The vertical flux of rare earth elements in the northwestern Mediterranean.

Fowler, S. W., Hamilton, T. F., Peinert, Rolf, La Rosa, J. and Teyssie, J.-L. (1992) The vertical flux of rare earth elements in the northwestern Mediterranean. Open Access In: EROS 2000 (European river ocean system) third workshop of the north-west mediterranean sea. , ed. by Martin, J. M. and Barth, H.. Water Pollution Research Reports, 28 . Commission of the European Communities, Brussels, Belgium, pp. 401-412. ISBN 2872630791

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Rare earth element (REE) composition of sinking particles was examined in time-series sediment trap samples collected from four depths (200, 500, 1000, 2000 m) in the Gulf of Lions. Vertical flux profiles showed the occurrence of a sedimentation pulse which resulted in the rapid sinking of phytoplankton aggregates to 2000 m depth. These particles were characterized by REE patterns similar to those in the upper 200 m indicating that little, if any, additional REE scavenging occurred during the sedimentation event. In contrast, after the sedimentation pulse, particles from deep waters showed an enrichment of light-REE (LREE) relative to heavy-REE (HREE) and a positive Ce anomaly. Comparing REE patterns in particles from the upper water column (200 m) with those from depth (1000, 2000 m) during and following the
sedimentation pulse indicates that time is a key factor in determining REE scavenging by sinking particles. This is particularly evident for the preferential scavenging of Ce (IV) which is most pronounced in the finer, slowly sinking, and presumably older particles. These findings are consistent with REE patterns in sea water from the northwestern Mediterranean which show a strong negative Ce anomaly and gradual enrichment of REE with increasing atomic number. The enrichment of LREE relative to HREE in particles from deep waters results either preferential scavenging of LREE on particles, analogous to the enrichment of Ce, or selective dissolution of HREE in association with particle remineralization processes, or both; this aspect of REE behaviour merits further study.

Document Type: Book chapter
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1018-9890
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2018 09:53
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2018 09:53

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