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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

943 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Pages (from-to)1428-1434
Number of pages7
Issue number5714
StatePublished - Mar 4 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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