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Dissolved iron in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean

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Abstract

[1] Detailed depth profiles and surface transects of dissolved iron (DFe defined by 0.4-μm filtration) were investigated on three cruises in the subtropical and tropical Atlantic Ocean where dust deposition varied by 3 orders of magnitude. Surface DFe and dissolved Mn concentrations reflected dust deposition trends, but are not proportional to the estimated inputs. Using estimates of the atmospheric flux of DFe, surface DFe residence times were calculated to be on the order of 1 to 5 months. Deepwater DFe concentrations varied with water masses depending on their source, age, and transit pathways. At a site located on the edge of the equatorial system (10°N, 45°W), high DFe (>1 nmol/kg) was associated with an oxygen minimum zone at depths of 130 to 1100 m. DFe concentrations in North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) decreased by 30% from sites in the North Atlantic to a site in the South Atlantic (24.5°S, 37°W), and DFe was lower in the Antarctic derived water masses (∼0.4 nmol/kg) than in NADW at the South Atlantic site. An estimate of deepwater scavenging residence time for DFe was 270 ± 140 years based on decreasing DFe along the NADW flow path.

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