Physical mixing effects on iron biogeochemical cycling: FeCycle experiment

Croot, Peter, Frew, R.D., Sander, S., Hunter, K.A., Ellwood, M.J., Abraham, E.R., Law, C.S., Smith, M.J. and Boyd, P.W. (2007) Physical mixing effects on iron biogeochemical cycling: FeCycle experiment Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 112 . C06015. DOI 10.1029/2006JC003748.

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The effects of physical processes on the distribution, speciation, and sources/sinks for Fe in a high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) region were assessed during FeCycle, a mesoscale SF6 tracer release during February 2003 (austral summer) to the SE of New Zealand. Physical mixing processes were prevalent during FeCycle with rapid patch growth (strain rate γ = 0.17–0.20 d−1) from a circular shape (50 km2) into a long filament of ∼400 km2 by day 10. Slippage between layers saw the patch-head overlying noninfused waters while the tail was capped by adjacent surface waters resulting in a SF6 maximum at depth. As the patch developed it entrained adjacent waters containing higher chlorophyll concentrations, but similar dissolved iron (DFe) levels, than the initial infused patch. DFe was low ∼60 pmol L−1 in surface waters during FeCycle and was dominated by organic complexation. Nighttime measurements of Fe(II) ∼20 pmol L−1 suggest the presence of Fe(II) organic complexes in the absence of an identifiable fast Fe(III) reduction process. Combining residence times and phytoplankton uptake fluxes for DFe it is cycled through the biota 140–280 times before leaving the winter mixed layer (WML). This strong Fe demand throughout the euphotic zone coupled with the low Fe:NO3 − (11.9 μmol:mol) below the ferricline suggests that vertical diffusion of Fe is insufficient to relieve chronic iron limitation, indicating the importance of atmospheric inputs of Fe to this region.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Oceanography; iron biogeochemistry, mixing processes, iron limitation
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2006JC003748
ISSN: 0148-0227
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:51
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 15:13

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