Prof. Dr. Vesselin Dekov (Humboldt Research Fellow)

Vesselin Dekov visited Jacobs University as a Humbolt Research Fellow (01/2020 – 03/2020). He currently works as a professor in the Department for Ocean Sciences, at the University of Marine Science and Technology in Tokyo, Japan.

Research interests

My main research interests lie in understanding the processes of seafloor mineral deposition. Geochemistry (including stable and radiogenic isotopes) and mineralogy of metalliferous sediments, massive sulfides, Fe-Mn crusts, and nodules are the main topics I have addressed in my career. I sometimes had to switch from marine geochemical problems to the geochemical and mineralogical aspects of riverine input to the ocean. Studies on the aerosols above the sea and aerosols’ contribution to seawater composition and marine sedimentation showed me that the “small” and “invisible” might be more important than the “big” and “evident”. I have “sailed” from polar to tropical seas and from shelf basins through the open ocean to back-arc basins and have addressed a number of questions ranging from seafloor hydrothermal deposition to shelf sedimentation. Although my work seems to be spanned over different aspects of Geology there has been a main focus: geochemistry and mineralogy of seafloor mineral deposition. I have worked on sample collections from a number of seafloor spreading centers (East Pacific Rise, Chile Ridge, Guaymas Basin, Gorda Ridge, Juan de Fuca Ridge, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Red Sea brine filled deeps, Ninetyeast Ridge), volcanic arcs (Aeolian Arc, Tonga-Kermadec Arc), back-arc basins (Tyrrhenian Sea, Manus Basin, Lau Basin), continental rifts (Afar Rift) and inactive marine basins (North Sea, Kara Sea, Black Sea, Flores Sea). I have investigated sediments and basement rocks provided by the IODP (DSDP and ODP cores). The scope of topics was wide-ranging: from the geochemistry of major, trace, and rare earth elements to the mineralogy of sulfides, native metals, carbonates, oxyhydroxides, and clays in hydrothermal deposits from mid-ocean ridges, volcanic arcs, and back-arc basins. An important aspect of my research experience is the application of isotope geochemistry (O, S, Fe, Cu, Zn, Sr, Nd, Pb) to understand the processes of hydrothermal, hydrogenetic, and diagenetic deposition at the seafloor.

Current research foci:

  • Magmatic input to the seafloor hydrothermal systems and magmatic contribution to the metal budget of the sulfide deposits using non-traditional isotopes (Fe, Cu, and Zn)
  • Alteration of the oceanic crust and clay mineral precipitation due to fluid-rock interaction
  • Fe-Mn-nodules and crusts as possible metal resources and archives of ocean history
  • Biogeochemistry of seafloor hydrothermal systems and microbial fixation of toxic elements (As, Hg, Sb)
  • Hydrothermal processes at continental rifts and “embryonic” oceans that present transition from rifting to spreading
  • Metallogeny of intra-oceanic arcs
  • Sedimentation in marine anoxic basins
  • Elemental budget of rivers with particular chemistry (extremely enriched in some elements) and riverine flux to the ocean.
  • Isotope (stable and radiogenic) systematics and trace element geochemistry, sources and sinks of metals in the ocean, mineral formation and transformation at the seafloor, and elemental budget of different plate boundaries

Teaching experience

  • Natural Sciences
  • General Oceanography
  • Seafloor Earth Science
  • Advances in Oceanography
  • Earth Sciences
  • Seafloor Geochemsitry
  • Seafloor Hydrothermal Systems

Publications (Selection)

Cuadros, J., Michalski, J.R., Bishop, J.L., Mavris, C., Fiore, S., Dekov, V., (2022). Mars-rover cameras evaluation of laboratory spectra of Fe-bearing Mars analog samples. Icarus, 371; 114704.

Dekov, V.M., Rouxel, O., Guéguen, B., Wegorzewski, A.V., Khripounoff, A., Menot, L., (2021). Mn-micronodules from the sediments of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (Pacific Ocean): Origin, elemental source, and Fe-Cu-Zn-isotope composition. Chemical Geology, 580; 120388.

Dekov, V.M., Guéguen, B., Yamanaka, T., Moussa, N., Okumura, T., Bayon, G., Liebetrau, V., Yoshimura, T., Kamenov, G., Araoka, D., Makita, H., Sutton, J., (2021). When a mid-ocean ridge encroaches a continent: Seafloor-type hydrothermal activity in Lake Asal (Afar Rift). Chemical Geology, 568; 120126.

Dekov, V.M., Maynard, J.B., Kamenov, G.D., Rouxel, O., Lalonde, S., Juranov, S., (2020). Origin of the Oligocene manganese deposit at Obrochishte (Bulgaria): Insights from C, O, Fe, Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopes. Ore Geology Reviews, 122; 103550.

Dekov, V.M., Darakchieva, V.Y., Billström, K., Garbe-Schönberg, C.-D., Kamenov, G.D., Gallinari, M.,Dimitrov, L., Ragueneau, O., Kooijman, E., (2020). Element enrichment and provenance of the detrital component in Holocene sediments from the western Black Sea. Oceanologia, 62; 139-163.

Cuadros, J., Michalski, J.R., Dyar, M.D., Dekov, V., (2019). Controls on tetrahedral Fe(III) abundance in 2:1 phyllosilicates. American Mineralogist, 104; 1608-1619.

Sánchez-Marañón, M., Cuadros, J., Michalski, J.R., Melgosa, M., Dekov, V.(2018). Identification of iron in Earth analogues of Martian phyllosilicates using visible reflectance spectroscopy: Spectral derivatives and color parameters. Applied Clay Science, 165; 264-276.

Dekov, V.M., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Kamenov, G.D., Guéguen, B., Bayon, G., Bindi, L., Asael, D., Fouquet, Y., (2018). Redox changes in a seafloor hydrothermal system recorded in hematite-chalcopyrite chimneys. Chemical Geology, 483; 351-371.

Cuadros, J., Šegvić, B., Dekov, V., Michalski, J.R., Bardají, D.B., (2018). Electron microscopy investigation of the genetic link between Fe oxides/oxyhydroxides and nontronite in submarine hydrothermal fields. Marine Geology, 395; 247-259.

Dekov, V., Rochette, P., Gattacceca, J., (2017). Meteorite falls in Bulgaria: Reappraisal of mineralogy, chemistry and classification. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 52; 1649-1659.

Dekov, V.M., Rouxel, O., Kouzmanov, K., Bindi, L., Asael, D., Fouquet, Y., Etoubleau, J., Burgaud, G., Wälle, M., (2016). Enargite-luzonite hydrothermal vents in Manus Back-Arc Basin: Submarine analogues of high-sulfidation epithermal mineralization. Chemical Geology, 438; 36-57.

Cuadros, J., Michalski, J.R., Dekov, V., Bishop, J.L., (2016). Octahedral chemistry of 2:1 clay minerals and hydroxyl band position in the near-infrared: Application to Mars. American Mineralogist, 101; 554-563.