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Sample records for hydrocarbon seep communities

  1. Benthic Community Structure and Sediment Geochemical Properties at Hydrocarbon Seeps Along the Continental Slope of the Western North Atlantic

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    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

  2. Spatial structure and activity of sedimentary microbial communities underlying a Beggiatoa spp. mat in a Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon seep.

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    Karen G Lloyd

    Full Text Available 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 ( approximately 400 cm and approximately 10 cm from the mat's edge contrasted with sharply diminished activity at approximately 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

  3. Paleozoic Hydrocarbon-Seep Limestones

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    Peckmann, J.

    2007-12-01

    To date, five Paleozoic hydrocarbon-seep limestones have been recognized based on carbonate fabrics, associated fauna, and stable carbon isotopes. These are the Middle Devonian Hollard Mound from the Antiatlas of Morocco [1], Late Devonian limestone lenses with the dimerelloid brachiopod Dzieduszyckia from the Western Meseta of Morocco [2], Middle Mississippian limestones with the dimerelloid brachiopod Ibergirhynchia from the Harz Mountains of Germany [3], Early Pennsylvanian limestones from the Tantes Mound in the High Pyrenees of France [4], and Late Pennsylvanian limestone lenses from the Ganigobis Shale Member of southern Namibia [5]. Among these examples, the composition of seepage fluids varied substantially as inferred from delta C-13 values of early diagenetic carbonate phases. Delta C-13 values as low as -50 per mil from the Tantes Mound and -51 per mil from the Ganigobis limestones reveal seepage of biogenic methane, whereas values of -12 per mil from limestones with Dzieduszyckia associated with abundant pyrobitumen agree with oil seepage. Intermediate delta C-13 values of carbonate cements from the Hollard Mound and Ibergirhynchia deposits probably reflect seepage of thermogenic methane. It is presently very difficult to assess the faunal evolution at seeps in the Paleozoic based on the limited number of examples. Two of the known seeps were typified by extremely abundant rhynchonellide brachiopods of the superfamily Dimerelloidea. Bivalve mollusks and tubeworms were abundant at two of the known Paleozoic seep sites; one was dominated by bivalve mollusks (Hollard Mound, Middle Devonian), another was dominated by tubeworms (Ganigobis Shale Member, Late Pennsylvanian). The tubeworms from these two deposits are interpreted to represent vestimentiferan worms, based on studies of the taphonomy of modern vestimentiferans. However, this interpretation is in conflict with the estimated evolutionary age of vestimentiferans based on molecular clock methods

  4. Hydrocarbon geochemistry of cold seeps in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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    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.

  5. Spatial scales of bacterial community diversity at cold seeps (Eastern Mediterranean Sea).

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    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 cold seep ecosystems contribute substantially to the microbial diversity of the deep-sea.

  6. Investigating Hydrocarbon Seep Environments with High-Resolution, Three-Dimensional Geographic Visualizations.

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    Doolittle, D. F.; Gharib, J. J.; Mitchell, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Detailed photographic imagery and bathymetric maps of the seafloor acquired by deep submergence vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) are expanding how scientists and the public view and ultimately understand the seafloor and the processes that modify it. Several recently acquired optical and acoustic datasets, collected during ECOGIG (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) and other Gulf of Mexico expeditions using the National Institute for Undersea Science Technology (NIUST) Eagle Ray, and Mola Mola AUVs, have been fused with lower resolution data to create unique three-dimensional geovisualizations. Included in these data are multi-scale and multi-resolution visualizations over hydrocarbon seeps and seep related features. Resolution of the data range from 10s of mm to 10s of m. When multi-resolution data is integrated into a single three-dimensional visual environment, new insights into seafloor and seep processes can be obtained from the intuitive nature of three-dimensional data exploration. We provide examples and demonstrate how integration of multibeam bathymetry, seafloor backscatter data, sub-bottom profiler data, textured photomosaics, and hull-mounted multibeam acoustic midwater imagery are made into a series a three-dimensional geovisualizations of actively seeping sites and associated chemosynthetic communities. From these combined and merged datasets, insights on seep community structure, morphology, ecology, fluid migration dynamics, and process geomorphology can be investigated from new spatial perspectives. Such datasets also promote valuable inter-comparisons of sensor resolution and performance.

  7. Sediment biogeochemistry and microbial activity at natural hydrocarbon seeps and at sites impacted by anthropogenic hydrocarbon discharges

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    Joye, S. B.; Sibert, R.; Battles, J.; Fields, L.; Kleindienst, S.; Crespo-Medina, M.; Hunter, K.; Meile, C. D.; Montoya, J. P.

    2013-12-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps occur along the seafloor where geologic faults facilitate transfer of deeply sourced fluids enriched in gas, oil, and dissolved organic matter through shallow sediments and into the water column. At natural seeps, microbial populations specialize in hydrocarbon degradation and rates of microbial activity, including sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane, can be extremely high. As a result, the biogeochemical signature of sediments near areas of active natural seepage is distinct: high concentrations of metabolic end products, such as dissolved inorganic carbon and hydrogen sulfide, abound, and often, high dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations result in the precipitation of authigenic carbonate minerals. We examined microbial processes and biogeochemical signatures at two natural seeps, Green Canyon 600 and Mississippi Canyon 118. Higher and more frequent seepage loci at the Green Canyon 600 site led to more widespread hotspots of elevated microbial activity and distinct geochemistry. However, rates of microbial activity were comparable at the two sites in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage. The microbial communities at the two sites were surprisingly different. The second group of sites was impacted by anthropogenic hydrocarbon discharges instead of natural seepage. One site, Oceanus 26, lies near the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo wellhead and was impacted by weathered oil sedimentation during the Macondo discharge. The second set of impacted sites, noted as Taylor Energy, lie near a sunken platform and compromised riser, which have together resulted in persistent hydrocarbon discharge to the adjacent oceanic system for more than 6 years. Rates of microbial activity in the upper sediments at Oceanus 26 were depressed relative to activity in the deeper layers, suggesting inhibition by the presence of weathered oil or an microbial community unable to weather the carbon available in the layer. At the Taylor energy site

  8. 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

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    D. Fischer

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 below the core-OMZ with a remotely operated vehicle. Extracted sediment pore water was analyzed for sulfide and sulfate concentrations. Depending on oxygen availability in the bottom water, 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 retained 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 (SMT deepened with increasing distance from the central gas orifice, the fluxes of sulfate into the SMT did not significantly differ (6.6–9.3 mol m−2 yr−1. Depth-integrated rates of bioirrigation increased from 120 cm yr−1 in the central habitat, characterized by microbial mats and sparse macrofauna, to 297 cm yr−1 in the habitat of large and few small vesicomyid clams. These results reveal that chemosynthetic macrofauna inhabiting the outer seep habitats below the core-OMZ efficiently bioirrigate and thus transport sulfate down into the upper 10 to 15 cm of the sediment. In this way the animals deal with the lower upward flux of methane in outer habitats by stimulating rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM with sulfate high enough to provide

  9. Stable isotope trophic patterns in echinoderm megafauna in close proximity to and remote from Gulf of Mexico lower slope hydrocarbon seeps

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    Carney, Robert Spencer

    2010-11-01

    Hydrocarbon-seep communities in the Gulf of Mexico have a high biomass that is exploited as a food source to varying degrees by the photosynthesis-dependent fauna inhabiting the surrounding mud bottom. A decline concurrent with ocean depth in detritus influx to that background habitat results in a much lower background biomass. The biomass contrast between population-rich seeps and depauperate mud bottom leads to the prediction that seep utilization by the background fauna should be extensive at all depths and should increase with depth. Species depth zonation makes like-species comparisons over the full depth of the Gulf of Mexico impossible. Seeps and normal bottom above 1000 m have different fauna from those below 1000 m. Lower slope seeps are surrounded by a fauna rich in echinoderm species, especially asteroids, ophiuroids, and holothuroids. All three taxa have species that are abundant within seeps and are probably endemic to them. They also contain species found only in mud background or within mud and seeps backgrounds. Tissue analyses of δ13C and δ15N of echinoderms collected by ROV within seeps and trawling away from seeps indicate a pattern of utilization similar to that found in upper slope seeps exploited by different taxa. Seastar and ophiuroid species abundant in or endemic to seeps have tissue isotope values reflecting seep chemosynthetic input via a free-living microbial detritus or predation. A single seep-endemic deposit-feeding holothuroid showed distinct seep tissue values. Background deposit-feeding holothuroids collected within seeps showed either no or only minor incorporation of seep carbon, indicating either a lack of access to seep detritus or short feeding times within the seep. A predicted extensive utilization of seep productivity at the deeper seeps was not found. Seeps may be relatively closed systems that require special adaptations of species in order for them to enter, exploit, and survive. Alternately, the surrounding deep

  10. Using Multi-Disciplinary Data to Compile a Hydrocarbon Budget for GC600, a Natural Seep in the Gulf of Mexico

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    MacDonald, I. R.; Johansen, C.; Marty, E.; Natter, M.; Silva, M.; Hill, J. C.; Viso, R. F.; Lobodin, V.; Diercks, A. R.; Woolsey, M.; Macelloni, L.; Shedd, W. W.; Joye, S. B.; Abrams, M.

    2016-12-01

    Fluid exchange between the deep subsurface and the overlying ocean and atmosphere occurs at hydrocarbon seeps along continental margins. Seeps are key features that alter the seafloor morphology and geochemically affect the sediments that support chemosynthetic communities. However, the dynamics and discharge rates of hydrocarbons at cold seeps remain largely unconstrained. Here we merge complementary geochemical (oil fingerprinting), geophysical (seismic, subbottom, backscatter, multibeam) and video/imaging (Video Time Lapse Camera, DSV ALVIN video) data sets to constrain pathways and magnitudes of hydrocarbon fluxes from the source rock to the seafloor at a well-studied, prolific seep site in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (GC600). Oil fingerprinting showed compositional similarities for samples from the following collections: the reservoir, an active vent, and the sea-surface. This was consistent with reservoir structures and pathways identified in seismic data. Video data, which showed the spatial distribution of seep indicators such as bacteria mats, or hydrate outcrops at the sediment interface, were combined with known hydrocarbon fluxes from the literature and used to quantify the total hydrocarbon fluxes in the seep domain. Using a systems approach, we combined data sets and published values at various scales and resolutions to compile a preliminary hydrocarbon budget for the GC600 seep site. Total estimated in-flow of hydrocarbons was 2.07 x 109 mol/yr. The combined total of out-flow and sequestration amounted to 7.56 x 106 mol/yr leaving a potential excess (in-flow - out-flow) of 2.06 x 109 mol/yr. Thus quantification of the potential out-flow from the seep domains based on observable processes does not equilibrate with the theoretical inputs from the reservoir. Processes that might balance this budget include accumulation of gas hydrate and sediment free-gas, as well as greater efficiency of biological sinks.

  11. Processes controlling water and hydrocarbon composition in seeps from the Salton Sea geothermal system, California, USA

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    Svensen, Henrik; Karlsen, Dag A.; Sturz, Anne; Backer-Owe, Kristian; Banks, David A.; Planke, Sverre

    2007-01-01

    Water-, mud-, gas-, and petroleum-bearing seeps are part of the Salton Sea geothermal system (SSGS) in Southern California. Seeps in the Davis-Schrimpf seep field (˜14,000 m2) show considerable variations in water temperature, pH, density, and solute content. Water-rich springs have low densities (98 vol%). Halogen geochemistry of the waters indicates that mixing of deep and shallow waters occurs and that near-surface dissolution of halite may overprint the original fluid compositions. Carbon isotopic analyses suggest that hydrocarbon seep gases have a thermogenic origin. This hypothesis is supported by the presence of petroleum in a water-dominated spring, composed of 53% saturated compounds, 35% aromatics, and 12% polar compounds. The abundance of polyaromatic hydrocarbons and immature biomarkers suggests a hydrothermal formation of the petroleum, making the SSGS a relevant analogue to less accessible hydrothermal seep systems, e.g., the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California.

  12. Can hydrocarbons entrapped in seep carbonates serve as gas geochemistry recorder?

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    Blumenberg, Martin; Pape, Thomas; Seifert, Richard; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Schlömer, Stefan

    2017-08-01

    The geochemistry of seep gases is useful for an understanding of the local petroleum system. Here it was tested whether individual light hydrocarbons in seep gases are representatively entrapped in authigenic carbonates that formed near active seep sites. If applicable, it would be possible to extract geochemical information not only on the origin but also on the thermal maturity of the hydrocarbon source rocks from the gases entrapped in carbonates in the past. Respective data could be used for a better understanding of paleoenvironments and might directly serve as calibration point for, amongst others, petroleum system modeling. For this approach, (sub)-recent seep carbonates from the Black Sea (Paleodnjepr region and Batumi seep area), two sites of the Campeche Knoll region in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Venere mud volcano (Mediterranean Sea) were selected. These seep carbonates derive from sites for which geochemical data on the currently seeping gases exist. During treatment with phosphoric acid, methane and higher hydrocarbons were released from all carbonates, but in low concentrations. Compositional studies demonstrate that the ratio of methane to the sum of higher hydrocarbons (C1/(C2+C3)) is (partly strongly) positively biased in the entrapped gas fraction. δ13C values of C1 were determined for all samples and, for the samples from the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea, also of C2 and C3. The present dataset from six seep sites indicates that information on the seeped methane can be—although with a scatter of several permil—recorded in seep carbonate matrices, but other valuable information like the composition and δ13C of ethane and propane appears to be modified or lost during, for example, enclosure or at an early stage of diagenesis.

  13. Inventory of Onshore Hydrocarbon Seeps in Romania (HYSED-RO Database

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    Artur Ionescu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Seeps are the expression of the migration of hydrocarbons from subsurface accumulations to the surface in sedimentary basins. They may represent an important indication of the presence of petroleum (gas and oil reservoirs and faults, and are a natural source of greenhouse gas (methane and atmospheric pollutants (ethane, propane to the atmosphere. Romania is one of the countries with the largest number of seeps in the world, due to the high petroleum potential and active tectonics. Based on a review of the available literature, and on the field surveys performed by the authors during the last 17 years, we report the first comprehensive GIS-based inventory of 470 seeps in Romania (HYSED-RO, including gas seeps (10.4% of the total, oil seeps (11.7%, mud volcanoes (50.4%, gas-rich springs (12.6%, asphalt (solid seeps (4.3%, unclassified manifestations (4.0%, and uncertain seeps (6.6%. Seeps are typically located in correspondence with major faults and vertical and fractured stratigraphic contacts associated to petroleum reservoirs (anticlines in low heat flow areas, and their gas-geochemistry reflects that of the subsurface reservoirs. The largest and most active seeps occur in the Carpathian Foredeep, where they release thermogenic gas, and subordinately in the Transylvanian Basin, where gas is mainly microbial. HYSED-RO may represent a key reference for baseline characterization prior to subsurface petroleum extraction, for environmental studies, and atmospheric greenhouse gas emission estimates in Romania.

  14. Infaunal and megafaunal benthic community structure associated with cold seeps at the Vestnesa Ridge (79 N°)

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    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

  15. Identification of Methane, Ethane, and Propane Oxidizing Bacteria at Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps by Stable Isotope Probing

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    Redmond, M.; Ding, H.; Friedrich, M. W.; Valentine, D. L.

    2008-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps emit substantial amounts of oil and natural gas into the marine environment, where they can be oxidized by microorganisms in the sediment and water column. Here, we used stable isotope probing of DNA and lipid biomarkers to identify the microorganisms actively consuming 13C-labeled natural gas compounds in seep sediment samples. Surface sediment was collected from the Coal Oil Point seep field (offshore Santa Barbara, California, USA) and incubated under aerobic conditions with 13C labeled methane, ethane, or propane for up to 37 days, with sediment sub-samples taken at 3-4 intermediate time points. DNA was extracted from sediment and separated by CsCl density gradient centrifugation. The microbial community in each fraction was profiled using T-RFLP, and bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed from un-incubated hydrocarbon seep sediment and selected isotopically 'heavy' (13C) and 'light' (12C) gradient fractions from ethane incubations. All clone libraries were dominated by sequences from members of the family Rhodobacteraceae (>25% of sequences) and a diverse group of Gammaproteobacteria, including sequences related to those of methylotrophs and to those of bacteria known to consume the longer-chain alkanes present in crude oil. After 14 days of incubation, the relative abundance of Rhodobacteraceae was higher in 'heavy' fractions from the 13C-ethane incubation than in 'light' fractions, suggesting incorporation of 13C label. The Rhodobacteraceae are very diverse metabolically, but have often been observed in abundance in oil contaminated seawater. Several members of this group have been shown to oxidize longer chain alkanes (C10 or higher), but none have been previously linked to the consumption of the gaseous alkanes ethane, propane, and butane. For the final time point, 13C content of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) were also analyzed, showing substantial incorporation of 13C over 37 days. In the methane incubation

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

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    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.

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

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    David A Bowden

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Biogeography of thermophilic, endospore-forming bacteria in deepwater hydrocarbon seep sediments of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico

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    Chakraborty, A.; Hubert, C. R.; Ellefson, E.

    2016-12-01

    Dormant endospores of thermophilic bacteria (thermospores) are routinely detected in permanently cold marine surface sediments and are an example of the microbial rare biosphere. These endospores remain undetected in nucleic-acid based community surveys, but can germinate and proliferate during high-temperature incubations. Prominent genera of thermospores include sulfate-reducing Desulfotomaculum and Pelotomaculum as well as fermentative Caloranaerobacter and Thermicanus, within the phylum Firmicutes. Many thermospores are closely related to microorganisms indigenous to subseafloor petroleum reservoirs. If thermospores found in the cold seabed originate warm subsurface petroleum reservoirs, hydrocarbon seeps are likely natural conduits for their passive dispersal up into the ocean. As such, thermospore distributions in marine sediments might have utility in detection of natural hydrocarbon seeps. Marine surface sediments from 112 locations in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico ranging from 100 to 3300 m water depth and situated 6 to 600 km away from each other were sampled and classified according to geochemical indications of oil seepage. Sediment microcosms amended with 20 mM sulfate and a mixture of organic substrates were pasteurized at 80°C then incubated at 50-55°C for 14 days. Sulfate reduction was monitored and detected in 84 (75%) of the sediment samples. The rate and extent of sulfate reduction at this high temperature was greater in the oil-containing sediments than in the sediments without oil. Sequencing of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene on an Illumina MiSeq benchtop sequencer before and after high temperature incubations revealed enrichments of various thermospore genera with the majority being closely related to bacteria previously detected in deep subsurface environments. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that thermospores in the vicinity of hydrocarbon seeps originate from warm deep biosphere habitats.

  19. Methane fluxes to the atmosphere from deepwater hydrocarbon seeps in the northern Gulf of Mexico

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    Hu, Lei; Yvon-Lewis, Shari A.; Kessler, John D.; MacDonald, Ian R.

    2012-01-01

    Three deepwater hydrocarbon seep sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico that feature near-seafloor gas hydrates, MC118 (depth = 900 m), GC600 (depth = 1250 m) and GC185 (depth = 550 m), were investigated during the Remote Sensing and Sea-Truth Measurements of Methane Flux to the Atmosphere (HYFLUX) study in July 2009. Continuous measurements of air and sea surface concentrations of methane were made to obtain high spatial and temporal resolution of the diffusive net sea-to-air fluxes. The atmospheric methane fluctuated between 1.70 and 2.40 parts per million (ppm) during the entire cruise except for high concentrations (up to 4.01 ppm) sampled during the end of the occupation of GC600 and the transit between GC600 and GC185. In conjunction with air-mass back trajectory analysis, these high concentrations are likely from a localized methane source to the atmosphere. Methane concentrations in surface seawater and methane net sea-to-air fluxes show high temporal and spatial variability within and between sites. The presence of ethane and propane in the surface seawater indicates a thermogenic source in the plume areas, suggesting the surface methane could be at least partly attributable to transport from the deepwater hydrocarbon seeps. Results from interpolations within the survey areas show the daily methane fluxes to the atmosphere at the three sites range from 0.744 to 300 mol d-1. Extrapolating the highest daily sea-to-air flux of methane to other deepwater seeps in the northern Gulf of Mexico suggests that the net diffusive sea-to-air flux from deepwater hydrocarbon seeps in this region is an insignificant source to the atmospheric methane.

  20. Methane-Oxidizing Bacteria Shunt Carbon to Microbial Mats at a Marine Hydrocarbon Seep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Blair G.; Ding, Haibing; Bagby, Sarah C.; Kellermann, Matthias Y.; Redmond, Molly C.; Andersen, Gary L.; Valentine, David L.

    2017-01-01

    The marine subsurface is a reservoir of the greenhouse gas methane. While microorganisms living in water column and seafloor ecosystems are known to be a major sink limiting net methane transport from the marine subsurface to the atmosphere, few studies have assessed the flow of methane-derived carbon through the benthic mat communities that line the seafloor on the continental shelf where methane is emitted. We analyzed the abundance and isotope composition of fatty acids in microbial mats grown in the shallow Coal Oil Point seep field off Santa Barbara, CA, USA, where seep gas is a mixture of methane and CO2. We further used stable isotope probing (SIP) to track methane incorporation into mat biomass. We found evidence that multiple allochthonous substrates supported the rich growth of these mats, with notable contributions from bacterial methanotrophs and sulfur-oxidizers as well as eukaryotic phototrophs. Fatty acids characteristic of methanotrophs were shown to be abundant and 13C-enriched in SIP samples, and DNA-SIP identified members of the methanotrophic family Methylococcaceae as major 13CH4 consumers. Members of Sulfuricurvaceae, Sulfurospirillaceae, and Sulfurovumaceae are implicated in fixation of seep CO2. The mats’ autotrophs support a diverse assemblage of co-occurring bacteria and protozoa, with Methylophaga as key consumers of methane-derived organic matter. This study identifies the taxa contributing to the flow of seep-derived carbon through microbial mat biomass, revealing the bacterial and eukaryotic diversity of these remarkable ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Deep Sequencing of Myxilla (Ectyomyxilla) methanophila, an Epibiotic Sponge on Cold-Seep Tubeworms, Reveals Methylotrophic, Thiotrophic, and Putative Hydrocarbon-Degrading Microbial Associations

    KAUST Repository

    Arellano, Shawn M.

    2012-10-11

    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 δ13C 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. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

  3. Epizooic metazoan meiobenthos associated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations from cold seeps of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  4. In-situ and on-line measurement of gas flux at a hydrocarbon seep from the northern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Pengfei; Feng, Dong; Chen, Duofu

    2014-06-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps in the marine environment are important sources of methane and other greenhouse gases to the ocean and the atmosphere. Accurate quantification of methane flux at hydrocarbon seeps is therefore necessary to evaluate their influence on the global methane budget and climate change. Hydrocarbon seeps on the seabed produce a near-shore gas bubble zone along the shallow western coast of Hainan Island, northern South China Sea. An in-situ and on-line gas flux measuring device was deployed over a hydrocarbon seep to quantify the gas flux by equal volume exchange venting from the seabed offshore of Ledong Town, Hainan Island, over 19 days. The physiochemical parameters and the dissolved methane concentration of the bottom water at the hydrocarbon seep were also measured. The gas flux from the hydrocarbon seep varied from 22 to 77 l/day with the tidal period and was strongly negatively correlated with water depth. The flux data from the seep suggests that the variation in hydrostatic pressure induced by tidal forcing and ocean swell may control the variation of the gas flux. The bottom water dissolved methane concentration, ranging from 26 to 74 nmol/L, was negatively correlated with temperature and water depth at the seabed and positively with the gas flux. The total gas volume released from the hydrocarbon seep was 30.5 m3 for the 19-day period, providing an estimated gas flux of 600 m3/yr. The 120 known hydrocarbon seeps along the eastern edge of the Yinggehai Basin could vent a large quantity of methane from the seafloor, which suggests that hydrocarbon seeps on the continental margin of the northern South China Sea may be an important natural source of methane to the atmosphere.

  5. Microbial communities of deep-sea methane seeps at Hikurangi continental margin (New Zealand).

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Microbial communities of deep-sea methane seeps at Hikurangi continental margin (New Zealand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Emil Ruff

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. A chemical and biological study of the impact of a suspected oil seep at the coast of Marraat, Nuussuaq, Greenland. With a summary of other environmental studies of hydrocarbons in Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mosbech, A.; Hansen, Asger B.; Asmund, G.; Dahlloef, I.; Groth Petersen, D.; Strand, J.

    2007-08-15

    These studies were conducted on the Nuussuaq Peninsula at Marraat, where GEUS discovered oil in porous volcanics in the early 1990s. This oil was also found in the Marraat-1 core drilled in 1993. At Marraat the presence of oil stained stones scattered along the coast indicates oil bearing strata and the existence of potential oil seeps. The studies reported here had the objective to see, if the suspected seep had a local impact on the chemistry and biological communities in the marine environment at Marraat. The study included sediments, blue mussels and fish that were analyzed for hydrocarbons, a Pollution Induced Community Test (PICT), a sediment toxicity test and a measurement of PAH metabolites in fish gall. The hydrocarbon pattern found in sediment and biota samples indicates input from both immature petrogenic hydrocarbons of possible terrestrial origin and local pollution by fuel oil. But the hydrocarbon levels found were low and do not indicate an input from a natural local oil seep at Marraat. The results of the PICT, the sediment toxicity test and the PAH metabolite study do not either indicate the presence of an oil seep. However, compared to sediments from a larger area of West Greenland the sediments close to Nuussuaq and Disko have higher concentrations of PAH expressed on basis of their content of organic matter. This could be a result of natural seepage of oil in the Nuusuuaq/Disko region. (au)

  8. Bacterial Endophytes Isolated from Plants in Natural Oil Seep Soils with Chronic Hydrocarbon Contamination

    OpenAIRE

    Lumactud, Rhea; Shen, Shu Yi; Lau, Mimas; Fulthorpe, Roberta

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial endophytic communities of four plants growing abundantly in soils highly contaminated by hydrocarbons were analyzed through culturable and culture-independent means. Given their tolerance to the high levels of petroleum contamination at our study site, we sought evidence that Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, Trifolium aureum, and Dactylis glomerata support high levels of hydrocarbon degrading endophytes. A total of 190 isolates were isolated from four plant species. Th...

  9. Bacterial endophytes isolated from plants in natural oil seep soils with chronic hydrocarbon contamination

    OpenAIRE

    Rhea eLumactud; Shu Yi eShen; Mimas eLau; Roberta eFulthorpe

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial endophytic communities of four plants growing abundantly in soils highly contaminated by hydrocarbons were analyzed through culturable and and culture-independent means. Given their tolerance to the high levels of petroleum contamination at our study site, we sought evidence that Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, Trifolium aureum and Dactylis glomerata support high levels of hydrocarbon degrading endophytes. A total of 190 isolates were isolated from four plant species....

  10. Association of oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities with oil discoveries, upper continental slope, Gulf of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; MacDonald, I.R.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; Guinasso, N.L. Jr. (Texas A M Univ., College Station, TX (United States))

    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.

  11. Mineralogical and geochemical characterization of hydrocarbon seep sediments from the Gulf of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canet, Carles; Prol-Ledesma, Rosa Maria; Mortera-Gutierrez, Carlos; Linares, Carlos [Instituto de Geofisica, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacan 04510, Mexico (Mexico); Escobar-Briones, Elva [Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, Unidad Academica Sistemas Oceanograficos y Costeros, A. P. 70-305 Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacan 04510, Mexico (Mexico); Lozano-Santa Cruz, Rufino; Cienfuegos, Edith; Morales-Puente, Pedro [Instituto de Geologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacan 04510, Mexico (Mexico)

    2006-06-15

    A common characteristic of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) seafloor, hydrocarbon seepage produces asphalt volcanism, brine pools, gas hydrates and authigenic carbonates. We studied authigenic carbonates from two areas: Green Canyon (Louisiana slope, 1000mbsl) and the Chapopote diapir (abyssal plain, southwestern GOM, 2900mbsl). Carbonates consist of oily, matrix-supported limestones with variable porosity and a fine-grained matrix of calcite. They occur in Green Canyon as both concretions formed below the seafloor and as slabs of seabed pavements. In each case, the carbonates are mudstones with a mud matrix consisting of high-Mg calcite, disseminated pyrite and detrital quartz. The carbonate slabs have vug microporosity and contain barite that occurs as vug lining. The precipitation of barite results from a reaction between barium-rich and sulfate-free seep fluids and downwards-diffusing seawater. The carbonates in Chapopote occur in relation to tar flows and form crusts of wackestones with bivalve shells. The matrix is composed by low-Mg calcite with disseminated pyrite and detrital quartz. The carbonate mud shows depletion in {sup 13}C, with {delta}{sup 13}C between -36.9%% and -23.0%%. Carbonates precipitate as a consequence of anaerobic methane oxidation coupled with seawater sulfate reduction. {delta}{sup 18}O values (3.4-4.4%%) suggest precipitation at temperatures between 5 and 9{sup o}C. (author)

  12. Comparative study of vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Portail

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 biogeographic barrier, 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 sulphide concentrations. 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. Surprisingly, the presence of vent environmental specificities, with higher temperature, higher metal concentrations and lower pH was not significant in explaining community patterns. Moreover, Guaymas seep and vent shared an important number of common species suggesting frequent connections between the two ecosystems. Finally, this study provides further support for the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea seep and vent ecosystems.

  13. HYFLUX: Satellite Exploration of Natural Hydrocarbon Seeps and Discovery of a Methane Hydrate Mound at GC600

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    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 (13)C-labeled substrates, hybridizations with sequence-specific probes and nanoSIMS analyses showed that cells of the dominant phylotypes were the first to become enriched in (13)C, 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.

  15. Bacterial endophytes isolated from plants in natural oil seep soils with chronic hydrocarbon contamination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhea eLumactud

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The bacterial endophytic communities of four plants growing abundantly in soils highly contaminated by hydrocarbons were analyzed through culturable and and culture-independent means. Given their tolerance to the high levels of petroleum contamination at our study site, we sought evidence that Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, Trifolium aureum and Dactylis glomerata support high levels of hydrocarbon degrading endophytes. A total of 190 isolates were isolated from four plant species. The isolates were identified by partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis, with class Actinobacteria as the dominant group in all species except Solidago canadensis, which was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria. Microbacterium foliorum and Plantibacter flavus were present in all the plants, with M. foliorum showing predominance in D. glomerata and both endophytic bacterial species dominated T. aureum. More than 50% of the isolates demonstrated degradative capabilities for octanol, toluene, naphthalene, kerosene or motor oil based on sole carbon source growth screens involving the reduction of tetrazolium dye. P. flavus isolates from all the sampled plants showed growth on all the petroleum hydrocarbons substrates tested. Mineralization of toluene and naphthalene was confirmed using gas-chromatography. 16S based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed significant differences between the endophytic bacterial communities showing them to be plant host specific at this site. To our knowledge, this is the first account of the degradation potential of bacterial endophytes in these commonly occurring pioneer plants that were not previously known as phytoremediating plants.

  16. Bacterial Endophytes Isolated from Plants in Natural Oil Seep Soils with Chronic Hydrocarbon Contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumactud, Rhea; Shen, Shu Yi; Lau, Mimas; Fulthorpe, Roberta

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial endophytic communities of four plants growing abundantly in soils highly contaminated by hydrocarbons were analyzed through culturable and culture-independent means. Given their tolerance to the high levels of petroleum contamination at our study site, we sought evidence that Achillea millefolium, Solidago canadensis, Trifolium aureum, and Dactylis glomerata support high levels of hydrocarbon degrading endophytes. A total of 190 isolates were isolated from four plant species. The isolates were identified by partial 16S rDNA sequence analysis, with class Actinobacteria as the dominant group in all species except S. canadensis, which was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria. Microbacterium foliorum and Plantibacter flavus were present in all the plants, with M. foliorum showing predominance in D. glomerata and both endophytic bacterial species dominated T. aureum. More than 50% of the isolates demonstrated degradative capabilities for octanol, toluene, naphthalene, kerosene, or motor oil based on sole carbon source growth screens involving the reduction of tetrazolium dye. P. flavus isolates from all the sampled plants showed growth on all the petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) substrates tested. Mineralization of toluene and naphthalene was confirmed using gas-chromatography. 16S based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed significant differences between the endophytic bacterial communities showing them to be plant host specific at this site. To our knowledge, this is the first account of the degradation potential of bacterial endophytes in these commonly occurring pioneer plants that were not previously known as phytoremediating plants.

  17. Methane Metabolizing Microbial Communities in the Cold Seep Areas in the Northern Continental Shelf of South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, F.; Liang, Q.

    2016-12-01

    Marine sediment contains large amount of methane, estimated approximately 500-2500 gigatonnes of dissolved and hydrated methane carbon stored therein, mainly in continental margins. In localized specific areas named cold seeps, hydrocarbon (mainly methane) containing fluids rise to the seafloor, and support oases of ecosystem composed of various microorganisms and faunal assemblages. South China Sea (SCS) is surrounded by passive continental margins in the west and north and convergent margins in the south and east. Thick organic-rich sediments have accumulated in the SCS since the late Mesozoic, which are continuing sources to form gas hydrates in the sediments of SCS. Here, Microbial ecosystems, particularly those involved in methane transformations were investigated in the cold seep areas (Qiongdongnan, Shenhu, and Dongsha) in the northern continental shelf of SCS. Multiple interdisciplinary analytic tools such as stable isotope probing, geochemical analysis, and molecular ecology, were applied for a comprehensive understanding of the microbe mediated methane transformation in this project. A variety of sediments cores have been collected, the geochemical profiles and the associated microbial distribution along the sediment cores were recorded. The major microbial groups involved in the methane transformation in these sediment cores were revealed, known methane producing and oxidizing archaea including Methanosarcinales, anaerobic methane oxidizing groups ANME-1, ANME-2 and their niche preference in the SCS sediments were found. In-depth comparative analysis revealed the presence of SCS-specific archaeal subtypes which probably reflected the evolution and adaptation of these methane metabolizing microbes to the SCS environmental conditions. Our work represents the first comprehensive analysis of the methane metabolizing microbial communities in the cold seep areas along the northern continental shelf of South China Sea, would provide new insight into the

  18. Establishing criteria to distinguish oil- from methane-seep carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Microbial community changes along the active seepage site of one cold seep in the Red Sea.

    KAUST Repository

    Cao, Huiluo

    2015-07-21

    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.

  20. Microbial community changes along the active seepage site of one cold seep in the Red Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huiluo eCao

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 communities along the environmental gradient from active seepage sites to peripheral areas. Changes in the microbial community structure of ammonia oxidizing archaea in different habitats (water versus 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.

  1. Microbial community changes along the active seepage site of one cold seep in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Methane oxidation in permeable sediments at hydrocarbon seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treude, T.; Ziebis, W.

    2010-03-01

    A shallow-water area in the Santa Barbara Channel (California), known collectively as the Coal Oil Point seep field, is one the largest natural submarine oil and gas emission areas in the world. Both gas and oil are seeping constantly through a predominantly sandy seabed into the ocean. This study focused on the methanotrophic activity within the surface sediments (0-15 cm) of the permeable seabed in the so-called Brian Seep area at a water depth ~10 m. Detailed investigations of biogeochemical parameters in the sediment surrounding active gas vents indicated that methane seepage through the permeable seabed induces a convective transport of fluids within the surface sediment layer, which results in a deeper penetration of oxidants (oxygen, sulfate) into the sediment, as well as in a faster removal of potentially inhibiting reduced end products (e.g. hydrogen sulfide). Methanotrophic activity was often found close to the sediment-water interface, indicating the involvement of aerobic bacteria. However, biogeochemical data suggests that the majority of methane is consumed by anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction below the surface layer (>15 cm), where sulfate is still available in high concentrations. This subsurface maximum of AOM activity in permeable sands is in contrast to known deep-sea seep habitats, where upward fluid advection through more fine-grained sediments leads to an accumulation of AOM activity within the top 10 cm of the sediments, because sulfate is rapidly depleted.

  3. Examining the diversity and distribution of microbial communities from newly discovered methane seeps along the Cascadia Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seabrook, S.; Thurber, A. R.; Embley, R. W.; Raineault, N.; Baumberger, T.; Merle, S. G.

    2016-12-01

    Methane seeps provide biogeochemical and microbial heterogeneity in deep-sea habitats. In June of 2016 the E/V Nautilus, exploring for methane seeps along the Cascadia continental margin, discovered over 450 bubble streams, indicative of active seepage, and collected biological samples at 6 of the resulting newly discovered seeps. These seeps covered a range of depths, latitudes, habitat types and biogeochemical environments and included: Juan de Fuca (150m), Astoria canyon (800m and 500m), Nehalem Bank (185m), Heceta SW (1200m), SW Coquille Bank (600m), and Klamath Knoll seep (700m). Geologic environment types included continental shelf, canyons and slopes, and these sites spanned the zone of hydrate stability and the Oxygen Minimum Zone. A range of seep-specific habitat were found and sampled including: reduced sediments, microbial mats, methane hydrates, clam beds (Calyptogena spp.), Siboglinidae tubeworm assemblages and sparse assemblages of stalked barnacles. Here, we present an initial characterization of the microbial communities collected via push cores by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at the six aforementioned sites. With high throughput amplicon sequencing of the V4-V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene, we characterize the diversity and microbial composition of the seep sites sampled. This characterization is furthered with digital drop PCR of the pmoA gene (involved with aerobic methanotrophy) to allow for a comparison of the community composition with functional gene abundance of critical microbial processes. These data will be placed in the greater biogeochemical context of the region, including direct comparison with paired gas-tight sampling at key locations. The results of these analyses will provide the first microbial description of this broad range of seep ecosystems along the Cascadia Margin adding to our overall understanding of microbial diversity, the dominant physiological processes at seep ecosystems, and the connection between community

  4. Biogeography, biodiversity and fluid dependence of deep-sea cold-seep communities at active and passive margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibuet, Myriam; Olu, Karine

    1998-01-01

    To date, several cold-seep areas which fuel chemosynthesis-based benthic communities have been explored, mainly by deployment of manned submersibles. They are located in the Atlantic and in the Eastern and Western Pacific oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea, in depths ranging between 400 and 6000 m in different geological contexts in passive and active margins. Our study is based on a review of the existent literature on 24 deep cold seeps. The geographic distribution of seeps, the variations of origin and composition of fluids, and rates of fluid flow are presented as they are important factors which explain the spatial heterogeneity and the biomass of biological communities. Methane-rich fluid of thermogenic and/or biogenic origin is the principal source of energy for high-productive communities; however, production of sulphide by sulphate reduction in the sediment also has a major role. The dominant seep species are large bivalves belonging to the families Vesicomyidae or Mytilidae. Other symbiont-containing species occur belonging to Solemyidae, Thyasiridae, Lucinidae bivalves, Pogonophora worms, Cladorhizidae and Hymedesmiidae sponges. Most of the symbiont-containing cold-seep species are new to science. Different symbiont-containing species rely on sulphide or methane oxidation, or both, via chemoautotrophic endosymbiotic bacteria. A total of 211 species, from which 64 are symbiont-containing species, have been inventoried. Patterns in biodiversity and biogeography are proposed. A large majority of the species are endemic to a seep area and the symbiont-containing species are mainly endemic to the cold-seep ecosystem. A comparison of species found in other deep chemosynthesis-based ecosystems, hydrothermal vents, whale carcass and shipwreck reduced habitats, reveals from the existing data, that only 13 species, of which five are symbiont-containing species occur, at both seeps and hydrothermal vents. The species richness of cold-seep communities decreases

  5. Quantification of methane fluxes from hydrocarbon seeps to the ocean and atmosphere: Development of an in situ and online gas flux measuring system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Pengfei; Chen, Qinghua; Chen, Duofu

    2017-06-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps in the marine environment are important contributors to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Such gases include methane, which plays a significant role in global carbon cycling and climate change. To accurately quantify the methane flux from hydrocarbon seeps on the seafloor, a specialized in situ and online gas flux measuring (GFM) device was designed to obtain high-resolution time course gas fluxes using the process of equal volume exchange. The device consists of a 1.0-m diameter, 0.9-m tall, inverted conical tent and a GFM instrument that contains a solenoid valve, level transducer, and gas collection chamber. Rising gas bubbles from seeps were measured by laboratory-calibrated GFM instruments attached to the top of the tent. According to the experimental data, the optimal anti-shake time interval was 5 s. The measurement range of the device was 0-15 L min-1, and the relative error was ± 1.0%. The device was initially deployed at an active seep site in the Lingtou Promontory seep field in South China Sea. The amount of gas released from a single gas vent was 30.5 m3 during the measurement period, and the gas flow rate ranged from 22 to 72 L h-1, depending on tidal period, and was strongly negatively correlated with water depth. The measurement results strongly suggest that oceanic tides and swells had a significant forcing effect on gas flux. Low flow rates were associated with high tides and vice versa. The changes in gas volume escaping from the seafloor seeps could be attributed to the hydrostatic pressure induced by water depth. Our findings suggest that in the marine environment, especially in the shallow shelf area, sea level variation may play an important role in controlling methane release into the ocean. Such releases probably also affect atmospheric methane levels.

  6. Hydrocarbon Potential of the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Evidences from Tectonic Features and Oil Seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla Y Sanch, R.

    2008-05-01

    The Gulf of Mexico has an enormous oil potential, about 104 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BBOE). From these, about 54 BBOE are in Mexican waters. Tectonic features in the sea-floor of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are closely related to oil seepage that have been mapped since the early 20 century, and are direct evidences of working petroleum systems, as well as that deep reservoirs are leaking oil to the surface. This could be considered an inconvenience by some, but it is known that the giant field Cantarell was named after a fisherman that reported frequently giant oil seeps offshore northward Ciudad del Carmen. Deep water exploration has become more and more important these days because of the continuously increasing oil prices. The northern half of the Gulf of Mexico today displays an unusual drilling activity, whereas in the southern part drilling activity is too low. In this research work the interest is focused on the satellite detected oil seeps, and ther coincident location with the tectonic structures shown in the new digital tectonic map of mexico.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lee, O.O.

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Changing composition of microbial communities indicates seepage fluid difference of the Thuwal Seeps in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Yang, Bo

    2015-06-10

    © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015. Cold seeps are unique ecosystems that are generally characterized by high salinity and reducing solutions. Seepage fluid, the major water influx of this system, contains hypersaline water, sediment pore water, and other components. The Thuwal cold seeps were recently discovered on the continental margin of the Red Sea. Using 16S rRNA gene pyro-sequencing technology, microbial communities were investigated by comparing samples collected in 2011 and 2013. The results revealed differences in the microbial communities between the two sampling times. In particular, a significantly higher abundance of Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaeota was coupled with lower salinity in 2013. In the brine pool, the dominance of Desulfobacterales in 2011 was supplanted byMGI Thaumarchaeota in 2013, perhaps due to a reduced supply of hydrogen sulfide from the seepage fluid. Collectively, this study revealed a difference in water components in this ecosystem between two sampling times. The results indicated that the seawater in this cold seep displayed a greater number of characteristics of normal seawater in 2013 than in 2011, which might represent the dominant driving force for changes in microbial community structures. This is the first study to provide a temporal comparison of the microbial biodiversity of a cold seep ecosystem in the Red Sea.

  13. Changing composition of microbial communities indicates seepage fluid difference of the Thuwal Seeps in the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bo; Zhang, Weipeng; Tian, Renmao; Wang, Yong; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2015-08-01

    Cold seeps are unique ecosystems that are generally characterized by high salinity and reducing solutions. Seepage fluid, the major water influx of this system, contains hypersaline water, sediment pore water, and other components. The Thuwal cold seeps were recently discovered on the continental margin of the Red Sea. Using 16S rRNA gene pyro-sequencing technology, microbial communities were investigated by comparing samples collected in 2011 and 2013. The results revealed differences in the microbial communities between the two sampling times. In particular, a significantly higher abundance of Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaeota was coupled with lower salinity in 2013. In the brine pool, the dominance of Desulfobacterales in 2011 was supplanted by MGI Thaumarchaeota in 2013, perhaps due to a reduced supply of hydrogen sulfide from the seepage fluid. Collectively, this study revealed a difference in water components in this ecosystem between two sampling times. The results indicated that the seawater in this cold seep displayed a greater number of characteristics of normal seawater in 2013 than in 2011, which might represent the dominant driving force for changes in microbial community structures. This is the first study to provide a temporal comparison of the microbial biodiversity of a cold seep ecosystem in the Red Sea.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Species distribution and population connectivity of deep-sea mussels at hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baptiste Faure

    Full Text Available Hydrocarbon seepage is widespread and patchy in the Gulf of Mexico, and six species of symbiont containing bathymodiolin mussels are found on active seeps over wide and overlapping depth and geographic ranges. We use mitochondrial genes to discriminate among the previously known and a newly discovered species and to assess the connectivity among populations of the same species in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM. Our results generally validate the morphologically based distribution of the three previously known GoM species of Bathymodiolus, although we found that approximately 10% of the morphologically based identifications were incorrect and this resulted in some inaccuracies with respect to their previously assigned depth and geographical distribution patterns. These data allowed us to confirm that sympatry of two species of Bathymodiolus within a single patch of mussels is common. A new species of bathymodiolin, Bathymodiolus sp. nov., closely related to B. heckerae was also discovered. The two species live at the same depths but have not been found in sympatry and both have small effective population sizes. We found evidence for genetic structure within populations of the three species of Bathymodiolinae for which we had samples from multiple sites and suggest limited connectivity for populations at some sites. Despite relatively small sample sizes, genetic diversity indices suggest the largest population sizes for B. childressi and Tamu fisheri and the smallest for B. heckerae and B. sp. nov. among the GoM bathymodiolins. Moreover, we detected an excess of rare variants indicating recent demographic changes and population expansions for the four species of bathymodiolins from the Gulf of Mexico.

  16. Species Distribution and Population Connectivity of Deep-Sea Mussels at Hydrocarbon Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Baptiste; Schaeffer, Stephen W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seepage is widespread and patchy in the Gulf of Mexico, and six species of symbiont containing bathymodiolin mussels are found on active seeps over wide and overlapping depth and geographic ranges. We use mitochondrial genes to discriminate among the previously known and a newly discovered species and to assess the connectivity among populations of the same species in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Our results generally validate the morphologically based distribution of the three previously known GoM species of Bathymodiolus, although we found that approximately 10% of the morphologically based identifications were incorrect and this resulted in some inaccuracies with respect to their previously assigned depth and geographical distribution patterns. These data allowed us to confirm that sympatry of two species of Bathymodiolus within a single patch of mussels is common. A new species of bathymodiolin, Bathymodiolus sp. nov., closely related to B. heckerae was also discovered. The two species live at the same depths but have not been found in sympatry and both have small effective population sizes. We found evidence for genetic structure within populations of the three species of Bathymodiolinae for which we had samples from multiple sites and suggest limited connectivity for populations at some sites. Despite relatively small sample sizes, genetic diversity indices suggest the largest population sizes for B. childressi and Tamu fisheri and the smallest for B. heckerae and B. sp. nov. among the GoM bathymodiolins. Moreover, we detected an excess of rare variants indicating recent demographic changes and population expansions for the four species of bathymodiolins from the Gulf of Mexico. PMID:25859657

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina eRuss

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available 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

  18. Methane-metabolizing microbial communities in sediments of the Haima cold seep area, northwest slope of the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Mingyang; Fan, Xibei; Zhuang, Guangchao; Liang, Qianyong; Wang, Fengping

    2017-09-01

    Cold seeps are widespread chemosynthetic ecosystems in the deep-sea environment, and cold seep microbial communities of the South China Sea are poorly constrained. Here we report on the archaeal communities, particularly those involved in methane metabolization, in sediments of a newly discovered cold seep (named 'Haima') on the northwest slope of the South China Sea. Archaeal diversity, abundance and distribution were investigated in two piston cores collected from a seep area (QDN-14B) and a non-seep control site (QDN-31B). Geochemical investigation of the QDN-14B core identified an estimated sulfate-methane transition zone (Estimated SMTZ) at 300-400 cm below sea floor (cmbsf), where a high abundance of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) occurred, as revealed by analysis of the 16S rRNA gene and the gene (mcrA) encoding the α-subunit of the key enzyme methyl-coenzyme M reductase. ANME-2a/b was predominant in the upper and middle layers of the estimated SMTZ, whereas ANME-1b outcompeted ANME-2 in the sulfate-depleted bottom layers of the estimated SMTZ and the methanogenic zone. Fine-scale phylogenetic analysis further divided the ANME-1b group into three subgroups with different distribution patterns: ANME-1bI, ANME-1bII and ANME-1bIII. Multivariate analyses indicated that dissolved inorganic carbon and sulfate may be important factors controlling the composition of the methane-metabolizing community. Our study on ANME niche separation and interactions with other archaeal groups improves our understanding of the metabolic diversity and flexibility of ANME, and the findings further suggest that ANME subgroups may have evolved diversified/specified metabolic capabilities other than syntrophic anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled with sulfate reduction in marine sediments. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Methane seep in shallow-water permeable sediment harbors high diversity of anaerobic methanotrophic communities, Elba, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Emil Ruff

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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

  20. Metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with Santa Barbara seep oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Erik R; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alexander; del Rio, Tijana Glavina; Pati, Amrita; Jansson, Janet R; Gilbert, Jack A; Tringe, Susannah Green; Lorenson, Thomas D; Hess, Matthias

    2014-12-01

    The metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with natural oils seeping into the Pacific Ocean offshore the coast of Santa Barbara (California, USA) were determined to complement already existing metagenomes generated from microbial communities associated with hydrocarbons that pollute the marine ecosystem. This genomics resource article is the first of two publications reporting a total of four new metagenomes from oils that seep into the Santa Barbara Channel.

