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  • 1.
    Drake, Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Heim, Christine
    Georg August Univ, Germany.
    Roberts, Nick M. W.
    British Geol Survey, UK.
    Zack, Thomas
    University of Gothenburg.
    Tillberg, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. University of Gothenburg.
    Broman, Curt
    Stockholm University.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Swedish Museum of Natural History.
    Whitehouse, Martin J.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Isotopic evidence for microbial production and consumption of methane in the upper continental crust throughout the Phanerozoic eon2017In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, ISSN 0012-821X, E-ISSN 1385-013X, Vol. 470, p. 108-118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Microorganisms produce and consume methane in terrestrial surface environments, sea sediments and, as indicated by recent discoveries, in fractured crystalline bedrock. These processes in the crystalline bedrock remain, however, unexplored both in terms of mechanisms and spatiotemporal distribution. Here we have studied these processes via a multi-method approach including microscale analysis of the stable isotope compositions of calcite and pyrite precipitated in bedrock fractures in the upper crust (down to 1.7 km) at three sites on the Baltic Shield. Microbial processes have caused an intriguing variability of the carbon isotopes in the calcites at all sites, with delta C-13 spanning as much as -93.1 parts per thousand (related to anaerobic oxidation of methane) to +36.5 parts per thousand (related to methanogenesis). Spatiotemporal coupling between the stable isotope measurements and radiometric age determinations (micro-scale dating using new high spatial methods: LA-ICP-MS U-Pb for calcite and Rb-Sr for calcite and co-genetic adularia) enabled unprecedented direct timing constraints of the microbial processes to several periods throughout the Phanerozoic eon, dating back to Devonian times. These events have featured variable fluid salinities and temperatures as shown by fluid inclusions in the calcite; dominantly 70-85 degrees C brines in the Paleozoic and lower temperatures (<50-62 degrees C) and salinities in the Mesozoic. Preserved organic compounds, including plant signatures, within the calcite crystals mark the influence of organic matter in descending surficial fluids on the microbial processes in the fracture system, thus linking processes in the deep and surficial biosphere. These findings substantially extend the recognized temporal and spatial range for production and consumption of methane within the upper continental crust. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  • 2.
    Drake, Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.
    Tillberg, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Whitehouse, Martin
    Swedish Museum of Natural History.
    Kooijman, Ellen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History.
    Ancient Microbial Activity in Deep Hydraulically Conductive Fracture Zones within the Forsmark Target Area for Geological Nuclear Waste Disposal, Sweden2018In: Geosciences, E-ISSN 2076-3263, Vol. 8, no 6, article id 211Article in journal (Refereed)
    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

  • 3.
    Drake, Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Whitehouse, Martin J.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History.
    Heim, Christine
    Georg August Univ, Germany.
    Reiners, Peter W.
    Univ Arizona, USA.
    Tillberg, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Hogmalm, K. Johan
    University of Gothenburg.
    Dopson, Mark
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Broman, Curt
    Stockholm University.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Unprecedented 34S-enrichment of pyrite formed following microbial sulfate reduction in fractured crystalline rocks2018In: Geobiology, ISSN 1472-4677, E-ISSN 1472-4669, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 556-574Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the deep biosphere, microbial sulfate reduction (MSR) is exploited for energy. Here, we show that, in fractured continental crystalline bedrock in three areas in Sweden, this process produced sulfide that reacted with iron to form pyrite extremely enriched in S-34 relative to S-32. As documented by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) microanalyses, the S-34(pyrite) values are up to +132 parts per thousand V-CDT and with a total range of 186 parts per thousand. The lightest S-34(pyrite) values (-54 parts per thousand) suggest very large fractionation during MSR from an initial sulfate with S-34 values (S-34(sulfate,0)) of +14 to +28 parts per thousand. Fractionation of this magnitude requires a slow MSR rate, a feature we attribute to nutrient and electron donor shortage as well as initial sulfate abundance. The superheavy S-34(pyrite) values were produced by Rayleigh fractionation effects in a diminishing sulfate pool. Large volumes of pyrite with superheavy values (+120 +/- 15 parts per thousand) within single fracture intercepts in the boreholes, associated heavy average values up to +75 parts per thousand and heavy minimum S-34(pyrite) values, suggest isolation of significant amounts of isotopically light sulfide in other parts of the fracture system. Large fracture-specific S-34(pyrite) variability and overall average S-34(pyrite) values (+11 to +16 parts per thousand) lower than the anticipated S-34(sulfate,0) support this hypothesis. The superheavy pyrite found locally in the borehole intercepts thus represents a late stage in a much larger fracture system undergoing Rayleigh fractionation. Microscale Rb-Sr dating and U/Th-He dating of cogenetic minerals reveal that most pyrite formed in the early Paleozoic era, but crystal overgrowths may be significantly younger. The C-13 values in cogenetic calcite suggest that the superheavy S-34(pyrite) values are related to organotrophic MSR, in contrast to findings from marine sediments where superheavy pyrite has been proposed to be linked to anaerobic oxidation of methane. The findings provide new insights into MSR-related S-isotope systematics, particularly regarding formation of large fractions of S-34-rich pyrite.

