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Geochemistry and mineralogy of sediments and authigenic carbonates from the Malta Plateau, Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean): relationships with mud/fluid release from a mud volcano system

Geochemistry and mineralogy of sediments and authigenic carbonates from the Malta Plateau, Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean): relationships with mud/fluid release from a mud volcano system
Geochemistry and mineralogy of sediments and authigenic carbonates from the Malta Plateau, Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean): relationships with mud/fluid release from a mud volcano system
A mud volcano field was recently discovered within the Malta Plateau in the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea). Box-core sediments and associated authigenic carbonates have been collected in water depths of 140–170 m from two distinctive sectors of the area, and analyzed for major, trace and rare earth elements, stable isotopes, and mineralogy. Relative homogeneity in the mineralogy and geochemistry of bulk sediments, and 210Pb activity distributions, argue against an active mud ejection activity. In the Malta Plateau western sector, the sediments show high concentrations of Fe, As, Sb, and Mo, exceeding the background values estimated for the Strait of Sicily. Active fluid seepage in this area is thought to be responsible for these enrichments and for the formation of authigenic carbonate crusts. Evidence of bacterial involvement in carbonate (mainly aragonite) formation is recorded in the authigenic crusts, which contain flat and spiralled filaments resembling Beggiatoa-like sulphide oxidising bacteria and biofilm-like remains which occur inside the interspaces. Carbonate crusts consistently show extremely negative ?13C values (down to ? 49‰) that suggest contribution of carbon originating from anaerobic methane oxidation. Heavy oxygen isotopic compositions of the authigenic carbonates (2?3‰ higher than those in box-core sediments) are interpreted as due to precipitation from fluids enriched in 18O due to seepage of deep, isotopically-heavy, relict Messinian brines.
Sediment geochemistry, Seep carbonate, Methane oxidation, Stable isotopes, Strait of Sicily
0009-2541
294-308
Cangemi, Marianna
9623d33d-4f57-4941-a444-3f8b9f448913
Di Leonardo, Rossella
95806f9e-2b7e-4ae7-904f-afe318d1bd4e
Bellanca, Adriana
8d1d0c0a-8099-41ee-9b32-f0c443c7b048
Cundy, Andrew
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Neri, Rodolfo
cc1acf05-e89f-44b2-b794-19317ccbe2f0
Angelone, Massimo
44284044-c95d-4e3f-bea3-a1650d8bb6a3
Cangemi, Marianna
9623d33d-4f57-4941-a444-3f8b9f448913
Di Leonardo, Rossella
95806f9e-2b7e-4ae7-904f-afe318d1bd4e
Bellanca, Adriana
8d1d0c0a-8099-41ee-9b32-f0c443c7b048
Cundy, Andrew
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Neri, Rodolfo
cc1acf05-e89f-44b2-b794-19317ccbe2f0
Angelone, Massimo
44284044-c95d-4e3f-bea3-a1650d8bb6a3

Cangemi, Marianna, Di Leonardo, Rossella, Bellanca, Adriana, Cundy, Andrew, Neri, Rodolfo and Angelone, Massimo (2010) Geochemistry and mineralogy of sediments and authigenic carbonates from the Malta Plateau, Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean): relationships with mud/fluid release from a mud volcano system. Chemical Geology, 276 (3-4), 294-308. (doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2010.06.014).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A mud volcano field was recently discovered within the Malta Plateau in the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea). Box-core sediments and associated authigenic carbonates have been collected in water depths of 140–170 m from two distinctive sectors of the area, and analyzed for major, trace and rare earth elements, stable isotopes, and mineralogy. Relative homogeneity in the mineralogy and geochemistry of bulk sediments, and 210Pb activity distributions, argue against an active mud ejection activity. In the Malta Plateau western sector, the sediments show high concentrations of Fe, As, Sb, and Mo, exceeding the background values estimated for the Strait of Sicily. Active fluid seepage in this area is thought to be responsible for these enrichments and for the formation of authigenic carbonate crusts. Evidence of bacterial involvement in carbonate (mainly aragonite) formation is recorded in the authigenic crusts, which contain flat and spiralled filaments resembling Beggiatoa-like sulphide oxidising bacteria and biofilm-like remains which occur inside the interspaces. Carbonate crusts consistently show extremely negative ?13C values (down to ? 49‰) that suggest contribution of carbon originating from anaerobic methane oxidation. Heavy oxygen isotopic compositions of the authigenic carbonates (2?3‰ higher than those in box-core sediments) are interpreted as due to precipitation from fluids enriched in 18O due to seepage of deep, isotopically-heavy, relict Messinian brines.

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More information

Published date: September 2010
Keywords: Sediment geochemistry, Seep carbonate, Methane oxidation, Stable isotopes, Strait of Sicily
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399340
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399340
ISSN: 0009-2541
PURE UUID: 07856d9b-f0be-4ee7-9975-6f21d340698e
ORCID for Andrew Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

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Date deposited: 11 Aug 2016 14:26
Last modified: 12 Nov 2019 01:34

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