Pelagic barite precipitation at micromolar ambient sulfate

Tristan J. Horner, Helena V. Pryer, Sune G. Nielsen, Peter W. Crockford, Julia M. Gauglitz, Boswell A. Wing, Richard D Ricketts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Geochemical analyses of sedimentary barites (barium sulfates) in the geological record have yielded fundamental insights into the chemistry of the Archean environment and evolutionary origin of microbial metabolisms. However, the question of how barites were able to precipitate from a contemporary ocean that contained only trace amounts of sulfate remains controversial. Here we report dissolved and particulate multi-element and barium-isotopic data from Lake Superior that evidence pelagic barite precipitation at micromolar ambient sulfate. These pelagic barites likely precipitate within particle-associated microenvironments supplied with additional barium and sulfate ions derived from heterotrophic remineralization of organic matter. If active during the Archean, pelagic precipitation and subsequent sedimentation may account for the genesis of enigmatic barite deposits. Indeed, barium-isotopic analyses of barites from the Paleoarchean Dresser Formation are consistent with a pelagic mechanism of precipitation, which altogether offers a new paradigm for interpreting the temporal occurrence of barites in the geological record.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1342
JournalNature communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Barium Sulfate
Sulfates
barium
sulfates
Barium
Precipitates
precipitates
Lake Superior
Lakes
Sedimentation
Metabolism
Oceans and Seas
Biological materials
metabolism
Deposits
particulates
Ions
oceans
deposits
occurrences

Cite this

Horner, T. J., Pryer, H. V., Nielsen, S. G., Crockford, P. W., Gauglitz, J. M., Wing, B. A., & Ricketts, R. D. (2017). Pelagic barite precipitation at micromolar ambient sulfate. Nature communications, 8(1), [1342]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01229-5

Pelagic barite precipitation at micromolar ambient sulfate. / Horner, Tristan J.; Pryer, Helena V.; Nielsen, Sune G.; Crockford, Peter W.; Gauglitz, Julia M.; Wing, Boswell A.; Ricketts, Richard D.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1342, 01.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Horner, TJ, Pryer, HV, Nielsen, SG, Crockford, PW, Gauglitz, JM, Wing, BA & Ricketts, RD 2017, 'Pelagic barite precipitation at micromolar ambient sulfate', Nature communications, vol. 8, no. 1, 1342. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01229-5
Horner TJ, Pryer HV, Nielsen SG, Crockford PW, Gauglitz JM, Wing BA et al. Pelagic barite precipitation at micromolar ambient sulfate. Nature communications. 2017 Dec 1;8(1). 1342. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01229-5
Horner, Tristan J. ; Pryer, Helena V. ; Nielsen, Sune G. ; Crockford, Peter W. ; Gauglitz, Julia M. ; Wing, Boswell A. ; Ricketts, Richard D. / Pelagic barite precipitation at micromolar ambient sulfate. In: Nature communications. 2017 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
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