  1. A comprehensive investigation on iron cycling in a freshwater seep including microscopy, cultivation and molecular community analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Anne-Mette; Finster, Kai; Gunnlaugsson, Haraldur Pall

    2010-01-01

    Iron reduction and oxidation, as well as the microbial community involved in these processes, were investigated in a small pond that is continuously fed by slightly acidic, hypoxic, iron rich ground water. The seep area is located in a beech forest in central Jutland (Denmark), and beech litter...... is the dominant source of organic matter, carbon and energy for the microbial community. The pond is 30 to 50 cm deep with a water column depth ranging from 15 to 20 cm. Oxygen could only be detected down to 7 cm depth of the water column. Fe(II) concentrations increased with depth from about 30 μM close...

  2. Bacterial communities and syntrophic associations involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane process of the Sonora Margin cold seeps, Guaymas Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    The Sonora Margin cold seeps present on the seafloor a patchiness pattern of white microbial mats surrounded by polychaete and gastropod beds. These surface assemblages are fuelled by abundant organic inputs sedimenting from the water column and upward-flowing seep fluids. Elevated microbial density was observed in the underlying sediments. A previous study on the same samples identified anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) as the potential dominant archaeal process in these Sonora Margin sediments, probably catalysed by three clades of archaeal anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME-1, ANME-2 and ANME-3) associated with bacterial syntrophs. In this study, molecular surveys and microscopic observations investigating the diversity of Bacteria involved in AOM process, as well as the environmental parameters affecting the composition and the morphologies of AOM consortia in the Sonora Margin sediments were carried out. Two groups of Bacteria were identified within the AOM consortia, the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus SEEP SRB-1a group and a Desulfobulbus-related group. These bacteria showed different niche distributions, association specificities and consortia architectures, depending on sediment surface communities, geochemical parameters and ANME-associated phylogeny. Therefore, the syntrophic AOM process appears to depend on sulphate-reducing bacteria with different ecological niches and/or metabolisms, in a biofilm-like organic matrix. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Using stable isotope compositions of animal tissues to infer trophic interactions in Gulf of Mexico lower slope seep communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin L Becker

    Full Text Available We analyzed the tissue carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotope contents of macrofaunal communities associated with vestimentiferan tubeworms and bathymodiolin mussels from the Gulf of Mexico lower continental slope (970-2800 m. Shrimp in the genus Alvinocaris associated with vestimentiferans from shallow (530 m and deep (1400-2800 m sites were used to test the hypothesis that seep animals derive a greater proportion of their nutrition from seeps (i.e. a lower proportion from the surface at greater depths. To account for spatial variability in the inorganic source pool, we used the differences between the mean tissue δ(13C and δ(15N of the shrimp in each collection and the mean δ (13C and δ(15N values of the vestimentiferans from the same collection, since vestimentiferans are functionally autotrophic and serve as a baseline for environmental isotopic variation. There was a significant negative relationship between this difference and depth for both δ(13C and δ(15N (p=0.02 and 0.007, respectively, which supports the hypothesis of higher dependence on seep nutrition with depth. The small polychaete worm Protomystides sp. was hypothesized to be a blood parasite of the vestimentiferan Escarpialaminata. There was a highly significant linear relationship between the δ(13C values of Protomystides sp. and the E. laminata individuals to which they were attached across all collections (p < 0.001 and within a single collection (p = 0.01, although this relationship was not significant for δ(15N and δ(34S. We made several other qualitative inferences with respect to the feeding biology of the taxa occurring in these lower slope seeps, some of which have not been described prior to this study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    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 microbia

  7. Diversity and composition of the copepod communities associated with megafauna around a cold seep in the Gulf of Mexico with remarks on species biogeography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plum, C.; Gollner, S.; Martinez Arbizu, P.; Bright, M.

    2015-01-01

    In order to characterize the copepod communitiesassociated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations around ahydrocarbon seep in the Green Canyon of the Gulf of Mexico,diversity, abundance, and community composition were analyzed.Also analyzed were species biogeography and the potentialconnectivity to o

  8. Diversity and composition of the copepod communities associated with megafauna around a cold seep in the Gulf of Mexico with remarks on species biogeography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plum, C.; Gollner, S.; Martinez Arbizu, P.; Bright, M.

    2015-01-01

    In order to characterize the copepod communitiesassociated with tubeworm and mussel aggregations around ahydrocarbon seep in the Green Canyon of the Gulf of Mexico,diversity, abundance, and community composition were analyzed.Also analyzed were species biogeography and the potentialconnectivity to

  9. Microbial communities associated with benthic faunal assemblages at cold seep sediments of the Sonora Margin, Guaymas Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perrine eCruaud

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Sonora Margin cold seeps present a seafloor mosaic pattern consisting of different faunal assemblages and microbial mats. To better understand if sedimentary microbial communities reflect this patchy distribution, all major habitats were investigated using four complementary approaches: 16S rRNA 454 pyrosequencing, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, fluorescence in situ hybridization and geochemistry analyses. This study reveals that sediments populated by different surface assemblages show distinct porewater geochemistry features and are associated with distinct microbial communities. In the sediments underlying the microbial mat and the surrounding macrofauna, microbial communities were dominated by anaerobic methane oxidizers (archaeal anaerobic methanotroph ANME and sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria. In contrast, sediment-associated microbial communities underlying the megafauna habitats (vesicomyids and siboglinids were characterized by a lower biomass and important proportions of the Marine Benthic Group D (MBG-D, Chloroflexi as well as filamentous Gammaproteobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria. Together, geochemical and microbial surveys indicate that porewater methane concentrations play an important role in the microbial community structure and subsequently in the establishment of the surface colonizers. Furthermore, presence and activity of the surface colonizers influence the underlying microbial communities probably because of modification of energy source availabilities.

  10. Cold-seep-like macrofaunal communities in organic- and sulfide-rich sediments of the Congo deep-sea fan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olu, K.; Decker, C.; Pastor, L.; Caprais, J.-C.; Khripounoff, A.; Morineaux, M.; Ain Baziz, M.; Menot, L.; Rabouille, C.

    2017-08-01

    Methane-rich fluids arising from organic matter diagenesis in deep sediment layers sustain chemosynthesis-based ecosystems along continental margins. This type of cold seep develops on pockmarks along the Congo margin, where fluids migrate from deep-buried paleo-channels of the Congo River, acting as reservoirs. Similar ecosystems based on shallow methane production occur in the terminal lobes of the present-day Congo deep-sea fan, which is supplied by huge quantities of primarily terrestrial material carried by turbiditic currents along the 800 km channel, and deposited at depths of up to nearly 5000 m. In this paper, we explore the effect of this carbon enrichment of deep-sea sediments on benthic macrofauna, along the prograding lobes fed by the current active channel, and on older lobes receiving less turbiditic inputs. Macrofaunal communities were sampled using either USNEL cores on the channel levees, or ROV blade cores in the chemosynthesis-based habitats patchily distributed in the active lobe complex. The exceptionally high organic content of the surface sediment in the active lobe complex was correlated with unusual densities of macrofauna for this depth, enhanced by a factor 7-8, compared with those of the older, abandoned lobe, whose sediment carbon content is still higher than in Angola Basin at same depth. Macrofaunal communities, dominated by cossurid polychaetes and tanaids were also more closely related to those colonizing low-flow cold seeps than those of typical deep-sea sediment. In reduced sediments, microbial mats and vesicomyid bivalve beds displayed macrofaunal community patterns that were similar to their cold-seep counterparts, with high densities, low diversity and dominance of sulfide-tolerant polychaetes and gastropods in the most sulfidic habitats. In addition, diversity was higher in vesicomyid bivalve beds, which appeared to bio-irrigate the upper sediment layers. High beta-diversity is underscored by the variability of geochemical

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Differential methane oxidation activity and microbial community composition at cold seeps in the Arctic off western Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Freezing and hungry? Hydrocarbon degrading microbial communities in Barents Sea sediments around Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, Martin; Straaten, Nontje

    2017-04-01

    The Polar Regions are characterised by varying temperatures and changing ice coverage, so most of the primary production take place in the warmer season. Consequently, sedimentation rates and nutrient input are low. The diversity and metabolic potentials of the microbial communities inhabiting these sediments in the Northern Barents Sea are largely unknown. Recent reports on natural methane seeps as well as the increase in hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Arctic initiated our studies on the potential of indigenous microbial communities to degrade methane and higher hydrocarbons under in situ pressure and temperature conditions. Furthermore, the subseafloor geochemistry in these areas was studied, together with important microbial groups, like methanotrophs, methanogens, metal and sulfate reducers, which may drive seafloor ecosystems in the Northern Barents Sea. Sediment samples were collected in several areas around Svalbard in the years 2013-2016 ranging from shallow (200m) areas on the Svalbard shelf to deep sea areas on the eastern Yermak Plateau (3200m water depths). Shelf sediments showed the highest organic carbon content which decreased with increasing depths. Iron and manganese as potential electron acceptors were found in the porewater especially in the top 50 cm of the cores, while sulfate was always present in substantial amounts in porewater samples down to the end of the up to two metre long cores. Concentrations of dissolved methane and carbon dioxide were low. The potential of the indigenous microorganisms to degrade methane and higher hydrocarbons as well as different oils under in situ temperatures and pressures was widespread in surface sediments. Degradation rates were higher under aerobic than under anaerobic conditions, and decreased with increasing sediment as well as water depths. Similar pattern were found for other metabolic processes, including sulfate, Fe and Mn reduction as well as carbon dioxide and methane production rates

  15. Bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons: catabolic genes, microbial communities, and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Sebastián; Méndez, Valentina; Aguila, Patricia; Seeger, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Bioremediation is an environmental sustainable and cost-effective technology for the cleanup of hydrocarbon-polluted soils and coasts. In spite of that longer times are usually required compared with physicochemical strategies, complete degradation of the pollutant can be achieved, and no further confinement of polluted matrix is needed. Microbial aerobic degradation is achieved by the incorporation of molecular oxygen into the inert hydrocarbon molecule and funneling intermediates into central catabolic pathways. Several families of alkane monooxygenases and ring hydroxylating dioxygenases are distributed mainly among Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Fungi strains. Catabolic routes, regulatory networks, and tolerance/resistance mechanisms have been characterized in model hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria to understand and optimize their metabolic capabilities, providing the basis to enhance microbial fitness in order to improve hydrocarbon removal. However, microbial communities taken as a whole play a key role in hydrocarbon pollution events. Microbial community dynamics during biodegradation is crucial for understanding how they respond and adapt to pollution and remediation. Several strategies have been applied worldwide for the recovery of sites contaminated with persistent organic pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and petroleum derivatives. Common strategies include controlling environmental variables (e.g., oxygen availability, hydrocarbon solubility, nutrient balance) and managing hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms, in order to overcome the rate-limiting factors that slow down hydrocarbon biodegradation.

  16. Fe-Mn nodules associated with hydrocarbon seeps: A new discovery in the Gulf of Cadiz(eastern central Atlantic)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    F. J. González; L. Somoza; R. Lunar; J. Martínez-Frías; J. A. Martín Rubí; T. Torres; J. E. Ortíz; V. Díaz-del-Río

    2007-01-01

    @@ The Gulf of Cadiz is situated geologically at the Gibraltar Arc, the westernmost arc of the Alpine-Himalayan orogenic belt. Based on extensive previous studies that include swath bathymetry, multi-channel and very high-resolution seismic reflection, gravimetry, magnetism, heat flow probes, and underwater photography surveys, more than 500 polymetallic nodules were collected at water depths ranging from 850 to 1000 m, associated with hydrocarbon-derived carbonate chimneys, slabs, and crusts. Nodules show a wide range of sizes, densities, weights and morphologies. Nodules are composed of multiple millimetre-thick layers of Fe and Mn oxyhydroxides surrounding a nucleus composed of Early-Middle Miocene plastic marls, which were expulsed from underlying units by fluid venting. Nodules show a high mean abundance of Fe (39.03%), moderate Mn (5.84%),and low contents of trace metals and REEs compared to the average content of deep-sea polymetallic nodules. They display fast growth rates (av. 2,500 mm Myr-1) which are probably the main cause for the low contents of transition metals.

  17. A Long-Term Cultivation of an Anaerobic Methane-Oxidizing Microbial Community from Deep-Sea Methane-Seep Sediment Using a Continuous-Flow Bioreactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Masataka; Ehara, Masayuki; Saito, Yumi; Yoshioka, Hideyoshi; Miyazaki, Masayuki; Saito, Yayoi; Miyashita, Ai; Kawakami, Shuji; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Ohashi, Akiyoshi; Nunoura, Takuro; Takai, Ken; Imachi, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine sediments is an important global methane sink, but the physiological characteristics of AOM-associated microorganisms remain poorly understood. Here we report the cultivation of an AOM microbial community from deep-sea methane-seep sediment using a continuous-flow bioreactor with polyurethane sponges, called the down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) bioreactor. We anaerobically incubated deep-sea methane-seep sediment collected from the Nankai Trough, Japan, for 2,013 days in the bioreactor at 10°C. Following incubation, an active AOM activity was confirmed by a tracer experiment using 13C-labeled methane. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that phylogenetically diverse Archaea and Bacteria grew in the bioreactor. After 2,013 days of incubation, the predominant archaeal components were anaerobic methanotroph (ANME)-2a, Deep-Sea Archaeal Group, and Marine Benthic Group-D, and Gammaproteobacteria was the dominant bacterial lineage. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that ANME-1 and -2a, and most ANME-2c cells occurred without close physical interaction with potential bacterial partners. Our data demonstrate that the DHS bioreactor system is a useful system for cultivating fastidious methane-seep-associated sedimentary microorganisms. PMID:25141130

  18. Hydrocarbon pollutants shape bacterial community assembly of harbor sediments

    KAUST Repository

    Barbato, Marta

    2016-02-02

    Petroleum pollution results in co-contamination by different classes of molecules, entailing the occurrence of marine sediments difficult to remediate, as in the case of the Ancona harbor (Mediterranean Sea, Italy). Autochthonous bioaugmentation (ABA), by exploiting the indigenous microbes of the environment to be treated, could represent a successful bioremediation strategy. In this perspective we aimed to i) identify the main drivers of the bacterial communities\\' richness in the sediments, ii) establish enrichment cultures with different hydrocarbon pollutants evaluating their effects on the bacterial communities\\' composition, and iii) obtain a collection of hydrocarbon degrading bacteria potentially exploitable in ABA. The correlation between the selection of different specialized bacterial populations and the type of pollutants was demonstrated by culture-independent analyses, and by establishing a collection of bacteria with different hydrocarbon degradation traits. Our observations indicate that pollution dictates the diversity of sediment bacterial communities and shapes the ABA potential in harbor sediments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, pkey enzymes

  20. Anaerobic oxidation of methane at a marine methane seep in a forearc sediment basin off Sumatra, Indian Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eSiegert

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 centre 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 AOM was reflected by 13C depleted isotopic signatures of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC. The anaerobic conversion of methane to CO2 was confirmed in a 13C-labelling experiment. Methane fuelled a vital microbial and invertebrate community which was reflected in cell numbers of up to 4 x 109 cells cm 3 sediment and 13C depleted guts of crabs populating the seep area. The microbial community was analysed by total cell counting, catalyzed reporter deposition – fluorescence in situ hybridisation (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.

  1. Discovery of "Hydrothermal" Chemosynthetic Community in a Cold Seep Environment, Formosa Ridge: Seafloor Observation Results from First ROV Cruise, off Southwestern Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machiyama, H.; Lin, S.; Fujikura, K.; Huang, C.; Ku, C.; Lin, L.; Liu, C.; Morita, S.; Nunoura, T.; Soh, W.; Toki, T.; Yang, T. F.

    2007-12-01

    First ROV diving survey has been conducted around the selected three sites (Formosa Ridge, Sites C and G) in offshore SW Taiwan, where gas hydrate broadly occurs within the thick Quaternary marine sediments. The Formosa Ridge and Site G are located in the South China Sea Continental Slope, whereas Site C is located in the frontal portion of a fault-bend fold in the accretionary wedge off SW Taiwan. Large, dense chemosynthetic communities were discovered at water depth of about 1120 - 1140 m on the top of the Formosa Ridge by direct observation using ROV Hyper-Dolphin of JAMSTEC. Colonies are distributed in depressions or fissures of large, carbon-depleted authigenic carbonates. The community is dominated by deep- sea mussel, Bathymodiolus platifrons, and galatheid crab, Shinkaia crosnieri. Most of species corresponds to those of hydrothermal vent fields in the Okinawa Trough, such as the Hatoma Knoll and the Iheya Ridge. Methane gas bubbles were found within the colony, and methane hydrate was also found beneath the aggregation of B. platifrons, which is harboured endosymbiont methanotroph in their gill in the Okinawa Trough. On the other hand, S. crosnieri from the Okinawa Trough culture numerous epibiont sulfur-oxidizing bacteria on their carapace. Therefore, they require high concentration of H2S from the subseafloor fluids. Single channel seismic profiles show the presence of clear BSR underneath the Formosa Ridge, and suggest the possible upward migration of gassy fluids beneath the top of the ridge. Therefore, the 'hydrothermal' chemosynthetic communities are supported by unusual high concentrations of methane and H2S fluids from the subseafloor. This is first discovery of "hydrothermal" chemosynthetic communities in cold seep environments of the world. No active seeps and the related phenomena are found around the Site G. Large seep carbonates around the summit are often covered by mud veneer and organisms. Therefore, this mud volcano is inferred to be

  2. Biogeochemical processes and microbial diversity of the Gullfaks and Tommeliten methane seeps (Northern North Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegener, G.; Shovitri, M.; Knittel, K.; Niemann, H.; Hovland, M.; Boetius, A.

    2008-08-01

    Fluid flow related seafloor structures and gas seeps were detected in the North Sea in the 1970s and 1980s by acoustic sub-bottom profiling and oil rig surveys. A variety of features like pockmarks, gas vents and authigenic carbonate cements were found to be associated with sites of oil and gas exploration, indicating a link between these surface structures and the underlying, deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we performed acoustic surveys and videographic observation at Gullfaks, Holene Trench, Tommeliten, Witch's Hole and the giant pockmarks of the UK Block 15/25, to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cold seep ecosystems in the Northern North Sea. The most active gas seep sites, i.e. Gullfaks and Tommeliten, were investigated in detail. At both sites, gas bubbles escaped continuously from small holes in the seabed to the water column, reaching the upper mixed surface layer. At Gullfaks a gas emitting, flat area of 0.1 km2 of sandy seabed covered by filamentous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria was detected. At Tommeliten, we found a patchy distribution of small bacterial mats indicating sites of gas seepage. Below the patches the seafloor consisted of sand from which gas emissions were observed. At both sites, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled to sulfate reduction (SR) was the major source of sulfide. Molecular analyses targeting specific lipid biomarkers and 16S rRNA gene sequences identified an active microbial community dominated by sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) as well as methanotrophic bacteria and archaea. Stable carbon isotope values of specific, microbial fatty acids and alcohols from both sites were highly depleted in the heavy isotope 13C, indicating that the microbial community incorporates methane or its metabolites. The microbial community composition of both shallow seeps shows high similarities to the deep water seeps associated with gas hydrates such as Hydrate Ridge or the Eel River basin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katharine Coykendall, D.; Nizinski, Martha S.; Morrison, Cheryl L.

    2017-03-01

    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

  5. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Cenozoic Methane-Seep Faunas of the Caribbean Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffen Kiel

    Full Text Available 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

  7. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hawley, Erik R.; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; del Rio, Tijana G.; Foster, Brian; Copeland, A.; Jansson, Janet K.; Pati, Amrita; Gilbert, Jack A.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-02

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of the main constituents of crude oil. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders and their metabolic capabilities may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep.

  8. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Erik R; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Glavina Del Rio, Tijana; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alex; Jansson, Janet; Pati, Amrita; Tringe, Susannah; Gilbert, Jack A; Lorenson, Thomas D; Hess, Matthias

    2014-06-15

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of its main constituents. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders - and their metabolic capabilities - may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep.

  9. Gulf of Mexico Hydrocarbon Seeps (SEEPS.SHP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This GIS overlay is a component of the U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Science Center's, Gulf of Mexico GIS database. The Gulf of Mexico GIS database is intended...

  10. Biogeochemical processes and microbial diversity of the Gullfaks and Tommeliten methane seeps (Northern North Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wegener

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Fluid-flow related seafloor structures and gas seeps were detected in the North Sea in the 1970s and 1980s by acoustic sub-bottom profiling and oil rig surveys. A variety of features like pockmarks, gas vents and authigenic carbonate cements were found to be associated with sites of oil and gas exploration, indicating a link between these surface structures and underlying deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we performed acoustic surveys and videographic observation at Gullfaks, Holene Trench, Tommeliten, Witch's Hole and the giant pockmarks of the UK Block 15/25, to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cold seep ecosystems in the Northern North Sea. The most active gas seep sites, i.e. Gullfaks and Tommeliten, were investigated in detail: at both sites gas bubbles escaped continuously from small holes in the seabed to the water column, reaching the upper mixed surface layer as indicated by acoustic images of the gas flares. At Gullfaks a 0.1 km2 large gas emission site was detected on a flat sandy seabed, covered by filamentous sulfide-oxidizing bacteria. At Tommeliten we found a patchy distribution of small bacterial mats indicating sites of gas seepage. Here the seafloor consists of layers of sand and stiff clay, and gas emission was observed from small cracks in the seafloor. At both sites the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM coupled to sulfate reduction is the major source of sulfide. Molecular analyses targeting specific lipid biomarkers and 16 S rRNA gene sequences identified an active microbial community dominated by sulfide-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB as well as methanotrophic bacteria and archaea. Carbon isotope values of specific microbial fatty acids and alcohols were highly depleted, indicating that the microbial community at both gas seeps incorporates methane or its metabolites. The microbial community composition of both shallow seeps show high similarities to the deep water

  11. Evidence and biogeochemical implications for glacially-derived sediments in an active margin cold seep

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (seep microbial community.

  12. Bacterial community response to petroleum hydrocarbon amendments in freshwater, marine, and hypersaline water-containing microcosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurelevicius, Diogo; Alvarez, Vanessa Marques; Marques, Joana Montezano; de Sousa Lima, Laryssa Ribeiro Fonseca; Dias, Felipe de Almeida; Seldin, Lucy

    2013-10-01

    Hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial communities from freshwater, marine, and hypersaline Brazilian aquatic ecosystems (with water salinities corresponding to 0.2%, 4%, and 5%, respectively) were enriched with different hydrocarbons (heptadecane, naphthalene, or crude oil). Changes within the different microcosms of bacterial communities were analyzed using cultivation approaches and molecular methods (DNA and RNA extraction, followed by genetic fingerprinting and analyses of clone libraries based on the 16S rRNA-coding gene). A redundancy analysis (RDA) of the genetic fingerprint data and a principal component analysis (PCA) of the clone libraries revealed hydrocarbon-enriched bacterial communities specific for each ecosystem studied. However, within the same ecosystem, different bacterial communities were selected according to the petroleum hydrocarbon used. In general, the results demonstrated that Acinetobacter and Cloacibacterium were the dominant genera in freshwater microcosms; the Oceanospirillales order and the Marinobacter, Pseudomonas, and Cycloclasticus genera predominated in marine microcosms; and the Oceanospirillales order and the Marinobacter genus were selected in the different hydrocarbon-containing microcosms in hypersaline water. Determination of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) in all microcosms after 32 days of incubation showed a decrease in the hydrocarbon concentration compared to that for the controls. A total of 50 (41.3%) isolates from the different hydrocarbon-contaminated microcosms were associated with the dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) obtained from the clone libraries, and their growth in the hydrocarbon contaminating the microcosm from which they were isolated as the sole carbon source was observed. These data provide insight into the general response of bacterial communities from freshwater, marine, and hypersaline aquatic ecosystems to petroleum hydrocarbon contamination.

  13. Elevated surface chlorophyll associated with natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, N. A.; Subramaniam, A.; Juhl, A. R.; Hafez, M.; Chekalyuk, A.; Phan, S.; Yan, B.; MacDonald, I. R.; Weber, S. C.; Montoya, J. P.

    2016-03-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps occur on the sea floor along continental margins, and account for up to 47% of the oil released into the oceans. Hydrocarbon seeps are known to support local benthic productivity, but little is known about their impact on photosynthetic organisms in the overlying water column. Here we present observations with high temporal and spatial resolution of chlorophyll concentrations in the northern Gulf of Mexico using in situ and shipboard flow-through fluorescence measurements from May to July 2012, as well as an analysis of ocean-colour satellite images from 1997 to 2007. All three methods reveal elevated chlorophyll concentrations in waters influenced by natural hydrocarbon seeps. Temperature and nutrient profiles above seep sites suggest that nutrient-rich water upwells from depth, which may facilitate phytoplankton growth and thus support the higher chlorophyll concentrations observed. Because upwelling occurs at natural seep locations around the world, we conclude that offshore hydrocarbon seeps, and perhaps other types of deep ocean vents and seeps at depths exceeding 1,000 m, may influence biogeochemistry and productivity of the overlying water column.

  14. Bacterial Community Dynamics and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Degradation during Bioremediation of Heavily Creosote-Contaminated Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Viñas, Marc; Sabaté, Jordi; Espuny, María José; Solanas, Anna M.

    2005-01-01

    Bacterial community dynamics and biodegradation processes were examined in a highly creosote-contaminated soil undergoing a range of laboratory-based bioremediation treatments. The dynamics of the eubacterial community, the number of heterotrophs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degraders, and the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) and PAH concentrations were monitored during the bioremediation process. TPH and PAHs were significantly degraded in all treatments (72 to 79% and 83 to 87...

  15. Co-acclimation of bacterial communities under stresses of hydrocarbons with different structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Wang, Bin; Dong, Wenwen; Hu, Xiaoke

    2016-10-01

    Crude oil is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons with different structures; its components vary in bioavailability and toxicity. It is important to understand how bacterial communities response to different hydrocarbons and their co-acclimation in the process of degradation. In this study, microcosms with the addition of structurally different hydrocarbons were setup to investigate the successions of bacterial communities and the interactions between different bacterial taxa. Hydrocarbons were effectively degraded in all microcosms after 40 days. High-throughput sequencing offered a great quantity of data for analyzing successions of bacterial communities. The results indicated that the bacterial communities responded dramatically different to various hydrocarbons. KEGG database and PICRUSt were applied to predict functions of individual bacterial taxa and networks were constructed to analyze co-acclimations between functional bacterial groups. Almost all functional genes catalyzing degradation of different hydrocarbons were predicted in bacterial communities. Most of bacterial taxa were believed to conduct biodegradation processes via interactions with each other. This study addressed a few investigated area of bacterial community responses to structurally different organic pollutants and their co-acclimation and interactions in the process of biodegradation. The study could provide useful information to guide the bioremediation of crude oil pollution.

  16. The relative contribution of methanotrophs to microbial communities and carbon cycling in soil overlying a coal-bed methane seep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Christopher T; Slater, Gregory F; Dias, Robert F; Carr, Stephanie A; Reddy, Christopher M; Schmidt, Raleigh; Mandernack, Kevin W

    2013-06-01

    Seepage of coal-bed methane (CBM) through soils is a potential source of atmospheric CH4 and also a likely source of ancient (i.e. (14) C-dead) carbon to soil microbial communities. Natural abundance (13) C and (14) C compositions of bacterial membrane phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and soil gas CO2 and CH4 were used to assess the incorporation of CBM-derived carbon into methanotrophs and other members of the soil microbial community. Concentrations of type I and type II methanotroph PLFA biomarkers (16:1ω8c and 18:1ω8c, respectively) were elevated in CBM-impacted soils compared with a control site. Comparison of PLFA and 16s rDNA data suggested type I and II methanotroph populations were well estimated and overestimated by their PLFA biomarkers, respectively. The δ(13) C values of PLFAs common in type I and II methanotrophs were as negative as -67‰ and consistent with the assimilation of CBM. PLFAs more indicative of nonmethanotrophic bacteria had δ(13) C values that were intermediate indicating assimilation of both plant- and CBM-derived carbon. Δ(14) C values of select PLFAs (-351 to -936‰) indicated similar patterns of CBM assimilation by methanotrophs and nonmethanotrophs and were used to estimate that 35-91% of carbon assimilated by nonmethanotrophs was derived from CBM depending on time of sampling and soil depth.

  17. The relative contribution of methanotrophs to microbial communities and carbon cycling in soil overlying a coal-bed methane seep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Christopher T.; Slater, Gregory F.; Dias, Robert F.; Carr, Stephanie A.; Reddy, Christopher M.; Schmidt, Raleigh; Mandernack, Kevin W.

    2013-01-01

    Seepage of coal-bed methane (CBM) through soils is a potential source of atmospheric CH4 and also a likely source of ancient (i.e. 14C-dead) carbon to soil microbial communities. Natural abundance 13C and 14C compositions of bacterial membrane phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and soil gas CO2 and CH4 were used to assess the incorporation of CBM-derived carbon into methanotrophs and other members of the soil microbial community. Concentrations of type I and type II methanotroph PLFA biomarkers (16:1ω8c and 18:1ω8c, respectively) were elevated in CBM-impacted soils compared with a control site. Comparison of PLFA and 16s rDNA data suggested type I and II methanotroph populations were well estimated and overestimated by their PLFA biomarkers, respectively. The δ13C values of PLFAs common in type I and II methanotrophs were as negative as −67‰ and consistent with the assimilation of CBM. PLFAs more indicative of nonmethanotrophic bacteria had δ13C values that were intermediate indicating assimilation of both plant- and CBM-derived carbon. Δ14C values of select PLFAs (−351 to −936‰) indicated similar patterns of CBM assimilation by methanotrophs and nonmethanotrophs and were used to estimate that 35–91% of carbon assimilated by nonmethanotrophs was derived from CBM depending on time of sampling and soil depth.

  18. Field Exploration of Methane Seep Near Atqasuk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  19. Tracking California seafloor seeps with bathymetry, backscatter and ROVs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orange, Daniel L.; Yun, Janet; Maher, Norman; Barry, James; Greene, Gary

    2002-11-01

    The California (USA) margin includes two different tectonic regimes: subduction north of the Mendocino Triple Junction and translation south. Both margins include seeps, and their distribution can be inferred using seafloor bathymetry and backscatter as well as subsurface seismic data. Anomalous bathymetric and backscatter features related to fluid expulsion include headless submarine canyons, fault zones, anticlines, pockmarks, and mud volcanoes. Anomalous backscatter may be caused by authigenic carbonate (related to the bacterial oxidation of methane) or cold seep clams—both have an impedance and roughness that may be higher than the surrounding seafloor. Remote-operated vehicle (ROV) dives to such suspect seep sites document the presence of extensive authigenic carbonate, areally restricted cold seep communities, carpets of chemoautotrophic bacteria, and bubbling gas. Our operations in the Monterey Bay, on the translational California margin, and the Eel River basin, on the convergent margin, indicate that bathymetric and backscatter maps of the seafloor, if sufficiently high resolution, can be used to map seep sites, and that the distribution of such seeps can be used to constrain subsurface conduits of fluid flow. ROVs, due to their combination of visualization, propulsion, manipulation, sonar, and navigation, provide an excellent platform for ground-truthing, mapping, and sampling seafloor seeps.

  20. Soil microbial communities: Influence of geographic location and hydrocarbon pollutants

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Maila, MP

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available (CLPP) and Polymerase Chain Reaction–Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Hydrocarbon contaminated and uncontaminated soils from different geographical locations were used in the study. In addition, the influence or relevance...

  1. Biogeochemical processes and microbial diversity of the Gullfaks and Tommeliten methane seeps (Northern North Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wegener

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Fluid flow related seafloor structures and gas seeps were detected in the North Sea in the 1970s and 1980s by acoustic sub-bottom profiling and oil rig surveys. A variety of features like pockmarks, gas vents and authigenic carbonate cements were found to be associated with sites of oil and gas exploration, indicating a link between these surface structures and the underlying, deep hydrocarbon reservoirs. In this study we performed acoustic surveys and videographic observation at Gullfaks, Holene Trench, Tommeliten, Witch's Hole and the giant pockmarks of the UK Block 15/25, to investigate the occurrence and distribution of cold seep ecosystems in the Northern North Sea. The most active gas seep sites, i.e. Gullfaks and Tommeliten, were investigated in detail. At both sites, gas bubbles escaped continuously from small holes in the seabed to the water column, reaching the upper mixed surface layer. At Gullfaks a gas emitting, flat area of 0.1 km2 of sandy seabed covered by filamentous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria was detected. At Tommeliten, we found a patchy distribution of small bacterial mats indicating sites of gas seepage. Below the patches the seafloor consisted of sand from which gas emissions were observed. At both sites, the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM coupled to sulfate reduction (SR was the major source of sulfide. Molecular analyses targeting specific lipid biomarkers and 16S rRNA gene sequences identified an active microbial community dominated by sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB as well as methanotrophic bacteria and archaea. Stable carbon isotope values of specific, microbial fatty acids and alcohols from both sites were highly depleted in the heavy isotope 13C, indicating that the microbial community incorporates methane or its metabolites. The microbial community composition of both shallow seeps shows high similarities to the deep water seeps associated with gas hydrates such as

  2. Toward estimation of origin of methane at ancient seeps — Carbon isotopes of seep carbonates, lipid biomarkers, and adsorbed gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyajima, Yusuke; Watanabe, Yumiko; Ijiri, Akira; Goto, Akiko; Jenkins, Robert; Hasegawa, Takashi; Sakai, Saburo; Matsumoto, Ryo

    2017-04-01

    values lower than -50‰ . Acid dissolution of the Miocene to Pliocene carbonates released methane with δ13C values mostly around or higher than -50‰ , which conflicts with the estimation based on biomarkers. Moreover, the Pleistocene and modern samples released only trace amounts of methane. It is thus highly possible that the extracted methane was mostly adsorbed on the carbonates within zones of thermogenic generation of hydrocarbons during burial. In conclusion, we can roughly estimate origins of methane at ancient seeps based on δ13C values of carbonates and biomarkers. However, in order to directly analyze methane contained in ancient seepage fluids, exploration of gas or fluid inclusions trapped within carbonate crystals is necessary.

  3. Risk assessment of seeps from the 317 Area of Argonne National Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-09-17

    Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants have recently been detected in groundwater seeps on forest preserve property south of the 317 Area at ANL. The 317 Area is near ANL`s southern boundary and is considered the source of the contamination. Five seeps are about 200 m south of the ANL property line and about same distance from the nearest developed trails in the forest preserve. Conservative assumptions were used to assess the possibility of adverse health effects associated with forest preserve seeps impacted by the 317 Area. Results indicate that neither cancer risks nor noncarcinogenic effects associated with exposures to seep contaminants are a concern; thus, the area is safe for all visitors. The ecological impact study found that the presence of the three contaminants (CCl{sub 4}, CHCl{sub 3}, tetrachloroethylene) in the seep water does not pose a risk to biota in the area.

  4. Association of microbial community composition and activity with lead, chromium, and hydrocarbon contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, W; Becker, J; Bischoff, M; Turco, R F; Konopka, A E

    2002-08-01

    Microbial community composition and activity were characterized in soil contaminated with lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), and hydrocarbons. Contaminant levels were very heterogeneous and ranged from 50 to 16,700 mg of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) kg of soil(-1), 3 to 3,300 mg of total Cr kg of soil(-1), and 1 to 17,100 mg of Pb kg of soil(-1). Microbial community compositions were estimated from the patterns of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA); these were considerably different among the 14 soil samples. Statistical analyses suggested that the variation in PLFA was more correlated with soil hydrocarbons than with the levels of Cr and Pb. The metal sensitivity of the microbial community was determined by extracting bacteria from soil and measuring [(3)H]leucine incorporation as a function of metal concentration. Six soil samples collected in the spring of 1999 had IC(50) values (the heavy metal concentrations giving 50% reduction of microbial activity) of approximately 2.5 mM for CrO(4)2- and 0.01 mM for Pb2+. Much higher levels of Pb were required to inhibit [14C]glucose mineralization directly in soils. In microcosm experiments with these samples, microbial biomass and the ratio of microbial biomass to soil organic C were not correlated with the concentrations of hydrocarbons and heavy metals. However, microbial C respiration in samples with a higher level of hydrocarbons differed from the other soils no matter whether complex organic C (alfalfa) was added or not. The ratios of microbial C respiration to microbial biomass differed significantly among the soil samples (P < 0.05) and were relatively high in soils contaminated with hydrocarbons or heavy metals. Our results suggest that the soil microbial community was predominantly affected by hydrocarbons.

  5. Association of Microbial Community Composition and Activity with Lead, Chromium, and Hydrocarbon Contamination

    OpenAIRE

    Shi, W.; Becker, J; Bischoff, M.; Turco, R. F.; Konopka, A. E

    2002-01-01

    Microbial community composition and activity were characterized in soil contaminated with lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), and hydrocarbons. Contaminant levels were very heterogeneous and ranged from 50 to 16,700 mg of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) kg of soil−1, 3 to 3,300 mg of total Cr kg of soil−1, and 1 to 17,100 mg of Pb kg of soil−1. Microbial community compositions were estimated from the patterns of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA); these were considerably different among the 14 soil sam...

  6. Community Structure in Methanogenic Enrichments Provides Insight into Syntrophic Interactions in Hydrocarbon-Impacted Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, S Jane; Toth, Courtney R A; Gieg, Lisa M

    2016-01-01

    The methanogenic biodegradation of crude oil involves the conversion of hydrocarbons to methanogenic substrates by syntrophic bacteria and subsequent methane production by methanogens. Assessing the metabolic roles played by various microbial species in syntrophic communities remains a challenge, but such information has important implications for bioremediation and microbial enhanced energy recovery technologies. Many factors such as changing environmental conditions or substrate variations can influence the composition and biodegradation capabilities of syntrophic microbial communities in hydrocarbon-impacted environments. In this study, a methanogenic crude oil-degrading enrichment culture was successively transferred onto the single long chain fatty acids palmitate or stearate followed by their parent alkanes, hexadecane or octadecane, respectively, in order to assess the impact of different substrates on microbial community composition and retention of hydrocarbon biodegradation genes. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that a reduction in substrate diversity resulted in a corresponding loss of microbial diversity, but that hydrocarbon biodegradation genes (such as assA/masD encoding alkylsuccinate synthase) could be retained within a community even in the absence of hydrocarbon substrates. Despite substrate-related diversity changes, all communities were dominated by hydrogenotrophic and acetotrophic methanogens along with bacteria including Clostridium sp., members of the Deltaproteobacteria, and a number of other phyla. Microbial co-occurrence network analysis revealed a dense network of interactions amongst syntrophic bacteria and methanogens that were maintained despite changes in the substrates for methanogenesis. Our results reveal the effect of substrate diversity loss on microbial community diversity, indicate that many syntrophic interactions are stable over time despite changes in substrate pressure, and show that syntrophic interactions amongst

  7. Community structure in methanogenic enrichments provides insight into syntrophic interactions in hydrocarbon-impacted environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Jane eFowler

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The methanogenic biodegradation of crude oil involves the conversion of hydrocarbons to methanogenic substrates by syntrophic bacteria and subsequent methane production by methanogens. Assessing the metabolic roles played by various microbial species in syntrophic communities remains a challenge, but such information has important implications for bioremediation and microbial enhanced energy recovery technologies. Many factors such as changing environmental conditions or substrate variations can influence the composition and biodegradation capabilities of syntrophic microbial communities in hydrocarbon-impacted environments. In this study, a methanogenic crude oil-degrading enrichment culture was successively transferred onto the single long chain fatty acids palmitate or stearate followed by their parent alkanes, hexadecane or octadecane, respectively, in order to assess the impact of different substrates on microbial community composition and retention of hydrocarbon biodegradation genes. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that a reduction in substrate diversity resulted in a corresponding loss of microbial diversity, but that hydrocarbon biodegradation genes (such as assA/masD encoding alkylsuccinate synthase could be retained within a community even in the absence of hydrocarbon substrates. Despite substrate-related diversity changes, all communities were dominated by hydrogenotrophic and acetotrophic methanogens along with bacteria including Clostridium sp., members of the Deltaproteobacteria, and a number of other phyla. Microbial co-occurrence network analysis revealed a dense network of interactions amongst syntrophic bacteria and methanogens that were maintained despite changes in the substrates for methanogenesis. Our results reveal the effect of substrate diversity loss on microbial community diversity, indicate that many syntrophic interactions are stable over time despite changes in substrate pressure, and show that syntrophic

  8. Degradation Characteristics and Community Structure of a Hydrocarbon Degrading Bacterial Consortium

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Li Zheng; Gu Guizhou; Zhao Chaocheng; Zhao Dongfeng

    2015-01-01

    A hydrocarbon degrading bacterial consortium KO5-2 was isolated from oil-contaminated soil of Karamay in Xinjiang, China, which could remove 56.9%of 10 g/L total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) at 30℃after 7 days of incu-bation, and could also remove 100%of lfuorene, 98.93%of phenanthrene and 65.73%of pyrene within 3, 7 and 9 days, respectively. Twelve strains from six different genera were isolated from KO5-2 and only eight ones were able to utilize the TPH. The denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to investigate the microbial community shifts in ifve different carbon sources (including TPH, saturated hydrocarbons, lfuorene, phenanthrene and pyrene). The test results indi-cated that the community compositions of KO5-2 in carbon sources of TPH and saturated hydrocarbons, respectively, were roughly the same, while they were distinctive in the three different carbon sources of PAHs. Rhodococcus sp. and Pseudo-monas sp. could survive in the ifve kinds of carbon sources. Bacillus sp., Sphingomonas sp. and Ochrobactrum sp. likely played key roles in the degradation of saturated hydrocarbons, PAHs and phenanthrene, respectively. This study showed that speciifc bacterial phylotypes were associated with different contaminants and complex interactions between bacterial spe-cies, and the medium conditions inlfuenced the biodegradation capacity of the microbial communities involved in bioreme-diation processes.

  9. Impact of hydrocarbons, PCBs and heavy metals on bacterial communities in Lerma River, Salamanca, Mexico: Investigation of hydrocarbon degradation potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Elcia M S; De la Cruz Barrón, Magali; Caretta, César A; Goñi-Urriza, Marisol; Andrade, Leandro H; Cuevas-Rodríguez, Germán; Malm, Olaf; Torres, João P M; Simon, Maryse; Guyoneaud, Remy

    2015-07-15

    Freshwater contamination usually comes from runoff water or direct wastewater discharges to the environment. This paper presents a case study which reveals the impact of these types of contamination on the sediment bacterial population. A small stretch of Lerma River Basin, heavily impacted by industrial activities and urban wastewater release, was studied. Due to industrial inputs, the sediments are characterized by strong hydrocarbon concentrations, ranging from 2 935 to 28 430μg·kg(-1) of total polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These sediments are also impacted by heavy metals (e.g., 9.6μg·kg(-1) of Cd and 246μg·kg(-1) of Cu, about 8 times the maximum recommended values for environmental samples) and polychlorinated biphenyls (ranging from 54 to 123μg·kg(-1) of total PCBs). The bacterial diversity on 6 sediment samples, taken from upstream to downstream of the main industrial and urban contamination sources, was assessed through TRFLP. Even though the high PAH concentrations are hazardous to aquatic life, they are not the only factor driving bacterial community composition in this ecosystem. Urban discharges, leading to hypoxia and low pH, also strongly influenced bacterial community structure. The bacterial bioprospection of these samples, using PAH as unique carbon source, yielded 8 hydrocarbonoclastic strains. By sequencing the 16S rDNA gene, these were identified as similar to Mycobacterium goodii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas lundensis or Aeromonas veronii. These strains showed high capacity to degrade naphthalene (between 92 and 100% at 200mg·L(-1)), pyrene (up to 72% at 100mg·L(-1)) and/or fluoranthene (52% at 50mg·L(-1)) as their only carbon source on in vitro experiments. These hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria were detected even in the samples upstream of the city of Salamanca, suggesting chronical contamination, already in place longer before. Such microorganisms are clearly potential candidates for hydrocarbon degradation in the

  10. About the order in aerobic heterotrophic microbial communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becker, P.M.

    1999-01-01

    The organizational structure of communities of aerobic heterotrophic bacteria was studied by means of physiological and molecular typing of the members of arbitrary samples of isolates, ASsI. The isolate sample assay (ISA) was applied to three different hydrocarbon-polluted sites: a dry windrow pile

  11. Microbial community response to a simulated hydrocarbon spill in mangrove sediments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvea; Franco, Natalia Oliveira; Rosado, Alexandre Soares; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we examined the hypothesis that the microbial communities in mangrove sediments with different chemical and historical characteristics respond differently to the disturbance of a hydrocarbon spill. Two different mangrove sediments were sampled, one close to an oil refinery that had su

  12. Microbial community response to a simulated hydrocarbon spill in mangrove sediments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvea; Franco, Natalia Oliveira; Rosado, Alexandre Soares; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    In this study, we examined the hypothesis that the microbial communities in mangrove sediments with different chemical and historical characteristics respond differently to the disturbance of a hydrocarbon spill. Two different mangrove sediments were sampled, one close to an oil refinery that had

  13. About the order in aerobic heterotrophic microbial communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becker, P.M.

    1999-01-01

    The organizational structure of communities of aerobic heterotrophic bacteria was studied by means of physiological and molecular typing of the members of arbitrary samples of isolates, ASsI. The isolate sample assay (ISA) was applied to three different hydrocarbon-polluted sites: a dry windrow pile

  14. Structure of bacterial communities along a hydrocarbon contamination gradient in a coastal sediment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paissé, Sandrine; Coulon, Frédéric; Goñi-Urriza, Marisol; Peperzak, Louis; McGenity, Terry J; Duran, Robert

    2008-11-01

    The bacterial diversity of a chronically oil-polluted retention basin sediment located in the Berre lagoon (Etang-de-Berre, France) was investigated. This study combines chemical and molecular approaches in order to define how the in situ petroleum hydrocarbon contamination level affects the bacterial community structure of a subsurface sediment. Hydrocarbon content analysis clearly revealed a gradient of hydrocarbon contamination in both the water and the sediment following the basin periphery from the pollution input to the lagoon water. The nC17 and pristane concentrations suggested alkane biodegradation in the sediments. These results, combined with those of terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the 16S rRNA genes, indicated that bacterial community structure was obviously associated with the gradient of oil contamination. The analysis of bacterial community composition revealed dominance of bacteria related to the Proteobacteria phylum (Gamma-, Delta-, Alpha-, Epsilon- and Betaproteobacteria), Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobium groups and Spirochaetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria phyla. The adaptation of the bacterial community to oil contamination was not characterized by dominance of known oil-degrading bacteria, because a predominance of populations associated to the sulphur cycle was observed. The input station presented particular bacterial community composition associated with a low oil concentration in the sediment, indicating the adaptation of this community to the oil contamination.

  15. Three-dimensional structure of fluid conduits sustaining an active deep marine cold seep

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Microbial communities along biogeochemical gradients in a hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tischer, Karolin; Kleinsteuber, Sabine; Schleinitz, Kathleen M; Fetzer, Ingo; Spott, Oliver; Stange, Florian; Lohse, Ute; Franz, Janett; Neumann, Franziska; Gerling, Sarah; Schmidt, Christian; Hasselwander, Eyk; Harms, Hauke; Wendeberg, Annelie

    2013-09-01

    Micro-organisms are known to degrade a wide range of toxic substances. How the environment shapes microbial communities in polluted ecosystems and thus influences degradation capabilities is not yet fully understood. In this study, we investigated microbial communities in a highly complex environment: the capillary fringe and subjacent sediments in a hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifer. Sixty sediment sections were analysed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) fingerprinting, cloning and sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes, complemented by chemical analyses of petroleum hydrocarbons, methane, oxygen and alternative terminal electron acceptors. Multivariate statistics revealed concentrations of contaminants and the position of the water table as significant factors shaping the microbial community composition. Micro-organisms with highest T-RFLP abundances were related to sulphate reducers belonging to the genus Desulfosporosinus, fermenting bacteria of the genera Sedimentibacter and Smithella, and aerobic hydrocarbon degraders of the genus Acidovorax. Furthermore, the acetoclastic methanogens Methanosaeta, and hydrogenotrophic methanogens Methanocella and Methanoregula were detected. Whereas sulphate and sulphate reducers prevail at the contamination source, the detection of methane, fermenting bacteria and methanogenic archaea further downstream points towards syntrophic hydrocarbon degradation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  17. The bacterial community structure of hydrocarbon-polluted marine environments as the basis for the definition of an ecological index of hydrocarbon exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozada, Mariana; Marcos, Magalí S; Commendatore, Marta G; Gil, Mónica N; Dionisi, Hebe M

    2014-09-17

    The aim of this study was to design a molecular biological tool, using information provided by amplicon pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, that could be suitable for environmental assessment and bioremediation in marine ecosystems. We selected 63 bacterial genera that were previously linked to hydrocarbon biodegradation, representing a minimum sample of the bacterial guild associated with this process. We defined an ecological indicator (ecological index of hydrocarbon exposure, EIHE) using the relative abundance values of these genera obtained by pyrotag analysis. This index reflects the proportion of the bacterial community that is potentially capable of biodegrading hydrocarbons. When the bacterial community structures of intertidal sediments from two sites with different pollution histories were analyzed, 16 of the selected genera (25%) were significantly overrepresented with respect to the pristine site, in at least one of the samples from the polluted site. Although the relative abundances of individual genera associated with hydrocarbon biodegradation were generally low in samples from the polluted site, EIHE values were 4 times higher than those in the pristine sample, with at least 5% of the bacterial community in the sediments being represented by the selected genera. EIHE values were also calculated in other oil-exposed marine sediments as well as in seawater using public datasets from experimental systems and field studies. In all cases, the EIHE was significantly higher in oiled than in unpolluted samples, suggesting that this tool could be used as an estimator of the hydrocarbon-degrading potential of microbial communities.

