Geophysical imaging of stimulated microbial biomineralization

K.H. Williams, Dimitrios Ntarlagiannis, L. Slater, A. Dohnalkova, S.S. Hubbard, J.F. Banfield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    92 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Understanding how microorganisms influence the physical and chemical properties of the subsurface is hindered by our inability to observe microbial dynamics in real time and with high spatial resolution. Here, we investigate the use of noninvasive geophysical methods to monitor biomineralization at the laboratory scale during stimulated sulfate reduction under dynamic flow conditions. Alterations in sediment characteristics resulting from microbe-mediated sulfide mineral precipitation were concomitant with changes in complex resistivity and acoustic wave propagation signatures. The sequestration of zinc and iron in insoluble sulfides led to alterations in the ability of the pore fluid to conduct electrical charge and of the saturated sediments to dissipate acoustic energy. These changes resulted directly from the nucleation, growth, and development of nanoparticulate precipitates along grain surfaces and within the pore space. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM) confirmed the sulfides to be associated with cell surfaces, with precipitates ranging from aggregates of individual 3-5 nm nanocrystals to larger assemblages of up to 10-20 m in diameter. Anomalies in the geophysical data reflected the distribution of mineral precipitates and biomass over space and time, with temporal variations in the signals corresponding to changes in the aggregation state of the nanocrystalline sulfides. These results suggest the potential for using geophysical techniques to image certain subsurface biogeochemical processes, such as those accompanying the bioremediation of metal-contaminated aquifers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7592-7600
    Number of pages9
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Volume39(19)
    Issue number19
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2005

    Fingerprint

    Biomineralization
    biomineralization
    Sulfides
    Precipitates
    sulfide
    Imaging techniques
    Sediments
    Acoustic wave propagation
    Transmission electron microscopy
    Sulfide minerals
    transmission electron microscopy
    Scanning electron microscopy
    Bioremediation
    scanning electron microscopy
    Aquifers
    Microorganisms
    Nanocrystals
    Chemical properties
    Sulfates
    Minerals

    Cite this

    Williams, K. H., Ntarlagiannis, D., Slater, L., Dohnalkova, A., Hubbard, S. S., & Banfield, J. F. (2005). Geophysical imaging of stimulated microbial biomineralization. Environmental Science and Technology, 39(19)(19), 7592-7600. https://doi.org/10.1021/es0504035
    Williams, K.H. ; Ntarlagiannis, Dimitrios ; Slater, L. ; Dohnalkova, A. ; Hubbard, S.S. ; Banfield, J.F. / Geophysical imaging of stimulated microbial biomineralization. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2005 ; Vol. 39(19), No. 19. pp. 7592-7600.
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    Williams, KH, Ntarlagiannis, D, Slater, L, Dohnalkova, A, Hubbard, SS & Banfield, JF 2005, 'Geophysical imaging of stimulated microbial biomineralization', Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 39(19), no. 19, pp. 7592-7600. https://doi.org/10.1021/es0504035

    Geophysical imaging of stimulated microbial biomineralization. / Williams, K.H.; Ntarlagiannis, Dimitrios; Slater, L.; Dohnalkova, A.; Hubbard, S.S.; Banfield, J.F.

    In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 39(19), No. 19, 01.08.2005, p. 7592-7600.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - Understanding how microorganisms influence the physical and chemical properties of the subsurface is hindered by our inability to observe microbial dynamics in real time and with high spatial resolution. Here, we investigate the use of noninvasive geophysical methods to monitor biomineralization at the laboratory scale during stimulated sulfate reduction under dynamic flow conditions. Alterations in sediment characteristics resulting from microbe-mediated sulfide mineral precipitation were concomitant with changes in complex resistivity and acoustic wave propagation signatures. The sequestration of zinc and iron in insoluble sulfides led to alterations in the ability of the pore fluid to conduct electrical charge and of the saturated sediments to dissipate acoustic energy. These changes resulted directly from the nucleation, growth, and development of nanoparticulate precipitates along grain surfaces and within the pore space. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM) confirmed the sulfides to be associated with cell surfaces, with precipitates ranging from aggregates of individual 3-5 nm nanocrystals to larger assemblages of up to 10-20 m in diameter. Anomalies in the geophysical data reflected the distribution of mineral precipitates and biomass over space and time, with temporal variations in the signals corresponding to changes in the aggregation state of the nanocrystalline sulfides. These results suggest the potential for using geophysical techniques to image certain subsurface biogeochemical processes, such as those accompanying the bioremediation of metal-contaminated aquifers.

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    Williams KH, Ntarlagiannis D, Slater L, Dohnalkova A, Hubbard SS, Banfield JF. Geophysical imaging of stimulated microbial biomineralization. Environmental Science and Technology. 2005 Aug 1;39(19)(19):7592-7600. https://doi.org/10.1021/es0504035