Evidence for the submarine weathering of silicate minerals in Black sea sediments: possible implications for the marine Li and B cycles

Aloisi, Giovanni, Wallmann, Klaus, Drews, Manuela and Bohrmann, Gerhard (2004) Evidence for the submarine weathering of silicate minerals in Black sea sediments: possible implications for the marine Li and B cycles Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 5 (4). Q04007. DOI 10.1029/2003GC000639.

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[1] The role of sediment diagenesis in the marine cycles of Li and B is poorly understood. Because Li and B are easily mobilized during burial and are consumed in authigenic clay mineral formation, their abundance in marine pore waters varies considerably. Exchange with the overlying ocean through diffusive fluxes should thus be common. Nevertheless, only a minor Li sink associated with the low-temperature alteration of volcanic ash has been observed. We describe a low-temperature diagenetic environment in the Black Sea dominated by the alteration of detrital plagioclase feldspars. Fluids expelled from the Odessa mud volcano in the Sorokin Trough originate from shallow (≈100–400 m deep) sediments which are poor in volcanic materials but rich in anorthite. These fluids are depleted in Na+, K+, Li+, B, and 18O and enriched in Ca2+ and Sr2+, indicating that anorthite is dissolving and authigenic clays are forming. Using a simple chemical model, we calculate the pH and the partial pressure of CO2 (PCO2) in fluids associated with this alteration process. Our results show that the pH of these fluids is up to 1.5 pH units lower than in most deep marine sediments and that PCO2 levels are up to several hundred times higher than in the atmosphere. These conditions are similar to those which favor the weathering of silicate minerals in subaerial soil environments. We propose that in Black Sea sediments enhanced organic matter preservation favors CO2 production through methanogenesis and results in a low pore water pH, compared to most deep sea sediments. As a result, silicate mineral weathering, which is a sluggish process in most marine diagenetic environments, proceeds rapidly in Black Sea sediments. There is a potential for organic matter-rich continental shelf environments to host this type of diagenesis. Should such environments be widespread, this new Li and B sink could help balance the marine Li and Li isotope budgets but would imply an apparent imbalance in the B cycle.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Black Sea; diagenesis; silicates; weathering
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2003GC000639
ISSN: 1525-2027
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:50
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 08:59
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/1580

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