A serpentinite-hosted ecosystem: The lost city hydrothermal field Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/3351-5915-9519-4069-CC

in language

  • eng

year of publication

  • 2005

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&DEG; to 90&DEG;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.

volume

  • 307

issue

  • 5714