The Cd isotope composition of atmospheric aerosols from the Tropical Atlantic Ocean

Luke Bridgestock (Lead Author), Mark Rehkämper, Tina van de Flierdt, Katy Murphy, Roulin Khondoker, Alex R. Baker, Rosie Chance, Stanislav Strekopytov, Emma Humphreys-Williams, Eric P. Achterberg

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Stable isotope compositions can potentially be used to trace atmospheric Cd inputs to the surface ocean and anthropogenic Cd emissions to the atmosphere. Both of these applications may provide valuable insights into the effects of anthropogenic activities on the cycling of Cd in the environment. However, a lack of constraints for the Cd isotope compositions of atmospheric aerosols is currently hindering such studies. Here, we present stable Cd isotope data for aerosols collected over the Tropical Atlantic Ocean. The samples feature variable proportions of mineral dust-derived and anthropogenic Cd, yet exhibit similar isotope compositions, thus negating the distinction of these Cd sources using isotopic signatures in this region. Isotopic variability between these two atmospheric Cd sources may be identified in other areas, and thus warrants further investigation. Regardless, these data provide important initial constraints on the isotope composition of atmospheric Cd inputs to the ocean.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2932–2940
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number6
Early online date28 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017


  • cadmium isotopes
  • atmospheric aerosols
  • anthropogenic impacts
  • biogeochemical cycles

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