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Discovery

Scientists Discover Secrets of 'Lost City'

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photo of flange on 18-story chimney

Collecting samples from a 6-foot-wide flange, or ledge, growing from the side of the 18-story carbonate chimney in the Lost City Field reveals an opening into the hollow white interior of the flange from which warm vent fluids escape in a shimmering curtain.

Credit: University of Washington/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


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photo of underwater chimney

The carbonate structures at the Lost City Field include this chimney more than 30 feet in height. The white, sinuous spine is freshly deposited carbonate material. The top shows evidence of collapse and re-growth, as indicated by the small newly developed cone on its top.

Credit: University of Washington/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Mitch Elend, University of Washington, generated this composite mosaic from digital images.)


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photo of carbonate growth on flange

A 5-foot-wide flange, or ledge, on the side of a chimney in the Lost City Field is topped with dendritic carbonate growths that form when mineral-rich vent fluids seep through the flange and come into contact with the cold seawater.

Credit: University of Washington/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


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