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Evidence for anthropogenic 14C-enrichment in estuarine waters adjacent to the North Sea

Lookup NU author(s): Robert Spencer, Dr Guenther Uher

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Abstract

The isotopic composition (δ13C and Δ 14C) of high molecular weight dissolved organic carbon (HMW DOC) was studied in the Tyne and Tweed estuaries, NE England. Despite significant removal of terrigenous HMW DOC in the low salinity regions (S < 15), Δ14C remained modern with little variation around 115‰. This lack of apparent age discrimination was attributed to either non-oxidative removal or the absence of a significant proportion of old refractory C in the HMW DOC pool. At S > 15, we observed seaward increases in δ13C and Δ 14C. With no documented local 14C inputs, we attributed non-bomb related 14C-enrichment at S > 15 to a possible 'lingering effect' of distal anthropogenic sources in near-coastal North Sea HMW DOC. Given the global distribution of potential sources, we propose that anthropogenic 14C should be considered in assigning ages of DOC pools in near-coastal waters and suggest its possible use as a tracer for DOC transformations. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Ahad JME, Ganeshram RS, Spencer RGM, Uher G, Gulliver P, Bryant CL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geophysical Research Letters

Year: 2006

Volume: 33

Issue: 8

ISSN (print): 0094-8276

ISSN (electronic): 1944-8007

Publisher: American Geophysical Union

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2006GL025991

DOI: 10.1029/2006GL025991

Notes: Article no. L08608 4 pages


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