Project

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H2DEEP - Ultraslow Spreading, Hydrothermal Alteration and a Hydrogen-based Biosphere

English title H2DEEP - Ultraslow Spreading, Hydrothermal Alteration and a Hydrogen-based Biosphere
Applicant Bernasconi-Green Gretchen
Number 132804
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Geochemie und Petrologie ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geochemistry
Start/End 01.10.2010 - 31.12.2011
Approved amount 47'758.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geochemistry
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (9)

marine hydrothermal systems; Arctic Ridges; organic geochemistry; volatiles; microbial activity; stable isotopes; carbon; sulfur; lipid biomarkers

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
This is a collaborative research project (CRP) as part of the European Science Foundation EuroMARC Programme, aimed at studying geodynamic and hydrothermal processes and their links to the deep biosphere along the Mohns/Knipovich Ridge (M/KR), one of the slowest spreading segments of the global ridge system. Our results will lay the ground for a European-led proposal to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) aimed at testing hypotheses on the geodynamics, the extent and nature of hydrothermal activity, water-rock-microbe interactions and a hydrogen-based, deep biosphere at the ultraslow end of the spreading rate spectrum. Our project consists of a PhD thesis project (conducted by Tamara Baumaberger) and a post-doctoral research project (conducted by Andrea Jaeschke) and is based on four mapping and sampling campaigns (2007-2010), led by the Centre for Geobiology, University of Bergen, on board the R/V G.O. Sars. The 2008 field campaign led to the discovery of "Loki' Castle", which is the most northerly major hydrothermal field known to date and is comparable in size to major vent fields on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The 2008 expedition also involved sampling at the Jan Mayen Vent Field at the Mohns Ridge, which was discovered in 2005. The work of T. Baumberger involves a comparison of vent fluid chemistries of these two hydrothermal systems as well as mineralogical and geochemical studies of sediment cores and sediment pore fluids and variably altered basement rocks at the M/KR. The work of A. Jaeschke involves organic geochemical studies to characterize lipid biomarkers in microbial mats and hydrothermal deposits at Loki's Castle. Initial results indicate that Loki's Castle is a unique hydrothermal system built on a volcanic edifice but strongly influenced by fluid-rock interactions with buried sediments at depth. Our contribution to the overall CRP, thus, focuses on three interrelated aspects: (1) Chemical and isotopic characterization of the vent fluid chemistries of the Jan Mayen and Loki's Castle hydrothermal systems; (2) Quantification of the respective roles of basalt alteration and thermal degradation of sediments for fluid chemistry, volatile production, hydrothermal precipitates and ultimately microbial activity; and (3) Characterization of lipid biomarkers as "fingerprints" of microbial activity in these systems.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Sub-seafloor sulfur cycling in a low-temperature barite field: A multi-proxy study from the Arctic Loki’s Castle vent field
Eickmann Benjamin, Baumberger Tamara, Thorseth Ingunn H., Strauss Harald, Früh-Green Gretchen L., Pedersen Rolf B., Jaeschke Andrea (2020), Sub-seafloor sulfur cycling in a low-temperature barite field: A multi-proxy study from the Arctic Loki’s Castle vent field, in Chemical Geology, 539, 119495-119495.
Dissolved Gas and Metal Composition of Hydrothermal Plumes From a 2008 Submarine Eruption on the Northeast Lau Spreading Center
Baumberger Tamara, Lilley Marvin D., Lupton John E., Baker Edward T., Resing Joseph A., Buck Nathaniel J., Walker Sharon L., Früh-Green Gretchen L. (2020), Dissolved Gas and Metal Composition of Hydrothermal Plumes From a 2008 Submarine Eruption on the Northeast Lau Spreading Center, in Frontiers in Marine Science, 7(171), 156-173.
Constraints on the sedimentary input into the Loki's Castle hydrothermal system (AMOR) from B isotope data
Baumberger Tamara, Früh-Green Gretchen L., Dini Andrea, Boschi Chiara, van Zuilen Kirsten, Thorseth Ingunn H., Pedersen Rolf B. (2016), Constraints on the sedimentary input into the Loki's Castle hydrothermal system (AMOR) from B isotope data, in Chemical Geology, 443, 111-120.
Fluid composition of the sediment-influenced Loki’s Castle vent field at the ultra-slow spreading Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge
Baumberger Tamara, Früh-Green Gretchen L., Thorseth Ingunn H., Lilley Marvin D., Hamelin Cédric, Bernasconi Stefano M., Okland Ingeborg E., Pedersen Rolf B. (2016), Fluid composition of the sediment-influenced Loki’s Castle vent field at the ultra-slow spreading Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 187, 156-178.
Understanding a submarine eruption through time series hydrothermal plume sampling of dissolved and particulate constituents: West Mata, 2008-2012
Baumberger Tamara, Lilley Marvin D., Resing Joseph A., Lupton John E., Baker Edward T., Butterfield David A., Olson Eric J., Früh-Green Gretchen L. (2014), Understanding a submarine eruption through time series hydrothermal plume sampling of dissolved and particulate constituents: West Mata, 2008-2012, in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15(12), 4631-4650.
Biosignatures in chimney structures and sediment from the Loki’s Castle low-temperature hydrothermal vent field at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge
Jaeschke Andrea, Eickmann Benjamin, Lang Susan Q., Bernasconi Stefano M., Strauss Harald, Früh-Green Gretchen L. (2014), Biosignatures in chimney structures and sediment from the Loki’s Castle low-temperature hydrothermal vent field at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, in Extremophiles, 18(3), 545-560.
Microbial diversity of Loki's Castle black smokers at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge
Jaeschke A., Jørgensen S. L., Bernasconi S. M., Pedersen R. B., Thorseth I. H., Früh-Green G. L. (2012), Microbial diversity of Loki's Castle black smokers at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, in Geobiology, 10(6), 548-561.
Active submarine eruption of boninite in the northeastern Lau Basin
Resing J.A. Rubin K.H. Embley R.W. Lupton J.E. Baker E.T. Dziak R.P. Baumberger T., Lilley M.D.Huber J.A Shank T.M. Butterfield D. A. Clague D.A. Keller N.S. Merle S.G., Buck N.J. Michael P.J. Caress D.W. Waler S.L. Davis R. Cowen J.P. Reysenbach A.L. Thomas H., Active submarine eruption of boninite in the northeastern Lau Basin, in Nature Geoscience, 4, 799-806.
Discovery of a black smoker vent field and vent fauna at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge
Pedersen R.B. Rapp H.T. Thorseth I.H. Lilley M.D. Barriga F.J.A.S. Baumberger T., Flesland K. Früh-Green G.L. Fonseca R. Jorgensen S.L., Discovery of a black smoker vent field and vent fauna at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, in Nature Communications, 1:126, 1-6.
Geochemistry and stable isotope constraints on high-temperature activity from sediment cores of the Saldanha hydrothermal field
Dias Á.S. Früh-Green G.L. Bernasconi S.M. Barriga F.J.A.S. Seahma, and Charles Darwin Cruise 167 teams, Geochemistry and stable isotope constraints on high-temperature activity from sediment cores of the Saldanha hydrothermal field, in Marine Geology, 279, 128-140.
Unique event plumes from a 2008 eruption on the Northeast Lau Spreading Center
Baker E.T. Lupton J.E. Resing J.A. Baumberger T. Lilley M.D. Walker S.L. Rubin K.H., Unique event plumes from a 2008 eruption on the Northeast Lau Spreading Center, in Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 12(Q0AF02), 1-21.

