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Atmospheric trace metal deposition near the Great Barrier Reef, Australia


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Strzelec, M, Proemse, BC ORCID: 0000-0002-6630-6892, Gault-Ringold, M, Boyd, PW ORCID: 0000-0001-7850-1911, Perron, MMG ORCID: 0000-0001-5424-7138, Schofield, R, Ryan, RG, Ristovski, ZD, Alroe, J, Humphries, RS, Keywood, MD, Ward, J and Bowie, AR ORCID: 0000-0002-5144-7799 2020 , 'Atmospheric trace metal deposition near the Great Barrier Reef, Australia' , Atmosphere, vol. 11, no. 4 , pp. 1-24 , doi: 10.3390/atmos11040390.

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Aerosols deposited into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) contain iron (Fe) and other trace metals, which may act as micronutrients or as toxins to this sensitive marine ecosystem. In this paper, we quantified the atmospheric deposition of Fe and investigated aerosol sources in Mission Beach (Queensland) next to the GBR. Leaching experiments were applied to distinguish pools of Fe with regard to its solubility. The labile Fe concentration in aerosols was 2.3–10.6 ng m−3, which is equivalent to 4.9%–11.4% of total Fe and was linked to combustion and biomass burning processes, while total Fe was dominated by crustal sources. A one-day precipitation event provided more soluble iron than the average dry deposition flux, 0.165 and 0.143 μmol m−2 day−1, respectively. Scanning Electron Microscopy indicated that alumina-silicates were the main carriers of total Fe and samples affected by combustion emissions were accompanied by regular round-shaped carbonaceous particulates. Collected aerosols contained significant amounts of Cd, Co, Cu, Mo, Mn, Pb, V, and Zn, which were mostly (47.5%–96.7%) in the labile form. In this study, we provide the first field data on the atmospheric delivery of Fe and other trace metals to the GBR and propose that this is an important delivery mechanism to this region.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Strzelec, M and Proemse, BC and Gault-Ringold, M and Boyd, PW and Perron, MMG and Schofield, R and Ryan, RG and Ristovski, ZD and Alroe, J and Humphries, RS and Keywood, MD and Ward, J and Bowie, AR
Keywords: Aerosol, trace metals, deposition, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Fe solubility, leaching experiments, global Fe cycle, source apportionment, anthropogenic emissions
Journal or Publication Title: Atmosphere
Publisher: MDPIAG
ISSN: 2073-4433
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/atmos11040390
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Copyright 2020 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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