Covellite of the Semenov-2 hydrothermal field (13°31.13′ N, Mid-Atlantic Ridge): Enrichment in trace elements according to LA ICP MS analysis
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As a result of LA ICP MS analysis of sulfides of the Semenov-2 hydrothermal field, it is established that covellite, which replaces Zn sulfides, is enriched in most trace elements. The Ga, Ni, and In contents in it do not vary, whereas Mn, Co, and Cd are lower than in sphalerite. The distribution of trace elements in covellite, which replaces Cu–Fe sulfides, is distinct: it is enriched in Cd, Sb, Pb, and Bi, whereas the contents of other elements are either lower or invariant. Covellite, which replaces Zn sulfides, is enriched in all trace elements relative to that replacing Cu–Fe sulfides. Enrichment of covellite in trace elements relative to primary sulfides was favored by oxidation of the hydrothermal fluid by seawater, which is similar to the processes of submarine oxidation of ancient massive sulfide deposits. Covellite is also a host to invisible gold and silver in ores of the Semenov-2 field along with toxic elements such as As, Se, Te, Tl, and Cd.
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