Impact of physical properties on biogeochemical trace metal cycling in modern marine surface sediments of the Argentine Basin

Susann.Henkel [ at ]


Specific trace metal contents that can record the environment at the time of deposition are commonly applied as tracers (proxies) to reconstruct ancient oceanic conditions. However, microbial processes can alter the primary trace metal signal of the sediments during sediment burial. To investigate trace metal cycling during early diagenesis, geochemical analyses were performed via bag-incubations on samples collected from two giant box corers retrieved during RV SONNE Expedition SO260, funded by the MARUM-Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen. The cores were retrieved off-shore Argentina, one from the head of the Mar del Plata Canyon and the other from a coral mound. Collected sediments are dominantly silt to fine grained sand but include dropstones and coral fragments as well. Our data show strong changes in the pore-water trace metal concentrations in the samples from the Mar del Plata Canyon. For example, molybdenum (Mo) increases by more than 5000 nM within 8 months. In samples from the coral mound box core, pore-water Mo increases by more than 1000 nM in the first 4 months before decreasing again likely due to the onset of sulfate reduction and, consequently, the formation of hydrogen sulfide leading to the (co-)precipitation of Mo. Our data indicate that the reductive dissolution of iron and manganese oxides leads to the release of associated trace metals at different time points for each site. The observed changes are likely related to sediment composition and physical properties. Sediments sampled at the coral mound site include coral fragments, increasing overall porosity and permeability providing more space for fluid circulation and to host microbial communities. Therefore, our data suggest that trace metal cycling is closely related to physical properties including pore space, permeability, and grain size that affect how much area is available for microbial communities.

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Conference (Poster)
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Not peer-reviewed
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Event Details
GSA South Central Section Meeting 2020, 09 Mar 2020 - 10 Mar 2020, Fort Worth, Texas.
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Jones, C. , Riedinger, N. , Melcher, A. C. , Köster, M. , Volz, J. , Dohrmann, I. , Henkel, S. and Kasten, S. (2020): Impact of physical properties on biogeochemical trace metal cycling in modern marine surface sediments of the Argentine Basin , GSA South Central Section Meeting 2020, Fort Worth, Texas, 9 March 2020 - 10 March 2020 .


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