Abstract

We have first determined the contents of rare-earth elements and yttrium (REY) in four major mineral fractions of hydrothermal sedimentary ferromanganese crusts of the Sea of Japan. It is shown that REY are sorbed mostly by Fe oxyhydroxides (FeOOH). The REY content in the residual aluminosilicate fraction is the second most important factor determining the crust composition. The manganese fractions, composing more than 80 vol.% of the crusts, plays a subordinate role in REY accumulation. The REY pattern of hydrothermal sedimentary crusts in back-arc basins depicts the sum of the REY contents of the FeOOH fraction (hydrogenous) and residual fractions containing the total REY of the products of bedrock disintegration and endogenous (pyroclastic material) and exogenous (desert dust) components.

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