Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 64 (No. 2), pp. 259-265, 2008
Yan Zhang1*, Hajime Obata2 and Toshitaka Gamo2
1LEGOS, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, av. Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
2Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Minamidai, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan
(Received 30 April 2007; in revised form 4 October 2007; accepted 5 October 2007)
Abstract: Dissolved and particulate concentrations of silver in Tokyo Bay estuarine waters and Japanese rivers were determined in this study. The dissolved silver concentrations in the surface water of Tokyo Bay range from 5.9 to 15.1 pmol kg-1, which is comparable to those in the surface water of the Japan Sea, but two or three times higher than those in the surface water of the open ocean. However, elevated concentrations of dissolved silver are not found in Tokyo Bay compared with those in other highly urbanized estuaries, such as San Francisco Bay (20~243 pmol kg-1). In the Tokyo Bay estuary, silver typically exhibits non-conservative mixing behavior, which is a common feature in the other estuaries reported previously. Dissolved silver concentrations decrease with salinity from the rivers to the mouth of Tokyo Bay. Silver is efficiently scavenged by suspended particulates, as evidenced by the high conditional distribution coefficients for silver throughout the estuary (log Kd > 5.0 ± 0.6). The silver fluxes into Tokyo Bay via inflowing rivers and atmospheric deposition were estimated as 83 kg y-1 and 15 kg y-1, respectively. A simple budget calculation shows that the silver supplied from rivers and atmosphere must be rapidly scavenged within the Tokyo Bay estuary.