Fe, Zn, and Cd stable isotopes from the eastern tropical South Pacific from GEOTRACES cruise GP16 – Methods and data

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Joshua Michael Helgoe, Emily Townsend and Seth John, University of South Carolina Columbia, Columbia, SC, United States
A new method has been developed for the rapid analysis of metal concentrations and stable isotope ratios using a prepFAST automated sample processing robot. Although concentrations and isotopes are processed separately, similar methods are used for both. Initially all seawater is acidified to pH 2. Then Nobias resin with EDTA/IDA functional groups is added to either 10mL of sample for concentrations or ~1L samples for isotopes. Fe binds to the resin at low pH, and the pH is subsequently raised to allow Zn and Cd to bind. For concentration analyses, all subsequent chemistry is automated on the prepFAST including removal of seawater, rinsing of resin, and elution of resin into acid. For isotope samples these extraction techniques are performed manually, but the subsequent purification of Fe, Zn, and Cd by anion exchange chromatography is automated using the prepFAST. With these new methods, samples from the US GEOTRACES cruise GP16, in the eastern tropical South Pacific, are being analyzed.

High concentrations of dissolved Fe are observed near the continental shelf and near submarine hydrothermal vents. Interestingly, isotope data show that dissolved Fe near the continental shelf generally has a δ56Fe close to 0 ‰. This δ56 Fe signature is suggestive of a non-reductive dissolution source for Fe, as Fe(II) released by reductive dissolution is typically closer to -2 ‰. Preliminary data show nutrient-type profiles for Zn and Cd, with Zn matching Si and Cd having a similar distribution to P. An increase in dissolved Zn near hydrothermal vents suggests a possible hydrothermal zinc source to the deep ocean. Continuing analysis of isotope data will reveal more about the source and biogeochemical cycling of these three chemically and biologically important trace metals throughout the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.