Super-hydration and reduction of manganese oxide minerals at shallow terrestrial depths

Seohee Yun, Huijeong Hwang, Gilchan Hwang, Yeongkyoo Kim, Douglas Blom, Thomas Vogt, Jeffrey E. Post, Tae Yeol Jeon, Tae Joo Shin, Dong Zhou Zhang, Hiroyuki Kagi, Yongjae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Manganese oxides are ubiquitous marine minerals which are redox sensitive. As major components of manganese nodules found on the ocean floor, birnessite and buserite have been known to be two distinct water-containing minerals with manganese octahedral interlayer separations of ~7 Å and ~10 Å, respectively. We show here that buserite is a super-hydrated birnessite formed near 5 km depth conditions. As one of the most hydrous minerals containing ca. 34.5 wt. % water, super-hydrated birnessite, i.e., buserite, remains stable up to ca. 70 km depth conditions, where it transforms into manganite by releasing ca. 24.3 wt. % water. Subsequent transformations to hausmannite and pyrochroite occur near 100 km and 120 km depths, respectively, concomitant with a progressive reduction of Mn4+ to Mn2+. Our work forwards an abiotic geochemical cycle of manganese minerals in subduction and/or other aqueous terrestrial environments, with implications for water storage and cycling, and the redox capacity of the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1942
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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