Principal Component and other statistical analyses of chemical and mineralogical data of Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide crusts and their underlying rock substrates in the central Pacific indicate that substrate rocks do not influence crust composition. Two ridges near Johnston Atoll were dredged repetitively and up to seven substrate rock types were recovered from small areas of similar water depths. Crusts were analyzed mineralogically and chemically for 24 elements, and substrates were analyzed mineralogically and chemically for the 10 major oxides. Compositions of crusts on phosphatized substrates are distinctly different from crusts on substrates containing no phosphorite. However, that relationship only indicates that the episodes of phosphatization that mineralized the substrate rocks also mineralized the crusts that grew on them. A two-fold increase in copper contents in crusts that grew on phosphatized clastic substrate rocks, relative to crusts on other substrate rock types, is also associated with phosphatization and must have resulted from chemical reorganization during diagenesis. Phosphatized crusts show increases in Sr, Zn, Ca, Ba, Cu, Ce, V, and Mo contents and decreases in Fe, Si, and As contents relative to non-phosphatized crusts. Our statistical results support previous studies which show that crust compositions reflect predominantly direct precipitation from seawater (hydrogenetic), and to lesser extents reflect detrital input and diagenetic replacement of parts of the older crust generation by carbonate fluorapatite.
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Influence of substrate rocks on Fe-Mn crust composition
Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers