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Alyssa Jean Lehsau Findlay

Distribution and size fractionation of elemental sulfur in aqueous environments: The Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic Ridge

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  • Alyssa J. Findlay
  • Amy Gartman, University of Delaware
  • ,
  • Daniel J. MacDonald, University of Delaware
  • ,
  • Thomas E. Hanson, University of Delaware
  • ,
  • Timothy J. Shaw, University of South Carolina
  • ,
  • George W. Luther, University of Delaware

Elemental sulfur is an important intermediate of sulfide oxidation and may be produced via abiotic and biotic pathways. In this study the concentration and size fractionation of elemental sulfur were measured in two different sulfidic marine environments: the Chesapeake Bay and buoyant hydrothermal vent plumes along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Nanoparticulate sulfur (<0.2μm) was found to comprise up to 90% of the total elemental sulfur in anoxic deep waters of the Chesapeake Bay. These data were compared with previous studies of elemental sulfur, and represent one of the few reports of nanoparticulate elemental sulfur in the environment. Additionally, a strain of phototrophic sulfide oxidizing bacteria isolated from the Chesapeake Bay was shown to produce elemental sulfur as a product of sulfide oxidation. Elemental sulfur concentrations are also presented from buoyant hydrothermal vent plumes located along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In the Mid-Atlantic Ridge plume, S0 concentrations up to 33μM were measured in the first meter of rising plumes at three different vent sites, and nanoparticulate S0 was up to 44% of total elemental sulfur present.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Pages (from-to)334-348
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

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