Chemical composition and stable sulfur isotope record of Black Sea sediments, supplement to: Jørgensen, Bo Barker; Böttcher, Michael E; Lüschen, Holger; Neretin, Lev N; Volkov, Igor I (2004): Anaerobic methane oxidation and a seep H2S sink generate isotopically heavy sulfides in Black Sea sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 68(9), 2095-2118


The main terminal processes of organic matter mineralization in anoxic Black Sea sediments underlying the sulfidic water column are sulfate reduction in the upper 2-4 m and methanogenesis below the sulfate zone. The modern marine deposits comprise a ca. 1-m-deep layer of coccolith ooze and underlying sapropel, below which sea water ions penetrate deep down into the limnic Pleistocene deposits from >9000 years BP. Sulfate reduction rates have a subsurface maximum at the SO4[2-]-CH4 transition where H2S reaches maximum concentration. Because of an excess of reactive iron in the deep limnic deposits, most of the methane-derived H2S is drawn downward to a sulfidization front where it reacts with Fe(III) and with Fe2+ diffusing up from below. The H2S-Fe2+ transition is marked by a black band of amorphous iron sulfide above which distinct horizons of greigite and pyrite formation occur. The pore water gradients respond dynamically to environmental changes in the Black Sea with relatively short time constants of ca. 500 yr for SO4[2-] and 10 yr for H2S, whereas the FeS in the black band has taken ca. 3000 yr to accumulate. The dual diffusion interfaces of SO4[2-]-CH4 and H2S-Fe2+ cause the trapping of isotopically heavy iron sulfide with delta34S = +15 to +33 per mil at the sulfidization front. A diffusion model for sulfur isotopes shows that the SO4[2-] diffusing downward into the SO4[2-]-CH4 transition has an isotopic composition of +19 per mil, close to the +23 per mil of H2S diffusing upward. These isotopic compositions are, however, very different from the porewater SO4[2-] (+43 per mil) and H2S (-15 per mil) at the same depth. The model explains how methane-driven sulfate reduction combined with a deep H2S sink leads to isotopically heavy pyrite in a sediment open to diffusion. These results have general implications for the marine sulfur cycle and for the interpretation of sulfur isotopic data in modern sediments and in sedimentary rocks throughout earth's history.

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Jørgensen, Bo Barker; Böttcher, Michael E; Lüschen, Holger; Neretin, Lev N; Volkov, Igor I
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2004
Funding Reference Sixth Framework Programme
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Collection of Datasets
Format application/zip
Size 8 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (30.098W, 43.527S, 30.222E, 43.718N); Western Black Sea
Temporal Coverage Begin 1997-09-06T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 1997-09-18T00:00:00Z