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The POC / 234Th ratio of settling particles isolated using split flow-thin cell fractionation (SPLITT)
Stockholms Universitet.
Stockholms Universitet.
Swedish Museum of Natural History.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2276-0564
2006 (English)In: Marine Chemistry, ISSN 0304-4203, E-ISSN 1872-7581, Vol. 100, no 3-4, p. 314-322Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The common assumption that the ratio between particulate organic carbon (POC) and particulate 234Th obtained from shallow sediment traps and filterable particles are representative of the ratio in the total particle settling flux should be treated with caution in view of well-known biases associated with tethered shallow sediment traps and the decoupling between size and settling velocity of many natural particle regimes. To make progress toward reliably constraining the POC / 234Th ratio on truly settling particles, we have tested here a settling collection technique designed to remove any hydrodynamic bias; split flow-thin cell fractionation (SPLITT). These first results from a North Sea fjord and an open Baltic Sea time-series station indicates that the POC / 234Th ratio on the more complete particle-settling spectrum, isolated with SPLITT, was higher than the POC / 234Th ratio obtained simultaneously from tethered shallow sediment traps in seven out of seven parallel deployments with an average factor of 210%. The POC / 234Th ratio from the SPLITT was either in the same range or higher than that obtained on filtered "bulk" particles. To explain this novel data we hypothesize that the slowest settling fraction is organic-matter rich and does not strongly complex 234Th (i.e., high POC / 234Th). We suggest that this ultra-slow sinking fraction is better collected by SPLITT than with tethered sediment traps because of minimized hydrodynamic bias. This was tested using the ratio of POC / Al as a tracer of detrital mineral-ballast influenced settling velocity. The higher POC / Al ratios in SPLITT samples relative to in traps is consistent with the hypothesis that SPLITT is better suited for collecting also the slow-settling component of sinking particles. This important slow-settling component appears to here consist primarily of non-APS/TEP components of plankton exudates or other less-strongly 234Th-complexing organic matter. Further applications of the SPLITT technique are likely to return increasingly new insights on the composition (including "truly settling" POC / 234Th) of the total spectrum of particles settling out of the upper ocean.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 100, no 3-4, p. 314-322
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-4136DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2005.10.018Local ID: 2045a4f0-b07c-11db-840a-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-4136DiVA: diva2:977000
Note
Validerad; 2006; 20070130 (ysko)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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