Hydrothermally altered pillow basalts dredged from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and belonging to the greenschist facies, have been studied in order to determine the mineralogical and corresponding chemical changes, that result from basalt-seawater interaction at elevated temperatures. The mineralogical transformations are predominantly to albite-actinolite-chlorite-epidote assemblages. Quartz and pyrite are common accessory minerals. On the basis of their mineralogy, the samples may be divided into chlorite-rich and epidote-rich assemblages. The chlorite-rich assemblages, which are the predominant variety, show the greatest chemical changes, while the epidote-rich samples show very little change in composition compared with their basaltic precursors. Mass balances across individual pillows in which the central portions are relatively unaltered allow the directions and ranges of elemental fluxes to be calculated. In general, SiO 2 and CaO are leached from the basalt, while MgO and H 2O are taken up. No consistent trends are observed for Na 2O and K 2O although they do show some variations in the core-and-rim analyses. Consideration of the elemental fluxes in terms of steady-state geochemical mass balances for oceanic inputs and outputs indicates that hydrothermal alteration provides a sink for Mg, which may be extremely important in solving the problem of apparent excess Mg input to the oceans. The amount of Ca that is leached from the rock may be of significance in the geochemical budget of that element. The amount of SiO 2 in the circulating fluid is controlled by the solubility of quartz or amorphous silica, depending on temperature, and considerable redistribution of silica takes place within the basaltic pile. The changes in redox conditions during hydrothermal alteration do not affect the present day oxidation state of the atmosphere and hydrosphere.