Biogeochemical implications of increased mineral particle concentrations in surface waters of the northwestern North Pacific during an Asian dust event



[1] Simultaneous observations were made in the marine atmospheric boundary layer and surface ocean during spring 2007 to investigate potential impacts of Asian dust on a semi-pelagic region of the northwestern North Pacific. The results suggest that mineral dust aerosols were scavenged by sea fog, and their deposition to the ocean increased the particle concentration in surface seawater. The atmospheric input of mineral dust to the ocean surface from this event was calculated to be 40 to 680 mg m−2 event−1. A general relationship for the solubility of iron from dust particles led to an estimate of 20 to 330 μg m−2 for the amount of bio-available iron delivered during the dust event. This input of bio-available iron is comparable to total dissolved iron added during an iron fertilization experiment in the northwestern North Pacific in which an enhancement of primary production was observed.