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The Coast Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory (CROMO) is a multi-well network seated in serpentinizing ultramafic rocks near Lower Lake, California. CROMO was established in 2011 with funding from the NASA Astrobiology Institute and has been used to study biogeochemistry, microbial community dynamics, and physiology at high pH.


Image Source: NASA Astrobiology Institute, CROMO

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Michigan Basin
Michigan's underlying rocks are a basin, meaning that as you go from the center to outwards of the lower peninsula, the bedrock gets older; the Saginaw aquifer (yellow area) was from the Pennsylvanian era and is the younger bedrock in Michigan. It is thought that the groundwater in the Saginaw aquifer flows from central Michigan (Lansing area) towards Saginaw Bay. We know that the groundwater in the Lansing area is 0 to a couple thousand years old, whereas it is 10000 to 50000 years old around Saginaw Bay.

Santa Elena Ophiolite
The Santa Elena Ophiolite in northwestern Costa Rica is a remarkable geological site featuring a section of oceanic crust and upper mantle exposed on land. This site is particularly intriguing for studying microbial communities and biofilms, as the unique mineral compositions and hydrothermal alterations of the ophiolitic rocks create diverse habitats for extremophilic microbes. These microorganisms colonize the rock surfaces, forming biofilms that play crucial roles in biogeochemical cycles, including the weathering of minerals and the cycling of elements like sulfur and iron. Research at the Santa Elena Ophiolite faces challenges due to the region's distinct wet and dry seasons, with fieldwork and sampling possible only during the dry season. Despite these challenges, the site is a notable Mars analog, providing valuable insights into microbial life in extreme environments and potential analogs for life on other planetary bodies.


Lost City
The Lost City Hydrothermal Field (LCHF) sits atop the Atlantis Massif near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (30 N). The warm, alkaline fluid that vent from hydrothermal chimneys provide a fascinating analog to primitive environments involved in the origins and early evolution of life on Earth.


The Tablelands in the Bay of Islands Ophiolite complex of Gros Morne National Park (Newfoundland, Canada) is a portion of ~500-million-year old oceanic crust accreted to the continental margin. Despite it's age, gas-rich pH 12 fluids continue to seep from fractures within the ophiolite.

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