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Subducted life

  1. Jan 18, 2006 #1
    How far might bacteria have been subducted within the Earth's crust? I suppose water could have carried single celled organisms to the current record, ~10 km down. Here I'm offering that sulfur-based bacteria could live at temperatures near 250o F, for possibly thousands of years, travelling many more miles beneath Earth's surface than now known.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2006 #2


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    Interesting idea, to which I would ask - if they require hydrogen sulfide as their energy source, such as that found at deep-ocean rift ecosystems, would that still be available (under the conditions required to support life) in these subduction zones? I would think at least water, a critical component, would be in short supply. This doesn't mean that the bacteria couldn't survive under the conditions present in subduction zones, but are they actually metabolically active and thriving or are they simply in a type of suspended animation?
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