Geochemistry on manganese nodules from Loch Fyne, Scotland

2019-11-23T14:03:30Z (GMT) by Stephen E Calvert N B Price
Manganese nodules and manganese carbonate concretions occur in the upper 10-15 cm of the Recent sediments of Loch Fyne, Argyllshire in water depths of 180-200 m. The nodules are spherical, a few mm to 3 cm in diameter, and consist of a black, Mn-rich core and a thin, red, Fe-rich rim. The carbonate occurs as irregular concretions, 0.5-8 cm in size, and as a cement in irregular nodule and shell fragment aggregates. It partially replaces some nodule material and clastic silicate inclusions, but does not affect aragonitic and calcitic shell fragments. The nodules are approximately 75% pure oxides and contain 30% Mn and 4% Fe. In the cores, the principal mineral phase is todorokite, with a Mn/Fe ratio of 17. The rim consists of X-ray amorphous Fe and Mn oxides with a Mn/Fe ratio of 0.66. The cores are enriched, relative to Al, in K, Ba, Co, Mo, Ni and Sr while the rims contain more P, Ti, As, Pb, Y and Zn. The manganese carbonate has the composition (Mn47.7 Ca45.1 Mg7.2) CO3. Apart from Cu, all minor elements are excluded from significant substitution in the carbonate lattice. Manganese nodules and carbonates form diagenetically within the Recent sediments of Loch Fyne. This accounts for the high Mn/Fe ratios in the oxide phases and the abundance of manganese carbonate concretions. Mn concentrations in the interstitial waters of sediment cores are high (ca. 10 ppm) as also, by inference, are the dissolved carbonate concentrations.

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