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Using New Geochemical and Nanotechnological Approaches to Study Biomineralization in Microbialites III

Applicant Vasconcelos Crisogono
Number 163048
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geologisches Institut ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geochemistry
Start/End 01.01.2016 - 30.09.2017
Approved amount 129'830.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geochemistry
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (7)

Dolomite; Hydrogen Isotopes; Upwelling; Microbialites; Biomineralization; Biological cycles; Climatic variation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Diese Studie untersucht den Einfluss vom ozeanographischen Phänomen Tiefenwasseraufstieg auf die küstennahen Lagunen im brasilianinschen Bundesstaat Rio de Janeiro. Das Ziel ist, die Beziehung zwischen dem lokalen Klima, der Karbonatausfällung und den biologischen Kreisläufen in den hypersalinen Lagunen zu definieren. Diese Ökosysteme interagieren mit regionalen Aquiferen, welche von meteorischem Wasser und Meerwasser gespeist werden. In den Lagunen entwickeln sich mikrobielle Matten and andere zahlreiche primäre Produzenten, welche die Basis der Nahrungskette für viele Vogelarten und andere Lebewesen bilden. Das Verstehen der Umweltauswirkungen von Klimaschwankungen auf die regionale Hydrologie in der Vergangenheit, ist von grossem Nutzen für die lokalen Regierungsplaner, die sich mit Nachhaltigkeitsproblemen beschäftigen. Dieses fachübergreifende Projekt umfasst die drei Forschungsgebiete der Geomikrobiologie, Biochemie und Klimageologie am geologischen Institut der ETH Zürich.
Lay summary

Diese Studie untersucht die Auswirkung von Klimaschwankungen auf den regionalen Kohlenstoffkreislauf und die damit verbundenen biologisch beeinflussten Mineralformationsprozesse (Biomineralisation) in hypersalinen Lagunen entlang der Küste östlich von Rio de Janeiro. Dieses einzigartige System ist von einem semi-ariden Mikroklima dominiert, welches dem lokalen küstennahen Tiefenwasseraufstieg beim Cabo Frio zuzuschreiben ist. Das Aufsteigen von Tiefenwasser ist ein ozeanographisches Phänomen bei dem kaltes, nährstoffreiches Wasser aus der Tiefe Oberflächenwasser ersetzt, das zuvor von Winden weggestossen wurde. Die Intensität dieses Vorgangs beeinflusst die jährlichen Wasser- und biogeochemischen Kreisläufe in der küstennahen Lagunenumgebung und hinterlässt spezifische Spuren in Sedimenten landwärts und im offenen Meer, die gebraucht werden, um Klimaveränderungen zu verfolgen. Moderne Feldbeobachtungen zeigen, dass die Menge der Karbonatausfällung in den Lagunen mit den evaporitischen Bedingungnen zusammenhängt, welche während der Hochsaison des Tiefenwasserauftiegs am stärksten ausgeprägt sind. Organismen, die in Sedimenten erhalten geblieben sind, speichern die Wasserstoffisotopenzusammensetzung (δD) des Wassers während der Photosynthese. Deshalb kann mit Messungen von Alter und δD einer organischen Verbindung der hydrologische Kreislauf und z.B. die Salinität rekonstruiert werden. Ausserdem können mit diesen Daten Meeresoberflächentemperaturen zu bestimmten Zeitpunkten in der Vergangenheit berechnet werden und somit das Vorkommen von Tiefenwasseraufstiegphasen datiert werden. Die Studie von Tiefenwasseraufstieg und Lagunenumgebung kombiniert drei verschiedene wissenschaftliche Bereiche, Klimageologie, Geomikrobiologie und Biochemie, und ermöglicht, die Beziehung zwischen lokalem Klima, Karbonatausfällung und biologischen Kreisläufen in den Lagunen zu definieren.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 15.02.2016

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Combining studies of marine upwelling, an oceanographic phenomena, with the lagoonal environment aims to define the relationship among the local climate, carbonate precipitation and biological cycles in the hypersaline coastal lagoons located in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The coastal ecosystems dynamically interact with regional aquifers that are fed by meteoric and ocean water and serve as natural locations conducive for the development of microbial mats and many lagoonal species. These primary producers form the base of the food chain for many species of birds and other animals inhabiting the region. Thus, knowledge about the environmental effects of past climate variability on regional hydrology will be of value for local government planners dealing with sustainability issues. The interrelated approach applied in this project is cross-disciplinary linking three areas of research, Geomicrobiology, Biochemistry and Climate Geology, at the Geological Institute, ETH Zürich.
Lay summary

