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la Cono, V.L.* ; Bortoluzzi, G.* ; Messina, E.* ; La Spada, G.* ; Smedile, F.* ; Giuliano, L.* ; Borghini, M.* ; Stumpp, C. ; Schmitt-Kopplin, P. ; Harir, M. ; O'Neill, W.K.* ; Hallsworth, J.E.* ; Yakimov, M.*

The discovery of Lake Hephaestus, the youngest athalassohaline deep-sea formation on Earth.

Sci. Rep. 9:1679 (2019)
Verlagsversion Forschungsdaten DOI
Open Access Gold
Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
Hydrated, magnesium-rich minerals and subglacial brines exist on the martian surface, so the habitability of high-Mg2+ environments on Earth has extraterrestrial (as well as terrestrial) implications. Here, we report the discovery of a MgCl2-dominated (4.72 M) brine lake on the floor of the Mediterranean Ridge that underlies a 3500-m water column, and name it Lake Hephaestus. Stable isotope analyses indicated that the Hephaestus brine is derived from interactions between ancient bishofite-enriched evaporites and subsurface fluids. Analyses of sediment pore waters indicated that the Hephaestus depression had contained the MgCl2 brine for a remarkably short period; only 700 years. Lake Hephaestus is, therefore, the youngest among currently known submarine athalassohaline brine lakes on Earth. Due to its biologically hostile properties (low water-activity and extreme chaotropicity), the Hephaestus brine is devoid of life. By contrast, the seawater-Hephaestus brine interface has been shown to act as refuge for extremely halophilic and magnesium-adapted stratified communities of microbes, even at MgCl2 concentrations that approach the water-activity limit for life (0.653).
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schlagwörter Water-activity; Chaotropicity; Life; Perchlorate; Brine; Community; Division; Limit; Soil
ISSN (print) / ISBN 2045-2322
e-ISSN 2045-2322
Zeitschrift Scientific Reports
Quellenangaben Band: 9, Heft: 1, Seiten: , Artikelnummer: 1679 Supplement: ,
Verlag Nature Publishing Group
Verlagsort London
Begutachtungsstatus Peer reviewed