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Sample records for cold seep sediments

  1. 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.

  2. High rates of denitrification and nitrate removal in cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Marshall; Joye, Samantha

    2011-03-01

    We measured denitrification and nitrate removal rates in cold seep sediments from the Gulf of Mexico. Heterotrophic potential denitrification rates were assayed in time-series incubations. Surficial sediments inhabited by Beggiatoa exhibited higher heterotrophic potential denitrification rates (32 μM N reduced day(-1)) than did deeper sediments (11 μM N reduced day(-1)). Nitrate removal rates were high in both sediment horizons. These nitrate removal rates translate into rapid turnover times (<1 day) for the nitrate pool, resulting in a faster turnover for the nitrate pool than for the sulfate pool. Together, these data underscore the rigorous nature of internal nitrogen cycling at cold seeps and the requirement for novel mechanisms to provide nitrate to the sediment microbial community.

  3. 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

  4. Evidence of active methanogen communities in shallow sediments of the sonora margin cold seeps.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

    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.

  5. Comparison of the microbial diversity in cold-seep sediments from different depths in the Nankai Trough.

    PubMed

    Arakawa, Shizuka; Sato, Takako; Yoshida, Yasuhiko; Usami, Ron; Kato, Chiaki

    2006-02-01

    We have investigated the molecular phylogeny of cold-seep sediments obtained from the Nankai Trough, at depths of about 600, 2,000, and 3,300 m, and compared the microbial diversity profiles of those sediments samples. The gamma-Proteobacteria that might function as sulfide oxidizers and the symbiotically related delta-Proteobacteria which might function as sulfate reducers were identified amongst the bacteria from all depths of the sediments. However, anoxic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME) and methanogens were only found in the 600 m deep sediments. These results indicated that the cold-seep microbial sulfur circulation system could be functioning in the shallow seep sediment at a depth of 600 m and the microbial activities at these sites might be more dynamic than at other deeper cold-seep sites.

  6. Active archaeal communities at cold seep sediments populated by Siboglinidae tubeworms from the Storegga Slide.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Cassandre Sara; Dinasquet, Julie; Pignet, Patricia; Prieur, Daniel; Toffin, Laurent

    2010-10-01

    Siboglinid tubeworms in cold seep sediments can locally modify the geochemical gradients of electron acceptors and donors, hence creating potential microhabitats for prokaryotic populations. The archaeal communities associated with sediments populated by Oligobrachia haakonmosbiensis and Sclerolinum contortum Siboglinid tubeworms in the Storegga Slide were examined in this study. Vertical distribution of archaeal communities was investigated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis based on 16S rRNA genes. The active fraction of the archaeal community was assessed by using reverse-transcribed rRNA. Archaeal communities associated with sediments colonized by tubeworms were affiliated with uncultivated archaeal lineages of the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. The composition of the active archaeal populations changed with depth indicating a reorganization of microbial communities. 16S rRNA gene libraries were dominated by sequences affiliated to the Rice Cluster V which are unusual in marine sediment samples. Moreover, this study provides the first evidence of living Crenarchaeota of the Rice Cluster V in cold seep sediments. Furthermore, the Storegga Slide sediments harbored a high diversity of other minor groups of uncultivated lineages including Terrestrial Miscellaneous Euryarchaeotal Group, Marine Benthic Group (MBG)-D, MBG-E, Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Euryarchaeotal Group, Lake Dagow Sediment, Val Kotinen Lake clade III, and Sippenauer Moor 1. Thus, we hypothesize that the vertical geochemical imprint created by the tubeworms could support broad active archaeal populations in the Siboglinidae-populated Storegga Slide sediments.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Microbial Diversity in Sediments Collected from the Deepest Cold-Seep Area, the Japan Trench.

    PubMed

    Li; Kato; Horikoshi

    1999-07-01

    : The Japan Trench land slope at a depth of 6,400 m is the deepest cold-seep environment with Calyptogena communities. Sediment samples from inside and beside the Calyptogena communities were collected, and the microbial diversity in the sediment samples was studied by molecular phylogenetic techniques. From DNA extracted directly from the sediment samples, 16S rDNAs were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction method. The sequences of the amplified 16S rDNAs selected by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis were determined and compared with sequences in DNA databases. The results showed that 33 different bacterial 16S rDNA sequences from the two samples analyzed fell into similar phylogenetic categories, the alpha-, gamma-, delta-, and varepsilon-subdivisions of Proteobacteria, Cytophaga, and gram-positive bacteria; some of the 16S rDNA sequences were common to both samples. delta- and varepsilon-Proteobacteria-related sequences were abundant in both sediments. These sequences are mostly related to sulfate-reducing or sulfur-reducing bacteria and epibionts, respectively. Eight different archaeal 16S rDNA sequences were cloned from the sediments. The majority of the archaeal 16S rDNA sequences clustered in Crenarchaeota and showed high similarities to marine group I archaeal rDNA. A Methanococcoides burtonii-related sequence obtained from the sediment clustered in the Euryarchaeota indicating that M. burtonii-related strains in the area of Calyptogena communities may contribute to production of methane in this environment. From these results, we propose a possible model of sulfur circulation within the microbial community and that of Calyptogena clams in the cold-seep environment.

  10. Phylogenetic diversity of dissimilatory sulfite reductase genes from deep-sea cold seep sediment.

    PubMed

    Fukuba, Tatsuhiro; Ogawa, Mari; Fujii, Teruo; Naganuma, Takeshi

    2003-01-01

    The phylogenetic diversity of dissimilatory sulfite reductase (DSR, EC 1.8.99.3) alpha-subunit genes from a deep-sea cold seep was analyzed. Bulk genomic DNA was extracted from the cold seep sediment and used for amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of DSR alpha-subunit gene. Two sizes of PCR products, 1.4 kb (expected) and 1.3 kb (unexpected), were amplified. Sixteen clones of the 1.4-kb amplicons and 16 clones of 1.3-kb amplicons, a total of 32 clones, were obtained and grouped into operational DSR units (ODUs) based on restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) by digestion with HaeIII and MboI. A total of 14 ODUs, i.e., 5 ODUs from 1.4-kb amplicon clones and 9 ODUs from 1.3-kb amplicon clones, were recovered. About 400 bp of the 5' ends of all the clones was sequenced and validated the RFLP-based ODU grouping. All the 5'-end 400-bp sequences of ODUs, even from the 1.3-kb amplicons, showed the characteristic DSR amino acid sequence motifs. The ODUs from 1.4-kb amplicons were closely related to the delta-Proteobacterial lineage with the DSR genes from epsilon-Proteobacterial epibionts of the hot vent worm Alvinella pompejana. The ODUs from 1.3-kb amplicons were mostly related to the unknown but possibly archaeal lineage. The diversity of the DSR genes may indicate the diversity of sulfate reducers in the seep sediment as well as the complexity of electron donors including methane.

  11. Mercury concentrations, speciation, and isotopic composition in sediment from a cold seep in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Brown, Garry; Sleeper, Kenneth; Johnson, Marcus W; Blum, Joel D; Cizdziel, James V

    2013-12-15

    Total-Hg, monomethylmercury (MMHg), and mercury isotopic composition was determined in sediment from a cold seep and background sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM). Total-Hg averaged 50 ng/g (n=28), ranged from 31 to 67 ng/g, and decreased with depth (0-15 cm). MMHg averaged 0.91 ng/g (n=18), and ranged from 0.2 to 1.9 ng/g. There was no significant difference for total-Hg or MMHg between cold seep and background sites. δ(202)Hg ranged from -0.5 to -0.8‰ and becomes more negative with depth (r=0.989). Mass independent fractionation (Δ(199)Hg) was small but consistently positive (0.04-0.12‰); there was no difference between cold seeps (Δ(199)Hg = +0.09±0.03; n=7, 1SD) and background sites (Δ(199)Hg=+0.07±0.02; n=5, 1SD). This suggests that releases of hydrocarbons at the cold seep do not significantly alter Hg levels, and that cold seeps are likely not major sources of MMHg to nGoM waters.

  12. Integrated metagenomic and metaproteomic analyses of an ANME-1-dominated community in marine cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Stokke, Runar; Roalkvam, Irene; Lanzen, Anders; Haflidason, Haflidi; Steen, Ida H

    2012-05-01

    Sulfate-reducing methanotrophy by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is a major biological sink of methane in anoxic methane-enriched marine sediments. The physiology of a microbial community dominated by free-living ANME-1 at 14-16 cm below the seafloor in the G11 pockmark at Nyegga was investigated by integrated metagenomic and metaproteomic approaches. Total DNA was subjected to 454-pyrosequencing (829 527 reads), and 16.6 Mbp of sequence information was assembled into 27352 contigs. Taxonomic analysis supported a high abundance of Euryarchaea (70%) with 66% of the assembled metagenome belonging to ANME-1. Extracted sediment proteins were separated in two dimensions and subjected to mass spectrometry (LTQ-Orbitrap XL). Of 356 identified proteins, 245 were expressed by ANME-1. These included proteins for cold-adaptation and production of gas vesicles, reflecting both the adaptation of the ANME-1 community to a permanently cold environment and its potential for positioning in specific sediment depths respectively. In addition, key metabolic enzymes including the enzymes in the reverse methanogenesis pathway (except N(5) ,N(10) -methylene-tetrahydromethanopterin reductase), heterodisulfide reductases and the F(420) H(2) :quinone oxidoreductase (Fqo) complex were identified. A complete dissimilatory sulfate reduction pathway was expressed by sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. Interestingly, an APS-reductase comprising Gram-positive SRB and related sequences were identified in the proteome. Overall, the results demonstrated that our approach was effective in assessing in situ metabolic processes in cold seep sediments.

  13. Shimia sagamensis sp. nov., a marine bacterium isolated from cold-seep sediment.

    PubMed

    Nogi, Yuichi; Mori, Kozue; Uchida, Hiromi; Hatada, Yuji

    2015-09-01

    A novel marine bacterial strain designated JAMH 011(T) was isolated from the cold-seep sediment in Sagami Bay, Japan. Cells were Gram-stain-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming, aerobic chemo-organotrophs and motile by means of a single polar flagellum. Growth occurred at temperatures below 31 °C, with the optimum at 25 °C. The major respiratory quinone was Q-10. The predominant fatty acid was C18 : 1ω7c. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the isolated strain was closely affiliated with members of the genus Shimia in the class Alphaproteobacteria, and the 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of the novel isolate with the type strain of the closest related species, Shimia haliotis WM35(T), was 98.1%. The DNA G+C content of the novel strain was 57.3 mol%. The hybridization values for DNA-DNA relatedness between strain JAMH 011(T) and reference strains belonging to the genus Shimia were less than 9.4 ± 0.7%. Based on differences in taxonomic characteristics, the isolated strain represents a novel species of the genus Shimia, for which the name Shimia sagamensis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is JAMH 011(T) ( = JCM 30583(T) = DSM 29734(T)).

  14. Thalassobius abyssi sp. nov., a marine bacterium isolated from the cold-seep sediment.

    PubMed

    Nogi, Yuichi; Mori, Kozue; Makita, Hiroko; Hatada, Yuji

    2015-11-09

    A novel marine bacterial strain designated JAMH 043T was isolated from the cold-seep sediment in Sagami Bay, Japan. Cells were Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-motile and aerobic chemo-organotrophs. The cells of the isolate grew optimally at 25 °C, pH 7.0-7.5, and with 3% (w/v) NaCl. The major respiratory quinone was Q-10. The predominant fatty acid was C18:1ω7c. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, the isolated strain was closely affiliated with members of the genus Thalassobius in the class Alphaproteobacteria, and the 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of the novel isolate with the type strain of closest related species, Thalassobius aestuarii JC2049T, was 98.4 %. The DNA G+C content of the novel strain was 58.0 mol%. The hybridization values for DNA-DNA relatedness between strain JAMH043T and reference strains belonging to the genus Thalassobius were less than 14.1±2.2 %. Based on differences in taxonomic characteristics, the isolated strain represents a novel species of the genus Thalassobius, for which the name Thalassobius abyssi sp. nov. is proposed. Type strain is JAMH 043T (=JCM 30900T =DSMZ 100673T).

  15. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of reverse-transcribed bacterial rRNA obtained from deep-sea cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Inagaki, Fumio; Sakihama, Yuri; Inoue, Akira; Kato, Chiaki; Horikoshi, Koki

    2002-05-01

    A depth profile of naturally occurring bacterial community structures associated with the deep-sea cold seep push-core sediment in the Japan Trench at a depth of 5343 m were evaluated using molecular phylogenetic analyses of RNA reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) amplified 16S crDNA fragments. A total of 137 clones of bacterial crDNA (complimentary rDNA) phylotypes (phylogenetic types) obtained at three different depths (2-4, 8-10 and 14-16 cm) were identified in partial crDNA sequencings. crDNA phylotypes from the cold seep sediment were dominantly composed of delta- and epsilon-Proteobacteria (36% and 42% respectively). Phylotype analysis of crDNA clone libraries and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis revealed that the majority of bacterial components shifted from delta- Proteobacteria to epsilon-Proteobacteria with increasing depth. Among the delta-proteobacterial crDNA clones, the sequences related to the genus Desulfosarcina were dominant. Almost all sequences of crDNA belonging to epsilon-Proteobacteria were affiliated with the same cluster (epsilon-CSG: epsilon-proteobacterial cold seep group), and were closely related with rDNA sequences from deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments.

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular evidence that phylogenetically diverged ciliates are active in microbial mats of deep-sea cold-seep sediment.

    PubMed

    Takishita, Kiyotaka; Kakizoe, Natsuki; Yoshida, Takao; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2010-01-01

    Cold seeps are areas of the seafloor where hydrogen sulfide- and methane-rich fluid seepage occurs, often sustaining chemosynthetic ecosystems. It is well known that both archaea and bacteria oxidize sulfides and methane to produce chemical energy and that several endemic animals use this energy to thrive in cold seeps. On the other hand, there is little knowledge regarding diversity and ecology of microbial eukaryotes in this ecosystem. In this study we isolated environmental RNA and DNA from microbial mats of cold-seep sediment in Sagami Bay, Japan, and retrieved eukaryotic small-subunit ribosomal RNA sequences with polymerase chain reaction methods followed by clone library construction. Most RNA-derived clones obtained were from ciliates, although DNA-derived clones were mainly from the fungus Cryptococcus curvatus, suggesting that ciliates are active in the environment. The ciliate sequences were phylogenetically diverse, and represented eight known class lineages as well as undesignated lineages. Because most ciliates are bacterivorous, it is highly likely that the ciliates for which sequences were recovered play a role in the food web of this ecosystem as grazers of microbial mats. In addition, given that the environment studied is under highly reduced (anoxic) conditions, based on the prokaryotic community structure deduced from T-RFLP profiles, the ciliates detected may be obligatory or facultative anaerobes.

  18. Multiple archaeal groups mediate methane oxidation in anoxic cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Orphan, Victoria J; House, Christopher H; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; McKeegan, Kevin D; DeLong, Edward F

    2002-05-28

    No microorganism capable of anaerobic growth on methane as the sole carbon source has yet been cultivated. Consequently, information about these microbes has been inferred from geochemical and microbiological observations of field samples. Stable isotope analysis of lipid biomarkers and rRNA gene surveys have implicated specific microbes in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Here we use combined fluorescent in situ hybridization and secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses, to identify anaerobic methanotrophs in marine methane-seep sediments. The results provide direct evidence for the involvement of at least two distinct archaeal groups (ANME-1 and ANME-2) in AOM at methane seeps. Although both archaeal groups often occurred in direct physical association with bacteria, they also were observed as monospecific aggregations and as single cells. The ANME-1 archaeal group more frequently existed in monospecific aggregations or as single filaments, apparently without a bacterial partner. Bacteria associated with both archaeal groups included, but were not limited to, close relatives of Desulfosarcina species. Isotopic analyses suggest that monospecific archaeal cells and cell aggregates were active in anaerobic methanotrophy, as were multispecies consortia. In total, the data indicate that the microbial species and biotic interactions mediating anaerobic methanotrophy are diverse and complex. The data also clearly show that highly structured ANME-2/Desulfosarcina consortia are not the sole entities responsible for AOM at marine methane seeps. Other microbial groups, including ANME-1 archaea, are capable of anaerobic methane consumption either as single cells, in monospecific aggregates, or in multispecies consortia.

  19. New insight into stratification of anaerobic methanotrophs in cold seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Roalkvam, Irene; Jørgensen, Steffen Leth; Chen, Yifeng; Stokke, Runar; Dahle, Håkon; Hocking, William Peter; Lanzén, Anders; Haflidason, Haflidi; Steen, Ida Helene

    2011-11-01

    Methane seepages typically harbor communities of anaerobic methane oxidizers (ANME); however, knowledge about fine-scale vertical variation of ANME in response to geochemical gradients is limited. We investigated microbial communities in sediments below a white microbial mat in the G11 pockmark at Nyegga by 16S rRNA gene tag pyrosequencing and real-time quantitative PCR. A vertical stratification of dominating ANME communities was observed at 4 cmbsf (cm below seafloor) and below in the following order: ANME-2a/b, ANME-1 and ANME-2c. The ANME-1 community was most numerous and comprised single or chains of cells with typical rectangular morphology, accounting up to 89.2% of the retrieved 16S rRNA gene sequences. Detection rates for sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria possibly involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane were low throughout the core. However, a correlation in the abundance of Candidate division JS-1 with ANME-2 was observed, indicating involvement in metabolisms occurring in ANME-2-dominated horizons. The white microbial mat and shallow sediments were dominated by organisms affiliated with Sulfurovum (Epsilonproteobacteria) and Methylococcales (Gammaproteobacteria), suggesting that aerobic oxidation of sulfur and methane is taking place. In intermediate horizons, typical microbial groups associated with methane seeps were recovered. The data are discussed with respect to co-occurring microbial assemblages and interspecies interactions.

  20. Characteristics and possible origin of native aluminum in cold seep sediments from the northeastern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhong; Huang, Chi-Yue; Zhao, Meixun; Yan, Wen; Chien, Chih-Wei; Chen, Muhong; Yang, Huaping; Machiyama, Hideaki; Lin, Saulwood

    2011-01-01

    Although native aluminum (Al°) has been reported to occur in various geological settings for more than 20 locations but its mechanism of formation still remains to be elucidated. We report the occurrence and characterization of Al° particles recovered from the surface sediment (CF4) and a short core sediment (ROV-G, 37 cm length) obtained at cold seeps in the northeastern continental slope (NCS) of the South China Sea (SCS). X-ray diffraction analysis shows that the collected particles are metallic aluminum with the unit cell edge a of 4.059 ± 0.005 Å (CF4#2) and 4.029 ± 0.004 Å (T26-28#2, ROV-G). The Al° particles occur as spherules, irregular plates and elongated forms with typical lamellar structures. Their chemical compositions are 95.07-99.84% Al (the average values is 98.42%) with very small amounts of Si, Fe, Ti, S, Zn, Mg, Ca, K, Na, Cu, Co and P, and are similar to Al° particles from the East Pacific Rise and the Central Indian Basin but differ markedly to those from other locations. After ruling out several possibilities of Al° sources and mechanism of formation, an alternative cold seep mechanism is proposed for the origin of Al° in the SCS. During the processes of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and pyrite formation, high H 2S and H 2 partial pressures result in strong reducing micro-environments, under which Al(OH)4- is reduced to its metallic state by the microbial-bacterial processes.

  1. Presence and diversity of anammox bacteria in cold hydrocarbon-rich seeps and hydrothermal vent sediments of the Guaymas Basin.

    PubMed

    Russ, Lina; Kartal, Boran; Op den Camp, Huub J M; Sollai, Martina; Le Bruchec, Julie; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Godfroy, Anne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Jetten, Mike S M

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermally active sediments are highly productive, chemosynthetic areas which are characterized by the rapid turnover of particulate organic matter under extreme conditions in which ammonia is liberated. These systems might be suitable habitats for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria but this has not been investigated in detail. Here we report the diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria in sediments that seep cold hydrocarbon-rich fluids and hydrothermal vent areas of the Guaymas Basin in the Cortés Sea using the unique functional anammox marker gene, hydrazine synthase (hzsA). All clones retrieved were closely associated to the "Candidatus Scalindua" genus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two distinct clusters of hzsA sequences (Ca. Scalindua hzsA cluster I and II). Comparison of individual sequences from both clusters showed that several of these sequences had a similarity as low as 76% on nucleotide level. Based on the analysis of this phylomarker, a very high interspecies diversity within the marine anammox group is apparent. Absolute numbers of anammox bacteria in the sediments samples were determined by amplification of a 257 bp fragment of the hszA gene in a qPCR assay. The results indicate that numbers of anammox bacteria are generally higher in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments compared to the vent areas and the reference zone. Ladderanes, lipids unique to anammox bacteria were also detected in several of the sediment samples corroborating the hzsA analysis. Due to the high concentrations of reduced sulfur compounds and its potential impact on the cycling of nitrogen we aimed to get an indication about the key players in the oxidation of sulfide in the Guaymas Basin sediments using the alpha subunit of the adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (aprA). Amplification of the aprA gene revealed a high number of gammaproteobacterial aprA genes covering the two sulfur-oxidizing bacteria aprA lineages as well as sulfate-reducers.

  2. Presence and diversity of anammox bacteria in cold hydrocarbon-rich seeps and hydrothermal vent sediments of the Guaymas Basin

    PubMed Central

    Russ, Lina; Kartal, Boran; op den Camp, Huub J. M.; Sollai, Martina; Le Bruchec, Julie; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Godfroy, Anne; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Jetten, Mike S. M.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermally active sediments are highly productive, chemosynthetic areas which are characterized by the rapid turnover of particulate organic matter under extreme conditions in which ammonia is liberated. These systems might be suitable habitats for anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria but this has not been investigated in detail. Here we report the diversity and abundance of anammox bacteria in sediments that seep cold hydrocarbon-rich fluids and hydrothermal vent areas of the Guaymas Basin in the Cortés Sea using the unique functional anammox marker gene, hydrazine synthase (hzsA). All clones retrieved were closely associated to the “Candidatus Scalindua” genus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two distinct clusters of hzsA sequences (Ca. Scalindua hzsA cluster I and II). Comparison of individual sequences from both clusters showed that several of these sequences had a similarity as low as 76% on nucleotide level. Based on the analysis of this phylomarker, a very high interspecies diversity within the marine anammox group is apparent. Absolute numbers of anammox bacteria in the sediments samples were determined by amplification of a 257 bp fragment of the hszA gene in a qPCR assay. The results indicate that numbers of anammox bacteria are generally higher in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments compared to the vent areas and the reference zone. Ladderanes, lipids unique to anammox bacteria were also detected in several of the sediment samples corroborating the hzsA analysis. Due to the high concentrations of reduced sulfur compounds and its potential impact on the cycling of nitrogen we aimed to get an indication about the key players in the oxidation of sulfide in the Guaymas Basin sediments using the alpha subunit of the adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (aprA). Amplification of the aprA gene revealed a high number of gammaproteobacterial aprA genes covering the two sulfur-oxidizing bacteria aprA lineages as well as sulfate

  3. Functional diversity patterns of abyssal nematodes in the Eastern Mediterranean: A comparison between cold seeps and typical deep sea sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalogeropoulou, V.; Keklikoglou, K.; Lampadariou, N.

    2015-04-01

    Spatial patterns in deep sea nematode biological trait composition and functional diversity were investigated between chemosynthetic and typical deep sea ecosystems as well as between different microhabitats within the chemosynthetic ecosystems, in the Eastern Mediterranean. The chemosynthetic ecosystems chosen were two mud volcanoes, Napoli at 1950 m depth and Amsterdam at 2040 m depth which are cold seeps characterized by high chemosynthetic activity and spatial heterogeneity. Typical deep sea ecosystems consisted of fine-grained silt-clay sediments which were collected from three areas located in the south Ionian Sea at 2765 to 2840 m depth, the southern Cretan margin at 1089 to 1998 m depth and the Levantine Sea at 3055 to 3870 m depth. A range of biological traits (9 traits; 31 categories) related to buccal morphology, tail shape, body size, body shape, life history strategy, sediment position, cuticle morphology, amphid shape and presence of somatic setae were combined to identify patterns in the functional composition of nematode assemblages between the two habitats, the two mud volcanoes (macroscale) and between the microhabitats within the mud volcanoes (microscale). Data on trait correspondence was provided by biological information on species and genera. A total of 170 nematode species were allocated in 67 different trait combinations, i.e. functional groups, based on taxonomic, morphological and behavioral characteristics. The Biological Trait Analysis (BTA) revealed significant differences between the mud volcanoes and the typical deep sea sediments indicating the presence of different biological functions in ecologically very different environments. Moreover, chemosynthetic activity and habitat heterogeneity within mud volcanoes enhance the presence of different biological and ecological functions in nematode assemblages of different microhabitats. Functional diversity and species richness patterns varied significantly across the different

  4. Psychromonas kaikoae sp. nov., a novel from the deepest piezophilic bacterium cold-seep sediments in the Japan Trench.

    PubMed

    Nogi, Yuichi; Kato, Chiaki; Horikoshi, Koki

    2002-09-01

    Two strains of obligately piezophilic bacteria were isolated from sediment collected from the deepest cold-seep environment with chemosynthesis-based animal communities within the Japan Trench, at a depth of 7434 m. The isolated strains, JT7301 and JT7304T, were closely affiliated with members of the genus Psychromonas on the basis of 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Hybridization values for DNA-DNA relatedness between these strains and the Psychromonas antarctica reference strain were significantly lower than that accepted as the phylogenetic definition of a species. The optimal temperature and pressure for growth of the isolates were 10 degrees C and 50 MPa and they produced both eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5omega3) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6) in the membrane layer. Based on the taxonomic differences observed, the isolated strains appear to represent a novel obligately piezophilic Psychromonas species. The name Psychromonas kaikoae sp. nov. (type strain JT7304T = JCM 11054T = ATCC BAA-363T) is proposed. This is the first proposed obligately piezophilic species of the genus Psychromonas.

  5. Molecular evidence that deep-branching fungi are major fungal components in deep-sea methane cold-seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Nagahama, Takahiko; Takahashi, Eriko; Nagano, Yuriko; Abdel-Wahab, Mohamed A; Miyazaki, Masayuki

    2011-08-01

    The motile cells of chytrids were once believed to be relics from the time before the colonization of land by fungi. However, the majority of chytrids had not been found in marine but freshwater environments. We investigated fungal diversity by a fungal-specific PCR-based analysis of environmental DNA in deep-sea methane cold-seep sediments, identifying a total of 35 phylotypes, 12 of which were early diverging fungi (basal fungi, ex 'lower fungi'). The basal fungi occupied a major portion of fungal clones. These were phylogenetically placed into a deep-branching clade of fungi and the LKM11 clade that was a divergent group comprised of only environmental clones from aquatic environments. As suggested by Lara and colleagues, species of the endoparasitic genus Rozella, being recently considered of the earliest branching taxa of fungi, were nested within the LKM11 clade. In the remaining 23 phylotypes identified as the Dikarya, the majority of which were similar to those which appeared in previously deep-sea studies, but also highly novel lineages associated with Soil Clone Group I (SCGI), Entorrhiza sp. and the agaricomycetous fungi were recorded. The fungi of the Dikarya may play a role in the biodegradation of lignin and lignin-derived materials in deep-sea, because the characterized fungal species related to the frequent phylotypes within the Dikarya have been reported to possess an ability to degrade lignin.

  6. Diversity of microbial eukaryotes in sediment at a deep-sea methane cold seep: surveys of ribosomal DNA libraries from raw sediment samples and two enrichment cultures.

    PubMed

    Takishita, Kiyotaka; Yubuki, Naoji; Kakizoe, Natsuki; Inagaki, Yuji; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2007-07-01

    Recent culture-independent surveys of eukaryotic small-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) from many environments have unveiled unexpectedly high diversity of microbial eukaryotes (microeukaryotes) at various taxonomic levels. However, such surveys were most probably biased by various technical difficulties, resulting in underestimation of microeukaryotic diversity. In the present study on oxygen-depleted sediment from a deep-sea methane cold seep of Sagami Bay, Japan, we surveyed the diversity of eukaryotic rDNA in raw sediment samples and in two enrichment cultures. More than half of all clones recovered from the raw sediment samples were of the basidiomycetous fungus Cryptococcus curvatus. Among other clones, phylotypes of eukaryotic parasites, such as Apicomplexa, Ichthyosporea, and Phytomyxea, were identified. On the other hand, we observed a marked difference in phylotype composition in the enrichment samples. Several phylotypes belonging to heterotrophic stramenopiles were frequently found in one enrichment culture, while a phylotype of Excavata previously detected at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent dominated the other. We successfully established a clonal culture of this excavate flagellate. Since these phylotypes were not identified in the raw sediment samples, the approach incorporating a cultivation step successfully found at least a fraction of the "hidden" microeukaryotic diversity in the environment examined.

  7. Microbial diversity of cold-seep sediments in Sagami Bay, Japan, as determined by 16S rRNA gene and lipid analyses.

    PubMed

    Fang, Jiasong; Shizuka, Arakawa; Kato, Chiaki; Schouten, Stefan

    2006-09-01

    Microbial communities in Calyptogena sediment and microbial mats of Sagami Bay, Japan, were characterized using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and lipid biomarker analysis. Characterization of 16S rRNA gene isolated from these samples suggested a predominance of bacterial phylotypes related to Gammaproteobacteria (57-64%) and Deltaproteobacteria (27-29%). The Epsilonproteobacteria commonly found in cold seeps and hydrothermal vents were only detected in the microbial mat sample. Significantly different archaeal phylotypes were found in Calyptogena sediment and microbial mats; the former contained only Crenarchaeota clones (100% of the total archaeal clones) and the latter exclusively Euryarchaeota clones, including the anaerobic oxidation of methane archaeal groups ANME-2a and ANME-2c. Many of these lineages are as yet uncultured and undescribed groups of bacteria and archaea. Phospholipid fatty acid analysis suggested the presence of sulphate-reducing and sulphur-oxidizing bacteria. Results of intact glyceryl dialkyl glyceryl tetraether lipid analysis indicated the presence of nonthermophilic marine planktonic archaea. These results suggest that the microbial community in the Sagami Bay seep site is distinct from previously characterized cold-seep environments.

  8. Microbial Diversity of Cold-Seep Sediments in Sagami Bay, Japan as Determined by 16S rDNA and Lipid Analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, J.; Arakawa, S.; Kato, C.; Schouten, S.

    2006-12-01

    Microbial communities in Calyptogena sediment and microbial mats of Sagami Bay, Japan were characterized by using 16S rDNA sequencing and lipid biomarker analysis. Characterization of 16S rDNA isolated from these samples suggested a predominance of bacterial phylotypes related to γ- (57-64%) and δ-subclasses (27-29%) of the Proteobacteria. The ɛ-subclass of the Proteobacteria commonly found in cold seeps and hydrothermal vents were only detected in the microbial mat sample. There are significantly different archaeal phylotypes between Calyptogena sediment and microbial mat; the former contains only Crenarchaeota clones (100% of the total archaeal clones) and the latter exclusively Euryarchaeota clones including the ANME-2a and ANME-2c archaeal groups. Many of these lineages are as yet uncultured and undescribed groups of bacteria and archaea. Phospholipid fatty acid analysis suggests the presence of sulfate-reducing and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Results of intact glyceryl dialkyl glyceryl tetraether (GDGT) lipid analysis indicate the presence of nonthermophilic marine planktonic archaea. These results suggest that the microbial community in the Sagami Bay seep site is distinct from previously characterized cold seep environments.

  9. Community Proteogenomics of a Cold-methane Seep Sediment at Nyegga, Mid-Norwegian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokke, R.; Roalkvam, I.; Lanzen, A.; Chen, Y.; Haflidason, H.; Steen, I.

    2010-12-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is limited to anoxic environments and differs in its rates from a few pmol cm-3day-1 in subsurface SMTZ (sulfate-methane transition zone) of deep margins, to a few μmol cm-3 day-1 in surface sediments above gas hydrates [1]. This process is catalyzed by consortia of anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea (ANME) in association with sulfate-reducing bacteria. The Nyegga area is located on the Mid-Norwegian continental slope at the northern flank of the Storegga Slide at 700-800 mbsl. Hundreds of pockmarks are widespread on the seabed in Nyegga and sub-zero temperatures (-0.7 °C), and pingo-structures within the pockmarks are indicators of active fluid flow locations. Preliminary microbial and geochemical profiling of a 22 cm push-core within the G11 pockmark gave strong indications of an ANME-1 dominated community at 14-16 cmbsf. In light of these findings we submitted extracted DNA to 454-pyrosequencing. Sequencing data (829,527 reads) was assembled using the Newbler v2.3, resulting in 13,151 contigs (357,530 reads) over 500 bp with the longest contig being 24,521 bp. MEGAN taxonomic analysis supported the high abundance of Euryarchaea (70%) with 66% of the assembled metagenome belonging to ANME-1. In order to obtain functional information of the ANME-1 community, protein extraction protocols from sediment samples was established. Extracted proteins was separated on a large (18cm) 1D-SDS-PAGE and subsequently cut in 30 gel slices. Peptides extracted after In-gel tryptic digest was injected into an Ultimate 3000 nanoLC system connected to a linear quadropole ion trap-orbitrap (LTQ-Orbitrap XL) mass spectrometer equipped with a nanoelectrospray ion source. A custom database of open reading frames (ORFs) from the metagenome including known contaminants such as trypsin and human keratin was search against using Mascot 2.2. IRMa tool box [2] was used in peptide validation and peptides whose score >= 25.0 (i.e avg identity, p<0.05) and

  10. Molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses of the microbial mats in deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea.

    PubMed

    Arakawa, Shizuka; Sato, Takako; Sato, Rumi; Zhang, Jing; Gamo, Toshitaka; Tsunogai, Urumu; Hirota, Akinari; Yoshida, Yasuhiko; Usami, Ron; Inagaki, Fumio; Kato, Chiaki

    2006-08-01

    Microbial communities inhabiting deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea were characterized by molecular phylogenetic and chemical analyses. White patchy microbial mats were observed along the fault offshore the Hokkaido Island and sediment samples were collected from two stations at the southern foot of the Shiribeshi seamount (M1 site at a depth of 2,961 m on the active fault) and off the Motta Cape site (M2 site at a depth of 3,064 m off the active fault). The phylogenetic and terminal-restriction fragment polymorphism analyses of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes revealed that microbial community structures were different between two sampling stations. The members of ANME-2 archaea and diverse bacterial components including sulfate reducers within Deltaproteobacteria were detected from M1 site, indicating the occurrence of biologically mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane, while microbial community at M2 site was predominantly composed of members of Marine Crenarchaeota group I, sulfate reducers of Deltaproteobacteria, and sulfur oxidizers of Epsilonproteobacteria. Chemical analyses of seawater above microbial mats suggested that concentrations of sulfate and methane at M1 site were largely decreased relative to those at M2 site and carbon isotopic composition of methane at M1 site shifted heavier ((13)C-enriched), the results of which are consistent with molecular analyses. These results suggest that the mat microbial communities in deep-sea cold seep sediments at the northeastern Japan Sea are significantly responsible for sulfur and carbon circulations and the geological activity associated with plate movements serves unique microbial habitats in deep-sea environments.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Identification of members of the metabolically active microbial populations associated with Beggiatoa species mat communities from Gulf of Mexico cold-seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Mills, Heath J; Martinez, Robert J; Story, Sandra; Sobecky, Patricia A

    2004-09-01

    In this study, the composition of the metabolically active fraction of the microbial community occurring in Gulf of Mexico marine sediments (water depth, 550 to 575 m) with overlying filamentous bacterial mats was determined. The mats were mainly composed of either orange- or white-pigmented Beggiatoa spp. Complementary 16S ribosomal DNA (crDNA) was obtained from rRNA extracted from three different sediment depths (0 to 2, 6 to 8, and 10 to 12 cm) that had been subjected to reverse transcription-PCR amplification. Domain-specific 16S PCR primers were used to construct 12 different 16S crDNA libraries containing 333 Archaea and 329 Bacteria clones. Analysis of the Archaea clones indicated that all sediment depths associated with overlying orange- and white-pigmented microbial mats were almost exclusively dominated by ANME-2 (95% of total Archaea clones), a lineage related to the methanogenic order Methanosarcinales. In contrast, bacterial diversity was considerably higher, with the dominant phylotype varying by sediment depth. An equivalent number of clones detected at 0 to 2 cm, representing a total of 93%, were related to the gamma and delta classes of Proteobacteria, whereas clones related to delta-Proteobacteria dominated the metabolically active fraction of the bacterial community occurring at 6 to 8 cm (79%) and 10 to 12 cm (85%). This is the first phylogenetics-based evaluation of the presumptive metabolically active fraction of the Bacteria and Archaea community structure investigated along a sediment depth profile in the northern Gulf of Mexico, a hydrocarbon-rich cold-seep region.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Molecular characterization of TEM-type beta-lactamases identified in cold-seep sediments of Edison Seamount (south of Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea).

    PubMed

    Song, Jae Seok; Jeon, Jeong Ho; Lee, Jung Hun; Jeong, Seok Hoon; Jeong, Byeong Chul; Kim, Sang-Jin; Lee, Jung-Hyun; Lee, Sang Hee

    2005-04-01

    To determine the prevalence and genotypes of beta-lactamases among clones of a metagenomic library from the cold-seep sediments of Edison seamount (10,000 years old), we performed pulse-field gel electrophoresis, antibiotic susceptibility testing, pI determination, and DNA sequencing analysis. Among the 8,823 clones of the library, thirty clones produced beta-lactamases and had high levels of genetic diversity. Consistent with minimum inhibitory concentration patterns, we found that five (16.7%) of thirty clones produced an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase. 837- and 259-bp fragments specific to blaTEM genes were amplified, as determined by banding patterns of PCR amplification with designed primers. TEM-1 was the most prevalent beta-lactamase and conferred resistance to ampicillin, piperacillin, and cephalothin. TEM-116 had a spectrum that was extended to ceftazidime, cefotaxime, and aztreonam. The resistance levels conferred by the pre-antibiotic era alleles of TEM-type beta-lactamases were essentially the same as the resistance levels conferred by the TEM-type alleles which had been isolated from clinically resistant strains of bacteria of the antibiotic era. Our first report on TEM-type beta-lactamases of the pre-antibiotic era indicates that TEM-type beta-lactamases paint a picture in which most of the diversity of the enzymes may not be the result of recent evolution, but that of ancient evolution.

  17. Globin's structure and function in vesicomyid bivalves from the Gulf of Guinea cold seeps as an adaptation to life in reduced sediments.

    PubMed

    Decker, C; Zorn, N; Potier, N; Leize-Wagner, E; Lallier, F H; Olu, K; Andersen, A C

    2014-01-01

    Vesicomyid bivalves form dense clam beds in both deep-sea cold seeps and hydrothermal vents. The species diversity within this family raises questions about niche separation and specific adaptations. To compare their abilities to withstand hypoxia, we have studied the structure and function of erythrocyte hemoglobin (Hb) and foot myoglobin (Mb) from two vesicomyid species, Christineconcha regab and Laubiericoncha chuni, collected from the Regab pockmark in the Gulf of Guinea at a depth of 3,000 m. Laubiericoncha chuni possesses three monomeric globins, G1 (15,361 Da), G2 (15,668 Da), and G3 (15,682 Da) in circulating erythrocytes (Hb), and also three globins, G1, G3, and G4 (14,786 Da) in foot muscle (Mb). Therefore, globins G2 and G4 appear to be specific for erythrocytes and muscle, respectively, but globins G1 and G3 are common. In contrast, C. regab lacks erythrocyte Hb completely and possesses only globin monomers G1' (14,941 Da), G2' (15,169 Da), and G3' (15,683 Da) in foot muscle. Thus, these two vesicomyid species, C. regab and L. chuni, show a remarkable diversity in globin expression when examined by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Oxygen-binding affinities reveal extremely high oxygen affinities (P50 < 1 Torr, from 5° to 15°C at pH 7.5), in particular L. chuni globins, which might be an advantage allowing L. chuni to dig deeply for sulfides and remain buried for long periods in reduced sediments.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  2. Sidescan backscatter variations of cold seeps on the Hikurangi Margin (New Zealand): indications for different stages in seep development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumke, Ines; Klaucke, Ingo; Berndt, Christian; Bialas, Jörg

    2014-06-01

    Cold seeps on the Hikurangi Margin off New Zealand exhibit various seabed morphologies producing different intensity patterns in sidescan backscatter images. Acoustic backscatter characteristics of 25 investigated seep sites fall into four distinct types characterised by variations in backscatter intensity, distribution and inferred structural heights. The types reflect different carbonate morphologies including up to 20-m-high structures (type 1), low-relief crusts (type 2), scattered blocks (type 3) and carbonate-free sites (type 4). Each seep corresponds to a single type; intermediates were not observed. This correlates well with published data on seep fauna at each site, with the four types representing three different faunal habitats of successive stages of seep development. Backscatter signatures in sidescan sonar images of cold seeps may therefore serve as a convenient proxy for variations in faunal habitats.

  3. Co-Occurrence of Nitrate Reduction and Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane in Gulf of Mexico Cold Seep Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fields, L.; Joye, S. B.

    2014-12-01

    Cold seeps are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico; they are fuelled by methane gas and hydrocarbon seepage at the seafloor and support diverse chemosynthetic microbial communities. Microorganisms form the base of the food chain at cold seeps, and high rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) are characteristic of these methane-rich environments. While sulfate is often the electron acceptor for AOM in cold seep environments, recent evidence suggests that AOM can also be coupled to nitrate reduction. Little is known about nitrogen cycling in these habitats, though recent work indicates that denitrification is an important process in oily and gassy seep sediments. The co-occurrence of nitrate reduction and AOM suggests a potential coupling between the two processes in our study area. We used stable isotope (15N) tracer techniques to measure the capacity of Northern Gulf of Mexico cold seep sediments to reduce nitrate by denitrification and anammox. These measurements were made in surface and sub-surface sediments in conjunction with measurements of AOM, and with quantification of various geochemical and molecular characteristics. Here, we present our measurements of denitrification and anammox capacity in the context of environmental characteristics. Additionally, we examine spatial trends in the co-occurrence of AOM and nitrate reduction in these sediments.

  4. Macro-ecology of Gulf of Mexico cold seeps.

    PubMed

    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 bi-valves 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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Cold seep epifaunal communities on the Hikurangi margin, New Zealand: composition, succession, and vulnerability to human activities.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Methane sources in gas hydrate-bearing cold seeps: Evidence from radiocarbon and stable isotopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pohlman, J.W.; Bauer, J.E.; Canuel, E.A.; Grabowski, K.S.; Knies, D.L.; Mitchell, C.S.; Whiticar, Michael J.; Coffin, R.B.

    2009-01-01

    Fossil methane from the large and dynamic marine gas hydrate reservoir has the potential to influence oceanic and atmospheric carbon pools. However, natural radiocarbon (14C) measurements of gas hydrate methane have been extremely limited, and their use as a source and process indicator has not yet been systematically established. In this study, gas hydrate-bound and dissolved methane recovered from six geologically and geographically distinct high-gas-flux cold seeps was found to be 98 to 100% fossil based on its 14C content. Given this prevalence of fossil methane and the small contribution of gas hydrate (??? 1%) to the present-day atmospheric methane flux, non-fossil contributions of gas hydrate methane to the atmosphere are not likely to be quantitatively significant. This conclusion is consistent with contemporary atmospheric methane budget calculations. In combination with ??13C- and ??D-methane measurements, we also determine the extent to which the low, but detectable, amounts of 14C (~ 1-2% modern carbon, pMC) in methane from two cold seeps might reflect in situ production from near-seafloor sediment organic carbon (SOC). A 14C mass balance approach using fossil methane and 14C-enriched SOC suggests that as much as 8 to 29% of hydrate-associated methane carbon may originate from SOC contained within the upper 6??m of sediment. These findings validate the assumption of a predominantly fossil carbon source for marine gas hydrate, but also indicate that structural gas hydrate from at least certain cold seeps contains a component of methane produced during decomposition of non-fossil organic matter in near-surface sediment.

