Update 2015: Deep Hydrosphere and H2 - The Canadian Shield Project Update uri icon

DCO ID 11121/7531-9561-9662-9501-CC

Date Submitted

  • 2015-10-02

Update Text

  • Submitted by Barbara Sherwood Lollar, October 2015

    DE funded landmark Nature papers (Holland, Sherwood Lollar and Ballentine 2013; Sherwood Lollar, Onstott and Ballentine, 2014) redefined the deep continental crust carbon-fluid landscape; demonstrating the existence of deep carbon-fluid regimes preserved up to planetary (Ga) timescales and identifying the Precambrian continental crust as a source of hydrogen that doubles the global budget from serpentinization and radiolysis. The most recent work during 2013-2015 provided a first examination of global H2 production via water-rock reaction (serpentinization and radiolysis) from the > 70% of the continental lithosphere that is Precambrian in age. Key to the discovery is a map of global occurrences of H2 and CH4-rich deep saline groundwaters.

    Activities during this period included both field work at the mine sites across the Canadian Shield and substantial efforts from the Stable Isotope Laboratory at Toronto to support the clumped methane isotopologue work at MIT and UCLA through provisions of isotopically characterized standard materials, key field samples and cross-calibration and groundtruthing of analytical developments reflected in two papers with the Ono Lab at MIT. Samples sent to UCLA are currently under analysis. In particular the Science Express paper from MIT (Wang, Gruen, Sherwood Lollar, … and PI Ono) reflects a major outcome and accomplishment for this funding period. Important activity in this period also involved coordination with Kai Hinrichs of the DL group at Bremen to finalize, along with Verena Hauer, the VFA analysis for carbon cycling at the key Canadian Shield sites. Several additional presentations will be done at the upcoming Goldschmidt conference in Prague.