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Life in Marine Basalts: Is There a Martian Analogue?


IPGP - Campus Jussieu


Séminaires Géosciences Marines

Salle Bleue

Martin FISK

COAS, Oregon, USA

Abstract: Volcanic rocks up to 1,300m below the Earth's surface is home to a sparse population of microorganisms. These microorganisms are associated with intricate weathering textures within the rocks at the micron scale. One deep terrestrial volcanic environment has yielded microorganisms that oxidize methane. Methane has been identified in the Martian atmosphere, and it has been proposed that Martian subsurface environments that contain water and an upward flux of methane could support chemolithoautotrophic primary producers. Evidence for this subsurface Martian life could be preserved as microweathering textures of Martian basalts (Fisk et al., 2006). Fisk, M. R., Popa, R., Mason, U.O., Storrie-Lombardi, M.C., Vicenzi, E.P. (2006) Iron-magnesium silicate bioweathering on Earth (and Mars?) Astrobiology 6:48-68. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Séminaires Géosciences Marines ------------------------------------------------------------------------