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High-Resolution Analysis of Critical Minerals and Elements in Fe–Mn Crusts from the Canary Island Seamount Province (Atlantic Ocean)

AuthorsMarino, Egidio; González Sanz, Francisco Javier; Lunar, Rosario ; Reyes, Jesús; Medialdea, Teresa; Castillo-Carrión, Mercedes; Bellido, Eva; Somoza, Luis
KeywordsFerromanganese crusts
High-resolution analysis
Critical elements
Issue Date2-Jul-2018
PublisherMolecular Diversity Preservation International
CitationMinerals 8(7): 285 (2018)
AbstractTwo Fe–Mn crusts among 35 samples, from six seamounts in the Canary Island Seamount Province, were selected as representatives of the endpoint members of two distinct types of genetic processes, i.e., mixed diagenetic/hydrogenetic and purely hydrogenetic. High-resolution analyses pursued the main aim of distinguishing the critical elements and their association with mineral phases and genetic processes forming a long-lived Fe–Mn crust. The Fe–Mn crust collected on the Tropic Seamount is composed of dense laminations of Fe-vernadite (>90%) and goethite group minerals, reflecting the predominance of the hydrogenetic process during their formation. Based on high-resolution age calculation, this purely hydrogenetic crust yielded an age of 99 Ma. The Fe–Mn crust collected on the Paps Seamount shows a typical botryoidal surface yielding an age of 30 Ma. electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) spot analyses show two main types of manganese oxides, indicating their origin: (i) hydrogenetic Fe-vernadite, the main Mn oxide, and (ii) laminations of interlayered buserite and asbolane. Additionally, the occurrence of calcite, authigenic carbonate fluor-apatite (CFA) and palygorskite suggests early diagenesis and pervasive phosphatization events. Sequential leaching analysis indicated that Co, Ni, Cu, Ba and Ce are linked to Mn minerals. Therefore, Mn-oxides are enriched in Ni and Cu by diagenetic processes or in Co and Ce by hydrogenetic processes. On the other hand, Fe-oxides concentrate V, Zn, As and Pb. Moreover, the evidence of HREE enrichment related to Fe-hydroxides is confirmed in the mixed hydrogenetic/diagenetic crust.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/min8070285
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