  14. Altererythrobacter epoxidivorans gen. nov., sp. nov., an epoxide hydrolase-active, mesophilic marine bacterium isolated from cold-seep sediment, and reclassification of Erythrobacter luteolus Yoon et al. 2005 as Altererythrobacter luteolus comb. nov.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Kae Kyoung; Woo, Jung-Hee; Yang, Sung-Hyun; Kang, Ji-Hyun; Kang, Sung Gyun; Kim, Sang-Jin; Sato, Takako; Kato, Chiaki

    2007-10-01

    A novel marine bacterium, strain JCS350(T), was isolated from marine sediment samples collected from a cold-seep area. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of the isolate showed high similarity to that of Erythrobacter luteolus SW-109(T) (95.9 % sequence similarity). Lower 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities were shown to other members of the genus Erythrobacter (94.6-95.4 %) and members of the genus Porphyrobacter (94.5-95.2 %). Phylogenetic analysis with all members of the family Erythrobacteraceae and several members of the family Sphingomonadaceae revealed that the isolate formed a phyletic line with [Erythrobacter] luteolus that was distinct from other members of the family Erythrobacteraceae. The dominant fatty acids of strain JCS350(T) were 18 : 1omega7c, 16 : 1omega7c and cyclopropane 17 : 0. The major respiratory quinone was ubiquinone 10. The DNA G+C content was 54.5 mol%. The isolate did not contain bacteriochlorophyll a. Optimal growth required the presence of 2 % (w/v) NaCl with either 0.18 % CaCl(2) or 0.59 % MgCl(2), at pH 6.5 and at 35 degrees C. On the basis of the evidence of this polyphasic taxonomic study, strain JCS350(T) should be classified in a novel genus and species in the family Erythrobacteraceae, for which the name Altererythrobacter epoxidivorans gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The misclassified species [Erythrobacter] luteolus is transferred to the new genus as Altererythrobacter luteolus comb. nov. The type strain of Altererythrobacter epoxidivorans is JCS350(T) (=KCCM 42314(T) =JCM 13815(T)) and the type strain of Altererythrobacter luteolus is SW-109(T) (=KCTC 12311(T) =JCM 12599(T)).

  15. 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

  16. Vertical distribution and diversity of bacteria and archaea in sulfide and methane-rich cold seep sediments located at the base of the Florida Escarpment.

    PubMed

    Reed, Andrew J; Lutz, Richard A; Vetriani, Costantino

    2006-06-01

    The bacterial and archaeal communities of the sediments at the base of the Florida Escarpment (Gulf of Mexico, USA) were investigated using molecular phylogenetic analysis. The total microbial community DNA of each of three vertical zones (top, middle and bottom) of a sediment core was extracted and the 16S rRNA genes were amplified by PCR, cloned and sequenced. Shannon-Weaver Diversity measures of bacteria were high in all three zones. For the archaea, diversity was generally low, but increased with depth. The archaeal clonal libraries were dominated by representatives of four groups of organisms involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (ANME groups). Phylogenetic analysis of bacteria suggests the dominance of epsilon-proteobacteria in the top zone, the epsilon-, delta- and gamma-proteobacteria in the middle zone and the delta-proteobacteria in the bottom zone of the core. Members of the Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteroidetes group, the Chloroflexi/green non-sulfur bacteria, the Gram+ (Firmicutes), the Planctomyces, candidate division WS3 and Fusobacterium were also detected. Our data suggest that the community structure and diversity of microorganisms can shift greatly within small vertical distances, possibly in response to changes in the physical and chemical conditions.

  17. Diversity and Characteristics of Benthic Foraminifera in Cold Seep Areas in the Active Margin of the northeastern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Meng-Ting; Thomas, Ellen; Wei, Kuo-Yen; Lin, Yu-Shih; Lin, Saulwood; Tien-Shun Lin, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    The active continental margin in northeastern South China Sea (SCS) has been considered to have high potential to be a reservoir of gas hydrate, based on geographic features, geophysical evidences, as well as geochemical analyses of samples from the water column, pore water and sediments. Compared to a typical sea floor area, cold seep areas have more food for benthos and more diverse habitats. As a result, we can expect a higher species diversity of benthic organisms in cold seep areas of the SCS. Based on preliminary results of species identification of benthic foraminiferal assemblages in the upper most sediments (0-5 cm) of box cores collected around cold seeps at water depth ~1300m, the species diversity is significantly higher at seep sites (Shannon-Wiener index = 274) than at background sites (Shannon-Wiener index = 3). The faunal assemblages consist of ~68% calcareous benthic foraminifera (CBF) and ~32% agglutinated benthic foraminifera (ABF) at seep sites. On the other hand, faunal assemblages are composed of only ~24% CBF and ~76% ABF at background sites. By staining the sample with rose Bengal-ethanol solution, we were able to recognize in-situ individuals which were alive at the time of collection, and separate them from dead specimens. Among the living individuals, the most abundant CBF species in seep sites is Bulimina aculeata (~51% in the living CBF fauna), followed by the typical 'shelf-species,' Lenticulina inornata, (~10%) and the common 'brackish-species,' Miliolinella subrotunda, (~9%), while the most abundant ABF species is Cribrostomoides subglobosus (~19% in the living ABF fauna). The most common species thus are typical for shallower, more food rich environments.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Paleo-environmental controls on cold seep carbonate authigenesis in the Sea of Marmara

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crémière, Antoine; Bayon, Germain; Ponzevera, Emmanuel; Pierre, Catherine

    2013-08-01

    The factors controlling fluid emission dynamics at ocean margins are poorly understood. In particular, there are significant uncertainties on how fluid seepage at cold seeps may have responded to abrupt environmental changes in the geological past. This study reports on a detailed geochemical investigation of seafloor carbonate crusts sampled at cold seeps along the submerged part of the North Anatolian Fault system in the Sea of Marmara - an inland sea, which has experienced major paleo-environmental changes over the last deglaciation period. We also analyzed a series of authigenic carbonate concretions recovered from two sediment cores at the Western-High ridge, an active fluid venting area. The ages of seafloor carbonate crusts derived from isochron U-Th dating cover the last 7 kyr, suggesting that fluid activity along the fault system remained continuous over that time interval. In the sediment cores, carbonate concretions are concentrated at the lacustrine-to-marine transition, which corresponds to the period when Mediterranean waters flowed into the Marmara Basin about 12-14 kyr ago. U-Th isotopic data indicate that most of these concretions formed later during the Holocene, around 9-10 kyr ago, a period coinciding with an important anoxic event that led to the deposition of a sapropel layer in the Sea of Marmara. Based upon these results, we suggest that the absence of carbonate concretions in the lacustrine sediment unit indicates that dissolved sulfate concentrations in the Marmara lake pore waters during glacial time were too low to promote significant anaerobic methane oxidation, thereby preventing sedimentary carbonate authigenesis. In contrast, the progressive inflow of Mediterranean waters into the glacial Marmara lake after 15 ka provided a source of dissolved sulfate that allowed anaerobic oxidation of methane to proceed within the anoxic sediment. Importantly, the synchronism between the main phase of authigenic carbonate precipitation at the

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. 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 sediment pore water from

  6. Sources of fluids and gases expelled at cold seeps offshore Georgia, eastern Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reitz, Anja; Pape, Thomas; Haeckel, Matthias; Schmidt, Mark; Berner, Ulrich; Scholz, Florian; Liebetrau, Volker; Aloisi, Giovanni; Weise, Stephan M.; Wallmann, Klaus

    2011-06-01

    Four seep sites located within an ˜20 km 2 area offshore Georgia (Batumi seep area, Pechori Mound, Iberia Mound, and Colkheti Seep) show characteristic differences with respect to element concentrations, and oxygen, hydrogen, strontium, and chlorine isotope signatures in pore waters, as well as impregnation of sediments with petroleum and hydrocarbon potential. All seep sites have active gas seepage, near surface authigenic carbonates and gas hydrates. Cokheti Seep, Iberia Mound, and Pechori Mound are characterized by oil-stained sediments and gas seepage decoupled from deep fluid advection and bottom water intrusion induced by gas bubble release. Pechori Mound is further characterized by deep fluid advection of lower salinity pore fluids. The Pechori Mound pore fluids are altered by mineral/water reactions at elevated temperatures (between 60 and 110 °C) indicated by heavier oxygen and lighter chlorine isotope values, distinct Li and B enrichment, and K depletion. Strontium isotope ratios indicate that fluids originate from late Oligocene strata. This finding is supported by the occurrence of hydrocarbon impregnations within the sediments. Furthermore, light hydrocarbons and high molecular weight impregnates indicate a predominant thermogenic origin for the gas and oil at Pechori Mound, Iberia Mound, and Colkheti Seep. C 15+ hydrocarbons at the oil seeps are allochtonous, whereas those at the Batumi seep area are autochthonous. The presence of oleanane, an angiosperm biomarker, suggests that the hydrocarbon source rocks belong to the Maikopian Formation. In summary, all investigated seep sites show a high hydrocarbon potential and hydrocarbons of Iberia Mound, Colkheti Seep, and Pechori Mound are predominantly of thermogenic origin. However, only at the latter seep site advection of deep pore fluids is indicated.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Authigenic Mg-calcite at a cold methane seep site in the Laptev Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kravchishina, M. D.; Lein, A. Yu.; Savvichev, A. S.; Reykhard, L. E.; Dara, O. M.; Flint, M. V.

    2017-01-01

    Authigenic minerals were studied in Holocene shelf sediments of the Laptev Sea (cold methane seep site, water depth 71 m). The study presents the first finds of large hard carbonate concretions with Mg-calcite cement in recent sediments of the Arctic shelf seas. These concretions differ from previously reported glendonites and concretions from bottom sediments of the White Sea, Kara Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, etc. A study of the morphology, microstructure, and composition of these newly reported concretions revealed the multistage formation of carbonates (structural varieties of Mg-calcite and aragonite). It was shown that organic matter played an important role in the formation of authigenic carbonates, i.e., in the formation of sedimentary-diagenetic Mg-calcite. The role of methane as a possible source for authigenic carbonate formation was estimated. It was found that methane-derived Mg-calcite accounts for 17-35% of concretion materials. Mg-calcite had δ13C-Ccarb values between-24 and-23‰ and δ13C-Corg values between-44.5 and-88.5‰.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiguna, Taufan; Ardhyastuti, Sri

    2015-09-01

    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.

  16. Diversity, abundance and distribution of amoA-encoding archaea in deep-sea methane seep sediments of the Okhotsk Sea.

    PubMed

    Dang, Hongyue; Luan, Xi-Wu; Chen, Ruipeng; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Guo, Lizhong; Klotz, Martin G

    2010-06-01

    The ecological characteristics of amoA-encoding archaea (AEA) in deep-sea sediments are largely unsolved. This paper aimed to study the diversity, structure, distribution and abundance of the archaeal community and especially its AEA components in the cold seep surface sediments of the Okhotsk Sea, a marginal sea harboring one of the largest methane hydrate reservoirs in the world. Diverse archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences were identified, with the majority being related to sequences from other cold seep and methane-rich sediment environments. However, the AEA diversity and abundance were quite low as revealed by amoA gene analyses. Correlation analysis indicates that the abundance of the archaeal amoA genes was correlated with the sediment organic matter content. Thus, it is possible that the amoA-carrying archaea here might utilize organic matter for a living. The affiliation of certain archaeal amoA sequences to the GenBank sequences originally obtained from deep-sea hydrothermal vent environments indicated that the related AEA either have a wide range of temperature adaptation or they have a thermophilic evolutionary history in the modern cold deep-sea sediments of the Okhotsk Sea. The dominance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria over AEA may indicate that bacteria play a significant role in nitrification in the Okhotsk Sea cold seep sediments.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 (13)C-depleted isotopic signatures of dissolved inorganic carbon. The anaerobic conversion of methane to CO(2) was confirmed in a (13)C-labeling experiment. Methane fueled a vital microbial community with cell numbers of up to 4 × 10(9) 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.

  20. Patterns of subsurface fluid-flow at cold seeps: the Hikurangi Margin, offshore New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbenhoeft, A.; Bialas, J.; Klaucke, I.; Crutchley, G. J.; Papenberg, C. A.; Netzeband, G. L.

    2012-12-01

    Based on multichannel seismic, geoacoustic, and methane sensor data, four different areas along the Hikurangi Margin show multiple indications for seep activity including bright spots, transparent zones, vertical chimneys, and the occurrence and distribution of bottom simulating reflectors. Locations where these features reach the seafloor are characterised by high backscatter intensity on sidescan sonar images and transparent zones in sediment echosounder profiles, while methane sensors show episodic, elevated methane concentrations near the seep sites. Methane discharge is facilitated by reduced hydrostatic pressure during low tides. The greatest number of seeps at Opouawe Bank correlates with the highest methane activity along the Hikurangi Margin. High heat flow values on flanks of ridges and low heat flow values on anticlines reflect a topographic effect on subsurface temperatures. Elevated heat flow occurs in the vicinity of seeps on Opouawe Bank. We propose that there are two drivers behind methane seepage with respect to the migration pathways of methane through the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) to the seafloor: (1) structurally controlled and (2) stratigraphically controlled. In the structural model, vertical chimneys are the major pathways for methane through the GHSZ. Part of the upwardly migrating methane forms gas hydrate within the chimney. In the stratigraphic model, methane migration is stratigraphically controlled beneath seeps that are located on bathymetric highs and/or where subsurface anticlines occur beneath seeps. The structurally controlled seeps produce higher methane escape at the seafloor than those that are stratigraphically controlled. A combination of both driving mechanisms results in the highest methane seepage rates at the Tui Seep on Opouawe Bank.

  1. The vesicomyid bivalve habitat at cold seeps supports heterogeneous and dynamic macrofaunal assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillon, Erwan; Menot, Lénaïck; Decker, Carole; Krylova, Elena; Olu, Karine

    2017-02-01

    The high biodiversity found at cold seeps, despite elevated concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide, is attributed to multiple sources of habitat heterogeneity. In addition to geological and geochemical processes, biogenic habitats formed by large symbiont-bearing taxa, such as bivalves and siboglinid tubeworms, or by microbial mats drive the biodiversity of small-sized fauna. However, because these habitat-forming species also depend on geochemical gradients, the respective influence of abiotic and biotic factors in structuring associated macrofaunal communities is often unresolved. The giant pockmark Regab located at 3200 m depth on the Congo margin is characterized by different fluid-flow regimes, providing a mosaic of the most common biogenic habitats encountered at seeps: microbial mats, mussel beds, and vesicomyid clam beds; the latter being distributed along a gradient of environmental conditions from the center to the periphery of the pockmark. Here, we examined the structure of macrofaunal communities in biogenic habitats formed in soft sediment to (1) determine the influence of the habitats on the associated macrofaunal communities (inter-habitat comparison), (2) describe how macrofaunal communities vary among vesicomyid clam beds (intra-habitat comparison) and (3) assess the inter-annual variation in vesicomyid beds based on repeated sampling at a three-year interval. The highest densities were found in the microbial mat communities in intermediate fluid-flow areas, but they had low diversity - also observed in the sediment close to mussel beds. In contrast, vesicomyid beds harbored the highest diversity. The vesicomyid beds did not show a homogeneous macrofaunal community across sampled areas; instead, density and composition of macrofauna varied according to the location of the beds inside the pockmark. The clam bed sampled in the most active, central part of the pockmark resembled bacterial mat communities by the presence of highly sulfide

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. Biogeography and potential exchanges among the atlantic Equatorial belt cold-seep faunas.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-05

    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 3300 m, 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 2000 m, with the middle slope sites either grouped with those deeper than 2000 m 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. Characterization of the acidic cold seep emplaced jarositic Golden Deposit, NWT, Canada, as an analogue for jarosite deposition on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battler, Melissa M.; Osinski, Gordon R.; Lim, Darlene S. S.; Davila, Alfonso F.; Michel, Frederick A.; Craig, Michael A.; Izawa, Matthew R. M.; Leoni, Lisa; Slater, Gregory F.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Preston, Louisa J.; Banerjee, Neil R.

    2013-06-01

    Surficial deposits of the OH-bearing iron sulfate mineral jarosite have been observed in several places on Mars, such as Meridiani Planum and Mawrth Vallis. The specific depositional conditions and mechanisms are not known, but by comparing martian sites to analogous locations on Earth, the conditions of formation and, thus, the martian depositional paleoenvironments may be postulated. Located in a cold semi-arid desert ˜100 km east of Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, Canada, the Golden Deposit (GD) is visible from the air as a brilliant golden-yellow patch of unvegetated soil, approximately 140 m × 50 m. The GD is underlain by permafrost and consists of yellow sediment, which is precipitating from seeps of acidic, iron-bearing groundwater. On the surface, the GD appears as a patchwork of raised polygons, with acidic waters flowing from seeps in troughs between polygonal islands. Although UV-Vis-NIR spectral analysis detects only jarosite, mineralogy, as determined by X-ray diffraction and inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry, is predominantly natrojarosite and jarosite, with hydronium jarosite, goethite, quartz, clays, and small amounts of hematite. Water pH varies significantly over short distances depending on proximity to acid seeps, from 2.3 directly above seeps, to 5.7 several m downstream from seeps within the deposit, and up to 6.5 in ponds proximal to the deposit. Visual observations of microbial filament communities and phospholipid fatty acid analyses confirm that the GD is capable of supporting life for at least part of the year. Jarosite-bearing sediments extend beneath vegetation up to 70 m out from the deposit and are mixed with plant debris and minerals presumably weathered from bedrock and glacial till. This site is of particular interest because mineralogy (natrojarosite, jarosite, hematite, and goethite) and environmental conditions (permafrost and arid conditions) at the time of deposition are conceivably analogous to jarosite

  8. 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.

  9. Metatranscriptomic analysis of diminutive Thiomargarita-like bacteria ("Candidatus Thiopilula" spp.) from abyssal cold seeps of the Barbados Accretionary Prism.

    PubMed

    Jones, Daniel S; Flood, Beverly E; Bailey, Jake V

    2015-05-01

    Large sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the family Beggiatoaceae are important players in the global sulfur cycle. This group contains members of the well-known genera Beggiatoa, Thioploca, and Thiomargarita but also recently identified and relatively unknown candidate taxa, including "Candidatus Thiopilula" spp. and "Ca. Thiophysa" spp. We discovered a population of "Ca. Thiopilula" spp. colonizing cold seeps near Barbados at a ∼4.7-km water depth. The Barbados population consists of spherical cells that are morphologically similar to Thiomargarita spp., with elemental sulfur inclusions and a central vacuole, but have much smaller cell diameters (5 to 40 μm). Metatranscriptomic analysis revealed that when exposed to anoxic sulfidic conditions, Barbados "Ca. Thiopilula" organisms expressed genes for the oxidation of elemental sulfur and the reduction of nitrogenous compounds, consistent with their vacuolated morphology and intracellular sulfur storage capability. Metatranscriptomic analysis further revealed that anaerobic methane-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing organisms were active in the sediment, which likely provided reduced sulfur substrates for "Ca. Thiopilula" and other sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms in the community. The novel observations of "Ca. Thiopilula" and associated organisms reported here expand our knowledge of the globally distributed and ecologically successful Beggiatoaceae group and thus offer insight into the composition and ecology of deep cold seep microbial communities.

  10. 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

  11. Reproductive traits of the cold-seep symbiotic mussel Idas modiolaeformis: gametogenesis and larval biology.

    PubMed

    Marylène Gaudron, Sylvie; Demoyencourt, Emile; Duperron, Sébastien

    2012-02-01

    We describe the first reproductive features of a chemosynthetic mussel collected at cold seeps from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Idas modiolaeformis (Bivalvia, Mytilidae) is a hermaphroditic species in which production of male and female gametes likely alternates, a feature regarded as an adaptation to patchy and ephemeral habitats. By using fluorescent in situ hybridization, we demonstrate that bacterial symbionts, while present within the gills, are absent within acini that enclose female gametes and male gametes. This supports the hypothesis of environmental acquisition of symbionts in chemosynthetic mytilids. Prodissoconch I (PI) is relatively small compared to prodissoconch II (PII), suggesting a planktotrophic larval stage. Diameters of the two larval shells are in the range of sizes reported for mytilids, with a PII size between that of the shallow Mytilus edulis and that of the cold-seep mussel "Bathymodiolus" childressi.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2015-11-23

    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.

  17. Geomicrobiological linkages between short-chain alkane consumption and sulfate reduction rates in seep sediments

    PubMed Central

    Bose, Arpita; Rogers, Daniel R.; Adams, Melissa M.; Joye, Samantha B.; Girguis, Peter R.

    2013-01-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps are ecosystems that are rich in methane, and, in some cases, short-chain (C2–C5) and longer alkanes. C2–C4 alkanes such as ethane, propane, and butane can be significant components of seeping fluids. Some sulfate-reducing microbes oxidize short-chain alkanes anaerobically, and may play an important role in both the competition for sulfate and the local carbon budget. To better understand the anaerobic oxidation of short-chain n-alkanes coupled with sulfate-reduction, hydrocarbon-rich sediments from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) were amended with artificial, sulfate-replete seawater and one of four n-alkanes (C1–C4) then incubated under strict anaerobic conditions. Measured rates of alkane oxidation and sulfate reduction closely follow stoichiometric predictions that assume the complete oxidation of alkanes to CO2 (though other sinks for alkane carbon likely exist). Changes in the δ13C of all the alkanes in the reactors show enrichment over the course of the incubation, with the C3 and C4 incubations showing the greatest enrichment (4.4 and 4.5‰, respectively). The concurrent depletion in the δ13C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) implies a transfer of carbon from the alkane to the DIC pool (−3.5 and −6.7‰ for C3 and C4 incubations, respectively). Microbial community analyses reveal that certain members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are selectively enriched as the incubations degrade C1–C4 alkanes. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that distinct phylotypes are enriched in the ethane reactors, while phylotypes in the propane and butane reactors align with previously identified C3–C4 alkane-oxidizing sulfate-reducers. These data further constrain the potential influence of alkane oxidation on sulfate reduction rates (SRRs) in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments, provide insight into their contribution to local carbon cycling, and illustrate the extent to which short-chain alkanes can serve as electron donors and govern microbial

  18. Geomicrobiological linkages between short-chain alkane consumption and sulfate reduction rates in seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Bose, Arpita; Rogers, Daniel R; Adams, Melissa M; Joye, Samantha B; Girguis, Peter R

    2013-01-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps are ecosystems that are rich in methane, and, in some cases, short-chain (C2-C5) and longer alkanes. C2-C4 alkanes such as ethane, propane, and butane can be significant components of seeping fluids. Some sulfate-reducing microbes oxidize short-chain alkanes anaerobically, and may play an important role in both the competition for sulfate and the local carbon budget. To better understand the anaerobic oxidation of short-chain n-alkanes coupled with sulfate-reduction, hydrocarbon-rich sediments from the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) were amended with artificial, sulfate-replete seawater and one of four n-alkanes (C1-C4) then incubated under strict anaerobic conditions. Measured rates of alkane oxidation and sulfate reduction closely follow stoichiometric predictions that assume the complete oxidation of alkanes to CO2 (though other sinks for alkane carbon likely exist). Changes in the δ(13)C of all the alkanes in the reactors show enrichment over the course of the incubation, with the C3 and C4 incubations showing the greatest enrichment (4.4 and 4.5‰, respectively). The concurrent depletion in the δ(13)C of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) implies a transfer of carbon from the alkane to the DIC pool (-3.5 and -6.7‰ for C3 and C4 incubations, respectively). Microbial community analyses reveal that certain members of the class Deltaproteobacteria are selectively enriched as the incubations degrade C1-C4 alkanes. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that distinct phylotypes are enriched in the ethane reactors, while phylotypes in the propane and butane reactors align with previously identified C3-C4 alkane-oxidizing sulfate-reducers. These data further constrain the potential influence of alkane oxidation on sulfate reduction rates (SRRs) in cold hydrocarbon-rich sediments, provide insight into their contribution to local carbon cycling, and illustrate the extent to which short-chain alkanes can serve as electron donors and govern microbial community

  19. 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.

  20. Biogeochemical signatures and microbial activity of different cold-seep habitats along the Gulf of Mexico deep slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, Samantha B.; Bowles, Marshall W.; Samarkin, Vladimir A.; Hunter, Kimberley S.; Niemann, Helge

    2010-11-01

    Microorganisms and the processes they mediate serve as the metabolic foundation of cold seeps. We characterized a suite of biogeochemical constituents and quantified rates of two key microbial processes, Sulfate Reduction (SR) and Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane (AOM), to assess variability between habitats at water depths exceeding 1000 m in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Rates of SR were highest in sediments beneath microbial mats, lower in brine-influenced and oil-influenced sediments, and lowest in animal habitats. Sediments collected near tubeworms had the highest SR rates for animal habitats. Rates of AOM generally were low, but higher rates were associated with brine-influenced, oil-influenced, tubeworm- and urchin-inhabited sediments. Rates of both SR and AOM were orders of magnitude lower at deep-slope sites compared to upper-slope sites examined previously. As observed at upper-slope sites, SR and AOM rates were often loosely coupled. At one site, AOM rates exceeded SR rates, suggesting that an alternate electron acceptor for AOM is possible. Extremely depleted δ13C values in methane illustrated the broad significance of biogenic methane production at deep-slope sites. Brine-influenced habitats were characterized by extremely high concentrations of ammonium and dissolved organic carbon, serving as important focused sources of these chemicals to adjacent environments.

  1. Stable isotopes provide new insights into vestimentiferan physiological ecology at Gulf of Mexico cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Becker, Erin Leigh; Macko, Stephen A; Lee, Raymond W; Fisher, Charles R

    2011-02-01

    On the otherwise low-biomass seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) continental slope, natural oil and gas seeps are oases of local primary production that support lush animal communities. Hundreds of seep communities have been documented on the continental slope, and nutrition derived from seeps could be an important link in the overall GoM food web. Here, we present a uniquely large and cohesive data set of δ(13)C, δ(15)N, and δ(34)S compositions of the vestimentiferan tubeworms Escarpia laminata and Lamellibrachia sp. 1, which dominate biomass at GoM seeps and provide habitat for hundreds of other species. Our sampling design encompassed an entire region of the GoM lower slope, allowing us for the first time to assess spatial variability in isotope compositions and to robustly address long-standing hypotheses about how vestimentiferans acquire and cycle nutrients over their long lifespan (200+ years). Tissue δ(13)C values provided strong evidence that larger adult vestimentiferans use their buried roots to take up dissolved inorganic carbon from sediment pore water, while very small individuals use their plume to take up carbon dioxide from the seawater. δ(34)S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (<1 m(2) area), indicating high variability in the inorganic sulfur pools on a very small spatial scale. This finding supports the hypothesis that vestimentiferans use their roots to cycle sulfate and sulfide between their symbionts and free-living consortia of sulfate-reducing archaea in the sediment. Finally, consistent differences in δ(15)N between two cooccurring vestimentiferan species provided the first strong evidence for partitioning of inorganic resources, which has significant implications for the ecology and evolution of this taxonomic group.

  2. Archaeal and anaerobic methane oxidizer communities in the Sonora Margin cold seeps, Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California).

    PubMed

    Vigneron, Adrien; Cruaud, Perrine; Pignet, Patricia; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Cambon-Bonavita, Marie-Anne; Godfroy, Anne; Toffin, Laurent

    2013-08-01

    Cold seeps, located along the Sonora Margin transform fault in the Guaymas Basin, were extensively explored during the 'BIG' cruise in June 2010. They present a seafloor mosaic pattern consisting of different faunal assemblages and microbial mats. To investigate this mostly unknown cold and hydrocarbon-rich environment, geochemical and microbiological surveys of the sediments underlying two microbial mats and a surrounding macrofaunal habitat were analyzed in detail. The geochemical measurements suggest biogenic methane production and local advective sulfate-rich fluxes in the sediments. The distributions of archaeal communities, particularly those involved in the methane cycle, were investigated at different depths (surface to 18 cm below the sea floor (cmbsf)) using complementary molecular approaches, such as Automated method of Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA), 16S rRNA libraries, fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction with new specific primer sets targeting methanogenic and anaerobic methanotrophic lineages. Molecular results indicate that metabolically active archaeal communities were dominated by known clades of anaerobic methane oxidizers (archaeal anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-1, -2 and -3), including a novel 'ANME-2c Sonora' lineage. ANME-2c were found to be dominant, metabolically active and physically associated with syntrophic Bacteria in sulfate-rich shallow sediment layers. In contrast, ANME-1 were more prevalent in the deepest sediment samples and presented a versatile behavior in terms of syntrophic association, depending on the sulfate concentration. ANME-3 were concentrated in small aggregates without bacterial partners in a restricted sediment horizon below the first centimetres. These niche specificities and syntrophic behaviors, depending on biological surface assemblages and environmental availability of electron donors, acceptors and carbon substrates, suggest that ANME could support

  3. Food-Web Complexity in Guaymas Basin Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps.

    PubMed

    Portail, Marie; Olu, Karine; Dubois, Stanislas F; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Gelinas, Yves; Menot, Lénaick; Sarrazin, Jozée

    In the Guaymas Basin, the presence of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in close proximity, similar sedimentary settings and comparable depths offers a unique opportunity to assess and compare the functioning of these deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. The food webs of five seep and four vent assemblages were studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. Although the two ecosystems shared similar potential basal sources, their food webs differed: seeps relied predominantly on methanotrophy and thiotrophy via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and vents on petroleum-derived organic matter and thiotrophy via the CBB and reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycles. In contrast to symbiotic species, the heterotrophic fauna exhibited high trophic flexibility among assemblages, suggesting weak trophic links to the metabolic diversity of chemosynthetic primary producers. At both ecosystems, food webs did not appear to be organised through predator-prey links but rather through weak trophic relationships among co-occurring species. Examples of trophic or spatial niche differentiation highlighted the importance of species-sorting processes within chemosynthetic ecosystems. Variability in food web structure, addressed through Bayesian metrics, revealed consistent trends across ecosystems. Food-web complexity significantly decreased with increasing methane concentrations, a common proxy for the intensity of seep and vent fluid fluxes. Although high fluid-fluxes have the potential to enhance primary productivity, they generate environmental constraints that may limit microbial diversity, colonisation of consumers and the structuring role of competitive interactions, leading to an overall reduction of food-web complexity and an increase in trophic redundancy. Heterogeneity provided by foundation species was identified as an additional structuring factor. According to their biological activities, foundation species may have the potential to partly release the

  4. Food-Web Complexity in Guaymas Basin Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps

    PubMed Central

    Olu, Karine; Dubois, Stanislas F.; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Gelinas, Yves; Menot, Lénaick; Sarrazin, Jozée

    2016-01-01

    In the Guaymas Basin, the presence of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in close proximity, similar sedimentary settings and comparable depths offers a unique opportunity to assess and compare the functioning of these deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. The food webs of five seep and four vent assemblages were studied using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses. Although the two ecosystems shared similar potential basal sources, their food webs differed: seeps relied predominantly on methanotrophy and thiotrophy via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and vents on petroleum-derived organic matter and thiotrophy via the CBB and reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycles. In contrast to symbiotic species, the heterotrophic fauna exhibited high trophic flexibility among assemblages, suggesting weak trophic links to the metabolic diversity of chemosynthetic primary producers. At both ecosystems, food webs did not appear to be organised through predator-prey links but rather through weak trophic relationships among co-occurring species. Examples of trophic or spatial niche differentiation highlighted the importance of species-sorting processes within chemosynthetic ecosystems. Variability in food web structure, addressed through Bayesian metrics, revealed consistent trends across ecosystems. Food-web complexity significantly decreased with increasing methane concentrations, a common proxy for the intensity of seep and vent fluid fluxes. Although high fluid-fluxes have the potential to enhance primary productivity, they generate environmental constraints that may limit microbial diversity, colonisation of consumers and the structuring role of competitive interactions, leading to an overall reduction of food-web complexity and an increase in trophic redundancy. Heterogeneity provided by foundation species was identified as an additional structuring factor. According to their biological activities, foundation species may have the potential to partly release the

  5. Diversity and distribution of eukaryotic microbes in and around a brine pool adjacent to the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yong; Zhang, Wei Peng; Cao, Hui Luo; Shek, Chun Shum; Tian, Ren Mao; Wong, Yue Him; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    A hypoxic/suboxic brine pool at a depth of about 850 m was discovered near the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea. Filled with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, such a brine pool might limit the spread of eukaryotic organisms. Here, we compared the communities of the eukaryotic microbes in a microbial mat, sediments and water samples distributed in 7 sites within and adjacent to the brine pool. Taxonomic classification of the pyrosequenced 18S rRNA amplicon reads showed that fungi highly similar to the species identified along the Arabic coast were almost ubiquitous in the water and sediment samples, supporting their wide distribution in various environments. The microbial mat displayed the highest species diversity and contained grazers and a considerable percentage of unclassified species. Phylogeny-based methods revealed novel lineages representing a majority of the reads from the interface between the sea water and brine pool. Phylogenetic relationships with more reference sequences suggest that the lineages were affiliated with novel Alveolata and Euglenozoa inhabiting the interface where chemosynthetic prokaryotes are highly proliferative due to the strong chemocline and halocline. The brine sediments harbored abundant species highly similar to invertebrate gregarine parasites identified in different oxygen-depleted sediments. Therefore, the present findings support the uniqueness of some microbial eukaryotic groups in this cold seep brine system.

  6. Diversity and distribution of eukaryotic microbes in and around a brine pool adjacent to the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yong; Zhang, Wei Peng; Cao, Hui Luo; Shek, Chun Shum; Tian, Ren Mao; Wong, Yue Him; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    A hypoxic/suboxic brine pool at a depth of about 850 m was discovered near the Thuwal cold seeps in the Red Sea. Filled with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, such a brine pool might limit the spread of eukaryotic organisms. Here, we compared the communities of the eukaryotic microbes in a microbial mat, sediments and water samples distributed in 7 sites within and adjacent to the brine pool. Taxonomic classification of the pyrosequenced 18S rRNA amplicon reads showed that fungi highly similar to the species identified along the Arabic coast were almost ubiquitous in the water and sediment samples, supporting their wide distribution in various environments. The microbial mat displayed the highest species diversity and contained grazers and a considerable percentage of unclassified species. Phylogeny-based methods revealed novel lineages representing a majority of the reads from the interface between the sea water and brine pool. Phylogenetic relationships with more reference sequences suggest that the lineages were affiliated with novel Alveolata and Euglenozoa inhabiting the interface where chemosynthetic prokaryotes are highly proliferative due to the strong chemocline and halocline. The brine sediments harbored abundant species highly similar to invertebrate gregarine parasites identified in different oxygen-depleted sediments. Therefore, the present findings support the uniqueness of some microbial eukaryotic groups in this cold seep brine system. PMID:24575081

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Environmental switching during biofilm development in a cold seep system and functional determinants of species sorting.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weipeng; Tian, Renmao; Bo, Yang; Cao, Huiluo; Cai, Lin; Chen, Lianguo; Zhou, Guowei; Sun, Jin; Zhang, Xixiang; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2016-05-01

    The functional basis for species sorting theory remains elusive, especially for microbial community assembly in deep-sea environments. Using artificial surface-based biofilm models, our recent work revealed taxonomic succession during biofilm development in a newly defined cold seep system, the Thuwal cold seeps II, which comprises a brine pool and the adjacent normal bottom water (NBW) to form a metacommunity via the potential immigration of organisms from one patch to another. Here, we designed an experiment to investigate the effects of environmental switching between the brine pool and the NBW on biofilm assembly, which could reflect environmental filtering effects during bacterial immigration to new environments. Analyses of 16S rRNA genes of 71 biofilm samples suggested that the microbial composition of biofilms established in new environments was determined by both the source community and the incubation conditions. Moreover, a comparison of 18 metagenomes provided evidence for biofilm community assembly that was based primarily on functional features rather than taxonomic identities; metal ion resistance and amino acid metabolism were the major species sorting determinants for the succession of biofilm communities. Genome binning and pathway reconstruction of two bacterial species (Marinobacter sp. and Oleispira sp.) further demonstrated metal ion resistance and amino acid metabolism as functional traits conferring the survival of habitat generalists in both the brine pool and NBW. The results of this study shed new light on microbial community assembly in special habitats and bridge a gap in species sorting theory.

  10. Galatheid and chirostylid crustaceans (Decapoda: Anomura) from a cold seep environment in the northeastern South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Dong, Dong; Li, Xinzheng

    2015-12-09

    Six species of squat lobsters from a cold seep field in the northeastern South China Sea are studied. Two new species, Uroptychus jiaolongae n. sp. and U. spinulosus n. sp., are described, and their distinctions from the related species are detailed. Two species, Munidopsis tuberosa Osawa, Lin & Chan, 2008 and M. verrilli Benedict, 1902, are herein reported for the first time from a cold seep/hydrothermal vent environment. The number of squat lobsters species associated with those chemosynthetic environments now stands at forty-one.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. An evaluation of petrogenic hydrocarbons in northern Gulf of Alaska continental shelf sediments - The role of coastal oil seep inputs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kolak, J.J.; Payne, J.R.; Van Kooten, G. K.

    2007-01-01

    We compared hydrocarbons in water, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and riparian sediment collected from coastal watersheds along the Yakataga foreland with corresponding hydrocarbons in Gulf of Alaska benthic sediments. This comparison allows an evaluation of hydrocarbon contributions to marine sediments from natural oil seeps, coal and organic matter (e.g., kerogen) associated with eroding siliciclastic rocks. The samples from oil seeps show extensive loss of low-molecular weight n-alkanes (sediment samples collected upstream from the oil seeps. After entering the fluvial systems, hydrocarbons from seep oils are rapidly diluted, and associate with the SPM phase as oil-mineral-aggregates (OMA). Johnston Creek, the watershed containing the most prolific seep, conveys detectable seep-derived hydrocarbons to the Gulf of Alaska, but overall seep inputs are largely attenuated by the (non-seep) petrogenic hydrocarbon content of the high SPM loads. In contrast to the geochemical signature of seep oil, Gulf of Alaska benthic sediments are characterized by abundant alkylated naphthalene homologues, relatively smooth n-alkane envelopes (n-C9 through n-C34, but with elevated levels of n-C27, n-C29, and n-C31), and small UCMs. Further, hydrocarbons in benthic sediments are highly intercorrelated. Taken together, these characteristics indicate that seep oil is a negligible petrogenic hydrocarbon source to the Gulf of Alaska continental shelf. Coaly material separated from the benthic sediment samples using a dense liquid (???2.00 g cm-3) also accounted for a minor portion of the total PAH (1-6%) and total n-alkanes (0.4-2%) in the benthic samples. Most of the hydrocarbon burden in the sediments is found in the denser sediment fraction and likely derives from organic matter contributed by denudation of siliciclastic formations in

  14. On the relationship between methane production and oxidation by anaerobic methanotrophic communities from cold seeps of the Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Orcutt, Beth; Samarkin, Vladimir; Boetius, Antje; Joye, Samantha

    2008-05-01

    The anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in the marine subsurface is a significant sink for methane in the environment, yet our understanding of its regulation and dynamics is still incomplete. Relatively few groups of microorganisms consume methane in subsurface environments--namely the anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME clades 1, 2 and 3), which are phylogenetically related to methanogenic archaea. Anaerobic oxidation of methane presumably proceeds via a 'reversed' methanogenic pathway. The ANME are generally associated with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and sulfate is the only documented final electron acceptor for AOM in marine sediments. Our comparative study explored the coupling of AOM with sulfate reduction (SR) and methane generation (MOG) in microbial communities from Gulf of Mexico cold seep sediments that were naturally enriched with methane and other hydrocarbons. These sediments harbour a variety of ANME clades and SRB. Following enrichment under an atmosphere of methane, AOM fuelled 50-100% of SR, even in sediment slurries containing petroleum-associated hydrocarbons and organic matter. In the presence of methane and sulfate, the investigated microbial communities produce methane at a small fraction ( approximately 10%) of the AOM rate. Anaerobic oxidation of methane, MOG and SR rates decreased significantly with decreasing concentration of methane, and in the presence of the SR inhibitor molybdate, but reacted differently to the MOG inhibitor 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES). The addition of acetate, a possible breakdown product of petroleum in situ and a potential intermediate in AOM/SR syntrophy, did not suppress AOM activity; rather acetate stimulated microbial activity in oily sediment slurries.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-01-08

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Methane fates in the benthos and water column at cold seep sites along the continental margin of Central and North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansman, Roberta L.; Thurber, Andrew R.; Levin, Lisa A.; Aluwihare, Lihini I.

    2017-02-01

    The potential influence of methane seeps on carbon cycling is a key question for global assessments, but the study of carbon cycling in surface sediments and the water column of cold seep environments is complicated by the high temporal and spatial variability of fluid and gas fluxes at these sites. In this study we directly examined carbon sources supporting benthic and planktonic food webs at venting methane seeps using isotopic and molecular approaches that integrate this variability. At four seep environments located along North and Central America, microorganisms from two size fractions were collected over several days from 2800 to 9050 l of seawater to provide a time-integrated measure of key microbial groups and the carbon sources supporting the overall planktonic microbial community. In addition to water column measurements, the extent of seafloor methane release was estimated at two of the sites by examining the stable carbon isotopic signature (δ13C) of benthic metazoan infauna. This signature reveals carbon sources fueling the base of the food chain and thus provides a metric that represents a time-integrated view of the dominant microbial processes within the sediment. The stable carbon isotopic composition of microbial DNA (δ13C-DNA), which had values between -17.0 and -19.5‰, indicated that bulk planktonic microbial production was not ultimately linked to methane or other 13C-depleted seep-derived carbon sources. Instead these data support the importance of organic carbon derived from either photo- or chemoautotrophic CO2 fixation to the planktonic food web. Results of qPCR of microbial DNA sequences coding for a subunit of the particulate methane monooxygenase gene (pmoA) showed that only a small percentage of the planktonic microbial community were potential methane oxidizers possessing pmoA (<5% of 16S rRNA gene copies). There was an overall decrease of 13C-depleted carbon fueling the benthic metazoan community from 3 to 5 cm below the seafloor

  2. 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.

  3. Cold-seep mollusks are older than the general marine mollusk fauna.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen; Little, Crispin T S

    2006-09-08

    The origin and possible antiquity of faunas at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps have been debated since their discovery. We used the fossil record of seep mollusks to show that the living seep genera have significantly longer geologic ranges than the marine mollusks in general, but have ranges similar to those of deep-sea taxa, suggesting that seep faunas may be shaped by the factors that drive the evolution of life in the deep sea in general. Our data indicate that deep-sea anoxic/dysoxic events did not affect seep faunas, casting doubt on the suggested anoxic nature and/or global extent of these events.

  4. Cold-seep-driven carbonate deposits at the Central American forearc: contrasting evolution and timing in escarpment and mound settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liebetrau, V.; Augustin, N.; Kutterolf, S.; Schmidt, M.; Eisenhauer, A.; Garbe-Schönberg, D.; Weinrebe, W.

