Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments

Steven D'hondt, Fumio Inagaki, Carlos Alvarez Zarikian, Lewis J. Abrams, 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, Claire C. Mckinley, Satoshi Mitsunobu, Yuki Morono, Richard W. Murray, Robert PockalnyJustine Sauvage, Takaya Shimono, Fumito Shiraishi, David C. Smith, Christopher 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 journalArticle

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The depth of oxygen penetration into marine sediments differs considerably from one region to another. In areas with high rates of microbial respiration, O 2 penetrates only millimetres to centimetres into the sediments, but active anaerobic microbial communities are present in sediments hundreds of metres or more below the sea floor. In areas with low sedimentary respiration, O 2 penetrates much deeper but the depth to which microbial communities persist was previously unknown. The sediments underlying the South Pacific Gyre exhibit extremely low areal rates of respiration. Here we show that, in this region, microbial cells and aerobic respiration persist through the entire sediment sequence to depths of at least 75 metres below sea floor. Based on the Redfield stoichiometry of dissolved O 2 and nitrate, we suggest that net aerobic respiration in these sediments is coupled to oxidation of marine organic matter. We identify a relationship of O 2 penetration depth to sedimentation rate and sediment thickness. Extrapolating this relationship, we suggest that oxygen and aerobic communities may occur throughout the entire sediment sequence in 15-44% of the Pacific and 9-37% of the global sea floor. Subduction of the sediment and basalt from these regions is a source of oxidized material to the mantle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 4

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deep-sea sediment
seafloor
oxygen
respiration
sediment
microbial community
penetration
sediment thickness
stoichiometry
gyre
sedimentation rate
marine sediment
subduction
basalt
nitrate
mantle
oxidation
organic matter

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

D'hondt, S., Inagaki, F., Zarikian, C. A., Abrams, L. J., Dubois, N., Engelhardt, T., ... Ziebis, W. (2015). Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments. Nature Geoscience, 8(4), 299-304. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2387
D'hondt, Steven ; Inagaki, Fumio ; Zarikian, Carlos Alvarez ; Abrams, Lewis J. ; Dubois, Nathalie ; Engelhardt, Tim ; Evans, Helen ; Ferdelman, Timothy ; Gribsholt, Britta ; Harris, Robert N. ; Hoppie, Bryce W. ; Hyun, Jung Ho ; Kallmeyer, Jens ; Kim, Jinwook ; Lynch, Jill E. ; Mckinley, Claire C. ; Mitsunobu, Satoshi ; Morono, Yuki ; Murray, Richard W. ; Pockalny, Robert ; Sauvage, Justine ; Shimono, Takaya ; Shiraishi, Fumito ; Smith, David C. ; Smith-Duque, Christopher E. ; Spivack, Arthur J. ; Steinsbu, Bjorn Olav ; Suzuki, Yohey ; Szpak, Michal ; Toffin, Laurent ; Uramoto, Goichiro ; Yamaguchi, Yasuhiko T. ; Zhang, Guo Liang ; Zhang, Xiao Hua ; Ziebis, Wiebke. / Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments. In: Nature Geoscience. 2015 ; Vol. 8, No. 4. pp. 299-304.
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D'hondt, S, Inagaki, F, Zarikian, CA, Abrams, LJ, Dubois, N, Engelhardt, T, Evans, H, Ferdelman, T, Gribsholt, B, Harris, RN, Hoppie, BW, Hyun, JH, Kallmeyer, J, Kim, J, Lynch, JE, Mckinley, CC, Mitsunobu, S, Morono, Y, Murray, RW, Pockalny, R, Sauvage, J, Shimono, T, Shiraishi, F, Smith, DC, Smith-Duque, CE, Spivack, AJ, Steinsbu, BO, Suzuki, Y, Szpak, M, Toffin, L, Uramoto, G, Yamaguchi, YT, Zhang, GL, Zhang, XH & Ziebis, W 2015, 'Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments', Nature Geoscience, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 299-304. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2387

Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments. / D'hondt, Steven; Inagaki, Fumio; Zarikian, Carlos Alvarez; Abrams, Lewis J.; Dubois, Nathalie; Engelhardt, Tim; Evans, Helen; Ferdelman, Timothy; Gribsholt, Britta; Harris, Robert N.; Hoppie, Bryce W.; Hyun, Jung Ho; Kallmeyer, Jens; Kim, Jinwook; Lynch, Jill E.; Mckinley, Claire C.; Mitsunobu, Satoshi; Morono, Yuki; Murray, Richard W.; Pockalny, Robert; Sauvage, Justine; Shimono, Takaya; Shiraishi, Fumito; Smith, David C.; Smith-Duque, Christopher E.; Spivack, Arthur J.; Steinsbu, Bjorn Olav; Suzuki, Yohey; Szpak, Michal; Toffin, Laurent; Uramoto, Goichiro; Yamaguchi, Yasuhiko T.; Zhang, Guo Liang; Zhang, Xiao Hua; Ziebis, Wiebke.

