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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-11-27
    Description: The neodymium isotope proxy has become a valuable tool for the reconstruction of past ocean water mass provenance and mixing. For its accurate application, knowledge about the origin and preservation of Nd in sedimentary archives is crucial. Recently, concerns have emerged regarding the applicability of neodymium isotopes as a conservative palaeo water mass tracer, given potential Nd fluxes from sediments into bottom waters (Abbott et al., 2015a) and inferred relabelling of ocean waters by settling detrital material (Roberts and Piotrowski, 2015). Consequently, a decoupling of water mass provenance and proxy variations may arise. We investigate the mobility of Nd around extreme detrital sedimentation events such as glacial ice rafting pulses and turbidite deposition in the Northeast Atlantic. The constructed records from sediment leachates span extreme Nd isotope variations including volcanic (εNd ∼ 0) and Laurentian (εNd ∼ −27) sources. We find that Nd was released into pore waters from reactive detritus inside some detrital layers during early diagenesis, thereby overprinting any archived bottom water Nd signature and precluding the reconstruction of past water mass provenance during the affected time intervals. However, we do not observe any definite indication of diffusive vertical migration of Nd into adjacent layers. Furthermore, bottom water Nd isotope signatures were not modified to a measurable degree by any potential benthic flux of Nd during the deposition of these detrital sediment layers. Consequently, the Nd isotope composition of the pelagic glacial Northeast Atlantic water masses were resilient to such episodic large detrital fluxes. Apart from extreme local sedimentation events, we confirm the presence of detritally overprinted deep waters north of 47°N during the peak glacial from comparison of Northeast Atlantic depth transects. We furthermore suggest that the sensitivity of deep waters to this overprinting effect increased during periods of reduced Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and elevated ice rafting. Overall, our study demonstrates that a thorough evaluation of the proportion of Nd originating from physical water mass advection versus in situ chemical inputs is crucial for the reliable application of Nd isotopes as a water mass tracer.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-04-02
    Description: Highlights • Icelandic input of radiogenic Nd essentially limited to coastal waters • Offshore bottom water Nd isotope signatures consistent with conservative mixing of intermediate and deep water masses • Decreased bottom water Nd concentrations likely reflect removal by particle scavenging Radiogenic neodymium (Nd) isotopes have been widely used as a proxy for tracing present and past water masses and ocean circulation, yet relatively few data exist for seawater from the important deep water formation area around Iceland. We have analyzed the dissolved seawater Nd isotope compositions (expressed as ƐNd) of 71 seawater samples, as well as Nd concentrations [Nd] of 38 seawater samples, collected at full water column profiles from 18 stations in the shelf area off the southern coast of Iceland. The goal of this work was to determine to what extent weathering inputs from Icelandic basalts, which are characterized by a distinctly radiogenic ƐNd signature within the North Atlantic, contribute to the Nd isotope and concentration signatures of water masses in the northern Iceland Basin. Radiogenic ƐNd values of up to −3.5 and elevated concentrations of up to 21 pmol/kg compared to nearby open ocean sites were found in surface waters at shallow sites closest to shore and to river mouths of Iceland. This documents partial dissolution of highly radiogenic basaltic particles, which are transported northwards by the coastal currents. A comparable signal is not observed, however, in offshore surface waters likely as a result of the advection of surface currents mainly directed onshore, thus isolating these sites from Icelandic weathering contributions. The dominance of Subpolar Mode Waters and Intermediate Water unaffected by Icelandic contributions in the offshore study area is supported by unradiogenic ƐNd signatures between −15 and −12. In agreement with hydrographic data, highly radiogenic bottom waters at one site on the Iceland-Faroe Ridge (ƐNd = −7.5) reveal the presence of almost pure Iceland Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW) near its formation site further to the east. In bottom waters of all deeper offshore sites, the combination of depleted Nd concentrations and similar ƐNd values (averaging at ≃−11.75 for the R/V Poseidon data and ≃−11 for the R/V Thalassa data) confirms the rapid entrainment of Atlantic mid-depth and deep waters into the overflow waters, which is accompanied by near bottom Nd removal via particle scavenging. Overall, our findings demonstrate that at present, apart from the radiogenic isotope signature of ISOW itself, the direct contribution of radiogenic Nd originating from weathering of Iceland basalts to the water column of the Iceland Basin is limited. This supports the reliable application of ƐNd values to trace changes in the mixing of open North Atlantic water masses (including ISOW).
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-04-01
    Description: Radiogenic neodymium (Nd) isotopes have been widely used as a proxy for tracing present and past water masses and ocean circulation, yet relatively few data exist for seawater from the important deep water formation area around Iceland. We have analyzed the dissolved seawater Nd isotope compositions (expressed as ƐNd) of 71 seawater samples, as well as Nd concentrations [Nd] of 38 seawater samples, collected at full water column profiles from 18 stations in the shelf area off the southern coast of Iceland. The goal of this work was to determine to what extent weathering inputs from Icelandic basalts, which are characterized by a distinctly radiogenic ƐNd signature within the North Atlantic, contribute to the Nd isotope and concentration signatures of water masses in the northern Iceland Basin.Radiogenic ƐNd values of up to −3.5 and elevated concentrations of up to 21 pmol/kg compared to nearby open ocean sites were found in surface waters at shallow sites closest to shore and to river mouths of Iceland. This documents partial dissolution of highly radiogenic basaltic particles, which are transported northwards by the coastal currents. A comparable signal is not observed, however, in offshore surface waters likely as a result of the advection of surface currents mainly directed onshore, thus isolating these sites from Icelandic weathering contributions. The dominance of Subpolar Mode Waters and Intermediate Water unaffected by Icelandic contributions in the offshore study area is supported by unradiogenic ƐNd signatures between −15 and −12.In agreement with hydrographic data, highly radiogenic bottom waters at one site on the Iceland-Faroe Ridge (ƐNd = −7.5) reveal the presence of almost pure Iceland Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW) near its formation site further to the east. In bottom waters of all deeper offshore sites, the combination of depleted Nd concentrations and similar ƐNd values (averaging at ≃−11.75 for the R/V Poseidon data and ≃−11 for the R/V Thalassa data) confirms the rapid entrainment of Atlantic mid-depth and deep waters into the overflow waters, which is accompanied by near bottom Nd removal via particle scavenging. Overall, our findings demonstrate that at present, apart from the radiogenic isotope signature of ISOW itself, the direct contribution of radiogenic Nd originating from weathering of Iceland basalts to the water column of the Iceland Basin is limited. This supports the reliable application of ƐNd values to trace changes in the mixing of open North Atlantic water masses (including ISOW).This article is part of a special issue entitled: “Cycles of trace elements and isotopes in the ocean – GEOTRACES and beyond” - edited by Tim M. Conway, Tristan Horner, Yves Plancherel, and Aridane G. González.
    Print ISSN: 0009-2541
    Electronic ISSN: 1872-6836
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Geosciences
    Published by Elsevier
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