Articles | Volume 11, issue 23
Biogeosciences, 11, 6813–6826, 2014
Biogeosciences, 11, 6813–6826, 2014

Research article 08 Dec 2014

Research article | 08 Dec 2014

Seasonal distributions and fluxes of 210Pb and 210Po in the northern South China Sea

C.-L. Wei, M.-C. Yi, S.-Y. Lin, L.-S. Wen, and W.-H. Lee C.-L. Wei et al.
  • Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, PO Box 23–13, Taipei 106, Taiwan

Abstract. Vertical distributions of dissolved and particulate 210Pb and 210Po in the water column at the SouthEast Asian Time-series Study (SEATS, 18°00´ N and 116°00´ E) station in the northern South China Sea were determined from four cruises between January 2007 and June 2008. A large deficiency of 210Pb, 379 ± 43 × 103 dpm m−2, from the secular equilibrium was found within the 3500 m water column. On the other hand, a smaller deficiency of 210Po, 100 ± 21 × 103 dpm m−2, relative to 210Pb was found in the water column. Time-series data showed insignificant temporal variability of the 210Pb and 210Po profiles. To balance these deficiencies, the removal fluxes for 210Pb and 210Po via particle settling ranging from 45 to 51 dpm m−2d−1 and from 481 to 567 dpm m−2d−1, respectively, are expected at 3500 m. The 210Pb removal flux is comparable with, whereas the 210Po removal flux is much higher than, the flux directly measured by moored sediment traps. The discrepancy between the modeled 210Po flux and the measured flux suggests that sporadic events that enhance 210Po removal via sinking ballast may occur in the water column at the site.

Final-revised paper