Early diagenesis of redox-sensitive trace metals in the Peru upwelling area – Response to ENSO-related oxygen fluctuations in the water column.

Scholz, Florian, Hensen, Christian, Noffke, Anna, Rohde, A., Liebetrau, Volker and Wallmann, Klaus (2011) Early diagenesis of redox-sensitive trace metals in the Peru upwelling area – Response to ENSO-related oxygen fluctuations in the water column. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75 (22). pp. 7257-7276. DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2011.08.007.

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Abstract

Pore water and solid phase data for redox-sensitive metals (Mn, Fe, V, Mo and U) were collected on a transect across the Peru upwelling area (11°S) at water depths between 78 and 2025 m and bottom water oxygen concentrations ranging from ~0 to 93 µM. By comparing authigenic mass accumulation rates and diffusive benthic fluxes, we evaluate the respective mechanisms of trace metal accumulation, retention and remobilization across the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) and with respect to oxygen fluctuations in the water column related to the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
Sediments within the permanent OMZ are characterized by diffusive uptake and authigenic fixation of U, V and Mo as well as diffusive loss of Mn and Fe across the benthic boundary. Some of the dissolved Mn and Fe in the water column re-precipitate at the oxycline and shuttle particle-reactive trace metals to the sediment surface at the lower and upper boundary of the OMZ. At the lower boundary, pore waters are not sufficiently sulfidic as to enable an efficient authigenic V and Mo fixation. As a consequence, sediments below the OMZ are preferentially enriched in U which is delivered via both in situ pre-cipitation and lateral supply of U-rich phosphorites from further upslope. Trace metal cycling on the Peruvian shelf is strongly affected by ENSO-related oxygen fluctuations in bottom water. During periods of shelf oxygenation, surface sediments receive particulate V and Mo with metal (oxyhydr)oxides that derive from both terrigenous sources and precipitation at the retreating oxycline. After the recurrence of anoxic conditions, metal (oxyhydr)oxides are reductively dissolved and the hereby liberated V and Mo are authigenically removed. This alternation between supply of particle-reactive trace metals during oxic periods and fixation during anoxic periods leads to a preferential accumulation of V and Mo compared to U on the Peruvian shelf.
The decoupling of V, Mo and U accumulation is further accentuated by the varying susceptibility to re-oxidation of the different authigenic metal phases. While authigenic U and V are readily re-oxidized and recycled during periods of shelf oxygenation, the sequestration of Mo by authigenic pyrite is favored by the transient occurrence of oxidizing conditions.Our findings reveal that redox-sensitive trace metals respond in specific manner to short-term oxygen fluctuations in the water column. The relative enrichment patterns identified might be useful for the reconstruction of past OMZ extension and large-scale redox oscillations in the geological record.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Meereswissenschaften; Biogeochemistry; Redox-sensitive metals, Oxygem Minimun Zone, Benthic fluxes; Trace metals; Peru upwelling area; oxygen fluctuations
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > SFB 754 > B5
OceanRep > SFB 754
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.gca.2011.08.007
ISSN: 0016-7037
Projects: SFB754
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2011 07:48
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2017 08:59
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/12062

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