Notes on Vent Field Description:
located 15km west of spreading axis at Atlantis Massif, 30 N, MAR, bounded to the south by the Atlantis Fracture Zone; 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; discovery online: http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/mar/; Blackman et al. (2001): "The fact that they are located on crust that is over 1 M.y. old and that the underlying rock type is mainly serpentinized peridotite make the ‘Lost City’ vents unique amongst currently known spreading centre vent fields."
Notes Relevant to Biology:
microorganisms 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; biota in part sustained by abiotically produced methane and hydrogen; see Gebruk et al. (2002)
Year and How Discovered (if active, visual confirmation is listed first):
2000 towed video ARGO-II and submersible Alvin
Discovery References (text):
Kelley, DS et al. (2001) An off-axis hydrothermal vent field near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 30° N. Nature 412: 145-149
Blackman et al. (2001) Seafloor Mapping and Sampling of the MAR 30°N Oceanic Core Complex-MARVEL (Mid-Atlantic Ridge Vents in Extending Lithosphere) 2000. InterRidge News 10(1): 33-36.
Other References (text):
Gebruk et al. (2002) Hydrothermal fauna discovered at Lost City (30ºN, Mid-Atlantic Ridge). InterRidge News 11(2): 18-19
Kelley, DS et al. (2005) A serpentinite-hosted ecosystem: the Lost City Hydrothermal Field. Science 307(5714): 1428-1434
Kelley, D.S. et al. (2007) The Lost City Hydrothermal Field revisited. Oceanography 20(4): 90-99.