Unprecedented Fe delivery from the Congo River margin to the South Atlantic Gyre.

Vieira, Lucia H. , Krisch, Stephan , Hopwood, Mark J. , Beck, Aaron J. , Scholten, Jan, Liebetrau, Volker and Achterberg, Eric P. (2020) Unprecedented Fe delivery from the Congo River margin to the South Atlantic Gyre. Open Access Nature Communications, 11 (Article number: 556). DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-14255-2.

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Abstract

Rivers are a major supplier of particulate and dissolved material to the ocean, but their role as sources of bio-essential dissolved iron (dFe) is thought to be limited due to rapid, efficient Fe removal during estuarine mixing. Here, we use trace element and radium isotope data to show that the influence of the Congo River margin on surface Fe concentrations is evident over 1000 km from the Congo outflow. Due to an unusual combination of high Fe input into the Congo-shelf-zone and rapid lateral transport, the Congo plume constitutes an exceptionally large offshore dFe flux of 6.8 ± 2.3 × 108 mol year−1. This corresponds to 40 ± 15% of atmospheric dFe input into the South Atlantic Ocean and makes a higher contribution to offshore Fe availability than any other river globally. The Congo River therefore contributes significantly to relieving Fe limitation of phytoplankton growth across much of the South Atlantic.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Trace elements, radium isotopes, rivers, South Atlantic Gyre
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/s41467-019-14255-2
ISSN: 2041-1723
Projects: GEOTRACES
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 14:40
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 08:16
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/48890

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