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Size fractionation of iron, manganese and aluminium in Antarctic fast ice reveals a lithogenic origin and low iron solubility


Lannuzel, D and van der Merwe, PC and Townsend, AT and Bowie, AR, Size fractionation of iron, manganese and aluminium in Antarctic fast ice reveals a lithogenic origin and low iron solubility, Marine Chemistry, 161 pp. 47-56. ISSN 0304-4203 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2014.02.006


Melting sea ice represents a large seasonal source of iron (Fe) for planktonic growth in the marginal ice zone, but no data currently show how accessible this Fe is for biological uptake. We investigated the size fractionation in East Antarctic fast ice of Fe, manganese (Mn) and aluminium (Al) in the soluble (< 100 kDa), colloidal (100 kDa–0.2 μm), dissolved (< 0.2 μm), very small (0.2–0.4 μm), small (0.4–2 μm), medium (2–10 μm) and large (> 10 μm) particulate fractions during a time-series carried out in late spring/early summer 2009. Concentrations of all metals in fast ice were 2 to 3 orders of magnitude more concentrated than in ice-free polar waters, across all sizes combined. Dissolved Fe, Mn and Al were coupled in fast ice, and decreased with time, indicating some loss due to spring melting and/or biological uptake. Fractional solubilities (FS = dissolved-to-total metal ratio) demonstrate that particles dominated the total metal pool (97% in the case of Fe, 83% for Al and 57% for Mn). The low FS-Fe values also suggest that Fe is far less bio-available in fast ice than in Antarctic pack ice and surface waters, with soluble and colloidal Fe respectively representing only < 1% and 2% of the total Fe pool. Element-to-element molar ratios suggest that Fe mostly originated from lithogenic sources. Nearly 80% of Fe released from melting fast ice sank to the seafloor in less than 3 days, therefore leaving 20% of Fe available in the water column for biological uptake. Our results emphasise that the Fe released from sea ice into the water column is critical to stimulate new primary production in the marginal ice zone.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:trace elements, size fractionation, sea ice, iron, Southern Ocean
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lannuzel, D (Associate Professor Delphine Lannuzel)
UTAS Author:van der Merwe, PC (Dr Pier van der Merwe)
UTAS Author:Townsend, AT (Associate Professor Ashley Townsend)
UTAS Author:Bowie, AR (Professor Andrew Bowie)
ID Code:91502
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE120100030)
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2014-05-21
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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