Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 25-29

Date:

Biogeophysics

  • Lee SlaterAffiliated withDepartment of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University Newark Email author 
  • , Estella AtekwanaAffiliated withBoone Pickens School of Geology, Oklahoma State University

Definition

Biogeophysics. Sub-discipline of exploration geophysics focusing on the geophysical signatures resulting from microbial interactions with geologic media.

Introduction

Geophysical imaging techniques have the potential to measure not just the subsurface physical and chemical properties, as geophysics is conventionally used, but also microbes, microbial processes, and microbe-mineral interactions. “Biogeophysics” is defined here as a rapidly evolving discipline of exploration geophysics concerned with the geophysical signatures of microbial interactions with geologic media that combines the fields of Microbiology, Biogeoscience, and Geophysics (Atekwana and Slater, 2009) (Figure 1). Within this context, biogeophysics examines the links between dynamic subsurface microbial processes, microbial-induced alterations to geologic materials, and geophysical signatures. We note that the term biogeophysics is also used in other disciplines (a) to describe research int ...

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