Impact of ambient conditions on the Si isotope fractionation in marine pore fluids during early diagenesis.

Geilert, Sonja , Grasse, Patricia , Doering, Kristin , Wallmann, Klaus , Ehlert, Claudia , Scholz, Florian, Frank, Martin , Schmidt, Mark and Hensen, Christian (2020) Impact of ambient conditions on the Si isotope fractionation in marine pore fluids during early diagenesis. Open Access Biogeosciences (BG), 17 . pp. 1745-1763. DOI 10.5194/bg-17-1745-2020.

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Supplementary data:


Benthic fluxes of dissolved silica (Si) from sediments into the water column are driven by the dissolution of biogenic silica (bSiO2) and terrigenous Si minerals and modulated by the precipitation of authigenic Si phases. Each of these processes has a specific effect on the isotopic composition of silica dissolved in sediment pore waters such that the determination of pore water δ30Si values can help to decipher the complex Si cycle in surface sediments. In this study, the δ30Si signatures of pore fluids and bSiO2 in the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) were analyzed, which is characterized by high bSiO2 accumulation and hydrothermal activity. The δ30Si signatures were investigated in the deep basin, in the vicinity of a hydrothermal vent field, and at an anoxic site located within the pronounced oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). The pore fluid δ30Sipf signatures differ significantly depending on the ambient conditions. Within the basin, δ30Sipf is essentially uniform averaging +1.2 ± 0.1 ‰ (1SD). Pore fluid δ30Sipf values from within the OMZ are significantly lower (0.0 ± 0.5 ‰, 1SD), while pore fluids close to the hydrothermal vent field are higher (+2.0 ± 0.2 ‰, 1SD).

Reactive transport modelling results show that the δ30Sipf is mainly controlled by silica dissolution (bSiO2 and terrigenous phases) and Si precipitation (authigenic aluminosilicates). Precipitation processes cause a shift to high pore fluid δ30Sipf signatures, most pronounced at the hydrothermal site. Within the OMZ however, additional dissolution of isotopically depleted Si minerals (e.g. clays) facilitated by high mass accumulation rates of terrigenous material (MARterr) is required to promote the low δ30Sipf signatures while precipitation of authigenic aluminosilicates seems to be hampered by high water / rock ratios. Guaymas OMZ δ30Sipf values are markedly different from those of the Peruvian OMZ, the only other marine setting where Si isotopes have been investigated to constrain early diagenetic processes. These differences highlight the fact that δ30Sipf signals in OMZs worldwide are not alike and each setting can result in a range of δ30Sipf values as a function of the environmental conditions. We conclude that the benthic silica cycle is more complex than previously thought and that additional Si isotope studies are needed to decipher the controls on Si turnover in marine sediment and the role of sediments in the marine silica cycle.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Si isotopes, reverse weathering, hydrothermal system, oxygen minimum zone, environmental conditions
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
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
Publisher: Copernicus Publications (EGU)
Projects: MAKS, FLOWS, SFB754, CATS
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 15:05
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 09:25

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