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      The petrology of seafloor rodingites: Insights from geochemical reaction path modeling

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      Lithos
      Elsevier BV

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

          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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            SUPCRT92: A software package for calculating the standard molal thermodynamic properties of minerals, gases, aqueous species, and reactions from 1 to 5000 bar and 0 to 1000°C

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              An off-axis hydrothermal vent field near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 30 degrees N.

              Evidence is growing that hydrothermal venting occurs not only along mid-ocean ridges but also on old regions of the oceanic crust away from spreading centres. Here we report the discovery of an extensive hydrothermal field at 30 degrees N near the eastern intersection of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Atlantis fracture zone. The vent field--named 'Lost City'--is distinctly different from all other known sea-floor hydrothermal fields in that it is located on 1.5-Myr-old crust, nearly 15 km from the spreading axis, and may be driven by the heat of exothermic serpentinization reactions between sea water and mantle rocks. It is located on a dome-like massif and is dominated by steep-sided carbonate chimneys, rather than the sulphide structures typical of 'black smoker' hydrothermal fields. We found that vent fluids are relatively cool (40-75 degrees C) and alkaline (pH 9.0-9.8), supporting dense microbial communities that include anaerobic thermophiles. Because the geological characteristics of the Atlantis massif are similar to numerous areas of old crust along the Mid-Atlantic, Indian and Arctic ridges, these results indicate that a much larger portion of the oceanic crust may support hydrothermal activity and microbial life than previously thought.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Lithos
                Lithos
                Elsevier BV
                00244937
                September 2009
                September 2009
                : 112
                : 1-2
                : 103-117
                Article
                10.1016/j.lithos.2008.10.022
                339b38ff-1712-494a-9077-a1468b189dd8
                © 2009

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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