Pichahchy, A. E.. Texas A&M University, email@example.com
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HYPERSALINE, ANOXIC BRINE POOLS ON THE TEXAS-LOUISIANA GULF SLOPE: A UNIQUE AND EXTREME ENVIRONMENT FOR LIFE?
Two hypersaline, anoxic pools located on the Texas-Louisiana hold great potential for the study of microbial communities and related processes associated with extreme environments. These two pools are roughly 30m in diameter and >20m at maximum depth. They were formed by salt diapirism, a ubiquitous process in this region ridden by halokinesis. Faulting caused from salt activity creates conduits for deeply buried thermogenic gases and oils to migrate to the sediment surface. Consequently, the pools have high concentrations of salt, oil, gases, and suspended sediment with high organic matter content. The salinity of the pools is three times that of seawater with a sharp seawater-brine interface of <1m. The nutrient, DIC and DOC concentrations are many times that of the overlying seawater and the major cations are present in ratios different from ordinary seawater. Sulfate is present at concentrations of <100 ppm, however sulfide is absent. Both pools have methanotrophic mussel communities living on their perimeter.
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Location: Sweeney Center