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The metal oxide fraction of pelagic sediment in the equatorial North Pacific Ocean: A source of metals in ferromanganese nodules

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

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Abstract

Pelagic sediment recovered at DOMES Site A in the equatorial North Pacific (151??W, 9?? 15???N) consists of a surface homogeneous layer, approximately 10 cm thick, overlying a strongly mottled layer that is lighter in color. The radiolarian composition of both units is Quaternary. In areas where this sediment was only a few centimeters thick, the underlying sediment was early Tertiary. Clay mineralogy and major oxide composition of the two Quaternary sediments are uniform. Their similarity to continental shale suggests that the sediment has a terrigenous source. Clay mineralogy and major oxide composition of the Tertiary sediment also are uniform, although they differ markedly from the Quarternary sediment. In contrast to the major oxides, concentrations of Mn, Co, Cu, and Ni soluble in hydroxylamine hydrochlorideacetic acid are strongly different in the surface and subsurface Quaternary sediment. Mn and Ni exhibit pronounced depletions in the subsurface sediment, Ni slightly more than Mn. Cu is also depleted in the subsurface sediment, but less than Mn. It is also depleted in the subsurface Tertiary sediment, whereas the Mn concentration remains high. Concentration of Co relative to Mn increases into the subsurface Quaternary sediment to a constant Co:Mn ratio of 3 ?? 10-2. The trivalent REE (the REE exclusive of Ce) and Fe exhibit little down-core variation. Distribution of elements in these sediments is closely related to their concentration in associated surface ferromanganese nodules. The nodules are of two distinct types: those from the area where the Quaternary sediment is relatively thick have ??-MnO2 as the dominant manganese mineral. The ratios of Ni:Mn, Cu:Mn, and Fe:Mn in these nodules approximate the corresponding ratios of the soluble fraction of surface sediment. Todorokite is the dominant mineral of nodules recovered from areas where the Quaternary sediment is thin. Relatively high Cu/Mn, Ni/Mn, and low Fe/Mn ratios of these nodules mirror differences between the soluble fraction of surface and subsurface Quaternary sediment. These compositional trends of sediment and nodules at DOMES Site A reflect a diagenetic origin for the todorokite nodules and a predominantly hydrogenous origin for the ??-MnO2 nodules. ?? 1988.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The metal oxide fraction of pelagic sediment in the equatorial North Pacific Ocean: A source of metals in ferromanganese nodules
Series title:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume
52
Issue:
8
Year Published:
1988
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
First page:
2127
Last page:
2145