  • 4.
    Guenthner, William R.
    et al.
    Univ Illinois, USA.
    Reiners, Peter W.
    Univ Arizona, USA.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Tillberg, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Zircon, titanite, and apatite (U-Th)/He ages and age-eU correlations from the Fennoscandian Shield, southern Sweden2017In: Tectonics, ISSN 0278-7407, E-ISSN 1944-9194, Vol. 36, no 7, p. 1254-1274Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Craton cores far from plate boundaries have traditionally been viewed as stable features that experience minimal vertical motion over 100-1000Ma time scales. Here we show that the Fennoscandian Shield in southeastern Sweden experienced several episodes of burial and exhumation from similar to 1800Ma to the present. Apatite, titanite, and zircon (U-Th)/He ages from surface samples and drill cores constrain the long-term, low-temperature history of the Laxemar region. Single grain titanite and zircon (U-Th)/He ages are negatively correlated (104-838Ma for zircon and 160-945Ma for titanite) with effective uranium (eU=U+0.235xTh), a measurement proportional to radiation damage. Apatite ages are 102-258Ma and are positively correlated with eU. These correlations are interpreted with damage-diffusivity models, and the modeled zircon He age-eU correlations constrain multiple episodes of heating and cooling from 1800Ma to the present, which we interpret in the context of foreland basin systems related to the Neoproterozoic Sveconorwegian and Paleozoic Caledonian orogens. Inverse time-temperature models constrain an average burial temperature of similar to 217 degrees C during the Sveconorwegian, achieved between 944Ma and 851Ma, and similar to 154 degrees C during the Caledonian, achieved between 366Ma and 224Ma. Subsequent cooling to near-surface temperatures in both cases could be related to long-term exhumation caused by either postorogenic collapse or mantle dynamics related to the final assembly of Rodinia and Pangaea. Our titanite He age-eU correlations cannot currently be interpreted in the same fashion; however, this study represents one of the first examples of a damage-diffusivity relationship in this system, which deserves further research attention.

  • 5.
    Tillberg, Mikael
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Zack, Thomas
    University of Gothenburg.
    Hogmalm, Johan
    University of Gothenburg.
    Åström, Mats E.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    In situ Rb-Sr dating of fine-grained vein mineralizations using LAICP-MS2017In: 15TH WATER-ROCK INTERACTION INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM, WRI-15 / [ed] Marques, JM Chambel, A, 2017, p. 464-467Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Direct mineral dating is critical for thorough understanding of the genesis of hydrothermal mineralizations, ore forming processes and events of fracturing and related fluid-rock interaction. Since minerals of suitable type and sample volume for conventional techniques can be rare, development of high-precision in situ Rb-Sr dating of common rock-forming minerals such as micas, feldspars and calcite offers possibilities to gain temporal constraints of a wide variety of geological features with detailed spatial and depth resolution. This technique separates Sr-87 from Rb-87 by introducing a reaction gas between two quadropoles in a LAICP- MS system. In this study, in situ Rb-Sr geochronology distinguishes the timing of several different fracture-controlled hydrothermal events: 1 and 2) greisen mineralizations and associated far-field hydrothermal veins adjacent to a granite intrusion, 3) reactivation events within a mylonite shear zone and 4) low-temperature precipitation from saline organic-rich brines in thin veinlets. We demonstrate that in situ Rb-Sr dating is feasible for a broad range of mineral assemblages, textures, temperatures and ages, emphasizing the impending use of this new method in ore deposit exploration and many other research fields. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  • 6.
    Tillberg, Mikael
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Univ Southern Denmark, Denmark;Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
    Drake, Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Whitehouse, Martin J.
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
    Kooijman, Ellen
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
    Schmitt, Melanie
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
    Re-Evaluating the Age of Deep Biosphere Fossils in the Lockne Impact Structure2019In: Geosciences, E-ISSN 2076-3263, Vol. 9, no 5, p. 1-22, article id UNSP 202Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Impact-generated hydrothermal systems have been suggested as favourable environments for deep microbial ecosystems on Earth, and possibly beyond. Fossil evidence from a handful of impact craters worldwide have been used to support this notion. However, as always with mineralized remains of microorganisms in crystalline rock, certain time constraints with respect to the ecosystems and their subsequent fossilization are difficult to obtain. Here we re-evaluate previously described fungal fossils from the Lockne crater (458 Ma), Sweden. Based on in-situ Rb/Sr dating of secondary calcite-albite-feldspar (356.6 +/- 6.7 Ma) we conclude that the fungal colonization took place at least 100 Myr after the impact event, thus long after the impact-induced hydrothermal activity ceased. We also present microscale stable isotope data of C-13-enriched calcite suggesting the presence of methanogens contemporary with the fungi. Thus, the Lockne fungi fossils are not, as previously thought, related to the impact event, but nevertheless have colonized fractures that may have been formed or were reactivated by the impact. Instead, the Lockne fossils show similar features as recent findings of ancient microbial remains elsewhere in the fractured Swedish Precambrian basement and may thus represent a more general feature in this scarcely explored habitat than previously known.

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