Key words Manganese nodules
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Thorium- and uranium isotopes were measured in a diagenetic manganese nodule from the Peru basin applying alpha- and thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Alpha-counting of 62 samples was carried out with a depth resolution of 0.4 mm to gain a high-resolution 230Thexcess profile. In addition, 17 samples were measured with TIMS to obtain precise isotope concentrations and isotope ratios. We got values of 0.06–0.59 ppb (230Th), 0.43-1.40 ppm (232Th), 0.09–0.49 ppb (234U) and 1.66–8.24 ppm (238U). The uranium activity ratio in the uppermost samples (1–6 mm) and in two further sections in the nodule at 12.5±1.0 mm and 27.3–33.5 mm comes close to the present ocean water value of 1.144±0.004. In two other sections of the nodule, this ratio is significantly higher, probably reflecting incorporation of diagenetic uranium. The upper 25 mm section of the Mn nodule shows a relatively smooth exponential decrease in the 230Thexcess concentration (TIMS). The slope of the best fit yields a growth rate of 110 mm/Ma up to 24.5 mm depth. The section from 25 to 30.3 mm depth shows constant 230Thexcess concentrations probably due to growth rates even faster than those in the top section of the nodule. From 33 to 50 mm depth, the growth rate is approximately 60 mm/Ma. Two layers in the nodule with distinct laminations (11–15 and 28–33 mm depth) probably formed during the transition from isotopic stage 8 to 7 and in stage 5e, respectively. The Mn/Fe ratio shows higher values during interglacials 5 and 7, and lower ones during glacials 4 and 6. A comparison of our data with data from adjacent sediment cores suggests (a) a variable supply of hydrothermal Mn to sediments and Mn nodules of the Peru basin or (b) suboxic conditions at the water sediment interface during periods with lower Mn/Fe ratios.
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