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The likelihood of observing dust-stimulated phytoplankton growth in waters proximal to the Australian continent


Cropp, RA and Gabric, AJ and Levasseur, M and McTainish, GH and Bowie, AR and Hassler, CS and Law, CS and McGowan, H and Tindale, N and Viscarra Rossel, R, The likelihood of observing dust-stimulated phytoplankton growth in waters proximal to the Australian continent, Journal of Marine Systems, 117-118 pp. 43-52. ISSN 0924-7963 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2013.02.013


We develop a tool to assist in identifying a link between naturally occurring aeolian dust deposition and phytoplankton response in the ocean. Rather than examining a single, or small number of dust deposition events, we take a climatological approach to estimate the likelihood of observing a definitive link between dust deposition and a phytoplankton bloomfor the oceans proximal to the Australian continent.We use a dust stormindex (DSI) to determine dust entrainment in the Lake Eyre Basin (LEB) and an ensemble of modelled atmospheric trajectories of dust transport fromthe basin, themajor dust source in Australia. Deposition into the ocean is computed as a function of distance fromthe LEB source and the local over-ocean precipitation. The upper ocean's receptivity to nutrients, including dust-borne iron, is defined in terms of time-dependent, monthly climatological fields for light, mixed layer depth and chlorophyll concentration relative to the climatologicalmonthly maximum. The resultant likelihood of a dust-phytoplankton link being observed is then mapped as a function of space and time. Our results suggest that the Southern Ocean (north of 45°S), the North West Shelf, and Great Barrier Reef are ocean regions where a rapid biological response to dust inputs is most likely to be observed. Conversely, due to asynchrony between deposition and ocean receptivity, direct causal links appear unlikely to be observed in the Tasman Sea and Southern Ocean south of 45°S.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dust, phytoplankton, ocean, Australia
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)
ID Code:84462
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2013-05-15
Last Modified:2015-02-04

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