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Characterising the nickel isotopic composition of organic-rich marine sediments

Porter, S.J.; Selby, D.; Vyllinniskii, C.

Characterising the nickel isotopic composition of organic-rich marine sediments Thumbnail


S.J. Porter

D. Selby

C. Vyllinniskii


New Ni stable isotope data (δ60Ni) determined by double-spike MC-ICP-MS for two geologically distinct suites of organic-rich marine sediments from the Sinemurian–Pliensbachian (S–P) Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP; Robin Hood's Bay, UK) and the Devonian–Mississippian Exshaw Formation (West Canada Sedimentary Basin) is presented herein. These sediments yield δ60Ni values of between 0.2‰ and 2.5‰, and predominantly have Ni isotopic compositions that are heavier than those of abiotic terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples (0.15‰ and 0.27‰), and in some cases present-day seawater (1.44‰) and dissolved Ni from riverine input (0.80‰). In addition, the observed degree of isotopic fractionation in the marine sediments is far greater than that of these other sample matrices. However, a strong similarity is exhibited between the δ60Ni values of the organic-rich sediments studied here and those of ferromanganese crusts (0.9–2.5‰), suggesting that factors ubiquitous to the marine environment are likely to play a key role in the heightened level of isotopic fractionation in these sample matrices. A lack of correlation between the Ni stable isotope compositions of the organic-rich sediments and Ni abundance suggests that isotopic fractionation in these sediments is not controlled by incorporation or enrichment of Ni during sediment accumulation. Further, no relationship is observed between δ60Ni and TOC concentrations or bottom–water redox conditions, indicating that the organic carbon reservoir and levels of oxygenation at the sediment–water interface do not exert a primary control on Ni isotope fractionation in marine sediments. Following examination of these relationships, it is therefore more likely that the heavy Ni isotope compositions of marine sediments are controlled by the weathering environment and the dominant sources of dissolved Ni into the global ocean reservoir.


Porter, S., Selby, D., & Vyllinniskii, C. (2014). Characterising the nickel isotopic composition of organic-rich marine sediments. Chemical Geology, 387, 12-21.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 20, 2014
Online Publication Date Aug 9, 2014
Publication Date Nov 10, 2014
Deposit Date Jan 7, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 10, 2015
Journal Chemical Geology
Print ISSN 0009-2541
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 387
Pages 12-21
Keywords Nickel isotope fractionation, Ni isotopes, Organic-rich marine sediments, Sinemurian–Pliensbachian GSSP.


Accepted Journal Article (3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Chemical Geology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Chemical Geology, 387, 10 November 2014, 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.07.017.

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