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The overarching goal of the Subsurface Biogeochemical Research (SBR) program is to advance a predictive understanding of the biogeochemical structure and function of subsurface environments to enable systems-level environmental prediction and decision support. SBR supports a wide range of research activities to advance the development of fully coupled models of subsurface environmental processes. These models incorporate metabolic modeling of microbial processes; molecular-scale understanding of geochemical stability, speciation, and biogeochemical reaction kinetics; and diagnostic signatures of the system response at varying spatial and temporal scales. State-of-science understanding codified in models provides the basis for testing hypotheses, guiding experimental design, integrating scientific knowledge on multiple environmental systems into a common framework, and translating this information to support informed decision making and policies.
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Simulation of Pore-Scale Fluid Flow

Molecular Structure of Shewanella oneidensis MtrF Decaheme Cytochrome

The structure provides molecular insight into how reduction of insoluble substrates (e.g., minerals), soluble substrates (e.g., flavins), and cytochrome redox partners might be possible in tandem at different termini of a trifurcated electron-transport chain on the cell surface. [Clarke et al. 2011. “Structure of a Bacterial Cell Surface Decaheme Electron Conduit,” PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1017200108.]


Simulation of Pore-Scale Fluid Flow

Simulation of Pore-Scale Fluid Flow

Zoomed-in view of a 3D visualization of pore-scale fluid flow computed using the parallel Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code developed under this project. Solid grains are represented as shaded gray quasi-spheres. Transparent surfaces indicate regions of high fluid flow velocity. Traces of individual fluid particles are also shown, colored according to their velocity (with bright green being the fastest particles). Visualization created by Kwan-Liu Ma and colleagues at the Institute for Ultra-Scale Visualization, University of California at Davis.


Genome-Enabled Evaluation of Microbial Community Function and Dynamics

Genome-Enabled Evaluation of Microbial Community Function and Dynamics

Genome-based techniques are helping to advance a predictive understanding of the function and activity of microbial communities in the environment.


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Subsurface Biogeochemical-Related BER Research Highlights