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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  08 Oct 2018

08 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

A database of marine and terrestrial radiogenic Nd and Sr isotopes for tracing earth-surface processes

Cécile L. Blanchet Cécile L. Blanchet
  • 1Department of Geosciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • anow at: GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.2 Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. The database presented here contains radiogenic neodymium and strontium isotope ratios measured on both terrestrial and marine sediments. The main purpose of this dataset is to help assessing sediment provenance and transport processes for various time intervals. This can be achieved by either mapping sediment isotopic signature and/or fingerprinting source areas using statistical tools.

The database has been built by incorporating data from the literature and the SedDB database and harmonizing the metadata, especially units and geographical coordinates. The original data were processed in three steps. Firstly, a specific attention has been devoted to provide geographical coordinates to each sample in order to be able to map the data. When available, the original geographical coordinates from the reference (generally DMS coordinates) were transferred into the decimal degrees system. When coordinates were not provided, an approximate location was derived from available information in the original publication. Secondly, all samples were assigned a set of standardized criteria that help splitting the dataset in specific categories. For instance, samples were discriminated according to their location Region, Sub-region and Location that relate to location at continental to city/river scale) or the sample type (terrestrial samples – aerosols, soil sediments, river sediments – or marine samples – marine sediment or trap sample). Finally, samples were distinguished according to their deposition age, which allowed to compute average values for specific time intervals.

Graphical examples illustrating the functionality of the database are presented and the validity of the process was tested by comparing the results with published data. The dataset will be updated bi-annually and might be extended to reach a global geographical extent and/or add other type of samples. It is publicly available (under CC4.0-BY Licence) on the GFZ data management service at

Cécile L. Blanchet
Interactive discussion
Status: open (extended)
Status: open (extended)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Cécile L. Blanchet
Data sets

A global database of radiogenic Nd and Sr isotopes in marine and terrestrial samples C. L. Blanchet

Model code and software

R Code for mapping (contour maps) the Nd and Sr isotopic signature of marine and terrestrial sediments C. L. Blanchet

R Code for plotting statistical parameters of Nd and Sr isotopic signature of Potential Source Areas C. L. Blanchet

Cécile L. Blanchet
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Short summary
Processes occurring at the Earth's surface (erosion, dust formation, weathering) determine the evolution of the landscape and play an important role in the global climate. The present database (compiled from literature search) helps to determine the neodymium and strontium radioisotope signature of sediment sources to trace provenance and transport modes. Additionally, present and past sediment transport pathways to oceanic basins can be explored using the isotopic signature of marine sediments.
Processes occurring at the Earth's surface (erosion, dust formation, weathering) determine the...