positions in the sequence were analyzed. This enabled the design of new, improved substrates for this enzyme (Lys-Pro-Ile-Leu-Phe*Nph-Ala/Glu-Leu-Lys, where * indicates the cleavage point). Additionally, the crystal structure of plasmepsin II was analyzed to explain the binding characteristics. Specific amino acids (Met13, Ser77, and Ile287) that were suspected of contributing to active site binding and specificity were chosen for site-directed mutagenesis experiments. The Met13Glu and Ile287Glu single mutants and the Met13Glu/Ile287Glu double mutant gain the ability to cleave substrates containing Lys residues. PMID:10548045

  19. Deep-sea methane seep sediments in the Okhotsk Sea sustain diverse and abundant anammox bacteria.

    PubMed

    Shao, Sudong; Luan, Xiwu; Dang, Hongyue; Zhou, Haixia; Zhao, Yakun; Liu, Haitao; Zhang, Yunbo; Dai, Lingqing; Ye, Ying; Klotz, Martin G

    2014-02-01

    Marginal sea methane seep sediments sustain highly productive chemosynthetic ecosystems and are hotspots of intense biogeochemical cycling. Rich methane supply stimulates rapid microbial consumption of oxygen; these systems are thus usually hypoxic to anoxic. This and reported evidence for resident nitrogen fixation suggest the presence of an anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacterial community in methane seep sediments. To test this hypothesis, we employed detection of genes encoding 16S rRNA gene and hydrazine dehydrogenase (hzo) to investigate the structure, abundance and distribution of the anammox bacterial community in the methane seep sediments of the Okhotsk Sea. Diverse complements of Candidatus Scalindua-related 16S rRNA and hzo gene sequences were obtained. Most of the deep-sea sites harbored abundant hzo genes with copy numbers as high as 10(7)  g(-1) sediment. In general, anammox bacterial signatures were significantly more abundant in the deep-water sediments. Sediment porewater NO3-, NOx- (i.e. NO3- + NO2-), NOx-/NH4+ and sediment silt content correlated with in situ distribution patterns of anammox bacterial marker genes, likely because they determine anammox substrate availability and sediment geochemistry, respectively. The abundance and distribution of anammox bacterial gene markers indicate a potentially significant contribution of anammox bacteria to the marine N cycle in the deep-sea methane seep sediments. PMID:24164560

  20. Food-web structure of seep sediment macrobenthos from the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W. J.; Gualtieri, Daniel; Kovacs, Kaitlin

    2010-11-01

    The slope environment of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) supports dense communities of seep megafaunal invertebrates that rely on endosymbiotic bacteria for nutrition. Seep sediments also contain smaller macrofaunal invertebrates whose nutritional pathways are not well understood. Using stable-isotope analysis, we investigate the utilization of chemosynthetically fixed and methane-derived organic matter by macrofauna. Biological sampling was conducted in three lower-slope GOM seep environs: Green Canyon (GC852, 1428 m), Atwater Valley (AT340, 2230 m), and Alaminos Canyon (AC601, 2384 m). Infaunal δ13C and δ15N exhibited a broad range of values; most infauna appeared to be heterotrophic, although several taxa had very light δ15N and δ13C values, indicating possible reliance on chemoautotrophic symbioses. The lightest δ13C and δ15N values were observed in nematodes (δ13C=-54.6±0.1‰, δ15N=-6.1±0.2‰) and one gastropod (δ13C=-54.1‰, δ15N=-1.1‰) from Green Canyon. Mixing-model results indicated that sulfur-oxidizing Beggiatoa may be an important food source for seep infauna; the rate of utilization ranged from 60% to 100% at Green Canyon and Atwater Valley. The overall range in isotope values was similar across the three sites, suggesting that biogeochemical processes may be very similar in these geographically distinct areas.

  1. Food-web structure of seep sediment macrobenthos from the Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Gualtieri, Daniel; Kovacs, Kaitlin

    2010-01-01

    The slope environment of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) supports dense communities of seep megafaunal invertebrates that rely on endosymbiotic bacteria for nutrition. Seep sediments also contain smaller macrofaunal invertebrates whose nutritional pathways are not well understood. Using stable-isotope analysis, we investigate the utilization of chemosynthetically fixed and methane-derived organic matter by macrofauna. Biological sampling was conducted in three lower-slope GOM seep environs: Green Canyon (GC852, 1428 m), Atwater Valley (AT340, 2230 m), and Alaminos Canyon (AC601, 2384 m). Infaunal delta13C and delta15N exhibited a broad range of values; most infauna appeared to be heterotrophic, although several taxa had very light delta15N and delta13C values, indicating possible reliance on chemoautotrophic symbioses. The lightest delta13C and delta15N values were observed in nematodes (delta13C=-54.6 + or - 0.1 per mil, delta15N=-6.1 + or - 0.2 per mil) and one gastropod (delta13C=-54.1 per mil, delta15N=-1.1 per mil) from Green Canyon. Mixing-model results indicated that sulfur-oxidizing Beggiatoa may be an important food source for seep infauna; the rate of utilization ranged from 60% to 100% at Green Canyon and Atwater Valley. The overall range in isotope values was similar across the three sites, suggesting that biogeochemical processes may be very similar in these geographically distinct areas.

  2. Shell growth and environmental control of methanophyllic Thyasirid bivalves from Svalbard cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Michael; Åström, Emmelie; Ambrose, William; Locke, William; Oliver, Graham; Hong, Wei-Li; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    The analysis of molluscan shell material (sclerochronology) can provide information about an organism's age, growth history, and environmental conditions during its lifetime. Bivalve molluscs are common members of hydrothermal vents and methane cold seeps communities where, supported by chemosynthetic symbionts, they can reach high density and biomass. But little is known about methane-associated bivalve populations inhabiting high-Arctic cold seeps, and sclerochronological analysis of methane-influenced bivalves is rare. We measured growth rates and elemental and isotopic shell signatures in a newly discovered species of bivalve (Thyasiridae) from cold seeps at 350-390m depth southwest of Svalbard. First discovered in 2014, recently described shells of Thyasira capitanea sp.nov. were found at 2 independent seep systems in Storfjordrenna. Mean shell carbon isotopic ratios from inorganic δ13C (mean = -4.8‰) and organic δ13C (mean = -26.9‰) fractions clearly indicate a methane influenced habitat and food source for these organisms. Shell mineral ratios (Li/Ca, Mg/Ca, Mn/Ca, Fe/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, Pb/Ca) sampled along the axis of growth with laser-ablated ICP-MS exhibit variability through time and between sites, suggesting that concentrations of these elements that may be affected by methane emissions. The mineralogical data also elucidates the internal pattern of shell deposition and growth checks, and combined with the isotopic and growth rate data, enables us to interpret the temporal history of methane release from these locations.

  3. Isotopic evidence for the incorporation of methane-derived carbon into foraminifera from modern methane seeps, Hydrate Ridge, Northeast Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, T. M.; Kennett, J. P.; Valentine, D. L.

    2004-11-01

    The presence of modern methane seeps at Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon, provide an opportunity to study the influence of methane seeps on the ecology and geochemistry of living foraminifera. A series of cores were collected from the southern summit of Hydrate Ridge in 2002. Samples were preserved and stained to determine the δ 13C composition of three species of live (stained) and dead benthic foraminifera: Uvigerina peregrina, Cibicidoides mckannai, and Globobulimina auriculata. Specimens were examined under light and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and exhibit no evidence of diagenesis or authigenic carbonate precipitation. Individual living foraminifera from seep sites recorded δ 13C values from -0.4‰ to -21.2‰, indicating the isotopic influence of high methane concentrations. Average δ 13C values (calculated from single specimens) range from -1.28 to -5.64‰ at seep sites, and -0.81 to -0.85‰ at a control (off seep) site. Two distinct seep environments, distinguished by the presence of microbial mats or clam fields, were studied to determine environmental influences on δ 13C values. Individual foraminifera from microbial mat sites exhibited more depleted δ 13C values than those from clam field sites. We interpret these differences as an effect of food source and/or symbiotic microbes on foraminiferal carbon isotopic values, acting to magnify the negative δ 13C values recorded via the DIC pool. No statistical difference was found between δ 13C values of live vs. dead specimens. This suggests that authigenic carbonate precipitation did not play a dominant role in the observed isotopic compositions. However, a few dead specimens with extremely negative δ 13C composition (<-12‰) do indicate potential evidence for an authigenic influence on the recorded δ 13C composition.

  4. Vesicomyid Clams Alter Biogeochemical Processes at Pacific Methane Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertics, V. J.; Treude, T.; Ziebis, W.

    2007-12-01

    There exists a close relationship between fluid flow, biogeochemistry, and biota in seep sediments. Upwelling of methane and sulfide-rich fluids supports abundant macrofauna species harboring thiotrophic or methanotrophic symbionts. Variations in fluid flow, thus supply of methane and sulfide, are considered key factors controlling benthic communities. Vesicomyid clams harbor thiotrophic symbionts in their gills, which are supplied with oxygen from the surrounding water and hydrogen sulfide from the sediment. The clams are capable of extending their foot into the sediment to tap sulfide sources in deeper layers, consequently affecting water-sediment solute exchange. Because seep fluids are generally depleted in sulfate compared to seawater, this bioturbation activity may enhance the supply of sulfate to otherwise sulfate-limited sediments, thus boosting microbial activity of sulfate reduction (SR) coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). The goal of this study was to investigate the activity of three species of vesicomyid clams ( Calyptogena pacifica, C. kilmeri, C. gigas) from three methane seep habitats (Eel River Basin, Hydrate Ridge, Monterey Bay Canyon) and to evaluate its effect on biogeochemical processes. Sediment cores and clams were collected using the submersible Alvin or the ROV Jason, during three cruises with the R/V Atlantis in July and October 2006 and July 2007 (AT 15-7, AT 15-11, and AT 15-20). We performed high-resolution measurements of geochemical gradients in intact sediment cores using microsensors (O2, H2S, pH, redox potential). The cores were then sliced (1 cm intervals) for detailed chemical and microbiological analyses. Parallel cores were used to determine microbial activity (AOM, SR) with radioactive tracers. For detailed laboratory investigations, clams were kept in narrow aquaria (15 cm x 20 cm x 5 cm) in the ship's cold room. The front of the aquaria was perforated with holes at 1 cm resolution. These silicone-filled holes

  5. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prouty, Nancy G.; Sahy, Diana; Ruppel, Carolyn; Roark, E. Brendan; Condon, Dan; Brooke, Sandra; Ross, Steve W.; Demopoulos, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus   sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average  signature of −47‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment–water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon ( and ) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus   sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U–Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7±0.6 ka to 15.7±1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0±0.7 ka to 3.3±1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that

  6. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prouty, N. G.; Sahy, D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Roark, E. B.; Condon, D.; Brooke, S.; Ross, S. W.; Demopoulos, A. W. J.

    2016-09-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average δ13C signature of - 47 ‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment-water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon (δ13C and Δ13C) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U-Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7 ± 0.6 ka to 15.7 ± 1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0 ± 0.7 ka to 3.3 ± 1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that the

  7. Insights into methane dynamics from analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at newly-discovered Atlantic Margin seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prouty, N. G.; Sahy, D.; Ruppel, C. D.; Roark, E. B.; Condon, D.; Brooke, S.; Ross, S. W.; Demopoulos, A. W. J.

    2016-09-01

    The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates at both sites were dominated by aragonite, with an average δ13C signature of - 47 ‰, a value consistent with microbially driven anaerobic oxidation of methane-rich fluids occurring at or near the sediment-water interface. Authigenic carbonate U and Sr isotope data further support the inference of carbonate precipitation from seawater-derived fluids rather than from formation fluids from deep aquifers. Carbonate stable and radiocarbon (δ13C and Δ13C) isotope values from living Bathymodiolus sp. specimens are lighter than those of seawater dissolved inorganic carbon, highlighting the influence of fossil carbon from methane on carbonate precipitation. U-Th dates on authigenic carbonates suggest seepage at Baltimore Canyon between 14.7 ± 0.6 ka to 15.7 ± 1.6 ka, and at the Norfolk seep field between 1.0 ± 0.7 ka to 3.3 ± 1.3 ka, providing constraint on the longevity of methane efflux at these sites. The age of the brecciated authigenic carbonates and the occurrence of pockmarks at the Baltimore Canyon upper slope could suggest a link between sediment delivery during Pleistocene sea-level lowstand, accumulation of pore fluid overpressure from sediment compaction, and release of overpressure through subsequent venting. Calculations show that the

  8. Combined carbonate carbon isotopic and cellular ultrastructural studies of individual benthic foraminifera: 2. Toward an understanding of apparent disequilibrium in hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhard, Joan M.; Martin, Jonathan B.; Rathburn, Anthony E.

    2010-10-01

    Numerous previous studies show disequilibrium between stable carbon isotope ratios of foraminiferal calcite and pore water dissolved inorganic carbon in hydrocarbon seeps, calling into question the utility of this widely used paleoceanographic tracer as a proxy. We use a recently developed method to compare stable carbon isotope ratios of foraminiferal carbonate with cell ultrastructural observations from individual benthic foraminifera from seep (under chemosynthetic bivalves) and nonseep habitats in Monterey Bay, California, to better understand control(s) of benthic foraminiferal carbon isotope ratios. Two attributes previously proposed to cause the isotopic offsets are diet and symbionts. Ultrastructural analysis shows that positive staining with Rose Bengal indicates presence of foraminiferal cytoplasm, bacterial biomass, or a combination of both and, thus, is not an unequivocal indicator of viability. We also show for the first time that some living seep foraminifera have endobionts. Results from our unique, yet limited, data set are consistent with suggestions that, in our sites, several foraminiferal species collected from seep clam beds may not survive there, diet and symbiont presence do not appear to be major contributors to disequilibrium, little calcification of seep-tolerant foraminiferal species occurs while seep conditions prevail, and microscale variability in habitats could influence δ13C of benthic foraminiferal carbonate. Results further suggest that our knowledge of benthic foraminiferal ecology and biomineralization, especially in extreme habitats such as seeps, must be bolstered before we fully understand the fidelity of paleoenvironmental records derived from benthic foraminiferal test δ13C data.

  9. Tectono-Stratigraphy of the Seeps on the Guaymas Basin at the Sonora Margin, Gulf of California, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa Albornoz, L. J.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Escobar-Briones, E. G.; Godfroy, A.; Fouquet, Y.

    2013-05-01

    Recently several hydrothermal and gas seeps systems has been located precisely at the Sonora margin within the Guaymas Basin (GB), Gulf of California. Since late 1970's , several marine studies had reported two main hydrothermal systems in the Guaymas Rift (one at the Northern Rift, and other at the Southern Rift) and a cold seeps system at the Satellite Basin in the Sonora-margin lower edge. During the campaign BIG10, onboard the IFREMER vessel, NO L'Atalante, the EM122 echo-sounder log more than 30,000 water column acoustic images, which allows us to create a data base of the bubble plumes active systems on the northern part of the GB and the Sonora Margin. These plumes are the expression on the water column of an active seeps site during the cruise time. These images document the presence of the cold seep activity around the scarp of the Guaymas Transform Fault (GTF), and within the Satellite Basin. Few active plumes are first located off-axis, on both sides of the Northern Rift. Although it is not observed any plume within NR. Sub-bottom profiles and bathymetric data logged during the campaign GUAYRIV10, onboard the UNAM vessel, BO EL PUMA, are analyzed to determine the shallow tectonic-stratigraphy of GB near the Sonora Margin. We analyze 17 high-resolution seismic profiles (13 with NE-SW strike and 3 with NW-SE strike). From this data set, the continental shelf stratigraphy at the Sonora Margin tilts toward the slope, showing 3 low angle unconformities due to tectonics and slope angle changes. The strata slope changes angle up to 60°. However, the constant trans-tension shear along the GTF causes gravitation instability on the slope, generating a few submarine landslides close to the Northern Rift, and the rotation of blocks, tilting toward the shelf. To the north, the GTF splits in two fault escarpments, forming a narrow pull-apart basin, known as Satellite Basin. The submarine canyon from the Sonora River flows through the Satellite Basin into the GB

  10. Sulfur biogeochemistry of cold seeps in the Green Canyon region of the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formolo, Michael J.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2013-10-01

    Cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico provide a natural laboratory to study biogeochemical cycling of sulfur, carbon, and oxygen at hydrate- and hydrocarbon-rich deep marine settings with obvious additional relevance to studies of diverse modern and ancient seeps. Of particular interest are the sulfur isotope signatures of microbial sulfate reduction coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane and other non-methane liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. Whereas most of the published sulfur isotope data from cold seep systems pertain to pore-water species, our study integrates both solid and dissolved sulfur: acid-volatile sulfides (SAVS), pyrite (Spy), elemental sulfur (S°), dissolved sulfate and ΣH2S. Modeled and 35SO42- reduction rates and δ13C and δ18O data for authigenic carbonates are integrated within this sulfur framework. Our results indicate extreme variability over narrow spatial and temporal scales within short distances (meters) from active seeps. High rates of microbial sulfate reduction can lead to complete consumption of the sulfate within the upper few centimeters of burial, while meters away the sulfate profile shows little depletion. Such small-scale variability must reflect the structure and temporal dynamics of hydrocarbon migration in the presence of low amounts of background organic matter. Our past work demonstrated that electron donors other than methane drive significant levels of microbial activity at these seeps, and very recent work has demonstrated that oxidation of higher chain volatile hydrocarbons can contribute to the high levels of microbial activity. These findings are consistent with our new results. Elevated concentrations of pyrite and diagenetic carbonate relative to background sediments are diagnostic of active seepage, yet the S isotopes tell more complex stories. Low levels of the transient, 'instantaneous' products of S cycling-AVS and S°-show high δ34S values that increase with depth. Most of the pyrite formation, however, seems

  11. Corrosion Research And Web Site Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heidersbach, Robert H.

    2001-01-01

    This report covers corrosion-related activities at the NASA Kennedy Space Center during the summer of 2000. The NASA Kennedy Space Center's corrosion web site, corrosion.ksc.nasa.gov, was updated with new information based on feedback over the past two years. The methodology for a two-year atmospheric exposure testing program to study the effectiveness of commercial chemicals sold for rinsing aircraft and other equipment was developed and some preliminary laboratory chemical analyses are presented.

  12. Corrosion Research and Web Site Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heidersbach, Robert H.

    2002-01-01

    This report covers corrosion-related activities at the NASA Kennedy Space Center during the summer of 2000. The NASA Kennedy Space Center's corrosion web site, corrosion.ksc.nasa.gov, was updated with new information based on feedback over the past two years. The methodology for a two-year atmospheric exposure testing program to study the effectiveness of commercial chemicals sold for rinsing aircraft and other equipment was developed and some preliminary laboratory chemical analyses are presented.

  13. Seep Mapping: Using NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Data to Visualize the Physical Environments of Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auner, L.; McKenna, L.; Lobecker, E.; Sowers, D.

    2014-12-01

    More than 550 possible gaseous seeps were previously identified along the continental margin in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico using water-column acoustic backscatter data collected on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in the spring of 2014. Although the presence of macro-seeps can only be verified through visual confirmation, several studies suggest that gaseous bubbles emitted by seeps are uniquely detected in sonar water-column backscatter returns (Judd and Hovland, 1992; Nikolovska et al., 2008; Weber et al., 2012). In this study, more than 200 seeps were independently identified from a subset of water-column backscatter data collected in March and April, 2014. Additional data collected aboard the Okeanos Explorer includes bathymetry, seafloor backscatter, sub-bottom seismic reflection profiles, and ROV video footage. These datasets, along with calculated geomorphic parameters such as slope, were used to develop specialized mapping products to display physical characteristics of the seafloor and subsurface surrounding a number of gaseous seeps. Preliminary results indicate that seeps occur in a wide variety of geomorphic settings, including the edges of salt domes, and at depths ranging from approximately 300 meters to 1,100 meters. Study results could be used to make predictions about where seeps are most likely to be detected along the continental margin of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. These predictions could inform future efforts to study seeps and their associated biological communities within the study area or aid in the development of larger scale seep characterization and predictive modeling.

  14. Physiological and ecological performance differs in four coral taxa at a volcanic carbon dioxide seep.

    PubMed

    Strahl, J; Stolz, I; Uthicke, S; Vogel, N; Noonan, S H C; Fabricius, K E

    2015-06-01

    Around volcanic carbon dioxide (CO2) seeps in Papua New Guinea, partial pressures of CO2 (pCO2) approximate those as predicted for the end of this century, and coral communities have low diversity and low structural complexity. To assess the mechanisms for such community shifts in response to ocean acidification, we examined the physiological performance of two hard corals that occur with increased or unaltered abundance at a seep site (mean pHTotal=7.8, pCO2=862 μatm) compared to a control site (mean pHTotal=8.1, pCO2=323 μatm), namely massive Porites spp. and Pocillopora damicornis, and two species with reduced abundance, Acropora millepora and Seriatopora hystrix. Oxygen fluxes, calcification, and skeletal densities were analyzed in corals originating from the seep and control site. Net photosynthesis rates increased considerably in Porites spp. and A. millepora and slightly in P. damicornis at increased pCO2, but remained unaltered in S. hystrix. Dark respiration rates remained constant in all corals investigated from both sites. Rates of light calcification declined in S. hystrix at high pCO2, but were unaffected by pCO2 in the other three coral taxa. Dark and net calcification rates remained unchanged in massive Porites and P. damicornis, but were drastically reduced at high pCO2 in A. millepora and S. hystrix. However, skeletal densities were similar at both seep and control sites in all coral taxa investigated. Our data suggest that the pCO2-tolerant corals were characterized by an increased ability to acclimatize to ocean acidification, e.g. by maintaining net calcification. Thus, robust corals, such as Porites spp. and P. damicornis, are more likely to persist for longer in a future high pCO2 world than those unable to acclimatize. PMID:25727938

  15. Microbial Sulfate Reduction at Cold Seeps Based on Analysis of Carbonate Associated Sulfate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, D.; Peng, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial sulfate reduction and coupled anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) are the dominant biogeochemical processes occurring at cold seeps in marine settings. These processes not only support the growth of chemosynthetic communities but also promote the precipitation of authigenic carbonates. However, investigations of microbial sulfate reduction have been conducted only using porewaters or seep-related barites. The fact is that many seeps are either inactive or do not precipitate any barite minerals. Thus, little is known about the microbial sulfate reduction at these seep environments. The occurrence of authigenic carbonate has been documented at almost all cold seep sites, which provide a unique opportunity to investigate the microbial sulfate reduction using such carbonate. The presentation is focused on the concentrations and isotopic signatures of carbonate associated sulfate (CAS). The aim of the project is to determine the role of sulfate and sulfate reduction during carbonate precipitation at cold seeps. The CAS concentrations are 67-537 ppm in high-Mg calcite, 51-181 ppm in low-Mg calcite, and 116-565 in aragonite. The δ34SCAS and δ18OCAS also vary considerably, ranging from 21.9‰ to 56.2‰ (V-CDT) and from 10.1‰ to 24.8‰ (V-SMOW), respectively. On δ34SCAS versus δ18OCAS plots, both aragonite and calcite show linear trends that project down toward those of open seawater sulfate. The trends suggest that sulfate has been isotopically modified to various degrees in pore fluids before being incorporated into carbonate lattice. The much narrower δ34SCAS and δ18OCAS ranges for aragonite than for calcite suggests a much "pickier" condition for aragonite formation during early diagenesis. Our results suggest that concentration and isotopic composition of CAS in seep carbonates may be controlled by the supply of pore-water sulfate during carbonate precipitation. The reliability of CAS in carbonate of early diagenetic origin as a proxy of

  16. Gammaproteobacterial methanotrophs dominate cold methane seeps in floodplains of West Siberian rivers.

    PubMed

    Oshkin, Igor Y; Wegner, Carl-Eric; Lüke, Claudia; Glagolev, Mikhail V; Filippov, Illiya V; Pimenov, Nikolay V; Liesack, Werner; Dedysh, Svetlana N

    2014-10-01

    A complex system of muddy fluid-discharging and methane (CH4)-releasing seeps was discovered in a valley of the river Mukhrinskaya, one of the small rivers of the Irtysh Basin, West Siberia. CH4 flux from most (90%) of these gas ebullition sites did not exceed 1.45 g CH4 h(-1), while some seeps emitted up to 5.54 g CH4 h(-1). The δ(13)C value of methane released from these seeps varied between -71.1 and -71.3‰, suggesting its biogenic origin. Although the seeps were characterized by low in situ temperatures (3.5 to 5°C), relatively high rates of methane oxidation (15.5 to 15.9 nmol CH4 ml(-1) day(-1)) were measured in mud samples. Fluorescence in situ hybridization detected 10(7) methanotrophic bacteria (MB) per g of mud (dry weight), which accounted for up to 20.5% of total bacterial cell counts. Most (95.8 to 99.3%) methanotroph cells were type I (gammaproteobacterial) MB. The diversity of methanotrophs in this habitat was further assessed by pyrosequencing of pmoA genes, encoding particulate methane monooxygenase. A total of 53,828 pmoA gene sequences of seep-inhabiting methanotrophs were retrieved and analyzed. Nearly all of these sequences affiliated with type I MB, including the Methylobacter-Methylovulum-Methylosoma group, lake cluster 2, and several as-yet-uncharacterized methanotroph clades. Apparently, microbial communities attenuating methane fluxes from these local but strong CH4 sources in floodplains of high-latitude rivers have a large proportion of potentially novel, psychrotolerant methanotrophs, thereby providing a challenge for future isolation studies. PMID:25063667

  17. Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Dominate Cold Methane Seeps in Floodplains of West Siberian Rivers

    PubMed Central

    Oshkin, Igor Y.; Wegner, Carl-Eric; Lüke, Claudia; Glagolev, Mikhail V.; Filippov, Illiya V.; Pimenov, Nikolay V.; Liesack, Werner

    2014-01-01

    A complex system of muddy fluid-discharging and methane (CH4)-releasing seeps was discovered in a valley of the river Mukhrinskaya, one of the small rivers of the Irtysh Basin, West Siberia. CH4 flux from most (90%) of these gas ebullition sites did not exceed 1.45 g CH4 h−1, while some seeps emitted up to 5.54 g CH4 h−1. The δ13C value of methane released from these seeps varied between −71.1 and −71.3‰, suggesting its biogenic origin. Although the seeps were characterized by low in situ temperatures (3.5 to 5°C), relatively high rates of methane oxidation (15.5 to 15.9 nmol CH4 ml−1 day−1) were measured in mud samples. Fluorescence in situ hybridization detected 107 methanotrophic bacteria (MB) per g of mud (dry weight), which accounted for up to 20.5% of total bacterial cell counts. Most (95.8 to 99.3%) methanotroph cells were type I (gammaproteobacterial) MB. The diversity of methanotrophs in this habitat was further assessed by pyrosequencing of pmoA genes, encoding particulate methane monooxygenase. A total of 53,828 pmoA gene sequences of seep-inhabiting methanotrophs were retrieved and analyzed. Nearly all of these sequences affiliated with type I MB, including the Methylobacter-Methylovulum-Methylosoma group, lake cluster 2, and several as-yet-uncharacterized methanotroph clades. Apparently, microbial communities attenuating methane fluxes from these local but strong CH4 sources in floodplains of high-latitude rivers have a large proportion of potentially novel, psychrotolerant methanotrophs, thereby providing a challenge for future isolation studies. PMID:25063667

  18. Global dispersion and local diversification of the methane seep microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Ruff, S. Emil; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Teske, Andreas P.; Knittel, Katrin; Boetius, Antje

    2015-01-01

    Methane seeps are widespread seafloor ecosystems shaped by the emission of gas from seabed reservoirs. The microorganisms inhabiting methane seeps transform the chemical energy in methane to products that sustain rich benthic communities around the gas leaks. Despite the biogeochemical relevance of microbial methane removal at seeps, the global diversity and dispersion of seep microbiota remain unknown. Here we determined the microbial diversity and community structure of 23 globally distributed methane seeps and compared these to the microbial communities of 54 other seafloor ecosystems, including sulfate–methane transition zones, hydrothermal vents, coastal sediments, and deep-sea surface and subsurface sediments. We found that methane seep communities show moderate levels of microbial richness compared with other seafloor ecosystems and harbor distinct bacterial and archaeal taxa with cosmopolitan distribution and key biogeochemical functions. The high relative sequence abundance of ANME (anaerobic methanotrophic archaea), as well as aerobic Methylococcales, sulfate-reducing Desulfobacterales, and sulfide-oxidizing Thiotrichales, matches the most favorable microbial metabolisms at methane seeps in terms of substrate supply and distinguishes the seep microbiome from other seafloor microbiomes. The key functional taxa varied in relative sequence abundance between different seeps due to the environmental factors, sediment depth and seafloor temperature. The degree of endemism of the methane seep microbiome suggests a high local diversification in these heterogeneous but long-lived ecosystems. Our results indicate that the seep microbiome is structured according to metacommunity processes and that few cosmopolitan microbial taxa mediate the bulk of methane oxidation, with global relevance to methane emission in the ocean. PMID:25775520

  19. [Methanotrophic bacteria in cold seeps of the floodplains of northern rivers].

    PubMed

    Belova, S É; Oshkin, I Iu; Glagolev, M V; Lapshina, E D; Maksiutov, Sh Sh; Dedysh, S N

    2013-01-01

    Small mud volcanoes (cold seeps), which are common in the floodplains of northern rivers, are a potentially important, although poorly studied sources of atmospheric methane. Field research on the cold seeps of the Mukhrina River (Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous okrug, Russia) revealed methane fluxes from these structures to be orders of magnitude higher than from equivalent areas of the mid-taiga bogs. Microbial communities developing around the seeps were formed under conditions of high methane concentrations, low temperatures (3-5 degrees C), and near-neutral pH. Molecular identification of methane-oxidizing bacteria from this community by analysis of the pmoA gene encoding particulate methane monooxygenase revealed both type I and type II methanotrophs (classes Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria, respectively), with predomination of type I methanotrophs. Among the latter, microorganisms related to Methylobacterpsychrophilus and Methylobacter tundripaludum, Crenothrix polyspora (a stagnant water dweller), and a number of methanotrophs belonging to unknown taxa were detected. Growth characteristics of two isolates were determined. Methylobactersp. CMS7 exhibited active growth at 4-10 degrees C, while Methylocystis sp. SB12 grew better at 20 degrees C. Experimental results confirmed the major role ofmethanotrophic gammaproteobacteria in controlling the methane emission from cold river seeps. PMID:25509412

  20. A microbiological and biogeochemical investigation of the cold seep tubeworm Escarpia southwardae (Annelida: Siboglinidae): Symbiosis and trace element composition of the tube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duperron, Sébastien; Gaudron, Sylvie M.; Lemaitre, Nolwenn; Bayon, Germain

    2014-08-01

    Tubeworms within the annelid family Siboglinidae rely on sulfur-oxidizing autotrophic bacterial symbionts for their nutrition, and are among the dominant metazoans occurring at deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps. Contrary to their relatives from hydrothermal vents, sulfide uptake for symbionts occurs within the anoxic subsurface sediment, in the posterior ‘root' region of the animal. This study reports on an integrated microbiological and geochemical investigation of the cold seep tubeworm Escarpia southwardae collected at the Regab pockmark (Gulf of Guinea). Our aim was to further constrain the links between the animal and its symbiotic bacteria, and their environment. We show that E. southwardae harbors abundant sulfur-oxidizing bacterial symbionts in its trophosome. Symbionts are able to fix inorganic carbon using the Calvin-Benson cycle, as reported in most other Siboglinidae, but can also use the reverse Tricarboxilic Acid Cycle. Surprisingly, the observed bacteria appear to be more closely related to symbionts of Escarpia and Lamellibrachia species from very distant sites located in the Gulf of Mexico and eastern Pacific, than to symbionts of a siboglinid occurring at a nearby methane seep site, only a few hundred km away from Regab. Then, by combining scanning electron microscopy and trace element (Mn, Fe, Sr, Zr) analyses of E. southwardae tube, we also show that two distinct oxidation fronts occur along the tube. The first one, near the posterior end of the tube, corresponds to the interface between oxic bottom waters and the underlying anoxic sediment. In contrast, the second redox front is located in the most anterior part of the tube, and could result from active oxygen uptake by the plume of the tubeworm. We speculate that intense oxygen consumption in this region could create favorable conditions for sulfate reduction by specialized bacteria associated with the plume, possibly leading to an additional source of dissolved sulfide that would further enhance

  1. Methane release from seeps offshore W-Svalbard: Considerations to extrapolate fluxes into the water/atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greinert, J.; Veloso, M.; Mienert, J.; Sommer, S.; Bussmann, I.; Haren, H.

    2012-04-01

    Increased (5-100 nM) and sometimes strongly increased (> 100 nM) methane concentrations in the water column, at the sea surface and even in the atmosphere (8 ppm) have been reported from Arctic areas. Some increases are clearly related to localized methane seep sites, others show a strong link to river runoff or to a widely spread (diffuse) methane release from degrading organic matter possibly linked to thawing permafrost. An important question in the marine science community is if the warming of the Arctic is already accelerating methane fluxes from the seabed into the water column and whether we are experiencing a significant flux into the atmosphere. Marine methane fluxes from localized seep sites have been studied for several decades already and the general biogeochemical processes and transport mechanisms have been identified (e.g. AOM, carbonate precipitation, bubble release, sea-atmosphere fluxes) and are fairly well understood. But we still know very little about the temporal variability of methane release and the link to thawing offshore permafrost is still very un-researched. Two areas, the Eastern Siberian Shelf and W-Spitzbergen have been targeted by repeated research cruises to gain more knowledge about this topic. Here, we present work from W-Spitzbergen carried out from 2009 to 2011. Since the discovery of methane seepage offshore Svalbard in 2008 (Westbrook et al., 2008), there has been an international effort to study this area by geophysical, oceanographic, visual and geochemical methods. Repeated hydroacoustic surveys with singlebeam and multibeam systems proved that bubble release in seep areas, at the upper gas hydrate boundary and the shelf edge has been continuous over the three years period. However, specific bubble releasing vents do show intermediate activity with episodic or cyclic release. In addition to this inconstant release, changing currents and internal waves physically influence the methane distribution in the water column, in

  2. The Microbial Ferrous Wheel in a Neutral pH Groundwater Seep

    PubMed Central

    Roden, Eric E.; McBeth, Joyce M.; Blöthe, Marco; Percak-Dennett, Elizabeth M.; Fleming, Emily J.; Holyoke, Rebecca R.; Luther, George W.; Emerson, David; Schieber, Juergen

    2012-01-01

    Evidence for microbial Fe redox cycling was documented in a circumneutral pH groundwater seep near Bloomington, Indiana. Geochemical and microbiological analyses were conducted at two sites, a semi-consolidated microbial mat and a floating puffball structure. In situ voltammetric microelectrode measurements revealed steep opposing gradients of O2 and Fe(II) at both sites, similar to other groundwater seep and sedimentary environments known to support microbial Fe redox cycling. The puffball structure showed an abrupt increase in dissolved Fe(II) just at its surface (∼5 cm depth), suggesting an internal Fe(II) source coupled to active Fe(III) reduction. Most probable number enumerations detected microaerophilic Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) and dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing bacteria (FeRB) at densities of 102 to 105 cells mL−1 in samples from both sites. In vitro Fe(III) reduction experiments revealed the potential for immediate reduction (no lag period) of native Fe(III) oxides. Conventional full-length 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were compared with high throughput barcode sequencing of the V1, V4, or V6 variable regions of 16S rRNA genes in order to evaluate the extent to which new sequencing approaches could provide enhanced insight into the composition of Fe redox cycling microbial community structure. The composition of the clone libraries suggested a lithotroph-dominated microbial community centered around taxa related to known FeOB (e.g., Gallionella, Sideroxydans, Aquabacterium). Sequences related to recognized FeRB (e.g., Rhodoferax, Aeromonas, Geobacter, Desulfovibrio) were also well-represented. Overall, sequences related to known FeOB and FeRB accounted for 88 and 59% of total clone sequences in the mat and puffball libraries, respectively. Taxa identified in the barcode libraries showed partial overlap with the clone libraries, but were not always consistent across different variable regions and sequencing platforms. However, the barcode

  3. Oil and gas seeps within Absaroka volcanics of northwestern Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Sundell, K.A.; Love, J.D.

    1986-08-01

    Three new occurrences of asphaltic, liquid, and gaseous hydrocarbons have been discovered in the southeastern Absaroka Range. These petroleum seeps are 40 to 110 mi southeast of previously known seeps within Eocene volcaniclastic rocks at Calcite Springs, Tower Junction, and Sweetwater Mineral Springs, Wyoming. The Middle Fork seep and Castle Rocks seep are near the headwaters of the Middle and North Forks of Owl Creek, respectively. The Chimney Rock asphalt locality is along the South Fork of the Wood River. Water samples from the Middle Fork seep fluoresce greenish-orange and contain 6 to 8 mg/L of extractable bituminous hydrocarbons. An iridescent oily film forms on the water surface and on abundant gas bubbles trapped within moss. The Castle Rocks seep, in Quaternary gravels along the bed of the North Fork of Owl Creek, shows iridescent oily bubbles in emerging spring water and black, sooty lenses of carbon-coated gravels in overlying dry deposits. The Middle Fork and Castle Rocks seeps rise through thin Quaternary deposits overlying the Aycross Formation (Eocene). The Chimney Rock asphalt locality is in a northwest-trending paleovalley fill consisting of highly deformed masses of volcanic strata in the Tepee Trail and Wiggins Formations. Thin (< 1 in. thick), discontinuous, subvertical veins of asphaltum cut through these rocks. These petroleum seeps demonstrate migration of hydrocarbons after the volcaniclastic strata were emplaced and suggest that significant petroleum resources may occur elsewhere within Eocene volcaniclastic rocks and/or within Mesozoic and Paleozoic reservoirs beneath the volcanics.

  4. Groundwater Seeps Facilitate Exposure to Burkholderia pseudomallei ▿

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Anthony; Tahani, Donald; Gardiner, Christopher; Bristow, Keith L.; Greenhill, Andrew R.; Warner, Jeffrey

    2011-01-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei is a saprophytic bacterium which is the causative agent of melioidosis, a common cause of fatal bacterial pneumonia and sepsis in the tropics. The incidence of melioidosis is clustered spatially and temporally and is heavily linked to rainfall and extreme weather events. Clinical case clustering has recently been reported in Townsville, Australia, and has implicated Castle Hill, a granite monolith in the city center, as a potential reservoir of infection. Topsoil and water from seasonal groundwater seeps were collected around the base of Castle Hill and analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR targeting the type III secretion system genes for the presence of B. pseudomallei. The organism was identified in 65% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49.5 to 80.4) of soil samples (n = 40) and 92.5% (95% CI, 83.9 to 100) of seasonal groundwater samples (n = 40). Further sampling of water collected from roads and gutters in nearby residential areas after an intense rainfall event found that 88.2% (95% CI, 72.9 to 100) of samples (n = 16) contained viable B. pseudomallei at concentrations up to 113 CFU/ml. Comparison of isolates using multilocus sequence typing demonstrated clinical matches and close associations between environmental isolates and isolates derived from clinical samples from patients in Townsville. This study demonstrated that waterborne B. pseudomallei from groundwater seeps around Castle Hill may facilitate exposure to B. pseudomallei and contribute to the clinical clustering at this site. Access to this type of information will advise the development and implementation of public health measures to reduce the incidence of melioidosis. PMID:21873480

  5. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T.

    2015-01-01

    We report new examples of Cenozoic cold-seep communities from Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, and Venezuela, and attempt to improve the stratigraphic dating of Cenozoic Caribbean seep communities using strontium isotope stratigraphy. Two seep faunas are distinguished in Barbados: the late Eocene mudstone-hosted ‘Joes River fauna’ consists mainly of large lucinid bivalves and tall abyssochrysoid gastropods, and the early Miocene carbonate-hosted ‘Bath Cliffs fauna’ containing the vesicomyid Pleurophopsis, the mytilid Bathymodiolus and small gastropods. Two new Oligocene seep communities from the Sinú River basin in Colombia consist of lucinid bivalves including Elongatolucina, thyasirid and solemyid bivalves, and Pleurophopsis. A new early Miocene seep community from Cuba includes Pleurophopsis and the large lucinid Meganodontia. Strontium isotope stratigraphy suggests an Eocene age for the Cuban Elmira asphalt mine seep community, making it the oldest in the Caribbean region. A new basal Pliocene seep fauna from the Dominican Republic is characterized by the large lucinid Anodontia (Pegophysema). In Trinidad we distinguish two types of seep faunas: the mudstone-hosted Godineau River fauna consisting mainly of lucinid bivalves, and the limestone-hosted Freeman’s Bay fauna consisting chiefly of Pleurophopsis, Bathymodiolus, and small gastropods; they are all dated as late Miocene. Four new seep communities of Oligocene to Miocene age are reported from Venezuela. They consist mainly of large globular lucinid bivalves including Meganodontia, and moderately sized vesicomyid bivalves. After the late Miocene many large and typical ‘Cenozoic’ lucinid genera disappeared from the Caribbean seeps and are today known only from the central Indo-Pacific Ocean. We speculate that the increasingly oligotrophic conditions in the Caribbean Sea after the closure of the Isthmus of Panama in the Pliocene may have been unfavorable for such large lucinids

  6. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen; Hansen, Bent T

    2015-01-01

    We report new examples of Cenozoic cold-seep communities from Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, and Venezuela, and attempt to improve the stratigraphic dating of Cenozoic Caribbean seep communities using strontium isotope stratigraphy. Two seep faunas are distinguished in Barbados: the late Eocene mudstone-hosted 'Joes River fauna' consists mainly of large lucinid bivalves and tall abyssochrysoid gastropods, and the early Miocene carbonate-hosted 'Bath Cliffs fauna' containing the vesicomyid Pleurophopsis, the mytilid Bathymodiolus and small gastropods. Two new Oligocene seep communities from the Sinú River basin in Colombia consist of lucinid bivalves including Elongatolucina, thyasirid and solemyid bivalves, and Pleurophopsis. A new early Miocene seep community from Cuba includes Pleurophopsis and the large lucinid Meganodontia. Strontium isotope stratigraphy suggests an Eocene age for the Cuban Elmira asphalt mine seep community, making it the oldest in the Caribbean region. A new basal Pliocene seep fauna from the Dominican Republic is characterized by the large lucinid Anodontia (Pegophysema). In Trinidad we distinguish two types of seep faunas: the mudstone-hosted Godineau River fauna consisting mainly of lucinid bivalves, and the limestone-hosted Freeman's Bay fauna consisting chiefly of Pleurophopsis, Bathymodiolus, and small gastropods; they are all dated as late Miocene. Four new seep communities of Oligocene to Miocene age are reported from Venezuela. They consist mainly of large globular lucinid bivalves including Meganodontia, and moderately sized vesicomyid bivalves. After the late Miocene many large and typical 'Cenozoic' lucinid genera disappeared from the Caribbean seeps and are today known only from the central Indo-Pacific Ocean. We speculate that the increasingly oligotrophic conditions in the Caribbean Sea after the closure of the Isthmus of Panama in the Pliocene may have been unfavorable for such large lucinids because they

  7. Active site of ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase

    SciTech Connect

    Hartman, F.C.; Stringer, C.D.; Milanez, S.; Lee, E.H.

    1985-01-01

    Previous affinity labeling studies and comparative sequence analyses have identified two different lysines at the active site of ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase and have suggested their essentiality to function. The essential lysines occupy positions 166 and 329 in the Rhodospirillum rubrum enzyme and positions 175 and 334 in the spinach enzyme. Based on the pH-dependencies of inactivations of the two enzymes by trinitrobenzene sulfonate, Lys-166 (R. rubrum enzyme) exhibits a pK/sub a/ of 7.9 and Lys-334 (spinach enzyme) exhibits a pK/sub a/ of 9.0. These low pK/sub a/ values as well as the enhanced nucleophilicities of the lysyl residues argue that both are important to catalysis rather than to substrate binding. Lys-166 may correspond to the essential base that initiates catalysis and that displays a pK/sub a/ of 7.5 in the pH-curve for V/sub max//K/sub m/. Cross-linking experiments with 4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-disulfonate stilbene demonstrate that the two active-site lysines are within 12 A. 50 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  8. Constraints on Methane and Methane Hydrate Distribution at a Gulf of Mexico Seep Using Waveform Inversion of Seismic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, W.; Knapp, C. C.; Knapp, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    The seafloor mound at the Gulf of Mexico lease block MC (Mississippi Canyon) 118 is a known active seep lying directly above a salt dome. The site lies at 850-900 m water depth - within the methane hydrate stability zone, but there is no obvious BSR or other indicator of large quantities of gas or gas hydrate. Air-gun seismic data acquired with a 4180 cu in source and 7200 m, 288-channel hydrophone array, exhibit several bright, but laterally-limited reflections in the ~500 m sediment column above the salt. The bright spots are largely conformable with the strata, and there is no apparent pull-up or push-down associated with the bright spots, suggesting they are thin. There are also no significant frequency changes below the bright spots. We interpret the bright spots to be caused by gas, gas hydrate, or carbonate, or combinations of the three. The long offsets used to acquire these data allow for the analysis of refracted arrivals that not only provide accurate P-wave velocities, but also provide a background velocity profile for full waveform inversion. Preliminary results from the waveform inversion confirm at least some of the bright spots are free gas, constraining the position of the gas hydrate stability zone, but very thin (sub-wavelength) layers of carbonate and hydrate may also be present. Knowing the exact composition of the material responsible for the bright spots will better constrain the linkage between the salt tectonics (with implied fault activity) and seep activity, as well as the longevity of the hydrate system at MC 118.

