Three-Dimensional Spatially Constrained Sulfur Isotopes Highlight Processes Controlling Sulfur Cycling in the Near Surface of the Iheya North Hydrothermal System, Okinawa Trough

C. LaFlamme, S. P. Hollis, J. W. Jamieson, M. L. Fiorentini

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Abstract

Modern seafloor hydrothermal systems are unique environments in which many of the Earth's reservoirs, including the hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, dynamically interact. Analysis of spatially constrained sulfur isotope compositions from fluids and hydrothermal precipitates within the discharge zone of a volcanogenic system can be used to trace the interactions between the various isotopically distinct sulfur reservoirs that result in the formation of hydrothermal massive sulfide deposits. Here we present in situ sulfur isotope results from laterally and vertically constrained euhedral hydrothermal pyrite from the Iheya North hydrothermal system in the Okinawa Trough, which was investigated during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 331. Hydrothermal pyrite at the North Big Chimney yields δ34S values of ~+11.9 ± 1.1‰ (1σ), which are near identical to the δ34S composition of the vent fluid. Outward, ~150 and ~450 m from North Big Chimney, hydrothermal pyrite within drill core yields δ34S equal to +10.9 ± 1.3‰ (1σ) and +7.0 ± 3.8‰ (1σ), respectively, showing a shift in isotopic composition away from the main vent site. This evolution to a lighter and more scattered isotopic signature of hydrothermal pyrite (which is easily identifiable from biogenic pyrite) is interpreted to indicate that the hydrothermal fluid leached sulfides (formed previously by biogenic processes) from the surrounding sedimentary strata. As the most significant metal enrichments (Fe, Zn, Cu, Bi, Tl, and Cd) are associated with samples that contain average hydrothermal pyrite δ34S values similar to δ34S of the vent fluid, we demonstrate that sulfur isotopes can vector toward metals in seafloor massive sulfide deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2798-2812
Number of pages15
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

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Sulfur Isotopes
sulfur isotopes
hydrothermal systems
sulfur isotope
pyrites
hydrothermal system
troughs
Sulfur
pyrite
trough
sulfur
cycles
Vents
vents
Sulfides
chimneys
sulfides
Chimneys
Fluids
fluids

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title = "Three-Dimensional Spatially Constrained Sulfur Isotopes Highlight Processes Controlling Sulfur Cycling in the Near Surface of the Iheya North Hydrothermal System, Okinawa Trough",
abstract = "Modern seafloor hydrothermal systems are unique environments in which many of the Earth's reservoirs, including the hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, dynamically interact. Analysis of spatially constrained sulfur isotope compositions from fluids and hydrothermal precipitates within the discharge zone of a volcanogenic system can be used to trace the interactions between the various isotopically distinct sulfur reservoirs that result in the formation of hydrothermal massive sulfide deposits. Here we present in situ sulfur isotope results from laterally and vertically constrained euhedral hydrothermal pyrite from the Iheya North hydrothermal system in the Okinawa Trough, which was investigated during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 331. Hydrothermal pyrite at the North Big Chimney yields δ34S values of ~+11.9 ± 1.1‰ (1σ), which are near identical to the δ34S composition of the vent fluid. Outward, ~150 and ~450 m from North Big Chimney, hydrothermal pyrite within drill core yields δ34S equal to +10.9 ± 1.3‰ (1σ) and +7.0 ± 3.8‰ (1σ), respectively, showing a shift in isotopic composition away from the main vent site. This evolution to a lighter and more scattered isotopic signature of hydrothermal pyrite (which is easily identifiable from biogenic pyrite) is interpreted to indicate that the hydrothermal fluid leached sulfides (formed previously by biogenic processes) from the surrounding sedimentary strata. As the most significant metal enrichments (Fe, Zn, Cu, Bi, Tl, and Cd) are associated with samples that contain average hydrothermal pyrite δ34S values similar to δ34S of the vent fluid, we demonstrate that sulfur isotopes can vector toward metals in seafloor massive sulfide deposits.",
keywords = "IODP, Okinawa Trough, seafloor hydrothermal systems, sedimented back arc, sulfur, sulfur isotope vectoring",
author = "C. LaFlamme and Hollis, {S. P.} and Jamieson, {J. W.} and Fiorentini, {M. L.}",
year = "2018",
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doi = "10.1029/2018GC007499",
language = "English",
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pages = "2798--2812",
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issn = "1525-2027",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Three-Dimensional Spatially Constrained Sulfur Isotopes Highlight Processes Controlling Sulfur Cycling in the Near Surface of the Iheya North Hydrothermal System, Okinawa Trough

AU - LaFlamme, C.

