The behavior of natural and anthropogenic osmium in the Hudson River-Long Island Sound estuarine system

Karl K. Turekian, Mukul Sharma, Gwyneth Williams Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extent to which riverine Os is trapped in a temperate estuary was the aim of this study. The behavior of Os through the Hudson River, East River and the Long Island Sound (LIS) system is addressed using both natural Os and anthropogenically mobilized Os. The Os concentration ([Os]) and isotopic composition (187Os/188Os) of the Mid-Atlantic Bight as inferred from the analysis of a water sample of 31‰ salinity (S) at Vineyard Sound, MA are 46 fM and 1.070, respectively. In comparison, the Hudson River at Newburgh, NY has [Os] = 68 fM and 187Os/188Os = 1.265. The Os concentration of the East River at the Whitestone Bridge is 51 fM and remains essentially constant proceeding eastward in the LIS despite the increase of salinity from 20‰ towards the higher value of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. The 187Os/188Os ratio of water at Whitestone Bridge is 0.945 and increases eastward through the Sound to 0.979 at 7 km and then to 1.019 at 39.6 km. The behavior of Os through LIS appears to be conservative at S > 20‰. On the basis of Os concentration and isotopic composition we infer that anthropogenic Os is being added to the East River through sewers with the likely isotopic ratio of ∼0.13 and that about 24% of riverine Os must be removed at S ≤ 20‰. There is a net transport of about 0.4-1 mole of anthropogenic Os per year from the East River into the LIS. The residence time of Os in the ocean at present must be about 39,000 years, unless an independent source of supply of Os can be identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4135-4140
Number of pages6
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume71
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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