Abiotic oxidation of pyrite by Fe(III) in acidic media and its implications for sulphur isotope measurements of lattice-bound sulphate in sediments

Mazumdar, Aninda, Goldberg, Tatiana, and Strauss, Harald (2008) Abiotic oxidation of pyrite by Fe(III) in acidic media and its implications for sulphur isotope measurements of lattice-bound sulphate in sediments. Chemical Geology, 253 (1-2). pp. 30-37.

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Abstract

We have evaluated the relative importance of Fe3+ to dissolved oxygen in pyrite oxidation, and its implications for measuring an accurate sulfur isotope composition (δ34S) in trace sulfates extracted from sedimentary rocks. Results from our pure pyrite oxidation experiments show that in a solution of acidic pH, the amount of sulfate formed is very similar under both oxygenated and oxygen-free experimental conditions which is suggestive of the dominant role of Fe3+ in pyrite oxidation compared to dissolved oxygen. One implication of this study is the influence of artifact sulfate on determination of sulfur isotopic composition of lattice-bound sulfate in phosphorite and carbonate sediments. δ34S values of trace sulfates in some lesser Himalayan phosphorites studied in this work, show no significant influence of dissolved oxygen during sample dissolution. We have attempted to explore the possible pathways which can cause depleted sulfur isotopic composition of trace sulfate in some of our phosphorite samples accompanied by relatively enriched Fe3+ concentrations. Although artifact sulfate generation by pyrite oxidation during sample dissolution seems to be a probable mechanism, however several diagenetic pathways can also result in 34S depleted lattice sulfate accompanied by Fe3+ enrichment. The degree of influence of laboratory artifact sulfate generation on determination of δ34S of trace sulfates is governed by combination of several factors like the amount of pyrite, concentration of ferric iron, concentration of lattice-bound sulfate etc. We propose mass balance calculations to derive the δ34S value of the uncontaminated trace sulfate.

Item ID: 24323
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6836
Keywords: pyrite oxidation, ferric iron, trace sulfate, sulfur isotope
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2012 05:12
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040201 Exploration Geochemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8401 Mineral Exploration > 840107 Titanium Minerals, Zircon, and Rare Earth Metal Ore (e.g. Monazite) Exploration @ 100%
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