Potential effect of atmospheric dissolved organic carbon on the iron solubility...

Meskhidze, N., D. Hurley, T. M. Royalty, and M. S. Johnson (2017), Potential effect of atmospheric dissolved organic carbon on the iron solubility in seawater, Marine Chemistry, 194, 124-132, doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2017.05.011.

Atmospheric aerosols are an important source of soluble iron (sol-Fe) to the global oceans. After deposition to seawater, sol-Fe will either complex with Fe-binding marine organic ligands and enter the ocean dissolved Fe (DFe) pool, or form oxyhydroxide particles (PFe) and precipitate out. Since oceanic DFe is commonly assumed to be bioavailable, the importance of atmospheric sources of sol-Fe for ocean biogeochemistry is determined by both: total fluxes of sol-Fe and the fraction of sol-Fe that is converted to DFe in the ocean. The results from these laboratory studies show that in 20 min from the time of mixing with seawater, nearly all sol-Fe gets oxidized and converted to PFe. The addition of dicarboxylic acids (oxalic and malic) had minor influence on the conversion rate of sol-Fe to PFe. However, the addition of α-hydroxy-carboxylic acids (citric and tartaric) to Fe solutions prior to mixing with seawater was found to considerably increase the concentration of seawater DFe. After 10 days of the experiment, 15% and 50% of the sol-Fe in citric and tartaric acid solutions, respectively, remained in a DFe form. Numerical simulations for sol-Fe laden dust deposition events to the ocean show that if α-hydroxy acids are present in aerosol solution upon deposition to the surface ocean, over 95% of sol-Fe can potentially bind with marine organic ligands; this fraction reduces to < 20% in the absence of atmospheric organics. A possible mechanism is provided to explain the differences in binding strength between aerosol sol-Fe and atmospheric dissolved organic carbon species commonly found in maritime aerosols.

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