TERRAPUB Journal of Oceanography

Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 54 (No. 6), pp. 629-640, 1998

Aluminum in the East China Sea and Okinawa Trough, Marginal Sea Areas of the Western North Pacific

Masayuki Minakawa1 and Yasunori Watanabe2

1Japan Science and Technology Corporation, 1-8 Hon-cho 4 chome, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan
2Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, 49 Kokubu-machi, Nagasaki 850-0951, Japan

(Received 8 December 1997; in revised form 13 April 1998; accepted 24 June 1998)

Abstract: The distribution of aluminum (Al) in seawater has been investigated in the continental slope and the Okinawa Trough areas of the East China Sea, which is one of the marginal seas in the western North Pacific Ocean. Aluminum concentration in waters over the slope and the Trough ranged from 5.6 to 25 nmol/kg in the surface layer (0-100 m), and had a minima of 1.1 nmol/kg between 400 and 500 m depth and ranged from 1.3 to 9.7 nmol/kg in the deep or bottom waters. Aluminum values were higher than in the surface waters of the central North Pacific, while minimum values were similar to levels in the intermediate or deep waters of the central North Pacific, except for the bottom water over the slope. This suggests that the high Al concentration in the surface reflects the large atmospheric input of Asian dust around the western side of the North Pacific region. On the continental slope, Al concentrations in the upper 500 m depth decreased slopeward. This horizontal gradient of Al can be explained from the combination of dilution by upwelling of Al-poor water originated from the North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) which intrudes into the mid-depth of the Okinawa Trough and the scavenging of Al by biogenic particles in the continental slope zone.

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