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Iron fractionation in pack and fast ice in East Antarctica: Temporal decoupling between the release of dissolved and particulate iron during spring melt


Van Der Merwe, P and Lannuzel, D and Bowie, AR and Mancuso Nichols, CA and Meiners, K, Iron fractionation in pack and fast ice in East Antarctica: Temporal decoupling between the release of dissolved and particulate iron during spring melt, Deep-Sea Research. Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 58, (9-10) pp. 1222-1236. ISSN 0967-0645 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.036


Iron is a fundamental nutrient limiting phytoplankton growth in vast regions of the Southern Ocean. Sea ice, which covers 80% of the Southern Ocean (south of 60S) during maximum extent, can concentrate iron up to two orders of magnitude higher than in the underlying sea water. The fractionation of iron between the particulate and dissolved fractions depends on the location and type of sea-ice formation and can impact on the bioavailability of this important trace element. This study is the first to document iron fractionation and concentration in both pack and fast ice during a single research study. Sampling was from within the 110130E sector of Antarctica. We observed markedly higher concentrations of particulate iron at our fast-ice site (0.96214 nM) relative to several pack-ice sites (0.8777.7 nM). A high particulate-to-dissolved iron ratio was observed at the fast-ice site (285:1) relative to the highest observed in pack ice (23:1). This suggests a decoupling between the sources and/or sinks of the dissolved and particulate fractions. Preferential release of dissolved iron (and not particulate iron) into brines at all sites sampled with the sack hole method (and therefore indicative of brine drainage) indicates the diffuse nature of the dissolved fraction. Furthermore, this indicates that there may be a temporal decoupling between the release of the dissolved and the particulate fractions into the water column as sea ice becomes more permeable during the seasonal melt. Implications for phytoplankton production in Antarctic sea ice are discussed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica; Particulate iron; Dissolved iron; Iron fractionation; Fast ice; Pack ice; SIPEX
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Ecosystem function
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Van Der Merwe, P (Dr Pier van der Merwe)
UTAS Author:Lannuzel, D (Associate Professor Delphine Lannuzel)
UTAS Author:Bowie, AR (Professor Andrew Bowie)
UTAS Author:Mancuso Nichols, CA (Dr Carol Mancuso Nichols)
UTAS Author:Meiners, K (Dr Klaus Meiners)
ID Code:72242
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2011-08-24
Last Modified:2012-04-12

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