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Sediment-covered basalt on the flanks of mid-ocean ridges constitutes most of Earth's oceanic crust, but the composition and metabolic function of its microbial ecosystem are largely unknown. By drilling into 3.5-million-year-old subseafloor basalt, we demonstrated the presence of methane- and sulfur-cycling microbes on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca(More)
The response of the ocean redox state to the rise of atmospheric oxygen about 2.3 billion years ago (Ga) is a matter of controversy. Here we provide iron isotope evidence that the change in the ocean iron cycle occurred at the same time as the change in the atmospheric redox state. Variable and negative iron isotope values in pyrites older than about 2.3 Ga(More)
We deployed sediment traps adjacent to two active hydrothermal vents at 9°50'N on the East Pacific Rise (EPR) to assess the variability in bacterial community structure associated with plume particles on the timescale of weeks to months, to determine whether an endemic population of plume microbes exists, and to establish ecological relationships between(More)
Phosphorus is a biolimiting nutrient that has an important role in regulating the burial of organic matter and the redox state of the ocean-atmosphere system. The ratio of phosphorus to iron in iron-oxide-rich sedimentary rocks can be used to track dissolved phosphate concentrations if the dissolved silica concentration of sea water is estimated. Here we(More)
Oceanic crust is the largest potential habitat for life on Earth and may contain a significant fraction of Earth's total microbial biomass; yet, empirical analysis of reaction rates in basaltic crust is lacking. Here we report the first assessment of oxygen consumption in young (~8 Ma) and cool (<25 °C) basaltic crust, which we calculate from modelling(More)
The enrichment of redox-sensitive trace metals in ancient marine sedimentary rocks has been used to determine the timing of the oxidation of the Earth's land surface. Chromium (Cr) is among the emerging proxies for tracking the effects of atmospheric oxygenation on continental weathering; this is because its supply to the oceans is dominated by terrestrial(More)
A novel hydrothermal field has been discovered at the base of Lōihi Seamount, Hawaii, at 5000 mbsl. Geochemical analyses demonstrate that 'FeMO Deep', while only 0.2 °C above ambient seawater temperature, derives from a distal, ultra-diffuse hydrothermal source. FeMO Deep is expressed as regional seafloor seepage of gelatinous iron- and silica-rich(More)
The Paleoproterozoic Era witnessed crucial steps in the evolution of Earth's surface environments following the first appreciable rise of free atmospheric oxygen concentrations ∼2.3 to 2.1 Ga ago, and concomitant shallow ocean oxygenation. While most sedimentary successions deposited during this time interval have experienced thermal overprinting from(More)
Some of Earth's largest iron-nickel (Fe-Ni) sulfide ore deposits formed during the Archean and early Proterozoic. Establishing the origin of the metals and sulfur in these deposits is critical for understanding their genesis. Here, we present multiple sulfur isotope data implying that the sulfur in Archean komatiite-hosted Fe-Ni sulfide deposits was(More)
Atmospheric forcing, which is known to have a strong influence on surface ocean dynamics and production, is typically not considered in studies of the deep sea. Our observations and models demonstrate an unexpected influence of surface-generated mesoscale eddies in the transport of hydrothermal vent efflux and of vent larvae away from the northern East(More)