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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-315
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-315
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 04 Sep 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Formation and origin of Fe-Si oxyhydroxide deposits at the ultra-slow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge

Kaiwen Ta1,2, Zijun Wu1, Xiaotong Peng2, and Zhaofu Luan1 Kaiwen Ta et al.
  • 1School of Ocean and Earth Science and State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  • 2Deep Sea Science Division, Institute of Deep Sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sanya, China

Abstract. Low-temperature hydrothermal system is dominated by Fe-Si oxyhydroxide deposits. However, the formation process and mechanism on modern hydrothermal Fe-Si oxyhydroxides at ultra-slow spreading centers remain poorly understood. The investigation presented in this paper focuses on six Fe-Si deposits collected from different sites at the Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). The mineralogical and geochemical evidence showed significant characteristics of a low-temperature hydrothermal origin. The Mössbauer spectra and iron speciation data further provided an insight into iron-bearing phases in all deposits. Two different types of biomineralized forms were discovered in these deposits by Scanning Electron Microscopy analysis. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry and nano secondary ion mass spectrometry revealed that distinct biogenic structures were mainly composed of Fe, Si, and O, together with some trace elements. The Sr and Nd isotope compositions of Fe-Si deposits at the SWIR were closely related to interaction between hydrothermal fluids and seawater. The remarkably homogeneous Pb isotope compositions can be attributed to hydrothermal circulation. Based on these findings, we suggest that microbial activity plays a significant role in the formation of Fe-Si oxyhydroxides at the at ultra-slow spreading SWIR. Biogenic Fe-Si oxyhydroxides potentially provide insights into the origin and evolution of life in the geologic record.

Kaiwen Ta et al.
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Formation and origin of Fe-Si oxyhydroxide deposits at the ultra-slow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge K. Ta, Z. Wu, X. Peng, and Z. Luan https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.9521117.v1

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Short summary
Fe-Si oxyhydroxide deposits are ubiquitously found in hydrothermal environments. Formation process and mechanism on modern hydrothermal Fe-Si oxyhydroxides at ultra-slow spreading centers remain poorly understood. This study suggests that microbial activity plays a significant role in the formation of Fe-Si oxyhydroxides at the at ultra-slow spreading SWIR. Biogenic Fe-Si oxyhydroxides potentially provide insights into the origin and evolution of life in the geologic record.
Fe-Si oxyhydroxide deposits are ubiquitously found in hydrothermal environments. Formation...
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