Marine Science Faculty Publications

Organic Complexation of Iron in the Eastern Tropical South Pacific: Results From US GEOTRACES Eastern Pacific Zonal Transect (GEOTRACES Cruise GP16)

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Iron, Ligands, Chemical speciation, Dissolved organic carbon

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Dissolved iron, organic iron-binding ligands, and organic carbon were determined in full water column depth profiles across the US GEOTRACES Eastern Pacific Zonal Transect (GEOTRACES cruise GP16) in late 2013. Dissolved iron concentrations exhibited subsurface maxima associated with the remineralization of organic matter at the Peru shelf and with hydrothermal inputs from the East Pacific Rise. Iron-binding organic ligands are described as ligand classes based on defined ranges in conditional stability constants. The stronger L1-type ligands were measured in large excesses in surface and intermediate waters, and these excesses were negatively correlated with Si*, a biogeochemical proxy for iron limited diatom growth. These data suggest sources of strong iron-binding ligands from iron limitation of diatom communities, both locally and in waters originating from the Southern Ocean. Benthic sources of strong ligands were associated with new iron inputs from hydrothermal activity at the East Pacific Rise and from bottom sediments. In contrast to most studies in the Atlantic basin but consistent with previous datasets from the Pacific, stronger L1 ligands in this dataset were generally restricted to the upper water column and did not show large excesses through the water column. At depth, iron-binding ligands on GP16 were instead best described as L2 and L3 ligands. Concomitant decreases in excess L1, excess total ligands and dissolved organic carbon suggest similar degradation pathways of these pools below the surface.

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Marine Chemistry, v. 201, p. 229-241