  9. Methane-Stimulated Benthic Marine Nitrogen Fixation at Deep-Sea Methane Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekas, A. E.; Orphan, V.

    2011-12-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (the conversion of N2 to NH3) is a critical process in the oceans, counteracting the production of N2 gas by dissimilatory bacterial metabolisms and providing a source of bioavailable nitrogen to many nitrogen-limited ecosystems. Although current measurements of N2 production and consumption in the oceans indicate that the nitrogen cycle is not balanced, recent findings on the limits of nitrogen fixation suggest that the perceived imbalance is an artifact of an incomplete assessment of marine diazotrophy. One currently poorly studied and potentially underappreciated habitat for diazotrophic organisms is the sediments of the deep-sea. In the present study we investigate the distribution and magnitude of benthic marine diazotrophy at several active deep-sea methane seeps (Mound 12, Costa Rica; Eel River Basin, CA, USA; Hydrate Ridge, OR, USA; and Monterey Canyon, CA, USA). Using 15N2 and 15NH4 sediment incubation experiments followed by single-cell (FISH-NanoSIMS) and bulk isotopic analysis (EA-IRMS), we observed total protein synthesis (15N uptake from 15NH4) and nitrogen fixation (15N update from 15N2). The highest rates of nitrogen fixation observed in the methane seep sediment incubation experiments were over an order of magnitude greater than those previously published from non-seep deep-sea sediments (Hartwig and Stanley, Deep-Sea Research, 1978, 25:411-417). However, methane seep diazotrophy appears to be highly spatially variable, with sediments exhibiting no nitrogen fixation originating only centimeters away from sediments actively incorporating 15N from 15N2. The greatest spatial variability in diazotrophy was observed with depth in the sediment, and corresponded to steep gradients in sulfate and methane. The maximum rates of nitrogen fixation were observed within the methane-sulfate transition zone, where organisms mediating the anaerobic oxidation of methane are typically in high abundance. Additionally, incubation

  10. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Program plan

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Wickliff, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1992-02-01

    The Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP), initiated in 1989, provides early detection and performance monitoring of transuranic (TRU) waste and active low-level waste (LLW) facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in accordance with US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5820.2A. Active LLW facilities in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 include Tumulus I and Tumulus II, the Interim Waste Management Facility (IWMF), LLW silos, high-range wells, asbestos silos, and fissile wells. The tumulus pads and IWMF are aboveground, high-strength concrete pads on which concrete vaults containing metal boxes of LLW are placed; the void space between the boxes and vaults is filled with grout. Eventually, these pads and vaults will be covered by an engineered multilayered cap. All other LLW facilities in SWSA 6 are below ground. In addition, this plan includes monitoring of the Hillcut Disposal Test Facility (HDTF) in SWSA 6, even though this facility was completed prior to the data of the DOE order. In SWSA 5 North, the TRU facilities include below-grade engineered caves, high-range wells, and unlined trenches. All samples from SWSA 6 are screened for alpha and beta activity, counted for gamma-emitting isotopes, and analyzed for tritium. In addition to these analytes, samples from SWSA 5 North are analyzed for specific transuranic elements.

  11. Disentangling oil weathering at a marine seep using GC x GC: broad metabolic specificity accompanies subsurface petroleum biodegradation.

    PubMed

    Wardlaw, George D; Arey, J Samuel; Reddy, Christopher M; Nelson, Robert K; Ventura, G Todd; Valentine, David L

    2008-10-01

    Natural seeps contribute nearly half of the oil entering the coastal ocean. However, environmental fate studies generally monitor fewer than 5% of these petroleum compounds. Hence, the rates and relevance of physical, chemical, and biological weathering processes are unknown for the large majority of hydrocarbons, both released from natural seeps and also from human activities. To investigate the specific compositional changes occurring in petroleum during subsurface degradation and submarine seepage, we studied the natural oil seeps offshore Santa Barbara, California with comprehensive, two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC x GC). With this technique, we quantified changes in the molecular diversity and abundance of hydrocarbons between subsurface reservoirs, a proximal sea floor seep, and the sea surface overlying the seep. We also developed methods to apportion hydrocarbon mass losses due to biodegradation, dissolution, and evaporation, for hundreds of tracked compounds that ascended from the subsurface to the sea floor to the sea surface. The results provide the first quantitative evidence of broad metabolic specificity for anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation in the subsurface and reveal new trends of rapid hydrocarbon evaporation at the sea surface. This study establishes GC x GC as a powerful technique for differentiating biological and physical weathering processes of complex mixtures at a molecular level. PMID:18939542

  12. Biogenic methane from abyssal brine seeps at the base of the Florida escarpment

    SciTech Connect

    Martens, C.S.; Chanton, J.P.; Paull, C.K. )

    1991-08-01

    Dissolved methane is present at concentrations exceeding 10mM in the pore waters of sulfidic, salt-brine-enriched sediments underlying chemosynthetic communities at the base of the Florida escarpment. Light hydrocarbon samples were obtained from brine seep sediments by means of an in situ probe and push cores deployed by the deep submersible Alvin. Pore-water methane had a {delta}{sup 13}C value of {minus}83.3 {plus minus}7.0 (Peedee belemnite, N = 17), contained < 1.3% modern carbon, and was enriched over ethane concentrations by 10{sup 3} to 10{sup 5}; these results all indicate a fossil, biogenic carbon source within the Florida platform. Methane-rich brine fluids arriving at seep sites are depleted in dissolved sulfate, although they have been diluted twenty-fold with sulfate-rich seawater during transit. It appears that sulfate reduction and methano-genesis are important processes within the platform.

  13. Split-beam echo sounder observations of natural methane seep variability in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jerram, Kevin; Weber, Thomas C.; Beaudoin, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    A method for positioning and characterizing plumes of bubbles from marine gas seeps using an 18 kHz scientific split-beam echo sounder (SBES) was developed and applied to acoustic observations of plumes of presumed methane gas bubbles originating at approximately 1400 m depth in the northern Gulf of Mexico. A total of 161 plume observations from 27 repeat surveys were grouped by proximity into 35 clusters of gas vent positions on the seafloor. Profiles of acoustic target strength per vertical meter of plume height were calculated with compensation for both the SBES beam pattern and the geometry of plume ensonification. These profiles were used as indicators of the relative fluxes and fates of gas bubbles acoustically observable at 18 kHz and showed significant variability between repeat observations at time intervals of 1 h-7.5 months. Active gas venting was observed during approximately one third of the survey passes at each cluster. While gas flux is not estimated directly in this study owing to lack of bubble size distribution data, repeat surveys at active seep sites showed variations in acoustic response that suggest relative changes in gas flux of up to 1 order of magnitude over time scales of hours. The minimum depths of acoustic plume observations at 18 kHz averaged 875 m and frequently coincided with increased amplitudes of acoustic returns in layers of biological scatterers, suggesting acoustic masking of the gas bubble plumes in these layers. Minimum plume depth estimates were limited by the SBES field of view in only five instances.

  14. Diversity and distribution of methanotrophic archaea at cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Knittel, Katrin; Lösekann, Tina; Boetius, Antje; Kort, Renate; Amann, Rudolf

    2005-01-01

    In this study we investigated by using 16S rRNA-based methods the distribution and biomass of archaea in samples from (i) sediments above outcropping methane hydrate at Hydrate Ridge (Cascadia margin off Oregon) and (ii) massive microbial mats enclosing carbonate reefs (Crimea area, Black Sea). The archaeal diversity was low in both locations; there were only four (Hydrate Ridge) and five (Black Sea) different phylogenetic clusters of sequences, most of which belonged to the methanotrophic archaea (ANME). ANME group 2 (ANME-2) sequences were the most abundant and diverse sequences at Hydrate Ridge, whereas ANME-1 sequences dominated the Black Sea mats. Other seep-specific sequences belonged to the newly defined group ANME-3 (related to Methanococcoides spp.) and to the Crenarchaeota of marine benthic group B. Quantitative analysis of the samples by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that ANME-1 and ANME-2 co-occurred at the cold seep sites investigated. At Hydrate Ridge the surface sediments were dominated by aggregates consisting of ANME-2 and members of the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus branch (DSS) (ANME-2/DSS aggregates), which accounted for >90% of the total cell biomass. The numbers of ANME-1 cells increased strongly with depth; these cells accounted 1% of all single cells at the surface and more than 30% of all single cells (5% of the total cells) in 7- to 10-cm sediment horizons that were directly above layers of gas hydrate. In the Black Sea microbial mats ANME-1 accounted for about 50% of all cells. ANME-2/DSS aggregates occurred in microenvironments within the mat but accounted for only 1% of the total cells. FISH probes for the ANME-2a and ANME-2c subclusters were designed based on a comparative 16S rRNA analysis. In Hydrate Ridge sediments ANME-2a/DSS and ANME-2c/DSS aggregates differed significantly in morphology and abundance. The relative abundance values for these subgroups were remarkably different at Beggiatoa sites (80% ANME-2a, 20

  15. Lipid Biomarkers Indicating Aerobic Methanotrophy at Ancient Marine Methane- Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birgel, D.; Peckmann, J.

    2007-12-01

    The inventory of lipid biomarkers of a number of ancient methane-seep limestones has been studied over the last decade. The molecular fingerprints of the chemosynthesis-based microbial communities tend to be extremely well-preserved in these limestones. The key process at seeps is the anaerobic oxidation of methane, performed by consortia of sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanotrophic archaea. Compounds preserved within modern and ancient seep settings comprise C-13-depleted lipid biomarkers. Besides the occurrence of C-13- depleted isoprenoids (archaea) and n-alkyl-chains (bacteria), C-13-depleted hopanoids have been reported in seep limestones. Here, lipid biomarker data are presented from three ancient methane-seep limestones embedded in Miocene and Campanian strata. These examples provide strong evidence that methane was not solely oxidized by an anaerobic process. In a Miocene limestone, 3-beta-methylated hopanoids were found (delta C-13: -100 per mil). Most likely, 3-beta-methylated hopanepolyols, prevailing in aerobic methanotrophs were the precursor lipids. In another Miocene limestone, a series of C-13-depleted 4-methylated steranes (lanostanes; -80 to -70 per mil) is derived from aerobic methanotrophs. Lanosterol is the most likely precursor of lanostanes, known to be produced by aerobic methanotrophs, some of which are outstanding among bacteria in having the capacity to produce steroids. In a Campanian seep limestone a suite of conspicuous secohexahydrobenzohopanes (-110 to -107 per mil) is found. These hopanoids probably represent early degradation products of seep-endemic aerobic methanotrophs. This interpretation is supported by the presence of "regular" hopanoids that can be discriminated from the unusual secohexahydrobenzohopanes by only moderately low delta C-13 values (-49 to -42 per mil). Structural and carbon isotope data reveal that aerobic methanotrophy is more common at ancient methane- seeps than previously noticed. Our data indicate that

  16. Community composition and temporal change at deep Gulf of Mexico cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lessard-Pilon, Stephanie; Porter, Matthew D.; Cordes, Erik E.; MacDonald, Ian; Fisher, Charles R.

    2010-11-01

    Specialized cold-seep communities have been known to exist in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) since the mid-1980s, but only recently has extensive research been carried out on sites at depths >1000 m. This study uses a combination of imagery and analyses within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) framework to examine the composition of mussel and tubeworm communities at depths between 2200 and 2800 m in the Gulf of Mexico, spatial relations among the fauna, and changes in these communities over time. Photomosaics at three discrete seep communities were obtained in 2006 and a video mosaic of another community was obtained in 1992. Each of these communities was re-imaged in 2007. In addition, quantitative physical collections were made within two of the photomosaic sites and used to confirm the identification of megafauna, quantify the occurrence of smaller and cryptic macrofauna, and allow first-order calculations of biomass within the sites. Substrate type had a significant effect on community composition. Significant associations were identified between live mussels with anemones, shrimp, and sea cucumbers, and between tubeworm aggregations and Munidopsis sp. crabs and encrusting fauna, indicating differences in the composition of megafauna associated with adjacent mussel and tubeworm aggregations. Little change was seen in the total area colonized by foundation fauna (tubeworms and mussels) between years at any site. However, significant changes occurred in the positions of mussels, even over periods of a single year, at all sites, and evidence for the establishment of new tubeworm aggregations between 1992 and 2007 was noted at one site. These photomosaics provide data suggesting that environmental conditions can change over small spatial and temporal scales and mussels move in response to these changes. The successional trends are examined and compared to the patterns that have been documented in shallow (<1000-m depth) Gulf of Mexico seep communities.

  17. Cold-seep carbonates of the middle and lower continental slope, northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Harry H.; Feng, Dong; Joye, Samantha B.

    2010-11-01

    Authigenic carbonates from cold seeps on the middle and lower continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These carbonates consist of concretions and nodules in surface sediments, hardgrounds of crusts and isolated slabs, and mounded buildups of blocks and slabs of up to over 10 meters in relief above the surrounding seafloor. Mineralogically, the carbonates are dominated by high-Mg calcite (HMC) and aragonite. However, low levels (<5 wt%) of dolomite are present in most samples. Petrographically, Mg-calcite peloidal matrix and acicular to botryoidal aragonitic void-filling cements are the most frequent associations. The carbon isotopic compositions of the carbonates range from -60.8 to 14.0‰ PDB, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted biogenic and thermogenic methane, biodegraded crude oil, seawater CO2, and 13C-enriched residual CO2 from methanogenesis. A similarly large variability in δ18O values (2.5 to 6.7‰ PDB) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of the slope, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source that is possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water and/or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. A considerable range of mineralogical and isotopic variations in cold-seep carbonate composition was noted even within individual study sites. However, common trends occur across multiple geographic areas. This situation suggests that local controls on fluid and gas flux, types of seep hydrocarbons, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the near-surface sediment, and chemosynthetic communities, as well as the temporal evolution of the local hydrocarbon reservoir, all may play a part in determining carbonate mineralogy and isotope geochemistry. The carbon isotope data clearly indicate that between-site variation is greater than within-site variation. Seep carbonates formed on the middle and lower continental slope

  18. High-throughput transcriptome sequencing of the cold seep mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Yue Him; Sun, Jin; He, Li Sheng; Chen, Lian Guo; Qiu, Jian-Wen; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Bathymodiolid mussels dominate hydrothermal vents, cold methane/sulfide-hydrocarbon seeps, and other sites of organic enrichment. Here, we aimed to explore the innate immune system and detoxification mechanism of the deep sea mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons collected from a methane seep in the South China Sea. We sequenced the transcriptome of the mussels’ gill, foot and mantle tissues and generated a transcriptomic database containing 96,683 transcript sequences. Based on GO and KEGG annotations, we reported transcripts that were related to the innate immune system, heavy metal detoxification and sulfide metabolic genes. Our in-depth analysis on the isoforms of peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP) that have different cellular location and potentially differential selectivity towards peptidoglycan (PGN) from gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria were differentially expressed in different tissues. We also reported a potentially novel form of metallothionein and the production of phytochelatin in B. platifrons, which has not been reported in any of its coastal relative Mytilus mussel species. Overall, the present study provided new insights into heavy metal and sulfide metabolism in B. platifrons and can be served as the basis for future molecular studies on host-symbiont interactions in cold seep mussels. PMID:26593439

  19. Formation of modern and Paleozoic stratiform barite at cold methane seeps on continental margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Torres, M.E.; Bohrmann, G.; Dube, T.E.; Poole, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    Stratiform (bedded) Paleozoic barite occurs as large conformable beds within organic- and chert-rich sediments; the beds lack major sulfide minerals and are the largest and most economically significant barite deposits in the geologic record. Existing models for the origin of bedded barite fail to explain all their characteristics: the deposits display properties consistent with an exhalative origin involving fluid ascent to the seafloor, but they lack appreciable polymetallic sulfide minerals and the corresponding strontium isotopic composition to support a hydrothermal vent source. A new mechanism of barite formation, along structurally controlled sites of cold fluid seepage in continental margins, involves barite remobilization in organic-rich, highly reducing sediments, transport of barium-rich fluids, and barite precipitation at cold methane seeps. The lithologic and depositional framework of Paleozoic and cold seep barite, as well as morphological, textural, and chemical characteristics of the deposits, and associations with chemosymbiotic fauna, all support a cold seep origin for stratiform Paleozoic barite. This understanding is highly relevant to paleoceanographic and paleotectonic studies, as well as to economic geology.

  20. Deep-water hydrocarbon seeps in Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simoneit, B.R.T.; Lonsdale, P.F.; Edmond, J.M.; Shanks, Wayne C., III

    1990-01-01

    Acoustically discovered hydrocarbon seeps along a transform fault zone on the Sonoran margin of Guaymas Basin and in the Southern Trough of Guaymas Basin were examined and sampled during dives of DSV Alvin. Seepage of methane and heavier hydrocarbons occurs through shallow pockmarks along the eroding crest of a steep anticline, 1600 m below sea level. Extensive ledges of aragonite crop out around the rims of the pockmarks; isotopic analysis indicates that carbonate precipitation is a result of methane oxidation. Seepage zones within the pockmarks support dense communities of Calyptogena, half buried in the mud; tubeworms (Lamellibracheae sp.) have colonized many of the aragonite outcrops. Though the margin site is only a few kilometers from a high-temperature sulfide-precipitating and petroleum-discharging vent system at a nearby center, its structural setting is more akin to pockmarks described from continental shelves, and its chemosynthetic fauna is more like that around low temperature seeps on other continental slopes and margins (e.g. Oregon, U.S.A., and Japan). The seep in the Southern Trough is a condensate-type petroleum (C1-C40) and rises as a plume from a young vent-mound system about 2000 m below sea level. ?? 1990.

  1. High-throughput transcriptome sequencing of the cold seep mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons.

    PubMed

    Wong, Yue Him; Sun, Jin; He, Li Sheng; Chen, Lian Guo; Qiu, Jian-Wen; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Bathymodiolid mussels dominate hydrothermal vents, cold methane/sulfide-hydrocarbon seeps, and other sites of organic enrichment. Here, we aimed to explore the innate immune system and detoxification mechanism of the deep sea mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons collected from a methane seep in the South China Sea. We sequenced the transcriptome of the mussels' gill, foot and mantle tissues and generated a transcriptomic database containing 96,683 transcript sequences. Based on GO and KEGG annotations, we reported transcripts that were related to the innate immune system, heavy metal detoxification and sulfide metabolic genes. Our in-depth analysis on the isoforms of peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP) that have different cellular location and potentially differential selectivity towards peptidoglycan (PGN) from gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria were differentially expressed in different tissues. We also reported a potentially novel form of metallothionein and the production of phytochelatin in B. platifrons, which has not been reported in any of its coastal relative Mytilus mussel species. Overall, the present study provided new insights into heavy metal and sulfide metabolism in B. platifrons and can be served as the basis for future molecular studies on host-symbiont interactions in cold seep mussels. PMID:26593439

  2. The effect of pulse venting on anaerobic oxidation of methane and pyrite formation in the cold seep environment, offshore SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Wan-Yen; Lin, Saulwood; Tseng, Yi-Ting; Chen, NeiChen; Hsieh, I.-Chih

    2016-04-01

    AOM (Anaerobic oxidation of methane) is a key process in seep environment. Sulfate was consumed during oxidation of methane or organic matter with pyrite as a major end product in the anoxic marine environment. Typical changes observed in the pore water include an increase of methane with depth beneath the SMTZ (sulfate methane transition zone), as a result of diffusion and/or advection, and appearances of a dissolved sulfide maximum underneath a dissolved iron peak with depth. A number of other related biogeochemical processes and end products may register their respective changes in sediments as a result of AOM and related reactions. However, flux, time and duration of gas migration may have changed by either long term processes, e.g., tectonic activities and/or climatic induced sea level changes, or short term, e.g., tidal variations. There is relatively little study addressing termination of gas migrations and subsequent changes in the seep environments. In this study, we will present our study on a seep environment where pulses of gas migration may have occurred with a number of chemical anomalies in sediments. We have collected pore water and sediments for their chemical compositions of sulfate, dissolved sulfide, chloride, organic carbon, carbonate carbon and pyrite as well as echo sounding for flares, and towcam for sea surface topography and benthic community. Our results show that methane gas may have migrated in sediments in carrying out AOM reaction and pyrite formation, however, gas migration may have been relatively short and in pulses. Pulses of gas migration resulted in little or even no sulfate reduction in pore water, but with appearance of dissolved sulfide as well as very high concentrations of pyrite in sediments. Flares were observed but not constantly at the site where chemical anomalies were observed. Pulses of gas migration may come from solid gas hydrate formation and dissociation as evidence from pore water chloride enrichment and

  3. High Diversity of Anaerobic Alkane-Degrading Microbial Communities in Marine Seep Sediments Based on (1-methylalkyl)succinate Synthase Genes

    PubMed Central

    Stagars, Marion H.; Ruff, S. Emil; Amann, Rudolf; Knittel, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Alkanes comprise a substantial fraction of crude oil and are prevalent at marine seeps. These environments are typically anoxic and host diverse microbial communities that grow on alkanes. The most widely distributed mechanism of anaerobic alkane activation is the addition of alkanes to fumarate by (1-methylalkyl)succinate synthase (Mas). Here we studied the diversity of MasD, the catalytic subunit of the enzyme, in 12 marine sediments sampled at seven seeps. We aimed to identify cosmopolitan species as well as to identify factors structuring the alkane-degrading community. Using next generation sequencing we obtained a total of 420 MasD species-level operational taxonomic units (OTU0.96) at 96% amino acid identity. Diversity analysis shows a high richness and evenness of alkane-degrading bacteria. Sites with similar hydrocarbon composition harbored similar alkane-degrading communities based on MasD genes; the MasD community structure is clearly driven by the hydrocarbon source available at the various seeps. Two of the detected OTU0.96 were cosmopolitan and abundant while 75% were locally restricted, suggesting the presence of few abundant and globally distributed alkane degraders as well as specialized variants that have developed under specific conditions at the diverse seep environments. Of the three MasD clades identified, the most diverse was affiliated with Deltaproteobacteria. A second clade was affiliated with both Deltaproteobacteria and Firmicutes likely indicating lateral gene transfer events. The third clade was only distantly related to known alkane-degrading organisms and comprises new divergent lineages of MasD homologs, which might belong to an overlooked phylum of alkane-degrading bacteria. In addition, masD geneFISH allowed for the in situ identification and quantification of the target guild in alkane-degrading enrichment cultures. Altogether, these findings suggest an unexpectedly high number of yet unknown groups of anaerobic alkane degraders

  4. Natural volcanic CO2 seeps reveal future trajectories for host-microbial associations in corals and sponges.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Kathleen M; Bourne, David G; Humphrey, Craig; Botté, Emmanuelle S; Laffy, Patrick; Zaneveld, Jesse; Uthicke, Sven; Fabricius, Katharina E; Webster, Nicole S

    2015-04-01

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are rapidly rising causing an increase in the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in the ocean and a reduction in pH known as ocean acidification (OA). Natural volcanic seeps in Papua New Guinea expel 99% pure CO2 and thereby offer a unique opportunity to explore the effects of OA in situ. The corals Acropora millepora and Porites cylindrica were less abundant and hosted significantly different microbial communities at the CO2 seep than at nearby control sites <500 m away. A primary driver of microbial differences in A. millepora was a 50% reduction of symbiotic Endozoicomonas. This loss of symbiotic taxa from corals at the CO2 seep highlights a potential hurdle for corals to overcome if they are to adapt to and survive OA. In contrast, the two sponges Coelocarteria singaporensis and Cinachyra sp. were ∼ 40-fold more abundant at the seep and hosted a significantly higher relative abundance of Synechococcus than sponges at control sites. The increase in photosynthetic microbes at the seep potentially provides these species with a nutritional benefit and enhanced scope for growth under future climate scenarios (thus, flexibility in symbiosis may lead to a larger niche breadth). The microbial community in the apparently pCO2-sensitive sponge species S. massa was not significantly different between sites. These data show that responses to elevated pCO2 are species-specific and that the stability and flexibility of microbial partnerships may have an important role in shaping and contributing to the fitness and success of some hosts. PMID:25325380

  5. Development of saline seeps in Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Kenneth S.

    1994-01-01

    Saline seeps are an increasingly serious problem in semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States. They result when excessive recharge of the shallow ground water in soils raises the water table locally to within one meter of the land surface, and the salinity of the shallow water is increased through evaporation. In this connection, a comprehensive study is being undertaken in Oklahoma and Texas to determine the geologic setting, hydrology, soils, land use, and history of saline-seep development.

  6. Use of remote sensing techniques and aeromagnetic data to study episodic oil seep discharges along the Gulf of Suez in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, M F; Aziz, A M; Ghieth, B M

    2013-07-15

    Four successive oil discharges were observed during the last 2 years following the recording of the earthquake events. Oil slicks were clearly observed in the thermal band of the Enhanced Thematic Mapper images acquired during the discharge events. Lineaments were extracted from the ETM+ image data and SRTM (DEM). The seismic activity is conformable in time and spatially related to active major faults and structural lineaments. The concerned site was subjected to a numerous earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 3 to 5.4 Mb. Aeromagnetic field data analyses indicated the existence of deep major faults crossing the Gebel El-Zeit and the Mellaha basins (oil reservoirs). The magnetic field survey showed major distinctive fault striking NE-SW at 7000 m depth. Occurrence of these faults at great depth enables the crude oil to migrate upward and appear at the surfaces as oil seeps onshore and as offshore slicks in the Gemsa-Hurghada coastal zone. PMID:23688834

  7. New Isotopic Constraints on the Sources of Methane at Sites of Active Continental Serpentinization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D. T.; Gruen, D.; Morrill, P. L.; Rietze, A.; Nealson, K. H.; Kubo, M. D.; Cardace, D.; Schrenk, M. O.; Hoehler, T. M.; McCollom, T. M.; Etiope, G.; Hosgormez, H.; Schoell, M.; Ono, S.

    2014-12-01

    At continental sites of serpentinization, high concentrations of reduced gases (e.g., H2, CH4) are frequently found in association with highly-alkaline groundwater. Identification of the process(es) responsible for the generation of methane—as well as the source(s) of C & H—in these environments has been challenging. The difficulty is due to both the wide range of processes (microbial, thermal, abiotic) that could be involved, and the limited number of parameters that are accessible to currently-available analytical technologies (e.g., δ13C, δD). The recent development of a new technique based on tunable infrared laser spectroscopy [1] has enabled the fully-resolved quantification of four isotopologues of methane: 12CH4, 13CH4, 12CH3D, and 13CH3D, a doubly-substituted ("clumped") isotopologue. We used this technique to measure 13CH3D in gases sampled from continental sites of serpentinization, in order to provide independent constraints on C-H bond-forming processes involved in the generation of the methane found in these systems. Our study sites are hosted in ultramafic units that are presently undergoing serpentinization. These include The Cedars peridotite body (Calif., USA) [2], the Coast Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory (Calif., USA) [3], and the Chimaera seep (Tekirova Ophiolite, Turkey) [4]. Preliminary measurements indicate that Δ13CH3D (the deviation of the abundance of 13CH3D from the stochastic distribution) in methane sampled from these sites spans nearly the entire range of thermodynamically-predicted values, from >+5‰ (13CH3D-based apparent equilibrium temperature < 45 °C) to ~0‰ (Tapparent → ∞). The new 13CH3D data is complemented by conventional geochemical analyses (e.g., dissolved ions/organics, δ13C, δD) on samples collected during the same field campaigns. Our study demonstrates that the measurement of 13CH3D provides a new dimension of isotopic constraints for unraveling the complex processes controlling the distribution

  8. Methane-derived carbonates form at the sediment-bedrock interface in a shallow marine gas seep.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimball, J.; Ding, H.; Valentine, D. L.

    2006-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps occur world-wide, and release large quantities of oil and natural gas to the ocean and atmosphere. One of the world's most prolific hydrocarbon seep fields is located just offshore from Goleta, CA, and serves as the study site for this investigation. In the course of investigating gas fluxes from a 10 m deep coastal seep, samples of seafloor bedrock were collected by scuba diving during a time of low sediment burden. These samples were found to be concretions composed primarily of carbonate-cemented sand. The delta13C values of the carbonate range from -25 to -32 per mille, and indicate a role for methane oxidation in the formation of the carbonates. Long chain fatty acids were extracted from the concretions and were quantified, identified, and analyzed for their 13C composition. Fatty acids typical of sulfate reducing bacteria were observed, and interpreted as a signature of anoxia. Further mineralogical and isotopic studies are planned. From these observations we interpret a shallow water origin for these concretions, whereby the seasonal migration of sand to the seep environment drives anoxia and anaerobic methane oxidation at the sediment-bedrock interface. The alkalinity generated from sulfate reduction causes the precipitation of methane-derived carbonate- which forms a concretion with sand.

  9. Dissecting the active site of a photoreceptor protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, Wouter; Hara, Miwa; Ren, Jie; Moghadam, Farzaneh; Xie, Aihua; Kumauchi, Masato

    While enzymes are quite large molecules, functionally important chemical events are often limited to a small region of the protein: the active site. The physical and chemical properties of residues at such active sites are often strongly altered compared to the same groups dissolved in water. Understanding such effects is important for unraveling the mechanisms underlying protein function and for protein engineering, but has proven challenging. Here we report on our ongoing efforts on using photoactive yellow protein (PYP), a bacterial photoreceptor, as a model system for such effects. We will report on the following questions: How many residues affect active site properties? Are these residues in direct physical contact with the active site? Can functionally important residues be recognized in the crystal structure of a protein? What structural resolution is needed to understand active sites? What spectroscopic techniques are most informative? Which weak interactions dominate active site properties?

  10. Mars Surveyor Project Landing Site Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulick, Virginia C.; Briggs, Geoffrey; Saunders, R. Stephen; Gilmore, Martha; Soderblom, Larry

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor Program --now a cooperative program led by NASA and CNES along with other international partners -- is underway. It has the primary science objective of furthering our understanding of the biological potential and possible biological history of Mars and has the complementary objective of improving our understanding of martian climate evolution and planetary history The missions will develop technology and acquire data necessary for eventual human Exploration. Launches of orbiters, landers and rovers will take place in 2001 and in 2003; in 2005 a complete system will be launched capable of returning samples to Earth by 2008. A key aspect of the program is the selection of landing sites. This abstract 1) reports on the status of the landing site selection process that begins with the 2001 lander mission and 2) outlines be opportunities for the Mars community to provide input into the landing site selection process.

  11. Mars Surveyor Project Landing Site Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulick, V. C.; Briggs, Geoffrey; Saunders, R. Stephen; Gilmore, Martha; Soderblom, Larry

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor Program -- now a cooperative program led by NASA and CNES along with other international partners -- is underway. It has the primary science objective of furthering our understanding of the biological potential and possible biological history of Mars and has the complementary objective of improving our understanding of martian climate evolution and planetary history. The missions will develop technology and acquire data necessary for eventual human exploration. Launches of orbiters, landers and rovers will take place in 2001 and in 2003; in 2005 a complete system will be launched capable of returning samples to Earth by 2008. A key aspect of the program is the selection of landing sites. This abstract 1) reports on the status of the landing site selection process that begins with the 2001 lander mission and 2) outlines the opportunities for the Mars community to provide input into the landing site selection process.

  12. The bifunctional active site of s-adenosylmethionine synthetase. Roles of the active site aspartates.

    PubMed

    Taylor, J C; Markham, G D

    1999-11-12

    S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) synthetase catalyzes the biosynthesis of AdoMet in a unique enzymatic reaction. Initially the sulfur of methionine displaces the intact tripolyphosphate chain (PPP(i)) from ATP, and subsequently PPP(i) is hydrolyzed to PP(i) and P(i) before product release. The crystal structure of Escherichia coli AdoMet synthetase shows that the active site contains four aspartate residues. Aspartate residues Asp-16* and Asp-271 individually provide the sole protein ligand to one of the two required Mg(2+) ions (* denotes a residue from a second subunit); aspartates Asp-118 and Asp-238* are proposed to interact with methionine. Each aspartate has been changed to an uncharged asparagine, and the metal binding residues were also changed to alanine, to assess the roles of charge and ligation ability on catalytic efficiency. The resultant enzyme variants all structurally resemble the wild type enzyme as indicated by circular dichroism spectra and are tetramers. However, all have k(cat) reductions of approximately 10(3)-fold in AdoMet synthesis, whereas the MgATP and methionine K(m) values change by less than 3- and 8-fold, respectively. In the partial reaction of PPP(i) hydrolysis, mutants of the Mg(2+) binding residues have >700-fold reduced catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)), whereas the D118N and D238*N mutants are impaired less than 35-fold. The catalytic efficiency for PPP(i) hydrolysis by Mg(2+) site mutants is improved by AdoMet, like the wild type enzyme. In contrast AdoMet reduces the catalytic efficiency for PPP(i) hydrolysis by the D118N and D238*N mutants, indicating that the events involved in AdoMet activation are hindered in these methionyl binding site mutants. Ca(2+) uniquely activates the D271A mutant enzyme to 15% of the level of Mg(2+), in contrast to the approximately 1% Ca(2+) activation of the wild type enzyme. This indicates that the Asp-271 side chain size is a discriminator between the activating ability of Ca(2+) and the

  13. Constraining silica diagenesis in methane-seep deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrzka, Daniel; Kraemer, Stephan; Zwicker, Jennifer; Birgel, Daniel; Fischer, David; Kasten, Sabine; Goedert, James; Peckmann, Jörn

    2015-04-01

    Silicified fossils and silicified early diagenetic carbonate minerals as well as authigenic silica phases are common in ancient seep limestones. Silicification of calcareous fossils facilitates the preservation of even fine details and is therefore of great interest to paleontologists, permitting a reliable taxonomic identification of the chemosynthesis-based taxa that lived at ancient hydrocarbon seeps. Four methane-seep limestones of Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic age with abundant silica phases are compared in this study; one, an Eocene seep deposit on the north shore of the Columbia River at Knappton, western Washington State, USA, is described for the first time. Its lithology and fabrics, negative δ13Ccarbonate values as low as -27.6‰, and 13C-depleted biomarkers of archaea involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) reveal that the carbonate rock formed at a methane seep. The background sediments of the studied Phanerozoic seep limestones contain abundant siliceous microfossils, radiolarian tests in case of the Late Carboniferous Dwyka Group deposits from Namibia and the Late Triassic Graylock Butte deposits from eastern Oregon (USA), diatom frustules in case of the Eocene Knappton limestone and an Oligocene seep deposit from the Lincoln Creek Formation (western Washington State, USA). These microfossils are regarded as the source of dissolved silica, causing silicification and silica precipitation. All seep limestones used in this study are characterized by very similar paragenetic sequences. Silicified fossils include brachiopods and worm tubes, silica cements include microquartz, fibrous microcrystalline silica, and megaquartz. The silica cements formed after the AOM-derived cements ceased to precipitate but before equant calcite spar formed. Numerical experiments using the computer code PHREEQC were conducted to test the hypothesis that (1) AOM increases the pH of pore waters and that (2) this pH increase subsequently mobilizes biogenic

  14. Cruise summary for P-1-02-SC: acoustic imaging of natural oil and gas seeps and measurement of dissolved methane concentration in coastal waters near Pt. Conception, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, T.D.; Dougherty, Jennifer A.; Ussler, William, III; Paull, Charles K.

    2003-01-01

    Water-column acoustic anomalies and methane concentrations were documented in coastal waters surrounding Pt. Conception, California, in March 2002. The purpose of this survey, supported by the Minerals Management Service, was to locate active oil and gas seeps in the area as a background for further studies to determine hydrocarbon flux, mainly oil, into the environment. Objectives in reaching this goal are to (1) document the locations and geochemically fingerprint natural seeps within the offshore southern Santa Maria Basin; (2) geochemically fingerprint coastal tar residues and potential sources, both onshore and offshore, in this region; (3) establish chemical correlations between offshore active seeps and coastal residues thus linking seep sources to oil residues; (4) measure the rate of natural seepage of individual seeps and attempt to assess regional natural oil and gas seepage rates; (5) attempt to predict transport pathways of oil from seep sources to the coastline and; (6) interpret the petroleum system history for the natural seeps. This survey, addressing objective 1, focused on the area from offshore Surf Beach to the north and Gaviota to the south in water depths ranging from 20 to 500m. In addition, nine stations were sampled outside this area to provide a regional context. Water-column methane concentrations were measured in water samples collected from the R/V Point Sur with Niskin bottles from various depths. A total of 724 water samples from 94 stations were collected.

  15. The active site of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase

    SciTech Connect

    Hartman, F.C.

    1991-01-01

    The active site of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase requires interacting domains of adjacent, identical subunits. Most active-site residues are located within the loop regions of an eight-stranded {beta}/{alpha}-barrel which constitutes the larger C-terminal domain; additional key residues are located within a segment of the smaller N-terminal domain which partially covers the mouth of the barrel. Site-directed mutagenesis of the gene encoding the enzyme from Rhodospirillum rubrum has been used to delineate functions of active-site residues. 6 refs., 2 figs.

  16. Cold seeps associated with a submarine debris avalanche deposit at Kick'em Jenny volcano, Grenada (Lesser Antilles)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, Steven; Ballard, Robert; Bell, Katherine L. C.; Bell, Richard J.; Connally, Patrick; Dondin, Frederic; Fuller, Sarah; Gobin, Judith; Miloslavich, Patricia; Phillips, Brennan; Roman, Chris; Seibel, Brad; Siu, Nam; Smart, Clara

    2014-11-01

    Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) exploration at the distal margins of a debris avalanche deposit from Kick'em Jenny submarine volcano in Grenada has revealed areas of cold seeps with chemosynthetic-based ecosystems. The seeps occur on steep slopes of deformed, unconsolidated hemipelagic sediments in water depths between 1952 and 2042 m. Two main areas consist of anastomosing systems of fluid flow that have incised local sediments by several tens of centimeters. No temperature anomalies were observed in the vent areas and no active flow was visually observed, suggesting that the venting may be waning. An Eh sensor deployed on a miniature autonomous plume recorder (MAPR) recorded a positive signal and the presence of live organisms indicates at least some venting is still occurring. The chemosynthetic-based ecosystem included giant mussels (Bathymodiolus sp.) with commensal polychaetes (Branchipolynoe sp.) and cocculinid epibionts, other bivalves, Siboglinida (vestimentiferan) tubeworms, other polychaetes, and shrimp, as well as associated heterotrophs, including gastropods, anemones, crabs, fish, octopods, brittle stars, and holothurians. The origin of the seeps may be related to fluid overpressure generated during the collapse of an ancestral Kick'em Jenny volcano. We suggest that deformation and burial of hemipelagic sediment at the front and base of the advancing debris avalanche led to fluid venting at the distal margin. Such deformation may be a common feature of marine avalanches in a variety of geological environments especially along continental margins, raising the possibility of creating large numbers of ephemeral seep-based ecosystems.

  17. A study on the flexibility of enzyme active sites

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A common assumption about enzyme active sites is that their structures are highly conserved to specifically distinguish between closely similar compounds. However, with the discovery of distinct enzymes with similar reaction chemistries, more and more studies discussing the structural flexibility of the active site have been conducted. Results Most of the existing works on the flexibility of active sites focuses on a set of pre-selected active sites that were already known to be flexible. This study, on the other hand, proposes an analysis framework composed of a new data collecting strategy, a local structure alignment tool and several physicochemical measures derived from the alignments. The method proposed to identify flexible active sites is highly automated and robust so that more extensive studies will be feasible in the future. The experimental results show the proposed method is (a) consistent with previous works based on manually identified flexible active sites and (b) capable of identifying potentially new flexible active sites. Conclusions This proposed analysis framework and the former analyses on flexibility have their own advantages and disadvantage, depending on the cause of the flexibility. In this regard, this study proposes an alternative that complements previous studies and helps to construct a more comprehensive view of the flexibility of enzyme active sites. PMID:21342563

  18. Active seepage and water infiltration in Lake Baikal sediments: new thermal data from TTR-Baikal 2014 (Class@Baikal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poort, Jeffrey; Khlystov, Oleg M.; Akhmanov, Grigorii G.; Khabuev, Andrei V.; Belousov, Oleg V.

    2015-04-01

    New thermal data from the sediments of Lake Baikal were collected in July 2014 during the first Training-Through-Research cruise on Lake Baikal (Class@Baikal) organized by MGU and LIN. TTR-Baikal is a comprehensive multidisciplinary program to train students on the field on pertinent scientific topics. The cruise program focused on seafloor sampling, acoustic investigations and heat flow measurements of gas seeps, flares, mud volcanoes, slumps and debris flows, canyons and channels in the coastal proximity. The thermal data were acquired using autonomous temperature sensors on a 3 meter long gravity corer that allowed analysis at the same spot of sediments, pore fluids, hydrates and microbiology. A total of eight thermal measurements were performed in five structures located on the lake floor of the Central Baikal Basin at 333-1530 meter water depths: 3 mud volcanoes (Novosibirsk, Unshuy and Krest), 1 seep site (Seep 13), and one fault outcrop in the Selenga transfer zone. All studied structures show signals of active seepage, water infiltration and/or hydrate dynamics. The strongest thermal gradient has been measured in Seep 13, suggesting a strong upflow of warm fluids similar to the Gorevoy Utes seep. At the three mud volcanoes, hydrate presence have been evidenced and both enhanced and reduced thermal gradients have been observed. This is similar to the hydrate-bearing K-2 mud volcano in Baikal (Poort et al., 2012). A strongly reduced thermal gradient was observed in the Krest mud volcano where the presence of oxidized channels at 30-40 cm under the sediment surface indicate an infiltration of cold lake water. The water infiltration process at hydrate bearing seep sites will be discussed and compared with other seep areas in the world.

  19. Safety Oversight of Decommissioning Activities at DOE Nuclear Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Zull, Lawrence M.; Yeniscavich, William

    2008-01-15

    The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (Board) is an independent federal agency established by Congress in 1988 to provide nuclear safety oversight of activities at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) defense nuclear facilities. The activities under the Board's jurisdiction include the design, construction, startup, operation, and decommissioning of defense nuclear facilities at DOE sites. This paper reviews the Board's safety oversight of decommissioning activities at DOE sites, identifies the safety problems observed, and discusses Board initiatives to improve the safety of decommissioning activities at DOE sites. The decommissioning of former defense nuclear facilities has reduced the risk of radioactive material contamination and exposure to the public and site workers. In general, efforts to perform decommissioning work at DOE defense nuclear sites have been successful, and contractors performing decommissioning work have a good safety record. Decommissioning activities have recently been completed at sites identified for closure, including the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, the Fernald Closure Project, and the Miamisburg Closure Project (the Mound site). The Rocky Flats and Fernald sites, which produced plutonium parts and uranium materials for defense needs (respectively), have been turned into wildlife refuges. The Mound site, which performed R and D activities on nuclear materials, has been converted into an industrial and technology park called the Mound Advanced Technology Center. The DOE Office of Legacy Management is responsible for the long term stewardship of these former EM sites. The Board has reviewed many decommissioning activities, and noted that there are valuable lessons learned that can benefit both DOE and the contractor. As part of its ongoing safety oversight responsibilities, the Board and its staff will continue to review the safety of DOE and contractor decommissioning activities at DOE defense nuclear sites.

  20. DOE site performance assessment activities. Radioactive Waste Technical Support Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-07-01

    Information on performance assessment capabilities and activities was collected from eight DOE sites. All eight sites either currently dispose of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) or plan to dispose of LLW in the near future. A survey questionnaire was developed and sent to key individuals involved in DOE Order 5820.2A performance assessment activities at each site. The sites surveyed included: Hanford Site (Hanford), Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Nevada Test Site (NTS), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (Paducah), Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (Portsmouth), and Savannah River Site (SRS). The questionnaire addressed all aspects of the performance assessment process; from waste source term to dose conversion factors. This report presents the information developed from the site questionnaire and provides a comparison of site-specific performance assessment approaches, data needs, and ongoing and planned activities. All sites are engaged in completing the radioactive waste disposal facility performance assessment required by DOE Order 5820.2A. Each site has achieved various degrees of progress and have identified a set of critical needs. Within several areas, however, the sites identified common needs and questions.

  1. Savannah River Site prioritization of transition activities

    SciTech Connect

    Finley, R.H.

    1993-11-01

    Effective management of SRS conversion from primarily a production facility to other missions (or Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D)) requires a systematic and consistent method of prioritizing the transition activities. This report discusses the design of a prioritizing method developed to achieve systematic and consistent methods of prioritizing these activities.

  2. Gas Hydrates Associated With oil and gas Seeps in the Eastern Black Sea: Preliminary Results From TTR Cruise 15 Legs 1 and 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohrmann, G.; Ivanov, M.

