The 3D Distribution of Dissolved and Colloidal Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Cd and Pb in the Western Antarctic Peninsula Shelf Region; Implications for Natural Fe Fertilization

Robert M Sherrell, Rutgers University, Marine and Coastal Sciences and Earth and Planetary Sciences, New Brunswick, NJ, United States, Jessica N Fitzsimmons, Texas A & M University, Department of Oceanography, College Station, TX, United States, Joe Roccanova, Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ, United States, Oscar Schofield, Rutgers University, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, New Brunswick, NJ, United States and Michael Paul Meredith, NERC British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, United Kingdom
The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) shelf region is is a natural Fe fertilization zone where primary production exceeds that of the adjacent open Southern Ocean. Until recently, however, distributions of Fe and of other bioactive metals were completely lacking for the WAP, and the sources and delivery mechanisms of Fe to the euphotic zone were only speculated upon. We have previously presented surface water (2m) dissolved (dTM, <0.2µm) and particulate (pTM, >0.45µm) distributions for Fe and a suite of other bioactive metals over the WAP shelf, covering the Palmer LTER sampling grid for Jan. 2010, 2011 and 2012. We now report the first complete 3D distribution of dissolved and colloidal Fe (and Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, Cd and Pb) over the LTER grid in Jan. 2015, allowing assessment of dFe size speciation, sources and transport pathways in this dynamic shelf system. Dissolved metals were analyzed by automated offline preconcentration (seaFAST-pico, ESI) followed by sector-field ICP-MS.

We confirm previous findings of low (~0.1nM) dFe in surface waters on the mid-outer shelf in the northern portion of the grid, and now find that concentrations at this level or below persist through the euphotic zone. However, dFe increases rapidly with depth, with low surface values underlain by substantially higher concentrations even at ~50m. Inner shelf surface waters are generally substantially > 0.1nM, suggesting Fe replete conditions in this region. Vertical profiles reveal that dFe generally increases with depth, much moreso in the inner shelf (dFe up to 5.0nM) than the outer shelf. A general N-S gradient in dFe is also evident, with concentrations higher in the southern WAP, especially in Marguerite Bay. In addition, shelf stations often show a dFe maximum suggesting remineralization from sinking biogenic particles. These findings for dFe and for the other metals, will be used to help unravel the biogeochemical workings of natural Fe fertilization in this region.