DCO Project Summary

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Project Title
Deep Terrestrial Biosphere Observatory: Shield Brines, Microbial Mats, and Banded Iron Formations at the Soudan Iron Mine
Start DateEnd Date
2011-01-01 2013-12-31
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The Soudan Iron Mine is located on the Vermillion Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. At 2341 feet underground, the lowest level of the Soudan Iron Mine is home to an extraordinary and extreme environment where the fields of microbiology, geochemistry, and mineralogy converge. The sedimentary iron-rich rock that was mined for 80 years until the mine was closed in the early 1960s is known as a "Banded Iron Formation," or BIF. BIFs can be found across the planet (Brazil, Australia, and South Africa have some of the largest deposits). We propose to use 454 pyrotag sequencing of microbial community DNA retrieved from a BIF at the Soudan Iron Mine. Obtaining a thorough inventory of the microbial communities across a range of geochemical and geological conditions will help develop hypotheses regarding species distribution with depth and along geochemical gradients in a deep terrestrial ecosystem. 

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Reporting Year 2014 Click to expand

  • RY2014-1 - submitted on Aug 31, 2014

    Update Details:

    Progress: A paper is in preparation (Toner, B.M., C.A. Sheik, B. Bonis, L.J. Briscoe, D. Peterson, S. Alexander, E.C. Alexander Jr., G.J. Dick, and J.A. Gralnick. Microbial community dynamics in anaerobic, fractured-rock).

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