A serpentinite-hosted ecosystem: The Lost City hydrothermal field

Deborah S. Kelley*, Jeffrey A. Karson, Gretchen L. Früh-Green, Dana R. Yoerger, Timothy M. Shank, David A. Butterfield, John M. Hayes, Matthew O. Schrenk, Eric J. Olson, Giora Proskurowski, Mike Jakuba, Al Bradley, Ben Larson, Kristin Ludwig, Deborah Glickson, Kate Buckman, Alexander S. Bradley, William J. Brazelton, Kevin Roe, Mitch J. ElendAdélie Delacour, Stefano M. Bernasconi, Marvin D. Lilley, John A. Baross, Roger E. Summons, Sean P. Sylva

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    753 Citations (Scopus)

    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° to 90°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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1428-1434
    Number of pages7
    JournalScience
    Volume307
    Issue number5714
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2005

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