Strong elemental fractionation of Zr–Hf and Nb–Ta across the Pacific Ocean

Firdaus, M. Lutfi and Tomoharu, Minami and Kazuhiro , Norisuye and Yoshiki , Sohrin (2011) Strong elemental fractionation of Zr–Hf and Nb–Ta across the Pacific Ocean. Nature Geoscience. pp. 1-4. ISSN 1752-0894

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Understanding the circulation of water masses in the world’s oceans is critical to our knowledge of the Earth’s climate system. Trace elements and their isotopes have been explored as tracers for the movement of water masses1. One type of candidate elements2 are the high-field-strength elements zirconium (Zr), hafnium (Hf), niobium (Nb) and tantalum (Ta). Here we measure the distributions of dissolved Zr, Hf, Nb and Ta along two meridional sections in the Pacific Ocean that extend from 65 to 10 S and from 10 to 50 N. We find that all four elements tend to be depleted in surface water. In the deep oceans, their concentrations rise along our transects from the Southern Ocean to the North Pacific Ocean, and show strong correlations with the concentration of silicate. These results indicate that terrigenous sources are important to the budget of Zr, Hf, Nb and Ta in sea water, compared with hydrothermal input. Unexpectedly, the weight ratios for Zr/Hf fall between 45 and 350 and those for Nb/Ta between 14 and 85 in Pacific sea water, higher than the ratios observed in fresh water, in the silicate Earth or in chondritic meteorites. We conclude that the fractionation of Zr/Hf and Nb/Ta ratios will be useful for tracing water masses in the ocean.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Unspecified > Journal
Depositing User: 001 Bambang Gonggo Murcitro
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2013 22:09
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2013 22:09

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