Journal of Earth System Science

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 95–102 | Cite as

Marine biogeochemistries of Be and Al: A study based on cosmogenic10Be, Be and Al in marine calcite, aragonite, and opal

  • Weiquan Dong
  • Devendra Lal
  • Barbara Ransom
  • Wolfgang Berger
  • Marc W Caffee


The geochemical behaviors of Be and Al in ocean waters have been successfully studied in recent years using natural, cosmogenic, radioactive10Be and26Al as tracers. The present day dissolved concentrations and distribution of the stable and radioactive isotopes of Be and Al in ocean waters have revealed their short residence times and appreciable effects of exchange fluxes at the coastal and ocean-sediment interfaces. It follows that concentrations of these particle-active elements must have varied in the past with temporal changes in climate, biological productivity and aeolian flux of continental detritus to the oceans. We therefore investigated the feasibility of extending the measurements of Be and Al isotope concentrations in marine systems to the 103–106 y BP time scale. We report here the discovery of significant amounts of intrinsic Be and Al in marine foraminiferal calcite and coral aragonite, and of Al in opal (radiolarians) and aragonite (coral), which makes it possible to determine10Be/Be and26Al/Al in oceans in the past. We also report measured10Be/9Be in foraminiferal calcite in Pacific Ocean cores, which reveal that the concentrations and ratios of the stable and cosmogenic isotopes of Be and Al have varied significantly in the past 30 ky. The implications of these results are discussed.


Cosmogenic10Be Be, Al marine geochemistry aeolian Be, Al 


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Copyright information

© Printed in India 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiquan Dong
    • 1
  • Devendra Lal
    • 1
  • Barbara Ransom
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Berger
    • 1
  • Marc W Caffee
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Geosciences Research DivisionScripps Institution of OceanographyLa Jolla
  2. 2.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryCenter for Accelerator Mass SpectrometryLivermore

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