Louisville Seamounts Subsurface Microbiology Field Study uri icon

DCO ID 11121/1020-8797-6595-1636-CC

open to journalists

  • Yes

running title

  • Lousiville Seamounts Subsurface Microbiology


  • The Louisville Seamounts are a hotspot seamount trail in the southwest Pacific Ocean, formed in an analogous process to the Hawaiian Islands.  Seamounts are known conduits of fluid flow into and out of subseafloor basaltic crust. 

    In an effort to understand microbial life in 64-70 million year old subsurface marine basement, we collected samples from two guyots in the Louisville Seamount Chain. We extracted DNA from fifteen samples, for amplification of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and analysis of the bacteria present. Additionally, metagenomes were sequenced from three of these sites.  While some new recent studies have focused on microbiology of relatively young (<10 million years old) subseafloor crust, this is the first detailed study of microbial diversity in older basement samples.

date/time interval

  • June 1, 2011 - December 31, 2013