Behavior of dissolved manganese and other trace elements across the oxic/euxinic transition of a meromictic lake, Fayetteville Green Lake, New York, USA

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Jeff R Havig1, Michael McCormick2, Aviv Bachan3 and Lee Robert Kump3, (1)Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States, (2)Hamilton College, Clinton, United States, (3)Pennsylvania State Univ, University Park, PA, United States
High-depth-resolution sampling of stratified water bodies is often problematic, due to scale and/or accessibility (e.g. the Black Sea or remote lakes). In contrast, Fayetteville Green Lake (FGL), N.Y. is an easily accessible, 53 m deep meromictic system with an oxic upper mixolimnion (dissolved oxygen ~ 350 µM) and a euxinic lower monimolimnion (total sulfide ~1 mM). The accessibility and stability of FGL provides a unique opportunity for high-resolution sampling of a permanently stratified water column, allowing better characterization of the changes in concentration of biologically important trace elements within the framework of major element geochemistry.

High-resolution (0.2 – 0.5m) sampling of FGL at various times of year reveals concentration shifts between the oxic and euxinic zone. For Mn, Fe, and Co, dissolved (< 0.2 µm) concentrations are lower in the oxic zone (~ 10 nM, 20 nM, and 1.5 nM, respectively), and higher in the euxinic zone (~ 6000 nM, 200 nM, and 8 nM). Ni and V exhibit little to no difference between the oxic and euxinic zones (~ 90 and 20 nM, respectively), and Zn shows a small decrease with depth (from ~1600 to 1300 nM). Of the elements analyzed, Mo is the only one that exhibits a large decrease from the oxic to euxinic zones (from ~ 180 to 10 nM). The 4-m chemocline between the oxic and euxinic zones over which dramatic changes in trace element concentration occur in FGL is where peak concentrations for several elements are found, including Fe (3.2 µM), Zn (3.1 µM), Co (86 nM), and V (72 nM). The largest peak is observed for Mn, with a peak concentration of 61 µM, and a transition zone that extends well into the overlying mixolimnion and mirrors the decline in oxygen concentration. Manganese concentration peaks in chemoclines have been observed in a variety of stratified systems that exhibit a gap between the decrease in dissolved oxygen and the increase in sulfide concentration, presumably the result of limited vertical mixing and microbially mediated Mn cycling. We elucidate the link between the gap in the presence of dissolved oxygen and sulfide to microbial community structure, and the effects of speciation on dissolved element concentration in oxic versus euxinic zones. Furthermore, modeling efforts disambiguate the influences of mixing and biology on dissolved trace element concentration in the water column.