Earth and Life Processes Discovered from Subseafloor Environments

Earth and Life Processes Discovered from Subseafloor Environments

A Decade of Science Achieved by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)

1st Edition - December 3, 2014

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  • Editors: Ruediger Stein, Donna Blackman, Fumio Inagaki, Hans Larsen
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444626110
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444626172

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The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP: 2000-2013) has provided crucial records of past and present processes and interactions within and between the biosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere. Research in IODP encompasses a wide range of fundamental and applied issues that affect society, such as global climate change, biodiversity, the origin of life, natural hazards involving the study of earthquakes processes, and the internal structure and dynamics of our planet. This compilation of major findings from the 2003-2013/14 phase of IODP, focusing on scientific results rather than description of data acquisition and early inferences, provides invaluable information. Anyone wondering what scientific drilling can achieve will gain quick understanding of the range of questions that are uniquely addressed with this methodology and the ways these data dovetail with other regional information. The excitement of breakthrough findings that occasionally accompanies a drilling project will be evident. IODP obtained unique records from the global ocean basins during the 2003-2013 program phase. This book highlights findings in three theme areas: Subseafloor life and the marine biosphere; Earth's changing environments; and Dynamics of the solid Earth. Each core or borehole log provides a window revealing insights that no other data achieve.

Key Features

  • Presents syntheses of key results from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
  • Encompasses a wide range of issues that affect society
  • Describes the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and its expeditions


Scientists and graduate students interested in all types of Earth system studies, with special emphasis on deep biosphere, paleoclimate, and solid Earth dynamics

