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The relationship between cadmium and phosphate in the Atlantic Ocean unravelled
Middag, R.; van Heuven, S.M.A.C.; Bruland, K.W.; de Baar, H.J.W. (2018). The relationship between cadmium and phosphate in the Atlantic Ocean unravelled. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 492: 79-88.
In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0012-821X; e-ISSN 1385-013X, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    GEOTRACES; cadmium; phosphate; Atlantic; extended optimum multiparameter analysis

Auteurs  Top 
  • Middag, R., meer
  • van Heuven, S.M.A.C., meer
  • Bruland, K.W.
  • de Baar, H.J.W., meer

    Cadmium (Cd) is not generally considered a nutrient element, but behaves like a nutrient in the oceans and might play an important role in ocean biology after all. The relationship between Cd and the nutrient phosphate (PO4) has been studied for over 40 yrs, but the debate on the driving mechanism and reason behind the ‘kink’, a change in the steepness of the slope is ongoing. Using new data of high accuracy and spatial resolution covering the West-Atlantic Ocean from north to south, in combination with a robust extended optimum multiparameter (eOMP) water mass model, we show that mixing between different water masses is the dominant factor explaining the observed correlation and its kink. Regeneration of Cd via remineralisation explains the smaller scale variability, notably in the surface ocean. Observations imply the availability of Cd in surface waters determines the Cd-uptake and thus the Cd:PO4 remineralisation ratio. This ratio is variable between different ocean regions, notably between the northern and southern high latitude oceans. Due to their role in deep water formation, both the northern and southern high latitude oceans are a driving factor in the Atlantic and global Cd and PO4 relation. Outside the Atlantic Ocean, the classical kink is not expected, but the relationship is by no means linear. Most likely, this is due to the interaction between low latitude surface waters and subsurface waters from high latitude origin, but more data are required to assess this in detail.

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