Session

poster

Location

Space Dynamics Laboratory, Auditorium Rooms D & E

Start Date

5-9-2022 9:55 AM

End Date

5-9-2022 10:45 AM

Description

Naturally occurring tar seeps, located at Rozel Point at the north arm of Great Salt Lake, provide an opportunity to study a petroleum-rich environment adjacent to this unique hypersaline ecosystem. These seeps result from high molecular weight hydrocarbons migrating through cracks and fissures along fault lines. During high lake levels, the seeping petroleum directly enters the salty brine, but during low lake levels, it spreads along the surface of the dry lakebed forming tar seeps that are numerous and vary in size. Bacteria have been cultured previously from oil reservoirs, yet little is known about microorganisms that live in natural asphalt seeps, in particular the diversity of the microbial community1. Initial surveys point to a diverse and rich genetic pool of species –majority novel –that inhabit these environments2. The discovery of life in tar seeps within salty soils provides an opportunity to investigate bioremediation applications; catabolic pathways capable of degrading hydrocarbons could have an application in cleaning up oil spills3. Additionally, these extremophiles open upa window into potential life in hydrocarbon lakes like the ones found on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon4.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 09, 2023

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May 9th, 9:55 AM May 9th, 10:45 AM

Microbial Diversity at Rozel Point Tar Seeps, Great Salt Lake, Utah

Space Dynamics Laboratory, Auditorium Rooms D & E

Naturally occurring tar seeps, located at Rozel Point at the north arm of Great Salt Lake, provide an opportunity to study a petroleum-rich environment adjacent to this unique hypersaline ecosystem. These seeps result from high molecular weight hydrocarbons migrating through cracks and fissures along fault lines. During high lake levels, the seeping petroleum directly enters the salty brine, but during low lake levels, it spreads along the surface of the dry lakebed forming tar seeps that are numerous and vary in size. Bacteria have been cultured previously from oil reservoirs, yet little is known about microorganisms that live in natural asphalt seeps, in particular the diversity of the microbial community1. Initial surveys point to a diverse and rich genetic pool of species –majority novel –that inhabit these environments2. The discovery of life in tar seeps within salty soils provides an opportunity to investigate bioremediation applications; catabolic pathways capable of degrading hydrocarbons could have an application in cleaning up oil spills3. Additionally, these extremophiles open upa window into potential life in hydrocarbon lakes like the ones found on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon4.