Geomicrobiology is the area of science where biology meets geology and is a growing Earth Science discipline. At BGS the Geomicrobiology Laboratory examines the processes and effects of microbes on contaminant breakdown, transport and containment in a range of geological settings. The Laboratory is part of the Centre of Excellence in Physical Properties providing fundamental support to many science programmes through measurement and understanding of biological properties of geological materials. The Geomicrobiology Laboratory also forms part of the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Tracers and Geochemistry and is developing bioassay and bio-indicator techniques to understand and quantify the impacts of environmental changes on ecosystems in the zone of human interaction.
The Geomicrobiology Laboratory has Containment Level 2 facilities and is capable of isolating microbial groups from geological materials (core materials and groundwaters).
The facilities include:
Additionally, the facilities and expertise in the all Fluid Processes Research Laboratories are available for geomicrobiology studies.
West, J M, McKinley, I G, Palumbo-Roe, B and Rochelle, C A. Potential impact of CO2 storage on subsurface microbial ecosystems and implications for groundwater quality. Submitted to Energy Procedia.
McKinley, I G, West, J M, Alexander, W R, Yoshida, H and Kawamura, H. Microbial catalysis of redox reactions in deep geological environments. Submitted to Chemical Geology.
West, J M, Shaw, R P and Pearce, J M. Environmental Issues in the Geological Disposal of Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste. Book chapter commissioned by the IAEA (in press).
Coombs, P, Wagner, D, Bateman, K, Harrison, H, Milodowski, A E, Noy, D and West, J M. 2010. The role of biofilms in subsurface transport processes. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology 43, 131—139.
West, J M, Pearce, J M, Coombs, P, Ford, J R, Scheib, C, Colls, J J, Smith, K L and Steven, M. 2009. The impact of controlled injection of CO2 on the soil ecosystem and chemistry of an English lowland pasture. Energy Procedia 1, pp 1863—1870.
Maul, P, Beaubien, S, Bond, A, Limer, L, Lombardi, S, Pearce, J, Thorne, M and West, J M. 2009. Modelling the fate of carbon dioxide in the near-surface environment at the Latera natural analogue site. Energy Procedia 1, pp 1879—1885.
Krüger, M, West, J M, Oppermann, B, Dictor, M-C, Frerichs, J, Joulian, C, Jones, D, Coombs, P, Green, K, Pearce, J, May, F and Möller, I. 2009. Ecosystem effects of elevated CO2 concentrations on microbial populations at a terrestrial CO2 vent at Laacher See, Germany. Energy Procedia 1, pp 1933—1939.
Maul, P, Beaubien, S, Bond, A, Limer, L, Lombardi, S, Pearce, J, Thorne, M and West, J M. 2009. Modelling the fate of carbon dioxide in the near-surface environment at the Latera natural analogue site. Energy Procedia 1, pp 1879-—885.
Coombs, P, West, J M, Wagner, D, Turner, G, Noy, D J, Milodowski, A E, Lacinska, A, Harrison, H and Bateman, K. 2008. Influence of biofilms on transport of fluids in subsurface granitic environments – Some mineralogical and petrographical observations of materials from column experiments. Mineralogical Magazine 72(1) pp 393-—97.
Beaubien, S E, Ciotoli, G, Coombs, P, Dictor, M C, Krueger, M, Lombardi, S, Pearce, J M and West, J M. 2008. The impact of a naturally occurring CO2 gas vent on the shallow ecosystem and soil chemistry of a Mediterranean pasture (Latera, Italy). International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 2 pp 373—387.
West, J M, McKinley, I G, Neall, F B, Rochelle, C A and Bateman, K. 2006. Microbiological effects on the cavern extended storage (CES) repository for radioactive waste. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 90 (1—2) pp 114—122.
Tuck, V M, Edyvean, R G J, West, J M, Bateman, K, Coombs, P, Milodowski, A E and McKervey, J A. 2006. Biologically induced clay formation in subsurface granitic environments. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 90 (1—2) pp 123—133.
Pedley, S, Yates, M, Schijven, J F, West, J M, Howard, G and Barrett, M. 2006. Pathogens: Health relevance, transport and attenuation. In: Protecting Groundwater for health: Managing the quality of Drinking Water Sources. World Health Organisation Drinking Water Quality Series pp 49—80. Schmoll, O, Howard, G, Chilton, J and Chorus, I (editors). (IWA Publishing, London, UK.)
West, J M, Pearce, J, Bentham, M and Maul, P. 2005. Environmental issues and the geological storage of CO2. Environment Europe, 15 pp 250—259.
West, J M and McKinley, I G. 2002. The geomicrobiology of radioactive waste disposal. In: The Encyclopedia of Environmental Microbiology pp 2661—2674. Bitton, G (editor). John Wiley & Sons Inc. (publisher).
Hama, K, Bateman, K, Coombs, P, Hards, V L, Milodowski, A E, West, J M, Wetton, P D, Yoshida, H and Aoki, K. 2001. Influence of bacteria on rock-water interaction, and clay mineral formation in subsurface granitic environments. Clay Minerals. 36 pp 599—613.