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Hydrothermal impacts on trace element and isotope ocean biogeochemistry

Hydrothermal impacts on trace element and isotope ocean biogeochemistry
Hydrothermal impacts on trace element and isotope ocean biogeochemistry
Hydrothermal activity occurs in all ocean basins, releasing high concentrations of key trace elements and isotopes (TEI) into the oceans. Importantly, the calculated rate of entrainment of the entire ocean volume through turbulently mixing buoyant hydrothermal plumes is so vigorous as to be comparable to that of deep-ocean thermohaline circulation. Consequently, biogeochemical processes active within deep ocean hydrothermal plumes have long been known to have the potential to impact global scale biogeochemical cycles. More recently, new results from GEOTRACES have revealed that plumes rich in dissolved Fe, an important micronutrient that is limiting to productivity in some areas, are widespread above mid-ocean ridges and extend out into the deep ocean interior. While Fe is only one element among the full suite of TEIs of interest to GEOTRACES, these preliminary results are important because they illustrate how inputs from seafloor venting might impact the global biogeochemical budgets of many other TEIs. To determine the global impact of seafloor venting, however, requires two key questions to be addressed: (a) What processes are active close to vent-sites that regulate the initial high temperature hydrothermal fluxes for the full suite of TEIs that are dispersed through non-buoyant hydrothermal plumes? (b) How do those processes vary, globally, in response to changing geologic settings at the seafloor and/or the geochemistry of the overlying ocean water? In this paper, we review key findings from recent work in this realm, highlight a series of key hypotheses arising from that research and propose a series of new GEOTRACES modelling, section and process studies that could be implemented, nationally and internationally, to address these issues.
GEOTRACES, hydrothermal activity, oceanbiogeochemistry, trace elements and isotopes
1364-503X
20160035
German, C.R.
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Casciotti, K.A.
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Dutay, J-C.
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Heimbürger, L.E.
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Jenkins, W.J.
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Measures, C.I.
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Mills, R.A.
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Obata, H.
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Schlitzer, R.
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Tagliabue, A.
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Turner, D.R.
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Whitby, H.
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German, C.R.
cd0eedd5-1377-4182-9c8a-b06aef8c1069
Casciotti, K.A.
52b477c3-f3eb-4afa-aa43-84882fd42f0c
Dutay, J-C.
7ec4a48e-4f4f-4ae7-b957-eeca8f130eee
Heimbürger, L.E.
77313cc3-bb7b-4587-9734-1c1e93894f8b
Jenkins, W.J.
6dd7e2b2-79fe-41fb-a1b8-5bb06650ec7d
Measures, C.I.
67379245-b045-4e3f-83ac-066dd40ef2d6
Mills, R.A.
a664f299-1a34-4b63-9988-1e599b756706
Obata, H.
8d05f288-a735-4e5c-8658-d08205aa6814
Schlitzer, R.
4e0eec4d-219b-4574-a343-d3879aaa7e5a
Tagliabue, A.
a7972fc7-ee5c-4430-94c2-852c14a6a874
Turner, D.R.
6da66a9b-e02e-4cb3-938f-e02e9cc097b1
Whitby, H.
4bc8c786-e146-45cd-af7e-b98aa4e606f3

German, C.R., Casciotti, K.A., Dutay, J-C., Heimbürger, L.E., Jenkins, W.J., Measures, C.I., Mills, R.A., Obata, H., Schlitzer, R., Tagliabue, A., Turner, D.R. and Whitby, H. (2016) Hydrothermal impacts on trace element and isotope ocean biogeochemistry. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A, 374 (2081), 20160035. (doi:10.1098/rsta.2016.0035).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Hydrothermal activity occurs in all ocean basins, releasing high concentrations of key trace elements and isotopes (TEI) into the oceans. Importantly, the calculated rate of entrainment of the entire ocean volume through turbulently mixing buoyant hydrothermal plumes is so vigorous as to be comparable to that of deep-ocean thermohaline circulation. Consequently, biogeochemical processes active within deep ocean hydrothermal plumes have long been known to have the potential to impact global scale biogeochemical cycles. More recently, new results from GEOTRACES have revealed that plumes rich in dissolved Fe, an important micronutrient that is limiting to productivity in some areas, are widespread above mid-ocean ridges and extend out into the deep ocean interior. While Fe is only one element among the full suite of TEIs of interest to GEOTRACES, these preliminary results are important because they illustrate how inputs from seafloor venting might impact the global biogeochemical budgets of many other TEIs. To determine the global impact of seafloor venting, however, requires two key questions to be addressed: (a) What processes are active close to vent-sites that regulate the initial high temperature hydrothermal fluxes for the full suite of TEIs that are dispersed through non-buoyant hydrothermal plumes? (b) How do those processes vary, globally, in response to changing geologic settings at the seafloor and/or the geochemistry of the overlying ocean water? In this paper, we review key findings from recent work in this realm, highlight a series of key hypotheses arising from that research and propose a series of new GEOTRACES modelling, section and process studies that could be implemented, nationally and internationally, to address these issues.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 June 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 October 2016
Published date: 17 October 2016
Keywords: GEOTRACES, hydrothermal activity, oceanbiogeochemistry, trace elements and isotopes
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399831
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399831
ISSN: 1364-503X
PURE UUID: ae20e97a-6876-41eb-bbad-4e50bc58286e
ORCID for R.A. Mills: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9811-246X

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Date deposited: 30 Aug 2016 12:22
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 05:20

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