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  1. Lyons, Timothy W ; Turchyn, Alexandra ; Reinhard, Chris (Ed.)
    In the modern marine environment, barium isotope (δ138Ba) variations are primarily driven by barite cycling – barite incorporates “light” Ba isotopes from solution, rendering the residual Ba reservoir enriched in “heavy” Ba isotopes by a complementary amount. Since the processes of barite precipitation and dissolution are vertically segregated and spatially heterogeneous, barite cycling drives systematic variations in the barium isotope composition of seawater and sediments. This Element examines these variations; evaluates their global, regional, local, and geological controls; and, explores how δ138Ba can be exploited to constrain the origin of enigmatic sedimentary sulfates and to study marine biogeochemistry over Earth’s history.
  2. Abstract Groundwater-derived solute fluxes to the ocean have long been assumed static and subordinate to riverine fluxes, if not neglected entirely, in marine isotope budgets. Here we present concentration and isotope data for Li, Mg, Ca, Sr, and Ba in coastal groundwaters to constrain the importance of groundwater discharge in mediating the magnitude and isotopic composition of terrestrially derived solute fluxes to the ocean. Data were extrapolated globally using three independent volumetric estimates of groundwater discharge to coastal waters, from which we estimate that groundwater-derived solute fluxes represent, at a minimum, 5% of riverine fluxes for Li, Mg, Ca, Sr, and Ba. The isotopic compositions of the groundwater-derived Mg, Ca, and Sr fluxes are distinct from global riverine averages, while Li and Ba fluxes are isotopically indistinguishable from rivers. These differences reflect a strong dependence on coastal lithology that should be considered a priority for parameterization in Earth-system models.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. Abstract. Bioactive trace metals are critical micronutrients for marinemicroorganisms due to their role in mediating biological redox reactions,and complex biogeochemical processes control their distributions.Hydrothermal vents may represent an important source of metals tomicroorganisms, especially those inhabiting low-iron waters, such as in thesouthwest Pacific Ocean. Previous measurements of primordial 3Heindicate a significant hydrothermal source originating in the northeastern (NE)Lau Basin, with the plume advecting into the southwest Pacific Ocean at1500–2000 m depth (Lupton etal., 2004). Studies investigating the long-range transport of trace metalsassociated with such dispersing plumes are rare, and the biogeochemicalimpacts on local microbial physiology have not yet been described. Here wequantified dissolved metals and assessed microbial metaproteomes across atransect spanning the tropical and equatorial Pacific with a focus on thehydrothermally active NE Lau Basin and report elevated iron and manganeseconcentrations across 441 km of the southwest Pacific. The most intensesignal was detected near the Mangatolo Triple Junction (MTJ) and NortheastLau Spreading Center (NELSC), in close proximity to the previously reported3He signature. Protein content in distal-plume-influenced seawater,which was high in metals, was overall similar to background locations,though key prokaryotic proteins involved in metal and organic uptake,protein degradation, and chemoautotrophy were abundant compared to deepwaters outside of the distal plume. Our results demonstratemore »that tracemetals derived from the NE Lau Basin are transported over appreciabledistances into the southwest Pacific Ocean and that bioactive chemicalresources released from submarine vent systems are utilized by surroundingdeep-sea microbes, influencing both their physiology and their contributionsto ocean biogeochemical cycling.« less
  4. It has been hypothesized that the overall size of—or efficiency of carbon export from—the biosphere decreased at the end of the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) (ca. 2,400 to 2,050 Ma). However, the timing, tempo, and trigger for this decrease remain poorly constrained. Here we test this hypothesis by studying the isotope geochemistry of sulfate minerals from the Belcher Group, in subarctic Canada. Using insights from sulfur and barium isotope measurements, combined with radiometric ages from bracketing strata, we infer that the sulfate minerals studied here record ambient sulfate in the immediate aftermath of the GOE (ca. 2,018 Ma). These sulfate minerals captured negative triple-oxygen isotope anomalies as low as ∼ −0.8‰. Such negative values occurring shortly after the GOE require a rapid reduction in primary productivity of >80%, although even larger reductions are plausible. Given that these data imply a collapse in primary productivity rather than export efficiency, the trigger for this shift in the Earth system must reflect a change in the availability of nutrients, such as phosphorus. Cumulatively, these data highlight that Earth’s GOE is a tale of feast and famine: A geologically unprecedented reduction in the size of the biosphere occurred across the end-GOE transition.