About this Research Topic
Henry Elderfield had a long and multi-faceted career investigating the marine biogeochemistry of trace metals and his greatest accomplishment may be his groundbreaking measurements and interpretations of the oceanic distribution of rare earth elements (REEs). He helped revolutionize REE analysis of natural waters and produced some of the first vertical profiles in seawater by replacing painstaking chemical separations and neutron activation with isotope dilution mass spectrometry of 10 REEs together. In these days of automated in-line extraction and ICP-MS, it is hard to recall the amount of time and effort involved in measuring picomolar REE concentrations just 30 years ago. To honor Henry's memory we welcome the next generation of aqueous geochemists to submit original work on REE cycling in the oceans. This Research Topic of Frontiers in Marine Science will focus on the rapidly expanding dataset of dissolved and particulate REE concentrations and isotopic ratios, in seawater as well as in terrestrial freshwaters, and its use in the construction and testing of global marine mass balance, transport, and geochemical models. Studies of sources, sinks, and processes that create the boundary conditions for such modeling, for instance particle scavenging and speciation; riverine, hydrothermal, and groundwater inputs; and REE exchange in margin sediments, estuaries, and at the air-water interface are of special interest.
This Research Topic is committed to elucidating geochemical processes, ranging from microscopic to macroscopic scales, that influence the global distribution and cycling of rare earth elements in the marine environment, by means of field observations, laboratory experiments, physico-chemical modeling, and the development of novel analytical methodology.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.