Modelling Nd-isotopes with a coarse resolution ocean circulation model: Sensitivities to model parameters and source/sink distributions

Rempfer, Johannes; Stocker, Thomas F.; Joos, Fortunat; Dutay, Jean-Claude; Siddall, Mark (2011). Modelling Nd-isotopes with a coarse resolution ocean circulation model: Sensitivities to model parameters and source/sink distributions. Geochimica et cosmochimica acta, 75(20), pp. 5927-5950. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.gca.2011.07.044

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The neodymium (Nd) isotopic composition (Nd) of seawater is a quasi-conservative tracer of water mass mixing and is assumed to hold great potential for paleoceanographic studies. Here we present a comprehensive approach for the simulation of the two neodymium isotopes 143Nd, and 144Nd using the Bern3D model, a low resolution ocean model. The high computational efficiency of the Bern3D model in conjunction with our comprehensive approach allows us to systematically and extensively explore the sensitivity of Nd concentrations and Nd to the parametrisation of sources and sinks. Previous studies have been restricted in doing so either by the chosen approach or by computational costs. Our study thus presents the most comprehensive survey of the marine Nd cycle to date. Our model simulates both Nd concentrations as well as Nd in good agreement with observations. Nd covaries with salinity, thus underlining its potential as a water mass proxy. Results confirm that the continental margins are required as a Nd source to simulate Nd concentrations and Nd consistent with observations. We estimate this source to be slightly smaller than reported in previous studies and find that above a certain magnitude its magnitude affects Nd only to a small extent. On the other hand, the parametrisation of the reversible scavenging considerably affects the ability of the model to simulate both, Nd concentrations and Nd. Furthermore, despite their small contribution, we find dust and rivers to be important components of the Nd cycle. In additional experiments, we systematically varied the diapycnal diffusivity as well as the Atlantic-to-Pacific freshwater flux to explore the sensitivity of Nd concentrations and its isotopic signature to the strength and geometry of the overturning circulation. These experiments reveal that Nd concentrations and Nd are comparatively little affected by variations in diapycnal diffusivity and the Atlantic-to-Pacific freshwater flux. In contrast, an adequate representation of Nd sources and sinks is crucial to simulate Nd concentrations and Nd consistent with observations. The good agreement of our results with observations paves the way for the evaluation of the paleoceanographic potential of Nd in further model studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics

UniBE Contributor:

Rempfer, Johannes; Stocker, Thomas and Joos, Fortunat

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0016-7037

Publisher:

Elsevier Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2015 10:19

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2015 10:19

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.gca.2011.07.044

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.63541

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/63541

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