Constraints on the behavior of trace elements in the actively-forming TAG deposit, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, based on LA-ICP-MS analyses of pyrite.

Grant, Hannah L. J., Hannington, Mark D., Petersen, Sven , Frische, Matthias and Fuchs, Sebastian H. J. (2018) Constraints on the behavior of trace elements in the actively-forming TAG deposit, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, based on LA-ICP-MS analyses of pyrite. Open Access Chemical Geology, 498 . pp. 45-71. DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.08.019.

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Supplementary data:

Abstract

The distribution of trace ore elements in different paragenetic stages of pyrite has been documented for the first time in the sub-seafloor of the actively-forming TAG massive sulfide deposit. Trace element distributions have been determined by in-situ laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) of pyrite formed at different stages of mineralization, and at different temperatures constrained by previously published fluid inclusion analyses. The data reveal a strong dependence on paragenetic stage, with distinct low- and high-temperature enrichments. Porous pyrite (and marcasite) formed at low temperatures (<300 °C) in the outer margins of the deposit is enriched in As, Ag, Tl, Pb, Sb, Mo, W, Zn, Ga, Ge, Cd, In, Te, Au, Mn, V, and U. Coarse-grained pyrite formed at higher temperatures (>350 °C) at the base of the hydrothermal mound and in the stockwork zone is enriched in Co, Se, Bi, Cu, Ni, and Sn. A number of different sub-types of pyrite also have characteristic trace element signatures; e.g., the earliest pyrite formed at the highest temperatures is always enriched in Co and Se compared to later stages. Ablation profiles for Co, Se, and Ni are smooth and indicate that these elements are present mainly in lattice substitutions rather than as inclusions of other sulfides. Profiles for As, Sb, Tl, and Cu can be either irregular or smooth, indicating both lattice substitutions and inclusions. Lead and Ag have mostly smooth profiles, but because Pb cannot substitute directly into the pyrite lattice, it is interpreted to be present as homogeneously distributed micro- or nano-scale particles. The behavior of the different trace elements mainly reflects their aqueous speciation in the hydrothermal fluids at different temperatures, and for some elements like Co and Se, strong partitioning into the pyrite lattice at elevated temperatures. Adsorption onto pyrite surfaces controls the distribution of a number of redox-sensitive elements (i.e., Mo, V, Ni, U), particularly in the upper part of the mound which is infiltrated by cold seawater. Where micro- or nano-scale inclusions of chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, or sulfosalts are present, there is still a strong temperature dependence on the inclusion population (e.g., more abundant chalcopyrite in the highest-temperature pyrite), suggesting that the inclusions were co-precipitated with pyrite rather than overgrown. However, at the deposit scale, the trace element distributions are also strongly controlled by remobilization and chemical zone refining, as previously documented in bulk geochemical profiles.

The results show that pyrite chemistry is a remarkably good model of the chemistry of the entire hydrothermal system. For many trace elements, the concentrations in pyrite are highly predictive in terms of the conditions of mineral formation over a wide range of temperatures, from the stockwork zone to the cooler outer margins of the deposit. Calculated minimum concentrations of the trace elements in the fluids needed to account for the observed concentrations in pyrite show good agreement with measured vent fluid concentrations, particularly Pb, As, Mo, Ag, and Tl. However, significantly higher concentrations are indicated for Co (and Se) than have been measured in sampled fluids, confirming the strong partitioning of these elements into high-temperature pyrite.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: TAG deposit, Pyrite, Trace elements, Seafloor massive sulfides, Laser ablation ICP-MS, Hydrothermal fluid
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems > Marine Mineralische Rohstoffe
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.08.019
ISSN: 0009-2541
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2018 08:28
Last Modified: 27 May 2019 13:13
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/44330

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