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Scientific Drilling The open-access ICDP and IODP journal

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Sci. Dril., 19, 43-53, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Workshop white paper
29 May 2015
Workshop to develop deep-life continental scientific drilling projects
T. L. Kieft1, T. C. Onstott2, L. Ahonen3, V. Aloisi4, F. S. Colwell5, B. Engelen6, S. Fendrihan7, E. Gaidos8, U. Harms9, I. Head10, J. Kallmeyer11, B. Kiel Reese12, L.-H. Lin13, P. E. Long14, D. P. Moser16, H. Mills15, P. Sar17, D. Schulze-Makuch18, H. Stan-Lotter19, D. Wagner11, P.-L. Wang20, F. Westall21, and M. J. Wilkins22 1Department of Biology, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
2Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
3Geological Survey of Finland, P.O. Box 96, 02151 Espoo, Finland
4Laboratoire d'Océanographie Dynamique et de Climatologie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Place Jussieu 4, Case 100, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
5College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
6Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
7Romanian Bioresources Centre, Sector 6, Bucharest, Romania
8Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
9International Scientific Drilling Program, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg C-425, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
10Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE17RU, UK
11Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg C-425, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
12Department of Life Sciences, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5800, Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5800, USA
13Department of Geosciences National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
14Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
15Division of Natural Sciences, School of Science and Computer Engineering, University of Houston Clear Lake, Houston, TX 77058, USA
16Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 755 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
17Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur 721 302, India
18Technical University Berlin, Berlin, Germany, and Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
19Division of Molecular Biology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstr. 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
20Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
21Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, UPR CNRS 4301, rue Charles Sadron, 45071 Orléans Cedex 2, France
22School of Earth Sciences and Department of Microbiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Abstract. The International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) has long espoused studies of deep subsurface life, and has targeted fundamental questions regarding subsurface life, including the following: "(1) What is the extent and diversity of deep microbial life and what are the factors limiting it? (2) What are the types of metabolism/carbon/energy sources and the rates of subsurface activity? (3) How is deep microbial life adapted to subsurface conditions? (4) How do subsurface microbial communities affect energy resources? And (5) how does the deep biosphere interact with the geosphere and atmosphere?" (Horsfield et al., 2014) Many ICDP-sponsored drilling projects have included a deep-life component; however, to date, not one project has been driven by deep-life goals, in part because geomicrobiologists have been slow to initiate deep biosphere-driven ICDP projects. Therefore, the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) recently partnered with the ICDP to sponsor a workshop with the specific aim of gathering potential proponents for deep-life-driven ICDP projects and ideas for candidate drilling sites. Twenty-two participants from nine countries proposed projects and sites that included compressional and extensional tectonic environments, evaporites, hydrocarbon-rich shales, flood basalts, Precambrian shield rocks, subglacial and subpermafrost environments, active volcano–tectonic systems, megafan deltas, and serpentinizing ultramafic environments. The criteria and requirements for successful ICDP applications were presented. Deep-life-specific technical requirements were discussed and it was concluded that, while these procedures require adequate planning, they are entirely compatible with the sampling needs of other disciplines. As a result of this workshop, one drilling workshop proposal on the Basin and Range Physiographic Province (BRPP) has been submitted to the ICDP, and several other drilling project proponents plan to submit proposals for ICDP-sponsored drilling workshops in 2016.

Citation: Kieft, T. L., Onstott, T. C., Ahonen, L., Aloisi, V., Colwell, F. S., Engelen, B., Fendrihan, S., Gaidos, E., Harms, U., Head, I., Kallmeyer, J., Kiel Reese, B., Lin, L.-H., Long, P. E., Moser, D. P., Mills, H., Sar, P., Schulze-Makuch, D., Stan-Lotter, H., Wagner, D., Wang, P.-L., Westall, F., and Wilkins, M. J.: Workshop to develop deep-life continental scientific drilling projects, Sci. Dril., 19, 43-53,, 2015.
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