1 item with the tag “alkaline waters

  • Chemistry, Origin and Evolution of Subduction Zone Fluids Rising Beneath the Mariana Forearc
    NAI 2009 University of Hawaii, Manoa Annual Report

    Ultramafic rocks make up the mantle of most rocky bodies in the Solar System. When ultramafic rocks come in contact with liquid water they are altered to serpentinite over a wide range of temperatures, from freezing to about 500ÂșC. On Earth, plate tectonics provides ample opportunity for this contact to occur, especially in subduction zones. In extraterrestrial environments, serpentinization should occur wherever liquid water comes into contact with mantle-type rocks, such as on Mars and on the parent bodies of asteroids. We have collected waters upwelling through serpentinite mud volcanoes in the forearc region of the Mariana subduction zone in the NW Pacific Ocean. These waters are rich in methane produced inorganically during serpentinization. The methane supports chemosynthetic communites of extremophilic Archaea that thrive at an in-situ pH of 13.1.