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Silicon isotopes and continental weathering processes: assessing controls on Si transfer to the ocean
Opfergelt, S.; Delmelle, P. (2012). Silicon isotopes and continental weathering processes: assessing controls on Si transfer to the ocean. C. r. Géosci. 344(11-12): 723-738. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crte.2012.09.006
In: Comptes Rendus. Geoscience. Elsevier: Paris. ISSN 1631-0713, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 279332 [ OMA ]

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Silicon isotopes; Continental silicate weathering; Si transfer to theocean; Soil weathering degree; Vegetation; Erosion

Authors  Top 
  • Opfergelt, S., more
  • Delmelle, P., more

Abstract
    Knowledge of the weathering processes controlling continental transfer of dissolved silicon (DSi) to the ocean is fundamental to the estimate of the long-term atmospheric CO2-budget. Studies at the soil profile and catchment scales demonstrate that the Si isotopic composition of soil and riverine DSi is a marker of abiotic and/or biotic weathering processes. In this paper, we first review Si isotopic fractionation in the natural environment. We then evaluate the application of Si isotopes to gain new insights into weathering processes on distinct spatial and temporal scales. We suggest that bulk soil d30Si is inversely correlated to weathering degree, regardless of variability in climate, soil age and lithology. We also posit that the Si isotopic composition of DSi and suspended matter in rivers is indicative of the weathering regime (weathering- vs. transport-limited) prevailing in the area where DSi flux originates. Finally, we propose some future research directions.

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