Nd and Sr Isotopes as Tracers of Wind Transport: Atlantic Aerosols and Surface Sediments

  • F. E. Grousset
  • P. E. Biscaye
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 282)


A study of Nd and Sr isotopes in the detrital fraction of surface sediments and aerosols permit distinction between different continental sources and the deduction of transport mechanisms of particulate matter to and within the Atlantic Ocean. Nd isotope ratios and Rb-Sr “model ages” are the most informative aeolian transport tracers. Isotopic ratios display consistent patterns for both present-day aerosols and Upper Holocene surface sediments. Important sources of aeolian particles are connected with major atmospheric circulation systems: the “Trades” and the “Westerlies”. In the tropical present-day aerosols, Rb-Sr model ages allow us to distinguish between “old” particles coming from the north-west part of the Saharan desert, transported during summer periods, and “young” particles coming from the south-east part of tropical Africa and transported during winter periods. The use of these tracers to evaluate wind flux and trajectory evolution would be fruitfully extended to the entire Quaternary period.


Planktonic Foraminifera Aerosol Sample Continental Source Strontium Isotope Composition Wind Transport 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. E. Grousset
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. E. Biscaye
    • 1
  1. 1.Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA
  2. 2.U.A. CNRS 197, IGBAUniversité Bordeaux ITalence CedexFrance

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