Advances in Earth Science ›› 2008, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 8-16. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2008.01.0008

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Non-Conservative Calcium in the Sea and Oceanic Calcium Problems

Cao Zhimian,Dai Minhan   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005,China
  • Received:2007-07-16 Revised:2007-11-05 Online:2008-01-15 Published:2008-01-10

Cao Zhimian,Dai Minhan. Non-Conservative Calcium in the Sea and Oceanic Calcium Problems[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2008, 23(1): 8-16.

Dissolved calcium ion (Ca2+) is one of the eleven major ions in the ocean. Unlike the conservative ones, such as sodium ion (Na+) and potassium ion (K+), Ca2+ has small but systematic variations in the ocean, likely related to the formation and dissolution of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles. High precision measurements of Ca2+ can thus provide insights of CaCO3 cycling and fluxes. Moreover, due to the fact that CaCO3 precipitation and/or dissolution also affect the carbonate system, we can potentially link the Ca2+ variation to discuss the oceanic sink of atmospheric CO2. This paper attempts to summarize the reported excess Ca and other non-conservative calcium behaviors and to discuss their controlling processes and impacts on the seawater composition and the carbonate system. The potential changes and the role of Ca2+ in the context of ocean acidification are also touched upon.

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