  18. Limitations of microbial hydrocarbon degradation at the Amon mud volcano (Nile deep-sea fan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Felden

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Amon mud volcano (MV, located at 1250 m water depth on the Nile deep-sea fan, is known for its active emission of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons into the hydrosphere. Previous investigations showed a low efficiency of hydrocarbon-degrading anaerobic microbial communities inhabiting the Amon MV center in the presence of sulfate and hydrocarbons in the seeping subsurface fluids. By comparing spatial and temporal patterns of in situ biogeochemical fluxes, temperature gradients, pore water composition, and microbial activities over 3 yr, we investigated why the activity of anaerobic hydrocarbon degraders can be low despite high energy supplies. We found that the central dome of the Amon MV, as well as a lateral mud flow at its base, showed signs of recent exposure of hot subsurface muds lacking active hydrocarbon degrading communities. In these highly disturbed areas, anaerobic degradation of methane was less than 2% of the methane flux. Rather high oxygen consumption rates compared to low sulfide production suggest a faster development of more rapidly growing aerobic hydrocarbon degraders in highly disturbed areas. In contrast, the more stabilized muds surrounding the central gas and fluid conduits hosted active anaerobic hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities. The low microbial activity in the hydrocarbon-vented areas of Amon MV is thus a consequence of kinetic limitations by heat and mud expulsion, whereas most of the outer MV area is limited by hydrocarbon transport.

  19. Salt marsh sediment characteristics as key regulators on the efficiency of hydrocarbons bioremediation by Juncus maritimus rhizospheric bacterial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Hugo; Almeida, C Marisa R; Magalhães, Catarina; Bordalo, Adriano A; Mucha, Ana P

    2015-01-01

    Mitigation of petroleum hydrocarbons was investigated during a 5-month greenhouse experiment, to assess the rhizoremediation (RR) potential in sediments with different characteristics colonized by Juncus maritimus, a salt marsh plant commonly found in temperate estuaries. Furthermore, the efficiency of two bioremediation treatments namely biostimulation (BS) by the addition of nutrients, and bioaugmentation (BA) by addition of indigenous microorganisms, was tested in combination with RR. The effect of the distinct treatments on hydrocarbon degradation, root biomass weight, and bacterial community structure was assessed. Our result showed higher potential for hydrocarbon degradation (evaluated by total petroleum hydrocarbon analysis) in coarse rhizosediments with low organic matter (OM), than rhizosediments with high OM, and small size particles. Moreover, the bacterial community structure was shaped according to the rhizosediment characteristics, highlighting the importance of specific microbe-particle associations to define the structure of rhizospheric bacterial communities, rather than external factors, such as hydrocarbon contamination or the applied treatments. The potential for hydrocarbon RR seems to depend on root system development and bacterial diversity, since biodegradation efficiencies were positively related with these two parameters. Treatments with higher root biomass, and concomitantly with higher bacterial diversity yielded higher hydrocarbon degradation. Moreover, BS and BA did not enhance hydrocarbons RR. In fact, it was observed that higher nutrient availability might interfere with root growth and negatively influence hydrocarbon degradation performance. Therefore, our results suggested that to conduct appropriate hydrocarbon bioremediation strategies, the effect of sediment characteristics on root growth/exploration should be taken into consideration, a feature not explored in previous studies. Furthermore, strategies aiming for the recovery

  20. 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)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Hydrocarbon biodegradation by Arctic sea-ice and sub-ice microbial communities during microcosm experiments, Northwest Passage (Nunavut, Canada).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garneau, Marie-Ève; Michel, Christine; Meisterhans, Guillaume; Fortin, Nathalie; King, Thomas L; Greer, Charles W; Lee, Kenneth

    2016-10-01

    The increasing accessibility to navigation and offshore oil exploration brings risks of hydrocarbon releases in Arctic waters. Bioremediation of hydrocarbons is a promising mitigation strategy but challenges remain, particularly due to low microbial metabolic rates in cold, ice-covered seas. Hydrocarbon degradation potential of ice-associated microbes collected from the Northwest Passage was investigated. Microcosm incubations were run for 15 days at -1.7°C with and without oil to determine the effects of hydrocarbon exposure on microbial abundance, diversity and activity, and to estimate component-specific hydrocarbon loss. Diversity was assessed with automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and Ion Torrent 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial activity was measured by (3)H-leucine uptake rates. After incubation, sub-ice and sea-ice communities degraded 94% and 48% of the initial hydrocarbons, respectively. Hydrocarbon exposure changed the composition of sea-ice and sub-ice communities; in sea-ice microcosms, Bacteroidetes (mainly Polaribacter) dominated whereas in sub-ice microcosms, the contribution of Epsilonproteobacteria increased, and that of Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes decreased. Sequencing data revealed a decline in diversity and increases in Colwellia and Moritella in oil-treated microcosms. Low concentration of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sub-ice seawater may explain higher hydrocarbon degradation when compared to sea ice, where DOM was abundant and composed of labile exopolysaccharides.

  2. Profiling of microbial communities in a bioreactor for treating hydrocarbon-sulfide-containing wastewater

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIAO Bo; JI Guodong; CHENG Liqiu

    2008-01-01

    A technology of polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) was used to profile the structure and dynamic changes of microbial communities in a bioreactor for treating hydrocarbon-sulfide-containing (HSC) wastewater. The results showed that the heterotrophic genus of Acinetobacter and the autotrophic genera of Thiobacillus and Thiomonas could survive well in all of three operating conditions. Some special genera were also observed with changes of micro-ecoenvironment in the reactor, such as the halophilic genus of Nesterenkonia. Further, a new genus was found in the reactor, which was likely to have the ability to degrade sulfide and hydrocarbon at the same time. All of these detected and the new found genera have widely applicable potential in the treatment of HSC wastewater.

  3. Cold-seep habitat mapping: high-resolution spatial characterization of the Blake Ridge Diapir seep field

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arpita eBose

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 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

  6. Culture-Dependent and -Independent Methods Capture Different Microbial Community Fractions in Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefani, Franck O. P.; Bell, Terrence H.; Marchand, Charlotte; de la Providencia, Ivan E.; El Yassimi, Abdel; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Bioremediation is a cost-effective and sustainable approach for treating polluted soils, but our ability to improve on current bioremediation strategies depends on our ability to isolate microorganisms from these soils. Although culturing is widely used in bioremediation research and applications, it is unknown whether the composition of cultured isolates closely mirrors the indigenous microbial community from contaminated soils. To assess this, we paired culture-independent (454-pyrosequencing of total soil DNA) with culture-dependent (isolation using seven different growth media) techniques to analyse the bacterial and fungal communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. Although bacterial and fungal rarefaction curves were saturated for both methods, only 2.4% and 8.2% of the bacterial and fungal OTUs, respectively, were shared between datasets. Isolated taxa increased the total recovered species richness by only 2% for bacteria and 5% for fungi. Interestingly, none of the bacteria that we isolated were representative of the major bacterial OTUs recovered by 454-pyrosequencing. Isolation of fungi was moderately more effective at capturing the dominant OTUs observed by culture-independent analysis, as 3 of 31 cultured fungal strains ranked among the 20 most abundant fungal OTUs in the 454-pyrosequencing dataset. This study is one of the most comprehensive comparisons of microbial communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils using both isolation and high-throughput sequencing methods. PMID:26053848

  7. Culture-Dependent and -Independent Methods Capture Different Microbial Community Fractions in Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franck O P Stefani

    Full Text Available Bioremediation is a cost-effective and sustainable approach for treating polluted soils, but our ability to improve on current bioremediation strategies depends on our ability to isolate microorganisms from these soils. Although culturing is widely used in bioremediation research and applications, it is unknown whether the composition of cultured isolates closely mirrors the indigenous microbial community from contaminated soils. To assess this, we paired culture-independent (454-pyrosequencing of total soil DNA with culture-dependent (isolation using seven different growth media techniques to analyse the bacterial and fungal communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils. Although bacterial and fungal rarefaction curves were saturated for both methods, only 2.4% and 8.2% of the bacterial and fungal OTUs, respectively, were shared between datasets. Isolated taxa increased the total recovered species richness by only 2% for bacteria and 5% for fungi. Interestingly, none of the bacteria that we isolated were representative of the major bacterial OTUs recovered by 454-pyrosequencing. Isolation of fungi was moderately more effective at capturing the dominant OTUs observed by culture-independent analysis, as 3 of 31 cultured fungal strains ranked among the 20 most abundant fungal OTUs in the 454-pyrosequencing dataset. This study is one of the most comprehensive comparisons of microbial communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated soils using both isolation and high-throughput sequencing methods.

  8. Phosphogenesis at a Cretaceous methane seep from New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Hydrocarbon Degradation Pathways used by Coastal Sediment Microbial Communities exposed to Crude Oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding-Astudillo, F.; Sharrar, A.; Orcutt, B.

    2016-02-01

    The site-specific microbial community response to crude oil exposure in marine environments is not well described. Moreover, the abundance of genes implicated in long-chain alkane (LCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degradation are not well understood. Coastal sediments from the Beaufort Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Portland Harbor were treated with crude oil and incubated aerobically. Deep-sea sediments from the Gulf of Mexico were treated with the same crude oil and anaerobically incubated in situ for five months before recovery. Cycloclasticus, a known hydrocarbon-degrader, was abundant in all oiled, aerobic samples regardless of temperature, demonstrating a generalist oil-response strategy. Other hydrocarbon degrading bacteria showed differential response to either site or temperature. Primers for alkB, assA, bssA, and ncr, catabolic gene markers for aerobic LCA degradation, anaerobic LCA degradation, anaerobic LCA & PAH degradation, and anaerobic PAH degradation, respectively, were found in literature and tested on DNA extracts in a QPCR-based assay. Gene abundance was site and condition variable.

  10. Preferential dissolution of carbonate shells driven by petroleum seep activity in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Wei-Jun; Chen, Feizhou; Powell, Eric N.; Walker, Sally E.; Parsons-Hubbard, Karla M.; Staff, George M.; Wang, Yongchen; Ashton-Alcox, Kathryn A.; Callender, W. Russell; Brett, Carlton E.

    2006-08-01

    Authigenic carbonates are common at deep-sea petroleum seeps as a result of excess bicarbonate production during microbial degradation of hydrocarbons coupled to sulfate reduction. Consequently, these seep environments are supersaturated with respect to carbonates. This finding conflicts with taphonomic data that dissolution is the most pervasive mode of shell alteration at seeps. We provide here the first study linking the preservational process with the chemical characterization of the taphonomically-active zone at petroleum seep sites. This characterization is made possible using fine-scale porewater carbonate chemistry data and skeletal material deployed for 8 years at petroleum seep sites in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Microelectrode measurements of pH and pCO 2 identify a very restricted zone of CaCO 3 undersaturation immediately below the sediment-water interface in otherwise supersaturated environments (i.e., sandwiched between supersaturated bottom seawater and sediment porewater). This zonation characterizes the taphonomically-active zone, and is a result of a highly compressed redox front between acid-generating aerobic oxidation of reduced chemical species including hydrocarbons, H 2S, and planktonic-and-terrestrial organic carbon and base-generating sulfate reduction coupled to CH 4 oxidation. Porewater geochemistry is spatially variable at seep sites, and produces variable shell-dissolution signatures. Shells deployed at seep sites have moderate to severe dissolution that is consistent with a much higher flux of total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from the porewater to the bottom water. Therefore, a mosaic of preservational conditions is directly related to the spatially and chemically varying taphonomically-active zones found at seep sites. These findings support the variability of carbonate preservation reported for globally-distributed Phanerozoic fossil seeps and the view that data from field taphonomy can significantly upgrade and

  11. Significance of Microbiology in Porous Hydrocarbon Related Systems

    KAUST Repository

    Augsburger, Nicolas

    2017-07-01

    This thesis explores bio-mediated processes in geotechnical and petroleum engineering. Worldwide energy consumption is rapidly increasing as the world population and per-capita consumption rises. The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) predicts that hydrocarbons will remain the primary energy source to satisfy the surging energy demands in the near future. The three topics described in detail in this document aim to link microbiology with geotechnical engineering and the petroleum industry. Microorganisms have the potential to exploit residual hydrocarbons in depleted reservoirs in a technique known as microbial enhanced oil recovery, MEOR. The potential of biosurfactants was analyzed in detail with a literature review. Biosurfactant production is the most accepted MEOR technique, and has been successfully implemented in over 700 field cases. Temperature is the main limiting factor for these techniques. The dissolution of carbonates by microorganisms was investigated experimentally. We designed a simple, economical, and robust procedure to monitor diffusion through porous media. This technique determined the diffusion coefficient of H+ in 1.5% agar, 1.122 x 10-5 cm2 sec-1, by using bromothymol blue as a pH indicator and image processing. This robust technique allows for manipulation of the composition of the agar to identify the effect of specific compounds on diffusion. The Red Sea consists of multiple seeps; the nearby sediments are telltales of deeper hydrocarbon systems. Microbial communities associated with the sediments function as in-situ sensors that provide information about the presence of carbon sources, metabolites, and the remediation potential. Sediments seeps in the Red Sea revealed different levels of bioactivity. The more active seeps, from the southern site in the Red Sea, indicated larger pore sizes, higher levels of carbon, and bioactivity with both bacteria and archaeal species present.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Hydrothermal Vents and Methane Seeps: Rethinking the Sphere of Influence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Ann Levin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available 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

  14. Hydrothermal vents and methane seeps: Rethinking the sphere of influence

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Bacterial communities of surface and deep hydrocarbon-contaminated waters of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, T.; Nigro, L. M.; McKay, L.; Ziervogel, K.; Gutierrez, T.; Teske, A.

    2010-12-01

    We performed a 16S rRNA gene sequencing survey of bacterial communities within oil-contaminated surface water, deep hydrocarbon plume water, and deep water samples above and below the plume to determine spatial and temporal patterns of oil-degrading bacteria growing in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. In addition, we are reporting 16S rRNA sequencing results from time series incubation, enrichment and cultivation experiments. Surface oil slick samples were collected 3 nautical miles from ground zero, (5/6/10, RV Pelican) and were added to uncontaminated surface water (collected within a 30 nautical mile radius of ground zero, 5/6/10 - 5/9/10, RV Pelican). This mixture was incubated for 20 days in a rolling bottle at 25°C. 16S rRNA clone libraries from marine snow-like microbial flocs that had formed during the incubation yielded a highly diverse bacterial community, predominately composed of the Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria, and a smaller number of Planktomycetes and other bacterial lineages. The most frequently recovered proteobacterial sequences were closely related to cultured species of the genus Cycloclasticus, specialists in aerobic oxidation of aromatic hydrocarbons. These time series incubation results will be compared to the microbial community structure of contaminated surface water, sampled on the same cruise with RV Pelican (5/6/10-5/9/10) and frozen immediately. Stable isotope probing (SIP) experiments with C13-labelled alkanes and polycyclic aromatic substrates and gulf water samples have yielded different enrichments. With naphthalene, predominantly Alteromonas-related clones and a smaller share of Cycloclasticus clones were recovered; phenanthrene yielded predominantly clones related to Cycloclasticus, and diverse other Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria. Analyses of SIP experiments with hexadecane are in progress. The microbial community composition of the deep hydrocarbon plume was characterized using water column profile samples taken

  16. Pyrosequence analysis of bacterial communities in aerobic bioreactors treating polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, David R; Richardson, Stephen D; Aitken, Michael D

    2011-11-01

    Two aerobic, lab-scale, slurry-phase bioreactors were used to examine the biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminated soil and the associated bacterial communities. The two bioreactors were operated under semi-continuous (draw-and-fill) conditions at a residence time of 35 days, but one was fed weekly and the other monthly. Most of the quantified PAHs, including high-molecular-weight compounds, were removed to a greater extent in the weekly-fed bioreactor, which achieved total PAH removal of 76%. Molecular analyses, including pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, revealed significant shifts in the soil bacterial communities after introduction to the bioreactors and differences in the abundance and types of bacteria in each of the bioreactors. The weekly-fed bioreactor displayed a more stable bacterial community with gradual changes over time, whereas the monthly-fed bioreactor community was less consistent and may have been more strongly influenced by the influx of untreated soil during feeding. Phylogenetic groups containing known PAH-degrading bacteria previously identified through stable-isotope probing of the untreated soil were differentially affected by bioreactor conditions. Sequences from members of the Acidovorax and Sphingomonas genera, as well as the uncultivated "Pyrene Group 2" were abundant in the bioreactors. However, the relative abundances of sequences from the Pseudomonas, Sphingobium, and Pseudoxanthomonas genera, as well as from a group of unclassified anthracene degraders, were much lower in the bioreactors compared to the untreated soil.

  17. Concentration of Petroleum-Hydrocarbon Contamination Shapes Fungal Endophytic Community Structure in Plant Roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourdel, Guillaume; Roy-Bolduc, Alice; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    Plant-root inhabiting fungi are a universal phenomenon found in all ecosystems where plants are able to grow, even in harsh environments. Interactions between fungi and plant roots can vary widely from mutualism to parasitism depending on many parameters. The role of fungal endophytes in phytoremediation of polluted sites, and characterization of the endophytic diversity and community assemblages in contaminated areas remain largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated the composition of endophytic fungal communities in the roots of two plant species growing spontaneously in petroleum-contaminated sedimentation basins of a former petro-chemical plant. The three adjacent basins showed a highly heterogeneous pattern of pollutant concentrations. We combined a culture-based isolation approach with the pyrosequencing of fungal ITS ribosomal DNA. We selected two species, Eleocharis erythropoda Steud. and Populus balsamifera L., and sampled three individuals of each species from each of three adjacent basins, each with a different concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons. We found that contamination level significantly shaped endophytic fungal diversity and community composition in E. erythropoda, with only 9.9% of these fungal Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) retrieved in all three basins. However, fungal community structure associated with P. balsamifera remained unaffected by the contamination level with 28.2% of fungal OTUs shared among all three basins. This could be explained by the smaller differences of pollutant concentrations in the soil around our set of P. balsamifera sampless compared to that around our set of E. erythropoda samples. Our culture-based approach allowed isolation of 11 and 30 fungal endophytic species from surface-sterilized roots of E. erythropoda and P. balsamifera, respectively. These isolates were ribotyped using ITS, and all were found in pyrosequensing datasets. Our results demonstrate that extreme levels of pollution reduce fungal

  18. Microbial metabolism and community structure in response to bioelectrochemically enhanced remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Lu; Huggins, Tyler; Jin, Song; Zuo, Yi; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2014-04-01

    This study demonstrates that electrodes in a bioelectrochemical system (BES) can potentially serve as a nonexhaustible electron acceptor for in situ bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil. The deployment of BES not only eliminates aeration or supplement of electron acceptors as in contemporary bioremediation but also significantly shortens the remediation period and produces sustainable electricity. More interestingly, the study reveals that microbial metabolism and community structure distinctively respond to the bioelectrochemically enhanced remediation. Tubular BESs with carbon cloth anode (CCA) or biochar anode (BCA) were inserted into raw water saturated soils containing petroleum hydrocarbons for enhancing in situ remediation. Results show that total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) removal rate almost doubled in soils close to the anode (63.5-78.7%) than that in the open circuit positive controls (37.6-43.4%) during a period of 64 days. The maximum current density from the BESs ranged from 73 to 86 mA/m(2). Comprehensive microbial and chemical characterizations and statistical analyses show that the residual TPH has a strongly positive correlation with hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms (HDM) numbers, dehydrogenase activity, and lipase activity and a negative correlation with soil pH, conductivity, and catalase activity. Distinctive microbial communities were identified at the anode, in soil with electrodes, and soil without electrodes. Uncommon electrochemically active bacteria capable of hydrocarbon degradation such as Comamonas testosteroni, Pseudomonas putida, and Ochrobactrum anthropi were selectively enriched on the anode, while hydrocarbon oxidizing bacteria were dominant in soil samples. Results from genus or phylum level characterizations well agree with the data from cluster analysis. Data from this study suggests that a unique constitution of microbial communities may play a key role in BES enhancement of petroleum hydrocarbons

  19. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation potential of Gulf of Mexico native coastal microbial communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappell, Anthony D; Wei, Yin; Newton, Ryan J; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; McLellan, Sandra L; Hristova, Krassimira R

    2014-01-01

    The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout resulted in oil transport, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. The microbial communities of these shorelines are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic degradation of PAHs. To investigate the Gulf Coast beach microbial community response to hydrocarbon exposure, we examined the functional gene diversity, bacterial community composition, and PAH degradation capacity of a heavily oiled and non-oiled beach following the oil exposure. With a non-expression functional gene microarray targeting 539 gene families, we detected 28,748 coding sequences. Of these sequences, 10% were uniquely associated with the severely oil-contaminated beach and 6.0% with the non-oiled beach. There was little variation in the functional genes detected between the two beaches; however the relative abundance of functional genes involved in oil degradation pathways, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were greater in the oiled beach. The microbial PAH degradation potentials of both beaches, were tested in mesocosms. Mesocosms were constructed in glass columns using sands with native microbial communities, circulated with artificial sea water and challenged with a mixture of PAHs. The low-molecular weight PAHs, fluorene and naphthalene, showed rapid depletion in all mesocosms while the high-molecular weight benzo[α]pyrene was not degraded by either microbial community. Both the heavily oiled and the non-impacted coastal communities showed little variation in their biodegradation ability for low molecular weight PAHs. Massively-parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from mesocosm DNA showed that known PAH degraders and genera frequently associated with oil hydrocarbon degradation represented a major portion of the bacterial community. The observed similar response by microbial communities from beaches with a different recent history of oil exposure suggests that Gulf Coast beach communities are

  20. Ecology of Two Terrestrial Serpentinizing Fluid Seeps Offers a Glimpse of the Deep Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Electrokinetic remediation and microbial community shift of β-cyclodextrin-dissolved petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Chunli; Du, Maoan; Lee, Duu-Jong; Yang, Xue; Ma, Wencheng; Zheng, Lina

    2011-03-01

    Electrokinetic (EK) migration of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), which is inclusive of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH), is an economically beneficial and environmentally friendly remediation process for oil-contaminated soils. Remediation studies of oil-contaminated soils generally prepared samples using particular TPHs. This study investigates the removal of TPHs from, and electromigration of microbial cells in field samples via EK remediation. Both TPH content and soil respiration declined after the EK remediation process. The strains in the original soil sample included Bacillus sp., Sporosarcina sp., Beta proteobacterium, Streptomyces sp., Pontibacter sp., Azorhizobium sp., Taxeobacter sp., and Williamsia sp. Electromigration of microbial cells reduced the biodiversity of the microbial community in soil following EK remediation. At 200 V m(-1) for 10 days, 36% TPH was removed, with a small population of microbial cells flushed out, demonstrating that EK remediation is effective for the present oil-contaminated soils collected in field.

  2. Microbial community analysis of soils contaminated with lead, chromium and petroleum hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joynt, Janet; Bischoff, Marianne; Turco, Ron; Konopka, Allan; Nakatsu, Cindy H

    2006-02-01

    The impact on the microbial community of long-term environmental exposure to metal and organic contamination was investigated. Twenty-four soil samples were collected along a transect dug in soils contaminated with road paint and paint solvents, mainly toluene. Chemical analysis along the transect revealed a range from high to low concentrations of metals (lead and chromium) and organic solvent compounds. Principal components analysis of microbial community structure based on denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of the V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene and fatty acid methyl esters derived from phospholipids (phospholipid fatty acid analysis) showing samples with similar fingerprints also had similar contaminant concentrations. There was also a weak positive correlation between microbial biomass and the organic carbon concentration. Results indicated that microbial populations are present despite some extreme contaminant levels in this mixed-waste contaminated site. Nucleotide sequence determination of the 16S rRNA gene indicated the presence of phylogenetically diverse bacteria belonging to the alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-Proteobacteria, the high and low G + C Gram-positive bacteria, green nonsulfur, OP8, and others that did not group within a described division. This indicates that soils contaminated with both heavy metals and hydrocarbons for several decades have undergone changes in community composition, but still contain a phylogenetically diverse group of bacteria (including novel phylotypes) that warrant further investigation.

  3. Dynamic Effects of Biochar on the Bacterial Community Structure in Soil Contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yang; Bian, Yongrong; Wang, Fang; Xu, Min; Ni, Ni; Yang, Xinglun; Gu, Chenggang; Jiang, Xin

    2017-08-16

    Amending soil with biochar is an effective soil remediation strategy for organic contaminants. This study investigated the dynamic effects of wheat straw biochar on the bacterial community structure during remediation by high-throughput sequencing. The wheat straw biochar amended into the soil significantly reduced the bioavailability and toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Biochar amendment helped to maintain the bacterial diversity in the PAH-contaminated soil. The relationship between the immobilization of PAHs and the soil bacterial diversity fit a quadratic model. Before week 12 of the incubation, the incubation time was the main factor contributing to the changes in the soil bacterial community structure. However, biochar greatly affected the bacterial community structure after 12 weeks of amendment, and the effects were dependent upon the biochar type. Amendment with biochar mainly facilitated the growth of rare bacterial genera (relative abundance of 0.01-1%) in the studied soil. Therefore, the application of wheat straw biochar into PAH-contaminated soil can reduce the environmental risks of PAHs and benefit the soil microbial ecology.

  4. Temperature and injection water source influence microbial community structure in four Alaskan North Slope hydrocarbon reservoirs.

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    Yvette Marisa Piceno

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A fundamental knowledge of microbial community structure in petroleum reservoirs can improve predictive modeling of these environments. We used hydrocarbon profiles, stable isotopes, and high-density DNA microarray analysis to characterize microbial communities in produced water from four Alaska North Slope hydrocarbon reservoirs. Produced fluids from Schrader Bluff (24-27°C, Kuparuk (47-70°C, Sag River (80°C, and Ivishak (80-83°C reservoirs were collected, with paired soured/non-soured wells sampled from Kuparuk and Ivishak. Chemical and stable isotope data suggested Schrader Bluff had substantial biogenic methane, whereas methane was mostly thermogenic in deeper reservoirs. Acetoclastic methanogens (Methanosaeta were most prominent in Schrader Bluff samples, and the combined δD and δ13C values of methane also indicated acetoclastic methanogenesis could be a primary route for biogenic methane. Conversely, hydrogenotrophic methanogens (e.g., Methanobacteriaceae and sulfide-producing Archaeoglobus and Thermococcus were more prominent in Kuparuk samples. Sulfide-producing microbes were detected in all reservoirs, uncoupled from souring status (e.g., the non-soured Kuparuk samples had higher relative abundances of many sulfate-reducers compared to the soured sample, suggesting sulfate-reducers may be living fermentatively/syntrophically when sulfate is limited. Sulfate abundance via long-term seawater injection resulted in greater relative abundances of Desulfonauticus, Desulfomicrobium, and Desulfuromonas in the soured Ivishak well compared to the non-soured well. In the non-soured Ivishak sample, several taxa affiliated with Thermoanaerobacter and Halomonas predominated. Archaea were not detected in the deepest reservoirs. Functional group taxa differed in relative abundance among reservoirs, likely reflecting differing thermal and/or geochemical influences.

  5. How Specific Microbial Communities Benefit the Oil Industry: Dynamics of Alcanivorax spp. in Oil-Contaminated Intertidal Beach Sediments Undergoing Bioremediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arvind K.; Sherry, Angela; Gray, Neil D.; Jones, Martin D.; Röling, Wilfred F. M.; Head, Ian M.

    The industrial revolution has led to significant increases in the consumption of petroleum hydrocarbons. Concomitant with this increase, hydrocarbon pollution has become a global problem resulting from emissions related to operational use, releases during production, pipeline failures and tanker spills. Importantly, in addition to these anthropogenic sources of hydrocarbon pollution, natural seeps alone account for about 50% of total petroleum hydrocarbon releases in the aquatic environment (National Research Council, 2003). The annual input from natural seeps would form a layer of hydrocarbons 20 molecules thick on the sea surface globally if it remained un-degraded (Prince, 2005). By contrast with natural seeps, many oil spills, e.g. Sea Empress (Milford Haven, UK), Prestige (Galicia, Spain), EXXON Valdez (Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA), released huge amounts of oil (thousands to hundreds of thousand tonnes; Table 24.1) in a locally confined area over a short period of time with a huge acute impact on the marine environment. These incidents have attracted the attention of both the general public and the scientific community due to their great impact on coastal ecosystems. Although many petroleum hydrocarbons are toxic, they are degraded by microbial consortia naturally present in marine ecosystems.

  6. Generalist hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial communities in the oil-polluted water column of the North Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chronopoulou, P.M.; Sanni, G.O.; Silas-Olu, D.I.; van der Meer, J.R.; Timmis, K.N.; Brussaard, C.P.D.; McGenity, T.J.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the effect of light crude oil on bacterial communities during an experimental oil spill in the North Sea and in mesocosms (simulating a heavy, enclosed oil spill), and to isolate and characterize hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from the water column. No oil-induc

  7. Generalist hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial communities in the oil-polluted water column of the North Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chronopoulou, P.M.; Sanni, G.O.; Silas-Olu, D.I.; van der Meer, J.R.; Timmis, K.N.; Brussaard, C.P.D.; McGenity, T.J.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the effect of light crude oil on bacterial communities during an experimental oil spill in the North Sea and in mesocosms (simulating a heavy, enclosed oil spill), and to isolate and characterize hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from the water column. No

  8. Genotypic and Phenotypic Responses of a Riverine Microbial Community to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langworthy, Donald E.; Stapleton, Raymond D.; Sayler, Gary S.; Findlay, Robert H.

    1998-01-01

    The phenotypic and genotypic adaptation of a freshwater sedimentary microbial community to elevated (22 to 217 μg g [dry weight] of sediment−1) levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was determined by using an integrated biomolecular approach. Central to the approach was the use of phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profiles to characterize the microbial community structure and nucleic acid analysis to quantify the frequency of degradative genes. The study site was the Little Scioto River, a highly impacted, channelized riverine system located in central Ohio. This study site is a unique lotic system, with all sampling stations having similar flow and sediment characteristics both upstream and downstream from the source of contamination. These characteristics allowed for the specific analysis of PAH impact on the microbial community. PAH concentrations in impacted sediments ranged from 22 to 217 μg g (dry weight) of sediment−1, while PAH concentrations in ambient sediments ranged from below detection levels to 1.5 μg g (dry weight) of sediment−1. Total microbial biomass measured by phospholipid phosphate (PLP) analysis ranged from 95 to 345 nmol of PLP g (dry weight) of sediment−1. Nucleic acid analysis showed the presence of PAH-degradative genes at all sites, although observed frequencies were typically higher at contaminated sites. Principal component analysis of PLFA profiles indicated that moderate to high PAH concentrations altered microbial community structure and that seasonal changes were comparable in magnitude to the effects of PAH pollution. These data indicate that this community responded to PAH contamination at both the phenotypic and the genotypic level. PMID:9726892

  9. Biofilm and Planktonic Bacterial and Fungal Communities Transforming High-Molecular-Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Folwell, Benjamin D; McGenity, Terry J; Whitby, Corinne

    2016-04-01

    High-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (HMW-PAHs) are natural components of fossil fuels that are carcinogenic and persistent in the environment, particularly in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Their hydrophobicity and tendency to adsorb to organic matter result in low bioavailability and high recalcitrance to degradation. Despite the importance of microbes for environmental remediation, little is known about those involved in HMW-PAH transformations. Here, we investigated the transformation of HMW-PAHs using samples of OSPW and compared the bacterial and fungal community compositions attached to hydrophobic filters and in suspension. It was anticipated that the hydrophobic filters with sorbed HMW-PAHs would select for microbes that specialize in adhesion. Over 33 days, more pyrene was removed (75% ± 11.7%) than the five-ring PAHs benzo[a]pyrene (44% ± 13.6%) and benzo[b]fluoranthene (41% ± 12.6%). For both bacteria and fungi, the addition of PAHs led to a shift in community composition, but thereafter the major factor determining the fungal community composition was whether it was in the planktonic phase or attached to filters. In contrast, the major determinant of the bacterial community composition was the nature of the PAH serving as the carbon source. The main bacteria enriched by HMW-PAHs were Pseudomonas, Bacillus, and Microbacterium species. This report demonstrates that OSPW harbors microbial communities with the capacity to transform HMW-PAHs. Furthermore, the provision of suitable surfaces that encourage PAH sorption and microbial adhesion select for different fungal and bacterial species with the potential for HMW-PAH degradation.

  10. Response of the microbial community to seasonal groundwater level fluctuations in petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ai-xia; Zhang, Yu-ling; Dong, Tian-zi; Lin, Xue-yu; Su, Xiao-si

    2015-07-01

    The effects of seasonal groundwater level fluctuations on the contamination characteristics of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soils, groundwater, and the microbial community were investigated at a typical petrochemical site in northern China. The measurements of groundwater and soil at different depths showed that significant TPH residue was present in the soil in this study area, especially in the vicinity of the pollution source, where TPH concentrations were up to 2600 mg kg(-1). The TPH concentration in the groundwater fluctuated seasonally, and the maximum variation was 0.8 mg L(-1). The highest TPH concentrations were detected in the silty clay layer and lied in the groundwater level fluctuation zones. The groundwater could reach previously contaminated areas in the soil, leading to higher groundwater TPH concentrations as TPH leaches into the groundwater. The coincident variation of the electron acceptors and TPH concentration with groundwater-table fluctuations affected the microbial communities in groundwater. The microbial community structure was significantly different between the wet and dry seasons. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) results showed that in the wet season, TPH, NO3(-), Fe(2+), TMn, S(2-), and HCO3(-) were the major factors correlating the microbial community. A significant increase in abundance of operational taxonomic unit J1 (97% similar to Dechloromonas aromatica sp.) was also observed in wet season conditions, indicating an intense denitrifying activity in the wet season environment. In the dry season, due to weak groundwater level fluctuations and low temperature of groundwater, the microbial activity was weak. But iron and sulfate-reducing were also detected in dry season at this site. As a whole, groundwater-table fluctuations would affect the distribution, transport, and biodegradation of the contaminants. These results may be valuable for the control and remediation of soil and groundwater pollution at this site

  11. Enumeration of viruses and prokaryotes in deep-sea sediments and cold seeps of the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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.

  12. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation potential of Gulf of Mexico coastal microbial communities after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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    Anthony D. Kappell

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The Deepwater Horizon (DWH blowout resulted in oil transport, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs to the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. The microbial communities of these shorelines are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic degradation of PAHs. To investigate the Gulf Coast beach microbial community response to hydrocarbon exposure, we examined the functional gene diversity, bacterial community composition, and PAH degradation capacity of a heavily oiled and non-oiled beach following the oil exposure. With a non-expression functional gene microarray targeting 539 gene families, we detected 28,748 coding sequences. Of these sequences, 10% were uniquely associated with the severely oil-contaminated beach and 6.0% with the non-oiled beach. There was little variation in the functional genes detected between the two beaches; however the relative abundance of functional genes involved in oil degradation pathways, including PAHs, were greater in the oiled beach. The microbial PAH degradation potentials of both beaches, were tested in mesocosms. Mesocosms were constructed in glass columns using sands with native microbial communities, circulated with artificial sea water and challenged with a mixture of PAHs. The low-molecular weight PAHs, fluorene and naphthalene, showed rapid depletion in all mesocosms while the high-molecular weight benzo[α]pyrene was not degraded by either microbial community. Both the heavily oiled and the non-impacted coastal communities showed little variation in their biodegradation ability for low molecular weight PAHs. Massively-parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from mesocosm DNA showed that known PAH degraders and genera frequently associated with oil hydrocarbon degradation represented a major portion of the bacterial community. The observed similar response by microbial communities from beaches with a different recent history of oil exposure suggests that Gulf Coast beach communities are primed for PAH

  13. Responses of bacterial communities in seagrass sediments to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Juan; Jiang, Yu-Feng; Wang, You-Shao; Dong, Jun-De; Zhang, Yan-Ying; Zhang, Yuan-Zhou

    2015-10-01

    The seagrass meadows represent one of the highest productive marine ecosystems, and have the great ecological and economic values. Bacteria play important roles in energy flow, nutrient biogeochemical cycle and organic matter turnover in marine ecosystems. The seagrass meadows are experiencing a world-wide decline, and the pollution is one of the main reasons. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are thought be the most common. Bacterial communities in the seagrass Enhalus acoroides sediments were analyzed for their responses to PAHs induced stress. Dynamics of the composition and abundance of bacterial communities during the incubation period were explored by polymerase chain reaction denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and quantitative PCR assay, respectively. Both the incubation time and the PAHs concentration played significant roles in determining the microbial diversity, as reflected by the detected DGGE bands. Analysis of sequencing results showed that the Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the seagrass sediments, accounting for 61.29 % of all sequenced bands. As PAHs could be used as carbon source for microbes, the species and diversity of the PAH-added groups (group 1 and 2) presented higher Shannon Wiener index than the group CK, with the group 1 showing the highest values almost through the same incubation stage. Patterns of changes in abundance of the three groups over the experiment time were quite different. The bacterial abundance of the group CK and group 2 decreased sharply from 4.15 × 10(11) and 6.37 × 10(11) to 1.17 × 10(10) and 1.07 × 10(10) copies/g from day 2 to 35, respectively while bacterial abundance of group 1 increased significantly from 1.59 × 10(11) copies/g at day 2 to 8.80 × 10(11) copies/g at day 7, and then dropped from day 14 till the end of the incubation. Statistical analysis (UMPGA and PCA) results suggested that the bacterial community were more likely to be affected by the incubation time than the

  14. The microbial nitrogen cycling potential is impacted by polyaromatic hydrocarbon pollution of marine sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Nicole M; Hess, Matthias; Bouskill, Nick J; Mason, Olivia U; Jansson, Janet K; Gilbert, Jack A

    2014-01-01

    During hydrocarbon exposure, the composition and functional dynamics of marine microbial communities are altered, favoring bacteria that can utilize this rich carbon source. Initial exposure of high levels of hydrocarbons in aerobic surface sediments can enrich growth of heterotrophic microorganisms having hydrocarbon degradation capacity. As a result, there can be a localized reduction in oxygen potential within the surface layer of marine sediments causing anaerobic zones. We hypothesized that increasing exposure to elevated hydrocarbon concentrations would positively correlate with an increase in denitrification processes and the net accumulation of dinitrogen. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the relative abundance of genes associated with nitrogen metabolism and nitrogen cycling identified in 6 metagenomes from sediments contaminated by polyaromatic hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and 3 metagenomes from sediments associated with natural oil seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel. An additional 8 metagenomes from uncontaminated sediments from the Gulf of Mexico were analyzed for comparison. We predicted relative changes in metabolite turnover as a function of the differential microbial gene abundances, which showed predicted accumulation of metabolites associated with denitrification processes, including anammox, in the contaminated samples compared to uncontaminated sediments, with the magnitude of this change being positively correlated to the hydrocarbon concentration and exposure duration. These data highlight the potential impact of hydrocarbon inputs on N cycling processes in marine sediments and provide information relevant for system scale models of nitrogen metabolism in affected ecosystems.

  15. The microbial nitrogen cycling potential in marine sediments is impacted by polyaromatic hydrocarbon pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole M Scott

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available During petroleum hydrocarbon exposure the composition and functional dynamics of marine microbial communities are altered, favoring bacteria that can utilize this rich carbon source. Initial exposure of high levels of hydrocarbons in aerobic surface sediments can enrich growth of heterotrophic microorganisms having hydrocarbon degradation capacity. As a result, there can be a localized reduction in oxygen potential, if the sediments are aerobic, within the surface layer of marine sediments resulting in anaerobic zones. We hypothesized that increasing exposure to elevated hydrocarbon concentrations would positively correlate with an increase in denitrification processes and the net accumulation of dinitrogen. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the relative abundance of genes associated with nitrogen metabolism and nitrogen cycling identified in 6 metagenomes from sediments contaminated by polyaromatic hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and 3 metagenomes from sediments associated with natural oil seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel. An additional 8 metagenomes from uncontaminated sediments from the Gulf of Mexico were analyzed for comparison. We predicted relative changes in metabolite turnover as a function of the differential microbial gene abundances, which showed predicted accumulation of metabolites associated with denitrification processes, including anammox, in the contaminated samples compared to uncontaminated sediments, with the magnitude of this change being positively correlated to the hydrocarbon concentration and exposure duration. These data highlight the potential impact of hydrocarbon inputs on N cycling processes in marine sediments and provide information relevant for system scale models of nitrogen metabolism in affected ecosystems.

  16. Activity and functional diversity of microbial communities in long-term hydrocarbon and heavy metal contaminated soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markowicz Anna

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The impacts of long-term polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs and heavy metal pollution on soil microbial communities functioning were studied in soils taken from an old coke plant. The concentrations of PAHs in the tested soils ranged from 171 to 2137 mg kg-1. From the group of tested heavy metals, concentrations of lead were found to be the highest, ranging from 57 to 3478 mg kg-1, while zinc concentrations varied from 247 to 704 mg kg-1 and nickel from 10 to 666 mg kg-1. High dehydrogenase, acid and alkaline phosphatase activities were observed in the most contaminated soil. This may indicate bacterial adaptation to long-term heavy metal and hydrocarbon contamination. However, the Community Level Physiological Profiles (CLPPs analysis showed that the microbial functional diversity was reduced and influenced to a higher extent by some metals (Pb, Ni, moisture and conductivity than by PAHs.

  17. Bacterial community changes with N'-N' dimethylforamide (DMF) additives during polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) biodegardation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Y T; Lee, J F; Chao, H P; Liao, W L

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the changes in the bacterial community during biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) substrate when N'-N' dimethylformamide (DMF) was added. The microbial populations that biodegrade the PAH substrate were assessed by Fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and changed from 49.45% Archaea and 49.15% Bacteria to 42.00% Archaea and 51.78% Bacteria when the PAH was supplemented with DMF. Nine microorganisms were classified as Gram-negative alpha-, beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria bacteria during biodegradation of PAH alone by the Biolog system. Incentive eleven microorganisms obtained from the PAH-DMF mixed substrate were found to be beta-, gamma-Proteobacteria bacteria, high G+C Gram-positive bacteria (HGC), low G+C Gram-positive bacteria (LGC) and there was even one Deinococcus-Thermus strain; this indicates greater biodiversity. The numbers in the Pseudomonad group were as high as 10(5)-10(6) CFU ml(-1), suggesting that this group plays an important role in PAH biodegradation. Community-Level Physiological Profiling (CLPP) and physiological characterization were different in the PAH biodegradation process with and without DMF. Utilization of the 95 carbon sources from the Biolog GN2 microtiter plate was greater during PAH biodegradation when PAH is present alone compared to that in the presence of DMF. The range of enzymatic activities during PAH biodegradation was lower in the presence of DMF. These results show that DMF should be used with caution when PAH is a substrate during laboratory or pilot biotreatability studies.

  18. Multi-Year Analysis of Hydrocarbon-Degrading Microbial Communities at the Petroleum-Contaminated site in Bemidji, Minn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossbach, S.; Beaver, C. L.; Atekwana, E. A.; Enright, A. M.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Lund, A.; Slater, L. D.

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of this study was the synchronized geophysical and microbiological analysis of the subsurface petroleum spill in Bemidji, MN. Initially, the center of the free-phase hydrocarbon plume exhibited high magnetic susceptibility (MS) around the water table, however, the MS values decreased in subsequent years. To monitor the composition of the microbial community over time, sediment cores were collected in five consecutive years from the free-phase petroleum plume. Assisted by the sample-freezing drive shoe, continuous cores were collected that stretched below the water table. High-throughput DNA sequencing based on the 16S rRNA gene was applied to closely-spaced samples from the cores, and MS was measured in situ and from the cores. Exactly around the fluctuating water table, where the magnetic susceptibility anomaly had been measured, a methanogenic microbial community was found. The main microbial populations in this community were, besides the hydrocarbon-degrading Firmicutes, the syntrophic propionate oxidizer Smithella and the methanogenic Archaeon Methanoregula. Both genera, Smithella and Methanoregula, were consistently present in samples from all five years, and seem to follow the fluctuating water table. A high water table coincided with high MS and the presence of magnetite, whereas a lower water table may have resulted in the oxidation of magnetite resulting in the measurements of lower MS. Augmented by laboratory analyses of iron oxide minerals and microcosm studies, we are evaluating how certain microbial populations influence the geophysical characteristics of the surrounding sediments during microbial hydrocarbon degradation.

  19. Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter Anthony, Katey M.; Anthony, Peter; Grosse, Guido; Chanton, Jeffrey

    2012-06-01

    Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as coal beds and natural gas deposits. In the Arctic, permafrost and glaciers form a `cryosphere cap' that traps gas leaking from these reservoirs, restricting flow to the atmosphere. With a carbon store of over 1,200Pg, the Arctic geologic methane reservoir is large when compared with the global atmospheric methane pool of around 5Pg. As such, the Earth's climate is sensitive to the escape of even a small fraction of this methane. Here, we document the release of 14C-depleted methane to the atmosphere from abundant gas seeps concentrated along boundaries of permafrost thaw and receding glaciers in Alaska and Greenland, using aerial and ground surface survey data and in situ measurements of methane isotopes and flux. We mapped over 150,000 seeps, which we identified as bubble-induced open holes in lake ice. These seeps were characterized by anomalously high methane fluxes, and in Alaska by ancient radiocarbon ages and stable isotope values that matched those of coal bed and thermogenic methane accumulations. Younger seeps in Greenland were associated with zones of ice-sheet retreat since the Little Ice Age. Our findings imply that in a warming climate, disintegration of permafrost, glaciers and parts of the polar ice sheets could facilitate the transient expulsion of 14C-depleted methane trapped by the cryosphere cap.

  20. Influence of parasitism in controlling the health, reproduction and PAH body burden of petroleum seep mussels

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. TECTONIC AND CLIMATIC CONTROL ON DEPOSITION OF SEEP-CARBONATES: THE CASE OF MIDDLE-LATE MIOCENE SALSOMAGGIORE RIDGE (NORTHERN APENNINES, ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANDREA ARTONI

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Seep-carbonates are generally related to hydrocarbon seepage on continental margins. Modern cold seeps are abundant in actively deforming tectonic settings, suggesting that tectonics is one of the major controlling factor on fluid emissions. Hydrocarbon seepages areconsidered major geological sources of atmospheric methane, one of the most important green-house gases, and have also been related to climate changes. However, the interplaybetween tectonics and climate change in forcing seepage is not clearly understood. Miocene seep-carbonates, formed in a collisional settingsuch as that ofthe Salsomaggiore area of the Northern Apennines(Italy, provide an opportunitytoassess accumulation and release of methane in response to tectonics and climate change along a convergent margin. Thestudiedseep-carbonatesarerelated to fluid emissions of various intensities coeval with tectonic pulses.Newplanktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphic datareveals thatdepositionof these seep-carbonatesislate Serravallian-early Tortonian in age and partiallycoeval with the Miller’s global cooling event Mi 5 (as used below. These seep-carbonates were deposited in two stages with different seepage modes. During the first stage, local tectonic pulses at the onset of the Mi5 event may have producedslow seepage, whereas during the second stage regional tectonics and more extreme climatic conditions (coolest peak of Mi5 event may have resulted inafast and more intense seepage as suggested by increasing occurrence of chaotic facies. In the Salsomaggiore Ridge, tectonics and the Mi5 cooling event actively concurredtothe deposition of seep-carbonates in both stages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (cold seeps and the requirement for novel mechanisms to provide nitrate to the sediment microbial community.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Universal Indicators for Oil and Gas Prospecting Based on Bacterial Communities Shaped by Light-Hydrocarbon Microseepage in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Chunping; Yu, Xuejian; Yang, Jinshui; Li, Baozhen; Sun, Weilin; Yuan, Hongli

    2016-07-28

    Light hydrocarbons accumulated in subsurface soil by long-term microseepage could favor the anomalous growth of indigenous hydrocarbon-oxidizing microorganisms, which could be crucial indicators of underlying petroleum reservoirs. Here, Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was conducted to determine the bacterial community structures in soil samples collected from three typical oil and gas fields at different locations in China. Incubation with n-butane at the laboratory scale was performed to confirm the presence of "universal microbes" in light-hydrocarbon microseepage ecosystems. The results indicated significantly higher bacterial diversity in next-to-well samples compared with background samples at two of the three sites, which were notably different to oil-contaminated environments. Variation partitioning analysis showed that the bacterial community structures above the oil and gas fields at the scale of the present study were shaped mainly by environmental parameters, and geographic location was able to explain only 7.05% of the variation independently. The linear discriminant analysis effect size method revealed that the oil and gas fields significantly favored the growth of Mycobacterium, Flavobacterium, and Pseudomonas, as well as other related bacteria. The relative abundance of Mycobacterium and Pseudomonas increased notably after n-butane cultivation, which highlighted their potential as biomarkers of underlying oil deposits. This work contributes to a broader perspective on the bacterial community structures shaped by long-term light-hydrocarbon microseepage and proposes relatively universal indicators, providing an additional resource for the improvement of microbial prospecting of oil and gas.

