Microbial diversity in the deep subsurfce resevoir

Financing Agency: Russian Ministry of Education and Science  
Project Coordinators: Elizaveta Bonch-Osmolovskaya, Olga Karnachuk
The deep subsurface biosphere is considered to be a “seed bank” of thermophilic microorganisms. We study microbial diversity in the outflow of a deep (2600 m), artesian, thermal, oil-exploration borehole in Western Siberia.
The studied borehole (P3) is in Palaeozoic strata and was never properly sealed following its abandonment. The borehole has been used by the local population as a source of thermal water for the past 40 years. The artesian overflow has a maximum rate of 9.3 m3/day. The artesian character of the borehole is an advantage for microbiological research since it is conceivable that continuous overflow for a period of several decades will have flushed out any possible contamination due to the drilling process.