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Ancient Microbial Activity in Deep Hydraulically Conductive Fracture Zones within the Forsmark Target Area for Geological Nuclear Waste Disposal, Sweden
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7230-6509
University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
Swedish Museum of Natural History.
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2018 (English)In: Geosciences, E-ISSN 2076-3263, Vol. 8, no 6, article id 211Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent studies reveal that organisms from all three domains of life—Archaea, Bacteria, and even Eukarya—can thrive under energy-poor, dark, and anoxic conditions at large depths in the fractured crystalline continental crust. There is a need for an increased understanding of the processes and lifeforms in this vast realm, for example, regarding the spatiotemporal extent and variability of the different processes in the crust. Here, we present a study that set out to detect signs of ancient microbial life in the Forsmark area—the target area for deep geological nuclear waste disposal in Sweden. Stable isotope compositions were determined with high spatial resolution analyses within mineral coatings, and mineralized remains of putative microorganisms were studied in several deep water-conducting fracture zones (down to 663 m depth), from which hydrochemical and gas data exist. Large isotopic variabilities of δ13Ccalcite (−36.2 to +20.2‰ V-PDB) and δ34Spyrite (−11.7 to +37.8‰ V-CDT) disclose discrete periods of methanogenesis, and potentially, anaerobic oxidation of methane and related microbial sulfate reduction at several depth intervals. Dominant calcite–water disequilibrium of δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr precludes abundant recent precipitation. Instead, the mineral coatings largely reflect an ancient archive of episodic microbial processes in the fracture system, which, according to our microscale Rb–Sr dating of co-genetic adularia and calcite, date back to the mid-Paleozoic. Potential Quaternary precipitation exists mainly at ~400 m depth in one of the boreholes, where mineral–water compositions corresponded

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2018. Vol. 8, no 6, article id 211
National Category
Environmental Sciences Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Geochemistry Geology
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77641DOI: 10.3390/geosciences8060211ISI: 000436131300023Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85048511199OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-77641DiVA, id: diva2:1246918
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2017-00766Swedish Research Council, 2017-0518Available from: 2018-09-10 Created: 2018-09-10 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Drake, HenrikTillberg, Mikael

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