  5. Occurrence and distribution of monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (BTEX) and the impact on macrobenthic community structure in Lagos lagoon, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, V F; Otitoloju, A A

    2016-10-01

    The widespread distribution of petroleum products arising from the rapid growth of the petroleum industry in Nigeria has resulted in the pollution of the environment through oil spills involving leakages from tankers, pipelines, tank farms, and dumping of waste petroleum products. The impacts and distribution of major toxic components (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX)) of petroleum products in water and sediment samples collected from sampling stations in the Lagos lagoon was investigated over a 2-year period (February 2009-July 2010). The distribution of benthic communities in the different sampling stations of the Lagos lagoon was assessed. The determination of hydrocarbon levels in the samples showed that the levels of total hydrocarbon content (THC) in the water samples around the Atlas Cove and Apapa were high with values ranging from 2.03 to 31.38 mg/l and 4.04 to 22.89 mg/l, respectively. The highest value of total BTEX in the lagoon sediment was also recorded in the Apapa station (450.53 μg/kg), where oil depots and tank farm facilities are located. The study of the macrobenthic community structure showed that the species richness ranged from 1.57 to 2.02 in the reference station, Unilag, while in the Atlas Cove, Iddo, and Apapa stations, it ranged from 1.80 to 2.89, 1.95 to 3.03, and 1.86 to 2.95, respectively. The highest number of organisms (183) was recorded in the reference stations, while the least number (46) was recorded in Apapa. The main hydrocarbon pollution indicator species identified in the impacted aquatic stations were Nais eliguis and Heteromastus filiformis. The levels of hydrocarbon observed in the aquatic environment showed that there is widespread contamination as a result of petroleum product importation, storage, and distribution. The assessment of the monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and benthic community will therefore provide important tools for early detection, diagnosis, and management of hydrocarbon pollution

  6. Profiles of Mycobacterium communities under polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination stress in the Shenfu Irrigation Area, northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xinyu; Li, Xu; Wang, Jian; Wang, Xiujuan; Sun, Jian; Su, Zhencheng; Zhang, Huiwen; Li, Peijun

    2013-10-01

    Indigenous Mycobacterium communities play an important role in the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but little is known about Mycobacterium distribution in situ at PAH-contaminated sites. In this study, the diversity and distribution of Mycobacterium communities were investigated in sediments and soils at sites upstream, midstream, and downstream of an oil-sewage irrigation channel, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The results show that heavy PAH contamination in upstream sites negatively affected Mycobacterium community diversity compared with midstream and downstream sites in all 3 sample types (sediments, corn field soils, and rice field soils). There was a correlation between the distribution of Mycobacterium communities and PAH contamination, as indicated by canonical correspondence analysis. Mycobacterium diversity and distribution was found to vary between the 3 sample types.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Olu

    Full Text Available 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

  9. Detection of Alteration Induced by Onshore Gas Seeps from ASTER and WorldView-2 Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanaz Salati

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Hydrocarbon seeps cause chemical and mineralogical changes at the surface, which can be detected by remote sensing. This paper aims at the detection of mineral alteration induced by gas seeps in a marly limestone formation, SW Iran. For this purpose, the multispectral Advance Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER and the high spatial resolution WorldView-2 (WV-2 data were utilized for mapping surficial rock alteration. In addition, the potential of Visible Near Infrared (VNIR bands of the WV-2 and its high spatial resolution for mapping alterations was determined. Band ratioing, principal component analysis (PCA, data fusion and the boosted regression trees (BRT were applied to enhance and classify the altered and unaltered marly limestone formation. The alteration zones were identified and mapped by remote sensing analyses. Integrating the WV-2 into the ASTER data improved the spatial accuracy of the BRT classifications. The results showed that the BRT classification of the multiple band imagery (created from ASTER and WV-2 using regions of interest (ROIs around field data provides the best discrimination between altered and unaltered areas. It is suggested that the WV-2 dataset can provide a potential tool along higher spectral resolution data for mapping alteration minerals related to hydrocarbon seeps in arid and semi-arid areas.

  10. Petrosraphic and geochemical characterization of seep carbonate from Alaminos Canyon, Gulf of Mexico

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FENG Dong; CHEN DuoFu; QI Liang; Harry H.ROBERTS

    2008-01-01

    Seep carbonates were collected from the Alaminos Canyon lease area, Gulf of Mexico. The carbonates are present as slabs and blocks. Bivalve shell and foraminifer are the dominant bioclasts in carbonate. Pores are common and usually filled with acicular aragonite crystals. XRD investigation shows that aragonite is the dominate mineral (98%). Peloids, clotted microfabirc and botryoidal aragonite are developed in carbonate and suggest a genesis linked with bacterial degradation of the hydrocarbons. The δ13C value of bioclasts in carbonate is from -4.9‰ to -0.6‰, indicating that the carbon source is mainly from sea water as well as the small portion incorporation of the seep hydrocarbon. The microcrystalline and sparite aragonite shows the δ13C value from -31.3‰, to -23.4‰, suggesting that their carbon is derived mainly from microbial degradation of crude oil. 14C analyses give the radiocarbon age of about 10 ka. Rare earth elements (REE) analyses of the 5% HNO3-treated solution of the carbonates show that the total REE content of the carbonates is low, that is from 0.752 to 12.725 ug·g-1. The shale-normalized REE patterns show significantly negative Ce anomalies. This suggests that cold seep carbonate is most likely formed in a relatively aerobic environment.

  11. Temporal Variation in Natural Gas Seep Rate and Influence Factors in the Lingtou Promontory Seep Field of the Northern South China Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pengfei Di

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Natural hydrocarbon seeps in marine environment are important sources of methane and other greenhouse gases into the ocean and the atmosphere. This greenhouse gas seepage influences the global methane budget and global climate change. Hydrocarbon seeps on the shallow seabed produce a near-shore gas bubble zone along the western coast of Hainan Island, in the northern South China Sea. However, few studies on the quantitative value of the methane flux and on temporal variation and influence factors of hydrocarbon seeps have been conducted until now. This study describes the results of continuous gas vent measurements for 420 hours on the seabed of the Lingtou promontory shore. The amount of gas released from a single gas vent was 30.5 m3 during the measurement period. The gas flow rate ranged from 22 - 72 L h-1, with an average rate of 53.4 L h-1. The time series analyses of the 420-hour record clearly show three principal tidal components with periods of 5.4, 4.6, and 2.4 hours, which are the main factors controlling the gas flow rate. Low flow rates were associated with high tide and high flow rates associated with low tide. A 1-m increase in seawater height results in a decrease of 20 - 30 L h-1 or 35 - 56% of the hourly flow rate. Therefore, the changes in gas volume escape from the pore could be attributed to the hydrostatic pressure effect induced by water depth. This dominant mechanism controlled pore activation as well as the gas flow rate, suggesting that in the marine environment, especially the shallow-water shelf area, sea level changes may result in great variations in methane release into the ocean and atmosphere.

  12. Screening selectively harnessed environmental microbial communities for biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in moving bed biofilm reactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeter, Marc A; Lemire, Joseph A; Mercer, Sean M; Turner, Raymond J

    2017-03-01

    Bacteria are often found tolerating polluted environments. Such bacteria may be exploited to bioremediate contaminants in controlled ex situ reactor systems. One potential strategic goal of such systems is to harness microbes directly from the environment such that they exhibit the capacity to markedly degrade organic pollutants of interest. Here, the use of biofilm cultivation techniques to inoculate and activate moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) systems for the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was explored. Biofilms were cultivated from 4 different hydrocarbon contaminated sites using a minimal medium spiked with the 16 EPA identified PAHs. Overall, all 4 inoculant sources resulted in biofilm communities capable of tolerating the presence of PAHs, but only 2 of these exhibited enhanced PAH catabolic gene prevalence coupled with significant degradation of select PAH compounds. Comparisons between inoculant sources highlighted the dependence of this method on appropriate inoculant screening and biostimulation efforts.

  13. Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in seawater at low temperatures (0-5 degrees C) and bacterial communities associated with degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brakstad, Odd G; Bonaunet, Kristin

    2006-02-01

    In this study biodegradation of hydrocarbons in thin oil films was investigated in seawater at low temperatures, 0 and 5 degrees C. Heterotrophic (HM) or oil-degrading (ODM) microorganisms enriched at the two temperatures showed 16S rRNA sequence similarities to several bacteria of Arctic or Antarctic origin. Biodegradation experiments were conducted with a crude mineral oil immobilized as thin films on hydrophobic Fluortex adsorbents in nutrient-enriched or sterile seawater. Chemical and respirometric analysis of hydrocarbon depletion showed that naphthalene and other small aromatic hydrocarbons (HCs) were primarily biodegraded after dissolution to the water phase, while biodegradation of larger polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and C(10)-C(36) n-alkanes, including n-hexadecane, was associated primarily with the oil films. Biodegradation of PAH and n-alkanes was significant at both 0 and 5 degrees C, but was decreased for several compounds at the lower temperature. n-Hexadecane biodegradation at the two temperatures was comparable at the end of the experiments, but was delayed at 0 degree C. Investigations of bacterial communities in seawater and on adsorbents by PCR amplification of 16S rRNA gene fragments and DGGE analysis indicated that predominant bacteria in the seawater gradually adhered to the oil-coated adsorbents during biodegradation at both temperatures. Sequence analysis of most DGGE bands aligned to members of the phyla Proteobacteria (Gammaproteobacteria) or Bacteroidetes. Most sequences from experiments at 0 degree C revealed affiliations to members of Arctic or Antarctic consortia, while no such homology was detected for sequences from degradation experiment run at 5 degrees C. In conclusion, marine microbial communities from cold seawater have potentials for oil film HC degradation at temperatures bacteria may play an important role during oil HC biodegradation in seawater close to freezing point.

  14. Environmental effects of submarine seeping natural gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Cold seep-related occurrence of the Early Jurassic rhynchonellid brachiopod Anarhynchia from the Canadian Cordillera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pálfy, József; Price, Gregory D.; Vörös, Attila; Kovács, Zsófia; Johannson, Gary G.

    2017-04-01

    Cold seeps, where seepage of methane and/or other hydrocarbon-rich fluids and hydrogen-sulfide occurs in the sea floor, are sites which harbor highly specialized ecosystems associated with distinctive carbonate sediments. Although their Mesozoic record is scarce and patchy, it commonly includes rhynchonellid brachiopods, often of large size. Each new occurrence is valuable in filling gaps and providing additional insight into these peculiar ecosystems. Here we report a monospecific assemblage of Anarhynchia from a boulder-sized limestone clast of Early Pliensbachian (Early Jurassic) age in the Inklin Formation of the Whitehorse Trough in Stikine terrane, recovered from a locality at Copper Island in Atlin Lake, northern British Columbia, Canada. Specimens are of unusually large size, up to 9 cm in length, and their external and internal morphology allows assignment to Anarhynchia but warrants introduction of a new species. Although d13C and d18O values of the shells are close to equilibrium with ancient seawater, early precipitated carbonate cement phases of the enclosing limestone are characterised by highly depleted carbon isotopic composition, indicative of the influence of microbial oxidation of methane derived from a cold seep. Carbonate petrography of the isopachous, banded-fibrous cement supports its origin in a cold seep environment. Volcanogenic detrital grains in the micritic matrix of the limestone clast are indistinguishable from those in the sandstone layers in the siliciclastic sequence, suggesting that the seep carbonate is broadly coeval with the enclosing conglomerate. Previously, Anarhynchia has been known from the Lower Jurassic of California and Oregon, from both cold seep and hydrothermal vent deposits. Our new record extends the geographic range and species-level diversity of the genus, but supports its endemism to the East Pacific and membership in chemosynthesis-based ecosystems.

  17. Linkage between bacterial and fungal rhizosphere communities in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils is related to plant phylogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Terrence H; El-Din Hassan, Saad; Lauron-Moreau, Aurélien; Al-Otaibi, Fahad; Hijri, Mohamed; Yergeau, Etienne; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Phytoremediation is an attractive alternative to excavating and chemically treating contaminated soils. Certain plants can directly bioremediate by sequestering and/or transforming pollutants, but plants may also enhance bioremediation by promoting contaminant-degrading microorganisms in soils. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region to compare the community composition of 66 soil samples from the rhizosphere of planted willows (Salix spp.) and six unplanted control samples at the site of a former petrochemical plant. The Bray–Curtis distance between bacterial communities across willow cultivars was significantly correlated with the distance between fungal communities in uncontaminated and moderately contaminated soils but not in highly contaminated (HC) soils (>2000 mg kg−1 hydrocarbons). The mean dissimilarity between fungal, but not bacterial, communities from the rhizosphere of different cultivars increased substantially in the HC blocks. This divergence was partly related to high fungal sensitivity to hydrocarbon contaminants, as demonstrated by reduced Shannon diversity, but also to a stronger influence of willows on fungal communities. Abundance of the fungal class Pezizomycetes in HC soils was directly related to willow phylogeny, with Pezizomycetes dominating the rhizosphere of a monophyletic cluster of cultivars, while remaining in low relative abundance in other soils. This has implications for plant selection in phytoremediation, as fungal associations may affect the health of introduced plants and the success of co-inoculated microbial strains. An integrated understanding of the relationships between fungi, bacteria and plants will enable the design of treatments that specifically promote effective bioremediating communities. PMID:23985744

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S 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 δ13C 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. δ34S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (evolution of this taxonomic group.

  19. [Methanotrophic bacteria in cold seeps of the floodplains of northern rivers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination, plant identity and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) community determine assemblages of the AMF spore-associated microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iffis, Bachir; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-09-01

    The root-associated microbiome is a key determinant of pollutant degradation, soil nutrient availability and plant biomass productivity, but could not be examined in depth prior to recent advances in high-throughput sequencing. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbioses with the majority of vascular plants. They are known to enhance mineral uptake and promote plant growth and are postulated to influence the processes involved in phytoremediation. Amplicon sequencing approaches have previously shown that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP) concentration strongly influences AMF community structure in in situ phytoremediation experiments. We examined how AMF communities and their spore-associated microbiomes were structured within the rhizosphere of three plant species growing spontaneously in three distinct waste decantation basins of a former petrochemical plant. Our results show that the AMF community was only affected by PHP concentrations, while the AMF-associated fungal and bacterial communities were significantly affected by both PHP concentrations and plant species identity. We also found that some AMF taxa were either positively or negatively correlated with some fungal and bacterial groups. Our results suggest that in addition to PHP concentrations and plant species identity, AMF community composition may also shape the community structure of bacteria and fungi associated with AMF spores. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Authigenic carbonates from active methane seeps offshore southwest Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierre, Catherine; Blanc-Valleron, Marie-Madeleine; Demange, Jérôme; Boudouma, Omar; Foucher, Jean-Paul; Pape, Thomas; Himmler, Tobias; Fekete, Noemi; Spiess, Volkhard

    2012-12-01

    The southwest African continental margin is well known for occurrences of active methane-rich fluid seeps associated with seafloor pockmarks at water depths ranging broadly from the shelf to the deep basins, as well as with high gas flares in the water column, gas hydrate accumulations, diagenetic carbonate crusts and highly diverse benthic faunal communities. During the M76/3a expedition of R/V METEOR in 2008, gravity cores recovered abundant authigenic carbonate concretions from three known pockmark sites—Hydrate Hole, Worm Hole, the Regab pockmark—and two sites newly discovered during that cruise, the so-called Deep Hole and Baboon Cluster. The carbonate concretions were commonly associated with seep-benthic macrofauna and occurred within sediments bearing shallow gas hydrates. This study presents selected results from a comprehensive analysis of the mineralogy and isotope geochemistry of diagenetic carbonates sampled at these five pockmark sites. The oxygen isotope stratigraphy obtained from three cores of 2-5 m length indicates a maximum age of about 60,000-80,000 years for these sediments. The authigenic carbonates comprise mostly magnesian calcite and aragonite, associated occasionally with dolomite. Their very low carbon isotopic compositions (-61.0 Hole and Worm Hole pockmarks which were interpreted to reflect spatiotemporal variations in AOM related to subsurface gas hydrate formation-decomposition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Enhanced biodegradation of alkane hydrocarbons and crude oil by mixed strains and bacterial community analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu; Li, Chen; Zhou, Zhengxi; Wen, Jianping; You, Xueyi; Mao, Youzhi; Lu, Chunzhe; Huo, Guangxin; Jia, Xiaoqiang

    2014-04-01

    In this study, two strains, Acinetobacter sp. XM-02 and Pseudomonas sp. XM-01, were isolated from soil samples polluted by crude oil at Bohai offshore. The former one could degrade alkane hydrocarbons (crude oil and diesel, 1:4 (v/v)) and crude oil efficiently; the latter one failed to grow on alkane hydrocarbons but could produce rhamnolipid (a biosurfactant) with glycerol as sole carbon source. Compared with pure culture, mixed culture of the two strains showed higher capability in degrading alkane hydrocarbons and crude oil of which degradation rate were increased from 89.35 and 74.32 ± 4.09 to 97.41 and 87.29 ± 2.41 %, respectively. In the mixed culture, Acinetobacter sp. XM-02 grew fast with sufficient carbon source and produced intermediates which were subsequently utilized for the growth of Pseudomonas sp. XM-01 and then, rhamnolipid was produced by Pseudomonas sp. XM-01. Till the end of the process, Acinetobacter sp. XM-02 was inhibited by the rapid growth of Pseudomonas sp. XM-01. In addition, alkane hydrocarbon degradation rate of the mixed culture increased by 8.06 to 97.41 % compared with 87.29 % of the pure culture. The surface tension of medium dropping from 73.2 × 10(-3) to 28.6 × 10(-3) N/m. Based on newly found cooperation between the degrader and the coworking strain, rational investigations and optimal strategies to alkane hydrocarbons biodegradation were utilized for enhancing crude oil biodegradation.

  4. Benthic foraminifera of bathyal hydrocarbon vents of the Gulf of Mexico: Initial report on communities and stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen Gupta, Barun K.; Aharon, Paul

    1994-06-01

    Substrates associated with active hydrocarbon vents in bathyal Gulf of Mexico support numerous foraminiferal species, with a few of them showing unusually high relative abundances. In the 584- to 695-m-depth range,Bolivina ordinaria, Gavelinopsis translucens, andCassidulina neocarinata strongly dominate the vent community, whereasBolivina subaenariensis andUvigerina laevis play this role around a vent at 216 m water depth. The bathymetric imprint on the foraminiferal record is also seen in theδ 18O compositions of some species, includingUvigerina peregrina. The adaptation of foraminiferal communities to bacterial (Beggiatoa) mats, in which the redox boundary is very close to the sediment—water interface, and anomalous depletions of13C inU. peregrina (relative to the same species from nonventing sites) indicate that several species are probably facultative anaerobes and tolerant of H2S toxicity.

  5. Microbial diversity, community composition and metabolic potential in hydrocarbon contaminated oily sludge: prospects for in situ bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Ranjit; Kazy, Sufia K

    2014-06-01

    Microbial community composition and metabolic potential have been explored in petroleum-hydrocarbon-contaminated sludge of an oil storage facility. Culture-independent clone library-based 16S rRNA gene analyses revealed that the bacterial community within the sludge was dominated by the members of β-Proteobacteria (35%), followed by Firmicutes (13%), δ-Proteobacteria (11%), Bacteroidetes (10%), Acidobacteria (6%), α-Proteobacteria (3%), Lentisphaerae (2%), Spirochaetes (2%), and unclassified bacteria (5%), whereas the archaeal community was composed of Thermoprotei (54%), Methanocellales (33%), Methanosarcinales/Methanosaeta (8%) and Methanoculleus (1%) members. Methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA) gene (a functional biomarker) analyses also revealed predominance of hydrogenotrophic, methanogenic Archaea (Methanocellales, Methanobacteriales and Methanoculleus members) over acetoclastic methanogens (Methanosarcinales members). In order to explore the cultivable bacterial population, a total of 28 resident strains were identified and characterized in terms of their physiological and metabolic capabilities. Most of these could be taxonomically affiliated to the members of the genera Bacillus, Paenibacillus, Micrococcus, Brachybacterium, Aerococcus, and Zimmermannella, while two strains were identified as Pseudomonas and Pseudoxanthomonas. Metabolic profiling exhibited that majority of these isolates were capable of growing in presence of a variety of petroleum hydrocarbons as sole source of carbon, tolerating different heavy metals at higher concentrations (≥1 mM) and producing biosurfactant during growth. Many strains could grow under a wide range of pH, temperature, or salinity as well as under anaerobic conditions in the presence of different electron acceptors and donors in the growth medium. Correlation between the isolates and their metabolic properties was estimated by the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) analysis. Overall

  6. Chronic Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Contamination Is a Marginal Driver for Community Diversity and Prokaryotic Predicted Functioning in Coastal Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanbille, Mathilde; Gury, Jérôme; Duran, Robert; Tronczynski, Jacek; Ghiglione, Jean-François; Agogué, Hélène; Saïd, Olfa Ben; Taïb, Najwa; Debroas, Didier; Garnier, Cédric; Auguet, Jean-Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Benthic microorganisms are key players in the recycling of organic matter and recalcitrant compounds such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in coastal sediments. Despite their ecological importance, the response of microbial communities to chronic PAH pollution, one of the major threats to coastal ecosystems, has received very little attention. In one of the largest surveys performed so far on coastal sediments, the diversity and composition of microbial communities inhabiting both chronically contaminated and non-contaminated coastal sediments were investigated using high-throughput sequencing on the 18S and 16S rRNA genes. Prokaryotic alpha-diversity showed significant association with salinity, temperature, and organic carbon content. The effect of particle size distribution was strong on eukaryotic diversity. Similarly to alpha-diversity, beta-diversity patterns were strongly influenced by the environmental filter, while PAHs had no influence on the prokaryotic community structure and a weak impact on the eukaryotic community structure at the continental scale. However, at the regional scale, PAHs became the main driver shaping the structure of bacterial and eukaryotic communities. These patterns were not found for PICRUSt predicted prokaryotic functions, thus indicating some degree of functional redundancy. Eukaryotes presented a greater potential for their use as PAH contamination biomarkers, owing to their stronger response at both regional and continental scales. PMID:27594854

  7. Chronic polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH contamination is a marginal driver for community diversity and prokaryotic predicted functioning in coastal sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathilde Jeanbille

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Benthic microorganisms are key players in the recycling of organic matter and recalcitrant compounds such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs in coastal sediments. Despite their ecological importance, the response of microbial communities to chronic PAH pollution, one of the major threats to coastal ecosystems, has received very little attention. In one of the largest surveys performed so far on coastal sediments, the diversity and composition of microbial communities inhabiting both chronically contaminated and non-contaminated coastal sediments were investigated using high-throughput sequencing on the 18S and 16S rRNA genes. Prokaryotic alpha-diversity showed significant association with salinity, temperature, and organic carbon content. The effect of particle size distribution was strong on eukaryotic diversity. Similarly to alpha-diversity, beta-diversity patterns were strongly influenced by the environmental filter, while PAHs had no influence on the prokaryotic community structure and a weak impact on the eukaryotic community structure at the continental scale. However, at the regional scale, PAHs became the main driver shaping the structure of bacterial and eukaryotic communities. These patterns were not found for PICRUSt predicted prokaryotic functions, thus indicating some degree of functional redundancy. Eukaryotes presented a greater potential for their use as PAH contamination biomarkers, owing to their stronger response at both regional and continental scales.

  8. Chronic Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Contamination Is a Marginal Driver for Community Diversity and Prokaryotic Predicted Functioning in Coastal Sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanbille, Mathilde; Gury, Jérôme; Duran, Robert; Tronczynski, Jacek; Ghiglione, Jean-François; Agogué, Hélène; Saïd, Olfa Ben; Taïb, Najwa; Debroas, Didier; Garnier, Cédric; Auguet, Jean-Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Benthic microorganisms are key players in the recycling of organic matter and recalcitrant compounds such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in coastal sediments. Despite their ecological importance, the response of microbial communities to chronic PAH pollution, one of the major threats to coastal ecosystems, has received very little attention. In one of the largest surveys performed so far on coastal sediments, the diversity and composition of microbial communities inhabiting both chronically contaminated and non-contaminated coastal sediments were investigated using high-throughput sequencing on the 18S and 16S rRNA genes. Prokaryotic alpha-diversity showed significant association with salinity, temperature, and organic carbon content. The effect of particle size distribution was strong on eukaryotic diversity. Similarly to alpha-diversity, beta-diversity patterns were strongly influenced by the environmental filter, while PAHs had no influence on the prokaryotic community structure and a weak impact on the eukaryotic community structure at the continental scale. However, at the regional scale, PAHs became the main driver shaping the structure of bacterial and eukaryotic communities. These patterns were not found for PICRUSt predicted prokaryotic functions, thus indicating some degree of functional redundancy. Eukaryotes presented a greater potential for their use as PAH contamination biomarkers, owing to their stronger response at both regional and continental scales.

  9. Effects of diurnal temperature variation on microbial community and petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in contaminated soils from a sub-Arctic site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbari, Ali; Ghoshal, Subhasis

    2015-12-01

    Contaminated soils are subject to diurnal and seasonal temperature variations during on-site ex-situ bioremediation processes. We assessed how diurnal temperature variations similar to that in summer at the site from which petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil was collected affect the soil microbial community and the extent of biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons compared with constant temperature regimes. Microbial community analyses for 16S rRNA and alkB genes by pyrosequencing indicated that the microbial community for soils incubated under diurnal temperature variation from 5°C to 15°C (VART5-15) evolved similarly to that for soils incubated at constant temperature of 15°C (CST15). In contrast, under a constant temperature of 5°C (CST5), the community evolved significantly different. The extent of biodegradation of C10-C16 hydrocarbons in the VART5-15 systems was 48%, comparable with the 41% biodegradation in CST15 systems, but significantly higher than CST5 systems at 11%. The enrichment of Gammaproteobacteria was observed in the alkB gene-harbouring communities in VART5-15 and CST15 but not in CST5 systems. However, the Actinobacteria was abundant at all temperature regimes. The results suggest that changes in microbial community composition as a result of diurnal temperature variations can significantly influence petroleum hydrocarbon bioremediation performance in cold regions.

  10. Bacterial communities associated with biofouling materials used in bench-scale hydrocarbon bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Mailem, Dina; Kansour, Mayada; Radwan, Samir

    2015-03-01

    Biofouling material samples from the Arabian (Persian) Gulf, used as inocula in batch cultures, brought about crude oil and pure-hydrocarbon removal in a mineral medium. Without any added nitrogen fertilizers, the hydrocarbon-removal values were between about 10 and 50 %. Fertilization with NaNO3 alone or together with a mixture of the vitamins thiamine, pyridoxine, vitamin B12, biotin, riboflavin, and folic acid increased the hydrocarbon-removal values, to reach 90 %. Biofouling material samples harbored total bacteria in the magnitude of 10(7) cells g(-1), about 25 % of which were hydrocarbonoclastic. These numbers were enhanced by NaNO3 and vitamin amendment. The culture-independent analysis of the total bacterioflora revealed the predominance of the gammaproteobacterial genera Marinobacter, Acinetobacter, and Alcanivorax, the Flavobacteriia, Flavobacterium, Gaetbulibacter, and Owenweeksia, and the Alphaproteobacteria Tistrella, Zavarzinia, and others. Most of those bacteria are hydrocarbonoclastic. Culture-dependent analysis of hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria revealed that Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus, Dietzia maris, and Gordonia bronchialis predominated in the fouling materials. In addition, each material had several more-specific hydrocarbonoclastic species, whose frequencies were enhanced by NaNO3 and vitamin fertilization. The same samples of fouling materials were used in four successive crude-oil-removal cycles without any dramatic loss of their hydrocarbon-removal potential nor of their associated hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria. In the fifth cycle, the oil-removal value was reduced by about 50 % in only one of the studied samples. This highlights how firmly biofouling materials were immobilizing the hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria.

  11. Food-web structure of seep sediment macrobenthos from the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Microbial eukaryotic distributions and diversity patterns in a deep-sea methane seep ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasulka, Alexis L; Levin, Lisa A; Steele, Josh A; Case, David H; Landry, Michael R; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-09-01

    Although chemosynthetic ecosystems are known to support diverse assemblages of microorganisms, the ecological and environmental factors that structure microbial eukaryotes (heterotrophic protists and fungi) are poorly characterized. In this study, we examined the geographic, geochemical and ecological factors that influence microbial eukaryotic composition and distribution patterns within Hydrate Ridge, a methane seep ecosystem off the coast of Oregon using a combination of high-throughput 18S rRNA tag sequencing, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting, and cloning and sequencing of full-length 18S rRNA genes. Microbial eukaryotic composition and diversity varied as a function of substrate (carbonate versus sediment), activity (low activity versus active seep sites), sulfide concentration, and region (North versus South Hydrate Ridge). Sulfide concentration was correlated with changes in microbial eukaryotic composition and richness. This work also revealed the influence of oxygen content in the overlying water column and water depth on microbial eukaryotic composition and diversity, and identified distinct patterns from those previously observed for bacteria, archaea and macrofauna in methane seep ecosystems. Characterizing the structure of microbial eukaryotic communities in response to environmental variability is a key step towards understanding if and how microbial eukaryotes influence seep ecosystem structure and function.

  13. Shell growth and environmental control of methanophyllic Thyasirid bivalves from Svalbard cold seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. High-throughput transcriptome sequencing of the cold seep mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. High-throughput transcriptome sequencing of the cold seep mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Initial results of comparing cold-seep carbonates from mussel- and tubeworm-associated environments at Atwater Valley lease block 340, northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on an aquatic ecosystem: acute toxicity and community-level toxic impact tests of benzo[a]pyrene using lake zooplankton community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Sakamoto, Masaki; Nagata, Takamaru; Takahashi, Hirokazu; Miyabara, Yuichi; Hanazato, Takayuki; Ishizuka, Mayumi; Isobe, Tomohiko; Kim, Jun-Woo; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon

    2013-02-01

    We estimated acute toxicity of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) using two cladoceran species, Ceriodaphnia reticulata and Daphnia magna, and also analyzed its impact on zooplankton community throughout an exposure experiment using small-scale mesocosms. LC(50) of B[a]P for C. reticulata and D. magna was 4.3 and 4.7 µg/l, respectively. However, individuals fed with Chlorella showed higher LC(50), 6.1 µg/l for C. reticulata and 8.0 µg/l for D. magna. In the exposure experiment, we examined the impact of B[a]P on zooplankton community using conceivable concentrations in the environment (5 and 10 µg/l) using typical zooplankton community in eutrophicated systems. Despite the residence time of B[a]P in the water column was short as impacts, suppressing cladoceran populations and inducing the dominance of rotifers particularly under high concentration (10 µg/l). Results have suggested that, even such short duration of B[a]P in the water body can have impact on zooplankton abundance and community structure. Since B[a]P easily precipitate to the bottom and rapidly disappears from the water body, careful monitoring and further assessment of the potential toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are necessary.

  18. Mineralization of vestimentiferan tubes at methane seeps on the Congo deep-sea fan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Antonie; Little, Crispin T. S.; Sahling, Heiko; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Himmler, Tobias; Peckmann, Jörn

    2009-02-01

    Vestimentiferan tube worms are prominent members of modern methane seep communities and are totally reliant as adults on symbiotic sulphide-oxidizing bacteria for their nutrition. The sulphide is produced in the sediment by a biochemical reaction called the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM). A well-studied species from the Gulf of Mexico shows that seep vestimentiferans 'mine' sulphide from the sediment using root-like, thin walled, permeable posterior tube extensions, which can also be used to pump sulphate and possibly hydrogen ions from the soft tissue back into the sediment to increase the local rate of AOM. The 'root-balls' of exhumed seep vestimentiferans are intimately associated with carbonate nodules, which are a result of AOM. We have studied vestimentiferan specimens and associated carbonates from seeps at the Kouilou pockmark field on the Congo deep-sea fan and find that some of the posterior 'root' tubes of living specimens are enclosed with carbonate indurated sediment and other, empty examples are partially or completely replaced by the carbonate mineral aragonite. This replacement occurs from the outside of the tube wall inwards and leaves fine-scale relict textures of the original organic tube wall. The process of mineralization is unknown, but is likely a result of post-mortem microbial decay of the tube wall proteins by microorganisms or the precipitation from locally high flux of AOM derived carbonate ions. The aragonite-replaced tubes from the Kouilou pockmarks show similar features to carbonate tubes in ancient seep deposits and make it more likely that many of these fossil tubes are those of vestimentiferans. These observations have implications for the supposed origination of this group, based on molecular divergence estimates.

  19. Gammaproteobacterial methanotrophs dominate cold methane seeps in floodplains of West Siberian rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Stable carbon, nitrogen and sulfur isotopes in non-carbonate fractions of cold-seep carbonates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Dong; Peng, Yongbo; Peckmann, Jörn; Roberts, Harry; Chen, Duofu

    2017-04-01

    Sulfate-driven anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) supports chemosynthesis-based communities and limits the release of methane from marine sediments. This process promotes the formation of carbonates close to the seafloor along continental margins. The geochemical characteristics of the carbonate minerals of these rocks are increasingly understood, questions remain about the geochemical characteristics of the non-carbonate fractions. Here, we report stable carbon, nitrogen and sulfur isotope patterns in non-carbonate fractions of seep carbonates. The authigenic carbonates were collected from three modern seep provinces (Black Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and South China Sea) and three ancient seep deposits (Marmorito, northern Italy, Miocene; SR4 deposit of the Lincoln Creek Formation and Whiskey Creek, western Washington, USA, Eocene to Oligocene). The δ13C values of non-carbonate fractions range from ˜-25‰ to -80‰ VPDB. These values indicate that fossil methane mixed with varying amounts of pelagic organic matter is the dominant source of carbon in these fractions. The relatively small offset between the δ34S signatures of the non-carbonate fractions and the respective sulfide minerals suggests that locally produced hydrogen sulfide is the main source of sulfur in seep environments. The δ15N values of the non-carbonate fractions are generally lower than the corresponding values of deep-sea sediments, suggesting that organic nitrogen is mostly of a local origin. This study reveals the potential of using δ13C, δ15N, δ34S values to discern seep and non-seep deposits. In cases where δ13Ccarbonate values are only moderately low due to mixing processes and lipid biomarkers have been erased in the course of burial, it is difficult to trace back AOM owing to the lack of other records. This problem is even more pronounced when authigenic carbonate is not available in ancient seep environments. Acknowledgments: The authors thank BOEM and NOAA for their years' support

  1. Escarpment seeps at Shiprock, New Mexico. [Risk posed by seep water to human health and the environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  2. Ethane and propane emissions to the ocean and atmosphere from 550-1200 m seeps in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, E. A.; Kastner, M.; Leifer, I.

    2009-12-01

    Ethane (C2) and propane (C3) are highly reactive trace gases in the atmosphere that are important precursors of organic aerosols and contribute to ozone formation. The global flux of C2 and C3 based on tropospheric removal are 13-15.5 and 12 Tg/yr, respectively. Current emission inventories that include fossil fuel, biomass burning, biofuels, and waste treatment underestimate the global flux by ~2-5 Tg/yr. Previous studies have indicated that the open ocean contributes only marginally to global C2 and C3 budgets, but very few studies have investigated the natural emissions from marine seeps and their potential significance to global C2 and C3 fluxes. During a recent study at 3 seeps at depths from 550-600 m in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), a submersible was used to collect water column samples immediately adjacent to 5 bubble plumes from the seafloor vents to the sea surface. Bottom water C2 and C3 concentrations above the seeps ranged from 24.3-2220 and 15.8-385 nM, respectively. Ethane and propane concentrations decrease by ~50-95% in the bottom 200 m. Mixed layer C2 and C3 concentrations were extremely high ranging from 6.3-147 and 4.0-110 nM. These mixed layer C2 and C3 concentrations are up to 1×105 and 5×105 times saturation with respect to atmospheric equilibrium. In general, C1/C2 and C2/C3 ratios decrease from the seafloor to the mixed layer with surface ratios lower than previously reported from marine seeps and the ocean, indicating preferential loss of light hydrocarbons from the plumes during water column transit. Preliminary results from numerical bubble models show the importance of bubble plume-driven upwelling flows, bubble size, and pressure effects for enhancing hydrocarbon transfer to the mixed layer. Based on contemporaneous wind speeds at the study sites, preliminary estimates for the diffusive C2 and C3 fluxes to the atmosphere above the seeps range from 10-400 μmol/m2d; 2-4 orders of magnitude greater than estimates from the open ocean

  3. Evolution of Hydrocarbon-Degrading Microbial Communities in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Well Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, G.; Dubinsky, E. A.; Chakraborty, R.; Hollibaugh, J. T.; Hazen, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill created large plumes of dispersed oil and gas that remained deep in the water column and stimulated growth of several deep-sea bacteria that can degrade hydrocarbons at cold temperatures. We tracked microbial community composition before, during and after the 83-day spill to determine relationships between microbial dynamics, and hydrocarbon and dissolved-oxygen concentrations. Dominant bacteria in plumes shifted drastically over time and were dependent on the concentration of hydrocarbons, and the relative quantities of insoluble and soluble oil fractions. Unmitigated flow from the wellhead early in the spill resulted in the highest concentrations of oil and relatively more n-alkanes suspended in the plume as small oil droplets. These conditions resulted in near complete dominance by alkane-degrading Oceanospirillales, Pseudomonas and Shewanella. Six-weeks into the spill overall hydrocarbon concentrations in the plume decreased and were almost entirely composed of BTEX after management actions reduced emissions into the water column. These conditions corresponded with the emergence of Colwellia, Pseudoalteromonas, Cycloclasticus and Halomonas that are capable of degrading aromatic compounds. After the well was contained dominant plume bacteria disappeared within two weeks after the spill and transitioned to an entirely different set of bacteria dominated by Flavobacteria, Methylophaga, Alteromonas and Rhodobacteraceae that were found in anomalous oxygen depressions throughout August and are prominent degraders of both high molecular weight organic matter as well as hydrocarbons. Bio-Sep beads amended with volatile hydrocarbons from MC-252 oil were used from August through September to create hydrocarbon-amended traps for attracting oil-degrading microbes in situ. Traps were placed at multiple depths on a drilling rig about 600-m from the original MC-252 oil spill site. Microbes were isolated on media using MC-252 oil as the sole

  4. Occurrence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons below coal-tar-sealed parking lots and effects on stream benthic macroinvertebrate communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scoggins, M.; McClintock, N.L.; Gosselink, L.; Bryer, P. [City Austin, Austin, TX (United States)

    2007-12-15

    Parking-lot pavement sealants recently have been recognized as a major source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban stream sediments in Austin, Texas. Laboratory and field studies have shown that PAHs in sediments can be toxic to aquatic organisms and can degrade aquatic communities. After identifying increases in concentrations of PAHs in sediments below seal-coated parking lots, we investigated whether the increases had significant effects on stream biota in 5 Austin streams. We sampled sediment chemistry and biological communities above and below the point at which stormwater runoff from the parking lots discharged into the streams, thus providing 5 upstream reference sites and 5 downstream treatment sites. Differences between upstream and downstream concentrations of total PAH ranged from 3.9 to 32 mg/kg. Analysis of the species occurrence data from pool and riffle habitats indicated a significant decrease in community health at the downstream sites, including decreases in richness, intolerant taxa, Diptera taxa, and density. In pool sediments, Chironomidae density was negatively correlated with PAH concentrations, whereas Oligochaeta density responded positively to PAH concentrations. In general, pool taxa responded more strongly than riffle taxa to PAHs, but riffle taxa responded more broadly than pool taxa. Increases in PAH sediment-toxicity units between upstream and downstream sites explained decreases in taxon richness and density in pools between upstream and downstream sites.

  5. Lead, arsenic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil and house dust in the communities surrounding the Sydney, Nova Scotia, tar ponds.

    OpenAIRE

    Lambert, Timothy W; Lane, Stephanie

    2004-01-01

    This study evaluated lead, arsenic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in the residential communities adjacent to the Sydney, Nova Scotia, tar ponds, the area considered Canada's worst contaminated site. The tar pond remediation policy has been limited to the site and some residential properties. We compared background concentrations in 91 soil samples taken 5-20 km from the coke oven site with those in soil samples from the three communities surrounding the tar ponds: Wh...

  6. Cruise summary for P-1-02-SC: acoustic imaging of natural oil and gas seeps and measurement of dissolved methane concentration in coastal waters near Pt. Conception, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenson, T.D.; Dougherty, Jennifer A.; Ussler, William; Paull, Charles K.

    2003-01-01

    Water-column acoustic anomalies and methane concentrations were documented in coastal waters surrounding Pt. Conception, California, in March 2002. The purpose of this survey, supported by the Minerals Management Service, was to locate active oil and gas seeps in the area as a background for further studies to determine hydrocarbon flux, mainly oil, into the environment. Objectives in reaching this goal are to (1) document the locations and geochemically fingerprint natural seeps within the offshore southern Santa Maria Basin; (2) geochemically fingerprint coastal tar residues and potential sources, both onshore and offshore, in this region; (3) establish chemical correlations between offshore active seeps and coastal residues thus linking seep sources to oil residues; (4) measure the rate of natural seepage of individual seeps and attempt to assess regional natural oil and gas seepage rates; (5) attempt to predict transport pathways of oil from seep sources to the coastline and; (6) interpret the petroleum system history for the natural seeps. This survey, addressing objective 1, focused on the area from offshore Surf Beach to the north and Gaviota to the south in water depths ranging from 20 to 500m. In addition, nine stations were sampled outside this area to provide a regional context. Water-column methane concentrations were measured in water samples collected from the R/V Point Sur with Niskin bottles from various depths. A total of 724 water samples from 94 stations were collected.

  7. Fluid geochemistry of cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in the Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hensen, Christian; Geilert, Sonja; Scholz, Florian; Schmidt, Mark; Liebetrau, Volker; Kipfer, Rolf; Sarkar, Sudipta; Doll, Mechthild

    2017-04-01

    In this study, we present geochemical data from pore fluids and gases that were sampled at cold seeps and hydrothermal vents in the Guaymas Basin during Sonne cruise 241. The Guaymas Basin is a unique environment where magma intrudes into thick sequences of organic-rich sediments, thereby maturing host rocks and releasing large amounts of hydrocarbons. Geochemical measurements performed on samples from a recently discovered high-temperature vent field (Berndt et al., 2016) clearly support this paradigm. 3He/4He ratios agree with that of excess He from the southern part of the Guaymas Basin (Lupton, 1979) and suggest the same general MORB source, while isotopic data of hydrocarbon gases largely indicate a thermogenic, sedimentary source. Heat flow measurements performed in the vicinity of the smoker site are extremely high, exceeding 10 W/m2, indicating that hydrocarbon gas production (mainly CH4) is related to contact heating due to magmatic activity near the hydrothermal vents. Cold seeps are located up to some tens of kilometres off the rift axis and are typically characterized by chemosynthetic fauna assemblages at the seafloor. The occurrence of the seeps has also been related to sill intrusions. Seismic records typically show evidence for sediment mobilization in the deeper subsurface and blanked zones due to gas accumulations directly beneath the seeps. Despite these visual and geophysical indications for deep-sourced heat-driven fluid flow, pore water data are not indicative for geochemical reactions taking place at elevated temperatures. Major dissolved constituents do not show strong deviations from seawater and dissolved methane is typically of biogenic origin. In addition, heat flow values do not deviate from regional averages, and hence, these findings contradict the existing hypothesis of a sill-driven mechanism responsible for the formation of seafloor seepage sites. A preliminary interpretation is that fluid and gas mobilisation from sill activity

  8. Carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopic constraints on fluid sources, temperatures and biogeochemical processes during the formation of seep carbonates - Secchia River site, Northern Apennines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viola, Irene; Capozzi, Rossella; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Rickli, Jörg

    2017-07-01

    Understanding authigenic seep carbonate formation provides clues for hydrocarbon exploration and insights into contributions to gas budgets of marine environments and the atmosphere. Seep carbonates discovered in the outcropping succession along the Secchia riverbanks (near Modena, Italy) belong to the Argille Azzurre Formation of Early Pleistocene age deposited in an upper shelf environment overlying the Miocene foredeep successions, which include hydrocarbon fields. The fluid migration from the hydrocarbon fields, up to the surface, is presently active on land and started in the marine succession during the Late Miocene. Authigenic globular carbonate concretions and carbonate chimneys are interspersed along the strata throughout the section. A comprehensive geochemical characterisation of the carbonates has been carried out to understand the processes leading to their formation. The carbonate concretions are the record of past hydrocarbon vents linked to the Miocene petroleum system of the Northern Apennines. The samples are composed of > 50% microcrystalline dolomite. The δ13C signatures identify two groups in the samples according to different type of formation processes. Globular concretions have positive values that suggest an influence of CO2 associated to secondary methanogenesis due to microbial degradation of higher hydrocarbons. The analysed chimney, with negative δ13C values, is interpreted as former conduit where carbonate precipitation is promoted by Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane coupled with Sulfate Reduction. The δ18O range, coupled with 87/86Sr signatures, indicate that the contribution of deep connate water from the Miocene reservoirs is up to 23% during the formation of the globular concretions. The connate water occurrence is also documented by higher ambient temperatures. The different isotope signatures in seep carbonates result from the relative contribution of the recognised gas and water components, linked to different plumbing systems

  9. Hydrocarbon pneumonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pneumonia - hydrocarbon ... Coughing Fever Shortness of breath Smell of a hydrocarbon product on the breath Stupor (decreased level of ... Most children who drink or inhale hydrocarbon products and develop ... hydrocarbons may lead to rapid respiratory failure and death.

  10. Microbiology and geochemistry of hydrocarbon-rich sediments erupted from the deep geothermal Lusi site, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Martin; Straten, Nontje; Mazzini, Adriano; Scheeder, Georg; Blumenberg, Martin

    2016-04-01

    The Lusi eruption represents one of the largest ongoing sedimentary hosted geothermal systems, which started in 2006 following an earthquake on Java Island. Since then it has been producing hot and hydrocarbon rich mud from a central crater with peaks reaching 180.000 m3 per day. Numerous investigations focused on the study of offshore microbial colonies that commonly thrive at offshore methane and oil seeps and mud volcanoes, however very little has been done for onshore seeping structures. Lusi represents a unique opportunity to complete a comprehensive study of onshore microbial communities fed by the seepage of CH4 as well as of heavier liquid hydrocarbons originating from one or more km below the surface. While the source of the methane at Lusi is clear (Mazzini et al., 2012), the origin of the seeping oil, either form the deep mature Eocene Ngimbang (type II kerogen) or from the less mature Pleistocene Upper Kalibeng Fm. (type III kerogen), is still discussed. In the framework of the Lusi Lab project (ERC grant n° 308126) we analysed an oil film and found that carbon preference indices among n-alkanes, sterane and hopane isomers (C29-steranes: 20S/(20S+20R) and α,β-C32 Hopanes (S/(S+R), respectively) are indicative of a low thermal maturity of the oil source rock (~0.5 to 0.6 % vitrinite reflectance equivalents = early oil window maturity). Furthermore, sterane distributions, the pristane to phytane ratio and a relatively high oleanane index, which is an indication of an angiosperm input, demonstrate a strong terrestrial component in the organic matter. Together, hydrocarbons suggest that the source of the oil film is predominantly terrestrial organic matter. Both, source and maturity estimates from biomarkers, are in favor of a type III organic matter source and are therefore suggestive of a mostly Pleistocene Upper Kalibeng Fm. origin. We also conducted a sampling campaign at the Lusi site collecting samples of fresh mud close to the erupting crater

  11. MICROBIAL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE IN A SHALLOW HYDROCARBON-CONTAMINATED AQUIFER ASSOCIATED WITH HIGH ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little is known about the complex interactions between microbial communities and electrical properties in contaminated aquifers. In order to investigate possible connections between these parameters a study was undertaken to investigate the hypothesis that the degradation of hydr...

