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Isotopic Composition of Neodymium in Waters from the Drake Passage

Piepgras, Donald J. and Wasserburg, G. J. (1982) Isotopic Composition of Neodymium in Waters from the Drake Passage. Science, 217 (4556). pp. 207-214. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.217.4556.207.

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The isotopic composition of neodymium has been determined in seawaters from the Drake Passage. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which controls interocean mixing, flows through this passage. The parameter ε_(Nd)(0) which is a function of the ratio of neodymium-143 to neodymium-144, is found to be uniform with depth at two stations with a value which is intermediate between the values for the Atlantic and the Pacific and indicates that the Antarctic Circumpolar current consists of about 70 percent Atlantic water. Cold bottom water from a site in the south central Pacific has the neodymium isotopic signature of the waters in the Drake Passage. By using a box model to describe the exchange of water between the Southern Ocean and the ocean basins to the north together with the isotopic results, an upper limit of approximately 33 million cubic meters per second is calculated for the rate of exchange between the Pacific and the Southern Ocean. Concentrations of samarium and neodymium were also determined and found to increase approximately linearly with depth. These results suggest that neodymium may be a valuable tracer in oceanography and may be useful in paleo-oceanographic studies.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Wasserburg, G. J.0000-0002-7957-8029
Additional Information:© 1982 American Association for the Advancement of Science. We thank M. S. McCartney of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for providing us with the ship time needed to collect the Drake Passage samples and for supplying the results of the CTD measurements made during the cruise. We appreciate the cooperation of the crew of the R.V. Atlantis II during the cruise. We are grateful to K. Bruland for his generous efforts to supply us with the Pacific samples and his continuous support for our work. Numerous discussions with him have greatly aided us in this work. This manuscript has also benefited from discussions with W. S. Broecker, P. Goldreich, A. Piola, J. L. Reid, M. C. Stordal, and C. Wunsch. We thank K. K. Turekian for his careful and scholarly review and for calling our attention to the importance of "particulates" in the transport of trace elements in the marine environment. Comments of an anonymous reviewer have also improved this article. This research was supported in part by grants NSF OCE-8108595, NASA NGL 05-002-188, and NSF PHY 79-23628. Division contribution number 3639 (397). This study was carried out at the Lunatic Asylum of the Charles Arms Laboratory.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANGL 05-002-188
NSFPHY 79-23628
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3639
Lunatic Asylum Lab397
Issue or Number:4556
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130910-133017082
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Official Citation:Isotopic Composition of Neodymium in Waters from the Drake Passage Donald J. Piepgras and G. J. Wasserburg Science , New Series, Vol. 217, No. 4556 (Jul. 16, 1982), pp. 207-214 Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41212
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Sep 2013 23:04
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 04:27

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