Investigating geochemistry and habitability of continental sites of serpentinization: the Cedars, California, USA and the Tablelands, Newfoundland, CAN

Rietze, Amanda (2015) Investigating geochemistry and habitability of continental sites of serpentinization: the Cedars, California, USA and the Tablelands, Newfoundland, CAN. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study investigates the geochemistry and habitability of spring fluids associated with active continental serpentinization at The Cedars, California, USA and the Tablelands, Newfoundland, CAN. These ophiolite complexes were host to several springs discharging ultra-basic (>11) and highly reducing (<-400 mV) fluids rich in H2 gas that were geochemically distinct from the surrounding groundwater. C2+ hydrocarbons at both ophiolite complexes suggest hydrocarbons were thermogenic in origin; however, an abiogenic contribution could not be ruled out. Methane at The Cedars was dominated by a microbial origin with a contribution of non-microbial sources, while methane at the Tablelands was dominated by a non-microbial source (i.e. thermogenic or abiogenic or mixture of the two). Spring fluids lacked electron acceptors and nutrients which adds further complications to the already unusually high pH and limited carbon fixation possibilities in this extreme environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8354
Item ID: 8354
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 231-244).
Keywords: environmental, geochemistry, serpentinization, hydrocarbons
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: May 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: The Cedars (C.A.); Gros Morne National Park (N.L.)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Serpentinite--Newfoundland and Labrador--Gros Morne National Park; Serpentinite--California--The Cedars; Ophiolites--Newfoundland and Labrador--Gros Morne National Park; Springs--Newfoundland and Labrador--Gros Morne National Park; Ophiolites--California--The Cedars; Springs--California--The Cedars

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