Cation hydrolysis and the regulation of trace metal composition in seawater

Dileep Kumar, M. (1987) Cation hydrolysis and the regulation of trace metal composition in seawater Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 51 (8). pp. 2137-2145. ISSN 0016-7037

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Thermodynamic calculations have been performed for cation hydrolysis, including temperatures from 2°C to the high values of significance near Mid-Oceanic Ridge Systems (MORS). Eighteen elements with wide range of residence times (t) in seawater (Mn, Th, Al, Bi, Ce, Co, Cr(III), Fe, Nd, Pb, Sc, Sm, Ag, Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni and Zn) have been considered. A model for the regulation of trace metal composition in seawater by cation hydrolytic processes, including those at MORS, is presented. Results show an increase in the abundance of neutral metal hydroxyl species with increase in temperature. During hydrothermal mixing, as the temperature increases, transformation from lower positive hydroxyl complexes to higher or neutral complexes would occur for Cd, Ce, Co, Cr(III), Cu, Mn, Nd, Ni, Pb, Sm and Zn. pH values for adsorption of the metal ion onto solid surfaces have direct relation with pH values of hydrolysis. Co, Mn and Pb could be oxidized to higher states (at Mn-oxide surfaces) that would occur even at MORS. Ce can also be oxidized at 25°C. Solubility calculations show that Al, Bi, Cr(III), Sc, Fe and Th are saturated while Ce, Nd and Sm are not with respect to their oxyhydroxide solids at their concentrations in seawater at 25°C. Cu, Hg, Ni and Zn reach saturation equilibrium at 250°C, whereas Co, Mn and Pb exhibit unsaturation. The results suggest an increase in scavenging capacity of a cation with rise in temperature.

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