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2004 Annual Science Report

University of Colorado, Boulder Reporting  |  JUL 2003 – JUN 2004

Geochemical-Microbe Interactions in Chemolithoautotrophic Communities on Earth

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

Although Dr. McCollom’s funding as an NAI team member does not begin until Fall ’04, initial research on the project has already begun. The goal of the research is to develop numerical models of chemosynthetic-based ecosystems on Earth that will provide insights into possible analog environments on the early Earth, Mars and Europa. Towards this end, numerical models of serpentinization of ultramafic rocks and their potential to support chemolithoautotrophic microbes has been initiated. While it is too early in this research to draw specific conclusions, the initial results suggest that H2-based microbial communities living on ultramafic rocks in the subsurface should be much more productive by several orders of magnitude than those based on basaltic or granitic rocks.

    Thomas McCollom Thomas McCollom
    Project Investigator