Thorium Isotopes

Particulate fluxes and circulation in a changing Arctic Ocean: tracer data and modeling

A complete review of published and new water column profiles of thorium-230 (230Th) and protactinium-231 (231Pa) concentrations and neodymium (Nd) isotopic compositions collected in the Amerasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean between 1983 and 2015 was performed by Grenier and co-workers (2019, see reference below). This review allowed them to identify regional and temporal variability […]

Mar / 27 / 2020

South Pacific particulate organic carbon fate challenges Martin’s Law

Joint Science Highlight with US-Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry (OCB). Carbon storage in the ocean is sensitive to the depths at which particulate organic carbon (POC) is respired back to CO2 within the twilight zone (100-1000m). For decades, it has been an oceanographic priority to determine the depth scale of this regeneration process. To investigate this, […]

May / 16 / 2019

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 modelling is to understand and constrain as good as possible the scavenging processes, which means: 1) having the good adsorption-desorption kinetic rates and 2) describing […]

Dec / 10 / 2018

Influence of particle composition on the rate constants of thorium adsorption

Chemical species are constantly exchanged between seawater (solution, D) and particles (solid material, P). This continuous D-P exchange is a key process determining the chemical composition of the ocean. Particles are heterogeneous materials, made of (i) biological material from the surface ocean, (ii) lithogenic material from external inputs to the ocean, and (iii) authigenic (oxyhydr)oxides […]

Sep / 04 / 2018

Inference about rates of thorium and particle cycling in the ocean water column

Insoluble thorium (Th) isotopes are particle reactive while their radioactive parents are fairly soluble. This difference of behaviour has allowed chemical oceanographers to use Th isotopes to develop understanding about the scavenging of particle reactive elements and the cycling of particles in the water column. However, many prior models rely on numerous assumptions. Among these […]

Aug / 30 / 2016

Insights into Particle Cycling from Thorium and Particle Data

Phoebe Lam and Olivier Marchal (2015, see reference below) propose to describe, with the same model, the dynamics of particles in the oceanic water column and its effects –on four different tracers characterized by very distinct sources and sinks. The considered tracers are: Particulate Organic Carbon (POC) (a biogenic compound), barium (Ba) (an authigenic mineral), […]

May / 21 / 2015