Journal Highlights

Evolution of the South Pacific Helium Plume over the Past 3 Decades

Editor's Highlight—

It is not often that there are opportunities to see whether solute distributions in the ocean are in steady state over a three-decade timescale. The continuing work of these authors over most of their careers has produced data of exceptional quality that allows the issue of steady state to be addressed. Most of the region studied has remained unchanged on this time scale. In a few places, there are temporal changes that may reflect deep ocean circulation changes, or time-varying input from hydrothermal sources. This overall persistence of tracer patterns in the deep ocean over several decades is an important result, particularly with respect to helium-3 which is not sensitive to changes in biogeochemical cycling of the water column but rather is shaped by the underlying physical processes.