Volcanic ash as an oceanic iron source and sink

Rogan, Nicholas; Achterberg, Eric P.; Le Moigne, Frederic A.C.; Marsay, Chris M.; Tagliabue, Alessandro; Williams, Richard G.. 2016 Volcanic ash as an oceanic iron source and sink. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (6). 2732-2740.

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Accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. © 2016 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.
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Volcanic ash deposition to the ocean forms a natural source of iron (Fe) to surface water microbial communities. Inputs of lithogenic material may also facilitate Fe removal through scavenging. Combining dissolved Fe (dFe) and thorium-234 observations alongside modeling, we investigate scavenging of Fe in the North Atlantic following the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption. Under typical conditions biogenic particles dominate scavenging, whereas ash particles dominate during the eruption. The size of particles is important as smaller scavenging particles can become saturated with surface-associated ions. Model simulations indicate that ash deposition associated with Eyjafjallajökull likely led to net Fe removal. Our model suggests a threefold greater stimulation of biological activity if ash deposition had occurred later in the growing season when the region was Fe limited. The implications of ash particle scavenging, eruption timing, and particle saturation need to be considered when assessing the impact of ash deposition on the ocean Fe cycle and productivity.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00948276
Additional Keywords: particle scavenging; thorium; volcanic ash; iron; Eyjafjallajökull; modeling
Date made live: 21 Mar 2016 10:17 +0 (UTC)

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