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Understanding the origins and cycling of methane on Earth is a key area of investigation. Since methane can serve as a source of energy for the deep biosphere, research in this area links DCO’s Deep Energy and Deep Life Communities. Precambrian crystalline shields are among the most intriguing environments for methane occurrences because they consist of rocks formed at high temperature and pressure, which are generally carbon poor. A multidisciplinary team of hydrogeochemists from the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and microbiologists from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland has studied Fennoscandian Shield field sites in Finland, looking for signs of abiotic and biotic carbon cycling, as well as residence times, in deep fracture fluids.
In a suite of publications, DCO scientists Riikka Kietäväinen, Lotta Purkamo, Malin Bomberg, and colleagues analyzed groundwater from the Outokumpu Deep Drill Hole, a 2.5km borehole that is the deepest in Finland. Based on isotopic analysis of the water and the noble gases trapped in it, the team found that the groundwater at this site is tens of millions of years old.
Read more here.