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Dissolved iron in the Australian sector of the Southern Ocean (CLIVAR SR3 section): Meridional and seasonal trends

Sedwick, PN, Bowie, AR and Trull, TW 2008 , 'Dissolved iron in the Australian sector of the Southern Ocean (CLIVAR SR3 section): Meridional and seasonal trends' , Deep-Sea Research I, vol. 55, no. 8 , pp. 911-925 , doi:

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We report measurements of dissolved iron (dFe, <0.4 μm) in seawater collected from the upper 300 m of the water column along the CLIVAR SR3 section south of Tasmania in March 1998 (between 42°S and 54°S) and November–December 2001 (between 47°S and 66°S). Results from both cruises indicate a general north-to-south decrease in mixed-layer dFe concentrations, from values as high as 0.76 nM in the Subtropical Front to uniformly low concentrations (<0.1 nM) between the Polar Front and the Antarctic continental shelf. Samples collected from the seasonal sea-ice zone in November–December 2001 provide no evidence of significant dFe inputs from the melting pack ice, which may explain the absence of pronounced ice-edge algal blooms in this sector of the Southern Ocean, as implied by satellite ocean-color images. Our data also allow us to infer changes in the dFe concentration of surface waters during the growing season. South of the Polar Front, a comparison of near-surface with subsurface (150 m depth) dFe concentrations in November–December 2001 suggests a net seasonal biological uptake of at least ~0.14–0.18 nM dFe, of which ~0.05–0.12 nM is depleted early in the growing season (before mid December). A comparison of our spring 2001 and fall 1998 data indicates a barely discernible seasonal depletion of dFe (~0.03 nM) within the Polar Frontal Zone. Further north, most of our iron profiles do not exhibit near-surface depletions, and mixed-layer dFe concentrations are sometimes higher in samples from fall 1998 compared to spring 2001; here, the near-surface dFe distributions appear to be dominated by time-varying inputs of aerosol iron or advection of iron-rich subtropical waters from the north.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sedwick, PN and Bowie, AR and Trull, TW
Keywords: Iron; Southern Ocean; Antarctic Zone; Sea ice; Polar waters
Journal or Publication Title: Deep-Sea Research I
ISSN: 0967-0637
DOI / ID Number:
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