Behaviour of chromium isotopes in the eastern sub-tropical Atlantic Oxygen Minimum Zone

Goring-Harford, Heather J., Klar, J. K., Pearce, Christopher R., Connelly, Douglas P., Achterberg, Eric P. and James, Rachael H. (2018) Behaviour of chromium isotopes in the eastern sub-tropical Atlantic Oxygen Minimum Zone Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 236 . pp. 41-59. DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2018.03.004.

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Constraints on the variability of chromium (Cr) isotopic compositions in the modern ocean are required to validate the use of Cr isotopic signatures in ancient authigenic marine sediments for reconstructing past levels of atmospheric and ocean oxygenation. This study presents dissolved Cr concentrations (Cr-T, where Cr-T = Cr(VI) + Cr(III)) and Cr isotope data (delta Cr-53) for shelf, slope and open ocean waters within the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) of the eastern sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean. Although dissolved oxygen concentrations were as low as 44-90 mu mol kg(-1) in the core of the OMZ, there was no evidence for removal of Cr(VI). Nonetheless, there was significant variability in seawater delta Cr-53, with values ranging from 1.08 to 1.72 parts per thousand. Shelf Cr-T concentrations were slightly lower (2.21 +/- 0.07 nmol kg(-1)) than in open ocean waters at the same water depth (between 0 and 160 m, 2.48 +/- 0.07 nmol kg(-1)). The shelf waters also had higher delta Cr-53 values (1.41 +/- 0.14 parts per thousand compared to 1.18 +/- 0.05 parts per thousand for open ocean waters shallower than 160 m). This is consistent with partial reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), with subsequent removal of isotopically light Cr(III) onto biogenic particles. We also provide evidence for input of relatively isotopically heavy Cr from sediments on the shelf. Intermediate and deep water masses (AAIW and NADW) show a rather limited range of delta Cr-53 values (1.19 +/- 0.09 parts per thousand) and inputs of Cr from remineralisation of organic material or re-oxidation of Cr (III) appear to be minimal. Authigenic marine precipitates deposited in deep water in the open ocean therefore have the potential to faithfully record seawater delta Cr-53, whereas archives of seawater delta Cr-53 derived from shelf sediments must be interpreted with caution.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Chromium isotopes; Oxygen minimum zone; GEOTRACES
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.gca.2018.03.004
ISSN: 0016-7037
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 07:58
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2018 07:58

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