Iron (II) distribution and oxidation kinetics in hydrothermal plumes at the Kairei and Edmond vent sites, Indian Ocean

Statham, P.J.; German, C.R.; Connelly, D.P.. 2005 Iron (II) distribution and oxidation kinetics in hydrothermal plumes at the Kairei and Edmond vent sites, Indian Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 236 (3-4). 588-596.

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Deep-sea hydrothermal activity cycles the entire volume of the global ocean through deep-sea hydrothermal plumes at least every 4–8 × 103 a, a rapid timescale that is comparable to global deep-ocean mixing. An important process within hydrothermal plumes is the oxidation of dissolved iron discharged with vent fluids, leading to the co-precipitation of many other vent-sourced metals, thus, modifying gross hydrothermal fluxes to the deep ocean, and acting as a net sink in the ocean chemical budgets of certain key tracers. Here, we report direct measurements of dissolved Fe(II) oxidation rates from two recently discovered Indian Ocean vent sites that are intermediate between Pacific and Atlantic values, thus demonstrating that the rate of iron oxidation and formation of scavenging Fe(III) solid phases, in hydrothermal plumes varies systematically along the global deep-ocean “conveyor.‿ The average pseudo first-order rate constant for the oxidation reaction is 0.303 h−1 and the corresponding half-life 2.31 h. The rate plots show some curvature, however, indicating additional processes, possibly interactions with organic matter, may also influence the net oxidation/removal rate. Different rates of oxidation of iron in hydrothermal plumes in different ocean basins have important implications for the dispersion of produced oxide phases, which in turn may impact on uptake of other metals from seawater and deposition into underlying ridge-crest and ridge flank sediments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0012-821X
Additional Keywords: hydrothermal plumes, iron oxidation
Date made live: 15 Nov 2005 +0 (UTC)

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