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A Mössbauer spectroscopic study of the iron redox transition in eastern Mediterranean sediments
Van der Zee, C.; Slomp, C.P.; Rancourt, D.G.; de Lange, G.J.; Van Raaphorst, W. (2005). A Mössbauer spectroscopic study of the iron redox transition in eastern Mediterranean sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 69(2): 441-453. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2004.07.003
In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. Elsevier: Oxford,New York etc.. ISSN 0016-7037; e-ISSN 1872-9533, meer
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  • Van der Zee, C.
  • Slomp, C.P.
  • Rancourt, D.G.
  • de Lange, G.J.
  • Van Raaphorst, W.

Abstract
    Fe cycling at two sites in the Mediterranean Sea (southwest of Rhodes and in the North Aegean) has been studied, combining the pore water determination of nutrients, manganese, and iron, citrate-bicarbonate-dithionite (CDB) and total sediment extractions, X-ray diffraction, and 57Fe Mossbauer spectroscopy (MBS). At the Rhodes site, double peaks in the CDB-extractable Mn and Fe profiles indicate non-steady-state diagenesis. The crystalline iron oxide hematite, identified at both sites by room temperature (RT) MBS, appears to contribute little to the overall Fe reduction. MBS at liquid helium temperature (LHT) revealed that the reactive sedimentary Fe oxide phase was nanophase goethite, not ferrihydrite as is usually assumed. The pore water data at both sites indicates that upon reductive dissolution of nanophase goethite, the upward diffusing dissolved Fe2+ is oxidized by Mn oxides, rather than by nitrate or oxygen. The observed oxidation of Fe2+ by Mn oxides may be more common than previously thought but not obvious in sediments where the nitrate penetration depth coincides with the Mn oxide peak. At the Rhodes site, the solid-phase Fe(II) increase occurred at a shallower depth than the accumulation of dissolved Fe2+ in the pore water. The deeper relict Mn oxide peak acts as an oxidation barrier for the upward diffusing dissolved Fe2+, thereby keeping the pore water Fe2+ at depth. At the North Aegean site, the solid-phase Fe(II) increase occurs at approximately the same depth as the increase in dissolved Fe2+ in the pore water. Overall, the use of RT and cryogenic MBS provided insight into the solid-phase Fe(II) gradient and allowed identification of the sedimentary Fe oxides: hematite, maghemite, and nanophase goethite.

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