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
115916 H2DEEP - Ultraslow spreading and hydrogen-based deep biosphere: A site survey proposal for zero-age drilling of the Knipovich Ridge 01.06.2007 Project funding (special)

Abstract

Our “H2DEEP” project is a collaborative research project (CRP) as part of the ESF EUROCORES EuroMARC Programme and is aimed at studying geodynamic and hydrothermal processes and their links to a deep, hydrogen-based biosphere along the Southern Knipovich Ridge (SKR), which is one of the slowest spreading segments of the global mid-ocean ridge system. This proposal is a continuation of SNF project No. 20MA21-115916 (2007-2010) and requests funds for two subprojects (A) to support Tamara Baumberger to complete her PhD research (thesis began 1 June, 2007, dissertation to be defended by 31 May 2011), and (B) for Dr. Andrea Jaeschke to complete her post-doctoral research project. Our project is based on three mapping and sampling campaigns to the SKR, led by the Centre for Geobiology, University of Bergen, on board the R/V G.O. Sars in the summers 2007, 2008 and 2009. The 2008 field campaign led to the discovery of Loki’ Castle, which is the most northerly major hydrothermal field known to date and is comparable in size to major vent fields on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The 2008 expedition also involved sampling at the Jan Mayen Vent Field at the Mohns Ridge, which was discovered in 2005. Subproject A involves a comparison of vent fluid chemistries of these two hydrothermal systems as well as mineralogical and geochemical studies of sediment cores and sediment pore fluids and variably altered basement rocks at the SKR. Subproject B involves organic geochemical studies to characterize lipid biomarkers in microbial mats and hydrothermal deposits at Loki’s Castle. Initial results indicate that Loki’s Castle is a unique hydrothermal system built on a volcanic edifice but strongly influenced by fluid-rock interactions with buried sediments at depth. Collectively our two projects combine petrological, geochemical, light stable isotope and organic geochemical studies on the hydrothermal deposits, pore and vent fluids, basement samples, and sediments to constrain the alteration history and nature of the Loki’s Castle hydrothermal system and its interaction with a hydrogen- and-methane supported biosphere as an end-member system in the global context of marine hydrothermal systems. Our contribution to the overall CRP, thus, focuses on three interrelated aspects:•Chemical and isotopic characterization of the vent fluid chemistries of the Jan Mayen and Loki’s Castle hydrothermal systems; •Quantification of the respective roles of basalt alteration and thermal degradation of sediments for fluid chemistry, volatile production, hydrothermal precipitates and ultimately microbial activity; and •Characterization of lipid biomarkers as “fingerprints” of microbial activity in these systems. Our results will provide the basis for a European-led proposal to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) aimed at testing hypotheses on the geodynamics, the extent and nature of hydrothermal activity, water-rock-microbe interactions and a hydrogen-based, deep biosphere at the ultraslow end of the spreading rate spectrum.
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