Multiple controls on the dissolved aluminium fate in the Western Atlantic Ocean

Thanks to the most impressive set of dissolved aluminium (Al) and silicon (Si) data ever published in the Atlantic Ocean, Middag and co-workers (2015, see reference below) are thoroughly scanning the processes determining their oceanic distribution. They reveal that i) atmospheric inputs are affecting only the surface and subsurface waters, ii) there is an elusive but obvious coupling between Si-containing biogenic particles and Al, iii) scavenging is occurring faster than the horizontal advective transports preventing the use of Al as quantitative water mass tracer, and iv) not observed at a basin-wide scale before, suspended sediments are a significant source for dissolved Al in the deep waters.

Figure: The distribution of Aluminium (Al) is depicted in colour scale overlain with neutral density isopycnals and main water masses labelled for the upper 1000m and the deep ocean. The effects on the Al concentrations of sediment resuspension in the deep ocean and atmospheric deposition in the surface ocean are clearly visible.



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 the West Atlantic Ocean: Effects of the biological cycle, scavenging, sediment resuspension and hydrography. Marine Chemistry. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2015.02.015 Click here to download the paper.




Latest highlights

Overlooked riverine contributions of dissolved neodymium and hafnium to the Amazon estuary and oceans

Xu and colleagues investigated the isotopic composition of dissolved neodymium and hafnium along the entire salinity gradient of the Amazon estuary.

Pulling back the veil on reversible scavenging of lead

This work further contains the role that reversible scavenging may play in the cycling of lead in the ocean, an ever-evolving global experiment where lead contamination can be tracked in real-time.

Extremely high radioactive levels in the manganese nodules

Volz and co-authors demonstrate that radioisotopes in the manganese nodules mostly exceed exempt activity levels…

The North Pacific Ocean, a key actor for the zinc oceanic cycle

Sieber and his colleagues lift the veil on some of the mechanisms that control the behavior of zinc in the Pacific Ocean, and more globally.