Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Witnesses wanted....and found

19.04.2013
Geochemists from Warnemünde use mineral formation to decipher the conditions during the deposition of marine sediments

Deposits in lakes and seas contain a wealth of information related to the environ-mental conditions prevalent during their genesis. Thus, they are an unfailing archive, particularly with regard to paleo-environmental conditions, for environmental and climate scientists. Now, the fine art is to interpret the derived data correctly.

For this purpose, geoscientists often use "witnesses" or proxies. Widely known witnesses from sediments are fossils, the remains of plants and animals. By comparisons with their well-studied living relatives, ideas about the conditions that predominated at the time of sediment deposition can be deduced. Minerals potentially offer further valuable insights but only if the environmental circumstances present at the time of their formation have been deciphered.

A team of researchers from Germany, Austria and Spain, under the co-ordination of geochemists from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) has now succeeded in reproducing the formation of a BaMn-double carbonate originally found in sediments from the oxygen-deficient region of the Landsort Deep in the laboratory, and thus to elucidate the environmental conditions that gave birth to it. This carbonate, which has yet to be named, serves as a mineral witness for future research to hone in on very specific biogeochemical processes and environmental conditions.

„Sediments in which barium-manganese carbonate are found contain dissolved methane“says Michael E. Böttcher, the leading scientist. "We were able to demonstrate that the prerequisite for the genesis of this carbonate was the microbial decomposition of sulfate and the destruction of barium and manganese minerals stemming from the water column. Methane seems to be involved in these processes.” The consortium around Michael Böttcher used a broad range of methods resulting in a detailed characterization of the carbonate enable its unmistakable detection in other locations.

Thus, wherever this new mineral witness is found, additional important information on the environmental conditions at the time of the carbonate's deposition will be revealed, thanks to the fundamental work of the Warnemünde-based geochemists and their co-workers. The word is out - the search can begin.

These results were published in:
Böttcher, M. E., H. S. Effenberger, P.-L. Gehlken, G. H. Grathoff, B. C. Schmidt, P. Geprägs, R. Bahlo, O. Dellwig, T. Leipe, V. Winde, A. Deutschmann, A. Stark, D. Gallego-Torres and F. Martinez-Ruiz (2012). BaMn[CO3]2 – a previously unrecognized double carbonate in low-temperature environments: structural, spectroscopic, and textural tools for future identification. CdE - Geochemistry 72: 85-89, doi:10.1016/j.chemer.2012.01.001

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Michael E. Böttcher, Department Marine Geology,
phone: +49 381 5197 402, email: michael.boettcher@io-warnemuende.de

Dr. Barbara Hentzsch, science management and public relation,
phone: +49 381 5197 102, email: barbara.hentzsch@io-warnemuende.de

Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Seestr. 15, D-18119 Rostock

The IOW is a member of the Leibniz Association, which currently includes 86 research insti-tutes and a scientific infrastructure for research. The Leibniz Institutes' fields range from the natural sciences, engineering and environmental sciences, business, social sciences and space sciences to the humanities. Federal and state governments together support the Institute. In total, the Leibniz Institute has 16 800 employees, of which approximately are 7,800 scientists, and of those 3300 young scientists. The total budget of the Institute is more than 1.4 billion Euros. Third-party funds amount to approximately € 330 million per year.

Dr. Barbara Hentzsch | idw
Further information:
http://www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de
http://www.io-warnemuende.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht WSU researchers document one of planet's largest volcanic eruptions
12.10.2017 | Washington State University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

‘Find the Lady’ in the quantum world

17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>