Dissolved aluminium in the ocean conveyor of the West Atlantic Ocean: Effects of the biological cycle, scavenging, sediment resuspension and hydrography

R. Middag*, M. M. P. van Hulten, H. M. Van Aken, M. J. A. Rijkenberg, L. J. A. Gerringa, P. Laan, H. J. W. de Baar

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

47 Citaten (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


The concentrations of dissolved aluminium (dissolved Al) were studied along the West Atlantic GEOTRACES GA02 transect from 64 degrees N to 50 degrees S. Concentrations ranged from similar to 0.5 nmol kg(-1) in the high latitude surface waters to similar to 48 nmol kg(-1) in surface waters around 25 degrees N. Elevated surface water concentrations due to atmospheric dust loading have little influence on the deep water distribution. However, just below the thermocline, both Northern and Southern Hemisphere Subtropical Mode Waters are elevated in Al, most likely related to atmospheric dust deposition in the respective source regions.

In the deep ocean, high concentrations of up to 35 nmol kg(-1). were observed in North Atlantic Deep Water as a result of Al input via sediment resuspension. Comparatively low deep water concentrations were associated with water masses of Antarctic origin. During water mass advection, Al loss by scavenging overrules input via remineralisation and sediment resuspension at the basin wide scale. Nevertheless, sediment resuspension is more important than previously realised for the deep ocean Al distribution and even more intensive sampling is 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 its input sources and the combination of association with particles and release from those particles at depth, the latter most likely when the particles remineralise. The association of Al with particles can be due to incorporation of Al into biogenic silica or scavenging of Al onto biogenic particles. The interaction between Al and biogenic particles can lead to the coupled cycling of Al and silicate that is observed in some ocean regions. However, in other regions this coupling is not observed due to (i) advective processes bringing in older water masses that are depleted in Al, (ii) unfavourable scavenging conditions in the water column, (iii) low surface concentrations of Al or (iv) additional Al sources, notably sediment resuspension. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)69-86
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftMarine Chemistry
Nummer van het tijdschriftpart 1
StatusPublished - 20-dec.-2015

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