National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1991

Scavenging rates of dissolved manganese in a hydrothermal vent plume

Cowen, J.P., G.J. Massoth, and R.A. Feely

Deep-Sea Res., 37(10A), 1619–1637, doi: 10.1016/0198-0149(90)90065-4 (1990)

The biogeochemical scavenging of dissolved manganese (Mn) from hydrothermal plumes was investigated using radiotracer (Mn) techniques. The measured scavenging rate constant, k was lowest in the buoyant plume (<0.2 y), increasing to 2 yin the non-buoyant plume at distances of 20 km from the ridge valley axis. The direct biological contribution to the dissolved Mn scavenging rate (i.e., the fraction suppressed by the addition of a metabolic poison) also increased over the same distances, being minor or absent at plume depths in the proximal plume, yet the major component at distal plume stations. These and other data suggest that the capacity for scavenging dissolved Mn onto particles evolves with increasing age of the plume, suggestive of a microbial response to changing conditions within the plume. Estimated maximum scavenging rates of dissolved Mn onto particles (R = k[DMn]) were noted at plume depths for all stations, a function of very high dissolved Mn concentrations in the case of the buoyant plume and proximal non-buoyant plume. R values, integrated over plume depths, ranged from 3.4 to 1.7 mM myfor the non-buoyant plume at on-axis and off-axis stations, respectively. The application of the data to the dispersal of hydrothermal constituents and to plume aging is discussed.

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