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Variation of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in the Sulu and Celebes Seas of Malaysian waters during PMSE 09’ expedition using analytical and chemometric techniques

G Adiana
H Juahir
N.A.M. Shazili
B Joseph
A.F.I. Yusra


This study provides a dataset of rare earth elements (REEs) in the seawater of Sulu and Celebes Seas of Malaysian waters during the PMSE 09’ expedition, which was conducted to define the pattern of REEs in both seas. Samples were collected, filtered and pre-concentrated on-board ship then analyzed by using ICP-MS. Generally, the spatial distribution pointed out a high concentration of REEs in vicinities with high number of local settlements and Borneo Island riverine flush-outs. The chemometric analysis has showed the competition of binding sites between REEs and salt ions. The REEs normalized against NPDW evidence the influence of South China Sea waters lessen with the increase in water depth. Additionally, the studied area shows that both seas are affected by local river drainage from Borneo Island, Indonesia and Philippine archipelagos.

Keywords: dissolved REEs; particulate REEs; Sulu Sea; Celebes Sea; environmetric analysis