Frontiers in Microbiology
Microbial abundance and diversity in deep subsurface environments is dependent upon the availability of energy and carbon. However, supplies of oxidants and reductants capable of sustaining life within mafic and ultramafic continental aquifers undergoing low-temperature water-rock reaction are relatively unknown. We conducted an extensive analysis of the geochemistry and microbial communities recovered from fluids sampled from boreholes hosted in peridotite and gabbro in the Tayin block of the Samail Ophiolite in the Sultanate of Oman. The geochemical compositions of subsurface fluids in the ophiolite are highly variable, reflecting differences in host rock composition and the extent of fluid-rock interaction. Principal component analysis of fluid geochemistry and geologic context indicate the presence of at least four fluid types in the Samail Ophiolite ("gabbro," "alkaline peridotite," "hyperalkaline peridotite," and "gabbro/peridotite contact") that vary strongly in pH and the concentrations of H
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Rempfert, Kaitlin R; Miller, Hannah M; Bompard, Nicolas; Nothaft, Daniel; Matter, Juerg M; Kelemen, Peter; Fierer, Noah; and Templeton, Alexis S, "Geological and Geochemical Controls on Subsurface Microbial Life in the Samail Ophiolite, Oman." (2017). Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Faculty Contributions. 35.