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Iron oxyhydroxide and sulphide mineralization in hydrocarbon seep-related carbonate submarine chimneys, Gulf of Cadiz (SW Iberian Peninsula)

Merinero Palomares, Raúl and Lunar, R. and Martínez Frías, Jesús and Somoza Losada, Luis and Díaz del Río, Víctor (2008) Iron oxyhydroxide and sulphide mineralization in hydrocarbon seep-related carbonate submarine chimneys, Gulf of Cadiz (SW Iberian Peninsula). Marine and Petroleum Geology, 25 . pp. 706-713. ISSN 0264-8172

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Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the iron mineralization hosted in the submarine hydrocarbon seep-related
carbonate chimneys, from the Gulf of Cadiz continental slope (SW Iberia). Chimneys are made of
a general fine groundmass of major Fe-rich dolomite, ankerite and calcite, small grains of quartz and
phyllosilicates, and some foraminifer tests and ostracod shells. Primary porosity is frequently generated
inside foraminifer chambers and ostracod shells, and is filled with closely packed microcrystals of iron
oxyhydroxide and sulphide minerals forming framboids. Some extremely peculiar multiframboidal
textures are also detected, corresponding to microcrystal groups, spherical framboids and euhedral
crystals without framboidal texture. The mineralogy observed is mainly goethite (pyrite pseudomorphs);
traces of tiny grains of pyrite were also observed. Cubic, octahedral and pyritohedral are the habits
observed in both minerals. Chemical analyses of framboids and euhedral crystals display high (often
erratic) amounts of As, Co, Ni and Mo in oxyhydroxides and Mo, Pb, V and Co in sulphides versus almost
always negligible concentrations of Cu and Zn. A textural, geochemical and mineralogical evolution is
proposed to explain the coexistence of different morphologies in the multiframboidal texture: (a) growth
and aggregation of microcrystals as typical framboidal-type mineralogical associations; (b) development
of euhedral habits; (c) coalescence and homogenization of the microcrystal into large size (euhedral to
anhedral) crystals, and (d) formation of euhedral crystals or polycrystalline masses, with complete loss of
framboidal texture. Along this process, an increase of the concentration of Fe, S, Mn and Ti, linked to
a decrease in Mg, Si, Al, As, P, Ca and V was observed. The study of the iron mineralization in the Gulf of
Cadiz is a first, and can give clues to understand the complex geobiological interactions in this and other
similar extreme hydrocarbon-bearing submarine ecosystems.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Gulf of Cadiz; Pyrite goethite framboid; Methane carbonate
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Crystallography
Sciences > Geology > Mineralogy
ID Code:12264
Deposited On:21 Feb 2011 10:39
Last Modified:21 Feb 2011 10:39

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