Rivers supply 276×106mol Cu yr-1to the Gulf of Papua, and nearly all of this is in the particulate phase. Based on an extensive coring program over the last decade, we find that only 156×106mol Cu yr-1is buried on the inner shelf and slope. We found that suspended and bottom sediment aluminum was the best predictor of Cu concentration in sediment, whereas organic carbon and sulfur were less useful for this purpose. Cu/Al ratios in the river suspended sediment were higher than in sediments of the inner shelf and slope sediments, and we propose that Cu is released from riverine aluminosilicate clay particles, and sorbed to a more mobile (colloidal?) aluminosilicate phase for transport into the Hiri Gyre of the northern Coral Sea. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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