Fluctuation Analysis of Redox Potential to Distinguish Microbial Fe(II) Oxidation

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2016.1509. This is version 1 of this Preprint.


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Allison Enright, Grant Ferris


We developed a novel method for distinguishing abiotic and biological iron oxidation in liquid media using oxidation-reduction (redox) potential time series data. The instrument and processing algorithm were tested by immersing the tip of a Pt electrode with an Ag-AgCl reference electrode, into an active iron-oxidizing biofilm in a groundwater discharge zone, as well as in two abiotic systems: a killed sample and a chemical control from the same site. We used detrended fluctuation analysis to characterize average root-mean-square fluctuation behaviour, which was distinct in the live system. The calculated α value scaling exponents determined by detrended fluctuation analysis were significantly different at p < 0.001. This indicates that time series of electrode response data may be used to distinguish live and abiotic chemical reaction pathways. Due to the simplicity, portability, and small size, it may be suitable for characterization of extraterrestrial environments where water has been observed, such as Mars and Europa.




Biogeochemistry, Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Biosignatures, fluctuation analysis


Published: 2017-10-30 23:50


Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0

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