Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles 33(1), (2019): 15-36, doi:10.1029/2018GB005985.
Better constraints on the magnitude of particulate export and the residence times of trace elements are required to understand marine food web dynamics, track the transport of anthropogenic trace metals in the ocean, and improve global climate models. While prior studies have been successful in constructing basin‐scale budgets of elements like carbon in the upper ocean, the cycling of particulate trace metals is poorly understood. The 238U‐234Th method is used here with data from the GP‐16 GEOTRACES transect to investigate the upper ocean processes controlling the particulate export of cadmium, cobalt, and manganese in the southeastern Pacific. Patterns in the flux data indicated that particulate cadmium and cobalt behave similarly to particulate phosphorus and organic carbon, with the highest export in the productive coastal region and decreasing flux with depth due to remineralization. The export of manganese was influenced by redox conditions at the low oxygen coastal stations and by precipitation and/or scavenging elsewhere. Residence times with respect to export (total inventory divided by particulate flux) for phosphorus, cadmium, cobalt, and manganese in the upper 100 and 200 m were determined to be on the order of months to years. These GEOTRACES‐based synthesis efforts, combining a host of concentration and tracer data with unprecedented resolution, will help to close the oceanic budgets of trace metals.
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (OCE‐1232669 and OCE‐1518110), and Erin Black was also funded by a NASA Earth and Space Science Graduate Fellowship (NNX13AP31H). The authors would like to thank the captain, crew, and scientists aboard the R/V Thomas G. Thompson. A special thanks to two anonymous reviewers and Virginie Sanial for providing the additional 228Ra‐based estimates for Cd. All original data have been made available in either the supporting information or through BCO‐DMO (see Website and Database References).
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