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Geochemical variations in aeolian mineral particles from the Sahara-Sahel Dust Corridor

AuthorsMoreno, Teresa ; Querol, Xavier ; Castillo, Sonia ; Alastuey, Andrés ; Cuevas, E.; Herrmann, Ludger; Mounkaila, Mohammed; Elvira, José J.; Gibbons, Wes
Dust and soil geochemistry
Mineral aerosols
Sahara-Sahel Dust
Issue DateOct-2006
CitationChemosphere 65 (2): 261-270 (2006)
AbstractThe Sahara-Sahel Dust Corridor runs from Chad to Mauritania and expels huge amounts of mineral aerosols into the Atlantic Ocean. Data on samples collected from Algeria, Chad, Niger, and Western Sahara illustrate how corridor dust mineralogy and chemistry relate to geological source and weathering/transport history. Dusts sourced directly from igneous and metamorphic massifs are geochemically immature, retaining soluble cations (e.g., K, Na, Rb, Sr) and accessory minerals containing HFSE (e.g., Zr, Hf, U, Th) and REE. In contrast, silicate dust chemistry in desert basins (e.g., Bodélé Depression) is influenced by a longer history of transport, physical winnowing (e.g., loss of Zr, Hf, Th), chemical leaching (e.g., loss of Na, K, Rb), and mixing with intrabasinal materials such as diatoms and evaporitic salts. Mineral aerosols blown along the corridor by the winter Harmattan winds mix these basinal and basement materials. Dusts blown into the corridor from sub-Saharan Africa during the summer monsoon source from deeply chemically weathered terrains and are therefore likely to be more kaolinitic and stripped of mobile elements (e.g., Na, K, Mg, Ca, LILE), but retain immobile and resistant elements (e.g., Zr, Hf, REE). Finally, dusts blown southwestwards into the corridor from along the Atlantic Coastal Basin will be enriched in carbonate from Mesozoic-Cenozoic marine limestones, depleted in Th, Nb, and Ta, and locally contaminated by uranium-bearing phosphate deposits. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.02.052
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