Nonhomogeneous seawater Sr isotopic composition in the coastal oceans : a novel tool for tracing water masses and submarine groundwater discharge
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Here we present high-precision (2σ = ±3 ppm) 87Sr/86Sr measurements in coastal waters, together with salinity, to evaluate water mass mixing and the influence of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in coastal waters and marginal seas. Nonhomogeneous Sr isotopic variations in water columns were documented in the Southern Okinawa Trough (SOT), South China Sea, and Kao-ping Canyon (KPC), where seawater 87Sr/86Sr varied up to 70 ppm. Seawater Sr isotopic composition changes only slightly in the upper 200 m of the SOT but was detectable and highly correlated with salinity, indicating a mixing between radiogenic North Pacific Tropical Water (high 87Sr/86Sr and high salinity) at 100–150 m and a less radiogenic component with low 87Sr/86Sr and low salinity at ∼200 m. Vertical profiles of seawater 87Sr/86Sr along the KPC show significant variations, suggesting dynamic mixing affected by continental inputs (i.e., river runoff and SGD) in this region. These results highlight the potential use of seawater Sr isotopes as a powerful tracer for determining mixing ratios and the dynamic mixing of oceanic water masses, especially in coastal and marginal seas.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 12 (2011): Q05002, doi:10.1029/2010GC003372.
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