    2005-12-01

    Seafloor seepage and methane emissions to the water column were studied by several groups and projects during the last five in the western and central part of the Black. Studies on fluid and gas discharge in areas of the eastern Black Sea are very rare. Due to the close relationship to the Greater Caucasus thrust belt and the Eastern Pontides such locations like the Shatsky Ridge, Tuapse Trough and Rioni Basin are of great interest because of their difference in geologic composition in comparison to the western Black Sea. During TTR cruise 15 Legs 1 & 2 we investigated active seep sites in the Russian, Georgian and Turkish Sectors of the Black Sea. During an interdisciplinary approach we used long-range ORKEAN sidescan sonar and deep-towed high-resolution MAK-1M sidescan sonar mapping as well as seismic profiling to locate sites of active fluid and gas discharge. Detailed observations by video-sled and ROV investigations were performed before seafloor sampling by a gravity corer and a TV-grab occurred. Seeps were free gas bubbles are escaping from the sea floor were successfully observed on Kobuleti Ridge (Georgia) at water depths between 1100 - 850 m by acoustic anomalies in the water column on raw sonar data and as high backscatter intensity areas. Since free gas should become converted to gas hydrate in depth below 750 m of the Black Sea, the presence of free gas is explained by fast transport from a large gas reservoir below the lower boundary of the gas hydrate stability field in the sediments. Bottom-seismic reflections are well imaged in the area. The seeps on Kobuleti Ridge (Georgia), as well as on the first anticline of the Tuapse Foldbelt and the Shatsky Ridge are characterised by carbonate and shallow gas hydrate deposits. At four distinct mound locations, three on the Kobuleti Ridge and one on Shatsky Ridge, oil and other higher hydrocarbon gases have been detected for the first time, indicating seepage from deeper petroleum reservoirs.

  3. How oil seeps, discoveries relate in deepwater Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; MacDonald, I.R.; Guinasso, N.L. Jr. )

    1993-04-19

    Biomarker compounds of crude oils from deep-water Gulf of Mexico seeps are consistent with an origin from deeply-buried Mesozoic carbonate source rocks. The known oil reserves, however, are trapped in shallow Miocene to Pleistocene sands. Several kilometers of vertical migration must be invoked to explain the presence of crude oil from deep sources in shallow reservoir sands. Salt-related fractures and faults serve as efficient conduits for vertical migration through the thick sedimentary section. Thermal history models suggest that oil migration off Louisiana started during the Miocene and continues at present in some areas. The paper describes visual inspection of seeps; gives an overview of the deep Gulf; and discusses seeps and fields, case histories, and frontier basins.

  4. Trace element behaviour at cold seeps and the potential export of dissolved iron to the ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaitre, Nolwenn; Bayon, Germain; Ondréas, Hélène; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Freslon, Nicolas; Bollinger, Claire; Rouget, Marie-Laure; de Prunelé, Alexis; Ruffine, Livio; Olu-Le Roy, Karine; Sarthou, Géraldine

    2014-10-01

    Seawater samples were collected by submersible above methane seeps in the Gulf of Guinea (Regab and Baboon pockmarks) in order to investigate the behaviour of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and rare earth elements (REE) during fluid seepage. Our aim was to determine whether cold seeps may represent potential sources of dissolved chemical species to the ocean. Dissolved (<0.45 μm filtered samples) and total dissolvable (unfiltered samples) concentrations were determined over ∼50 m long vertical transects above the seafloor and at various discrete locations within the pockmarks. We show that substantial amounts of Fe and Mn are released into seawater during seepage of methane-rich fluids. Mn is exported almost quantitatively in the dissolved form (more than 90% of total Mn; mean MnDISS∼12±11 nmol/kg). Although a significant fraction of Fe is bound to particulate phases, the dissolved iron pool still accounts on average for approximately 20 percent of total iron flux at vent sites (mean FeDISS∼22±11 nmol/kg). This dissolved Fe fraction also appears to remain stable in the water column. In contrast, there was no evidence for any significant benthic fluxes of pore water REE associated with fluid seepage at the studied sites. Overall, our results point towards distinct trace element behaviour during fluid seepage, with potential implications for the marine geochemical budget. The absence of any dissolved REE enrichments in bottom waters clearly indicates effective removal in sub-surface sediments. Most likely, precipitation of authigenic mineral phases at cold seeps (i.e. carbonates) represents a net sink for these elements. While Mn appears to behave near-conservatively during fluid seepage, the observed relative stability of dissolved Fe in the water column above seepage sites could be explained by complexation with strong organic ligands and/or the presence of Fe-bearing sulfide nanoparticles, as reported previously for submarine hydrothermal systems. Considering

  5. Ionizable Side Chains at Catalytic Active Sites of Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Jimenez-Morales, David; Liang, Jie

    2012-01-01

    Catalytic active sites of enzymes of known structure can be well defined by a modern program of computational geometry. The CASTp program was used to define and measure the volume of the catalytic active sites of 573 enzymes in the Catalytic Site Atlas database. The active sites are identified as catalytic because the amino acids they contain are known to participate in the chemical reaction catalyzed by the enzyme. Acid and base side chains are reliable markers of catalytic active sites. The catalytic active sites have 4 acid and 5 base side chains, in an average volume of 1072 Å3. The number density of acid side chains is 8.3 M (in chemical units); the number density of basic side chains is 10.6 M. The catalytic active site of these enzymes is an unusual electrostatic and steric environment in which side chains and reactants are crowded together in a mixture more like an ionic liquid than an ideal infinitely dilute solution. The electrostatics and crowding of reactants and side chains seems likely to be important for catalytic function. In three types of analogous ion channels, simulation of crowded charges accounts for the main properties of selectivity measured in a wide range of solutions and concentrations. It seems wise to use mathematics designed to study interacting complex fluids when making models of the catalytic active sites of enzymes. PMID:22484856

  6. First respiration estimates of cold-seep vesicomyid bivalves from in situ total oxygen uptake measurements.

    PubMed

    Decker, Carole; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Khripounoff, Alexis; Olu, Karine

    2012-04-01

    Vesicomyid bivalves are one of the most abundant symbiont-bearing species inhabiting deep-sea reducing ecosystems. Nevertheless, except for the hydrothermal vent clam Calyptogena magnifica, their metabolic rates have not been documented, and only assessed with ex situ experiments. In this study, gathering benthic chamber measurements and biomass estimation, we give the first in situ assessment of the respiration rate of these bivalves. The giant pockmark Regab, located at 3160m depth along the Congo-Angola margin, is a cold-seep site characterised by dense assemblages of two species of vesicomyids: Christineconcha regab and Laubiericoncha chuni with high dominance of C. regab. Two sites with dense aggregates of vesicomyids were selected to measure total oxygen uptake (TOU), and methane fluxes using IFREMER's benthic chamber CALMAR deployed by the ROV Quest 4000 (MARUM). Photographs were taken and bivalves were sampled using blade corers to estimate density and biomass. Total oxygen uptake was higher at Site 2 compared to Site 1 (respectively 492 mmol.m(-2).d(-1) and 332 mmol.m(-2).d(-1)). However, given vesicomyid densities and biomass, mean oxygen consumption rates were similar at both sites (1.9 to 2.5 μmol.g total dry mass(-1).h(-1) at the Site 1 and 1.8 to 2.3 μmol.g total dry mass(-1).h(-1) at Site 2). These respiration rates are higher than published ex situ estimates for cold-seep or hydrothermal vent bivalves. Although methane fluxes at the base of sulphide production were clearly higher at Site 2 (14.6 mmol.m(-2).d(-1)) than at Site 1 (0.3 mmol.m(-2).d(-1)), they do not seem to influence the respiration rates of these bivalves associated to sulphide-oxidizing symbionts. PMID:22578572

  7. Methane Seep in Shallow-Water Permeable Sediment Harbors High Diversity of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Communities, Elba, Italy.

    PubMed

    Ruff, S Emil; Kuhfuss, Hanna; Wegener, Gunter; Lott, Christian; Ramette, Alban; Wiedling, Johanna; Knittel, Katrin; Weber, Miriam

    2016-01-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a key biogeochemical process regulating methane emission from marine sediments into the hydrosphere. AOM is largely mediated by consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and has mainly been investigated in deep-sea sediments. Here we studied methane seepage at four spots located at 12 m water depth in coastal, organic carbon depleted permeable sands off the Island of Elba (Italy). We combined biogeochemical measurements, sequencing-based community analyses and in situ hybridization to investigate the microbial communities of this environment. Increased alkalinity, formation of free sulfide and nearly stoichiometric methane oxidation and sulfate reduction rates up to 200 nmol g(-1) day(-1) indicated the predominance of sulfate-coupled AOM. With up to 40 cm thickness the zones of AOM activity were unusually large and occurred in deeper sediment horizons (20-50 cm below seafloor) as compared to diffusion-dominated deep-sea seeps, which is likely caused by advective flow of pore water due to the shallow water depth and permeability of the sands. Hydrodynamic forces also may be responsible for the substantial phylogenetic and unprecedented morphological diversity of AOM consortia inhabiting these sands, including the clades ANME-1a/b, ANME-2a/b/c, ANME-3, and their partner bacteria SEEP-SRB1a and SEEP-SRB2. High microbial dispersal, the availability of diverse energy sources and high habitat heterogeneity might explain that the emission spots shared few microbial taxa, despite their physical proximity. Although the biogeochemistry of this shallow methane seep was very different to that of deep-sea seeps, their key functional taxa were very closely related, which supports the global dispersal of key taxa and underlines strong selection by methane as the predominant energy source. Mesophilic, methane-fueled ecosystems in shallow-water permeable sediments may comprise distinct

  8. Methane Seep in Shallow-Water Permeable Sediment Harbors High Diversity of Anaerobic Methanotrophic Communities, Elba, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Ruff, S. Emil; Kuhfuss, Hanna; Wegener, Gunter; Lott, Christian; Ramette, Alban; Wiedling, Johanna; Knittel, Katrin; Weber, Miriam

    2016-01-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a key biogeochemical process regulating methane emission from marine sediments into the hydrosphere. AOM is largely mediated by consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), and has mainly been investigated in deep-sea sediments. Here we studied methane seepage at four spots located at 12 m water depth in coastal, organic carbon depleted permeable sands off the Island of Elba (Italy). We combined biogeochemical measurements, sequencing-based community analyses and in situ hybridization to investigate the microbial communities of this environment. Increased alkalinity, formation of free sulfide and nearly stoichiometric methane oxidation and sulfate reduction rates up to 200 nmol g-1 day-1 indicated the predominance of sulfate-coupled AOM. With up to 40 cm thickness the zones of AOM activity were unusually large and occurred in deeper sediment horizons (20–50 cm below seafloor) as compared to diffusion-dominated deep-sea seeps, which is likely caused by advective flow of pore water due to the shallow water depth and permeability of the sands. Hydrodynamic forces also may be responsible for the substantial phylogenetic and unprecedented morphological diversity of AOM consortia inhabiting these sands, including the clades ANME-1a/b, ANME-2a/b/c, ANME-3, and their partner bacteria SEEP-SRB1a and SEEP-SRB2. High microbial dispersal, the availability of diverse energy sources and high habitat heterogeneity might explain that the emission spots shared few microbial taxa, despite their physical proximity. Although the biogeochemistry of this shallow methane seep was very different to that of deep-sea seeps, their key functional taxa were very closely related, which supports the global dispersal of key taxa and underlines strong selection by methane as the predominant energy source. Mesophilic, methane-fueled ecosystems in shallow-water permeable sediments may comprise distinct

  9. Observation of alive benthos under a sharp hypoxia and high H2S concentrations inside the microbial mats (methane seeps in the shallows of Black Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulin, M.

    2009-04-01

    In 2008 experimental as well as in situ investigations were implemented for studying of vitality and locomotion activity of the micro- and meiobenthos associated with the gas seeps. Research area: near-shore shallow field with the gas seeps, southern sector of Tarkhankut Cape, NW Crimea Peninsula, Black Sea. Cuvette LDO-oxymeter coupled with other sensors and also life-time diagnostics of the organisms including microscopic video filming were used for this case. Concentrations of dissolved methane in the pore space of microbial mats were varied from 27 to 1076 µL/cm3 (220 on average). Content of organic matter of the uppermost seep mats was approximately in 50 times higher than at the background stations. Probably, such enrichments is attractive for benthic organisms. At the same time, H2S-pollution of seep microbiotope environment is detected as critical (Eh = -400/-460 mV). Near to the gas seeps alive and active Polychaeta, Nematoda, Harpacticoida and Ciliata were found. It is important, that anoxia-adapted organisms of the last two groups were quickly died at contact with air.

  10. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California

    SciTech Connect

    Hawley, Erik R.; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; del Rio, Tijana G.; Foster, Brian; Copeland, A.; Jansson, Janet K.; Pati, Amrita; Gilbert, Jack A.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-02

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of the main constituents of crude oil. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders and their metabolic capabilities may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep.

  11. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California

    PubMed Central

    Hawley, Erik R.; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alex; Jansson, Janet; Pati, Amrita; Tringe, Susannah; Gilbert, Jack A.; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of its main constituents. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders – and their metabolic capabilities – may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep. PMID:25197496

  12. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program FY 1996 annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Morrissey, C.M.; Marshall, D.S.; Cunningham, G.R.

    1997-11-01

    This report summarizes the activities of the Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP) from October 1995 through September 1996. The Radioactive Solid Waste Operations Group (RSWOG) of the Waste Management and Remedial Action Division (WMRAD) and the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) established ASEMP in 1989. The purpose of the program is to provide early detection and performance monitoring at active low-level waste (LLW) disposal sites in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 and transuranic (TRU) waste storage sites in SWSA 5 North as required by Chapters 2 and 3 of US Department of Energy Order 5820.2A.

  13. Active sites environmental monitoring Program - Program Plan: Revision 2

    SciTech Connect

    Morrissey, C.M.; Hicks, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.; Cunningham, G.R.

    1994-05-01

    The Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP), initiated in 1989, provides early detection and performance monitoring of active low-level-waste (LLW) and transuranic (TRU) waste facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Several changes have recently occurred in regard to the sites that are currently used for waste storage and disposal. These changes require a second set of revisions to the ASEMP program plan. This document incorporates those revisions. This program plan presents the organization and procedures for monitoring the active sites. The program plan also provides internal reporting levels to guide the evaluation of monitoring results.

  14. The origin of gas seeps and shallow gas in northern part of South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, M.; Jin, X.

    2003-04-01

    The northern part of South China Sea is of passive continental margin, which geologic units include shelf, slope and deep sea basin. There are rifting basins forming during Paleogene (or Cretaceous ?) to Quaternary developed on shelf and slope, which sediments are dominated by fluvial and lake clastic rock of Paleogene, and marine clastic rock and carbonate of Neogene - Quaternary. The main basins include the Pearl River Mouth Basin, Beibu Gulf basin, Qiongdongnan Basin and Yinggehai basin. They contain rich oil and gas resources, and have become important industrial oil and gas producing region in South China Sea. With the increasing of petroleum exploration actives and marine petroleum engineering, it has been paid more attention to the investigation and research of gas seeps and shallow gas, for they become a potential threaten to the marine engineering while they are regarded as the indicators of industrial oil and gas. By study the distribution and geochemical characteristics of gas seeps in northeast part of Yinggehai basin and shallow gas in sediments on slope, combined with their regional geologic background, this paper deals with the origin, migration pathway and emission mechanism of gas seeps and shallow gas in northern part of South China Sea, for providing a base knowledge for the evaluation of marine engineering geology. In northeast part of Yinggehai basin gas seeps have been found and recorded for near 100 years. During 1990s, as a part of petroleum exploration, the gas seeps in the basin have been investigated and research by oil companies (Baojia Huang et al., 1992; Jiaqiong He et al., 2000). Gas seeps were found in shallow water area along southwest coast of Hainan Island, water depth usually less than 50 m. The occurrence of gas seeps can be divided into two types: (1) gas continuously emission, continuous gas bubbles groups can be detected by sonar underwater and observed on water surface. (2) gas intermittently emission, the time intervals

  15. Methane in shallow cold seeps at Mocha Island off central Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessen, Gerdhard L.; Pantoja, Silvio; Gutiérrez, Marcelo A.; Quiñones, Renato A.; González, Rodrigo R.; Sellanes, Javier; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2011-04-01

    We studied for the first time the intertidal and subtidal gas seepage system in Mocha Island off Central Chile. Four main seepage sites were investigated (of which one site included about 150 bubbling points) that release from 150 to 240 tonnes CH 4 into the atmosphere per year. The total amount of methane emitted into the atmosphere is estimated in the order of 800 tonnes per year. The gases emanated from the seeps contain 70% methane, and the stable carbon isotopic composition of methane, δ 13C-CH 4 averaged -44.4±1.4‰ which indicates a major contribution of thermogenic gas. Adjacent to one of the subtidal seeps, rocky substrates support a diverse community of microbial filaments, macroalgae, and benthic organisms. While stable carbon isotopic compositions of marine benthic organisms indicate a dominant photosynthesis-based food web, those of some hard-substrate invertebrates were in the range -48.8‰ to -36.8‰, suggesting assimilation of methane-derived carbon by some selected taxa. This work highlights the potential subsidy of the trophic web by CH 4-C, and that its emission to the atmosphere justifies the need of evaluating the use of methane to support the energy requirements of the local community.

  16. C/sup 13/-depleted authigenic carbonate buildups from hydrocarbon seeps, Louisiana Continental Slope

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, H.H.; Sassen, R.; Aharon, P.; Carney, R.

    1989-03-01

    Geohazard and geochemical survey data consisting of high-resolution profiles, side-scale sonographs, drop cores, dredge samples, and borings have substantiated the consistent association between carbonate buildups and hydrocarbon seeps on the Louisiana continental slope. Analyses indicate a range of carbonate mineralogies including aragonite, Mg-calcite, and dolomite that are extremely depleted in the C/sup 13/ isotope (/approximately/dC/sup 13/ values to /minus/48/per thousand/ PDB). Microbial oxidation of methane (biogenic and thermogenic) and crude oil creates a source of pore water CO/sub 2/ containing isotopically light carbon, which triggers carbonate precipitation. Geophysical and geochemical evidence suggests that both surface and subsurface lithification is taking place. Recent observations and samples collected using a Pisces class research submersible confirm the abundance of C/sup 13/-depleted sedimentary carbonates and massive authigenic buildups associated with the tops and flanks of shallow salt diapirs and gas hydrate hills. Although chemosynthetic communities (including tube worms and bivalves) with isotopically light carbon in tissues have been described from gas seeps, bacterial mats sampled from several seep areas using a submersible have /delta/C/sup 13/ values of /minus/28 to /minus/ /per thousand/ PDB, suggesting a crude oil contribution to microbial biomass. Lithoherms 15 m in vertical dimension are not unusual on dome crests. These features dominate mesoscale sea-floor topography on the slope and have important short-term impacts on platform locations as well as pipeline routing. They are of long-term importance as sites for low sea level reefs. Moreover, these observations provide new insight into the earliest stages of salt-dome cap-rock evolution.

  17. The active site behaviour of electrochemically synthesised gold nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Plowman, Blake J; O'Mullane, Anthony P; Bhargava, Suresh K

    2011-01-01

    Even though gold is the noblest of metals, a weak chemisorber and is regarded as being quite inert, it demonstrates significant electrocatalytic activity in its nanostructured form. It is demonstrated here that nanostructured and even evaporated thin films of gold are covered with active sites which are responsible for such activity. The identification of these sites is demonstrated with conventional electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry as well as a large amplitude Fourier transformed alternating current (FT-ac) method under acidic and alkaline conditions. The latter technique is beneficial in determining if an electrode process is either Faradaic or capacitive in nature. The observed behaviour is analogous to that observed for activated gold electrodes whose surfaces have been severely disrupted by cathodic polarisation in the hydrogen evolution region. It is shown that significant electrochemical oxidation responses occur at discrete potential values well below that for the formation of the compact monolayer oxide of bulk gold and are attributed to the facile oxidation of surface active sites. Several electrocatalytic reactions are explored in which the onset potential is determined by the presence of such sites on the surface. Significantly, the facile oxidation of active sites is used to drive the electroless deposition of metals such as platinum, palladium and silver from their aqueous salts on the surface of gold nanostructures. The resultant surface decoration of gold with secondary metal nanoparticles not only indicates regions on the surface which are rich in active sites but also provides a method to form interesting bimetallic surfaces. PMID:22455038

  18. Nicotinamide Cofactors Suppress Active-Site Labeling of Aldehyde Dehydrogenases.

    PubMed

    Stiti, Naim; Chandrasekar, Balakumaran; Strubl, Laura; Mohammed, Shabaz; Bartels, Dorothea; van der Hoorn, Renier A L

    2016-06-17

    Active site labeling by (re)activity-based probes is a powerful chemical proteomic tool to globally map active sites in native proteomes without using substrates. Active site labeling is usually taken as a readout for the active state of the enzyme because labeling reflects the availability and reactivity of active sites, which are hallmarks for enzyme activities. Here, we show that this relationship holds tightly, but we also reveal an important exception to this rule. Labeling of Arabidopsis ALDH3H1 with a chloroacetamide probe occurs at the catalytic Cys, and labeling is suppressed upon nitrosylation and oxidation, and upon treatment with other Cys modifiers. These experiments display a consistent and strong correlation between active site labeling and enzymatic activity. Surprisingly, however, labeling is suppressed by the cofactor NAD(+), and this property is shared with other members of the ALDH superfamily and also detected for unrelated GAPDH enzymes with an unrelated hydantoin-based probe in crude extracts of plant cell cultures. Suppression requires cofactor binding to its binding pocket. Labeling is also suppressed by ALDH modulators that bind at the substrate entrance tunnel, confirming that labeling occurs through the substrate-binding cavity. Our data indicate that cofactor binding adjusts the catalytic Cys into a conformation that reduces the reactivity toward chloroacetamide probes. PMID:26990764

  19. From the Belly of the Beast: Biogeochemistry and geomicrobiology of a fluid seep at Chimaera [Yanartas], Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woycheese, K. M.; Yargicoglu, E. N.; Cardace, D.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    Serpentinization is proposed to support chemolithotrophic growth of microorganisms in surface and subsurface environments1. Abiotic CH4 production associated with terrestrial ophiolitic outcrops has been reported in southeastern Turkey2. The Yanartas (Chimaera) seep, located within the Tekirova ophiolite in Çirali, Antalya, Turkey, is one of the largest onshore CH4 seeps documented2-5. The seep consists of dozens of flames erupting from fractures within the ophiolite outcrop that burn continuously on CH4 (80-90% of gas composition2) produced by subsurface serpentinization reactions. Previous studies have focused on gas geochemistry from these seeps2, 4, 5. While past reports have not found active fluid seeps at Yanartas2, in February 2012, a fluid seep (possibly ephemeral) originating from a fracture was identified, which supported microbial mats over an outflow channel several m in length. This is the first investigation of the biogeochemical and geomicrobiological properties of this newly-discovered fluid seep. The fluid seep emits from a fracture that is actively burning, and travels down slope along the ophiolite outcrop for ~10 m. Sediment temperatures under the vent source were 50-60°C, while fluid emitting from the fracture was 18.5°C. The pH of the fluid at the vent source was 11.9, indicative of subterranean serpentinization. Approximately 7.3 m downstream, the pH dropped to 9.4, potentially due to meteoric water mixing. Fluid samples were collected along the outflow channel for major ion analysis, trace element analysis, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Biofilm and biomineralized microbial mats were collected for bulk C and N composition, 13C and 15N isotopes, and microscopy. Weight % total C (CT) in solids generally increases with distance from the source, while weight % organic C (Corg) decreases, reflective of a higher degree of carbonate biomineralization downstream. δ13C of solids indicates a general trend of

  20. Geochemistry of natural gases from mud volcanoes and surface gas seeps in NW-Columbia

    SciTech Connect

    Beeunas, M.A. ); Schoell, M. ); Beroiz, C. )

    1991-03-01

    Mud volcanoes and natural gas seeps are common in the southwest-northeast-trending Sinu Atlantico basin (SAB) and San Jacinto Fold Belt (SJFB) of NW-Colombia. The structural subunits are part of a highly complex active continental margin where the sediments become increasingly younger to the west from Late Cretaceous to Early Tertiary in the SJFB to Late Tertiary in the SAB. Some of the mud volcanoes are permanently active and form huge structures and are often aligned along major faults. Both seep and mud volcano gases are with low C{sub 2}-C{sub 4} and CO{sub 2} contents. Carbon and hydrogen isotope concentrations allow the subdivision into four groups of gas. These gases can be divided into four genetic based on their carbon and hydrocarbon isotope compositions. The isotopic variability of the different groups attests to the fact that very different gas-forming processes are or have been operating in the subsurface ranging from low-temperature thermogenesis. The various groups show, with few exceptions, a distinct regional distribution: Mud volcanoes and seeps with bacterial gases are restricted to the southern part of the SAB where the greatest thickness of young sediments is observed; gases of mixed thermogenic and bacterial origin are found in the coastal areas of the northern SAB; gases of thermogenic origin are predominantly observed in the SJFB; the thermogenic gases of Group 3 are restricted to two locations in the north of the SJFB. This regional association of genetic gas types with specific geotectonic units reflects different thermal histories of the respective tectonic areas and allowed the authors to delineate prospective areas for oil in NW-Colombia.

  1. Active site - a site of binding of affinity inhibitors in baker's yeast inorganic pyrophosphatase

    SciTech Connect

    Svyato, I.E.; Sklyankina, V.A.; Avaeva, S.M.

    1986-03-20

    The interaction of the enzyme-substrate complex with methyl phosphate, O-phosphoethanolamine, O-phosphopropanolamine, N-acetylphosphoserine, and phosphoglyolic acid, as well as pyrophosphatase, modified by monoesters of phosphoric acid, with pyrophosphate and tripolyphosphate, was investigated. It was shown that the enzyme containing the substrate in the active site does not react with monophosphates, but modified pyrophosphatase entirely retains the ability to bind polyanions to the regulatory site. It is concluded that the inactivation of baker's yeast inorganic pyrophosphatase by monoesters of phosphoric acid, which are affinity inhibitors of it, is the result of modification of the active site of the enzyme.

  2. Methane seep carbonates yield clumped isotope signatures out of equilibrium with formation temperatures.

    PubMed

    Loyd, S J; Sample, J; Tripati, R E; Defliese, W F; Brooks, K; Hovland, M; Torres, M; Marlow, J; Hancock, L G; Martin, R; Lyons, T; Tripati, A E

    2016-01-01

    Methane cold seep systems typically exhibit extensive buildups of authigenic carbonate minerals, resulting from local increases in alkalinity driven by methane oxidation. Here, we demonstrate that modern seep authigenic carbonates exhibit anomalously low clumped isotope values (Δ47), as much as ∼0.2‰ lower than expected values. In modern seeps, this range of disequilibrium translates into apparent temperatures that are always warmer than ambient temperatures, by up to 50 °C. We examine various mechanisms that may induce disequilibrium behaviour in modern seep carbonates, and suggest that the observed values result from several factors including kinetic isotopic effects during methane oxidation, mixing of inorganic carbon pools, pH effects and rapid precipitation. Ancient seep carbonates studied here also exhibit potential disequilibrium signals. Ultimately, these findings indicate the predominance of disequilibrium clumped isotope behaviour in modern cold seep carbonates that must be considered when characterizing environmental conditions in both modern and ancient cold seep settings. PMID:27447820

  3. Methane seep carbonates yield clumped isotope signatures out of equilibrium with formation temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Loyd, S. J.; Sample, J.; Tripati, R. E.; Defliese, W. F.; Brooks, K.; Hovland, M.; Torres, M.; Marlow, J.; Hancock, L. G.; Martin, R.; Lyons, T.; Tripati, A. E.

    2016-01-01

    Methane cold seep systems typically exhibit extensive buildups of authigenic carbonate minerals, resulting from local increases in alkalinity driven by methane oxidation. Here, we demonstrate that modern seep authigenic carbonates exhibit anomalously low clumped isotope values (Δ47), as much as ∼0.2‰ lower than expected values. In modern seeps, this range of disequilibrium translates into apparent temperatures that are always warmer than ambient temperatures, by up to 50 °C. We examine various mechanisms that may induce disequilibrium behaviour in modern seep carbonates, and suggest that the observed values result from several factors including kinetic isotopic effects during methane oxidation, mixing of inorganic carbon pools, pH effects and rapid precipitation. Ancient seep carbonates studied here also exhibit potential disequilibrium signals. Ultimately, these findings indicate the predominance of disequilibrium clumped isotope behaviour in modern cold seep carbonates that must be considered when characterizing environmental conditions in both modern and ancient cold seep settings. PMID:27447820

  4. Methane seep carbonates yield clumped isotope signatures out of equilibrium with formation temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loyd, S. J.; Sample, J.; Tripati, R. E.; Defliese, W. F.; Brooks, K.; Hovland, M.; Torres, M.; Marlow, J.; Hancock, L. G.; Martin, R.; Lyons, T.; Tripati, A. E.

    2016-07-01

    Methane cold seep systems typically exhibit extensive buildups of authigenic carbonate minerals, resulting from local increases in alkalinity driven by methane oxidation. Here, we demonstrate that modern seep authigenic carbonates exhibit anomalously low clumped isotope values (Δ47), as much as ~0.2‰ lower than expected values. In modern seeps, this range of disequilibrium translates into apparent temperatures that are always warmer than ambient temperatures, by up to 50 °C. We examine various mechanisms that may induce disequilibrium behaviour in modern seep carbonates, and suggest that the observed values result from several factors including kinetic isotopic effects during methane oxidation, mixing of inorganic carbon pools, pH effects and rapid precipitation. Ancient seep carbonates studied here also exhibit potential disequilibrium signals. Ultimately, these findings indicate the predominance of disequilibrium clumped isotope behaviour in modern cold seep carbonates that must be considered when characterizing environmental conditions in both modern and ancient cold seep settings.

  5. A small ribozyme with dual-site kinase activity

    PubMed Central

    Biondi, Elisa; Maxwell, Adam W.R.; Burke, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Phosphoryl transfer onto backbone hydroxyls is a recognized catalytic activity of nucleic acids. We find that kinase ribozyme K28 possesses an unusually complex active site that promotes (thio)phosphorylation of two residues widely separated in primary sequence. After allowing the ribozyme to radiolabel itself by phosphoryl transfer from [γ-32P]GTP, DNAzyme-mediated cleavage yielded two radiolabeled cleavage fragments, indicating phosphorylation sites within each of the two cleavage fragments. These sites were mapped by alkaline digestion and primer extension pausing. Enzymatic digestion and mutational analysis identified nucleotides important for activity and established the active structure as being a constrained pseudoknot with unusual connectivity that may juxtapose the two reactive sites. Nuclease sensitivities for nucleotides near the pseudoknot core were altered in the presence of GTPγS, indicating donor-induced folding. The 5′ target site was more strongly favored in full-length ribozyme K28 (128 nt) than in truncated RNAs (58 nt). Electrophoretic mobilities of self-thiophosphorylated products on organomercurial gels are distinct from the 5′ mono-thiophosphorylated product produced by reaction with polynucleotide kinase, potentially indicating simultaneous labeling of both sites within individual RNA strands. Our evidence supports a single, compact structure with local dynamics, rather than global rearrangement, as being responsible for dual-site phosphorylation. PMID:22618879

  6. Cold-seep habitat mapping: High-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Jamie K. S.; McEntee, Molly H.; Brothers, Laura L.; German, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Carl L.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2013-08-01

    Relationships among seep community biomass, diversity, and physiographic controls such as underlying geology are not well understood. Previous efforts to constrain these relationships at the Blake Ridge Diapir were limited to observations from piloted deep-submergence vehicles. In August 2012, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry collected geophysical and photographic data over a 0.131 km2 area at the Blake Ridge Diapir seeps. A nested survey approach was used that began with a regional or reconnaissance-style survey using sub-bottom mapping systems to locate and identify seeps and underlying conduits. This survey was followed by AUV-mounted sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder systems mapping on a mesoscale to characterize the seabed physiography. At the most detailed survey level, digital photographic imaging was used to resolve sub-meter characteristics of the biology. Four pockmarks (25-70 m diameter) were documented, each supporting chemosynthetic communities. Concentric zonation of mussels and clams suggests the influence of chemical gradients on megafaunal distribution. Data collection and analytical techniques used here yield high-resolution habitat maps that can serve as baselines to constrain temporal evolution of seafloor seeps, and to inform ecological niche modeling and resource management.

  7. Cold-seep habitat mapping: high-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagner, Jamie K.S.; McEntee, Molly H.; Brothers, Laura L.; German, Christopher R.; Kaiser, Carl L.; Yoerger, Dana R.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2013-01-01

    Relationships among seep community biomass, diversity, and physiographic controls such as underlying geology are not well understood. Previous efforts to constrain these relationships at the Blake Ridge Diapir were limited to observations from piloted deep-submergence vehicles. In August 2012, the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry collected geophysical and photographic data over a 0.131 km2 area at the Blake Ridge Diapir seeps. A nested survey approach was used that began with a regional or reconnaissance-style survey using sub-bottom mapping systems to locate and identify seeps and underlying conduits. This survey was followed by AUV-mounted sidescan sonar and multibeam echosounder systems mapping on a mesoscale to characterize the seabed physiography. At the most detailed survey level, digital photographic imaging was used to resolve sub-meter characteristics of the biology. Four pockmarks (25–70 m diameter) were documented, each supporting chemosynthetic communities. Concentric zonation of mussels and clams suggests the influence of chemical gradients on megafaunal distribution. Data collection and analytical techniques used here yield high-resolution habitat maps that can serve as baselines to constrain temporal evolution of seafloor seeps, and to inform ecological niche modeling and resource management.

  8. Dashboard applications to monitor experiment activities at sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreeva, Julia; Belforte, Stefano; Boehm, Max; Casajus, Adrian; Flix, Josep; Gaidioz, Benjamin; Grigoras, Costin; Kokoszkiewicz, Lukasz; Lanciotti, Elisa; Rocha, Ricardo; Saiz, Pablo; Santinelli, Roberto; Sidorova, Irina; Sciabà, Andrea; Tsaregorodtsev, Andrei

    2010-04-01

    In the framework of a distributed computing environment, such as WLCG, monitoring has a key role in order to keep under control activities going on in sites located in different countries and involving people based in many different sites. To be able to cope with such a large scale heterogeneous infrastructure, it is necessary to have monitoring tools providing a complete and reliable view of the overall performance of the sites. Moreover, the structure of a monitoring system critically depends on the object to monitor and on the users it is addressed to. In this article we will describe two different monitoring systems both aimed to monitor activities and services provided in the WLCG framework, but designed in order to meet the requirements of different users: Site Status Board has an overall view of the services available in all the sites supporting an experiment, whereas Siteview provides a complete view of all the activities going on at a site, for all the experiments supported by the site.

  9. Architecture and active site of particulate methane monooxygenase

    PubMed Central

    Culpepper, Megen A.; Rosenzweig, Amy C.

    2012-01-01

    Particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) is an integral membrane metalloenzyme that oxidizes methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria, organisms that live on methane gas as their sole carbon source. Understanding pMMO function has important implications for bioremediation applications and for the development of new, environmentally friendly catalysts for the direct conversion of methane to methanol. Crystal structures of pMMOs from three different methanotrophs reveal a trimeric architecture, consisting of three copies each of the pmoB, pmoA, and pmoC subunits. There are three distinct metal centers in each protomer of the trimer, mononuclear and dinuclear copper sites in the periplasmic regions of pmoB and a mononuclear site within the membrane that can be occupied by copper or zinc. Various models for the pMMO active site have been proposed within these structural constraints, including dicopper, tricopper, and diiron centers. Biochemical and spectroscopic data on pMMO and recombinant soluble fragments, denoted spmoB proteins, indicate that the active site involves copper and is located at the site of the dicopper center in the pmoB subunit. Initial spectroscopic evidence for O2 binding at this site has been obtained. Despite these findings, questions remain about the active site identity and nuclearity and will be the focus of future studies. PMID:22725967

  10. Sperm storage, internal fertilization, and embryonic dispersal in vent and seep tubeworms (Polychaeta: Siboglinidae: Vestimentifera).

    PubMed

    Hilário, Ana; Young, Craig M; Tyler, Paul A

    2005-02-01

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms are ecologically important members of deep-sea chemosynthetic communities, including hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Some are community dominants and others are primary colonists of new vent sites; they include some of the longest living and fastest growing marine invertebrates. Their mechanisms of propagation, dispersal, and genetic exchange have been widely discussed. Direct sperm transfer from males to females has been documented in one species, Ridgeia piscesae, but others are known to discharge what are apparently primary oocytes. Brooding of embryos has never been observed in any vestimentiferan. These observations have led to the supposition that fertilization might be external in most species. Here we report sperm storage at the posterior end of the oviduct in five species, including tubeworms from both vents and seeps. We show experimentally that most eggs are inseminated internally, that fertilization rate is typically lower than 100%, that meiosis is completed after eggs are released from the female, and that the dispersal phase includes the entire embryonic period. PMID:15713809

  11. In situ Raman-based detections of the hydrothermal vent and cold seep fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xin; Du, Zengfeng; Zheng, Ronger; Luan, Zhendong; Qi, Fujun; Cheng, Kai; Wang, Bing; Ye, Wangquan; Liu, Xiaorui; Chen, Changan; Guo, Jinjia; Li, Ying; Yan, Jun

    2016-04-01

    Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, and their associated biological communities play an important role in global carbon and sulphur biogeochemical cycles. Most of the studies of fluid composition geochemistry are based on recovered samples, both with gas-tight samplers and as open specimens, but the in situ conditions are difficult to maintain in recovered samples. Determination in situ of the chemical signals of the emerging fluids are challenging due to the high pressure, often strongly acidic and temperature in which few sensors can survive. Most of those sensors used so far are based on electrochemistry, and can typically detect only a few chemical species. Here we show that direct measurement of critical chemical species of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps can be made rapidly and in situ by means of a new hybrid version of earlier deep-sea pore water Raman probe carried on the ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) Faxian. The fluid was drawn through the probe by actuating a hydraulic pump on the ROV, and measured at the probe optical cell through a sapphire window. We have observed the concentrations of H2S, HS‑, SO42‑, HSO4‑, CO2, and H2 in hydrothermal vent fluids from the Pacmanus and Desmos vent systems in the Manus back-arc basin, Papua New Guinea. Two black smokers (279° C and 186° C) at the Pacmanus site showed the characteristic loss of SO42‑, and the increase of CO2 and well resolved H2S and HS‑ peaks. At the white smoker of Onsen site the strong HSO4‑peak observed at high temperature quickly dropped with strong accompanying increase of SO42‑and H2 peaks when the sample contained in the Raman sensing cell was removed from the hot fluid due to rapid thermal deprotonation. We report here also the finding of a new lower temperature (88° C) white smoker "Kexue" field at the Desmos site with strong H2S, HS‑ and CO2 signals. We also have detected the concentrations of CH4,H2S, HS‑, SO42‑, and S8 in cold seep fluids and the surrounding

  12. Methanopyrus kandleri topoisomerase V contains three distinct AP lyase active sites in addition to the topoisomerase active site.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Rakhi; Osterman, Amy; Mondragón, Alfonso

    2016-04-20

    Topoisomerase V (Topo-V) is the only topoisomerase with both topoisomerase and DNA repair activities. The topoisomerase activity is conferred by a small alpha-helical domain, whereas the AP lyase activity is found in a region formed by 12 tandem helix-hairpin-helix ((HhH)2) domains. Although it was known that Topo-V has multiple repair sites, only one had been mapped. Here, we show that Topo-V has three AP lyase sites. The atomic structure and Small Angle X-ray Scattering studies of a 97 kDa fragment spanning the topoisomerase and 10 (HhH)2domains reveal that the (HhH)2domains extend away from the topoisomerase domain. A combination of biochemical and structural observations allow the mapping of the second repair site to the junction of the 9th and 10th (HhH)2domains. The second site is structurally similar to the first one and to the sites found in other AP lyases. The 3rd AP lyase site is located in the 12th (HhH)2domain. The results show that Topo-V is an unusual protein: it is the only known protein with more than one (HhH)2domain, the only known topoisomerase with dual activities and is also unique by having three AP lyase repair sites in the same polypeptide. PMID:26908655

  13. Methanopyrus kandleri topoisomerase V contains three distinct AP lyase active sites in addition to the topoisomerase active site

    PubMed Central

    Rajan, Rakhi; Osterman, Amy; Mondragón, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    Topoisomerase V (Topo-V) is the only topoisomerase with both topoisomerase and DNA repair activities. The topoisomerase activity is conferred by a small alpha-helical domain, whereas the AP lyase activity is found in a region formed by 12 tandem helix-hairpin-helix ((HhH)2) domains. Although it was known that Topo-V has multiple repair sites, only one had been mapped. Here, we show that Topo-V has three AP lyase sites. The atomic structure and Small Angle X-ray Scattering studies of a 97 kDa fragment spanning the topoisomerase and 10 (HhH)2 domains reveal that the (HhH)2 domains extend away from the topoisomerase domain. A combination of biochemical and structural observations allow the mapping of the second repair site to the junction of the 9th and 10th (HhH)2 domains. The second site is structurally similar to the first one and to the sites found in other AP lyases. The 3rd AP lyase site is located in the 12th (HhH)2 domain. The results show that Topo-V is an unusual protein: it is the only known protein with more than one (HhH)2 domain, the only known topoisomerase with dual activities and is also unique by having three AP lyase repair sites in the same polypeptide. PMID:26908655

  14. Identification of Methane, Ethane, and Propane Oxidizing Bacteria at Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps by Stable Isotope Probing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, M.; Ding, H.; Friedrich, M. W.; Valentine, D. L.

    2008-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps emit substantial amounts of oil and natural gas into the marine environment, where they can be oxidized by microorganisms in the sediment and water column. Here, we used stable isotope probing of DNA and lipid biomarkers to identify the microorganisms actively consuming 13C-labeled natural gas compounds in seep sediment samples. Surface sediment was collected from the Coal Oil Point seep field (offshore Santa Barbara, California, USA) and incubated under aerobic conditions with 13C labeled methane, ethane, or propane for up to 37 days, with sediment sub-samples taken at 3-4 intermediate time points. DNA was extracted from sediment and separated by CsCl density gradient centrifugation. The microbial community in each fraction was profiled using T-RFLP, and bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed from un-incubated hydrocarbon seep sediment and selected isotopically 'heavy' (13C) and 'light' (12C) gradient fractions from ethane incubations. All clone libraries were dominated by sequences from members of the family Rhodobacteraceae (>25% of sequences) and a diverse group of Gammaproteobacteria, including sequences related to those of methylotrophs and to those of bacteria known to consume the longer-chain alkanes present in crude oil. After 14 days of incubation, the relative abundance of Rhodobacteraceae was higher in 'heavy' fractions from the 13C-ethane incubation than in 'light' fractions, suggesting incorporation of 13C label. The Rhodobacteraceae are very diverse metabolically, but have often been observed in abundance in oil contaminated seawater. Several members of this group have been shown to oxidize longer chain alkanes (C10 or higher), but none have been previously linked to the consumption of the gaseous alkanes ethane, propane, and butane. For the final time point, 13C content of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) were also analyzed, showing substantial incorporation of 13C over 37 days. In the methane incubation

  15. Short-chain alkane cycling in deep Gulf of Mexico cold-seep sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, R.; Joye, S. B.; Hunter, K.

    2015-12-01

    Mixtures of light hydrocarbon gases are common in deep Gulf of Mexico cold-seep sediments, and are typically dissolved in pore fluids, adsorbed to sediment particles, trapped in methane ice, or as free gas. The dominant component in these natural gas mixtures is usually methane (>80% C1), but ethane (C2) and propane (C3) are nearly always present in trace amounts (<1% total). The processes that control the concentration and isotopic signature of these gases in sediments are well explained for methane, but the controls for C2/C3 cycling are still a relative mystery. Methane production proceeds in deep anoxic sediments by either 1) thermocatalytic cracking of fossil organic matter, or 2) as a direct product of microbial metabolism, i.e. methanogenesis. In surface sediments, it appears that both microbial consumption and chemical deposition of methane (i.e. as methane clathrate) ensures that >95% of the methane produced at depth never reaches the water column. Production of C1 and C2 in deep-sea sediments has been historically attributed only to thermocatalytic processes, though limited data suggests production of C2/C3 compounds through the activity of archaea at depth. Furthermore, carbon isotopic data on ethane and propane from deep cores of Gulf of Mexico sediments suggest alkanogenesis at >3 m depth in the sediment column and alkane oxidation in uppermost oxidant-rich sediments. Additional studies have also isolated microorganisms capable of oxidizing ethane and propane in the laboratory, but field studies of microbial-driven dynamics of C2/C3 gases in cold-seep sediments are rare. Here, we present the results of a series of incubation experiments using sediment slurries culled from surface sediments from one of the most prolific natural oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Rates of alkane oxidation were measured under a variety of conditions to assess the surface-driven microbial controls on C2/C3 cycling in cold-seep environments. Such microbial processes

  16. Using Stable Isotope Compositions of Animal Tissues to Infer Trophic Interactions in Gulf of Mexico Lower Slope Seep Communities

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Erin L.; Cordes, Erik E.; Macko, Stephen A.; Lee, Raymond W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed the tissue carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotope contents of macrofaunal communities associated with vestimentiferan tubeworms and bathymodiolin mussels from the Gulf of Mexico lower continental slope (970-2800 m). Shrimp in the genus Alvinocaris associated with vestimentiferans from shallow (530 m) and deep (1400-2800 m) sites were used to test the hypothesis that seep animals derive a greater proportion of their nutrition from seeps (i.e. a lower proportion from the surface) at greater depths. To account for spatial variability in the inorganic source pool, we used the differences between the mean tissue δ13C and δ15N of the shrimp in each collection and the mean δ 13C and δ15N values of the vestimentiferans from the same collection, since vestimentiferans are functionally autotrophic and serve as a baseline for environmental isotopic variation. There was a significant negative relationship between this difference and depth for both δ13C and δ15N (p=0.02 and 0.007, respectively), which supports the hypothesis of higher dependence on seep nutrition with depth. The small polychaete worm Protomystides sp. was hypothesized to be a blood parasite of the vestimentiferan Escarpialaminata. There was a highly significant linear relationship between the δ13C values of Protomystides sp. and the E. laminata individuals to which they were attached across all collections (p < 0.001) and within a single collection (p = 0.01), although this relationship was not significant for δ15N and δ34S. We made several other qualitative inferences with respect to the feeding biology of the taxa occurring in these lower slope seeps, some of which have not been described prior to this study. PMID:24324572

  17. Initial results of comparing cold-seep carbonates from mussel- and tubeworm-associated environments at Atwater Valley lease block 340, northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Roberts, Harry H.

