Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Microbial Life Deep within Mines

Researchers have discovered micro-organisms in a 3 km deep copper/zinc mine (Kidd Creek Mine) in Ontario, Canada according to July 18, 2019 article in Geomicrobiology Journal. The find confirms previous thinking that ancient, sulfate-rich water in the region could support “deep microbial life.” 

Using a full complement of geochemical tests to compare the ancient fracture water with surface water made it possible for contamination between the sources to be eliminated.

This and other evidence suggests that a unique global biosphere thrives in the Earth’s crust with little or no surface interaction. The world’s oldest groundwaters (mean residence times of millions to billions of years) are located in fractures in Precambrian host rock at this depth.

Further genetic studies on deep well water microorganisms will shed light on all the diversity of previously unknown life deep within the Earth's crust. Go Science!