Fluxes of particulate iron from the upper ocean around the Crozet Islands: A naturally iron-fertilized environment in the Southern Ocean

Helene Planquette*, Richard R. Sanders, Peter J. Statham, Paul J. Morris, Gary R. Fones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite a large macronutrient reservoir, the Southern Ocean has low levels of chlorophyll, primarily due to low iron availability. Exceptions to this situation are island systems where natural terrestrial iron inputs allow the development of large blooms. Particulate organic carbon (POC) and particulate (labile and refractory) iron analyses were performed on large (> 53 mu m) particles collected at the base of the mixed layer within such a system (the Crozet Islands) and in adjacent high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) waters. Biogenic iron was obtained by removal of estimated lithogenic Fe from the total Fe present. We combine these data with (234)Th measurements to determine downward particulate Fe fluxes. Fluxes of Fe ranged from 4 to 301 nmol m(-2) d(-1) (labile), not detectable to 50 mu mol m(-2) d(-1) (biogenic), and from 3 to 145 mu mol m(-2) d(-1) (total) and, on average, were approximately four times larger below the highly productive, naturally iron-fertilized region than below the adjacent HNLC area. Downward labile iron fluxes are close to the sum of dissolved terrestrial, atmospheric, and upwelled iron calculated from the Planquette et al. (2007), model. Refractory iron fluxes are similar to 2 orders of magnitude larger, and these can only have come from particles advected from the plateau itself. The "biogenic Fe," is a substantial fraction (0-76, mean 23%) of the total particulate Fe to the north of the islands. The origin of this Fe pool must be dominantly biological conversion from the lithogenic fraction, as other supply terms including aeolian, deep mixing, and lateral advection of dissolved Fe are inadequate to account for the magnitude of this Fe. Inclusion of the offshore biologically available fraction of the lithogenic iron flux is therefore required to calculate fully the yield of carbon exported per unit iron injected.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberARTN GB2011
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2011

Keywords

  • TH-234
  • PHYTOPLANKTON PRODUCTIVITY
  • NORTH
  • EXPORT EXPERIMENT CROZEX
  • SHELF WATERS
  • PLATEAU
  • BLOOM
  • ROSS SEA
  • DISSOLVED IRON
  • ORGANIC-CARBON EXPORT

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