Geologic evolution of the Lost City Hydrothermal Field
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Geologic evolution of the Lost City Hydrothermal Field

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  • Journal Title:
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
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  • Description:
    The Lost City Hydrothermal Field (LCHF) is a novel serpentinite‐hosted vent field located on the Atlantis Massif southern wall. Results of 2 m resolution bathymetry, side scan, and video and still imagery, integrated with direct submersible observations provide the first high‐resolution geologic map of the LCHF. These data form the foundation for an evolutionary model for the vent system over the past >120,000 years. The field is located on a down‐dropped bench 70 m below the summit of the massif. The bench is capped by breccia and pelagic carbonate deposits underlain by variably deformed and altered serpentinite and gabbroic rocks. Hydrothermal activity is focused at the 60 m tall, 100 m across, massive carbonate edifice “Poseidon,” which is venting 91°C fluid. Hydrothermal activity declines south and west of the Poseidon complex and dies off completely at distances greater than 200 m. East of Poseidon, the most recent stage of hydrothermal flow is characterized by egress of diffuse fluids from narrow fissures within a low‐angle, anastomosing mylonite zone. South of the area of current hydrothermal activity, there is evidence of two discrete previously unrecognized relict fields. Active venting sites defined by carbonate‐filled fissures that cut the carbonate cap rock at the summit of the massif mark the present‐day northernmost extent of venting. These spatial relationships reflect multiple stages of field development, the northward migration of venting over time, and the likely development of a nascent field at the massif summit.
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    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17(2), 375-394
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    1525-2027;1525-2027;
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