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  1. Abstract

    N2 fixation constitutes an important new nitrogen source in the open sea. One group of filamentous N2 fixing cyanobacteria (Richelia intracellularis, hereafter Richelia) form symbiosis with a few genera of diatoms. High rates of N2 fixation and carbon (C) fixation have been measured in the presence of diatom-Richelia symbioses. However, it is unknown how partners coordinate C fixation and how the symbiont sustains high rates of N2 fixation. Here, both the N2 and C fixation in wild diatom-Richelia populations are reported. Inhibitor experiments designed to inhibit host photosynthesis, resulted in lower estimated growth and depressed C and N2 fixation, suggesting that despite the symbionts ability to fix their own C, they must still rely on their respective hosts for C. Single cell analysis indicated that up to 22% of assimilated C in the symbiont is derived from the host, whereas 78–91% of the host N is supplied from their symbionts. A size-dependent relationship is identified where larger cells have higher N2 and C fixation, and only N2 fixation was light dependent. Using the single cell measures, the N-rich phycosphere surrounding these symbioses was estimated and contributes directly and rapidly to the surface ocean rather than the mesopelagic, even at high estimated sinking velocities (<10 m d−1). Several eco-physiological parameters necessary for incorporating symbiotic N2 fixing populations into larger basin scale biogeochemical models (i.e., N and C cycles) are provided.

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  2. Abstract

    Extensive regions of yellow and white (“bleached”) sandstones within the terrestrial Jurassic red bed deposits of the Colorado Plateau reflect widespread interaction with subsurface reduced fluids which resulted in the dissolution of iron‐oxide grain coatings. Reduced fluids such as hydrocarbons, CO2, and organic acids have been proposed as bleaching agents. In this study, we characterize an altered section of the Slick Rock member of the Jurassic Entrada Sandstone that exposes bleached sandstone with bitumen‐saturated pore spaces. We observe differences in texture, porosity, mineralogy, and geochemistry between red, pink, yellow, and gray facies. In the bleached yellow facies we observe quartz overgrowths, partially dissolved K‐feldspar, calcite cement, fine‐grained illite, TiO2‐minerals, and pyrite concretions. Clay mineral content is highest at the margins of the bleached section. Fe2O3concentrations are reduced up to 3× from the red to gray facies but enriched up to 50× in iron‐oxide concretions. Metals such as Zn, Pb, and rare‐earth elements are significantly enriched in the concretions. Supported by a batch geochemical model, we conclude the interaction of red sandstones with reduced hydrocarbon‐bearing fluids caused iron‐oxide and K‐feldspar dissolution, and precipitation of quartz, calcite, clay, and pyrite. Localized redistribution of iron into concretions can account for most of the iron removed during bleaching. Pyrite and carbonate stable isotopic data suggest the hydrocarbons were sourced from the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation. Bitumen in pore spaces and pyrite precipitation formed a reductant trap required to produce Cu, U, and V enrichment in all altered facies by younger, oxidized saline brines.

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  4. Abstract

    Sulfur belongs among H2O, CO2, and Cl as one of the key volatiles in Earth’s chemical cycles. High oxygen fugacity, sulfur concentration, and δ34S values in volcanic arc rocks have been attributed to significant sulfate addition by slab fluids. However, sulfur speciation, flux, and isotope composition in slab-dehydrated fluids remain unclear. Here, we use high-pressure rocks and enclosed veins to provide direct constraints on subduction zone sulfur recycling for a typical oceanic lithosphere. Textural and thermodynamic evidence indicates the predominance of reduced sulfur species in slab fluids; those derived from metasediments, altered oceanic crust, and serpentinite have δ34S values of approximately −8‰, −1‰, and +8‰, respectively. Mass-balance calculations demonstrate that 6.4% (up to 20% maximum) of total subducted sulfur is released between 30–230 km depth, and the predominant sulfur loss takes place at 70–100 km with a net δ34S composition of −2.5 ± 3‰. We conclude that modest slab-to-wedge sulfur transport occurs, but that slab-derived fluids provide negligible sulfate to oxidize the sub-arc mantle and cannot deliver34S-enriched sulfur to produce the positive δ34S signature in arc settings. Most sulfur has negative δ34S and is subducted into the deep mantle, which could cause a long-term increase in the δ34S of Earth surface reservoirs.

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