A model for the origin of AI-rich efflorescences near fumaroles, Melos, Greece: enhanced weathering in a geothermal setting

Hall, A.J., Fallick, A.E., Perdikatsis, V. and Photos-Jones, E. (2003) A model for the origin of AI-rich efflorescences near fumaroles, Melos, Greece: enhanced weathering in a geothermal setting. Mineralogical Magazine, 67(2), pp. 363-379. (doi: 10.1180/0026461036720102)

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Efflorescences in the geothermal field of SE Melos, Greece, contain significant amounts of hydrated Al sulphate, alunogen, which could represent the Melian alumen exploited in Roman times and commended by Pliny. The efflorescences at subaerial fumaroles are explained as follows: Sulphur crystallizes on oxidation of H S emanating from depth. Weathering produces sulphuric acid enhancing groundwater alteration of volcanic rocks. The high geothermal gradient and arid climate stimulate efflorescences. Salts are recycled during wet and dry weather leading to Al-enrichment on loss of Fe(II,III) and other cations. delta(34)Sparts per thousand V-CDT values for sulphur in fumarole sublimates, solfatara soils and 'veins' range from -0.3 to 6.4parts per thousand, mean 3.8parts per thousand (n = 8) while Al, Ca arid Mg-sulphates in diverse settings range from -4.1 to 6.8parts per thousand (n = 16). The values for sulphur indicate that the initial H2S had an igneous source and the signature is largely inherited by the sulphates.<p></p> This study aims to underpin research into the exploitation of industrial minerals in the Roman period. When searching for early alumen workings, areas with evidence of acid sulphate alteration (white rocks) and sulphurous fumarole activity should be investigated.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hall, Dr Allan and Fallick, Professor Anthony and Photos-Jones, Dr Effie
Authors: Hall, A.J., Fallick, A.E., Perdikatsis, V., and Photos-Jones, E.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Mineralogical Magazine
Publisher:Mineralogical Society
ISSN (Online):1471-8022
Published Online:01 April 2003

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
277201Aluminium Sulphate (alum) and sulphur mineralisation of archaeological significance, Melos, Greece: a stable isotope studyAllan HallNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NER/B/S/2000/00HU - ARCHAEOLOGY