Export of organic carbon and biominerals derived from 234Th and 210Po at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain

Le Moigne, F.A.C.; Villa-Alfageme, M.; Sanders, R.J.; Marsay, C.; Henson, S.; García-Tenorio, R.. 2013 Export of organic carbon and biominerals derived from 234Th and 210Po at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 72. 88-101.

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The simultaneous estimation of particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) and biogenic silica (BSi) export fluxes is key to the study of carbon export due to the hypothesized role of biominerals in the sinking of organic particles. This paper presents of the first attempts to measure downward fluxes of POC, PIC and BSi from the surface ocean using both the 234Th-238U and the 210Po-210Pb disequilibria and drifting sediments trap synchronously at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain in summer 2009. The combined use of the three techniques allowed us to analyze their suitability not only for POC flux estimates, but also as tracers of PIC and BSi fluxes. POC and biomineral/radionuclide ratios were measured in two size fractions to better understand differences between 234Th derived export and 210Po derived export. 210Po derived POC and biomineral fluxes were unexpectedly closer to POC and biomineral fluxes recorded by sediment traps than 234Th derived POC and biomineral fluxes which were higher than obtained from the other two approaches. We suggest that 210Po, because of its biogeochemical behavior, is a better proxy for POC and mineral fluxes than is 234Th in post bloom conditions. The contribution of smaller (1–53 μm) particles to flux is also considered in order to explain the differences in derived fluxes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: NOC Programmes
ISSN: 09670637
Additional Keywords: POC export flux; PIC export flux; BSi export flux; 234Th; 210Po; Porcupine Abyssal Plain
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 12 Feb 2013 10:16 +0 (UTC)

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