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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta






Interactions between organic and detrital mineral phases strongly influence both the dispersal and accumulation of terrestrial organic carbon (OC) in continental margin sediments. Yet the complex interplay among biological, chemical, and physical processes limits our understanding of how organo-mineral interactions evolve during sediment transfer and burial. In particular, diverse OC sources and complex hydrodynamic processes hinder the assessment of how the partnership of organic matter and its mineral host evolves during supply and dispersal over continental margins. In this study, we integrate new and compiled sedimentological (grain size, surface area), organic (%OC, OC-δ13C, OC-F14C), and inorganic isotopic (εNd, 87Sr/86Sr) geochemical data for a broad suite of surface sediments spanning the Western Arctic Ocean from the Bering Sea to the Mackenzie River Delta that capture diverse sources and ages of both terrestrial and marine material deposited in contrasting shelf and slope settings. Spatial gradients in sediment properties were used to delineate regional sources and transport processes influencing the dispersion and persistence of OC-mineral particle associations during export and burial. We found strong relationships between physical parameters, aluminum content, and OC-14C suggesting that terrestrial OC remains tightly associated with its detrital mineral carrier during source-to-sink transport. Notably, carbon and neodymium isotopic data yield consistent information regarding organic matter provenance. Results obtained highlight the potential for coupled organic-inorganic tracer measurements to elucidate sediment sources and to constrain physical and geochemical processes during sediment mobilization and transport in the Western Arctic Ocean. Tandem measurements of carbon and Nd isotopes may provide a new way to identify large-scale biogeochemical and ecological changes in the sources, nature, and fate of OC stemming from predicted increases in sea ice loss and fluvial inputs of dissolved and particulate OC to this complex and dynamic high latitude marginal sea.


© 2021 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives4.0International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Creative Commons License.

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Article states: "All data generated for this study is provided in the supplementary information."

"Supplementary data to this article can be found online at"

Original Publication Citation

Schwab, M. S., Rickli, J. D., Macdonald, R. W., Harvey, H. R., Haghipour, N., & Eglinton, T. I. (2021). Detrital neodymium and (radio)carbon as complementary sedimentary bedfellows? The Western Arctic Ocean as a testbed. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 315, 101-126.


0000-0001-7746-7758 (Harvey)


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