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Title: A coupled microscopy approach to assess the nano-landscape of weathering

Abstract

Mineral weathering is a balanced interplay among physical, chemical, and biological processes. Fundamental knowledge gaps exist in characterizing the biogeochemical mechanisms that transform microbe-mineral interfaces at submicron scales, particularly in complex field systems. Our objective was to develop methods targeting the nanoscale by using high-resolution microscopy to assess biological and geochemical drivers of weathering in natural settings. Basalt, granite, and quartz (53–250 µm) were deployed in surface soils (10 cm) of three ecosystems (semiarid, subhumid, humid) for one year. We successfully developed a reference grid method to analyze individual grains using: (1) helium ion microscopy to capture micron to sub-nanometer imagery of mineral-organic interactions; and (2) scanning electron microscopy to quantify elemental distribution on the same surfaces via element mapping and point analyses. Here, we detected locations of biomechanical weathering, secondary mineral precipitation, biofilm formation, and grain coatings across the three contrasting climates. To our knowledge, this is the first time these coupled microscopy techniques were applied in the earth and ecosystem sciences to assess microbe-mineral interfaces and in situ biological contributors to incipient weathering.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [1];  [2];  [4];  [5]
  1. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
  2. Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)
  4. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  5. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1518475
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-142858
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Lybrand, Rebecca A., Austin, Jason C., Fedenko, Jennifer, Gallery, Rachel E., Rooney, Erin C., Schroeder, Paul A., Zaharescu, Dragos G., and Qafoku, Odeta. A coupled microscopy approach to assess the nano-landscape of weathering. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41357-0.
Lybrand, Rebecca A., Austin, Jason C., Fedenko, Jennifer, Gallery, Rachel E., Rooney, Erin C., Schroeder, Paul A., Zaharescu, Dragos G., & Qafoku, Odeta. A coupled microscopy approach to assess the nano-landscape of weathering. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41357-0.
Lybrand, Rebecca A., Austin, Jason C., Fedenko, Jennifer, Gallery, Rachel E., Rooney, Erin C., Schroeder, Paul A., Zaharescu, Dragos G., and Qafoku, Odeta. Fri . "A coupled microscopy approach to assess the nano-landscape of weathering". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-41357-0. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1518475.
@article{osti_1518475,
title = {A coupled microscopy approach to assess the nano-landscape of weathering},
author = {Lybrand, Rebecca A. and Austin, Jason C. and Fedenko, Jennifer and Gallery, Rachel E. and Rooney, Erin C. and Schroeder, Paul A. and Zaharescu, Dragos G. and Qafoku, Odeta},
abstractNote = {Mineral weathering is a balanced interplay among physical, chemical, and biological processes. Fundamental knowledge gaps exist in characterizing the biogeochemical mechanisms that transform microbe-mineral interfaces at submicron scales, particularly in complex field systems. Our objective was to develop methods targeting the nanoscale by using high-resolution microscopy to assess biological and geochemical drivers of weathering in natural settings. Basalt, granite, and quartz (53–250 µm) were deployed in surface soils (10 cm) of three ecosystems (semiarid, subhumid, humid) for one year. We successfully developed a reference grid method to analyze individual grains using: (1) helium ion microscopy to capture micron to sub-nanometer imagery of mineral-organic interactions; and (2) scanning electron microscopy to quantify elemental distribution on the same surfaces via element mapping and point analyses. Here, we detected locations of biomechanical weathering, secondary mineral precipitation, biofilm formation, and grain coatings across the three contrasting climates. To our knowledge, this is the first time these coupled microscopy techniques were applied in the earth and ecosystem sciences to assess microbe-mineral interfaces and in situ biological contributors to incipient weathering.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-41357-0},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

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