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Volatile Chalcophile Elements in Native Sulfur from a Submarine Hydrothermal System at Kueishantao, Offshore NE Taiwan

1
Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan 316021, China
2
Institut für Geowissenschaften, Christian-Albrechts- Universität zu Kiel, 24118 Kiel, Germany
3
Institute of Marine Geology and Chemistry, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040245
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 31 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 21 April 2019
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Abstract

We analyzed sulfur isotopes, trace elements and chalcophile elements (Se, Te, As, Sb, and Hg) in the native sulfur matrix from the Kueishantao hydrothermal system and conducted a systematic micro-analytical investigation. The sulfur matrix lacked all measured metals (e.g., Fe, Cu) and rare earth elements (REEs) while being significantly enriched in Te, As, Se (750–1500 ppm), Sb (around 100 ppm) and some Hg. The δ34S data (0.2–2.4‰) suggest a magmatic source leached from igneous rocks and a small contribution of seawater sulfates to the sulfur in hydrothermal deposits. Correlations between Te, As, Sb, and S (r2 = 0.30–0.61) indicate that these elements behave coherently in magmatic-hydrothermal processes. The enrichment factors and content ratios of these elements demonstrate their abundance in the sulfur matrix and minor fractionation after being partitioned into the metallic melt and forming a separate vapor phase to transport. Our study focuses on the native sulfur matrix in a shallow-water volcanic hydrothermal system, to which relatively little attention has previously been paid. This will expand our understanding of hydrothermal precipitates. The study of volatile chalcophile elements in the matrix will provide significant information about their sources, distributions and other geochemical behaviors in magmatic-hydrothermal processes and help to understand the Kueishantao hydrothermal circulation better. View Full-Text
Keywords: chalcophile elements; native sulfur; magmatic degassing; seafloor hydrothermal system chalcophile elements; native sulfur; magmatic degassing; seafloor hydrothermal system
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Yu, M.-Z.; Chen, X.-G.; Garbe-Schönberg, D.; Ye, Y.; Chen, C.-T.A. Volatile Chalcophile Elements in Native Sulfur from a Submarine Hydrothermal System at Kueishantao, Offshore NE Taiwan. Minerals 2019, 9, 245.

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