New Paper on the Lost City Hydrothermal Field

Co-chief scientists Susan Lang at the University of South Carolina and William Brazelton at the University of Utah, along with several collaborators on the upcoming expedition, have published a new paper on the use of deep carbon by microbes at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field. This study addressed the question: how much of the carbon formed deep in the Earth’s interior is fueling microbial activity in the Lost City chimneys, and which microbes are using that carbon? The surprising answer is that methanogenic archaea are unable to use the deeply-sourced carbon and depend on other organisms, such as sulfate-reducing bacteria, to metabolize the deep carbon and convert it into other carbon compounds. We will continue to pursue this story with our upcoming expedition to the Lost City in September 2018.

Read a summary of the paper by the Deep Carbon Observatory.