The structure of iron-oxyhydroxide mounds affected by iron-oxidizing bacteria at shallow submarine hydrothermal vent in Satsuma Iwo-Jima

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Takashi Kuratomi1, Shoichi Kiyokawa1, Minoru Ikehara2, Shusaku Goto3, Tatsuhiko Hoshino4, Fumihiko Ikegami1 and Yuto Minowa1, (1)Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, (2)University of Kochi, Kochi, Japan, (3)AIST, Tsukuba, Japan, (4)JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa, Japan
Satsuma Iwo-Jima, located 38km south of Kyusyu island, Japan, is preserved and identified on occurring iron precipitation at shallow ocean where can be recorded modern analogy of iron precipitation and sedimentation. This is a volcanic island in the northwestern rim of Kikai caldera. Iron- and silica-rich mounds (0.5-3m wide and 0.2-7m high) are developing with hydrothermal activity (pH=5.5, 50-60 degree Celsius), and there is high deposition rate of iron-oxides (33 cm/year). In this study, we analyzed samples (20-30 cm long) recovered from iron oxidized mounds at seafloor by the observation with CT scan, FE-SEM and thin-sectioned samples, and the chemical analysis with EDS, XRF, XRD and DNA, and found that the structure of mounds has unique information.

Each mounds are formed two layers: blackish hard layer and brownish soft layer. The inside of samples is constructed from the aggregation of convex structure (3-4 cm) covered by hard layers as a rim. Petrographic observations indicate that both layers have filament-like forms, and the form in soft layer is perpendicular to that in the hard layer. The number of iron oxides particles observed on filament-like forms in soft layer increases toward hard layer. Hard layer consists of aggregation of bacillus-like form as the chain of particle (about 2 um). At soft layer, on the other hand, bacteria-like form with smaller particles (<0.5 um) is observed. Bacteria-like form could be classified into 3 types (helix, ribbon-like, twisted). Furthermore, hard layers consist of ferrihydrite and opal-A (Si: 26.8%, Fe: 56.0%) and soft one is composed by ferrihydrite, opal-A and silica mineral (Si: 36.5%, Fe: 43.5%). Mariprofundus ferrooxydansknown as iron-oxidizing bacteria belonging to Zeta-proteobacteria identified in this matter.

 Bacteria-like form is considered to be the stalk made by iron-oxidizing bacteria. Such neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria prefers an environment of redox interface between hydrothermal water and seawater, and their activity made hard rim at outer soft layer. This high deposition rate of iron hydroxides probably derives from the chemical reaction of oxidizing ferrous to ferric around stalks of iron-oxidizing bacteria.