We constrained the origin and genetic environment of modern iron ooids (sand-sized grains with a core and external cortex of concentric laminae) providing new tools for the interpretation of their fossil counterparts as well as the analogous particles discovered on Mars. Here, we report an exceptional, unique finding of a still active deposit of submillimetric iron ooids, under formation at the seabed at a depth of 80 m over an area characterized by intense hydrothermal activity off Panarea, a volcanic island north of Sicily (Italy). An integrated analysis, carried out by X-ray Powder Diffraction, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-ray Fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy reveals that Panarea ooids are deposited at the seafloor as concentric laminae of primary goethite around existing nuclei. The process is rapid, and driven by hydrothermal fluids as iron source. A sub-spherical, laminated structure resulted from constant agitation and by degassing of CO2-dominated fluids through seafloor sediments. Our investigations point the hydrothermal processes as responsible for the generation of the Panarea ooids, which are neither diagenetic nor reworked. The presence of ooids at the seawater-sediments interface, in fact, highlights how their development and growth is still ongoing. The proposed results show a new process responsible for ooids formation and gain a new insight into the genesis of iron ooids deposits that are distributed at global scale in both modern and past sediments.

Modern Iron Ooids of Hydrothermal Origin as a Proxy for Ancient Deposits

Marcella Di Bella;Giuseppe Sabatino;Simona Quartieri;
2019-01-01

Abstract

We constrained the origin and genetic environment of modern iron ooids (sand-sized grains with a core and external cortex of concentric laminae) providing new tools for the interpretation of their fossil counterparts as well as the analogous particles discovered on Mars. Here, we report an exceptional, unique finding of a still active deposit of submillimetric iron ooids, under formation at the seabed at a depth of 80 m over an area characterized by intense hydrothermal activity off Panarea, a volcanic island north of Sicily (Italy). An integrated analysis, carried out by X-ray Powder Diffraction, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-ray Fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy reveals that Panarea ooids are deposited at the seafloor as concentric laminae of primary goethite around existing nuclei. The process is rapid, and driven by hydrothermal fluids as iron source. A sub-spherical, laminated structure resulted from constant agitation and by degassing of CO2-dominated fluids through seafloor sediments. Our investigations point the hydrothermal processes as responsible for the generation of the Panarea ooids, which are neither diagenetic nor reworked. The presence of ooids at the seawater-sediments interface, in fact, highlights how their development and growth is still ongoing. The proposed results show a new process responsible for ooids formation and gain a new insight into the genesis of iron ooids deposits that are distributed at global scale in both modern and past sediments.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3143413
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