Characterizing the production and retention of dissolved iron as Fe(II) across a natural gradient in chlorophyll concentrations in the Southern Drake Passage - Final Technical Report

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Recent mesoscale iron fertilization studies in the Southern Ocean (e.g. SOIREE, EisenEx, SOFeX) have demonstrated the importance of iron as a limiting factor for phytoplankton growth in these high nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) waters. Results of these experiments have demonstrated that factors which influence the biological availability of the iron supplied to phytoplankton are crucial in bloom development, longevity, and generation of carbon export flux. These findings have important implications for the future development of iron fertilization protocols to enhance carbon sequestration in high-latitude oceans. In particular, processes which lead to the mobilization and retention of iron in dissolved form in ... continued below

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Barbeau, Katherine April 10, 2007.

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Recent mesoscale iron fertilization studies in the Southern Ocean (e.g. SOIREE, EisenEx, SOFeX) have demonstrated the importance of iron as a limiting factor for phytoplankton growth in these high nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) waters. Results of these experiments have demonstrated that factors which influence the biological availability of the iron supplied to phytoplankton are crucial in bloom development, longevity, and generation of carbon export flux. These findings have important implications for the future development of iron fertilization protocols to enhance carbon sequestration in high-latitude oceans. In particular, processes which lead to the mobilization and retention of iron in dissolved form in the upper ocean are important in promoting continued biological availability of iron. Such processes can include photochemical redox cycling, which leads to the formation of soluble reduced iron, Fe(II), within iron-enriched waters. Creation of effective fertilization schemes will thus require more information about Fe(II) photoproduction in Southern Ocean waters as a means to retain new iron within the euphotic zone. To contribute to our knowledge base in this area, this project was funded by DOE with a goal of characterizing the production and retention of dissolved Fe as Fe(II) in an area of the southern Drake Passage near the Shackleton Transverse Ridge, a region with a strong recurrent chlorophyll gradient which is believed to be a site of natural iron enrichment in the Southern Ocean. This area was the focus of a multidisciplinary NSF/OPP-funded investigation in February 2004 (OPP02-30443, lead PI Greg Mitchell, SIO/UCSD) to determine the influence of mesoscale circulation and iron transport with regard to the observed patterns in sea surface chlorophyll in the region near the Shackleton Transverse Ridge. A number of parameters were assessed across this gradient in order to reveal interactions between plankton community structure and iron distributions. As a co-PI in the NSF/OPP-funded project, I was responsible for iron addition incubation and radiotracer experiments, and analysis of iron chemistry, including iron-organic speciation. This final technical report describes the results of my DOE funded project to analyse reduced iron species using an FeLume flow injection analysis chemiluminescence system as an extension of my work on the NSF/OPP project. On the cruise in 2004, spatial and temporal gradients in Fe(II) were determined, and on-board incubations were conducted to study Fe(II) lifetime and production. Following the cruise a further series of experiments was conducted in my laboratory to study Fe(II) lifetimes and photoproduction under conditions typical of high latitude waters. The findings of this study suggest that, in contrast to results observed during mesoscale iron addition experiments, steady-state levels of Fe(II) are likely to remain low (below detection) even within a significant gradient in dissolved Fe concentrations produced as a result of natural iron enrichment processes. Fe(II) is likely to be produced, however, as a reactive intermediate associated with photochemical reactions in surface waters. While Fe(II) lifetimes measured in the field in this study were commensurate with those determined in previously published Southern Ocean work, Fe(II) lifetimes reflective of realistic Southern Ocean environmental conditions have proven difficult to determine in a laboratory setting, due to contamination by trace levels of H2O2. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that direct ligand-to-metal charge transfer reactions of strong Fe(III)-organic complexes do appear to be a viable source of available Fe(II) in Antarctic waters, and further studies are needed to characterize the temperature dependence of this phenomenon.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER/63722-2
  • Grant Number: FG02-04ER63722
  • DOI: 10.2172/901921 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 901921
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc878198

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  • April 10, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 2 p.m.

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Barbeau, Katherine. Characterizing the production and retention of dissolved iron as Fe(II) across a natural gradient in chlorophyll concentrations in the Southern Drake Passage - Final Technical Report, report, April 10, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc878198/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.