DCO Project Summary

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Project Title
Experimental Calibration of Methane Clumped Isotopologue Systematics for Microbial Production and Consumption
Start DateEnd Date
2014-05-01 2014-10-31
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Determining the origin of organic molecules such as methane in deep Earth is a central objective of the Deep Carbon Observatory program. However, the differentiation between biological and abiological methane-forming processes can be complicated since microbial formation of methane occurs even at temperatures where abiotic processes may generate substrates for microbial methanogenesis. In addition, deep-sourced abiotic methane produced during serpentinization may diffuse into shallower settings. In order to study the interaction between deep life and the C-cycle, we aim to validate methane clumped isotopologue (13CH3D) detection during methanogenesis at different temperatures and using varying substrates. In addition, we want to understand the discrepancy of isotopologue thermometery of methane formed abiotically and methane produced via methanogenesis. Furthermore, we will study the influence of methane consuming processes, such as AOM, on clumped methane isotopologues.


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  • RY2014-1 - submitted on Aug 31, 2014

    Update Details:

    The first few weeks of the project have been used to prepare and discuss the details of the experimental setup on the calibration of methane clumped isotopologue systematics for microbial methane production and consumption. All archaeal strains, media compounds, gases, as well as glassware are now available to start the experiments during the last week of July at MARUM. Danielle Gruen (PhD student at MIT) has arrived in Bremen on July 20 and will stay for four weeks to contribute to the execution of the cultivation experiments and take the required samples for isotopologue analysis at MIT while receiving training on the cultivation of methanogens. 

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