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Riverine silicon isotope variations in glaciated basaltic terrains: implications for the Si delivery to the ocean over glacial-interglacial intervals
Opfergelt, S.; Burton, K.W.; Pogge von Strandmann, P.A.E.; Gislason, S.R.; Halliday, A.N. (2013). Riverine silicon isotope variations in glaciated basaltic terrains: implications for the Si delivery to the ocean over glacial-interglacial intervals. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 369-370: 211-219. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2013.03.025
In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0012-821X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279365 [ OMA ]

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    basalt weathering; silicon isotopes; glacial rivers; direct runoffrivers; Iceland

Authors  Top 
  • Opfergelt, S., more
  • Burton, K.W.
  • Pogge von Strandmann, P.A.E.
  • Gislason, S.R.
  • Halliday, A.N.

Abstract
    Marine primary production is dominated by diatoms and these are dependent upon the riverine delivery of silicon (Si) to the ocean. In paleoreconstruction of silicic acid utilisation by diatoms, it is assumed that the isotopic composition of the Si that is delivered from the continent to the oceans remains constant. In this study it is shown that glacier-fed Icelandic rivers differ from those directly draining basaltic catchments in their dissolved Si isotope compositions. Lighter values (d30Si=+0.17±0.18‰) are associated with the high physical erosion rates in glacial rivers, and heavier values (d30Si=+0.97±0.31‰) are associated with lower physical erosion rates and enhanced formation of secondary minerals in direct runoff rivers. The Si isotopic compositions correlate with those of Li and provide evidence of a climatic dependence that is likely to have led to glacial–interglacial differences. Based on existing d30Si measurements from diatoms in a sediment record from the Southern Ocean, the interpretation of changes in Si utilisation between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the early Holocene is revisited taking into account changing isotopic compositions of the river water delivered to the ocean over glacial–interglacial intervals. During the LGM, Si utilisation values are higher when allowing for changing Si isotope input to the ocean (59±5%), than when a constant Si isotope input is assumed (42–47±5%). This reduces but does not eliminate the difference relative to the Holocene (88±5%). Therefore, changes in Si isotope delivery to the ocean need to be taken into account in the precise reconstruction of ocean Si utilisation and primary productivity over glacial–interglacial timescales.

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