Subduction zone volcanic ash can fertilize the surface ocean and stimulate phytoplankton growth: Evidence from biogeochemical experiments and satellite data

Duggen, Svend, Croot, Peter, Schacht, Ulrike and Hoffmann, Linn (2007) Subduction zone volcanic ash can fertilize the surface ocean and stimulate phytoplankton growth: Evidence from biogeochemical experiments and satellite data Geophysical Research Letters, 34 (1). DOI 10.1029/2006GL027522.

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Abstract

Volcanoes confront Earth scientists with new fundamental questions: Can airborne volcanic ash release nutrients on contact with seawater, thereby excite the marine primary productivity (MPP); and, most notably, can volcanoes through oceanic fertilization affect the global climate in a way that is so far poorly understood? Here we present results from biogeochemical experiments showing that 1) volcanic ash from subduction zone volcanoes rapidly release an array of nutrients (co-)limiting algal growth in vast oceanic areas, 2) at a speed much faster (minute-scale) than hitherto known and that marine phytoplankton from low-iron oceanic areas can swiftly, within days, utilize iron from volcanic sources. We further present satellite data possibly indicating an increase of the MPP due to the seaward deposition of volcanic particulate matter. Our study supports the hypothesis that oceanic (iron) fertilization with volcanic ash may play a vital role for the development of the global climate.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Marine chemistry
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 574 > B5
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
OceanRep > SFB 574
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2006GL027522
ISSN: 0094-8276
Contribution Number:
ProjectSFB574 Number
SFB 57483
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:51
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 15:06
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/4138

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