    2010-11-01

    Chemosymbiotic macrofauna (such as mussels and tubeworms) and authigenic carbonates are typical of many hydrocarbon seeps. To address whether mussels and tubeworms could impact the sediment geochemistry of their habitat where authigenic carbonates are precipitated, a comparative study of petrographic and geochemical features of the authigenic carbonates from mussel- and tubeworm-associated environments at hydrocarbon seeps in Atwater Valley lease area block 340 (AT340) of the Gulf of Mexico was undertaken. Both mussel- and tubeworm-associated carbonates are dominated by high-magnesium calcite (HMC) and aragonite, and two tubeworm-associated carbonate samples have minor amounts of dolomite. The δ13C values of all carbonates are low, ranging from -60.8‰ to -35.5‰ PDB. Although there is much overlap, surprisingly the δ13C values of mussel-associated carbonates are generally higher than those of tubeworm-associated carbonates (-51.8‰ vs. -54.8‰ for an average of over 60 subsamples). It is suggested that (1) carbon isotopic vital effect of seep mussels and tubeworms, (2) fluid physical pumping of mussels, and (3) release of sulfate by tubeworm roots may be responsible for the relatively lower δ13C values of tubeworm-associated carbonates. It has been suggested that the heterogeneities in mineralogy and stable carbon isotope geochemistry of the seep carbonates may be attributed to the activity of macrofauna (mussels and tubeworms) and associated microbes. Our observations also suggest that at AT340 the geochemical evolution of seep macrofauna is from a mussel-dominated environment to a mixed mussel-tubeworm environment, and finally to a mostly tubeworm-dominated environment. This evolution is controlled mainly by the habitat, e.g., hydrocarbon seep flux.

  18. Molecular Imprint of Enzyme Active Site by Camel Nanobodies

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiang-Wei; Xia, Lijie; Su, Youhong; Liu, Hongchun; Xia, Xueqing; Lu, Qinxia; Yang, Chunjin; Reheman, Kalbinur

    2012-01-01

    Screening of inhibitory Ab1 antibodies is a critical step for producing catalytic antibodies in the anti-idiotypic approach. However, the incompatible surface of the active site of the enzyme and the antigen-binding site of heterotetrameric conventional antibodies become the limiting step. Because camelid-derived nanobodies possess the potential to preferentially bind to the active site of enzymes due to their small size and long CDR3, we have developed a novel approach to produce antibodies with alliinase activities by exploiting the molecular mimicry of camel nanobodies. By screening the camelid-derived variable region of the heavy chain cDNA phage display library with alliinase, we obtained an inhibitory nanobody VHHA4 that recognizes the active site. Further screening with VHHA4 from the same variable domain of the heavy chain of a heavy-chain antibody library led to a higher incidence of anti-idiotypic Ab2 abzymes with alliinase activities. One of the abzymes, VHHC10, showed the highest activity that can be inhibited by Ab1 VHHA4 and alliinase competitive inhibitor penicillamine and significantly suppressed the B16 tumor cell growth in the presence of alliin in vitro. The results highlight the feasibility of producing abzymes via anti-idiotypic nanobody approach. PMID:22374998

  19. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Mid-FY 1991 report

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Wickliff, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1991-10-01

    This report summarizes the activities of the Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP) from October 1990 through March 1991. The ASEMP was established in 1989 by Solid Waste Operations and the Environmental Sciences Division to provide early detection and performance monitoring at active low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal sites in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 and transuranic (TRU) waste storage sites in SWSA 5 as required by chapters II and III of US Department of Energy Order 5820.2A. Monitoring results continue to demonstrate the no LLW is being leached from the storage vaults on the tumulus pads. Loading of vaults on Tumulus II began during this reporting period and 115 vaults had been loaded by the end of March 1991.

  20. An active-site peptide from pepsin C

    PubMed Central

    Kay, J.; Ryle, A. P.

    1971-01-01

    Porcine pepsin C is inactivated rapidly and irreversibly by diazoacetyl-dl-norleucine methyl ester in the presence of cupric ions at pH values above 4.5. The inactivation is specific in that complete inactivation accompanies the incorporation of 1mol of inhibitor residue/mol of enzyme and evidence has been obtained to suggest that the reaction occurs with an active site residue. The site of reaction is the β-carboxyl group of an aspartic acid residue in the sequence Ile-Val-Asp-Thr. This sequence is identical with the active-site sequence in pepsin and the significance of this in terms of the different activities of the two enzymes is discussed. PMID:4942834

  1. Active chemisorption sites in functionalized ionic liquids for carbon capture.

    PubMed

    Cui, Guokai; Wang, Jianji; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-07-25

    Development of novel technologies for the efficient and reversible capture of CO2 is highly desired. In the last decade, CO2 capture using ionic liquids has attracted intensive attention from both academia and industry, and has been recognized as a very promising technology. Recently, a new approach has been developed for highly efficient capture of CO2 by site-containing ionic liquids through chemical interaction. This perspective review focuses on the recent advances in the chemical absorption of CO2 using site-containing ionic liquids, such as amino-based ionic liquids, azolate ionic liquids, phenolate ionic liquids, dual-functionalized ionic liquids, pyridine-containing ionic liquids and so on. Other site-containing liquid absorbents such as amine-based solutions, switchable solvents, and functionalized ionic liquid-amine blends are also investigated. Strategies have been discussed for how to activate the existent reactive sites and develop novel reactive sites by physical and chemical methods to enhance CO2 absorption capacity and reduce absorption enthalpy. The carbon capture mechanisms of these site-containing liquid absorbents are also presented. Particular attention has been paid to the latest progress in CO2 capture in multiple-site interactions by amino-free anion-functionalized ionic liquids. In the last section, future directions and prospects for carbon capture by site-containing ionic liquids are outlined. PMID:27243042

  2. Oil seeps of the Ionian Islands, western Greece

    SciTech Connect

    Lowe, S.P.; Doran, T.

    1988-08-01

    Many Greeks believe the tarry deposits commonly observed on the beaches of Levkas, Meganissi, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Zakinthos originate from Turkish tankers. Geologists would propose an origin from source rocks which feed the large oil pools exposed at Limni Keriou on the southwestern tip of the island of Zakinthos. Samples of this oil seep have been studied in detail, together with oil samples collected around the islands of Zakinthos, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Meganissi, from which it can be seen a geologic origin is plausible. Examination of possible source rock intervals (for both maturity and source potential) occurring within the pre-flysch succession (Triassic-Eocene) of rocks exposed in the same area has also been completed. From these findings, conjecture as to the possible source of the oil seeps has been made.

  3. Out of the dark: transitional subsurface-to-surface microbial diversity in a terrestrial serpentinizing seep (Manleluag, Pangasinan, the Philippines)

    PubMed Central

    Woycheese, Kristin M.; Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R.; Cardace, Dawn; Argayosa, Anacleto M.; Arcilla, Carlo A.

    2015-01-01

    In the Zambales ophiolite range, terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps host diverse microbial assemblages. The fluids fall within the profile of Ca2+-OH−-type waters, indicative of active serpentinization, and are low in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (<0.5 ppm). Influx of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) affects the solubility of calcium carbonate as distance from the source increases, triggering the formation of meter-scale travertine terraces. Samples were collected at the source and along the outflow channel to determine subsurface microbial community response to surface exposure. DNA was extracted and submitted for high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Taxonomic assignment of the sequence data indicates that 8.1% of the total sequence reads at the source of the seep affiliate with the genus Methanobacterium. Other major classes detected at the source include anaerobic taxa such as Bacteroidetes (40.7% of total sequence reads) and Firmicutes (19.1% of total reads). Hydrogenophaga spp. increase in relative abundance as redox potential increases. At the carbonate terrace, 45% of sequence reads affiliate with Meiothermus spp. Taxonomic observations and geochemical data suggest that several putative metabolisms may be favorable, including hydrogen oxidation, H2-associated sulfur cycling, methanogenesis, methanotrophy, nitrogen fixation, ammonia oxidation, denitrification, nitrate respiration, methylotrophy, carbon monoxide respiration, and ferrous iron oxidation, based on capabilities of nearest known neighbors. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy suggest that microbial activity produces chemical and physical traces in the precipitated carbonates forming downstream of the seep's source. These data provide context for future serpentinizing seep ecosystem studies, particularly with regards to tropical biomes. PMID:25745416

  4. Cryptic species of Archinome (Annelida: Amphinomida) from vents and seeps

    PubMed Central

    Borda, Elizabeth; Kudenov, Jerry D.; Chevaldonné, Pierre; Blake, James A.; Desbruyères, Daniel; Fabri, Marie-Claire; Hourdez, Stéphane; Pleijel, Fredrik; Shank, Timothy M.; Wilson, Nerida G.; Schulze, Anja; Rouse, Greg W.

    2013-01-01

    Since its description from the Galapagos Rift in the mid-1980s, Archinome rosacea has been recorded at hydrothermal vents in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Only recently was a second species described from the Pacific Antarctic Ridge. We inferred the identities and evolutionary relationships of Archinome representatives sampled from across the hydrothermal vent range of the genus, which is now extended to cold methane seeps. Species delimitation using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) recovered up to six lineages, whereas concatenated datasets (COI, 16S, 28S and ITS1) supported only four or five of these as clades. Morphological approaches alone were inconclusive to verify the identities of species owing to the lack of discrete diagnostic characters. We recognize five Archinome species, with three that are new to science. The new species, designated based on molecular evidence alone, include: Archinome levinae n. sp., which occurs at both vents and seeps in the east Pacific, Archinome tethyana n. sp., which inhabits Atlantic vents and Archinome jasoni n. sp., also present in the Atlantic, and whose distribution extends to the Indian and southwest Pacific Oceans. Biogeographic connections between vents and seeps are highlighted, as are potential evolutionary links among populations from vent fields located in the east Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and Atlantic and Indian Oceans; the latter presented for the first time. PMID:24026823

  5. Short-term monitoring of a gas seep field in the Katakolo bay (Western Greece) using Raman spectra DTS and DAS fibre-optic methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalari, A.; Mondanos, M.; Finfer, D.; Christodoulou, D.; Kordella, S.; Papatheodorou, G.; Geraga, M.; Ferentinos, G.

    2012-12-01

    A wide submarine seep of thermogenic gas in the Katakolo bay, Western Greece, was monitored passively using the intelligent Distributed Acoustic Sensor (iDAS) and Ultima Raman spectra Distributed Temperature Sensor (DTS), in order to study the thermal and noise signal of the bubble plumes released from the seafloor. Katakolo is one one of the most prolific thermogenic gas seepage zones in Europe and the biggest methane seep ever reported in Greece. Very detailed repetitive offshore gas surveys, including marine remote sensing (sub-bottom profiling, side scan sonar), underwater exploration by a towed instrumented system (MEDUSA), long-term monitoring benthic station (GMM), compositional and isotopic analyses, and flux measurements of gas, showed that: (a) gas seepage takes place over an extended area in the Katakolo harbour and along two main normal faults off the harbour; (b) at least 823 gas bubble ( 10-20 cm in diameter) plumes escaping over an area of 94,200 m2, at depths ranging from 5.5 to 16 m; (c) the gas consists mainly of methane and has H2S levels of hundreds to thousands ppmv, and shows significant amounts of other light hydrocarbons like ethane, propane, iso-butane and C6 alkanes, (d) offshore and onshore seeps release the same type of thermogenic gas; (e) due to the shallow depth, more than 90 % of CH4 released at the seabed enters the atmosphere, and (f) the gas seeps may produce severe geohazards for people, buildings and construction facilities due to the explosive and toxicological properties of methane and hydrogen sulfide, respectively. For the short-term monitoring, the deployment took place on a site located inside the harbour of Katakolo within a thermogenic gas seepage area where active faults are intersected. The iDAS system makes it possible to observe the acoustical signal along the entire length of an unmodified optical cable without introducing any form of point sensors such as Bragg gratings. When the bubble plumes are released by the

  6. Rat intestinal trehalase. Studies of the active site.

    PubMed

    Chen, C C; Guo, W J; Isselbacher, K J

    1987-11-01

    Rat intestinal trehalase was solubilized, purified and reconstituted into proteoliposomes. With octyl glucoside as the solubilizing detergent, the purified protein appeared as a single band on SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis with an apparent molecular mass of 67 kDa. Kinetic studies indicated that the active site of this enzyme can be functionally divided into two adjacent regions, namely a binding site (with pKa 4.8) and a catalytic site (with pKa 7.2). Other findings suggested that the catalytic site contains a functional thiol group, which is sensitive to inhibition by N-ethylmaleimide, Hg2+ and iodoacetate. Substrate protection and iodoacetate labelling of the thiol group demonstrated that only a protein of 67 kDa was labelled. Furthermore, sucrose and phlorizin protected the thiol group, but Tris-like inhibitors did not. Structure-inhibition analysis of Tris-like inhibitors, the pH effect of Tris inhibition and Tris protection of 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethylcarbodi-imide inactivation permitted characterization and location of a separate site containing a carboxy group for Tris binding, which may also be the binding region. On the basis of these findings, a possible structure for the active site of trehalase is proposed. PMID:3426558

  7. Active Site and Remote Contributions to Catalysis in Methylthioadenosine Nucleosidases

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Keisha; Cameron, Scott A.; Almo, Steven C.; Burgos, Emmanuel S.; Gulab, Shivali A.; Schramm, Vern L.

    2015-01-01

    5′-Methylthioadenosine/S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine nucleosidases (MTANs) catalyze the hydrolysis of 5′-methylthioadenosine to adenine and 5-methylthioribose. The amino acid sequences of the MTANs from Vibrio cholerae (VcMTAN) and Escherichia coli (EcMTAN) are 60% identical and 75% similar. Protein structure folds and kinetic properties are similar. However, binding of transition-state analogues is dominated by favorable entropy in VcMTAN and by enthalpy in EcMTAN. Catalytic sites of VcMTAN and EcMTAN in contact with reactants differ by two residues; Ala113 and Val153 in VcMTAN are Pro113 and Ile152, respectively, in EcMTAN. We mutated the VcMTAN catalytic site residues to match those of EcMTAN in anticipation of altering its properties toward EcMTAN. Inhibition of VcMTAN by transition-state analogues required filling both active sites of the homodimer. However, in the Val153Ile mutant or double mutants, transition-state analogue binding at one site caused complete inhibition. Therefore, a single amino acid, Val153, alters the catalytic site cooperativity in VcMTAN. The transition-state analogue affinity and thermodynamics in mutant VcMTAN became even more unlike those of EcMTAN, the opposite of expectations from catalytic site similarity; thus, catalytic site contacts in VcMTAN are unable to recapitulate the properties of EcMTAN. X-ray crystal structures of EcMTAN, VcMTAN, and a multiple-site mutant of VcMTAN most closely resembling EcMTAN in catalytic site contacts show no major protein conformational differences. The overall protein architectures of these closely related proteins are implicated in contributing to the catalytic site differences. PMID:25806409

  8. Parallels between playbacks and Pleistocene tar seeps suggest sociality in an extinct sabretooth cat, Smilodon.

    PubMed

    Carbone, Chris; Maddox, Tom; Funston, Paul J; Mills, Michael G L; Grether, Gregory F; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2009-02-23

    Inferences concerning the lives of extinct animals are difficult to obtain from the fossil record. Here we present a novel approach to the study of extinct carnivores, using a comparison between fossil records (n=3324) found in Late Pleistocene tar seeps at Rancho La Brea in North America and counts (n=4491) from playback experiments used to estimate carnivore abundance in Africa. Playbacks and tar seep deposits represent competitive, potentially dangerous encounters where multiple predators are lured by dying herbivores. Consequently, in both records predatory mammals and birds far outnumber herbivores. In playbacks, two large social species, lions, Panthera leo, and spotted hyenas, Crocuta crocuta, actively moved towards the sounds of distressed prey and made up 84 per cent of individuals attending. Small social species (jackals) were next most common and solitary species of all sizes were rare. In the La Brea record, two species dominated, the presumably social dire wolf Canis dirus (51%), and the sabretooth cat Smilodon fatalis (33%). As in the playbacks, a smaller social canid, the coyote Canis latrans, was third most common (8%), and known solitary species were rare (<4%). The predominance of Smilodon and other striking similarities between playbacks and the fossil record support the conclusion that Smilodon was social. PMID:18957359

  9. Important geological and biological impacts of natural hydrocarbon seeps: Northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, H.H. )

    1993-11-01

    Large volumes of siliciclastic sediments, input especially during periods of lowered sea level, and compensating salt tectonics have produced a continental slope that is arguably the most complex in today's oceans. Faults associated with deformation of salt and shale provide the primary migration routes for hydrocarbon gases, crude oil, brines, and formation fluids to the modern sea floor. Since the mid 1980s, it has become increasingly clearer that this process has an extremely important impact on the geomorphology, sedimentology, and biology of the modern continental slope. Hydrocarbon source, flux rate, and water depth are important determinants of sea-floor response. Under rapid flux conditions mud volcanoes (to 1 km wide and 50 m high) result, and hydrate hills (rich with authigenic carbonates), carbonate lithoherms, and isolated communities of chemosymbiotic organisms with associated hardgrounds represent much slower flux responses. In numerous moderate- to low-flux cases, cold seep products function to support islands of productivity for communities of chemosymbiotic organisms that contribute both directly (shell material) and through chemical byproducts to the production of massive volumes of calcium-magnesium carbonate in the form of hardgrounds, stacked slabs, and discrete moundlike buildups (commonly >20m). Seep-related carbonates of the Gulf of Mexico continental slope, as well those formed through degassing of accretionary prisms along active margins, are now thought to create hardgrounds and discrete buildups that are excellent analogs for many problematic carbonate buildups in ancient deep-water siliciclastic rocks.

  10. Resonant active sites in catalytic ammonia synthesis: A structural model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cholach, Alexander R.; Bryliakova, Anna A.; Matveev, Andrey V.; Bulgakov, Nikolai N.

    2016-03-01

    Adsorption sites Mn consisted of n adjacent atoms M, each bound to the adsorbed species, are considered within a realistic model. The sum of bonds Σ lost by atoms in a site in comparison with the bulk atoms was used for evaluation of the local surface imperfection, while the reaction enthalpy at that site was used as a measure of activity. The comparative study of Mn sites (n = 1-5) at basal planes of Pt, Rh, Ir, Fe, Re and Ru with respect to heat of N2 dissociative adsorption QN and heat of Nad + Had → NHad reaction QNH was performed using semi-empirical calculations. Linear QN(Σ) increase and QNH(Σ) decrease allowed to specify the resonant Σ for each surface in catalytic ammonia synthesis at equilibrium Nad coverage. Optimal Σ are realizable for Ru2, Re2 and Ir4 only, whereas other centers meet steric inhibition or unreal crystal structure. Relative activity of the most active sites in proportion 5.0 × 10- 5: 4.5 × 10- 3: 1: 2.5: 3.0: 1080: 2270 for a sequence of Pt4, Rh4, Fe4(fcc), Ir4, Fe2-5(bcc), Ru2, Re2, respectively, is in agreement with relevant experimental data. Similar approach can be applied to other adsorption or catalytic processes exhibiting structure sensitivity.

  11. A hydrothermal seep on the Costa Rica margin: middle ground in a continuum of reducing ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Lisa A.; Orphan, Victoria J.; Rouse, Greg W.; Rathburn, Anthony E.; Ussler, William; Cook, Geoffrey S.; Goffredi, Shana K.; Perez, Elena M.; Waren, Anders; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Chadwick, Grayson; Strickrott, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Upon their initial discovery, hydrothermal vents and methane seeps were considered to be related but distinct ecosystems, with different distributions, geomorphology, temperatures, geochemical properties and mostly different species. However, subsequently discovered vents and seep systems have blurred this distinction. Here, we report on a composite, hydrothermal seep ecosystem at a subducting seamount on the convergent Costa Rica margin that represents an intermediate between vent and seep ecosystems. Diffuse flow of shimmering, warm fluids with high methane concentrations supports a mixture of microbes, animal species, assemblages and trophic pathways with vent and seep affinities. Their coexistence reinforces the continuity of reducing environments and exemplifies a setting conducive to interactive evolution of vent and seep biota. PMID:22398162

  12. Recent MBARI Mapping AUV Surveys of Slumps, Scours, Gas Seeps, and Spreading Centers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caress, D. W.; Thomas, H.; Paull, C. K.; Clague, D. A.; Conlin, D.; Thompson, D.; Lundsten, E.; Anderson, K.; Paduan, J. B.; Martin, J.

    2011-12-01

    The MBARI Mapping AUV D. Allan B. is a Dorado-class autonomous vehicle used for high-resolution, deep-ocean multibeam bathymetry, sidescan, and chirp subbottom profiler surveys. Operational since 2006, the D. Allan B. has been used for more than 125 successful survey missions. In post-processing, the navigation is adjusted to match features in overlapping and crossing swathes. Following navigation adjustment and tide correction, a bathymetric lateral resolution of 1 m and a vertical precision of 0.1 m are achieved from 50 m altitude. We present several examples from 2011 field operations in which a combination of high-resolution seafloor mapping, ROV-based bottom observations and sampling, and other data are used to investigate geological processes. Tubeworm Slump is a crescent shaped, 3.2 km by 1.5 km wide, slide scar with a 200 m high headwall at the top of the Monterey Canyon's north wall. This feature was discovered in 1998 by MBARI through surface multibeam surveys, and subsequently investigated using ROV dives and sampling. The ROV dives revealed patches of chemosynthetic tubeworm communities and surface exposures of authegenic carbonate and barite. The tsunami potential of the feature has been modeled assuming it was created by a single episode of mass wasting. The new high-resolution bathymetry and subbottom profiles reveal that Tubeworm slump has been created by many smaller, individual mass wasting events. During 2009 surveys offshore Cape Mendocino, CA, on R/V Okeonos Explorer, the multibeam water column data revealed several large gas plumes rising from the seafloor in two large depressions. One site coincides with a bend in the Eel Canyon, and the other in a large slump scar a few km to the south. New high-resolution surveys by the Mapping AUV indicate that the gas seep locations coincide with mounds and with rough-textured seafloor typical of other gas seep and shallow methane hydrate exposure sites along continental margins. The Mapping AUV also

  13. Water in the Active Site of Ketosteroid Isomerase

    PubMed Central

    Hanoian, Philip; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    Classical molecular dynamics simulations were utilized to investigate the structural and dynamical properties of water in the active site of ketosteroid isomerase (KSI) to provide insight into the role of these water molecules in the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. This reaction is thought to proceed via a dienolate intermediate that is stabilized by hydrogen bonding with residues Tyr16 and Asp103. A comparative study was performed for the wild-type (WT) KSI and the Y16F, Y16S, and Y16F/Y32F/Y57F (FFF) mutants. These systems were studied with three different bound ligands: equilenin, which is an intermediate analog, and the intermediate states of two steroid substrates. Several distinct water occupation sites were identified in the active site of KSI for the WT and mutant systems. Three additional sites were identified in the Y16S mutant that were not occupied in WT KSI or the other mutants studied. The number of water molecules directly hydrogen bonded to the ligand oxygen was approximately two waters in the Y16S mutant, one water in the Y16F and FFF mutants, and intermittent hydrogen bonding of one water molecule in WT KSI. The molecular dynamics trajectories of the Y16F and FFF mutants reproduced the small conformational changes of residue 16 observed in the crystal structures of these two mutants. Quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical calculations of 1H NMR chemical shifts of the protons in the active site hydrogen-bonding network suggest that the presence of water in the active site does not prevent the formation of short hydrogen bonds with far-downfield chemical shifts. The molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the active site water molecules exchange much more frequently for WT KSI and the FFF mutant than for the Y16F and Y16S mutants. This difference is most likely due to the hydrogen-bonding interaction between Tyr57 and an active site water molecule that is persistent in the Y16F and Y16S mutants but absent in the FFF mutant and significantly less

  14. Energy transfer at the active sites of heme proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Dlott, D.D.; Hill, J.R.

    1995-12-31

    Experiments using a picosecond pump-probe apparatus at the Picosecond Free-electron Laser Center at Stanford University, were performed to investigate the relaxation of carbon monoxide bound to the active sites of heme proteins. The significance of these experiments is two-fold: (1) they provide detailed information about molecular dynamics occurring at the active sites of proteins; and (2) they provide insight into the nature of vibrational relaxation processes in condensed matter. Molecular engineering is used to construct various molecular systems which are studied with the FEL. We have studied native proteins, mainly myoglobin obtained from different species, mutant proteins produced by genetic engineering using recombinant DNA techniques, and a variety of model systems which mimic the structures of the active sites of native proteins, which are produced using molecular synthesis. Use of these different systems permits us to investigate how specific molecular structural changes affect dynamical processes occurring at the active sites. This research provides insight into the problems of how different species needs are fulfilled by heme proteins which have greatly different functionality, which is induced by rather small structural changes.

  15. Chemical Modification of Papain and Subtilisin: An Active Site Comparison

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St-Vincent, Mireille; Dickman, Michael

    2004-01-01

    An experiment using methyle methanethiosulfonate (MMTS) and phenylmethylsulfonyl flouride (PMSF) to specifically modify the cysteine and serine residues in the active sites of papain and subtilism respectively is demonstrated. The covalent modification of these enzymes and subsequent rescue of papain shows the beginning biochemist that proteins…

  16. Changes in active site histidine hydrogen bonding trigger cryptochrome activation.

    PubMed

    Ganguly, Abir; Manahan, Craig C; Top, Deniz; Yee, Estella F; Lin, Changfan; Young, Michael W; Thiel, Walter; Crane, Brian R

    2016-09-01

    Cryptochrome (CRY) is the principal light sensor of the insect circadian clock. Photoreduction of the Drosophila CRY (dCRY) flavin cofactor to the anionic semiquinone (ASQ) restructures a C-terminal tail helix (CTT) that otherwise inhibits interactions with targets that include the clock protein Timeless (TIM). All-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations indicate that flavin reduction destabilizes the CTT, which undergoes large-scale conformational changes (the CTT release) on short (25 ns) timescales. The CTT release correlates with the conformation and protonation state of conserved His378, which resides between the CTT and the flavin cofactor. Poisson-Boltzmann calculations indicate that flavin reduction substantially increases the His378 pKa Consistent with coupling between ASQ formation and His378 protonation, dCRY displays reduced photoreduction rates with increasing pH; however, His378Asn/Arg variants show no such pH dependence. Replica-exchange MD simulations also support CTT release mediated by changes in His378 hydrogen bonding and verify other responsive regions of the protein previously identified by proteolytic sensitivity assays. His378 dCRY variants show varying abilities to light-activate TIM and undergo self-degradation in cellular assays. Surprisingly, His378Arg/Lys variants do not degrade in light despite maintaining reactivity toward TIM, thereby implicating different conformational responses in these two functions. Thus, the dCRY photosensory mechanism involves flavin photoreduction coupled to protonation of His378, whose perturbed hydrogen-bonding pattern alters the CTT and surrounding regions. PMID:27551082

  17. The role of bacteria in the formation of cold seep carbonates: geological evidence from Monferrato (Tertiary, NW Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagna, Simona; Clari, Pierangelo; Martire, Luca

    1999-07-01

    Methane-derived carbonate rocks ( Lucina limestone and Marmorito limestone) crop out in Monferrato (NW Italy) and represent one of the first described examples of rocks produced at fossil cold seeps. These rocks, of Miocene age, consist of strongly carbonate-cemented siliciclastic sediments ranging in grain size from mud to coarse sand. The methane-related origin of Monferrato carbonates is based on: (a) outcrop-scale evidence: patchiness of cementation, chemosymbiotic fossil communities, presence of a network of polyphase carbonate-filled veins not related to tectonics; (b) isotope geochemistry: very depleted δ 13C values, as low as -50‰ PDB; (c) peculiar petrographic features. Diverse microbial communities have been observed in present-day cold seeps. These communities include sulphate-reducing, sulphur-oxidizing and methane-oxidizing bacteria. The present work is focused on the identification and description of fossil evidence of such microbial activity in the Monferrato carbonates. Examples of fossilization of microbial structures are probably represented by pyritic rods and dolomite tubes referable to sulphur-oxidizing and to unspecified bacteria, respectively. Less direct but more abundant evidence has been found through petrographic and SEM studies of seep carbonates. Many features point to the presence of organic clumps or mats capable of trapping sediment and promoting carbonate precipitation: microcrystalline calcite peloids; dolomite crystals with irregular hollow cores; dolomite spheroids with dumbbell-shaped cores; laminated internal sediments lining cavities completely. All these features are interpreted to result from bacterially mediated, sedimentary and diagenetic processes and can therefore be considered as an additional evidence of ancient methane seeps.

  18. Active sites environmental monitoring program. Annual report FY 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Morrissey, C.M.; Ashwood, T.L.; Hicks, D.S.

    1994-04-01

    This report summarizes the activities of the Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP) at ORNL from October 1991 through September 1992. Solid Waste Operations and the Environmental Sciences Division established ASEMP in 1989 to provide early detection and performance monitoring at active low-level waste (LLW) disposal sites in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 and transuranic (TRU) waste storage sites in SWSA 5 as required by Chapter 2 and 3 of US Department of Energy Order 5820.2A. The Interim Waste Management Facility (IWMF) began operation in December 1991. Monitoring results from the tumulus and IWMF disposal pads continue to indicate that no LLW is leaching from the storage vaults. Storm water falling on the IWMF active pad was collected and transported to the Process Waste Treatment Plant while operators awaited approval of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Several of the recent samples collected from the active IWMF pad had pH levels above the NPDES limit of 9.0 because of alkali leached from the concrete. The increase in gross beta activity has been slight; only 1 of the 21 samples collected contained activity above the 5.0 Bq/L action level. Automated sample-collection and flow-measurement equipment has been installed at IWMF and is being tested. The flume designed to electronically measure flow from the IWMF pads and underpads is too large to be of practical value for measuring most flows at this site. Modification of this system will be necessary. A CO{sub 2} bubbler system designed to reduce the pH of water from the pads is being tested at IWMF.

  19. The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert; Parent, Horacio; Garrido, Alberto; Moriya, Kazuhiro

    2015-04-01

    The earliest mollusc dominated seep fauna from the Early Jurassic of Argentina Andrzej Kaim, Robert G. Jenkins, Horacio Parent, Alberto C. Garrido The hydrocarbon seep deposits are known from Early Jurassic of Argentina since the report of Gomez-Perez (2003). The latter author identified very negative δ13C values (down to -33) and several fabrics typical for seep carbonates. Nevertheless she identified no macrofaunal assemblages apart from worm tubes. We re-visited the locality of Gomez-Perez (named here La Elina) and we were able to collect several molluscs associated with the seep carbonate. The most common and diversified are molluscs and worm tubes. We identified at least three species of gastropods, including the oldest-known species of neomphalids, lucinid and protobranch bivalves and numerous ammonoids. Unlike another known Early Jurassic seep from Oregon and the only Late Triassic seep (also from Oregon) there are no brachiopods associated with this seep. Therefore we consider the seep at La Elina as the oldest seep of modern aspect where the fauna is dominated by molluscs and not brachiopods.

  20. Species Distribution and Population Connectivity of Deep-Sea Mussels at Hydrocarbon Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Faure, Baptiste; Schaeffer, Stephen W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seepage is widespread and patchy in the Gulf of Mexico, and six species of symbiont containing bathymodiolin mussels are found on active seeps over wide and overlapping depth and geographic ranges. We use mitochondrial genes to discriminate among the previously known and a newly discovered species and to assess the connectivity among populations of the same species in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Our results generally validate the morphologically based distribution of the three previously known GoM species of Bathymodiolus, although we found that approximately 10% of the morphologically based identifications were incorrect and this resulted in some inaccuracies with respect to their previously assigned depth and geographical distribution patterns. These data allowed us to confirm that sympatry of two species of Bathymodiolus within a single patch of mussels is common. A new species of bathymodiolin, Bathymodiolus sp. nov., closely related to B. heckerae was also discovered. The two species live at the same depths but have not been found in sympatry and both have small effective population sizes. We found evidence for genetic structure within populations of the three species of Bathymodiolinae for which we had samples from multiple sites and suggest limited connectivity for populations at some sites. Despite relatively small sample sizes, genetic diversity indices suggest the largest population sizes for B. childressi and Tamu fisheri and the smallest for B. heckerae and B. sp. nov. among the GoM bathymodiolins. Moreover, we detected an excess of rare variants indicating recent demographic changes and population expansions for the four species of bathymodiolins from the Gulf of Mexico. PMID:25859657

  1. Probing the promiscuous active site of myo-inositol dehydrogenase using synthetic substrates, homology modeling, and active site modification.

    PubMed

    Daniellou, Richard; Zheng, Hongyan; Langill, David M; Sanders, David A R; Palmer, David R J

    2007-06-26

    The active site of myo-inositol dehydrogenase (IDH, EC 1.1.1.18) from Bacillus subtilis recognizes a variety of mono- and disaccharides, as well as 1l-4-O-substituted inositol derivatives. It catalyzes the NAD+-dependent oxidation of the axial alcohol of these substrates with comparable kinetic constants. We have found that 4-O-p-toluenesulfonyl-myo-inositol does not act as a substrate for IDH, in contrast to structurally similar compounds such as those bearing substituted benzyl substituents in the same position. X-ray crystallographic analysis of 4-O-p-toluenesulfonyl-myo-inositol and 4-O-(2-naphthyl)methyl-myo-inositol, which is a substrate for IDH, shows a distinct difference in the preferred conformation of the aryl substituent. Conformational analysis of known substrates of IDH suggests that this conformational difference may account for the difference in reactivity of 4-O-p-toluenesulfonyl-myo-inositol in the presence of IDH. A sequence alignment of IDH with the homologous glucose-fructose oxidoreductase allowed the construction of an homology model of inositol dehydrogenase, to which NADH and 4-O-benzyl-scyllo-inosose were docked and the active site energy minimized. The active site model is consistent with all experimental results and suggests that a conserved tyrosine-glycine-tyrosine motif forms the hydrophobic pocket adjoining the site of inositol recognition. Y233F and Y235F retain activity, while Y233R and Y235R do not. A histidine-aspartate pair, H176 and D172, are proposed to act as a dyad in which H176 is the active site acid/base. The enzyme is inactivated by diethyl pyrocarbonate, and the mutants H176A and D172N show a marked loss of activity. Kinetic isotope effect experiments with D172N indicate that chemistry is rate-determining for this mutant. PMID:17539607

  2. Investigation of Metal Bioavailability and Microbial Metal Utilization in Methane Seep Ecosystems through Integration of Geochemical and Biological Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, J. B.; Gadh, V.; Steele, J. A.; Adkins, J. F.; Orphan, V. J.

    2012-12-01

    Methane hydrate seeps are important sources of greenhouse gases and host unique microbial communities that couple anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulfate reduction. Microbial enzymes that catalyze the reactions driving these anaerobic metabolisms require transition metals such as Fe, Ni, Co, Zn, and Mo as essential cofactors. These metals are expected to be drawn down to low concentrations by precipitation as sulfide phases in the highly sulfidic porewaters at methane seep ecosystems. However, in situ concentrations of biologically-important metals in sulfidic methane seep pore fluids and the relative importance of different metals for anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) vs. sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are unknown. We are integrating geochemical and metagenomic datasets with nano-scale maps of cellular metal distributions to gain insights into metal bioavailability and utilization in methane seep ecosystems. We have measured porewater profiles of dissolved metals (V, Ni, Cu, Co, Fe, Mn, Zn, Mo and W) from three habitat types at Hydrate Ridge, offshore Oregon: Calyptogena clam beds, microbial mats and sites with low methane flux. Highly sulfidic sediment porewaters beneath microbial mats contained the lowest metal concentrations, suggesting that microbes inhabiting these environments may be limited by metal scarcity. Cobalt occurred at particularly low abundances (≤5 nM in all cores and frequently at sub-nanomolar levels). We also analyzed the taxonomic distribution of ABC (ATP-binding cassette) metal transporters in metagenomes from environmentally-enriched consortia of ANME-2 and SRB from Eel River Basin methane seeps. Our findings suggest that both ANME and SRB possess genes encoding ABC transporters with high affinity for Fe, Ni, Co, Zn and Mo. Combined with our geochemical data, these results imply that ANME-SRB consortia in highly sulfidic environments have specialized mechanisms that allow them to acquire metal micronutrients

  3. Exploration and Discovery of Hydrocarbon Seeps, Coral Ecosystems, and Shipwrecks in the Deep Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shank, T. M.; Hsing, P.; Carney, R. S.; Herrera, S.; Heyl, T.; Munro, C.; Bors, E.; Kiene, W.; Vecchione, M.; Evans, A.; Irion, J.; Warren, D.; Malik, M.; Lobecker, M.; Potter, J.

    2012-12-01

    Between March 20 and April 6, 2012, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer served as a platform for ship-board and shore-side scientists to explore the deep Gulf of Mexico, targeting the northern West Florida Escarpment, DeSoto Canyon, the vicinity (within 11km) of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) well, and deepwater shipwrecks. We systematically explored and discovered natural hydrocarbon seeps, diverse coral ecosystems, wooden and iron-hulled shipwrecks more than 100 years old colonized by coral communities, and sperm whale habitat between 600 and 1200m. A total of sixteen dives took advantage of new and recent maps to explore and groundtruth both hard and soft-bottom habitats, from cretaceous carbonates to mounds of coral rubble. The final ROV dive successfully groundtruthed expected methane-release areas imaged by the ship's mapping systems up to 1150m above the seafloor. The source of the mapping imagery was a stream of bubbles issuing from beneath thriving seep mussel communities. We visited five sites in the Mississippi Canyon (MC) area (lease blocks MC294, MC297, MC388, MC255, and MC036; the DWH incident took place in MC252). These sites were 11.3 km SW, 6.8 km SW, 7.6 km SW, 25.7 km E, and 27.4 km to the NE of the DWH, respectively. We used high-definition imaging systems on the Little Hercules ROV and Seirios camera platform to document more than 130 coral colonies and over 400 associated individual animals to continue to assessing the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All of these efforts were conducted to provide fundamental knowledge of unknown and poorly known regions, ecosystems, and items of historical significance in the deep Gulf of Mexico.

  4. Substrate-specific pressure-dependence of microbial sulfate reduction in deep-sea cold seep sediments of the Japan Trench

    PubMed Central

    Vossmeyer, Antje; Deusner, Christian; Kato, Chiaki; Inagaki, Fumio; Ferdelman, Timothy G.

    2012-01-01

    The influence of hydrostatic pressure on microbial sulfate reduction (SR) was studied using sediments obtained at cold seep sites from 5500 to 6200 m water depth of the Japan Trench. Sediment samples were stored under anoxic conditions for 17 months in slurries at 4°C and at in situ pressure (50 MPa), at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa), or under methanic conditions with a methane partial pressure of 0.2 MPa. Samples without methane amendment stored at in situ pressure retained higher levels of sulfate reducing activity than samples stored at 0.1 MPa. Piezophilic SR showed distinct substrate specificity after hydrogen and acetate addition. SR activity in samples stored under methanic conditions was one order of magnitude higher than in non-amended samples. Methanic samples stored under low hydrostatic pressure exhibited no increased SR activity at high pressure even with the amendment of methane. These new insights into the effects of pressure on substrate specific sulfate reducing activity in anaerobic environmental samples indicate that hydrostatic pressure must be considered to be a relevant parameter in ecological studies of anaerobic deep-sea microbial processes and long-term storage of environmental samples. PMID:22822404

  5. Active-Site-Accessible, Porphyrinic Metal;#8722;Organic Framework Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Farha, Omar K.; Shultz, Abraham M.; Sarjeant, Amy A.; Nguyen, SonBinh T.; Hupp, Joseph T.

    2012-02-06

    On account of their structural similarity to cofactors found in many metallo-enzymes, metalloporphyrins are obvious potential building blocks for catalytically active, metal-organic framework (MOF) materials. While numerous porphyrin-based MOFs have already been described, versions featuring highly accessible active sites and permanent microporosity are remarkably scarce. Indeed, of the more than 70 previously reported porphyrinic MOFs, only one has been shown to be both permanently microporous and contain internally accessible active sites for chemical catalysis. Attempts to generalize the design approach used in this single successful case have failed. Reported here, however, is the synthesis of an extended family of MOFs that directly incorporate a variety of metalloporphyrins (specifically Al{sup 3+}, Zn{sup 2+}, Pd{sup 2+}, Mn{sup 3+}, and Fe{sup 3+} complexes). These robust porphyrinic materials (RPMs) feature large channels and readily accessible active sites. As an illustrative example, one of the manganese-containing RPMs is shown to be catalytically competent for the oxidation of alkenes and alkanes.

  6. Nest predation increases with parental activity: Separating nest site and parental activity effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, T.E.; Scott, J.; Menge, C.

    2000-01-01

    Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators have found similar results. We tested whether nest site effects might yield higher predation during incubation because the most obvious sites are depredated most rapidly. We conducted experiments using nest sites from the previous year to remove parental activity. Our results showed that nest sites have highly repeatable effects on nest predation risk; poor nest sites incurred rapid predation and caused predation rates to be greater during the incubation than nestling stage. This pattern also was exhibited in a bird species with similar (i.e. controlled) parental activity between nesting stages. Once nest site effects are taken into account, nest predation shows a strong proximate increase with parental activity during the nestling stage within and across species. Parental activity and nest sites exert antagonistic influences on current estimates of nest predation between nesting stages and both must be considered in order to understand current patterns of nest predation, which is an important source of natural selection.

  7. Nest predation increases with parental activity: separating nest site and parental activity effects.

    PubMed Central

    Martin, T E; Scott, J; Menge, C

    2000-01-01

    Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators have found similar results. We tested whether nest site effects might yield higher predation during incubation because the most obvious sites are depredated most rapidly. We conducted experiments using nest sites from the previous year to remove parental activity. Our results showed that nest sites have highly repeatable effects on nest predation risk; poor nest sites incurred rapid predation and caused predation rates to be greater during the incubation than nestling stage. This pattern also was exhibited in a bird species with similar (i.e. controlled) parental activity between nesting stages. Once nest site effects are taken into account, nest predation shows a strong proximate increase with parental activity during the nestling stage within and across species. Parental activity and nest sites exert antagonistic influences on current estimates of nest predation between nesting stages and both must be considered in order to understand current patterns of nest predation, which is an important source of natural selection. PMID:11413645

  8. Overpressure and fluid flow in the new jersey continental slope: implications for slope failure and cold seeps

    PubMed

    Dugan; Flemings

    2000-07-14

    Miocene through Pleistocene sediments on the New Jersey continental slope (Ocean Drilling Program Site 1073) are undercompacted (porosity between 40 and 65%) to 640 meters below the sea floor, and this is interpreted to record fluid pressures that reach 95% of the lithostatic stress. A two-dimensional model, where rapid Pleistocene sedimentation loads permeable sandy silt of Miocene age, successfully predicts the observed pressures. The model describes how lateral pressure equilibration in permeable beds produces fluid pressures that approach the lithostatic stress where overburden is thin. This transfer of pressure may cause slope failure and drive cold seeps on passive margins around the world. PMID:10894774

  9. Carbon isotopes of benthic foraminifera associated with methane seeps in Four-Way Closure Ridge, offshore southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, W. R.; Wei, K. Y.; Mii, H. S.; Lin, Y. S.; Huang, J. J.; Wang, P. L.; Lin, A. T.

    2015-12-01

    Release of large amounts of methane from marine gas hydrate reservoirs has been considered as a possible trigger of climate change, which can be recorded by the variation of carbon isotopes (δ13C) of the benthic foraminifera. In modern analogs, previous studies have suggested that δ13C becomes more negative when influenced by methane seeps. However, values of δ13C of benthic foraminifera might vary with different species and sedimentary settings in different regions. Seismic profiles in offshore southwestern Taiwan show the existence of Bottom Simulating Reflector (BSR) in the region, indicative of gas hydrate reservoirs. Various methane seepages have been found, and they are suspected to be related to the gas hydrates buried underneath. A better understanding of the δ13C signals of benthic foraminifera near the methane seepages can further clarify the origin of the methane and to evaluate it as a proxy of methane release for the geologic past. We have analyzed δ13C of benthic foraminifera Uvigerina proboscidea (150-250 mm) in the topmost 15 cm sediments in five marine cores (OR1-1092-WFWC-1, OR1-1092-WFWC-4, OR1-1092-WFWC-6, OR3-1806-C5-2 and OR3-1806-C10) collected from the Four-Way Closure Ridge in offshore southwestern Taiwan (water depth from 1330 to 1580 m). Our results show that δ13C values of U. proboscidea range from -0.98‰ to -6.21‰ (VPDB) for core OR3-1806-C5-2, which is considered as a seeps-influenced site. On the other hand, δ13C values of U. proboscidea from the background sites range from -0.40‰ to -1.00‰. The difference between the methane seep-affected and the background sites is in the range of 0.00‰ to 5.01‰, comparable to those documented in previous studies in other areas. The significant negative excursion in carbon isotopes in the seep site foraminifera is likely caused by incorporation of light inorganic carbon generated by methanotrophy in the system.

