Seawater samples are collected in the spring of 2013 from the Taiwan Strait for the analysis of uranium (U) concentrations and isotopic compositions using MC-ICP-MS, and the geochemical behavior patterns of U in the Taiwan Strait are then investigated. Average concentrations of individual U isotopes are (3.23±0.14) μg/kg for238U, (2.34±0.09)×10–2 μg/kg for 235U and (2.05±0.07)×10–4 μg/kg for 234U. Correspondingly, the U isotopic compositions are 155±18 for δ234U and 138±2 for238U:235U. The U concentrations and isotopic ratios in the Taiwan Strait are similar to those of open ocean seawater, suggesting the dominance of the open ocean input to the strait’s U pool. However, river input, as suggested by the slightly lower salinity than that of the open ocean, also affected the U concentrations and isotopic compositions in the strait. From a compilation of U concentrations in the Taiwan Strait and adjacent areas, including the Jiulong Estuary and Zhujiang Estuary, the Xiamen Bay and the northern South China Sea, a strong and significant relationship between U concentration and salinity [U:S; U=(0.093 4±0.002 4)S+(0.092 0±0.061 5)] is revealed, suggesting conservative mixing of U in the Taiwan Strait. To better understand the U geochemistry in the Taiwan Strait, a multiple endmembers mixing model is applied to estimate the contributions of potential sources. The open ocean seawater contributed 69%–95% of U in the Taiwan Strait, with river water approximately 2%, and dust deposition only around 0.13%. Therefore, the model results supported the open ocean input source and the conservative mixing behavior of U derived from the observation of U concentrations and isotopic ratios andU:S ratios. The sediment interstitial water may be an important source of U to the Taiwan Strait with a possible contribution of 3%–29%, consistent with previous investigations based on radium isotopes. However, further investigations are warranted to examine the U concentration in the sediment interstitial water and its input to the overlying seawater in the Taiwan Strait.
Rongrong CEN, Yanna LIU, Na XING, Min CHEN, Hua CHENG, Yihua CAI. Sources and conservative mixing of uranium in the Taiwan Strait[J]. ACTA OCEANOLOGICA SINICA, 2017, 36(3): 72-81. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-0985-3.