Credit: Rafael Golan / Wikimedia Commons
“We usually think of geology as something that happens independently of life, and life just adjusts to the geology,” said Karen Lloyd, associate professor of microbiology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and senior author of the study. “But we found that microbes can impact major geological processes happening on Earth today.”
Microbiology professor Karen Lloyd (second from right) and Ph.D. student Katie Fullerton (far left) look at a volcanic wall while on a research trip to Costa Rica. Location: Irazu Volcano.
Credit: Photo by Tom Owens.
In the future, researchers plan to investigate other forearc regions to see if this trend is widespread. If these biological and geochemical processes occur worldwide, they would translate to 19 percent less carbon entering the deep mantle than previously estimated.
Contacts and sources:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
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