Oxidative and reductive processes contributing to manganese cycling at oxic-anoxic interfaces

Véronique E. Oldham, Matthew R. Jones, Bradley M. Tebo, George W. Luther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Manganese (Mn) is important in seawater as a micronutrient, scavenger (as MnO2) and as a reactant in the redox cycles of many other biologically important elements. In seawater, Mn cycles between oxidized insoluble Mn(III/IV) oxides (MnOx) and soluble Mn (II/III) species (dMnT), which includes Mn(III) complexed to organic ligands (Mn(III)-L) and reduced Mn(II). Mn(III)-L complexes have been shown to be stable in separate oxic, suboxic and anoxic systems, but not in an entire water column with a transition from an oxic to anoxic zone. Additionally, the formation pathways for these complexes have not been well described at one location over a short timescale. In order to better understand these pathways, dissolved and particulate Mn speciation was determined in the water column of the seasonally stratified Chesapeake Bay basin over a 2-day period, using pump profiling for better spatial resolution (10 cm) of redox active species and a modified, low-level spectrophotometric method for soluble Mn speciation (detection limit = 3 nM). Our data suggest that Mn(II) fluxes out of the anoxic sediments (bottom water total Mn: 2.23–3.80 μM; Mn(II) = 61–84% of total Mn) and is oxidized to MnOx at the top of suboxic zone of the water column at non-detectable dO2 levels (≤ 3 μM). These biogenic Mn oxides are reduced at the suboxic-anoxic interface via a combination of strong ambient Mn(III)-binding ligands, H2S and/or microbial activity, resulting in the disappearance of MnOx and formation of Mn(III)-L complexes and Mn(II). The oxic water column has lower concentrations of dMnT (0.05–0.18 μM), with Mn(III)-L complexes present in all oxic samples (33–80% of dMnT). The complexes in the oxic water column arise from processes distinct from those occurring in the suboxic and anoxic zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Chemistry
StatePublished - Oct 20 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Oxidative and reductive processes contributing to manganese cycling at oxic-anoxic interfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this