Seawater sulfate reduction and sulfur isotope fractionation in basaltic systems: interaction of seawater with fayalite and magnetite at 200–350°C
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
- Wayne C. Shanks III, James L. Bischoff, and Robert J. Rosenbauer
Sulfate reduction during seawater reaction with fayalite and with magnetite was rapid at 350°C, producing equilibrium assemblages of talc-pyrite-hematite-magnetite at low water/rock ratios and talc-pyrite-hematite-anhydrite at higher water/rock ratios. At 250°C, seawater reacting with fayalite produced detectable amounts of dissolved H2S, but extent of reaction of solid phases was minor after 150 days. At 200°C, dissolved H2S was not detected, even after 219 days, but mass balance calculations suggest a small amount of pyrite may have formed. Reaction stoichiometry indicates that sulfate reduction requires large amounts of H+, which, in subseafloor hydrothermal systems is provided by Mg metasomatism. Seawater contains sufficient Mg to supply all the H+ necessary for quantitative reduction of seawater sulfate.
Systematics of sulfur isotopes in the 250 and 350°C experiments indicate that isotopic equilibrium is reached, and can be modeled as a Rayleigh distillation process. Isotopic composition of hydrothermally produced H2S in natural systems is strongly dependent upon the seawater/basalt ratio in the geothermal system, which controls the relative sulfide contributions from the two important sulfur sources, seawater sulfate and sulfide phases in basalt. Anhydrite precipitation during geothermal heating severely limits sulfate ingress into high temperature interaction zones. Quantitative sulfate reduction can thus be accomplished without producing strongly oxidized rocks and resultant sulfide sulfur isotope values represent a mixture of seawater and basaltic sulfur.
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- Seawater sulfate reduction and sulfur isotope fractionation in basaltic systems: interaction of seawater with fayalite and magnetite at 200–350°C
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- Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
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- 19 p.
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