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Title: Depositional facies and aqueous-solid geochemistry of travertine-depositing hot springs (Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA)

Abstract

Petrographic and geochemical analyses of travertine-depositing hot springs at Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, have been used to define five depositional facies along the spring drainage system. Spring waters are expelled in the vent facies at 71 to 73 C and precipitate mounded travertine composed of aragonite needle botryoids. The apron and channel facies (43--72 C) is floored by hollow tubes composed of aragonite needle botryoids that encrust sulfide-oxidizing Aquificales bacteria. The travertine of the pond facies (30--62 C) varies in composition from aragonite needle shrubs formed at higher temperatures to ridged networks of calcite and aragonite at lower temperatures. Calcite ice sheets, calcified bubbles, and aggregates of aragonite needles (fuzzy dumbbells) precipitate at the air-water interface and settle to pond floors. The proximal-slope facies (28--54 C), which forms the margins of terracette pools, is composed of arcuate aragonite needle shrubs that create small microterracettes on the steep slope face. Finally, the distal-slope facies (28--30 C) is composed of calcite spherules and calcite feather crystals. Despite the presence of abundant microbial mat communities and their observed role in providing substrates for mineralization, the compositions of spring-water and travertine predominantly reflect abiotic physical and chemical processes. Vigorous CO{submore » 2} degassing causes a +2 unit increase in spring water pH, as well as Rayleigh-type covariations between the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon and corresponding {delta}{sup 13}C. Travertine {delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 18}O are nearly equivalent to aragonite and calcite equilibrium values calculated from spring water in the higher-temperature ({approximately}50--73 C) depositional facies. Conversely, travertine precipitating in the lower-temperature (<{approximately}50 C) depositional facies exhibits {delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 18}O values that are as much as 4% less than predicted equilibrium values. This isotopic shift may record microbial respiration as well as downstream transport of travertine crystals. Despite the production of H{sub 2}S and the abundance of sulfide-oxidizing microbes, preliminary {delta}{sub 34}S data do not uniquely define the microbial metabolic pathways present in the spring system. This suggests that the high extent of CO{sub 2} degassing and large open-system solute reservoir in these thermal systems overwhelm biological controls on travertine crystal chemistry.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (US)
OSTI Identifier:
20076059
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 20076059
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Sedimentary Research, Section A: Sedimentary Petrology and Processes
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 70; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: PBD: May 2000; Journal ID: ISSN 1073-130X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK; HOT SPRINGS; GEOTHERMAL FLUIDS; GEOCHEMISTRY; DEPOSITION; TRAVERTINE; SULFUR-OXIDIZING BACTERIA

Citation Formats

Fouke, B.W., Farmer, J.D., Des Marais, D.J., Pratt, L., Sturchio, N.C., Burns, P.C., and Discipulo, M.K. Depositional facies and aqueous-solid geochemistry of travertine-depositing hot springs (Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA). United States: N. p., 2000. Web.
Fouke, B.W., Farmer, J.D., Des Marais, D.J., Pratt, L., Sturchio, N.C., Burns, P.C., & Discipulo, M.K. Depositional facies and aqueous-solid geochemistry of travertine-depositing hot springs (Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA). United States.
Fouke, B.W., Farmer, J.D., Des Marais, D.J., Pratt, L., Sturchio, N.C., Burns, P.C., and Discipulo, M.K. Mon . "Depositional facies and aqueous-solid geochemistry of travertine-depositing hot springs (Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA)". United States.
@article{osti_20076059,
title = {Depositional facies and aqueous-solid geochemistry of travertine-depositing hot springs (Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA)},
author = {Fouke, B.W. and Farmer, J.D. and Des Marais, D.J. and Pratt, L. and Sturchio, N.C. and Burns, P.C. and Discipulo, M.K.},
abstractNote = {Petrographic and geochemical analyses of travertine-depositing hot springs at Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, have been used to define five depositional facies along the spring drainage system. Spring waters are expelled in the vent facies at 71 to 73 C and precipitate mounded travertine composed of aragonite needle botryoids. The apron and channel facies (43--72 C) is floored by hollow tubes composed of aragonite needle botryoids that encrust sulfide-oxidizing Aquificales bacteria. The travertine of the pond facies (30--62 C) varies in composition from aragonite needle shrubs formed at higher temperatures to ridged networks of calcite and aragonite at lower temperatures. Calcite ice sheets, calcified bubbles, and aggregates of aragonite needles (fuzzy dumbbells) precipitate at the air-water interface and settle to pond floors. The proximal-slope facies (28--54 C), which forms the margins of terracette pools, is composed of arcuate aragonite needle shrubs that create small microterracettes on the steep slope face. Finally, the distal-slope facies (28--30 C) is composed of calcite spherules and calcite feather crystals. Despite the presence of abundant microbial mat communities and their observed role in providing substrates for mineralization, the compositions of spring-water and travertine predominantly reflect abiotic physical and chemical processes. Vigorous CO{sub 2} degassing causes a +2 unit increase in spring water pH, as well as Rayleigh-type covariations between the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon and corresponding {delta}{sup 13}C. Travertine {delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 18}O are nearly equivalent to aragonite and calcite equilibrium values calculated from spring water in the higher-temperature ({approximately}50--73 C) depositional facies. Conversely, travertine precipitating in the lower-temperature (<{approximately}50 C) depositional facies exhibits {delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 18}O values that are as much as 4% less than predicted equilibrium values. This isotopic shift may record microbial respiration as well as downstream transport of travertine crystals. Despite the production of H{sub 2}S and the abundance of sulfide-oxidizing microbes, preliminary {delta}{sub 34}S data do not uniquely define the microbial metabolic pathways present in the spring system. This suggests that the high extent of CO{sub 2} degassing and large open-system solute reservoir in these thermal systems overwhelm biological controls on travertine crystal chemistry.},
doi = {},
journal = {Journal of Sedimentary Research, Section A: Sedimentary Petrology and Processes},
issn = {1073-130X},
number = 3,
volume = 70,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {5}
}