The use of the trace element content of sedimentary pyrite as a proxy for the trace element composition of past oceans has recently emerged. The pyrite proxy has several potential advantages over bulk sample analysis: preservation through metamorphism; little dilution during analysis (samples are ablated not dissolved, allowing for the less abundant elements commonly held in the sulfide fraction to be investigated as proxies); accurate measurement of several elements simultaneously; the ability to screen sediments for hydrothermal overprint; and the technique can give information regarding trace element availably at multiple stages of diagenesis. Because of these multiple strengths, the pyrite trace element proxy is a valuable potential addition to the paleo-ocean chemistry tool kit.
2. Systematics of the pyrite trace element proxy
3. Materials and methods
4. Case study
5. Future prospects
6. Key references