Above: Ultramafic rocks that are now exposed to the Earth's surface.
Friends of Redox Gradient Extremes
Above: Pyrite that has been exposed to oxygen by erosion driven by glaciation, bringing reduced iron and sulfur into contact with the atmosphere.
Below: Pieces of the ultramafic and reduced mantle (green) transported to the Earth's oxic surface by a basalt flow.
FoRGE: A quasi-secret society embracing the study of environments where extreme redox gradients lurk.
1) Collect samples from and generate data on a system that exhibits an extreme redox gradient.
2) Publish a paper on the data from the extreme redox gradient system.
Want to join? Send a paper highlighting your work on an extreme redox gradient system along with a photo of you at your field site to me at havigjf_AT_ucmail.uc.edu and I will submit it to the membership committee for consideration. Once accepted, you will be issued an official title.
Redox gradients abound on Earth's surface, making it replete in energy available for life to use for the generation of energy. Systems that foster extreme redox gradients include hydrothermal systems that bring reduced volcanic gases and chemical species to the oxic surface, weathering fronts that expose reduced minerals to atmospheric oxygen, hydraulic systems that transport oxygenated water to reducing conditions in the subsurface, euxinic/oxic boundaries built up in aquatic systems through the action of sulfate reducing bacteria, ultra-mafic rocks from the Earth's interior interacting with water to produce hydrogen gas and other reduced chemicals, and any other environment where the redox potential can change by orders of magnitude over scales of microns to meters.