Workshop to develop deep-life continental scientific drilling projects

T. L. Kieft 1 T. C. Onstott 2 L. Ahonen 3 Giovanni Aloisi 4 F. S. Colwell 5 B. Engelen 6 S. Fendrihan 7 E. Gaidos 8 U. Harms 9 I. Head 10 J. Kallmeyer 11 B. Kiel Reese 12 L.-H. Lin 13 P. E. Long 14 D. P. Moser 15 H. Mills 16 P. Sar 17 D. Schulze-Makuch 18, 19 H. Stan-Lotter 20 D. Wagner 11 P.-L. Wang 21 Frances Westall 22 M. J. Wilkins 23, 24
Abstract : The International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) has long espoused studies of deepsubsurface life, and has targeted fundamental questions regarding subsurface life, including the following: “(1)What is the extent and diversity of deep microbial life and what are the factors limiting it? (2) What are thetypes of metabolism/carbon/energy sources and the rates of subsurface activity? (3) How is deep microbial lifeadapted to subsurface conditions? (4) How do subsurface microbial communities affect energy resources? And(5) how does the deep biosphere interact with the geosphere and atmosphere?” (Horsfield et al., 2014) ManyICDP-sponsored drilling projects have included a deep-life component; however, to date, not one project hasbeen driven by deep-life goals, in part because geomicrobiologists have been slow to initiate deep biosphere-driven ICDP projects. Therefore, the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) recently partnered with the ICDP tosponsor a workshop with the specific aim of gathering potential proponents for deep-life-driven ICDP projectsand ideas for candidate drilling sites. Twenty-two participants from nine countries proposed projects and sitesthat included compressional and extensional tectonic environments, evaporites, hydrocarbon-rich shales, floodbasalts, Precambrian shield rocks, subglacial and subpermafrost environments, active volcano–tectonic systems,megafan deltas, and serpentinizing ultramafic environments. The criteria and requirements for successful ICDPapplications were presented. Deep-life-specific technical requirements were discussed and it was concluded that,while these procedures require adequate planning, they are entirely compatible with the sampling needs of otherdisciplines. As a result of this workshop, one drilling workshop proposal on the Basin and Range PhysiographicProvince (BRPP) has been submitted to the ICDP, and several other drilling project proponents plan to submitproposals for ICDP-sponsored drilling workshops in 2016.
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T. L. Kieft, T. C. Onstott, L. Ahonen, Giovanni Aloisi, F. S. Colwell, et al.. Workshop to develop deep-life continental scientific drilling projects. Scientific Drilling, Copernicus Publications, 2015, 19, pp.43-53. ⟨10.5194/sd-19-43-2015⟩. ⟨hal-01172623⟩

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