Marine Science Faculty Publications

Morphologies and Transformations of Celestite in Seawater: The Role of Acantharians in Strontium and Barium Geochemistry

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Free-drifting sediment traps deployed at 400, 1500, and 3200 m were used to collect particles near the US JGOFS Time-Series Station (31°49.5′N and 64°08.2′ W) in the Atlantic Ocean. Acantharian specimens isolated from our samples were abundant at the 400-m depth horizon and were rare to non-existent in our 1500-m traps. No specimens were detected in the 3200-m traps. This trend parallels those noted for the Pacific and has been linked to the oceans' SrCl">SrCl profiles. Our collections revealed the presence of myriad, heretofore undocumented, minute SrSO4 particles. These particles are most likely related to the acantharian reproductive cycle. The extreme abundance of acantharians and acanthari-anderived particles may have implications beyond the oceans' Sr budgets. Barium/strontium molar ratios in acantharian-derived celestite on the order of 3 sx 10−3 indicate that acantharians may play an important role in oceanic Ba cycling.

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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 56, issue 8, p. 3273-3279