Influence of particulate versus diffusive molybdenum supply mechanisms on the molybdenum isotope composition of continental margin sediments.

Eroglu, Sümeyya, Scholz, Florian, Frank, Martin and Siebert, Christopher (2020) Influence of particulate versus diffusive molybdenum supply mechanisms on the molybdenum isotope composition of continental margin sediments. Open Access Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 273 . pp. 51-69. DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2020.01.009.

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The sedimentary concentration and stable isotope composition of molybdenum (Mo) is widely used as a proxy for paleo redox conditions in the marine environment. However, the behavior of Mo during early diagenesis is still not fully understood, which complicates the application of the Mo proxy in ancient continental margin environments. Here, we present Mo concentrations and isotope compositions of sediment and pore water samples from the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California. Our sample set covers a broad range of depositional environments, including sediments from within the eastern equatorial Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), from a semi-restricted oxic graben, and from near a hydrothermal vent-field. By investigating Mo cycling in these different settings, we provide new insights into different modes of Mo fixation and the associated isotope fractionation.

Sediments from the OMZ have authigenic Mo concentrations (Moauth) between 3.3 and 17.2 µg/g and δ98Mo between +1.64 and +2.13 ‰. A linear decrease in pore water Mo concentrations to the depth were hydrogen sulfide accumulates along with sedimentary authigenic δ98Mo values (δ98Moauth) close to seawater indicate diffusion of Mo from the bottom water into the sediment with little isotope fractionation during quantitative Mo removal. Sediments from the site with oxic bottom water within the basin reveal Moauth concentrations ranging from 1.2 to 14.7 µg/g and δ98Moauth signatures between –1.39 to +2.07 ‰. Pore water Mo concentrations are generally higher than ambient bottom water concentrations and the light δ98Moauth signatures of the pore waters between +0.50 and +0.80 ‰ and of the sediments indicate continuous Mo exchange between the pore water Mo pool and Mn and Fe oxides during early diagenesis. Sediment samples from the vent field mainly consist of black smoker debris and are characterized by Moauth concentrations ranging from 8.6 to 33.2 µg/g and δ98Moauth values as high as +2.20 ‰. The relatively high Mo concentrations and seawater-like δ98Mo can be explained by near-quantitative Mo scavenging from hydrothermal solutions with little isotope fractionation at high temperatures. Comparison of our new data for the OMZ sediments in the Gulf of California with previously published data for sediments from the Peruvian OMZ highlights that Mo isotope compositions in this kind of setting strongly depend on how Mo is delivered to the sediment. If Mo delivery into the sediment contributes to Mo accumulation in the solid phase, as is the case in the Guaymas Basin, sedimentary Moauth concentrations are relatively low but the isotope values are close to the δ98Mo signal of seawater. If Mo is exclusively delivered by particles, like on the Peruvian margin, much higher sedimentary Moauth concentrations can be attained. In the latter case, Moauth isotope values will be lighter because the sediments preserve the isotopic offset that was generated during adsorption or uptake of Mo by particles. Our findings de-emphasize the role of dissolved Mo speciation in pore waters but highlight the importance of the mode of Mo delivery for the Mo concentration and isotope composition preserved in the paleo-record.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Molybdenum (Mo), Early Diagenesis, Paleo-redox, Oxygen minimum zone, Hydrothermal vent
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A6
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Projects: SFB754, ICONOX
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 10:16
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 09:28

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