Authigenic P-bearing minerals (Pauth), such as carbonate fluorapatite, form within shallow marine sediments as biological processes degrade organic matter and release associated phosphate to the dissolved pool during early diagenesis. Thus, Pauth is commonly used as a proxy for productivity in modern and ancient marine depositional environments. To help refine this proxy and further improve understanding of the marine P cycle, we investigated if dust deposition could supply terrestrially derived Pauth and other P-bearing phases to modern marine sediments. We used the SEDEX sequential extraction procedure to quantify the occurrence of P in ten samples of loess from the Chinese Loess Plateau, a major source of dust to the North Pacific Ocean (NPO). On average, 40% of the total P within Chinese Loess occurs as Pauth, 33% as detrital apatite (Pdet), 17% in organic matter (Porg), and 10% bound to Fe-Al oxides (Pox). Using eolian dust and total P accumulation rates reported for core LL44-GC3 taken from the central NPO, we find that ~86% of the total P accumulation within the central NPO could originate from the atmospheric deposition of Pauth and Pdet. Hence, productivity estimates based upon total P accumulation for this site are likely lower than previously estimated. Our findings suggest that marine productivity studies predicated on the measurement of Pauth need to quantify the fraction of Pauth supplied from terrestrial sources. This may be even more significant along continental margins where rivers can supply sediments with high concentrations of Pauth minerals.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 0470 Nutrients and nutrient cycling (4845;
- 1050 Marine geochemistry (4835;
- 4845 Nutrients and nutrient cycling (0470;