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Geochemistry on water profiles from the Kara Sea

By Bettina Beeskow and Volker Rachold


As a part of the Russian-German project "Siberian River-Runoff (SIRRO)" the major element composition of the dissolved load and the major and trace element composition of particulate load and bottom sediment of the Yenisei River and Estuary were analyzed and examined in context of the basin lithology and climate. In addition, the processes controlling the transformation of the river load in the estuarine mixing zone were investigated. The chemical composition of the dissolved and particulate load of the Yenisei fluvial endmember is generally comparable to that of other major world rivers. The dissolved load is chiefly controlled by carbonate weathering and the chemical composition of the river suspended particulate matter (SPM) is similar to that of the North American Shale Composite (NASC), which represents the weathering product of the upper continental crust. The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) of the Yenisei SPM amounts to 71, which indicates moderate chemical weathering. With regard to the SPM geochemistry, the Yenisei occupies an intermediate position between the adjacent rivers Khatanga and the Lena. Drastic changes in the composition of the river load are seen in the mixing zone between fresh and salt water. While dissolved Na, Ca, Mg, K, CI, S04, F, Br, Sr and HC03 behave conservatively, dissolved Fe is completely removed from solution at very low salinities. Particulate Mn exhibits a pronounced mid-salinity minimum concomitant with a maximum of dissolved Mn, which is probably related to suboxic conditions in the area of the so-called "marginal filter", where highest turbidities are found. The Mn-minimum in SPM is paralleled by depletions of the elements Ba, Zn, Cd, Ni, Cu and V, which can be associated with manganese particles. The estuarine bottom sediments are composed of mud and sand and the sedimentological parameters of the bottom sediments have to be considered for the interpretation of the bulk geochemical data. The chemical composition of the mud is comparable to the SPM, whereas the sand is relatively enriched in Si/Al, Ba/Al, Zr/Al and Sr/Al ratios and depleted in transition metals

Topics: Siberian River Run-Off; SIRRO
Publisher: PANGAEA
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1594/PANGAEA.802254
OAI identifier:
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