Deep mines in Sweden considered microbial graveyards

Igneous rocks have been hosting microbial life for millennia, a new paper published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment reveals.  In […]
Sampling microbial life in a deep mine. (Reference image by Greg Wanger, NASA/JPL, USA, and Gordon Southam, University of Queensland, Australia, Wikimedia Commons).
Deep mines in Sweden considered microbial graveyards
Sampling microbial life in a deep mine. (Reference image by Greg Wanger, NASA/JPL, USA, and Gordon Southam, University of Queensland, Australia, Wikimedia Commons).

Igneous rocks have been hosting microbial life for millennia, a new paper published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment reveals. 

In the study, an international team of researchers shares findings of fossils of microorganisms of prokaryotic and eukaryotic origin having been found in the igneous crust in a large number of deep mines in Sweden and Norway. Normally, fossils are thought of as exclusive features of sedimentary rocks.

Yet, igneous rocks make up a majority of Earth’s continents. Their deep, dark and anoxic fracture systems are home to microorganisms that gain energy from the consumption of gases, nutrients in fluids and sparsely available organic carbon. 

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