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • List of Reviewers
    • Chapter 1. Major Scientific Achievements of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program: Overview and Highlights
      • 1.1. Introduction
      • 1.2. The Deep Biosphere and the Subseafloor Ocean (Initiatives in Deep Biosphere and Gas Hydrates)
      • 1.3. Environmental Change, Processes, and Effects (Initiatives in Extreme Climates and Rapid Climate Change)
      • 1.4. Solid Earth Cycles and Geodynamics (Initiatives in Continental Breakup and Sedimentary Basin Formation, LIPs, 21st Century Mohole, and Seismogenic Zone)
      • 1.5. Borehole Observatory Accomplishments
    • Chapter 2: New Frontier of Subseafloor Life and the Biosphere
      • Chapter 2.1. Exploration of Subseafloor Life and the Biosphere Through IODP (2003–2013)
        • 2.1.1. Background: The Deep Subseafloor Biosphere
        • 2.1.2. IODP Expeditions Relative to the Deep-Biosphere Research
        • 2.1.3. Sample Storage for the Future Deep-Biosphere Research
        • 2.1.4. Conclusion and Perspectives
      • Chapter 2.2.1. Biomass, Diversity, and Metabolic Functions of Subseafloor Life: Detection and Enumeration of Microbial Cells in Subseafloor Sediment
        • The History of Detection and Enumeration of Microbial Cells in Deep Subseafloor Sediment
        • Technical Challenges in Estimating Biomass and Microbial Diversity in Subseafloor Environments
        • Counting Statistics
        • Overcoming the Limitations
        • Combating Contamination
        • Lowering the Quantification Limit
        • Potential Alternatives for Detecting Life in Subsurface Environments
        • Concluding Remarks
      • Chapter 2.2.2. Genetic Evidence of Subseafloor Microbial Communities
        • Ribosomal RNA as Phylogenetic Marker
        • Functional Genes
        • Metagenomic Investigations of Complex Subseafloor Communities
      • Chapter 2.3. The Underground Economy (Energetic Constraints of Subseafloor Life)
        • 2.3.1. Introduction
        • 2.3.2. Energy-Conserving Activities in Marine Sediment
        • 2.3.3. Life under Extreme Energy Limitation
        • 2.3.4. Discussion
        • 2.3.5. Conclusions
      • Chapter 2.4. Life at Subseafloor Extremes
        • 2.4.1. Introduction
        • 2.4.2. Possible Physical and Chemical Constraints on Life in Subseafloor Environments
        • 2.4.3. Challenge for Limits of Biosphere in Ocean Drilling Expeditions of ODP and IODP
        • 2.4.4. Thermodynamic Estimation of Abundance and Composition of Microbial Metabolisms in Subseafloor Boundary Biosphere
        • 2.4.5. Concluding Remarks and Perspectives
      • Chapter 2.5. Life in the Ocean Crust: Lessons from Subseafloor Laboratories
        • 2.5.1. Introduction
        • 2.5.2. General Overview of the Diversity, Activity, and Abundance of Microbial Life in Igneous Oceanic Crust
        • 2.5.3. Subseafloor Observatories: Another Tool for Studying Life in Oceanic Crust
        • 2.5.4. Recent Deep Biosphere Discoveries from Subseafloor Observatories
        • 2.5.5. The Future of Subseafloor Laboratories for Deep Biosphere Research
        • 2.5.6. The Size of the Deep Biosphere Hosted in Igneous Oceanic Crust
        • 2.5.7. Conclusions
      • Chapter 2.6. Cultivation of Subseafloor Prokaryotic Life
        • 2.6.1. The Necessity of Culturing Subseafloor Prokaryotes
        • 2.6.2. The Specific Challenges to Cultivate Prokaryotic Life from the Subseafloor
        • 2.6.3. Cultivation Attempts Using Conventional Batch-type Cultivation
        • 2.6.4. Metabolic Capabilities of Available Isolates from Subseafloor Sedimentary Environments
        • 2.6.5. Novel Techniques for the Cultivation of Subseafloor Prokaryotic Life
      • Chapter 2.7. Biogeochemical Consequences of the Sedimentary Subseafloor Biosphere
        • 2.7.1. Introduction
        • 2.7.2. Biogeochemical Zonation in Subseafloor Sediments
        • 2.7.3. Secondary Biogeochemical Reactions
        • 2.7.4. Interaction of Biogeochemical Processes and the Sediment
        • 2.7.5. Time and the Deep Subseafloor Biosphere
        • 2.7.6. Beyond Interstitial Water and Solid Phase Chemistry?
        • 2.7.7. Connecting the Pelagic Ocean and Subseafloor Sedimentary Ocean
        • 2.7.8. Toward a Global Ocean View
    • Chapter 3: Environmental Change, Processes and Effects
      • Chapter 3.1. Introduction: Environmental Change, Processes and Effects—New Insights From Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (2003–2013)
      • Chapter 3.2. Cenozoic Arctic Ocean Climate History: Some Highlights from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Arctic Coring Expedition
        • 3.2.1. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 302: Background and Objectives
        • 3.2.2. Main Lithologies and Stratigraphic Framework of the ACEX Sequence
        • 3.2.3. Highlights of ACEX Studies
        • 3.2.4. Outlook: Need for Future Scientific Drilling in the Arctic Ocean
      • Chapter 3.3. From Greenhouse to Icehouse at the Wilkes Land Antarctic Margin: IODP Expedition 318 Synthesis of Results
        • 3.3.1. Introduction
        • 3.3.2. Expedition 318 Summary of Results
        • 3.3.3. Discussion of Results
        • 3.3.4. Concluding Remarks
      • Chapter 3.4. The Pacific Equatorial Age Transect: Cenozoic Ocean and Climate History (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 320 & 321)
        • 3.4.1. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 320 & 321 Introduction: Background, Objectives, and Drilling Strategy
        • 3.4.2. Main Sediment Sequence
        • 3.4.3. Results from Postcruise Investigations
        • 3.4.4. Outlook
      • Chapter 3.5. North Atlantic Paleoceanography from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions (2003–2013)
        • 3.5.1. Introduction
        • 3.5.2. IODP Expedition 303/306 (North Atlantic Climate)
        • 3.5.3. IODP Expedition 339 (Mediterranean Outflow)
        • 3.5.4. IODP Expedition 342 (Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts)
        • 3.5.5. Summary
      • Chapter 3.6. Coral Reefs and Sea-Level Change
        • 3.6.1. Introduction/Rationale
        • 3.6.2. Coral Reefs: Archives of Past Sea-Level and Environmental Changes
        • 3.6.3. The Last Deglacial Sea-Level Rise in the South Pacific
        • 3.6.4. Expedition 310 “Tahiti Sea Level”
        • 3.6.5. Expedition 325 (GBR Environmental Changes)
        • 3.6.6. Conclusions
    • Chapter 4: Solid Earth Cycles and Geodynamics
      • Chapter 4.1. Introduction
      • Chapter 4.2.1. Formation and Evolution of Oceanic Lithosphere: New Insights on Crustal Structure and Igneous Geochemistry from ODP/IODP Sites 1256, U1309, and U1415
        • Introduction
        • Deep Drilling in Slow-Spread Crust: The Atlantis Massif
        • Deep Drilling of Intact Ocean Crust Formed at a Superfast Spreading Rate: Hole 1256D
        • Shallow Drilling in Fast-Spread Lower Crust at Hess Deep
        • Conclusion
      • Chapter 4.2.2. Hydrogeologic Properties, Processes, and Alteration in the Igneous Ocean Crust
        • Introduction
        • Crustal Hydrogeology and Alteration
        • Synthesis: Method and Site Comparisons and Trends
      • Chapter 4.3. Large-Scale and Long-Term Volcanism on Oceanic Lithosphere
        • 4.3.1. Introduction
        • 4.3.2. History of Drilling LIPs and Hotspot Trails During DSDP and ODP
        • 4.3.3. IODP Expedition 324 to the Shatsky Rise
        • 4.3.4. IODP Expedition 330 to the Louisville Seamount Trail
        • 4.3.5. Oceanic Plateaus: Plumes or Plate Boundaries?
        • 4.3.6. Large-Scale Mantle Movements Traced by Seamount Trails
        • 4.3.7. Conclusions and Future Work
      • Chapter 4.4.1. Subduction Zones: Structure and Deformation History
        • Introduction
        • IODP Drilling at Three Subduction Zones: Targets and Objectives
        • Highlights of Scientific Results from IODP Subduction Zone Drilling
        • Future Directions
        • Summary and Conclusions
      • Chapter 4.4.2. Seismogenic Processes Revealed Through the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiments: Core, Log, Geophysics, and Observatory Measurements
        • Introduction
        • Stress State and Physical Properties in Shallow Formations
        • Fault Zone State and Properties
        • Borehole Observatory
        • Summary and Implications
      • Chapter 4.4.3. Fluid Origins, Thermal Regimes, and Fluid and Solute Fluxes in the Forearc of Subduction Zones
        • Introduction
        • Accretionary and Erosive Convergent Margins
        • Global Estimates of Fluid Sources and Input Fluxes
        • Forearc Thermal Regimes
        • Fluid Outputs, Flow Rates and Fluxes
        • Global Volatile and Mass Cycling in SZs, has it Evolved or Fluctuated through Time?
        • Concluding Remarks
        • Appendices
    • Chapter 5: Appendix
      1. One-Page Summaries of IODP Expeditions 301–348
      2. Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 822
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2014
  • Published: December 3, 2014
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444626110
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444626172

