Distribution, Sources and Cycling of Dissolved Iron in the Polar Oceans

By Hein J W de Baar, Maarten B Klunder, Charles-Edouard Thuroczy, Loes J A Gerringa and Patrick Laan
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and University of Groningen

Dissolved iron is a bio-essential nutrient for all living organisms. In the Arctic Ocean there is adequate iron in surface waters due to supply of Siberian rivers that by the Transpolar Drift arrives at the centre of the Arctic Ocean. In deep waters there is a significant input by hydrothermal vents on the Gakkel Ridge, also seen in dissolved manganese. In contrast the dissolved iorn is extremely low in the Antarctic Ocean, with minimum values near the Antarctic continent where the protruding continental ice-sheet prevents biological cycling normally seen near continental margins. At the Bouvet triple junctions there is a plume of hydrothermal iron and manganese. Waters of the Weddell Sea and Drake Passage have very low dissolved iron, yet with supply of iron, manganese and aluminium from the shelf sediments around the Antarctic Peninsula and a hydrothermal signal derived from the Pacific is also seen in the deep Drake Passage.

Willem Barentsz Poolinstituut

Bundeling van kennis, onderzoek en onderwijs over de Noord- en de Zuidpool

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