Is the CH4, H2 and CO venting from submarine hydrothermal systems produced by thermophilic bacteria?

  title={Is the CH4, H2 and CO venting from submarine hydrothermal systems produced by thermophilic bacteria?},
  author={J. Baross and M. Lilley and L. Gordon},
Submarine hydrothermal vents are a major source of methane to the oceans1,2. The methane, as well as H2 and CO, are generally believed to result from degassing of the mantle or from abiogenic water–rock reactions1, a conclusion supported by direct correlations between 3He and CH4, and generally between CH4, H2 and CO and dissolved silicate in hydrothermal waters2,3. An alternative source for these gases might be microbiological. This would imply that active bacterial communities exist in deep… Expand
CH4, H2, CO and N2O in submarine hydrothermal vent waters
Hydrothermal circulation systems of mid-ocean ridges profoundly influence the chemistry of the oceans and the oceanic crust1–3. This has been demonstrated for several major and minor constituents ofExpand
Geochemical constraints on chemolithoautotrophic metabolism by microorganisms in seafloor hydrothermal systems.
The model indicates that mixing environments are favorable for oxidation of H2S, CH4, Fe2+ and Mn2+ only below approximately 38 degrees C, with methanogenesis and reduction of sulfate or S degrees favored at higher temperatures, suggesting that environments dominated by mixing provide habitats for mesophilic (but not thermophilic) aerobes and thermophile anaerobes. Expand
Microbial Processes at Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents
The primary production of organic carbon by chemosynthetic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria has been proposed to provide the base of the food chain for the extensive populations of animals found atExpand
Reduced Gases and Bacteria in Hydrothermal Fluids: The Galapagos Spreading Center and 21°N East Pacific Rise
Hydrothermal fluids at the Galapagos Spreading Center (GSC) and at 21°N on the East Pacific Rise were enriched in methane, hydrogen and carbon monoxide by orders of magnitude over ambient bottomExpand
Methane anomalies in seawater above the Loihi submarine summit area, Hawaii
Hydrothermal activity above Loihi submarine volcano was characterized by water column distributions of methane, pH and helium-3. It was found that the southern Loihi summit is almost covered withExpand
Microbial activities in the emitted hydrothermal waters of the Galápagos rift vents
The rates of bacterial metabolic activities in emitted vent water are too low for the amount of invertebrate biomass and the rate of its growth and maintenance, and the larger portion of chemosynthetic sustenance of deep sea vent ecosystems appears to be based on symbiotic associations between bacteria and invertebrates and on surface attached bacteria. Expand
Geomicrobiology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents
Bacteria grow most abundantly in the shallow crust where upwelling hot, reducing hydrothermal fluid mixes with downwelling cold, oxygenated seawater, but the predominant production of biomass is the result of symbiotic associations between chemolithotrophic bacteria and certain invertebrates, which have also been found in Cretaceous sulfide ores of ophiolite deposits. Expand
Geochemistry of some gases in hydrothermal fluids from the southern Juan de Fuca Ridge
Five samples of hydrothermal fluids from two vent areas on the southern Juan de Fuca Ridge were analyzed for dissolved gases. Concentrations in the end-member hydrothermal fluid of H2 (270–527Expand
Dissolved methane and hydrogen in the Steinahóll hydrothermal plume, 63°N, Reykjanes Ridge
Abstract Dissolved concentrations of CH4, H2 and Mn have been measured in a hydrothermal plume above the shallow water (c. 250m) Steinahóll vent site at 63°N on the Reykjanes Ridge. Samples wereExpand
Review Lecture - The chemosynthetic support of life and the microbial diversity at deep-sea hydrothermal vents
  • H. Jannasch
  • Geology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences
  • 1985
Circulation of seawater through the upper few kilometres of oceanic crust at tectonic spreading zones results in a transformation of geothermal into chemical energy. Reduced inorganic species areExpand


Methane and hydrogen in East Pacific Rise hydrothermal fluids
Recently discovered hydrothermal vents at 21°N on the East Pacific Rise are discharging turbid waters at up to 400°C; mixtures of the plumes with ambient seawater contain significant amounts ofExpand
Microbiology of Methanogenesis in Thermal, Volcanic Environments
Microbial methanogenesis was examined in thermal waters, muds, and decomposing algal-bacterial mats associated with volcanic activity in Yellowstone National Park and revealed that the microbial population was predominantly rod shaped and asporogenous. Expand
Submarine Thermal Springs on the Gal�pagos Rift
It is suggested that two-thirds of the heat lost from new oceanic lithosphere at the Gal�pagos Rift in the first million years may be vented from thermal springs, predominantly along the axial ridge within the rift valley. Expand
Calvin-Benson cycle and sulphide oxidation enzymes in animals from sulphide-rich habitats
The role of sulphide oxidation-driven production of reduced carbon in the nutrition of animals adapted to life in sulphide-rich habitats such as the deep-sea hydrothermal vents and intertidalExpand
Dietary carbon sources of mussels and tubeworms from Galápagos hydrothermal vents determined from tissue 14C activity
Evidence is presented here, based on 14C activities and 13C/12C ratios, that the principal source of dietary carbon for mussels and tubeworms is derived from the dissolved inorganic carbon in the vent effluent waters. Expand
Morphological Survey of Microbial Mats Near Deep-Sea Thermal Vents
This article corrects the article on p. 531 in vol. Expand
East Pacific Rise: Hot Springs and Geophysical Experiments
High-resolution determinations of crustal properties along the spreading center were made to gain knowledge of the source of new oceanic crust and marine magnetic anomalies, the nature of the axial magma chamber, and the depth of hydrothermal circulation. Expand
Deep-Sea Primary Production at the Galapagos Hydrothermal Vents
Dense animal populations surrounding recently discovered hydrothermal vents at the Galapagos Rift sea-floor spreading center, 2550 meters deep, are probably sustained by microbial primary production.Expand
Survival of human enteric and other sewage microorganisms under simulated deep-sea conditions.
The survival of pure cultures of Escherichia coli, Streptococcus faecalis, Clostridium perfringens, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus under simulated deep-sea conditions of low temperature, seawater, and hydrostatic pressures was determined and the possibility of sewage-associated microorganisms growing and competing with indigenous marine microbial flora in situ is discussed. Expand
Sulfide Deposits from the East Pacific Rise Near 21�N
Massive sulfide deposits were discovered from the diving saucer Cyana on the accreting plate boundary region of the East Pacific Rise near 21�N. The deposits form conical and tubular structures lyingExpand