Controls on greigite preservation in a gas hydrate system of the Krishna-Godavari basin, Bay of Bengal
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Shallow sediments across large parts of Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin offshore east central Indian contain abundant methane and gas hydrates. In this study, we carried out rock-magnetic and transmission electron microscope (TEM) analyses on the samples from a sediment core (MD161/Stn-8) to constrain the formation and preservation of greigite in shallow sediments and how this might link to reactions involving methane. Here, we report for the first time the occurrence of silicate-hosted iron sulfide (greigite) inclusions which is an important observation for understanding the preservation of magnetic minerals in gas hydrate systems. The magnetization of the greigite zone (17–23 mbsf) is carried by complex magnetic mineral assemblages of detrital iron oxides (titanomagnetite), diagenetic iron sulfide (greigite) occurring as nano-inclusions within larger silicate particles, and biogenic minerals. Elevated concentrations of dissolved pore water silica and alkalinity within the magnetically enhanced greigite zone suggest that silica diagenesis and silicate weathering triggered by paleo-methane seepage played a key role in crystallizing the diagenetically formed iron sulfide (greigite) into silicate matrix. The silicate-hosted magnetic inclusions protected the ferrimagnetic greigite from further diagenetic dissolution and prevented its conversion into stable pyrite. Three scenarios explaining the potential controls on the greigite preservation in gas hydrate marine sedimentary system have been proposed.
We thank the Directors of CSIR-NIO, NCAOR, NIOT, advisor MOES, and NGHP (India) for supporting this study. We thank the head of oceanography department, and in-charge, onboard operations of IPEV are thanked for providing technical support and facilities onboard. We thank the students of Goa University, IIT Kharagpur, and the project scientists of NIO, NIOT, PRL, and NGRI. We thank Dr. Mike Jackson, Institute for Rock Magnetism (IRM), and the University of Minnesota, USA, for carrying out FORC measurements. We also thank the Director, Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), New Panvel, for providing permission to carry out magnetic measurements. We thank Professor B. R. Jagirdar, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, for providing support with TEM-EDS analysis. We thank T. Ramprasad and Dr. Brenda Mascarenhas for suggestions and timely inputs in this work.
This study was funded by SERB-DST, Government of India, under the scheme “Early Career Research Award (DST no: ECR/2016/000528) to Dr. Firoz Badesab. We sincerely acknowledge the comments from the editor (Dr. Andrew Green), associate editor (Dr. Gerald Dickens) and two reviewers (Dr. Liao Chang and anonymous).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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