During the PROSOPE cruise (Sept. 1999) in the Mediterranean Sea, dissolved iron concentrations in seawater and iron and aluminium concentrations in aerosols collected on board were investigated. Concentrations in aerosols were about two times higher in the Tyrrhenian Sea than in the west (Alboran Sea). This was in good agreement with the observed increase in dissolved iron concentrations in the surface waters from West to East. Depth profiles were characterised by a maximum in the surface mixed layer. Using an in vitro experiment, iron released from Saharan dust during the season characterized by a stratified water column and a low primary productivity was estimated: it resulted in an accumulation of 0.5-0.8 nM dissolved iron, in good agreement with the observed iron enrichment in the surface water (0.8 nM). This study confirms the significance of atmospheric input of Saharan origin on the iron cycle in the Mediterranean Sea.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)