Aspects of the Surface Distributions of Copper, Nickel, Cadmium, and Lead in the North Atlantic and North Pacific

  • Edward Boyle
  • Sarah Huested
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 9)


The concentrations of copper, nickel, and cadmium have been determined on over 400 surface samples; 10 samples were also analyzed for lead. Nickel and cadmium are closely associated with nutrient distributions, being low (about 2 nmol kg−1 for Ni and less than 20 pmol kg−1 for Cd) in the central gyres and elevated to 3–3.5 nmol kg−1 (Ni) and 40–80 pmol kg−1 (Cd) in the equatorial eastern Pacific and in the cool eastern boundary currents. There are large regional variations in their element-nutrient correlations, however. Copper is slightly elevated in cool eastern boundary waters (1.3 nmol kg−1) relative to North Pacific and South Atlantic central gyres, but the Sargasso Sea has higher copper concentrations (1.4 nmol kg−1) than the other central gyres. Copper concentrations in coastal waters of the Gulf of Panama are elevated to 3–4 nmol kg−1; this coastal water advects seaward and creates ‘events’ of high — Cu waters in the oceanic interior. Lead concentrations in the North Atlantic (100–250 pmol kg−1) are higher than in the North Pacific.


Earth Planet Lead Concentration Gulf Stream Surface Distribution High Copper Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Boyle
    • 1
  • Sarah Huested
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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