The workshop, “New Horizons for International Investigations into Carbon Cycling in the Deep Crustal Biosphere,” brought together scientists from Canada, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United States and South Africa to explore new approaches for retrieving geochemical, isotopic, metagenomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic and proteomic information from the deep subsurface biosphere where cell concentrations are low and metabolic rates are very slow. The setting is appropriate given the discovery of abiogenic hydrocarbons and radiolytic H2 in the deep fractures of the Witwatersrand Basin, the recent publication of the first subsurface metagenome from 2.8 km depth at Mponeng Au mine and the recent establishment of an underground laboratory at 3.8 km depth in Tau Tona Au mine for microbial studies.
Video 1 shows a descent down into the mine; accompanied by Videos 2 and 3 which shows a hike to the field location. Staying cool is of deep concern as shown in Video 4. Video 5 is of a filtering manifold, called the "octopus," stuffed into a borehole with flowing water. Video 6 is the burping hole at a depth of 3.7 km, where the water was discovered to be very salty.
This workshop was sponsored by the Deep Carbon Observatory ( http://dco.gl.ciw.edu/ ) and hosted by the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, University of the Free State.
Sloan Foundation: Deep Carbon Observatory Workshop
History: Deep Carbon Observatory Workshop.