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Sedimentary mechanisms of a modern banded iron formation on Milos Island, Greece

Chi Fru, Ernest ORCID:, Kilias, Stephanos, Ivarsson, Magnus, Rattray, Jayne E., Gkika, Katerina, McDonald, Iain ORCID:, He, Qian ORCID: and Broman, Curt 2018. Sedimentary mechanisms of a modern banded iron formation on Milos Island, Greece. Solid Earth 8 10.5194/se-2017-113

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An Early Quaternary shallow submarine hydrothermal iron formation (IF) in the Cape Vani sedimentary basin (CVSB) on Milos Island, Greece, displays banded rhythmicity similar to Precambrian banded iron formation (BIF). Sedimentary, stratigraphic reconstruction, biogeochemical analysis and micro-nanoscale mineralogical characterization confirms the Milos rocks as modern Precambrian BIF analogues. Spatial coverage of the BIF-type rocks in relation to the economic grade Mn ore that brought prominence to the CVSB implicates tectonic activity and changing redox in the deposition of the BIF-type rocks. Field-wide stratigraphic and biogeochemical reconstruction demonstrates two temporal and spatially isolated iron deposits in the CVSB with distinct sedimentological character. Petrographic screening suggest the previously described photoferrotrophic-like microfossil-rich IF (MFIF), accumulated on basement andesite in a ~ 150 m wide basin, in the SW margin of the basin. A strongly banded non-fossiliferous IF (NFIF) caps the Mn-rich sandstones at the transition to the renowned Mn-rich formation. Geochemical evidence relates the origin of the NFIF to periodic submarine volcanism and water column oxidation of released Fe(II) in conditions apparently predominated by anoxia, similar to the MFIF. This is manifested in the lack of shale-normalized Ce anomalies. Raman spectroscopy pairs hematite-rich grains in the NFIF with relics of a carbonaceous material carrying an average δ13Corg signature of ~ −25 ‰. However, a similar δ13Corg signature in the MFIF is not directly coupled to hematite by mineralogy. The NFIF, which post dates large-scale Mn deposition in the CVSB, is composed primarily of amorphous Si (opal-SiO2 · nH2O) while crystalline quartz (SiO2) predominates the MFIF. An intricate interaction between tectonic processes, changing redox, biological activity and abiotic Si precipitation, formed the unmetamorphosed BIF-type deposits.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: European Geosciences Union
ISSN: 1869-9510
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 2 November 2017
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 05:49

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