IODP expedition 329: Life and habitability beneath the seafloor of the South Pacific Gyre

Steven D'Hondt, Fumio Inagaki, Carlos Alvarez Zarikian, Nathalie Dubois, Tim Engelhardt, Helen Evans, Timothy Ferdelman, Britta Gribsholt, Robert N. Harris, Bryce W. Hoppie, Jung Ho Hyun, Jens Kallmeyer, Jinwook Kim, Jill E. Lynch, Satoshi Mitsunobu, Yuki Morono, Richard W. Murray, Takaya Shimono, Fumito Shiraishi, David C. SmithChristopher E. Smith-Duque, Arthur J. Spivack, Bjorn Olav Steinsbu, Yohey Suzuki, Michal Szpak, Laurent Toffin, Goichiro Uramoto, Yasuhiko T. Yamaguchi, Guo liang Zhang, Xiao Hua Zhang, Wiebke Ziebis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 329 made major strides toward fulfilling its objectives. Shipboard studies documented (1) fundamental aspects of habitability and life in this very low activity subseafloor sedimentary ecosystem and (2) first-order patterns of habitability within the igneous basement. A broad range of postexpedition studies will complete the expedition objectives. Throughout the South Pacific Gyre (SPG; Sites U1365- U1370), dissolved oxygen and nitrate are present throughout the entire sediment sequence, and sedimentary microbial cell counts are lower than at all previously drilled IODP/ Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)/Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP) sites. In contrast, at Site U1371 in the upwelling zone just south of the gyre, detectable oxygen and nitrate are limited to the top and bottom of the sediment column, manganese reduction is a prominent electron-accepting process, and cell concentrations are higher than at the same depths in the SPG sites throughout the sediment column. Geographic variation in subseafloor profiles of dissolved and solid-phase chemicals are consistent with the magnitude of organic-fueled subseafloor respiration declining from outside the gyre to the gyre center. Chemical profiles in the sedimentary pore water and secondary mineral distributions in the basaltic basement indicate that basement alteration continues on the timescale of formation fluid replacement, even at the sites with the oldest basement (84-120 Ma at Sites U1365 and U1366).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Drilling
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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