  12. Effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on microbial community structure and PAH ring hydroxylating dioxygenase gene abundance in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawulski, Przemyslaw; Clipson, Nicholas; Doyle, Evelyn

    2014-11-01

    Development of successful bioremediation strategies for environments contaminated with recalcitrant pollutants requires in-depth knowledge of the microorganisms and microbial processes involved in degradation. The response of soil microbial communities to three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phenanthrene (3-ring), fluoranthene (4-ring) and benzo(a)pyrene (5-ring), was examined. Profiles of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities were generated using molecular fingerprinting techniques (TRFLP, ARISA) and multivariate statistical tools were employed to interpret the effect of PAHs on community dynamics and composition. The extent and rate of PAH removal was directly related to the chemical structure, with the 5-ring PAH benzo(a)pyrene degraded more slowly than phenathrene or fluoranthene. Bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities were all significantly affected by PAH amendment, time and their interaction. Based on analysis of clone libraries, Actinobacteria appeared to dominate in fluoranthene amended soil, although they also represented a significant portion of the diversity in phenanthrene amended and unamended soils. In addition there appeared to be more γ-Proteobacteria and less Bacteroidetes in soil amended with either PAH compared to the control. The soil bacterial community clearly possessed the potential to degrade PAHs as evidenced by the abundance of PAH ring hydroxylating (PAH-RHDα) genes from both gram negative (GN) and gram positive (GP) bacteria in PAH-amended and control soils. Although the dioxygenase gene from GP bacteria was less abundant in soil than the gene associated with GN bacteria, significant (p PAH-RHDα gene were observed during phenanthrene and fluoranthene degradation, whereas there was no significant difference in the abundance of the GN PAH-RHDα gene during the course of the experiment. Few studies to-date have examined the effect of pollutants on more than one microbial community in soil. The current study provides

  13. Shifts in microbial community structure during in situ surfactant-enhanced bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lingwen; Li, Feng; Zhan, Yu; Zhu, Lizhong

    2016-07-01

    This study aims to reveal the microbial mechanism of in situ surfactant-enhanced bioremediation (SEBR). Various concentrations of rhamnolipids, Tween 80, and sodium dodecyl benzenesulfonate (SDBS) were separately sprayed onto soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) for years. Within 90 days, the highest level of degradation (95 %) was observed in the soil treated with rhamnolipids (10 mg/kg), followed by 92 % degradation with Tween 80 (50 mg/kg) and 90 % degradation with SDBS (50 mg/kg). The results of the microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) suggest that bacteria dominated the enhanced PAH biodegradation (94 % of the maximum contribution). The shift of bacterial community structure during the surfactant treatment was analyzed by using the 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing. In the presence of surfactants, the number of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) associated with Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Sphingomonas increased from 2-3 to 15-30 % at the end of the experiment (two to three times of control). Gene prediction with phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) shows that the PAH-degrading genes, such as 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoate dioxygenase and PAH dioxygenase large subunit, significantly increased after the surfactant applications (p bioremediation.

  14. Robust hydrocarbon degradation and dynamics of bacterial communities during nutrient-enhanced oil spill bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röling, Wilfred F M; Milner, Michael G; Jones, D Martin; Lee, Kenneth; Daniel, Fabien; Swannell, Richard J P; Head, Ian M

    2002-11-01

    Degradation of oil on beaches is, in general, limited by the supply of inorganic nutrients. In order to obtain a more systematic understanding of the effects of nutrient addition on oil spill bioremediation, beach sediment microcosms contaminated with oil were treated with different levels of inorganic nutrients. Oil biodegradation was assessed respirometrically and on the basis of changes in oil composition. Bacterial communities were compared by numerical analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes and cloning and sequencing of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes. Nutrient amendment over a wide range of concentrations significantly improved oil degradation, confirming that N and P limited degradation over the concentration range tested. However, the extent and rate of oil degradation were similar for all microcosms, indicating that, in this experiment, it was the addition of inorganic nutrients rather than the precise amount that was most important operationally. Very different microbial communities were selected in all of the microcosms. Similarities between DGGE profiles of replicate samples from a single microcosm were high (95% +/- 5%), but similarities between DGGE profiles from replicate microcosms receiving the same level of inorganic nutrients (68% +/- 5%) were not significantly higher than those between microcosms subjected to different nutrient amendments (63% +/- 7%). Therefore, it is apparent that the different communities selected cannot be attributed to the level of inorganic nutrients present in different microcosms. Bioremediation treatments dramatically reduced the diversity of the bacterial community. The decrease in diversity could be accounted for by a strong selection for bacteria belonging to the alkane-degrading Alcanivorax/Fundibacter group. On the basis of Shannon-Weaver indices, rapid recovery of the bacterial community diversity to preoiling levels of diversity occurred. However, although

  15. Microbial processes and communities in sediment samples along a transect across the Lusi mud volcano, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, Martin; Straaten, Nontje; Mazzini, Adriano

    2015-04-01

    The Lusi eruption represents one of the largest ongoing sedimentary hosted geothermal systems. This eruption started in 2006 following to a 6.3 M earthquake that stroke Java Island. Since then it has been spewing boiling mud from a central crater with peaks reaching 180.000 m3 per day. Today an area of about 8 km2 is covered by locally dried mud breccia where a network of hundreds of satellite seeping pools is active. Numerous investigations focused on the study of offshore microbial colonies that commonly thrive at offshore methane seeps and mud volcanoes, however very little has been done for onshore seeping structures. Lusi represents a unique opportunity to complete a comprehensive study of onshore microbial communities fed by the seepage of CH4 and CO2 as well as of heavier liquid hydrocarbons originating from several km below the surface. We conducted a sampling campaign at the Lusi site collecting samples of fresh mud close to the erupting crater using a remote controlled drone. In addition we completed a transect towards outer parts of the crater to collect older, weathered samples for comparison. In all samples active microorganisms were present. The highest activities for CO2 and CH4 production as well as for CH4 oxidation and hydrocarbon degradation were observed in medium-age mud samples collected roughly in the middle of the transect. Rates for aerobic methane oxidation were high, as was the potential of the microbial communities to degrade hydrocarbons (oils, alkanes, BTEX tested). The data suggests a transition of microbial populations from an anaerobic, hydrocarbon-driven metabolism in fresher samples from center or from small seeps to more generalistic, aerobic microbial communities in older, more consolidated sediments. Currently, the microbial communities in the different sediment samples are analyzed using quantitative PCR and T-RFLP combined with MiSeq sequencing. This study represents an initial step to better understand onshore seepage

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Diverse sulfate-reducing bacteria of the Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus clade are the key alkane degraders at marine seeps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Diversity, distribution and hydrocarbon biodegradation capabilities of microbial communities in oil-contaminated cyanobacterial mats from a constructed wetland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raeid M M Abed

    Full Text Available Various types of cyanobacterial mats were predominant in a wetland, constructed for the remediation of oil-polluted residual waters from an oil field in the desert of the south-eastern Arabian Peninsula, although such mats were rarely found in other wetland systems. There is scarce information on the bacterial diversity, spatial distribution and oil-biodegradation capabilities of freshwater wetland oil-polluted mats. Microbial community analysis by Automated Ribosomal Spacer Analysis (ARISA showed that the different mats hosted distinct microbial communities. Average numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUsARISA were relatively lower in the mats with higher oil levels and the number of shared OTUsARISA between the mats was 90% of the sequences affiliated to Proteobacteria (41% of total sequences, Cyanobacteria (31%, Bacteriodetes (11.5%, Planctomycetes (7% and Chloroflexi (3%. Known autotrophic (e.g. Rivularia and heterotrophic (e.g. Azospira nitrogen-fixing bacteria as well as purple sulfur and non-sulfur bacteria were frequently encountered in all mats. On the other hand, sequences of known sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRBs were rarely found, indicating that SRBs in the wetland mats probably belong to yet-undescribed novel species. The wetland mats were able to degrade 53-100% of C12-C30 alkanes after 6 weeks of incubation under aerobic conditions. We conclude that oil and ammonia concentrations are the major key players in determining the spatial distribution of the wetland mats' microbial communities and that these mats contribute directly to the removal of hydrocarbons from oil field wastewaters.

  19. Historical polycyclic aromatic and petrogenic hydrocarbon loading in Northern Central Gulf of Mexico shelf sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Overton, E.B.; Ashton, B.M.; Miles, M.S. [Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Studies

    2005-10-01

    The distribution of selected hydrocarbons within ten dated sediment cores taken from the Mississippi River Bight off coastal Louisiana suggests a chronic contaminant loading from several sources including the river itself, oil and gas exploration in the central Gulf of Mexico (GOM) shelf area, and natural geologic hydrocarbon seeps. Data were grouped as either total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's), which were indicative of pyrogenic PAH's; or estimated total hopanes (indicative of petrogenic hydrocarbons). The total PAH concentrations and estimated total hopanes begin increasing above background levels (approximately 200 ng g{sup -1}) after the 1950s. The distribution of these hydrocarbons and hopanes within the dated sediment cores suggests that the Mississippi River is a regional source of pyrogenic PAH's, and that the hopanes are from natural geologic hydrocarbon seeps, oil and gas exploration in the GOM, or both. (author)

  20. Community Structure in Methanogenic Enrichments Provides Insight into Syntrophic Interactions in Hydrocarbon-Impacted Environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fowler, Jane; Toth, Courtney R. A.; Gieg, Lisa M.

    2016-01-01

    -impacted environments. In this study, a methanogenic crude oil-degrading enrichment culture was successively transferred onto the single long chain fatty acids palmitate or stearate followed by their parent alkanes, hexadecane or octadecane, respectively, in order to assess the impact of different substrates......, indicate that many syntrophic interactions are stable over time despite changes in substrate pressure, and show that syntrophic interactions amongst bacteria themselves are as important as interactions between bacteria and methanogens in complex methanogenic communities....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    competitive pressure within communities of low fluid-flux habitats. Finally, ecosystem functioning in vents and seeps was highly similar despite environmental differences (e.g. physico-chemistry, dominant basal sources) suggesting that ecological niches are not specifically linked to the nature of fluids. This comparison of seep and vent functioning in the Guaymas basin thus provides further supports to the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems. PMID:27683216

  2. Metagenomics in methane seep detection and studies of the microbial methane sediment filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn Rike, Anne; Håvelsrud, Othilde Elise; Haverkamp, Thomas; Kristensen, Tom; Jakobsen, Kjetill

    2013-04-01

    and represent a carbon source for the autotrophic nitrifying community. In this way the sediments at Troll probably contributes to reduce the methane emissions to the water body and further to the atmosphere (3). References: 1) Niemann H, Lösekann T, Boetius A, Kort R, Amann R. Diversity and distribution of methanotrophic archaea at cold seeps. Appl Environ Microbiol 2005, 71(1), 467-479. 2) Håvelsrud, O. E., Haverkamp, T.H.A., Kristensen, T., Jakobsen, K.S. and Rike A.G. Metagenomic study of methane oxidation in Coal Oil Point seep sediments. BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:221 3) Håvelsrud OE, Haverkamp THA., Kristensen T, Jakobsen KS and Rike AG. Metagenomic and geochemical characterization of pockmarked sediments overlaying the Troll petroleum reservoir in the North Sea. BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:203

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    competitive pressure within communities of low fluid-flux habitats. Finally, ecosystem functioning in vents and seeps was highly similar despite environmental differences (e.g. physico-chemistry, dominant basal sources) suggesting that ecological niches are not specifically linked to the nature of fluids. This comparison of seep and vent functioning in the Guaymas basin thus provides further supports to the hypothesis of continuity among deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems.

  4. Contrasting the community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from hydrocarbon-contaminated and uncontaminated soils following willow (Salix spp. L.) planting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan, Saad El-Din; Bell, Terrence H; Stefani, Franck O P; Denis, David; Hijri, Mohamed; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a potentially inexpensive alternative to chemical treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but its success depends heavily on identifying factors that govern the success of root-associated microorganisms involved in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth stimulation. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbioses with many terrestrial plants, and are known to stimulate plant growth, although both species identity and the environment influence this relationship. Although AMF are suspected to play a role in plant adaptation to hydrocarbon contamination, their distribution in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils is not well known. In this study, we examined how AMF communities were structured within the rhizosphere of 11 introduced willow cultivars as well as unplanted controls across uncontaminated and hydrocarbon-contaminated soils at the site of a former petrochemical plant. We obtained 69 282 AMF-specific 18S rDNA sequences using 454-pyrosequencing, representing 27 OTUs. Contaminant concentration was the major influence on AMF community structure, with different AMF families dominating at each contaminant level. The most abundant operational taxonomic unit in each sample represented a large proportion of the total community, and this proportion was positively associated with increasing contamination, and seemingly, by planting as well. The most contaminated soils were dominated by three phylotypes closely related to Rhizophagus irregularis, while these OTUs represented only a small proportion of sequences in uncontaminated and moderately contaminated soils. These results suggest that in situ inoculation of AMF strains could be an important component of phytoremediation treatments, but that strains should be selected from the narrow group that is both adapted to contaminant toxicity and able to compete with indigenous AMF species.

  5. Contrasting the community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from hydrocarbon-contaminated and uncontaminated soils following willow (Salix spp. L. planting.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saad El-Din Hassan

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a potentially inexpensive alternative to chemical treatment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but its success depends heavily on identifying factors that govern the success of root-associated microorganisms involved in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth stimulation. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF form symbioses with many terrestrial plants, and are known to stimulate plant growth, although both species identity and the environment influence this relationship. Although AMF are suspected to play a role in plant adaptation to hydrocarbon contamination, their distribution in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils is not well known. In this study, we examined how AMF communities were structured within the rhizosphere of 11 introduced willow cultivars as well as unplanted controls across uncontaminated and hydrocarbon-contaminated soils at the site of a former petrochemical plant. We obtained 69 282 AMF-specific 18S rDNA sequences using 454-pyrosequencing, representing 27 OTUs. Contaminant concentration was the major influence on AMF community structure, with different AMF families dominating at each contaminant level. The most abundant operational taxonomic unit in each sample represented a large proportion of the total community, and this proportion was positively associated with increasing contamination, and seemingly, by planting as well. The most contaminated soils were dominated by three phylotypes closely related to Rhizophagus irregularis, while these OTUs represented only a small proportion of sequences in uncontaminated and moderately contaminated soils. These results suggest that in situ inoculation of AMF strains could be an important component of phytoremediation treatments, but that strains should be selected from the narrow group that is both adapted to contaminant toxicity and able to compete with indigenous AMF species.

  6. Expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor contributes to the establishment of intestinal microbial community structure in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Iain A.; Nichols, Robert G.; Zhang, Limin; Patterson, Andrew D.; Perdew, Gary H.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental and genetic factors represent key components in the establishment/maintenance of the intestinal microbiota. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is emerging as a pleiotropic factor, modulating pathways beyond its established role as a xenobiotic sensor. The AHR is known to regulate immune surveillance within the intestine through retention of intraepithelial lymphocytes, functional redistribution of Th17/Treg balance. Consequently, environmental/genetic manipulation of AHR activity likely influences host-microbe homeostasis. Utilizing C57BL6/J Ahr−/+ and Ahr−/− co-housed littermates followed by 18 days of genotypic segregation, we examined the influence of AHR expression upon intestinal microbe composition/functionality and host physiology. 16S sequencing/quantitative PCR (qPCR) revealed significant changes in phyla abundance, particularly Verrucomicrobia together with segmented filamentous bacteria, and an increase in species diversity in Ahr−/− mice following genotypic segregation. Metagenomics/metabolomics indicate microbial composition is associated with functional shifts in bacterial metabolism. Analysis identified Ahr−/−-dependent increases in ileal gene expression, indicating increased inflammatory tone. Transfer of Ahr−/− microbiota to wild-type germ-free mice recapitulated the increase Verrucomicrobia and inflammatory tone, indicating Ahr−/−-microbial dependence. These data suggest a role for the AHR in influencing the community structure of the intestinal microbiota. PMID:27659481

  7. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in New York City community garden soils: Potential sources and influential factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquez-Bravo, Lydia G; Briggs, Dean; Shayler, Hannah; McBride, Murray; Lopp, Donna; Stone, Edie; Ferenz, Gretchen; Bogdan, Kenneth G; Mitchell, Rebecca G; Spliethoff, Henry M

    2016-02-01

    A total of 69 soil samples from 20 community gardens in New York City (New York, USA) were collected and analyzed for 23 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and black carbon. For each garden, samples were collected from nongrowing areas (non-bed) and from vegetable-growing beds, including beds with and without visible sources of PAHs. The sum of the US Environmental Protection Agency's 16 priority PAHs ranged up to 150 mg/kg, and the median (5.4 mg/kg) and mean (14.2 mg/kg) were similar to those previously reported for urban areas in the northeast United States. Isomer ratios indicated that the main sources of PAHs were petroleum, coal, and wood combustion. The PAH concentrations were significantly and positively associated with black carbon and with modeled air PAH concentrations, suggesting a consistent relationship between historical deposition of atmospheric carbon-adsorbed PAHs and current PAH soil concentrations. Median PAH soil concentration from non-bed areas was higher (7.4 mg/kg) than median concentration from beds in the same garden (4.0 mg/kg), and significantly higher than the median from beds without visible sources of PAHs (3.5 mg/kg). Median PAH concentration in beds from gardens with records of soil amendments was 58% lower compared with beds from gardens without those records. These results suggest that gardening practices in garden beds without visible sources of PAHs contribute to reduce PAH soil concentrations.

  8. Phytomediated Biostimulation of the Autochthonous Bacterial Community for the Acceleration of the Depletion of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Contaminated Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Di Gregorio

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs are a large group of organic contaminants causing hazards to organisms including humans. The objective of the study was to validate the vegetation of dredged sediments with Phragmites australis as an exploitable biostimulation approach to accelerate the depletion of PAHs in nitrogen spiked sediments. Vegetation with Phragmites australis resulted in being an efficient biostimulation approach for the depletion of an aged PAHs contamination (229.67±15.56 μg PAHs/g dry weight of sediment in dredged sediments. Phragmites australis accelerated the oxidation of the PAHs by rhizodegradation. The phytobased approach resulted in 58.47% of PAHs depletion. The effects of the treatment have been analyzed in terms of both contaminant depletion and changes in relative abundance of the metabolically active Gram positive and Gram negative PAHs degraders. The metabolically active degraders were quantified both in the sediments and in the root endospheric microbial community. Quantitative real-time PCR reactions have been performed on the retrotranscribed transcripts encoding the Gram positive and Gram negative large α subunit (RHDα of the aromatic ring hydroxylating dioxygenases. The Gram positive degraders resulted in being selectively favored by vegetation with Phragmites australis and mandatory for the depletion of the six ring condensed indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene and benzo[g,h,i]perylene.

  9. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons degradation and microbial community shifts during co-composting of creosote-treated wood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covino, Stefano; Fabianová, Tereza; Křesinová, Zdena; Čvančarová, Monika; Burianová, Eva; Filipová, Alena; Vořísková, Jana; Baldrian, Petr; Cajthaml, Tomáš

    2016-01-15

    The feasibility of decontaminating creosote-treated wood (CTW) by co-composting with agricultural wastes was investigated using two bulking agents, grass cuttings (GC) and broiler litter (BL), each employed at a 1:1 ratio with the matrix. The initial concentration of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in CTW (26,500 mg kg(-1)) was reduced to 3 and 19% after 240 d in GC and BL compost, respectively. PAH degradation exceeded the predicted bioaccesible threshold, estimated through sequential supercritical CO2 extraction, together with significant detoxification, assessed by contact tests using Vibrio fisheri and Hordeum vulgare. GC composting was characterized by high microbial biomass growth in the early phases, as suggested by phospholipid fatty acid analyses. Based on the 454-pyrosequencing results, fungi (mostly Saccharomycetales) constituted an important portion of the microbial community, and bacteria were characterized by rapid shifts (from Firmicutes (Bacilli) and Actinobacteria to Proteobacteria). However, during BL composting, larger amounts of prokaryotic and eukaryotic PLFA markers were observed during the cooling and maturation phases, which were dominated by Proteobacteria and fungi belonging to the Ascomycota and those putatively related to the Glomeromycota. This work reports the first in-depth analysis of the chemical and microbiological processes that occur during the co-composting of a PAH-contaminated matrix.

  10. Natural gas seeps in the French Alps: Sources and pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Weipeng

    2015-11-28

    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 the present study sheds new light on microbial community assembly in special habitats and bridges a gap in species sorting theory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Bubble composition of natural gas seeps discovered along the Cascadia Continental Margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumberger, T.; Merle, S. G.; Embley, R. W.; Seabrook, S.; Raineault, N.; Lilley, M. D.; Evans, L. J.; Walker, S. L.; Lupton, J. E.

    2016-12-01

    Gas hydrates and gas-filled pockets present in sedimentary deposits have been recognized as large reservoirs for reduced carbon in the Earth's crust. This is particularly relevant in geological settings with high carbon input, such as continental margins. During expedition NA072 on the E/V Nautilus (operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust Inc.) in June 2016, the U.S. Cascadia Continental Margin (Washington, Oregon and northern California) was explored for gas seepage from sediments. During this expedition, over 400 bubble plumes at water depths ranging from 125 and 1640 m were newly discovered, and five of them were sampled for gas bubble composition using specially designed gas tight fluid samplers mounted on the Hercules remotely operated vehicle (ROV). These gas bubble samples were collected at four different depths, 494 m (rim of Astoria Canyon), 615 and 620 m (SW Coquille Bank), 849 m (floor of Astoria Canyon) and 1227 m (Heceta SW). At the two deeper sites, exposed hydrate was present in the same area where bubbles were seeping out from the seafloor. Other than the escaping gas bubbles, no other fluid flow was visible. However, the presence of bacterial mats point to diffuse fluid flow present in the affected area. In this study we present the results of the currently ongoing geochemical analysis of the gas bubbles released at the different sites and depths. Noble gas analysis, namely helium and neon, will give information about the source of the helium as well as about potential fractionation between helium and neon associated with gas hydrates. The characterization of these gas samples will also include total gas (CO2, H2, N2, O2, Ar, CH4 and other hydrocarbons) and stable isotope analysis (C and H). This dataset will reveal the chemical composition of the seeping bubbles as well as give information about the possible sources of the carbon contained in the seeping gas.

  14. Gas and Water Geochemistry of Seeps from the Salton Sea Geothermal System (California, USA) and the Implications for Seep Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzini, A.; Svensen, H.; Hammer, O.; Onderdonk, N.; Polteau, S.; Planke, S.

    2008-12-01

    Water, mud, gas, and petroleum-bearing seeps are part of the Salton Sea Geothermal System in Southern California. Seeps in the Davis-Schrimpf seep field (~120x120 m) show considerable variations in both temperature and water geochemistry. Here we have investigated the spatial variation in carbon isotope composition of the two main seep gases, CO2 and CH4. In addition, seep water isotope composition has been analyzed to determine the source of the water, and temperature monitoring has been done during a 90 day period from mid December 2006. Gas analyses results show a 10 variation in the ^13C of methane and a 2 variation in the ^13C of carbon dioxide. The water salinity varies between fresh (1-3 g/L) in the gryphons, to hypersaline brine (145 g/L) in the pools. In situ evaporation can explain the salinity variations, supported by ^18O and ^D data, where most water samples are enriched in ^18O and define an evaporation trend in the ^D-^18O space. We conclude that the seep waters represent meteoric waters modified by surface evaporation, with little or no evidence for a deep hydrothermal component. Seep gases, on the other hand, have a deep hydrothermal/metamorphic origin. Time series analyses of the temperature monitoring data shown fundamental differences between the gryphons and pools, where the former are dominated by hydrothermal input and the latter by diurnal variations in air temperature. Our results highlight the complex dynamics of the seep field, and demonstrate the importance of detailed studies, both in space and time, to understand even well constrained seep systems.

  15. 重庆凉风垭天然气富集区上覆菜园土壤甲烷氧化细菌群落分析%METHANE OXIDIZING BACTERIAL COMMUNITIES IN SOILS WITH CH4 SEEPING IN LIANGFENGYA,CHONGQING

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    龚林锋; 王红梅; 刘乔; 冯亮; 于洋; 祝丽薇

    2013-01-01

    Methane seeping has been observed in an area of several km since 1950s in Liangfengya, Chongqing, south western China. To investigate the community structure and diversity of methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB) , which play important role in methane cycle,surface(5 - 10cm) and bottom(20 -25cm) soil samples in a vegetable garden with CH4 seeping were collected in May, 2008. Surface sample ( CB ) and bottom samples ( CD1, CD2) were subjected to 16S rDNA gene sequencing and clone library constructions for type Ⅰ and type Ⅱ MOB respectively. Results showed that type I MOB is dominated by Methylobacter sp. in all soil samples. CD1 and CD2 shared a same Shannon-Wiener index of typeⅠ MOB with a value of 1. 99 despite of their difference in species compositions. Type Ⅱ MOB was only detected in CD1, which is dominated by Methylocystis sp. The Shannon-Wiener index (2. 07) is higher than that of type Ⅰ MOB ( 1. 99), indicating the preference of Type Ⅱ MOB under conditions with high CH4 concentration. Some of the type I MOB sequences showed high similarities with clones from various environments such as riverine sediments, soils, groundwater ect, which imply a ubiquitous distribution of these type Ⅰ MOB in natural environments. However, most of the sequences of type Ⅰ MOB in bottom soils show very low similarities with the known sequences in NCBI database, suggesting a unique MOB group in the CH4-seeping soils. Due to the great difference in CH4 oxidizing capacities of type Ⅰ and Ⅱ MOB, our data will shed light on understanding the CH4 cycle in the terrestrial seeping sites.%对重庆市凉风垭地区一具有天然气泄漏的菜园土壤进行采样,利用16S rDNA克隆文库研究了该菜园表层及底层土壤样品中甲烷氧化细菌的群落结构,以期了解甲烷泄漏地区甲烷氧化菌的丰度、结构和组成状况,为深入探讨甲烷在该地区的循环及甲烷泄漏对环境的影响奠定基础.DNA序列分析结果显示,该天然

  16. High resolution measurements of methane and carbon dioxide in surface waters over a natural seep reveal dynamics of dissolved phase air-sea flux.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Mengran; Yvon-Lewis, Shari; Garcia-Tigreros, Fenix; Valentine, David L; Mendes, Stephanie D; Kessler, John D

    2014-09-01

    Marine hydrocarbon seeps are sources of methane and carbon dioxide to the ocean, and potentially to the atmosphere, though the magnitude of the fluxes and dynamics of these systems are poorly defined. To better constrain these variables in natural environments, we conducted the first high-resolution measurements of sea surface methane and carbon dioxide concentrations in the massive natural seep field near Coal Oil Point (COP), California. The corresponding high resolution fluxes were calculated, and the total dissolved phase air-sea fluxes over the surveyed plume area (∼363 km(2)) were 6.66 × 10(4) to 6.71 × 10(4) mol day(-1) with respect to CH4 and -6.01 × 10(5) to -5.99 × 10(5) mol day(-1) with respect to CO2. The mean and standard deviation of the dissolved phase air-sea fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide from the contour gridding analysis were estimated to be 0.18 ± 0.19 and -1.65 ± 1.23 mmol m(-2) day(-1), respectively. This methane flux is consistent with previous, lower-resolution estimates and was used, in part, to conservatively estimate the total area of the dissolved methane plume at 8400 km(2). The influx of carbon dioxide to the surface water refutes the hypothesis that COP seep methane appreciably influences carbon dioxide dynamics. Seeing that the COP seep field is one of the biggest natural seeps, a logical conclusion could be drawn that microbial oxidation of methane from natural seeps is of insufficient magnitude to change the resulting plume area from a sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide to a source.

  17. Investigation of microbial community structure in constructed mangrove microcosms receiving wastewater-borne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ya-fen; Wu, Yan; Pi, Na; Tam, Nora Fung-yee

    2014-04-01

    The study aims to examine relationships between microbial community structure and mixed pollutants of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in constructed wetland microcosms, planted with Excoecaria agallocha or Kandelia obovata, two common mangrove plant species, and under two tidal regimes, everyday tidal (Te) and no tidal flooding (Tn). Results showed both microbial community structure and the retained amounts of pollutants were significantly determined by tidal regime, while the effect of plant species was small. Higher amounts of PAHs but lower amounts of PBDEs were always retained in sediments under Te than Tn regimes. Accordingly, temporal and vertical distributions of microbial community structure differed greatly between the two tidal regimes. Redundancy analysis further revealed significant correlation between a subgroup of the mixed PAHs and PBDEs with variation in microbial community structure. The findings will help to propose specific strategies to improve the bioremediation efficiency of constructed wetland. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. The Role of Seep Ecosystems in Distribution Patterns of Deep-Sea Megafauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Marine cold seeps and their manifestations: geological control, biogeochemical criteria and environmental conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. The ecological and physiological responses of the microbial community from a semiarid soil to hydrocarbon contamination and its bioremediation using compost amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, F; Jehmlich, N; Lima, K; Morris, B E L; Richnow, H H; Hernández, T; von Bergen, M; García, C

    2016-03-01

    The linkage between phylogenetic and functional processes may provide profound insights into the effects of hydrocarbon contamination and biodegradation processes in high-diversity environments. Here, the impacts of petroleum contamination and the bioremediation potential of compost amendment, as enhancer of the microbial activity in semiarid soils, were evaluated in a model experiment. The analysis of phospholipid fatty-acids (PLFAs) and metaproteomics allowed the study of biomass, phylogenetic and physiological responses of the microbial community in polluted semiarid soils. Petroleum pollution induced an increase of proteobacterial proteins during the contamination, while the relative abundance of Rhizobiales lowered in comparison to the non-contaminated soil. Despite only 0.55% of the metaproteome of the compost-treated soil was involved in biodegradation processes, the addition of compost promoted the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkanes up to 88% after 50 days. However, natural biodegradation of hydrocarbons was not significant in soils without compost. Compost-assisted bioremediation was mainly driven by Sphingomonadales and uncultured bacteria that showed an increased abundance of catabolic enzymes such as catechol 2,3-dioxygenases, cis-dihydrodiol dehydrogenase and 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde. For the first time, metaproteomics revealed the functional and phylogenetic relationships of petroleum contamination in soil and the microbial key players involved in the compost-assisted bioremediation.

  3. Control of Quaternary sea-level changes on gas seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Seep-carbonate lamination controlled by cyclic particle flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Geological evolution, regional perspectives and hydrocarbon potential of the northwest Phu Khanh Basin, offshore Central Vietnam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fyhn, Michael Bryld Wessel; Nielsen, Lars H.; Boldreel, Lars Ole;

    2009-01-01

    and subsidence rates increased after the Middle Miocene times due to eastward tilting of Central Vietnam and the adjacent offshore area. Potential direct hydrocarbon indicators (DHIs) in the Phu Khanh Basin include common amplitude anomalies, gas chimney-like features and seafloor gas seeps. In addition, oil...

  6. Effect of Sphingobium yanoikuyae B1 inoculation on bacterial community dynamics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation in aged and freshly PAH-contaminated soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cunliffe, Michael [Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT (United Kingdom); Kertesz, Michael A. [Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT (United Kingdom)]. E-mail: michael.kertesz@manchester.ac.uk

    2006-11-15

    Sphingobium yanoikuyae B1 is able to degrade a range of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and as a sphingomonad belongs to one of the dominant genera found in PAH-contaminated soils. We examined the ecological effect that soil inoculation with S. yanoikuyae B1 has on the native bacterial community in three different soils: aged PAH-contaminated soil from an industrial site, compost freshly contaminated with PAHs and un-contaminated compost. Survival of S. yanoikuyae B1 was dependent on the presence of PAHs, and the strain was unable to colonize un-contaminated compost. Inoculation with S. yanoikuyae B1 did not cause extensive changes in the native bacterial community of either soil, as assessed by denaturing gel electrophoresis, but its presence led to an increase in the population level of two other species in the aged contaminated soil community and appeared to have an antagonistic affect on several members of the contaminated compost community, indicating niche competition. - Sphingobium yanoikuyae B1 does not cause major changes in the native bacterial community while colonizing PAH-contaminated soils, but some niche competition is evident.

  7. pH is the primary determinant of the bacterial community structure in agricultural soils impacted by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yucheng; Zeng, Jun; Zhu, Qinghe; Zhang, Zhenfa; Lin, Xiangui

    2017-01-01

    Acidification and pollution are two major threats to agricultural ecosystems; however, microbial community responses to co-existed soil acidification and pollution remain less explored. In this study, arable soils of broad pH (4.26–8.43) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) gradients (0.18–20.68 mg kg‑1) were collected from vegetable farmlands. Bacterial community characteristics including abundance, diversity and composition were revealed by quantitative PCR and high-throughput sequencing. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies significantly correlated with soil carbon and nitrogen contents, suggesting the control of nutrients accessibility on bacterial abundance. The bacterial diversity was strongly related to soil pH, with higher diversity in neutral samples and lower in acidic samples. Soil pH was also identified by an ordination analysis as important factor shaping bacterial community composition. The relative abundances of some dominant phyla varied along the pH gradient, and the enrichment of a few phylotypes suggested their adaptation to low pH condition. In contrast, at the current pollution level, PAH showed marginal effects on soil bacterial community. Overall, these findings suggest pH was the primary determinant of bacterial community in these arable soils, indicative of a more substantial influence of acidification than PAH pollution on bacteria driven ecological processes.

  8. Submarine Exploration and Evaluation of Petroleum Seeps (SEEPS) (AT26-06, EM122)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Conduct in-situ incubations with devices for microbial growth, deployed in 2011. 2. Investigate the fate of dissolved hydrocarbons in the waters along the CA...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Dynamics of rainwater lenses on upward seeping saline groundwater

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eeman, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Fresh water is generally a limited resource in coastal areas which are often densely populated. In low-lying areas, groundwater is mostly saline and both agriculture and freshwater nature depend on a thin lens of rainwater that is formed by precipitation surplus on top of saline, upward seeping grou

  12. Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria and the Bacterial Community Response in Gulf of Mexico Beach Sands Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill▿†‡

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostka, Joel E.; Prakash, Om; Overholt, Will A.; Green, Stefan J.; Freyer, Gina; Canion, Andy; Delgardio, Jonathan; Norton, Nikita; Hazen, Terry C.; Huettel, Markus

    2011-01-01

    A significant portion of oil from the recent Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was transported to the shoreline, where it may have severe ecological and economic consequences. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify and characterize predominant oil-degrading taxa that may be used as model hydrocarbon degraders or as microbial indicators of contamination and (ii) to characterize the in situ response of indigenous bacterial communities to oil contamination in beach ecosystems. This study was conducted at municipal Pensacola Beach, FL, where chemical analysis revealed weathered oil petroleum hydrocarbon (C8 to C40) concentrations ranging from 3.1 to 4,500 mg kg−1 in beach sands. A total of 24 bacterial strains from 14 genera were isolated from oiled beach sands and confirmed as oil-degrading microorganisms. Isolated bacterial strains were primarily Gammaproteobacteria, including representatives of genera with known oil degraders (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter). Sequence libraries generated from oiled sands revealed phylotypes that showed high sequence identity (up to 99%) to rRNA gene sequences from the oil-degrading bacterial isolates. The abundance of bacterial SSU rRNA gene sequences was ∼10-fold higher in oiled (0.44 × 107 to 10.2 × 107 copies g−1) versus clean (0.024 × 107 to 1.4 × 107 copies g−1) sand. Community analysis revealed a distinct response to oil contamination, and SSU rRNA gene abundance derived from the genus Alcanivorax showed the largest increase in relative abundance in contaminated samples. We conclude that oil contamination from the DH spill had a profound impact on the abundance and community composition of indigenous bacteria in Gulf beach sands, and our evidence points to members of the Gammaproteobacteria (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter) and Alphaproteobacteria (Rhodobacteraceae) as key players in oil degradation there. PMID:21948834

  13. Using testate amoeba as potential biointegrators of atmospheric deposition of phenanthrene (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) on "moss/soil interface-testate amoeba community" microecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Caroline; Desalme, Dorine; Bernard, Nadine; Binet, Philippe; Toussaint, Marie-Laure; Gilbert, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Microecosystem models could allow understanding of the impacts of pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on ecosystem functioning. We studied the effects of atmospheric phenanthrene (PHE) deposition on the microecosystem "moss/soil interface-testate amoebae (TA) community" over a 1-month period under controlled conditions. We found that PHE had an impact on the microecosystem. PHE was accumulated by the moss/soil interface and was significantly negatively correlated (0.4 < r(2) < 0.7) with total TA abundance and the abundance of five species of TA (Arcella sp., Centropyxis sp., Nebela lageniformis, Nebela tincta and Phryganella sp.). Among sensitive species, species with a superior trophic level (determined by the test aperture size) were more sensitive than other TA species. This result suggests that links between microbial groups in the microecosystems are disrupted by PHE and that this pollutant had effects both direct (ingestion of the pollutant or direct contact with cell) and/or indirect (decrease of prey) on the TA community. The TA community seems to offer a potential integrative tool to understand mechanisms and processes by which the atmospheric PHE deposition affects the links between microbial communities.

  14. In situ Raman-based detections of the hydrothermal vent and cold seep fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Archaeal methanogenesis at the onshore serpentinite-hosted Chimaera seeps, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwicker, Jennifer; Birgel, Daniel; Bach, Wolfgang; Richoz, Sylvain; Gier, Susanne; Smrzka, Daniel; Neubeck, Anna; Ivarsson, Magnus; Schleper, Christa; Rittmann, Simon; Grasemann, Bernhard; Peckmann, Jörn

    2017-04-01

    Serpentinite-hosted ecosystems have attracted the interest of the scientific community, as they are considered to be likely environments where life first evolved on Earth. Serpentinization reactions produce strongly reducing and highly alkaline fluids that are typified by high concentrations of molecular hydrogen and methane, which can be used as an energy source by chemotrophic microbial communities. Moreover, carbonate formation is a common late-stage alteration process that is induced by the serpentinization of peridotite at the seafloor and on land. It is well established that low-temperature serpentinization at slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges provides an ideal environment for rich microbial communities, including anaerobic archaea and bacteria. Recent studies of lipid biomarkers and their isotopic compositions have suggested that some Euryarchaeota are able to perform methanogenesis and methanotrophy, depending on the prevailing environmental conditions. However, no evidence for archaeal methanogenesis or methanotrophy has yet been reported for similar environments on land. This study is the first to present lipid biomarker evidence for archaeal methanogenesis at the terrestrial, peridotite-hosted Chimaera seep in Turkey. The analyzed Chimaera rock samples are serpentinites that are cross-cut by veins composed of brucite and hydromagnesite. Pentamethylicosane and squalane with δ13C values of +10‰ and +14‰, respectively, were identified within the brucite-carbonate veins. Furthermore, archaeol, sn2-hydroxyarchaeol, squalane and squalenes as well as unusual distributions of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids were found. Archaeol and sn2-hydroxyarchaeol also show high compound-specific δ13C values of up to +7‰. These isotope signals combined with the absence of crocetane - a biomarker for methanotrophic archaea - reveals that the microbial communities at the Chimaera Seep performed methanogenesis rather than methanotrophy. Our results

  16. Using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography to explore the geochemistry of the Santa Barbara oil seeps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reddy, Christopher; Nelson, Robert

    2013-03-27

    The development of comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC x GC) has expanded the analytical window for studying complex mixtures like oil. Compared to traditional gas chromatography, this technology separates and resolves at least an order of magnitude more compounds, has a much larger signal to noise ratio, and sorts compounds based on their chemical class; hence, providing highly refined inventories of petroleum hydrocarbons in geochemical samples that was previously unattainable. In addition to the increased resolution afforded by GC x GC, the resulting chromatograms have been used to estimate the liquid vapor pressures, aqueous solubilities, octanol-water partition coefficients, and vaporization enthalpies of petroleum hydrocarbons. With these relationships, powerful and incisive analyses of phase-transfer processes affecting petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures in the environment are available. For example, GC x GC retention data has been used to quantitatively deconvolve the effects of phase transfer processes such as water washing and evaporation. In short, the positive attributes of GC x GC-analysis have led to a methodology that has revolutionized the analysis of petroleum hydrocarbons. Overall, this research has opened numerous fields of study on the biogeochemical "genetics" (referred to as petroleomics) of petroleum samples in both subsurface and surface environments. Furthermore, these new findings have already been applied to the behavior of oil at other seeps as well, for petroleum exploration and oil spill studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Assessment of microbial communities associated with fermentative-methanogenic biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in groundwater contaminated with a biodiesel blend (B20).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Débora Toledo; da Silva, Márcio Luís Busi; Nossa, Carlos Wolfgang; Alvarez, Pedro J J; Corseuil, Henry Xavier

    2014-09-01

    A controlled field experiment was conducted to assess the potential for fermentative-methanogenic biostimulation (by ammonium-acetate injection) to enhance biodegradation of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in groundwater contaminated with biodiesel B20 (20:80 v/v soybean biodiesel and diesel). Changes in microbial community structure were assessed by pyrosequencing 16S rRNA analyses. BTEX and PAH removal began 0.7 year following the release, concomitantly with the increase in the relative abundance of Desulfitobacterium and Geobacter spp. (from 5 to 52.7 % and 15.8 to 37.3 % of total Bacteria 16S rRNA, respectively), which are known to anaerobically degrade hydrocarbons. The accumulation of anaerobic metabolites acetate and hydrogen that could hinder the thermodynamic feasibility of BTEX and PAH biotransformations under fermentative/methanogenic conditions was apparently alleviated by the growing predominance of Methanosarcina. This suggests the importance of microbial population shifts that enrich microorganisms capable of interacting syntrophically to enhance the feasibility of fermentative-methanogenic bioremediation of biodiesel blend releases.

  19. Analyzing tree cores to detect petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater at a former landfill site in the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, eastern Canadian subarctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonkwe, Merline L D; Trapp, Stefan

    2016-08-01

    This research examines the feasibility of analyzing tree cores to detect benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and m, p, o-xylene (BTEX) compounds and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in groundwater in eastern Canada subarctic environments, using a former landfill site in the remote community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. Petroleum hydrocarbon contamination at the landfill site is the result of environmentally unsound pre-1990s disposal of households and industrial solid wastes. Tree cores were taken from trembling aspen, black spruce, and white birch and analyzed by headspace-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. BTEX compounds were detected in tree cores, corroborating known groundwater contamination. A zone of anomalously high concentrations of total BTEX constituents was identified and recommended for monitoring by groundwater wells. Tree cores collected outside the landfill site at a local control area suggest the migration of contaminants off-site. Tree species exhibit different concentrations of BTEX constituents, indicating selective uptake and accumulation. Toluene in wood exhibited the highest concentrations, which may also be due to endogenous production. Meanwhile, MTBE was not found in the tree cores and is considered to be absent in the groundwater. The results demonstrate that tree-core analysis can be useful for detecting anomalous concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons, such as BTEX compounds, in subarctic sites with shallow unconfined aquifers and permeable soils. This method can therefore aid in the proper management of contamination during landfill operations and after site closures.

  20. Out of the dark: transitional subsurface-to-surface microbial diversity in a terrestrial serpentinizing seep (Manleluag, Pangasinan, the Philippines).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woycheese, Kristin M; Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R; Cardace, Dawn; Argayosa, Anacleto M; Arcilla, Carlo A

    2015-01-01

    In the Zambales ophiolite range, terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps host diverse microbial assemblages. The fluids fall within the profile of Ca(2+)-OH(-)-type waters, indicative of active serpentinization, and are low in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (<0.5 ppm). Influx of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) affects the solubility of calcium carbonate as distance from the source increases, triggering the formation of meter-scale travertine terraces. Samples were collected at the source and along the outflow channel to determine subsurface microbial community response to surface exposure. DNA was extracted and submitted for high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Taxonomic assignment of the sequence data indicates that 8.1% of the total sequence reads at the source of the seep affiliate with the genus Methanobacterium. Other major classes detected at the source include anaerobic taxa such as Bacteroidetes (40.7% of total sequence reads) and Firmicutes (19.1% of total reads). Hydrogenophaga spp. increase in relative abundance as redox potential increases. At the carbonate terrace, 45% of sequence reads affiliate with Meiothermus spp. Taxonomic observations and geochemical data suggest that several putative metabolisms may be favorable, including hydrogen oxidation, H2-associated sulfur cycling, methanogenesis, methanotrophy, nitrogen fixation, ammonia oxidation, denitrification, nitrate respiration, methylotrophy, carbon monoxide respiration, and ferrous iron oxidation, based on capabilities of nearest known neighbors. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy suggest that microbial activity produces chemical and physical traces in the precipitated carbonates forming downstream of the seep's source. These data provide context for future serpentinizing seep ecosystem studies, particularly with regards to tropical biomes.

  1. Observations of bubbles in natural seep flares at MC 118 and GC 600 using in situ quantitative imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Binbin; Socolofsky, Scott A.; Breier, John A.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.

    2016-04-01

    This paper reports the results of quantitative imaging using a stereoscopic, high-speed camera system at two natural gas seep sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico during the Gulf Integrated Spill Research G07 cruise in July 2014. The cruise was conducted on the E/V Nautilus using the ROV Hercules for in situ observation of the seeps as surrogates for the behavior of hydrocarbon bubbles in subsea blowouts. The seeps originated between 890 and 1190 m depth in Mississippi Canyon block 118 and Green Canyon block 600. The imaging system provided qualitative assessment of bubble behavior (e.g., breakup and coalescence) and verified the formation of clathrate hydrate skins on all bubbles above 1.3 m altitude. Quantitative image analysis yielded the bubble size distributions, rise velocity, total gas flux, and void fraction, with most measurements conducted from the seafloor to an altitude of 200 m. Bubble size distributions fit well to lognormal distributions, with median bubble sizes between 3 and 4.5 mm. Measurements of rise velocity fluctuated between two ranges: fast-rising bubbles following helical-type trajectories and bubbles rising about 40% slower following a zig-zag pattern. Rise speed was uncorrelated with hydrate formation, and bubbles following both speeds were observed at both sites. Ship-mounted multibeam sonar provided the flare rise heights, which corresponded closely with the boundary of the hydrate stability zone for the measured gas compositions. The evolution of bubble size with height agreed well with mass transfer rates predicted by equations for dirty bubbles.

  2. Hypotaurine, N-methyltaurine, taurine, and glycine betaine as dominant osmolytes of vestimentiferan tubeworms from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, M; Palmer, H R; Fyfe-Johnson, A L; Bedford, J J; Smith, R A; Yancey, P H

    2000-01-01

    Organic osmolytes, solutes that regulate cell volume, occur at high levels in marine invertebrates. These are mostly free amino acids such as taurine, which are "compatible" with cell macromolecules, and methylamines such as trimethylamine oxide, which may have a nonosmotic role as a protein stabilizer, and which is higher in many deep-sea animals. To better understand nonosmotic roles of osmolytes, we used high-performance liquid chromatography and (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to analyze vestimentiferans (vestimentum tissue) from unusual marine habitats. Species from deep hydrothermal vents were Riftia pachyptila of the East Pacific Rise (2,636 m) and Ridgeia piscesae of the Juan de Fuca Ridge (2,200 m). Species from cold hydrocarbon seeps were Lamellibrachia sp. and an unnamed escarpid species from subtidal sediment seeps (540 m) off Louisiana and Lamellibrachia barhami from bathyal tectonic seeps (1,800-2,000 m) off Oregon. Riftia were dominated by hypotaurine (152 mmol/kg wet wt), an antioxidant, and an unidentified solute with an NMR spectrum consistent with a methylamine. Ridgeia were dominated by betaine (N-trimethylglycine; 109 mmol/kg), hypotaurine (64 mmol/kg), and taurine (61 mmol/kg). The escarpids were dominated by taurine (138 mmol/kg) and hypotaurine (69 mmol/kg). Both Lamellibrachia populations were dominated by N-methyltaurine (209-252 mmol/kg), not previously reported as a major osmolyte, which may be involved in methane and sulfate metabolism. Trunk and plume tissue of the Oregon Lamellibrachia were nearly identical to vestimentum in osmolyte composition. The methylamines may also stabilize proteins against pressure; they were significantly higher in the three deeper-dwelling groups.

  3. Analyzing tree cores to detect petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater at a former landfill site in the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, eastern Canadian subarctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fonkwe, Merline L D; Trapp, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    This research examines the feasibility of analyzing tree cores to detect benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and m, p, o-xylene (BTEX) compounds and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in groundwater in eastern Canada subarctic environments, using a former landfill site in the remote community of Happy......-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. BTEX compounds were detected in tree cores, corroborating known groundwater contamination. A zone of anomalously high concentrations of total BTEX constituents was identified and recommended for monitoring by groundwater wells. Tree cores collected outside the landfill site...... was not found in the tree cores and is considered to be absent in the groundwater. The results demonstrate that tree-core analysis can be useful for detecting anomalous concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons, such as BTEX compounds, in subarctic sites with shallow unconfined aquifers and permeable soils...

  4. Spatial mapping of lead, arsenic, iron, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon soil contamination in Sydney, Nova Scotia: community impact from the coke ovens and steel plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Timothy W; Boehmer, Jennifer; Feltham, Jason; Guyn, Lindsay; Shahid, Rizwan

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents spatial maps of the arsenic, lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) soil contamination in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. The spatial maps were designed to create exposure cohorts to help understand the observed increase in health effects. To assess whether contamination can be a proxy for exposures, the following hypothesis was tested: residential soils were impacted by the coke oven and steel plant industrial complex. The spatial map showed contaminants are centered on the industrial facility, significantly correlated, and exceed Canadian health risk-based soil quality guidelines. Core samples taken at 5-cm intervals suggest a consistent deposition over time. The concentrations in Sydney significantly exceed background Sydney soil concentrations, and are significantly elevated compared with North Sydney, an adjacent industrial community. The contaminant spatial maps will also be useful for developing cohorts of exposure and guiding risk management decisions.

