What Controls the Distribution of Dissolved Iron in the Ocean?

Session ID#: 9303

Session Description:
Due to its role as a limiting nutrient in the Southern Ocean, the role for iron in governing how ocean productivity influences wider biogeochemical cycling and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is well accepted. Around twenty years ago the first compendium of dissolved iron observations was published, enabling initial insights into the controls on its cycling and distribution. Today the number of compiled iron observations stands in the tens of thousands and is growing further thanks to the efforts of the GEOTRACES programme.  In this tutorial I will review the new insights gained into the controls on the oceanic iron distribution that illuminates important roles for a range of sources and identifies crucial components of its biological cycling. These emerging ideas place important constraints on our efforts to represent the iron cycle in the global ocean models used for integrating to basin and global scales, as well as climate prediction.  In this context I will discuss how the role for iron in controlling past atmospheric carbon dioxide and future ocean productivity has matured. Finally, I will highlight the key challenges that need to be tackled over the coming years, with an emphasis on the opportunities provided by additional observational constraints.
Moderator:  Baris Salihoglu, Middle East Technical University, Institute of Marine Sciences, Mersin, Turkey
Primary Presenter:  Alessandro Tagliabue, University of Liverpool, Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, Liverpool, L69, United Kingdom
Index Terms:

4805 Biogeochemical cycles, processes, and modeling [OCEANOGRAPHY: BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL]
4845 Nutrients and nutrient cycling [OCEANOGRAPHY: BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL]
4928 Global climate models [PALEOCEANOGRAPHY]
  • B - Biogeochemistry and Nutrients
  • CT - Chemical Tracers, DOM and Trace Metals
  • PC - Past, Present and Future Climate
  • PP - Phytoplankton and Primary Production