Low temperature olivine alteration ; an experimental approach
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Water reacting with minerals to alter or dissolve them is a common phenomenon on Earth, leading to a unique chemical composition of the oceans and continents. The continuous circulation of elements and the chemical reactions between them creates the extraordinary environment prevailing on our Earth today and was probably an important requirement for the onset of life on our planet. Olivine is a mineral with the special property of being unstable at atmospheric pressures and temperatures due to its crystal structure and chemical composition. Hydrous alteration of olivine has the capacity to form molecular hydrogen (H2) and hydrated secondary products concurrent with the release of heat. H2 is considered to be crucial for the deep subsurface biosphere and is capable of reducing oxidized carbon species to CH4 and other hydrocarbons through the so-called Sabatier reaction or Fischer-Tropsch Type reactions which are important when studying the large scale CH4 outgassing on Mars or the CH4 seeps coupled to contemporary terrestrial ophiolites.
This thesis investigates the potential abiotic formation of H2 and CH4 at low temperatures and pressures as well as under anoxic conditions but also looks at the potential for sustaining the growth of methanogenic archaea with olivine and water. The results suggest that olivine has the potential to form H2 and fuel the abiotic formation of CH4 at low temperatures and low concentrations of dissolved bicarbonate. At higher bicarbonate concentrations, precipitation of silica and carbonate are suggested to cover the reactive catalytic sites on the olivine surface.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University , 2011. , 88 p.
Meddelanden från Stockholms universitets institution för geologiska vetenskaper, 346
Olivine alteration, hydrogen, methane, serpentinization
Research subject Geochemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-65451ISBN: 978-91-7447-426-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-65451DiVA: diva2:463919
2012-01-20, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Früh-Green, Gretchen, professor
Holm, Nils, professor
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.2011-12-212011-12-122011-12-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers