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Science. 2005 Mar 4;307(5714):1428-34.

A serpentinite-hosted ecosystem: the Lost City hydrothermal field.

Author information

1
School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. kelley@ocean.washington.edu

Abstract

The serpentinite-hosted Lost City hydrothermal field is a remarkable submarine ecosystem in which geological, chemical, and biological processes are intimately interlinked. Reactions between seawater and upper mantle peridotite produce methane- and hydrogen-rich fluids, with temperatures ranging from <40 degrees to 90 degrees C at pH 9 to 11, and carbonate chimneys 30 to 60 meters tall. A low diversity of microorganisms related to methane-cycling Archaea thrive in the warm porous interiors of the edifices. Macrofaunal communities show a degree of species diversity at least as high as that of black smoker vent sites along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, but they lack the high biomasses of chemosynthetic organisms that are typical of volcanically driven systems.

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PMID:
15746419
DOI:
10.1126/science.1102556
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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