Chemical composition of diffuse flow vent fluids collected from the Crab Spa site at East Pacific Rise during the AT26-10 oceanographic expedition, Jan. 2014 (Microbial Communities at Deep-Sea Vents project)

Data Type: Cruise Results
Version: 2014-10-01

» An Integrated Study of Energy Metabolism, Carbon Fixation, and Colonization Mechanisms in Chemosynthetic Microbial Communities at Deep-Sea Vents (Microbial Communities at Deep-Sea Vents)

» Dimensions of Biodiversity (Dimensions of Biodiversity)
» Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI)
Foustoukos, DionysisCarnegie Institution for Science (CIS)Principal Investigator
Copley, NancyWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager


Spatial Extent: Lat:9.83992 Lon:-104.2915
Temporal Extent: 2014-01-03 - 2014-01-12

Dataset Description

This dataset includes chemical composition (Cl, SO4, Na, K, Mg, and Ca concentrations) of diffuse flow vent fluids collected from the Crab Spa (9.8398º N, 104.2913º W) site at East Pacific Rise during the RV/Atlantic AT26-10 oceanographic expedition, Jan. 2014.

Methods & Sampling

These samples were collected with Isobaric-Gas-Tight samplers and processed onboard R/V Atlantis. The IGT samplers were deployed by Dr. Jeff Seewald from WHOI. Chemical analysis of the major cation/anion species was conducted at the Geophysical Lab, Carnegie Institution of Washington 

Data Processing Description

BCO-DMO Processing:

  • added conventional header with dataset name, PI name, version date
  • added lat, lon, date columns
  • renamed parameters to BCO-DMO standard
  • sorted by date
  • reformated date from m/d/yyyy to yyyy-mm-dd


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Data Files

(Comma Separated Values (.csv), 1.17 KB)
Primary data file for dataset ID 529026

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datesampling date. Format: YYYY-MM-DD unitless
sitesample location unitless
latlatitude; north is positive decimal degrees
lonlongitude; east is positive decimal degrees
samplesample identification unitless
Clchloride ion concentration mmoles/kg
Cl_stdevchloride ion concentration standard deviation mmoles/kg
SO4sulfate concentration mmoles/kg
SO4_stdevsulfate concentration standard deviation mmoles/kg
Nasodium ion concentration mmoles/kg
Kpotassium ion concentration mmoles/kg
Mgmagnesium ion concentration mmoles/kg
Cacalcium ion concentration mmoles/kg
depthdepth where sample was taken meters

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Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Ion Chromatograph
Generic Instrument Name
Ion Chromatograph
Dataset-specific Description
Metrohm/Dionex, for cation and anion species.
Generic Instrument Description
Ion chromatography is a form of liquid chromatography that measures concentrations of ionic species by separating them based on their interaction with a resin. Ionic species separate differently depending on species type and size. Ion chromatographs are able to measure concentrations of major anions, such as fluoride, chloride, nitrate, nitrite, and sulfate, as well as major cations such as lithium, sodium, ammonium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium in the parts-per-billion (ppb) range. (from

Dataset-specific Instrument Name
IGT Sampler
Generic Instrument Name
Isobaric Gas-Tight Sampler
Generic Instrument Description
Isobaric Gas Tight (IGT) samplers, designed and built by scientists and engineers at WHOI, are titanium instruments designed to be used with deep submergence vehicles to sample corrosive hydrothermal vent fluids at high temperature and high pressure. The IGT prevents the sampled fluid from degassing as pressure decreases during the vehicle’s ascent to the surface.

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R/V Atlantis
Start Date
End Date
Samples were collected by ROV Jason II at the 9N deep-sea hydrothermal vent field on the East Pacific Rise, Pacific Ocean

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Project Information

An Integrated Study of Energy Metabolism, Carbon Fixation, and Colonization Mechanisms in Chemosynthetic Microbial Communities at Deep-Sea Vents (Microbial Communities at Deep-Sea Vents)

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents, first discovered in 1977, are poster child ecosystems where microbial chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis is the primary source of organic carbon. Significant gaps remain in our understanding of the underlying microbiology and biogeochemistry of these fascinating ecosystems. Missing are the identification of specific microorganisms mediating critical reactions in various geothermal systems, metabolic pathways used by the microbes, rates of the catalyzed reactions, amounts of organic carbon being produced, and the larger role of these ecosystems in global biogeochemical cycles. To fill these gaps, the investigators will conduct a 3-year interdisciplinary, international hypothesis-driven research program to understand microbial processes and their quantitative importance at deep-sea vents. Specifically, the investigators will address the following objectives: 1. Determine key relationships between the taxonomic, genetic and functional diversity, as well as the mechanisms of energy and carbon transfer, in deep-sea hydrothermal vent microbial communities. 2. Identify the predominant metabolic pathways and thus the main energy sources driving chemoautotrophic production in high and low temperature diffuse flow vents. 3. Determine energy conservation efficiency and rates of aerobic and anaerobic chemosynthetic primary productivity in high and low temperature diffuse flow vents. 4. Determine gene expression patterns in diffuse-flow vent microbial communities during attachment to substrates and the development of biofilms.

