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Accumulation rates of Th-230, Pa-231, and some transition metals on the Bermuda Rise

January 1, 1982

Measurements of 238U, 234U, 230Th, 232Th, 231Pa, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn were made on 23 samples from core GPC-5, a 29-m giant piston core from a water depth of 4583 m on the northeastern Bermuda Rise (33??41.2???N, 57??36.9???W). This area is characterized by rapid deposition of sediment transported by abyssal currents. Unsupported 230Th and 231Pa are present throughout the core but, because of large variations in the sedimentation rate, show marked departures from exponential decay with depth. The trend with depth of the 231Paex 230Thex ratio is consistent with the average accumulation rate of 36 cm/1000 y reported earlier on the basis of radiocarbon dating and CaCO3 stratigraphy. When expressed on a carbonate-free basis, concentrations of Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, 230Thex, and 231Paex all show cyclic variations positively correlated with those of CaCO3. The correlations can be explained by a model in which all of these constituents, including CaCO3, are supplied to the sediments from the water column at a constant rate. Concentration variations are controlled mainly by varying inputs of terrigenous detritus, with low inputs occurring during interglacials and high inputs during glacials. Relationships between the metal and 230Thex concentrations permit estimates of the rates at which the metals are removed to the sediment by scavenging from the water column. The results, in ??g/cm2-1000 y, are: 4300 ?? 1100 for Mn, 46 ?? 16 for Ni and 76 ?? 26 for Cu. These rates are somewhat larger than ocean-wide averages estimated by other methods, and the absolute rate of 230Th accumulation in GPC-5 averages about nine times higher than production in the overlying water column. This part of the Bermuda Rise and similar bottom-current deposits may act as important accumulators of elements scavenged from seawater. ?? 1982.

Publication Year 1982
Title Accumulation rates of Th-230, Pa-231, and some transition metals on the Bermuda Rise
Authors M.P. Bacon, J.N. Rosholt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Index ID 70011749
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse