Geophysical Research Letters

Controls on seawater Fe(III) solubility in the Mauritanian upwelling zone

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Abstract

[1] Iron solubility measurements in the Mauritanian upwelling and the adjacent Open Ocean of the Tropical Atlantic show for all stations lower values in the surface mixed layer than at depth below the pycnocline. We attribute this distribution to a combination of loss terms, chiefly photo-oxidation of organic ligands in the surface, and supply terms, predominantly from the release of ligands from the decomposition of organic matter. Significant correlations with pH, oxygen and phosphate for all samples below the surface mixed layer indicate that biogenic remineralisation of organic matter results in the release of iron binding ligands into the dissolved phase. The comparison of the cFeS/PO43− ratio with other published data from intermediate and deep waters in the Pacific suggests an enhanced release of iron chelators in the more productive Mauritanian upwelling zone.

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