Transient fertilizing effect of dust in P-deficient LNLC surface ocean

Elvira Pulido-Villena, Victoire Rérolle, Ccile Guieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In much of the world's low-nutrient low-chlorophyll (LNLC) oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea, surface dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) is below the detection limit of conventional techniques. Although dust deposition has been generally recognized as a major source of P to the Mediterranean Sea, the lack of DIP data at nanomolar levels has so far precluded a quantification of this effect. This work reports the first one-year time series of surface nanomolar DIP in the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, by combining nanomolar DIP data from two field studies (the above cited time-series and an experimental addition of Saharan dust to large mesocosms) and one in vitro dust dissolution experiment, we show that dust pulses may indeed provoke transient increases in DIP concentration (up to 80 nM) in P-starved surface waters of this LNLC region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL01603
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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