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Article

Ge/Si Ratio of River Water in the Yarlung Tsangpo: Implications for Hydrothermal Input and Chemical Weathering

by 1,2,3,†, 1,2,†, 1,2,3,*, 1,2,3 and 1,2,3
1
Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
CAS Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Beijing 100044, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: David Widory
Water 2022, 14(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020181
Received: 5 December 2021 / Revised: 2 January 2022 / Accepted: 6 January 2022 / Published: 10 January 2022
Germanium/Silicon (Ge/Si) ratio is a common proxy for primary mineral dissolution and secondary clay formation yet could be affected by hydrothermal and anthropogenic activities. To decipher the main controls of riverine Ge/Si ratios and evaluate the validity of the Ge/Si ratio as a weathering proxy in the Tibetan Plateau, a detailed study was presented on Ge/Si ratios in the Yarlung Tsangpo River, southern Tibetan Plateau. River water and hydrothermal water were collected across different climatic and tectonic zones, with altitudes ranging from 800 m to 5000 m. The correlations between TDS (total dissolved solids) and the Ge/Si ratio and Si and Ge concentrations of river water, combined with the spatial and temporal variations of the Ge/Si ratio, indicate that the contribution of hydrothermal water significantly affects the Ge/Si ratio of the Yarlung Tsangpo River water, especially in the upper and middle reaches. Based on the mass balance calculation, a significant amount of Ge (11–88%) has been lost during its transportation from hydrothermal water to the river system; these could result from the incorporation of Ge on/into clays, iron hydroxide, and sulfate mineral. In comparison, due to the hydrothermal input, the average Ge/Si ratio in the Yarlung Tsangpo River is a magnitude order higher than the majority of rivers over the world. Therefore, evaluation of the contribution of hydrothermal sources should be considered when using the Ge/Si ratio to trace silicate weathering in rivers around the Tibetan Plateau. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ge/Si ratio; Yarlung Tsangpo; Tibetan Plateau; hydrothermal input; silicate weathering Ge/Si ratio; Yarlung Tsangpo; Tibetan Plateau; hydrothermal input; silicate weathering
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Y.; Zhao, T.; Xu, Z.; Sun, H.; Zhang, J. Ge/Si Ratio of River Water in the Yarlung Tsangpo: Implications for Hydrothermal Input and Chemical Weathering. Water 2022, 14, 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020181

AMA Style

Wang Y, Zhao T, Xu Z, Sun H, Zhang J. Ge/Si Ratio of River Water in the Yarlung Tsangpo: Implications for Hydrothermal Input and Chemical Weathering. Water. 2022; 14(2):181. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020181

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Yuchen, Tong Zhao, Zhifang Xu, Huiguo Sun, and Jiangyi Zhang. 2022. "Ge/Si Ratio of River Water in the Yarlung Tsangpo: Implications for Hydrothermal Input and Chemical Weathering" Water 14, no. 2: 181. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020181

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