Abstract

Metalliferous precipitates from submarine hydrothermal discharges have been investigated at four inshore locations off Milos in the Hellenic Volcanic Arc. The fine fraction of the sediments shows considerable variability in the concentrations of elements frequently associated with hydrothermal activity. Manganese varies from 30 ppm to 2500 ppm, encompassing the entire range of values found off Santorini also in the Hellenic Arc. Iron occurs in lower concentrations than off Santorini and Yali, while other elements often associated with hydrothermal activity such as Pb, Zn, As, and Cu also show enrichments in sediments from the hydrothermal vent areas. Selective leaching studies have shown that most elements are variably distributed between the different phases of the sediments but with enriched Pb, Zn, and Mn mainly in easily soluble secondary phases. Hydrothermal inputs are strongest at Palaeochori Bay, less at Voudia Bay and lowest at the Airport Springs and Rivari. The weathering of sulfide and possibly other orebodies is also thought to contribute to some of the elements enriched, while background concentrations are largely supplied from detrital sources.

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