About the Series Volume Editors

Ruediger Stein

Affiliations and Expertise

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany

Donna Blackman

Donna Blackman's research focuses on oceanic spreading centers, investigating how tectonics, mantle flow, and melting along ridge-transform systems vary and what that tells us about the underlying processes. A variety of geophysical methods are used in this research including mapping of seafloor morphology and geology, modeling of gravity data, and measuring subseafloor physical properties using ocean bottom seismographs, towed hydrophone streamers, and scientific drilling, coring and borehole logging. Computer simulations with colleagues test ideas on how deformation of the mantle and crust might occur. Slowly-spreading oceanic rift zones have recently been recognized to undergo episodes where the balance between magmatic and faulting activity evolves over time. During these 1-2 million year periods, newly formed seafloor develops unusual domal highs that are unroofed via long-lived faulting. Study of these 'oceanic core complexes' provides insight into what controls the magma-faulting balance so a major current focus of my research is to document their structure and, thereby, the processes that are responsible for their formation. Another research focus is how minerals develop a preferred orientation during slow viscous deformation in the deep Earth. Seismic waves propagate at different speeds through aligned versus randomly oriented mineral assemblages, so seismic data can detect subsurface deformation patterns induced by flow beneath the rigid tectonic plates. Mineral deformation modes differ depending on in-situ physical conditions and experimental data are still sparse. Numerical models can test the impact of various possible parameters to illuminate the range of outcomes that could occur in Earth's mantle. An aspect currently under study with colleages at Cornell and Paris is whether mineral alignment could result in strong directional dependence of viscosity, that could feedback and alter the style of upper mantle flow.

Donna started her geologic studies in California (Pasadena City College and University of California Santa Cruz). She worked at the USGS Pacific Marine Geology Branch then moved to the eastern US for graduate school (MIT and Brown University). Postdoctoral work was completed at University of Washington and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Since 1992, she has been a Research Geophysicist at Scripps, with a 1-yr interlude at Leeds University, U.K., in the mid-'90s. In 2012, she began a 3-year rotation at the US National Science Foundation, serving as a Program Director in the Marine Geology and Geophysics program.

Affiliations and Expertise

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, USA

Fumio Inagaki

Affiliations and Expertise

Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC), Kochi, Japan

Hans Larsen

Affiliations and Expertise

Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan

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