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A Model for the Deposition of Hydrothermal Manganese Near Ridge Crests

J. W. Lavelle

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA, Seattle, Washington

J. P. Cowen

Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

G. J. Massoth

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA, Seattle, Washington

Journal of Geophysical Research, 97(C5), 7413-7427 (1992)
Copyright ©1992 by the American Geophysical Union. Further electronic distribution is not allowed.

A two-stage scavenging model is used to describe the transport of hydrothermal Mn to the sediments adjacent to ridge crests. Dissolved Mn is hypothesized to be scavenged by slowly settling metal-depositing capsuled bacteria which, in turn, are incorporated into rapidly settling macroaggregates. Upon reaching the seafloor, the Mn is subject to resuspension in particulate form and to remobilization within the sediment column and release back into the water column as dissolved Mn. Measured Mn distributions in the vicinity of the southern Juan de Fuca Ridge and estimated values of process rate constants are used to limit the range of possible model outcomes. The results present a picture of water column distributions and fluxes of dissolved, fine particulate, and large-particle associated Mn in a plume advecting off axis. The model and best available parameter values suggest that more than 80% of the hydrothermal Mn is deposited within several hundred kilometers of the ridge crest, though dissolved Mn concentrations beyond that distance exceed background levels by many times. The residence time of hydrothermal Mn in the water column is of the order of several years. An off-axis component of advection of the order of 0.1-0.3 cm/s is needed to make similar the model and measured distributions of Mn depositing in the sediments.

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