Nature – Geilert et al. (2023): Coastal El Niño triggers rapid marine silicate alteration on the seafloor

Sonja Geilert, Daniel A. Frick, Dieter Garbe-Schönberg, Florian Scholz, Stefan Sommer, Patricia Grasse, Christoph Vogt, Andrew W. Dale IN: Nature Communications 14, 1676,

The timeframe of marine silicate alteration in response to extreme weather events is poorly understood. Here the authors investigate surface sediments across the Peruvian margin before and after extreme rainfall and runoff (coastal El Niño) using Ge/Si ratios and laser-ablated solid and pore fluid Si isotopes (δ30Si). Pore fluids following the rainfall show elevated Ge/Si ratios (2.87 µmol mol−1) and δ30Si values (3.72‰), which we relate to rapid authigenic clay formation from reactive terrigenous minerals delivered by continental runoff. This study highlights the direct coupling of terrestrial erosion and associated marine sedimentary processes.