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Sediment geochemistry of the Thetis hypersaline anoxic basin (eastern Mediterranean Sea)

August 24, 2013

The Thetis basin is a deep hypersaline anoxic basin in the western part of the Mediterranean Ridge (eastern Mediterranean Sea). It is characterized by highly sulphidic NaCl-saturated brine with one of the highest values of salinity reported from similar basins (S~348‰). The strong pycnocline at the seawater-brine interface induces permanent anoxic bottom conditions driving depositional processes and distribution patterns of redox-sensitive metals in the sediments. This work presents a high-resolution dataset of sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical features and planktonic foraminifera distribution, derived from the exploration of a 52 cm long box-core sampled in the Thetis sediments. Basing on direct comparisons with available data from other hypersaline records and ancient anoxic organic-rich deep-sea records (sapropels and black shales), we aim to explore the potential of these anoxic basins as natural laboratories to better understand the mechanisms driving geochemical patterns in recent/ancient anoxic sediments.

Oliveri E, Sprovieri M, Manta D S, Giaramita L, in press. Sediment geochemistry of the Thetis hypersaline anoxic basin (eastern Mediterranean Sea), Sedimentary Geology, 2013, doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2013.08.007. Article.

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