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The interplay between regeneration and scavenging fluxes drives ocean iron cycling


Tagliabue, A and Bowie, AR and DeVries, T and Ellwood, MJ and Landing, WM and Milne, A and Ohnemus, DC and Twining, BS and Boyd, PW, The interplay between regeneration and scavenging fluxes drives ocean iron cycling, Nature Communications, 10, (1) Article 4960. ISSN 2041-1723 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2019. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41467-019-12775-5


Despite recent advances in observational data coverage, quantitative constraints on how different physical and biogeochemical processes shape dissolved iron distributions remain elusive, lowering confidence in future projections for iron-limited regions. Here we show that dissolved iron is cycled rapidly in Pacific mode and intermediate water and accumulates at a rate controlled by the strongly opposing fluxes of regeneration and scavenging. Combining new data sets within a watermass framework shows that the multidecadal dissolved iron accumulation is much lower than expected from a meta-analysis of iron regeneration fluxes. This mismatch can only be reconciled by invoking significant rates of iron removal to balance iron regeneration, which imply generation of authigenic particulate iron pools. Consequently, rapid internal cycling of iron, rather than its physical transport, is the main control on observed iron stocks within intermediate waters globally and upper ocean iron limitation will be strongly sensitive to subtle changes to the internal cycling balance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:regeneration, scavenging, ocean, iron, cycling
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition
UTAS Author:Bowie, AR (Professor Andrew Bowie)
UTAS Author:Boyd, PW (Professor Philip Boyd)
ID Code:136875
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT130100037)
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-01-21
Last Modified:2022-08-29
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