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Neodymium in the oceans: a global database, a regional comparison, and implications for palaeoceanographic research

Neodymium in the oceans: a global database, a regional comparison, and implications for palaeoceanographic research
Neodymium in the oceans: a global database, a regional comparison, and implications for palaeoceanographic research
The neodymium (Nd) isotopic composition of seawater has been used extensively to reconstruct ocean circulation on a variety of time scales. However, dissolved neodymium concentrations and isotopes do not always behave conservatively, and quantitative deconvolution of this non-conservative component can be used to detect trace metal inputs and isotopic exchange at ocean–sediment interfaces. In order to facilitate such comparisons for historical datasets, we here provide an extended global database for Nd isotopes and concentrations in the context of hydrography and nutrients. Since 2010, combined datasets for a large range of trace elements and isotopes are collected on international GEOTRACES section cruises, alongside classical nutrient and hydrography measurements. Here, we take a first step towards exploiting these datasets by comparing high-resolution Nd sections for the western and eastern North Atlantic in the context of hydrography, nutrients and aluminium (Al) concentrations. Evaluating those data in tracer–tracer space reveals that North Atlantic seawater Nd isotopes and concentrations generally follow the patterns of advection, as do Al concentrations. Deviations from water mass mixing are observed locally, associated with the addition or removal of trace metals in benthic nepheloid layers, exchange with ocean margins (i.e. boundary exchange) and/or exchange with particulate phases (i.e. reversible scavenging). We emphasize that the complexity of some of the new datasets cautions against a quantitative interpretation of individual palaeo Nd isotope records, and indicates the importance of spatial reconstructions for a more balanced approach to deciphering past ocean changes.
1364-503X
20150293
Van der Flierdt, Tina
a217c999-ae03-4d0a-8ad3-eb36b772baf6
Griffiths, Alexander M.
b28ad0d0-f647-4260-9b93-80576ada0a56
Lambelet, Myriam
d79931d3-e598-468e-a509-d8bd455450e6
Little, Susan
c71d8663-0eb7-4786-b027-af650f023abc
Stichel, Torben
c04e16ca-782d-47af-b955-7bbdd9e7f91d
Wilson, David J.
aa3a0fa5-47be-427c-8506-55797a521492
Van der Flierdt, Tina
a217c999-ae03-4d0a-8ad3-eb36b772baf6
Griffiths, Alexander M.
b28ad0d0-f647-4260-9b93-80576ada0a56
Lambelet, Myriam
d79931d3-e598-468e-a509-d8bd455450e6
Little, Susan
c71d8663-0eb7-4786-b027-af650f023abc
Stichel, Torben
c04e16ca-782d-47af-b955-7bbdd9e7f91d
Wilson, David J.
aa3a0fa5-47be-427c-8506-55797a521492

Van der Flierdt, Tina, Griffiths, Alexander M., Lambelet, Myriam, Little, Susan, Stichel, Torben and Wilson, David J. (2016) Neodymium in the oceans: a global database, a regional comparison, and implications for palaeoceanographic research. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 374, 20150293. (doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0293).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The neodymium (Nd) isotopic composition of seawater has been used extensively to reconstruct ocean circulation on a variety of time scales. However, dissolved neodymium concentrations and isotopes do not always behave conservatively, and quantitative deconvolution of this non-conservative component can be used to detect trace metal inputs and isotopic exchange at ocean–sediment interfaces. In order to facilitate such comparisons for historical datasets, we here provide an extended global database for Nd isotopes and concentrations in the context of hydrography and nutrients. Since 2010, combined datasets for a large range of trace elements and isotopes are collected on international GEOTRACES section cruises, alongside classical nutrient and hydrography measurements. Here, we take a first step towards exploiting these datasets by comparing high-resolution Nd sections for the western and eastern North Atlantic in the context of hydrography, nutrients and aluminium (Al) concentrations. Evaluating those data in tracer–tracer space reveals that North Atlantic seawater Nd isotopes and concentrations generally follow the patterns of advection, as do Al concentrations. Deviations from water mass mixing are observed locally, associated with the addition or removal of trace metals in benthic nepheloid layers, exchange with ocean margins (i.e. boundary exchange) and/or exchange with particulate phases (i.e. reversible scavenging). We emphasize that the complexity of some of the new datasets cautions against a quantitative interpretation of individual palaeo Nd isotope records, and indicates the importance of spatial reconstructions for a more balanced approach to deciphering past ocean changes.

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Accepted/In Press date: 10 August 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 October 2016
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 400974
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400974
ISSN: 1364-503X
PURE UUID: 2c4f570c-9b96-44ca-8675-5d46c20497d2

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Date deposited: 30 Sep 2016 13:45
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 04:22

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Contributors

Author: Tina Van der Flierdt
Author: Alexander M. Griffiths
Author: Myriam Lambelet
Author: Susan Little
Author: Torben Stichel
Author: David J. Wilson

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