Biomass burning as a source of dissolved iron to the open ocean?

Cécile Guieu, Sophie Bonnet, Thibaut Wagener, Marie Dominique Loÿe-Pilot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the Mediterranean region is typified by frequent summer fires, the 2003 heat wave that hit Europe, and France in particular, made this season longer causing devastating fires. Aerosol sampling performed in the French Riviera between August and September 2003 indicated that iron concentrations in 2003 were significantly higher than in previous years. Continuous pyrogenic emissions are suspected to be the cause of high Fe concentrations. When these particles were dissolved in seawater, 2% of the total iron content was found in solution. This amount could be significant for the water column on a regional scale. Indeed, these fires might explain the observed dissolved iron enrichment of the surface mixed layer (+0.4 nM) measured in the Ligurian Sea during August. In contrast to a locally significant effect, pyrogenic inputs have little impact on the global Fe budget since they represent at most 10% of desert dust inputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL19608
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 16 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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