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Open AccessArticle

The Geochemistry and Bioturbation of Clay Sediments Associated with Amalgamated Crusts at the Gagua Ridge

by Shuai Chen 1,2,3,*, Zhigang Zeng 1,2,3, Xiaoyuan Wang 1,2,3,*, Xuebo Yin 1,3, Bowen Zhu 1,4, Kun Guo 2,5 and Xin Huang 2,6
1
Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
2
Laboratory for Marine Mineral Resources, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China
3
Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao 266071, China
4
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
5
College of Earth Science and Engineering, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266590, China
6
Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Coastal Ocean Variation and Disaster Prediction, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(3), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030177
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
Based on the analysis of geochemical and mineralogical compositions, deep sea clay sediment characteristics and their material sources were examined in the eastern flank of the Gagua Ridge. The mineralogy mainly consists of detrital clay minerals, quartz, and authigenic phillipsite. There is scarce biogenic debris (siliceous or calcareous). The consolidated sediments are more enriched in Si, Al, K, Na, Li, Sc, Cr, Rb, and Cs than the associated crusts and nodules. The unmixed sediment samples were mainlycontributed by Asian eolian dust. The onset of the outer Fe-Mn crust growth nearly coincides with the Central Asia aridification event at ~3.5 Ma, which resulted in an abrupt increase in eolian flux of Asian dust. Intensified surface primary productivity is assumed to bring more metals to deep waters, and eventually facilitate the outer Fe-Mn crust formation. Authigenic phillipsite may come from the alteration of local basic volcanic glasses and cause excess Al, high Al/Ti, and low Si/Al ratios. However, phillipsites hardly affect the abundance of rare earth elements (REEs) and their patterns. In addition, the investigation of two kinds of burrows inside the consolidated sediments reveals that the inner nodules of the amalgamated crusts may remain on the oxic sediment surface, due to frequent benthic activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gagua Ridge; amalgamated crusts; clay sediments; eolian dust; bioturbation Gagua Ridge; amalgamated crusts; clay sediments; eolian dust; bioturbation
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Chen, S.; Zeng, Z.; Wang, X.; Yin, X.; Zhu, B.; Guo, K.; Huang, X. The Geochemistry and Bioturbation of Clay Sediments Associated with Amalgamated Crusts at the Gagua Ridge. Minerals 2019, 9, 177.

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