    2014-10-01

    Continuous surface cores of cold-seep carbonates were recovered offshore Pacific Nicaragua and Costa Rica from 800 to 1,500-m water depths (Meteor 66/3) in order to decipher their evolution and methane enriched fluid emanation in contrasting geological settings. Cores from the mounds Iguana, Perezoso, Baula V and from the Jaco Scarp escarpment were used for a multi-method approach. For both settings aragonite was revealed as dominant authigenic carbonate phase in vein fillings and matrix cementation, followed by Mg-calcite as second most abundant. This common precipitation process of CaCO3 polymorphs could be ascribed as indirectly driven by chemical changes of the advecting pore water due to anaerobic oxidation of methane. A more direct influence of seep-related microbial activity on the authigenic mineral assemblage in both settings is probably reflected by the observed minor amounts of dolomite and a dolomite-like CaMg carbonate (MgCO3 ~ 42 %). δ13C data of Jaco Scarp samples are significantly lower (-43 to -56 ‰ PDB) than for mound samples (-22 to -36 ‰ PDB), indicating differences in fluid composition and origin. Noteworthy, δ18O values of Scarp samples correlate most closely with the ocean signature at their time of formation. Documenting the archive potential, a high resolution case study of a mound core implies at least 40 changes in fluid supply within a time interval of approximately 14 ky. As most striking difference, the age data indicate a late-stage downward-progressing cementation front for all three mound cap structures (approx. 2-5 cm/ky), but a significantly faster upward carbonate buildup in the bulging sediments on top of the scarp environment (approx. 120 cm/ky). The latter data set leads to the hypothesis of chemoherm carbonate emplacement in accord with reported sedimentation rates until decompression of the advective fluid system, probably caused by the Jaco Scarp landslide and dating this to approximately 13,000 years ago.

  5. Identification of Methanogens and Controls on Methane Production in Incubations of Natural Methane Seep Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kevorkian, R.; Lloyd, K. G.

    2014-12-01

    Methane, the most abundant hydrocarbon in Earth's atmosphere, is produced in large quantities in sediments underlying the world's oceans. Very little of this methane makes it to surface sediments as it is consumed by Anaerobic Methanotrophs (ANME's) in consortia with Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB). Less is known about which organisms are responsible for methane production in marine sediments, and whether that production is under thermodynamic control based on hydrogen concentrations. Although ANMEs have been found to be active in methanogenic sediments and incubations, it is currently unknown whether they are able to grow in methanogenic conditions. We demonstrated with bottle incubations of methane seep sediment taken from Cape Lookout Bight, NC, that hydrogen controls methane production. While sulfate was present the hydrogen concentration was maintained at below 2 nM. Only after the depletion of sulfate allowed hydrogen concentrations to rise above 5 nM did we see production of methane. The same sediments when spiked with methane gas demonstrated its complete removal while sulfate reduction occurred. Quantitative PCR shows that ANME-2 and ANME-1 increase in 16S copy number as methane increases. Total direct cell counts demonstrate a decline in cells with the decrease of sulfate until a recovery corresponding with production of methane. Our results strongly suggest that hydrogen concentrations influence what metabolic processes can occur in marine sediments, and that ANME-1 and ANME-2 are able to grow on the energy provided from methane production.

  6. 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.

  7. Bedded Barite Deposits from Sonora (nw Mexico): a Paleozoic Analog for Modern Cold Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canet, C.; Anadón, P.; González-Partida, E.; Alfonso, P.; Rajabi, A.; Pérez-Segura, E.; Alba-Aldave, L. A.

    2013-05-01

    The Mazatán barite deposits represent an outstanding example of Paleozoic bedded barite, a poorly understood type of mineral deposit of major economic interest. The largest barite bodies of Mazatán are hosted within an Upper Carboniferous flysch succession, which formed part of an accretionary wedge related to the subduction of the Rheic Ocean beneath Gondwana. As well, a few barite occurrences are hosted in Upper Devonian, pre-orogenic turbidites. A variety of mineralized structures is displayed by barite, including: septaria nodules, enterolitic structures, rosettes and debris-flow conglomerates. Barite is accompanied by chalcedony, pyrite (framboids) and berthierine. Gas-rich fluid inclusions in barite were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy and methane was identified, suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the environment within which barite precipitated. 13C-depleted carbonates (δ13C: -24.3 to -18.8‰) were found in the barite deposits; they formed through anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction, and yield negative δ18O values (-11.9 to -5.2‰) reflecting the isotopic composition of Devonian-Carboniferous seawater. Methane-derived carbonates occur in modern hydrocarbon seeps and have been reported from Mesozoic and Cenozoic seep sediments, but they have never before been described in Paleozoic bedded barite deposits. δ34S of barite varies from +17.6 to +64.1‰, with the lowest values overlapping the range for coeval seawater sulfate; this distribution indicates a process of sulfate reduction. Barite precipitation can be explained by mixing of methane- and barium-rich fluids with pore-water (seawater) containing sulfate residual from microbial reduction. Two analyses from barite gave an 87Sr/86Sr within and slightly above the range for seawater at the time of deposition, with 0.708130 and 0.708588, which would preclude the involvement of hydrothermal fluids in the mineralization process.

  8. Metatranscriptomic Analysis of Diminutive Thiomargarita-Like Bacteria (“Candidatus Thiopilula” spp.) from Abyssal Cold Seeps of the Barbados Accretionary Prism

    PubMed Central

    Flood, Beverly E.

    2015-01-01

    Large sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in the family Beggiatoaceae are important players in the global sulfur cycle. This group contains members of the well-known genera Beggiatoa, Thioploca, and Thiomargarita but also recently identified and relatively unknown candidate taxa, including “Candidatus Thiopilula” spp. and “Ca. Thiophysa” spp. We discovered a population of “Ca. Thiopilula” spp. colonizing cold seeps near Barbados at a ∼4.7-km water depth. The Barbados population consists of spherical cells that are morphologically similar to Thiomargarita spp., with elemental sulfur inclusions and a central vacuole, but have much smaller cell diameters (5 to 40 μm). Metatranscriptomic analysis revealed that when exposed to anoxic sulfidic conditions, Barbados “Ca. Thiopilula” organisms expressed genes for the oxidation of elemental sulfur and the reduction of nitrogenous compounds, consistent with their vacuolated morphology and intracellular sulfur storage capability. Metatranscriptomic analysis further revealed that anaerobic methane-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing organisms were active in the sediment, which likely provided reduced sulfur substrates for “Ca. Thiopilula” and other sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms in the community. The novel observations of “Ca. Thiopilula” and associated organisms reported here expand our knowledge of the globally distributed and ecologically successful Beggiatoaceae group and thus offer insight into the composition and ecology of deep cold seep microbial communities. PMID:25724961

  9. Interaction between hydrocarbon seepage, chemosynthetic communities and bottom water redox at cold seeps of the Makran accretionary prism: insights from habitat-specific pore water sampling and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, D.; Sahling, H.; Nöthen, K.; Bohrmann, G.; Zabel, M.; Kasten, S.

    2011-09-01

    The interaction between fluid seepage, bottom water redox, and chemosynthetic communities was studied at cold seeps across one of the world's largest oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) located at the Makran convergent continental margin. Push cores were obtained from seeps within and at the lower boundary of the core-OMZ with a remotely operated vehicle. Extracted pore water was analyzed for sulfide and sulfate contents. Depending on oxygen availability, seeps were either colonized by microbial mats or by mats and macrofauna. The latter, including ampharetid polychaetes and vesicomyid clams, occurred in distinct benthic habitats which were arranged in a concentric fashion around gas orifices. At most sites colonized by microbial mats, hydrogen sulfide was exported into the bottom water. Where macrofauna was widely abundant, hydrogen sulfide was consumed within the sediment. Numerical modeling of pore water profiles was performed in order to assess rates of fluid advection and bioirrigation. While the magnitude of upward fluid flow decreased from 11 cm yr-1 to <1 cm yr-1 and the sulfate/methane transition zone (SMTZ) deepened with increasing distance from the central gas orifice, the fluxes of sulfate into the SMTZ did not significantly differ (6.6-9.3 mol m-2 yr-1). Depth-integrated rates of bioirrigation increased from 162 cm yr-1 in central habitats characterized by microbial mats and sparse macrofauna to 348 cm yr-1 in habitats of large and small vesicomyid clams. These results reveal that chemosynthetic macrofauna inhabiting the outer seep habitats at the lower boundary of the OMZ efficiently bioirrigate and thus transport sulfate into the upper 10 to 15 cm of the sediment. In this way bioirrigation compensates for the lower upward flux of methane in outer habitats and stimulates rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate high enough to provide sulfide for chemosynthesis. Through bioirrigation macrofauna engineer their geochemical environment and fuel

  10. Methane-Carbon Flow into the Benthic Food Web at Cold Seeps – A Case Study from the Costa Rica Subduction Zone

    PubMed Central

    Niemann, Helge; Linke, Peter; Knittel, Katrin; MacPherson, Enrique; Boetius, Antje; Brückmann, Warner; Larvik, Gaute; Wallmann, Klaus; Schacht, Ulrike; Omoregie, Enoma; Hilton, David; Brown, Kevin; Rehder, Gregor

    2013-01-01

    Cold seep ecosystems can support enormous biomasses of free-living and symbiotic chemoautotrophic organisms that get their energy from the oxidation of methane or sulfide. Most of this biomass derives from animals that are associated with bacterial symbionts, which are able to metabolize the chemical resources provided by the seeping fluids. Often these systems also harbor dense accumulations of non-symbiotic megafauna, which can be relevant in exporting chemosynthetically fixed carbon from seeps to the surrounding deep sea. Here we investigated the carbon sources of lithodid crabs (Paralomis sp.) feeding on thiotrophic bacterial mats at an active mud volcano at the Costa Rica subduction zone. To evaluate the dietary carbon source of the crabs, we compared the microbial community in stomach contents with surface sediments covered by microbial mats. The stomach content analyses revealed a dominance of epsilonproteobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences related to the free-living and epibiotic sulfur oxidiser Sulfurovum sp. We also found Sulfurovum sp. as well as members of the genera Arcobacter and Sulfurimonas in mat-covered surface sediments where Epsilonproteobacteria were highly abundant constituting 10% of total cells. Furthermore, we detected substantial amounts of bacterial fatty acids such as i-C15∶0 and C17∶1ω6c with stable carbon isotope compositions as low as −53‰ in the stomach and muscle tissue. These results indicate that the white microbial mats at Mound 12 are comprised of Epsilonproteobacteria and that microbial mat-derived carbon provides an important contribution to the crab's nutrition. In addition, our lipid analyses also suggest that the crabs feed on other 13C-depleted organic matter sources, possibly symbiotic megafauna as well as on photosynthetic carbon sources such as sedimentary detritus. PMID:24116017

  11. Methane-carbon flow into the benthic food web at cold seeps--a case study from the Costa Rica subduction zone.

    PubMed

    Niemann, Helge; Linke, Peter; Knittel, Katrin; MacPherson, Enrique; Boetius, Antje; Brückmann, Warner; Larvik, Gaute; Wallmann, Klaus; Schacht, Ulrike; Omoregie, Enoma; Hilton, David; Brown, Kevin; Rehder, Gregor

    2013-01-01

    Cold seep ecosystems can support enormous biomasses of free-living and symbiotic chemoautotrophic organisms that get their energy from the oxidation of methane or sulfide. Most of this biomass derives from animals that are associated with bacterial symbionts, which are able to metabolize the chemical resources provided by the seeping fluids. Often these systems also harbor dense accumulations of non-symbiotic megafauna, which can be relevant in exporting chemosynthetically fixed carbon from seeps to the surrounding deep sea. Here we investigated the carbon sources of lithodid crabs (Paralomis sp.) feeding on thiotrophic bacterial mats at an active mud volcano at the Costa Rica subduction zone. To evaluate the dietary carbon source of the crabs, we compared the microbial community in stomach contents with surface sediments covered by microbial mats. The stomach content analyses revealed a dominance of epsilonproteobacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences related to the free-living and epibiotic sulfur oxidiser Sulfurovum sp. We also found Sulfurovum sp. as well as members of the genera Arcobacter and Sulfurimonas in mat-covered surface sediments where Epsilonproteobacteria were highly abundant constituting 10% of total cells. Furthermore, we detected substantial amounts of bacterial fatty acids such as i-C15∶0 and C17∶1ω6c with stable carbon isotope compositions as low as -53‰ in the stomach and muscle tissue. These results indicate that the white microbial mats at Mound 12 are comprised of Epsilonproteobacteria and that microbial mat-derived carbon provides an important contribution to the crab's nutrition. In addition, our lipid analyses also suggest that the crabs feed on other (13)C-depleted organic matter sources, possibly symbiotic megafauna as well as on photosynthetic carbon sources such as sedimentary detritus.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Helium systematics of cold seep fluids at Monterey Bay, California, USA: Temporal variations and mantle contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Füri, E.; Hilton, D. R.; Brown, K. M.; Tryon, M. D.

    2009-08-01

    We report helium isotope ratios (3He/4He) as well as helium and neon abundance results for submarine cold seep fluids from Extrovert Cliff in Monterey Bay, California. Samples were collected in copper tubing attached to submarine flux meters operating in continuous pumping mode. Following instrumentation recovery, the tubing was sectioned to produce for the first time a high-resolution time series of dissolved He and Ne variations over a time span of several days. Noble gas concentrations are variable and appear affected by interaction with a hydrocarbon phase within the aquifer. However, it is still possible to resolve the He signal into components associated with air equilibration, excess air entrainment, and terrigenic fluxes (both crustal and mantle-derived). The mantle He contribution reaches ˜25-30% in some samples (up to 2.3 RA, where RA = air 3He/4He). Our quasi-continuous He-Ne record shows remarkable fluctuations over time scales of only a few hours and reflects the combined effects of gas stripping by hydrocarbons and an episodic input of mantle-derived fluids.

  15. Genomic and Transcriptomic Evidence for Carbohydrate Consumption among Microorganisms in a Cold Seep Brine Pool

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weipeng; Ding, Wei; Yang, Bo; Tian, Renmao; Gu, Shuo; Luo, Haiwei; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    The detailed lifestyle of microorganisms in deep-sea brine environments remains largely unexplored. Using a carefully calibrated genome binning approach, we reconstructed partial to nearly-complete genomes of 51 microorganisms in biofilms from the Thuwal cold seep brine pool of the Red Sea. The recovered metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) belong to six different phyla: Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Candidatus Cloacimonetes, Candidatus Marinimicrobia, Bathyarchaeota, and Thaumarchaeota. By comparison with close relatives of these microorganisms, we identified a number of unique genes associated with organic carbon metabolism and energy generation. These genes included various glycoside hydrolases, nitrate and sulfate reductases, putative bacterial microcompartment biosynthetic clusters (BMC), and F420H2 dehydrogenases. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the acquisition of these genes probably occurred through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Metatranscriptomics illustrated that glycoside hydrolases are among the most highly expressed genes. Our results suggest that the microbial inhabitants are well adapted to this brine environment, and anaerobic carbohydrate consumption mediated by glycoside hydrolases and electron transport systems (ETSs) is a dominant process performed by microorganisms from various phyla within this ecosystem. PMID:27895636

  16. Correlative light/electron microscopy for the investigation of microbial mats from Black Sea Cold Seeps.

    PubMed

    Wrede, Christoph; Heller, Christina; Reitner, Joachim; Hoppert, Michael

    2008-05-01

    In several fields of cell biology, correlative microscopy is applied to compare the structure of objects at high resolution under the electron microscope with low resolution light microscopy images of the same sample. It is, however, difficult to prepare samples and marker systems that are applicable for both microscopic techniques for the same specimen at the same time. In our studies, we used microbial mats from Cold Seep communities for a simple and rapid correlative microscopy method. The mats consist of bacterial and archaeal microorganisms, coupling reverse methanogenesis to the reduction of sulfate. The reverse methanogenic pathway also generates carbonates that precipitate inside the mat and may be the main reason for the formation of a microbial reef. The mat shows highly differentiated aggregates of various organisms, tightly interconnected by extracellular polysaccharides. In order to investigate the role of EPS as adhesive mucilage for the biofilm and as a precipitation matrix for carbonate minerals, samples were embedded in a hydrophilic resin (Lowicryl K4 M). Sections were suitable for light as well as electron microscopy in combination with lectins, either labeled with a fluorescent marker or with colloidal gold. This allows lectin mapping at low resolution for light microscopy in direct comparison with a highly resolved electron microscopic image.

  17. Species sorting during biofilm assembly by artificial substrates deployed in a cold seep system.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei Peng; Wang, Yong; Tian, Ren Mao; Bougouffa, Salim; Yang, Bo; Cao, Hui Luo; Zhang, Gen; Wong, Yue Him; Xu, Wei; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Zhang, Xi Xiang; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-10-17

    Studies focusing on biofilm assembly in deep-sea environments are rarely conducted. To examine the effects of substrate type on microbial community assembly, biofilms were developed on different substrates for different durations at two locations in the Red Sea: in a brine pool and in nearby bottom water (NBW) adjacent to the Thuwal cold seep II. The composition of the microbial communities in 51 biofilms and water samples were revealed by classification of pyrosequenced 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Together with the microscopic characteristics of the biofilms, the results indicate a stronger selection effect by the substrates on the microbial assembly in the brine pool compared with the NBW. Moreover, the selection effect by substrate type was stronger in the early stages compared with the later stages of the biofilm development. These results are consistent with the hypotheses proposed in the framework of species sorting theory, which states that the power of species sorting during microbial community assembly is dictated by habitat conditions, duration and the structure of the source community. Therefore, the results of this study shed light on the control strategy underlying biofilm-associated marine fouling and provide supporting evidence for ecological theories important for understanding the formation of deep-sea biofilms.

  18. Species sorting during biofilm assembly by artificial substrates deployed in a cold seep system

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei Peng; Wang, Yong; Tian, Ren Mao; Bougouffa, Salim; Yang, Bo; Cao, Hui Luo; Zhang, Gen; Wong, Yue Him; Xu, Wei; Batang, Zenon; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Zhang, Xi Xiang; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Studies focusing on biofilm assembly in deep-sea environments are rarely conducted. To examine the effects of substrate type on microbial community assembly, biofilms were developed on different substrates for different durations at two locations in the Red Sea: in a brine pool and in nearby bottom water (NBW) adjacent to the Thuwal cold seep II. The composition of the microbial communities in 51 biofilms and water samples were revealed by classification of pyrosequenced 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Together with the microscopic characteristics of the biofilms, the results indicate a stronger selection effect by the substrates on the microbial assembly in the brine pool compared with the NBW. Moreover, the selection effect by substrate type was stronger in the early stages compared with the later stages of the biofilm development. These results are consistent with the hypotheses proposed in the framework of species sorting theory, which states that the power of species sorting during microbial community assembly is dictated by habitat conditions, duration and the structure of the source community. Therefore, the results of this study shed light on the control strategy underlying biofilm-associated marine fouling and provide supporting evidence for ecological theories important for understanding the formation of deep-sea biofilms. PMID:25323200

  19. Genomic and Transcriptomic Evidence for Carbohydrate Consumption among Microorganisms in a Cold Seep Brine Pool.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weipeng; Ding, Wei; Yang, Bo; Tian, Renmao; Gu, Shuo; Luo, Haiwei; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    The detailed lifestyle of microorganisms in deep-sea brine environments remains largely unexplored. Using a carefully calibrated genome binning approach, we reconstructed partial to nearly-complete genomes of 51 microorganisms in biofilms from the Thuwal cold seep brine pool of the Red Sea. The recovered metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) belong to six different phyla: Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Candidatus Cloacimonetes, Candidatus Marinimicrobia, Bathyarchaeota, and Thaumarchaeota. By comparison with close relatives of these microorganisms, we identified a number of unique genes associated with organic carbon metabolism and energy generation. These genes included various glycoside hydrolases, nitrate and sulfate reductases, putative bacterial microcompartment biosynthetic clusters (BMC), and F420H2 dehydrogenases. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the acquisition of these genes probably occurred through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Metatranscriptomics illustrated that glycoside hydrolases are among the most highly expressed genes. Our results suggest that the microbial inhabitants are well adapted to this brine environment, and anaerobic carbohydrate consumption mediated by glycoside hydrolases and electron transport systems (ETSs) is a dominant process performed by microorganisms from various phyla within this ecosystem.

  20. A novel sister clade to the enterobacteria microviruses (family Microviridae) identified in methane seep sediments.

    PubMed

    Bryson, Samuel Joseph; Thurber, Andrew R; Correa, Adrienne M S; Orphan, Victoria J; Vega Thurber, Rebecca

    2015-10-01

    Methane seep microbial communities perform a key ecosystem service by consuming the greenhouse gas methane prior to its release into the hydrosphere, minimizing the impact of marine methane sources on our climate. Although previous studies have examined the ecology and biochemistry of these communities, none has examined viral assemblages associated with these habitats. We employed virus particle purification, genome amplification, pyrosequencing and gene/genome reconstruction and annotation on two metagenomic libraries, one prepared for ssDNA and the other for all DNA, to identify the viral community in a methane seep. Similarity analysis of these libraries (raw and assembled) revealed a community dominated by phages, with a significant proportion of similarities to the Microviridae family of ssDNA phages. We define these viruses as the Eel River Basin Microviridae (ERBM). Assembly and comparison of 21 ERBM closed circular genomes identified five as members of a novel sister clade to the Microvirus genus of Enterobacteria phages. Comparisons among other metagenomes and these Microviridae major-capsid sequences indicated that this clade of phages is currently unique to the Eel River Basin sediments. Given this ERBM clade's relationship to the Microviridae genus Microvirus, we define this sister clade as the candidate genus Pequeñovirus.

  1. Unexpected co-occurrence of six bacterial symbionts in the gills of the cold seep mussel Idas sp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae).

    PubMed

    Duperron, Sébastien; Halary, Sébastien; Lorion, Julien; Sibuet, Myriam; Gaill, Françoise

    2008-02-01

    Bathymodioline mussels occur in chemosynthesis-based ecosystems such as cold seeps, hydrothermal vents and organic debris worldwide. Their key adaptation to these environments is their association with bacterial endosymbionts which ensure a chemosynthetic primary production based on the oxidation of reduced compounds such as methane and sulfide. We herein report a multiple symbiosis involving six distinct bacterial 16S rRNA phylotypes, including two belonging to groups not yet reported as symbionts in mytilids, in a small Idas mussel found on carbonate crusts in a cold seep area located north to the Nile deep-sea fan (Eastern Mediterranean). Symbionts co-occur within hosts bacteriocytes based on fluorescence in situ hybridizations, and sequencing of functional genes suggests they have the potential to perform autotrophy, and sulfide and methane oxidation. Previous studies indicated the presence of only one or two symbiont 16S rRNA phylotypes in bathymodioline mussels. Together with the recent discovery of four bacterial symbionts in the large seep species Bathymodiolus heckerae, this study shows that symbiont diversity has probably been underestimated, and questions whether the common ancestor of bathymodioline mussels was associated with multiple bacteria.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24399144

  3. A metagenomic study of methanotrophic microorganisms in Coal Oil Point seep sediments

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Methane oxidizing prokaryotes in marine sediments are believed to function as a methane filter reducing the oceanic contribution to the global methane emission. In the anoxic parts of the sediments, oxidation of methane is accomplished by anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) living in syntrophy with sulphate reducing bacteria. This anaerobic oxidation of methane is assumed to be a coupling of reversed methanogenesis and dissimilatory sulphate reduction. Where oxygen is available aerobic methanotrophs take part in methane oxidation. In this study, we used metagenomics to characterize the taxonomic and metabolic potential for methane oxidation at the Tonya seep in the Coal Oil Point area, California. Two metagenomes from different sediment depth horizons (0-4 cm and 10-15 cm below sea floor) were sequenced by 454 technology. The metagenomes were analysed to characterize the distribution of aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophic taxa at the two sediment depths. To gain insight into the metabolic potential the metagenomes were searched for marker genes associated with methane oxidation. Results Blast searches followed by taxonomic binning in MEGAN revealed aerobic methanotrophs of the genus Methylococcus to be overrepresented in the 0-4 cm metagenome compared to the 10-15 cm metagenome. In the 10-15 cm metagenome, ANME of the ANME-1 clade, were identified as the most abundant methanotrophic taxon with 8.6% of the reads. Searches for particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) and methyl-coenzyme M reductase (mcrA), marker genes for aerobic and anaerobic oxidation of methane respectively, identified pmoA in the 0-4 cm metagenome as Methylococcaceae related. The mcrA reads from the 10-15 cm horizon were all classified as originating from the ANME-1 clade. Conclusions Most of the taxa detected were present in both metagenomes and differences in community structure and corresponding metabolic potential between the two samples were mainly due to abundance

  4. Identification of Methanotrophic Lipid Biomarkers in Cold-Seep Mussel Gills: Chemical and Isotopic Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Summons, Roger E.; Dowling, Lesley M.; Zahiralis, Karen D.

    1995-01-01

    A lipid analysis of the tissues of a cold-seep mytilid mussel collected from the Louisiana slope of the Gulf of Mexico was used in conjunction with a compound-specific isotope analysis to demonstrate the presence of methanotrophic symbionts in the mussel gill tissue and to demonstrate the host's dependence on bacterially synthesized metabolic intermediates. The gill tissue contained large amounts of group-specific methanotrophic biomarkers, bacteriohopanoids, 4-methylsterols, lipopolysaccharide-associated hydroxy fatty acids, and type I-specific 16:1 fatty acid isomers with bond positions at delta-8, delta-10, and delta-ll. Only small amounts of these compounds were detected in the mantle or other tissues of the host animal. A variety of cholesterol and 4-methylsterol isomers were identified as both free and steryl esters, and the sterol double bond positions suggested that the major bacterially derived gill sterol(11.0% 4(alpha)-methyl-cholesta-8(14), 24-dien-3(beta)-ol) was converted to host cholesterol (64.2% of the gill sterol was cholest-5-en-3(beta)-ol). The stable carbon isotope values for gill and mantle preparations were, respectively, -59.0 and -60.4 per thousand for total tissue, -60.6 and -62.4 per thousand for total lipids, -60.2 and -63.9 per thousand for phospholipid fatty acids, and -71.8 and -73.8 per thousand for sterols. These stable carbon isotope values revealed that the relative fractionation pattern was similar to the patterns obtained in pure culture experiments with methanotrophic bacteria further supporting the conversion of the bacterial methyl-sterol pool.

  5. Miocene shallow-marine cold seep carbonate in fold-and-thrust Western Foothills, SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chien, Chih-Wei; Huang, Chi-Yue; Chen, Zhong; Lee, Horng-Chun; Harris, Ron

    2012-08-01

    A mound-shaped authigenic carbonate buildup (50 m wide and 5 m high) occurred in the middle part of the Late Miocene shallow marine succession (the Hunghuatzu Formation) exposed along the Nantzuhsien River, SW Taiwan. The carbonate concretions are classified into four types based on morphology, which appeared to develop in upward sequence with vague boundaries: (1) flat-pipe shaped nodules: highly dolomitic small pipes or nodules subparallel to the host strata, (2) bulb-shaped nodules: discrete or combined small mesoclots with subspherical to irregular shapes, (3) mushroom-shaped concretions: large mushroom-like or irregular shaped blocks with chimney or vent structures, and (4) carbonated layers with sedimentary structures. These concretions are mainly composed of dolomite micrites, quartz, feldspar, muscovite, and clay minerals, ubiquitously interweaved with blackish brown colored low magnesium calcite (LMC) veins. Low δ13CVPDB values (-51.8‰ to -29.8‰) of all types of the carbonates reveal that the carbonates were mainly derived from anaerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons. Many samples are also 18O-depleted (δ18OVPDB: -11.5‰ to 1.00‰) due to the mixture with isotopically light LMC veins, likely precipitated from meteoric waters. There are numerous chemosymbiotic bivalve fossils (genus Monitilora? diameter 3-4 cm) in growth position just above the carbonate buildup. According to the geological and isotopic signatures, the Hunghuatzu carbonates are related to a cold seep pseudobioherm, which formed in a very shallow marine environment like tidal-flat in a passive margin setting. Exposures of the Hunghuatzu pseudobioherm may provide clues for tracking and comparing the evolution history of gas reservoir systems and hints of active tectonics of the SW Taiwan region.

  6. 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

  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. Biogeography of deep-sea wood fall, cold seep and hydrothermal vent Ostracoda (Crustacea), with the description of a new family and a taxonomic key to living Cytheroidea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karanovic, Ivana; Brandão, Simone Nunes

    2015-01-01

    Stimulated by finding a novel cytheroid ostracod in a piece of sunken wood retrieved from the sea-bed in the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, we have reviewed all previously published data on ostracods from similarly ephemeral deep-sea habitats (wood falls, hydrothermal vents and cold seeps). These data are placed in the context of all data on living, deep-sea ostracods from other environments. We confirm previous authors' conclusions that faunas from these ephemeral habitats are similar at the generic level, and include elements common to shallow and deep habitats. However, at the species level, endemism varies from zero at cold seeps, to 35% in wood falls and 60% at hydrothermal vents, which is an indication of the relative longevity of these habitats. Non-endemic species occur also in oligotrophic, deep-sea sediments but not in shallow environments. This is in contradiction to previous assumptions that these ephemeral faunas share more species and with shallow habitats than genera with the oligotrophic, deep-sea sediments. We agree with previous authors that the dispersal strategy of wood fall, vent and seep ostracods includes hitchhiking and we propose that it also includes the ability to survive ingestion by larger, more motile animals. The homogeneity of the faunas from ephemeral habitats collected off the American continent is in stark contrast to the highly endemic fauna found in Northwestern Pacific. This suggests that the ostracods may have biogeographical patterns similar to those previously proposed for other groups of benthos. However, any proposal for a global biogeographical scheme for ostracod distributions will have to await far more comprehensive coverage from presently unstudied regions. Finally, we describe and name a novel species of ostracod from the wood fall collected at a depth of 5229 m in the abyss east to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, Northwestern Pacific; erecting a new family Keysercytheridae fam. nov. and a new genus, Keysercythere gen. nov., to

  10. 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.

  11. Morphology of First Zoeal Stage of Four Genera of Alvinocaridid Shrimps from Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps: Implications for Ecology, Larval Biology and Phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Ávila, Iván; Cambon-Bonavita, Marie-Anne; Pradillon, Florence

    2015-01-01

    Alvinocaridid shrimps are endemic species inhabiting hydrothermal vents and/or cold seeps. Although indirect evidences (genetic and lipid markers) suggest that their larval stages disperse widely and support large scale connectivity, larval life and mechanisms underlying dispersal are unknown in alvinocaridids. Here we provide for the first time detailed descriptions of the first larval stage (zoea I) of four alvinocaridid species: Rimicaris exoculata and Mirocaris fortunata from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Alvinocaris muricola from the Congo Basin and Nautilocaris saintlaurentae from the Western Pacific. The larvae were obtained from onboard hatching of brooding females (either at atmospheric pressure or at habitat pressure in hyperbaric chambers) and from the water column near adult habitats, sampled with plankton pumps or sediment traps. Major characteristics of the alvinocaridid larvae include undeveloped mandible and almost complete absence of setation in the inner margin of the mouth parts and maxillipeds. Although the larvae are very similar between the four species studied, some morphological features could be used for species identification. In addition, undeveloped mouthparts and the large amount of lipid reserves strongly support the occurrence of primary lecithotrophy in the early stage of alvinocaridids. Although lecithotrophy in decapod crustaceans is usually associated with abbreviated larval development, as a mechanism of larval retention, morphological and physiological evidences suggest the occurrence of an extended and lecithotrophic larval stage in the Alvinocarididae. These traits permit the colonization of widely dispersed and fragmented environments of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Distribution of larval traits along the phylogenetic reconstruction of the Alvinocarididae and related families suggest that lecithotrophy/planktotrophy and extended/abbreviated development have evolved independently along related families in all potential

  12. Morphology of First Zoeal Stage of Four Genera of Alvinocaridid Shrimps from Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps: Implications for Ecology, Larval Biology and Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Ávila, Iván; Cambon-Bonavita, Marie-Anne; Pradillon, Florence

    2015-01-01

    Alvinocaridid shrimps are endemic species inhabiting hydrothermal vents and/or cold seeps. Although indirect evidences (genetic and lipid markers) suggest that their larval stages disperse widely and support large scale connectivity, larval life and mechanisms underlying dispersal are unknown in alvinocaridids. Here we provide for the first time detailed descriptions of the first larval stage (zoea I) of four alvinocaridid species: Rimicaris exoculata and Mirocaris fortunata from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Alvinocaris muricola from the Congo Basin and Nautilocaris saintlaurentae from the Western Pacific. The larvae were obtained from onboard hatching of brooding females (either at atmospheric pressure or at habitat pressure in hyperbaric chambers) and from the water column near adult habitats, sampled with plankton pumps or sediment traps. Major characteristics of the alvinocaridid larvae include undeveloped mandible and almost complete absence of setation in the inner margin of the mouth parts and maxillipeds. Although the larvae are very similar between the four species studied, some morphological features could be used for species identification. In addition, undeveloped mouthparts and the large amount of lipid reserves strongly support the occurrence of primary lecithotrophy in the early stage of alvinocaridids. Although lecithotrophy in decapod crustaceans is usually associated with abbreviated larval development, as a mechanism of larval retention, morphological and physiological evidences suggest the occurrence of an extended and lecithotrophic larval stage in the Alvinocarididae. These traits permit the colonization of widely dispersed and fragmented environments of hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Distribution of larval traits along the phylogenetic reconstruction of the Alvinocarididae and related families suggest that lecithotrophy/planktotrophy and extended/abbreviated development have evolved independently along related families in all potential

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Dynamics of cell proliferation and apoptosis reflect different life strategies in hydrothermal vent and cold seep vestimentiferan tubeworms.

    PubMed

    Pflugfelder, Bettina; Cary, S Craig; Bright, Monika

    2009-07-01

    Deep-sea vestimentiferan tubeworms, which live in symbiosis with bacteria, exhibit different life strategies according to their habitat. At unstable and relatively short-lived hydrothermal vents, they grow extremely fast, whereas their close relatives at stable and long-persisting cold seeps grow slowly and live up to 300 years. Growth and age differences are thought to occur because of ecological and physiological adaptations. However, the underlying mechanisms of cell proliferation and death, which are closely linked to homeostasis, growth, and longevity, are unknown. Here, we show by immunohistochemical and ultrastructural cell cycle analyses that cell proliferation activities of the two species studied are higher than in any other characterized invertebrate, being only comparable with tumor and wound-healing processes. The slow growth in Lamellibrachia luymesi from cold seeps results from balanced activities of proliferation and apoptosis in the epidermis. In contrast, Riftia pachyptila from hydrothermal vents grows fast because apoptosis is down-regulated in this tissue. The symbiont-housing organ, the trophosome, exhibits a complex cell cycle and terminal differentiation pattern in both species, and growth is regulated by proliferation. These mechanisms have similarities to the up- and down-regulation of proliferation or apoptosis in various types of tumor, although they occur in healthy animals in this study, thus providing significant insights into the underlying mechanisms of growth and longevity.

  16. Anaerobic degradation of propane and butane by sulfate-reducing bacteria enriched from marine hydrocarbon cold seeps

    PubMed Central

    Jaekel, Ulrike; Musat, Niculina; Adam, Birgit; Kuypers, Marcel; Grundmann, Olav; Musat, Florin

    2013-01-01

    The short-chain, non-methane hydrocarbons propane and butane can contribute significantly to the carbon and sulfur cycles in marine environments affected by oil or natural gas seepage. In the present study, we enriched and identified novel propane and butane-degrading sulfate reducers from marine oil and gas cold seeps in the Gulf of Mexico and Hydrate Ridge. The enrichment cultures obtained were able to degrade simultaneously propane and butane, but not other gaseous alkanes. They were cold-adapted, showing highest sulfate-reduction rates between 16 and 20 °C. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene libraries, followed by whole-cell hybridizations with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes showed that each enrichment culture was dominated by a unique phylotype affiliated with the Desulfosarcina-Desulfococcus cluster within the Deltaproteobacteria. These phylotypes formed a distinct phylogenetic cluster of propane and butane degraders, including sequences from environments associated with hydrocarbon seeps. Incubations with 13C-labeled substrates, hybridizations with sequence-specific probes and nanoSIMS analyses showed that cells of the dominant phylotypes were the first to become enriched in 13C, demonstrating that they were directly involved in hydrocarbon degradation. Furthermore, using the nanoSIMS data, carbon assimilation rates were calculated for the dominant cells in each enrichment culture. PMID:23254512

  17. 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.

  18. Detection of low-chloride fluids beneath a cold seep field on the Nankai accretionary wedge off Kumano, south of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, T.; Tsunogai, U.; Gamo, T.; Kuramoto, S.; Ashi, J.

    2004-11-01

    Chemical and isotopic characteristics were determined for interstitial waters extracted from surface sediments in and around dense biological communities on the seafloor of the Nankai accretionary prism off Kumano, south of Japan. We found the following unique features when compared with usual interstitial water samples of normal seafloor in those of samples from bacterial mats on the Oomine Ridge, one of the outer ridge in the Nankai accretionary prism: (1) significant depletion of chloride concentration (maximum 10% depletion from bottom seawater), (2) high concentrations of CH4 and ΣCO2 (more than 660 μmol/kg and 60 mmol/kg, respectively), (3) sulfate depletion (more than 90% depletion compared to bottom seawater), and (4) δDH2O and δ18OH2O depletion [more than 4‰ and 0.7‰ depletion, respectively, compared to standard mean ocean water (SMOW)]. The highest CH4 value among these samples was comparable to the highest value so far reported at one of the most active seep areas in the Nankai Trough, suggesting that these sites should also be regarded as one of the most active seep sites in the Nankai Trough. The chemical compositions of the samples taken from the Oomine Ridge strongly suggest that the fluid originates not from normal sediment-seawater interaction at the sediment surface of hemipelagic environments, but from active seepage of fluids that are rich in CH4 and ΣCO2, depleted in Cl- and SO42-, and low in δDH2O and δ18OH2O compared to normal seawater. Values for the carbon isotopic composition (δ13CCH4) of the dissolved methane in the interstitial fluid [less than -70‰ PeeDee Belemnite (PDB)] and for the C2H6/CH4 ratio (less than 10-3) suggest that the methane originates from microbial production in a relatively shallow layer of sediment, not from the deep sedimentary layer of higher temperature than 60 °C at the depth of more than 300 m below the seafloor. The Cl-=0 mmol/kg extrapolated end-member δDH2O and δ18OH2O values of low

  19. Niche differentiation among mat-forming, sulfide-oxidizing bacteria at cold seeps of the Nile Deep Sea Fan (Eastern Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Grünke, S; Felden, J; Lichtschlag, A; Girnth, A-C; De Beer, D; Wenzhöfer, F; Boetius, A

    2011-07-01

    Sulfidic muds of cold seeps on the Nile Deep Sea Fan (NDSF) are populated by different types of mat-forming sulfide-oxidizing bacteria. The predominant sulfide oxidizers of three different mats were identified by microscopic and phylogenetic analyses as (i) Arcobacter species producing cotton-ball-like sulfur precipitates, (ii) large filamentous sulfur bacteria including Beggiatoa species, and (iii) single, spherical Thiomargarita species. High resolution in situ microprofiles revealed different geochemical settings selecting for the different mat types. Arcobacter mats occurred where oxygen and sulfide overlapped above the seafloor in the bottom water interface. Filamentous sulfide oxidizers were associated with steep gradients of oxygen and sulfide in the sediment. A dense population of Thiomargarita was favored by temporarily changing supplies of oxygen and sulfide in the bottom water. These results indicate that the decisive factors in selecting for different mat-forming bacteria within one deep-sea province are spatial or temporal variations in energy supply. Furthermore, the occurrence of Arcobacter spp.-related 16S rRNA genes in the sediments below all three types of mats, as well as on top of brine lakes of the NDSF, indicates that this group of sulfide oxidizers can switch between different life modes depending on the geobiochemical habitat setting.

  20. Endosymbiotic microflora of the vestimentiferan tubeworm ( Lamellibrachia sp.) from a bathyal cold seep.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Hiroyuki; Higashide, Yukimasa; Naganuma, Takeshi

    2003-01-01

    Gutless vestimentiferan tubeworms are known to harbor endosymbiotic bacteria in a specialized tissue, the trophosome, which consists of lobules. The endosymbionts of vestimentiferans inhabiting sulfide-rich hydrothermal vents are monospecific for their host. In contrast, previous studies suggest that vestimentiferas of methane-rich seeps may host multispecific symbionts. Phylogenetic analysis and dot-blot hybridization of 16S ribosomal RNA genes (16S rDNA) detected 4 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the trophosome of the vestimentifera Lamellibrachia species from a bathyal methane-seep. The OTUs were closely related to 16S rDNA of the species belonging to alpha -Proteobacteria ( Sulfitobacter), beta- Proteobacteria ( Janthinobacterium), and gamma -Proteobacteria ( Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas). Localizations of the 4 OTUs within the trophosome were confirmed by in situ hybridization (ISH). ISH signals of the alpha-proteobacterial OTU were observed in the innermost zone of the trophosome lobules. In contrast, ISH signals of the beta- and gamma-proteobacterial OTUs were observed at the periphery of the lobules; however, whether they occur inside or outside the lobules remains unclear. These results support the possibility that the studied methane-seep tubeworm has a microflora composed of multispecific endosymbionts.

  1. Cold seep communities in the deep eastern Mediterranean Sea: composition, symbiosis and spatial distribution on mud volcanoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olu-Le Roy, Karine; Sibuet, Myriam; Fiala-Médioni, Aline; Gofas, Serge; Salas, Carmen; Mariotti, André; Foucher, Jean-Paul; Woodside, John

    2004-12-01

    Two mud volcano fields were explored during the French-Dutch MEDINAUT cruise (1998) with the submersible NAUTILE, one south of Crete along the Mediteranean Ridge at about 2000 m depth (Olimpi mud field) and the other south of Turkey between 1700 and 2000 m depth (Anaximander mud field) where high methane concentrations were measured. Chemosynthetic communities were observed and sampled on six mud volcanoes and along a fault scarp. The communities were dominated by bivalves of particularly small size, belonging to families commonly found at seeps (Mytilidae, Vesicomyidae, Thyasiridae) and to Lucinidae mostly encountered in littoral sulfide-rich sediments and at the shallowest seeps. Siboglinid polychaetes including a large vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp. were also associated. At least four bivalve species and one siboglinid are associated with symbiotic chemoautotrophic bacteria, as evidenced by Transmission Electronic Microscopy and isotopic ratio measurements. Among the bivalves, a mytilid harbors both methanotrophic and sulfide-oxidizing bacteria. Video spatial analysis of the community distribution on three volcanoes shows that dense bivalve shell accumulations (mainly lucinids) spread over large areas, from 10% to 38% of the explored areas (2500-15000 m 2) on the different volcanoes. Lamellibrachia sp. had different spatial distribution and variable density in the two mud volcano fields, apparently related with higher methane fluxes in the Anaximander volcanoes and maybe with the instability due to brines in the Olimpi area. The abundance and richness of the observed chemosynthetic fauna and the size of some of the species contrast with the poverty of the deep eastern Mediterranean. The presence of a specialized fauna, with some mollusk genera and species shared with other reduced environments of the Mediterranean, but not dominated by the large bivalves usually found at seeps, is discussed.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    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.

