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PARTICLE EXPORT FROM OCEAN SURFACE WATERS BY MEANS OF 234Th/238U AND 210Po/210Pb DISEQUILIBRIA: A COMPARISON OF TWO RADIOTRACER PAIRS

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Verdeny, E. , Masqué, P. , Hanfland, C. , Garcia-Orellana, J. , Cochran, J. K. , Miquel, J. C. and Fowler, S. W. (2005): PARTICLE EXPORT FROM OCEAN SURFACE WATERS BY MEANS OF 234Th/238U AND 210Po/210Pb DISEQUILIBRIA: A COMPARISON OF TWO RADIOTRACER PAIRS , ASLO Summer Meeting, 19-24. June 2005, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. .
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Abstract:

234Th (T1/2 = 24.1 d), 210Pb and 210Po (T1/2 = 138.4 d) are particle reactive radioisotopes that have been frequently used as tracers for particle cycling in the upper ocean. Particle export has usually been estimated using 234Th/238U disequilibrium, as 234Th is often deficient from its conservative parent 238U in the euphotic zone. Lately, however, some researchers are paying attention to the use of 210Po/210Pb disequilibrium as an additional tool to complement the knowledge about particle cycling, scavenging rates and the nature of the material settling out of the euphotic zone. In this work, we present a comparison of the use of both radiotracer pairs in an attempt to quantify the particle export from surface waters. To that end, we present data compiled from previous studies together with our own results from the Mediterranean. We test the advantages of integrating particle flux estimates over different time scales based on the different half-lives and scavenging affinities of these radioisotopes.

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