Factsheet #11: Protactinium

Find below a summary of main GEOTRACES findings and products on protactinium research:


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3D scenes showing the distribution of dissolved iron in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the Arctic Oceans. In warm colours (red, orange, etc.) you can view high concentrations of dissolved protactinium-231.


Data is available to download after registration here: https://geotraces.webodv.awi.de/login

Discoveries include:

Below you can find a list of science highlights of main GEOTRACES discoveries on protactinium research:

Science Highlights

Intense benthic nepheloid layers in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean lead to unexpected distributions of dissolved and particulate thorium-230 and protactinium-231

Chen and colleagues explore the behaviour of thorium-230 and protactinium-231 in the benthic nepheloid layers…

Science Highlights

Measuring actinium-227 by mass spectrometry is feasible, sensitive and reliable!

Levier and co-authors have developed a new protocol measurement of the dissolved actinium in seawater.

Science Highlights

Thorium-Protactinium fate across the tropical Atlantic Ocean: what reveals the water column-sediment coupling

Twenty seawater profiles and twenty core-top 231-protactinium and 230-thorium analyses were realised by Ng and colleagues along five depth transects across the northern tropical Atlantic open ocean.

Science Highlights

Isopycnal mixing controls protactinium and thorium distributions in the Pacific Southern Ocean

Pavia and co-workers determined the physical and chemical speciation as well as the vertical distribution of Protactinium-231 and Thorium-230 at 12 stations across the Southern Pacific Antarctic Circumpolar Current…

Science Highlights

More realistic oceanic particle field improved the thorium-230 and protactinium-231 modeling

Thorium-230 (230Th) and protactinium-231 (231Pa) are two geochemical tracers extensively used for investigating particle transport in the ocean and reconstructing past ocean circulation. A key feature in reproducing their distributions by […]

Science Highlights

The role of melting-ice in driving the slowdown of circulation in the western Atlantic Ocean revealed by protactinium-thorium ratio

Abrupt climate changes in the past have been attributed to variations in Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) strength. Knowing the exact timing and magnitude of the AMOC shift is important […]

List of publications

Scroll down to view the list of GEOTRACES publications on protactinium-231: