• aluminium;
  • dust;
  • titanium;
  • tracer

[1] Surface water distributions of dissolved Al (dAl) and dissolved Ti (dTi) were investigated along a meridional Atlantic transect and related to dust deposition estimates. In the zone of Saharan dust deposition, highest dAl concentrations occurred in the tropical salinity minimum and suggest increasing Al dissolution from Saharan aerosols with wet deposition. By contrast, the dTi distribution is not related to precipitation but agrees with the pattern of annual dust deposition. In the zone of Patagonian dust deposition, elevated dTi concentrations contrasted with decreased dAl concentrations, indicating excess dAl scavenging onto biogenic particles in surface waters. Estimated residence times range from months to years for dAl and are ∼10 times higher for dTi. This suggests that dAl reflects seasonal changes in dust deposition, while dTi is related to longer temporal scales. However, spatial variations in input and removal processes complicate the quantification of dust deposition from surface water concentrations.