The potential source of dissolved aluminum from resuspended sediments to the North Atlantic Deep Water
Laboratory and field studies were conducted to investigate the significance of resuspended sediments as a source of dissolved Al to the deep northwest Atlantic. Sediment resuspension experiments demonstrate the effect on dissolved Al concentration (initially 11 nM) of adding natural suspended sediments (ca. 0.1-10 mg/L) to seawater. The concentration of dissolved Al increased by the resuspension of sediments; for example, addition of 0.15 mg/L sediments caused dissolved Al to increase by 10 nM. Distributions of dissolved and leachable particulate Al off the tail of the Grand Banks, near the highenergy western boundary current, show elevated levels in the near-bottom waters. We suggest that resuspended sediments associated with nepheloid layers along the western boundary of the North Atlantic are a source of dissolved Al. Strong western boundary currents provide the energy to resuspend and maintain intense nepheloid layers of sediments. Continued resuspension and deposition of sediments within the nepheloid layer promotes the release of Al from sediments to the overlying water. The Al-rich terrigenous sediments that predominate along the deep boundary of the Denmark Strait, Labrador Sea, Newfoundland and off Nova Scotia constitute a potentially significant source of dissolved Al. Release of Al from resuspended sediments associated with nepheloid layers at a more northern location (e.g., Denmark Strait) may contribute to the near-linear increase in dissolved Al with depth observed in the deep northwest Atlantic.