  4. Fluid channeling and their effect on the efficiency of benthic methane filter in various seep habitats and sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steeb, Philip; Linke, Peter; Treude, Tina

    2014-05-01

    Marine sediments and sub-seafloor gas hydrates build one of the largest methane reservoirs on Earth. Most of the methane ascending in sediments is oxidized by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with sulfate as terminal electron acceptor, the so-called "benthic microbial methane filter". The efficiency of the benthic microbial methane filter is controlled by diffusive sulfate supply from seawater and advective methane flux from deep reservoirs. High fluid fluxes reduce the penetration depth of sulfate and limit the filter to a very narrow zone close to the sediment-water interface. However natural and catastrophic fluctuations of methane fluxes (caused e.g. by gas hydrate melting, earthquakes, slope failure) can change the fluid regime and reduce the capability of this greenhouse gas sink. A new Sediment-Flow-Through (SLOT) system was developed to incubate intact sediment cores under controlled fluid regimes. To mimic natural fluid conditions sulfate-free, methane-loaded artificial seawater medium was pumped from the bottom and sulfate-enriched seawater medium was supplied from above. Media and system were kept anoxic and seepage medium was tracked with bromide tracer. Over the entire experiment, the change of geochemical gradients inside the sediment column was monitored in monthly time intervals using porewater extraction/analyses and microsensor measurements. In addition, in- and outflow samples were analyzed for the calculation of methane turnover rates. In the above manner, sediments from different seeps (Eckernförde Bay, Costa Rica, Chile, and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea) and types (gassy sediments, gas hydrates containing sediments, mud volcanoes, sulfur bacteria mats, pogonophoran fields, clam fields) were incubated and monitored up to one year. Moderate to high advective fluid flow rates, which have been reported from natural seeps, were chosen to challenge the benthic microbial methane filter and investigate the response to pulses of methane loaded

  5. Integrative study of a new cold-seep mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia) associated with chemosynthetic symbionts in the Marmara Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritt, Bénédicte; Duperron, Sébastien; Lorion, Julien; Sara Lazar, Cassandre; Sarrazin, Jozée

    2012-09-01

    Recently, small Idas-like mussels have been discovered living on carbonate crusts associated with cold-seeps in the Marmara Sea. These mussels, here referred to as Idas-like nov. sp., differ morphologically and genetically from another species identified as Idas aff. modiolaeformis, living in the same type of ecosystem in the Nile Deep-Sea Fan (eastern Mediterranean Sea). A phylogenetic analysis confirms the distinction between the two species, which belong to highly divergent lineages. Carbon stable isotope values, as well as the detection of thiotroph-related bacteria in the gill tissue, support the presence of a symbiotic, thiotroph-derived nutrition. In contrast, Idas aff. modiolaeformis displays six different types of symbionts. Finally our size-frequency data suggest that the recruitment is continuous in the examined area. The present study extends the documented distribution of symbiont-bearing mussels to the Marmara Sea, and contributes to the characterisation of biological communities in this recently explored area.

  6. 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.

  7. A phylogenetic perspective on diversity of Galatheoidea (Munida, Munidopsis) from cold-water coral and cold seep communities in the western North Atlantic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coykendall, Dolly K.; Nizinski, Martha S.; Morrison, Cheryl

    2016-01-01

    Squat lobsters (Galatheoidea and Chirostyloidea), a diverse group of decapod crustaceans, are ubiquitous members of the deep-sea fauna. Within Galatheoidea, the genera Munida and Munidopsis are the most diverse, but accurate estimates of biodiversity are difficult due to morphological complexity and cryptic diversity. Four species of Munida and nine species of Munidopsis from cold-water coral (CWC) and cold seep communities in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean (NWA) and the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) were collected over eleven years and fifteen research cruises in order to assess faunal associations and estimate squat lobster biodiversity. Identification of the majority of specimens was determined morphologically. Mitochondrial COI sequence data, obtained from material collected during these research cruises, was supplemented with published sequences of congeners from other regions. The phylogenetic analysis of Munida supports three of the four NWA and GOM species (M. microphthalma, M. sanctipauli, and M. valida) as closely related taxa. The fourth species, Munida iris, is basal to most other species of Munida, and is closely related to M. rutllanti, a species found in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean (NEA). The majority of the nine species of Munidopsis included in our analyses were collected from chemosynthetic cold seep sites from the GOM. While seep taxa were scattered throughout the phylogenetic tree, four of these species (Munidopsis livida, M. similis, M. bermudezi, and M. species A) from the NWA and the GOM were part of a large eighteen-species clade that included species collected from Pacific Ocean chemosynthetic habitats, such as hydrothermal vents and whale falls. Shinkaia crosnieri was the sister taxon to the chemosynthetic clade, and M. livida was the most basal member of this clade. Munidopsis sp. B, an undescribed species with representative individuals collected from two GOM chemosynthetic sites, exhibited the largest genetic distance from other northern

  8. Macondo oil in deep-sea sediments: Part 2 - Distribution and distinction from background and natural oil seeps.

    PubMed

    Stout, Scott A; Payne, James R; Ricker, Robert W; Baker, Gregory; Lewis, Christopher

    2016-10-15

    Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the spilled Macondo oil was severely weathered during its transport within the deep-sea plume as discrete particles, which were subsequently deposited on the seafloor. The Macondo oil deposited in deep-sea sediments was distinguished from ambient (background) hydrocarbons and naturally-seeped and genetically-similar oils in the Mississippi Canyon region using a forensic method based upon a systematic, multi-year study of 724 deep-sea sediment cores collected in late 2010 and 2011. The method relied upon: (1) chemical fingerprinting of the distinct features of the wax-rich, severely-weathered Macondo oil; (2) hydrocarbon concentrations, considering a core's proximity to the Macondo well or to known or apparent natural oil seeps, and also vertically within a core; and (3) results from proximal cores and flocculent material from core supernatants and slurp gun filters. The results presented herein establish the geographic extent of "fingerprintable" Macondo oil recognized on the seafloor in 2010/2011.

  9. Greigite as a marker of paleo sulphate methane transition zone (SMTZ) in cold seep environment of Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin, Bay of Bengal, India.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    B, F. K.; Dewangan, P.; Usapkar, A.; Mazumdar, A.; Kocherla, M.; Tammisetti, R.; Khalap, S. T.; Satelkar, N. P.; Mehrtens, T.; Rosenauer, A.

    2014-12-01

    Rockmagnetic results and electron microscopic observations on a sediment core retrieved from a proven cold seep environment of Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin revealed an anomalously magnetically enhanced zone (17 - 23 mbsf) below the present-day SMTZ in the KG offshore basin. This zone is characterized by higher SIRM / k, kARM / SIRM and kfd % values indicating the presence of fine grained superparamagnetic (SP) sized ferrimagnetic iron sulphides minerals such as greigite formed due to anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). Identification of such mineral phases and understanding the mechanism of their formation and preservation is of vital importance which could provide better understanding of the geochemical processes on the paleo - SMTZ. Magnetic concentrates extracted from this zone were characterised by transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive X- ray spectrometry. We observed two possible occurrences of magnetic phases within this sediment depths 17 - 23 mbsf. (a) authigenically formed SP sized ferrimagnetic inclusions of magnetite, pyrite and greigite within matrix of host siliceous grain, (b) poorly crystallized fine-grained magnetite with ill defined grain boundary possibily formed extracellulary by magnetotactic bacterias through biologically-induced mineralization. High methane fluxes as observed in this basin provides suitable environment for the formation of greigite in the vicinity of SMTZ. We hypothesize that due to availability of residual iron and low supply of hydrogen sulphide caused by downwards diffusion lead to preservation of greigite. The occurence of greigite as inclusion within the host silicate matrix might explain its preservation in this zone in spite of intense pyritization. The greigite would otherwise be converted to stable-form pyrite. It is challenging to explain the origin of biologically produced magnetite within 17 - 23 mbsf as it is expected to dissolve in this zone due to intense pyritization.

  10. Modification of sediment geochemistry by the hydrocarbon seep tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi: A combined empirical and modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dattagupta, Sharmishtha; Arthur, Michael A.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2008-05-01

    The sulfide-oxidizing symbiotic tubeworm Lamellibrachia luymesi is a dominant member of deep-sea hydrocarbon seep ecosystems on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor. This tubeworm forms large aggregations that can live for centuries and provide habitat for an assortment of associated fauna. Previous studies have suggested that persistence of these tubeworms for such long time periods is contingent upon their ability to supply sediments with sulfate. To examine this hypothesis, we characterized the tubeworm's geochemical environment using pore water peepers and compared the measured depth profiles with those predicted by a sulfur diffusion-reaction-supply model. We found a large range of sulfide concentrations in the tubeworm habitat, indicating that this species can live under conditions of both high and low sulfide availability. In sediments rich in hydrocarbons, we found compelling evidence that tubeworms enhance microbial sulfide production, likely through a combination of sulfide uptake and sulfate release through their root-like structures buried in the sediment. Our in situ empirical data combined with the results of the geochemical model corroborate previous physiological studies that indicate that tubeworms release between 70% and 90% of the sulfate produced during sulfide oxidation by their symbionts across their roots into the surrounding sediment. In sediments low in hydrocarbon content, sulfide production is hydrocarbon-limited rather than sulfate-limited, and our model predicts that tubeworm growth could be limited by low sulfide availability.

  11. In situ Determination of Pore-water pH in Reducing Sediments near Methane Seeps and Vents by Laser Raman Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peltzer, E. T.; Walz, P. M.; Luna, M.; Zhang, X.; Brewer, P. G.

    2015-12-01

    Sediments near methane vents and seeps are often anoxic in nature due to the microbial oxidation of organic matter. When the pore-water oxygen is consumed, the microbial population resorts to using sulfate as the terminal electron receptor. For the anaerobic oxidation of methane, the net reaction is: CH4 + SO42- = HCO3- + HS- + H2O. Hydrogen sulfide produced by this reaction dissociates into bisulfide in proportion to the pore-water pH. Since the first pK of H2S is about 7 and close to the in situ pore-water pH, it satisfies the criteria for a useful pH indicating dye. Although the two forms of hydrogen sulfide are not visually discernable by the human eye, these two forms have distinct Raman spectra and thus can be easily quantified using an in situ spectrometer. The relative Raman cross-sections of the hydrogen sulfide species were determined in the laboratory across a range of relevant pH values and at the approximate salinity (ionic strength) and temperature of deep-sea pore waters. With this calibration, it is simple to compute the pore-water pH from the relative abundance of the two sulfide species: pH = pK1 + log10([HS-]/[H2S]). Pore-water profiles were investigated at several sites in the Santa Monica basin around methane mounds, gas vents and cold seeps. A titanium pore-water probe with a stainless steel frit was used to filter and collect pore-water samples at 5-10 cm intervals in the top 50-60 cm of sediment. Filtration and collection of the pore-water samples was usually accomplished in 5-10 minutes, with acquisition of the laser Raman spectra requiring only 2-4 minutes additional time. Vertical profiles of sulfate, total sulfide (H2S + HS-), methane and pH were collected simultaneously using the laser Raman spectrometer and pore-water profile sampler. Sulfate was observed to decrease from seawater concentrations to below detection limits while both methane and total sulfide increased proportionally to the sulfate loss. Once total sulfide concentrations

  12. Megafauna recovered from a cold hydrocarbon seep in the deep Alaskan Beaufort Sea, including a new species of Axinus (Thracidae: Bivalvia: Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, C. L.; Valentich-Scott, P.; Lorenson, T. D.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    Several specimens of a new species of Axinus and a single well-worn gastropod columella provisionally assigned to the genus Neptunea (Buccinidae: Gastropoda: Mollusca) were recently recovered from at least two cores, the longest of which is 5.72 m long, from a large seafloor mound, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM). The CSM is located at 2,530 m water depth on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea slope north of Camden Bay and is a fluid explosion feature containing methane hydrate and methane-saturated sediments overlying a folded and faulted deep basin. Only two modern species of Axinus are currently known. Axinus grandis (Verrill & Smith, 1885) is a northern Atlantic species and the recently described species, A. cascadiensis Oliver and Holmes (2007), is only known from Baby Bare Seamount, Cascadia Basin, northeastern Pacific Ocean. Common fragments, single valves, and a single articulated specimen represent this new Axinus species. These shells were distributed over nearly the entire length of the primary core. All specimens show wear and (or) dissolution. The age of these specimens is unknown and no living representatives were encountered. The genus Axinus has a fossil record back to the early Eocene in England and the Paleocene and Eocene in Egypt. Biogeographically the genus appears to have originated in the Tethys Sea and became established in the Atlantic Ocean during the Eocene, spreading across the Arctic Ocean in the late Tertiary. With the opening of the Bering Strait in the latest Miocene or early Pliocene the genus Axinus migrated southwest into the northeast Pacific. Interestingly, hydrocarbon seep deposits are also present on the adjacent North Slope of Alaska in the Marsh Anticline at Carter Creek, Camden Bay. These rocks, the Nuwok beds, contain abundant Thracidae bivalve of the genus Thracia, but not Axinus, however the rocks also represent cold seep deposits. These rocks have been variously dated from Oligocene to Pliocene and the exact age

  13. Ampharetidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from cold seeps off Pakistan and hydrothermal vents off Taiwan, with the description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Reuscher, Michael G; Fiege, Dieter

    2016-07-20

    The new ampharetid species Eclysippe yonaguniensis sp. nov. and Glyphanostomum bilabiatum sp. nov. from the Yonaguni Knoll IV hydrothermal field off the coast of Taiwan and Pavelius makranensis sp. nov. from the cold seeps in the Makran accretionary prism off the coast of Pakistan are described. Amage cf. ehlersi Reuscher, Fiege & Imajima, 2015 and Anobothrus dayi Imajima, Reuscher & Fiege, 2013 are newly recorded from the Yonaguni Knoll IV hydrothermal field.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Biosurfactant-producing yeast isolated from Calyptogena soyoae (deep-sea cold-seep clam) in the deep sea.

    PubMed

    Konishi, Masaaki; Fukuoka, Tokuma; Nagahama, Takahiko; Morita, Tomotake; Imura, Tomohiro; Kitamoto, Dai; Hatada, Yuji

    2010-08-01

    We describe a detailed structure determination of biosurfactant produced by Pseudozyma hubeiensis SY62, which was newly isolated from Calyptogena soyoae (deep-sea cold-seep clam, Shirouri-gai) at 1156 m in Sagami bay. P. hubeiensis SY62 was taxonomically slightly different from the P. hubeiensis type strain, which produces biosurfactants. Glycolipid production by the strain was also slightly different from those of previously reported strains. BS productivity was estimated to be around 30 g/l from the weight of the crude extract. At least five different spots of glycolipid biosurfactants (BSs) were detected by TLC. Results of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies indicated the major product, namely MEL-C (4-O-[4'-O-acetyl-2',3'-di-O-alka(e)noil-beta-d-mannopyranosyl]-d-erythritol), as a promising BS. By further structural determination, the major fatty acids of MEL-C were estimated to be saturated C(6), C(10), and C(12) acids, which were shorter than those of previously reported MEL-C. Furthermore, (1)H-NMR spectra implied the presence of C(2) acids as acyl groups. According to surface tension determination, the novel MEL-C showed larger critical micelle concentration (1.1x10(-5) M) than conventional MEL-C which bound C(10) and C(12) acids (9.1x10(-6) M). From these results, shorter fatty acids would confer hydrophilicity onto the novel MEL-C.

  17. Spawning, development, and the duration of larval life in a deep-sea cold-seep mussel.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Shawn M; Young, Craig M

    2009-04-01

    We describe culturing techniques and development for the cold-seep mussel "Bathymodiolus" childressi, the only deep-sea bivalve for which development has been detailed. Spawning was induced in mature mussels by injection of 2 mmol l(-1) serotonin into the anterior adductor muscle. The mean egg diameter is 69.15 +/- 2.36 microm (+/-S.D.; n = 50) and eggs are negatively buoyant. Cleavages are spiral and at 7-8 degrees C occur at a rate of one per 3-9 h through hatching, with free-swimming blastulae hatching by 40 h and shells beginning to develop by day 12. When temperature was raised to 12-14 degrees C after hatching, larvae developed to D-shell veligers by day 8 without being fed. Egg size and larval shell morphology indicate that "B." childressi has a planktotrophic larva, but we did not observe feeding in culture. Wide distribution of this species throughout the Gulf of Mexico and amphi-Atlantic distributions of closely related congeners suggest that larvae may spend extended periods in the plankton. Duration of larval life was estimated for "B." childressi by comparing calculated settlement times to known spawning seasons. These estimates suggest variability in the larval duration, with individuals spending more than a year in the plankton.

  18. Synchronized dynamics of bacterial niche-specific functions during biofilm development in a cold seep brine pool.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weipeng; Wang, Yong; Bougouffa, Salim; Tian, Renmao; Cao, Huiluo; Li, Yongxin; Cai, Lin; Wong, Yue Him; Zhang, Gen; Zhou, Guowei; Zhang, Xixiang; Bajic, Vladimir B; Al-Suwailem, Abdulaziz; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-10-01

    The biology of biofilm in deep-sea environments is barely being explored. Here, biofilms were developed at the brine pool (characterized by limited carbon sources) and the normal bottom water adjacent to Thuwal cold seeps. Comparative metagenomics based on 50 Gb datasets identified polysaccharide degradation, nitrate reduction and proteolysis as enriched functional categories for brine biofilms. The genomes of two dominant species: a novel Deltaproteobacterium and a novel Epsilonproteobacterium in the brine biofilms were reconstructed. Despite rather small genome sizes, the Deltaproteobacterium possessed enhanced polysaccharide fermentation pathways, whereas the Epsilonproteobacterium was a versatile nitrogen reactor possessing nar, nap and nif gene clusters. These metabolic functions, together with specific regulatory and hypersaline-tolerant genes, made the two bacteria unique compared with their close relatives, including those from hydrothermal vents. Moreover, these functions were regulated by biofilm development, as both the abundance and the expression level of key functional genes were higher in later stage biofilms, and co-occurrences between the two dominant bacteria were demonstrated. Collectively, unique mechanisms were revealed: (i) polysaccharides fermentation, proteolysis interacted with nitrogen cycling to form a complex chain for energy generation, and (ii) remarkably exploiting and organizing niche-specific functions would be an important strategy for biofilm-dependent adaptation to the extreme conditions.

  19. 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.

  20. Novel alkane hydroxylase gene (alkB) diversity in sediments associated with hydrocarbon seeps in the Timor Sea, Australia.

    PubMed

    Wasmund, Kenneth; Burns, Kathryn A; Kurtböke, D Ipek; Bourne, David G

    2009-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps provide inputs of petroleum hydrocarbons to widespread areas of the Timor Sea. Alkanes constitute the largest proportion of chemical components found in crude oils, and therefore genes involved in the biodegradation of these compounds may act as bioindicators for this ecosystem's response to seepage. To assess alkane biodegradation potential, the diversity and distribution of alkane hydroxylase (alkB) genes in sediments of the Timor Sea were studied. Deduced AlkB protein sequences derived from clone libraries identified sequences only distantly related to previously identified AlkB sequences, suggesting that the Timor Sea maybe a rich reservoir for novel alkane hydroxylase enzymes. Most sequences clustered with AlkB sequences previously identified from marine Gammaproteobacteria though protein sequence identities averaged only 73% (with a range of 60% to 94% sequence identities). AlkB sequence diversity was lower in deep water (>400 m) samples off the continental slope than in shallow water (<100 m) samples on the continental shelf but not significantly different in response to levels of alkanes. Real-time PCR assays targeting Timor Sea alkB genes were designed and used to quantify alkB gene targets. No correlation was found between gene copy numbers and levels of hydrocarbons measured in sediments using sensitive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques, probably due to the very low levels of hydrocarbons found in most sediment samples. Interestingly, however, copy numbers of alkB genes increased substantially in sediments exposed directly to active seepage even though only low or undetectable concentrations of hydrocarbons were measured in these sediments in complementary geochemical analyses due to efficient biodegradation.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Methane sources feeding cold seeps on the shelf and upper continental slope off central Oregon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Marta E.; Embley, Robert W.; Merle, Susan G.; TréHu, Anne M.; Collier, Robert W.; Suess, Erwin; Heeschen, Katja U.

    2009-11-01

    We report on a bathymetric mapping and remotely operated vehicle surveys along the 100-600 m region offshore Oregon from 43°50'N to 44°18'N. We interpret our results in light of available geophysical data, published geotectonic models, and analogous observations of fluid venting and carbonate deposition from 44°30'N to 45°00'N. The methane seepage is defined by juxtaposition of a young prism, where methane is generated by bacterial activity and its release is modulated by gas hydrate dynamics, against older sequences that serve as a source of thermogenic hydrocarbons that vent in the shelf. We hypothesize that collision of a buried ridge with the Siletz Terrane results in uplift of gas hydrate bearing sediments in the oncoming plate and that the resulting decrease in pressure leads to gas hydrate dissociation and methane exolution, which, in turn, may facilitate slope failure. Oxidation of the released methane results in precipitation of carbonates that are imaged as high backscatter along a 550 ± 60 m benthic corridor.

  5. Sidescan sonar imagery of widespread fossil and active cold seeps along the central Chilean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaucke, Ingo; Weinrebe, Wilhelm; Linke, Peter; Kläschen, Dirk; Bialas, Jörg

    2012-12-01

    The central Chilean subduction zone between 35°S and 37°S was investigated in order to identify, document and possibly understand fluid flow and fluid venting within the forearc region. Several areas were mapped using multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, high-resolution sidescan sonar, chirp subbottom profiling and reflection seismic data. On a subsequent cruise ground-truthing observations were made using a video sled. In general, this dataset shows surprisingly little evidence of fluid venting along the mid-slope region, in contrast to other subduction zones such as Central America and New Zealand. There were abundant indications of active and predominantly fossil fluid venting along the upper slope between 36.5°S and 36.8°S at the seaward margin of an intraslope basin. Here, backscatter anomalies suggest widespread authigenic carbonate deposits, likely the result of methane-rich fluid expulsion. There is unpublished evidence that these fluids are of biogenic origin and generated within the slope sediments, similar to other accretionary margins but in contrast to the erosional margin off Central America, where fluids have geochemical signals indicating an origin from the subducting plate.

  6. From wetlands to sauropods (?) and cold seeps: New perspectives on methane cycling in the Phanerozoic (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripati, A.; Beerling, D.; Bristow, T.; Campbell, K.; Catling, D. C.; Reinhard, C.; Rohrssen, M.; Sample, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    The role of methane in Phanerozoic climate change is a topic of debate. Methane has been implicated as a contributory climate forcing agent to sustained warm climates during the Permo-Carboniferous, the Mesozoic, and the Paleogene. It also has been discussed as a driver of transient warming events including rapid deglaciation marking the end of a hypothesized ';snowball' type glacial era in the run up to the Phanerozoic, the end-Ordovician glaciation, the Permo-Triassic boundary, and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Here we review evidence for methane's role in Phanerozoic global climate change and present new carbon budget calculations for the Ordovician and Permo-Triassic. In addition, we will highlight some new perspectives on methane cycling, ranging from the possible significance of seawater sulfate concentrations in modulating oceanic anaerobic methane oxidation, methane emissions from the guts of sauropods and ruminants, to the decomposition of methane hydrates at active continental margins triggered by deep fluid flow in accretionary prism sediments during great earthquakes.

  7. 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

  8. Comparison of Archaeal and Bacterial Diversity in Methane Seep Carbonate Nodules and Host Sediments, Eel River Basin and Hydrate Ridge, USA.

    PubMed

    Mason, Olivia U; Case, David H; Naehr, Thomas H; Lee, Raymond W; Thomas, Randal B; Bailey, Jake V; Orphan, Victoria J

    2015-10-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) impacts carbon cycling by acting as a methane sink and by sequestering inorganic carbon via AOM-induced carbonate precipitation. These precipitates commonly take the form of carbonate nodules that form within methane seep sediments. The timing and sequence of nodule formation within methane seep sediments are not well understood. Further, the microbial diversity associated with sediment-hosted nodules has not been well characterized and the degree to which nodules reflect the microbial assemblage in surrounding sediments is unknown. Here, we conducted a comparative study of microbial assemblages in methane-derived authigenic carbonate nodules and their host sediments using molecular, mineralogical, and geochemical methods. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene diversity from paired carbonate nodules and sediments revealed that both sample types contained methanotrophic archaea (ANME-1 and ANME-2) and syntrophic sulfate-reducing bacteria (Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae), as well as other microbial community members. The combination of geochemical and molecular data from Eel River Basin and Hydrate Ridge suggested that some nodules formed in situ and captured the local sediment-hosted microbial community, while other nodules may have been translocated or may represent a record of conditions prior to the contemporary environment. Taken together, this comparative analysis offers clues to the formation regimes and mechanisms of sediment-hosted carbonate nodules.

  9. Relative abundances of methane- and sulphur-oxidising symbionts in the gills of a cold seep mussel and link to their potential energy sources.

    PubMed

    Duperron, S; Guezi, H; Gaudron, S M; Pop Ristova, P; Wenzhöfer, F; Boetius, A

    2011-11-01

    Bathymodiolus mussels are key species in many deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. They often harbour two types of endosymbiotic bacteria in their gills, sulphur- and methane oxidisers. These bacteria take up sulphide and methane from the environment and provide energy to their hosts, supporting some of the most prolific ecosystems in the sea. In this study, we tested whether symbiont relative abundances in Bathymodiolus gills reflect variations in the highly spatially dynamic chemical environment of cold seep mussels. Samples of Bathymodiolus aff. boomerang were obtained from two cold seeps of the deep Gulf of Guinea, REGAB (5°47.86S, 9°42.69E, 3170 m depth) and DIAPIR (6°41.58S, 10°20.94E, 2700 m depth). Relative abundances of both symbiont types were measured by means of 3D fluorescence in situ hybridisation and image analysis and compared considering the local sulphide and methane concentrations and fluxes assessed via benthic chamber incubations. Specimens inhabiting areas with highest methane content displayed higher relative abundances of methane oxidisers. The bacterial abundances correlated also with carbon stable isotope signatures in the mussel tissue, suggesting a higher contribution of methane-derived carbon to the biomass of mussels harbouring higher densities of methane-oxidising symbionts. A dynamic adaptation of abundances of methanotrophs and thiotrophs in the gill could be a key factor optimising the energy yield for the symbiotic system and could explain the success of dual symbiotic mussels at many cold seeps and hydrothermal vents of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

  10. The use of multibeam backscatter and bathymetry as a means of identifying faunal assemblages in a deep-sea cold seep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, Arunima; Ondréas, Hélène; Gaillot, Arnaud; Marcon, Yann; Augustin, Jean-Marie; Olu, Karine

    2016-04-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems have attracted considerable commercial interest in recent years because of their potential to sustain a diverse range of mankind's industrial needs. If these systems are to be preserved or exploited in a sustainable manner, mapping habitats and species distributions is critical. As biodiversity at cold-seeps or other deep-sea ecosystems is driven by habitat heterogeneity, imagery is the obvious choice for characterizing these systems and has indeed proven extremely valuable towards mapping biogenic habitats formed by dense aggregations of large sized species, such as coral reefs, tubeworm bushes or bivalve beds. However, the acquisition of detailed images with resolution sufficient for reliable identification is extremely time consuming, labor intensive and highly susceptible to logistical issues. We developed a novel method for quickly mapping cold seep fauna and habitats over large areas, at the scale of squares of kilometers. Our method uses multibeam echosounder bathymetry and acoustic backscatter data, both segmented and reclassified based on topographical features and then combined to obtain a raster containing unique values incorporating both backscatter and bathymetry data. Two datasets, obtained from 30 m and 8 m above the seafloor were used and the results from the two datasets were compared. The method was applied to a cold seep community located in a pockmark in the deep Congo channel and we were able to ground truth the accuracy of our method against images of the area. The two datasets, obtained from different altitudes gave varying results: the 8 m altitude dataset reliably predicted tubeworms and carbonate rock, while the 30 m altitude dataset predicted tubeworms and vesicomyid clams. The 30 m dataset was more accurate than the 8 m altitude dataset in predicting distributions of tubeworms. Overall, all the predictions were quite accurate, with at least 90% of predictions being within 5 m of real distributions.

  11. 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

  12. Genome Reduction and Microbe-Host Interactions Drive Adaptation of a Sulfur-Oxidizing Bacterium Associated with a Cold Seep Sponge

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Ren-Mao; Zhang, Weipeng; Cai, Lin; Wong, Yue-Him; Ding, Wei

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT As the most ancient metazoan, sponges have established close relationships with particular microbial symbionts. However, the characteristics and physiology of thioautotrophic symbionts in deep-sea sponges are largely unknown. Using a tailored “differential coverage binning” method on 22-Gb metagenomic sequences, we recovered the nearly complete genome of a sulfur-oxidizing bacterium (SOB) that dominates the microbiota of the cold seep sponge Suberites sp. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that this bacterium (an unclassified gammaproteobacterium termed “Gsub”) may represent a new deep-sea SOB group. Microscopic observations suggest that Gsub is probably an extracellular symbiont. Gsub has complete sulfide oxidation and carbon fixation pathways, suggesting a chemoautotrophic lifestyle. Comparative genomics with other sponge-associated SOB and free-living SOB revealed significant genome reduction in Gsub, characterized by the loss of genes for carbohydrate metabolism, motility, DNA repair, and osmotic stress response. Intriguingly, this scenario of genome reduction is highly similar to those of the endosymbionts in deep-sea clams. However, Gsub has retained genes for phage defense and protein secretion, with the latter potentially playing a role in interactions with the sponge host. In addition, we recovered the genome of an ammonia-oxidizing archaeon (AOA), which may carry out ammonia oxidation and carbon fixation within the sponge body. IMPORTANCE Sponges and their symbionts are important players in the biogeochemical cycles of marine environments. As a unique habitat within marine ecosystems, cold seeps have received considerable interest in recent years. This study explores the lifestyle of a new symbiotic SOB in a cold seep sponge. The results demonstrate that both this sponge symbiont and endosymbionts in deep-sea clams employ similar strategies of genome reduction. However, this bacterium has retained unique functions for immunity and defense

  13. Large Vesicomyidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from cold seeps in the Gulf of Guinea off the coasts of Gabon, Congo and northern Angola

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Cosel, Rudo; Olu, Karine

    2009-12-01

    Two new genera and three new species of large Vesicomyidae are described from cold-seep sites on pockmarks and other sulfide-rich environments in the Gulf of Guinea (tropical east Atlantic) off Gabon, Congo (Brazzaville) and northern Angola, from 500 to 4000 m depth: " Calyptogena" (s.l.) regab n. sp., Wareniconcha (n.g.) guineensis (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931), Elenaconcha guiness n.g. n. sp., and Isorropodon atalantae n. sp. For two other species already taken by the R/V Valdivia in 1898, Calyptogena valdiviae (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931) and Isorropodon striatum (Thiele and Jaeckel 1931) new localities were discovered, and the species are rediscussed. E. guiness n.g. n.sp. is also recorded from off Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, collected by commercial fishing vessels. The vesicomyid species here treated were encountered in different depth ranges along the Gabon-Congo-Angola margin, between 500 and 4000 m depth, and it was found that, in comparison with the dredge samples taken by the Valdivia expedition off southern Cameroon and off Rio de Oro (both at 2500 m), the same species occur in other depth ranges, in some cases with a vertical difference of more than 1000 m. .That means that the species are not confined to a given depth thought being typical for them and that the characteristics of the biotope are likely to play a major role in the distribution of the vesicomyids associated to cold seeps or other reduced environments along the West African margin.

  14. Planktonic and sediment-associated aerobic methanotrophs in two seep systems along the North American margin.

    PubMed

    Tavormina, Patricia L; Ussler, William; Orphan, Victoria J

    2008-07-01

    Methane vents are of significant geochemical and ecological importance. Notable progress has been made toward understanding anaerobic methane oxidation in marine sediments; however, the diversity and distribution of aerobic methanotrophs in the water column are poorly characterized. Both environments play an essential role in regulating methane release from the oceans to the atmosphere. In this study, the diversity of particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) and 16S rRNA genes from two methane vent environments along the California continental margin was characterized. The pmoA phylotypes recovered from methane-rich sediments and the overlying water column differed. Sediments harbored the greatest number of unique pmoA phylotypes broadly affiliated with the Methylococcaceae family, whereas planktonic pmoA phylotypes formed three clades that were distinct from the sediment-hosted methanotrophs and distantly related to established methanotrophic clades. Water column-associated phylotypes were highly similar between field sites, suggesting that planktonic methanotroph diversity is controlled primarily by environmental factors rather than geographical proximity. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes from methane-rich waters did not readily recover known methanotrophic lineages, with only a few phylotypes demonstrating distant relatedness to Methylococcus. The development of new pmo primers increased the recovery of monooxygenase genes from the water column and led to the discovery of a highly diverged monooxygenase sequence which is phylogenetically intermediate to Amo and pMMO. This sequence potentiates insight into the amo/pmo superfamily. Together, these findings lend perspective into the diversity and segregation of aerobic methanotrophs within different methane-rich habitats in the marine environment.

  15. Late Pleistocene to Holocene sedimentation and hydrocarbon seeps on the continental shelf of a steep, tectonically active margin, southern California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Hart, Patrick E.; Lorenson, T.D.; Ryan, Holly F.; Wong, Florence L.; Sliter, Ray W.; Conrad, James E.

    2009-01-01

    Small, steep, uplifting coastal watersheds are prolific sediment producers that contribute significantly to the global marine sediment budget. This study illustrates how sedimentation evolves in one such system where the continental shelf is largely sediment-starved, with most terrestrial sediment bypassing the shelf in favor of deposition in deeper basins. The Santa Barbara-Ventura coast of southern California, USA, is considered a classic area for the study of active tectonics and of Tertiary and Quaternary climatic evolution, interpretations of which depend upon an understanding of sedimentation patterns. High-resolution seismic-reflection data over >570 km2 of this shelf show that sediment production is concentrated in a few drainage basins, with the Ventura and Santa Clara River deltas containing most of the upper Pleistocene to Holocene sediment on the shelf. Away from those deltas, the major factor controlling shelf sedimentation is the interaction of wave energy with coastline geometry. Depocenters containing sediment 5-20 m thick exist opposite broad coastal embayments, whereas relict material (bedrock below a regional unconformity) is exposed at the sea floor in areas of the shelf opposite coastal headlands. Locally, natural hydrocarbon seeps interact with sediment deposition either to produce elevated tar-and-sediment mounds or as gas plumes that hinder sediment settling. As much as 80% of fluvial sediment delivered by the Ventura and Santa Clara Rivers is transported off the shelf (some into the Santa Barbara Basin and some into the Santa Monica Basin via Hueneme Canyon), leaving a shelf with relatively little recent sediment accumulation. Understanding factors that control large-scale sediment dispersal along a rapidly uplifting coast that produces substantial quantities of sediment has implications for interpreting the ancient stratigraphic record of active and transform continental margins, and for inferring the distribution of hydrocarbon resources

  16. Authigenic carbonate formation at hydrocarbon seeps in continental margin sediments: A comparative study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Naehr, T.H.; Eichhubl, P.; Orphan, V.J.; Hovland, M.; Paull, C.K.; Ussler, W.; Lorenson, T.D.; Greene, H. Gary

    2007-01-01

    Authigenic carbonates from five continental margin locations, the Eel River Basin, Monterey Bay, Santa Barbara Basin, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the North Sea, exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These precipitates include aragonite, low- and high-Mg calcite, and dolomite. The carbon isotopic composition of carbonates varies widely, ranging from -60??? to +26???, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted microbial and thermogenic methane and residual, 13C-enriched, bicarbonate. A similarly large variability of ??18O values (-5.5??? to +8.9???) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of these sites, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. Samples depleted in 18O are consistent with formation deeper in the sediment or mixing of pore fluids with meteoric water during carbonate precipitation. A wide range of isotopic and mineralogical variation in authigenic carbonate composition within individual study areas but common trends across multiple geographic areas suggest that these parameters alone are not indicative for certain tectonic or geochemical settings. Rather, the observed variations probably reflect local controls on the flux of carbon and other reduced ions, such as faults, fluid conduits, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the sediment, and the temporal evolution of the local carbon reservoir. Areas with seafloor carbonates that indicate formation at greater depth below the sediment-water interface must have undergone uplift and erosion in the past or are still being uplifted. Consequently, the occurrence of carbonate slabs on the seafloor in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage is commonly an indicator of exhumation following carbonate precipitation in the shallow subsurface. Therefore, careful petrographic and geochemical analyses are critical components necessary for the

  17. Colonization of plant substrates at hydrothermal vents and cold seeps in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean and occurrence of symbiont-related bacteria.

    PubMed

    Szafranski, Kamil M; Deschamps, Philippe; Cunha, Marina R; Gaudron, Sylvie M; Duperron, Sébastien

    2015-01-01

    Reducing conditions with elevated sulfide and methane concentrations in ecosystems such as hydrothermal vents, cold seeps or organic falls, are suitable for chemosynthetic primary production. Understanding processes driving bacterial diversity, colonization and dispersal is of prime importance for deep-sea microbial ecology. This study provides a detailed characterization of bacterial assemblages colonizing plant-derived substrates using a standardized approach over a geographic area spanning the North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean. Wood and alfalfa substrates in colonization devices were deployed for different periods at 8 deep-sea chemosynthesis-based sites in four distinct geographic areas. Pyrosequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA-encoding gene was used to describe bacterial communities. Colonization occurred within the first 14 days. The diversity was higher in samples deployed for more than 289 days. After 289 days, no relation was observed between community richness and deployment duration, suggesting that diversity may have reached saturation sometime in between. Communities in long-term deployments were different, and their composition was mainly influenced by the geographical location where devices were deployed. Numerous sequences related to horizontally-transmitted chemosynthetic symbionts of metazoans were identified. Their potential status as free-living forms of these symbionts was evaluated based on sequence similarity with demonstrated symbionts. Results suggest that some free-living forms of metazoan symbionts or their close relatives, such as Epsilonproteobacteria associated with the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata, are efficient colonizers of plant substrates at vents and seeps.

  18. Colonization of plant substrates at hydrothermal vents and cold seeps in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean and occurrence of symbiont-related bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Szafranski, Kamil M.; Deschamps, Philippe; Cunha, Marina R.; Gaudron, Sylvie M.; Duperron, Sébastien

    2015-01-01

    Reducing conditions with elevated sulfide and methane concentrations in ecosystems such as hydrothermal vents, cold seeps or organic falls, are suitable for chemosynthetic primary production. Understanding processes driving bacterial diversity, colonization and dispersal is of prime importance for deep-sea microbial ecology. This study provides a detailed characterization of bacterial assemblages colonizing plant-derived substrates using a standardized approach over a geographic area spanning the North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean. Wood and alfalfa substrates in colonization devices were deployed for different periods at 8 deep-sea chemosynthesis-based sites in four distinct geographic areas. Pyrosequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA-encoding gene was used to describe bacterial communities. Colonization occurred within the first 14 days. The diversity was higher in samples deployed for more than 289 days. After 289 days, no relation was observed between community richness and deployment duration, suggesting that diversity may have reached saturation sometime in between. Communities in long-term deployments were different, and their composition was mainly influenced by the geographical location where devices were deployed. Numerous sequences related to horizontally-transmitted chemosynthetic symbionts of metazoans were identified. Their potential status as free-living forms of these symbionts was evaluated based on sequence similarity with demonstrated symbionts. Results suggest that some free-living forms of metazoan symbionts or their close relatives, such as Epsilonproteobacteria associated with the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata, are efficient colonizers of plant substrates at vents and seeps. PMID:25774156

  19. Cold seep biogenic carbonate crust in the Levantine basin is inhabited by burrowing Phascolosoma aff. turnerae, a sipunculan worm hosting a distinctive microbiota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Shemesh, Eli; Goodman-Tchernov, Beverly; Coleman, Dwight F.; Ben-Avraham, Zvi; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-08-01

    Biogenic calcium carbonate crusts represent a cryptic habitat that is often associated with hydrocarbon seeps. Most biological observations of these crusts concern the external surfaces and the fauna inhabiting their inner cavities are generally neglected. Exposed carbonates in areas of active seepage at the 1100-m-deep base of the Palmachim slumping feature in the Levantine basin are intensively burrowed by metazoans, especially by sipunculans (peanut worms), identified by genetic and morphological markers as a potentially novel Phascolosoma sp., closely related to Phascolosoma turnerae (Rice, 1985) and named here P. aff. turnerae. Bacterial 16S-based tag encoded FLX amplicon pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) was utilized to analyze the bacterial community associated with P. aff. turnerae. We compared the bacterial community structure in P. aff. turnerae to the bacterial community structure associated with the sediment-water interface in adjacent gas seeps and in biofilm covering the carbonate crust hosting the sipunculan. A distinctive microbiota, capable of chemosynthesis and sulfide detoxification, was found in association with P. aff. turnerae.

  20. Microbial diversity in sediments associated with a shallow methane seep in the tropical Timor Sea of Australia reveals a novel aerobic methanotroph diversity.

    PubMed

    Wasmund, Kenneth; Kurtböke, D Ipek; Burns, Kathryn A; Bourne, David G

    2009-05-01

    This study examined the diversity of Bacteria, Archaea and in particular aerobic methanotrophs associated with a shallow (84 m) methane seep in the tropical Timor Sea, Australia. Seepage of thermogenic methane was associated with a large carbonate hardground covered in coarse carbonate-rich sediments and various benthic organisms such as solitary corals. The diversity of Bacteria and Archaea was studied by analysis of cloned 16S rRNA genes, while aerobic methanotrophic bacteria were quantified using real-time PCR targeting the alpha-subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) genes and diversity was studied by analysis of cloned pmoA genes. Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes revealed diverse and mostly novel phylotypes related to sequences previously recovered from marine sediments. A small number of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were related to aerobic methanotrophs distantly related to the genera Methylococcus and Methylocaldum. Real-time PCR targeting pmoA genes showed that the highest numbers of methanotrophs were present in surface sediments associated with the seep area. Phylogenetic analysis of pmoA sequences revealed that all phylotypes were novel and fell into two large clusters comprised of only marine sequences distantly related to the genera Methylococcus and Methylocaldum that were clearly divergent from terrestrial phylotypes. This study provides evidence for the existence of a novel microbial diversity and diverse aerobic methanotrophs that appear to constitute marine specialized lineages.

  1. Munidopsis lauensis Baba & de Saint Laurent, 1992 (Decapoda, Anomura, Munidopsidae), a newly recorded squat lobster from a cold seep in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chia-Wei; Tsuchida, Shinji; Lin, Saulwood; Berndt, Christian; Chan, Tin-Yam

    2013-11-18

    The squat lobster, Munidopsis lauensis Baba & de Saint Laurent, 1992, is recorded from Taiwan for the first time. This species was previously known only from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the South-West Pacific but it was now found at a deep-sea cold seep site off southwestern Taiwan. The identity of the Taiwanese material is confirmed by comparison of sequences from the barcoding gene COI. Munidopsis lauensis can be easily separated from other congeners in Taiwanese waters by the eyes bearing a strong mesiodorsal spine and a small mesioventral spine, smooth carapace, fingers of the cheliped distally spooned and fixed finger without a denticulate carina on the distolateral margin. The discovery of this species in Taiwan increases the Munidopsis fauna of the island to 38 species. A color photograph and line drawings illustrating distinctive characters are provided for the Taiwanese material.

  2. First records of Lithodes longispina Sakai, 1971 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura: Lithodidae) from southwestern Taiwan, including a site in the vicinity of a cold seep.

