First full depth profiles of zinc isotopes in the ocean, thanks to IPY/GEOTRACES cruise (GIPY5)

Three major and original features are deduced from the first three full depth profiles of zinc measured by Zhao and co-workers (2014; see reference below) in the Southern Ocean:

  • below 1000 m, the comparison of the results with North Atlantic and Pacific data reveals that the oceanic zinc (Zn) isotopic composition appears to be homogeneous (δ66Zn = +0.53 ± 0.14 per mil (2SE = 0.03, n = 21)).
  • oceanic Zn isotopic composition is more variable in the upper 1000 m (δ66Zn values are more variable); these new Zn isotope data are consistent with a scenario whereby Zn removal from the surface ocean occurs via two processes: a dominant one that does not involve an isotopic fractionation (incorporation of Zn into organic matter associated with only diatom frustules, a type of phytoplankton) and a lesser one that preferentially removes the light isotope (metabolic uptake into the cells of all phytoplankton).
  • a mass balance calculation is proposed to explain the homogeneous Zn isotopic composition of the deep ocean. The δ66Zn value is slightly heavier than all the possible external sources (~+0.35 per mil). Thus, an isotopically light sink is required but not identified yet. The author’s working hypothesis is that the burial of isotopically light Zn in cellular organic matter could represent the light sink from the oceanic dissolved pool.

14 Zhao l
Figure: Zinc (Zn) isotopic data for IPY GEOTRACES samples from the Southern Ocean (green), plotted with data from the same laboratory for the GEOTRACES BATS intercalibration site in the Atlantic (blue, Boyle et al., 2012) and for the SAFe sample at 1000m in the Pacific (red). There is variability in Zn isotopes at depths shallower than about 500m, and a sample from the sediment-water interface in one depth profile at 67°S is anomalous, but in between all seawater samples yet published have a mean δ66Zn of 0.53 per mil, with a spread of only 0.06 per mil (± 2 standard errors of the mean).

 

Reference:

Zhao, Y., Vance, D., Abouchami, W., & de Baar, H. J. W. (2014). Biogeochemical cycling of zinc and its isotopes in the Southern Ocean. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 125, 653–672. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2013.07.045. Click here to access the paper.

Boyle, E. A., John, S., Abouchami, W., Adkins, J. F., Echegoyen-Sanz, Y., Ellwood, M., Flegal, A. R., Fornace, K., Gallon, C., Galer, S. (2012). GEOTRACES IC1 (BATS) contamination-prone trace element isotopes Cd, Fe, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Mo intercalibration. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 10, 653–665. doi: 10.4319/lom.2012.10.653. Click here to access the paper.

Latest highlights

Science Highlights

Spatial and temporal variability of bioactive trace metals, speciation and organic metal-binding ligands in the eastern Gulf of Mexico

Mellett and Buck present the concentrations of bioactive trace metals (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Co, Ni, Cd, and Pb), Fe-and Cu-binding organic ligands, and electroactive Fe-binding humic substances in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

03.03.2021

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.

18.01.2021

Science Highlights

Constraining Oceanic Copper Cycling through Artificial Intelligence and Ocean Circulation Inverse Model

Using available observations of dissolved copper, artificial neural networks, and an ocean circulation inverse model, authors calculated a global estimate of the 3-dimensional distribution and cycling of dissolved copper in the ocean.

15.01.2021

Science Highlights

Particulate rare earth elements distributions, processes and characterisation of nepheloids in the North Atlantic

Lagarde et al. realised the first basin scale section of particulate rare earth elements concentrations across the North Atlantic Ocean.

06.01.2021

Rechercher