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Fertilizing the Amazon and equatorial Atlantic with West African dust

Bristow, Charlie S. and Hudson-Edwards, Karen A. and Chappell, A. (2010) Fertilizing the Amazon and equatorial Atlantic with West African dust. Geophysical Research Letters 37 (14), ISSN 0094-8276.

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Atmospheric mineral dust plays a vital role in Earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. The Bodélé Depression in Chad has been identified as the single biggest source of atmospheric mineral dust on Earth. Dust eroded from the Bodélé is blown across the Atlantic Ocean towards South America. The mineral dust contains micronutrients such as Fe and P that have the potential to act as a fertilizer, increasing primary productivity in the Amazon rain forest as well as the equatorial Atlantic Ocean, and thus leading to N2 fixation and CO2 drawdown. We present the results of chemical analysis of 28 dust samples collected from the source area, which indicate that up to 6.5 Tg of Fe and 0.12 Tg of P are exported from the Bodélé Depression every year. This suggests that the Bodélé may be a more significant micronutrient supplier than previously proposed.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2011 15:16
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20

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