    PubMed

    Wang, Teng-Wei; Ahyong, Shane T; Chan, Tin-Yam

    2016-01-14

    Lithodid crabs (Lithodidae Samouelle, 1819), commonly known as king crabs, are frequent targets of commercial fishing worldwide with most of them living in deep water (Sakai 1971; Ahyong et al. 2010). Lithodes Latreille, 1806, is the second largest genus of lithodid crabs, currently including 29 species worldwide (Ahyong 2010). In Taiwanese waters, however, only two species, L. turritus Ortmann, 1892, and L. formosae Ahyong & Chan, 2010, have been reported (Wu et al. 1998; Ahyong & Chan 2010; Ahyong et al. 2010). We report herein the discovery of L. longispina Sakai, 1971, previously known reliably only from Japan (Sakai 1971; Ikeda 1998; Ahyong 2010), from off southwestern Taiwan, including a specimen collected in the vicinity of a cold seep.

  3. 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

    2015-12-03

    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

  4. Use of 16S rRNA gene based clone libraries to assess microbial communities potentially involved in anaerobic methane oxidation in a Mediterranean cold seep.

    PubMed

    Heijs, Sander K; Haese, Ralf R; van der Wielen, Paul W J J; Forney, Larry J; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2007-04-01

    This study provides data on the diversities of bacterial and archaeal communities in an active methane seep at the Kazan mud volcano in the deep Eastern Mediterranean sea. Layers of varying depths in the Kazan sediments were investigated in terms of (1) chemical parameters and (2) DNA-based microbial population structures. The latter was accomplished by analyzing the sequences of directly amplified 16S rRNA genes, resulting in the phylogenetic analysis of the prokaryotic communities. Sequences of organisms potentially associated with processes such as anaerobic methane oxidation and sulfate reduction were thus identified. Overall, the sediment layers revealed the presence of sequences of quite diverse bacterial and archaeal communities, which varied considerably with depth. Dominant types revealed in these communities are known as key organisms involved in the following processes: (1) anaerobic methane oxidation and sulfate reduction, (2) sulfide oxidation, and (3) a range of (aerobic) heterotrophic processes. In the communities in the lowest sediment layer sampled (22-34 cm), sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea of the ANME-2 cluster (likely involved in anaerobic methane oxidation) were prevalent, whereas heterotrophic organisms abounded in the top sediment layer (0-6 cm). Communities in the middle layer (6-22 cm) contained organisms that could be linked to either of the aforementioned processes. We discuss how these phylogeny (sequence)-based findings can support the ongoing molecular work aimed at unraveling both the functioning and the functional diversities of the communities under study.

  5. Evidence for chemoautotrophic symbiosis in a Mediterranean cold seep clam (Bivalvia: Lucinidae): comparative sequence analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA, APS reductase and RubisCO genes.

    PubMed

    Duperron, Sébastien; Fiala-Médioni, Aline; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Olu, Karine; Sibuet, Myriam

    2007-01-01

    Symbioses between lucinid clams (Bivalvia: Lucinidae) and autotrophic sulphide-oxidizing bacteria have mainly been studied in shallow coastal species, and information regarding deep-sea species is scarce. Here we study the symbiosis of a clam, resembling Lucinoma kazani, which was recently collected in sediment cores from new cold-seep sites in the vicinity of the Nile deep-sea fan, eastern Mediterranean, at depths ranging from 507 to 1691 m. A dominant bacterial phylotype, related to the sulphide-oxidizing symbiont of Lucinoma aequizonata, was identified in gill tissue by comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. A second phylotype, related to spirochete sequences, was identified twice in a library of 94 clones. Comparative analyses of gene sequences encoding the APS reductase alpha subunit and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase support the hypothesis that the dominant symbiont can perform sulphide oxidation and autotrophy. Transmission electron micrographs of gills confirmed the dominance of sulphide-oxidizing bacteria, which display typical vacuoles, and delta(13)C values measured in gill and foot tissue further support the hypothesis for a chemoautotrophic-sourced host carbon nutrition.

  6. The Role of SRB on the Formation of Protodolomite and Monohydrocalcite: Insights from Cold Seep Simulation Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, X.; Geesey, G.; Chen, X.

    2011-12-01

    Authigenic carbonates are very common at hydrocarbon seep sites on continental margin worldwide. Carbonate chimneys from the seep sites of the northeastern slope of the South China Sea are dominated by high-Mg calcite (HMC), with minor proto-dolomite, low-Mg calcite (LMC) and pyrite. HMC usually contains Mg less than 20 mol%, however, some of our samples contain HMC with Mg contents varied from 5-38mol%. The extreme high-Mg calcite approaches protodolomite composition; however, it still retains the structure of calcite. It has been known that the processes of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) by consortia of archaea and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) are responsible for the precipitation of carbonates. To understand the formation mechanism of the unusual extreme high-Mg calcite as well as protodolomite in modern marine environment, we designed a set of mineral precipitation experiments simulating the pore water of the sulfate-methane transition zone of the seep sites of the South China Sea. The artificial pore water was enriched with formate, ammonia nitrogen and phosphate to achieve a C: N: P ratio of 106:12:1. Autoclave-sterilized nutrient enriched artificial pore water medium was inoculated with the SRB Desulfovibrio desulfuricans strain G-20 and incubated anaerobically at 25°C for 10 months. The precipitates that formed after incubation were analyzed using XRD, SEM and EDX and the concentration of key elements in the aqueous phase was determined using ICP-AES. Our results show that in the presence of SRBs, the pH of medium increased from 7.5 to 8.3 resulting in the precipitation of a mineral phase dominated by rhombohedra monohydrocalcite aggregates. In addition, spherical carbonate precipitates with Mg:Ca ratios varying from 0.16 to 0.98 suggest the presence of HMC and protodolomite. In the absence of SRB, the pH of the medium exhibited no significant change during incubation and only a small amount of aragonite and silica was produced: no

  7. 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

  8. Development and field application of a 6-bottle serial gas-tight fluid sampler for collecting seafloor cold seep and hydrothermal vent fluids with autonomous operation capability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, S.; Ding, K.; Yang, C.; Seyfried, W. E., Jr.; Tan, C.; Schaen, A. T.; Luhmann, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    A 6-bottle serial gas-tight sampler (so-called "six-shooter") was developed for application with deep-sea vent fluids. The new device is composed of a custom-made 6-channel valve manifold and six sampling bottles which are circularly distributed around the valve manifold. Each valve channel consists of a high-pressure titanium cartridge valve and a motor-driven actuator. A sampling snorkel is connected to the inlet of the manifold that delivers the incoming fluid to different bottles. Each sampling bottle has a 160 ml-volume chamber and an accumulator chamber inside where compressed nitrogen is used to maintain the sample at near in-situ pressure. An electronics chamber that is located at the center of the sampler is used to carry out all sampling operations, autonomously, if desired. The sampler is of a compact circular configuration with a diameter of 26 cm and a length of 54 cm. During the SVC cruise AT 26-12, the sampler was deployed by DSV2 Alvin at a cold seep site MC036 with a depth of 1090 m in the Gulf of Mexico. The sampler collected fluid samples automatically following the tidal cycle to monitor the potential impact of the tide cycle on the fluid chemistry of cold seep in a period of two day. During the cruise AT 26-17, the sampler was used with newly upgraded DSV2 Alvin three times at the hydrothermal vent sites along Axial Seamount and Main Endeavor Field on Juan de Fuca Ridge. During a 4-day deployment at Anemone diffuse site (Axial Caldera), the sampler was set to work in an autonomous mode to collect fluid samples according to the preset interval. During other dives, the sampler was manually controlled via ICL (Inductively Coupled Link) communication through the hull. Gas-tight fluid samples were collected from different hydrothermal vents with temperatures between 267 ℃ and 335 ℃ at the depth up to 2200 m. The field results indicate unique advantages of the design. It can be deployed in extended time period with remote operation or working

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Monitoring of Sedimentary Fluxes in Cold Environments: The SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, Achim A.

    2014-05-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated geomorphic process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists` (I.A.G. / A.I.G.) SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Program (2005 - 2017) is addressing this existing key knowledge gap. The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Research carried out at each of the ca. 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by program, logistics and available resources, but typically represent interdisciplinary collaborations of geomorphologists, hydrologists, ecologists, permafrost scientists and glaciologists. SEDIBUD has developed manuals and protocols (SEDIFLUX Manual) with a key set of primary surface process monitoring and research data requirements to incorporate results from these diverse projects and allow coordinated quantitative analysis across the program. Defined SEDIBUD key tasks for the coming years include (i) The continued generation and compilation of comparable longer-term datasets on contemporary sedimentary fluxes and sediment yields from SEDIBUD key test sites worldwide, (ii) The continued extension of the SEDIBUD metadata database with these datasets, (iii) The testing of defined SEDIBUD hypotheses (available

  12. Halobacillus profundi sp. nov. and Halobacillus kuroshimensis sp. nov., moderately halophilic bacteria isolated from a deep-sea methane cold seep.

    PubMed

    Hua, Ngoc-Phuc; Kanekiyo, Atsuko; Fujikura, Katsunori; Yasuda, Hisato; Naganuma, Takeshi

    2007-06-01

    Two Gram-positive, rod-shaped, moderately halophilic bacteria were isolated from a deep-sea carbonate rock at a methane cold seep in Kuroshima Knoll, Japan. These bacteria, strains IS-Hb4(T) and IS-Hb7(T), were spore-forming and non-motile. They were able to grow at temperatures as low as 9 degrees C and hydrostatic pressures up to 30 MPa. Based on high sequence similarity of their 16S rRNA genes to those of type strains of the genus Halobacillus, from 96.4 % (strain IS-Hb7(T) to Halobacillus halophilus NCIMB 9251(T)) to 99.4 % (strain IS-Hb4(T) to Halobacillus dabanensis D-8(T)), the strains were shown to belong to this genus. DNA-DNA relatedness values of 49.5 % and 1.0-33.0 %, respectively, were determined between strains IS-Hb4(T) and IS-Hb7(T) and between these strains and other Halobacillus type strains. Both strains showed the major menaquinone MK7 and L-orn-D-Asp cell-wall peptidoglycan type. Straight-chain C(16 : 0), unsaturated C(16 : 1)omega7c alcohol and C(18 : 1)omega7c and cyclopropane C(19 : 0) cyc fatty acids were predominant in both strains. The DNA G+C contents of IS-Hb4(T) and IS-Hb7(T) were respectively 43.3 and 42.1 mol%. Physiological and biochemical analyses combined with DNA-DNA hybridization results allowed us to place strains IS-Hb4(T) (=JCM 14154(T)=DSM 18394(T)) and IS-Hb7(T) (=JCM 14155(T)=DSM 18393(T)) in the genus Halobacillus as the respective type strains of the novel species Halobacillus profundi sp. nov. and Halobacillus kuroshimensis sp. nov.

  13. A unique Fe-rich carbonate chimney associated with cold seeps in the Northern Okinawa Trough, East China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhilei; Wei, Helong; Zhang, Xunhua; Shang, Luning; Yin, Xijie; Sun, Yunbao; Xu, Lei; Huang, Wei; Zhang, Xianrong

    2015-01-01

    The East China Sea is an important marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean, from which natural gas hydrate sample has not been acquired so far. Recently, copious carbonate chimneys have been discovered in turbidite deposits in the olistostrome zone located on the west slope of the northern section of Okinawa Trough. Here, the petrology, geochemistry and chronology of an iron-rich carbonate chimney were characterized, confirming a close relationship between its formation and the dissociation of natural gas hydrate beneath the chimney in OT. A distinctive relationship has been observed between goethite and total carbonate contents along with a negative correlation between Fe and Ca contents. Conversely, abundant Fe accumulated on carbonate substrate by mineralized microorganisms. The δ13C values of the chimney wall were from -27.56 to -43.66‰ (average: -37.18‰, V-PDB), implying anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) as a predominant controlling factor on carbonate precipitation. As no pyrite and organic residues were identified in the iron-rich chimney, it was assumed that AOM was coupled to the iron reduction reaction at least to some extent during the chimney growth owing to the local deficiency of sulfate supply. The δ56Fe values of bulk chimney wall (ranging from -0.316‰ to -0.023‰, average -0.134‰) suggest mass and isotope exchanges between the chimney and ambient environment during its growth history, whereas the enrichment of δ18O of the carbonate implies these carbonate sourcing from hydrate dissociation underlying our sampling site. This assumption has been supported by a distinct bottom simulation reflector (BSR) and a well-developed fault system beneath the sampling site. This is the first report of cold seepage inside the OT and the identified iron-dependent AOM has shed a new light to the Carbon cycle related to the marine methane oxidation, particularly before the Great Oxidation Event ~2.45 Ga ago.

  14. Chemistry and mineralogy of pyrite-enriched sediments at a passive margin sulfide brine seep: abyssal Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Commeau, R.F.; Paull, C.K.; Commeau, J.A.; Poppe, L.J.

    1987-01-01

    Pyrite is rapidly accumulating at the contact between the Cretaceous limestones of the Florida Platform and the hemipelagic sediments of the abyssal Gulf of Mexico. Sediments sampled with the submersible "Alvin" in 3266 m of water are associated with a dense community of organisms that depend on chemosynthetic primary production as a food source. Analysis of the chemistry, mineralogy, and textural composition of these sediments indicate that iron sulfide mineralization is occurring at the seafloor within an anoxic micro-habitat sustained by the advection of hydrogen sulfide-charged saline brines from the adjacent platform. The chemosynthetic bacteria that directly overlie the sediments oxidize hydrogen sulfide for energy and provide elemental sulfur that reacts with iron monosulfide to form some of the pyrite. The sediments are mixtures of pyrite (??? 30 wt.%), BaSr sulfates (??? 4 wt.%), clays, and locally derived biogenic carbonates and are progressively being cemented by iron sulfides. Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide produces locally acidic conditions that corrode the adjacent limestones. Potential sources of S, H2S, Fe, Ba, and Sr are discussed. ?? 1987.

  15. Unusual novel n-4 polyunsaturated fatty acids in cold-seep mussels (Bathymodiolus japonicus and Bathymodiolus platifrons), originating from symbiotic methanotrophic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Saito, Hiroaki

    2008-07-25

    Novel fatty acids originated from the two cold-seep mussels Bathymodiolus japonicus and Bathymodiolus platifrons, which host methane-oxidizing bacteria, were determined by using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of the 4,4-dimethyloxazoline derivatives. The major polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the two mussels belong to unusual n-4 and n-7 methylene interrupted PUFAs, such as 18:3 n-7,10,13 (Delta5,8,11-18:3), 18:4 n-4,7,10,13 (Delta5,8,11,14-18:4), 20:3n-7,10,13 (Delta7,10,13-20:3), 20:4n-4,7,10,13 (Delta7,10,13,16-20:4), and 21:4n-7,10,13,16 (Delta5,8,11,14-20:4). The similarity of fatty acids in the two Bathymodiolus species produced by the symbiotic bacteria, indicate occurrence of highly homologous mussel symbionts. In contrast to the lipids of shallow-water mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, which contains photosynthetic n-3 PUFAs, the two Bathymodiolus mussels were lacking in docosahexaenoic acid and icosapentaenoic acid even though they are marine animals. These findings suggest the Bathymodiolus species survive independently of photosynthetic products, similar to the Calyptogena clams, which house sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and whose lipid contains n-4 non-methylene interrupted PUFAs (20:3n-4,7,15 (Delta5,13,16-20:3), 20:4n-1,4,7,15 (Delta5,13,16,19-20:4), and 21:3n-4,7,16 (Delta5,14,17-20:3)). The similarity in n-4 fatty acids between the mussels and the clam suggests that these bivalves depend on analogous n-4 family PUFAs and that the n-4 PUFA family is a characteristic of all vent bivalves depending on geothermal energy. The differences of the n-4 PUFAs between the mussels and the clam suggest a generic specificity of symbiotic bacteria and differences in lipid physiology between thiotrophic and methanotrophic symbionts. Such a highly diversified variety of n-4 family PUFAs in the mussels and the clam under different environments presumably increase the great potential of the chemosynthetic bacteria.

  16. A recent investigation of gas hydrate as a factor in northern Cascadia accretionary margin frontal ridge slope failures and cold seep biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haacke, R.; Riedel, M.; Pohlman, J.; Rose, K.; Lapham, L.; Hamilton, T. S.; Enkin, R.; Spence, G.; Hyndman, R.

    2008-12-01

    In August 2008, a research expedition was conducted on the n. Cascadia margin by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) as part of the Earth Science Sector, Natural Gas Hydrate Program, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). This collaboration included researchers from several universities as well as Canadian and U.S. government agencies. The primary objective was to determine the impact of gas hydrate on slope stability along the frontal ridges of the N. Cascadia accretionary wedge. Multibeam bathymetry data indicate numerous slope collapse features along the frontal ridges. To constrain the cause and timing of the collapse features, sedimentological, physical property and geochemical studies were conducted at several slump areas. Four cores were collected from within the headwall, apron and sole of the slumped material of 'Lopez Slide', a failure area detected prior to IODP Expedition 311. Directly south of Lopez Slide at a slump feature named 'Slipstream Slide', a 5-core transect extended from the headwall scarp to the toe of the slide deposits. Slipstream Slide is a series of en echelon box-like slump blocks bounded by transverse faults that cross-cut that frontal ridge. One additional core from a slump-feature further south (Chunk Slide) was also recovered. Onboard analyses suggest that the slump occurrences are not related to the last mega-thrust earthquake that occurred at the N. Cascadia subduction zone in January 1700. However, the slumps could have been triggered by earlier such earthquakes. Further analyses and age determinations are underway to confirm the linkages between slumps and the mega-thrust earthquake cycle and other possible trigger mechanisms such as eustatic sea level changes. The secondary objective of the expedition was a multidisciplinary program that included microbiological, geochemical, geophysical and sedimentological studies designed to advance our understanding of the environmental factors that control methane fluxes and oxidation at cold

  17. Seeps regulate stream nitrate concentration in a forested Appalachian catchment.

    PubMed

    O'Driscoll, Michael A; DeWalle, David R

    2010-01-01

    Surface seeps can be defined as locations where upwelling ground water saturates the surface for most of the year and excess ground water can be delivered to the stream channel via surface flowpaths. If a stream is predominantly fed by seeps, then ground water added to the stream via these surface flowpaths may result in reduced interactions with the subsurface riparian zone. It is generally believed that seep ground water that upwells and then flows along surface flowpaths can be subject to diminished denitrification and biologic uptake processes. Seep effects on stream nitrate (NO(3)) concentration were studied in Baldwin Creek (5.35 km(2)), southwestern Pennsylvania. Nitrate retention within seep zones was evaluated over a 1-yr period (May 2002-2003) using a monthly, nested (top and bottom of seep) sampling approach along 15 individual seeps. Seep samples were analyzed for NO(3)-N, NH(3)-N, and dissolved organic carbon, along with stream waters and streamflow measurements at seven stream stations. Seeps were generally NO(3) sinks with concentrations decreasing downseep: 31% median annual reduction and 73% maximum monthly reduction. During cold and wet periods, seeps frequently behaved as NO(3) sources to the stream (NO(3) concentrations increased or remained constant downseep). Seep temperature and discharge were related to seasonal variability in seep NO(3) retention. Seasonal variations in stream NO(3) concentration have been attributed to upland soil and vegetation processes in numerous watersheds. At Baldwin Creek, seep NO(3) processing regulated the seasonal variability of stream NO(3) concentrations. These results suggest that seeps provide important water quality functions and can modulate the effects of elevated regional N deposition in Appalachian catchments.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2016-07-22

    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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-31

    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.

  3. Deep sequencing of Myxilla (Ectyomyxilla) methanophila, an epibiotic sponge on cold-seep tubeworms, reveals methylotrophic, thiotrophic, and putative hydrocarbon-degrading microbial associations.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Shawn M; Lee, On On; Lafi, Feras F; Yang, Jiangke; Wang, Yong; Young, Craig M; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2013-02-01

    The encrusting sponge Myxilla (Ectyomyxilla) methanophila (Poecilosclerida: Myxillidae) is an epibiont on vestimentiferan tubeworms at hydrocarbon seeps on the upper Louisiana slope of the Gulf of Mexico. It has long been suggested that this sponge harbors methylotrophic bacteria due to its low δ(13)C value and high methanol dehydrogenase activity, yet the full community of microbial associations in M. methanophila remained uncharacterized. In this study, we sequenced 16S rRNA genes representing the microbial community in M. methanophila collected from two hydrocarbon-seep sites (GC234 and Bush Hill) using both Sanger sequencing and next-generation 454 pyrosequencing technologies. Additionally, we compared the microbial community in M. methanophila to that of the biofilm collected from the associated tubeworm. Our results revealed that the microbial diversity in the sponges from both sites was low but the community structure was largely similar, showing a high proportion of methylotrophic bacteria of the genus Methylohalomonas and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria of the genera Cycloclasticus and Neptunomonas. Furthermore, the sponge microbial clone library revealed the dominance of thioautotrophic gammaproteobacterial symbionts in M. methanophila. In contrast, the biofilm communities on the tubeworms were more diverse and dominated by the chemoorganotrophic Moritella at GC234 and methylotrophic Methylomonas and Methylohalomonas at Bush Hill. Overall, our study provides evidence to support previous suggestion that M. methanophila harbors methylotrophic symbionts and also reveals the association of PAH-degrading and thioautotrophic microbes in the sponge.

  4. 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

  5. A paradox resolved: sulfide acquisition by roots of seep tubeworms sustains net chemoautotrophy.

    PubMed

    Freytag, J K; Girguis, P R; Bergquist, D C; Andras, J P; Childress, J J; Fisher, C R

    2001-11-06

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms, symbiotic with sulfur-oxidizing chemoautotrophic bacteria, dominate many cold-seep sites in the Gulf of Mexico. The most abundant vestimentiferan species at these sites, Lamellibrachia cf. luymesi, grows quite slowly to lengths exceeding 2 meters and lives in excess of 170-250 years. L. cf. luymesi can grow a posterior extension of its tube and tissue, termed a "root," down into sulfidic sediments below its point of original attachment. This extension can be longer than the anterior portion of the animal. Here we show, using methods optimized for detection of hydrogen sulfide down to 0.1 microM in seawater, that hydrogen sulfide was never detected around the plumes of large cold-seep vestimentiferans and rarely detectable only around the bases of mature aggregations. Respiration experiments, which exposed the root portions of L. cf. luymesi to sulfide concentrations between 51-561 microM, demonstrate that L. cf. luymesi use their roots as a respiratory surface to acquire sulfide at an average rate of 4.1 micromol x g(-1) x h(-1). Net dissolved inorganic carbon uptake across the plume of the tubeworms was shown to occur in response to exposure of the posterior (root) portion of the worms to sulfide, demonstrating that sulfide acquisition by roots of the seep vestimentiferan L. cf. luymesi can be sufficient to fuel net autotrophic total dissolved inorganic carbon uptake.

  6. Actinobacterial Diversity in the Sediments of Five Cold Springs on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jian; Li, Xiaoyan; Huang, Liuqin; Jiang, Hongchen

    2015-01-01

    The actinobacterial diversity was investigated in the sediments of five cold springs in Wuli region on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau using 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis. The actinobacterial communities of the studied cold springs were diverse and the obtained actinobacterial operational taxonomic units were classified into 12 actinobacterial orders (e.g., Acidimicrobiales, Corynebacteriales, Gaiellales, Geodermatophilales, Jiangellales, Kineosporiales, Micromonosporales, Micrococcales, Nakamurellales, Propionibacteriales, Pseudonocardiales, Streptomycetales) and unclassified Actinobacteria. The actinobacterial composition varied among the investigated cold springs and were significantly correlated (r = 0.748, P = 0.021) to environmental variables. The actinobacterial communities in the cold springs were more diverse than other cold habitats on the Tibetan Plateau, and their compositions showed unique geographical distribution characteristics. Statistical analyses showed that biogeographical isolation and unique environmental conditions might be major factors influencing actinobacterial distribution among the investigated cold springs. PMID:26648925

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Trace Elemental Geochemistry of Pacific Margin Seep and Non-seep Benthic Foraminifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkett, A. M.; Rathburn, A. E.; De Deckker, P.; Perez, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    As part of a continued effort to evaluate factors that influence carbonate biogeochemistry of living foraminifera, stable isotopic and trace elemental analyses of epibenthic and infaunal species of benthic foraminifera collected from the Pacific margin revealed clues for assessment of the presence, history and origin of cold and hydrothermal methane seepage sites. Hydrothermal seeps have only recently been discovered, prioritizing their recognition and assessments of the origins/sources of these anomalously warm environments. Trace elements were analyzed with a laser ablation ICP-MS at the Australian National University, avoiding contamination and allowing measurements of recently generated chambers. Living Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi and Uvigerina peregrina collected from active methane seeps on the east Pacific margin (Costa Rica, Alaska and Hydrate Ridge) have a wider range in both stable isotopic signals and some trace elemental values (e.g., Mg/Ca) compared to nearby inactive areas. Comparisons of additional trace elemental values (e.g., Li/Ca, Cd/Ca, B/Ca, and Ba/Ca) from living Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi and Uvigerina peregrina from these unique seafloor environments provide additional information in the geochemical influences of cold and hydrothermal seepage on foraminiferal calcite geochemistry. Seep environments are often the result of complex tectonic processes, have implications in past rapid climatic shifts and in future climate change predictions and models, and can influence modern ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles in ways which are not fully understood. Benthic foraminiferal geochemistry provides a potential means to identify seep fluid origins, elucidate seep fluid records and recognize hydrothermal seeps and their spatial and temporal history.

  10. 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, ...

  11. Thermally Released Arsenic in Porewater from Sediments in the Cold Lake Area of Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Javed, Muhammad Babar; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-03-01

    Elevated arsenic (As) in aquifers in close proximity to in situ oil sands extraction in the Cold Lake area, Alberta, Canada is attributed to high temperature steam (~200 °C) injected into oil sands deposits to liquefy bitumen. Heat propagated from hot injection wells alters physicochemical properties of the surrounding sediments and associated porewater. Seven sediments from four different cores drilled up to ~300 m depth collected from different locations in the area were used to study the thermal effect (~200 °C) on As distribution in the sediments and its release into porewater. Sediments were moistened with synthetic aquifer or deionized water according to the moisture regimes present in aquitard, aquifer and fractured zones. Heat application greatly released As in the porewater (500-5200 and 1200-6600 μg L(-1)) from aquifer and fractured sediments, respectively. Mass balance of As chemical fractionation showed that ~89-100% of As in porewater was released from exchangeable and specifically adsorbed As in the sediments. Heat application also altered As distribution in the sediments releasing As from exchange surfaces and amorphous Fe oxides to soluble As fraction. The results provide great insight into As release mechanisms warranting development of strategies to mitigate groundwater As contamination during industrial operation.

  12. 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.

  13. Sedimentation on the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa: cleaning efficiency from natural sediments and drill cuttings.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Ann I; Purser, Autun

    2011-06-01

    Anthropogenic threats to cold-water coral reefs are trawling and hydrocarbon drilling, with both activities causing increased levels of suspended particles. The efficiency of Lophelia pertusa in rejecting local sediments and drill cuttings from the coral surface was evaluated and found not to differ between sediment types. Further results showed that the coral efficiently removed deposited material even after repeated exposures, indicating an efficient cleaning mechanism. In an experiment focusing on burial, fine-fraction drill cuttings were deposited on corals over time. Drill cutting covered coral area increased with repeated depositions, with accumulation mainly occurring on and adjacent to regions of the coral skeleton lacking tissue cover. Tissue was smothered and polyp mortality occurred where polyps became wholly covered by material. Burial of coral by drill cuttings to the current threshold level used in environmental risk assessment models by the offshore industry (6.3mm) may result in damage to L. pertusa colonies.

  14. Evolution and biogeography of deep-sea vent and seep invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Van Dover, C L; German, C R; Speer, K G; Parson, L M; Vrijenhoek, R C

    2002-02-15

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are submarine springs where nutrient-rich fluids emanate from the sea floor. Vent and seep ecosystems occur in a variety of geological settings throughout the global ocean and support food webs based on chemoautotrophic primary production. Most vent and seep invertebrates arrive at suitable habitats as larvae dispersed by deep-ocean currents. The recent evolution of many vent and seep invertebrate species (<100 million years ago) suggests that Cenozoic tectonic history and oceanic circulation patterns have been important in defining contemporary biogeographic patterns.

  15. Metagenomics unveils the attributes of the alginolytic guilds of sediments from four distant cold coastal environments.

    PubMed

    Matos, Marina N; Lozada, Mariana; Anselmino, Luciano E; Musumeci, Matías A; Henrissat, Bernard; Jansson, Janet K; Mac Cormack, Walter P; Carroll, JoLynn; Sjöling, Sara; Lundgren, Leif; Dionisi, Hebe M

    2016-12-01

    Alginates are abundant polysaccharides in brown algae that constitute an important energy source for marine heterotrophic bacteria. Despite the key role of alginate degradation processes in the marine carbon cycle, little information is available on the bacterial populations involved in these processes. The aim of this work was to gain a better understanding of alginate utilization capabilities in cold coastal environments. Sediment metagenomes from four high-latitude regions of both Hemispheres were interrogated for alginate lyase gene homologue sequences and their genomic context. Sediments contained highly abundant and diverse bacterial assemblages with alginolytic potential, including members of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, as well as several poorly characterized taxa. The microbial communities in Arctic and Antarctic sediments exhibited the most similar alginolytic profiles, whereas brackish sediments showed distinct structures with a higher proportion of novel genes. Examination of the gene neighbourhood of the alginate lyase homologues revealed distinct patterns depending on the potential lineage of the scaffolds, with evidence of evolutionary relationships among alginolytic gene clusters from Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. This information is relevant for understanding carbon fluxes in cold coastal environments and provides valuable information for the development of biotechnological applications from brown algae biomass.

  16. A kinetic model for the methane hydrate precipitated from venting gas at cold seep sites at Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia margin, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yuncheng; Chen, Duofu; Cathles, Lawrence M.

    2013-09-01

    develop a kinetic model for hydrate crystallization from methane gas venting through shallow sediments at Hydrate Ridge on the Cascadia margin of Oregon that predicts how pore water chlorinity, temperature, and crystallized hydrate evolve after the onset of steady venting. Predictions are compared to observations at Ocean Drilling Program Site 1249. In the preferred model, calculated gas hydrate saturation and chloride concentrations reach those observed at depths less than 20 m below seafloor (bsf) under the southern summit of Hydrate Ridge in ~650 years, and the vertical water flux must be less than 50 kg/m2/yr. Hydrate accumulates more slowly between 20 m bsf and the base of the hydrate stability zone where there is no free gas, accumulating to observed levels of a few volume percent of hydrate in 105 to 106 years, depending on the water flux that is assumed through this zone. This dichotomy means that the presently observed gas venting must have been diverted to this area ~650 years ago, or be episodic and infrequent. If the gas venting for the last 650 years has been as observed today, the latent heat of hydrate precipitation in the upper 20 m of sediments would have caused the temperature to increase ~0.8°C at ~20 m bsf and ~0.2°C at ~100 m bsf. This would have caused a ~5 m rise in the elevation of the base of hydrate stability zone, and decreased the rate of hydrate crystallization from 1.5 kg CH4/m2/yr 650 years ago to 0.7 kg CH4/m2/yr today.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Isolation and physiological characterization of psychrophilic denitrifying bacteria from permanently cold Arctic fjord sediments (Svalbard, Norway).

    PubMed

    Canion, Andy; Prakash, Om; Green, Stefan J; Jahnke, Linda; Kuypers, Marcel M M; Kostka, Joel E

    2013-05-01

    A large proportion of reactive nitrogen loss from polar sediments is mediated by denitrification, but microorganisms mediating denitrification in polar environments remain poorly characterized. A combined approach of most-probable-number (MPN) enumeration, cultivation and physiological characterization was used to describe psychrophilic denitrifying bacterial communities in sediments of three Arctic fjords in Svalbard (Norway). A MPN assay showed the presence of 10(3) -10(6) cells of psychrophilic nitrate-respiring bacteria g(-1) of sediment. Fifteen strains within the Proteobacteria were isolated using a systematic enrichment approach with organic acids as electron donors and nitrate as an electron acceptor. Isolates belonged to five genera, including Shewanella, Pseudomonas, Psychromonas (Gammaproteobacteria), Arcobacter (Epsilonproteobacteria) and Herminiimonas (Betaproteobacteria). All isolates were denitrifiers, except Shewanella, which exhibited the capacity for dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Growth from 0 to 40°C demonstrated that all genera except Shewanella were psychrophiles with optimal growth below 15°C, and adaptation to low temperature was demonstrated as a shift from primarily C16:0 saturated fatty acids to C16:1 monounsaturated fatty acids at lower temperatures. This study provides the first targeted enrichment and characterization of psychrophilic denitrifying bacteria from polar sediments, and two genera, Arcobacter and Herminiimonas, are isolated for the first time from permanently cold marine sediments.

  1. Isolation and Physiological Characterization of Psychrophilic Denitrifying Bacteria from Permanently Cold Arctic Fjord Sediments (Svalbard, Norway)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canion, Andy; Prakash, Om; Green, Stefan J.; Jahnke, Linda; Kuypers, Marcel M. M.; Kostka, Joel E.

    2013-01-01

    A large proportion of reactive nitrogen loss from polar sediments is mediated by denitrification, but microorganisms mediating denitrification in polar environments remain poorly characterized. A combined approach of most-probable-number (MPN) enumeration, cultivation and physiological characterization was used to describe psychrophilic denitrifying bacterial communities in sediments of three Arctic fjords in Svalbard (Norway). A MPN assay showed the presence of 10(sup 3)-10(sup 6) cells of psychrophilic nitrate-respiring bacteria g(sup -1) of sediment. Fifteen strains within the Proteobacteria were isolated using a systematic enrichment approach with organic acids as electron donors and nitrate as an electron acceptor. Isolates belonged to five genera, including Shewanella, Pseudomonas, Psychromonas (Gammaproteobacteria), Arcobacter (Epsilonproteobacteria) and Herminiimonas (Betaproteobacteria). All isolates were denitrifiers, except Shewanella, which exhibited the capacity for dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Growth from 0 to 40 degC demonstrated that all genera except Shewanella were psychrophiles with optimal growth below 15 degC, and adaptation to low temperature was demonstrated as a shift from primarily C16:0 saturated fatty acids to C16:1 monounsaturated fatty acids at lower temperatures. This study provides the first targeted enrichment and characterization of psychrophilic denitrifying bacteria from polar sediments, and two genera, Arcobacter and Herminiimonas, are isolated for the first time from permanently cold marine sediments.

  2. Ubiquitous Presence and Novel Diversity of Anaerobic Alkane Degraders in Cold Marine Sediments.

    PubMed

    Gittel, Antje; Donhauser, Johanna; Røy, Hans; Girguis, Peter R; Jørgensen, Bo B; Kjeldsen, Kasper U

    2015-01-01

    Alkanes are major constituents of crude oil and are released to the marine environment by natural seepage and from anthropogenic sources. Due to their chemical inertness, their removal from anoxic marine sediments is primarily controlled by the activity of anaerobic alkane-degrading microorganisms. To facilitate comprehensive cultivation-independent surveys of the diversity and distribution of anaerobic alkane degraders, we designed novel PCR primers that cover all known diversity of the 1-methylalkyl succinate synthase gene (masD/assA), which catalyzes the initial activation of alkanes. We studied masD/assA gene diversity in pristine and seepage-impacted Danish coastal sediments, as well as in sediments and alkane-degrading enrichment cultures from the Middle Valley (MV) hydrothermal vent system in the Pacific Northwest. MasD/assA genes were ubiquitously present, and the primers captured the diversity of both known and previously undiscovered masD/assA gene diversity. Seepage sediments were dominated by a single masD/assA gene cluster, which is presumably indicative of a substrate-adapted community, while pristine sediments harbored a diverse range of masD/assA phylotypes including those present in seepage sediments. This rare biosphere of anaerobic alkane degraders will likely increase in abundance in the event of seepage or accidental oil spillage. Nanomolar concentrations of short-chain alkanes (SCA) were detected in pristine and seepage sediments. Interestingly, anaerobic alkane degraders closely related to strain BuS5, the only SCA degrader in pure culture, were found in mesophilic MV enrichments, but not in cold sediments from Danish waters. We propose that the new masD/assA gene lineages in these sediments represent novel phylotypes that are either fueled by naturally occurring low levels of SCA or that metabolize medium- to long-chain alkanes. Our study highlights that masD/assA genes are a relevant diagnostic marker to identify seepage and microseepage, e

  3. Ubiquitous Presence and Novel Diversity of Anaerobic Alkane Degraders in Cold Marine Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Gittel, Antje; Donhauser, Johanna; Røy, Hans; Girguis, Peter R.; Jørgensen, Bo B.; Kjeldsen, Kasper U.

    2015-01-01

    Alkanes are major constituents of crude oil and are released to the marine environment by natural seepage and from anthropogenic sources. Due to their chemical inertness, their removal from anoxic marine sediments is primarily controlled by the activity of anaerobic alkane-degrading microorganisms. To facilitate comprehensive cultivation-independent surveys of the diversity and distribution of anaerobic alkane degraders, we designed novel PCR primers that cover all known diversity of the 1-methylalkyl succinate synthase gene (masD/assA), which catalyzes the initial activation of alkanes. We studied masD/assA gene diversity in pristine and seepage-impacted Danish coastal sediments, as well as in sediments and alkane-degrading enrichment cultures from the Middle Valley (MV) hydrothermal vent system in the Pacific Northwest. MasD/assA genes were ubiquitously present, and the primers captured the diversity of both known and previously undiscovered masD/assA gene diversity. Seepage sediments were dominated by a single masD/assA gene cluster, which is presumably indicative of a substrate-adapted community, while pristine sediments harbored a diverse range of masD/assA phylotypes including those present in seepage sediments. This rare biosphere of anaerobic alkane degraders will likely increase in abundance in the event of seepage or accidental oil spillage. Nanomolar concentrations of short-chain alkanes (SCA) were detected in pristine and seepage sediments. Interestingly, anaerobic alkane degraders closely related to strain BuS5, the only SCA degrader in pure culture, were found in mesophilic MV enrichments, but not in cold sediments from Danish waters. We propose that the new masD/assA gene lineages in these sediments represent novel phylotypes that are either fueled by naturally occurring low levels of SCA or that metabolize medium- to long-chain alkanes. Our study highlights that masD/assA genes are a relevant diagnostic marker to identify seepage and microseepage, e

  4. Identity, Abundance, and Reactivation Kinetics of Thermophilic Fermentative Endospores in Cold Marine Sediment and Seawater

    PubMed Central

    Volpi, Marta; Lomstein, Bente Aa.; Sichert, Andreas; Røy, Hans; Jørgensen, Bo B.; Kjeldsen, Kasper U.

    2017-01-01

    Cold marine sediments harbor endospores of fermentative and sulfate-reducing, thermophilic bacteria. These dormant populations of endospores are believed to accumulate in the seabed via passive dispersal by ocean currents followed by sedimentation from the water column. However, the magnitude of this process is poorly understood because the endospores present in seawater were so far not identified, and only the abundance of thermophilic sulfate-reducing endospores in the seabed has been quantified. We investigated the distribution of thermophilic fermentative endospores (TFEs) in water column and sediment of Aarhus Bay, Denmark, to test the role of suspended dispersal and determine the rate of endospore deposition and the endospore abundance in the sediment. We furthermore aimed to determine the time course of reactivation of the germinating TFEs. TFEs were induced to germinate and grow by incubating pasteurized sediment and water samples anaerobically at 50°C. We observed a sudden release of the endospore component dipicolinic acid immediately upon incubation suggesting fast endospore reactivation in response to heating. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and H2 began to accumulate exponentially after 3.5 h of incubation showing that reactivation was followed by a short phase of outgrowth before germinated cells began to divide. Thermophilic fermenters were mainly present in the sediment as endospores because the rate of VFA accumulation was identical in pasteurized and non-pasteurized samples. Germinating TFEs were identified taxonomically by reverse transcription, PCR amplification and sequencing of 16S rRNA. The water column and sediment shared the same phylotypes, thereby confirming the potential for seawater dispersal. The abundance of TFEs was estimated by most probable number enumeration, rates of VFA production, and released amounts of dipicolinic acid during germination. The surface sediment contained ∼105–106 inducible TFEs cm-3. TFEs thus outnumber

  5. Identity, Abundance, and Reactivation Kinetics of Thermophilic Fermentative Endospores in Cold Marine Sediment and Seawater.

    PubMed

    Volpi, Marta; Lomstein, Bente Aa; Sichert, Andreas; Røy, Hans; Jørgensen, Bo B; Kjeldsen, Kasper U

    2017-01-01

    Cold marine sediments harbor endospores of fermentative and sulfate-reducing, thermophilic bacteria. These dormant populations of endospores are believed to accumulate in the seabed via passive dispersal by ocean currents followed by sedimentation from the water column. However, the magnitude of this process is poorly understood because the endospores present in seawater were so far not identified, and only the abundance of thermophilic sulfate-reducing endospores in the seabed has been quantified. We investigated the distribution of thermophilic fermentative endospores (TFEs) in water column and sediment of Aarhus Bay, Denmark, to test the role of suspended dispersal and determine the rate of endospore deposition and the endospore abundance in the sediment. We furthermore aimed to determine the time course of reactivation of the germinating TFEs. TFEs were induced to germinate and grow by incubating pasteurized sediment and water samples anaerobically at 50°C. We observed a sudden release of the endospore component dipicolinic acid immediately upon incubation suggesting fast endospore reactivation in response to heating. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and H2 began to accumulate exponentially after 3.5 h of incubation showing that reactivation was followed by a short phase of outgrowth before germinated cells began to divide. Thermophilic fermenters were mainly present in the sediment as endospores because the rate of VFA accumulation was identical in pasteurized and non-pasteurized samples. Germinating TFEs were identified taxonomically by reverse transcription, PCR amplification and sequencing of 16S rRNA. The water column and sediment shared the same phylotypes, thereby confirming the potential for seawater dispersal. The abundance of TFEs was estimated by most probable number enumeration, rates of VFA production, and released amounts of dipicolinic acid during germination. The surface sediment contained ∼10(5)-10(6) inducible TFEs cm(-3). TFEs thus outnumber

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Management of dryland saline seeps

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Discussed is the identification, diagnosis, control, and reclamation of dryland saline seep problems as found in the North American Great Plains. Saline seeps develop because of geologic stratifications within the soil profile and insufficient use of precipitation by crops used in dryland farming s...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Winter variability of aeolian sediment transport threshold on a cold-climate dune

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barchyn, Thomas E.; Hugenholtz, Chris H.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in surface conditions on cold-climate aeolian dunes are pronounced; during winter dunes are wet, snow covered, and/or frozen for extended periods of time. It is unknown how the critical wind speed for sediment transport (“threshold”) varies and how threshold may influence sediment transport predictions. Although the impact of surface conditions on threshold has been examined in synthetic experiments (wind tunnels), complicated feedbacks between threshold, sand transport, and surface conditions that occur in natural environments suggest that a ground-based empirical approach may provide enhanced insight. In this study we investigate threshold variability for 73 days during fall-winter-spring surface conditions from 18 November 2008 to 30 May 2009 in the Bigstick Sand Hills of Saskatchewan, Canada. Simultaneous measurements of threshold and atmospheric variables (air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction) were used to examine the extent to which surface erodibility was regulated by meteorology. Time-lapse images of the surface from a co-located camera were used for quality control and interpreting changes in the surface affecting threshold. Results reveal that threshold varied throughout the deployment (25-75% quartiles: 6.92-8.28 m s- 1; mean: 7.79 m s- 1). Threshold variability was especially evident at two scales: (i) event timescale and (ii) seasonal timescale. Event-scale variability peaked during mid-winter; in one event the threshold varied by 6 m s- 1 in 2 h with freezing and re-freezing of the surface and relatively constant atmospheric conditions. The causes of event-scale variability are complex though qualitatively related to changes of wind direction, antecedent meteorological conditions, and vertical variations of grain-scale bonding agents such as pore ice and moisture. Seasonal-scale changes manifested as an increase in threshold during fall, peaking in mid-winter, and decreasing in spring. Increased

  13. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Himmler, Tobias; Bayon, Germain; Wangner, David; Enzmann, Frieder; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2016-11-01

    Authigenic carbonate build-ups develop at seafloor methane-seeps, where microbially mediated sulphate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane facilitates carbonate precipitation. Despite being valuable recorders of past methane seepage events, their role as archives of atmospheric processes has not been examined. Here we show that cyclic sedimentation pulses related to the Indian monsoon in concert with authigenic precipitation of methane-derived aragonite gave rise to a well-laminated carbonate build-up within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan (northern Arabian Sea). U–Th dating indicates that the build-up grew during past ~1,130 years, creating an exceptional high-resolution archive of the Indian monsoon system. Monsoon-controlled formation of seep-carbonates extends the known environmental processes recorded by seep-carbonates, revealing a new relationship between atmospheric and seafloor processes.