AU - Hollis, S. P.

AU - Jamieson, J. W.

AU - Fiorentini, M. L.

PY - 2018/8/1

Y1 - 2018/8/1

N2 - Modern seafloor hydrothermal systems are unique environments in which many of the Earth's reservoirs, including the hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, dynamically interact. Analysis of spatially constrained sulfur isotope compositions from fluids and hydrothermal precipitates within the discharge zone of a volcanogenic system can be used to trace the interactions between the various isotopically distinct sulfur reservoirs that result in the formation of hydrothermal massive sulfide deposits. Here we present in situ sulfur isotope results from laterally and vertically constrained euhedral hydrothermal pyrite from the Iheya North hydrothermal system in the Okinawa Trough, which was investigated during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 331. Hydrothermal pyrite at the North Big Chimney yields δ34S values of ~+11.9 ± 1.1‰ (1σ), which are near identical to the δ34S composition of the vent fluid. Outward, ~150 and ~450 m from North Big Chimney, hydrothermal pyrite within drill core yields δ34S equal to +10.9 ± 1.3‰ (1σ) and +7.0 ± 3.8‰ (1σ), respectively, showing a shift in isotopic composition away from the main vent site. This evolution to a lighter and more scattered isotopic signature of hydrothermal pyrite (which is easily identifiable from biogenic pyrite) is interpreted to indicate that the hydrothermal fluid leached sulfides (formed previously by biogenic processes) from the surrounding sedimentary strata. As the most significant metal enrichments (Fe, Zn, Cu, Bi, Tl, and Cd) are associated with samples that contain average hydrothermal pyrite δ34S values similar to δ34S of the vent fluid, we demonstrate that sulfur isotopes can vector toward metals in seafloor massive sulfide deposits.

AB - Modern seafloor hydrothermal systems are unique environments in which many of the Earth's reservoirs, including the hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, dynamically interact. Analysis of spatially constrained sulfur isotope compositions from fluids and hydrothermal precipitates within the discharge zone of a volcanogenic system can be used to trace the interactions between the various isotopically distinct sulfur reservoirs that result in the formation of hydrothermal massive sulfide deposits. Here we present in situ sulfur isotope results from laterally and vertically constrained euhedral hydrothermal pyrite from the Iheya North hydrothermal system in the Okinawa Trough, which was investigated during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 331. Hydrothermal pyrite at the North Big Chimney yields δ34S values of ~+11.9 ± 1.1‰ (1σ), which are near identical to the δ34S composition of the vent fluid. Outward, ~150 and ~450 m from North Big Chimney, hydrothermal pyrite within drill core yields δ34S equal to +10.9 ± 1.3‰ (1σ) and +7.0 ± 3.8‰ (1σ), respectively, showing a shift in isotopic composition away from the main vent site. This evolution to a lighter and more scattered isotopic signature of hydrothermal pyrite (which is easily identifiable from biogenic pyrite) is interpreted to indicate that the hydrothermal fluid leached sulfides (formed previously by biogenic processes) from the surrounding sedimentary strata. As the most significant metal enrichments (Fe, Zn, Cu, Bi, Tl, and Cd) are associated with samples that contain average hydrothermal pyrite δ34S values similar to δ34S of the vent fluid, we demonstrate that sulfur isotopes can vector toward metals in seafloor massive sulfide deposits.

KW - IODP

KW - Okinawa Trough

KW - seafloor hydrothermal systems

KW - sedimented back arc

KW - sulfur

KW - sulfur isotope vectoring

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U2 - 10.1029/2018GC007499

DO - 10.1029/2018GC007499

M3 - Article

VL - 19

SP - 2798

EP - 2812

JO - Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems

JF - Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems

SN - 1525-2027

IS - 8

ER -