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2nd International Workshop on Ancient Hydrocarbon Seep and Cognate Communities will be held during June 13-15, 2019 at the Hokkaido University Museum in Sapporo City, Hokkaido, Japan. Pre-meeting field trip to Cretaceous and Miocene seep localities in Hokkaido will be held during 10-12, 2019.

This symposium will be co-organized with the Hokkaido University Museum. The Paleontological Society of Japan and the Nakagawa Town (Hokkaido) sponsored of the workshop.

Scope of the workshop

The discovery of hydrothermal vent ecosystem along the Galápagos Rift in 1977 has changed our perception of deep water marine life. The vent ecosystem consists of large and numerous polychaetes, mollusks, arthropods and other animals. Subsequently, similar communities have been found around hydrocarbon seeps, sunken whale carcasses and sunken driftwood on sea floor. It turned out that these communities depend largely upon chemosynthetic bacteria, especially sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, for their food/energy source, and thus the communities have been called “chemosynthetic communities.”

Since the discovery of chemosynthetic communities in modern oceans, numerous ancient chemosynthetic communities have been discovered/re-interpreted worldwide from rock formations of various ages. Majority of ancient chemosynthetic communities were found associated with hydrocarbon seep deposits because of their high fossilization potential related to anaerobic oxidation of methane which increase alkalinity and triggers precipitation of carbonate minerals.

The great advantages to study on the ancient chemosynthetic communities and its bearing seep deposits is that the fossil record allow us to understand the evolution of chemosynthetic communities and the spatial/temporal cross-sections of seep systems are much easier to observe than in their modern counterparts. To improve and exchange our knowledge on the ancient chemosynthetic communities, the 1st International Workshop on the hydrocarbon seep and cognate communities was held in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. The successful meeting encouraged us to have regular meeting on the ancient seeps.

This time we meet for the 2nd International Workshop on the hydrocarbon seep and cognate communities in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The Japanese archipelago and surrounding waters yield numerous examples of ancient and modern seeps ranging from the Cretaceous to the Recent times. Following the last workshop, the aims of the 2nd workshop are to exchange ideas, data and contacts among the researchers studying chemosynthetic communities around the world. Paleontological, geochemical and modern biological points of view are all most welcomed.

We also prepared 3 days pre-meeting field trip in Hokkaido Island. We will visit Morai (Miocene), Kanajirisawa in Obira Town (Cenomanian, Late Cretaceous) and Nakagawa Town (Santonian-Campanian, Late Cretaceous). You can enjoy taking samples from those classic outcrops.

It is noteworthy that the final stage of the upcoming book on Fossil Hydrocarbon Seeps to be published in the Topics of Paleobiology series of Springer Verlag (editors Andrzej Kaim, Neil H. Landman, J. Kirk Cochran) will be discussed among participating authors.

We heartily invite all paleontologists, geologists, geochemists and biologists involved in seep, vent and fall research to participate in our workshop!


If you have any qustion, feel free to contact to office of the organizing committee (seep2019-office@seep.geobiology.jp).