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Observation of consistent trends in the organic complexation of dissolved iron in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean
Thuróczy, C.E.; Gerringa, L.J.A.; Klunder, M.B.; Laan, P.; de Baar, H.J.W. (2011). Observation of consistent trends in the organic complexation of dissolved iron in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Res., Part 2, Top. Stud. Oceanogr. 58(25-26): 2695-2706.
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part II. Topical Studies in Oceanography. Pergamon: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0645, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Iron; Organic complexation; Ligands; Ratio ligand/iron; Southern Ocean;CLE-AdSV; GEOTRACES

Authors  Top 
  • Thuróczy, C.E., more
  • Gerringa, L.J.A., more
  • Klunder, M.B., more

    Organic complexation of dissolved iron (dFe) was investigated in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean in order to understand the distribution of Fe over the whole water column. The total concentration of dissolved organic ligands ([Lt]) measured by voltammetry ranged between 0.54 and 1.84 nEq of M Fe whereas the conditional binding strength (K') ranged between 10(21.4) and 10(22.8). For the first time, trends in Fe-organic complexation were observed in an ocean basin by examining the ratio ([Lt]/[dFe]), defined as the organic ligand concentration divided by the dissolved Fe concentration. The [Lt][dFe] ratio indicates the saturation state of the natural ligands with Fe; a ratio near 1 means saturation of the ligands leading to precipitation of Fe. Reversely, high ratios mean Fe depletion and show a high potential for Fe solubilisation. In surface waters where phytoplankton is present low dissolved Fe and high variable ligand concentrations were found. Here the [Lt][dFe] ratio was on average 4.4. It was especially high (5.6-26.7) in the HNLC (High Nutrient, Low Chlorophyll) regions, where Fe was depleted. The [Lt]/[dFe] ratio decreased with depth due to increasing dissolved Fe concentrations and became constant below 450 m, indicating a steady state between ligand and Fe. Relatively low [Lt]/[dFe] ratios (between 1.1 and 2.7) existed in deep water north of the Southern Boundary, facilitating Fe precipitation. The [Lt]/[dFe] ratio increased southwards from the Southern Boundary on the Zero Meridian and from east to west in the Weddell Gyre due to changes both in ligand characteristics and in dissolved iron concentration.
    High [Lt]/[dFe] ratio expresses Fe depletion versus ligand production in the surface. The decrease with depth reflects the increase of [dFe] which favours scavenging and (co-) precipitation, whereas a horizontal increase in the deep waters results from an increasing distance from Fe sources. This increase in the [Lt]/[dFe] ratio at depth shows the very resistant nature of the dissolved organic ligands. Crown Copyright

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