  14. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux

    PubMed Central

    Himmler, Tobias; Bayon, Germain; Wangner, David; Enzmann, Frieder; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    Authigenic carbonate build-ups develop at seafloor methane-seeps, where microbially mediated sulphate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane facilitates carbonate precipitation. Despite being valuable recorders of past methane seepage events, their role as archives of atmospheric processes has not been examined. Here we show that cyclic sedimentation pulses related to the Indian monsoon in concert with authigenic precipitation of methane-derived aragonite gave rise to a well-laminated carbonate build-up within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan (northern Arabian Sea). U–Th dating indicates that the build-up grew during past ~1,130 years, creating an exceptional high-resolution archive of the Indian monsoon system. Monsoon-controlled formation of seep-carbonates extends the known environmental processes recorded by seep-carbonates, revealing a new relationship between atmospheric and seafloor processes. PMID:27876764

  15. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux.

    PubMed

    Himmler, Tobias; Bayon, Germain; Wangner, David; Enzmann, Frieder; Peckmann, Jörn; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2016-11-23

    Authigenic carbonate build-ups develop at seafloor methane-seeps, where microbially mediated sulphate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane facilitates carbonate precipitation. Despite being valuable recorders of past methane seepage events, their role as archives of atmospheric processes has not been examined. Here we show that cyclic sedimentation pulses related to the Indian monsoon in concert with authigenic precipitation of methane-derived aragonite gave rise to a well-laminated carbonate build-up within the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan (northern Arabian Sea). U-Th dating indicates that the build-up grew during past ~1,130 years, creating an exceptional high-resolution archive of the Indian monsoon system. Monsoon-controlled formation of seep-carbonates extends the known environmental processes recorded by seep-carbonates, revealing a new relationship between atmospheric and seafloor processes.

  16. 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.

  17. A biogeographic network reveals evolutionary links between deep-sea hydrothermal vent and methane seep faunas.

    PubMed

    Kiel, Steffen

    2016-12-14

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and methane seeps are inhabited by members of the same higher taxa but share few species, thus scientists have long sought habitats or regions of intermediate character that would facilitate connectivity among these habitats. Here, a network analysis of 79 vent, seep, and whale-fall communities with 121 genus-level taxa identified sedimented vents as a main intermediate link between the two types of ecosystems. Sedimented vents share hot, metal-rich fluids with mid-ocean ridge-type vents and soft sediment with seeps. Such sites are common along the active continental margins of the Pacific Ocean, facilitating connectivity among vent/seep faunas in this region. By contrast, sedimented vents are rare in the Atlantic Ocean, offering an explanation for the greater distinction between its vent and seep faunas compared with those of the Pacific Ocean. The distribution of subduction zones and associated back-arc basins, where sedimented vents are common, likely plays a major role in the evolutionary and biogeographic connectivity of vent and seep faunas. The hypothesis that decaying whale carcasses are dispersal stepping stones linking these environments is not supported.

  18. Turbine tent measurements of marine hydrocarbon seeps on subhourly timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leifer, Ira; Boles, Jim

    2005-01-01

    Three turbine seep-tents simultaneously measured marine seep gas fluxes with high time resolution (0.2 s) at multiple locations. Tents were inverted polyvinyl cones, 2-m diameter, 1-m tall, and weighted on their lower skirt edges. Rising gas bubbles induce vertical fluid motions, which were measured by laboratory-calibrated turbines in chimneys on top of the tents. Initial deployment was at an active seep area in the Coal Oil Point seep field, in the Santa Barbara Channel, California. The three tents simultaneously collected data for continuous time periods of 2 hours in both the morning and afternoon. Seabed temperature and pressure were acquired every 3 s over the same time periods as the flux measurements from a conductivity temperature depth, CTD, mounted on one tent. Results strongly suggest that oceanic swell had a significant forcing effect on the flux at a subhourly timescale. There was an inverse relationship between effect of swell height on the flux and flux. Swells from 1 to 4 m height and periodicities of 7 and 12 s caused variations of ˜1% to 4% from the average flux. Proposed mechanisms to explain the observations are diffusion with surrounding sediments, termed gas charging, swell induced changes in fracture size, termed fracture forcing, and swell induced vent activation/deactivation, termed pore activation. On the basis of the seep frequency response, we propose pore activation was dominant.

  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. The SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme: Current activities and future key tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, A. A.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Decaulne, A.

    2012-04-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists (I.A.G./A.I.G.)SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme was formed in 2005 to address this existing key knowledge gap. SEDIBUD currently has about 400 members worldwide and the Steering Committee of this international programme is composed of ten scientists from eight different countries: Achim A. Beylich (Chair) (Norway), Armelle Decaulne (Secretary) (France), John C. Dixon (USA), Scott F. Lamoureux (Vice-Chair) (Canada), John F. Orwin (Canada), Jan-Christoph Otto (Austria), Irina Overeem (USA), Thorsteinn Saemundsson (Iceland), Jeff Warburton (UK), Zbigniew Zwolinski (Poland). The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Initially formed as European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX (2004-2006), SEDIBUD has further expanded to a global group of researchers with field research sites located in polar and alpine regions in the northern and southern hemisphere. Research carried out at each of the close to 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by programme, logistics and available resources, but typically represent interdisciplinary collaborations of

  1. Interactions between sediment chemistry and frenulate pogonophores (Annelida) in the north-east Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dando, P. R.; Southward, A. J.; Southward, E. C.; Lamont, P.; Harvey, R.

    2008-08-01

    The small frenulate pogonophores (Annelida: Pogonophora a.k.a. Siboglinidae) typically inhabit muddy sediments on the continental slope, although a few species occur near hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. We present data on the distribution and habitat characteristics of several species on the European continental shelf and slope from 48°N to 75°N and show how the animals interact with the chemistry of the sediments. The environments inhabited include: shallow (30 m), organic-rich, fjord sediments; slope sediments (1000-2200 m) and methane seeps at 330 m depth. All the species studied obtain nutrition from endosymbiotic bacteria. They take up reduced sulphur species, or in one case, methane, through the posterior parts of their tubes buried in the anoxic sediment. We conclude that most species undertake sulphide 'mining', a mechanism previously demonstrated in the bivalves Lucinoma borealis and Thyasira sarsi. These pogonophores participate in the sulphur cycle and effectively lower the sulphide content of the sediments. Our results show that the abundance of frenulate pogonophores increases with increasing sedimentation and with decreasing abundance of other benthos, particularly bioturbating organisms. The maximum sustainable carrying capacity of non-seep sediments for frenulate pogonophores is limited by the rate of sulphate reduction.

  2. The SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme: Ongoing activities and selected key tasks for the coming years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, Achim A.; Lamoureux, Scott F.; Decaulne, Armelle

    2012-09-01

    Projected climate change in cold environments is expected to alter melt-season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. In addition, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. The combined effects of these changes will alter surface environments in cold climate regions and change the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of data, coordinated process monitoring and coordinated quantitative analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment are acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists (I.A.G./A.I.G.) SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme has been formed to address this key knowledge gap and builds on the earlier European Science Foundation (ESF) SEDIFLUX (Sedimentary Source-to-Sink-Fluxes in Cold Environments) Network. Coordinated efforts are carried out to monitor, quantify, compare and model sedimentary fluxes and possible effects of predicted climate change in currently 44 selected SEDIBUD Key Test Sites (cold climate environment catchments) worldwide.

  3. Thermophilic nitrate-reducing microorganisms prevent sulfate reduction in cold marine sediments incubated at high temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nepomnyashchaya, Yana; Rezende, Julia; Hubert, Casey

    2014-05-01

    Hydrogen sulphide produced during metabolism of sulphate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) is toxic, corrosive and causes detrimental oil reservoir souring. During secondary oil recovery, injecting oil reservoirs with seawater that is rich in sulphate and that also cools high temperature formations provides favourable growth conditions for SRM. Nitrate addition can prevent metabolism of SRM by stimulating nitrate-reducing microorganisms (NRM). The investigations of thermophilic NRM are needed to develop mechanisms to control the metabolism of SRM in high temperature oil field ecosystems. We therefore established a model system consisting of enrichment cultures of cold surface marine sediments from the Baltic Sea (Aarhus Bay) that were incubated at 60°C. Enrichments contained 25 mM nitrate and 40 mM sulphate as potential electron acceptors, and a mixture of the organic substrates acetate, lactate, propionate, butyrate (5 mM each) and yeast extract (0.01%) as potential carbon sources and electron donors. Slurries were incubated at 60°C both with and without initial pasteurization at 80°C for 2 hours. In the enrichments containing both nitrate and sulphate, the concentration of nitrate decreased indicating metabolic activity of NRM. After a four-hour lag phase the rate of nitrate reduction increased and the concentration of nitrate dropped to zero after 10 hours of incubation. The concentration of nitrite increased as the reduction of nitrate progressed and reached 16.3 mM after 12 hours, before being consumed and falling to 4.4 mM after 19-day of incubation. No evidence for sulphate reduction was observed in these cultures during the 19-day incubation period. In contrast, the concentration of sulphate decreased up to 50% after one week incubation in controls containing only sulphate but no nitrate. Similar sulfate reduction rates were seen in the pasteurized controls suggesting the presence of heat resistant SRM, whereas nitrate reduction rates were lower in the

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Microbial Communities in Methane- and Short Chain Alkane-Rich Hydrothermal Sediments of Guaymas Basin.

    PubMed

    Dowell, Frederick; Cardman, Zena; Dasarathy, Srishti; Kellermann, Matthias Y; Lipp, Julius S; Ruff, S Emil; Biddle, Jennifer F; McKay, Luke J; MacGregor, Barbara J; Lloyd, Karen G; Albert, Daniel B; Mendlovitz, Howard; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Teske, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin, an active spreading center in the Gulf of California (Mexico), are rich in porewater methane, short-chain alkanes, sulfate and sulfide, and provide a model system to explore habitat preferences of microorganisms, including sulfate-dependent, methane- and short chain alkane-oxidizing microbial communities. In this study, hot sediments (above 60°C) covered with sulfur-oxidizing microbial mats surrounding a hydrothermal mound (termed "Mat Mound") were characterized by porewater geochemistry of methane, C2-C6 short-chain alkanes, sulfate, sulfide, sulfate reduction rate measurements, in situ temperature gradients, bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and V6 tag pyrosequencing. The most abundantly detected groups in the Mat mound sediments include anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea of the ANME-1 lineage and its sister clade ANME-1Guaymas, the uncultured bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 within the Deltaproteobacteria and the separately branching HotSeep-1 Group; these uncultured bacteria are candidates for sulfate-reducing alkane oxidation and for sulfate-reducing syntrophy with ANME archaea. The archaeal dataset indicates distinct habitat preferences for ANME-1, ANME-1-Guaymas, and ANME-2 archaea in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. The bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 and HotSeep-1 co-occur with ANME-1 and ANME-1Guaymas in hydrothermally active sediments underneath microbial mats in Guaymas Basin. We propose the working hypothesis that this mixed bacterial and archaeal community catalyzes the oxidation of both methane and short-chain alkanes, and constitutes a microbial community signature that is characteristic for hydrothermal and/or cold seep sediments containing both substrates.

  9. Microbial Communities in Methane- and Short Chain Alkane-Rich Hydrothermal Sediments of Guaymas Basin

    PubMed Central

    Dowell, Frederick; Cardman, Zena; Dasarathy, Srishti; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Lipp, Julius S.; Ruff, S. Emil; Biddle, Jennifer F.; McKay, Luke J.; MacGregor, Barbara J.; Lloyd, Karen G.; Albert, Daniel B.; Mendlovitz, Howard; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe; Teske, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin, an active spreading center in the Gulf of California (Mexico), are rich in porewater methane, short-chain alkanes, sulfate and sulfide, and provide a model system to explore habitat preferences of microorganisms, including sulfate-dependent, methane- and short chain alkane-oxidizing microbial communities. In this study, hot sediments (above 60°C) covered with sulfur-oxidizing microbial mats surrounding a hydrothermal mound (termed “Mat Mound”) were characterized by porewater geochemistry of methane, C2–C6 short-chain alkanes, sulfate, sulfide, sulfate reduction rate measurements, in situ temperature gradients, bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and V6 tag pyrosequencing. The most abundantly detected groups in the Mat mound sediments include anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea of the ANME-1 lineage and its sister clade ANME-1Guaymas, the uncultured bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 within the Deltaproteobacteria and the separately branching HotSeep-1 Group; these uncultured bacteria are candidates for sulfate-reducing alkane oxidation and for sulfate-reducing syntrophy with ANME archaea. The archaeal dataset indicates distinct habitat preferences for ANME-1, ANME-1-Guaymas, and ANME-2 archaea in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments. The bacterial groups SEEP-SRB2 and HotSeep-1 co-occur with ANME-1 and ANME-1Guaymas in hydrothermally active sediments underneath microbial mats in Guaymas Basin. We propose the working hypothesis that this mixed bacterial and archaeal community catalyzes the oxidation of both methane and short-chain alkanes, and constitutes a microbial community signature that is characteristic for hydrothermal and/or cold seep sediments containing both substrates. PMID:26858698

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. Cloning and characterization of a new cold-active lipase from a deep-sea sediment metagenome.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Jeong Ho; Kim, Jun-Tae; Kim, Yun Jae; Kim, Hyung-Kwoun; Lee, Hyun Sook; Kang, Sung Gyun; Kim, Sang-Jin; Lee, Jung-Hyun

    2009-01-01

    To search for new cold-active lipases, a metagenomic library was constructed using cold-sea sediment samples at Edison Seamount and was screened for lipolytic activities by plating on a tricaprylin medium. Subsequently, a fosmid clone was selected, and the whole sequence of 36 kb insert of the fosmid clone was determined by shotgun sequencing. The sequence analysis revealed the presence of 25 open reading frames (ORF), and ORF20 (EML1) showed similarities to lipases. Phylogenetic analysis of EML1 suggested that the protein belonged to a new family of esterase/lipase together with LipG. The EML1 gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified by metal-chelating chromatography. The optimum activity of the purified EML1 (rEML1) occurred at pH 8.0 and 25 degrees C, respectively, and rEML1 displayed more than 50% activity at 5 degrees C. The activation energy for the hydrolysis of olive oil was determined to be 3.28 kcal/mol, indicating that EML1 is a cold-active lipase. rEML1 preferentially hydrolyzed triacylglycerols acyl-group chains with long chain lengths of > or = 8 carbon atoms and displayed hydrolyzing activities toward various natural oil substrates. rEML1 was resistant to various detergents such as Triton X-100 and Tween 80. This study represents an example which developed a new cold-active lipase from a deep-sea sediment metagenome.

  13. Bivalves from the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous hydrocarbon seep carbonates from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Hryniewicz, Krzysztof; Little, Crispin T S; Nakrem, Hans Arne

    2014-09-02

    The bivalve fauna from the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous hydrocarbon seep deposits from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard comprises at least 17 species, four of which belong to chemosymbiotic taxa often found at seeps. These are the solemyid Solemya (Petrasma) cf. woodwardiana; Nucinella svalbardensis sp. nov., which belongs to a group of large Nucinella species known from seeps and deep water environments; the lucinid bivalve, Tehamatea rasmusseni sp. nov., included in a genus widely distributed in other Jurassic-Cretaceous seeps; and Cretaxinus hurumi gen. et sp. nov., which is the oldest known thyasirid and is discussed in relation to other large seep-restricted genera in this family. The remaining species in the fauna belong to 'background' genera known from coeval normal marine sediments, mostly from the Boreal area. These include the nuculid Dacromya chetaensis, two new malletiids (Mesosaccella rogovi sp. nov. and M. toddi sp. nov.), the oxytomiid Oxytoma octavia, at least three Buchia species, at least two pectinids, including Camptonectes (Costicamptonectes) aff. milnelandensis and Camptonectes (Camptochlamys) clatrathus, the limid Pseudolimea arctica, the arcticid Pseudotrapezium aff. groenlandicum, and the pholadomyid Goniomya literata. The large number of 'background' species in the bivalve fauna is probably a reflection of the shallow-water setting of the Svalbard seeps. This might also explain the lack of the seep-restricted modiomorphid bivalve Caspiconcha from the fauna. With solemyids, Nucinella, lucinids and thyasirids, the latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous bivalve seep fauna of Svalbard contains typical representatives of the Mesozoic bivalve seep faunas, both long established and young evolutionary colonists.

  14. Sediment dynamics of a sandy contourite: the sedimentary context of the Darwin cold-water coral mounds, Northern Rockall Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huvenne, V. A. I.; Masson, D. G.; Wheeler, A. J.

    2009-06-01

    Grainsize, mineralogy and current-meter data from the Northern Rockall Trough are presented in order to characterise the sandy contourite that forms the sedimentary environment of the Darwin cold-water coral mounds, and to investigate the impact of this environment on the mound build-up. Large clusters of small cold-water coral mounds, 75 m across and 5 m high, have been found southwest of the Wyville Thomson Ridge, at 900-1,100 m water depth. Their present-day sedimentary environment consists of a subtly sorted sandy contourite, elongated NE-SW, roughly parallel to the contours. Critical erosional and depositional current speeds were calculated, and trends in both the quartz/feldspar and foraminifera fractions of the sands show a bi-directional fining from bedload/erosion-dominated sands in the NE to suspension/deposition-dominated sediments in the SW and towards the S (downslope). This is caused by a gradual reduction in governing current speed, linked to a reduction in slope gradient, and by the increasing distance from the current core in the downslope direction. No specific characteristics were found distinguishing the mound sediments from the surrounding sands: they fit in the overall spatial pattern. Some mound cores show hints of a fining-upward trend. Overall the mound build-up process is interpreted as a result of sediment baffling.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Analysis of metals in marine sediments by microwave extraction and flame, hydride generation and cold vapor atomic-absorption spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Martinez-Garcia, M.L.; Zubieta, A.C.; Lorenzo, S.M.; Lopez-Mahia, P.; Rodriguez, D.P.

    1999-01-01

    A simple and fast metal extraction method that combines closed vessels and microwave heating for the simultaneous extraction of ten selected heavy metals (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn) from marine sediments is proposed. Digestion conditions, i.e., power and times microwave irradiation, reagent extractant, sample amount, were optimized to recover the potentially available metallic fraction not bound in silicates. A nitric acid and two step microwave program was established. The resulting solutions were analyzed by flame (FAAS), hydride generation (HG-AAS) and cold vapor (CV-AAS) atomic absorption spectrometry. Quantifications were made using direct calibration with aqueous standards. The recoveries of the spiked samples investigated ranged from 89 to 113%. The results obtained from analyzing the BCR certified reference sediment CRM 277 Estuarine Sediment were in good agreement with the certified values (93--105%), except for low values for chromium (79%). The relative standard deviations for the determination of metals were less than 4%. Finally, the technique designed herein was applied to sediment samples from La Coruna estuary, NW Spain.

  18. Larvae from deep-sea methane seeps disperse in surface waters.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Shawn M; Van Gaest, Ahna L; Johnson, Shannon B; Vrijenhoek, Robert C; Young, Craig M

    2014-07-07

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-11-07

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Using mobile, internet connected deep sea crawlers for spatial and temporal analysis of cold seep ecosystems and the collection of real-time classroom data for extreme environment education.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purser, Autun; Kwasnitschka, Tom; Duda, Alexander; Schwendner, Jakob; Bamberg, Marlene; Sohl, Frank; Doya, Carol; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Best, Mairi; Llovet, Neus Campanya I.; Scherwath, Martin; Thomsen, Laurenz

    2015-04-01

    Cabled internet and power connectivity with the deep sea allow instruments to operate in the deep sea at higher temporal resolutions than was possible historically, with the reliance on battery life and data storage capacities. In addition to the increase in sensor temporal frequency, cabled infrastructures now allow remote access to and control of mobile platforms on the seafloor. Jacobs University Bremen, in combination with collaborators from the Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments (ROBEX) project, CSIC Barcelona and Ocean Networks Canada have been operating tracked deep sea crawler vehicles at ~890 m depth at the dynamic Barkley Canyon methane seep site, Pacific Canada during the last ~4 years. The vehicle has been able to explore an area of ~50 m radius, allowing repeated visits to numerous microhabitats. Mounting a range of sensors, including temperature, pressure, conductivity, fluorescence, turbidity, flow and methane concentration sensors, as well as various camera systems a large dataset has been compiled. Several methane pockmarks are present in the survey area, and geological, biological and oceanographic changes have been monitored over a range of timescales. Several publications have been produced, and in this presentation we introduce further data currently under analysis. Cabled internet connectivity further allows mobile platforms to be used directly in education. As part of the ROBEX project, researchers and students from both terrestrial and planetary sciences are using the crawler in an ongoing study project. Students are introduced to statistical methods from both fields during the course and in later stages they can plan their own research using the in-situ crawler, and follow the progress of their investigations live, then analyse the collected data using the techniques introduced during the course. Cabled infrastructures offer a unique facility for spatial investigation of extreme ecosystems over time, and for the 'hands on

  5. 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

    Terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps provide convenient access to the deep subsurface biosphere community. Serpentinization--the hydrous alteration of ultramafics--produces hydrogen and possibly methane gas. Chemotrophic microbes utilize these compounds, and may form the base of the deep subsurface trophic web. Here, the geochemical environment of two terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps was characterized and community composition was determined. The first site is Yanartas in the Tekirova ophiolite complex (Turkey). Yanartas hosts gas and fluid seeps, the latter of which may be ephemeral. The second site is Manleluag Spring in the Zambales ophiolite range (the Philippines). In Manleluag, the fluid seeps result in the formation of large carbonate terraces. Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the small-subunit rDNA (universal primers) from Yanartas and Manleluag indicates distinct microbial communities, with some shared taxa. Methanogenic archaeal taxa were present in sediments collected from both seeps. The most dominant taxa were the Methanobacteria, with Manleluag sediments having a ten-fold higher abundance than Yanartas. The nitrifying archaea, Thaumarchaeota, were also found at both sites. Bacterial populations at both locations are diverse and primarily composed of heterotrophic taxa. At Yanartas, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria taxa are dominant (~60% total), while at Manleluag these taxa are only 10-20% of the total reads. Clostridia and Bacteriodetes comprise nearly 35% of the sequence data at the source seep in Manleluag; at Yanartas these taxa make up ~10% of sequence data. Down an outflow channel at Manleluag, the population shifted to Thermales and Hydrogenophilales (~50% of sequence data). At Yanartas Alpha- and Betaproteobacterial taxa continued to dominate downstream, but in one outflow channel an orange, mineralized biofilm is evident. This pigmentation may result from the carotenoid-producing Rhodobacteraceae, which were only found in the orange

  6. BET surface area distributions in polar stream sediments: Implications for silicate weathering in a cold-arid environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marra, Kristen R.; Elwood Madden, Megan E; Soreghan, Gerilyn S.; Hall, Brenda L

    2014-01-01

    BET surface area values are critical for quantifying the amount of potentially reactive sediments available for chemical weathering and ultimately, prediction of silicate weathering fluxes. BET surface area values of fine-grained (<62.5 μm) sediment from the hyporheic zone of polar glacial streams in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (Wright and Taylor Valleys) exhibit a wide range (2.5–70.6 m2/g) of surface area values. Samples from one (Delta Stream, Taylor Valley) of the four sampled stream transects exhibit high values (up to 70.6 m2/g), which greatly exceed surface area values from three temperate proglacial streams (0.3–12.1 m2/g). Only Clark stream in Wright Valley exhibits a robust trend with distance, wherein surface area systematically decreases (and particle size increases) in the mud fraction downstream, interpreted to reflect rapid dissolution processes in the weathering environment. The remaining transects exhibit a range in variability in surface area distributions along the length of the channel, likely related to variations in eolian input to exposed channel beds, adjacent snow drifts, and to glacier surfaces, where dust is trapped and subsequently liberated during summer melting. Additionally, variations in stream discharge rate, which mobilizes sediment in pulses and influences water:rock ratios, the origin and nature of the underlying drift material, and the contribution of organic acids may play significant roles in the production and mobilization of high-surface area sediment. This study highlights the presence of sediments with high surface area in cold-based glacier systems, which influences models of chemical denudation rates and the impact of glacial systems on the global carbon cycle.

  7. The I.A.G. / A.I.G. SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme: Current and future activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beylich, Achim A.; Lamoureux, Scott; Decaulne, Armelle

    2013-04-01

    Projected climate change in cold regions is expected to alter melt season duration and intensity, along with the number of extreme rainfall events, total annual precipitation and the balance between snowfall and rainfall. Similarly, changes to the thermal balance are expected to reduce the extent of permafrost and seasonal ground frost and increase active layer depths. These effects will undoubtedly change surface environments in cold regions and alter the fluxes of sediments, nutrients and solutes, but the absence of quantitative data and coordinated geomorphic process monitoring and analysis to understand the sensitivity of the Earth surface environment is acute in cold climate environments. The International Association of Geomorphologists (I.A.G. / A.I.G. ) SEDIBUD (Sediment Budgets in Cold Environments) Programme was formed in 2005 to address this existing key knowledge gap. SEDIBUD currently has about 400 members worldwide and the Steering Committee of this international programme is composed of ten scientists from eight different countries: Achim A. Beylich (Chair) (Norway), Armelle Decaulne (Secretary) (France), John C. Dixon (USA), Scott F. Lamoureux (Vice-Chair) (Canada), John F. Orwin (Canada), Jan-Christoph Otto (Austria), Irina Overeem (USA), Thorsteinn Sæmundsson (Iceland), Jeff Warburton (UK) and Zbigniew Zwolinski (Poland). The central research question of this global group of scientists is to: Assess and model the contemporary sedimentary fluxes in cold climates, with emphasis on both particulate and dissolved components. Initially formed as European Science Foundation (ESF) Network SEDIFLUX (Sedimentary Source-to-Sink Fluxes in Cold Environments) (2004 - ), SEDIBUD has further expanded to a global group of researchers with field research sites located in polar and alpine regions in the northern and southern hemisphere. Research carried out at each of the close to 50 defined SEDIBUD key test sites varies by programme, logistics and available

  8. 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.

  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. Turbidity observations in sediment flux studies: Examples from Russian rivers in cold environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tananaev, N. I.; Debolskiy, M. V.

    2014-08-01

    Turbidity is commonly used as a proxy to estimate suspended sediment content in streams, and for hydroecological purposes. The scope of this paper is to give an outlook to wider applications of nephelometric turbidimetry as a method. Uncalibrated turbidity records in conjunction with water chemistry data prove useful in detecting watershed reaction to single hydrological events during the spring flood in Arctic Russia. The turbidimetric survey technique was applied to study the spatial variability of sediment yield features on small rivers of the south-eastern part of Sakhalin Island. Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) vs. turbidity relation follows the geological features of the terrain and reflects the land-use intensity within the watersheds. For our Igarka key site, a logarithmic regression model was developed as an instrument of SSC calculation with turbidity data for each of the four studied watersheds. A regional regression model was developed for this site, and supplementary water optics data (filtered sample turbidity) was employed to increase the reliability of SSC calculations. Our results show that factors influencing turbidity, namely water colour and sediment grain size, have to be considered in multivariate models, to minimize errors and acquire an understanding of what kind of physical response is actually measured by nephelometry-based instruments.

  11. Stimulated Emission of Energetic Particles (SEEP).

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-30

    a.... W W w w w w w I I li IJr Ir % i "f J2 I l AD-A 188 724 MLMSCD068456 For Period Ending 30 September 1987 CD Contract N00014-79-C4824 0 IC FILE...CLASSIFICATION 0 -UNCLASSIFIED/UNLIMITED [ SAME AS RPT C:" DTIC USERS UNCLASSIFIED 22a NAME OF RESPONSIBLE INDIVIDUAL 22b TELEPHONE (Include Area Code) 22c O...34---" ,. LMSC/D068456 . 0 SEEP FINAL REPORT I. OBJECTIVES OF THE SEEP PROGRAM The SEEP (Stimulated Emission of Energetic Particles) program had important

  12. Desulfoconvexum algidum gen. nov., sp. nov., a psychrophilic sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from a permanently cold marine sediment.

    PubMed

    Könneke, Martin; Kuever, Jan; Galushko, Alexander; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    2013-03-01

    A sulfate-reducing bacterium, designated JHA1(T), was isolated from a permanently cold marine sediment sampled in an Artic fjord on the north-west coast of Svalbard. The isolate was originally enriched at 4 °C in a highly diluted liquid culture amended with hydrogen and sulfate. Strain JHA1(T) was a psychrophile, growing fastest between 14 and 16 °C and not growing above 20 °C. Fastest growth was found at neutral pH (pH 7.2-7.4) and at marine concentrations of NaCl (20-30 g l(-1)). Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that strain JHA1(T) was a member of the family Desulfobacteraceae in the Deltaproteobacteria. The isolate shared 99 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with an environmental sequence obtained from permanently cold Antarctic sediment. The closest recognized relatives were Desulfobacula phenolica DSM 3384(T) and Desulfobacula toluolica DSM 7467(T) (both <95 % sequence similarity). In contrast to its closest phylogenetic relatives, strain JHA1(T) grew chemolithoautotrophically with hydrogen as an electron donor. CO dehydrogenase activity indicated the operation of the reductive acetyl-CoA pathway for inorganic carbon assimilation. Beside differences in physiology and morphology, strain JHA1(T) could be distinguished chemotaxonomically from the genus Desulfobacula by the absence of the cellular fatty acid C16 : 0 10-methyl. Phylogenetic differentiation from other genera was further supported by DsrAB and AprBA sequence analysis. Based on the described phylogenetic and phenotypic differences between strain JHA1(T) and its closest relatives, the establishment of a novel genus and a novel species, Desulfoconvexum algidum gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is JHA1(T) ( = DSM 21856(T)  = JCM 16085(T)).

  13. Advances in Optical Characterization of Methane Seeps and Bubble Plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizarro, O.; Farr, N.; Camilli, R.; Whelan, J.; Martens, C.; Goudreau, J.; Mendlovitz, H.; Camilli, L.

    2005-12-01

    Methane seeps are potentially a key contributor to the atmospheric methane reservoir and to the global greenhouse gas budget. Improved estimates of methane flux from ocean floor seeps are required to understand the magnitude and characteristics of this potential source. At less active, deep water seeps a large portion of the migrating gas is dissolved and oxidized before reaching the surface. However, in high-intensity, shallow water methane seeps the bubble density, speed and size are such that a significant fraction of the gas may reach the atmosphere. New types of in-situ chemical sensors are now available to quickly and reliably quantify dissolved methane throughout the water column. However, quantifying methane within the water column in the free gas phase (i.e., in 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. In both cases the fine scale structure such as heterogeneity of the rising bubbling plume is lost. We describe a vision-based system to characterize bubble plumes and the seep features from which they emanate. Video-rate optical imagery from 3 cameras is used to generate precise measurements of the motion of bubbles. Lighting is provided by a distributed array of LED modules synchronized to the cameras. In order to conserve power and extend deployment times the system can be configured to be dormant until triggered by chemical sensors indicating high concentrations of methane. Plume characterization is based on the identification of the individual bubbles (and rejection of other particles). Additional image processing steps are then used to estimate each bubble

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Methane seeps along boundaries of receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter Anthony, K. M.; Anthony, P. M.; Grosse, G.; Chanton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Glaciers, ice sheets, and permafrost form a 'cryosphere cap' that traps methane formed in the subsurface, restricting its flow to the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Despite model predictions that glacier melt and degradation of permafrost open conduits for methane's escape, there has been a paucity of field evidence for 'subcap' methane seepage to the atmosphere as a direct result of cryosphere disintegration in the terrestrial Arctic. Here, we document for the first time the release of sub-cryosphere methane to lakes, rivers, shallow marine fjords and the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of receding glaciers and permafrost thaw in Alaska and Greenland. Through aerial and ground surveys of 6,700 lakes and fjords in Alaska we mapped >150,000 gas seeps identified as bubbling-induced open holes in seasonal ice. Using gas flow rates, stable isotopes, and radiocarbon dating, we distinguished recent ecological methane from subcap, geologic methane. Subcap seeps had anomalously high bubbling rates, 14C-depletion, and stable isotope values matching microbial sources associated with sedimentary deposits and coal beds as well as thermogenic methane accumulations in Alaska. Since differential ice loading can overpressurize fluid reservoirs and cause sediment fracturing beneath ice sheets, and since the loss of glacial ice reduces normal stress on ground, opens joints, and activates faults and fissures, thereby increasing permeability of the crust to fluid flow, we hypothesized that in the previously glaciated region of Southcentral Alaska, where glacial wastage continues presently, subcap seeps should be disproportionately associated with neotectonic faults. Geospatial analysis confirmed that subcap seep sites were associated with faults within a 7 km belt from the modern glacial extent. The majority of seeps were located in areas affected by seismicity from isostatic rebound associated with deglaciation following the Little Ice Age (LIA; ca

  18. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes, II: SEEP2-08, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 188. Hydrographic data report

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Prospecting Biotechnologically-Relevant Monooxygenases from Cold Sediment Metagenomes: An In Silico Approach.

    PubMed

    Musumeci, Matías A; Lozada, Mariana; Rial, Daniela V; Mac Cormack, Walter P; Jansson, Janet K; Sjöling, Sara; Carroll, JoLynn; Dionisi, Hebe M

    2017-04-09

    The goal of this work was to identify sequences encoding monooxygenase biocatalysts with novel features by in silico mining an assembled metagenomic dataset of polar and subpolar marine sediments. The targeted enzyme sequences were Baeyer-Villiger and bacterial cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYP153). These enzymes have wide-ranging applications, from the synthesis of steroids, antibiotics, mycotoxins and pheromones to the synthesis of monomers for polymerization and anticancer precursors, due to their extraordinary enantio-, regio-, and chemo- selectivity that are valuable features for organic synthesis. Phylogenetic analyses were used to select the most divergent sequences affiliated to these enzyme families among the 264 putative monooxygenases recovered from the ~14 million protein-coding sequences in the assembled metagenome dataset. Three-dimensional structure modeling and docking analysis suggested features useful in biotechnological applications in five metagenomic sequences, such as wide substrate range, novel substrate specificity or regioselectivity. Further analysis revealed structural features associated with psychrophilic enzymes, such as broader substrate accessibility, larger catalytic pockets or low domain interactions, suggesting that they could be applied in biooxidations at room or low temperatures, saving costs inherent to energy consumption. This work allowed the identification of putative enzyme candidates with promising features from metagenomes, providing a suitable starting point for further developments.

  1. Cold adaptation of fungi obtained from soil and lake sediment in the Skarvsnes ice-free area, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Masaharu; Fujiu, Seiichi; Xiao, Nan; Hanada, Yuichi; Kudoh, Sakae; Kondo, Hidemasa; Tsuda, Sakae; Hoshino, Tamotsu

    2013-09-01

    A total of 71 isolates were collected from lake sediment and soil surrounding lakes in the Skarvsnes area, Antarctica. Based on ITS region sequence similarity, these isolates were classified to 10 genera. Twenty-three isolates were categorized as ascomycetous fungi from five genera (Embellisia, Phoma, Geomyces, Tetracladium or Thelebolus) and 48 isolates were categorized as basidiomycetous fungi in five genera (Mrakia, Cryptococcus, Dioszegia, Rhodotorula or Leucosporidium). Thirty-five percent of culturable fungi were of the genus Mrakia. Eighteen isolates from eight genera were selected and tested for both antifreeze activity and capacity for growth under temperatures ranging from -1 to 25 °C. Rhodotorula sp. NHT-2 possessed a high degree of sequence homology with R. gracialis, while Leucosporidium sp. BSS-1 possessed a high degree of sequence homology with Leu. antarcticum (Glaciozyma antarctica), and these two isolates demonstrated antifreeze activity. All isolates examined were capable of growth at -1 °C. Mrakia spp., while capable of growth at -1 °C, did not demonstrate any antifreeze activity and exhibited only limited secretion of extracellular polysaccharides. Species of the genus Mrakia possessed high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, suggesting that members of this genus have adapted to cold environments by increasing their membrane fluidity.

  2. Screening and Characterization of Cold-Active β-Galactosidase Producing Psychrotrophic Enterobacter ludwigii from the Sediments of Arctic Fjord.

    PubMed

    Alikkunju, Aneesa P; Sainjan, Neethu; Silvester, Reshma; Joseph, Ajith; Rahiman, Mujeeb; Antony, Ally C; Kumaran, Radhakrishnan C; Hatha, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Low-temperature-tolerant microorganisms and their cold-active enzymes could be an innovative and invaluable tool in various industrial applications. In the present study, bacterial isolates from the sediment samples of Kongsfjord, Norwegian Arctic, were screened for β-galactosidase production. Among the isolates, KS25, KS85, KS60, and KS92 have shown good potential in β-galactosidase production at 20 °C. 16SrRNA gene sequence analysis revealed the relatedness of the isolates to Enterobacter ludwigii. The optimum growth temperature of the isolate was 25 °C. The isolate exhibited good growth and enzyme production at a temperature range of 15-35 °C, pH 5-10. The isolate preferred yeast extract and lactose for the maximum growth and enzyme production at conditions of pH 7.0, temperature of 25 °C, and agitation speed of 100 rpm. The growth and enzyme production was stimulated by Mn(2+) and Mg(2+) and strongly inhibited by Zn(2+), Ni(2+), and Cu(+). β-Galactosidases with high specific activity at low temperatures are very beneficial in food industry to compensate the nutritional problem associated with lactose intolerance. The isolate exhibited a remarkable capability to utilize clarified whey, an industrial pollutant, for good biomass and enzyme yield and hence could be well employed in whey bioremediation.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Recognition of deep-water benthic assemblages in the fossil record: Taphonomy and community characteristics of Louisiana continental slope petroleum seep assemblages

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    Chemoautotrophic benthic assemblages associated with petroleum seepage form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Five biofacies are associated with petroleum seepage, dominated respectively by vestimentiferan tubeworms, lucinid, thyasirid and vesicomyid clams and mytilid mussels. The taphonomy of petroleum seep death assemblages includes dissolution as the most pervasive mode of shell alteration. The dominant species in each assemblage reflect the taphonomic signature of the assemblage they dominate. The taphonomic attributes of petroleum seep death assemblages are similar to those of ancient autochthonous benthic assemblages. Paleoecological characteristics representative of cold seep assemblages include: high density-low diversity molluscan assemblages dominated by large individuals, high molluscan biomass concentrations aligned in linear trends, carbons with depleted [delta][sup 13]C values associated with faunally depauperate shales, laminated or massive sedimentary structures, variable articulation frequencies, poor shell preservation, and a trophic structure dominated by one trophic group. The Campanian Tepee Buttes share many paleoecological characteristics with recognized ancient seep assemblages. Methane and hydrogen sulfide-rich fluids from underlying strata were transported along fault conduits to supply a localized nutrient source for lucinid-dominated benthic communities. The Tepee Butte assemblages were dominated by dense accumulations of Nymphalucina occidentalis with moderate to high articulation frequencies. The lucinids probably used H[sub 2]S as a nutrient source. Cold seeps can be recognized in the fossil record, based on criteria developed by the study of modern cold seep death assemblages, because the paleoecological characteristics of cold seep assemblages are very conservative.

  6. Introduction: Deep-Sea Hot Springs and Cold Seeps.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gross, M. Grant

    1984-01-01

    Describes: (1) various research studies of the mid-ocean ridges; (2) how money and facilities are made available for these studies; and (3) the prospect for future ocean floor studies. Indicates that a presidential proclamation (Exclusive Economic Zone) has extended United States boundaries 200 nautical miles seaward, adding new exploration sites.…

  7. 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.

  8. Shelf edge exchange processes-II SEEP2-06, R/V Endeavor cruise 186. Hydrographic data report

    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.

  9. Cold Desert Fluvial Sedimentation and Buried Ice Geology: Garwood Valley (Antarctica) as a Guide to Martian Delta and Gully Geomorphology, Mineralogy, and Biomarker Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, J.; Fountain, A. G.; O'Connor, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    The cold, polar desert environmental conditions of the McMurdo Dry Valleys serve as an analog for the physical processes thought to affect Mars. Garwood Valley, one of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (78°S, 164°E) has a mean annual temperature of ~255 K and experiences <50 mm of water-equivalent snowfall per year (most of which sublimates). During the last glacial maximum, the West Antarctic/Ross Ice Sheet ice filled and blocked the lower end of Garwood Valley. Despite surface temperatures ~12 K lower than at present (243 K average), alpine glacier and ice sheet melt in Garwood Valley was sufficient to form a lake in the resulting closed basin, which partly filled with a thick (>8 m) stack of deltaic and lacustrine sediments. In places, the delta sediments overlie remnants of the valley-filling ice plug. The delta sediments are found in a complex composed of three stepped surfaces that suggest sequential lowering of the lake level via incision through the valley-filling ice plug. The delta stratigraphy has been exposed by erosion, driven by massive ice melt and lateral erosion by the modern Garwood River (an alpine glacier-fed river that flows during austral summer). Garwood delta sediments contain LGM-aged algal mats, carbonates, phyllosilicates, and diatomaceous biomarker beds. Fossil algal mats are largely concentrated in delta foreset/topset beds, while carbonate and diatom-bearing layers are common in bottomsets. Mean annual temperatures have remained well below 273 K in Garwood Valley since delta emplacement, resulting in preservation of the lake deposits as ice-cemented permafrost. Where the active layer (summer thawing) intersects massive buried ice deposits, deltaic and glacial drift sediments are mobilized to form gullies, providing modern examples of cold desert gully formation processes in a high-purity ice substrate. These Antarctic conditions are strongly analogous to the climate and hydrological environment anticipated at Holden and Eberswalde craters

  10. 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.

