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Rhenium in seawater: Confirmation of generally conservative behavior

Anbar, A. D. and Creaser, R. A. and Papanastassiou, D. A. and Wasserburg, G. J. (1992) Rhenium in seawater: Confirmation of generally conservative behavior. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 56 (11). pp. 4099-4103. ISSN 0016-7037. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(92)90021-A.

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A depth profile of the concentration of Re was measured in the Pacific Ocean using a technique we have developed for the clean chemical separation and the precise measurement of Re by isotope dilution and negative thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-NTIMS). This technique permits Re concentrations to be determined from 200 mL of seawater with a typical precision of ±5‰. This is an improvement of at least a factor of 100 over the techniques used in previously published determinations of Re in seawater. We obtain a narrow range for Re from 7.20 ± 0.03 to 7.38 ± 0.03 ng/kg for depths between 45 m and 4700 m. This demonstrates that Re is relatively well mixed throughout the water column and confirms the theoretical prediction that the behavior of Re in the oceans is conservative. When examined in detail, both salinity and the concentration of Re increase by approximately 1.5% between 400 and 4700 m, a correlation consistent with conservative behavior. However, Re appears to be depleted relative to salinity by 1.0–1.5% at 100 m, and enriched by approximately 4% at the surface. These observations suggest a minor level of Re scavenging in near surface waters, and an input of Re to the ocean surface. This work demonstrates the utility of ID-NTIMS for geochemical investigations of certain trace elements that have not previously been amenable to detailed study.

Item Type:Article
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Wasserburg, G. J.0000-0002-7957-8029
Additional Information:© 1992 Pergamon Press Ltd. Received May 12, 1992; accepted in revised form August 25, 1992. The authors are grateful to D. Karl, R. Lukas, C. Winn, D. Hebel, and the captain and crew of the R/V Wecoma for assistance in sample collection and analysis. D. Karl and R. Lukas kindly provided unpublished data from the HOT-33 cruise. We appreciate the helpful comments of K. K. Turekian and a second, anonymous reviewer. This work has been supported by NASA grant NAG 9-43 and NSF grant OCE 9018534. Shin time on the R/V Wecoma was supported by NSF grants OCE-8800329 (D. Karl) and OCE-8717195 (R. Lukas).
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NSFOCE 9018534
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences5159
Lunatic Asylum Lab777
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131030-080832683
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Official Citation:A.D Anbar, R.A Creaser, D.A Papanastassiou, G.J Wasserburg, Rhenium in seawater: Confirmation of generally conservative behavior, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 56, Issue 11, November 1992, Pages 4099-4103, ISSN 0016-7037, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42132
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Oct 2013 21:49
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:18

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