Mössbauer investigations to characterize Fe lattice sites in sheet silicates and Peru Basin deep-sea sediments

André Lougear, Iris König, Alfred X. Trautwein*, Erwin Suess

*Corresponding author for this work
7 Citations (Scopus)


A procedure to classify different Fe lattice sites, i.e., OH-group geometries, in the clay mineral content of deep-sea sediments was developed using Mössbauer spectroscopy at low temperature (77 K). This speciation is of interest with regard to the redox behavior, reactivity and color of marine sediments, since substantial iron redox transitions (associated with sediment color change) have been documented for the structural sheet silicate iron. Lattice site classification was achieved for the Fe(II) fraction, all of which is structural clay Fe(II) in the sediments under investigation. Whereas the major part of the Fe(III) is structural clay iron as well, there is a small Fe(III) fraction in oxide minerals. Therefore, further elaboration of the procedure would be required to also achieve lattice site classification for the Fe(III) fraction. Analysis of the Mössbauer spectra is based on computer fits, the input parameters of which were derived from a separate study of Fe(II)-rich pure chlorites. The procedure of classification is qualified to investigate, e.g., in laboratory experiments, the site-specific reaction rates and the effects on sediment color of iron redox transitions in the sheet silicate content of sediments. The new skills were successfully applied in environmental impact studies on the mining of polymetallic nodules from the Peru Basin deep-sea floor.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Issue number17-18
Pages (from-to)3701-3711
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2001


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