HYDROTHERMAL emanations originating at mid-ocean ridges have been thought1–5 to provide a substantial source of manganese to the ocean but the evidence supporting this hypothesis has been indirect. Anomalous manganese concentrations have been measured in naturally occurring systems where seawater is in direct contact with lava flows6–8. Laboratory studies have shown that seawater tends to leach manganese from basalts at elevated temperatures and pressures9–11. Anomalously high manganese accumulation rates have also been determined for sediments adjacent to active ridge systems, most notably the East Pacific Rise12–14. No measurements of manganese concentrations in seawater near mid-ocean ridges, or in hydrothermal fluids emanating from these ridges, have yet been made, however. We report here the results of the first such direct measurements, which show that manganese is being injected into the deep sea by hydrothermal circulation of seawater through newly-formed oceanic crust.
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KLINKHAMMER, G., BENDER, M. & WEISS, R. Hydrothermal manganese in the Galapagos Rift. Nature 269, 319–320 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/269319a0
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