Advances in Earth Science ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (6): 563-574. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2022.033

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Research Progress on Compositions, Sources, and Ecological Effects of Aerosol Silicon in Coastal Areas

Jing ZHANG 1( ), Zhaoliang SONG 1( ), Qiang LI 1, Shaobo SUN 1, Qian HAO 1, Xiangbin RAN 2, Wei HU 1, Hongyan LIU 3   

  1. 1.Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, School of Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
    2.Research Center for Marine Ecology and Key Laboratory of Marine Eco-Environmental Science and Technology of Ministry of Natural Resources, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao 266061, China
    3.School of Resources & Environment and Tourism, Anyang Normal University, Anyang Henan 455000, China
  • Received:2021-12-15 Revised:2022-05-29 Online:2022-06-10 Published:2022-06-20
  • Contact: Zhaoliang SONG;
  • About author:ZHANG Jing (1996-), male, Lianshui City, Jiangsu Province, Master student. Research areas include biogenic elements of atmospheric aerosol. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China “Biogeochemical silicon cycle and carbon sink effects in coastal wetlands of Bohai Rim”(41930862);The National Key Research and Development Program of China “Mechanism and chemical process characterization of multi-isotope fractionation of atmospheric particulate matter”(0401220002)

Jing ZHANG, Zhaoliang SONG, Qiang LI, Shaobo SUN, Qian HAO, Xiangbin RAN, Wei HU, Hongyan LIU. Research Progress on Compositions, Sources, and Ecological Effects of Aerosol Silicon in Coastal Areas[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2022, 37(6): 563-574.

Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust and plays an important role in soil formation, growth, and evolution of terrestrial higher plants, aquatic phytoplankton, and the carbon cycle. Studying the silicon biogeochemical cycle has become increasingly important under current accelerated climate change. In recent years, studies on the silicon cycle in terrestrial and oceanic systems have been relatively thorough, whereas those in atmospheric systems are lacking. Aerosols are important carriers of active components and geochemical cycles of elements in the atmosphere. To date, the compositions and sources of silicon in aerosols and the importance of silicon sedimentation load in some regions are not well understood. This restricts our understanding of the silicon cycle in the surface earth system. Based on the current research, this study summarizes the compositions of aerosol silicon and its coupling with other elements, reviews the application of emerging silicon isotopes in atmospheric particulate matter tracing, and discusses the ecological effects of long-distance transportation of silicon in coastal areas and the impacts of silicon nanoparticles on human health. Generally, silicon exists in aerosols mainly in the form of inorganic silicon, and the deposition of aerosol silicon in some offshore waters has a controlling effect on phytoplankton growth. Further research should focus on the generation and transformation mechanisms of aerosol silicon, silicon deposition, its influence on key processes of biogeochemical cycles, and the toxicological effects of silicon nanoparticles.

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