  5. Total Phosphate Influences the Rate of Hydrocarbon Degradation but Phosphate Mineralogy Shapes Microbial Community Composition in Cold-Region Calcareous Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siciliano, Steven D; Chen, Tingting; Phillips, Courtney; Hamilton, Jordan; Hilger, David; Chartrand, Blaine; Grosskleg, Jay; Bradshaw, Kris; Carlson, Trevor; Peak, Derek

    2016-05-17

    Managing phosphorus bioaccessibility is critical for the bioremediation of hydrocarbons in calcareous soils. This paper explores how soil mineralogy interacts with a novel biostimulatory solution to both control phosphorus bioavailability and influence bioremediation. Two large bore infiltrators (1 m diameter) were installed at a PHC contaminated site and continuously supplied with a solution containing nutrients and an electron acceptor. Soils from eight contaminated sites were prepared and pretreated, analyzed pretrial, spiked with diesel, placed into nylon bags into the infiltrators, and removed after 3 months. From XAS, we learned that three principal phosphate phases had formed: adsorbed phosphate, brushite, and newberyite. All measures of biodegradation in the samples (in situ degradation estimates, mineralization assays, culturable bacteria, catabolic genes) varied depending upon the soil's phosphate speciation. Notably, adsorbed phosphate increased anaerobic phenanthrene degradation and bzdN catabolic gene prevalence. The dominant mineralogical constraints on community composition were the relative amounts of adsorbed phosphate, brushite, and newberyite. Overall, this study finds that total phosphate influences microbial community phenotypes whereas relative percentages of phosphate minerals influences microbial community genotype composition.

  6. Meiofauna communities in exposed sandy beaches on the Galician coast (NW Spain, six months after the Prestige oil spill: the role of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Puri Veiga

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The effect of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs on Galician sandy beach ecosystems, six months after the Prestige oil spill, was evaluated using the meiobenthos at a higher taxon level as an indicator. Meiobenthos community structure, environmental variables and sediment PAH content from six affected exposed beaches were studied and compared with three reference sites. They were also compared with data from polluted beaches obtained during the first days of the spill. Significant amounts of PAHs were found in affected beach sediments and both univariate and multivariate analyses showed differences between affected and reference beaches. Correlation analyses between PAH content and the meiobenthos community structure showed that 1,2-dimethylnaphthalene (C2-NAPH and 1-methylphenanthrene (C-PHEN affected both the community structure and the abundance of the main taxa. These two PAHs seem to be responsible for the low meiofauna density values, which suggests that there is a relationship between the oil spill and the differences between affected and reference localities.

  7. Microscale spatial distribution and health assessment of PM2.5-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at nine communities in Xi'an, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hongmei; Ho, Steven Sai Hang; Gao, Meiling; Cao, Junji; Guinot, Benjamin; Ho, Kin Fai; Long, Xin; Wang, Jingzhi; Shen, Zhenxing; Liu, Suixin; Zheng, Chunli; Zhang, Qian

    2016-11-01

    Spatial variability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with fine particulate matter (PM2.5) was investigated in Xi'an, China, in summer of 2013. Sixteen priority PAHs were quantified in 24-h integrated air samples collected simultaneously at nine urban and suburban communities. The total quantified PAHs mass concentrations ranged from 32.4 to 104.7 ng m(-3), with an average value of 57.1 ± 23.0 ng m(-3). PAHs were observed higher concentrations at suburban communities (average: 86.3 ng m(-3)) than at urban ones (average: 48.8 ng m(-3)) due to a better enforcement of the pollution control policies at the urban scale, and meanwhile the disorganized management of motor vehicles and massive building constructions in the suburbs. Elevated PAH levels were observed in the industrialized regions (west and northwest of Xi'an) from Kriging interpolation analysis. Satellite-based visual interpretations of land use were also applied for the supporting the spatial distribution of PAHs among the communities. The average benzo[a]pyrene-equivalent toxicity (Σ[BaP]eq) at the nine communities was 6.9 ± 2.2 ng m(-3) during the sampling period, showing a generally similar spatial distribution to PAHs levels. On average, the excess inhalation lifetime cancer risk derived from Σ[BaP]eq indicated that eight persons per million of community residents would develop cancer due to PM2.5-bound PAHs exposure in Xi'an. The great in-city spatial variability of PAHs confirmed the importance of multiple points sampling to conduct exposure health risk assessment.

  8. Development of a new deep-sea hybrid Raman insertion probe and its application to the geochemistry of hydrothermal vent and cold seep fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Du, Zengfeng; Zheng, Ronger; Luan, Zhendong; Qi, Fujun; Cheng, Kai; Wang, Bing; Ye, Wangquan; Liu, Xiaorui; Lian, Chao; Chen, Changan; Guo, Jinjia; Li, Ying; Yan, Jun

    2017-05-01

    Hydrothermal vent fluids, cold seep fluids, their associated chemosynthetic communities, and the biogeochemical anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) play very important roles in the biogeochemical sulfur and carbon cycles in the ocean. Based on our previous success developing and deploying a deep-sea sediment pore water Raman probe, we developed a new deep-sea hybrid Raman insertion probe (RiP) designed to operate at temperatures up to 450 °C that can be inserted directly into high-temperature fluids emerging from hydrothermal vents. By routinely exchanging the various tips and optics of the probe, we can analyze the geochemistry of hydrothermal vent fluids, cold seep fluids, and sediment pore water profiles (0-60 cm) in situ. The instrument ensemble also includes a new deep-sea laser Raman spectrometer in a custom-designed, 6000-m titanium pressure housing, which is powered, controlled and deployed by the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Faxian down to a maximum water depth of 4500 m. The new RiP was deployed at the Izena Hole hydrothermal area in the middle Okinawa Trough back-arc basin; the Papua-Australia-Canada-Manus (PACManus) hydrothermal vent area in the Manus back-arc basin, Papua New Guinea; and a cold seep field at Formosa Ridge in the northern South China Sea. The Raman peaks of CO2, CH4, H2S, HS-, SO42- and S8 were obtained in situ from high-temperature hydrothermal vents (290 °C), low-temperature cold seep fluids (2 °C) and the surrounding sediment pore water. Dissolved CH4 and S8 were identified for the first time in the fluids under the lush chemosynthetic communities of the cold seep. Several sediment pore water profiles collected near the cold seep were characterized by the loss of SO42- and increased CH4, H2S and HS- peaks. Additionally, the in situ pH range of the pore water profile was between 6.95 and 7.22. Thus, the RiP system provides a very useful tool for investigating the geochemistry of hydrothermal vent and cold seep fluids.

  9. [Influence of Mirabilis jalapa Linn. Growth on the Microbial Community and Petroleum Hydrocarbon Degradation in Petroleum Contaminated Saline-alkali Soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Hai-hua; Cui, Bing-jian; Wu, Shang-hua; Bai, Zhi-hui; Huang, Zhan-bin

    2015-09-01

    In order to explore the effect of Mirabilis jalapa Linn. growth on the structure characteristics of the microbial community and the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) in the petroleum-contaminated saline-alkali soil, Microbial biomass and species in the rhizosphere soils of Mirabilis jalapa Linn. in the contaminated saline soil were studied with the technology of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis. The results showed that comparing to CK soils without Mirabilis jalapa Linn., the ratio of PLFAs species varied were 71. 4%, 69. 2% and 33. 3% in the spring, summer and autumn season, respectively. In addition, there was distinct difference of the biomasses of the microbial community between the CK and rhizosphere soils and among the difference seasons of growth of Mirabilis jalapa Linn.. Compare to CK soil, the degradation rates of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) was increased by 47. 6%, 28. 3%, and 18. 9% in spring, summer, and autumn rhizosphere soils, respectively. Correlation analysis was used to determine the correlation between TPH degradation and the soil microbial community. 77. 8% of the total soil microbial PLFAs species showed positive correlation to the TPH degradation (the correlation coefficient r > 0), among which, 55. 6% of PLFAs species showed high positive correlation(the correlation coefficient was r≥0. 8). In addition, the relative content of SAT and MONO had high correlation with TPH degradation in the CK sample soils, the corelation coefficient were 0. 92 and 0. 60 respectively; However, the percent of positive correlation was 42. 1% in the rhizosphere soils with 21. 1% of them had high positive correlation. The relative content of TBSAT, MONO and CYCLO had moderate or low correlation in rhizosphere soils, and the correlation coefficient were 0. 56, 0. 50, and 0. 07 respectively. Our study showed that the growth of mirabilis Mirabilis jalapa Linn. had a higher influence on the species and biomass of microbial community in the

  10. Draft Genome Sequence of Microbacterium foliorum Strain 122 Isolated from a Plant Growing in a Chronically Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumactud, Rhea; Fulthorpe, Roberta; Sentchilo, Vladimir; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2017-05-25

    Microbacterium foliorum strain 122 is a bacterial endophyte isolated from a Dactylis glomerata plant growing in a natural oil seep soil located in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada. We present here a draft genome sequence of an endophytic strain that has promising potential in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth promotion. Copyright © 2017 Lumactud et al.

  11. Draft Genome Sequence of Microbacterium foliorum Strain 122 Isolated from a Plant Growing in a Chronically Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Site

    OpenAIRE

    Lumactud, Rhea; Fulthorpe, Roberta; Sentchilo, Vladimir; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Microbacterium foliorum strain 122 is a bacterial endophyte isolated from a Dactylis glomerata plant growing in a natural oil seep soil located in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada. We present here a draft genome sequence of an endophytic strain that has promising potential in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth promotion.

  12. Physical basis of coastal productivity: The SEEP and MASAR experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csanady, G. T.

    Two major cooperative experiments, code-named Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) I and II, were carried out on the northeast U.S. continental shelf and slope by an interdisciplinary group of scientists in the past decade. The work, supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Health and Environmental Research, had the broad aim of determining whether or to what extent energy-related human activities interfere with the high biological productivity of coastal waters. Much of SEEP I work was reported in a dedicated issue of Continental Shelf Research, including a summary article on the experiment as a whole [Walsh et al., 1988[. A parallel experiment, supported by the Minerals Management Service and code-named Mid Atlantic Slope and Rise (MASAR), had the objective of exploring physical processes over the continental slope and rise, including especially currents in the upper part of the water column. A good deal of MASAR work was also reported in the SEEP issue just mentioned, mainly in an article by Csanady and Hamilton (1988). There have been other papers and publications on these experiments, and more are forthcoming. While many questions remain, our horizons have broadened considerably after a decade of work on this problem, as if our aeroplane had just emerged from clouds to expose an interesting landscape. In this article I shall try to describe the physical (-oceanographic) features of that landscape, not in the chronological order in which we have espied them, but as the logic of the subject dictates.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Effect of birch (Betula spp.) and associated rhizoidal bacteria on the degradation of soil polyaromatic hydrocarbons, PAH-induced changes in birch proteome and bacterial community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tervahauta, Arja I. [Department of Biosciences, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland)], E-mail: arja.tervahauta@uku.fi; Fortelius, Carola [EVTEK University of Applied Sciences, Vantaa (Finland); Tuomainen, Marjo [Department of Biosciences, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland); Akerman, Marja-Leena [EVTEK University of Applied Sciences, Vantaa (Finland); Rantalainen, Kimmo [Department of Biosciences, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland); Sipilae, Timo [Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki (Finland); Lehesranta, Satu J.; Koistinen, Kaisa M.; Kaerenlampi, Sirpa [Department of Biosciences, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio (Finland); Yrjaelae, Kim [Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki (Finland)

    2009-01-15

    Two birch clones originating from metal-contaminated sites were exposed for 3 months to soils (sand-peat ratio 1:1 or 4:1) spiked with a mixture of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs; anthracene, fluoranthene, phenanthrene, pyrene). PAH degradation differed between the two birch clones and also by the soil type. The statistically most significant elimination (p {<=} 0.01), i.e. 88% of total PAHs, was observed in the more sandy soil planted with birch, the clearest positive effect being found with Betula pubescens clone on phenanthrene. PAHs and soil composition had rather small effects on birch protein complement. Three proteins with clonal differences were identified: ferritin-like protein, auxin-induced protein and peroxidase. Differences in planted and non-planted soils were detected in bacterial communities by 16S rRNA T-RFLP, and the overall bacterial community structures were diverse. Even though both represent complex systems, trees and rhizoidal microbes in combination can provide interesting possibilities for bioremediation of PAH-polluted soils. - Birch can enhance degradation of PAH compounds in the rhizosphere.

  16. Impact of anaerobic oxidation of methane on the geochemical cycle of redox-sensitive elements at cold-seep sites of the northern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Formation and migration of Natural Gases: gas composition and isotopes as monitors between source, reservoir and seep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoell, M.; Etiope, G.

    2015-12-01

    Natural gases form in tight source rocks at temperatures between 120ºC up to 200ºC over a time of 40 to 50my depending on the heating rate of the gas kitchen. Inferring from pyrolysis experiments, gases after primary migration, a pressure driven process, are rich in C2+ hydrocarbons (C2 to C5). This is consistent with gas compositions of oil-associated gases such as in the Bakken Shale which occur in immediate vicinity of the source with little migration distances. However, migration of gases along porous rocks over long distances (up to 200km in the case of the Troll field offshore Norway) changes the gas composition drastically as C2+ hydrocarbons tend to be retained/sequestered during migration of gas as case histories from Virginia and the North Sea will demonstrate. Similar "molecular fractionation" is observed between reservoirs and surface seeps. In contrast to gas composition, stable isotopes in gases are, in general, not affected by the migration process suggesting that gas migration is a steady state process. Changes in isotopic composition, from source to reservoir to surface seeps, is often the result of mixing of gases of different origins. Examples from various gas provinces will support this notion. Natural gas basins provide little opportunity of tracking and identifying gas phase separation. Future research on experimental phase separation and monitoring of gas composition and gas ratio changes e.g. various C2+ compound ratios over C1 or isomer ratios such as iso/n ratios in butane and pentane may be an avenue to develop tracers for phase separation that could possibly be applied to natural systems of retrograde natural condensate fields.

  18. Assessing the inhalation cancer risk of particulate matter bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) for the elderly in a retirement community of a mega city in North China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Bin; Liu, Yating; You, Yan; Xu, Jia; Zhou, Jian; Zhang, Jiefeng; Niu, Can; Zhang, Nan; He, Fei; Ding, Xiao; Bai, Zhipeng

    2016-10-01

    Assessment of the health risks resulting from exposure to ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is limited by the lack of environmental exposure data among different subpopulations. To assess the exposure cancer risk of particulate carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollution for the elderly, this study conducted a personal exposure measurement campaign for particulate PAHs in a community of Tianjin, a city in northern China. Personal exposure samples were collected from the elderly in non-heating (August-September, 2009) and heating periods (November-December, 2009), and 12 PAHs individuals were analyzed for risk estimation. Questionnaire and time-activity log were also recorded for each person. The probabilistic risk assessment model was integrated with Toxic Equivalent Factors (TEFs). Considering that the estimation of the applied dose for a given air pollutant is dependent on the inhalation rate, the inhalation rate from both EPA exposure factor book was applied to calculate the carcinogenic risk in this study. Monte Carlo simulation was used as a probabilistic risk assessment model, and risk simulation results indicated that the inhalation-ILCR values for both male and female subjects followed a lognormal distribution with a mean of 4.81 × 10(-6) and 4.57 × 10(-6), respectively. Furthermore, the 95 % probability lung cancer risks were greater than the USEPA acceptable level of 10(-6) for both men and women through the inhalation route, revealing that exposure to PAHs posed an unacceptable potential cancer risk for the elderly in this study. As a result, some measures should be taken to reduce PAHs pollution and the exposure level to decrease the cancer risk for the general population, especially for the elderly.

  19. Influence of Vegetation on the In Situ Bacterial Community and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Degraders in Aged PAH-Contaminated or Thermal-Desorption-Treated Soil▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cébron, Aurélie; Beguiristain, Thierry; Faure, Pierre; Norini, Marie-Paule; Masfaraud, Jean-François; Leyval, Corinne

    2009-01-01

    The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination, bacterial community, and PAH-degrading bacteria were monitored in aged PAH-contaminated soil (Neuves-Maisons [NM] soil; with a mean of 1,915 mg of 16 PAHs·kg−1 of soil dry weight) and in the same soil previously treated by thermal desorption (TD soil; with a mean of 106 mg of 16 PAHs·kg−1 of soil dry weight). This study was conducted in situ for 2 years using experimental plots of the two soils. NM soil was colonized by spontaneous vegetation (NM-SV), planted with Medicago sativa (NM-Ms), or left as bare soil (NM-BS), and the TD soil was planted with Medicago sativa (TD-Ms). The bacterial community density, structure, and diversity were estimated by real-time PCR quantification of the 16S rRNA gene copy number, temporal thermal gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting, and band sequencing, respectively. The density of the bacterial community increased the first year during stabilization of the system and stayed constant in the NM soil, while it continued to increase in the TD soil during the second year. The bacterial community structure diverged among all the plot types after 2 years on site. In the NM-BS plots, the bacterial community was represented mainly by Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. The presence of vegetation (NM-SV and NM-Ms) in the NM soil favored the development of a wider range of bacterial phyla (Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Chloroflexi) that, for the most part, were not closely related to known bacterial representatives. Moreover, under the influence of the same plant, the bacterial community that developed in the TD-Ms was represented by different bacterial species (Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Actinobacteria) than that in the NM-Ms. During the 2 years of monitoring, the PAH concentration did not evolve significantly. The abundance of gram-negative (GN

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Identification of Methanotrophic Biomarker Lipids in the Symbiont-Containing Gills of Seep Mussels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahnke, L. L.; Zahiralis, K. D.; Klein, H. P.; Morrison, David (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Mussels collected from hydrocarbon seeps in the Gulf of Mexico grow with methane as sole carbon and energy source due to a symbiotic association with methane-oxidizing bacteria. Transmission electron micrographs of mussel gills show cells with stacked intracytoplasmic membranes similar to type I methanotrophic bacteria. Methanotrophs are known to synthesize several types of cyclic triterpenes, hopanoids and methyl sterols, as well as unique monounsaturated fatty acid, double bond positional isomers that serve as biomarkers for this group. Lipid analysis of dissected mussels demonstrated the presence of these biomarkers predominantly in the gill tissue with much smaller amounts in mantle and remaining body tissues. Gill tissue contained 1150 micrograms/g dry wt. of hopanepolyol derivatives and diplopterol while the mantle tissue contained only 17 micrograms/g. The C16 monounsaturated fatty acids (16:1) characteristic of type I methanotrophic membranes dominated the gill tissue making up 53% of the total while only 5% 16:1 was present in the mantle tissue. The methyl sterol distribution was more dispersed. The predominant sterol in all tissues was cholesterol with lesser amounts of other desmethyl and 4-methyl sterols. The gill and mantle tissues contained 3461 micrograms (17% methyl) and 2750 micrograms (5% methyl) sterol per gm dry wt., respectively. Methyl sterol accounted for 44% of the sterol esters isolated from the gill, suggesting active demethylation of the methanotrophic sterols in this tissue. The use of lipid biomarkers could provide an effective means for identifying host-symbiont relationships.

  2. Seasonal monitoring of deep-sea megabenthos in Barkley Canyon cold seep by internet operated vehicle (IOV).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doya, Carolina; Chatzievangelou, Damianos; Bahamon, Nixon; Purser, Autun; De Leo, Fabio C; Juniper, S Kim; Thomsen, Laurenz; Aguzzi, Jacopo

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge of the processes shaping deep-sea benthic communities at seasonal scales in cold-seep environments is incomplete. Cold seeps within highly dynamic regions, such as submarine canyons, where variable current regimes may occur, are particularly understudied. Novel Internet Operated Vehicles (IOVs), such as tracked crawlers, provide new techniques for investigating these ecosystems over prolonged periods. In this study a benthic crawler connected to the NEPTUNE cabled infrastructure operated by Ocean Networks Canada was used to monitor community changes across 60 m2 of a cold-seep area of the Barkley Canyon, North East Pacific, at ~890 m depth within an Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). Short video-transects were run at 4-h intervals during the first week of successive calendar months, over a 14 month period (February 14th 2013 to April 14th 2014). Within each recorded transect video megafauna abundances were computed and changes in environmental conditions concurrently measured. The responses of fauna to environmental conditions as a proxy of seasonality were assessed through analysis of abundances in a total of 438 video-transects (over 92 h of total footage). 7698 fauna individuals from 6 phyla (Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Mollusca, and Chordata) were logged and patterns in abundances of the 7 most abundant taxa (i.e. rockfish Sebastidae, sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria, hagfish Eptatretus stoutii, buccinids (Buccinoidea), undefined small crabs, ctenophores Bolinopsis infundibulum, and Scyphomedusa Poralia rufescens) were identified. Patterns in the reproductive behaviour of the grooved tanner crab (Chionnecetes tanneri) were also indicated. Temporal variations in biodiversity and abundance in megabenthic fauna was significantly influenced by variabilities in flow velocity flow direction (up or down canyon), dissolved oxygen concentration and month of study. Also reported here for the first time are transient mass aggregations of grooved tanner

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

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Wei Peng

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. FEMS Microbiology Ecology © 2011 Federation of Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. No claim to original Norwegian works.

  5. Assessment of microbial community changes and limiting factors during bioremediation of hydrocarbon-polluted soil with new miniaturized physiological methods

    OpenAIRE

    Kaufmann, Karin; Holliger, Hans Christof

    2005-01-01

    Due to human activities, organic pollutants are spilled to the environment where they threaten public health, often as contaminants of soil or groundwater. Living organisms are able to transform or mineralize many organic pollutants, and bioremediation techniques have been developed to remove pollutants from a contaminated site. However, fast and easy methods to document both the efficacy of bioremediation and the changes in soil microbial communities during bioremediation are not well develo...

  6. Macrofaunal communities associated with chemosynthetic habitats from the U.S. Atlantic margin: A comparison among depth and habitat types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourque, Jill R.; Robertson, Craig M.; Brooke, Sandra; Demopoulos, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of tolerating extreme environmental conditions and utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, several locations of methane seepage have been mapped along the U.S. Atlantic continental slope. In 2012 and 2013, two newly discovered seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (BCS, 366–412 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (NCS, 1467–1602 m), with both sites containing extensive chemosynthetic mussel bed and microbial mat habitats. Sediment push cores, suction samples, and Ekman box cores were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300 μm) in mussel beds, mats, and slope habitats at both sites. Community data from the deep site were also assessed in relation to the associated sediment environment (organic carbon and nitrogen, stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, grain size, and depth). Infaunal assemblages and densities differed both between depths and among habitat types. Macrofaunal densities in microbial mats were four times greater than those present in mussel beds and slope sediments and were dominated by the annelid families Dorvilleidae, Capitellidae, and Tubificidae, while mussel habitats had higher proportions of crustaceans. Diversity was lower in BCS microbial mat habitats, but higher in mussel and slope sediments compared to NCS habitats. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed specific sediment properties as important for distinguishing the macrofaunal communities, including larger grain sizes present within NCS microbial mat habitats and depleted stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) in sediments present at mussel beds. These results suggest that habitat differences in the quality and source of organic matter are driving the observed patterns in the infaunal assemblages, including high β diversity and high variability in the macrofaunal community composition. This

  7. Mats of psychrophilic thiotrophic bacteria associated with cold seeps of the Barents Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Grünke

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the bacterial diversity associated with microbial mats of polar deep-sea cold seeps. The mats were associated with high upward fluxes of sulfide produced by anaerobic oxidation of methane, and grew at temperatures close to the freezing point of seawater. They ranged from small patches of 0.2–5 m in diameter (gray mats to extensive fields covering up to 850 m2 of seafloor (white mats and were formed by diverse sulfide-oxidizing bacteria differing in color and size. Overall, both the dominant mat-forming thiotrophs as well as the associated bacterial communities inhabiting the mats differed in composition for each mat type as determined by microscopy, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. While the smaller gray mats were associated with a highly diverse composition of sulfide oxidizers, the larger white mats were composed of only 1–2 types of gliding Beggiatoa filaments. Molecular analyses showed that most of the dominant mat-forming sulfide oxidizers were phylogenetically different from, but still closely related to, thiotrophs known from warmer ocean realms. The psychrophilic nature of the polar mat-forming thiotrophs was tested by visual observation of active mats at in situ temperature compared to their warming to >4 °C. The temperature range of mat habitats and the variation of sulfide and oxygen fluxes appear to be the main factors supporting the diversity of mat-forming thiotrophs in cold seeps at continental margins.

  8. Tracking hydrocarbon plume transport and biodegradation at Deepwater Horizon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camilli, Richard; Reddy, Christopher M; Yoerger, Dana R; Van Mooy, Benjamin A S; Jakuba, Michael V; Kinsey, James C; McIntyre, Cameron P; Sylva, Sean P; Maloney, James V

    2010-10-08

    The Deepwater Horizon blowout is the largest offshore oil spill in history. We present results from a subsurface hydrocarbon survey using an autonomous underwater vehicle and a ship-cabled sampler. Our findings indicate the presence of a continuous plume of oil, more than 35 kilometers in length, at approximately 1100 meters depth that persisted for months without substantial biodegradation. Samples collected from within the plume reveal monoaromatic petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in excess of 50 micrograms per liter. These data indicate that monoaromatic input to this plume was at least 5500 kilograms per day, which is more than double the total source rate of all natural seeps of the monoaromatic petroleum hydrocarbons in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Dissolved oxygen concentrations suggest that microbial respiration rates within the plume were not appreciably more than 1 micromolar oxygen per day.

  9. Biodegradation of high concentrations of mixed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by indigenous bacteria from a river sediment: a microcosm study and bacterial community analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muangchinda, Chanokporn; Yamazoe, Atsushi; Polrit, Duangporn; Thoetkiattikul, Honglada; Mhuantong, Wuttichai; Champreda, Verawat; Pinyakong, Onruthai

    2017-02-01

    This study assessed the biodegradation of mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by indigenous bacteria in river sediment. Microcosms were constructed from sediment from the Chao Phraya River (the main river in Thailand) by supplementation with high concentrations of fluorene, phenanthrene, pyrene (300 mg kg(-1) of each PAH), and acenaphthene (600 mg kg(-1)). Fluorene and phenanthrene were completely degraded, whereas 50% of the pyrene and acenaphthene were removed at the end of the incubation period (70 days). Community analyses revealed the dynamics of the bacterial profiles in the PAH-degrading microcosms after PAH exposure. Actinobacteria predominated and became significantly more abundant in the microcosms after 14 days of incubation at room temperature under aerobic conditions. Furthermore, the remaining PAHs and alpha diversity were positively correlated. The sequencing of clone libraries of the PAH-RHDα genes also revealed that the dioxygenase genes of Mycobacterium sp. comprised 100% of the PAH-RHDα library at the end of the microcosm setup. Moreover, two PAH-degrading Actinobacteria (Arthrobacter sp. and Rhodococcus ruber) were isolated from the original sediment sample and showed high activity in the degradation of phenanthrene and fluorene in liquid cultivation. This study reveals that indigenous bacteria had the ability to degrade high concentrations of mixed PAHs and provide clear evidence that Actinobacteria may be potential candidates to play a major role in PAH degradation in the river sediment.

  10. Using Bathymodiolus tissue stable isotope signatures to infer biogeochemical process at hydrocarbon seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, D.; Kiel, S.; Qiu, J.; Yang, Q.; Zhou, H.; Peng, Y.; Chen, D.

    2015-12-01

    Here we use stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur in the tissue of two bathymodiolin mussel species with different chemotrophic symbionts (methanotrophs in B. platifrons and sulfide-oxidizers in B. aduloides) to gain insights into the biogeochemical processes at an active site in 1120 m depth on the Formosa Ridge, called Site F. Because mussels with methanotrophic symbionts acquire the isotope signature of the used methane, the average δ13C values of B. platifrons (-70.3‰; n=36) indicates a biogenic methane source at Site F, consistent with the measured carbon isotope signature of methane (-61.1‰ to -58.7‰) sampled 1.5 m above the mussel beds. The only small offset between the δ13C signatures of the ascending methane and the authigenic carbonate at site F (as low as -55.3‰) suggests only minor mixing of the pore water with marine bicarbonate, which in turn may be used as an indicator for advective rather than diffusive seepage at this site. B. aduloides has much higher average δ13C values of -34.4‰ (n=9), indicating inorganic carbon (DIC) dissolved in epibenthic bottom water as its main carbon source. The DIC was apparently marine bicarbonate with a small contribution of 13C-depleted carbon from locally oxidized methane. The δ34S values of the two mussel species indicate that they used two different sulfur sources. B. platifrons (average δ34S = +6.4±2.6‰; n=36) used seawater sulfate mixed with isotopically light re-oxidized sulfide from the sulfate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), while the sulfur source of B. aduloides (δ34S = -8.0±3.1‰; n=9) was AOM-derived sulfide used by its symbionts. δ15N values differed between the mussels, with B. platifrons having a wider range of on average slightly lower values (mean = +0.5±0.7‰, n=36) than B. aduloides (mean = +1.1±0.0‰). These values are significantly lower than δ15N values of South China Sea deep-sea sediments (+5‰ to +6‰), indicating that the organic nitrogen is of local origin, possibly resulting from the activity of autotrophic bacteria and due to assimilation of isotopically light nitrate or ammonium by the symbionts. Acknowledgments: Financial support was provided by the NSF of China (Grants: 41422602 and 41373085) and the "Hundred Talents Program" of CAS.

  11. Characterization of hydrocarbon utilizing fungi from hydrocarbon ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prof. Ogunji

    hydrocarbon polluted sediments and water .... ecosystem may result in selective increase or decrease in microbial population (Okpokwasili ... been implicated in degradation of hydrocarbons such as crude oil, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  13. Effects of different compost amendments on the abundance and composition of alkB harboring bacterial communities in a soil under industrial use contaminated with hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallisch, Stefanie; Gril, Tjasa; Dong, Xia; Welzl, Gerd; Bruns, Christian; Heath, Ester; Engel, Marion; Suhadolc, Marjetka; Schloter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Alkane degrading microorganisms play an important role for the bioremediation of petrogenic contaminated environments. In this study, we investigated the effects of compost addition on the abundance and diversity of bacteria harboring the alkane monooxygenase gene (alkB) in an oil-contaminated soil originated from an industrial zone in Celje, Slovenia (Technosol). Soil without any amendments (control soil) and soil amended with two composts differing in their maturation stage and nutrient availability, were incubated under controlled conditions in a microcosm experiment and sampled after 0, 6, 12, and 36 weeks of incubation. As expected the addition of compost stimulated the degradation of alkanes in the investigated soil shortly after the addition. By using quantitative real-time PCR higher number of alkB genes were detected in soil samples amended with compost compared to the control soils. To get an insight into the composition of alkB harboring microbial communities, we performed next generation sequencing of amplicons of alkB gene fragment. Richness and diversity of alkB gene harboring prokaryotes was higher in soil mixed with compost compared to control soils with stronger effects of the less maturated, nutrient poor compost. The phylogenetic analysis of communities suggested that the addition of compost stimulated the abundance of alkB harboring Actinobacteria during the experiment independent from the maturation stage of the compost. AlkB harboring γ-proteobacteria like Shewanella or Hydrocarboniphaga as well as α-proteobacteria of the genus Agrobacterium responded also positively to the addition of compost to soil. The amendment of the less maturated, nutrient poor compost resulted in addition in a large increase of alkB harboring bacteria of the Cytophaga group (Microscilla) mainly at the early sampling time points. Our data indicates that compost amendments significantly change abundance and diversity pattern of alkB harboring microbes in Technosol and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Molecular characterization of bacteria associated with the trophosome and the tube of Lamellibrachia sp., a siboglinid annelid from cold seeps in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duperron, Sébastien; de Beer, Dirk; Zbinden, Magali; Boetius, Antje; Schipani, Vanessa; Kahil, Nacera; Gaill, Françoise

    2009-09-01

    Specimens of Lamellibrachia (Annelida: Siboglinidae) were recently discovered at cold seeps in the eastern Mediterranean. In this study, we have investigated the phylogeny and function of intracellular bacterial symbionts inhabiting the trophosome of specimens of Lamellibrachia sp. from the Amon mud volcano, as well as the bacterial assemblages associated with their tube. The dominant intracellular symbiont of Lamellibrachia sp. is a gammaproteobacterium closely related to other sulfide-oxidizing tubeworm symbionts. In vivo uptake experiments show that the tubeworm relies on sulfide for its metabolism, and does not utilize methane. Bacterial communities associated with the tube form biofilms and occur from the anterior to the posterior end of the tube. The diversity of 16S rRNA gene phylotypes includes representatives from the same divisions previously identified from the tube of the vent species Riftia pachyptila, and others commonly found at seeps and vents.

  16. Distribution of Ni, V, and petroleum hydrocarbons in recent sediments from the Veracruz Coast, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vazquez, F.; Sanchez, M.; Alexander, H.; Delgado, D. (Univ. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City (Mexico))

    1991-05-01

    The coastline of Veracruz is a unique environment due to the presence of extensive coraline systems and of natural oil seeps. Depending on the environmental parameters the coraline system are highly productive and diverse. Changes in these parameters by non-natural processes will cause damage or even the disappearance of these systems. Thus baseline studies in the zone are important in order to establish the natural concentrations of trace metals and the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons originated either from natural oil seeps or accidental spills. In the present paper the concentrations of nickel and vanadium in seawater and in sediments, as well as petroleum hydrocarbons in sediments are described in order to obtain base line information for the assessment of future man-induced alterations of the study area.

  17. Out of the dark: Transitional subsurface-to-surface microbial diversity in a terrestrial serpentinizing seep (Manleluag, Pangasinan, the Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin eWoycheese

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the Zambales ophiolite range terrestrial serpentinizing fluid seeps host diverse microbial assemblages. The fluids fall within the profile of Ca2+-OH--type waters, indicative of active serpentinization, and are low in dissolved inorganic carbon (<0.5 ppm. Influx of atmospheric carbon dioxide affects the solubility of calcium carbonate as distance from the source increases, triggering the formation of meter-scale travertine terraces. Samples were collected at the source and along the outflow channel to determine subsurface microbial community response to surface exposure. DNA was extracted and submitted for high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Taxonomic assignment of the sequence data indicates that 8.1% of the total sequence reads at the source of the seep affiliate with the genus Methanobacterium. Other major classes detected at the source include anaerobic taxa such as Bacteroidetes (40.7% of total sequence reads and Firmicutes (19.1% of total reads. Hydrogenophaga spp. increase in relative abundance as redox potential increases. At the carbonate terrace, 45% of sequence reads affiliate with Meiothermus spp. Taxonomic observations and geochemical data suggest that several putative metabolisms may be favorable, including hydrogen oxidation, H2-associated sulfur cycling, methanogenesis, methanotrophy, nitrogen fixation, ammonia oxidation, denitrification, nitrate respiration, methylotrophy, carbon monoxide respiration, and ferrous iron oxidation, based on capabilities of nearest known neighbors. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy suggest that microbial activity produces chemical and physical traces in the precipitated carbonates forming downstream of the seep’s source. These data provide context for future serpentinizing seep ecosystem studies, particularly with regards to tropical biomes.

  18. Activity and interactions of methane seep microorganisms assessed by parallel transcription and FISH-NanoSIMS analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekas, Anne E; Connon, Stephanie A; Chadwick, Grayson L; Trembath-Reichert, Elizabeth; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-03-01

    To characterize the activity and interactions of methanotrophic archaea (ANME) and Deltaproteobacteria at a methane-seeping mud volcano, we used two complimentary measures of microbial activity: a community-level analysis of the transcription of four genes (16S rRNA, methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA), adenosine-5'-phosphosulfate reductase α-subunit (aprA), dinitrogenase reductase (nifH)), and a single-cell-level analysis of anabolic activity using fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled to nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (FISH-NanoSIMS). Transcript analysis revealed that members of the deltaproteobacterial groups Desulfosarcina/Desulfococcus (DSS) and Desulfobulbaceae (DSB) exhibit increased rRNA expression in incubations with methane, suggestive of ANME-coupled activity. Direct analysis of anabolic activity in DSS cells in consortia with ANME by FISH-NanoSIMS confirmed their dependence on methanotrophy, with no (15)NH4(+) assimilation detected without methane. In contrast, DSS and DSB cells found physically independent of ANME (i.e., single cells) were anabolically active in incubations both with and without methane. These single cells therefore comprise an active 'free-living' population, and are not dependent on methane or ANME activity. We investigated the possibility of N2 fixation by seep Deltaproteobacteria and detected nifH transcripts closely related to those of cultured diazotrophic Deltaproteobacteria. However, nifH expression was methane-dependent. (15)N2 incorporation was not observed in single DSS cells, but was detected in single DSB cells. Interestingly, (15)N2 incorporation in single DSB cells was methane-dependent, raising the possibility that DSB cells acquired reduced (15)N products from diazotrophic ANME while spatially coupled, and then subsequently dissociated. With this combined data set we address several outstanding questions in methane seep microbial ecosystems and highlight the benefit of measuring microbial activity in

  19. Apparatus for hydrocarbon extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohnert, George W.; Verhulst, Galen G.

    2013-03-19

    Systems and methods for hydrocarbon extraction from hydrocarbon-containing material. Such systems and methods relate to extracting hydrocarbon from hydrocarbon-containing material employing a non-aqueous extractant. Additionally, such systems and methods relate to recovering and reusing non-aqueous extractant employed for extracting hydrocarbon from hydrocarbon-containing material.

  20. Offshore springs and seeps are focus of working group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Bill

    People have been curious about offshore springs and seeps since at least the days of the Romans. In spite of many centuries of both casual and serious observations, there has been relatively little scientific study concerning the magnitude and effects of groundwater flow into the sea. Rather, studies were performed mostly to address water resource issues. Investigations over the past decade or so have now shown that groundwater discharge, at least in some cases, may be important for geochemical budgets and ecological effects.The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) Project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program have recently established a working group of experts to examine questions relating specifically to groundwater discharge in the coastal zone. Direct groundwater flow into the ocean is known to occur as springs and seeps in near-shore areas in many parts of the world. Submarine springs, for example, are well known off both coasts of Florida; Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula; in several areas around the Pacific rim including Chile, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and Australia; in the Persian Gulf near Bahrain; in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Libya; and in many other locations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Short-chain alkanes fuel mussel and sponge Cycloclasticus symbionts from deep-sea gas and oil seeps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin-Blum, Maxim; Antony, Chakkiath Paul; Borowski, Christian; Sayavedra, Lizbeth; Pape, Thomas; Sahling, Heiko; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Kleiner, Manuel; Redmond, Molly C; Valentine, David L; Dubilier, Nicole

    2017-06-19

    Cycloclasticus bacteria are ubiquitous in oil-rich regions of the ocean and are known for their ability to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In this study, we describe Cycloclasticus that have established a symbiosis with Bathymodiolus heckerae mussels and poecilosclerid sponges from asphalt-rich, deep-sea oil seeps at Campeche Knolls in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses revealed that, in contrast to all previously known Cycloclasticus, the symbiotic Cycloclasticus appears to lack the genes needed for PAH degradation. Instead, these symbionts use propane and other short-chain alkanes such as ethane and butane as carbon and energy sources, thus expanding the limited range of substrates known to power chemosynthetic symbioses. Analyses of short-chain alkanes in the environment of the Campeche Knolls symbioses revealed that these are present at high concentrations (in the μM to mM range). Comparative genomic analyses revealed high similarities between the genes used by the symbiotic Cycloclasticus to degrade short-chain alkanes and those of free-living Cycloclasticus that bloomed during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Our results indicate that the metabolic versatility of bacteria within the Cycloclasticus clade is higher than previously assumed, and highlight the expanded role of these keystone species in the degradation of marine hydrocarbons.

  3. Authigenic carbonates from newly discovered active cold seeps on the northwestern slope of the South China Sea: Constraints on fluid sources, formation environments, and seepage dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Qianyong; Hu, Yu; Feng, Dong; Peckmann, Jörn; Chen, Linying; Yang, Shengxiong; Liang, Jinqiang; Tao, Jun; Chen, Duofu

    2017-06-01

    Authigenic carbonates recovered from two newly discovered active cold seeps on the northwestern slope of the South China Sea have been studied using petrography, mineralogy, stable carbon and oxygen isotopic, as well as trace element compositions, together with AMS 14C ages of shells of seep-dwelling bivalves to unravel fluid sources, formation conditions, and seepage dynamics. The two seeps (ROV1 and ROV2), referred to as 'Haima seeps' herein, are approximately 7 kilometers apart, and are typified by abundant carbonate rocks represented bycrusts and nodules. Aragonite and high-Mg calcite are the main carbonate minerals. Based on low δ13Ccarbonate values ranging from -43.0‰ to -27.5‰ (V-PDB) methane is apparently the predominant carbon source of seep carbonates. The corresponding δ18O values, varying from 2.5‰ to 5.8‰ (V-PDB), mostly are higher than calculated values representing precipitation in equilibrium with seawater (2.5‰ to 3.8‰), which probably reflects past destabilization of locally abundant gas hydrates. In addition, we found that carbonates with bivalve shells are generally aragonite-dominated, and bear no barium enrichment but uranium enrichments, reflecting shallow formation depths close to the seafloor. In contrast, carbonate crusts without bivalve shells and nodules contain more calcite, and are characterized by major molybdenum enrichment and different degrees of barium enrichment, agreeing with precipitation at greater depth under strictly anoxic conditions. AMS 14C ages suggest that a major episode of carbonate precipitation occurred between 6.1 ka and 5.1 ka BP at the Haima seeps, followed by a possibly subordinate episode from approximately 3.9 ka to 2.9 ka BP. The common occurrence of dead bivalves at both sites indicates that chemosynthesis-based communities flourished to a greater extent in the past, probably reflecting a decline of seepage activity in recent times. Overall, these results confirm that authigenic carbonates from

  4. Ecological release and niche partitioning under stress: Lessons from dorvilleid polychaetes in sulfidic sediments at methane seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Ziebis, Wiebke; Mendoza, Guillermo F.; Bertics, Victoria J.; Washington, Tracy; Gonzalez, Jennifer; Thurber, Andrew R.; Ebbe, Brigitte; Lee, Raymond W.

    2013-08-01

    Organisms inhabiting methane seep sediments are exposed to stress in the form of high levels of hydrogen sulfide, which result mainly from sulfate reduction coupled to anaerobic methane oxidation. Dorvilleidae (Polychaeta) have successfully invaded this ecosystem, and multiple species in divergent genetic clades co-occur at high densities. At methane seeps in the NE Pacific off California and Oregon, the genera Ophryotrocha, Parougia and Exallopus are especially well represented. To test the hypothesis that dorvilleid coexistence is facilitated by niche partitioning through sulfide tolerance and trophic patterns, we examined dorvilleid species-specific patterns of occurrence and nutrition at methane seeps off Eel R. [ER] on the Californian continental slope and at Hydrate Ridge [HR] on the Oregon continental slope, and in two habitats (clam bed and microbial mat) characterized by lower and higher hydrogen sulfide levels, respectively. Microelectrode measurements of hydrogen sulfide enabled characterization of environmental sulfide levels for species sampled in background sediment cores and in colonization trays. Dorvilleids tolerated H2S levels from 10 μM to over 2.6 mM, with the majority of species inhabiting sediments with similar environmental H2S concentrations (median 85-100 μM). Dorvilleid species richness was greater at HR than ER, but did not differ between clam bed and microbial mat habitats. Species distribution patterns reflected preferences for ER clam bed (lower sulfide levels), ER mat and HR clam bed (moderate sulfide levels), or HR mat (very high sulfide levels). Nutritional patterns, including trophic diversity and functional similarity, were examined using community stable isotope metrics based on δ15N and δ13C. Within each region, dorvilleid species exhibited multiple trophic strategies. Co-existing congeners typically exhibited distinct isotope signatures, suggesting trophic partitioning. Trophic diversity and δ15N range for whole

  5. Tropical CO2 seeps reveal the impact of ocean acidification on coral reef invertebrate recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Ro; Foggo, Andrew; Fabricius, Katharina; Balistreri, Annalisa; Hall-Spencer, Jason M

    2016-12-29

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are causing ocean acidification by reducing seawater pH and carbonate saturation levels. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that many larval and juvenile marine invertebrates are vulnerable to these changes in surface ocean chemistry, but challenges remain in predicting effects at community and ecosystem levels. We investigated the effect of ocean acidification on invertebrate recruitment at two coral reef CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. Invertebrate communities differed significantly between 'reference' (median pH7.97, 8.00), 'high CO2' (median pH7.77, 7.79), and 'extreme CO2' (median pH7.32, 7.68) conditions at each reef. There were also significant reductions in calcifying taxa, copepods and amphipods as CO2 levels increased. The observed shifts in recruitment were comparable to those previously described in the Mediterranean, revealing an ecological mechanism by which shallow coastal systems are affected by near-future levels of ocean acidification. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Screening and degrading characteristics and community structure of a high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial consortium from contaminated soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Run Sun; Jinghua Jin; Guangdong Sun; Ying Liu; Zhipei Liu

    2010-01-01

    Inoculation with efficient microbes had been proved to be the most important way for the bioremediation of polluted environments.For the treatment of abandoned site of Beijing Coking Chemical Plant contaminated with high level of high-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (HMW-PAHs),a bacterial consortium capable of degrading HMW-PAHs,designated 1-18-1,was enriched and screened from HMW-PAHs contaminated soil.Its degrading ability was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC),and the community structure was investigated by construction and analyses of the 16S rRNA gene clone libraries (A,B and F) at different transfers.The results indicated that 1-18-1 was able to utilize pyrene,fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene as sole carbon and energy source for growth.The degradation rate of pyrene and fluoranthene reached 82.8% and 96.2% after incubation for 8 days at 30℃,respectively;while the degradation rate of benzo[a]pyrene was only 65.1% after incubation for 28 days at 30℃.Totally,108,100 and 100 valid clones were randomly selected and sequenced from the libraries A,B,and E Phylogenetic analyses showed that all the clones could be divided into 5 groups,Bacteroidetes,α-Proteobacteria,Actinobacteria,β-Proteobacteria and γ-Proteobacteria.Sequence similarity analyses showed total 39 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the libraries.The predominant bacterial groups were α-Proteobacteria (19 OTUs,48.7%),γ-Proteobacteria (9 OTUs,23.1%) and β-Protcobacteria (8 OTUs,20.5%).During the transfer process,the proportions of α-Proteobacteria and β-Proteobacteria increased greatly (from 47% to 93%),while γ-Proteobacteria decreased from 32% (library A) to 6% (library F);and Bacteroidetes group disappeared in libraries B and F.

  7. Inspection and monitoring plan, contaminated groundwater seeps 317/319/ENE Area, Argonne National Laboratory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-10-11

    During the course of completing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) in the 317/319/East-Northeast (ENE) Area of Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E), groundwater was discovered moving to the surface through a series of groundwater seeps. The seeps are located in a ravine approximately 600 ft south of the ANL-E fence line in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Samples of the seep water were collected and analyzed for selected parameters. Two of the five seeps sampled were found to contain detectable levels of organic contaminants. Three chemical species were identified: chloroform (14--25 {micro}g/L), carbon tetrachloride (56--340 {micro}g/L), and tetrachloroethylene (3--6 {micro}g/L). The other seeps did not contain detectable levels of volatile organics. The nature of the contaminants in the seeps will also be monitored on a regular basis. Samples of surface water flowing through the bottom of the ravine and groundwater emanating from the seeps will be collected and analyzed for chemical and radioactive constituents. The results of the routine sampling will be compared with the concentrations used in the risk assessment. If the concentrations exceed those used in the risk assessment, the risk calculations will be revised by using the higher numbers. This revised analysis will determine if additional actions are warranted.

  8. The microbial ferrous wheel in a neutral pH groundwater seep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric eRoden

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for microbial Fe redox cycling was documented in a circumneutral pH groundwater seep near Bloomington, Indiana. Geochemical and microbiological analyses were conducted at two sites, a semi-consolidated microbial mat and a floating puffball structure. In situ voltammetric microelectrode measurements revealed steep opposing gradients of O2 and Fe(II at both sites, similar to other groundwater seep and sedimentary environments known to support microbial Fe redox cycling. The puffball structure showed an abrupt increase in dissolved Fe(II just at its surface (~ 5 cm depth, suggesting an internal Fe(II source coupled to active Fe(III reduction. MPN enumerations detected microaerophilic Fe(II-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB and dissimilatory Fe(III-reducing bacteria (FeRB at densities of 102-105 cells mL-1 in samples from both sites. In vitro Fe(III reduction experiments revealed the potential for immediate reduction (no lag period of native Fe(III oxides. Conventional full-length 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were compared withhigh throughput barcode sequencing of the V1, V4 or V6 variable regions of 16S rRNA genes in order to evaluate the extent to which new sequencing approaches could provide enhanced insight into the composition of Fe redox cycling microbial community structure. The composition of the clone libraries suggested a lithotroph-dominated microbial community centered around taxa related to known FeOB (e.g. Gallionella, Sideroxydans, Aquabacterium. Sequences related to recognized FeRB (e.g. Rhodoferax, Aeromonas, Geobacter, Desulfovibrio were also well represented. Overall, sequences related to known FeOB and FeRB accounted for 88 and 59% of total clone sequences in the mat and puffball libraries, respectively. Taxa identified in the barcode libraries showed partial overlap with the clone libraries, but were not always consistent across different variable regions and sequencing platforms. However, the barcode libraries provided

  9. The Influence of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes on Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Bioavailability and Toxicity to Soil Microbial Communities in Alfalfa Rhizosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may affect bioavailability and toxicity of organic contaminants due to their adsorption properties. Recent studies have observed the influence of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) on the fate of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other organic contaminants. Greenh...

