Over the past few decades, we have realized that the silica cycle is strongly intertwined with other major biogeochemical cycles, like those of carbon and nitrogen, and as such is intimately related to marine primary production, the efficiency of carbon export to the deep sea, and the inventory of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For nearly 20 years, the marine silica budget compiled by Tréguer et al. (1995), with its exploration of reservoirs, processes, sources, and sinks in the silica cycle, has provided context and information fundamental to study of the silica cycle. Today, the budget needs revisiting to incorporate advances that have notably changed estimates of river and groundwater inputs to the ocean of dissolved silicon and easily dissolvable amorphous silica, inputs from the dissolution of terrestrial lithogenic silica in ocean margin sediments, reverse weathering removal fluxes, and outputs of biogenic silica (especially on ocean margins and in the form of nondiatomaceous biogenic silica). The resulting budget recognizes significantly higher input and output fluxes and notes that the recycling of silicon occurs mostly at the sediment-water interface and not during the sinking of silica particles through deep waters.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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