  10. Identification of Ice Nucleation Active Sites on Silicate Dust Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zolles, Tobias; Burkart, Julia; Häusler, Thomas; Pummer, Bernhard; Hitzenberger, Regina; Grothe, Hinrich

    2015-04-01

    Mineral dusts originating from Earth's crust are known to be important atmospheric ice nuclei. In agreement with earlier studies, feldspar was found as the most active of the tested natural mineral dusts [1-3]. Nevertheless, among those structures K-feldspar showed by far the highest ice nucleation activity. In this study, the reasons for its activity and the difference in the activity of the different feldspars were investigated in closer details. Conclusions are drawn from scanning electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and oil-immersion freezing experiments. We give a potential explanation of the increased ice nucleation activity of K-feldspar. The ice nucleating sites are very much dependent on the alkali ion present by altering the water structure and the feldspar surface. The higher activity of K-feldspar can be attributed to the presence of potassium ions on the surface and surface bilayer. The alkali-ions have different hydration shells and thus an influence on the ice nucleation activity of feldspar. Chaotropic behavior of Calcium and Sodium ions are lowering the ice nucleation potential of the other feldspars, while kosmotropic Potassium has a neutral or even positive effect. Furthermore we investigated the influence of milling onto the ice nucleation of quartz particles. The ice nucleation activity can be increased by mechanical milling, by introducing more molecular, nucleation active defects to the particle surface. This effect is larger than expected by plane surface increase. [1] Atkinson et al. The Importance of Feldspar for Ice Nucleation by Mineral Dust in Mixed-Phase Clouds. Nature 2013, 498, 355-358. [2] Yakobi-Hancock et al.. Feldspar Minerals as Efficient Deposition Ice Nuclei. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 2013, 13, 11175-11185. [3] Zolles et al. Identification of Ice Nucleation Active Sites on Feldspar Dust Particles. J. Phys. Chem. A 2015 accepted.

  11. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program. FY 1993: Annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Morrissey, C.M.; Ashwood, T.L.; Hicks, D.S.; Marsh, J.D.

    1994-08-01

    This report continues a series of annual and semiannual reports that present the results of the Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP) monitoring activities. The report details monitoring data for fiscal year (FY) 1993 and is divided into three major areas: SWSA 6 [including tumulus pads, Interim Waste Management Facility (IWMF), and other sites], the low-level Liquid-Waste Solidification Project (LWSP), and TRU-waste storage facilities in SWSA 5 N. The detailed monitoring methodology is described in the second revision of the ASEMP program plan. This report also presents a summary of the methodology used to gather data for each major area along with the results obtained during FY 1993.

  12. Active sites in char gasification: Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Wojtowicz, M.; Lilly, W.D.; Perkins, M.T.; Hradil, G.; Calo, J.M.; Suuberg, E.M.

    1987-09-01

    Among the key variables in the design of gasifiers and combustors is the reactivity of the chars which must be gasified or combusted. Significant loss of unburned char is unacceptable in virtually any process; the provision of sufficient residence time for complete conversion is essential. A very wide range of reactivities are observed, depending upon the nature of the char in a process. The current work focuses on furthering the understanding of gasification reactivities of chars. It has been well established that the reactivity of char to gasification generally depends upon three principal factors: (1) the concentration of ''active sites'' in the char; (2) mass transfer within the char; and (3) the type and concentration of catalytic impurities in the char. The present study primarily addresses the first factor. The subject of this research is the origin, nature, and fate of active sites in chars derived from parent hydrocarbons with coal-like structure. The nature and number of the active sites and their reactivity towards oxygen are examined in ''model'' chars derived from phenol-formaldehyde type resins. How the active sites are lost by the process of thermal annealing during heat treatment of chars are studied, and actual rate for the annealing process is derived. Since intrinsic char reactivities are of primary interest in the present study, a fair amount of attention was given to the model char synthesis and handling so that the effect of catalytic impurities and oxygen-containing functional groups in the chemical structure of the material were minimized, if not completely eliminated. The project would not be considered complete without comparing characteristic features of synthetic chars with kinetic behavior exhibited by natural chars, including coal chars.

  13. Potential sites of CFTR activation by tyrosine kinases.

    PubMed

    Billet, Arnaud; Jia, Yanlin; Jensen, Timothy J; Hou, Yue-Xian; Chang, Xiu-Bao; Riordan, John R; Hanrahan, John W

    2016-05-01

    The CFTR chloride channel is tightly regulated by phosphorylation at multiple serine residues. Recently it has been proposed that its activity is also regulated by tyrosine kinases, however the tyrosine phosphorylation sites remain to be identified. In this study we examined 2 candidate tyrosine residues near the boundary between the first nucleotide binding domain and the R domain, a region which is important for channel function but devoid of PKA consensus sequences. Mutating tyrosines at positions 625 and 627 dramatically reduced responses to Src or Pyk2 without altering the activation by PKA, suggesting they may contribute to CFTR regulation. PMID:26645934

  14. Brownian aggregation rate of colloid particles with several active sites

    SciTech Connect

    Nekrasov, Vyacheslav M.; Yurkin, Maxim A.; Chernyshev, Andrei V.; Polshchitsin, Alexey A.; Yakovleva, Galina E.; Maltsev, Valeri P.

    2014-08-14

    We theoretically analyze the aggregation kinetics of colloid particles with several active sites. Such particles (so-called “patchy particles”) are well known as chemically anisotropic reactants, but the corresponding rate constant of their aggregation has not yet been established in a convenient analytical form. Using kinematic approximation for the diffusion problem, we derived an analytical formula for the diffusion-controlled reaction rate constant between two colloid particles (or clusters) with several small active sites under the following assumptions: the relative translational motion is Brownian diffusion, and the isotropic stochastic reorientation of each particle is Markovian and arbitrarily correlated. This formula was shown to produce accurate results in comparison with more sophisticated approaches. Also, to account for the case of a low number of active sites per particle we used Monte Carlo stochastic algorithm based on Gillespie method. Simulations showed that such discrete model is required when this number is less than 10. Finally, we applied the developed approach to the simulation of immunoagglutination, assuming that the formed clusters have fractal structure.

  15. A comparison of hydrocarbon gases from springs and seeps of varied geologic provinces of the northwestern US

    SciTech Connect

    Lorenson, T.D.; Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1993-04-01

    The northwestern US hosts a remarkable quantity and variety of thermal springs and seeps. Although many studies have dealt with the liquids and non-hydrocarbon gases emanating from these sources, few have focused on hydrocarbon gases. methane in particular is now recognized as an important reactive trace gas in the earth's atmosphere. To understand better the magnitude and occurrence of natural sources of hydrocarbons to the atmosphere, the authors have begun a survey of these gases throughout the northwestern US. This area encompasses a number of different tectonic regimes: the Yellowstone Hot Spot, the northern Basin and Range province, the Cascade volcanic arc, and the Cascadia subduction complex. Methane is present in each area at concentration levels ranging from about 2 ppmv (parts per million by volume) to 99.9% (by volume). Hydrothermal activity in the Yellowstone area produces spring gases containing less than 4% methane, with CO[sub 2] as the balance gas. The Teton area has a wide variety of gas compositions with either methane, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen as the primary gas component. In the northern Great Basin, thermal springs and seeps typically occur along fault zones at the base of mountain ranges. Methane concentrations range from 0.2 to 47%, with HMW HC concentrations from 0 to 3,100 ppmv. Areas covered by the Cenozoic Columbia River basalts and the basalts of the Snake River Plain continue to have high heat flow and produce thermal springs and seeps, usually along fault zones. Gases from the southern Cascade volcanic arc (Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen) are composed typically of carbon dioxide, with minor amounts of methane (less than 0.2%); however some fumaroles at Mt. Lassen have minor quantities of HMW HC. Along the Pacific coast, melanges of the Cascadia subduction complex host many seeps and springs. In some seeps the gas consists almost exclusively of methane (94.3 to 99.9%) with amounts of HMW HC ranging from about 5 ppmv to 3.5%.

  16. Optical sensing for characterization of bubble plumes from methane seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizarro, O.; Camilli, R.; Whelan, J.

    2004-12-01

    Methane seeps are potentially a key contributor to atmospheric methane and to the global greenhouse gas budget. Improved estimates of methane flux from ocean floor seeps is required to understand the magnitude and characteristics of this contribution to the carbon cycle. % State of the art In steady, slow seeps a large portion of the gas is dissolved and oxidized before reaching the surface. However, in high-intensity methane seeps the bubble density, speed and size are such that a significant fraction of the gas can reach the atmosphere. Dissolved methane can be measured fairly reliably at the sea surface with traditional equilibration techniques. New types of in-situ chemical sensors can quantify dissolved methane deeper in the water column. Quantifying methane within the water column in the free gas phase (i.e., in the form of bubbles) remains a challenging problem. Current approaches rely either on indirect acoustic methods or direct collection of bubbles. Acoustic methods have the disadvantage of requiring extensive calibration, and can fail to distinguish the bubble signal from other sources of acoustic noise. Gas-capture techniques are mechanically complex, have a surface expression that introduces some noise, and can potentially alias episodic events. %how slow ? In both cases the fine scale structure such as herogeneity of the bubbling plume is lost. % Proposed We propose a vision-based system to detect and track bubble plumes. High speed optical imagery is propenables precise measurements of the motion of bubbles through a process involving identification of the individual bubbles (and rejection of other particles). Additional image processing steps are then used to estimate each bubble's volume and velocity. These are then integrated to produce an estimate of volumetric flux rate. This technique can also reveal fine scale variabilities in the spatial and temporal structure within the plume. %We discuss sensing configurations based on a stereo setup and

  17. Mollusks from late Mesozoic seep deposits, chiefly in California.

    PubMed

    Kaim, Andrzej; Jenkins, Robert G; Tanabe, Kazushige; Kiel, Steffen

    2014-01-01

    Twenty-nine mollusk species from Late Jurassic to Eocene hydrocarbon seep deposits from California (USA), Japan, New Zealand, and Barbados are described and illustrated. Twenty species belong to Gastropoda and nine to Bivalvia. Seven new species, three new genera, and one new family are introduced. The gastropod Hikidea gen. nov. includes smooth-shelled Cantrainea-like colloniins from Cretaceous hydrocarbon seeps and plesiosaur falls. Hikidea osoensis sp. nov. is the oldest species of this genus. Chilodonta? reticulata sp. nov. is a distinctive vetigastropod though its supraspecific position is unclear. Phanerolepida onoensis sp. nov. is the first species of this colloniin genus from a seep deposit. We describe two new genera of Hokkaidoconchidae: Abyssomelania gen. nov. and Ascheria gen. nov.; this family includes now four genera (including Hokkaidoconcha and Humptulipsia) and ranges from the Late Jurassic to the Eocene. Abyssomelania is characterized by a large, high-spired shell and unusual widely-spaced prosocline riblets (here called abyssomelaniid riblets). Abyssomelania is represented by two new species: A. cramptoni sp. nov. from the Late Cretaceous of New Zealand and A. campbellae sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of California. Ascheria gen. nov. is characterized by a large high-spired cerithiform shell, a subsutural constriction, and mostly reticulate ornament. Two nominate species are included: Ascheria gigantea (Kiel et al., 2008) and A. eucosmeta (Ascher, 1906), both of Early Cretaceous age. Two further species potentially belonging to Ascheria from the Eocene of Barbados are reported in open nomenclature and are re-illustrated and re-described for comparison. Humtulipsia nobuharai sp. nov. is described based on specimens from the Campanian-Maastrichtian Sada Limestone seep deposit in Japan. The new family Paskentanidae fam. nov. is introduced for the genera Paskentana and Atresius. The species of this family are characterized by thin-shelled, broad

  18. Families of miocene monterey crude oil, seep, and tarball samples, coastal California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, K.E.; Hostettler, F.D.; Lorenson, T.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    calcareous-siliceous member (tribe 3) because the latter is thinner and less oil-prone than the overlying members. Tribe 3 occurs mainly north of Point Conception where shallow burial caused preferential generation from the underlying lower calcareous-siliceous member or another unit with similar characteristics. In a test of the decision tree, 10 tarball samples collected from beaches in Monterey and San Mateo counties in early 2007 were found to originate from natural seeps representing different organofacies of Monterey Formation source rock instead from one anthropogenic pollution event. The seeps apparently became more active because of increased storm activity. Copyright ?? 2008. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

  19. Restriction to large-scale gene flow vs. regional panmixia among cold seep Escarpia spp. (Polychaeta, Siboglinidae).

    PubMed

    Cowart, Dominique A; Huang, Chunya; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Carney, Susan L; Fisher, Charles R; Schaeffer, Stephen W

    2013-08-01

    The history of colonization and dispersal in fauna distributed among deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems remains enigmatic and poorly understood because of an inability to mark and track individuals. A combination of molecular, morphological and environmental data improves understanding of spatial and temporal scales at which panmixia, disruption of gene flow or even speciation may occur. Vestimentiferan tubeworms of the genus Escarpia are important components of deep -sea cold seep ecosystems, as they provide long-term habitat for many other taxa. Three species of Escarpia, Escarpia spicata [Gulf of California (GoC)], Escarpia laminata [Gulf of Mexico (GoM)] and Escarpia southwardae (West African Cold Seeps), have been described based on morphology, but are not discriminated through the use of mitochondrial markers (cytochrome oxidase subunit 1; large ribosomal subunit rDNA, 16S; cytochrome b). Here, we also sequenced the exon-primed intron-crossing Haemoglobin subunit B2 intron and genotyped 28 microsatellites to (i) determine the level of genetic differentiation, if any, among the three geographically separated entities and (ii) identify possible population structure at the regional scale within the GoM and West Africa. Results at the global scale support the occurrence of three genetically distinct groups. At the regional scale among eight sampling sites of E. laminata (n = 129) and among three sampling sites of E. southwardae (n = 80), no population structure was detected. These findings suggest that despite the patchiness and isolation of seep habitats, connectivity is high on regional scales. PMID:23879204

  20. Observations of bubbles in natural seep flares at MC 118 and GC 600 using in situ quantitative imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Binbin; Socolofsky, Scott A.; Breier, John A.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.

    2016-04-01

    This paper reports the results of quantitative imaging using a stereoscopic, high-speed camera system at two natural gas seep sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the Gulf Integrated Spill Research G07 cruise in July 2014. The cruise was conducted on the E/V Nautilus using the ROV Hercules for in situ observation of the seeps as surrogates for the behavior of hydrocarbon bubbles in subsea blowouts. The seeps originated between 890 and 1190 m depth in Mississippi Canyon block 118 and Green Canyon block 600. The imaging system provided qualitative assessment of bubble behavior (e.g., breakup and coalescence) and verified the formation of clathrate hydrate skins on all bubbles above 1.3 m altitude. Quantitative image analysis yielded the bubble size distributions, rise velocity, total gas flux, and void fraction, with most measurements conducted from the seafloor to an altitude of 200 m. Bubble size distributions fit well to lognormal distributions, with median bubble sizes between 3 and 4.5 mm. Measurements of rise velocity fluctuated between two ranges: fast-rising bubbles following helical-type trajectories and bubbles rising about 40% slower following a zig-zag pattern. Rise speed was uncorrelated with hydrate formation, and bubbles following both speeds were observed at both sites. Ship-mounted multibeam sonar provided the flare rise heights, which corresponded closely with the boundary of the hydrate stability zone for the measured gas compositions. The evolution of bubble size with height agreed well with mass transfer rates predicted by equations for dirty bubbles.

  1. Microsensor studies on Padina from a natural CO2 seep: implications of morphology on acclimation to low pH.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Laurie C; Fink, Artur; Bischof, Kai; de Beer, Dirk

    2015-12-01

    Low seawater pH can be harmful to many calcifying marine organisms, but the calcifying macroalgae Padina spp. flourish at natural submarine carbon dioxide seeps where seawater pH is low. We show that the microenvironment created by the rolled thallus margin of Padina australis facilitates supersaturation of CaCO3 and calcifi-cation via photosynthesis-induced elevated pH. Using microsensors to investigate oxygen and pH dynamics in the microenvironment of P. australis at a shallow CO2 seep, we found that, under saturating light, the pH inside the microenvironment (pHME ) was higher than the external seawater (pHSW ) at all pHSW levels investigated, and the difference (i.e., pHME - pHSW ) increased with decreasing pHSW (0.9 units at pHSW 7.0). Gross photosynthesis (Pg ) inside the microenvironment increased with decreasing pHSW , but algae from the control site reached a threshold at pH 6.5. Seep algae showed no pH threshold with respect to Pg within the pHSW range investigated. The external carbonic anhydrase (CA) inhibitor, acetazolamide, strongly inhibited Pg of P. australis at pHSW 8.2, but the effect was diminished under low pHSW (6.4-7.5), suggesting a greater dependence on membrane-bound CA for the dehydration of HCO3 (-) ions during dissolved inorganic carbon uptake at the higher pHSW . In comparison, a calcifying green alga, Halimeda cuneata f. digitata, was not inhibited by AZ, suggesting efficient bicarbonate transport. The ability of P. australis to elevate pHME at the site of calcification and its strong dependence on CA may explain why it can thrive at low pHSW . PMID:26987005

  2. Comparative study of vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portail, M.; Olu, K.; Escobar-Briones, E.; Caprais, J. C.; Menot, L.; Waeles, M.; Cruaud, P.; Sarradin, P. M.; Godfroy, A.; Sarrazin, J.

    2015-09-01

    Understanding the ecological processes and connectivity of chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems requires comparative studies. In the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico), the presence of seeps and vents in the absence of a biogeographic barrier, and comparable sedimentary settings and depths offers a unique opportunity to assess the role of ecosystem-specific environmental conditions on macrofaunal communities. Six seep and four vent assemblages were studied, three of which were characterised by common major foundation taxa: vesicomyid bivalves, siboglinid tubeworms and microbial mats. Macrofaunal community structure at the family level showed that density, diversity and composition patterns were primarily shaped by seep- and vent-common abiotic factors including methane and hydrogen sulfide concentrations, whereas vent environmental specificities (higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH) were not significant. The type of substratum and the heterogeneity provided by foundation species were identified as additional structuring factors and their roles were found to vary according to fluid regimes. At the family level, seep and vent similarity reached at least 58 %. All vent families were found at seeps and each seep-specific family displayed low relative abundances (< 5 %). Moreover, 85 % of the identified species among dominant families were shared between seep and vent ecosystems. This study provides further support to the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems.

  3. Seep and stream nitrogen dynamics in two adjacent mixed land use watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many headwater catchments, streamflow originates from surface seeps and springs. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of seeps on nitrogen (N) dynamics within the stream and at the outlet of two adjacent mixed land use watersheds. Nitrogen concentrations in stream water were...

  4. Northern Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seep communities: Implications to the petroleum industry

    SciTech Connect

    Avent, R.M. )

    1990-05-01

    Most animals consume organic food sources based on primary productivity at the base of the food web. Little food reaches deep-sea bottom animals which are usually small, fragile, and sparsely distributed. Recent discoveries of chemosynthetic organisms worldwide have led to investigations into the taxonomy. ecology, biochemistry, and physiology of these forms. The dominant animals in these communities, several large species of vestimentiferan tube worms and bivalve mollusks, energetically use dissolved gases (primarily methane and hydrogen sulfide) issuing from the sea bottom under certain geological conditions. Endosymbiotic bacteria aid metabolic pathways. The large chemosynthetic animals and their dense populations (orders of magnitude over background) are the exceptions that prove the rule that food is an important limiting factor in the deep sea. The discovery of relatively shallow, luxuriant gas-seep communities on the Louisiana upper slope raises concerns on the environmental effects of nearby petroleum operations. To protect these communities, the Minerals Management Service requires photographic bottom surveys in depths from 400 to 900 m if geophysical evidence of seeps (wipeout zones or streams of bubbles) is found. If found near proposed well locations, high-density communities must be avoided thereby preventing physical damage from any structure. Deep-sea community surveys can be expensive and can result in alternative siting plans and development delays. But Minerals Management Service's requirements should conserve these shallow communities that have considerable value as natural laboratories accessible to academic study. We know little about the permanence, dynamics, recruitment recovery potential. and life requirements of chemosynthetic communities. Additional studies, funded by the Minerals Management Service, have been proposed.

  5. Infrared spectrometry field-method for identification of natural seep-oils.

    PubMed

    Grant, D F; Eastwood, D

    1983-11-01

    An infrared field-method has been developed which is capable of distinguishing between oils originating from natural seepage in the Santa Barbara (California) Channel region and closely similar oils from onshore drilling platforms. The technique involves a minimum of sample preparation and the use of simple infrared instrumentation which can be operated by non-technical personnel. Natural seep-oil samples were collected from the surface of the water, underwater, and from beaches in the area. The non-seep oils were obtained from production wells which were located in the same geographical areas as the seepage and were from several different well depths corresponding to different geological zones. Natural seep-oils are more aromatic than the production oils, and this difference is evidenced by observed differences in the spectra for both weathered and unweathered oils. These spectral differences between seep and non-seep oils have been found to persist after exposure to weathering for a week. PMID:18963475

  6. Preliminary Analysis of Manual and Automated Seep Detection in Multibeam Water-Column Backscatter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna, L.; Auner, L.; Weller, E.; Paton, M.; Doucet, M.; Lobecker, E.

    2014-12-01

    Identifying and locating gaseous seafloor seeps using multibeam sonar water-column backscatter is a growing interest in the scientific, energy, and resource management communities. Until recently, seeps were manually detected when viewing water-column backscatter returns in post-processing software. This manual procedure is time consuming and subjective. To examine this subjectivity, the NOAA Office of Exploration and Research conducted a quality control test using data collected during an expedition aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in the Gulf of Mexico from March to April, 2014. Water-column backscatter data was post-processed underway in FMMidwater and seep coordinates were manually geopicked from the beam fan. Ten percent of the original survey lines were independently re-processed using the same manual detection methods but with a different observer. Results show that manual seep selection can be highly variable between two different individuals. To help reduce this subjectivity and time required to manually detect seeps, QPS, Inc. developed a Feature Detection Tool for FMMidwater that uses an algorithm developed by the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping. To test the tool, the 10% subset of survey lines were run through the Feature Detection Tool using default settings, and the automatically detected seeps were compared with the manual geopicks. Not surprisingly, initial results show there can be variability between manual and algorithm seeps. Scrutiny of the automatic picks shows that the tool identified 60% of the seeps detected, and verified, by the independent manually-detecting observers. 32% of the seeps identified manually were missed by the tool, but 8% additional seeps were identified by the algorithm that had been missed through manual detection. The automatic detection showed several false positives, requiring manual intervention, but at a significantly lower level of effort than manual scrutinization of the raw

  7. Current activities handbook: formerly utilized sites remedial action program

    SciTech Connect

    1981-02-27

    This volume is one of a series produced under contract with the DOE, by Politech Corporation to develop a legislative and regulatory data base to assist the FUSRAP management in addressing the institutional and socioeconomic issues involved in carrying out the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. This Information Handbook series contains information about all relevant government agencies at the Federal and state levels, the pertinent programs they administer, each affected state legislature, and current Federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives. This volume is a compilation of information about the activities each of the thirteen state legislatures potentially affected by the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. It contains a description of the state legislative procedural rules and a schedule of each legislative session; a summary of pending relevant legislation; the name and telephone number of legislative and state agency contacts; and the full text of all bills identified.

  8. High-resolution isotopic records ( δ 18O and δ 13C) and cathodoluminescence study of lucinid shells from methane seeps of the Eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lietard, Cécile; Pierre, Catherine

    2008-08-01

    We present high-resolution isotopic records and cathodoluminescence studies of recently dead and live bivalve specimens from cold seeps, in an attempt to reconstruct environmental conditions during organism growth, and thereby the possible variability of fluid-venting activity at the seafloor. Shells of the burrowing lucinid Myrtea aff. amorpha were collected at three localities near actively venting methane seeps in the Eastern Mediterranean deep sea, using the Nautile submersible during two French oceanographic cruises: from the Kazan mud volcano, in the vicinity of the Anaximander mounts (MEDINAUT cruise, 1998), and from the central pockmark province and the Amon mud volcano of the Nile deep-sea fan (NAUTINIL cruise, 2003). The oxygen and carbon isotope compositions of 18 shells from the various localities, and also from different sites at the same locality show a rather strong scatter (1.8 < δ 18O‰ < 3.4; -10.2 < δ 13C‰ < 2.2), and values lower than those expected for carbonate precipitated at equilibrium with present-day bottom waters. This means that warm methane-rich fluids were mixed with bottom seawater during precipitation of shell carbonates. We have tried to determine ontogenetic age of two shells by using cathodoluminescence as a sclerochronological proxy, because the direct counting of carbonate increments was not possible in these specimens. There is a relatively good correspondence between cathodoluminescence trends and oxygen isotope profiles that might support the link between manganese incorporation during growth and temperature. Eight specimens of lucinid shells were selected for high-resolution isotopic profiling. A few shells exhibit decreasing δ 18O and δ 13C values from the umbo to the actively growing ventral shell margin, which can be attributed to the commonly observed physiologically controlled deceleration of growth with increasing organism age, this metabolic effect corresponding to the increase of incorporation of respiratory

  9. Thermal Signatures and Gas Hydrates in the Seeps of the Sea of Okhotsk; Results from KOMEX 2002 Cruise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poort, J.; Matveeva, T.; Soloviev, V.; Biebow, N.

    2003-04-01

    Hydrate accumulations at the seafloor appear to be restricted to areas of focused fluid discharge. These fluid discharge features are generally associated with significant near-surface thermal anomalies. The thermal signatures can learn us about the process of fluid migrations, but may also reveal characteristics of potential hydrate accumulations. We present new thermal data from the seeps in the Sea of Okhotsk obtained in 2002 during the Lavrentev29 cruise of the Russian-German KOMEX project. Core temperature measurements and thermal conductivity determinations were performed on seven 4-6m long sediment cores. Measurements were done immediately up on core arrival on deck in order to have a fair estimation of in situ sediment temperatures and heat flow. In the gas vents on the Sakhalin slope where gas hydrates were visually observed at a subbottom depth of 4 m, non-elevated temperatures and very low to negative heat flow values (-13 to 36 mW/m2) were recorded in the upper 4-5m of the sediment column. In the seepage area of the Derugin basin, on the other hand, all sampled sites are characterized by concave upward curved temperature profiles and high overall heat flow values (100-243 mW/m2). In one sediment core both thermal and water/gas content showed strong signatures of dissociated gas hydrates during core recovery, suggesting that gas hydrates are also present in this area. The near-vertical temperature profiles in the seeps on the Sakhalin slope suggest that not much heat is transport upward by fluids and probably more pure gas venting is taking place. The lenticular-bedded structure of the observed hydrates supports this scenario. The low temperature may also be a result of the dissociation of gas hydrates, which previously were observed at the same site but at shallower subbottom depths. In the Derugin seeps the concave temperature profiles suggest relatively strong upward fluid flow (20-60 cm/yr). More massive type hydrates might be formed here by

  10. Identification of covalent active site inhibitors of dengue virus protease

    PubMed Central

    Koh-Stenta, Xiaoying; Joy, Joma; Wang, Si Fang; Kwek, Perlyn Zekui; Wee, John Liang Kuan; Wan, Kah Fei; Gayen, Shovanlal; Chen, Angela Shuyi; Kang, CongBao; Lee, May Ann; Poulsen, Anders; Vasudevan, Subhash G; Hill, Jeffrey; Nacro, Kassoum

    2015-01-01

    Dengue virus (DENV) protease is an attractive target for drug development; however, no compounds have reached clinical development to date. In this study, we utilized a potent West Nile virus protease inhibitor of the pyrazole ester derivative class as a chemical starting point for DENV protease drug development. Compound potency and selectivity for DENV protease were improved through structure-guided small molecule optimization, and protease-inhibitor binding interactions were validated biophysically using nuclear magnetic resonance. Our work strongly suggests that this class of compounds inhibits flavivirus protease through targeted covalent modification of active site serine, contrary to an allosteric binding mechanism as previously described. PMID:26677315

  11. Polarizability of the active site of cytochrome c reduces the activation barrier for electron transfer.

    PubMed

    Dinpajooh, Mohammadhasan; Martin, Daniel R; Matyushov, Dmitry V

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes in biology's energy chains operate with low energy input distributed through multiple electron transfer steps between protein active sites. The general challenge of biological design is how to lower the activation barrier without sacrificing a large negative reaction free energy. We show that this goal is achieved through a large polarizability of the active site. It is polarized by allowing a large number of excited states, which are populated quantum mechanically by electrostatic fluctuations of the protein and hydration water shells. This perspective is achieved by extensive mixed quantum mechanical/molecular dynamics simulations of the half reaction of reduction of cytochrome c. The barrier for electron transfer is consistently lowered by increasing the number of excited states included in the Hamiltonian of the active site diagonalized along the classical trajectory. We suggest that molecular polarizability, in addition to much studied electrostatics of permanent charges, is a key parameter to consider in order to understand how enzymes work. PMID:27306204

  12. Polarizability of the active site of cytochrome c reduces the activation barrier for electron transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinpajooh, Mohammadhasan; Martin, Daniel R.; Matyushov, Dmitry V.

    2016-06-01

    Enzymes in biology’s energy chains operate with low energy input distributed through multiple electron transfer steps between protein active sites. The general challenge of biological design is how to lower the activation barrier without sacrificing a large negative reaction free energy. We show that this goal is achieved through a large polarizability of the active site. It is polarized by allowing a large number of excited states, which are populated quantum mechanically by electrostatic fluctuations of the protein and hydration water shells. This perspective is achieved by extensive mixed quantum mechanical/molecular dynamics simulations of the half reaction of reduction of cytochrome c. The barrier for electron transfer is consistently lowered by increasing the number of excited states included in the Hamiltonian of the active site diagonalized along the classical trajectory. We suggest that molecular polarizability, in addition to much studied electrostatics of permanent charges, is a key parameter to consider in order to understand how enzymes work.

  13. Polarizability of the active site of cytochrome c reduces the activation barrier for electron transfer

    PubMed Central

    Dinpajooh, Mohammadhasan; Martin, Daniel R.; Matyushov, Dmitry V.

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes in biology’s energy chains operate with low energy input distributed through multiple electron transfer steps between protein active sites. The general challenge of biological design is how to lower the activation barrier without sacrificing a large negative reaction free energy. We show that this goal is achieved through a large polarizability of the active site. It is polarized by allowing a large number of excited states, which are populated quantum mechanically by electrostatic fluctuations of the protein and hydration water shells. This perspective is achieved by extensive mixed quantum mechanical/molecular dynamics simulations of the half reaction of reduction of cytochrome c. The barrier for electron transfer is consistently lowered by increasing the number of excited states included in the Hamiltonian of the active site diagonalized along the classical trajectory. We suggest that molecular polarizability, in addition to much studied electrostatics of permanent charges, is a key parameter to consider in order to understand how enzymes work. PMID:27306204

  14. The copper active site of CBM33 polysaccharide oxygenases.

    PubMed

    Hemsworth, Glyn R; Taylor, Edward J; Kim, Robbert Q; Gregory, Rebecca C; Lewis, Sally J; Turkenburg, Johan P; Parkin, Alison; Davies, Gideon J; Walton, Paul H

    2013-04-24

    The capacity of metal-dependent fungal and bacterial polysaccharide oxygenases, termed GH61 and CBM33, respectively, to potentiate the enzymatic degradation of cellulose opens new possibilities for the conversion of recalcitrant biomass to biofuels. GH61s have already been shown to be unique metalloenzymes containing an active site with a mononuclear copper ion coordinated by two histidines, one of which is an unusual τ-N-methylated N-terminal histidine. We now report the structural and spectroscopic characterization of the corresponding copper CBM33 enzymes. CBM33 binds copper with high affinity at a mononuclear site, significantly stabilizing the enzyme. X-band EPR spectroscopy of Cu(II)-CBM33 shows a mononuclear type 2 copper site with the copper ion in a distorted axial coordination sphere, into which azide will coordinate as evidenced by the concomitant formation of a new absorption band in the UV/vis spectrum at 390 nm. The enzyme's three-dimensional structure contains copper, which has been photoreduced to Cu(I) by the incident X-rays, confirmed by X-ray absorption/fluorescence studies of both aqueous solution and intact crystals of Cu-CBM33. The single copper(I) ion is ligated in a T-shaped configuration by three nitrogen atoms from two histidine side chains and the amino terminus, similar to the endogenous copper coordination geometry found in fungal GH61. PMID:23540833

  15. The Copper Active Site of CBM33 Polysaccharide Oxygenases

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The capacity of metal-dependent fungal and bacterial polysaccharide oxygenases, termed GH61 and CBM33, respectively, to potentiate the enzymatic degradation of cellulose opens new possibilities for the conversion of recalcitrant biomass to biofuels. GH61s have already been shown to be unique metalloenzymes containing an active site with a mononuclear copper ion coordinated by two histidines, one of which is an unusual τ-N-methylated N-terminal histidine. We now report the structural and spectroscopic characterization of the corresponding copper CBM33 enzymes. CBM33 binds copper with high affinity at a mononuclear site, significantly stabilizing the enzyme. X-band EPR spectroscopy of Cu(II)-CBM33 shows a mononuclear type 2 copper site with the copper ion in a distorted axial coordination sphere, into which azide will coordinate as evidenced by the concomitant formation of a new absorption band in the UV/vis spectrum at 390 nm. The enzyme’s three-dimensional structure contains copper, which has been photoreduced to Cu(I) by the incident X-rays, confirmed by X-ray absorption/fluorescence studies of both aqueous solution and intact crystals of Cu-CBM33. The single copper(I) ion is ligated in a T-shaped configuration by three nitrogen atoms from two histidine side chains and the amino terminus, similar to the endogenous copper coordination geometry found in fungal GH61. PMID:23540833

  16. Temporal variation in natural methane seep rate due to tides, Coal Oil Point area, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boles, J. R.; Clark, J. F.; Leifer, I.; Washburn, L.

    2001-11-01

    Two large steel tents (each 30 m by 30 m), open at the bottom to the seafloor, capture ˜16,800 m3 d-1 (594 MCF) of primarily methane from a large natural hydrocarbon seep, occurring a kilometer offshore in 67 m of water. The gas is piped to shore where it is metered and processed. The seep flow rate was monitored hourly for 9 months. Our results show that the tidal forcing causes the flow rate to vary by 4-7% around the mean. These results are the first quantitative documentation of the effect of tides on natural gas seepage in relatively deep water. Time series analyses of the 9 month record clearly show four principal tidal components with periods of 12.0, 12.4, 23.9, and 25.8 hours. High tide correlates with reduced flow, and low tide correlates with increased flow. The correlation indicates that each meter increase of sea height results in a decrease of 10-15 m3 hr-1 or 1.5-2.2% of the hourly flow rate. The observed changes are best accounted for by a pore activation model, whereby gas is released from small pores at low pressures but is inhibited at higher pressure. Pressure-dependent gas solubility changes are a less likely cause of flow variation. Our study implies that sea level differences, on a tidal timescale, can significantly change the gas seepage rate from sediments. Lower sea level in the last hundred thousand years would presumably allow higher gas loss from the sediment, assuming sufficient gas present, because of reduced hydrostatic pressure at the sediment-sea interface. The magnitude of this long-term change cannot be extrapolated from our tidal data.

  17. Possible roles of uncultured archaea in carbon cycling in methane-seep sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshinaga, Marcos Y.; Lazar, Cassandre S.; Elvert, Marcus; Lin, Yu-Shih; Zhu, Chun; Heuer, Verena B.; Teske, Andreas; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe

    2015-09-01

    Studies on microbial carbon cycling uniformly confirm that anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria represent the dominant and most active fraction of the sedimentary microbial community in methane-seep sediments. However, little is known about other frequently observed and abundant microbial taxa, their role in carbon cycling and association with the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here, we provide a comprehensive characterization of stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) from several intact polar lipid (IPL) classes and metabolite pools in a downcore profile at a cold seep within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan. We aimed to evaluate microbial carbon metabolism using IPLs in relation to redox conditions, metabolites and 16S rRNA gene libraries. The 13C-depleted signature of carbon pools and microbial metabolites in pore waters (e.g., dissolved inorganic carbon, lactate and acetate) demonstrated high accumulation of AOM-associated biomass and subsequent turnover thereof. ANMEs accounted for a small fraction of the archaeal 16S rRNA gene survey, whereas sequences of other uncultured benthic archaea dominated the clone libraries, particularly the Marine Benthic Group D. On the basis of lipid diversity and carbon isotope information, we suggest that structurally diverse phospho- and glycolipids, including the recently identified unsaturated tetraethers that are particularly abundant in this setting, are likely derived from archaea other than ANMEs. Through the evaluation of δ13C values of individual IPL, our results indicate heterotrophy as a possible metabolic pathway of archaea in these AOM-dominated sediments.

  18. An Active Site Water Network in the Plasminogen Activator Pla from Yersinia pestis

    SciTech Connect

    Eren, Elif; Murphy, Megan; Goguen, Jon; van den Berg, Bert

    2010-08-13

    The plasminogen activator Pla from Yersinia pestis is an outer membrane protease (omptin) that is important for the virulence of plague. Here, we present the high-resolution crystal structure of wild-type, enzymatically active Pla at 1.9 {angstrom}. The structure shows a water molecule located between active site residues D84 and H208, which likely corresponds to the nucleophilic water. A number of other water molecules are present in the active site, linking residues important for enzymatic activity. The R211 sidechain in loop L4 is close to the nucleophilic water and possibly involved in the stabilization of the oxyanion intermediate. Subtle conformational changes of H208 result from the binding of lipopolysaccharide to the outside of the barrel, explaining the unusual dependence of omptins on lipopolysaccharide for activity. The Pla structure suggests a model for the interaction with plasminogen substrate and provides a more detailed understanding of the catalytic mechanism of omptin proteases.

  19. Target-classification approach applied to active UXO sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shubitidze, F.; Fernández, J. P.; Shamatava, Irma; Barrowes, B. E.; O'Neill, K.

    2013-06-01

    This study is designed to illustrate the discrimination performance at two UXO active sites (Oklahoma's Fort Sill and the Massachusetts Military Reservation) of a set of advanced electromagnetic induction (EMI) inversion/discrimination models which include the orthonormalized volume magnetic source (ONVMS), joint diagonalization (JD), and differential evolution (DE) approaches and whose power and flexibility greatly exceed those of the simple dipole model. The Fort Sill site is highly contaminated by a mix of the following types of munitions: 37-mm target practice tracers, 60-mm illumination mortars, 75-mm and 4.5'' projectiles, 3.5'', 2.36'', and LAAW rockets, antitank mine fuzes with and without hex nuts, practice MK2 and M67 grenades, 2.5'' ballistic windshields, M2A1-mines with/without bases, M19-14 time fuzes, and 40-mm practice grenades with/without cartridges. The site at the MMR site contains targets of yet different sizes. In this work we apply our models to EMI data collected using the MetalMapper (MM) and 2 × 2 TEMTADS sensors. The data for each anomaly are inverted to extract estimates of the extrinsic and intrinsic parameters associated with each buried target. (The latter include the total volume magnetic source or NVMS, which relates to size, shape, and material properties; the former includes location, depth, and orientation). The estimated intrinsic parameters are then used for classification performed via library matching and the use of statistical classification algorithms; this process yielded prioritized dig-lists that were submitted to the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) for independent scoring. The models' classification performance is illustrated and assessed based on these independent evaluations.

  20. Differential Active Site Loop Conformations Mediate Promiscuous Activities in the Lactonase SsoPox

    PubMed Central

    Elias, Mikael; Chabriere, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Enzymes are proficient catalysts that enable fast rates of Michaelis-complex formation, the chemical step and products release. These different steps may require different conformational states of the active site that have distinct binding properties. Moreover, the conformational flexibility of the active site mediates alternative, promiscuous functions. Here we focused on the lactonase SsoPox from Sulfolobus solfataricus. SsoPox is a native lactonase endowed with promiscuous phosphotriesterase activity. We identified a position in the active site loop (W263) that governs its flexibility, and thereby affects the substrate specificity of the enzyme. We isolated two different sets of substitutions at position 263 that induce two distinct conformational sampling of the active loop and characterized the structural and kinetic effects of these substitutions. These sets of mutations selectively and distinctly mediate the improvement of the promiscuous phosphotriesterase and oxo-lactonase activities of SsoPox by increasing active-site loop flexibility. These observations corroborate the idea that conformational diversity governs enzymatic promiscuity and is a key feature of protein evolvability. PMID:24086491

  1. Spectroscopic Definition of the Ferroxidase Site in M Ferritin: Comparison of Binuclear Substrate vs. Cofactor Active Sites

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Jennifer K.; Liu, Xiaofeng S.; Tosha, Takehiko; Theil, Elizabeth C.; Solomon, Edward I.

    2008-01-01

    Maxi ferritins, 24 subunit protein nanocages, are essential in humans, plants, bacteria, and other animals for the concentration and storage of iron as hydrated ferric oxide, while minimizing free radical generation or use by pathogens. Formation of the precursors to these ferric oxides is catalyzed at a non-heme biferrous substrate site, which has some parallels with the cofactor sites in other biferrous enzymes. A combination of circular dichroism (CD), magnetic circular dichroism (MCD), and variable-temperature, variable-field MCD (VTVH MCD) has been used to probe Fe(II) binding to the substrate active site in frog M ferritin. These data determined that the active site within each subunit consists of two inequivalent five-coordinate (5C) ferrous centers that are weakly anti-ferromagnetically coupled, consistent with a μ-1,3 carboxylate bridge. The active site ligand set is unusual and likely includes a terminal water bound to each Fe(II) center. The Fe(II) ions bind to the active sites in a concerted manner, and cooperativity among the sites in each subunit is observed, potentially providing a mechanism for the control of ferritin iron loading. Differences in geometric and electronic structure – including a weak ligand field, availability of two water ligands at the biferrous substrate site, and the single carboxylate bridge in ferritin – coincide with the divergent reaction pathways observed between this substrate site and the previously studied cofactor active sites. PMID:18576633

  2. Metal active site elasticity linked to activation of homocysteine in methionine synthases

    SciTech Connect

    Koutmos, Markos; Pejchal, Robert; Bomer, Theresa M.; Matthews, Rowena G.; Smith, Janet L.; Ludwig, Martha L.

    2008-04-02

    Enzymes possessing catalytic zinc centers perform a variety of fundamental processes in nature, including methyl transfer to thiols. Cobalamin-independent (MetE) and cobalamin-dependent (MetH) methionine synthases are two such enzyme families. Although they perform the same net reaction, transfer of a methyl group from methyltetrahydrofolate to homocysteine (Hcy) to form methionine, they display markedly different catalytic strategies, modular organization, and active site zinc centers. Here we report crystal structures of zinc-replete MetE and MetH, both in the presence and absence of Hcy. Structural investigation of the catalytic zinc sites of these two methyltransferases reveals an unexpected inversion of zinc geometry upon binding of Hcy and displacement of an endogenous ligand in both enzymes. In both cases a significant movement of the zinc relative to the protein scaffold accompanies inversion. These structures provide new information on the activation of thiols by zinc-containing enzymes and have led us to propose a paradigm for the mechanism of action of the catalytic zinc sites in these and related methyltransferases. Specifically, zinc is mobile in the active sites of MetE and MetH, and its dynamic nature helps facilitate the active site conformational changes necessary for thiol activation and methyl transfer.

  3. Evidence for segmental mobility in the active site of pepsin

    SciTech Connect

    Pohl, J.; Strop, P.; Senn, H.; Foundling, S.; Kostka, V.

    1986-05-01

    The low hydrolytic activity (k/sub cat/ < 0.001 s/sup -1/) of chicken pepsin (CP) towards tri- and tetrapeptides is enhanced at least 100 times by modification of its single sulfhydryl group of Cys-115, with little effect on K/sub m/-values. Modification thus simulates the effect of secondary substrate binding on pepsin catalysis. The rate of Cys-115 modification is substantially decreased in the presence of some competitive inhibitors, suggesting its active site location. Experiments with CP alkylated at Cys-115 with Acrylodan as a fluorescent probe or with N-iodoacetyl-(4-fluoro)-aniline as a /sup 19/F-nmr probe suggest conformation change around Cys-115 to occur on substrate or substrate analog binding. The difference /sup 1/H-nmr spectra (500 MHz) of unmodified free and inhibitor-complexed CP reveal chemical shifts almost exclusively in the aromatic region. The effects of Cu/sup + +/ on /sup 19/F- and /sup 1/H-nmr spectra have been studied. Examination of a computer graphics model of CP based on E. parasitica pepsin-inhibitor complex X-ray coordinates suggests that Cys-115 is located near the S/sub 3//S/sub 5/ binding site. The results are interpreted in favor of segmental mobility of this region important for pepsin substrate binding and catalysis.

