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Iron in sea ice: Review and new insights

Abstract : The discovery that melting sea ice can fertilize iron (Fe)-depleted polar waters has recently fostered trace metal research efforts in sea ice. The aim of this review is to summarize and synthesize the current understanding of Fe biogeochemistry in sea ice. To do so, we compiled available data on particulate, dissolved, and total dissolvable Fe (PFe, DFe and TDFe, respectively) from sea-ice studies from both polar regions and from sub-Arctic and northern Hemisphere temperate areas. Data analysis focused on a circum-Antarctic Fe dataset derived from 61 ice cores collected during 10 field expeditions carried out between 1997 and 2012 in the Southern Ocean. Our key findings are that 1) concentrations of all forms of Fe (PFe, DFe, TDFe) are at least a magnitude larger in fast ice and pack ice than in typical Antarctic surface waters; 2) DFe, PFe and TDFe behave differently when plotted against sea-ice salinity, suggesting that their distributions in sea ice are driven by distinct, spatially and temporally decoupled processes; 3) DFe is actively extracted from seawater into growing sea ice; 4) fast ice generally has more Fe-bearing particles, a finding supported by the significant negative correlation observed between both PFe and TDFe concentrations in sea ice and water depth; 5) the Fe pool in sea ice is coupled to biota, as indicated by the positive correlations of PFe and TDFe with chlorophyll a and particulate organic carbon; and 6) the vast majority of DFe appears to be adsorbed onto something in sea ice. This review also addresses the role of sea ice as a reservoir of Fe and its role in seeding seasonally ice-covered waters. We discuss the pivotal role of organic ligands in controlling DFe concentrations in sea ice and highlight the uncertainties that remain regarding the mechanisms of Fe incorporation in sea ice.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 12:47:36 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 11:12:07 AM

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Delphine Lannuzel, Martin Vancoppenolle, Pier van der Merwe, J. de Jong, Klaus M. Meiners, et al.. Iron in sea ice: Review and new insights. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, University of California Press, 2016, 4, ⟨10.12952/journal.elementa.000130⟩. ⟨hal-01836470⟩

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