Aquatic Geochemistry

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 621–637 | Cite as

Organic Sulfides in Hydrothermal Solution: Standard Partial Molal Properties and Role in Organic Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Environments

  • Mitch Schulte
Original Paper


Thermodynamic properties for aqueous alkyl sulfides have been compiled and/or estimated through established methods. These properties are used to investigate reactions among various sulfur compounds in a variety of geological environments, ranging from sea floor hydrothermal systems to organic-rich sludge. Using thermodynamic data and the revised Helgeson-Kirkham-Flowers (HKF) equations of state, along with geochemical constraints imposed by the environment, it is possible to estimate the abiotic production of this class of organic sulfur compounds. For example, in hydrothermal systems in which H2 and H2S concentrations are buffered by the pyrite–pyrrhotite–magnetite (PPM) mineral assemblage, calculated equilibrium activities of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) are as high as 10−3 through formation reactions in which the environment contains millimolal concentrations of CO2. Higher activities are obtained when DMS formation from CO is considered and when more reducing mineral assemblages are present.


Organic sulfur compounds Hydrothermal systems Abiotic organic synthesis Geochemical modeling Thermodynamics 



Many thanks are due to Mike Russell and Tom McCollom for discussions and for encouragement to continue this work on organic sulfur compounds and their behavior in hydrothermal environments. The quality of this paper improved immensely thanks to a lot of help from Karyn Rogers; reviews by two anonymous reviewers were also instrumental in revising the manuscript. The University of Missouri has provided support during this project. The RIDGE 2000 program provided support to attend the Ridge Theoretical Institute at Mammonth Lakes, CA in 2006, where this work was first presented.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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