The present study investigates for the first time the overall process of molybdenum (Mo) scavenging in modern euxinic systems using Mo concentration and stable isotope measurements. We analyzed samples from three different sites: The Black Sea, the largest permanently euxinic basin, and two anoxic basins of the Baltic Sea, the Gotland Deep and the Landsort Deep which have maximum water depths of 247 m and 459 m, respectively. Water column profiles, as well as surface sediment samples, were recovered from different water depths. Mo is a redox-sensitive trace metal which is soluble as the molybdate oxyanion in oxic seawater with a residence time of about 800 ka. The isotope signature of Mo is a relatively new proxy used to reconstruct the paleo-redox conditions of the Earth's atmosphere and the oceanic system. The Mo isotope composition in seawater is homogeneous (Siebert et al. 2003). Scavenging of Mo under euxinic conditions is related to the amount of free sulfide in the water column. Near total removal of Mo from the water column is reached at aquatic sulfide concentration of c. 11 μM (Erickson and Helz 2000). In the Black Sea this corresponds to a water depth of about 400 m. Sediment samples of the Black Sea from more then 400 m water depth show seawater isotopic composition, in line with the assumption of bulk Mo removal. However, shallower sediments deposited under lower aquatic sulfide concentrations show significant Mo isotope fractionation. The Baltic Sea oceanographic conditions, including temporary bottom water oxygenation due to sporadic North Sea water inflows, are more complex than in the Black Sea. The aquatic sulfide concentration in the water column is less than 5 μM in the two anoxic troughs. As expected from this lower sulfidity, the surface sediments show Mo fractionation similar to the oxic to slightly euxinic sediments of the Black Sea. Our new results on the Mo isotopic composition in euxinic water columns clearly indicate in situ fractionation of Mo isotopes. All euxinic water samples from the three settings are shifted towards heavier Mo isotope signatures, thus complementing the lighter values in the surface sediments (Nagler et al. 2005).
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 1000 GEOCHEMISTRY;
- 3000 MARINE GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS;
- 4800 OCEANOGRAPHY: BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL (0460)