  10. Microbial Community Response to Simulated Petroleum Seepage in Caspian Sea Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Knittel

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Anaerobic microbial hydrocarbon degradation is a major biogeochemical process at marine seeps. Here we studied the response of the microbial community to petroleum seepage simulated for 190 days in a sediment core from the Caspian Sea using a sediment-oil-flow-through (SOFT system. Untreated (without simulated petroleum seepage and SOFT sediment microbial communities shared 43% bacterial genus-level 16S rRNA-based operational taxonomic units (OTU0.945 but shared only 23% archaeal OTU0.945. The community differed significantly between sediment layers. The detection of fourfold higher deltaproteobacterial cell numbers in SOFT than in untreated sediment at depths characterized by highest sulfate reduction rates and strongest decrease of gaseous and mid-chain alkane concentrations indicated a specific response of hydrocarbon-degrading Deltaproteobacteria. Based on an increase in specific CARD-FISH cell numbers, we suggest the following groups of sulfate-reducing bacteria to be likely responsible for the observed decrease in aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon concentration in SOFT sediments: clade SCA1 for propane and butane degradation, clade LCA2 for mid- to long-chain alkane degradation, clade Cyhx for cycloalkanes, pentane and hexane degradation, and relatives of Desulfobacula for toluene degradation. Highest numbers of archaea of the genus Methanosarcina were found in the methanogenic zone of the SOFT core where we detected preferential degradation of long-chain hydrocarbons. Sequencing of masD, a marker gene for alkane degradation encoding (1-methylalkylsuccinate synthase, revealed a low diversity in SOFT sediment with two abundant species-level MasD OTU0.96.

  11. The unique chemistry of Eastern Mediterranean water masses selects for distinct microbial communities by depth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen M Techtmann

    Full Text Available The waters of the Eastern Mediterranean are characterized by unique physical and chemical properties within separate water masses occupying different depths. Distinct water masses are present throughout the oceans, which drive thermohaline circulation. These water masses may contain specific microbial assemblages. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of physical and geological phenomena on the microbial community of the Eastern Mediterranean water column. Chemical measurements were combined with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA analysis and high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing to characterize the microbial community in the water column at five sites. We demonstrate that the chemistry and microbial community of the water column were stratified into three distinct water masses. The salinity and nutrient concentrations vary between these water masses. Nutrient concentrations increased with depth, and salinity was highest in the intermediate water mass. Our PLFA analysis indicated different lipid classes were abundant in each water mass, suggesting that distinct groups of microbes inhabit these water masses. 16S rRNA gene sequencing confirmed the presence of distinct microbial communities in each water mass. Taxa involved in autotrophic nitrogen cycling were enriched in the intermediate water mass suggesting that microbes in this water mass may be important to the nitrogen cycle of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Eastern Mediterranean also contains numerous active hydrocarbon seeps. We sampled above the North Alex Mud Volcano, in order to test the effect of these geological features on the microbial community in the adjacent water column. The community in the waters overlaying the mud volcano was distinct from other communities collected at similar depths and was enriched in known hydrocarbon degrading taxa. Our results demonstrate that physical phenomena such stratification as well as geological phenomena such as mud volcanoes strongly

  12. Saline seep impacts on Hailstone and Halfbreed National Wildlife Refuges in south-central Montana

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Elevated salt and selenium levels in groundwater and in saline seeps within the Lake Basin of northern Stillwater County, Montana have impacted water quality on...

  13. Geochemical analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at Atlantic Margin seeps

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., was performed on samples collected from seep fields in the...

  14. Geochemical analysis of authigenic carbonates and chemosynthetic mussels at Atlantic Margin seeps

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., was performed on samples collected from seep fields in the...

  15. SEEP II, Shelf Edge Exchange Processes-II: Chlorophyll a fluorescence, temperature, and beam attenuation measurements from moored fluorometers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  16. Atmospheric methane emissions coupled to a CO2-sink at an Arctic shelf seep area offshore NW Svalbard: Introducing the "Seep-Fertilization Hypothesis"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greinert, Jens; Pohlman, John; Silyakova, Anna; Mienert, Jürgen; Ruppel, Carolyn; Casso, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Documented warming of intermediate waters by ~1C over the past 30 years along the western Svalbard margin has been suggested as a driver of climate-change induced dissociation of marine methane hydrate. However, recent evidence suggests methane release has been occurring for thousands of years near the upper limit of methane hydrate stability zone and that seasonal changes in bottom water temperature may be more important than longer-term warming of intermediate waters. However, the existence of hydrates at the upper limit of the gas hydrate zone has been based on modeling results only and gas hydrates have not been sampled successfully. Yearly studies, undertaken during RV Helmer Hanssen cruises as part of CAGE have shown that no significant amount of methane reaches the upper water column and is being released towards the atmosphere from this ca. 400m deep sites. The same is true for a very active seep area at the shelf break in 240m water depth where detailed hydroacoustic studies show fluctuating fluxes between 71 and 114 T/yr in total. Here we focus on studies conducted with the USGS Gas Analysis System (USGS-GAS). Continuous surface water methane and carbon dioxide concentrations and associated data are used to calculate sea-air fluxes with this cavity ring-down spectrometer-based analytical system. Only the shallow seep site (~90 m water depth) had appreciable methane in surface waters. We conducted an exhaustive survey of this site, mapping the full extent of the surface methane plume. To provide three-dimensional constraints, we acquired 65 vertical dissolved methane profiles to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the subsurface methane plume. The USGS-GAS data show that methane beyond the 'normal' background fluxes of ~1 µmol m-2 d-1 is elevated at the intensively bubbling shallow seep site (max. 35 µmol m-2 d-1) and near the shallow coastal zone where the fluxes over a large area reach 25 µmol m-2 d-1. Comparing coastal and seep fluxes on

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haverkamp Thomas HA

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Source allocation by least-squares hydrocarbon fingerprint matching

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    William A. Burns; Stephen M. Mudge; A. Edward Bence; Paul D. Boehm; John S. Brown; David S. Page; Keith R. Parker [W.A. Burns Consulting Services LLC, Houston, TX (United States)

    2006-11-01

    There has been much controversy regarding the origins of the natural polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and chemical biomarker background in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Different authors have attributed the sources to various proportions of coal, natural seep oil, shales, and stream sediments. The different probable bioavailabilities of hydrocarbons from these various sources can affect environmental damage assessments from the spill. This study compares two different approaches to source apportionment with the same data (136 PAHs and biomarkers) and investigate whether increasing the number of coal source samples from one to six increases coal attributions. The constrained least-squares (CLS) source allocation method that fits concentrations meets geologic and chemical constraints better than partial least-squares (PLS) which predicts variance. The field data set was expanded to include coal samples reported by others, and CLS fits confirm earlier findings of low coal contributions to PWS. 15 refs., 5 figs.

  20. First discovery of a cold seep on the continental margin of the central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Batang, Zenon B.

    2012-06-01

    A new cold brine seep system with microbial mats and metazoan assemblages was discovered by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on the Saudi continental margin of central Red Sea. Now named as Thuwal Seeps, it has a shallow brine pool between 840 and 850. m water depths that is formed by focused brine expulsions from two sites (Seep I: 22°17.3\\'N, 38°53.8\\'E; Seep II: 22°16.9\\'N, 38°53.9\\'E). The seep is located at the base of a steep wall rock closer to the shore (20. km) than to the axial trough (120. km). The brine pool does not exhibit a significant thermal anomaly (<. 0.3°C) and is so far the coldest (21.7°C) and least saline (74‰) among brine pools in the Red Sea. This discovery provides the first direct evidence of a cold seep with associated biota on the continental margin of the Red Sea. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  1. Preliminary Engineering Report contaminated groundwater seeps 317/319/ENE area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-10-01

    When the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Facility Investigation (RFI) in the 317/319/ENE Area of Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E) was being completed, groundwater was discovered moving to the surface through a series of seeps. The seeps are located approximately 600 ft south of the ANL fence line in Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. Samples of this water were collected and analyzed for selected parameters. Two of five seeps sampled were found to contain detectable levels of organic contaminants. Three chemical species were identified: chloroform (14-25 {mu}g/L), carbon tetrachloride (56-340 {mu}g/L), and tetrachloroethylene (3-6 {mu}g/L). The other seeps did not contain detectable levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The water issuing from these two contaminated seeps flows into a narrow ravine, where it is visible as a trickle of water flowing through sand and gravel deposits on the floor of the ravine. Approximately 100-ft downstream of the seep area, the contaminated water is no longer visible, having drained back into the soil in the bed of the ravine. Figure 1 shows the location of the 317/319/ENE Area in relation to the ANL-E site and the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Evidence of shallow hydrocarbons offshore northern Santa Cruz county, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mullins, H.T.; Nagel, D.K.

    1982-08-01

    Analyses of high-resolution seismic reflection profiles and hydrocarbon samples indicate that natural hydrocarbon seepage is occurring along the San Gregorio and Monterey Bay fault zones offshore northern Santa Cruz County, California. A variety of anomalous seismic reflection features such as a water-column anomalies, subsurface amplitude anomalies (''bright spots''), and seismic ''smears/wipeouts'' has been observed and mapped. More than 100 water-column anomalies (probably gas seeps) occur in the study area of approximately 270 mi/sup 2/ (700 km/sup 2/). Many of these seismic anomalies are associated with subsurface geologic structures, which suggest hydrocarbon migration from depth. Samples of natural gas collected from a shallow coastal water well contain 74 to 91% methane, 7 to 23% nitrogen, approx.2% carbon dioxide, and < 1% ethane. The methane appears to be thermogenic in origin, having delta/sup 13/C values of -29.51 to -32.55% PDB. Rock dredges from 2,300 ft (700 m) of water in Ascension Submarine Canyon have also recovered oil-saturated sandstones, further suggesting the seepage of hydrocarbons. The shallow occurrence of most of these hydrocarbons are interpreted to be the result of migration from depth along active faults within the San Gregorio and Monterey Bay faults zones.

  4. Petroleum-influenced beach sediments of the Campeche Bank, Mexico: diversity and bacterial community structure assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosano-Hernández, María C; Ramírez-Saad, Hugo; Fernández-Linares, Luis

    2012-03-01

    The bacterial diversity and community structure were surveyed in intertidal petroleum-influenced sediments of ≈ 100 km of a beach, in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The beach was divided in twenty sampling sites according to high, moderate and low petroleum influence. Densities of cultured heterotrophic (HAB) and hydrocarbon degrading bacteria (HDB) were highly variable in sediments, with little morphological assortment in colonies. PCR-RISA banding patterns differentiated distinct communities along the beach, and the bacterial diversity changed inversely to the degree of petroleum hydrocarbon influence: the higher TPH concentration, the lower genotype diversity. Seven DNA sequences (Genbank EF191394 -EF191396 and EF191398 -EF191401) were affiliated to uncultured members of Gemmatimonas, Acidobacterium, Desulfobacteraceae, Rubrobacterales, Actinobacterium and the Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria group; all the above taxa are known for having members with active roles in biogeochemical transformations. The remaining sequences (EF191388 - EF191393 and EF191397) affiliated to Pseudoalteromonas, and to oil-degrading genera such as Pseudomonas, Vibrio and Marinobacter, being the last one an obligate oil-degrading bacterium. An exchange of bacteria between the beach and the oil seep environment, and the potential cleaning-up role of bacteria at the southern Gulf of Mexico are discussed.

  5. The hydrocarbon sphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mandev, P.

    1984-01-01

    The hydrocarbon sphere is understood to be the area in which hydrocarbon compounds are available. It is believed that the lower boundary on the hydrocarbon sphere is most probably located at a depth where the predominant temperatures aid in the destruction of hydrocarbons (300 to 400 degrees centigrade). The upper limit on the hydrocarbon sphere obviously occurs at the earth's surface, where hydrocarbons oxidize to H20 and CO2. Within these ranges, the occurrence of the hydrocarbon sphere may vary from the first few hundred meters to 15 kilometers or more. The hydrocarbon sphere is divided into the external (mantle) sphere in which the primary gas, oil and solid hydrocarbon fields are located, and the internal (metamorphic) sphere containing primarily noncommercial accumulations of hydrocarbon gases and solid carbon containing compounds (anthraxilite, shungite, graphite, etc.) based on the nature and scale of hydrocarbon compound concentrations (natural gas, oil, maltha, asphalt, asphaltite, etc.).

  6. Diversity and distribution of methanotrophic archaea at cold seeps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Strong Impact on the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH)-Degrading Community of a PAH-Polluted Soil but Marginal Effect on PAH Degradation when Priming with Bioremediated Soil Dominated by Mycobacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johnsen, Anders R.; Schmidt, Stine; Hybholdt, Trine K.;

    2007-01-01

    Bioaugmentation of soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is often disappointing because of the low survival rate and low activity of the introduced degrader bacteria. We therefore investigated the possibility of priming PAH degradation in soil by adding 2% of bioremediated soil...... with a high capacity for PAH degradation. The culturable PAH-degrading community of the bioremediated primer soil was dominated by Mycobacterium spp. A microcosm containing pristine soil artificially polluted with PAHs and primed with bioremediated soil showed a fast, 100- to 1,000-fold increase in numbers...... of culturable phenanthrene-, pyrene-, and fluoranthene degraders and a 160-fold increase in copy numbers of the mycobacterial PAH dioxygenase gene pdo1. A nonpolluted microcosm primed with bioremediated soil showed a high rate of survival of the introduced degrader community during the 112 days of incubation...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil M Szafranski

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Reducing conditions with elevated sulphide 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 standardised 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 4 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 and monophyly with demonstrated symbionts. Results suggest that some free-living forms of metazoan symbionts or their close relatives, such as the epsilonproteobacterium associated with the shrimp Rimicaris exoculata, are efficient colonizers of plant substrates at vents and seeps.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Colonization of over a thousand Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi (foraminifera: Schwager, 1866) on artificial substrates in seep and adjacent off-seep locations in dysoxic, deep-sea environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkett, Ashley M.; Rathburn, Anthony E.; Elena Pérez, M.; Levin, Lisa A.; Martin, Jonathan B.

    2016-11-01

    After ~1 yr on the seafloor at water depths of ~700 m on Hydrate Ridge in the Pacific, eight colonization experiments composed primarily of a plastic mesh cube (from here on refered to as SEA3, for Seafloor Epibenthic Attachment Cubes) were colonized by 1076 Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi on ~1841 cm2 of experimental substrate. This species is typically considered an indicator of well-oxygenated conditions, and recruitment of such large numbers in bottom waters with low dissolved oxygen availability (0.24-0.37 mL/L) indicate that this taxon may not be as limited by oxygen as previously thought. Clues about substrate preferences were evident from the distribution, or lack thereof, of individuals among plastic mesh, coated steel frame, wooden dowels and reflective tape. Abundance, individual size distributions within cage populations and isotopic biogeochemistry of living foraminifera colonizing experimental substrates were compared between active seep and adjacent off-seep experiment locations, revealing potential differences between these environments. Few studies have examined foraminiferal colonization of hard substrates in the deep-sea and to our knowledge no previous study has compared foraminiferal colonization of active seep and off-seep substrates from the same region. This study provides initial results of recruitment, colonization, geochemical and morphological aspects of the paleoceanographically significant species, C. wuellerstorfi, from dynamic deep-sea environments. Further experimental deployments of SEA3s will provide a means to assess relatively unknown ecologic dynamics of important foraminiferal deep-sea species.

  11. Raman characteristics of hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon inclusions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Nai; TIAN ZuoJi; LENG YingYing; WANG HuiTong; SONG FuQing; MENG JianHua

    2007-01-01

    The Raman spectrograms of hydrocarbon standard samples show that: (1) the Raman spectrogram of normal paraffin has very strong peaks of methyl and methylene (from 2700 cm-1 to 2970 cm-1); (2)branch methyl has the particular peak of 748 cm-1±; (3) six cyclic has the particular peak of 804 cm-1±; (4)phenyl has two particular peaks of 988 cm-1± and 3058 cm-1± and the 988 cm-1± peak is stronger than the 3058 cm-1± peak; and (5) hexene has three alkenyl spectrum peaks of 1294 cm-1±, 1635 cm-1± and 2996 cm-1±, with the 1635 cm-1± peak being the strongest, showing that the number of carbon in hydrocarbon does not affect its Raman spectrogram, and the hydrocarbon molecular structure and base groups affect its Raman spectrogram, the same hydrocarbons (such as normal paraffin) have the same Raman spectrogram; the types (such as CH4, C2H6, C3H8) and the content of hydrocarbon in oil inclusions are not estimated by their characteristic Raman peaks. According to the Raman spectrograms of hydrocarbon compositions, the Raman spectrogram of hydrocarbon inclusion can be divided into five types: saturated hydrocarbon Raman spectrogram, fluoresce Raman spectrogram, saturated hydrocarbon bitumen Raman spectrogram, bitumen Raman spectrogram, and ethane Raman spectrogram.And according to the characteristics of Raman spectrogram, hydrocarbon inclusions can be divided into five types: saturated hydrocarbon inclusion, less saturated hydrocarbon (oil or gas) inclusion,saturated hydrocarbon bitumen inclusion, bitumen inclusion, and methane water inclusion.

  12. Raman characteristics of hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon inclusions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The Raman spectrograms of hydrocarbon standard samples show that: (1) the Raman spectrogram of normal paraffin has very strong peaks of methyl and methylene (from 2700 cm-1 to 2970 cm-1); (2) branch methyl has the particular peak of 748 cm-1±; (3) six cyclic has the particular peak of 804 cm-1±; (4) phenyl has two particular peaks of 988 cm-1± and 3058 cm-1± and the 988 cm-1± peak is stronger than the 3058 cm-1± peak; and (5) hexene has three alkenyl spectrum peaks of 1294 cm-1±, 1635 cm-1± and 2996 cm-1±, with the 1635 cm-1± peak being the strongest, showing that the number of carbon in hy-drocarbon does not affect its Raman spectrogram, and the hydrocarbon molecular structure and base groups affect its Raman spectrogram, the same hydrocarbons (such as normal paraffin) have the same Raman spectrogram; the types (such as CH4, C2H6, C3H8) and the content of hydrocarbon in oil inclu-sions are not estimated by their characteristic Raman peaks. According to the Raman spectrograms of hydrocarbon compositions, the Raman spectrogram of hydrocarbon inclusion can be divided into five types: saturated hydrocarbon Raman spectrogram, fluoresce Raman spectrogram, saturated hydro-carbon bitumen Raman spectrogram, bitumen Raman spectrogram, and ethane Raman spectrogram. And according to the characteristics of Raman spectrogram, hydrocarbon inclusions can be divided into five types: saturated hydrocarbon inclusion, less saturated hydrocarbon (oil or gas) inclusion, saturated hydrocarbon bitumen inclusion, bitumen inclusion, and methane water inclusion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Identification, visualization, and sorting of translationally active microbial consortia from deep-sea methane seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatzenpichler, R.; Connon, S. A.; Goudeau, D.; Malmstrom, R.; Woyke, T.; Orphan, V. J.

    2015-12-01

    Within the past few years, great progress has been made in tapping the genomes of individual cells separated from environmental samples. Unfortunately, however, most often these efforts have been target blind, as they did not pre-select for taxa of interest or focus on metabolically active cells that could be considered key species of the system at the time. This problem is particularly pronounced in low-turnover systems such as deep sea sediments. In an effort to tap the genetic potential hidden within functionally active cells, we have recently developed an approach for the in situ fluorescent tracking of protein synthesis in uncultured cells via bioorthogonal non-canonical amino acid-tagging (BONCAT). This technique depends on the incorporation of synthetic amino acids that carry chemically modifiable tags into newly made proteins, which later can be visualized via click chemistry-mediated fluorescence-labeling. BONCAT is thus able to specifically target proteins that have been expressed in reaction to an experimental condition. We are particularly interested in using BONCAT to understand the functional potential of slow-growing syntrophic consortia of anaerobic methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria which together catalyze the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in marine methane seeps. In order to specifically target consortia that are active under varying environmental regimes, we are studying different subpopulations of these inter-domain consortia via a combination of BONCAT with rRNA-targeted FISH. We then couple the BONCAT-enabled staining of active consortia with their separation from inactive members of the community via fluorescence-activated cell-sorting (FACS) and metagenomic sequencing of individual consortia. Using this approach, we were able to identify previously unrecognized AOM-partnerships. By comparing the mini-metagenomes obtained from individual consortia with each other we are starting to gain a more hollistic understanding

  18. Life at cold seeps: a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Werne, J.P.; Zitter, T.; Haese, R.R.; Aloisi, G.; Bouloubassi, I.; Heijs, S.; Fiala-Medioni, A.; Pancost, R.D.; Lange, G.J. de; Gottschal, J.; Foucher, J.-P.; Mascle, J.; Woodside, J.

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the MEDINAUT

  19. Life at cold seeps : a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werne, JP; Haese, RR; Zitter, T; Aloisi, G; Bouloubassi, L; Heijs, S; Fiala-Medioni, A; Pancost, RD; Damste, JSS; de Lange, G; Forney, LJ; Gottschal, JC; Foucher, JP; Mascle, J; Woodside, J

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the MEDINAUT

  20. Life at cold seeps: a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Werne, J.P.; Zitter, T.; Haese, R.R.; Aloisi, G.; Bouloubassi, I.; Heijs, S.; Fiala-Medioni, A.; Pancost, R.D.; Lange, G.J. de; Gottschal, J.; Foucher, J.-P.; Mascle, J.; Woodside, J.

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the

  1. Life at cold seeps : a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werne, JP; Haese, RR; Zitter, T; Aloisi, G; Bouloubassi, L; Heijs, S; Fiala-Medioni, A; Pancost, RD; Damste, JSS; de Lange, G; Forney, LJ; Gottschal, JC; Foucher, JP; Mascle, J; Woodside, J

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the

  2. Life at cold seeps : a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werne, JP; Haese, RR; Zitter, T; Aloisi, G; Bouloubassi, L; Heijs, S; Fiala-Medioni, A; Pancost, RD; Damste, JSS; de Lange, G; Forney, LJ; Gottschal, JC; Foucher, JP; Mascle, J; Woodside, J

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the MEDINAUT

  3. Life at cold seeps: a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Werne, J.P.; Zitter, T.; Haese, R.R.; Aloisi, G.; Bouloubassi, I.; Heijs, S.; Fiala-Medioni, A.; Pancost, R.D.; Lange, G.J. de; Gottschal, J.; Foucher, J.-P.; Mascle, J.; Woodside, J.

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the MEDINAUT

  4. Waste Area Grouping 2 Remedial Investigation Phase 1 Seep Task data report: Contaminant source area assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hicks, D.S.

    1996-03-01

    This report presents the findings of the Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2, Phase 1 Remedial Investigation (RI) Seep Task efforts during 1993 and 1994 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The results presented here follow results form the first year of sampling, 1992, which are contained in the Phase 1 RI report for WAG 2 (DOE 1995a). The WAG 2 Seep Task efforts focused on contaminants in seeps, tributaries, and main streams within the White Oak Creek (WOC) watershed. This report is designed primarily as a reference for contaminants and a resource for guiding remedial decisions. Additional in-depth assessments of the Seep Task data may provide clearer understandings of contaminant transport from the different source areas in the WOC watershed. WAG 2 consists of WOC and its tributaries downstream of the ORNL main plant area, White Oak Lake, the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, and the associated flood plains and subsurface environment. The WOC watershed encompasses ORNL and associated WAGs. WAG 2 acts as an integrator for contaminant releases from the contaminated sites at ORNL and as the conduit transporting contaminants to the Clinch River. The main objectives of the Seep Task were to identify and characterize seeps, tributaries and source areas that are responsible for the contaminant releases to the main streams in WAG 2 and to quantify their input to the total contaminant release from the watershed at White Oak Dam (WOD). Efforts focused on {sup 90}Sr, {sup 3}H, and {sup 137}Cs because these contaminants pose the greatest potential human health risk from water ingestion at WOD. Bimonthly sampling was conducted throughout the WOC watershed beginning in March 1993 and ending in August 1994. Samples were also collected for metals, anions, alkalinity, organics, and other radionuclides.

  5. Cold seep status archived in authigenic carbonates: Mineralogical and isotopic evidence from Northern South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope, SEEP-II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1990-01-01

    This project is a component of the SEEP-2 program to study shelf-slope exchange in the southern Middle Atlantic bight (MBA). It represents the physical oceanographic portion of the SEEP-2 research at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (L-DGO). Since the work consists of two parts: data analysis and theoretical modeling, this report will be divided into two parts to describe the progress of each activity. It covers work performed during the time interval March to December 1990 and is a sequel to the report submitted in February 1990. 25 figs.

  7. Mapping cold seeps with high-resolution deep water multibeam echosounders in the Black Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wintersteller, P.; dos Santos Ferreira, C.; Klaucke, I.; Ivanov, M.; Sahling, H.; Bohrmann, G.

    2011-12-01

    Cold seeps are locations at the seafloor where gas and/or fluids are emitting. In contrast to mud volcanoes, which distinctly change the seafloor morphology, cold seeps often lack significant relief. However, in comparison with surrounding sediments seep locations on the sea floor are often characterized by high acoustic backscatter intensity. This was documented during several investigations with deep towed side-scan sonar (SSS) systems in recent years. Authigenic carbonates, free gas and gas hydrates, as evidenced by ground truthing, are responsible for the high backscatter values. Last year's upgrade of the 1°x2° KONGSBERG deep water echosounder EM120 to EM122 on RV Meteor enhanced the system to almost 4 times the previous resolution due to multi-ping and high density signal processing. Based on the physics of sound propagation in the water column, multibeam echosounders (MBES) for deep water use relatively low frequencies of about 12-15 kHz. Apparently highly water-saturated sediments are penetrated by these signals and can cause artificial offsets in bottom detection in comparison to high-frequency echosounders. Nevertheless the effect of the slightly penetrating signal has a useful side effect on the backscatter. Investigations on several seep sites in the Black Sea, carried out with both EM122 and EM710 during Meteror cruise M84-2, resulted in maps of remarkable bathymetric resolution but also showed multibeam backscatter information of a 12 kHz signal to be an excellent tool to map seep-influenced seafloor areas. New seep locations have been mapped in regions of the western Turkish continental margin close to Eregli and of the eastern Turkish margin off Samsun. In both areas high backscatter patches were mapped with nearly comparable resolution as achieved by deep-tow SSS systems. At Eregli the new data is compared with data from a deep-towed EdgeTech SSS system recorded with a frequency of 75 kHz. At Samsun the results are compared with data from a MAK-1

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helge Niemann

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Kinetics of petroleum hydrocarbon degradation in soil and diversity of microbial community during composting%石油烃类污染物降解动力学和微生物群落多样性分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    甄丽莎; 谷洁; 胡婷; 刘晨; 贾凤安; 吕睿

    2015-01-01

    为了探讨不同初始浓度石油污染土壤堆腐化修复机制,以石油降解菌剂和腐熟鸡粪为调理剂,研究了初始浓度分别为5000(T1)、10000(T2)和50000 mg/kg(T3)的石油污染土壤堆腐化修复过程石油烃类污染物降解动力学特征和微生物群落多样性。结果表明:堆腐化修复过程石油烃类污染物降解符合一级反应动力学,反应常数分别为0.012、0.094和0.050 d-1,半衰期分别为6.79、7.37和13.86 d。整个堆腐过程石油烃类污染物平均降解速率分别为112.08、230.05和887.93 mg/(kg·d)。3个处理的孔平均颜色变化率(average well color development)和碳源利用率(除芳香烃类化合物外)随堆腐进程的推进逐渐升高,在堆腐中、后期达到最大,T3处理显著高于T1、T2处理。多聚物类和糖类代谢群是堆腐体系中的优势菌群。主成分分析表明3个处理的微生物群落差异显著(除第9天外),起分异作用的碳源主要是糖类和羧酸类。微生物群落的丰富度指数和均一度指数随堆腐进程的推进逐渐升高并在堆腐后期达到最大,与T1处理相比, T3处理分别高了0.21%和17.64%,差异达到显著水平(P0.05)。堆肥结束时3个处理的种子发芽指数(seed germination index, SGI)分别比堆腐初期提高了18.26%、20.42%和36.41%。该研究结果为黄土高原不同程度石油污染土壤堆腐化修复的应用提供参考依据和理论基础。%In order to investigate the mechanism of bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil by composting, an experiment was conducted with bacteria agent and mature chicken manure as amendment. We studied the kinetics of petroleum hydrocarbon degradation and the diversity of microbial community during the bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil by composting with different concentrations. The concentrations included 5 000 mg/kg (T1), 10 000 mg/kg (T2

  13. Magnetic Susceptibility Measurements as a Proxy for Hydrocarbon Biodegradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mewafy, F.; Atekwana, E. A.; Slater, L. D.; Werkema, D.; Revil, A.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Skold, M.

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic susceptibility (MS) measurements have been commonly used in paleoclimate studies, as a proxy for environmental pollution such as heavy metal contamination, and for delineating zones of oil seeps related to hydrocarbon exploration. Few studies have assessed the use of MS measurements for mapping zones of oil pollution. In this study, we investigated the variation in magnetic susceptibility across a hydrocarbon contaminated site undergoing biodegradation. Our objective was to investigate if MS measurements could be used as a proxy indicator of intrinsic bioremediation linked to the activity of iron reducing bacteria. An improved understanding of the mechanisms generating geophysical signatures associated with microbial enzymatic activity could permit the development of geophysical imaging technologies for long-term, minimally invasive and sustainable monitoring of natural biodegradation at oil spill sites. We used a Bartington MS probe to measure MS data along fifteen boreholes within contaminated (both free phase and dissolved phase hydrocarbon plumes) and clean areas. Our results show the following: (1) an enhanced zone of MS straddling the water table at the contaminated locations, not observed at the clean locations; (2) MS values within the free product plume are higher compared to values within the dissolved product plume; (3) the MS values within the vadoze zone above the free product plume are higher compared to values within the dissolved product plume; 4) the zone of high MS is thicker within the free product plume compared to the dissolved product plume. We suggest that the zone of enhanced MS results from the precipitation of magnetite related to the oxidation of the hydrocarbons coupled to iron reduction. Our data documents a strong correlation between MS and hydrocarbon concentration. We conclude that recognition of these zones of enhanced magnetite formation allows for the application of MS measurements as a: (1) low cost, rapid monitoring

  14. Ocean Bottom Gamma-Ray Anomaly Around Methane Seeps Related to Gas Hydrate- Bearing Zone in The Eastern Margin of Japan Sea and Off Southwest Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machiyama, H.; Kinoshita, M.; Lin, S.; Matsumoto, R.; Soh, W.

    2008-12-01

    JAMSTEC has conducted the ocean bottom gamma-ray measurement using ROVs and Submersibles since 1997. Gamma-ray spectrometer utilizes 3-inch spherical NaI(Tl) scintillator and the signal processor including DA converter in a pressure case. After processing data, we get total count rate (intensity value: count per second (cps)) of gamma ray and contents of K, U-, and Th-series radionuclides. The sensor was equipped to the side of the sample basket or foot of ROVs and submersibles, and always touches the seafloor when ROVs completely landed. Their results are posted on JAMSTEC website as a database. On the basis of past achievements, we present the results of the ocean bottom gamma-ray measurement at the methane seep sites related to gas hydrate off Joetsu in the eastern margin of Japan Sea and off southwest Taiwan. Off Joetsu: A number of mounds, large pockmarks (20 - 50 m deep and 200 - 500 m across), gas plumes, and gas hydrate are found at water depth of 900 - 1000 m in the Umitaka Spur and the Joetsu Knoll. Gamma-ray intensity values are 50 - 70 cps in normal muddy seafloor. On the other hand, the intensity values are 100 - 200 cps around methane venting sites, bacteria mats, and 'collapsed hydrate zone' which has an undulating, rugged seafloor with carbonate nodules and gravels. Contents of each radionuclide are also high. Low U/Th ratio suggests that there is less contribution of Rn accompanied with a recent fault activity. Off southwest Taiwan: Large, dense chemosynthetic communities, associated with carbonate pavements, were discovered at water depth of about 1100 - 1200 m on the top of the Formosa Ridge. Gamma-ray intensity values in normal muddy seafloor (120 - 150 cps) are higher than those around Japan. Since Th-series radionuclide easily absorbs other particles, it is commonly included in surface sediments. This may cause higher content of Th-series radionuclide in normal muddy seafloor. On the other hand, anomaly of gamma-ray intensity (200 - 300 cps

  15. The effect of pulse venting on anaerobic oxidation of methane and pyrite formation in the cold seep environment, offshore SW Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Assessing impediments to hydrocarbon biodegradation in weathered contaminated soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adetutu, Eric; Weber, John; Aleer, Sam; Dandie, Catherine E; Aburto-Medina, Arturo; Ball, Andrew S; Juhasz, Albert L

    2013-10-15

    In this study, impediments to hydrocarbon biodegradation in contaminated soils were assessed using chemical and molecular methodologies. Two long-term hydrocarbon contaminated soils were utilised which were similar in physico-chemical properties but differed in the extent of hydrocarbon (C10-C40) contamination (S1: 16.5 g kg(-1); S2: 68.9 g kg(-1)). Under enhanced natural attenuation (ENA) conditions, hydrocarbon biodegradation was observed in S1 microcosms (26.4% reduction in C10-C40 hydrocarbons), however, ENA was unable to stimulate degradation in S2. Although eubacterial communities (PCR-DGGE analysis) were similar for both soils, the alkB bacterial community was less diverse in S2 presumably due to impacts associated with elevated hydrocarbons. When hydrocarbon bioaccessibility was assessed using HP-β-CD extraction, large residual concentrations remained in the soil following the extraction procedure. However, when linear regression models were used to predict the endpoints of hydrocarbon degradation, there was no significant difference (P>0.05) between HP-β-CD predicted and microcosm measured biodegradation endpoints. This data suggested that the lack of hydrocarbon degradation in S2 resulted primarily from limited hydrocarbon bioavailability. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Investigating Microbial Activity in Diazotrophic Methane Seep Sediment via Transcript Analysis and Single-Cell FISH-NanoSIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Efficiency and adaptability of the benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide cold seeps, offshore Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Variability of internal frontal bore breaking above Opouawe Bank methane seep area (New Zealand)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Haren, H.; Greinert, J.

    2013-01-01

    Large internal wave breaking is observed exceeding a vertical array of 61 high-resolution temperature sensors at 1 m intervals between 7 and 67 m above the bottom. The array was moored for 5 days at 969 m of Opouawe Bank, New Zealand, a known methane seep area. As breaking internal waves dominate se

  20. New records on sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actiniaria) from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    López-González, P.J.; Rodríguez, E.; Gili, J.-M.; Segonzac, M.

    2003-01-01

    During several cruises carried out by the Ifremer (Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer) with the submersile “Nautile” at different hydrothermal sites and cold seeps, an important collection of anthozoans - mainly actiniarians - was sampled. Additional material was collected

  1. New records on sea anemones (Anthozoa: Actiniaria) from hydrothermal vents and cold seeps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    López-González, P.J.; Rodríguez, E.; Gili, J.-M.; Segonzac, M.

    2003-01-01

    During several cruises carried out by the Ifremer (Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer) with the submersile “Nautile” at different hydrothermal sites and cold seeps, an important collection of anthozoans - mainly actiniarians - was sampled. Additional material was collected

  2. Microbial diversity in cold seep sediments from the northern South China Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Zhang

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available South China Sea (SCS is the largest Western Pacific marginal sea. However, microbial studies have never been performed in the cold seep sediments in the SCS. In 2004, “SONNE” 177 cruise found two cold seep areas with different water depth in the northern SCS. Haiyang 4 area, where the water depth is around 3000 m, has already been confirmed for active seeping on the seafloor, such as microbial mats, authigenic carbonate crusts and bivalves. We investigated microbial abundance and diversity in a 5.55-m sediment core collected from this cold seep area. An integrated approach was employed including geochemistry and 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analyses. Here, we show that microbial abundance and diversity along with geochemistry profiles of the sediment core revealed a coupled reaction between sulphate reduction and methane oxidation. Acridine orange direct count results showed that microbial abundance ranges from 105 to 106 cells/g sediment (wet weight. The depth-related variation of the abundance showed the same trend as the methane concentration profile. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the presence of sulphate-reducing bacteria and anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea. The diversity was much higher at the surface, but decreased sharply with depth in response to changes in the geochemical conditions of the sediments, such as methane, sulphate concentration and total organic carbon. Marine Benthic Group B, Chloroflexi and JS1 were predominant phylotypes of the archaeal and bacterial libraries, respectively.

  3. Anaerobic methane oxidation in low-organic content methane seep sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. CH4-consuming microorganisms and the formation of carbonate crusts at cold-seeps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Aloisi, G.; Bouloubassi, I.; Heijs, S.K.; Pancost, R.D.; Pierre, C.; Gottschal, J.C.; Forney, L.J.; Rouchy, J.M.

    2002-01-01

    To understand the role played by microorganisms in the formation of cold seep carbonates, we conducted an integrated microbial, mineralogical and organic geochemical study of methane-related authigenic carbonate crusts formed on eastern Mediterranean mud volcanoes. We show that supersaturation with

  5. CH4-consuming microorganisms and the formation of carbonate crusts at cold seeps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aloisi, G; Bouloubassi, [No Value; Heijs, SK; Pancost, RD; Pierre, C; Damste, JSS; Gottschal, JC; Forney, LJ; Rouchy, JM

    2002-01-01

    To understand the role played by microorganisms in the formation of cold seep carbonates, we conducted an integrated microbial, mineralogical and organic geochemical study of methane-related authigenic carbonate crusts formed on eastern Mediterranean mud volcanoes. We show that supersaturation with

  6. Exploration of the canyon-incised continental margin of the northeastern United States reveals dynamic habitats and diverse communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrini, Andrea; Nizinski, Martha S.; Chaytor, Jason; Demopoulos, Amanda; Roark, E. Brendan; France, Scott; Moore, Jon A.; Heyl, Taylor P.; Auster, Peter J.; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P.; Kennedy, Brian R.C.; Lobecker, Elizabeth A.; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M.

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichosand the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial

  7. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Quattrini

    Full Text Available The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa, demersal fish (69 taxa, and decapod crustacean (34 taxa assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While

  8. Exploration of the Canyon-Incised Continental Margin of the Northeastern United States Reveals Dynamic Habitats and Diverse Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrini, Andrea M; Nizinski, Martha S; Chaytor, Jason D; Demopoulos, Amanda W J; Roark, E Brendan; France, Scott C; Moore, Jon A; Heyl, Taylor; Auster, Peter J; Kinlan, Brian; Ruppel, Carolyn; Elliott, Kelley P; Kennedy, Brian R C; Lobecker, Elizabeth; Skarke, Adam; Shank, Timothy M

    2015-01-01

    The continental margin off the northeastern United States (NEUS) contains numerous, topographically complex features that increase habitat heterogeneity across the region. However, the majority of these rugged features have never been surveyed, particularly using direct observations. During summer 2013, 31 Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives were conducted from 494 to 3271 m depth across a variety of seafloor features to document communities and to infer geological processes that produced such features. The ROV surveyed six broad-scale habitat features, consisting of shelf-breaching canyons, slope-sourced canyons, inter-canyon areas, open-slope/landslide-scar areas, hydrocarbon seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Four previously unknown chemosynthetic communities dominated by Bathymodiolus mussels were documented. Seafloor methane hydrate was observed at two seep sites. Multivariate analyses indicated that depth and broad-scale habitat significantly influenced megafaunal coral (58 taxa), demersal fish (69 taxa), and decapod crustacean (34 taxa) assemblages. Species richness of fishes and crustaceans significantly declined with depth, while there was no relationship between coral richness and depth. Turnover in assemblage structure occurred on the middle to lower slope at the approximate boundaries of water masses found previously in the region. Coral species richness was also an important variable explaining variation in fish and crustacean assemblages. Coral diversity may serve as an indicator of habitat suitability and variation in available niche diversity for these taxonomic groups. Our surveys added 24 putative coral species and three fishes to the known regional fauna, including the black coral Telopathes magna, the octocoral Metallogorgia melanotrichos and the fishes Gaidropsarus argentatus, Guttigadus latifrons, and Lepidion guentheri. Marine litter was observed on 81% of the dives, with at least 12 coral colonies entangled in debris. While initial exploration

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

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Yong

    2014-02-04

    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. 2014 Wang, Zhang, Cao, Shek, Tian, Wong, Batang, Al-suwailem and Qian.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong eWang

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Norwegian Research Strategies on gas Hydrates and Natural Seeps in the Nordic Seas Region (GANS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hjelstuen, B. O.; Sejrup, H. P.; Andreassen, K.; Boe, R.; Eldholm, O.; Hovland, M.; Knies, J.; Kvalstad, T.; Kvamme, B.; Mienert, J.; Pedersen, R. B.

    2004-12-01

    Continuous leakage of methane to the oceans from hydrate reservoirs that partially are exposed towards the seafloor is an increasing international concern, as the greenhouse gas methane is significantly more (c. 20 times) aggressive than CO2. In Norway we have research groups with interest and experience on natural seeps and gas hydrates. These features, and processes related to them, are challenging research targets which demands inputs from different fields if important research breakthroughs shall be made. In February 2004 deep sea researchers from the University of Tromso, Geological Survey of Norway, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Statoil and University of Bergen met to obtain an overview of the research effort in the fields of natural seeps and gas hydrates in Norway and to discuss national coordination, research strategies, research infrastructure and international co-operation. The following research strategies were agreed upon: i) Strengthen multidisciplinary research on deep sea systems, ii) develop a strategy for research on natural seeps and gas hydrates, iii) contribute in national coordination of research on natural seeps and gas hydrates, iv) Coordinate the use and development of research infrastructures important for research on natural seeps and gas hydrates, and v) contribute in the international evaluations of strategies for hydrate reservoir exploitation. Proposed research tasks for GANS include: i) Gas and gas hydrate formation processes and conditions for transport, accumulation, preservation and dissociation in sediments, ii) Effect of gas hydrate on physical properties of sediment, iii) Detection and quantification of in situ gas hydrate content and distribution pattern, iv) Effect of dissociation on soil properties, v) Gas hydrates as an energy resource, vi) Rapid methane release and climate change, and vii) Geohazard and environmental impact.

  13. A survey of microbial community diversity in marine sediments impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic shorelines, Texas to Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisle, John T.; Stellick, Sarah H.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial community genomic DNA was extracted from sediment samples collected along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts from Texas to Florida. Sample sites were identified as being ecologically sensitive and (or) as having high potential of being impacted by Macondo-1 (M-1) well oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout. The diversity within the microbial communities associated with the collected sediments provides a baseline dataset to which microbial community-diversity data from impacted sites could be compared. To determine the microbial community diversity in the samples, genetic fingerprints were generated and compared. Specific sequences within the community genomic DNA were first amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with a primer set that provides possible resolution to the species level. A second nested PCR was performed on the primary PCR products using a primer set on which a GC-clamp was attached to one of the primers. The nested PCR products were separated using denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) that resolves the nested PCR products based on sequence dissimilarities (or similarities), forming a genomic fingerprint of the microbial diversity within the respective samples. Samples with similar fingerprints were grouped and compared to oil-fingerprint data from the same sites (Rosenbauer and others, 2011). The microbial community fingerprints were generally grouped into sites that had been shown to contain background concentrations of non-Deepwater Horizon oil. However, these groupings also included sites where no oil signature was detected. This report represents some of the first information on naturally occurring microbial communities in sediment from shorelines along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts from Texas to Florida.

  14. Characterizations, relationship, and potential sources of outdoor and indoor particulate matter bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a community of Tianjin, Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, B; Bai, Z; Liu, Y; You, Y; Xu, J; Zhou, J; Zhang, J; Niu, C; Zhang, N; He, F; Ding, X

    2015-06-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are among the most toxic air pollutants in China. However, because there are unsubstantial data on indoor and outdoor particulate PAHs, efforts in assessing inhalation exposure and cancer risk to PAHs are limited in China. This study measured 12 individual PAHs in indoor and outdoor environments at 36 homes during the non-heating period and heating period in 2009. Indoor PAH concentrations were comparable with outdoor environments in the non-heating period, but were lower in the heating period. The average indoor/outdoor ratios in both sampling periods were lower than 1, while the ratios in the non-heating period were higher than those in the heating period. Correlation analysis and coefficient of divergence also verified the difference between indoor and outdoor PAHs, which could be caused by high ventilation in the non-heating period. To support this conclusion, linear and robust regressions were used to estimate the infiltration factor to compare outdoor PAHs to indoor PAHs. The calculated infiltration factors obtained by the two models were similar in the non-heating period but varied greatly in the heating period, which may have been caused by the influence of ventilation. Potential sources were distinguished using a diagnostic ratio and a mixture of coal combustion and traffic emission, which are major sources of PAHs.

  15. Methane-Stimulated Benthic Marine Nitrogen Fixation at Deep-Sea Methane Seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Barite encrustation of benthic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria at a marine cold seep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Russ, L.; Kartal, B.; Op den Camp, H.J.M.; Sollai, M.; Le Bruchec, J.; Caprais, J.-C.; Godfroy, A.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Jetten, M.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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Russ, L.; Kartal, B.; Op den Camp, H.J.M.; Sollai, M.; Le Bruchec, J.; Caprais, J.-C.; Godfroy, A.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Jetten, M.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

  19. Implications of polluted soil biostimulation and bioaugmentation with spent mushroom substrate (Agaricus bisporus) on the microbial community and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons biodegradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Delgado, Carlos; D'Annibale, Alessandro; Pesciaroli, Lorena; Yunta, Felipe; Crognale, Silvia; Petruccioli, Maurizio; Eymar, Enrique

    2015-03-01

    Different applications of spent Agaricus bisporus substrate (SAS), a widespread agro-industrial waste, were investigated with respect to the remediation of a historically polluted soil with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). In one treatment, the waste was sterilized (SSAS) prior to its application in order to assess its ability to biostimulate, as an organic amendment, the resident soil microbiota and ensuing contaminant degradation. For the other treatments, two bioaugmentation approaches were investigated; the first involved the use of the waste itself and thus implied the application of A. bisporus and the inherent microbiota of the waste. In the second treatment, SAS was sterilized and inoculated again with the fungus to assess its ability to act as a fungal carrier. All these treatments were compared with natural attenuation in terms of their impact on soil heterotrophic and PAH-degrading bacteria, fungal growth, biodiversity of soil microbiota and ability to affect PAH bioavailability and ensuing degradation and detoxification. Results clearly showed that historically PAH contaminated soil was not amenable to natural attenuation. Conversely, the addition of sterilized spent A. bisporus substrate to the soil stimulated resident soil bacteria with ensuing high removals of 3-ring PAH. Both augmentation treatments were more effective in removing highly condensed PAH, some of which known to possess a significant carcinogenic activity. Regardless of the mode of application, the present results strongly support the adequacy of SAS for environmental remediation purposes and open the way to an attractive recycling option of this waste. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Methane Fluxes to the Atmosphere from Perennial Hydrocarbon Plumes in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, E.; Kastner, M.; MacDonald, I.

    2006-12-01

    Methane is a radiatively important trace gas in the atmosphere playing a significant role in greenhouse warming and ozone destruction. The current atmospheric methane budget, however, is still clouded by large uncertainties in the individual source strengths. Estimates of the flux of methane from the ocean to the atmosphere range from 5-15 Tg/yr, but do not include seafloor methane seepage. The large uncertainty in the magnitude of this flux emphasizes the importance of better constraining the spatial and temporal variations in marine methane emissions. Improved constraints on the natural input of methane from the oceans will enable better estimates of changes in anthropogenic inputs over time and their contribution to global climate change. The northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) contains prolific seafloor gas vents, oil seeps, and gas hydrate deposits. During two research expeditions in the GOM in 2002 and 2003, methane concentrations and carbon isotopic ratios were measured within the water column by a novel experiment in which bubble plumes from 5 seafloor seeps and one mud volcano were sampled with an ascending submersible from the seafloor to the sea surface. Traditionally, CTD casts have been used to sample methane in the water column, which, because of currents, at best only meander through these relatively narrow plumes. Based on δ13C-DIC values of pore waters extracted from push cores at the seeps, methane is not consumed by anaerobic oxidation in the sediment column, thus all of the methane advecting from depth enters the water column. The δ13C of the bottom water methane ranges from -54.38 to -45.91‰, indicating most of it is thermogenic in origin. The gas bubbles also contain C2-C4 hydrocarbons and are coated with oil, which inhibits methane oxidation and bubble dissolution during ascent. This is observed in the only slight increase in δ13C- CH4 to the surface within the plumes. Surface waters have an average δ13C-CH4 of - 47.00‰, thus using an

  1. When Organic-Rich Turbidites Reach 5000 m: "Cold-Seep Like" Life in the Congo Deep-Sea Fan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastor, L.; Toffin, L.; Cathalot, C.; Olu, K.; Brandily, C.; Bessette, S.; Lesongeur, F.; Godfroy, A.; Khripounoff, A.; Decker, C.; Taillefert, M.; Rabouille, C.

