Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 14-3
Presentation Time: 2:10 PM


CARDACE, Dawn, Department of Geosciences, University of Rhode Island,, 9 E. Alumni Avenue, Woodward Hall 317, URI-Department of Geosciences, Kingston, RI 02881-0000

Ultramafic rocks, rich in Fe and Mg and other metals, alter to serpentine mineral-rich assemblages in the presence of water. The rocks so produced weather further to diverse clay minerals, Fe oxyhydroxides, carbonate group minerals, and relict spinel and crystalline Fe-oxide phases. Through these transformations, soil microbial communities gain access to a changing mineral backdrop offering diverse redox gradients. Metabolic potential, considered as the collection of thermodynamically feasible metabolic strategies at a given reaction step, shifts in concert. Here, I consider the weathering serpentine-rich soil unit as a habitat, and describe the changes in energy yielding reactions over the course of the environmental reaction. The implications for environments in continent-hosted ophiolites, in subseafloor settings, and planetary sites in which serpentine has been detected, are discussed.