  4. Perchlorate Reductase Is Distinguished by Active Site Aromatic Gate Residues.

    PubMed

    Youngblut, Matthew D; Tsai, Chi-Lin; Clark, Iain C; Carlson, Hans K; Maglaqui, Adrian P; Gau-Pan, Phonchien S; Redford, Steven A; Wong, Alan; Tainer, John A; Coates, John D

    2016-04-22

    Perchlorate is an important ion on both Earth and Mars. Perchlorate reductase (PcrAB), a specialized member of the dimethylsulfoxide reductase superfamily, catalyzes the first step of microbial perchlorate respiration, but little is known about the biochemistry, specificity, structure, and mechanism of PcrAB. Here we characterize the biophysics and phylogeny of this enzyme and report the 1.86-Å resolution PcrAB complex crystal structure. Biochemical analysis revealed a relatively high perchlorate affinity (Km = 6 μm) and a characteristic substrate inhibition compared with the highly similar respiratory nitrate reductase NarGHI, which has a relatively much lower affinity for perchlorate (Km = 1.1 mm) and no substrate inhibition. Structural analysis of oxidized and reduced PcrAB with and without the substrate analog SeO3 (2-) bound to the active site identified key residues in the positively charged and funnel-shaped substrate access tunnel that gated substrate entrance and product release while trapping transiently produced chlorate. The structures suggest gating was associated with shifts of a Phe residue between open and closed conformations plus an Asp residue carboxylate shift between monodentate and bidentate coordination to the active site molybdenum atom. Taken together, structural and mutational analyses of gate residues suggest key roles of these gate residues for substrate entrance and product release. Our combined results provide the first detailed structural insight into the mechanism of biological perchlorate reduction, a critical component of the chlorine redox cycle on Earth. PMID:26940877

  5. Eel calcitonin binding site distribution and antinociceptive activity in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Guidobono, F.; Netti, C.; Sibilia, V.; Villa, I.; Zamboni, A.; Pecile, A.

    1986-03-01

    The distribution of binding site for (/sup 125/I)-eel-calcitonin (ECT) to rat central nervous system, studied by an autoradiographic technique, showed concentrations of binding in the diencephalon, the brain stem and the spinal cord. Large accumulations of grains were seen in the hypothalamus, the amygdala, in the fasciculus medialis prosencephali, in the fasciculus longitudinalis medialis, in the ventrolateral part of the periventricular gray matter, in the lemniscus medialis and in the raphe nuclei. The density of grains in the reticular formation and in the nucleus tractus spinalis nervi trigemini was more moderate. In the spinal cord, grains were scattered throughout the dorsal horns. Binding of the ligand was displaced equally by cold ECT and by salmon CT(sCT), indicating that both peptides bind to the same receptors. Human CT was much weaker than sCT in displacing (/sup 125/I)-ECT binding. The administration of ECT into the brain ventricles of rats dose-dependently induced a significant and long-lasting enhancement of hot-plate latencies comparable with that obtained with sCT. The antinociceptive activity induced by ECT is compatible with the topographical distribution of binding sites for the peptide and is a further indication that fish CTs are active in the mammalian brain.

  6. New gastropods from deep-sea hydrocarbon seeps off West Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warén, Anders; Bouchet, Philippe

    2009-12-01

    Thirteen new species of gastropods are described from the Zairov 1-2 and Biozaire 1-3 cruises to the methane seeps off the Congo River: Patellogastropoda: Paralepetopsis sasakii sp. nov. (Neolepetopsidae); Cocculiniformia: Pyropelta oluae sp. nov. and P. sibuetae sp. nov. (Pyropeltidae); Tentaoculus granulatus sp. nov. (Pseudococculinidae); Neomphalina: Leptogyra costellata sp. nov. (Family uncertain); Vetigastropoda: Puncturella similis sp. nov. (Fissurellidae); Lepetodrilus shannonae sp. nov. (Lepetodrilidae); Caenogastropoda: Provanna reticulata sp. nov. and P. chevalieri sp. nov., Cordesia provannoides gen. et sp. nov. (Provannidae); Phymorhynchus coseli sp. nov. and P. cingulata sp. nov. (Conidae); Heterobranchia: Hyalogyrina rissoella sp. nov. (Hyalogyrinidae). All species except T. granulatus (from a settlement trap) belong to groups known from cold seeps and the entire seep fauna here is new to science. Biogeographical affinity of this gastropod fauna is to the West Atlantic seeps, not to the Mediterranean seeps or Mid-Atlantic vents. Fragments of the autecology of the species are presented. The evolution of the seep gastropod fauna is briefly discussed and a continuous immigration of taxa is supported. The oldest verified occurrences of modern taxa in the seeps date back to Cenomanian (Cretaceous) time, while some taxa seem not to appear until very late Tertiary.

  7. Inspection and monitoring plan, contaminated groundwater seeps 317/319/ENE Area, Argonne National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    1996-10-11

    During the course of completing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) in the 317/319/East-Northeast (ENE) Area of Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E), groundwater was discovered moving to the surface through a series of groundwater seeps. The seeps are located in a ravine approximately 600 ft south of the ANL-E fence line in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Samples of the seep water were collected and analyzed for selected parameters. Two of the five seeps sampled were found to contain detectable levels of organic contaminants. Three chemical species were identified: chloroform (14--25 {micro}g/L), carbon tetrachloride (56--340 {micro}g/L), and tetrachloroethylene (3--6 {micro}g/L). The other seeps did not contain detectable levels of volatile organics. The nature of the contaminants in the seeps will also be monitored on a regular basis. Samples of surface water flowing through the bottom of the ravine and groundwater emanating from the seeps will be collected and analyzed for chemical and radioactive constituents. The results of the routine sampling will be compared with the concentrations used in the risk assessment. If the concentrations exceed those used in the risk assessment, the risk calculations will be revised by using the higher numbers. This revised analysis will determine if additional actions are warranted.

  8. Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program: Program plan. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    Ashwood, T.L.; Wickliff, D.S.; Morrissey, C.M.

    1992-02-01

    The Active Sites Environmental Monitoring Program (ASEMP), initiated in 1989, provides early detection and performance monitoring of transuranic (TRU) waste and active low-level waste (LLW) facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in accordance with US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5820.2A. Active LLW facilities in Solid Waste Storage Area (SWSA) 6 include Tumulus I and Tumulus II, the Interim Waste Management Facility (IWMF), LLW silos, high-range wells, asbestos silos, and fissile wells. The tumulus pads and IWMF are aboveground, high-strength concrete pads on which concrete vaults containing metal boxes of LLW are placed; the void space between the boxes and vaults is filled with grout. Eventually, these pads and vaults will be covered by an engineered multilayered cap. All other LLW facilities in SWSA 6 are below ground. In addition, this plan includes monitoring of the Hillcut Disposal Test Facility (HDTF) in SWSA 6, even though this facility was completed prior to the data of the DOE order. In SWSA 5 North, the TRU facilities include below-grade engineered caves, high-range wells, and unlined trenches. All samples from SWSA 6 are screened for alpha and beta activity, counted for gamma-emitting isotopes, and analyzed for tritium. In addition to these analytes, samples from SWSA 5 North are analyzed for specific transuranic elements.

  9. Low δ13C in tests of live epibenthic and endobenthic foraminifera at a site of active methane seepage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackensen, Andreas; Wollenburg, Jutta; Licari, Laetitia

    2006-06-01

    To investigate the use of benthic foraminifera as a means to document ancient methane release, we determined the stable isotopic composition of tests of live (Rose Bengal stained) and dead specimens of epibenthic Fontbotia wuellerstorfi, preferentially used in paleoceanographic reconstructions, and of endobenthic high-latitude Cassidulina neoteretis and Cassidulina reniforme from a cold methane-venting seep off northern Norway. We collected foraminiferal tests from three push cores and nine multiple cores obtained with a remotely operated vehicle and a video-guided multiple corer, respectively. All sampled sites except one control site are situated at the Håkon Mosby mud volcano (HMMV) on the Barents Sea continental slope in 1250 m water depth. At the HMMV in areas densely populated by pogonophoran tube worms, δ13C values of cytoplasm-containing epibenthic F. wuellerstorfi are by up to 4.4‰ lower than at control site, thus representing the lowest values hitherto reported for this species. Live C. neoteretis and C. reniforme reach δ13C values of -7.5 and -5.5‰ Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite (VPDB), respectively, whereas δ13C values of their empty tests are higher by 4‰ and 3‰. However, δ13C values of empty tests are never lower than those of stained specimens, although they are still lower than empty tests from the control site. This indicates that authigenic calcite precipitates at or below the sediment surface are not significantly influencing the stable isotopic composition of foraminiferal shells. The comparatively high δ13C results rather from upward convection of pore water and fluid mud during active methane venting phases at these sites. These processes mingle tests just recently calcified with older ones secreted at intermittent times of less or no methane discharge. Since cytoplasm-containing specimens of suspension feeder F. wuellerstorfi are almost exclusively found attached to pogonophores, which protrude up to 3 cm above the sediment, and δ13C

  10. Epizooic metazoan meiobenthos associated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations from cold seeps of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Bright, M.; Plum, C.; Riavitz, L.A.; Nikolov, N.; Martinez Arbizu, P.; Cordes, E.E.; Gollner, S.

    2010-01-01

    The abundance and higher taxonomic composition of epizooic metazoan meiobenthic communities associated with mussel and tubeworm aggregations of hydrocarbon seeps at Green Canyon, Atwater Valley, and Alaminos Canyon in depths between 1400 and 2800 m were studied and compared to the infaunal community of non-seep sediments nearby. Epizooic meiofaunal abundances of associated meiobenthos living in tubeworm bushes and mussel beds at seeps were extremely low (usually <100 ind. 10 cm−2), similar to epizooic meiofauna at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and the communities were composed primarily of nematodes, copepods, ostracods, and halacarids. In contrast, epizooic meiobenthic abundance is lower than previous studies have reported for infauna from seep sediments. Interestingly, non-seep sediments contained higher abundances and higher taxonomic diversity than epizooic seep communities, although in situ primary production is restricted to seeps. PMID:21264038

  11. Epizooic metazoan meiobenthos associated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations from cold seeps of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Bright, M; Plum, C; Riavitz, L A; Nikolov, N; Martinez Arbizu, P; Cordes, E E; Gollner, S

    2010-11-01

    The abundance and higher taxonomic composition of epizooic metazoan meiobenthic communities associated with mussel and tubeworm aggregations of hydrocarbon seeps at Green Canyon, Atwater Valley, and Alaminos Canyon in depths between 1400 and 2800 m were studied and compared to the infaunal community of non-seep sediments nearby. Epizooic meiofaunal abundances of associated meiobenthos living in tubeworm bushes and mussel beds at seeps were extremely low (usually <100 ind. 10 cm(-2)), similar to epizooic meiofauna at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and the communities were composed primarily of nematodes, copepods, ostracods, and halacarids. In contrast, epizooic meiobenthic abundance is lower than previous studies have reported for infauna from seep sediments. Interestingly, non-seep sediments contained higher abundances and higher taxonomic diversity than epizooic seep communities, although in situ primary production is restricted to seeps. PMID:21264038

  12. Microbial communities of deep-sea methane seeps at Hikurangi continental margin (New Zealand).

    PubMed

    Ruff, S Emil; Arnds, Julia; Knittel, Katrin; Amann, Rudolf; Wegener, Gunter; Ramette, Alban; Boetius, Antje

    2013-01-01

    The methane-emitting cold seeps of Hikurangi margin (New Zealand) are among the few deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere known to date. Here we compared the biogeochemistry and microbial communities of a variety of Hikurangi cold seep ecosystems. These included highly reduced seep habitats dominated by bacterial mats, partially oxidized habitats populated by heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes and deeply oxidized habitats dominated by chemosynthetic frenulate tubeworms. The ampharetid habitats were characterized by a thick oxic sediment layer that hosted a diverse and biomass-rich community of aerobic methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria. These bacteria consumed up to 25% of the emanating methane and clustered within three deep-branching groups named Marine Methylotrophic Group (MMG) 1-3. MMG1 and MMG2 methylotrophs belong to the order Methylococcales, whereas MMG3 methylotrophs are related to the Methylophaga. Organisms of the groups MMG1 and MMG3 are close relatives of chemosynthetic endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. The anoxic sediment layers of all investigated seeps were dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) of the ANME-2 clade and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Microbial community analysis using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) showed that the different seep habitats hosted distinct microbial communities, which were strongly influenced by the seep-associated fauna and the geographic location. Despite outstanding features of Hikurangi seep communities, the organisms responsible for key ecosystem functions were similar to those found at seeps worldwide. This suggests that similar types of biogeochemical settings select for similar community composition regardless of geographic distance. Because ampharetid polychaetes are widespread at cold seeps the role of aerobic methanotrophy may have been underestimated in seafloor methane budgets. PMID:24098632

  13. Microbial Communities of Deep-Sea Methane Seeps at Hikurangi Continental Margin (New Zealand)

    PubMed Central

    Ruff, S. Emil; Arnds, Julia; Knittel, Katrin; Amann, Rudolf; Wegener, Gunter; Ramette, Alban; Boetius, Antje

    2013-01-01

    The methane-emitting cold seeps of Hikurangi margin (New Zealand) are among the few deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems of the Southern Hemisphere known to date. Here we compared the biogeochemistry and microbial communities of a variety of Hikurangi cold seep ecosystems. These included highly reduced seep habitats dominated by bacterial mats, partially oxidized habitats populated by heterotrophic ampharetid polychaetes and deeply oxidized habitats dominated by chemosynthetic frenulate tubeworms. The ampharetid habitats were characterized by a thick oxic sediment layer that hosted a diverse and biomass-rich community of aerobic methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria. These bacteria consumed up to 25% of the emanating methane and clustered within three deep-branching groups named Marine Methylotrophic Group (MMG) 1-3. MMG1 and MMG2 methylotrophs belong to the order Methylococcales, whereas MMG3 methylotrophs are related to the Methylophaga. Organisms of the groups MMG1 and MMG3 are close relatives of chemosynthetic endosymbionts of marine invertebrates. The anoxic sediment layers of all investigated seeps were dominated by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) of the ANME-2 clade and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Microbial community analysis using Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) showed that the different seep habitats hosted distinct microbial communities, which were strongly influenced by the seep-associated fauna and the geographic location. Despite outstanding features of Hikurangi seep communities, the organisms responsible for key ecosystem functions were similar to those found at seeps worldwide. This suggests that similar types of biogeochemical settings select for similar community composition regardless of geographic distance. Because ampharetid polychaetes are widespread at cold seeps the role of aerobic methanotrophy may have been underestimated in seafloor methane budgets. PMID:24098632

  14. Active Site and Laminarin Binding in Glycoside Hydrolase Family 55*

    PubMed Central

    Bianchetti, Christopher M.; Takasuka, Taichi E.; Deutsch, Sam; Udell, Hannah S.; Yik, Eric J.; Bergeman, Lai F.; Fox, Brian G.

    2015-01-01

    The Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy) database indicates that glycoside hydrolase family 55 (GH55) contains both endo- and exo-β-1,3-glucanases. The founding structure in the GH55 is PcLam55A from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Ishida, T., Fushinobu, S., Kawai, R., Kitaoka, M., Igarashi, K., and Samejima, M. (2009) Crystal structure of glycoside hydrolase family 55 β-1,3-glucanase from the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 10100–10109). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of bacterial SacteLam55A from the highly cellulolytic Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E with bound substrates and product. These structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, implicate Glu-502 as the catalytic acid (as proposed earlier for Glu-663 in PcLam55A) and a proton relay network of four residues in activating water as the nucleophile. Further, a set of conserved aromatic residues that define the active site apparently enforce an exo-glucanase reactivity as demonstrated by exhaustive hydrolysis reactions with purified laminarioligosaccharides. Two additional aromatic residues that line the substrate-binding channel show substrate-dependent conformational flexibility that may promote processive reactivity of the bound oligosaccharide in the bacterial enzymes. Gene synthesis carried out on ∼30% of the GH55 family gave 34 active enzymes (19% functional coverage of the nonredundant members of GH55). These active enzymes reacted with only laminarin from a panel of 10 different soluble and insoluble polysaccharides and displayed a broad range of specific activities and optima for pH and temperature. Application of this experimental method provides a new, systematic way to annotate glycoside hydrolase phylogenetic space for functional properties. PMID:25752603

  15. Active site and laminarin binding in glycoside hydrolase family 55.

    PubMed

    Bianchetti, Christopher M; Takasuka, Taichi E; Deutsch, Sam; Udell, Hannah S; Yik, Eric J; Bergeman, Lai F; Fox, Brian G

    2015-05-01

    The Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy) database indicates that glycoside hydrolase family 55 (GH55) contains both endo- and exo-β-1,3-glucanases. The founding structure in the GH55 is PcLam55A from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Ishida, T., Fushinobu, S., Kawai, R., Kitaoka, M., Igarashi, K., and Samejima, M. (2009) Crystal structure of glycoside hydrolase family 55 β-1,3-glucanase from the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 10100-10109). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of bacterial SacteLam55A from the highly cellulolytic Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E with bound substrates and product. These structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, implicate Glu-502 as the catalytic acid (as proposed earlier for Glu-663 in PcLam55A) and a proton relay network of four residues in activating water as the nucleophile. Further, a set of conserved aromatic residues that define the active site apparently enforce an exo-glucanase reactivity as demonstrated by exhaustive hydrolysis reactions with purified laminarioligosaccharides. Two additional aromatic residues that line the substrate-binding channel show substrate-dependent conformational flexibility that may promote processive reactivity of the bound oligosaccharide in the bacterial enzymes. Gene synthesis carried out on ∼30% of the GH55 family gave 34 active enzymes (19% functional coverage of the nonredundant members of GH55). These active enzymes reacted with only laminarin from a panel of 10 different soluble and insoluble polysaccharides and displayed a broad range of specific activities and optima for pH and temperature. Application of this experimental method provides a new, systematic way to annotate glycoside hydrolase phylogenetic space for functional properties. PMID:25752603

  16. Active Site Loop Conformation Regulates Promiscuous Activity in a Lactonase from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu; An, Jiao; Yang, Guang-Yu; Bai, Aixi; Zheng, Baisong; Lou, Zhiyong; Wu, Geng; Ye, Wei; Chen, Hai-Feng; Feng, Yan; Manco, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme promiscuity is a prerequisite for fast divergent evolution of biocatalysts. A phosphotriesterase-like lactonase (PLL) from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 (GkaP) exhibits main lactonase and promiscuous phosphotriesterase activities. To understand its catalytic and evolutionary mechanisms, we investigated a “hot spot” in the active site by saturation mutagenesis as well as X-ray crystallographic analyses. We found that position 99 in the active site was involved in substrate discrimination. One mutant, Y99L, exhibited 11-fold improvement over wild-type in reactivity (kcat/Km) toward the phosphotriesterase substrate ethyl-paraoxon, but showed 15-fold decrease toward the lactonase substrate δ-decanolactone, resulting in a 157-fold inversion of the substrate specificity. Structural analysis of Y99L revealed that the mutation causes a ∼6.6 Å outward shift of adjacent loop 7, which may cause increased flexibility of the active site and facilitate accommodation and/or catalysis of organophosphate substrate. This study provides for the PLL family an example of how the evolutionary route from promiscuity to specificity can derive from very few mutations, which promotes alteration in the conformational adjustment of the active site loops, in turn draws the capacity of substrate binding and activity. PMID:25706379

  17. Lipid Biomarkers and Carbon Isotopic Composition from Authigenic Carbonates and Seep Sediments from the US Mid-Atlantic Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, P.; Prouty, N.; Demopoulos, A. W.; Roark, B.; Coykendall, K.

    2015-12-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), mediated by Archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria, is common in continental margin sediment and can result in authigenic carbonate precipitation. A lipid biomarker study was undertaken in Mid-Atlantic submarine canyons, focusing specifically on Baltimore and Norfolk canyons, to determine biomarker variability of carbonate rock and the associated sediment in cold seep communities dominated by chemosynthetic mussels, Bathymodiolus childressi. Preliminary 16S metagenomic results confirm the presence of free-living sulfur-reducing bacteria and methantrophic endosymbiotic bacteria in the mussels. Depleted d13C values in both the mussel tissue (-63 ‰) and authigenic carbonates (-48 ‰) support methanotrophy as the dominant nutritional pathway and AOM as the main driver of carbonate precipitation. In addition, paired 14C and 230Th dates are highly discordant, reflecting dilution of the 14C pool with fossil hydrocarbon derived carbon. Seep and canyon sediment, as well as authigenic carbonates, were collected and analyzed for a suite of biomarkers, including sterols, alcohols, alkanes and fatty acids, as well as δ13C values of select biomarkers, to elucidate pathways of organic matter cycling. A comparison of terrestrial biomarker signatures (e.g., n-alkane carbon preference index and C23 / (C23 + C29) values, HMW n-alkanes and C29 sterols) suggests that terrestrial inputs dominate the submarine canyon surface sediment, whereas seep sediment is predominantly marine autochthonous (i.e., cholesterol and 5α-cholestanol). Lipid biomarker profiles (e.g., n-alkanes in the C15 to C33 range) from authigenic carbonates mirror those found in the seep sediment, suggesting that the organisms mediating carbonate precipitation on the seafloor are characteristic of the assemblages present in the sediment at these sites. With widespread methane leakage recently discovered along the Atlantic Margin, the presence of AOM-mediated carbonate

  18. Spatial and temporal characterization of a cold seep-hydrate system (Woolsey Mound, deep-water Gulf of Mexico)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonetti, Antonello

    Cold seeps are areas where methane is transferred from the lithosphere into the hydrosphere, accounting for the major source of hydrocarbons in seawaters. Formation of gas hydrate in cold seeps modulates the global discharge of methane to the environment. However, cold seeps are dynamic settings where hydrates dissociate on short and long time-scales triggering substantial methane fluxes to the oceans. These methane vents sustain unique ecosystems at the ocean floors and contribute to ocean acidification. Also, the methane can potentially reach the sea surface and be exchanged with the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Understanding how cold seep-hydrate systems (CSHSs) operate through time and space is therefore crucial to evaluate their global impact on ocean biogeochemistry and climate. The area investigated is Woolsey Mound, a CSHS located in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. For the first part of the research, the goal was to determine the spatial distribution of subsurface gas hydrate at this site. In terms of hydrate-reservoir category, Woolsey Mound is classified as "seafloor mound" and "fractured mud". To date, these two categories are poorly constrained worldwide. This study documents a successful integration of high-resolution seismic and core data to detect the spatial distribution of hydrates in such settings. The approach adopted and the model may be applied globally for these reservoir categories. The aim of the second part was to untangle the contentious long-term (thousands to millions of years) dynamics driving methane hydrate dissociation and seepage in CSHSs. Analyses on high-resolution seismic data suggest that tectonics is the main forcing mechanism and that CSHSs may operate independently from eustatic fluctuations. This contradicts the broad consensus in the literature about methane seepage in CSHSs being systematically triggered during sea-level lowstand. The third part of the research aimed to characterize the short-term (years

  19. Extensive site-directed mutagenesis reveals interconnected functional units in the alkaline phosphatase active site.

    PubMed

    Sunden, Fanny; Peck, Ariana; Salzman, Julia; Ressl, Susanne; Herschlag, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Enzymes enable life by accelerating reaction rates to biological timescales. Conventional studies have focused on identifying the residues that have a direct involvement in an enzymatic reaction, but these so-called 'catalytic residues' are embedded in extensive interaction networks. Although fundamental to our understanding of enzyme function, evolution, and engineering, the properties of these networks have yet to be quantitatively and systematically explored. We dissected an interaction network of five residues in the active site of Escherichia coli alkaline phosphatase. Analysis of the complex catalytic interdependence of specific residues identified three energetically independent but structurally interconnected functional units with distinct modes of cooperativity. From an evolutionary perspective, this network is orders of magnitude more probable to arise than a fully cooperative network. From a functional perspective, new catalytic insights emerge. Further, such comprehensive energetic characterization will be necessary to benchmark the algorithms required to rationally engineer highly efficient enzymes. PMID:25902402

  20. A molecular gut content study of Themisto abyssorum (Amphipoda) from Arctic hydrothermal vent and cold seep systems.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Bernt Rydland; Troedsson, Christofer; Hadziavdic, Kenan; Pedersen, Rolf B; Rapp, Hans Tore

    2014-08-01

    The use of DNA as a marker for prey inside the gut of predators has been instrumental in further understanding of known and unknown interactions. Molecular approaches are in particular useful in unavailable environments like the deep sea. Trophic interactions in the deep sea are difficult to observe in situ, correct deep-sea experimental laboratory conditions are difficult to obtain, animals rarely survive the sampling, or the study organisms feed during the sampling due to long hauls. Preliminary studies of vent and seep systems in the Nordic Seas have identified the temperate-cold-water pelagic amphipod Themisto abyssorum as a potentially important predator in these chemosynthetic habitats. However, the prey of this deep-sea predator is poorly known, and we applied denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) to investigate the predator-prey interactions of T. abyssorum in deep-water vent and seep systems. Two deep-water hydrothermally active localities (The Jan Mayen and Loki's Castle vent fields) and one cold seep locality (The Håkon Mosby mud volcano) in the Nordic Seas were sampled, genomic DNA of the stomachs of T. abyssorum was extracted, and 18S rDNA gene was amplified and used to map the stomach content. We found a wide range of organisms including micro-eukaryotes, metazoans and detritus. Themisto abyssorum specimens from Loki's Castle had the highest diversity of prey. The wide range of prey items found suggests that T. abyssorum might be involved in more than one trophic level and should be regarded as an omnivore and not a strict carnivore as have previously been suggested. PMID:24172025

  1. Metavanadate at the active site of the phosphatase VHZ.

    PubMed

    Kuznetsov, Vyacheslav I; Alexandrova, Anastassia N; Hengge, Alvan C

    2012-09-01

    Vanadate is a potent modulator of a number of biological processes and has been shown by crystal structures and NMR spectroscopy to interact with numerous enzymes. Although these effects often occur under conditions where oligomeric forms dominate, the crystal structures and NMR data suggest that the inhibitory form is usually monomeric orthovanadate, a particularly good inhibitor of phosphatases because of its ability to form stable trigonal-bipyramidal complexes. We performed a computational analysis of a 1.14 Å structure of the phosphatase VHZ in complex with an unusual metavanadate species and compared it with two classical trigonal-bipyramidal vanadate-phosphatase complexes. The results support extensive delocalized bonding to the apical ligands in the classical structures. In contrast, in the VHZ metavanadate complex, the central, planar VO(3)(-) moiety has only one apical ligand, the nucleophilic Cys95, and a gap in electron density between V and S. A computational analysis showed that the V-S interaction is primarily ionic. A mechanism is proposed to explain the formation of metavanadate in the active site from a dimeric vanadate species that previous crystallographic evidence has shown to be able to bind to the active sites of phosphatases related to VHZ. Together, the results show that the interaction of vanadate with biological systems is not solely reliant upon the prior formation of a particular inhibitory form in solution. The catalytic properties of an enzyme may act upon the oligomeric forms primarily present in solution to generate species such as the metavanadate ion observed in the VHZ structure. PMID:22876963

  2. Geochemical analysis of potash mine seep oils, collapsed breccia pipe oil shows and selected crude oils, Eddy County, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Palacas, J.G.; Snyder, R.P.; Baysinger, J.P.; Threlkeld, C.N.

    1982-01-01

    Oil shows, in the form of oil stains and bleeding oil, in core samples from two breccia pipes, Hills A and C, Eddy County, New Mexico, and seepage oils in a potash mine near Hill C breccia pipe are geochemically similar. The geochemical similarities strongly suggest that they belong to the same family of oils and were derived from similar sources. The oils are relatively high in sulfur (0.89 to 1.23 percent), rich in hydrocarbons (average 82 percent), relatively high in saturated hydrocarbon/aromatic hydrocarbon ratios (average 2.9), and based on analysis of seep oils alone, have a low API gravity (average 19.4?). The oils are for the most part severely biodegraded as attested by the loss of n-paraffin molecules. Geochemical comparison of seven crude oils collected in the vicinity of the breccia pipes indicates that the Yates oils are the likely source of the above family of oils. Six barrels of crude oil that were dumped into a potash exploration borehole near Hill C breccia pipe, to release stuck casing, are considered an unlikely source of the breccia pipe and mine seep oils. Volumetric and hydrodynamic constraints make it highly improbable that such a small volume of 'dumped' oil could migrate over distances ranging from about 600 feet to 2.5 miles to the sites of the oil shows.

  3. Geochemical characteristics of the barite deposits at cold seeps from the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Dong; Roberts, Harry H.

    2011-09-01

    Although less common than the occurrence of authigenic carbonate, barite has been observed frequently at cold seeps on continental margins worldwide. It is understood that barite forms by the interaction of barium-rich and sulfate-free seeping fluids with dissolved sulfate of pore water near the seafloor, but questions remain about the geochemical processes and mode(s) of the barite formation. Here, we report geochemical characteristics of barite deposits at 11 cold seep locations from the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope. Samples from these sites of fluid and gas expulsion provide environmental information on barite formation. Seafloor observations and samples acquired indicate that barites occur as chimneys, cones, crusts, irregular mound-like buildups up to 2-meters high, and as a material disseminated in host sediment. Most barite samples are white-to-gray and usually have a porous fabric and layered internal structure. Mineralogically, samples of barite may contain a significant amounts of carbonate minerals, such as calcite and dolomite, but aragonite is absent in all samples analyzed in this study. Negative δ 13C values (as low as - 46.4‰ V-PDB) of the associated carbonates strongly suggests that methane is the primary carbon source. The δ 34S and δ 18O values of the barites have large variations, ranging from 18‰ to 80.4‰ V-CDT, and 7.5‰ to 26.7‰ V-SMOW, respectively. On δ 34S versus δ 18O plots, many barite deposits show a linear trend that projects down toward the isotopic composition of seawater sulfate. The trend suggests that barite formed from seawater sulfate that has been isotopically modified to varying degrees by biological sulfate reduction. The δ 34S/δ 18O ratios vary between 2.4 and 4.1. The variations are interpreted to reflect local controls on the flux of barium-rich seep fluids, changes in the rate of bacterial sulfate reduction, and/or the openness of pore fluid system. The 87Sr/ 86Sr values of the barites

  4. Mimicking enzymatic active sites on surfaces for energy conversion chemistry.

    PubMed

    Gutzler, Rico; Stepanow, Sebastian; Grumelli, Doris; Lingenfelder, Magalí; Kern, Klaus

    2015-07-21

    Metal-organic supramolecular chemistry on surfaces has matured to a point where its underlying growth mechanisms are well understood and structures of defined coordination environments of metal atoms can be synthesized in a controlled and reproducible procedure. With surface-confined molecular self-assembly, scientists have a tool box at hand which can be used to prepare structures with desired properties, as for example a defined oxidation number and spin state of the transition metal atoms within the organic matrix. From a structural point of view, these coordination sites in the supramolecular structure resemble the catalytically active sites of metallo-enzymes, both characterized by metal centers coordinated to organic ligands. Several chemical reactions take place at these embedded metal ions in enzymes and the question arises whether these reactions also take place using metal-organic networks as catalysts. Mimicking the active site of metal atoms and organic ligands of enzymes in artificial systems is the key to understanding the selectivity and efficiency of enzymatic reactions. Their catalytic activity depends on various parameters including the charge and spin configuration in the metal ion, but also on the organic environment, which can stabilize intermediate reaction products, inhibits catalytic deactivation, and serves mostly as a transport channel for the reactants and products and therefore ensures the selectivity of the enzyme. Charge and spin on the transition metal in enzymes depend on the one hand on the specific metal element, and on the other hand on its organic coordination environment. These two parameters can carefully be adjusted in surface confined metal-organic networks, which can be synthesized by virtue of combinatorial mixing of building synthons. Different organic ligands with varying functional groups can be combined with several transition metals and spontaneously assemble into ordered networks. The catalytically active metal

  5. Benthic Gouge Marks in the Canadian Beaufort Sea: Associations Between Whales and Methane Seeps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smalls, P. T.; Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S.

    2015-12-01

    Numerous distinctive depressions were observed on the seafloor during twenty-eight remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives conducted on the shelf edge and upper slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Surface ship and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) multibeam bathymetric maps were used to identify potential methane seepage sites, such as areas with persistent water column acoustic anomalies and the tops of mud volcanoes. ROV dives were conducted at these sites and at background sites for stratigraphic sampling. The high abundance of these distinctive depressions stimulated an analysis of the video observations made on these ROV dives. Depressions were analyzed to document their characteristics, to help determine their origin, and to establish whether their frequency varies with bottom type. One hundred fifty-two of the depressions observed had shared characteristics consisting of an "oval-shaped" depression with raised ridged edges that extended laterally along the flanks, and traces of uplifted sediment either in or around the depression. Similar depressions have been called "gouge marks" and attributed to bottom feeding beaked whales in previous studies. The size and water depth of the measured depressions matched well with beak sizes and feeding depths of beaked whale species known to exist in this area. This supports the conclusion that beaked whales created the depressions. The occurrence of these gouge marks and the estimates of the total area observed on these ROV dives (~45,000 m2), suggests they are common (e.g., ~4,000 per km2) features on the seafloor in this area of the Arctic. Gouges were also found 2.25 times more often at suspected methane seep-sites when normalized for depth and area. This suggests that the whales are preferentially attracted to seepage sites. While the reason for this possible preferential feeding behavior is unknown, it provides an intriguing avenue for further research.

  6. Occurrence, distribution and expression of gas seeps and gas hydrates on the northeastern continental slope of Sakhalin Island, Sea of Okhotsk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Y.; Hong, J.; Baranov, B.; Shoji, H.; Obzhirov, A.

    2012-12-01

    The northeastern Sakhalin continental slope (NESS), Okhotsk Sea is characterized by an abundant occurrence of gas hydrate and gas seeps. Under the frameworks of Korea-Russia-Japan international projects (CHAOS and SSGH), we have carried out multidisciplinary surveys to investigate gas hydrate accumulation and active gas seepage phenomena on the NESS since 2003. During the surveys, about moe than nine hundred gas seeps were detected in a 2,650 km2 area of the NESS. Active gas seeps on the NESS were evident from features in the water column, on the seafloor, and in the subsurface by geophysical methods: well-defined hydroacoustic anomalies (gas flares), side-scan sonar seafloor structures with high backscatter intensity (seepage structures), bathymetric structures (pockmarks and mounds), and gas- and gas-hydrate-related seismic features (bottom-simulating reflectors, gas chimneys, high-amplitude reflectors, and acoustic blanking). They are also evident from ground-truths; high methane concentrations in seawater, near-bottom gas hydrates and antigenic carbonates. These features are generally related; a gas flare emits at a topographic mound with high backscatter intensity, below which a gas chimney is present. We interpret that gas chimneys producing enhanced reflection on high-resolution seismic profiles are active pathways for upward gas migration to the seafloor.

  7. Hybrid [FeFe]-hydrogenases with modified active sites show remarkable residual enzymatic activity.

    PubMed

    Siebel, Judith F; Adamska-Venkatesh, Agnieszka; Weber, Katharina; Rumpel, Sigrun; Reijerse, Edward; Lubitz, Wolfgang

    2015-02-24

    [FeFe]-hydrogenases are to date the only enzymes for which it has been demonstrated that the native inorganic binuclear cofactor of the active site Fe2(adt)(CO)3(CN)2 (adt = azadithiolate = [S-CH2-NH-CH2-S](2-)) can be synthesized on the laboratory bench and subsequently inserted into the unmaturated enzyme to yield fully functional holo-enzyme (Berggren, G. et al. (2013) Nature 499, 66-70; Esselborn, J. et al. (2013) Nat. Chem. Biol. 9, 607-610). In the current study, we exploit this procedure to introduce non-native cofactors into the enzyme. Mimics of the binuclear subcluster with a modified bridging dithiolate ligand (thiodithiolate, N-methylazadithiolate, dimethyl-azadithiolate) and three variants containing only one CN(-) ligand were inserted into the active site of the enzyme. We investigated the activity of these variants for hydrogen oxidation as well as proton reduction and their structural accommodation within the active site was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Interestingly, the monocyanide variant with the azadithiolate bridge showed ∼50% of the native enzyme activity. This would suggest that the CN(-) ligands are not essential for catalytic activity, but rather serve to anchor the binuclear subsite inside the protein pocket through hydrogen bonding. The inserted artificial cofactors with a propanedithiolate and an N-methylazadithiolate bridge as well as their monocyanide variants also showed residual activity. However, these activities were less than 1% of the native enzyme. Our findings indicate that even small changes in the dithiolate bridge of the binuclear subsite lead to a rather strong decrease of the catalytic activity. We conclude that both the Brønsted base function and the conformational flexibility of the native azadithiolate amine moiety are essential for the high catalytic activity of the native enzyme. PMID:25633077

  8. Site-specific PEGylation of lidamycin and its antitumor activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Shang, Boyang; Hu, Lei; Shao, Rongguang; Zhen, Yongsu

    2015-05-01

    In this study, N-terminal site-specific mono-PEGylation of the recombinant lidamycin apoprotein (rLDP) of lidamycin (LDM) was prepared using a polyethyleneglycol (PEG) derivative (M w 20 kDa) through a reactive terminal aldehyde group under weak acidic conditions (pH 5.5). The biochemical properties of mPEG-rLDP-AE, an enediyne-integrated conjugate, were analyzed by SDS-PAGE, RP-HPLC, SEC-HPLC and MALDI-TOF. Meanwhile, in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of mPEG-rLDP-AE was evaluated by MTT assays and in xenograft model. The results indicated that mPEG-rLDP-AE showed significant antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo. After PEGylation, mPEG-rLDP still retained the binding capability to the enediyne AE and presented the physicochemical characteristics similar to that of native LDP. It is of interest that the PEGylation did not diminish the antitumor efficacy of LDM, implying the possibility that this derivative may function as a payload to deliver novel tumor-targeted drugs. PMID:26579455

  9. Geochemical Tracers and Rates of Short-Chain Alkane Production in Gulf of Mexico Cold Seep Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibert, R.; Bernard, B. B.; Brooks, J. M.; Hunter, K.; Joye, S. B.

    2014-12-01

    The organic-rich cold seep sediments in the deep Gulf of Mexico commonly contain mixtures of light hydrocarbon gases either dissolved in pore fluids, adsorbed to sediment particles, trapped in methane ice, or as free gas. The dominant component in these natural gas mixtures is typically methane (C1), but ethane (C2) and propane (C3) are nearly always present in trace or major amounts. The ratio of C1:C2:C3 varies but C2 and C3 are typically present at single digit percent levels, whereas methane usually dominates at >80%. Methane production proceeds by at least two well-studied mechanisms: either 1) by thermocatalytic cracking of fossil organic matter, or 2) as a direct product of microbial metabolism, methanogenesis. In contrast, ethane and propane production in deep-sea sediments has been historically attributed only to thermocatalytic processes. However, limited data suggests production of C2/C3 compounds through the activity of archaea. Such studies of microbial- driven dynamics of C2/C3 gases (i.e. 'alkanogenesis') in cold seep sediments are rare. Furthermore, the identities of potential substrates are poorly constrained and no attempt has been made to quantify production rates of C2/C3 gases. However, carbon isotopic data on ethane and propane from deep cores from the Gulf of Mexico suggest alkanogenesis at depth in the sediment column and alkane oxidation in uppermost oxidant-rich sediments. Here, we present the results of a series of incubation experiments using sediment slurries culled from GC600, one of the most prolific natural oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Rates of both alkane production and oxidation were measured under a variety of conditions to assess the net rates of alkane production and elucidate the driving microbiological mechanisms and controls on the central processes of >C1 alkane cycling in cold seep sediments. Microbial processes are important both in terms of alkane production and oxidation, raising many questions as to the

  10. MANAGEMENT OF HERBACEOUS SEEPS AND WET SAVANNAS FOR THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wetland communities such as herbaceous seeps and wet savannas occur on military installations throughout the southeastern United States, usually as pockets of wet habitat within a matrix of drier longleaf pine woodlands. This larger community supports multiple uses, including the...

  11. SEEP II, Shelf Edge Exchange Processes-II: Chlorophyll a fluorescence, temperature, and beam attenuation measurements from moored fluorometers

    SciTech Connect

    Medeiros, W.H.; Wirick, C.D.

    1992-02-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. The first SEEP experiment (SEEP I) was across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 and consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array. The second experiment (SEEP II) focused specifically of the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic Bight off the Delmarva peninsula. This report presents data collected during SEEP II. The SEEP II experiment consisted of a series of ten cruises and mooring arrays as well as over-flights by NASA aircraft. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Hydrographic data were collected on all cruises except SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07 during which benthic processes were investigated. Mooring arrays were deployed during three cruises in the Spring, Summer and Winter of 1988. Brookhaven National Laboratory deployed sixteen fluorometer instrument packages on their moorings with sensors to measure: the in vivo fluorescence of phytoplankton, temperature, subsurface light, dissolved oxygen, and water transparency. Data from the fluorometer, temperature, and transmissometer sensors are reported herein.

  12. Metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with Santa Barbara seep oil.

    PubMed

    Hawley, Erik R; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alexander; del Rio, Tijana Glavina; Pati, Amrita; Jansson, Janet R; Gilbert, Jack A; Tringe, Susannah Green; Lorenson, Thomas D; Hess, Matthias

    2014-12-01

    The metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with natural oils seeping into the Pacific Ocean offshore the coast of Santa Barbara (California, USA) were determined to complement already existing metagenomes generated from microbial communities associated with hydrocarbons that pollute the marine ecosystem. This genomics resource article is the first of two publications reporting a total of four new metagenomes from oils that seep into the Santa Barbara Channel. PMID:24958360

  13. Behavioural impairment in reef fishes caused by ocean acidification at CO2 seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munday, Philip L.; Cheal, Alistair J.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Rummer, Jodie L.; Fabricius, Katharina E.

    2014-06-01

    Experiments have shown that the behaviour of reef fishes can be seriously affected by projected future carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the ocean. However, whether fish can acclimate to elevated CO2 over the longer term, and the consequences of altered behaviour on the structure of fish communities, are unknown. We used marine CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea as a natural laboratory to test these questions. Here we show that juvenile reef fishes at CO2 seeps exhibit behavioural abnormalities similar to those seen in laboratory experiments. Fish from CO2 seeps were attracted to predator odour, did not distinguish between odours of different habitats, and exhibited bolder behaviour than fish from control reefs. High CO2 did not, however, have any effect on metabolic rate or aerobic performance. Contrary to expectations, fish diversity and community structure differed little between CO2 seeps and nearby control reefs. Differences in abundances of some fishes could be driven by the different coral community at CO2 seeps rather than by the direct effects of high CO2. Our results suggest that recruitment of juvenile fish from outside the seeps, along with fewer predators within the seeps, is currently sufficient to offset any negative effects of high CO2 within the seeps. However, continuous exposure does not reduce the effect of high CO2 on behaviour in natural reef habitat, and this could be a serious problem for fish communities in the future when ocean acidification becomes widespread as a result of continued uptake of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  14. Allosteric site-mediated active site inhibition of PBP2a using Quercetin 3-O-rutinoside and its combination.

    PubMed

    Rani, Nidhi; Vijayakumar, Saravanan; P T V, Lakshmi; Arunachalam, Annamalai

    2016-08-01

    Recent crystallographic study revealed the involvement of allosteric site in active site inhibition of penicillin binding protein (PBP2a), where one molecule of Ceftaroline (Cef) binds to the allosteric site of PBP2a and paved way for the other molecule (Cef) to bind at the active site. Though Cef has the potency to inhibit the PBP2a, its adverse side effects are of major concern. Previous studies have reported the antibacterial property of Quercetin derivatives, a group of natural compounds. Hence, the present study aims to evaluate the effect of Quercetin 3-o-rutinoside (Rut) in allosteric site-mediated active site inhibition of PBP2a. The molecular docking studies between allosteric site and ligands (Rut, Que, and Cef) revealed a better binding efficiency (G-score) of Rut (-7.790318) and Cef (-6.194946) with respect to Que (-5.079284). Molecular dynamic (MD) simulation studies showed significant changes at the active site in the presence of ligands (Rut and Cef) at allosteric site. Four different combinations of Rut and Cef were docked and their G-scores ranged between -6.320 and -8.623. MD studies revealed the stability of the key residue (Ser403) with Rut being at both sites, compared to other complexes. Morphological analysis through electron microscopy confirmed that combination of Rut and Cefixime was able to disturb the bacterial cell membrane in a similar fashion to that of Rut and Cefixime alone. The results of this study indicate that the affinity of Rut at both sites were equally good, with further validations Rut could be considered as an alternative for inhibiting MRSA growth. PMID:26360629

  15. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes, II: SEEP2-08, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 188

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984 (Behrens and Flagg, 1986). Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. This project consisted of a series of ten cruises, a mooring array, and a series of over-flights by NASA aircraft. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the cruises, six of which were primarily mooring deployment or recovery cruises. The cruises were consecutively designated SEEP2-01 to SEEP2-10. Two cruises (SEEP2-04 and SEEP2-07) were dedicated to investigating benthic processes and hydrographic data were not collected.

  16. Association of oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities with oil discoveries, upper continental slope, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; MacDonald, I.R.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; Guinasso, N.L. Jr. )

    1993-09-01

    A belt of sea-floor oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities has been mapped across the upper continental slope, offshore Louisiana, at depths ranging from 2000 to 1000 m. Visibly oil-stained sediments and thelmogenic gas hydrates have been recovered using piston cores and research submarines. Biomarker fingerprinting of seep oils suggests an origin from deeply buried Cretaceous or Jurassic source rocks characterized by marine kerogen. The abundance of seeps provides a unique opportunity to define their relationship to oil discoveries including Auger, Cooper, Jolliet, Marquette, Vancouver, Popeye, and Mars. Seeps are preferentially distributed over shallow salt ridges that rim intrasalt basin cooking pots, over salt diapirs, and along shallow fault traces near discoveries. Diagnostic seep-related features on the sea floor include gas hydrate mounds and outcrops, pockmarks and craters, mud volcanoes, and carbonate buildups. Many of the 50 chemosynthetic communities including tube worms, mussels, or clams thus far documented in the gulf occur near discoveries. Recent imagery from orbital platforms, including the space shuttle, shows that natural oil slicks are common on the sea surface in this area. Additional mapping of seep distributions should contribute to better defining of the limits of the deep Gulf play fairway.