In: Nature Geoscience, Vol. 8, No. 4, 04.04.2015, p. 299-304.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments

AU - D'hondt, Steven

AU - Inagaki, Fumio

AU - Zarikian, Carlos Alvarez

AU - Abrams, Lewis J.

AU - Dubois, Nathalie

AU - Engelhardt, Tim

AU - Evans, Helen

AU - Ferdelman, Timothy

AU - Gribsholt, Britta

AU - Harris, Robert N.

AU - Hoppie, Bryce W.

AU - Hyun, Jung Ho

AU - Kallmeyer, Jens

AU - Kim, Jinwook

AU - Lynch, Jill E.

AU - Mckinley, Claire C.

AU - Mitsunobu, Satoshi

AU - Morono, Yuki

AU - Murray, Richard W.

AU - Pockalny, Robert

AU - Sauvage, Justine

AU - Shimono, Takaya

AU - Shiraishi, Fumito

AU - Smith, David C.

AU - Smith-Duque, Christopher E.

AU - Spivack, Arthur J.

AU - Steinsbu, Bjorn Olav

AU - Suzuki, Yohey

AU - Szpak, Michal

AU - Toffin, Laurent

AU - Uramoto, Goichiro

AU - Yamaguchi, Yasuhiko T.

AU - Zhang, Guo Liang

AU - Zhang, Xiao Hua

AU - Ziebis, Wiebke

PY - 2015/4/4

Y1 - 2015/4/4

N2 - The depth of oxygen penetration into marine sediments differs considerably from one region to another. In areas with high rates of microbial respiration, O 2 penetrates only millimetres to centimetres into the sediments, but active anaerobic microbial communities are present in sediments hundreds of metres or more below the sea floor. In areas with low sedimentary respiration, O 2 penetrates much deeper but the depth to which microbial communities persist was previously unknown. The sediments underlying the South Pacific Gyre exhibit extremely low areal rates of respiration. Here we show that, in this region, microbial cells and aerobic respiration persist through the entire sediment sequence to depths of at least 75 metres below sea floor. Based on the Redfield stoichiometry of dissolved O 2 and nitrate, we suggest that net aerobic respiration in these sediments is coupled to oxidation of marine organic matter. We identify a relationship of O 2 penetration depth to sedimentation rate and sediment thickness. Extrapolating this relationship, we suggest that oxygen and aerobic communities may occur throughout the entire sediment sequence in 15-44% of the Pacific and 9-37% of the global sea floor. Subduction of the sediment and basalt from these regions is a source of oxidized material to the mantle.

AB - The depth of oxygen penetration into marine sediments differs considerably from one region to another. In areas with high rates of microbial respiration, O 2 penetrates only millimetres to centimetres into the sediments, but active anaerobic microbial communities are present in sediments hundreds of metres or more below the sea floor. In areas with low sedimentary respiration, O 2 penetrates much deeper but the depth to which microbial communities persist was previously unknown. The sediments underlying the South Pacific Gyre exhibit extremely low areal rates of respiration. Here we show that, in this region, microbial cells and aerobic respiration persist through the entire sediment sequence to depths of at least 75 metres below sea floor. Based on the Redfield stoichiometry of dissolved O 2 and nitrate, we suggest that net aerobic respiration in these sediments is coupled to oxidation of marine organic matter. We identify a relationship of O 2 penetration depth to sedimentation rate and sediment thickness. Extrapolating this relationship, we suggest that oxygen and aerobic communities may occur throughout the entire sediment sequence in 15-44% of the Pacific and 9-37% of the global sea floor. Subduction of the sediment and basalt from these regions is a source of oxidized material to the mantle.

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D'hondt S, Inagaki F, Zarikian CA, Abrams LJ, Dubois N, Engelhardt T et al. Presence of oxygen and aerobic communities from sea floor to basement in deep-sea sediments. Nature Geoscience. 2015 Apr 4;8(4):299-304. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2387