Constraining erosional input and deep-water formation in the North Atlantic using Nd isotopes

Reynolds, Ben. C.; Frank, Martin and Burton, Kevin W. (2006). Constraining erosional input and deep-water formation in the North Atlantic using Nd isotopes. Chemical Geology, 226(3-4) pp. 253–263.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2005.09.023

Abstract

Many marine radiogenic isotope records show both spatial and temporal variations, reflecting both the degree of mixing of distinct sources in the oceans and changes in the distribution of chemical weathering on the continents. However, changes in weathering and transport processes may themselves affect the composition of radiogenic isotopes released into seawater. The provenance of physically weathered material in the Labrador Sea, constrained through the use of Ar-Ar ages of individual detrital minerals, has been used to estimate the relative contributions of chemically weathered terranes releasing radiogenic isotopes into the Labrador Sea. A simple box-model approach for balancing observed Nd-isotope variations has been used to constrain the relative importance of localised input in the Labrador Sea, and the subsequent mixing of Labrador Sea Water into North Atlantic Deep-Water. The long-term pattern of erosion and deep-water formation around the North Atlantic seems to have been a relatively stable feature since 1.5 Ma, although there has been a dramatic shift in the nature of physical and chemical weathering affecting the release of Hf and Ph isotopes. The modelled Nd isotopes imply a relative decrease in water mass advection into the Labrador Sea between 2.4 and 1.5 Ma, accompanied by a decrease in the rate of overturning, possibly caused by an increased freshwater input into the Labrador Sea. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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