  11. Jurassic hydrocarbon seep-carbonates in the High Atlas Basin (Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodin, Stephane; Kothe, Tim; Rose, Johannes; Krencker, Francois-Nicolas; Kabiri, Lahcen

    2015-04-01

    In the central High Atlas Basin of Morocco, the occurrence of Jurassic hydrocarbon seeps is observed in two distinct horizons: (1) the uppermost Polymorphum ammonite zone (Lower Toarcian) and (2) the Sauzei (eq. Propiquans) ammonite zone (Lower Bajocian). The Toarcian seep-carbonates are made of 5 - 6cm in diameter, half-spherical concretions that surround two vertical and closely spaced tubes, parallel to each other. Each tube is less than 1cm in diameter and filled with late diagenetic cements. The tubes are interpreted as burrow trace fossil. The concretions are embedded within an organic-matter rich interval and resemble to the Tisoa siphonalis concretions described in the upper Pliensbachian of Western Europe. Carbon isotope values decrease from the rim to the center of the concretion (from 1 to -7 per mil) whereas oxygen isotope values remain stable around -7 per mil. The C-isotope values of the concretion rim are similar to the bulk carbon isotope values of the embedding rocks. The most negative C-isotope values indicate that the carbon source of the carbonate precipitated in the centre of the concretion is likely sourced from the organoclastic sulfate reduction zone. The Bajocian seep-carbonates are observed within the dark calcareous mudstone of the Sauzei zone. One peculiarly well-exposed seep system shows the presence of a plumbing system leading to a 20cm thick carbonate crust showing the occasional occurrence of chimney structures on its upper part. The high abundance of serpulids clusters within the carbonate crust shows that it was precipitated at the water-sediment interface. The pipe structures of the plumbing system are composed of an external micritic rim enclosing a central tube that can be up to 12cm large. A complex, multi-phased infilling is observed in the inner part of the pipe and separated from the rim by a millimetric pyritized crust. Carbon isotope values are comprised between -20 per mil and -8 per mil for the micritic rim, whereas the

  12. 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

    In the shallow-water organic-poor silicate sands off the West coast of Elba, Italy, we found aragonite precipitates within a radius of 10 cm to methane seeps in 20 - 40 cm sediment depth. The shallow seep site was mapped by SCUBA diving and in an area of 100 m2 nine gas emission spots were observed. The gas emission, containing 73 Vol. % methane, was measured to be 0.72 L m-2 d-1. Findings of anaerobic methane oxidizing archea (ANME 1, 2, 2a, 2b) and sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as in vitro rate measurements of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) with a maximum of 67 ± 7 nmol CH4 cm-3 d-1 led to the hypothesis that carbonate precipitation is coupled to these microbial processes. Porewater analysis showed elevated concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (up to 15.5 mmol L-1) and hydrogen sulfide (up to 6.6 mmol L-1). The presence of bicarbonate and the ambient temperature (14 - 25 ° C) facilitate the precipitation of needle-shaped aragonite. Oxygen isotope compositions of the mineral are consistent with the ambient temperatures and may indicate a recent diagenetic formation of this mineral. Although precipitation should not be preserved in these sandy permeable sediments, influenced by seasonality, wave action, and fluid flow, we found up to 10-50 cm3 irregular pieces of cemented sand grains, very often encrusting dead seagrass rhizomes. Commonly known carbonate structures, especially from the deep sea, are chimneys, mounds, hardgrounds and nodules. These structures are well known from seep and vent sites, usually showing the same range of stable carbon isotope fractionation as the escaping methane. The permeable sediment at the Elba site possibly allows the gas to frequently change its pathway to the sediment surface and thus precipitation can occure at several spots and more irregular than in the reported sites. Preservation of precipitates, however, requires sufficient authigenic aragonite to be formed before fluid dynamics changed the

  13. Landsat detection of oil from natural seeps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Deutsch, M.; Estes, J.E.

    1980-01-01

    Oil on the ocean surface from the natural seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, could not be detected on frames of any of the four bands of standard Landsat positive or negative film transparencies, nor could the slicks be detected using digital scaling, density slicing, or ratioing techniques. Digital contrast-stretch enhancement, however, showed the distribution of oil on the surface. - from Authors

  14. The shelf edge exchange processes experiment, SEEP-II: an introduction to hypotheses, results and conclusions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biscaye, Pierre E.; Flagg, Charles N.; Falkowski, Paul G.

    The SEEP (Shelf Edge Exchange Processes)-II experiment was the second of two that took place in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) of the eastern U.S. continental shelf and slope. The experiment included an array of 10 multi-instrumented moorings deployed for 15 months and 10 oceanographic cruises, all designed to address the problem of the fate of continental shelf particulate matter in general, and organic carbon in particular. This paper provides the setting and background for the SEEP Program, the SEEP-II experiment and an introduction to the 18 papers constituting the subject of this special volume. Because those papers lack one of a general nature on the physical oceanographic setting of the experiment, that aspect is treated in somewhat more detail here. The results of the experiment overwhelmingly show that the working hypothesis on which the SEEP Program was undertaken and sponsored by the Department of Energy is not valid. That is, there is not an export to the adjacent slope and open ocean of a large proportion of the particulate matter introduced to and biologically generated in the waters of the continental shelf; most of the biogenic particulate matter is recycled by consumption (bacterial and otherwise) and oxidation on the shelf, and only a small proportion (of order ≪5%) is exported to the adjacent slope. The small amount that is exported appears to be deposited preferentially in the sediments of an area of the slope centered at about 1000 m, and the export and sedimentation to that depocenter appears to increase from the northern to the southern MAB.

  15. Hydrocarbon Seeps Formations: a Study Using 3-D Seismic Attributes in Combination with Satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Analyzing the magnitude of oil discharges from natural hydrocarbon seeps is important in improving our understanding of carbon contribution as oil migrates from deeper sediments to the water column, and then eventually to the atmosphere. Liquid hydrocarbon seepage in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is associated with deep cutting faults, associated with vertical salt movement, that provide conduits for the upward migration of oil and gas. Seeps transform surface geology and generate prominent geophysical targets that can be identified on 3-D seismic data as seafloor amplitude anomalies maps that correlate with the underlying deep fault systems. Using 3D seismic data, detailed mapping of the northern GOM has identified more than 21,000 geophysical anomalies across the basin. In addition to seismic data, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images have proven to be a reliable tool for localizing natural seepage of oil. We used a Texture Classifier Neural Network Algorithm (TCNNA) to process more than 1200 SAR images collected over the GOM. We quantified more than 900 individual seep formations distributed along the continental shelf and in deep water. Comparison of the geophysical anomalies with the SAR oil slick targets shows good general agreement between the distributions of the two indicators. However, there are far fewer active oil slicks than geophysical anomalies, most of which are probably associated with gas seepage. By examining several sites where the location of active venting can be determined by submersibles observations, we found that the active oily vents are often spatially offset from the most intense geophysical targets (i.e. GC600, GC767, GC204, etc). In addition to the displacement of the oil by deep sea currents, we propose that during the 100K years of activity, the location of the vents on the seafloor probably migrate as carbonate cementation reduces the permeability of the upper sediment. Many of the geophysical targets may represent

  16. The sediment composition and predictive mapping of facies on the Propeller Mound—A cold-water coral mound (Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heindel, Katrin; Titschack, Jürgen; Dorschel, Boris; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.; Freiwald, André

    2010-10-01

    Here we provide a detailed qualitative and quantitative insight on recent sediment composition and facies distribution of a cold-water coral (CWC) mound using the example of the Propeller Mound on the Irish continental margin (Hovland Mound Province, Porcupine Seabight). Five facies types on Propeller Mound are defined: (1) living coral framework, (2) coral rubble, (3) dropstone, (4) hardground, representing the on-mound facies, and (5) hemipelagic sediment facies, which describes the off-mound area. This facies definition is based on already published video-data recorded by Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), photo-data of gravity cores, box cores, and dredges from sediment surfaces as well as on the composition of the sediment fraction coarser than 125 μm, which has been analyzed on five selected box cores. Sediment compositions of the living coral framework and coral rubble facies are rather similar. Both sediment types are mainly produced by corals (34 and 35 wt%, respectively), planktonic foraminifers (22 and 29 wt%, respectively), benthic foraminifers (both 7 wt%), and molluscs (21 and 10 wt%, respectively), whereas the living coral framework characteristically features additional brachiopods (6 wt%). Hardgrounds are well-lithified coral rudstones rich in coral fragments (>30 surf%), foraminifers, echinoderms, and bivalves. The dropstone facies and the hemipelagic sediment typically carry high amounts of lithoclasts (36 and 53 wt%, respectively) and planktonic foraminifers (35 and 32 wt%, respectively); however, their faunal diversity is low compared with the coral-dominated facies (12 and <2 wt% coral fragments, 7 and 6 wt% benthic foraminifers, and 4 and 0 wt% balanids). Using the maximum likelihood algorithm within ArcGIS 9.2, spatial prediction maps of the previously described mound facies are calculated over Propeller Mound and are based on mound morphology parameters, ground-truthed with the sedimentary and faunal information from box cores, photographs

  17. Feeder pipes - Expression of the uppermost plumbing system in Oligocene methane-seep deposits, Washington State, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zwicker, Jennifer; Smrzka, Daniel; Gier, Susanne; Goedert, James; Peckmann, Jörn

    2015-04-01

    Plumbing systems of methane seeps are complex pathways along which hydrocarbon-rich fluids migrate upward through the marine sedimentary column. Seeps commonly maintain fluid flow over long periods of time, providing a steady supply of methane to shallow sediments and the water column. At greater sediment depths, fluid transport is facilitated by faults and conduits, which enable migration of fluids sourced from deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In the shallow subsurface, plumbing systems may become successively filled by authigenic carbonates, whose precipitation is partly triggered by sulfate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). To expand our knowledge on the uppermost plumbing network of ancient seeps, this work investigates fluid conduits that were mineralized by a distinct succession of authigenic mineral phases. These mineralized conduits, which occur below an Oligocene seep deposit from the Lincoln Creek Formation in Washington State, are referred to as feeder pipes here. The concentrically-zoned feeder pipes are 2 to 3 cm in diameter. The mineral phase that formed first is matrix micrite, making up the outer part of pipes. Toward the center, pipes are filled by clear, banded and botryoidal aragonite cement, which is intercalated with yellow aragonite cement. The innermost portions of the pipes are filled by either pipe-filling micrite, microspar, or brownish calcite. The observed paragenetic sequences archive successions of various biogeochemical processes. Clear and yellow aragonite cements are distinctly depleted in 13C, revealing that their formation was favored by AOM. In contrast, later phases including brownish calcite and microspar are enriched in 13C, pointing to precipitation from fluids affected by methanogenesis. Their size and morphology indicate that the pipes were initially produced by seep-dwelling, burrowing organisms. The burrows subsequently acted as preferred fluid pathways. Possible producers of the burrows include various bivalves

  18. 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.

  19. Geochemistry, faunal composition and trophic structure in reducing sediments on the southwest South Georgia margin

    PubMed Central

    Aquilina, Alfred; Woulds, Clare; Glover, Adrian G.; Little, Crispin T. S.; Hepburn, Laura E.; Newton, Jason; Mills, Rachel A.

    2016-01-01

    Despite a number of studies in areas of focused methane seepage, the extent of transitional sediments of more diffuse methane seepage, and their influence upon biological communities is poorly understood. We investigated an area of reducing sediments with elevated levels of methane on the South Georgia margin around 250 m depth and report data from a series of geochemical and biological analyses. Here, the geochemical signatures were consistent with weak methane seepage and the role of sub-surface methane consumption was clearly very important, preventing gas emissions into bottom waters. As a result, the contribution of methane-derived carbon to the microbial and metazoan food webs was very limited, although sulfur isotopic signatures indicated a wider range of dietary contributions than was apparent from carbon isotope ratios. Macrofaunal assemblages had high dominance and were indicative of reducing sediments, with many taxa common to other similar environments and no seep-endemic fauna, indicating transitional assemblages. Also similar to other cold seep areas, there were samples of authigenic carbonate, but rather than occurring as pavements or sedimentary concretions, these carbonates were restricted to patches on the shells of Axinulus antarcticus (Bivalvia, Thyasiridae), which is suggestive of microbe–metazoan interactions. PMID:27703692

  20. Geochemistry, faunal composition and trophic structure in reducing sediments on the southwest South Georgia margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, James B.; Aquilina, Alfred; Woulds, Clare; Glover, Adrian G.; Little, Crispin T. S.; Reid, William D. K.; Hepburn, Laura E.; Newton, Jason; Mills, Rachel A.

    2016-09-01

    Despite a number of studies in areas of focused methane seepage, the extent of transitional sediments of more diffuse methane seepage, and their influence upon biological communities is poorly understood. We investigated an area of reducing sediments with elevated levels of methane on the South Georgia margin around 250 m depth and report data from a series of geochemical and biological analyses. Here, the geochemical signatures were consistent with weak methane seepage and the role of sub-surface methane consumption was clearly very important, preventing gas emissions into bottom waters. As a result, the contribution of methane-derived carbon to the microbial and metazoan food webs was very limited, although sulfur isotopic signatures indicated a wider range of dietary contributions than was apparent from carbon isotope ratios. Macrofaunal assemblages had high dominance and were indicative of reducing sediments, with many taxa common to other similar environments and no seep-endemic fauna, indicating transitional assemblages. Also similar to other cold seep areas, there were samples of authigenic carbonate, but rather than occurring as pavements or sedimentary concretions, these carbonates were restricted to patches on the shells of Axinulus antarcticus (Bivalvia, Thyasiridae), which is suggestive of microbe-metazoan interactions.

  1. Geochemistry, faunal composition and trophic structure in reducing sediments on the southwest South Georgia margin.

    PubMed

    Bell, James B; Aquilina, Alfred; Woulds, Clare; Glover, Adrian G; Little, Crispin T S; Reid, William D K; Hepburn, Laura E; Newton, Jason; Mills, Rachel A

    2016-09-01

    Despite a number of studies in areas of focused methane seepage, the extent of transitional sediments of more diffuse methane seepage, and their influence upon biological communities is poorly understood. We investigated an area of reducing sediments with elevated levels of methane on the South Georgia margin around 250 m depth and report data from a series of geochemical and biological analyses. Here, the geochemical signatures were consistent with weak methane seepage and the role of sub-surface methane consumption was clearly very important, preventing gas emissions into bottom waters. As a result, the contribution of methane-derived carbon to the microbial and metazoan food webs was very limited, although sulfur isotopic signatures indicated a wider range of dietary contributions than was apparent from carbon isotope ratios. Macrofaunal assemblages had high dominance and were indicative of reducing sediments, with many taxa common to other similar environments and no seep-endemic fauna, indicating transitional assemblages. Also similar to other cold seep areas, there were samples of authigenic carbonate, but rather than occurring as pavements or sedimentary concretions, these carbonates were restricted to patches on the shells of Axinulus antarcticus (Bivalvia, Thyasiridae), which is suggestive of microbe-metazoan interactions.

  2. Distribution of subsurface hydrocarbon seepage in near surface marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Abrams, M.A. )

    1993-02-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps in surficial marine sediments are of two types: ACTIVE: Where gas bubbles, pockmarks, or bright spots are visible on seismic records and/or the presence of chemosynthetic communities in conjunction with large concentrations of migrated-hydrocarbons. Generally in areas where generation and migration of hydrocarbons from the source rock is ongoing today (i.e., maximum burial) and/or where significant migration pathways have developed from tectonic activity. PASSIVE: Where concentrations of migrated hydrocarbons are so low that few or no geophysical anomalies are seen. Typically in areas where generation and expulsion is relict (no longer at maximum burial) and/or regional seals prevent significant vertical migration. The type of seep strongly controls the distribution of migrated hydrocarbons in the near surface sediments and should dictate the sampling equipment and approach required to detect seeps. Active seeps or macroseeps, usually can be detected near the water-sediment interface, within the water column, and at relatively large distances from major leak points. Most conventional sediment and water samplers will capture active seeps, Precise location of sampling is typically not critical to detect active seeps. The Gulf of Mexico, Santa Barbara Channel, and parts of the North Sea have active hydrocarbon seeps.

  3. 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.

  4. Desulfotomaculum arcticum sp. nov., a novel spore-forming, moderately thermophilic, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from a permanently cold fjord sediment of Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Vandieken, Verona; Knoblauch, Christian; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    2006-04-01

    Strain 15T is a novel spore-forming, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from a permanently cold fjord sediment of Svalbard. Sulfate could be replaced by sulfite or thiosulfate. Hydrogen, formate, lactate, propionate, butyrate, hexanoate, methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, pyruvate, malate, succinate, fumarate, proline, alanine and glycine were used as electron donors in the presence of sulfate. Growth occurred with pyruvate as sole substrate. Optimal growth was observed at pH 7.1-7.5 and concentrations of 1-1.5 % NaCl and 0.4 % MgCl2. Strain 15T grew between 26 and 46.5 degrees C and optimal growth occurred at 44 degrees C. Therefore, strain 15T apparently cannot grow at in situ temperatures of Arctic sediments from where it was isolated, and it was proposed that it was present in the sediment in the form of spores. The DNA G+C content was 48.9 mol%. Strain 15T was most closely related to Desulfotomaculum thermosapovorans MLF(T) (93.5 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity). Strain 15T represents a novel species, for which the name Desulfotomaculum arcticum sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is strain 15T (=DSM 17038T = JCM 12923T).

  5. Biogeography and diversity of methane and sulfur-cycling ecotypes in deep subsurface sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, M. M.; Biddle, J.; Girguis, P. R.

    2013-12-01

    The microbially mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is critical for regulating the flux of methane from the ocean. AOM is coupled to sulfate availability in many anoxic marine environments, which has been extensively studied at cold seeps, hydrothermal vents, and the sulfate-methane transition zone at the seafloor. The microbes known to catalyze AOM form phylogenetically distinct anaerobic methanotroph (ANME) clusters and sometimes live in concert with sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Strikingly, certain ANME groups and subgroups have been shown to occupy different ecological niches in both hydrocarbon seep and hydrothermal vent sediments. However, the environmental parameters that select for certain phylogenetic variants or 'ecotypes' in a wide range of marine systems are still unknown. A marine environment that remains elusive to characterization of potential ANME and SRB ecotype diversity is methane hydrate formations in the deep subsurface. Current estimates indicate that seafloor hydrates may exceed 10,000 GtC at standard temperature and pressure conditions. However, only a handful of studies have investigated the potential for AOM in the deep subsurface associated with methane hydrates. To gain a better understanding of the distribution of methane- and sulfur- cycling ecotypes in biogeochemically distinct marine subsurface ecosystems, we generated a substantial library of 16S rRNA gene sequences for these uncultivable deep sea microorganisms using Illumina sequencing. Sediment strata were collected from the methane-hydrate associated deep subsurface of Hydrate Ridge (30 - 100 mbsf), hydrocarbon cold seeps of Monterey Bay, metalliferous sedimented hydrothermal vents of Juan de Fuca Ridge, and organic-rich hydrothermally influenced sediments of Guaymas Basin. We used the Illumina MiSeq sequencing platform to assess Archaeal and Bacterial richness in a total of 36 deep sea sediment samples followed by qPCR for quantification of ANME and SRB phylotype

  6. Microbial community composition and function in permanently cold seawater and sediments from an arctic fjord of svalbard.

    PubMed

    Teske, A; Durbin, A; Ziervogel, K; Cox, C; Arnosti, C

    2011-03-01

    Heterotrophic microbial communities in seawater and sediments metabolize much of the organic carbon produced in the ocean. Although carbon cycling and preservation depend critically on the capabilities of these microbial communities, their compositions and capabilities have seldom been examined simultaneously at the same site. To compare the abilities of seawater and sedimentary microbial communities to initiate organic matter degradation, we measured the extracellular enzymatic hydrolysis rates of 10 substrates (polysaccharides and algal extracts) in surface seawater and bottom water as well as in surface and anoxic sediments of an Arctic fjord. Patterns of enzyme activities differed between seawater and sediments, not just quantitatively, in accordance with higher cell numbers in sediments, but also in their more diversified enzyme spectrum. Sedimentary microbial communities hydrolyzed all of the fluorescently labeled polysaccharide and algal extracts, in most cases at higher rates in subsurface than surface sediments. In seawater, in contrast, only 5 of the 7 polysaccharides and 2 of the 3 algal extracts were hydrolyzed, and hydrolysis rates in surface and deepwater were virtually identical. To compare bacterial communities, 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed from the same seawater and sediment samples; they diverged strongly in composition. Thus, the broader enzymatic capabilities of the sedimentary microbial communities may result from the compositional differences between seawater and sedimentary microbial communities, rather than from gene expression differences among compositionally similar communities. The greater number of phylum- and subphylum-level lineages and operational taxonomic units in sediments than in seawater samples may reflect the necessity of a wider range of enzymatic capabilities and strategies to access organic matter that has already been degraded during passage through the water column. When transformations of marine organic

  7. Geochemical, metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into trace metal utilization by methane-oxidizing microbial consortia in sulfidic marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Glass, DR. Jennifer; Yu, DR. Hang; Steele, Joshua; Dawson, Katherine; Sun, S; Chourey, Karuna; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Orphan, V

    2014-01-01

    Microbes have obligate requirements for trace metals in metalloenzymes that catalyze important biogeochemical reactions. In anoxic methane- and sulfide-rich environments, microbes may have unique adaptations for metal acquisition and utilization due to decreased bioavailability as a result of metal sulfide precipitation. However, micronutrient cycling is largely unexplored in cold ( 10 C) and sulfidic (>1 mM H2S) deep-sea methane seep ecosystems. We investigated trace metal geochemistry and microbial metal utilization in methane seeps offshore Oregon and California, USA, and report dissolved concentrations of nickel (0.5-270 nM), cobalt (0.5-6 nM), molybdenum (10-5,600 nM) and tungsten (0.3-8 nM) in Hydrate Ridge sediment porewaters. Despite low levels of cobalt and tungsten, metagenomic and metaproteomic data suggest that microbial consortia catalyzing anaerobic oxidation of methane utilize both scarce micronutrients in addition to nickel and molybdenum. Genetic machinery for cobalt-containing vitamin B12 biosynthesis was present in both anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). Proteins affiliated with the tungsten-containing form of formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase were expressed in ANME from two seep ecosystems, the first evidence for expression of a tungstoenzyme in psychrotolerant microorganisms. Finally, our data suggest that chemical speciation of metals in highly sulfidic porewaters may exert a stronger influence on microbial bioavailability than total concentration

  8. Geochemical, metagenomic and metaproteomic insights into trace metal utilization by methane-oxidizing microbial consortia in sulphidic marine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Glass, DR. Jennifer; Yu, DR. Hang; Steele, Joshua; Dawson, Katherine; Sun, S; Chourey, Karuna; Pan, Chongle; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Orphan, V

    2013-01-01

    Microbes have obligate requirements for trace metals in metalloenzymes that catalyse important biogeochemical reactions. In anoxic methane- and sulphiderich environments, microbes may have unique adaptations for metal acquisition and utilization because of decreased bioavailability as a result of metal sulphide precipitation. However, micronutrient cycling is largely unexplored in cold ( 10 C) and sulphidic (> 1 mM H2S) deep-sea methane seep ecosystems. We investigated trace metal geochemistry and microbial metal utilization in methane seeps offshore Oregon and California, USA, and report dissolved concentrations of nickel (0.5 270 nM), cobalt (0.5 6 nM), molybdenum (10 5600 nM) and tungsten (0.3 8 nM) in Hydrate Ridge sediment porewaters. Despite low levels of cobalt and tungsten, metagenomic and metaproteomic data suggest that microbial consortia catalysing anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) utilize both scarce micronutrients in addition to nickel and molybdenum. Genetic machinery for cobalt-containing vitamin B12 biosynthesis was present in both anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and sulphate-reducing bacteria. Proteins affiliated with the tungsten-containing form of formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase were expressed in ANME from two seep ecosystems, the first evidence for expression of a tungstoenzyme in psychrophilic microorganisms. Overall, our data suggest that AOM consortia use specialized biochemical strategies to overcome the challenges of metal availability in sulphidic environments.

  9. 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.

  10. Increased methane emissions from deep osmotic and buoyant convection beneath submarine seeps as climate warms.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Silvana S S; Cartwright, Julyan H E

    2016-10-27

    High speeds have been measured at seep and mud-volcano sites expelling methane-rich fluids from the seabed. Thermal or solute-driven convection alone cannot explain such high velocities in low-permeability sediments. Here we demonstrate that in addition to buoyancy, osmotic effects generated by the adsorption of methane onto the sediments can create large overpressures, capable of recirculating seawater from the seafloor to depth in the sediment layer, then expelling it upwards at rates of up to a few hundreds of metres per year. In the presence of global warming, such deep recirculation of seawater can accelerate the melting of methane hydrates at depth from timescales of millennia to just decades, and can drastically increase the rate of release of methane into the hydrosphere and perhaps the atmosphere.

  11. Increased methane emissions from deep osmotic and buoyant convection beneath submarine seeps as climate warms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, Silvana S. S.; Cartwright, Julyan H. E.

    2016-10-01

    High speeds have been measured at seep and mud-volcano sites expelling methane-rich fluids from the seabed. Thermal or solute-driven convection alone cannot explain such high velocities in low-permeability sediments. Here we demonstrate that in addition to buoyancy, osmotic effects generated by the adsorption of methane onto the sediments can create large overpressures, capable of recirculating seawater from the seafloor to depth in the sediment layer, then expelling it upwards at rates of up to a few hundreds of metres per year. In the presence of global warming, such deep recirculation of seawater can accelerate the melting of methane hydrates at depth from timescales of millennia to just decades, and can drastically increase the rate of release of methane into the hydrosphere and perhaps the atmosphere.

  12. Increased methane emissions from deep osmotic and buoyant convection beneath submarine seeps as climate warms

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Silvana S. S.; Cartwright, Julyan H. E.

    2016-01-01

    High speeds have been measured at seep and mud-volcano sites expelling methane-rich fluids from the seabed. Thermal or solute-driven convection alone cannot explain such high velocities in low-permeability sediments. Here we demonstrate that in addition to buoyancy, osmotic effects generated by the adsorption of methane onto the sediments can create large overpressures, capable of recirculating seawater from the seafloor to depth in the sediment layer, then expelling it upwards at rates of up to a few hundreds of metres per year. In the presence of global warming, such deep recirculation of seawater can accelerate the melting of methane hydrates at depth from timescales of millennia to just decades, and can drastically increase the rate of release of methane into the hydrosphere and perhaps the atmosphere. PMID:27807343

  13. Seep carbonates and chemosynthetic coral communities in the Early Paleocene alpine accretionary wedge: evidences from the Bocco Shale (Internal Liguride ophiolitic sequence, Northern Apennine, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandolfi, Luca; Boschi, Chiara; Luvisi, Edoardo; Alessandro, Ellero; Marroni, Michele; Meneghini, Francesca

    2014-05-01

    In Northern Apennines, the Internal Liguride units are characterized by an ophiolite sequence that represents the stratigraphic base of a Late Jurassic-Early Paleocene sedimentary cover. The Bocco Shale represents the youngest deposit recognized in the sedimentary cover of the ophiolite sequence, sedimented just before the inception of subduction-related deformation history. The Bocco Shale has been interpreted as a fossil example of deposits related to the frontal tectonic erosion of the alpine accretionary wedge slope. The frontal tectonic erosion resulted in a large removal of material from the accretionary wedge front reworked as debris flows and slide deposits sedimented on the lower plate above the trench deposits. These trench-slope deposits may have been successively deformed and metamorphosed during the following accretion processes. The frontal tectonic erosion can be envisaged as a common process during the convergence-related evolution of the Ligure-Piemontese oceanic basin in the Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary time span. In the uppermost Internal Liguride tectonic unit (Portello Unit of Pandolfi and Marroni. 1997), that crops-out in Trebbia Valley, several isolated blocks of authigenic carbonates, unidentificated corals and intrabasinal carbonatic arenites have been recognized inside the fine-grained sediments that dominate the Early Paleocene Lavagnola Fm. (cfr. Bocco Shale Auctt.). The preliminary data on stable isotopes from blocks of authigenic carbonates (up to 1 m thick and 3 m across) and associated corals archive a methane signatures in their depleted carbon isotope pattern (up to δ13C -30‰ PDB) and suggest the presence of chemosynthetic paleocommunities. The seep-carbonates recognized at the top of Internal Liguride succession (cfr. Bocco Shale Auctt.) occur predominantly as blocks in very thick mudstone-dominated deposits and probably developed in an environment dominated by the expulsion of large volume of cold methane-bearing fluids

  14. Localized enrichment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil, spruce needles, and lake sediments linked to in-situ bitumen extraction near Cold Lake, Alberta.

    PubMed

    Korosi, J B; Irvine, G; Skierszkan, E K; Doyle, J R; Kimpe, L E; Janvier, J; Blais, J M

    2013-11-01

    The extraction of bitumen from the Alberta oil sands using in-situ technologies is expanding at a rapid rate; however, investigations into the environmental impacts of oil sands development have focused on surface mining in the Athabasca region. We measured polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in soils, spruce needles, and lake sediment cores in the Cold Lake oil sands region to provide a historical and spatial perspective on PAH contamination related to in-situ extraction activities. A pronounced increase in PAH concentrations was recorded in one of two study lakes (Hilda Lake) corresponding to the onset of commercial bitumen production in ~1985. Distance from extraction rigs was not an important predictor of PAH concentrations in soils, although two samples located near installations were elevated in alkyl PAHs. Evidence of localized PAH contamination in Hilda Lake and two soil samples suggests that continued environmental monitoring is justified to assess PAH contamination as development intensifies.

  15. Joint Interpretation of Electromagnetic and Seismic Data to Determine Gas and Methane Hydrate Distribution within the Nyegga CNE03 Seep.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jegen, M. D.; Hölz, S.; Cukur, D.; Sommer, M.; Attias, E.; Weitemeyer, K.; Berndt, C.

    2014-12-01

    The presence of the Nyegga pockmark field within the gas hydrate stability field on the Norwegian continental slope points to possible methane release through cold seeps. It is, however, not clear how the methane may migrate through the still existing hydrate stability zone as the gas should form new hydrate further up in the section. In an effort to better understand the physical processes and quantify the hydrate/gas distribution in the area, GEOMAR and the University of Southampton collected different types of electromagnetic data sets with different depth ranges and resolution in a region, which has been extensively covered by seismic investigation. The presence of hydrate within seafloor sediments causes an increase in both the bulk modulus, and hence the seismic velocity, and in the electrical resistivity. The presence of gas decreases seismic velocity but increases electrical resistivity. Both seismic and controlled source electromagnetic methods can and have been used to estimate hydrate and gas content. Since seismic velocity and the electrical resistivity are sensitive also to a range of other parameters such as lithology, porosity and pore fluid salinity, single rock property parameter investigations are hampered by many uncertainties. However, since the sensitivities are different for the two properties, determination of both velocity and resistivity for the same volume of sea bed provides a powerful tool for distinguishing the contribution of hydrate or gas from that of other parameters. In this work we report on a new type of 3D electromagnetic high resolution tomography experiment which was focused on the CNE03 chimney in the centre of the region. The data indicates the presence of a highly resistive zone, where seismic travel time tomography has shown the presence of gas hydrates within the chimney. The distribution of methane hydrate concentrations are derived based on a joint interpretation of seismic velocity and electrical resistivities.

  16. A novel cold-adapted and highly salt-tolerant esterase from Alkalibacterium sp. SL3 from the sediment of a soda lake

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guozeng; Wang, Qiaohuang; Lin, Xianju; Bun Ng, Tzi; Yan, Renxiang; Lin, Juan; Ye, Xiuyun

    2016-01-01

    A novel esterase gene (estSL3) was cloned from the Alkalibacterium sp. SL3, which was isolated from the sediment of soda lake Dabusu. The 636-bp full-length gene encodes a polypeptide of 211 amino acid residues that is closely related with putative GDSL family lipases from Alkalibacterium and Enterococcus. The gene was successfully expressed in E. coli, and the recombinant protein (rEstSL3) was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and characterized. rEstSL3 exhibited the highest activity towards pNP-acetate and had no activity towards pNP-esters with acyl chains longer than C8. The enzyme was highly cold-adapted, showing an apparent temperature optimum of 30 °C and remaining approximately 70% of the activity at 0 °C. It was active and stable over the pH range from 7 to 10, and highly salt-tolerant up to 5 M NaCl. Moreover, rEstSL3 was strongly resistant to most tested metal ions, chemical reagents, detergents and organic solvents. Amino acid composition analysis indicated that EstSL3 had fewer proline residues, hydrogen bonds and salt bridges than mesophilic and thermophilic counterparts, but more acidic amino acids and less hydrophobic amino acids when compared with other salt-tolerant esterases. The cold active, salt-tolerant and chemical-resistant properties make it a promising enzyme for basic research and industrial applications. PMID:26915906

  17. Biogeochemistry of a submerged groundwater seep ecosystem in Lake Huron near karst region of Alpena, MI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinsman-Costello, L. E.; Dick, G.; Sheik, C.; Burton, G. A.; Sheldon, N. D.

    2015-12-01

    Submerged groundwater seeps in Lake Huron establish ecosystems with distinctive geochemical conditions. In the Middle Island Sinkhole (MIS), a 23-m deep seep, groundwater seepage establishes low O2 (< 4 mg L-1), high sulfate (6 mM) conditions, in which a purple cyanobacteria-dominated mat thrives. The mat is capable of anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxygenic photosynthesis, and chemosynthesis. Within the top 3 cm of the mat-water interface, hydrogen sulfide concentrations increase to 1-7 mM. Little is known about the structure and function of microbes within organic-rich, high-sulfide sediments beneath the mat. Using pore water and sediment geochemical characterization along with microbial community analysis, we elucidated relationships between microbial community structure and ecosystem function along vertical gradients. In sediment pore waters, biologically reactive solutes (SO42-, NH4+, PO43-, and CH4) displayed steep vertical gradients, reflecting biological and geochemical functioning. In contrast, more conservative ions (Ca+2, Mg+2, Na+, and Cl-), did not change significantly with depth in MIS sediments, indicating groundwater influence in the sediment profile. MIS sediments contained more organic matter than typical Lake Huron sediments, and were generally higher in nutrients, metals, and sulfur (acid volatile sulfide). Using the Illumina MiSeq platform we detected 14,127 unique operational taxonomic units across sediment and surface mat samples. Microbial community composition in the MIS was distinctly different from non-groundwater affected areas at similar depth nearby in Lake Huron (ANOSIM, R= 0.74, p=0.002). MIS sediment communities were more diverse that MIS surface mat communities and changed with depth into sediments. MIS sediment community composition was related to several geochemical variables, including organic matter and multiple indicators of phosphorus availability. Elucidating the structure and function of microbial consortia in MIS, a highly

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Bacteria in the cold deep-sea benthic boundary layer and sediment-water interface of the NE Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Turley

    2000-08-01

    This is a short review of the current understanding of the role of microorganisms in the biogeochemistry in the deep-sea benthic boundary layer (BBL) and sediment-water interface (SWI) of the NE Atlantic, the gaps in our knowledge and some suggestions of future directions. The BBL is the layer of water, often tens of meters thick, adjacent to the sea bed and with homogenous properties of temperature and salinity, which sometimes contains resuspended detrital particles. The SWI is the bioreactive interface between the water column and the upper 1 cm of sediment and can include a large layer of detrital material composed of aggregates that have sedimented from the upper mixed layer of the ocean. This material is biologically transformed, over a wide range of time scales, eventually forming the sedimentary record. To understand the microbial ecology of deep-sea bacteria, we need to appreciate the food supply in the upper ocean, its packaging, passage and transformation during the delivery to the sea bed, the seasonality of variability of the supply and the environmental conditions under which the deep-sea bacteria grow. We also need to put into a microbial context recent geochemical findings of vast reservoirs of intrinsically labile organic material sorped onto sediments. These may well become desorped, and once again available to microorganisms, during resuspension events caused by deep ocean currents. As biotechnologists apply their tools in the deep oceans in search of unique bacteria, an increasing knowledge and understanding of the natural processes undertaken and environmental conditions experienced by deep-sea bacteria will facilitate this exploitation.

  1. Bacterial diversity and bioprospecting for cold-active hydrolytic enzymes from culturable bacteria associated with sediment from Nella Fjord, Eastern Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yong; Li, Hui-Rong; Zeng, Yin-Xin; Chen, Bo

    2011-01-31

    The diversity and cold-active hydrolytic enzymes of culturable bacteria associated with sandy sediment from Nella Fjord, Eastern Antarctica (69°22'6″ S, 76°21'45″ E) was investigated. A total of 33 aerobic heterotrophic bacterial strains were isolated at 4 °C. These bacterial isolates could be sorted into 18 phylotypes based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence belonging to four phyla, namely Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Only seven isolates were psychrophilic, 15 isolates were moderately psychrophilic, and 11 isolates were psychrotolerant. More than 72% of the isolates required sodium chloride to grow. Esterase, β-glucosidase and proteases activities at 4 °C were detected in more than 45% of the strains while approximately 21%, 15% and 12% of the strains possessed lipase, amylase and chitinase, respectively. These results indicate that a relatively high culturable bacterial diversity is present within marine sediment of Nella Fjord and it could serve as an ideal candidate region for bioprospecting.

  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. Production and remineralization in continental shelf ecosystems: A test of the SEEP hypothesis

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, G.T.

    1986-09-01

    The hypothesis that continental shelf ecosystems export a major fraction of the carbon produced by the phytoplankton during the spring bloom was tested during the Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) experiment off the northeast US coast in 1984. This study, along with a reanalysis of traditional concepts, leads to the conclusion that only a small fraction of continental shelf phytodetritus is exported across a distinct shelf-slope hydrographic frontal system. What is not consumed in the spring is utilized on the shelf during the ensuing stratified season. More open ended ecosystems may export production more readily. The total benthic standing stocks in terms of organic carbon (macrofauna, meiofauna, and bacteria) have been estimated in the SEEP area. Their preponderance on the continental shelf was partial evidence that little organic matter escapes to the upper continental slope. Measurements of the metabolism of the biota allowed calculation of turnover times of organic detritius and the total biota. The turnover time of detritus increased as grain size decreased, suggesting that fine-grained deposits contain mostly refractory, nonreactive compounds, especially on the deep slope. Turnover times of the total biota were about the same in the coarse versus fine-grained shelf deposits, but a far larger fraction of the turnover was attributed to the bacteria in the fine sediments than in the coarse. On average, about 25% of the primary production appeared to be utilized by the aerobic benthos on the continental shelf in the SEEP area. The role of anaerobes at depth in the sediments remains uncertain.

  4. 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.

  5. Transport and transfer rates in the waters of the continental shelf and slope: SEEP. Final report, May 1, 1987--December 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Biscaye, P.E.; Anderson, R.F.

    1993-12-31

    The overall Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) Program, which began in 1980 or 1981, had as its goal the testing of a hypothesis with respect to the fate of particulate matter formed in and introduced into the waters of the continental shelf adjacent to the northern east coast of the US, i.e., the MAB. The original hypothesis was that a large proportion of the particles in general, and of the particulate organic carbon (POC) in particular, was exported from the shelf, across the shelf/slope break and front, into the waters of, and, to some degree, deposited in the sediments of the continental slope. This hypothesis was based on budgets of organic carbon and lead-210 that did not account for a large proportion of those species in the waters or sediments of the shelf, and on a carbon-rich band of sediments centered on the slope at {approximately}1,000 m water depth. The results of the first SEEP experiment, south of New England and Long Island (SEEP-1) suggested, but did not prove, that there was only a relatively small proportion of the carbon which was exported from the shelf to the slope. The objective of the second experiment -- SEEP-2 -- done under the subject grant, was to tighten the experiment in terms of the kinds of data collected, and to focus it more on the shelf and only the upper slope, where shelf-derived particles were thought to be deposited.

  6. Seasonal and spatial diversity of microbial communities in marine sediments of the South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Du, Jikun; Xiao, Kai; Huang, Yali; Li, Huixian; Tan, Hongming; Cao, Lixiang; Lu, Yongjun; Zhou, Shining

    2011-10-01

    This study was conducted to characterize the diversity of microbial communities in marine sediments of the South China Sea by means of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. The results revealed that the sediment samples collected in summer harboured a more diverse microbial community than that collected in winter, Deltaproteobacteria dominated 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from both seasons, followed by Gammaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Nitrospirae, Planctomycetes, Firmicutes. Archaea phylotypes were also found. The majority of clone sequences shared greatest similarity to uncultured organisms, mainly from hydrothermal sediments and cold seep sediments. In addition, the sedimentary microbial communities in the coastal sea appears to be much more diverse than that of the open sea. A spatial pattern in the sediment samples was observed that the sediment samples collected from the coastal sea and the open sea clustered separately, a novel microbial community dominated the open sea. The data indicate that changes in environmental conditions are accompanied by significant variations in diversity of microbial communities at the South China Sea.

  7. Temperature-Dependent Variations in Sulfate-Reducing Communities Associated with a Terrestrial Hydrocarbon Seep

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Ting-Wen; Lin, Li-Hung; Lin, Yue-Ting; Song, Sheng-Rong; Wang, Pei-Ling

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial hydrocarbon seeps are an important source of naturally emitted methane over geological time. The exact community compositions responsible for carbon cycling beneath these surface features remain obscure. As sulfate reduction represents an essential process for anoxic organic mineralization, this study collected muddy fluids from a high-temperature hydrocarbon seep in Taiwan and analyzed community structures of sulfate-supplemented sediment slurries incubated anoxically at elevated temperatures. The results obtained demonstrated that sulfate consumption occurred between 40°C and 80°C. Dominant potential sulfate reducers included Desulfovibrio spp., Desulfonatronum spp., Desulforhabdus spp., and Desulfotomaculum spp. at 40°C, Thermodesulfovibrio spp. at 50°C, Thermodesulfovibrio spp. and Thermacetogenium spp. at 60°C, Thermacetogenium spp. and Archaeoglobus spp. at 70°C, and Archaeoglobus spp. at 80°C. None of these potential sulfate reducers exceeded 7% of the community in the untreated sample. Since no exogenous electron donor was provided during incubation, these sulfate reducers appeared to rely on the degradation of organic matter inherited from porewater and sediments. Aqueous chemistry indicated that fluids discharged in the region represented a mixture of saline formation water and low-salinity surface water; therefore, these lines of evidence suggest that deeply-sourced, thermophilic and surface-input, mesophilic sulfate-reducing populations entrapped along the subsurface fluid transport could respond rapidly once the ambient temperature is adjusted to a range close to their individual optima. PMID:25273230

  8. 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.

  9. Bacteria associated with iron seeps in a sulfur-rich, neutral pH, freshwater ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Haaijer, Suzanne C M; Harhangi, Harry R; Meijerink, Bas B; Strous, Marc; Pol, Arjan; Smolders, Alfons J P; Verwegen, Karin; Jetten, Mike S M; Op den Camp, Huub J M

    2008-12-01

    The freshwater nature reserve De Bruuk is an iron- and sulfur-rich minerotrophic peatland containing many iron seeps and forms a suitable habitat for iron and sulfur cycle bacteria. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene-based clone libraries showed a striking correlation of the bacterial population of samples from this freshwater ecosystem with the processes of iron reduction (genus Geobacter), iron oxidation (genera Leptothrix and Gallionella) and sulfur oxidation (genus Sulfuricurvum). Results from fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses with a probe specific for the beta-1 subgroup of Proteobacteria, to which the genera Leptothrix and Gallionella belong, and newly developed probes specific for the genera Geobacter and Sulfuricurvum, supported the clone library data. Molecular data suggested members of the epsilonproteobacterial genus Sulfuricurvum as contributors to the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds in the iron seeps of De Bruuk. In an evaluation of anaerobic dimethyl sulfide (DMS)-degrading activity of sediment, incubations with the electron acceptors sulfate, ferric iron and nitrate were performed. The fastest conversion of DMS was observed with nitrate. Further, a DMS-oxidizing, nitrate-reducing enrichment culture was established with sediment material from De Bruuk. This culture was dominated by dimorphic, prosthecate bacteria, and the 16S rRNA gene sequence obtained from this enrichment was closely affiliated with Hyphomicrobium facile, which indicates that the Hyphomicrobium species are capable of both aerobic and nitrate-driven DMS degradation.

  10. Soda ash treatment of a strontium-90-contaminated groundwater seep

    SciTech Connect

    Spalding, B.P.; Munro, I.I.