  17. Late Miocene seep-carbonates and fluid migration on top of the Montepetra intrabasinal high (Northern Apennines, Italy): Relations with synsedimentary folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, S.; Fontana, D.; Mecozzi, S.; Panieri, G.; Pini, G. A.

    2010-11-01

    During the Miocene, hydrocarbon seep-carbonates located atop intrabasinal highs and associated with sediment instability, formed commonly at the deformation front of the Northern Apennine collisional orogen. The parallelism between the structural trend and the distribution of seep-carbonates suggests a close relationship between tectonics and gas/fluid emission. The "Montepetra intrabasinal high" was formed during the closure stage of the foredeep, being related to the synsedimentary growth of an anticline. Field geometry suggests that detachment folding was the leading mechanism of anticline growth and synsedimentary instability along the anticline flanks. Ten different bodies of seep-carbonates occur in the Tortonian-early Messinian sediments: nine in the hinge zone and one in the southern backlimb of the anticline. Foraminiferal study, geochemistry, facies investigation and the three-dimensional geometry of carbonate bodies with respect to the encasing terrigenous sediments indicate a protracted (late Tortonian-early Messinian) activity of fluid migration with re-mobilization and ascent of sediments from the core of the anticline, stabilization of chemosynthesis-related communities, and in-situ brecciation. Seepage atop the intrabasinal high was fed by different circuits: one related to the compaction-dewatering of shallow (Tortonian-early Messinian) sediments, and a deeper one related to the deformation of the anticline core and to the activity of detachment surfaces and of faults propagating through the sedimentary cover.

  18. A Long-Term Cultivation of an Anaerobic Methane-Oxidizing Microbial Community from Deep-Sea Methane-Seep Sediment Using a Continuous-Flow Bioreactor

    PubMed Central

    Aoki, Masataka; Ehara, Masayuki; Saito, Yumi; Yoshioka, Hideyoshi; Miyazaki, Masayuki; Saito, Yayoi; Miyashita, Ai; Kawakami, Shuji; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Ohashi, Akiyoshi; Nunoura, Takuro; Takai, Ken; Imachi, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments is an important global methane sink, but the physiological characteristics of AOM-associated microorganisms remain poorly understood. Here we report the cultivation of an AOM microbial community from deep-sea methane-seep sediment using a continuous-flow bioreactor with polyurethane sponges, called the down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) bioreactor. We anaerobically incubated deep-sea methane-seep sediment collected from the Nankai Trough, Japan, for 2,013 days in the bioreactor at 10°C. Following incubation, an active AOM activity was confirmed by a tracer experiment using 13C-labeled methane. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that phylogenetically diverse Archaea and Bacteria grew in the bioreactor. After 2,013 days of incubation, the predominant archaeal components were anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-2a, Deep-Sea Archaeal Group, and Marine Benthic Group-D, and Gammaproteobacteria was the dominant bacterial lineage. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that ANME-1 and -2a, and most ANME-2c cells occurred without close physical interaction with potential bacterial partners. Our data demonstrate that the DHS bioreactor system is a useful system for cultivating fastidious methane-seep-associated sedimentary microorganisms. PMID:25141130

  19. Active site hydrophobicity is critical to the bioluminescence activity of Vibrio harveyi luciferase.

    PubMed

    Li, Chi-Hui; Tu, Shiao-Chun

    2005-10-01

    Vibrio harveyi luciferase is an alphabeta heterodimer containing a single active site, proposed earlier to be at a cleft in the alpha subunit. In this work, six conserved phenylalanine residues at this proposed active site were subjected to site-directed mutations to investigate their possible functional roles and to delineate the makeup of luciferase active site. After initial screening of Phe --> Ala mutants, alphaF46, alphaF49, alphaF114, and alphaF117 were chosen for additional mutations to Asp, Ser, and Tyr. Comparisons of the general kinetic properties of wild-type and mutated luciferases indicated that the hydrophobic nature of alphaF46, alphaF49, alphaF114, and alphaF117 was important to luciferase V(max) and V(max)/K(m), which were reduced by 3-5 orders of magnitude for the Phe --> Asp mutants. Both alphaF46 and alphaF117 also appeared to be involved in the binding of reduced flavin substrate. Additional studies on the stability and yield of the 4a-hydroperoxyflavin intermediate II and measurements of decanal substrate oxidation by alphaF46D, alphaF49D, alphaF114D, and alphaF117D revealed that their marked reductions in the overall quantum yield (phi( degrees )) were a consequence of diminished yields of luciferase intermediates and, with the exception of alphaF114D, emission quantum yield of the excited emitter due to the replacement of the hydrophobic Phe by the anionic Asp. The locations of these four critical Phe residues in relation to other essential and/or hydrophobic residues are depicted in a refined map of the active site. Functional implications of these residues are discussed. PMID:16185065

  20. A proposed definition of the 'activity' of surface sites on lactose carriers for dry powder inhalation.

    PubMed

    Grasmeijer, Floris; Frijlink, Henderik W; de Boer, Anne H

    2014-06-01

    A new definition of the activity of surface sites on lactose carriers for dry powder inhalation is proposed which relates to drug detachment during dispersion. The new definition is expected to improve the understanding of 'carrier surface site activity', which stimulates the unambiguous communication about this subject and may aid in the rational design and interpretation of future formulation studies. In contrast to the currently prevailing view on carrier surface site activity, it follows from the newly proposed definition that carrier surface site activity depends on more variables than just the physicochemical properties of the carrier surface. Because the term 'active sites' is ambiguous, it is recommended to use the term 'highly active sites' instead to denote carrier surface sites with a relatively high activity. PMID:24613490

  1. Coupled LBM-DEM Three-phase Simulation on Gas Flux Seeping from Marine Sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kano, Y.; Sato, T.

    2014-12-01

    One of the main issues of the geological storage of CO2 under the seabed is a risk of CO2 leakage. Once CO2seeps into the ocean, it rises in water column dissolving into seawater, which results in the acidification of seawater and/or returning to the air. Its behaviour significantly depends on flow rate and bubble size (Kano et al., 2009; Dewar et al., 2013). As for porous media, bubble size is generally predicted through simple force balance based on flow rate, surface tension and channel size which is estimated by porosity and grain size. However, in shallow marine sediments, grains could be mobilised and displaced by buoyant gas flow, which causes distinctive phenomena such as blow-out or formation of gas flow conduit. As a result, effective gas flux into seawater can be intermissive, and/or concentrated in narrow area (QICS, 2012; Kawada, 2013). Bubble size is also affected by these phenomena. To predict effective gas flux and bubble size into seawater, three-phase behaviour of gas-water-sediment grains should be revealed. In this presentation, we will report the results of gas-liquid-solid three-phase simulations and their comparisons with experimental and observation data. Size of solid particles is based on grain size composing marine sediments at some CCS project sites. Fluid-particle interactions are solved using the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), while the particle-particle interactions are treated by coupling with the Discrete Element method (DEM). References: Dewar, M., Wei, W., McNeil, D., Chen, B., 2013. Small-scale modelling of the physiochemical impacts of CO2leaked from sub-seabed reservoirs or pipelines within the North Sea and surrounding waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin 73(2), 504-515. Kano, Y., Sato, T., Kita, J., Hirabayashi, S., Tabeta, S., 2009. Model prediction on the rise of pCO2 in uniform flows by leakage of CO2purposefully stored under the seabed. Int. J. Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 3(5), 617-625. Kawada, R. 2014. A study on the

  2. Disturbance opens recruitment sites for bacterial colonization in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Vuono, David C; Munakata-Marr, Junko; Spear, John R; Drewes, Jörg E

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the role of immigration in shaping bacterial communities or the factors that may dictate success or failure of colonization by bacteria from regional species pools. To address these knowledge gaps, the influence of bacterial colonization into an ecosystem (activated sludge bioreactor) was measured through a disturbance gradient (successive decreases in the parameter solids retention time) relative to stable operational conditions. Through a DNA sequencing approach, we show that the most abundant bacteria within the immigrant community have a greater probability of colonizing the receiving ecosystem, but mostly as low abundance community members. Only during the disturbance do some of these bacterial populations significantly increase in abundance beyond background levels and in few cases become dominant community members post-disturbance. Two mechanisms facilitate the enhanced enrichment of immigrant populations during disturbance: (i) the availability of resources left unconsumed by established species and (ii) the increased availability of niche space for colonizers to establish and displace resident populations. Thus, as a disturbance decreases local diversity, recruitment sites become available to promote colonization. This work advances our understanding of microbial resource management and diversity maintenance in complex ecosystems. PMID:25727891

  3. Construction of DNA recognition sites active in Haemophilus transformation.

    PubMed Central

    Danner, D B; Smith, H O; Narang, S A

    1982-01-01

    Competent Haemophilus cells recognize and preferentially take up Haemophilus DNA during genetic transformation. This preferential uptake is correlated with the presence on incoming DNA of an 11-base-pair (bp) sequence, 5'-A-A-G-T-G-C-G-G-T-C-A-3'. To prove that this sequence is the recognition site that identifies Haemophilus DNA to the competent cell, we have now constructed a series of plasmids, each of which contains the 11-bp sequence. Using two different assay systems we have tested the ability of fragments from these plasmids to compete with cloned Haemophilus DNA fragments that naturally contain the 11-bp sequence. We find that the addition of the 11-bp sequence to a DNA fragment is necessary and sufficient for preferential uptake of that fragment. However, plasmid DNAs containing this sequence may vary as much as 48-fold in uptake activity, and this variation correlates with the A+T-richness of the DNA flanking the 11-mer. Images PMID:6285382

  4. Characterization of active site residues of nitroalkane oxidase.

    PubMed

    Valley, Michael P; Fenny, Nana S; Ali, Shah R; Fitzpatrick, Paul F

    2010-06-01

    The flavoenzyme nitroalkane oxidase catalyzes the oxidation of primary and secondary nitroalkanes to the corresponding aldehydes and ketones plus nitrite. The structure of the enzyme shows that Ser171 forms a hydrogen bond to the flavin N5, suggesting that it plays a role in catalysis. Cys397 and Tyr398 were previously identified by chemical modification as potential active site residues. To more directly probe the roles of these residues, the S171A, S171V, S171T, C397S, and Y398F enzymes have been characterized with nitroethane as substrate. The C397S and Y398 enzymes were less stable than the wild-type enzyme, and the C397S enzyme routinely contained a substoichiometric amount of FAD. Analysis of the steady-state kinetic parameters for the mutant enzymes, including deuterium isotope effects, establishes that all of the mutations result in decreases in the rate constants for removal of the substrate proton by approximately 5-fold and decreases in the rate constant for product release of approximately 2-fold. Only the S171V and S171T mutations alter the rate constant for flavin oxidation. These results establish that these residues are not involved in catalysis, but rather are required for maintaining the protein structure. PMID:20056514

  5. Detection limit for activation measurements in ultralow background sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trache, Livius; Chesneanu, D.; Margineanu, R.; Pantelica, A.; Ghita, D. G.; Burducea, I.; Straticiuc, M.; Tang, X. D.

    2014-09-01

    We used 12C +13C fusion at the beam energies E = 6, 7 and 8 MeV to determine the sensitivity and the limits of activation method measurements in ultralow background sites. A 13C beam of 0.5 μA from the 3 MV Tandem accelerator of the Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering - IFIN HH impinged on thick graphite targets. After about 24 hrs of irradiation targets were measured in two different laboratories: one with a heavy shielded Ge detector in the institute (at the surface) and one located underground in the microBequerel laboratory, in the salt mine of Slanic-Prahova, Romania. The 1369- and 2754 keV peaks from 24Na deactivation were clearly observed in the γ-ray spectra obtained for acquisitions lasting a few hours, or a few days. Determination of the detection limit in evaluating the cross sections for the target irradiated at Ec . m = 3 MeV indicates the fact that it is possible to measure gamma spectrum in underground laboratory down to Ec . m = 2 . 6 MeV. Cleaning the spectra with beta-gamma coincidences and increasing beam intensity 20 times will take as further down. The measurements are motivated by the study of the 12 C +12 C reaction at astrophysical energies.

  6. N6-Methyldeoxyadenosine Marks Active Transcription Start Sites in Chlamydomonas

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kai; Deng, Xin; Yu, Miao; Han, Dali; Hao, Ziyang; Liu, Jianzhao; Lu, Xingyu; Dore, Louis C; Weng, Xiaocheng; Ji, Quanjiang; Mets, Laurens; He, Chuan

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY N6-methyldeoxyadenosine (6mA or m6A) is a DNA modification preserved in prokaryotes to eukaryotes. It is widespread in bacteria, and functions in DNA mismatch repair, chromosome segregation, and virulence regulation. In contrast, the distribution and function of 6mA in eukaryotes have been unclear. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of the 6mA landscape in the genome of Chlamydomonas using new sequencing approaches. We identified the 6mA modification in 84% of genes in Chlamydomonas. We found that 6mA mainly locates at ApT dinucleotides around transcription start sites (TSS) with a bimodal distribution, and appears to mark active genes. A periodic pattern of 6mA deposition was also observed at base resolution, which is associated with nucleosome distribution near the TSS, suggesting a possible role in nucleosome positioning. The new genome-wide mapping of 6mA and its unique distribution in the Chlamydomonas genome suggest potential regulatory roles of 6mA in gene expression in eukaryotic organisms. PMID:25936837

  7. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  8. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  9. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  10. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  11. 10 CFR 63.16 - Review of site characterization activities. 2

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA Licenses Preapplication Review § 63.16 Review of... conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, DOE shall report the nature and... activities at the Yucca Mountain site, NRC staff shall be permitted to visit and inspect the locations...

  12. Active-site mutagenesis of tetanus neurotoxin implicates TYR-375 and GLU-271 in metalloproteolytic activity.

    PubMed

    Rossetto, O; Caccin, P; Rigoni, M; Tonello, F; Bortoletto, N; Stevens, R C; Montecucco, C

    2001-08-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) blocks neurotransmitter release by cleaving VAMP/synaptobrevin, a membrane associated protein involved in synaptic vesicle fusion. Such activity is exerted by the N-terminal 50kDa domain of TeNT which is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase (TeNT-L-chain). Based on the three-dimensional structure of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) and serotype B (BoNT/B), two proteins closely related to TeNT, and on X-ray scattering studies of TeNT, we have designed mutations at two active site residues to probe their involvement in activity. The active site of metalloproteases is composed of a primary sphere of residues co-ordinating the zinc atom, and a secondary sphere of residues that determines proteolytic specificity and activity. Glu-261 and Glu-267 directly co-ordinates the zinc atom in BoNT/A and BoNT/B respectively and the corresponding residue of TeNT was replaced by Asp or by the non conservative residue Ala. Tyr-365 is 4.3A away from zinc in BoNT/A, and the corresponding residue of TeNT was replaced by Phe or by Ala. The purified mutants had CD, fluorescence and UV spectra closely similar to those of the wild-type molecule. The proteolytic activity of TeNT-Asp-271 (E271D) is similar to that of the native molecule, whereas that of TeNT-Phe-375 (Y375F) is lower than the control. Interestingly, the two Ala mutants are completely devoid of enzymatic activity. These results demonstrate that both Glu-271 and Tyr-375 are essential for the proteolytic activity of TeNT. PMID:11306125

  13. GAS HYDRATES AT TWO SITES OF AN ACTIVE CONTINENTAL MARGIN.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1985-01-01

    Sediment containing gas hydrates from two distant Deep Sea Drilling Project sites (565 and 568), located about 670 km apart on the landward flank of the Middle America Trench, was studied to determine the geochemical conditions that characterize the occurrence of gas hydrates. Site 565 was located in the Pacific Ocean offshore the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica in 3,111 m of water. The depth of the hole at this site was 328 m, and gas hydrates were recovered from 285 and 319 m. Site 568 was located about 670 km to the northwest offshore Guatemala in 2,031 m of water. At this site the hole penetrated to 418 m, and gas hydrates were encountered at 404 m.

  14. Dynamically Achieved Active Site Precision in Enzyme Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Conspectus The grand challenge in enzymology is to define and understand all of the parameters that contribute to enzymes’ enormous rate accelerations. The property of hydrogen tunneling in enzyme reactions has moved the focus of research away from an exclusive focus on transition state stabilization toward the importance of the motions of the heavy atoms of the protein, a role for reduced barrier width in catalysis, and the sampling of a protein conformational landscape to achieve a family of protein substates that optimize enzyme–substrate interactions and beyond. This Account focuses on a thermophilic alcohol dehydrogenase for which the chemical step of hydride transfer is rate determining across a wide range of experimental conditions. The properties of the chemical coordinate have been probed using kinetic isotope effects, indicating a transition in behavior below 30 °C that distinguishes nonoptimal from optimal C–H activation. Further, the introduction of single site mutants has the impact of either enhancing or eliminating the temperature dependent transition in catalysis. Biophysical probes, which include time dependent hydrogen/deuterium exchange and fluorescent lifetimes and Stokes shifts, have also been pursued. These studies allow the correlation of spatially resolved transitions in protein motions with catalysis. It is now possible to define a long-range network of protein motions in ht-ADH that extends from a dimer interface to the substrate binding domain across to the cofactor binding domain, over a distance of ca. 30 Å. The ongoing challenge to obtaining spatial and temporal resolution of catalysis-linked protein motions is discussed. PMID:25539048

  15. Linking nitrogen management, seep chemistry, and stream water quality in two agricultural headwater watersheds.

    PubMed

    Williams, Mark R; Buda, Anthony R; Elliott, Herschel A; Collick, Amy S; Dell, Curtis; Kleinman, Peter J A

    2015-05-01

    Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO-N processing along seep surface flow paths and by upslope applications of N from fertilizers and manures. The research was conducted in two headwater agricultural watersheds, FD36 (40 ha) and RS (45 ha), which are fed, in part, by a shallow fractured aquifer system possessing high (3-16 mg L) NO-N concentrations. Data from in-seep monitoring showed that NO-N concentrations generally decreased downseep (top to bottom), indicating that most seeps retained or removed a fraction of delivered NO-N (16% in FD36 and 1% in RS). Annual mean N applications in upslope fields (as determined by yearly farmer surveys) were highly correlated with seep NO-N concentrations in both watersheds (slope: 0.06; = 0.79; < 0.001). Strong positive relationships also existed between seep and stream NO-N concentrations in FD36 (slope: 1.01; = 0.79; < 0.001) and in RS (slope: 0.64; = 0.80; < 0.001), further indicating that N applications control NO-N concentrations at the watershed scale. Our findings clearly point to NO-N leaching from upslope agricultural fields as the primary driver of NO-N losses from seeps to streams in these watersheds and therefore suggest that appropriate management strategies (cover crops, limiting fall/winter nutrient applications, decision support tools) be targeted in these zones. PMID:26024271

  16. In Situ Stable Isotopic Detection of Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane in Monterey Bay Cold Seeps Via Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wankel, S. D.; Gupta, M.; Leen, J.; Provencal, R. A.; Parsotam, V.; Girguis, P. R.

    2010-12-01

    Anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM) plays an important role in global climate change by governing the release of methane from anoxic sediments into the global ocean and ultimately the atmosphere. Thus, gaining an accurate understanding of both the distribution of methane sources and the occurrence of AOM as well as the spatial and temporal variability of cycling pathways is critical. Environmental analyses of methane stable isotopic composition (δ13C-CH4) provide just such an indicator of methane source, whether biogenic or thermogenic, as well as a spatial and temporal integrator of microbial cycling pathways, such as AOM. Here we present results from several deployments of a newly developed in situ methane stable isotope analyzer capable of measuring δ13C-CH4 to full ocean depths. The instrument consisted of a miniaturized Off-Axis Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy (Off-Axis ICOS) analyzer housed in a cylindrical titanium pressure vessel for deep sea deployment. Dissolved gas was extracted from seawater using a Teflon AF diffusion membrane inlet. The instrument had an operating wavelength of 1647 nm and used chemometric spectral decomposition to determine the relative concentrations of 13CH4 and 12CH4 with a sensitivity of ± 0.2‰. Deployments to cold seep environments revealed a distinct separation in carbon isotopic composition between methane in advecting fluids as compared with methane from sediment pore fluids. During multiple visits to two different sites at Extrovert Cliff in Monterey Bay (960m), methane in advecting fluids ranged from -70.2‰ to -63.8‰. In contrast, methane-rich fluids sampled directly from pushcore holes taken through seep sediments contained methane with substantially higher δ13C values ranging from -64.2‰ to -50.2‰. These data implicate the influence of anaerobic oxidation of methane within these seep sediments. While the advective flux of methane to the seafloor from the central orifice of the seep is substantial, using

  17. Characteristics of vesicomyid clams and their environment at the Blake Ridge cold seep, South Carolina, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heyl, Taylor P.; Gilhooly, William P.; Chambers, Randolph M.; Gilchrist, George W.; Macko, Stephen A.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Van Dover, Cindy L.

    2007-01-01

    Spatial distributions and patchiness of dominant megafaunal invertebrates in deep-sea seep environments may indicate heterogeneities in the flux of reduced chemical compounds. At the Blake Ridge seep off South Carolina, USA, the invertebrate assemblage includes dense populations of live vesicomyid clams (an undescribed species) as well as extensive clam shell beds (i.e. dead clams). In the present study, we characterized clam parameters (density, size-frequency distribution, reproductive condition) in relation to sulfur chemistry (sulfide and sulfate concentrations and isotopic compositions, pyrite and elemental sulfur concentrations) and other sedimentary metrics (grain size, organic content). For clams >5 mm, clam density was highest where the total dissolved sulfide concentration at 10 cm depth (ΣH2S10cm) was 0.4 to 1.1 mmol l–1; juvenile clams (2S10cm was lowest. Clams were reproductively capable across a broad range of ΣH2S10cm (0.1 to 6.4 mmol l–1), and females in the sampled populations displayed asynchronous gametogenesis. Sulfide concentrations in porewaters at the shell–sediment interface of cores from shell beds were high, 3.3 to 12.1 mmol l–1, compared to –1 sulfide concentrations at the clam–sediment interface in live clam beds. Concentration profiles for sulfide and sulfate in shell beds were typical of those expected where there is active microbial sulfate reduction. In clam beds, profiles of sulfide and sulfate concentrations were also consistent with rapid uptake of sulfide by the clams. Sulfate in shell beds was systematically enriched in 34S relative to that in clam beds due to microbial fractionation during sulfate reduction, but in clam beds, sulfate δ34S matched that of seawater (~20‰). Residual sulfide values in clam and shell beds were correspondingly depleted in 34S. Based on porewater sulfide concentrations in shell beds at the time of sampling, we suggest that clam mortality may have been due to an abrupt increase in

  18. Robotics and Automation Activities at the Savannah River Site: A Site Report for SUBWOG 39F

    SciTech Connect

    Teese, G.D.

    1995-09-28

    The Savannah River Site has successfully used robots, teleoperators, and remote video to reduce exposure to ionizing radiation, improve worker safety, and improve the quality of operations. Previous reports have described the use of mobile teleoperators in coping with a high level liquid waste spill, the removal of highly contaminated equipment, and the inspection of nuclear reactor vessels. This report will cover recent applications at the Savannah River, as well as systems which SRS has delivered to other DOE site customers.

  19. Improving upon Nature: Active site remodeling produces highly efficient aldolase activity towards hydrophobic electrophilic substrates

    PubMed Central

    Cheriyan, Manoj; Toone, Eric J.; Fierke, Carol A.

    2012-01-01

    Substrate specificity of enzymes is frequently narrow and constrained by multiple interactions, limiting the use of natural enzymes in biocatalytic applications. Aldolases have important synthetic applications, but the usefulness of these enzymes is hampered by their narrow reactivity profile with unnatural substrates. To explore the determinants of substrate selectivity and alter the specificity of E. coli 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate (KDPG) aldolase, we employed structure-based mutagenesis coupled with library screening of mutant enzymes localized to the bacterial periplasm. We identified two active site mutations (T161S/S184L) that work additively to enhance the substrate specificity of this aldolase to include catalysis of retro-aldol cleavage of (4S)-2-keto-4-hydroxy-4-(2′-pyridyl)butyrate (S-KHPB). These mutations improve the value of kcat/KMS-KHPB by >450-fold, resulting in a catalytic efficiency that is comparable to that of the wild-type enzyme with the natural substrate while retaining high stereoselectivity. Moreover, the value of kcatS-KHPB for this mutant enzyme, a parameter critical for biocatalytic applications, is 3-fold higher than the maximum value achieved by the natural aldolase with any substrate. This mutant also possesses high catalytic efficiency for the retro-aldol cleavage of the natural substrate, KDPG, and a >50-fold improved activity for cleavage of 2-keto-4-hydroxy-octonoate (KHO), a non-functionalized hydrophobic analog. These data suggest a substrate binding mode that illuminates the origin of facial selectivity in aldol addition reactions catalyzed by KDPG and 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogalactonate (KDPGal) aldolases. Furthermore, targeting mutations to the active site provides marked improvement in substrate selectivity, demonstrating that structure-guided active site mutagenesis combined with selection techniques can efficiently identify proteins with characteristics that compare favorably to naturally occurring enzymes. PMID

  20. Atomically-thin two-dimensional sheets for understanding active sites in catalysis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yongfu; Gao, Shan; Lei, Fengcai; Xie, Yi

    2015-02-01

    Catalysis can speed up chemical reactions and it usually occurs on the low coordinated steps, edges, terraces, kinks and corner atoms that are often called "active sites". However, the atomic level interplay between active sites and catalytic activity is still an open question, owing to the large difference between idealized models and real catalysts. This stimulates us to pursue a suitable material model for studying the active sites-catalytic activity relationship, in which the atomically-thin two-dimensional sheets could serve as an ideal model, owing to their relatively simple type of active site and the ultrahigh fraction of active sites that are comparable to the overall atoms. In this tutorial review, we focus on the recent progress in disclosing the factors that affect the activity of reactive sites, including characterization of atomic coordination number, structural defects and disorder in ultrathin two-dimensional sheets by X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, positron annihilation spectroscopy, electron spin resonance and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Also, we overview their applications in CO catalytic oxidation, photocatalytic water splitting, electrocatalytic oxygen and hydrogen evolution reactions, and hence highlight the atomic level interplay among coordination number, structural defects/disorder, active sites and catalytic activity in the two-dimensional sheets with atomic thickness. Finally, we also present the major challenges and opportunities regarding the role of active sites in catalysis. We believe that this review provides critical insights for understanding the catalysis and hence helps to develop new catalysts with high catalytic activity. PMID:25382246

  1. The active sites of supported silver particle catalysts in formaldehyde oxidation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yaxin; Huang, Zhiwei; Zhou, Meijuan; Hu, Pingping; Du, Chengtian; Kong, Lingdong; Chen, Jianmin; Tang, Xingfu

    2016-08-01

    Surface silver atoms with upshifted d-orbitals are identified as the catalytically active sites in formaldehyde oxidation by correlating their activity with the number of surface silver atoms, and the degree of the d-orbital upshift governs the catalytic performance of the active sites. PMID:27406403

  2. Groundwater seeps in Taylor Valley Antarctica: an example of a subsurface melt event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyons, W. Berry; Welch, Kathleen A.; Carey, Anne E.; Doran, Peter T.; Wall, Diana H.; Virginia, Ross A.; Fountain, Andrew G.; Csathó, Bea M.; Tremper, Catherine M.

    The 2001/02 austral summer was the warmest summer on record in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, (˜78° S) since continuous records of temperature began in 1985. The highest stream-flows ever recorded in the Onyx River, Wright Valley, were also recorded that year (the record goes back to the 1969/70 austral summer). In early January 2002, a groundwater seep was observed flowing in the southwest portion of Taylor Valley. This flow has been named 'Wormherder Creek' (WHC) and represents an unusual event, probably occurring on a decadal time-scale. The physical characteristics of this feature suggest that it may have flowed at other times in the past. Other groundwater seeps, emanating from the north-facing slope of Taylor Valley, were also observed. Little work has been done previously on these very ephemeral seeps, and the source of water is unknown. These features, resembling recently described features on Mars, represent the melting of subsurface ice. The Martian features have been interpreted as groundwater seeps. In this paper we compare the chemistry of the WHC groundwater seep to that of the surrounding streams that flow every austral summer. The total dissolved solids content of WHC was ˜6 times greater than that of some nearby streams. The Na : Cl and SO4 : Cl ratios of the seep waters are higher than those of the streams, but the Mg : Cl and HCO3 : Cl ratios are lower, indicating different sources of solutes to the seeps compared to the streams. The enrichment of Na and SO4 relative to Cl may suggest significant dissolution of mirabilite within the previously unwetted soil. The proposed occurrence of abundant mirabilite in higher-elevation soils of the dry valley region agrees with geochemical models developed, but not tested, in the late 1970s. The geochemical data demonstrate that these seeps could be important in 'rinsing' the soils by dissolving and redistributing the long-term accumulation of salts, and perhaps improving habitat suitability for soil biota

  3. Hydrologic investigation and remediation of a post-remining acidic seep

    SciTech Connect

    Aljoe, W.W.; Linberg, N.A.

    1996-12-31

    Surface remining of coal pillars in abandoned underground workings in the Pittsburgh seam in southwestern Pennsylvania has often resulted in post-remining discharges whose water quality is the same or better than the pre-existing discharges. However, at one such operation in Washington County, PA, an increase in contaminant loading occurred at an outcrop seep after remining. This problem was believed to be at least partly related to a small unstrapped area of the old deep mine workings immediately upgradient from the seep. A hydrologic investigation that included a chemical tracer test, slug tests in the remined spoil, and water quality monitoring indicated that the mine pool in the old workings discharged through the seep. However, the water in the mine pool and much of the remined spoil was consistently alkaline; this suggested that the acidic water may have originated in other areas of the spoil and old workings, and passed rapidly to the seep through a highly transmissive portion of the spoil. Acting on this assumption, the mine operator successfully implemented a remediation scheme in which the spoil was excavated to intercept the acidic spoil water. The excavation was then re-emplaced with an anoxic limestone drain at its base. The drain now serves both to add alkalinity to the water and to divert the seep to an area where metals can be removed easily via precipitation in wetlands.

  4. Comparative study of vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Portail, M.; Olu, K.; Escobar-Briones, E.; Caprais, J. C.; Menot, L.; Waeles, M.; Cruaud, P.; Sarradin, P. M.; Godfroy, A.; Sarrazin, J.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the ecological processes and connectivity of chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems requires comparative studies. In the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico), the presence of seeps and vents in the absence of biogeographic barrier, comparable sedimentary settings and depths offers a unique opportunity to assess the role of ecosystem specific environmental conditions on macrofaunal communities. Six seep and four vent assemblages were studied, three of which were characterised by common major foundation taxa: vesicomyid bivalves, siboglinid tubeworms and microbial mats. Macrofaunal community structure at the family level showed that density, diversity and composition patterns were primarily shaped by seep and vent common abiotic factors including methane and hydrogen sulphide concentrations. The type of substratum and the heterogeneity provided by foundation species were identified as additional structuring factors and their roles were found to vary according to fluid regimes. Surprisingly, the presence of vent environmental specificities, with higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH was not significant in explaining community patterns. Moreover, Guaymas seep and vent shared an important number of common species suggesting frequent connections between the two ecosystems. Finally, this study provides further support for the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems.

  5. Larvae from deep-sea methane seeps disperse in surface waters

    PubMed Central

    Arellano, Shawn M.; Van Gaest, Ahna L.; Johnson, Shannon B.; Vrijenhoek, Robert C.; Young, Craig M.

    2014-01-01

    Many species endemic to deep-sea methane seeps have broad geographical distributions, suggesting that they produce larvae with at least episodic long-distance dispersal. Cold-seep communities on both sides of the Atlantic share species or species complexes, yet larval dispersal across the Atlantic is expected to take prohibitively long at adult depths. Here, we provide direct evidence that the long-lived larvae of two cold-seep molluscs migrate hundreds of metres above the ocean floor, allowing them to take advantage of faster surface currents that may facilitate long-distance dispersal. We collected larvae of the ubiquitous seep mussel “Bathymodiolus” childressi and an associated gastropod, Bathynerita naticoidea, using remote-control plankton nets towed in the euphotic zone of the Gulf of Mexico. The timing of collections suggested that the larvae might disperse in the water column for more than a year, where they feed and grow to more than triple their original sizes. Ontogenetic vertical migration during a long larval life suggests teleplanic dispersal, a plausible explanation for the amphi-Atlantic distribution of “B.” mauritanicus and the broad western Atlantic distribution of B. naticoidea. These are the first empirical data to demonstrate a biological mechanism that might explain the genetic similarities between eastern and western Atlantic seep fauna. PMID:24827437

  6. Temporal Variation in Natural Methane Seep Rate Due to Tides, Coal Oil Point Area, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boles, J. R.; Clark, J. F.; Leifer, I.; Washburn, L.

    2001-12-01

    Two large steel tents (each 30m by 30m) open at the bottom to the sea floor, capture about 16,800 m{3{ day -1 (594 MCF) of primarily methane from a large natural hydrocarbon seep, occurring a kilometer offshore in 67m of water. Hourly monitoring for 9 months shows the tidal forcing causes the flow rate to vary by 4-7% around the mean. These results are the first quantitative documentation of the effect of tides on natural gas seepage in relatively deep water. High tide correlates with reduced flow, low tide correlates with increased flow. The correlation indicates that each meter increase of sea height results in a decrease of 10 to 15 m3 hr-1 or 1.5 to 2.2% of the hourly flow rate. The observed cahnges are best accounted for by a pore activation mechanism, whereby gas is released from small pores at low pressure but is inhibited at higher pressure. Pressure dependent gas solubility changes are a less likely cause of flow variation. Our study implies that sea level differences, on a tidal time scale, can significantly change the gas seepage rate from sediments. Lower sea level in the last hundred thousand years would presumably allow higher gas loss from the sediment, assuming sufficient gas present, due to reduced hudrostatic pressure at the sediment-sea interface. The magnitude of this long term change cannot be extrapolated from our tidal data.

  7. Identification of Methanotrophic Biomarker Lipids in the Symbiont-Containing Gills of Seep Mussels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, L. L.; Zahiralis, K. D.; Klein, H. P.; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Mussels collected from hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico grow with methane as sole carbon and energy source due to a symbiotic association with methane-oxidizing bacteria. Transmission electron micrographs of mussel gills show cells with stacked intracytoplasmic membranes similar to type I methanotrophic bacteria. Methanotrophs are known to synthesize several types of cyclic triterpenes, hopanoids and methyl sterols, as well as unique monounsaturated fatty acid, double bond positional isomers that serve as biomarkers for this group. Lipid analysis of dissected mussels demonstrated the presence of these biomarkers predominantly in the gill tissue with much smaller amounts in mantle and remaining body tissues. Gill tissue contained 1150 micrograms/g dry wt. of hopanepolyol derivatives and diplopterol while the mantle tissue contained only 17 micrograms/g. The C16 monounsaturated fatty acids (16:1) characteristic of type I methanotrophic membranes dominated the gill tissue making up 53% of the total while only 5% 16:1 was present in the mantle tissue. The methyl sterol distribution was more dispersed. The predominant sterol in all tissues was cholesterol with lesser amounts of other desmethyl and 4-methyl sterols. The gill and mantle tissues contained 3461 micrograms (17% methyl) and 2750 micrograms (5% methyl) sterol per gm dry wt., respectively. Methyl sterol accounted for 44% of the sterol esters isolated from the gill, suggesting active demethylation of the methanotrophic sterols in this tissue. The use of lipid biomarkers could provide an effective means for identifying host-symbiont relationships.

  8. Identification of promiscuous ene-reductase activity by mining structural databases using active site constellations

    PubMed Central

    Steinkellner, Georg; Gruber, Christian C.; Pavkov-Keller, Tea; Binter, Alexandra; Steiner, Kerstin; Winkler, Christoph; Łyskowski, Andrzej; Schwamberger, Orsolya; Oberer, Monika; Schwab, Helmut; Faber, Kurt; Macheroux, Peter; Gruber, Karl

    2014-01-01

    The exploitation of catalytic promiscuity and the application of de novo design have recently opened the access to novel, non-natural enzymatic activities. Here we describe a structural bioinformatic method for predicting catalytic activities of enzymes based on three-dimensional constellations of functional groups in active sites (‘catalophores’). As a proof-of-concept we identify two enzymes with predicted promiscuous ene-reductase activity (reduction of activated C–C double bonds) and compare them with known ene-reductases, that is, members of the Old Yellow Enzyme family. Despite completely different amino acid sequences, overall structures and protein folds, high-resolution crystal structures reveal equivalent binding modes of typical Old Yellow Enzyme substrates and ligands. Biochemical and biocatalytic data show that the two enzymes indeed possess ene-reductase activity and reveal an inverted stereopreference compared with Old Yellow Enzymes for some substrates. This method could thus be a tool for the identification of viable starting points for the development and engineering of novel biocatalysts. PMID:24954722

  9. Structural mechanism of RuBisCO activation by carbamylation of the active site lysine

    PubMed Central

    Stec, Boguslaw

    2012-01-01

    Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) is a crucial enzyme in carbon fixation and the most abundant protein on earth. It has been studied extensively by biochemical and structural methods; however, the most essential activation step has not yet been described. Here, we describe the mechanistic details of Lys carbamylation that leads to RuBisCO activation by atmospheric CO2. We report two crystal structures of nitrosylated RuBisCO from the red algae Galdieria sulphuraria with O2 and CO2 bound at the active site. G. sulphuraria RuBisCO is inhibited by cysteine nitrosylation that results in trapping of these gaseous ligands. The structure with CO2 defines an elusive, preactivation complex that contains a metal cation Mg2+ surrounded by three H2O/OH molecules. Both structures suggest the mechanism for discriminating gaseous ligands by their quadrupole electric moments. We describe conformational changes that allow for intermittent binding of the metal ion required for activation. On the basis of these structures we propose the individual steps of the activation mechanism. Knowledge of all these elements is indispensable for engineering RuBisCO into a more efficient enzyme for crop enhancement or as a remedy to global warming. PMID:23112176

  10. 78 FR 33908 - Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-05

    ... identified Wind Energy Area (WEA) on the OCS offshore Rhode Island (RI) and Massachusetts (MA). The revised... from leasing, site characterization, and site assessment in and around the Call Area (76 FR 51391). The... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on...

  11. 77 FR 39508 - Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic Outer Continental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-03

    ... specific project proposals on those leases) in an identified Wind Energy Area (WEA) on the OCS offshore..., site characterization, and site assessment in and around the Call Area (76 FR 51391). The Call Area is... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Commercial Wind Lease Issuance and Site Assessment Activities on...

  12. Active Layer and Moisture Measurements for Intensive Site 0 and 1, Barrow, Alaska

    DOE Data Explorer

    John Peterson

    2015-04-17

    These are measurements of Active Layer Thickness collected along several lines beginning in September, 2011 to the present. The data were collected at several time periods along the Site0 L2 Line, the Site1 AB Line, and an ERT Monitoring Line near Area A in Site1.

  13. Nuclear Site Security in the Event of Terrorist Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, M.L.; Sims, J.

    2008-07-01

    This paper, presented as a poster, identifies why ballistic protection should now be considered at nuclear sites to counter terrorist threats. A proven and flexible form of multi purpose protection is described in detail with identification of trial results that show its suitability for this role. (authors)

  14. Preliminary siting activities for new waste handling facilities at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, D.D.; Hoskinson, R.L.; Kingsford, C.O.; Ball, L.W.

    1994-09-01

    The Idaho Waste Processing Facility, the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility, and the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility are new waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities that have been proposed at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). A prime consideration in planning for such facilities is the selection of a site. Since spring of 1992, waste management personnel at the INEL have been involved in activities directed to this end. These activities have resulted in the (a) identification of generic siting criteria, considered applicable to either treatment or disposal facilities for the purpose of preliminary site evaluations and comparisons, (b) selection of six candidate locations for siting,and (c) site-specific characterization of candidate sites relative to selected siting criteria. This report describes the information gathered in the above three categories for the six candidate sites. However, a single, preferred site has not yet been identified. Such a determination requires an overall, composite ranking of the candidate sites, which accounts for the fact that the sites under consideration have different advantages and disadvantages, that no single site is superior to all the others in all the siting criteria, and that the criteria should be assigned different weighing factors depending on whether a site is to host a treatment or a disposal facility. Stakeholder input should now be solicited to help guide the final selection. This input will include (a) siting issues not already identified in the siting, work to date, and (b) relative importances of the individual siting criteria. Final site selection will not be completed until stakeholder input (from the State of Idaho, regulatory agencies, the public, etc.) in the above areas has been obtained and a strategy has been developed to make a composite ranking of all candidate sites that accounts for all the siting criteria.

  15. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope SEEP-2

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1991-01-01

    This project was a component of the SEEP-II program. It contributed to the instrumentation of the SEEP-II moored array to the processing and analysis of the time-series data of water temperature and currents, and to a theoretical modeling study of the circulation on the continental margin. We are responsible for nearly half of the current meters and thermistor chains that were deployed in the SEEP-II moored array on the continental margin off the Delmarva peninsula. Data tapes derived from three deployments of the instruments in this array were processed. A second component of this project was a theoretical study of the interaction of the Gulf Stream with the continental margin north of Cape Hatteras. The model shows how the topographic influence on the local vorticity balance leads to back-folding filaments of Gulf Stream water and to the Slope Sea gyre circulation.

  16. Dimorphism in methane seep-dwelling ecotypes of the largest known bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Jake V; Salman, Verena; Rouse, Gregory W; Schulz-Vogt, Heide N; Levin, Lisa A; Orphan, Victoria J

    2011-01-01

    We present evidence for a dimorphic life cycle in the vacuolate sulfide-oxidizing bacteria that appears to involve the attachment of a spherical Thiomargarita-like cell to the exteriors of invertebrate integuments and other benthic substrates at methane seeps. The attached cell elongates to produce a stalk-like form before budding off spherical daughter cells resembling free-living Thiomargarita that are abundant in surrounding sulfidic seep sediments. The relationship between the attached parent cell and free-living daughter cell is reminiscent of the dimorphic life modes of the prosthecate Alphaproteobacteria, but on a grand scale, with individual elongate cells reaching nearly a millimeter in length. Abundant growth of attached Thiomargarita-like bacteria on the integuments of gastropods and other seep fauna provides not only a novel ecological niche for these giant bacteria, but also for animals that may benefit from epibiont colonization. PMID:21697959

  17. Transport and transfer rates in the waters of the continental shelf and slope: SEEP

    SciTech Connect

    Biscaye, P.E.; Anderson, R.F.

    1990-12-01

    At this writing we are in the midst of the first year of the present funding period. This period was approved as a three year grant, but, with the planned restructuring of the DOE regional programs, it will undoubtedly be less than that. With the exception of some relatively minor participation in connection with the French ECOMARGE programme and finishing of some work on SEEP-1 samples, all of our efforts in the current year have been in the preparation and analysis of samples and data obtained during the SEEP-2 field experiment in 1988--1989. We review briefly the progress on these sediment trap samples and transmissometer data at present and the status anticipated at the end of the current funding year with respect to the several kinds of analyses planned for them. We also briefly review the status of the last of the work on SEEP-1 samples and data, and of our participation in other collaborative projects. 14 refs.

  18. Blogs and Social Network Sites as Activity Systems: Exploring Adult Informal Learning Process through Activity Theory Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heo, Gyeong Mi; Lee, Romee

    2013-01-01

    This paper uses an Activity Theory framework to explore adult user activities and informal learning processes as reflected in their blogs and social network sites (SNS). Using the assumption that a web-based space is an activity system in which learning occurs, typical features of the components were investigated and each activity system then…

  19. Bacterial biomass, metabolic state, and activity in stream sediments: relation to environmental variables and multiple assay comparisons.

