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Using rare earth elements to constrain particulate organic carbon flux in the East China Sea

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ABSTRACT

Fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC) in the East China Sea (ECS) have been reported to decrease from the inner continental shelf towards the outer continental shelf. Recent research has shown that POC fluxes in the ECS may be overestimated due to active sediment resuspension. To better characterize the effect of sediment resuspension on particle fluxes in the ECS, rare earth elements (REEs) and organic carbon (OC) were used in separate two-member mixing models to evaluate trap-collected POC fluxes. The ratio of resuspended particles from sediments to total trap-collected particles in the ECS ranged from 82–94% using the OC mixing model, and 30–80% using the REEs mixing model, respectively. These results suggest that REEs may be better proxies for sediment resuspension than OC in high turbidity marginal seas because REEs do not appear to undergo degradation during particle sinking as compared to organic carbon. Our results suggest that REEs can be used as tracers to provide quantitative estimates of POC fluxes in marginal seas.

No MeSH data available.


(A) Distribution of shale-normalized REEs in suspended particles at different depths, sinking particles, and sediments at stations E5, E14 (B), and E34 (C), respectively. (D) Distribution of REEs in size fractioned sediments near station E1. NASC represents REEs in the North American shale composite31.
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f4: (A) Distribution of shale-normalized REEs in suspended particles at different depths, sinking particles, and sediments at stations E5, E14 (B), and E34 (C), respectively. (D) Distribution of REEs in size fractioned sediments near station E1. NASC represents REEs in the North American shale composite31.

Mentions: The distribution of shale-normalized REE concentrations in suspended, sinking particles, and surface sediments in the ECS are shown in the Fig. 4. Most of normalized REEs show low values in surface water suspended particles and increase with increasing water depth, reaching maximum observed values in sediments. Exceptions include Ce at stations E5 and E34, and La at station E5.


Using rare earth elements to constrain particulate organic carbon flux in the East China Sea
(A) Distribution of shale-normalized REEs in suspended particles at different depths, sinking particles, and sediments at stations E5, E14 (B), and E34 (C), respectively. (D) Distribution of REEs in size fractioned sediments near station E1. NASC represents REEs in the North American shale composite31.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037389&req=5

f4: (A) Distribution of shale-normalized REEs in suspended particles at different depths, sinking particles, and sediments at stations E5, E14 (B), and E34 (C), respectively. (D) Distribution of REEs in size fractioned sediments near station E1. NASC represents REEs in the North American shale composite31.
Mentions: The distribution of shale-normalized REE concentrations in suspended, sinking particles, and surface sediments in the ECS are shown in the Fig. 4. Most of normalized REEs show low values in surface water suspended particles and increase with increasing water depth, reaching maximum observed values in sediments. Exceptions include Ce at stations E5 and E34, and La at station E5.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC) in the East China Sea (ECS) have been reported to decrease from the inner continental shelf towards the outer continental shelf. Recent research has shown that POC fluxes in the ECS may be overestimated due to active sediment resuspension. To better characterize the effect of sediment resuspension on particle fluxes in the ECS, rare earth elements (REEs) and organic carbon (OC) were used in separate two-member mixing models to evaluate trap-collected POC fluxes. The ratio of resuspended particles from sediments to total trap-collected particles in the ECS ranged from 82–94% using the OC mixing model, and 30–80% using the REEs mixing model, respectively. These results suggest that REEs may be better proxies for sediment resuspension than OC in high turbidity marginal seas because REEs do not appear to undergo degradation during particle sinking as compared to organic carbon. Our results suggest that REEs can be used as tracers to provide quantitative estimates of POC fluxes in marginal seas.

No MeSH data available.