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Residual β activity of particulate 234Th as a novel proxy for tracking sediment resuspension in the ocean
Lin, W.; Chen, L.; Li, T.; Wang, Y.; Yu, K. (2016). Residual β activity of particulate 234Th as a novel proxy for tracking sediment resuspension in the ocean. NPG Scientific Reports 6(27069): 13 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Lin, W.
  • Chen, L.
  • Li, T.
  • Wang, Y.
  • Yu, K.

    Sediment resuspension occurs in the global ocean, which greatly affects material exchange between the sediment and the overlying seawater. The behaviours of carbon, nutrients, heavy metals, and other pollutants at the sediment-seawater boundary will further link to climate change, eutrophication, and marine pollution. Residual beta activity of particulate Th-234 (RA(P234)) is used as a novel proxy to track sediment resuspension in different marine environments, including the western Arctic Ocean, the South China Sea, and the Southern Ocean. Sediment resuspension identified by high activity of RA(P234) is supported by different lines of evidence including seawater turbidity, residence time of total Th-234, Goldschmidt's classification, and ratio of RA(P234) to particulate organic carbon. A conceptual model is proposed to elucidate the mechanism for RA(P234) with dominant contributions from Th-234-U-238 and Bi-212-Th-228. The 'slope assumption' for RA(P234) indicated increasing intensity of sediment resuspension from spring to autumn under the influence of the East Asian monsoon system. RA(P234) can shed new light on Th-234-based particle dynamics and should benefit the interpretation of historical Th-234-U-238 database. RA(P234) resembles lithophile elements and has broad implications for investigating particle dynamics in the estuary-shelf-slope-ocean continuum and linkage of the atmosphere-ocean-sediment system.

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