    PubMed

    Bott, T L; Kaplan, L A

    1985-08-01

    Bacterial biomass, metabolic condition, and activity were measured over a 16-month period in the surface sediments of the following four field sites with differing dissolved organic matter regimes: a woodlot spring seep, a meadow spring seep, a second-order stream, and a third-order stream. Total bacterial biomass was measured by lipid phosphate and epifluorescence microscopic counts (EMC), and viable biomass was measured by C most probable number, EMC with 2-(p-iodophenyl)-3-(p-nitrophenyl)-5-phenyl tetrazolium chloride reduction, and ATP. Bacterial metabolic condition was determined from the percentage of respiring cells, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate concentrations, and adenylate energy charge. Activity measures included C-lipid synthesis, P-phospholipid synthesis, the rate of uptake of algal lysate dissolved organic carbon, and respiration, from which biosynthesis was calculated (dissolved organic carbon uptake corrected for respiration). Total bacterial biomass (from EMC) ranged from 0.012 to 0.354 mug of C/mg of dry sediment and was usually lowest in the third-order stream. The percentage of cells respiring was less than 25% at all sites, indicating that most bacteria were dormant or dead. Adenylate energy charge was measured only in the third-order stream and was uniformly low. Poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were greater in the woodlot spring seep than in the second- and third-order streams. Uptake of algal lysate dissolved organic carbon ranged from undetectable levels to 166 mg of C . m . h. Little community respiration could be attributed to algal lysate metabolism. Phospholipid synthesis ranged from 0.006 to 0.354 pmol . mg of dry sediment . h. Phospholipid synthesis rates were used to estimate bacterial turnover at the study sites. An estimated 375 bacterial generations per year were produced in the woodlot spring seep, and 67 per year were produced in the third-order stream. PMID:16346867

  20. Barite encrustation of benthic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria at a marine cold seep.

    PubMed

    Stevens, E W N; Bailey, J V; Flood, B E; Jones, D S; Gilhooly, W P; Joye, S B; Teske, A; Mason, O U

    2015-11-01

    Crusts and chimneys composed of authigenic barite are found at methane seeps and hydrothermal vents that expel fluids rich in barium. Microbial processes have not previously been associated with barite precipitation in marine cold seep settings. Here, we report on the precipitation of barite on filaments of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria at a brine seep in the Gulf of Mexico. Barite-mineralized bacterial filaments in the interiors of authigenic barite crusts resemble filamentous sulfide-oxidizing bacteria of the genus Beggiatoa. Clone library and iTag amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene show that the barite crusts that host these filaments also preserve DNA of Candidatus Maribeggiatoa, as well as sulfate-reducing bacteria. Isotopic analyses show that the sulfur and oxygen isotope compositions of barite have lower δ(34)S and δ(18)O values than many other marine barite crusts, which is consistent with barite precipitation in an environment in which sulfide oxidation was occurring. Laboratory experiments employing isolates of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria from Gulf of Mexico seep sediments showed that under low sulfate conditions, such as those encountered in brine fluids, sulfate generated by sulfide-oxidizing bacteria fosters rapid barite precipitation localized on cell biomass, leading to the encrustation of bacteria in a manner reminiscent of our observations of barite-mineralized Beggiatoa in the Gulf of Mexico. The precipitation of barite directly on filaments of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria, and not on other benthic substrates, suggests that sulfide oxidation plays a role in barite formation at certain marine brine seeps where sulfide is oxidized to sulfate in contact with barium-rich fluids, either prior to, or during, the mixing of those fluids with sulfate-containing seawater in the vicinity of the sediment/water interface. As with many other geochemical interfaces that foster mineral precipitation, both biological and abiological processes likely contribute

  1. Active-Site Hydration and Water Diffusion in Cytochrome P450cam: A Highly Dynamic Process

    SciTech Connect

    Miao, Yinglong; Baudry, Jerome Y

    2011-01-01

    Long-timescale molecular dynamics simulations (300 ns) are performed on both the apo- (i.e., camphor-free) and camphor-bound cytochrome P450cam (CYP101). Water diffusion into and out of the protein active site is observed without biased sampling methods. During the course of the molecular dynamics simulation, an average of 6.4 water molecules is observed in the camphor-binding site of the apo form, compared to zero water molecules in the binding site of the substrate-bound form, in agreement with the number of water molecules observed in crystal structures of the same species. However, as many as 12 water molecules can be present at a given time in the camphor-binding region of the active site in the case of apo-P450cam, revealing a highly dynamic process for hydration of the protein active site, with water molecules exchanging rapidly with the bulk solvent. Water molecules are also found to exchange locations frequently inside the active site, preferentially clustering in regions surrounding the water molecules observed in the crystal structure. Potential-of-mean-force calculations identify thermodynamically favored trans-protein pathways for the diffusion of water molecules between the protein active site and the bulk solvent. Binding of camphor in the active site modifies the free-energy landscape of P450cam channels toward favoring the diffusion of water molecules out of the protein active site.

  2. Active site densities, oxygen activation and adsorbed reactive oxygen in alcohol activation on npAu catalysts.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lu-Cun; Friend, C M; Fushimi, Rebecca; Madix, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    The activation of molecular O2 as well as the reactivity of adsorbed oxygen species is of central importance in aerobic selective oxidation chemistry on Au-based catalysts. Herein, we address the issue of O2 activation on unsupported nanoporous gold (npAu) catalysts by applying a transient pressure technique, a temporal analysis of products (TAP) reactor, to measure the saturation coverage of atomic oxygen, its collisional dissociation probability, the activation barrier for O2 dissociation, and the facility with which adsorbed O species activate methanol, the initial step in the catalytic cycle of esterification. The results from these experiments indicate that molecular O2 dissociation is associated with surface silver, that the density of reactive sites is quite low, that adsorbed oxygen atoms do not spill over from the sites of activation onto the surrounding surface, and that methanol reacts quite facilely with the adsorbed oxygen atoms. In addition, the O species from O2 dissociation exhibits reactivity for the selective oxidation of methanol but not for CO. The TAP experiments also revealed that the surface of the npAu catalyst is saturated with adsorbed O under steady state reaction conditions, at least for the pulse reaction. PMID:27376884

  3. Active Site Structure and Peroxidase Activity of Oxidatively Modified Cytochrome c Species in Complexes with Cardiolipin.

    PubMed

    Capdevila, Daiana A; Oviedo Rouco, Santiago; Tomasina, Florencia; Tortora, Verónica; Demicheli, Verónica; Radi, Rafael; Murgida, Daniel H

    2015-12-29

    We report a resonance Raman and UV-vis characterization of the active site structure of oxidatively modified forms of cytochrome c (Cyt-c) free in solution and in complexes with cardiolipin (CL). The studied post-translational modifications of Cyt-c include methionine sulfoxidation and tyrosine nitration, which lead to altered heme axial ligation and increased peroxidase activity with respect to those of the wild-type protein. In spite of the structural and activity differences between the protein variants free in solution, binding to CL liposomes induces in all cases the formation of a spectroscopically identical bis-His axial coordination conformer that more efficiently promotes lipid peroxidation. The spectroscopic results indicate that the bis-His form is in equilibrium with small amounts of high-spin species, thus suggesting a labile distal His ligand as the basis for the CL-induced increase in enzymatic activity observed for all protein variants. For Cyt-c nitrated at Tyr74 and sulfoxidized at Met80, the measured apparent binding affinities for CL are ∼4 times larger than for wild-type Cyt-c. On the basis of these results, we propose that these post-translational modifications may amplify the pro-apoptotic signal of Cyt-c under oxidative stress conditions at CL concentrations lower than for the unmodified protein. PMID:26620444

  4. Shelf edge exchange processes-II SEEP2-06, R/V Endeavor cruise 186

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-12-01

    The Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy is a multi-institutional effort designed to investigate the flux of suspended material from the continental shelf to the waters of the upper slope, and then possibly into the slope sediments. Phase I of SEEP consisted of a series of nine cruises and a mooring array across the outer continental shelf of New England during 1983--1984. Phase II focused specifically on the shelf/slope frontal region of the mid-Atlantic bight off the Delmarva Peninsula. Hydrographic data were collected on eight of the six cruises.

  5. Detecting gas seeps in Arctic water areas using remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bondur, V. G.; Kuznetsova, T. V.

    2015-12-01

    We consider the specific features of remote registration of sources of natural hydrocarbon gas seeps in Arctic water areas to substantiate the possibility of aerospace monitoring of shelf zones prospective for hydrocarbons. The main characteristics of degassing sources and their manifestations at the surface and in the water column have been determined. The areas of the Arctic shelf with potential natural gas shows that can be detected through remote sensing have been identified. We analyze promising aerospace methods for the registration of gas shows in the sea and give examples of hydrocarbon gas seeps observed from space.

  6. Identification of Ice Nucleation Active Sites on Feldspar Dust Particles

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Mineral dusts originating from Earth’s crust are known to be important atmospheric ice nuclei. In agreement with earlier studies, feldspar was found as the most active of the tested natural mineral dusts. Here we investigated in closer detail the reasons for its activity and the difference in the activity of the different feldspars. Conclusions are drawn from scanning electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and oil-immersion freezing experiments. K-feldspar showed by far the highest ice nucleation activity. Finally, we give a potential explanation of this effect, finding alkali-metal ions having different hydration shells and thus an influence on the ice nucleation activity of feldspar surfaces. PMID:25584435

  7. Early Site Permit Demonstration Program: Recommendations for communication activities and public participation in the Early Site Permit Demonstration Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-01-27

    On October 24, 1992, President Bush signed into law the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. The bill is a sweeping, comprehensive overhaul of the Nation`s energy laws, the first in more than a decade. Among other provisions, the National Energy Policy Act reforms the licensing process for new nuclear power plants by adopting a new approach developed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 1989, and upheld in court in 1992. The NRC 10 CFR Part 52 rule is a three-step process that guarantees public participation at each step. The steps are: early site permit approval; standard design certifications; and, combined construction/operating licenses for nuclear power reactors. Licensing reform increases an organization`s ability to respond to future baseload electricity generation needs with less financial risk for ratepayers and the organization. Costly delays can be avoided because design, safety and siting issues will be resolved before a company starts to build a plant. Specifically, early site permit approval allows for site suitability and acceptability issues to be addressed prior to an organization`s commitment to build a plant. Responsibility for site-specific activities, including communications and public participation, rests with those organizations selected to try out early site approval. This plan has been prepared to assist those companies (referred to as sponsoring organizations) in planning their communications and public involvement programs. It provides research findings, information and recommendations to be used by organizations as a resource and starting point in developing their own plans.

  8. Ultrafast ligand binding dynamics in the active site of native bacterial nitric oxide reductase.

    PubMed

    Kapetanaki, Sofia M; Field, Sarah J; Hughes, Ross J L; Watmough, Nicholas J; Liebl, Ursula; Vos, Marten H

    2008-01-01

    The active site of nitric oxide reductase from Paracoccus denitrificans contains heme and non-heme iron and is evolutionarily related to heme-copper oxidases. The CO and NO dynamics in the active site were investigated using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy. We find that, upon photodissociation from the active site heme, 20% of the CO rebinds in 170 ps, suggesting that not all the CO transiently binds to the non-heme iron. The remaining 80% does not rebind within 4 ns and likely migrates out of the active site without transient binding to the non-heme iron. Rebinding of NO to ferrous heme takes place in approximately 13 ps. Our results reveal that heme-ligand recombination in this enzyme is considerably faster than in heme-copper oxidases and are consistent with a more confined configuration of the active site. PMID:18420024

  9. Quantification of gas bubble emissions from submarine hydrocarbon seeps at the Makran continental margin (offshore Pakistan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RöMer, Miriam; Sahling, Heiko; Pape, Thomas; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Spieß, Volkhard

    2012-10-01

    Evidence for twelve sites with gas bubble emissions causing hydroacoustic anomalies in 18 kHz echosounder records (`flares') was obtained at the convergent Makran continental margin. The hydroacoustic anomalies originating from hydrocarbon seeps at water depths between 575 and 2870 m disappeared after rising up to 2000 m in the water column. Dives with the remotely operated vehicle `Quest 4000 m' revealed that several individual bubble vents contributed to one hydroacoustic anomaly. Analyzed gas samples suggest that bubbles were mainly composed of methane of microbial origin. Bubble size distributions and rise velocities were determined and the volume flux was estimated by counting the emitted bubbles and using their average volume. We found that a low volume flux (Flare 1 at 575 mbsl: 90 ml/min) caused a weak hydroacoustic signal in echograms whereas high volume fluxes (Flare 2 at 1027 mbsl: 1590 ml/min; Flare 5 C at 2870 mbsl: 760 ml/min) caused strong anomalies. The total methane bubble flux in the study area was estimated by multiplying the average methane flux causing a strong hydroacoustic anomaly in the echosounder record with the total number of equivalent anomalies. An order-of-magnitude estimate further considers the temporal variability of some of the flares, assuming a constant flux over time, and allows a large range of uncertainty inherent to the method. Our results on the fate of bubbles and the order-of-magnitude estimate suggest that all of the ˜40 ± 32 × 106 mol methane emitted per year within the gas hydrate stability zone remain in the deep ocean.

  10. Stereospecific suppression of active site mutants by methylphosphonate substituted substrates reveals the stereochemical course of site-specific DNA recombination

    PubMed Central

    Rowley, Paul A.; Kachroo, Aashiq H.; Ma, Chien-Hui; Maciaszek, Anna D.; Guga, Piotr; Jayaram, Makkuni

    2015-01-01

    Tyrosine site-specific recombinases, which promote one class of biologically important phosphoryl transfer reactions in DNA, exemplify active site mechanisms for stabilizing the phosphate transition state. A highly conserved arginine duo (Arg-I; Arg-II) of the recombinase active site plays a crucial role in this function. Cre and Flp recombinase mutants lacking either arginine can be rescued by compensatory charge neutralization of the scissile phosphate via methylphosphonate (MeP) modification. The chemical chirality of MeP, in conjunction with mutant recombinases, reveals the stereochemical contributions of Arg-I and Arg-II. The SP preference of the native reaction is specified primarily by Arg-I. MeP reaction supported by Arg-II is nearly bias-free or RP-biased, depending on the Arg-I substituent. Positional conservation of the arginines does not translate into strict functional conservation. Charge reversal by glutamic acid substitution at Arg-I or Arg-II has opposite effects on Cre and Flp in MeP reactions. In Flp, the base immediately 5′ to the scissile MeP strongly influences the choice between the catalytic tyrosine and water as the nucleophile for strand scission, thus between productive recombination and futile hydrolysis. The recombinase active site embodies the evolutionary optimization of interactions that not only favor the normal reaction but also proscribe antithetical side reactions. PMID:25999343

  11. Stereospecific suppression of active site mutants by methylphosphonate substituted substrates reveals the stereochemical course of site-specific DNA recombination.

    PubMed

    Rowley, Paul A; Kachroo, Aashiq H; Ma, Chien-Hui; Maciaszek, Anna D; Guga, Piotr; Jayaram, Makkuni

    2015-07-13

    Tyrosine site-specific recombinases, which promote one class of biologically important phosphoryl transfer reactions in DNA, exemplify active site mechanisms for stabilizing the phosphate transition state. A highly conserved arginine duo (Arg-I; Arg-II) of the recombinase active site plays a crucial role in this function. Cre and Flp recombinase mutants lacking either arginine can be rescued by compensatory charge neutralization of the scissile phosphate via methylphosphonate (MeP) modification. The chemical chirality of MeP, in conjunction with mutant recombinases, reveals the stereochemical contributions of Arg-I and Arg-II. The SP preference of the native reaction is specified primarily by Arg-I. MeP reaction supported by Arg-II is nearly bias-free or RP-biased, depending on the Arg-I substituent. Positional conservation of the arginines does not translate into strict functional conservation. Charge reversal by glutamic acid substitution at Arg-I or Arg-II has opposite effects on Cre and Flp in MeP reactions. In Flp, the base immediately 5' to the scissile MeP strongly influences the choice between the catalytic tyrosine and water as the nucleophile for strand scission, thus between productive recombination and futile hydrolysis. The recombinase active site embodies the evolutionary optimization of interactions that not only favor the normal reaction but also proscribe antithetical side reactions. PMID:25999343

  12. Stable isotope trophic patterns in echinoderm megafauna in close proximity to and remote from Gulf of Mexico lower slope hydrocarbon seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carney, Robert Spencer

    2010-11-01

    Hydrocarbon-seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico have a high biomass that is exploited as a food source to varying degrees by the photosynthesis-dependent fauna inhabiting the surrounding mud bottom. A decline concurrent with ocean depth in detritus influx to that background habitat results in a much lower background biomass. The biomass contrast between population-rich seeps and depauperate mud bottom leads to the prediction that seep utilization by the background fauna should be extensive at all depths and should increase with depth. Species depth zonation makes like-species comparisons over the full depth of the Gulf of Mexico impossible. Seeps and normal bottom above 1000 m have different fauna from those below 1000 m. Lower slope seeps are surrounded by a fauna rich in echinoderm species, especially asteroids, ophiuroids, and holothuroids. All three taxa have species that are abundant within seeps and are probably endemic to them. They also contain species found only in mud background or within mud and seeps backgrounds. Tissue analyses of δ13C and δ15N of echinoderms collected by ROV within seeps and trawling away from seeps indicate a pattern of utilization similar to that found in upper slope seeps exploited by different taxa. Seastar and ophiuroid species abundant in or endemic to seeps have tissue isotope values reflecting seep chemosynthetic input via a free-living microbial detritus or predation. A single seep-endemic deposit-feeding holothuroid showed distinct seep tissue values. Background deposit-feeding holothuroids collected within seeps showed either no or only minor incorporation of seep carbon, indicating either a lack of access to seep detritus or short feeding times within the seep. A predicted extensive utilization of seep productivity at the deeper seeps was not found. Seeps may be relatively closed systems that require special adaptations of species in order for them to enter, exploit, and survive. Alternately, the surrounding deep

  13. Post depositional alteration of foraminiferal shells in cold seep settings: New insights from Flow-Through Time-Resolved Analyses of biogenic and inorganic seep carbonates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R.; Torres, M. E.; Klinkhammer, G. P.; Nesbitt, E. A.

    2010-12-01

    Transient hydrocarbon migration within a sediment package leaves behind robust geological signatures in the biogenic and authigenic carbonate record. Here we apply Flow-Through Time Resolved Analyses (FT-TRA) to unravel the compositional changes in foraminifera from coastal fossil methane seeps exposed from Oregon to Vancouver Island: The Eocene-Oligocene Keasey Formation, the Oligocene-Miocene Pysht and Sooke Formations, and the Pliocene Quinault Formation. Our data show that secondary mineralization can be traced with the use of Mg/Ca ratios, which in altered foraminifera are significantly higher than the biogenic ratio (<3 mmol/mol in biogenic carbonate compared to values as high as 69 mmol/mol for inorganic carbonate). Analogous to the record in authigenic carbonate, secondary mineralization contains valuable information about seep characteristics and their geologic history. Data from the Quinault Formation reflect the influence of anaerobic oxidation of biogenic methane in both bleb (δ13C: -29.8 ‰ to -14.0‰) and foraminiferal (δ13C: -43.0‰ to 2.0‰) carbonate. Oxygen isotopes from blebs and foraminifera indicate precipitation at bottom water temperatures in an environment comparable to conditions observed in modern seeps on the Oregon slope and elsewhere. The carbonates in these seeps are enriched in barium and strontium over biogenic values, and such elevated values may be used a diagnostic tool to identify methane-related carbonates. In contrast, in the Pysht and Sooke formations, carbonate precipitation (including secondary mineralization of foraminifera), was fueled by a thermogenic carbon source (δ13C: -14 to 3.4‰). These carbonates reflect a more complex paragenetic history and suggest alteration driven by post-depositional warm and/or meteoric fluids.

  14. Quantifying the density and utilization of active sites in non-precious metal oxygen electroreduction catalysts.

    PubMed

    Sahraie, Nastaran Ranjbar; Kramm, Ulrike I; Steinberg, Julian; Zhang, Yuanjian; Thomas, Arne; Reier, Tobias; Paraknowitsch, Jens-Peter; Strasser, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Carbon materials doped with transition metal and nitrogen are highly active, non-precious metal catalysts for the electrochemical conversion of molecular oxygen in fuel cells, metal air batteries, and electrolytic processes. However, accurate measurement of their intrinsic turn-over frequency and active-site density based on metal centres in bulk and surface has remained difficult to date, which has hampered a more rational catalyst design. Here we report a successful quantification of bulk and surface-based active-site density and associated turn-over frequency values of mono- and bimetallic Fe/N-doped carbons using a combination of chemisorption, desorption and (57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques. Our general approach yields an experimental descriptor for the intrinsic activity and the active-site utilization, aiding in the catalyst development process and enabling a previously unachieved level of understanding of reactivity trends owing to a deconvolution of site density and intrinsic activity. PMID:26486465

  15. Quantifying the density and utilization of active sites in non-precious metal oxygen electroreduction catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahraie, Nastaran Ranjbar; Kramm, Ulrike I.; Steinberg, Julian; Zhang, Yuanjian; Thomas, Arne; Reier, Tobias; Paraknowitsch, Jens-Peter; Strasser, Peter

    2015-10-01

    Carbon materials doped with transition metal and nitrogen are highly active, non-precious metal catalysts for the electrochemical conversion of molecular oxygen in fuel cells, metal air batteries, and electrolytic processes. However, accurate measurement of their intrinsic turn-over frequency and active-site density based on metal centres in bulk and surface has remained difficult to date, which has hampered a more rational catalyst design. Here we report a successful quantification of bulk and surface-based active-site density and associated turn-over frequency values of mono- and bimetallic Fe/N-doped carbons using a combination of chemisorption, desorption and 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques. Our general approach yields an experimental descriptor for the intrinsic activity and the active-site utilization, aiding in the catalyst development process and enabling a previously unachieved level of understanding of reactivity trends owing to a deconvolution of site density and intrinsic activity.

  16. Quantifying the density and utilization of active sites in non-precious metal oxygen electroreduction catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Sahraie, Nastaran Ranjbar; Kramm, Ulrike I.; Steinberg, Julian; Zhang, Yuanjian; Thomas, Arne; Reier, Tobias; Paraknowitsch, Jens-Peter; Strasser, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Carbon materials doped with transition metal and nitrogen are highly active, non-precious metal catalysts for the electrochemical conversion of molecular oxygen in fuel cells, metal air batteries, and electrolytic processes. However, accurate measurement of their intrinsic turn-over frequency and active-site density based on metal centres in bulk and surface has remained difficult to date, which has hampered a more rational catalyst design. Here we report a successful quantification of bulk and surface-based active-site density and associated turn-over frequency values of mono- and bimetallic Fe/N-doped carbons using a combination of chemisorption, desorption and 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques. Our general approach yields an experimental descriptor for the intrinsic activity and the active-site utilization, aiding in the catalyst development process and enabling a previously unachieved level of understanding of reactivity trends owing to a deconvolution of site density and intrinsic activity. PMID:26486465

  17. Active Site Metal Occupancy and Cyclic Di-GMP Phosphodiesterase Activity of Thermotoga maritima HD-GYP.

    PubMed

    Miner, Kyle D; Kurtz, Donald M

    2016-02-16

    HD-GYPs make up a subclass of the metal-dependent HD phosphohydrolase superfamily and catalyze conversion of cyclic di(3',5')-guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) to 5'-phosphoguanylyl-(3'→5')-guanosine (pGpG) and GMP. Until now, the only reported crystal structure of an HD-GYP that also exhibits c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activity contains a His/carboxylate ligated triiron active site. However, other structural and phylogenetic correlations indicate that some HD-GYPs contain dimetal active sites. Here we provide evidence that an HD-GYP c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase, TM0186, from Thermotoga maritima can accommodate both di- and trimetal active sites. We show that an as-isolated iron-containing TM0186 has an oxo/carboxylato-bridged diferric site, and that the reduced (diferrous) form is necessary and sufficient to catalyze conversion of c-di-GMP to pGpG, but that conversion of pGpG to GMP requires more than two metals per active site. Similar c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activities were obtained with divalent iron or manganese. On the basis of activity correlations with several putative metal ligand residue variants and molecular dynamics simulations, we propose that TM0186 can accommodate both di- and trimetal active sites. Our results also suggest that a Glu residue conserved in a subset of HD-GYPs is required for formation of the trimetal site and can also serve as a labile ligand to the dimetal site. Given the anaerobic growth requirement of T. maritima, we suggest that this HD-GYP can function in vivo with either divalent iron or manganese occupying di- and trimetal sites. PMID:26786892

  18. Molecular Basis for Enzymatic Sulfite Oxidation -- HOW THREE CONSERVED ACTIVE SITE RESIDUES SHAPE ENZYME ACTIVITY

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Susan; Rapson, Trevor; Johnson-Winters, Kayunta; Astashkin, Andrei; Enemark, John; Kappler, Ulrike

    2008-11-10

    Sulfite dehydrogenases (SDHs) catalyze the oxidation and detoxification of sulfite to sulfate, a reaction critical to all forms of life. Sulfite-oxidizing enzymes contain three conserved active site amino acids (Arg-55, His-57, and Tyr-236) that are crucial for catalytic competency. Here we have studied the kinetic and structural effects of two novel and one previously reported substitution (R55M, H57A, Y236F) in these residues on SDH catalysis. Both Arg-55 and His-57 were found to have key roles in substrate binding. An R55M substitution increased Km(sulfite)(app) by 2-3 orders of magnitude, whereas His-57 was required for maintaining a high substrate affinity at low pH when the imidazole ring is fully protonated. This effect may be mediated by interactions of His-57 with Arg-55 that stabilize the position of the Arg-55 side chain or, alternatively, may reflect changes in the protonation state of sulfite. Unlike what is seen for SDHWT and SDHY236F, the catalytic turnover rates of SDHR55M and SDHH57A are relatively insensitive to pH (~;;60 and 200 s-1, respectively). On the structural level, striking kinetic effects appeared to correlate with disorder (in SDHH57A and SDHY236F) or absence of Arg-55 (SDHR55M), suggesting that Arg-55 and the hydrogen bonding interactions it engages in are crucial for substrate binding and catalysis. The structure of SDHR55M has sulfate bound at the active site, a fact that coincides with a significant increase in the inhibitory effect of sulfate in SDHR55M. Thus, Arg-55 also appears to be involved in enabling discrimination between the substrate and product in SDH.

  19. Assessment of activation products in the Savannah River Site environment

    SciTech Connect

    Carlton, W.H.; Denham, M.

    1996-07-01

    This document assesses the impact of radioactive activation products released from SRS facilities since the first reactor became operational late in 1953. The isotopes reported here are those whose release resulted in the highest dose to people living near SRS: {sup 32}P, {sup 51}Cr, {sup 60}C, and {sup 65}Zn. Release pathways, emission control features, and annual releases to the aqueous and atmospheric environments are discussed. No single incident has resulted in a major acute release of activation products to the environment. The releases were the result of normal operations of the reactors and separations facilities. Releases declined over the years as better controls were established and production was reduced. The overall radiological impact of SRS activation product atmospheric releases from 1954 through 1994 on the offsite maximally exposed individual can be characterized by a total dose of 0.76 mrem. During the same period, such an individual received a total dose of 14,400 mrem from non-SRS sources of ionizing radiation present in the environment. SRS activation product aqueous releases between 1954 and 1994 resulted in a total dose of 54 mrem to the offsite maximally exposed individual. The impact of SRS activation product releases on offsite populations also has been evaluated.

  20. Cyanide does more to inhibit heme enzymes, than merely serving as an active-site ligand.

    PubMed

    Parashar, Abhinav; Venkatachalam, Avanthika; Gideon, Daniel Andrew; Manoj, Kelath Murali

    2014-12-12

    The toxicity of cyanide is hitherto attributed to its ability to bind to heme proteins' active site and thereby inhibit their activity. It is shown herein that the long-held interpretation is inadequate to explain several observations in heme-enzyme reaction systems. Generation of cyanide-based diffusible radicals in heme-enzyme reaction milieu could shunt electron transfers (by non-active site processes), and thus be detrimental to the efficiency of oxidative outcomes. PMID:25449264

  1. Active site proton delivery and the lyase activity of human CYP17A1

    SciTech Connect

    Khatri, Yogan; Gregory, Michael C.; Grinkova, Yelena V.; Denisov, Ilia G.; Sligar, Stephen G.

    2014-01-03

    equivalents and protons are funneled into non-productive pathways. This is similar to previous work with other P450 catalyzed hydroxylation. However, catalysis of carbon–carbon bond scission by the T306A mutant was largely unimpeded by disruption of the CYP17A1 acid-alcohol pair. The unique response of CYP17A1 lyase activity to mutation of Thr306 is consistent with a reactive intermediate formed independently of proton delivery in the active site, and supports involvement of a nucleophilic peroxo-anion rather than the traditional Compound I in catalysis.

  2. Characterization of an Active Thermal Erosion Site, Caribou Creek, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busey, R.; Bolton, W. R.; Cherry, J. E.; Hinzman, L. D.

    2013-12-01

    The goal of this project is to estimate volume loss of soil over time from this site, provide parameterizations on erodibility of ice rich permafrost and serve as a baseline for future landscape evolution simulations. Located in the zone of discontinuous permafrost, the interior region of Alaska (USA) is home to a large quantity of warm, unstable permafrost that is both high in ice content and has soil temperatures near the freezing point. Much of this permafrost maintains a frozen state despite the general warming air temperature trend in the region due to the presence of a thick insulating organic mat and a dense root network in the upper sub-surface of the soil column. At a rapidly evolving thermo-erosion site, located within the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed (part of the Bonanza Creek LTER) near Chatanika, Alaska (N65.140, W147.570), the protective organic layer and associated plants were disturbed by an adjacent traditional use trail and the shifting of a groundwater spring. These triggers have led to rapid geomorphological change on the landscape as the soil thaws and sediment is transported into the creek at the valley bottom. Since 2006 (approximately the time of initiation), the thermal erosion has grown to 170 meters length, 3 meters max depth, and 15 meters maximum width. This research combines several data sets: DGPS survey, imagery from an extremely low altitude pole-based remote sensing (3 to 5 meters above ground level), and imagery from an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) at about 60m altitude.

  3. Marine Biology Field Trip Sites. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauls, John

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  4. The Application of Methane Clumped Isotope Measurements to Determine the Source of Large Methane Seeps in Alaskan Lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, P. M.; Stolper, D. A.; Eiler, J. M.; Sessions, A. L.; Walter Anthony, K. M.

    2014-12-01

    Natural methane emissions from the Arctic present an important potential feedback to global warming. Arctic methane emissions may come from either active microbial sources or from deep fossil reservoirs released by the thawing of permafrost and melting of glaciers. It is often difficult to distinguish between and quantify contributions from these methane sources based on stable isotope data. Analyses of methane clumped isotopes (isotopologues with two or more rare isotopes such as 13CH3D) can complement traditional stable isotope-based classifications of methane sources. This is because clumped isotope abundances (for isotopically equilibrated systems) are a function of temperature and can be used to identify pathways of methane generation. Additionally, distinctive effects of mixing on clumped isotope abundances make this analysis valuable for determining the origins of mixed gasses. We find large variability in clumped isotope compositions of methane from seeps in several lakes, including thermokarst lakes, across Alaska. At Lake Sukok in northern Alaska we observe the emission of dominantly thermogenic methane, with a formation temperature of at least 100° C. At several other lakes we find evidence for mixing between thermogenic methane and biogenic methane that forms in low-temperature isotopic equilibrium. For example, at Eyak Lake in southeastern Alaska, analysis of three methane samples results in a distinctive isotopic mixing line between a high-temperature end-member that formed between 100-170° C, and a biogenic end-member that formed in isotopic equilibrium between 0-20° C. In this respect, biogenic methane in these lakes resembles observations from marine gas seeps, oil degradation, and sub-surface aquifers. Interestingly, at Goldstream Lake in interior Alaska, methane with strongly depleted clumped-isotope abundances, indicative of disequilibrium gas formation, is found, similar to observations from methanogen culture experiments.

  5. Deep-sea hydrocarbon seep communities: evidence for energy and nutritional carbon sources

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, J.M.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; Fisher, C.R.; Macko, S.A.; Cole, K.; Childress, J.J.; Bidigare, R.R.; Vetter, R.D.

    1987-11-20

    Mussels, clams, and tube worms collected in the vicinity of hydrocarbon seeps on the Louisiana slope contain mostly dead carbon, indicating that dietary carbon is largely derived from seeping oil and gas. Enzyme assays, elemental sulfur analysis, and carbon dioxide fixation studies demonstrate that vestimentiferan tube worms and three clam species contain intracellular, autotrophic sulfur bacterial symbionts. Carbon isotopic ratios of 246 individual animal tissues were used to differentiate heterotrophic (delta/sup 14/C = -14 to -20 per mil), sulfur-based (delta/sup 14/C = -30 to -42 per mil), and methane-based (delta/sup 13/C = <-40 per mil) energy sources. Mussels with symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria reflect the carbon isotopic composition of the methane source. Isotopically light nitrogen and sulfur confirm the chemoautotrophic nature of the seep animals. Sulfur-based chemosynthetic animals contain isotopically light sulfur, whereas methane-based symbiotic mussels more closely reflect the heavier oceanic sulfate pool. The nitrogen requirement of some seep animals may be supported by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Some grazing neogastropods have isotopic values characteristic of chemosynthetic animals, suggesting the transfer of carbon into the background deep-sea fauna.

  6. Did shifting seawater sulfate concentrations drive the evolution of deep-sea methane-seep ecosystems?

    PubMed Central

    Kiel, Steffen

    2015-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the faunas inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps have been debated for decades. These faunas rely on a local source of sulfide and other reduced chemicals for nutrition, which spawned the hypothesis that their evolutionary history is independent from that of photosynthesis-based food chains and instead driven by extinction events caused by deep-sea anoxia. Here I use the fossil record of seep molluscs to show that trends in body size, relative abundance and epifaunal/infaunal ratios track current estimates of seawater sulfate concentrations through the last 150 Myr. Furthermore, the two main faunal turnovers during this time interval coincide with major changes in seawater sulfate concentrations. Because sulfide at seeps originates mostly from seawater sulfate, variations in sulfate concentrations should directly affect the base of the food chain of this ecosystem and are thus the likely driver of the observed macroecologic and evolutionary patterns. The results imply that the methane-seep fauna evolved largely independently from developments and mass extinctions affecting the photosynthesis-based biosphere and add to the growing body of evidence that the chemical evolution of the oceans had a major impact on the evolution of marine life. PMID:25716797

  7. Did shifting seawater sulfate concentrations drive the evolution of deep-sea methane-seep ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2015-04-01

    The origin and evolution of the faunas inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps have been debated for decades. These faunas rely on a local source of sulfide and other reduced chemicals for nutrition, which spawned the hypothesis that their evolutionary history is independent from that of photosynthesis-based food chains and instead driven by extinction events caused by deep-sea anoxia. Here I use the fossil record of seep molluscs to show that trends in body size, relative abundance and epifaunal/infaunal ratios track current estimates of seawater sulfate concentrations through the last 150 Myr. Furthermore, the two main faunal turnovers during this time interval coincide with major changes in seawater sulfate concentrations. Because sulfide at seeps originates mostly from seawater sulfate, variations in sulfate concentrations should directly affect the base of the food chain of this ecosystem and are thus the likely driver of the observed macroecologic and evolutionary patterns. The results imply that the methane-seep fauna evolved largely independently from developments and mass extinctions affecting the photosynthesis-based biosphere and add to the growing body of evidence that the chemical evolution of the oceans had a major impact on the evolution of marine life. PMID:25716797

  8. Hydrocarbon gas seeps of the convergent Hikurangi margin, North Island, New Zealand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvenvolden, K.A.; Pettinga, J.R.

    1989-01-01

    Two hydrocarbon gas seeps, located about 13 km apart, have distinctive molecular and isotopic compositions. These seeps occur within separate tectonic melange units of narrow parallel trending and structurally complex zones with incorporated upper Cretaceous and Palaeogene passive continental margin deposits which are now compressively deformed and imbricated along the convergent Hikurangi margin of North Island, New Zealand. At Brookby Station within the Coastal High, the seeping hydrocarbon gas has a methane/ethane ratio of 48 and ??13C and ??D values of methane of -45.7 and -188???, respectively (relative to the PDB and SMOW standards). Within the complex core of the Elsthorpe Anticline at Campbell Station seep, gas has a methane/ethane ratio of about 12000, and the methane has ??13C and ??D values of -37.4 and -170???, respectively. The source of the gases cannot be positively identified, but the gases probably originate from the thermal decomposition of organic matter in tectonically disturbed upper Cretaceous and/or lower Tertiary sedimentary rocks of passive margin affinity and reach the surface by migration along thrust faults associated with tectonic melange. The geochemical differences between the two gases may result from differences in burial depths of similar source sediment. ?? 1989.

  9. The Effect of Summer Environmental Education Program (SEEP) on Elementary School Students' Environmental Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erdogan, Mehmet

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Summer Environmental Education Program (SEEP) on elementary school students' environmental knowledge, affect, skills and behavior which are the main components of environmental literacy. The sample consisted of 45 students (25 males, 20 females) studying in 4th through 8th grades and living in…

  10. Anaerobic methane oxidation in low-organic content methane seep sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, John W.; Riedel, Michael; Bauer, James E.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Paull, Charles K.; Lapham, Laura; Grabowski, Kenneth S.; Coffin, Richard B.; Spence, George D.

    2013-01-01

    Sulfate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is the key sedimentary microbial process limiting methane emissions from marine sediments and methane seeps. In this study, we investigate how the presence of low-organic content sediment influences the capacity and efficiency of AOM at Bullseye vent, a gas hydrate-bearing cold seep offshore of Vancouver Island, Canada. The upper 8 m of sediment contains 14C. A fossil origin for the DIC precludes remineralization of non-fossil OM present within the sulfate zone as a significant contributor to pore water DIC, suggesting that nearly all sulfate is available for anaerobic oxidation of fossil seep methane. Methane flux from the SMT to the sediment water interface in a diffusion-dominated flux region of Bullseye vent was, on average, 96% less than at an OM-rich seep in the Gulf of Mexico with a similar methane flux regime. Evidence for enhanced methane oxidation capacity within OM-poor sediments has implications for assessing how climate-sensitive reservoirs of sedimentary methane (e.g., gas hydrate) will respond to ocean warming, particularly along glacially-influenced mid and high latitude continental margins.

  11. Microbial Oxidation of Ethane within Seep Sediment at Coal Oil Point, Santa Barbara, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, S. D.; Duncombe, R.; Scarlett, R. D.; Shaffer, J.; Lensch, S.; Valentine, D. L.

    2013-12-01

    The hydrocarbon seep field at Coal Oil Point (COP), off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, releases more than 10^10 g of thermogenic natural gas each year. Only a fraction of this methane, ethane, propane, and butane reaches the atmosphere, and is instead consumed by marine microbes in both the sediment and water column. Bacterial respiration of these gases has been observed in aerobic and anaerobic conditions, with the exception of ethane (aerobic only) (Kniemeyer et. al 2007). This work seeks to quantify the rate of ethane oxidation (both aerobic and anaerobic) in marine sediment. A series of experiments, to be conducted using COP seep sediment aboard the R/V Atlantis in October 2013, will test how varying oxygen conditions impact ethane oxidation rate. Oxidation rates will be quantified using sensitive 3H-ethane tracers. Preliminary data from Shane's Seep, located within the COP seep field, indicates that ethane oxidation is restricted to the top 6 cm of sediment. This suggests that oxygen is a limiting factor, but further work is needed to establish if ethane oxidation is restricted to exclusively aerobic environments.

  12. Linking nitrogen management, seep chemistry, and stream water quality in two agricultural headwater watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO3-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO3-N processin...

  13. Reduction of urease activity by interaction with the flap covering the active site.

    PubMed

    Macomber, Lee; Minkara, Mona S; Hausinger, Robert P; Merz, Kenneth M

    2015-02-23

    With the increasing appreciation for the human microbiome coupled with the global rise of antibiotic resistant organisms, it is imperative that new methods be developed to specifically target pathogens. To that end, a novel computational approach was devised to identify compounds that reduce the activity of urease, a medically important enzyme of Helicobacter pylori, Proteus mirabilis, and many other microorganisms. Urease contains a flexible loop that covers its active site; Glide was used to identify small molecules predicted to lock this loop in an open conformation. These compounds were screened against the model urease from Klebsiella aerogenes, and the natural products epigallocatechin and quercetin were shown to inhibit at low and high micromolar concentrations, respectively. These molecules exhibit a strong time-dependent inactivation of urease that was not due to their oxygen sensitivity. Rather, these compounds appear to inactivate urease by reacting with a specific Cys residue located on the flexible loop. Substitution of this cysteine by alanine in the C319A variant increased the urease resistance to both epigallocatechin and quercetin, as predicted by the computational studies. Protein dynamics are integral to the function of many enzymes; thus, identification of compounds that lock an enzyme into a single conformation presents a useful approach to define potential inhibitors. PMID:25594724

  14. Reduction of Urease Activity by Interaction with the Flap Covering the Active Site

    PubMed Central

    Macomber, Lee; Minkara, Mona S.; Hausinger, Robert P.; Merz, Kenneth M.

    2015-01-01

    With the increasing appreciation for the human microbiome coupled with the global rise of antibiotic resistant organisms, it is imperative that new methods be developed to specifically target pathogens. To that end, a novel computational approach was devised to identify compounds that reduce the activity of urease, a medically important enzyme of Helicobacter pylori, Proteus mirabilis, and many other microorganisms. Urease contains a flexible loop that covers its active site; Glide was used to identify small molecules predicted to lock this loop in an open conformation. These compounds were screened against the model urease from Klebsiella aerogenes and the natural products epigallocatechin and quercetin were shown to inhibit at low and high micromolar concentrations, respectively. These molecules exhibit a strong time-dependent inactivation of urease that was not due to their oxygen sensitivity. Rather, these compounds appear to inactivate urease by reacting with a specific Cys residue located on the flexible loop. Substitution of this cysteine by alanine in the C319A variant increased the urease resistance to both epigallocatechin and quercetin, as predicted by the computational studies. Protein dynamics are integral to the function of many enzymes; thus, identification of compounds that lock an enzyme into a single conformation presents a useful approach to define potential inhibitors. PMID:25594724

  15. Encroachment of Human Activity on Sea Turtle Nesting Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziskin, D.; Aubrecht, C.; Elvidge, C.; Tuttle, B.; Baugh, K.; Ghosh, T.

    2008-12-01

    The encroachment of anthropogenic lighting on sea turtle nesting sites poses a serious threat to the survival of these animals [Nicholas, 2001]. This danger is quantified by combining two established data sets. The first is the Nighttime Lights data produced by the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center [Elvidge et al., 1997]. The second is the Marine Turtle Database produced by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). The technique used to quantify the threat of encroachment is an adaptation of the method described in Aubrecht et al. [2008], which analyzes the stress on coral reef systems by proximity to nighttime lights near the shore. Nighttime lights near beaches have both a direct impact on turtle reproductive success since they disorient hatchlings when they mistake land-based lights for the sky-lit surf [Lorne and Salmon, 2007] and the lights are also a proxy for other anthropogenic threats. The identification of turtle nesting sites with high rates of encroachment will hopefully steer conservation efforts to mitigate their effects [Witherington, 1999]. Aubrecht, C, CD Elvidge, T Longcore, C Rich, J Safran, A Strong, M Eakin, KE Baugh, BT Tuttle, AT Howard, EH Erwin, 2008, A global inventory of coral reef stressors based on satellite observed nighttime lights, Geocarto International, London, England: Taylor and Francis. In press. Elvidge, CD, KE Baugh, EA Kihn, HW Kroehl, ER Davis, 1997, Mapping City Lights with Nighttime Data from the DMSP Operational Linescan System, Photogrammatic Engineering and Remote Sensing, 63:6, pp. 727-734. Lorne, JK, M Salmon, 2007, Effects of exposure to artificial lighting on orientation of hatchling sea turtles on the beach and in the ocean, Endangered Species Research, Vol. 3: 23-30. Nicholas, M, 2001, Light Pollution and Marine Turtle Hatchlings: The Straw that Breaks the Camel's Back?, George Wright Forum, 18:4, p77-82. Witherington, BE, 1999, Reducing Threats To Nesting Habitat, Research and Management Techniques for

  16. Groundwater processes, sandplain seeps and interactions with regional aquifer systems in South-Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    George, Richard J.

    1992-06-01

    Groundwater systems were studied in the 4200 ha East Belka catchment in a dryland farming area 300 km east of Perth, W.A., to determine the cause of sandplain seeps. Detailed investigations were carried out on a 200 ha hillslope to determine the characteristics of a shallow aquifer system responsible for the salinization of previously productive agricultural soils. The impact of the shallow aquifer on the regional system was investigated. A shallow (less than 8 m), perched, perennial aquifer was encountered in the deep sandplain materials. Groundwater discharge of about 1000 kl year -1 from the perched aquifer maintained saline soils across a 5 ha sandplain seep. Perching is due to the decreased permeability, geometry and silicification of the top of the mottled and pallid zones, and the convergence of perched ground waters near the seep. Slug test measurements suggest that the sandplain soils have a relatively low hydraulic conductivity (0.15 m day -1). Water qualities in the perched aquifer ranged from brackish to saline (3000-8000 mg l -1 TDS), peaking in the salt-affected area (12 000 mg l -1 TDS). High nitrate and Cl/Br ratios occur in the shallow aquifer and in the regional ground water beneath the sandplain seep. Recharge to the deep aquifer takes place throughout the catchment, but is greatest beneath the sandplain seep, where a perennial groundwater mound occurs. Recharge to the regional aquifer was estimated to be 6 to 15 mm year -1, increasing to between 20 and 60 mm year -1 beneath the seep. By contrast, less than 0.3 mm year -1 is able to leave the catchment as regional groundwater flow. Water-levels in the deep bores are consequently rising by 0.05 to 0.25 m year -1. Recharge to the deep aquifer beneath the seep, and low groundwater gradients, create the potential for groundwater flow to take place beneath the topographic divide and towards the adjoining catchment. However, as the vertical flux to the aquifer is two orders of magnitude greater than

  17. A Multi-frequency Look at Gas Seeps on the Eastern Siberian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, L. A.; Jerram, K.; Weidner, E.; Weber, T.; Jakobsson, M.; Chernykh, D.; Ananiev, R.; Mohammad, R.; Semiletov, I. P.

    2015-12-01

    The Swedish-Russian-US Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions (SWERUS-C3) is a multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary program aimed at increasing our understanding of the climate-cryosphere-carbon system of the Eastern Siberian Arctic Ocean. In 2014 SWERUS-C3 carried out a two-leg field program on the Swedish Icebreaker ODEN. A component of the SWERUS-C3 program focused on water column mapping of the spatial distribution and geologic context of gas seeps using the acoustic systems on board ODEN (12 kHz EM122 multibeam echo sounder, 2-8 kHz SBP120 subbottom profiler, and an 18 kHz EK60 split-beam sonar). On Leg 2 of the 2014 expedition, a new wideband transceiver (EK80) was added to the split-beam echo sounder and calibrated, providing the ability to measure the acoustic response of the gas seeps over a much broader range of frequencies (15-30 kHz).