A unique marine and hypersaline lagoonal system along the coast east of Rio de Janeiro will be investigated to understand the impact of climatic variability on the regional carbon cycle and related processes of lagoonal mineral formation by biological influence (biomineralisation). The region is dominated by a semi-arid microclimate attributed to the local coastal upwelling near Cabo Frio. Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon where the deeper, colder, nutrient rich water rises up from beneath the surface to replace the water that was pushed away by surface winds. The intensity of the upwelling affects the hydrology of the annual water and biogeochemical cycles in the coastal lagoonal environment leaving specific signals that can be used to trace climatic changes in both onshore and offshore sediments. Modern field observations for the last 3 years suggest that the amount of carbonate precipitation in these lagoons is correlated with evaporitic conditions associated with the high upwelling season.

Calibration methods have demonstrated that organic compounds of the organisms (lipids) preserved in sediments tracks the hydrogen isotopic composition of water used during photosynthesis, therefore, by analyzing the age and the hydrogen isotope of specific lipids found in the lagoons, it is possible to reconstruct the past and present of hydrological cycle, e.g. the lagoon salinity. In the same way, calibrations in the ocean for the sea surface temperature reconstructions are performed to find out when the upwelling phenomenon is occurring.

In summary, linking the coastal upwelling with the lagoonal hydrology has the potential to furnish important insights about the relationship between the local climate and carbonate precipitation in the coastal lagoons.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 15.02.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Marine Biology and Ecology / Polytechnic University of Marche Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Interinstitutional Paleoceanography and Oceanography Network/UFF Brazil (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
AGU Fall meeting 2017 Talk given at a conference Investigating Interactions between the Silica and Carbon Cycles during Precipitation and Early Diagenesis of Authigenic Clay/Carbonate-Mineral Associations in the Carbonate Rock Record 11.12.2017 New Orleans, United States of America Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela; Vasconcelos Crisogono;
Goldschmidt 2017 Poster Upwelling Influence on Biogeochemical Processes in Coastal Lagoons, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 13.08.2017 Paris, France Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela; Vasconcelos Crisogono;
200 + 25 Years Dolomite Poster Paleoclimatic and -environmental impact on dolomite precipitation in hypersaline coastal lagoons, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 04.10.2016 Selva di Val Gardena, Italy Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela; Vasconcelos Crisogono;
EGU 2016 Poster Exploring biotic vs. abiotic controls on syngenetic carbonate and clay mineral precipitation 17.04.2016 Vienna, Austria Vasconcelos Crisogono; Santilli Nascimento Libanori Gabriela;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
143912 Using New Geochemical and Nanotechnological Approach to Study Biomineralization in Microbiolites II 01.01.2013 Project funding
155927 From Satellites to Molecules (SAM): Strategies and tools for reconstructing Late Pleistocene climate in northeastern Patagonia 01.04.2015 Project funding

Abstract

Summary: This proposal is a continuation of our previous project, “Using New Geochemical and Nanotechnological Approach to Study Biomineralization in Microbialites II”, which defined important mechanisms in microbial mat biomineralization, for example, the contribution of viruses. This final proposal submission is designed to link the ongoing research in geomicrobiology to regional climate and biogeochemical cycles. The project is divided in two sub-projects: (A) to understand the regional climatic impact of the Cabo Frio upwelling system, located off-shore from Região dos Lagos, and link it to the various aspects of organo-mineralization in the microbial mat/stromatolites (MM/S) growing in the hypersaline lagoons, which have been previously intensively studied with SNF funding support and (B) to expand our knowledge of the microbe-mineral interactions occurring in the formation of microbialite carbonates with the investigation of the viral contribution to the active metabolic processes defining the microbial community.Sub-Project A: During 2 years, the research of a doctoral student will link the hydrologic cycle and biomineralization processes in the hypersaline coastal lagoonal system with a reconstructed coastal upwelling SST record. A hydrogen isotope record will be generated using in situ lagoonal organic matter to reconstruct the paleo-hydrology. Overall, this study will be used to succinctly connect regional climate signals with the degree and type of biomineralization and diagenesis processes observed in the coastal lagoons.Sub-Project B: During the course of a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship, studies will be conducted to evaluate the significance of bacterial/virus interactions on biomineralization processes occurring in natural environments. High-resolution microscopy techniques and spectrometry analysis at a nanoscale will be applied to sediment and water samples collected from the Mediterranean Sea and Lagoa Vermelha to determine the virus content and define its diversity. In addition, high-resolution studies at the nanoscale on modern travertine and tufas deposits will be conducted to furnish information on precipitation mechanisms involved in the formation of microbial structures, and to evaluate the biogeochemical processes occurring within living microbial mats found growing in fresh and hypersaline waters.
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