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Dissolved aluminium in the ocean conveyor of theWest Atlantic Ocean: Effects of the biological cycle, scavenging, sediment resuspension and hydrography
Middag, R.; van Hulten, M.M.P.; van Aken, H.M.; Rijkenberg, M.J.A.; Gerringa, L.J.A.; Laan, P.; de Baar, H.J.W. (2015). Dissolved aluminium in the ocean conveyor of theWest Atlantic Ocean: Effects of the biological cycle, scavenging, sediment resuspension and hydrography. Mar. Chem. 177(Part 1): 69–86.
In: Marine Chemistry. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-4203; e-ISSN 1872-7581, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Trace metals; GEOTRACES; Atlantic Ocean; Aluminium; Aluminum

Authors  Top 
  • Middag, R., more
  • van Hulten, M.M.P.
  • van Aken, H.M., more
  • Rijkenberg, M.J.A., more
  • Gerringa, L.J.A., more
  • Laan, P., more
  • de Baar, H.J.W., more

    The concentrations of dissolved aluminium (dissolved Al) were studied along the West Atlantic GEOTRACESGA02 transect from 64°N to 50°S. Concentrations ranged from~0.5 nmol kg-1 in the high latitude surface watersto ~48 nmol kg-1 in surfacewaters around 25°N. Elevated surfacewater concentrations due to atmospheric dustloading have little influence on the deep water distribution. However, just belowthe thermocline, both Northernand Southern Hemisphere Subtropical Mode Waters are elevated in Al, most likely related to atmospheric dustdeposition in the respective source regions.In the deep ocean, high concentrations of up to 35 nmol kg-1 were observed in North Atlantic DeepWater as aresult of Al input via sediment resuspension. Comparatively lowdeepwater concentrationswere associatedwithwater masses of Antarctic origin. During water mass advection, Al loss by scavenging overrules input viaremineralisation and sediment resuspension at the basin wide scale. Nevertheless, sediment resuspension ismore important than previously realised for the deep ocean Al distribution and even more intensive samplingis needed in bottom waters to constrain the spatial heterogeneity in the global deep ocean.This thus far longest (17,500 km) full depth ocean section shows that the distribution of Al can be explained by itsinput sources and the combination of association with particles and release from those particles at depth, thelattermost likelywhen the particles remineralise. The association of Alwith particles can be due to incorporationof Al into biogenic silica or scavenging of Al onto biogenic particles. The interaction between Al and biogenicparticles can lead to the coupled cycling of Al and silicate that is observed in some ocean regions. However, inother regions this coupling is not observed due to (i) advective processes bringing in older water masses thatare depleted in Al, (ii) unfavourable scavenging conditions in the water column, (iii) low surface concentrationsof Al or (iv) additional Al sources, notably sediment resuspension.

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