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Microbial Communities Associated with Hot Springs and other CO2-rich Waters, Rocky Mountain Plateau

February 19, 2020

The Colorado Plateau is associated with several different commercial sources of natural CO2 and other non-hydrocarbon gases, such as noble gases. Twenty-five different hot springs, warm springs, cold springs, and/or rivers across the Utah region of the Colorado Plateau were sampled for microbial biomass. These different locations were associated with some concentration of dissolved or effervescing natural CO2 or other naturally-occurring non-hydrocarbon gases. Due to the possibility of different sources of the non-hydrocarbon gases across the region, multiple springs are rivers were sampled across a wide area of the state of Utah. Water samples were collected from non-stagnant regions of the sampled spring or river, filtered through sterile 0.22 um Sterivex filter units.
The biomass was extracted, amplified, and sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq platform. The data collected were obtained in order to determine how natural CO2 may impact microbial communities in an attempt to ascertain how sequestered, anthropogenic CO2 may alter the microbial community composition of the target formation. This data could be used to determine how microbial activity may impact the sequestration process in general (e.g., do elevated CO2 concentrations alter the microbial community in a deleterious way), or to predict how microbial communities may shift in response to a CO2 leak into an overlying aquifer.