Lithogenic particle flux to the subantarctic Southern Ocean: a multi-tracer estimate using sediment trap samples
Traill, CD and Weis, J and Wynn-Edwards, C and Perron, MMG and Chase, Z and Bowie, AR, Lithogenic particle flux to the subantarctic Southern Ocean: a multi-tracer estimate using sediment trap samples, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 36, (9) Article e2022GB007391. ISSN 0886-6236 (2022) [Refereed Article]
Mineral dust is a key source of essential micronutrients, particularly iron (Fe), for phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean. However, observations of dust deposition over the Southern Ocean are sparse, hindering assessments of its influence on marine biogeochemistry. We present a time series (2010-2019) of lithogenic particle flux estimates using sediment trap samples collected at 1,000 m depth at the subantarctic Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) site. Lithogenic flux was estimated using individual Fe, aluminium (Al), titanium, and thorium concentrations in sediment trap particles less than 1 mm in size. These tracers showed good agreement with one another, and their average was investigated as a proxy for mineral dust deposition. This multi-tracer average lithogenic flux exhibited strong seasonality, peaking in late spring and summer. No significant Fe enrichment was observed compared to the average upper continental crust, indicating that lithogenic material dominates particulate Fe flux at SOTS. Similar Fe:Al ratios in our samples compared to those reported in marine aerosols off southern Australia, coupled with particle trajectory analysis, suggested Australian dust constitutes the primary lithogenic source to SOTS sinking particles. Lead enrichment in our samples also highlighted an anthropogenic contribution to sinking particles, which might represent an additional aeolian source of more bio-available Fe to subantarctic waters. This study contributes a new long-term estimate of lithogenic particle fluxes and aeolian deposition over the subantarctic Southern Ocean. These estimates may enhance model representation of trace metal contribution to biogeochemical processes in the Southern Ocean.
dust deposition flux estimate, sinking marine particles, lithogenic tracers, subantarctic Southern Ocean, Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS)