Saharan input of phosphate to the oligotrophic water of the open western Mediterranean sea

Céline Ridame, Cecile Guieu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    A Saharan soil, considered as a proxy for Saharan aerosols, was used to perform a series of dissolution experiments: various amounts of Saharan soil were exposed to ultrapure water and seawater for varying lengths of time. The concentration of phosphate released was proportional to the amount of dust introduced. In the case of Saharan events associated with a significant amount of rain, the main dissolution of phosphorus will occur in the air column; for Saharan events associated with only few drops of rainwater, the main dissolution will occur in the surface seawater. Saharan dust represents a source of phosphate to the surface water and may play a role in biological activity, especially during the oligotrophic period. In the western Mediterranean in oligotrophic conditions, biological production is P-limited, and the atmosphere becomes the main pathway of nutrients to the surface mixed layer. At the scale of the oligotrophic season, the input of "Saharan dissolved inorganic phosporus (DIP)" are negligible compared with the new production integrated over the productive layer. At the event timescale, the production induced by "Saharan DIP" can represent up to 15% of the integrated new production and up to 14% of the total primary production in the mixed surface layer. These inputs of atmospheric DIP would promote fixation of atmospheric N2 that, in return, may enhance the new production in the surface layer.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)856-869
    Number of pages14
    JournalLimnology and Oceanography
    Volume47
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

    Fingerprint

    Mediterranean Sea
    surface layer
    dissolution
    phosphate
    phosphates
    dust
    mixed layer
    seawater
    rain
    biological production
    water
    aerosols
    rainwater
    fixation
    primary production
    bioactive properties
    soil
    surface water
    aerosol
    phosphorus

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oceanography
    • Aquatic Science

    Cite this

    Saharan input of phosphate to the oligotrophic water of the open western Mediterranean sea. / Ridame, Céline; Guieu, Cecile.

    In: Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 47, No. 3, 01.01.2002, p. 856-869.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Ridame, Céline ; Guieu, Cecile. / Saharan input of phosphate to the oligotrophic water of the open western Mediterranean sea. In: Limnology and Oceanography. 2002 ; Vol. 47, No. 3. pp. 856-869.
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