Date of Award

Fall 1990

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Gregory A. Cutter

Committee Member

David J. Burdige

Committee Member

George Grant

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35K59


The formation and cycling of iron sulfides within anoxic sediments can affect the cycling of trace metals. The sediments at station CB-27 (near Annapolis, Maryland) in Chesapeake Bay were rich in FeS (39% of TS), low in greigite (3.6% of TS), and has a relatively constant pyrite concentration (50 - 60% of TS) with depth. The percent composition of total metals in pyrite were 25.7% cu, 11.8% Zn, 15.8% Fe, and non-detectable to 2.1% Cd. At Station CB- 28 (near the Choptank River), the sediments were low in FeS (1.7% of TS), richer in greigite (up to 14% of TS), and pyrite was the dominate metal sulfide (68% of TS). The concentrations of the total metals in pyrite at this station averaged 61.6% cu, 16.6% Zn, 30.0% Fe, and 13.0% Cd.

The degree of pyritization (DOP) at station CB-27 averaged 11.8% and at station CB-28 DOP averaged 22%. The degree of trace metal pyritization (DTMP) was relatively constant for Cd and Zn, but DTMP increased with increasing DOP for cu. The enrichment of cu in pyrite, relative to the other metals, may be due to an intermediate such as boronite that is similar to greigite.


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