Currently, knowledge about the dissolution kinetics of silicate minerals under seawater conditions in general and about feldspar minerals specifically is lacking, even though feldspars are the most common minerals in the earth's crust. Consequently, global geochemical cycles of elements and isotopes overlook the potential effects of silicate dissolution in seawater and its contribution to mass balances. The aim of the present study is to quantify the effect of salinity on albite dissolution kinetics under seawater conditions and the possible impact of salinity on Sr concentrations and isotopic compositions in seawater. A series of albite dissolution experiments with synthetic NaCl solutions (0.0001–1 molal) at pH 5 and 25 °C were conducted using multi-point batch experiments (MPBEs). Above the Na concentration threshold (0.01 molal), the albite dissolution rate was found to increase with the NaCl concentration and with the ionic strength. Based on the present study and previous experimental studies, a combined model that describes the effects of pH, Na concentration and ionic strength on the albite dissolution rate was developed. The proposed model suggests that albite dissolution under natural seawater conditions is mainly controlled by the effect of ionic strength. Considering that seawater solutions are under far-from-equilibrium conditions, the dissolution rate of albite is more than order of magnitude faster in seawater than in the continental, abiotic environment. Hence, the potential of silicate dissolution in seawater to contribute elements to the oceans is significant. In addition, a MPBE was conducted with a Bancroft, Ontario, Canada albite sample using synthetic seawater (SSW). Based on the changes in Si, Al, Sr, Ca and 87Sr/86Sr with time in this experiment, it is suggested that the relative dissolution rates of albite and apatite inclusions in the albite sample control the Sr concentrations and isotopic compositions. The estimated contribution of Sr release due to feldspar dissolution in seawater under far-from-equilibrium conditions is 2.67∙108 mol y−1. This result is significant if considering other forms of Al-Si mineral dissolution on the ocean floor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology