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Thorium and protactinium isotopes as tracers of marine particle fluxes and deep water circulation in the Mediterranean Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden; Université Paris-Saclay, France.
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Number of Authors: 10
2018 (English)In: Marine Chemistry, ISSN 0304-4203, E-ISSN 1872-7581, Vol. 199, p. 12-23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pa-231, Th-230 and Th-232 were analyzed in unfiltered seawater samples (n = 66) and suspended particles (n = 19) collected in the Mediterranean Sea during the MedSeA-GA04-S cruise along the GEOTRACES section GA04S and used to investigate mechanisms controlling the distribution and fractionation of Pa and Th in an ocean margin environment. Pa-231 and Th-230 are particle reactive radionuclides and are often used as tracers of processes such as boundary scavenging, particle transport and ocean circulation. The depth profiles of total Pa-231 and Th-230 concentrations in the Mediterranean Sea displayed non-linear shapes. Higher total Th-232 concentrations were observed at the straits and in deep waters pointing at lithogenic sources. Fractionation factors F-Th/Pa ranged from 1.4 to 9. Application of a box-model illustrated that 94% of the Pa-231 and almost all of the Th-230 (99.9%) produced in the Mediterranean Sea is removed to the sediment by scavenging. The negligible export of Th-230 to the Atlantic Ocean, leads to a reevaluation of the mean settling speed of the filtered particles, which is now estimated to 500-1000 m/y. The low F-Th/Pa fractionation factors are attributed to the efficient scavenging and lack of transport of Pa-231 to the Atlantic Ocean.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 199, p. 12-23
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Chemical Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154853DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2017.12.002ISI: 000426223600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154853DiVA, id: diva2:1195310
Available from: 2018-04-05 Created: 2018-04-05 Last updated: 2018-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Gdaniec, SandraMörth, Carl-Magnus
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