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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-274
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-274
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  03 Aug 2020

03 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Reviews and syntheses: The biogeochemical cycle of silicon in the modern ocean

Paul J. Tréguer1,2, Jill N. Sutton1, Mark Brzezinski3, Matthew A. Charette4, Timothy Devries5, Stephanie Dutkiewicz6, Claudia Ehlert7, Jon Hawkings8,9, Aude Leynaert1, Su Mei Liu10,11, Natalia Llopis Monferrer1, María López-Acosta12,13, Manuel Maldonado13, Shaily Rahman14, Lihua Ran15, and Olivier Rouxel16 Paul J. Tréguer et al.
  • 1Univ Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, LEMAR, Rue Dumont d'Urville, 29280, Plouzané, France
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Dynamics (SOED), Ministry of Natural Resource, Hangzhou 310012, China
  • 3Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
  • 4Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
  • 5Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • 6Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (DEAPS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
  • 7Research Group for Marine Isotope Geochemistry, Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Carl-von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany
  • 8National High Magnetic Field Lab and Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Florida State University, USA
  • 9Interface Geochemistry, German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ, Postdam, Germany
  • 10Frontiers Science Center for Deep Ocean Multispheres and Earth System, and Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology MOEy, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
  • 11Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266237, China
  • 12Institute of Marine Research (IIM-CSIC), Rúa de Eduardo Cabello 6, Vigo 36208, Pontevedra, Spain
  • 13Department of Marine Ecology, Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Acceso Cala St. Francesc 14, Blanes 17300, Girona, Spain
  • 14Department of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529, USA
  • 15Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, P. R. China
  • 16IFREMER, Centre de Brest, Technopôle Brest Iroise, Plouzané, France

Abstract. The element silicon (Si) is required for the growth of silicified organisms in marine environments, such as diatoms, which consume vast amounts of Si together with N, P, and C, connecting the biogeochemical cycles of these elements. Thus, understanding the Si cycle in the ocean is critical for understanding issues such as carbon sequestration by the ocean's biological pump. In this review, we show that recent advances in process studies indicate that total Si inputs and outputs, to and from the world ocean, are 57 % and 18 % higher, respectively, than previous estimates. We also update the total ocean silicic acid inventory value, which is about 24 % higher than previously estimated. These changes are significant, modifying factors such as the geochemical residence time of Si, which is now about 8000 years and two times faster than previously assumed. In addition, we present an updated value of the global annual pelagic biogenic silica production (255 Tmol-Si yr−1) based on new data from 49 field studies and 18 model outputs, and provide a first estimate of the global annual benthic biogenic silica production due to sponges (6 Tmol-Si yr−1). Given these important modifications, we address the steady state hypothesis of the Si cycle for past and modern oceans, and propose a possible steady state scenario for the global ocean (inputs = outputs = 14.8 Tmol-Si yr−1) and boundary exchange zone. Case studies for future programs are highlighted, and potential impacts of global change on the marine Si cycle discussed.

Paul J. Tréguer et al.

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Paul J. Tréguer et al.

Paul J. Tréguer et al.

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Short summary
Silicon is the second-most abundant element of the Earth's crust. In this review, we show that silicon inputs and outputs, to and from the world ocean, are 57 % and 18 % higher, respectively, than previous estimates. These changes are significant, modifying factors such as the geochemical residence time of silicon, which is now about 8000 years and two times faster than previously assumed. We also update the total biogenic silica pelagic production and provide an estimate for sponge production.
Silicon is the second-most abundant element of the Earth's crust. In this review, we show that...
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