Abstract

Shebandowan Lakes, Ontario, are the site of at least 49 shallow (2–12 m) ferromanganese concretion deposits, widely distributed throughout the 48 km of the watercourse.X-ray diffraction and Mössbauer methods have revealed the presence of goethite in some of the concretions. Chemical analyses of the acid soluble portions of 72 samples gave an average composition of 43.1% Fe and 5.65% Mn with a low content of trace elements. The Shebandowan concretions are among the richest in iron of lake concretions reported, possibly because only the acid soluble portion was analysed. Their low content of trace elements suggests rapid growth rates and a relatively young age. A positive correlation was found between Mn and K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Ni, and Co and the relationship between the last three and Mn was deemed significant. Zn was independent of association with either Mn and Fe, probably due to the presence locally of zinc sulphide deposits.Analyses of lake bottom and influent waters suggested that frequent resampling of the sites would be required throughout the year to permit meaningful interpretation of the effect of water composition on the composition of concretions. Analyses of sediment cores from 20 concretion sites indicated an upward increase in Fe and Mn and in the Mn/Fe ratio, consistent with the model of upward migration of the elements, where Mn is more mobile than Fe.This study concludes that a considerable proportion of the elements have been supplied to the Shebandowan concretions via the diagenetic process; generally a minor fraction of the elements has been abstracted directly from the superjacent water.

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