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Clays and Clay Minerals

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 185–194 | Cite as

Origin of Iron-Rich Montmorillonite from the Manganese Nodule Belt of the North Equatorial Pacific

  • James R. Hein
  • Hsueh-Wen Yeh
  • Elaine Alexander
Article

Abstract

Clay minerals in the upper 50 cm of sediment that surround the Cu- and Ni-rich manganese nodules in the North Equatorial Pacific form two fractions: terrigenous (mostly eolian) illite, chlorite, and kaolinite, and authigenic smectite. Smectite increases with depth in box cores from 26 to 39% and from 53 to 66% in the easternmost and westernmost areas respectively, and with distance seaward from the Americas from 26 to 53% in surface deposits. The change in the amount of smectite relative to other clay minerals is due to dilution by terrigenous debris; smectite probably forms at a uniform rate over much of the North Pacific deep-sea floor. The δO18 value for the smectite is +29.6‰ which suggests that it formed authigenically at a temperature characteristic of the deep-sea floor. The smectite is an Fe-rich montmorillonite that probably forms by the low-temperature chemical combination of Fe hydroxides and silica. Silica is derived from dissolution of biogenic debris, and the Fe hydroxide is from volcanic activity at the East Pacific Rise, 4000 to 5000 km to the east. Al in the authigenic montmorillonite may be derived from the dissolution of large amounts of biogenic silica or from river-derived Al that is adsorbed on Fe-Mn hydroxides in the oceans. The Fe-montmorillonite contains relatively abundant Cu, Zn, and Mn and is of possible economic importance as a source of these and other metals.

Key Words

Authigenic Formation Deep-Sea Clay Manganese Nodule Belt Montmorillonite Pacific Sediments Smectite 

Резюме

Глинистые минералы в верхней 50 см части осадков, вмещающих богатые Си и Ni марганцевые конкреции в северной экваториальной части Тихого океана подразделяются на две фракции: терригенные (в основном эоловые) иллит, хлорит и каолинит и аутигенный смектит. Содержание смектита увеличивается с глубиной в коробчатых кернах от 26 до 39% и от 53 до 66% соответственно в самой восточной и самой западной зонах и с удалением от Американских континентов в сторону океана от 26 до 53% в поверхностных отложениях. Изменение содержания смектита по отношению к другим минералам обязано разубоживанию терригенными осадками. Смектит возможно образуется равномерно на большей северной части Тихоокеанского глубоководного дна. Значение δO18 для смектита +29,6‰, что предполагает его образование аутигенитически прн температуре, характерной для глубоководного дна. Смектит представляет собой богатый Fe монтмориллонит, который возможно образуется из низкотемпературных химических соединений гидроокислов Fe и кремнезема. Кремнезем выделяется в результате растворения биогенетических осадков, а гидроокислы Fe образуются в результате вулканической активности на Восточно-Тихоокеанском хребте, 4000–5000 км к востоку. Аl в аутигенном монтмориллоните мог образоваться в результате растворения больших количеств биогенного кремнезема или в результате адсорбции А1 речного происхождения, адсорбированного в океанах гидроокислами Fe–Mn. Fe-монтмориллонит содержит относительно много Си, Zn и Мп и возможно имеет экономическое значение как источник этих и других металлов.

Resümee

Tonmineralien in den oberen 50 cm von Sediment, welches die Cu- und Ni-reichen Mangan- Neste im nördlichen äquatorialen Pazifik umgibt, formen zwei Fraktionen: terrigenes (meist äolisches) Illit, Chlorit und Kaolinit und authigenisches Smektit. Mit zunehmender Tiefe nimmt der Anteil des Smektit in Kernen von 26 bis 39% und von 53 bis 66% in den am weitesten östlich gelegenen beziehungsweise den am weitesten westlich gelegenen Gegenden zu und nimmt mit seewärtigem Abstand von Amerika von 26 bis 53% in Oberflächenablagerungen zu. Der Unterschied in der Menge des Smektiten im Vergleich zu anderen Tonmineralien ist auf Verdünnung mit terrigenem Schutt zurückzuführen; wahrscheinlich formt sich Smektit mit einheitlicher Geschwindigkeit über dem größten Teil der Tiefseesohle des Nord-Pazifik. Der δO18 Wert für die Smektite ist +29,6‰, was vorschlägt, daß es authigen geformt wurde, bei einer Temperatur, welche charakteristisch für die Tiefseesohle ist. Das Smektit ist ein Fe-reiches Montmorillonit, daß sich wahrscheinlich durch die chemische Reaktion von Fe-Hydroxyden und Silika formt. Silika wird von der Auflösung von biogenischem Schutt abgeleitet und das Eisenhydroxyd kommt von vulkanischer Aktivität in der Ost-Pazifik-Höhe, 4000 bis 5000 km östlich. Al im authigenischen Montmorillonit könnte von der Auflösung von großen Mengen von biogenischem Silika herstammen oder von vom Fluß abgeleitetem Al, welches auf Fe-Mn Hydroxyden im Ozean adsorbiert ist. Das Fe-Montmorillonit enthält verhältnismäßig viel Cu, Zn und Mn und könnte möglicherweise wirtschaftliche Bedeutung erhalten als eine Quelle für diese Metalle.

Résumé

Les minéraux argileux des 50 cm du dessus du sédiment entourant les nodules de manganèse riches en Cu et en Ni dans l’Océan Pacifique équatorial Nord forment 2 fractions: l’illite, la chlorite, et la kaolinite terrigineuses (surtout éoliennes) et la smectite authigénique. La smectite dans des carottes augmente proportionellement à la profondeur de 26 à 39% et de 53 à 66% dans les régions le plus à l’est et les plus à l’ouest, respectivement, et elle augmente de 26 à 53% proportionellement à la distance des Amériques dans les dépôts de surface. Le changement dans la quantité de smectite relative aux autres minéraux argileux est dû à la dilution par des débris terrigineux; la smectite est probablement formée à une allure uniforme sur une grande partie du sol profond de l’Océan Pacifique Nord. La valeur δO18 pour la smectite est +29,6 per mil ce qui suggère qu’elle est formée authigéniquement à une température caractéristique du sol profond de l’océan. La smectite est une montmorillonite riche en Fe qui est probablement formée par la combinaison chimique à basse température d’hydroxides Fe et de silice. La silice est dérivée de la dissolution de débris biogéniques, et l’hydroxide Fe provient de l’activité volcanique à l’East Pacific Rise, de 4000 à 5000 km à l’est. Al dans la montmorillonite authigénique peut être dérivé de la dissolution de grandes quantités de silice biogénique ou d’Al dérivé de rivières, adsorbé sur les hydroxides Fe-Mn dans les océans. La montmorillonite-Fe contient assez bien de Cu, Zn, et Mn et est possiblement d’importance économique en tant que source de ces métaux et d’autres.

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Copyright information

© The Clay Minerals Society 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Hein
    • 1
  • Hsueh-Wen Yeh
    • 2
  • Elaine Alexander
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.Hawaii Institute of GeophysicsUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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