The distribution of reactive iron in sediments of the northwestern shelf, the shelf edge and the abyssal part of the Black Sea has been studied. In the euxinic Black Sea, iron sulfides (pyrite and iron monosulfide) are formed in the upper part of the anoxic water column and sink to the deep-sea floor where they are buried in the sediment. This flux of iron sulfides from the water column is reflected in enhanced concentrations of highly reactive iron and a high degree of pyritization (0.57-0.80) for the deep-water sediments of the Black Sea. The iron enrichment of deep-water sediments is balanced by a loss of highly reactive iron from the oxic continental shelf. Calculations: from a numerical diagenetic model and reported in situ flux measurements indicate that the dissolved iron flux out of the shelf sediments is more than sufficient to balance the enrichment in reactive iron in deep- sea sediments, and that the majority of the dissolved iron efflux is redeposited on the continental shelf. This iron mobilization mechanism likely operates in most shelf areas, but its net effect becomes only apparent when reactive iron is trapped in sulfidic water bodies as iron sulfides or when iron is incompletely oxidized in low oxygen zones of the ocean and transported over long distances. [KEYWORDS: diagenesis; sulfur; modelling; speciation; pyrite;euxinic basins Semi-euxinic sediments; pyrite formation; organic-carbon; marine-sediments; chromium reduction; sulfate reduction; water-column; sulfur; manganese; sulfide]
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Geology
Journal publication date2001

ID: 220283