TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 66 (No. 1), pp. 117-132, 2010

Anthropogenic Pb in Settling Particulate Matter in the Northwestern Pacific Examined Using Stable Isotopes of Pb

Daisuke Nagaoka1*, Masahito Shigemitsu1, Masao Minagawa1,2 and Shinichiro Noriki2

1Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan
2Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan

(Received 27 February 2009; in revised form 11 September 2009; accepted 12 September 2009)

Abstract: We have investigated Pb concentrations and isotopic compositions in settling particles collected by sediment traps experiments over a period of two years, from May 2005 to April 2007, at two depths, 770 and 5100 m, at station KNOT in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean (44°N, 155°E). To the identify provenances of Pb, the samples were separated into two fractions by chemical leaching techniques, with the leachate expected to contain Pb of anthropogenic origin. Isotopic compositions of Pb and concentrations of Pb, Sc, Mn, La, Yb, and Th were measured by quadrupole ICP-MS. The isotope ratios of leachable Pb in settling particles were 207Pb/206Pb = 0.860 ± 0.001; 208Pb/206Pb = 2.116 ± 0.002 (mean ± 95% confidence intervals), which are similar to those of aerosols in China that are greatly affected by pollution from coal combustion. We estimated the mean contribution from anthropogenic Pb sources to the Pb in settling particles, using the conventional binary (anthropogenic and natural Pb) mixing equation for Pb isotopes, as 90% in the upper trap and 78% in the lower trap. Furthermore, we found a significant negative correlation between the isotope ratios of Pb and concentrations of leachable Mn, normalized to those of leachable Pb, suggesting that manganese oxides play an important role in transporting Pb from the upper layers of the ocean to the deeper layers. Our results support the speculation published in a previous study that Pb might be scavenged by Mn oxides in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

*Corresponding author E-mail: naga-dai@ees.hokudai.ac.jp

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