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《Acta Sedimentologica Sinica》 1983-02
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RATE OF ACCRETION OF MANGANESE CRUST FROM THE SOUTH CHINA SEA BASIN AND ITS GEOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Xia Ming Zhang Chenhui ( Institute of Geology, Academia Sinica )  
One manganese crust sample taken from the South China Sea basin has been analyzed using uranium-thorium series method in an attempt to determine the growth rate and to study the geochemical characteristics of the studied area. Excess ~(230) Th concentrations in the uppermost layer ( lmm) of the crust indicate an upper limit of growth rate of 4 . 1 mm/10~8yr. This rate of accretion for the crust is similar to that for 6A nodule sample from the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean. Uniform and low rates of the crust growth from the South China Sea and the nodules from various oceanic basins suggest that a similar controlling mechanism may take place during their formations in the marine environment. Since all of the thorium is authigenic the ~(230)Th ex/~(232)Th decay curve can be used to obtain an average rate of accumulation. The exponential decrease of ~(230)Th ex/~(232)Th ratio with depth profile for the specimen yields a growth rate similar to the ~(230)Thex date, corresponding to 4.7mm/10~8yr. The observed depth gradient of the nuclides could be affected by processes other than by radiodecay, i.e.by diffusion. Taking the effective diffusion coefficient to be of the order of 10~(-8) cm~2/yr, the true growth rate of 1.8mm/10~8-yr obtained from a diffusion-decay model, obviously, would be lower than the growth rate of 4.1mm/10~8yr obtained using a decay model. The depth integrated dpm/cm~2 of excess ~(230)Th found in the crust from the south China Sea basin is small in amount.It appears that only a small fractions of this nuclide produced in the sea is incorporated into manganese crust or nodu-ule, and the bulk must reside in the adjacent sediments. The studied crust contains ~(232)Th content of a mean value of about 93 ppm. This concentration is generally higher 10 ppm than that in the surface sedimen- ts. As a consequence of the high thorium content, the U/Th in weight ratio for the crust is somewhat lower than a mean value of about 0.2. The U/Th r-atio in the specimen is less than that for the adjacent sediments by about a f-actor of two. The surface~(230)Th/~(232) Th ratio of the manganese crust in the studied area exhibits a lower value of about 3 when compared with other nodules or/crusts from different localities of oceanic areas. This ratio of the surface crust conforms to its geographic distribution in surface sediments. It seems that during the last several hundred thousand years the Mn-Fe oxides were deposited with a low growth rate estimated at mm/10~8yr for the manganese crust or/concretion in the South China Sea basin. The above-mentioned data and growth rate can be closely associated with the geochemical nature of the crust or/concretion in the South China Sea basin n, and thus provide useful and valuable clues to some of the investigations in the fields of geochronology and isotope geochemistry.
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