Abstract

Presented here are quantitative dissolution rate data (volume of pyrite lost/time) for the inorganic oxidation of pyrite in synthetic, anaerobic and acidic (pH 2) hydrothermal vent fluids (HVF) from experiments where the volume loss was measured directly via Vertical Scanning Interferometry (VSI). The VSI-derived reaction rate was 2.12×10−10±1.14×10−11 mol/m2/min, which is ~2 to 4 orders of magnitude slower than pyrite oxidation rates previously determined using traditional batch experiments where rates are calculated based on changes in solution chemistry. This lower rate stems primarily from differences in experimental conditions (i.e. water to rock ratios, vigorous vs. gentle stir rates, grain-size effects, time), yet the rates derived here are believed to be more representative of pyrite oxidation in natural environments where more static and high solution to solid rate conditions prevail, such as seafloor conditions or acid-mine-drainage environments.

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