Isotope evidence for secondary sulfide precipitation along the Marsyandi River, Nepal, Himalayas

Turchyn, Alexandra V. and Tipper, Edward T. and Galy, Albert and Lo, Jun-Kai and Bickle, Mike J. (2014) Isotope evidence for secondary sulfide precipitation along the Marsyandi River, Nepal, Himalayas. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 374. pp. 36-46. ISSN 0012-821X DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.04.033

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Abstract

We present sulfur and oxygen isotope data from 41 samples of dissolved riverine sulfate from along 65 km of the Marsyandi River in the Northern Himalayas. Coupled sulfur and oxygen isotopic composition of riverine sulfate ( δ 34 S SO 4 and δ 18 O SO 4 respectively) yield unique constraints on the source of sulfur to the river system. The headwaters of the Marsyandi River have light δ 34 S SO 4 and δ 18 O SO 4 , which requires that the source of sulfate to the river is through the anoxic weathering of pyrite (likely via Fe3+). The δ 34 S SO 4 and δ 18 O SO 4 of sulfate in tributaries to the Marsyandi increase downstream, which could result either from inputs from evaporites or bacterial sulfate reduction with subsequent sulfide precipitation in warmer and wetter catchments; either of these processes could result in heavy δ 34 S SO 4 and δ 18 O SO 4 of the residual river sulfate. Elemental ratios such as Sr/Ca and Ca/SO4 suggest, as previous studies have also concluded, that evaporite weathering is not important in the Marsyandi River. We conclude that the isotope data is most consistent with the onset of bacterial sulfate reduction and secondary sulfide precipitation in the soils in the warmer and wetter downstream catchments. Our results have implications for understanding the source of sulfate to the ocean as well as the redox and acidity budget within rapidly eroding catchments.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access Publication licenced under CC BY and can be viewed or downloaded in its entirety from the journal web site
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2013AREP; IA66; OA;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 07 - Gold Open Access
06 - Part-III Projects
Journal or Publication Title: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume: 374
Page Range: pp. 36-46
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.04.033
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2013 16:58
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2017 12:13
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2832

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