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Magnitudes and sources of precipitation and dry deposition fluxes of indestrial and natural leads to the North Pacific at Enewetak

Settle, Dorothy M. and Patterson, Clair C. (1982) Magnitudes and sources of precipitation and dry deposition fluxes of indestrial and natural leads to the North Pacific at Enewetak. Journal of Geophysical Research C, 87 (C11). pp. 8857-8869. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/JC087iC11p08857.

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A total atmospheric Pb input flux of 7 ng Pb cm^−2 yr^−1 was measured in the North Pacific Easterlies at Enewetak. Parameters used to measure this flux were ratio of dry deposition flux to precipitation flux; Pb/^(210)Pb in precipitation and seawater; ^(210)Pb flux; washout factor; and Pb concentrations in air, rain, and dry deposition deposits. Relations among these parameters established at Enewetak were used to recompute and confirm previous estimates of lead fluxes to the oceans (ng Pb cm^−2 yr^−1) at the following locations: North Atlantic Westerlies, 170; North Pacific Westerlies, 50; and South Pacific Easterlies, 3. Prehistoric lead output fluxes to sediments (ng Pb cm^−2 yr^−1) at these locations have been previously measured and were 4 (Enewetak); 30 North Atlantic Westerlies; 3 North Pacific Westerlies; 4 South Pacific Easterlies. These data show that the rates of atmospheric inputs of lead to the oceans vary directly with variations in rates of upwind emissions of industrial lead from urban complexes on land. In the North Pacific and North Atlantic, present rates of atmospheric lead inputs are 10-fold greater than prehistoric outputs. In equatorial regions, present inputs and past outputs are more nearly equal. These observations disclose the effects of intense industrial atmospheric emissions of lead in the northern hemisphere westerlies which have overwhelmed prehistoric natural fluxes of lead to the oceans. The average concentration of lead in marine air at Enewetak is 170 pg m−3 and varies less than a factor of 2 from that mean. One to 15% of this lead comes from seaspray, while the remainder comes from sources on land. About 90% of the seaspray lead is industrial, while 80 to 99% of that originating from land sources is industrial. Concentrations of lead in rain at Enewetak range from 6 to 63 pg/g with a mean value of 28. The mean precipitation flux, corrected for recycled lead in sea salts, measured by four different methods, was 6 ng Pb cm^−2 yr^−1, while the net dry deposition flux measured on horizontal plastic plates was 0.6 ng Pb cm^−2 yr^−1. The total dry deposition flux measured was 6 ng cm^−2 yr^−1, but 90% of this lead came from recycled seaspray. Lead isotope tracers show that Japan is the major source of industrial lead at Enewetak during the dry season, while the United States is the major source during the wet season.

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Additional Information:© 1982 by the American Geophysical Union. Received January 8, 1982; revised June 3, 1982; accepted June 7, 1982. We are indebted to the University of Hawaii and their staff at the Mid Pacific Marine Laboratory on Enewetak for provision of facilities and assistance in sample collection. We thank our colleagues in the SEAREX Program from Texas A&M University, University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for assistance in field logistics and sample collection, P. Buat-Menard and R. Duce for discussions that enabled us to interpret our data correctly; G. Gill, University of Connecticut, and K. Bruland, U.C. Santa Cruz, for collecting the October 3, 1980, rain sample; and C. Davidson for a constructive review and advice concerning aerosol dynamics. This work was supported by NSF Grant OCE 77-14520. Contribution number 3735, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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NSFOCE 77-14520
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3735
Issue or Number:C11
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Official Citation:Settle, D. M., and C. C. Patterson (1982), Magnitudes and sources of precipitation and dry deposition fluxes of industrial and natural leads to the North Pacific at Enewetak, J. Geophys. Res., 87(C11), 8857–8869, doi:10.1029/JC087iC11p08857.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49936
Deposited On:23 Sep 2014 18:56
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:49

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