“Edifice Rex” Sulfide Recovery Project: Analysis of submarine hydrothermal, microbial habitat


  • John R. Delaney,

    1. School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash. 98195 USA
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  • Deborah S. Kelley,

  • Edmond A. Mathez,

  • Dana R. Yoerger,

  • John Baross,

  • Matt O. Schrenk,

  • Margaret K. Tivey,

  • Jonathan Kaye,

  • Veronique Robigou


Recent scientific developments place inquiries about submarine volcanic systems in a broad planetary context. Among these is the discovery that submarine eruptions are intimately linked with massive effusions of microbes and their products from below the sea floor [Holden et al., 1998]. This material includes microbes that only grow at temperatures tens of degrees higher than the temperatures of the vent fluids from which they were sampled. Such results lend support for the existence of a potentially extensive, but currently unexplored sub-sea floor microbial biosphere associated with active submarine volcanoes [Deming and Baross, 1993; Delaney et al., 1998; Summit and Baross, 1998].