The alkaline springs of the Voltri Massif, Liguria, Italy are beautiful natural springs created by active serpentinization in the subsurface. Like most serpentinite springs, they are not hot, but the springs are very high pH and, in some cases, are venting hydrogen and methane gas. The springs appear to have many similarities with the Tablelands springs.


Together with our collaborators, we have published the first metagenomic survey of archaeal and bacterial communities from the Voltri Massif springs in this paper:

Brazelton WJ, Thornton CN, Hyer A, Twing KI, Longino AA, Lang SQ, Lilley MD, Früh-Green GL, Schrenk MO. (2017Metagenomic identification of active methanogens and methanotrophs in serpentinite springs of the Voltri Massif, ItalyPeerJ 5:e2945


Public DNA Sequence Data

SRA Study:SRP049438


SRA Runs:SRR1636508-SRR2059011

VAMPS project code DCO_BRZ and sample code Serp_LIG

MG-RAST IDs: 4545477.3, 4545478.3, 4545479.3, 4545480.3, 4537863.3, 4537864.3, 4537868.3, 4537869.3


Further Reading


Quéméneur, M., Palvadeau, A., Postec, A., Monnin, C., Chavagnac, V., Ollivier, B., & Erauso, G. (2015). Endolithic microbial communities in carbonate precipitates from serpentinite-hosted hyperalkaline springs of the Voltri Massif (Ligurian Alps, Northern Italy). Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 1-12. [HTML]


Cipolli, F., Gambardella, B., Marini, L., Ottonello, G., & Zuccolini, M. V. (2004). Geochemistry of high-pH waters from serpentinites of the Gruppo di Voltri (Genova, Italy) and reaction path modeling of CO 2 sequestration in serpentinite aquifers. Applied Geochemistry 19(5), 787-802. [HTML]


Alt, J. C., Shanks, W. C., Crispini, L., Gaggero, L., Schwarzenbach, E. M., Frueh-Green, G. L., & Bernasconi, S. M. (2012). Uptake of carbon and sulfur during seafloor serpentinization and the effects of subduction metamorphism in Ligurian peridotites. Chemical Geology 322, 268-277. [HTML]


Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Alt, J. C., Shanks III, W. C., Gaggero, L., & Crispini, L. (2012). Sulfur geochemistry of peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems: comparing the Ligurian ophiolites with oceanic serpentinites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 91, 283-305. [HTML]


Chavagnac, V., Ceuleneer, G., Monnin, C., Lansac, B., Hoareau, G., & Boulart, C. (2013). Mineralogical assemblages forming at hyperalkaline warm springs hosted on ultramafic rocks: A case study of Oman and Ligurian ophiolites.Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14(7), 2474-2495. [HTML]


Schwarzenbach, E. M., Frueh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Alt, J. C., & Plas, A. (2013). Serpentinization and carbon sequestration: A study of two ancient peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems. Chemical Geology351, 115-133. [HTML]


Schwarzenbach, E. M., Lang, S. Q., Früh-Green, G. L., Lilley, M. D., Bernasconi, S. M., & Méhay, S. (2013). Sources and cycling of carbon in continental, serpentinite-hosted alkaline springs in the Voltri Massif, Italy. Lithos177, 226-244. [HTML]