    1983-01-01

    A /sup 90/Sr-contaminated groundwater seep on the perimeter of a low-level radioactive solid waste disposal area at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) was treated by burying 315 kg of soda ash in the groundwater flow path leading to the seep, and placing 45 kg of soda ash on the surface of the seep. The concentration of /sup 90/Sr in the seep water fell from an average of 7000 Bq L/sup -1/ to 900 Bq L/sup -1/ for the 90 d after burial, followed by a period of gradual rise back to pretreatment levels over the next 100 d. The electrical conductivity and pH of the seep water increased following soda ash burial, while water hardness fell. Hardness was highly correlated (r = 0.84) with /sup 90/Sr concentrations over the entire 2-year observation period, indicating the similar behavior of /sup 90/Sr and soluble Ca and Mg. This in situ softening of, and /sup 90/Sr precipitation from, the seep water was achieved by coprecipitation of /sup 90/Sr with Ca(Mg)CO/sub 3/ until the buried soda ash was depleted by dissolution in the groundwater. The soda ash treatment of groundwater seeps appears to be most practical as an interim technique for those situations requiring an immediate, but temporary, corrective action. During this limited but effective period, more permanent corrective actions could be planned at the source of contamination. The electrical conductivity, pH, and hardness of the larger surface stream, into which this seep discharges, were not affected by the soda ash burial, most likely due to the approximately 2000-fold dilution effected by this stream.

  11. 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.

  12. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes: 2, SEEP2-09, R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 193: Hydrographic data report

    SciTech Connect

    Behrens, W.J.; Wilson, C.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1990-01-01

    The R/V ENDEAVOR cruise 193, SEEP2-09, took place from 17--23 March 1989 and focused primarily on biological processes in the SEEP2 area. Mooring 1 was recovered and re-deployed and a replacement for mooring 4 was deployed. A 24 hour time series was conducted at mooring 1 to study primary and secondary production. The time series involved sampling nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll {und a}, zooplankton abundance and distribution and fecal pellet production. Experiments to estimate grazing rates the fecal pellet production of the dominant copepods were also done. MOCNESS tows and box core samples were also taken during the cruise. Sediment and zooplankton data are not reported here. During this cruise 46 CTD casts were made measuring pressure, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence and light transmission. Discrete samples were taken in rosette-mounted Niskin bottles and analyzed for concentration of nutrients, chlorophyll {und a}, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen.

  13. Widespread occurrence of an intranuclear bacterial parasite in vent and seep bathymodiolin mussels.

    PubMed

    Zielinski, Frank U; Pernthaler, Annelie; Duperron, Sébastien; Raggi, Luciana; Giere, Olav; Borowski, Christian; Dubilier, Nicole

    2009-05-01

    Many parasitic bacteria live in the cytoplasm of multicellular animals, but only a few are known to regularly invade their nuclei. In this study, we describe the novel bacterial parasite "Candidatus Endonucleobacter bathymodioli" that invades the nuclei of deep-sea bathymodiolin mussels from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Bathymodiolin mussels are well known for their symbiotic associations with sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria. In contrast, the parasitic bacteria of vent and seep animals have received little attention despite their potential importance for deep-sea ecosystems. We first discovered the intranuclear parasite "Ca. E. bathymodioli" in Bathymodiolus puteoserpentis from the Logatchev hydrothermal vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Using primers and probes specific to "Ca. E. bathymodioli" we found this intranuclear parasite in at least six other bathymodiolin species from vents and seeps around the world. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy analyses of the developmental cycle of "Ca. E. bathymodioli" showed that the infection of a nucleus begins with a single rod-shaped bacterium which grows to an unseptated filament of up to 20 microm length and then divides repeatedly until the nucleus is filled with up to 80,000 bacteria. The greatly swollen nucleus destroys its host cell and the bacteria are released after the nuclear membrane bursts. Intriguingly, the only nuclei that were never infected by "Ca. E. bathymodioli" were those of the gill bacteriocytes. These cells contain the symbiotic sulfur- and methane-oxidizing bacteria, suggesting that the mussel symbionts can protect their host nuclei against the parasite. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the "Ca. E. bathymodioli" belongs to a monophyletic clade of Gammaproteobacteria associated with marine metazoans as diverse as sponges, corals, bivalves, gastropods, echinoderms, ascidians and fish. We hypothesize that many of the sequences from this clade

  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. Colloidal mercury (Hg) distribution in soil samples by sedimentation field-flow fractionation coupled to mercury cold vapour generation atomic absorption spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Santoro, A; Terzano, R; Medici, L; Beciani, M; Pagnoni, A; Blo, G

    2012-01-01

    Diverse analytical techniques are available to determine the particle size distribution of potentially toxic elements in matrices of environmental interest such as soil, sediments, freshwater and groundwater. However, a single technique is often not exhaustive enough to determine both particle size distribution and element concentration. In the present work, the investigation of mercury in soil samples collected from a polluted industrial site was performed by using a new analytical approach which makes use of sedimentation field-flow fractionation (SdFFF) coupled to cold vapour generation electrothermal atomic absorption spectroscopy (CV-ETAAS). The Hg concentration in the SdFFF fractions revealed a broad distribution from about 0.1 to 1 μm, roughly following the particle size distributions, presenting a maximum at about 400-700 nm in diameter. A correlation between the concentration of Hg in the colloidal fraction and organic matter (O.M.) content in the soil samples was also found. However, this correlation is less likely to be related to Hg sorption to soil O.M. but rather to the presence of colloidal mercuric sulfide particles whose size is probably controlled by the occurrence of dissolved O.M. The presence of O.M. could have prevented the aggregation of smaller particles, leading to an accumulation of mercuric sulfides in the colloidal fraction. In this respect, particle size distribution of soil samples can help to understand the role played by colloidal particles in mobilising mercury (also as insoluble compounds) and provide a significant contribution in determining the environmental impact of this toxic element.

  16. Imaging Active and Relict Seafloor Methane Seep Sites: a Comparison of Seafloor 3D Seismic Reflectivity and Multibeam Sonar Backscatter Intensity at Omakere Ridge, Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golding, T. V.; Pecher, I. A.; Crutchley, G. J.; Klaeschen, D.; Papenberg, C. A.; Bialas, J.; Greinert, J.; Townend, J.; SO214 Shipboard Scientific Party

    2011-12-01

    Omakere Ridge is an anticlinal thrust ridge in water depths of 1100-1700 m on the Hikurangi Margin, east of the North Island of New Zealand, and an area of active seafloor methane seepage associated with an extensive gas hydrate province. Methane seep sites on the Hikurangi Margin are characterised by localised build-ups of hard authigenic carbonate and chemosynthetic seep fauna that exist on a seafloor otherwise characterised by soft, muddy sediments. Previous studies have shown that these seep sites appear as areas of high backscatter in sonar images, but backscatter data alone do not provide detailed information on the present level of activity of a seep site, or the thickness of the carbonate build-up. Here we present a comparison of seafloor seismic reflectivity and multibeam sonar backscatter intensity data collected from active and relict methane seep sites on Omakere Ridge. High-resolution P-Cable 3D seismic reflection data and 12 kHz EM120 multibeam sonar data were collected in March 2011 during the RV Sonne cruise SO214. Seafloor seismic amplitude maps have been derived from the shipboard post-stack migrated data cube. A pronounced acquisition artifact is manifest in the seafloor horizon slice as high and low amplitude stripes that alternate periodically in the crossline direction. We have removed this artifact from the seafloor horizon slice using Kx-Ky filtering, followed by direct sampling and deterministic removal of the very-low-frequency components in the spatial domain. The seismic amplitude map has then been transformed into a calibrated seafloor reflection coefficient map. Sonar backscatter mosaics have been created after correcting for instrument response, angular variation in backscatter and bathymetry. Several backscatter mosaics were incorporated into a stacked mosaic over the study area to attenuate random noise. The high sonar backscatter response at the seep sites is generally accompanied by high seismic reflectivity. However, the

  17. Archaeal Populations in Hypersaline Sediments Underlying Orange Microbial Mats in the Napoli Mud Volcano▿†

    PubMed Central

    Lazar, Cassandre Sara; L'Haridon, Stéphane; Pignet, Patricia; Toffin, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    Microbial mats in marine cold seeps are known to be associated with ascending sulfide- and methane-rich fluids. Hence, they could be visible indicators of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and methane cycling processes in underlying sediments. The Napoli mud volcano is situated in the Olimpi Area that lies on saline deposits; from there, brine fluids migrate upward to the seafloor. Sediments associated with a brine pool and microbial orange mats of the Napoli mud volcano were recovered during the Medeco cruise. Based on analysis of RNA-derived sequences, the “active” archaeal community was composed of many uncultured lineages, such as rice cluster V or marine benthic group D. Function methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) genes were affiliated with the anaerobic methanotrophic Archaea (ANME) of the ANME-1, ANME-2a, and ANME-2c groups, suggesting that AOM occurred in these sediment layers. Enrichment cultures showed the presence of viable marine methylotrophic Methanococcoides in shallow sediment layers. Thus, the archaeal community diversity seems to show that active methane cycling took place in the hypersaline microbial mat-associated sediments of the Napoli mud volcano. PMID:21335391

  18. Archaeal populations in hypersaline sediments underlying orange microbial mats in the Napoli mud volcano.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Cassandre Sara; L'haridon, Stéphane; Pignet, Patricia; Toffin, Laurent

    2011-05-01

    Microbial mats in marine cold seeps are known to be associated with ascending sulfide- and methane-rich fluids. Hence, they could be visible indicators of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) and methane cycling processes in underlying sediments. The Napoli mud volcano is situated in the Olimpi Area that lies on saline deposits; from there, brine fluids migrate upward to the seafloor. Sediments associated with a brine pool and microbial orange mats of the Napoli mud volcano were recovered during the Medeco cruise. Based on analysis of RNA-derived sequences, the "active" archaeal community was composed of many uncultured lineages, such as rice cluster V or marine benthic group D. Function methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) genes were affiliated with the anaerobic methanotrophic Archaea (ANME) of the ANME-1, ANME-2a, and ANME-2c groups, suggesting that AOM occurred in these sediment layers. Enrichment cultures showed the presence of viable marine methylotrophic Methanococcoides in shallow sediment layers. Thus, the archaeal community diversity seems to show that active methane cycling took place in the hypersaline microbial mat-associated sediments of the Napoli mud volcano.

  19. 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.

  20. Shelf Edge Exchange Processes-2: Seep2-02, R/V CAPE HATTERAS cruise CH01-88

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, C.; Behrens, W.J.; Flagg, C.N.; Wallace, D.W.R.; Wilke, R.J.; Wyman, K.D.

    1989-11-01

    The R/V CAPE HATTERAS cruise CH01-88, SEEP2-02, took place from 3--20 March, 1988 and focused primarily on biological processes in the SEEP2 area. A short term sediment trap mooring was deployed near mooring 1 and recovered during the cruise. The mooring consisted of two 0.07 sq. meter and one 0.7 sq. meter sediment traps. Two time series, approximately 48 hours each, were conducted in the area of the sediment trap mooring. The time series were designed to study primary and secondary productivity and involved sampling nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, zooplankton abundance and distribution, and zooplankton fecal pellet distribution. Experiments to estimate grazing rates and fecal pellet production of the dominant copepods were also done. Sediment trap and zooplankton data are not reported here. During this cruise 99 CTD casts were made measuring pressure, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence and light transmission. Discrete samples were taken in rosette-mounted Niskin bottles and analyzed for concentration of nutrients, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Subseafloor to Sea-Air Interface Characterization of Methane Dynamics in the northern US Atlantic Margin Seep Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruppel, C. D.; Kluesner, J.; Danforth, W. W.; Casso, M.; Pohlman, J.

    2015-12-01

    Since the discovery of hundreds of northern US Atlantic margin (USAM) cold seeps in 2012 and 2013, the USGS Gas Hydrates Project has undertaken intensive studies of the along-margin gas hydrate/free gas distribution, the plumbing systems sustaining seeps, seafloor gas emissions, and sea-air methane flux. Interest in the USAM is motivated both by climate change (i.e., documented ocean warming may contribute to seepage) and energy resource (i.e., the amount of gas-in-place in hydrates on the USAM is about the same as that in the northern Gulf of Mexico) issues. USGS-led field efforts have included an April 2015 study to acquire high-resolution multichannel seismic data, coincident split-beam water column methane plume imaging data, and real-time sea-air methane flux measurements between Wilmington and Norfolk Canyons and a September 2015 cruise (with OSU, UCLA, and Geomar) to collect piston cores, multicores, heat flow data, subbottom imagery, CTDs, and coincident water column imagery from Block Canyon to the Currituck Slide. In April 2015, we discovered methane seeps not included in the previously-published database, but found that some known seeps were not active. New high-resolution multi-channel seismic data revealed clear differences between the deep gas distribution in mid-Atlantic upper slope zones that are replete with (up to 240 sites) and lacking in seeps. Based on sea-air flux measurements, even shallow-water outer shelf (~125 m water depth) seeps and a 900-m-high methane plume originating on the mid-slope do not contribute methane to the atmosphere. Using thermistors placed on piston core outriggers, we will in September 2015 acquire thermal data to identify zones of high fluid advection and to constrain background geotherms in areas where heat flow has never been measured. During that same cruise, we will collect a series of piston cores across the no-hydrate/hydrate transition on the upper slope to constrain fluid and gas dynamics in this zone.

  4. Bacterial symbionts of Bathymodiolus mussels and Escarpia tubeworms from Chapopote, an asphalt seep in the Southern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Raggi, L; Schubotz, F; Hinrichs, K-U; Dubilier, N; Petersen, J M

    2013-07-01

    Chemosynthetic life was recently discovered at Chapopote, an asphalt hydrocarbon seep in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Preliminary morphological analyses indicated that one tubeworm and two mussel species colonize Chapopote. Our molecular analyses identified the tubeworm as Escarpia sp., and the mussels as Bathymodiolus heckerae and B. brooksi. Comparative 16S rRNA analysis and FISH showed that all three species harbour intracellular sulfur-oxidizing symbionts highly similar or identical to those found in the same host species from northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM). The mussels also harbour methane-oxidizing symbionts, and these shared highly similar to identical 16S rRNA sequences to their nGoM conspecifics. We discovered a novel symbiont in B. heckerae, which is closely related to hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria of the genus Cycloclasticus. In B. heckerae, we found key genes for the use of aromatic compounds, and its stable carbon isotope values were consistently higher than B. brooksi, indicating that the novel symbiont might use isotopically heavy aromatic hydrocarbons from the asphalt seep. This discovery is particularly intriguing because until now only methane and reduced sulfur compounds have been shown to power cold-seep chemosynthetic symbioses. The abundant hydrocarbons available at Chapopote would provide these mussel symbioses with a rich source of nutrition.

  5. Resistivity image beneath an area of active methane seeps in the west Svalbard continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Bedanta K.; Weitemeyer, Karen A.; Minshull, Timothy A.; Sinha, Martin C.; Westbrook, Graham K.; Marín-Moreno, Héctor

    2016-11-01

    The Arctic continental margin contains large amounts of methane in the form of methane hydrates. The west Svalbard continental slope is an area where active methane seeps have been reported near the landward limit of the hydrate stability zone. The presence of bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) on seismic reflection data in water depths greater than 600 m suggests the presence of free gas beneath gas hydrates in the area. Resistivity obtained from marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data provides a useful complement to seismic methods for detecting shallow hydrate and gas as they are more resistive than surrounding water saturated sediments. We acquired two CSEM lines in the west Svalbard continental slope, extending from the edge of the continental shelf (250 m water depth) to water depths of around 800 m. High resistivities (5-12 Ωm) observed above the BSR support the presence of gas hydrate in water depths greater than 600 m. High resistivities (3-4 Ωm) at 390-600 m water depth also suggest possible hydrate occurrence within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) of the continental slope. In addition, high resistivities (4-8 Ωm) landward of the GHSZ are coincident with high-amplitude reflectors and low velocities reported in seismic data that indicate the likely presence of free gas. Pore space saturation estimates using a connectivity equation suggest 20-50 per cent hydrate within the lower slope sediments and less than 12 per cent within the upper slope sediments. A free gas zone beneath the GHSZ (10-20 per cent gas saturation) is connected to the high free gas saturated (10-45 per cent) area at the edge of the continental shelf, where most of the seeps are observed. This evidence supports the presence of lateral free gas migration beneath the GHSZ towards the continental shelf.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. In-situ bitumen extraction associated with increased petrogenic polycyclic aromatic compounds in lake sediments from the Cold Lake heavy oil fields (Alberta, Canada).

    PubMed

    Korosi, Jennifer B; Cooke, Colin A; Eickmeyer, David C; Kimpe, Linda E; Blais, Jules M

    2016-11-01

    Most future growth in the Alberta bituminous sands will be based on thermal in-situ recovery technologies. To date, however, most attention on the environmental effects of bitumen recovery has focused on surface mining in the Athabasca region. Recent uncontrolled bitumen flow-to-surface incidents (FTS; appearance at the surface of bitumen emulsions from deep subsurface recovery zones) reported at the Cold Lake heavy oil fields highlight the need to better understand the potential role of in-situ extraction as a source of contaminants to landscapes and surface waters. We analyzed sediment cores from a lake located ∼2 km away from a recent bitumen FTS incident to provide a long-term perspective on the delivery of metals, polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to surface freshwaters, and to assess whether the onset of local in-situ bitumen extraction can be linked to contaminant increases in nearby lakes. An increase in alkyl PACs coincided with the onset and expansion of commercial in-situ bitumen extraction, and multiple lines of evidence indicate a petrogenic source for recent alkyl PAC enrichment. However, no coincident increase in vanadium (enriched in bitumen) occurred that would suggest the source of petrogenic PAC enrichment is direct input of bituminous particles. Our results show that, similar to surface mining in the Athabasca region, activities associated with in-situ extraction can increase the burden of petrogenic PACs in nearby lakes, but many questions still remain regarding the exact sources and pathways of PACs into the environment. Given that more than 80% of Alberta's bitumen reserves can only be accessed using in-situ technologies, we recommend that this be made a research priority.

  11. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.; Wright, B.A.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation

  12. Macroscopic biofilms in fracture-dominated sediment that anaerobically oxidize methane

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Briggs, B.R.; Pohlman, J.W.; Torres, M.; Riedel, M.; Brodie, E.L.; Colwell, F.S.

    2011-01-01

    Methane release from seafloor sediments is moderated, in part, by the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) performed by consortia of archaea and bacteria. These consortia occur as isolated cells and aggregates within the sulfate-methane transition (SMT) of diffusion and seep-dominant environments. Here we report on a new SMT setting where the AOM consortium occurs as macroscopic pink to orange biofilms within subseafloor fractures. Biofilm samples recovered from the Indian and northeast Pacific Oceans had a cellular abundance of 10 7 to 10 8 cells cm -3. This cell density is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater than that in the surrounding sediments. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes indicated that the bacterial component is dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, candidate division WS3, and Chloroflexi, representing 46%, 15%, and 10% of clones, respectively. In addition, major archaeal taxa found in the biofilm were related to the ANME-1 clade, Thermoplasmatales, and Desulfurococcales, representing 73%, 11%, and 10% of archaeal clones, respectively. The sequences of all major taxa were similar to sequences previously reported from cold seep environments. PhyloChip microarray analysis detected all bacterial phyla identified by the clone library plus an additional 44 phyla. However, sequencing detected more archaea than the PhyloChip within the phyla of Methanosarcinales and Desulfurococcales. The stable carbon isotope composition of the biofilm from the SMT (-35 to-43%) suggests that the production of the biofilm is associated with AOM. These biofilms are a novel, but apparently widespread, aggregation of cells represented by the ANME-1 clade that occur in methane-rich marine sediments. ?? 2011, American Society for Microbiology.

  13. How geomorphology and groundwater level affect the spatio-temporal variability of riverine cold water patches?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wawrzyniak, Vincent; Piégay, Hervé; Allemand, Pascal; Vaudor, Lise; Goma, Régis; Grandjean, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    Temperature is a key factor for river ecosystems. In summer, patches of cold water are formed in the river by groundwater seepage. These patches have strong ecological significance and extend to the surface water in a well-mixed riverine system. These patches can serve as thermal refuges for some fish species during summer. In this study, the temporal variability and spatial distribution of cold water patches were explored along a 50 km river reach (the lower Ain River, France) using thermal infrared airborne remote sensing. This study examines a new range of processes acting on cold water patches at different scales that have not previously been touched upon in the literature. Three airborne campaigns were conducted during the summers of 2010, 2011 and 2014. Based on these images, a large number of cold water patches were identified using an automated method. Four types of patches were observed: tributary plumes, cold side channels (former channels or point-bar backwater channels), side seeps (located directly in the river channel) and gravel bar seeps (occurring at the downstream end of gravel bars). Logistic regression was used to analyse the longitudinal distribution of cold water patches according to geomorphologic indicators reflecting current or past fluvial process. Side seeps were found to be related to the local geology. Cold side channels were correlated to contemporary and past lateral river mobility. Gravel bar seeps were related to the current development of bars and are more prevalent in wandering reaches than in single-bed incised and paved reaches. The logistic model was subsequently used to evaluate gravel bar seep variability in the past. The model suggests larger numbers of seeps in the mid-20th century when bar surface area was higher. Interannual variability in the occurrence and spatial extent of side seeps and gravel bar seeps appear to be related to groundwater level fluctuations. Cold side channels exhibited greater interannual stability

  14. Cold Stress

    MedlinePlus

    ... Publications and Products Programs Contact NIOSH NIOSH COLD STRESS Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Workers who ... cold environments may be at risk of cold stress. Extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that ...

  15. Weak coupling between sulfate reduction and the anaerobic oxidation of methane in methane-rich seafloor sediments during ex situ incubation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowles, Marshall W.; Samarkin, Vladimir A.; Bowles, Kathy M.; Joye, Samantha B.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated coupling between sulfate reduction (SR) and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) by quantifying pore water geochemical profiles, determining rates of microbial processes, and examining microbial community structure at two sites within Mississippi Canyon lease block 118 (MC118) in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Sediments from the northwest seep contained high concentrations of methane while sediments from the southwest seep contained methane, gaseous n-alkanes and liquid hydrocarbons and had abundant surficial accumulations of gas hydrate. Volumetric (21.5 μmol cm -3 day -1) and integrated (1429 mmol m -2 day -1) rates of SR at MC118 in ex situ incubations are the highest reported thus far for seafloor environments. AOM rates were small in comparison, with volumetric rates ranging from 0.1 to 12.6 nmol cm -3 day -1. Diffusion cannot adequately supply the sulfate required to support these high SR rates so additional mechanisms, possibly biological sulfide oxidation and/or downward advection, play important roles in supplying sulfate at these sites. The microbial communities at MC118 included sulfate-reducing bacteria phylogenetically associated with Desulfobacterium anilini, which is capable of complex hydrocarbon degradation. Despite low AOM rates, the majority of archaea identified were phylogenetically related to previously described methane oxidizing archaea. To evaluate whether weak coupling between SR and AOM occurs in habitats lacking the complex hydrocarbon milieu present at MC118, we compiled available SR and AOM rates and found that the global median ratio of SR to AOM was 10.7:1 rather than the expected 1:1. The global median integrated AOM rate was used to refine global estimates for AOM rates at cold seeps; these new estimates are only 5% of the previous estimate.

  16. Thermal Imagery of Groundwater Seeps: Possibilities and Limitations.

    PubMed

    Mundy, Erin; Gleeson, Tom; Roberts, Mark; Baraer, Michel; McKenzie, Jeffrey M

    2017-03-01

    Quantifying groundwater flow at seepage faces is crucial because seepage faces influence the hydroecology and water budgets of watersheds, lakes, rivers and oceans, and because measuring groundwater fluxes directly in aquifers is extremely difficult. Seepage faces provide a direct and measurable groundwater flux but there is no existing method to quantitatively image groundwater processes at this boundary. Our objective is to determine the possibilities and limitations of thermal imagery in quantifying groundwater discharge from discrete seeps. We developed a conceptual model of temperature below discrete seeps, observed 20 seeps spectacularly exposed in three dimensions at an unused limestone quarry and conducted field experiments to examine the role of diurnal changes and rock face heterogeneity on thermal imagery. The conceptual model suggests that convective air-water heat exchange driven by temperature differences is the dominant heat transfer mechanism. Thermal imagery is effective at locating and characterizing the flux of groundwater seeps. Areas of active groundwater flow and ice growth can be identified from thermal images in the winter, and seepage rates can be differentiated in the summer. However, the application of thermal imagery is limited by diverse factors including technical issues of image acquisition, diurnal changes in radiation and temperature, and rock face heterogeneity. Groundwater discharge rates could not be directly quantified from thermal imagery using our observations but our conceptual model and experiments suggest that thermal imagery could quantify groundwater discharge when there are large temperature differences, simple cliff faces, non-freezing conditions, and no solar radiation.

  17. Diversity of Archaea in Marine Sediments from Skan Bay, Alaska, Including Cultivated Methanogens, and Description of Methanogenium boonei sp. nov.▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, Melissa M.; Wardlaw, George D.; Tang, Chin F.; Bonin, Adam S.; Liu, Yitai; Valentine, David L.

    2007-01-01

    Methanogenesis in cold marine sediments is a globally important process leading to methane hydrate deposits, cold seeps, physical instability of sediment, and atmospheric methane emissions. We employed a multidisciplinary approach that combined culture-dependent and -independent analyses with geochemical measurements in the sediments of Skan Bay, Alaska (53°N, 167°W), to investigate methanogenesis there. Cultivation-independent analyses of the archaeal community revealed that uncultivated microbes of the kingdoms Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota are present at Skan Bay and that methanogens constituted a small proportion of the archaeal community. Methanogens were cultivated from depths of 0 to 60 cm in the sediments, and several strains related to the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales were isolated. Isolates were psychrotolerant marine-adapted strains and included an aceticlastic methanogen, strain AK-6, as well as three strains of CO2-reducing methanogens: AK-3, AK7, and AK-8. The phylogenetic positions and physiological characteristics of these strains are described. We propose a new species, Methanogenium boonei, with strain AK-7 as the type strain. PMID:17122405

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. A new record of post-glacial sedimentation in a glacial trough, offshore sub-Antarctic South Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meisel, Ove; Graham, Alastair; Kuhn, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    sediment cements. The authigenic carbonates are linked to the widespread occurrence of cold methane seeps on the shelf which are visible today as zones of acoustic blanking and wipe-out structures in the sub-bottom profiles. These seeps are evidence of major biogenic productivity and carbon drawdown on the South Georgia shelf and the subsequent decay of organic matter. This finding is an important consideration for future studies as authigenic carbonate production and methane release have an impact on the isotopic composition of carbonate shells of marine organisms. Thus, radiocarbon ages recovered from the South Georgia shelf need to be examined critically and might require additional corrections.

  2. 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

  3. Speciation analysis of mercury in sediments using ionic-liquid-based vortex-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction combined with high-performance liquid chromatography and cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Leng, Geng; Chen, Wenjin; Wang, Yong

    2015-08-01

    An improved novel method based on ionic liquid vortex-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction has been developed for the extraction of methylmercury, ethylmercury and inorganic mercury in sediment samples prior to analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography with cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry. In this work, mercury species were firstly complexed with dithizone, and the complexes were extracted into 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate. Key factors that affect the extraction efficiency of mercury species, such as type and amount of ionic liquid and chelatants, extraction time, sample pH, salt effect and matrix effect were investigated. Under the optimum conditions, linearity was found in the concentration range from 0.1-70 ng/g. Limits of detection ranged from 0.037-0.061 ng/g. Reproducibility and recoveries were assessed by extracting a series of six independent sediment samples that were spiked with different concentration levels. Finally, the proposed method was successfully applied in analysis of real sediment samples. In this work, ionic liquids vortex-assisted liquid-liquid microextraction was for the first time used for the extraction of mercury species in sediment samples. The proposed method was proved to be much simpler and more rapid, as well as more environmentally friendly and efficient compared with the previous methods.

  4. 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.

  5. Common Cold

    MedlinePlus

    ... nose, coughing - everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold. It is probably the most common illness. In ... avoid colds. There is no cure for the common cold. For relief, try Getting plenty of rest Drinking ...

  6. Phylogenetic and functional diversity of microbial communities associated with subsurface sediments of the Sonora Margin, Guaymas Basin.

    PubMed

    Vigneron, Adrien; Cruaud, Perrine; Roussel, Erwan G; Pignet, Patricia; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Callac, Nolwenn; Ciobanu, Maria-Cristina; Godfroy, Anne; Cragg, Barry A; Parkes, John R; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Toffin, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface sediments of the Sonora Margin (Guaymas Basin), located in proximity of active cold seep sites were explored. The taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial and archaeal communities were investigated from 1 to 10 meters below the seafloor. Microbial community structure and abundance and distribution of dominant populations were assessed using complementary molecular approaches (Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis, 16S rRNA libraries and quantitative PCR with an extensive primers set) and correlated to comprehensive geochemical data. Moreover the metabolic potentials and functional traits of the microbial community were also identified using the GeoChip functional gene microarray and metabolic rates. The active microbial community structure in the Sonora Margin sediments was related to deep subsurface ecosystems (Marine Benthic Groups B and D, Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, Chloroflexi and Candidate divisions) and remained relatively similar throughout the sediment section, despite defined biogeochemical gradients. However, relative abundances of bacterial and archaeal dominant lineages were significantly correlated with organic carbon quantity and origin. Consistently, metabolic pathways for the degradation and assimilation of this organic carbon as well as genetic potentials for the transformation of detrital organic matters, hydrocarbons and recalcitrant substrates were detected, suggesting that chemoorganotrophic microorganisms may dominate the microbial community of the Sonora Margin subsurface sediments.

  7. Phylogenetic and Functional Diversity of Microbial Communities Associated with Subsurface Sediments of the Sonora Margin, Guaymas Basin

    PubMed Central

    Vigneron, Adrien; Cruaud, Perrine; Roussel, Erwan G.; Pignet, Patricia; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Callac, Nolwenn; Ciobanu, Maria-Cristina; Godfroy, Anne; Cragg, Barry A.; Parkes, John R.; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Toffin, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Subsurface sediments of the Sonora Margin (Guaymas Basin), located in proximity of active cold seep sites were explored. The taxonomic and functional diversity of bacterial and archaeal communities were investigated from 1 to 10 meters below the seafloor. Microbial community structure and abundance and distribution of dominant populations were assessed using complementary molecular approaches (Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis, 16S rRNA libraries and quantitative PCR with an extensive primers set) and correlated to comprehensive geochemical data. Moreover the metabolic potentials and functional traits of the microbial community were also identified using the GeoChip functional gene microarray and metabolic rates. The active microbial community structure in the Sonora Margin sediments was related to deep subsurface ecosystems (Marine Benthic Groups B and D, Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group, Chloroflexi and Candidate divisions) and remained relatively similar throughout the sediment section, despite defined biogeochemical gradients. However, relative abundances of bacterial and archaeal dominant lineages were significantly correlated with organic carbon quantity and origin. Consistently, metabolic pathways for the degradation and assimilation of this organic carbon as well as genetic potentials for the transformation of detrital organic matters, hydrocarbons and recalcitrant substrates were detected, suggesting that chemoorganotrophic microorganisms may dominate the microbial community of the Sonora Margin subsurface sediments. PMID:25099369

  8. Phylogenetic relationship between symbionts of tubeworm Lamellibrachia satsuma and the sediment microbial community in Kagoshima Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patra, Ajit Kumar; Cho, Hyun Hee; Kwon, Yong Min; Kwon, Kae Kyoung; Sato, Takako; Kato, Chiaki; Kang, Sung Gyun; Kim, Sang-Jin

    2016-09-01

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms acquire their symbionts through horizontal transmission from the surrounding environment. In the present study, we constructed a 16S rRNA gene clone library to investigate the phylogenetic relationship between diverse microbes in the sediment and symbiotic bacteria in the trophosome of the tubeworm, Lamellibrachia satsuma, from Kagoshima Bay, Japan. Two symbiotic bacterial phylotypes belonging to the classes γ- and ɛ-Proteobacteria were found from this tubeworm trophosome. They were very closely related to the symbionts of several other marine invertebrates. The most predominant bacteria in the sediment were ɛ-Proteobacteria. A broad diversity of bacteria belonged to non-proteobacterial phyla such as Planctomycetes, Acidobacteria, and Chloroflexi was observed. The presence of sulfur oxidizers (i.e., ɛ-Proteobacteria and γ-Proteobacteria) and sulfur reducers (i.e., δ-Proteobacteria) may play a significant role in the sulfur cycle in these habitats and provide multiple sources of nutrition to the cold-seep communities. Closely related clones of ɛ-Proteobacteria symbiont in the species level and of γ-Proteobacteria symbiont in the genus level were found in the surrounding sediment. The similarity of symbiont clones of L. satsuma with other symbionts and free-living bacteria suggests the possibility of opportunistic symbiosis in ɛ-Proteobacteria and the co-evolution of γ-Proteobacteria having occurred after symbiosis with the tubeworms.

  9. Evaluating bacterial community structures in oil collected from the sea surface and sediment in the northern Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhanfei; Liu, Jiqing

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial community structures were evaluated in oil samples using culture-independent pyrosequencing, including oil mousses collected on sea surface and salt marshes during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and oil deposited in sediments adjacent to the wellhead 1 year after the spill. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that Erythrobacter, Rhodovulum, Stappia, and Thalassospira of Alphaproteobacteria were the prevailing groups in the oil mousses, which may relate to high temperatures and strong irradiance in surface Gulf waters. In the mousse collected from the leaves of Spartina alterniflora, Vibrio of Gammaproteobacteria represented 57% of the total operational taxonomic units, suggesting that this indigenous genus is particularly responsive to the oil contamination in salt marshes. The bacterial communities in oil-contaminated sediments were highly diversified. The relatively high abundance of the Methylococcus, Methylobacter, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Chlorofexi bacteria resembles those found in certain cold-seep sediments with gas hydrates. Bacterial communities in the overlying water of the oil-contaminated sediment were dominated by Ralstonia of Betaproteobacteria, which can degrade small aromatics, and Saccharophagus degradans of Gammaproteobacteria, a cellulose degrader, suggesting that overlying water was affected by the oil-contaminated sediments, possibly due to the dissolution of small aromatics and biosurfactants produced during biodegradation. Overall, these results provided key information needed to evaluate oil degradation in the region and develop future bioremediation strategies. PMID:23568850

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  13. Micritic Peloids: Fossil Record of Biofilms Associated With Methane Seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shapiro, R. S.

    2006-12-01

    Biofilms of archaea and bacteria are found where reduced hydrocarbons seep upward to the seafloor. The process of oxidizing the methane coupled with the reduction of seawater sulfate increases the alkalinity in the localized area and promotes the precipitation of carbonate minerals. The biofilms and carbonate deposits are ubiquitous in the modern oceans and the geologic record of hydrocarbon seeps goes back well into the Paleozoic. However, the paleontologic record of the microbes responsible for the production of the carbonates is poorly constrained. The few examples comprise casts and molds of filaments and cocci, framboidal pyrite of assumed biological affinity, organic biomarkers (lipids, hopanoids), and microbialite. Volumetrically, these fossils are insignificant compared with the total bulk of seep carbonate. Research into Mesozoic and Cenozoic seep carbonates from California, Oregon, Colorado, and South Dakota has yielded a new recognition for ancient biofilms. Micrite—the most common lithotype of seeps globally—exists as both peloids and groundmass. Common peloids of micrite average 0.5 mm in diameter (range from 0.1 to 0.7 mm), incorporate some siliciclastic material, and have distinct margins. Opaque minerals, likely sulfides, occur throughout the peloids. The matrix surrounding the peloids is a similar micrite, though in some samples, the peloids are surrounded by cement. Diagenesis leads to blurring of the peloid margins until a homogenous micrite groundmass with scattered sulfide and siliciclastic grains results. Use of a white card helps to outline original peloids. Increased levels of diagenesis can lead to crystal coarsening and obliterate original textures. These peloids are likely fecal pellets. A second population of peloids occur that are smaller (0.05 to 0.10 mm), darker in color, and with more diffuse boundaries. There are generally no siliciclastic grains intermixed with these peloids. These peloids occur in millimeter-scale clusters and

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Importance of seep primary production to Lophelia pertusa and associated fauna in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

    To investigate the importance of seep primary production to the nutrition of Lophelia pertusa and associated communities and examine local trophic interactions, we analyzed stable carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur compositions in seven quantitative L. pertusa community collections. A significant seep signature was only detected in one of the 35 species tested ( Provanna sculpta, a common seep gastropod) despite the presence of seep fauna at the three sample sites. A potential predator of L. pertusa was identified ( Coralliophila sp.), and a variety of other trophic interactions among the fauna occupying the coral framework were suggested by the data, including the galatheid crab Munidopsis sp. 2 feeding upon hydroids and the polychaete Eunice sp. feeding upon the sabellid polychaete Euratella sp. Stable carbon abundances were also determined for different sections of L. pertusa skeleton representing different stages in the growth and life of the aggregation. There was no temporal trend detected in the skeleton isotope values, suggesting that L. pertusa settles in these areas only after seepage has largely subsided. Isotope values of individual taxa that were collected from both L. pertusa and vestimentiferan habitats showed decreasing reliance upon seep primary production with average age of the vestimentiferan aggregation, and finally, no seep signature was detected in the coral collections. Together our data suggest that it is the presence of authigenic carbonate substrata, a product of past seep microbial activity, as well as hydrodynamic processes that drive L. pertusa occurrence at seep sites in the Gulf of Mexico, not nutritional dependence upon primary production by seep microbes.

  17. 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 D.; 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

  18. Hot and Cold: Complex Biochemical Processes in a Mud Volcano Setting on the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordoloi, S.; Aharon, P.; Pape, T.

    2006-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps on the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) seafloor are conventionally defined as "cold", being characterized by hydrocarbon-rich fluid emissions at ambient sea floor temperature, mineralization of gas hydrates, precipitation of carbonates depleted in 13C, association with chemosynthetic fauna (mussel beds, tube worms etc.) and dominance of microbial processes fueled by venting hydrocarbons within the sediments. Analyses of carbonate phases, pore-fluids and biomarkers from cores (length~25cm) taken by ALVIN from an active mud volcano on the northern Gulf of Mexico slope (GC-272, 27°41`25"; 91°32`28") point towards a vent setting far more complex than sites previously investigated. We argue that the mud volcano setting in GC-272 is distinguished by episodes of cold methane venting when gas hydrates are forming in the sediment pore spaces (visually confirmed) alternating with periodic hot venting of warm brines (formation fluids) advected on the sea floor. We support our argument with the evidence that follows. Scalenohedral calcite crystals (1-2 mm in size) scattered within the sediment exhibit unusually negative δ18O values (down to -6‰ PDB) and δ13C values ranging from -2 ‰ to - 20‰ PDB. Temperature calculations based on the δ18O composition of the calcites and coexisting pore fluids yield a fluid temperature of ~45°C which is far higher than the recorded bottom water temperatures of ~8°C at a depth of 680 m. Pore fluid Na/Cl ratios (0.92-1.2) confirm the mixing of cold GOM bottom waters (Na/Cl=0.82) with advecting hot brines (Na/Cl=~1.0) resulting in a brine fluid at 45°C. The δ13C of the calcites is isotopically heavier by comparison with typical seep carbonates from the GOM suggesting a mixed carbon source consisting of pore fluid DIC, brine DIC and bottom seawater DIC. Hence the scalenohedral calcites are the product of hot venting episodes and are precipitated within the sediments from calcite-saturated pore-fluids (SI= ~5). Biomarker assays

  19. 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.

  20. Genetic legacy of the deep subsurface recorded in the outflow channel of a terrestrial serpentinizing seep (Luzon, the Philippines)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The deep subsurface microbial community represents the largest biome on Earth, yet accessing this deep biosphere is challenging. Fluids seep along fractures from aquifers that may support diverse microbial communities, living off hydrogen gas generated by radiolysis, serpentinization, or thermogenic reactions. A serpentinizing seep, emanating fluids as high as pH 11.27, was found to accrete meters-long carbonate terraces in the Zambales ophiolite range (Luzon, the Philippines). Samples were collected at several locations along the Poon Bato (PB) River, focusing primarily on the pools and terraces formed by carbonate rimstone (Figure 1). As serpentinizing fluids are exposed to the atmosphere, dynamic niches are established in surface sediments. We propose that the high pH, reducing, high Ca+2 fluid pool terraces reflect remnants of deep subsurface microbial communities, based on high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing data. In total, eight samples were collected for environmental DNA analysis. Post-sequence analysis revealed a total of 927126 counts, with an average of 115890.75 counts per sample. Many taxa aligned with cultured representatives of serpentinizing seep-associated taxa, including Bacteroidetes, Clostrida, Chloroflexi, Methylococcales, and Xanthomonadales. Geochemical data indicates an average fluid temperature of 28.9°C, and pH that varies from 9.22-11.27. Total carbon wt.% of solids was highest in a shallow pool shaped by boulders, where calcite precipitation occurred over nearly every surface. Dissolved oxygen (DO%) was highest at PB1 main pool (60%), although a calcite skin had formed along the air-water interface. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) at PB1 main pool was 1.3 ppm, while at PB2 main pool, the DIC was higher (6.0 ppm). The lack of calcite skin may allow more direct access to atmospheric carbon dioxide at PB2. The isotopic value of carbon-13 was depleted at PB1 relative to PB2 (δ13C VPDB -25.4 ‰ versus δ13C VPDB ‰ -17.5, respectively

  1. Simultaneous quantification of methane and carbon dioxide fluxes reveals that a shallow arctic methane seep is a net sink for greenhouse gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Greinert, J.; Ruppel, C. D.; Silyakova, A.; Vielstädte, L.; Magen, C.; Casso, M.; Bunz, S.; Mienert, J.

    2015-12-01

    Warming of high-latitude continental-margin oceans has the potential to release large quantities of carbon from gas hydrate and other sedimentary reservoirs. To assess how carbon mobilized from the seafloor might amplify global warming or alter ocean chemistry, a robust analysis of the concentrations and isotopic content of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) in the water column and atmosphere is required. To this effect, a gas analysis system consisting of three cavity ring-down spectrometers was developed to obtain a real-time, three-dimensional characterization of the distribution and isotopic variability of methane and CO2 at a shallow (<100 m water depth) bubbling methane seep offshore of western Svalbard. Surface water methane concentrations from the continuous-flow CRDS system agreed remarkably well with discrete samples analyzed by the GC-based headspace analysis technique and with a CRDS-based discrete sample analysis module. Reliable carbon isotope data were also obtained from the CRDSs once an isotopic calibration routine was applied. The resulting data revealed that CO2 uptake from the atmosphere within the surface water methane plume overlying the gas seep was elevated by 36-45% relative to surrounding waters. In comparison to the positive radiative forcing effect expected from the methane emissions, the negative radiative forcing potential from CO2 uptake was 32-43 times greater. Lower water temperatures, elevated chlorophyll-fluorescence and 13C-enriched CO2 within the surface methane plume suggest that bubble-driven upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water stimulated CO2 uptake by phytoplankton. The observation that a shallow methane seep has a net negative radiative forcing effect challenges the widely-held perception that methane seeps contribute to the global atmospheric greenhouse gas burden.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-17

    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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many headwater catchments, stream flow 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 wer...

  4. 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...

  5. Imaging hydrological processes in headwater riparian seeps with time-lapse electrical resistivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The activation of subsurface seepage in response to precipitation events represents a potentially important pathway of nitrogen (N) delivery to streams in agricultural catchments. We used electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) and shallow piezometers to elucidate how seep and non-seep areas within the...

  6. 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.

  7. 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 par