The distribution of neodymium isotopes in Arctic Ocean basins

Peer Reviewed

Porcelli D, Andersson PS, Baskaran M, Frank M, Björk G, & Semiletov I

Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73, Issue 9, pages 2645-2659, 2009, 10.1016/j.gca.2008.11.046.

Nd concentration and isotope data have been obtained for the Canada, Amundsen, and Makarov Basins of the Arctic Ocean. A pattern of high Nd concentrations (up to 58 pM) at shallow depths is seen throughout the Arctic, and is distinct from that generally seen in other oceans where surface waters are relatively depleted. A range of isotopic variations across the Arctic and within individual depth profiles reflects the different sources of waters. The dominant source of water, and so Nd, is the Atlantic Ocean, with lesser contributions from the Pacific and Arctic Rivers. Radiogenic isotope Nd signatures (up to εNd = −6.5) can be traced in Pacific water flowing into the Canada Basin. Waters from rivers draining older terrains provide very unradiogenic Nd (down to εNd = −14.2) that can be traced in surface waters across much of the Eurasian Basin. A distinct feature of the Arctic is the general influence of the shelves on the Nd concentrations of waters flowing into the basins, either from the Pacific across the Chukchi Sea, or from across the extensive Siberian shelves. Water–shelf interaction results in an increase in Nd concentration without significant changes in salinity in essentially all waters in the Arctic, through processes that are not yet well understood. In estuarine regions other processes modify the Nd signal of freshwater components supplied into the Arctic Basin, and possibly also contribute to sedimentary Nd that may be subsequently involved in sediment–water interactions. Mixing relationships indicate that in estuaries, Nd is removed from major river waters to different degrees. Deep waters in the Arctic are higher in Nd than the inflowing Atlantic waters, apparently through enrichments of waters on the shelves that are involved in ventilating the deep basins. These enrichments generally have not resulted in major shifts in the isotopic compositions of the deep waters in the Makarov Basin (εNd ∼ −10.5), but have created distinctive Nd isotope signatures that were found near the margin of the Canada Basin (with εNd ∼ −9.0). The deep waters of the Amundsen Basin are also distinct from the Atlantic waters (with εNd = −12.3), indicating that there has been limited inflow from the adjacent Makarov Basin through the Lomonosov Ridge.

Keywords: Neodymium isotopes, Nd, Arctic Ocean, Geochemistry
Categories: Arctic, Natural Science