Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 32 Issue 01

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Volume 32, No. 1
Pages 198 - 207

IODP Advances in the Understanding of Subseafloor Life

Steven D’Hondt Fumio InagakiBeth N. OrcuttKai-Uwe Hinrichs
Article Abstract

The most recent decadal phase of scientific ocean drilling through the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) has resulted in paradigm-​shifting understanding of life below the seafloor. Enabled by new drilling and coring approaches, cutting-edge methodologies, and novel observatory science, IODP expeditions have significantly advanced understanding of the amount and diversity of subseafloor life, the metabolic strategies that this life uses to survive under extreme energy limitation, and consequences of this life for the Earth system. Here, we summarize highlights from recent IODP expeditions focused on life beneath the seafloor and emphasize remaining major science challenges in investigating the form and function of life in this environment.


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