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Schwarzenbach, E. M., Früh-Green, G. L., Bernasconi, S. M., Alt, J. C., & Plas, A. (2013). Serpentinization and carbon sequestration: A study of two ancient peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems. Chemical Geology, 351, 115–133. 
Added by: Christoph Külls (2022-03-10 09:40:25)   Last edited by: Christoph Külls (2022-03-10 09:40:34)
Resource type: Journal Article
Languages: en
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2013.05.016
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 0009-2541
BibTeX citation key: Schwarzenbach2013
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Categories: General, Hydrology, Isotope
Keywords: Carbon sequestration, Iberian Margin, Northern Apennine, Ocean Drilling Program, Ophiolites, Serpentinization
Creators: Alt, Bernasconi, Früh-Green, Plas, Schwarzenbach
Collection: Chemical Geology
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Attachments   1-s2.0-S0009254113002222-main.pdf [1/16] URLs   https://www.scienc ... /S0009254113002222
Fluid circulation in peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems influences the incorporation of carbon into the oceanic crust and its long-term storage. At low to moderate temperatures, serpentinization of peridotite produces alkaline fluids that are rich in CH4 and H2. Upon mixing with seawater, these fluids precipitate carbonate, forming an extensive network of calcite veins in the basement rocks, while H2 and CH4 serve as an energy source for microorganisms. Here, we analyzed the carbon geochemistry of two ancient peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems: 1) ophiolites cropping out in the Northern Apennines, and 2) calcite-veined serpentinites from the Iberian Margin (Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Legs 149 and 173), and compare them to active peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems such as the Lost City hydrothermal field (LCHF) on the Atlantis Massif near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Our results show that large amounts of carbonate are formed during serpentinization of mantle rocks exposed on the seafloor (up to 9.6wt.% C in ophicalcites) and that carbon incorporation decreases with depth. In the Northern Apennine serpentinites, serpentinization temperatures decrease from 240°C to <150°C, while carbonates are formed at temperatures decreasing from ~150°C to <50°C. At the Iberian Margin both carbonate formation and serpentinization temperatures are lower than in the Northern Apennines with serpentinization starting at ~150°C, followed by clay alteration at <100°C and carbonate formation at <19–44°C. Comparison with various active peridotite-hosted hydrothermal systems on the MAR shows that the serpentinites from the Northern Apennines record a thermal evolution similar to that of the basement of the LCHF and that tectonic activity on the Jurassic seafloor, comparable to the present-day processes leading to oceanic core complexes, probably led to formation of fractures and faults, which promoted fluid circulation to greater depth and cooling of the mantle rocks. Thus, our study provides further evidence that the Northern Apennine serpentinites host a paleo-stockwork of a hydrothermal system similar to the basement of the LCHF. Furthermore, we argue that the extent of carbonate uptake is mainly controlled by the presence of fluid pathways. Low serpentinization temperatures promote microbial activity, which leads to enhanced biomass formation and the storage of organic carbon. Organic carbon becomes dominant with increasing depth and is the principal carbon phase at more than 50–100m depth of the serpentinite basement at the Iberian Margin. We estimate that annually 1.1 to 2.7×1012g C is stored within peridotites exposed to seawater, of which 30–40% is fixed within the uppermost 20–50m mainly as carbonate. Additionally, we conclude that alteration of oceanic lithosphere is an important factor in the long-term global carbon cycle, having the potential to store carbon for millions of years.
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