Major Impact of Dust Deposition on the Productivity of the Arabian Sea

Cécile Guieu, Muchamad Al Azhar, Olivier Aumont, Natalie Mahowald, Marina Levy, Christian Ethé, Zouhair Lachkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Arabian Sea (AS), spatiotemporal nutrient limitation patterns of primary production and the possible role of nutrient inputs from the atmosphere are still not well understood. Using a biogeochemical model forced by modeled aerosol deposition, we show that without high atmospheric iron inputs through dust deposition during the summer monsoon, primary production over the AS would be reduced by half. Atmospheric iron deposition also supports most of the nitrogen fixation over the AS. However, our ocean biogeochemistry modeling results suggest that dinitrogen fixation constitutes a negligible fraction of the primary production. Finally, we show that atmospheric inputs of nitrogen, mostly from anthropogenic activities in India, have a negligible impact on primary production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6736-6744
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 28 2019


  • Arabian Sea
  • atmospheric deposition
  • atmospheric iron
  • biogeochemistry model
  • dinitrogen fixation
  • marine biogeochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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