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Balancing the marine sulfur cycle

Johnson, D. L. and Adkins, J. F. (2022) Balancing the marine sulfur cycle. . (Unpublished)

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Sulfate (SO₄²⁻) reduction is a major SO₄²⁻ output flux from Earth's oceans, but an imbalance between recent estimates of this flux and corresponding input fluxes suggests inaccuracy in our understanding. Here, we combine global geographic trends in aqueous and dissolved-phase sedimentary data to resolve this inaccuracy. [SO₄²⁻] profiles from 700+ sites partition into geographically-distinct k-means clusters based on net sulfate reduction rate (nSRR). Pairing nSRRs with literature-derived pyrite accumulation rates confirms that shelf and slope pyrite burial dominate burial globally. Our results also suggest that sampling and measurement biases have led to erroneously high prior global output estimates and can account for the flux imbalance. Disparate mean δ³⁴S values for shelf versus deeper ocean pyrite indicate that sea level change may be an overlooked mechanism for forcing past changes in seawater δ³⁴S.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemInternational Ocean Discovery Program’s JANUS ItemLIMS ItemPANGAEA database
Johnson, D. L.0000-0002-7443-1546
Adkins, J. F.0000-0002-3174-5190
Additional Information:Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International. All data and associated MATLAB files used to conduct this study have been archived within the Zenodo repository (doi:10.5281/zenodo.6415289; this DOI has been reserved and the files will be uploaded here upon acceptance, but are included here as supplementary material here for review. The “Description.txt” file includes the description that will be used for the Zenodo item.). The SO₄²⁻ concentration and porosity data used for cluster analysis in this study are freely available from the International Ocean Discovery Program’s JANUS (\_all.shtml) and LIMS ( databases and were organized into structures in the MATLAB workspace file “DeepSeaSO₄ ClusterAnalysisData.mat” included in the repository. Paired pyrite sulfur abundance and isotopic composition data for this paper are compiled in Dataset S1 (“DatasetS1.xlsx”) from many corresponding references (Alt & Burdett, 1992; Puchelt & Hubberten, 1980; Zak et al., 1980; Sweeney & Kaplan, 1980; Goldhaber & Kaplan, 1974; Scharff, 1980; Bonnell & Anderson, 1987; Bottcher et al., 2004; A. Migdisov et al., 1980; A. A. Migdisov et al., 1983; Lein et al., 1976; Krouse et al., 1977; Johnston et al., 2008; Vinogradov et al., 1962; Kaplan et al., 1963; Sweeney, 1972; Thode et al., 1960; Kaplan et al., 1960; Lein, 1983; Hartmann & Nielsen, 2012; A. A. Migdisov et al., 1974). Additional total sulfur abundance and porosity data are freely available from the PANGAEA database ( under Creative Commons 3.0 Unported (CC-BY-3.0) licenses (; the data and corresponding DOI links are included in the “POROSITY.mat” MATLAB workspace file. Full text citations to both the pyrite S abundance and porosity compilation data sources are listed in PDF files included at the DOI link. Additional information about the files may be found in the description at the associated DOI.
Subject Keywords:Geochemistry, Oceanography
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220511-896977400
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114679
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 May 2022 21:15
Last Modified:11 May 2022 21:15

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