    2016-12-01

    The Congo canyon, located on the west coast of Africa, is a unique example of a canyon directly connected to a major river (The Congo River). Turbidites are responsible for a large input of terrestrial organic matter at depths up to 5000 m. These high inputs led to global high organic matter mineralization rates, with very localized hot spots that were visually observed and specifically sampled with a ROV. These hot spots, featuring substantial concentration of reduced compounds, mainly methane and sulfides, were recognizable in surface by the presence of reduced sediment patches, bacterial mats, and/or vesicomyid bivalves that host bacterial endosymbionts able to process H2S. In this paper we present geochemical sediment profiles of sulfate, methane, sulfide and dissolved iron together with phylogenetic diversity of 16S rRNA communities. This will give a first understanding of biogeochemical processes occurring in this peculiar ecosystem, mainly sulfate reduction, methanogenesis and subsequent anaerobic oxidation of methane with bacterial and archaeal assemblages similar to cold seeps environments. Iron also seems to play a major role in this system and iron/sulfur interactions as a sink for H2S can probably compete with H2S consumption by chemosynthetic bivalves, estimated at one site by vesicomyds gills incubations in a sulfide-rich solution.

  2. The ability of microbial community of Lake Baikal bottom sediments associated with gas discharge to carry out the transformation of organic matter under thermobaric conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergei Viktorovich Bukin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The ability to compare the composition and metabolic potential of microbial communities inhabiting the subsurface sediment in geographically distinct locations is one of the keys to understanding the evolution and function of the subsurface biosphere. Prospective areas for study of the subsurface biosphere are the sites of hydrocarbon discharges on the bottom of the Lake Baikal rift, where ascending fluxes of gas-saturated fluids and oil from deep layers of bottom sediments seep into near-surface sediment. The samples of surface sediments collected in the area of the Posolskaya Bank methane seep were cultured for 17 months under thermobaric conditions (80°С, 5 MPa with the addition of complementary organic substrate, and a different composition for the gas phase. After incubation, the presence of intact cells of microorganisms, organic matter transformation and the formation of oil biomarkers was confirmed in the samples, with the addition of Baikalian diatom alga Synedra acus detritus, and gas mixture СH4:H2:CO2. Taxonomic assignment of the 16S rRNA sequence data indicates that the predominant sequences in the enrichment were Sphingomonas (55.3%, Solirubrobacter (27.5% and Arthrobacter (16.6%. At the same time, in heat-killed sediment and in sediment without any additional substrates, which were cultivated in a CH4 atmosphere, no geochemical changes were detected, nor the presence of intact cells and 16S rRNA sequences of Bacteria and Archaea. This data may suggest that the decomposition of organic matter under culturing conditions could be performed by microorganisms from low-temperature sediment layers. One possible explanation of this phenomenon is migration of the representatives of the deep thermophilic community through fault zones in the near surface sediment layers, together with gas-bearing fluids.

  3. The Ability of Microbial Community of Lake Baikal Bottom Sediments Associated with Gas Discharge to Carry Out the Transformation of Organic Matter under Thermobaric Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukin, Sergei V; Pavlova, Olga N; Manakov, Andrei Y; Kostyreva, Elena A; Chernitsyna, Svetlana M; Mamaeva, Elena V; Pogodaeva, Tatyana V; Zemskaya, Tamara I

    2016-01-01

    The ability to compare the composition and metabolic potential of microbial communities inhabiting the subsurface sediment in geographically distinct locations is one of the keys to understanding the evolution and function of the subsurface biosphere. Prospective areas for study of the subsurface biosphere are the sites of hydrocarbon discharges on the bottom of the Lake Baikal rift, where ascending fluxes of gas-saturated fluids and oil from deep layers of bottom sediments seep into near-surface sediment. The samples of surface sediments collected in the area of the Posolskaya Bank methane seep were cultured for 17 months under thermobaric conditions (80°C, 5 MPa) with the addition of complementary organic substrate, and a different composition for the gas phase. After incubation, the presence of intact cells of microorganisms, organic matter transformation and the formation of oil biomarkers was confirmed in the samples, with the addition of Baikal diatom alga Synedra acus detritus, and gas mixture CH4:H2:CO2. Taxonomic assignment of the 16S rRNA sequence data indicates that the predominant sequences in the enrichment were Sphingomonas (55.3%), Solirubrobacter (27.5%) and Arthrobacter (16.6%). At the same time, in heat-killed sediment and in sediment without any additional substrates, which were cultivated in a CH4 atmosphere, no geochemical changes were detected, nor the presence of intact cells and 16S rRNA sequences of Bacteria and Archaea. This data may suggest that the decomposition of organic matter under culturing conditions could be performed by microorganisms from low-temperature sediment layers. One possible explanation of this phenomenon is migration of the representatives of the deep thermophilic community through fault zones in the near surface sediment layers, together with gas-bearing fluids.

  4. Geology and structure of the Pine River, Florida River, Carbon Junction, and Basin Creek gas seeps, La Plata County, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, James E.; Condon, Steven M.; Huffman, A. Curtis; Taylor, David J.

    1997-01-01

    Introduction: This study was commissioned by a consortium consisting of the Bureau of Land Management, Durango Office; the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; La Plata County; and all of the major gas-producing companies operating in La Plata County, Colorado. The gas-seep study project consisted of four parts; 1) detailed surface mapping of Fruitland Formation coal outcrops in the above listed seep areas, 2) detailed measurement of joint and fracture patterns in the seep areas, 3) detailed coal-bed correlation of Fruitland coals in the subsurface adjacent to the seep areas, and 4) studies of deep-seated seismic patterns in those seep areas where seismic data was available. This report is divided into three chapters labeled 1, 2, and 3. Chapter 1 contains the results of the subsurface coal-bed correla-tion study, chapter 2 contains the results of the surface geologic mapping and joint measurement study, and chapter 3, contains the results of the deep-seismic study. A preliminary draft of this report was submitted to the La Plata County Group in September 1996. All of the members of the La Plata Group were given an opportunity to critically review the draft report and their comments were the basis for revising the first draft to create this final version of a geologic report on the major La Plata County gas seeps located north of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Oxygenated Derivatives of Hydrocarbons

    Science.gov (United States)

    For the book entitled “Insect Hydrocarbons: Biology, Biochemistry and Chemical Ecology”, this chapter presents a comprehensive review of the occurrence, structure and function of oxygenated derivatives of hydrocarbons. The book chapter focuses on the occurrence, structural identification and functi...

  7. Hydrocarbon Spectral Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    SRD 115 Hydrocarbon Spectral Database (Web, free access)   All of the rotational spectral lines observed and reported in the open literature for 91 hydrocarbon molecules have been tabulated. The isotopic molecular species, assigned quantum numbers, observed frequency, estimated measurement uncertainty and reference are given for each transition reported.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Bowles, Marshall; Joye, Samantha

    2010-01-01

    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 μ N reduced day−1) than did deeper sediments (11 μ N reduced day−1). Nitrate removal rates were high in both sediment horizons. These nitrate removal rates translate into rapid turnover times (...

  9. Plasma devices for hydrocarbon reformation

    KAUST Repository

    Cha, Min Suk

    2017-02-16

    Plasma devices for hydrocarbon reformation are provided. Methods of using the devices for hydrocarbon reformation are also provided. The devices can include a liquid container to receive a hydrocarbon source, and a plasma torch configured to be submerged in the liquid. The plasma plume from the plasma torch can cause reformation of the hydrocarbon. The device can use a variety of plasma torches that can be arranged in a variety of positions in the liquid container. The devices can be used for the reformation of gaseous hydrocarbons and/or liquid hydrocarbons. The reformation can produce methane, lower hydrocarbons, higher hydrocarbons, hydrogen gas, water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, or a combination thereof.

  10. Plant hydrocarbon recovery process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dzadzic, P.M.; Price, M.C.; Shih, C.J.; Weil, T.A.

    1982-01-26

    A process for production and recovery of hydrocarbons from hydrocarbon-containing whole plants in a form suitable for use as chemical feedstocks or as hydrocarbon energy sources which process comprises: (A) pulverizing by grinding or chopping hydrocarbon-containing whole plants selected from the group consisting of euphorbiaceae, apocynaceae, asclepiadaceae, compositae, cactaceae and pinaceae families to a suitable particle size, (B) drying and preheating said particles in a reducing atmosphere under positive pressure (C) passing said particles through a thermal conversion zone containing a reducing atmosphere and with a residence time of 1 second to about 30 minutes at a temperature within the range of from about 200* C. To about 1000* C., (D) separately recovering the condensable vapors as liquids and the noncondensable gases in a condition suitable for use as chemical feedstocks or as hydrocarbon fuels.

  11. A paradox resolved: Sulfide acquisition by roots of seep tubeworms sustains net chemoautotrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freytag, John K.; Girguis, Peter R.; Bergquist, Derk C.; Andras, Jason P.; Childress, James J.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2001-01-01

    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 μM 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 μM, demonstrate that L. cf. luymesi use their roots as a respiratory surface to acquire sulfide at an average rate of 4.1 μmol⋅g−1⋅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. PMID:11687647

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Formation of modern and Paleozoic stratiform barite at cold methane seeps on continental margins

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Hydrocarbon-Derived Carbonate Cements of Subsurface Origin in the Vulcan Sub-Basin, Timor Sea

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    Shou-Yeh Gong

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Localized carbonate cementation occurs in the Eocene Grebe Sandstone of the Vulcan Sub-basin, Timor Sea, Australia. The cements have been previously interpreted as originating from microbial methane oxidation and sulfate reduction in a shallow subsurface environment and were related to hydrocarbon leakage. Here we reassess these localized carbonate cements in the Grebe Sandstone, and reported new findings. Petrography shows that there are two facies of sands in the Grebe Sandstone: (1 cemented, mostly fine-grained sands; and (2 loose, often coarse-grained sands. In addition, two types of carbonate matrix occur in the Grebe Sandstone: (1 spars to microspars in calcareous, fine-grained sandstones; and (2 micritic to microsparry matrix associated with limestone grains. Stable carbon isotopic values reveal that only the cements associated with sandstones were probably hydrocarbon-derived, and the resultant mineral is mainly calcite. Petrographic attributes and Mn+2 and Co+2 compositions of these cements differ significantly from those of modern cold-seep carbonates at or near the sea floor. Moreover, the hydrocarbon-derived carbonate mineralization only occurs in the fine-grained sands, not in the coarse-grained sands. In other word, the cementation was not only dependent on hydrocarbon leakage but also on the lithofacies of the host rock. We propose that the extent of hydrocarbon-related cementation alone cannot be used to evaluate the trap integrity as has been previously suggested.

  16. Methane seep events of the southern Joetsu Knoll since middle Pleistocene based on benthic foraminifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oi, T.; Akiba, F.; Matsumoto, R.; Kakuwa, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Gas hydrates were collected at several sites off Joetsu which presented anomalous seismic structures. "Gas chimneys", major host structures for shallow gas hydrates, were recognized ROV off Joetsu in eastern margin of the Japan Sea, as were a number of active methane seeps. The assemblage components and carbon isotope of benthic foraminifera, which are ubiquitous in global marine settings, can indicate methane seep environments (Akimoto et al., 1994; Bhaumik and Gupta, 2007). Preliminary work by Oi et al. (2015) documented the obvious occurrences of methane related foraminifera, Rutherfordoides sp., in three core sediments recovered from Umitaka Spur, west Oki Trough and north Mogami Trough in the eastern margin of the Japan Sea, and found them to comprise the early part of the MIS 2, calculated to 28-25ka. These records suggest that active methane seep events might occur at the same time during early MIS 2, but were confined within the last 100ka. In this study, we analyzed benthic foraminiferal fossils from drilling core J04RB (core length 122 m; one of the gas hydrate bearing sites at a southern part of the Joetsu Knoll) in order to document methane seep events during the last 500ka. Firstly, we estimated sedimentation ages from diatom biostratigraphy and identification of Aso-1 tephra. Based on diatom components, we recognized a boundary between NPD (Neogene North Pacific diatom Zonations) 12 and NPD11, estimated at 300 ka (MIS8/9; Yanagisawa and Akiba, 1998). The bottom age was estimated to almost 530-560 ka (around MIS14) especially from the alternation with warm and cold diatom zones (Akiba et al., 2014). Secondary, we could suppose the paleoenvironments from benthic foraminifera as below. 1. The rare benthic foraminifera during the cold stages (MIS8, MIS10, and MIS12) indicate anoxic bottom conditions characteristic of falling sea level, just as with MIS 2. 2. We recognized the continuous distributions of tiny methane related specimens of Rutherfordoides sp

  17. Hydrocarbon Degrading Bacteria: Isolation and Identification

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    Lies Indah Sutiknowati

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available There is little information how to identify hydrocarbon degrading bacteria for bioremediation of marine oil spills. We have used gravel which contaminated oil mousse from Beach Simulator Tank, in Marine Biotechnology Institute, Kamaishi, Japan, and grown on enrichment culture. Biostimulation with nutrients (N and P was done to analyze biodegradation of hydrocarbon compounds: Naphthalene, Phenanthrene, Trichlorodibenzofuran and Benzo[a]pyrene. Community of bacteria from enrichment culture was determined by DGGE. Isolating and screening the bacteria on inorganic medium contain hydrocarbon compounds and determination of bacteria by DAPI (number of cells and CFU. DNA was extracted from colonies of bacteria and sequence determination of the 16S rDNA was amplified by primers U515f and U1492r. Twenty nine strains had been sequence and have similarity about 90-99% to their closest taxa by homology Blast search and few of them have suspected as new species.

  18. Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in estuarine sediments: metal influence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Raquel; Mucha, Ana P; Teixeira, Catarina; Bordalo, Adriano A; Almeida, C Marisa R

    2013-02-01

    In this work, the potential effect of metals, such as Cd, Cu and Pb, on the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in estuarine sediments was investigated under laboratory conditions. Sandy and muddy non-vegetated sediments were collected in the Lima River estuary (NW Portugal) and spiked with crude oil and each of the metals. Spiked sediments were left in the dark under constant shaking for 15 days, after which crude oil biodegradation was evaluated. To estimate microbial abundance, total cell counts were obtained by DAPI staining and microbial community structure was characterized by ARISA. Culturable hydrocarbon degraders were determined using a modified most probable number protocol. Total petroleum hydrocarbons concentrations were analysed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy after their extraction by sonication, and metal contents were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. The results obtained showed that microbial communities had the potential to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons, with a maximum of 32 % degradation obtained for sandy sediments. Both crude oil and metals changed the microbial community structure, being the higher effect observed for Cu. Also, among the studied metals, only Cu displayed measurable deleterious effect on the hydrocarbons degradation process, as shown by a decrease in the hydrocarbon degrading microorganisms abundance and in the hydrocarbon degradation rates. Both degradation potential and metal influence varied with sediment characteristics probably due to differences in contaminant bioavailability, a feature that should be taken into account in developing bioremediation strategies for co-contaminated estuarine sites.

  19. Population genetic structure in Sabatieria (Nematoda) reveals intermediary gene flow and admixture between distant cold seeps from the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Groote, Annelies; Hauquier, Freija; Vanreusel, Ann; Derycke, Sofie

    2017-07-01

    There is a general lack of information on the dispersal and genetic structuring for populations of small-sized deep-water taxa, including free-living nematodes which inhabit and dominate the seafloor sediments. This is also true for unique and scattered deep-sea habitats such as cold seeps. Given the limited dispersal capacity of marine nematodes, genetic differentiation between such geographically isolated habitat patches is expected to be high. Against this background, we examined genetic variation in both mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (18S and 28S ribosomal) DNA markers of 333 individuals of the genus Sabatieria, abundantly present in reduced cold-seep sediments. Samples originated from four Eastern Mediterranean cold seeps, separated by hundreds of kilometers, and one seep in the Southeast Atlantic. Individuals from the Mediterranean and Atlantic were divided into two separate but closely-related species clades. Within the Eastern Mediterranean, all specimens belonged to a single species, but with a strong population genetic structure (ΦST = 0.149). The haplotype network of COI contained 19 haplotypes with the most abundant haplotype (52% of the specimens) shared between all four seeps. The number of private haplotypes was high (15), but the number of mutations between haplotypes was low (1-8). These results indicate intermediary gene flow among the Mediterranean Sabatieria populations with no evidence of long-term barriers to gene flow. The presence of shared haplotypes and multiple admixture events indicate that Sabatieria populations from disjunct cold seeps are not completely isolated, with gene flow most likely facilitated through water current transportation of individuals and/or eggs. Genetic structure and molecular diversity indices are comparable to those of epiphytic shallow-water marine nematodes, while no evidence of sympatric cryptic species was found for the cold-seep Sabatieria.

  20. Thraustochytrid protists degrade hydrocarbons

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raikar, M.T.; Raghukumar, S.; Vani, V.; David, J.J.; Chandramohan, D.

    Although thraustochytrid protists are known to be of widespread occurrence in the sea, their hydrocarbon-degrading abilities have never been investigated. We isolated thraustochytrids from coastal waters and sediments of Goa coast by enriching MPN...

  1. Hydroacoustic methodology for detection, localization, and quantification of gas bubbles rising from the seafloor at gas seeps from the eastern Black Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolovska, Aneta; Sahling, Heiko; Bohrmann, Gerhard

    2008-10-01

    Detailed acoustic investigation of bubble streams rising from the seafloor were conducted during R/V Meteor cruise M72/3a at a deep submarine hydrocarbon seep environment. The area is located offshore Georgia (eastern part of the Black Sea) at a water depth between 840 m and 870 m. The sediment echosounder Parasound DS-3/P70 was used for detecting bubbles in the water column that causes strong backscatter in the echographs ("flares"). Employing the swath echsounder Kongsberg EM710 flares in the water column were mapped along the entire swath width of approximately 1000 m at high spatial resolution. The exact location of the flares could be extracted manually. Subsequently, the horizontally looking sonar Kongsberg digital telemetry MS1000 mounted on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was utilized to quantify the flux of bubbles. A model was developed that is based on the principle of finding the "acoustic mass" in order to quantify the bubble flux at various seeps. The acoustic approach from the backscatter data of the ROV sonar resulted in bubble fluxes in the range of 0.01 to 5.5 L/min (corresponding to 0.037 to 20.5 mol CH4/min) at in situ conditions (˜850 m water depth, ˜9°C). Independent flux estimations using a funnel-shaped device showed that the acoustic model consistently produced lower values but the offset is less than 12%. Furthermore, the deviation decreased with increasing flux rates. A field of bubble streams was scanned three times from different directions in order to reveal the reproducibility of the method. Flux estimations yielded consistent fluxes of about 2 l/min (7.4 mol CH4/min) with variations of less than 10%. Although gas emissions have been found at many sites at the seafloor in a range of geological settings, the amount of escaping gas is still largely unknown. With this study presenting a novel method of quantifying bubble fluxes employing a horizontally looking sonar system, it is intended to contribute to the global effort of better

  2. Controls on authigenic carbonate precipitation at cold seeps along the convergent margin off Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karaca, Deniz; Hensen, Christian; Wallmann, Klaus

    2010-08-01

    Five sediment cores from cold seeps at the forearc off Costa Rica were used to explore the relationship between fluid advection, dissolved Ca concentrations in upward migrating fluids, and authigenic CaCO3 precipitation. A numerical transport-reaction model was used to determine rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), CaCO3 precipitation, and benthic fluxes of solutes. Production of carbonate alkalinity and formation of authigenic carbonates is most intense at intermediate flow rates (3-40 cm a-1) and reduced under low and high flux conditions (0.1 and 200 cm a-1). Dissolved Ca concentrations observed in the vent fluids off Costa Rica cover a wide range between 4 and 31 mM, clearly exceeding seawater concentrations at two locations. Systematic model runs showed that high Ca concentrations in ascending fluids enhance the rate of authigenic carbonate production at moderate flow rates leading to an almost quantitative fixation of deeply derived Ca in authigenic carbonates. Hence, CaCO3 precipitation is not only controlled by Ca diffusing into the sediment from bottom water, but also by the Ca concentration in ascending fluids. Thus, Ca enriched fluids offer a reason for enhanced subsurface CaCO3 precipitation and the occurrence of carbonate caps on dewatering structures in the Central American fore-arc. Based on average precipitation rates deduced from the systematic model runs it is possible to give a rough estimate of the global Ca-fixation at cold seeps (˜2·1010 mol Ca a-1), which suggests that cold seeps are most likely not of key importance with respect to Ca cycling in the ocean.

  3. Passive acoustic records of two vigorous bubble-plume methane seeps on the Oregon continental margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dziak, R. P.; Matsumoto, H.; Merle, S. G.; Embley, R. W.; Baumberger, T.; Hammond, S. R.

    2016-12-01

    We present preliminary analysis of the acoustic records of two bubble-plume methane seeps recorded by an autonomous hydrophone deployed during the E/V Nautilus expedition (NA072) in June 2016. The goal of the NA072 expedition was to use the Simrad 302 as a survey tool to map bubble plumes at a regional scale along the Oregon and northern California margins, followed by in situ investigation of bubble-plume sites using the ROV Hercules. The exploration carried out during NA072 resulted in the discovery of hundreds of new individual methane seep sites in water depths ranging from 125 to 1725 m depth. A Greenridge Acousonde 3B™ hydrophone was deployed via ROV within two vigorous bubble-plume sites. Despite persistent ship and ROV propeller noise, the acoustic signature of the bubble-plume can be seen in the hydrophone record as a broadband (0.5 - 4.5 kHz) series of short duration ( 0.2-0.5 msec) pulses that occur in clusters of dozens of pulses lasting 2-3 secs. Previous studies of the passive acoustics of seep bubble-plumes indicate sound is generated during bubble formation, where detachment of the gas bubble from the end of a tube or conduit causes the bubble to oscillate, producing sound. The peak frequency f (the zeroth oscillatory mode) and the bubble equivalent spherical radius r for a given pressure P are: f = (2πr)-1 [(3γP/ρ)]1/2 where γ is the ratio of gas specific heat at constant pressure to constant volume and ρ is the water density (Leifer and Tang, 2006). Thus the frequency of a bubble's oscillation is proportional to the bubble's volume, and therefore it may be possible to use our acoustic data to obtain an estimate of the volume of methane being released at these seafloor plume sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Cold seep carbonates along the Norwegian margin, insights into U-Th geochronology and S geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Reconstructing Sulfur Cycling at Cretaceous Methane Seeps: Novel Perspectives from Carbonate-Associated Sulfate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, L. G.; Lyons, T. W.; Gill, B. C.; Formolo, M.; Shapiro, R. S.; Tripati, A.; Loyd, S. J.; Bates, S. M.

    2013-12-01

    The mechanisms of methane cycling have been studied extensively, but its full role in the chemical and organismal evolution of the ocean through time, including its closely coupled relationship to the sulfur cycle, is still largely unresolved. Modern and ancient seeps are ideal natural labs for studying coupled methane-sulfur cycles and their geochemical fingerprints as a function of the flux of methane through these systems and its availability in the ocean and marine sediments more generally. Many seep studies examine sulfur in pyrite, but pyrite formation in these settings is typically limited by the availability of reactive iron, thus only capturing the earliest diagenetic processes. In such cases, a better way to track sulfur and its role in modulating methane production and consumption is by following the pathways of dissolved sulfate, using carbonate-associated sulfate or CAS. While commonly used to track evolving seawater composition, CAS can also constrain conditions of diagenetic carbonate precipitation. This study focuses on a Cretaceous system of methane seeps, the Tepee Buttes in Colorado--which is marked by complex carbonate paragenesis--and traces sulfur, carbon, and oxygen isotopes to unravel ancient methane cycling, its relationship to sulfur metabolic pathways, and the preservational history of proxies such as CAS during burial. Burial history of this system is further unraveled through use of carbon and oxygen isotopes of various carbonate fabrics, including clumped isotope analysis. Additional geochemical measurements from the surrounding shales, such as data for redox sensitive metals, provide a context for the host setting in the Western Interior Seaway. Preliminary data suggest that paired isotopic and concentration measurements of CAS could be used to closely track spatiotemporal variation in rates of microbial sulfate reduction as coupled to anaerobic methane oxidation. These rates in both ancient and modern settings vary spatially and

  7. Bioaccumulation of petroleum hydrocarbons in arctic amphipods in the oil development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, Jerry M; Durell, Gregory S

    2012-04-01

    An objective of a multiyear monitoring program, sponsored by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was to examine temporal and spatial changes in chemical and biological characteristics of the Arctic marine environment resulting from offshore oil exploration and development activities in the development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. To determine if petroleum hydrocarbons from offshore oil operations are entering the Beaufort Sea food web, we measured concentrations of hydrocarbons in tissues of amphipods, Anonyx nugax, sediments, Northstar crude oil, and coastal peat, collected between 1999 and 2006 throughout the development area. Mean concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), saturated hydrocarbons (SHC), and sterane and triterpane petroleum biomarkers (StTr) were not significantly different in amphipods near the Northstar oil production facility, before and after it came on line in 2001, and in amphipods from elsewhere in the study area. Forensic analysis of the profiles (relative composition and concentrations) of the 3 hydrocarbon classes revealed that hydrocarbon compositions were different in amphipods, surface sediments where the amphipods were collected, Northstar crude oil, and peat from the deltas of 4 North Slope rivers. Amphipods and sediments contained a mixture of petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic PAH. The SHC in amphipods were dominated by pristane derived from zooplankton, indicating that the SHC were primarily from the amphipod diet of zooplankton detritus. The petroleum biomarker StTr profiles did not resemble those in Northstar crude oil. The forensic analysis revealed that hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were not from oil production at Northstar. Hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were primarily from their diet and from river runoff and coastal erosion of natural diagenic and fossil terrestrial materials, including seep oils, kerogens, and peat. Offshore oil and gas exploration and development

  8. Detection of Seismic Anomalies Linked to Emanations of Hydrocarbons in the Cuban Northwest Coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Miró Pagés

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The exploration of hydrocarbons to international scale constitutes a very complex and expensive task. Traditionally in the coast areas like the ones in the present work, the location of the exploration wells has been based on derived structural and stratigraphic information of geophysical data, mainly seismic; however it is well-known that in several regions similar of the world, the detection of superficial seeps of hydrocarbons confirm the existence of oil systems, has contributed to achieve a bigger dependability of the carried out prospectings, what has great importance considering the millionaire character of the financial expenditures who demands. For that reason, the main objective was to try to identify seismic anomalies typically associate with existences of hydrocarbons in Cuban coastareas. The main conclusion of this article is that the identification of seismic anomalies similar to those observed in the course of the present work can constitute a valuable additional informative element for the prospecting of hydrocarbons in areas of the Cuban coast.

  9. Marine-controlled source electromagnetic study of methane seeps and gas hydrates at Opouawe Bank, Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwalenberg, Katrin; Rippe, Dennis; Koch, Stephanie; Scholl, Carsten

    2017-05-01

    Marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data have been collected to investigate methane seep sites and associated gas hydrate deposits at Opouawe Bank on the southern tip of the Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand. The bank is located in about 1000 m water depth within the gas hydrate stability field. The seep sites are characterized by active venting and typical methane seep fauna accompanied with patchy carbonate outcrops at the seafloor. Below the seeps, gas migration pathways reach from below the bottom-simulating reflector (at around 380 m sediment depth) toward the seafloor, indicating free gas transport into the shallow hydrate stability field. The CSEM data have been acquired with a seafloor-towed, electric multi-dipole system measuring the inline component of the electric field. CSEM data from three profiles have been analyzed by using 1-D and 2-D inversion techniques. High-resolution 2-D and 3-D multichannel seismic data have been collected in the same area. The electrical resistivity models show several zones of highly anomalous resistivities (>50 Ωm) which correlate with high amplitude reflections located on top of narrow vertical gas conduits, indicating the coexistence of free gas and gas hydrates within the hydrate stability zone. Away from the seeps the CSEM models show normal background resistivities between 1 and 2 Ωm. Archie's law has been applied to estimate gas/gas hydrate saturations below the seeps. At intermediate depths between 50 and 200 m below seafloor, saturations are between 40 and 80% and gas hydrate may be the dominating pore filling constituent. At shallow depths from 10 m to the seafloor, free gas dominates as seismic data and gas plumes suggest.

  10. Aerobic methanotrophic communities at the Red Sea brine-seawater interface

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    Rehab Z. Abdallah

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The central rift of the Red Sea contains 25 brine pools with different physicochemical conditions, dictating the diversity and abundance of the microbial community. Three of these pools, the Atlantis II, Kebrit and Discovery Deeps, are uniquely characterized by a high concentration of hydrocarbons. The brine-seawater interface, described as an anoxic-oxic (brine-seawater boundary, is characterized by a high methane concentration, thus favoring aerobic methane oxidation. The current study analyzed the aerobic free–living methane-oxidizing bacterial communities that potentially contribute to methane oxidation at the brine-seawater interfaces of the three aforementioned brine pools, using metagenomic pyrosequencing, 16S rRNA pyrotags and pmoA library constructs. The sequencing of 16S rRNA pyrotags revealed that these interfaces are characterized by high microbial community diversity. Signatures of aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria were detected in the Atlantis II Interface (ATII-I and the Kebrit Deep Upper (KB-U and Lower (KB-L brine-seawater interfaces. Through phylogenetic analysis of pmoA, we further demonstrated that the ATII-I aerobic methanotroph community is highly diverse. We propose four ATII-I pmoA clusters. Most importantly, cluster 2 groups with marine methane seep methanotrophs, and cluster 4 represent a unique lineage of an uncultured bacterium with divergent alkane monooxygenases. Moreover, non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS based on the ordination of putative enzymes involved in methane metabolism showed that the Kebrit interface layers were distinct from the ATII-I and DD-I brine-seawater interfaces.

  11. Mineralisation of target hydrocarbons in three contaminated soils from former refinery facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Towell, Marcie G. [Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Bellarby, Jessica; Paton, Graeme I. [Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU (United Kingdom); Coulon, Frederic; Pollard, Simon J.T. [School of Applied Sciences, Sustainable Systems Department, Cranfield University, Cranfield (United Kingdom); Semple, Kirk T., E-mail: k.semple@lancaster.ac.u [Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom)

    2011-02-15

    This study investigated the microbial degradation of {sup 14}C-labelled hexadecane, octacosane, phenanthrene and pyrene and considered how degradation might be optimised in three genuinely hydrocarbon-contaminated soils from former petroleum refinery sites. Hydrocarbon mineralisation by the indigenous microbial community was monitored over 23 d. Hydrocarbon mineralisation enhancement by nutrient amendment (biostimulation), hydrocarbon degrader addition (bioaugmentation) and combined nutrient and degrader amendment, was also explored. The ability of indigenous soil microflora to mineralise {sup 14}C-target hydrocarbons was appreciable; {>=}16% mineralised in all soils. Generally, addition of nutrients or degraders increased the rates and extents of mineralisation of {sup 14}C-hydrocarbons. However, the addition of nutrients and degraders in combination had a negative effect upon {sup 14}C-octacosane mineralisation and resulted in lower extents of mineralisation in the three soils. In general, the rates and extents of mineralisation will be dependent upon treatment type, nature of the contamination and adaptation of the ingenious microbial community. - Research highlights: Indigenous microbes actively degrade {sup 14}C-hydrocarbons in field contaminated soils. Addition of nutrients or degraders enhance mineralisation in contaminated soils. Biodegradation is related to the presence of hydrocarbons and microbial activity. - Bioremediation strategy, native hydrocarbon concentrations and prior exposure histories of the microbial community influence hydrocarbon degradation in soil.

  12. Microsporidia-nematode associations in methane seeps reveal basal fungal parasitism in the deep sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir eSapir

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The deep sea is Earth’s largest habitat but little is known about the nature of deep-sea parasitism. In contrast to a few characterized cases of bacterial and protistan parasites, the existence and biological significance of deep-sea parasitic fungi is yet to be understood. Here we report the discovery of a fungus-related parasitic microsporidium, Nematocenator marisprofundi n. gen. n. sp. that infects benthic nematodes at Pacific Ocean methane seeps on the Pacific Ocean floor. This infection is species-specific and has been temporally and spatially stable over two years of sampling, indicating an ecologically consistent host-parasite interaction. A high distribution of spores in the reproductive tracts of infected males and females and their absence from host nematodes’ intestines suggests a sexual transmission strategy in contrast to the fecal-oral transmission of most microsporidia. N. marisprofundi targets the host’s body wall muscles causing cell lysis, and in severe infection even muscle filament degradation. Phylogenetic analyses placed N. marisprofundi in a novel and basal clade not closely related to any described microsporidia clade, suggesting either that microsporidia-nematode parasitism occurred early in microsporidia evolution or that host specialization occurred late in an ancient deep-sea microsporidian lineage. Our findings reveal that methane seeps support complex ecosystems involving interkingdom interactions between bacteria, nematodes, and parasitic fungi and that microsporidia parasitism exists also in the deep sea biosphere.

  13. Microsporidia-nematode associations in methane seeps reveal basal fungal parasitism in the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapir, Amir; Dillman, Adler R.; Connon, Stephanie A.; Grupe, Benjamin M.; Ingels, Jeroen; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; Levin, Lisa A.; Baldwin, James G.; Orphan, Victoria J.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2013-01-01

    The deep sea is Earth's largest habitat but little is known about the nature of deep-sea parasitism. In contrast to a few characterized cases of bacterial and protistan parasites, the existence and biological significance of deep-sea parasitic fungi is yet to be understood. Here we report the discovery of a fungus-related parasitic microsporidium, Nematocenator marisprofundi n. gen. n. sp. that infects benthic nematodes at methane seeps on the Pacific Ocean floor. This infection is species-specific and has been temporally and spatially stable over 2 years of sampling, indicating an ecologically consistent host-parasite interaction. A high distribution of spores in the reproductive tracts of infected males and females and their absence from host nematodes' intestines suggests a sexual transmission strategy in contrast to the fecal-oral transmission of most microsporidia. N. marisprofundi targets the host's body wall muscles causing cell lysis, and in severe infection even muscle filament degradation. Phylogenetic analyses placed N. marisprofundi in a novel and basal clade not closely related to any described microsporidia clade, suggesting either that microsporidia-nematode parasitism occurred early in microsporidia evolution or that host specialization occurred late in an ancient deep-sea microsporidian lineage. Our findings reveal that methane seeps support complex ecosystems involving interkingdom interactions between bacteria, nematodes, and parasitic fungi and that microsporidia parasitism exists also in the deep-sea biosphere. PMID:24575084

  14. Quantitative Hydrocarbon Surface Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Vonnie M.

    2000-01-01

    The elimination of ozone depleting substances, such as carbon tetrachloride, has resulted in the use of new analytical techniques for cleanliness verification and contamination sampling. The last remaining application at Rocketdyne which required a replacement technique was the quantitative analysis of hydrocarbons by infrared spectrometry. This application, which previously utilized carbon tetrachloride, was successfully modified using the SOC-400, a compact portable FTIR manufactured by Surface Optics Corporation. This instrument can quantitatively measure and identify hydrocarbons from solvent flush of hardware as well as directly analyze the surface of metallic components without the use of ozone depleting chemicals. Several sampling accessories are utilized to perform analysis for various applications.

  15. Miscellaneous hydrocarbon solvents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebarta, Vikhyat; DeWitt, Christopher

    2004-08-01

    The solvents discussed in this article are common solvents not categorized as halogenated, aromatic, or botanical. The solvents discussed are categorized into two groups: hydrocarbon mixtures and single agents. The hydrocarbon mixtures discussed are Stoddard solvent, naphtha, and kerosene. The remaining solvents described are n-hexane, methyl n-butyl ketone, dimethylformamide, dimethyl sulfoxide, and butyl mercaptans. Effects common to this group of agents and their unique effects are characterized. Treatment of exposures and toxic effects of these solvents is described, and physiochemical properties and occupational exposure levels are listed.

  16. Hydrocarbon gases in Baikal bottom sediments: preliminary results of the Second international Class@Baikal cruise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidischeva, Olesya; Akhmanov, Grigorii; Khlystov, Oleg; Giliazetdinova, Dina

    2016-04-01

    In July 2015 the research cruise in the waters of Lake Baikal was carried out onboard RV "G.Yu. Vereshchagin". The expedition was organized by Lomonosov Moscow State University and Limnological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences. The main purpose of the expedition was to study the modern sedimentation and natural geological processes on the bottom of Lake Baikal. One of the tasks of the cruise was to conduct gas-geochemical survey of bottom sediments. The samples of hydrocarbon gases were collected during the cruise. Subsequent study of the composition and origin of the sampled gas was carried out in the laboratories of Moscow State University. 708 samples from 61 bottom sampling stations were studied. Analyzed samples are from seven different areas located in the southern and central depressions of the lake: (1) "Goloustnoe" seepage area; (2) Bolshoy mud volcano; (3) Elovskiy Area; (4) "Krasny Yar" Seep; (5) "St. Petersburg" Seep; (6) Khuray deep-water depositional system; and (7) Kukuy Griva (Ridge) area. The results of molecular composition analysis indicate that hydrocarbon gases in bottom sediments from almost all sampling stations are represented mostly by pure methane. Ethane was detected only in some places within "Krasny Yar", "Goloustnoe" and "St. Petersburg" seepage areas. The highest concentrations of methane were registered in the sediments from the "Krasny Yar" area - 14 457 μl/l (station TTR-BL15-146G) - and from the "St. Petersburg" area - 13 684 μl/l (station TTR-BL15-125G). The sediments with high concentrations of gases were sampled from active fluid discharge areas, which also can be well distinguished on the seismic profiles. Gas hydrates were obtained in the areas of "Krasny Yar", "Goloustnoe", and "St. Petersburg" seeps and in the area of the Bolshoy mud volcano. Isotopic composition δ13C(CH4) was studied for 100 samples of hydrocarbon gases collected in areas with high methane concentration in bottom sediments. The average value is

  17. Apparatus and methods for hydrocarbon extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohnert, George W.; Verhulst, Galen G.

    2016-04-26

    Systems and methods for hydrocarbon extraction from hydrocarbon-containing material. Such systems and methods relate to extracting hydrocarbon from hydrocarbon-containing material employing a non-aqueous extractant. Additionally, such systems and methods relate to recovering and reusing non-aqueous extractant employed for extracting hydrocarbon from hydrocarbon-containing material.

  18. Optrode for sensing hydrocarbons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Holly; Milanovich, Fred P.; Hirschfeld, Tomas B.; Miller, Fred S.

    1987-01-01

    A two-phase system employing the Fujiwara reaction is provided for the fluorometric detection of halogenated hydrocarbons. A fiber optic is utilized to illuminate a column of pyridine trapped in a capillary tube coaxially attached at one end to the illuminating end of the fiber optic. A strongly alkaline condition necessary for the reaction is maintained by providing a reservoir of alkali in contact with the column of pyridine, the surface of contact being adjacent to the illuminating end of the fiber optic. A semipermeable membrane caps the other end of the capillary tube, the membrane being preferentially permeable to the halogenated hydrocarbon and but preferentially impermeable to water and pyridine. As the halogenated hydrocarbon diffuses through the membrane and into the column of pyridine, fluorescent reaction products are formed. Light propagated by the fiber optic from a light source, excites the fluorescent products. Light from the fluorescence emission is also collected by the same fiber optic and transmitted to a detector. The intensity of the fluorescence gives a measure of the concentration of the halogenated hydrocarbons.

  19. Efficiency and adaptability of the benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide cold seeps, offshore of Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Cold seeps associated with a submarine debris avalanche deposit at Kick'em Jenny volcano, Grenada (Lesser Antilles)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Mantle hydrocarbons: abiotic or biotic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugisaki, R; Mimura, K

    1994-06-01

    Analyses of 227 rocks from fifty localities throughout the world showed that mantle derived rocks such as tectonized peridotites in ophiolite sequences (tectonites) arid peridotite xenoliths in alkali basalts contain heavier hydrocarbons (n-alkanes), whereas igneous rocks produced by magmas such as gabbro arid granite lack them. The occurrence of hydrocarbons indicates that they were not derived either from laboratory contamination or from held contamination; these compounds found in the mantle-derived rocks are called here "mantle hydrocarbons." The existence of hydrocarbons correlates with petrogenesis. For example, peridotite cumulates produced by magmatic differentiation lack hydrocarbons whereas peridotite xenoliths derived from the mantle contain them. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric records of the mantle hydrocarbons resemble those of aliphatics in meteorites and in petroleum. Features of the hydrocarbons are that (a) the mantle hydrocarbons reside mainly along grain boundaries and in fluid inclusions of minerals; (b) heavier isoprenoids such as pristane and phytane are present; and (c) delta 13C of the mantle hydrocarbons is uniform (about -27%). Possible origins for the mantle hydrocarbons are as follows. (1) They were in organically synthesized by Fischer-Tropsch type reaction in the mantle. (2) They were delivered by meteorites and comets to the early Earth. (3) They were recycled by subduction. The mantle hydrocarbons in the cases of (1) and (2) are abiogenic and those in (3) are mainly biogenic. It appears that hydrocarbons may survive high pressures and temperatures in the mantle, but they are decomposed into lighter hydrocarbon gases such as CH4 at lower pressures when magmas intrude into the crust; consequently, peridotite cumulates do not contain heavier hydrocarbons but possess hydrocarbon gases up to C4H10.

  2. Microbial degradation of crude oil hydrocarbons on organoclay minerals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugochukwu, Uzochukwu C; Manning, David A C; Fialips, Claire I

    2014-11-01

    The role of organoclays in hydrocarbon removal during biodegradation was investigated in aqueous clay/oil microcosm experiments with a hydrocarbon degrading microorganism community. The clays used for this study were Na-montmorillonite and saponite. These two clays were treated with didecyldimethylammonium bromide to produce organoclays which were used in this study. The study indicated that clays with high cation exchange capacity (CEC) such as Na-montmorillonite produced an organomontmorillonite that was inhibitory to biodegradation of the crude oil hydrocarbons. Extensive hydrophobic interaction between the organic phase of the organoclay and the crude oil hydrocarbons is suggested to render the hydrocarbons unavailable for biodegradation. However, untreated Na-montmorillonite was stimulatory to biodegradation of the hydrocarbons and is believed to have done so because of its high surface area for the accumulation of microbes and nutrients making it easy for the microbes to access the nutrients. This study indicates that unlike unmodified montmorillonites, organomontmorillonite may not serve any useful purpose in the bioremediation of crude oil spill sites where hydrocarbon removal by biodegradation is desired within a rapid time period.

  3. Bacterial sources for phenylalkane hydrocarbons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ellis, L.; Winans, R.E. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States); Langworthy, T. [Univ. of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD (United States)

    1996-10-01

    The presence of phenylalkane hydrocarbons in geochemical samples has been the source of much controversy. Although an anthropogenic input from detergent sources always appears likely, the distribution of phenylalkane hydrocarbons in some cases far exceeding that attributed to detergent input has led to a reappraisal of this view. Indeed, recent work involving analysis of the lipid hydrocarbon extracts from extant Thermoplasma bacteria has revealed the presence of phenylalkane hydrocarbons. The presence of phenylalkane hydrocarbons in sedimentary organic matter may therefore represent potential biological markers for thermophilic bacteria.

  4. Families of miocene monterey crude oil, seep, and tarball samples, coastal California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, K.E.; Hostettler, F.D.; Lorenson, T.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Biomarker and stable carbon isotope ratios were used to infer the age, lithology, organic matter input, and depositional environment of the source rocks for 388 samples of produced crude oil, seep oil, and tarballs to better assess their origins and distributions in coastal California. These samples were used to construct a chemometric (multivariate statistical) decision tree to classify 288 additional samples. The results identify three tribes of 13C-rich oil samples inferred to originate from thermally mature equivalents of the clayey-siliceous, carbonaceous marl and lower calcareous-siliceous members of the Monterey Formation at Naples Beach near Santa Barbara. An attempt to correlate these families to rock extracts from these members in the nearby COST (continental offshore stratigraphic test) (OCS-Cal 78-164) well failed, at least in part because the rocks are thermally immature. Geochemical similarities among the oil tribes and their widespread distribution support the prograding margin model or the banktop-slope-basin model instead of the ridge-and-basin model for the deposition of the Monterey Formation. Tribe 1 contains four oil families having geochemical traits of clay-rich marine shale source rock deposited under suboxic conditions with substantial higher plant input. Tribe 2 contains four oil families with traits intermediate between tribes 1 and 3, except for abundant 28,30-bisnorhopane, indicating suboxic to anoxic marine marl source rock with hemipelagic input. Tribe 3 contains five oil families with traits of distal marine carbonate source rock deposited under anoxic conditions with pelagic but little or no higher plant input. Tribes 1 and 2 occur mainly south of Point Conception in paleogeographic settings where deep burial of the Monterey source rock favored petroleum generation from all three members or their equivalents. In this area, oil from the clayey-siliceous and carbonaceous marl members (tribes 1 and 2) may overwhelm that from the lower

  5. Methane emission and consumption at a North Sea gas seep (Tommeliten area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Niemann

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 (56°29.90' N, 2°59.80' E, Norwegian Block 1/9, 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. In the vicinity of the gas seeps, sea floor observations showed small mats of giant sulphide-oxidizing bacteria above patches of black sediments as well as 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 AOM zone. This zone 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 of this horizon give evidence that AOM is mediated by archaea belonging to the ANME-1b group and Sulphate Reducing Bacteria (SRB most likely belonging to the Seep-SRB1 cluster. The zone of active methane consumption was restricted to a distinct horizon of about 20 cm. Concentrations of 13C-depleted lipid biomarkers (e.g. 500 ng g-dw−1 biphythanes, 140 ng g-dw−1 fatty acid ai-C15:0, cell numbers (1.5×108 cells cm−3, AOM and SR

  6. Methane Seeps in the Gulf of Mexico: repeat acoustic surveying shows highly temporally and spatially variable venting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaumont, B. C.; Raineault, N.

    2016-02-01

    Scientists have recognized that natural seeps account for a large amount of methane emissions. Despite their widespread occurrence in areas like the Gulf of Mexico, little is known about the temporal variability and site-scale spatial variability of venting over time. We used repeat acoustic surveys to compare multiple days of seep activity and determine the changes in the locus of methane emission and plume height. The Sleeping Dragon site was surveyed with an EM302 multibeam sonar on three consecutive days in 2014 and 4 days within one week in 2015. The data revealed three distinctive plume regions. The locus of venting varied by 10-60 meters at each site. The plume that exhibited the least spatial variability in venting, was also the most temporally variable. This seep was present in one-third of survey dates in 2014 and three quarters of survey dates in 2015, showing high day-to-day variability. The plume height was very consistent for this plume, whereas the other plumes were more consistent temporally, but varied in maximum plume height detection by 25-85 m. The single locus of emission at the site that had high day-to-day variability may be due to a single conduit for methane release, which is sometimes closed off by carbonate or clathrate hydrate formation. In addition to day-to-day temporal variability, the locus of emission at one site was observed to shift from a point-source in 2014 to a diffuse source in 2015 at a nearby location. ROV observations showed that one of the seep sites that closed off temporarily, experienced an explosive breakthrough of gas, releasing confined methane and blowing out rock. The mechanism that causes on/off behavior of certain plumes, combined with the spatial variability of the locus of methane release shown in this study may point to carbonate or hydrate formation in the seep plumbing system and should be further investigated.

  7. Benthic foraminifera as tools in interpretation of subsurface hydrocarbon fluid flow at Veslemøy High and Hola-Vesterålen areas of the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranwal, Soma; Sauer, Simone; Knies, Jochen; Chand, Shyam; Jensen, Henning; Klug, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Relatively few studies have focused on high-latitude benthic foraminifera related to hydrocarbon seeps. In this study, we present micropaleontological data from 8 gravity cores from the Veslemøy High and 4 surface sediments (0-1cm) from Hola-Vesterålen, Norway. The study of hydrocarbon impregnation and its effect on benthic foraminfera was conducted on selected sediment samples from the calcium-rich Holocene sediments of the Veslemøy High. The assemblage of foraminifera have been identified from three regional clusters. Cluster I and II are dominated by benthic foraminifera Buccella, Cassidulina, Cibicides, Discopulvinulina, Epistominella, Pullenia and Trifarina. Cluster III is distinct with an elevated abundance of Cassidulina, Cibicides and Trifarina with significant (>5 %) occurrence of Nonionella and Uvigerina. There is no apparent dissolution on the preserved foraminifera. However, there can be differential dissolution or destruction of the more fragile (thinner-walled test) species like Epistominella, Nonionella or Pullenia while leaving behind over-represented species like Cibicides or Trifarina (both preferring coarse grained, high energy areas that can withstand permanent winnowing and redeposition) with higher preservation potential. Also, Cluster III is placed right over the underlying fault line with shallow seep-indications and thus the fluids released may have induced the dissolution of the fragile species. Moreover, the significant occurrence of benthic foraminifera Nonionella auris, and Uvigerina peregrina, in Holocene deposits of Cluster III may be indicative of environments influenced by hydrocarbon migration to the seafloor. Previous studies have reported active natural hydrocarbon seepage in the Hola area and the stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic composition of methane in the sediments suggests a predominantly thermogenic methane source. The seep-assemblage is composed of Cibicides (~60%), Cassidulina, Discanomalina, Textularia and

  8. Microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varjani, Sunita J

    2017-01-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants are recalcitrant compounds and are classified as priority pollutants. Cleaning up of these pollutants from environment is a real world problem. Bioremediation has become a major method employed in restoration of petroleum hydrocarbon polluted environments that makes use of natural microbial biodegradation activity. Petroleum hydrocarbons utilizing microorganisms are ubiquitously distributed in environment. They naturally biodegrade pollutants and thereby remove them from the environment. Removal of petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants from environment by applying oleophilic microorganisms (individual isolate/consortium of microorganisms) is ecofriendly and economic. Microbial biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants employs the enzyme catalytic activities of microorganisms to enhance the rate of pollutants degradation. This article provides an overview about bioremediation for petroleum hydrocarbon