Integration: To address these objectives and to characterize the complexity of microbially-catalyzed processes at deep-sea vents at a qualitatively new level, we will pursue an integrated approach that couples an assessment of taxonomic diversity using cultivation-dependent and -independent approaches with methodologies that address genetic diversity, including a) metagenomics (genetic potential and diversity of community), b) single cell genomics (genetic potential and diversity of uncultured single cells), c) meta-transcriptomics and -proteomics (identification and function of active community members, realized potential of the community). To assess function and response to the environment, these approaches will be combined with 1) measurement of in situ rates of chemoautotrophic production, 2) geochemical characterization of microbial habitats, and 3) shipboard incubations under simulated in situ conditions (hypothesis testing under controlled physicochemical conditions). Network approaches and mathematical simulation will be used to reconstruct the metabolic network of the natural communities. A 3-day long project meeting towards the end of the second year will take place in Woods Hole. This Data Integration and Synthesis meeting will allow for progress reports and presentations from each PI, postdoc, and/or student, with the aim of synthesizing data generated to facilitate the preparation of manuscripts.

Intellectual Merit. Combining the community expression profile with diversity and metagenomic analyses as well as process and habitat characterization will be unique to hydrothermal vent microbiology. The approach will provide new insights into the functioning of deep-sea vent microbial communities and the constraints regulating the interactions between the microbes and their abiotic and biotic environment, ultimately enabling us to put these systems into a quantitative framework and thus a larger global context.

Broader Impacts. This is an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort between 4 US and 4 foreign institutions, creating unique opportunities for networking and fostering international collaborations. This will also benefit the involved students (2 graduate, several undergraduate) and 2 postdoctoral associates. This project will directly contribute to many educational and public outreach activities of the involved PIs, including the WHOI Dive & Discover program; single cell genomics workshops and Cafe Scientifique (Bigelow); REU (WHOI, Bigelow, CIW); COSEE and RIOS (Rutgers), and others. The proposed research fits with the focus of a number of multidisciplinary and international initiatives, in which PIs are active members (SCOR working group on Hydrothermal energy and the ocean carbon cycle, http://www.scorint. org/Working_Groups/wg135.htm; Deep Carbon Observatory at CIW,; Global Biogeochemical Flux (GBF) component of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI),

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Program Information

Dimensions of Biodiversity (Dimensions of Biodiversity)

Coverage: global

(adapted from the NSF Synopsis of Program)
Dimensions of Biodiversity is a program solicitation from the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences. FY 2010 was year one of the program.  [MORE from NSF]

The NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity program seeks to characterize biodiversity on Earth by using integrative, innovative approaches to fill rapidly the most substantial gaps in our understanding. The program will take a broad view of biodiversity, and in its initial phase will focus on the integration of genetic, taxonomic, and functional dimensions of biodiversity. Project investigators are encouraged to integrate these three dimensions to understand the interactions and feedbacks among them. While this focus complements several core NSF programs, it differs by requiring that multiple dimensions of biodiversity be addressed simultaneously, to understand the roles of biodiversity in critical ecological and evolutionary processes.

Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI)

Coverage: Global

The mission of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) is to explore life beneath the seafloor and make transformative discoveries that advance science, benefit society, and inspire people of all ages and origins.

C-DEBI provides a framework for a large, multi-disciplinary group of scientists to pursue fundamental questions about life deep in the sub-surface environment of Earth. The fundamental science questions of C-DEBI involve exploration and discovery, uncovering the processes that constrain the sub-surface biosphere below the oceans, and implications to the Earth system. What type of life exists in this deep biosphere, how much, and how is it distributed and dispersed? What are the physical-chemical conditions that promote or limit life? What are the important oxidation-reduction processes and are they unique or important to humankind? How does this biosphere influence global energy and material cycles, particularly the carbon cycle? Finally, can we discern how such life evolved in geological settings beneath the ocean floor, and how this might relate to ideas about the origin of life on our planet?

C-DEBI's scientific goals are pursued with a combination of approaches:
(1) coordinate, integrate, support, and extend the research associated with four major programs—Juan de Fuca Ridge flank (JdF), South Pacific Gyre (SPG), North Pond (NP), and Dorado Outcrop (DO)—and other field sites;
(2) make substantial investments of resources to support field, laboratory, analytical, and modeling studies of the deep subseafloor ecosystems;
(3) facilitate and encourage synthesis and thematic understanding of submarine microbiological processes, through funding of scientific and technical activities, coordination and hosting of meetings and workshops, and support of (mostly junior) researchers and graduate students; and
(4) entrain, educate, inspire, and mentor an interdisciplinary community of researchers and educators, with an emphasis on undergraduate and graduate students and early-career scientists.

Note: Katrina Edwards was a former PI of C-DEBI; James Cowen is a former co-PI.

Data Management:
C-DEBI is committed to ensuring all the data generated are publically available and deposited in a data repository for long-term storage as stated in their Data Management Plan (PDF) and in compliance with the NSF Ocean Sciences Sample and Data Policy. The data types and products resulting from C-DEBI-supported research include a wide variety of geophysical, geological, geochemical, and biological information, in addition to education and outreach materials, technical documents, and samples. All data and information generated by C-DEBI-supported research projects are required to be made publically available either following publication of research results or within two (2) years of data generation.

To ensure preservation and dissemination of the diverse data-types generated, C-DEBI researchers are working with BCO-DMO Data Managers make data publicly available online. The partnership with BCO-DMO helps ensure that the C-DEBI data are discoverable and available for reuse. Some C-DEBI data is better served by specialized repositories (NCBI's GenBank for sequence data, for example) and, in those cases, BCO-DMO provides dataset documentation (metadata) that includes links to those external repositories.

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Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)

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