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Publication Date

March 2015

Publication Title

Global Biogeochemical Cycles



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Climate | Geology | Oceanography


Atmospheric deposition is an important but still poorly constrained source of trace micronutrients to the open ocean because of the dearth of in situ measurements of total deposition (i.e., wet + dry deposition) in remote regions. In this work, we discuss the upper ocean distribution of dissolved Fe and Al in the eastern Indian Ocean along a 95°E meridional transect spanning the Antarctic margin to the Bay of Bengal. We use the mixed layer concentration of dissolved Al in conjunction with empirical data in a simple steady state model to produce 75 estimates of total dust deposition that we compare with historical observations and atmospheric model estimates. Except in the northern Bay of Bengal where the Ganges‐Brahmaputra river plume contributes to the inventory of dissolved Al, the surface distribution of dissolved Al along 95°E is remarkably consistent with the large‐scale gradients in mineral dust deposition and multiple‐source regions impacting the eastern Indian Ocean. The lowest total dust deposition fluxes are calculated for the Southern Ocean (66 ± 60 mg m−2 yr−1) and the highest for the northern end of the south Indian subtropical gyre (up to 940 mg m−2 yr−1 at 18°S) and in the southern Bay of Bengal (2500 ± 570 mg m−2 yr−1). Our total deposition fluxes, which have an uncertainty on the order of a factor of 3.5, are comparable with the composite atmospheric model data of Mahowald et al. (2005), except in the south Indian subtropical gyre where models may underestimate total deposition. Using available measurements of the solubility of Fe in aerosols, we confirm that dust deposition is a minor source of dissolved Fe to the Southern Ocean and show that aeolian deposition of dissolved Fe in the southern Bay of Bengal may be comparable to that observed underneath the Saharan dust plume in the Atlantic Ocean.


This articles was published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles, volume 29, and can also be found online at this link.Copyright ©2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.SJSU users: Use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.