Distribution of U and Th in Growth Zones of Manganese Nodules

Helmar Kunzendorf, G. H. W. Friedrich

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    Growth zones and individual sublayers from one manganese nodule and three manganese crusts from an area south of Hawaii were analysed for U and Th by the delayed-neutron counting technique. The concentrations of uranium and thorium in the manganese nodule are highest in the outermost zone on top of the nodule, being the surface last exposed to sea water. In this zone U varies from 6.3 to a maximum of 8.3 ppm in different sublayers, decreasing to 5.0 ppm in the inner zones and 3.4 ppm in the outer zone last exposed to the sediment. Ferromanganese material scraped from the zone last exposed to the sediment which has low concentrations of Fe, relative to the zone last exposed to sea water, has also low U contents (2.7 ppm). Th concentrations are higher in the outermost zone on top of the nodule (40 to a maximum of 130 ppm) than in the zone last exposed to the sediment (about 20 ppm Th). Manganese crusts contain up to 9 ppm U in the outermost zones last exposed to the sea water. They also have higher concentrations of Th (up to 64 ppm) relative to the inner zones of the crust growing on altered andesitic rock, which contains about 8 ppm U and about 26 ppm Th as an average.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)849-852
    Publication statusPublished - 1976

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