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Influence of chemical weathering and aging of iron oxides on the potential iron solubility of Saharan dust during simulated atmospheric processing

Shi, Z.B. and Krom, M.D. and Bonneville, S. and Baker, A.R. and Bristow, Charlie S. and Drake, N. and Mann, G. and Carslaw, K. and McQuaid, J.B. and Jickells, T. and Benning, L.G. (2011) Influence of chemical weathering and aging of iron oxides on the potential iron solubility of Saharan dust during simulated atmospheric processing. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 25 , ISSN 0886-6236.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010GB003837

Abstract

The flux of bioavailable Fe from mineral dust to the surface ocean is controlled not only by the processes in the atmosphere but also by the nature and source of the dust. In this study, we investigated how the nature of Fe minerals in the dust affects its potential Fe solubility (Fe-psol) employing traditional and modern geochemical, mineralogical, and microscopic techniques. The chemical and mineralogical compositions, particularly Fe mineralogy, in soil samples as dust precursors collected from North African dust source regions were determined. The Fe-psol was measured after 3 days of contact with sulfuric acid at pH 2 to simulate acid processes in the atmosphere. Fe-psol of the soil dust samples were compared with calculated predictions of Fe-psol based on the amount of individual Fe-bearing minerals present in the samples and Fe solubilities of corresponding standard minerals. The calculated Fe-psol deviated significantly from the measured Fe-psol of the soil dust samples. We attributed this to the variability in properties of Fe minerals (e. g., size of Fe oxides and heterogeneity of chemical compositions of clay minerals) in soil dusts in comparison to the standard minerals. There were, however, clear relationships between the degree of chemical weathering of North African soils and Fe-psol. The Parker index and ratio of ascorbate plus dithionite Fe to total Fe ((FeA+FeD)/FeT) are positively and negatively correlated with Fe-psol, respectively. In addition, the ratio of FeA/(FeA+FeD), which decreases with aging of the Fe oxides, was found to be positively correlated with Fe-psol in the soil dusts. Overall, our results indicate that there is a significant regional variability in the chemical and Fe mineralogical compositions of dusts across North African sources, as a result of the differences in chemical weathering and aging of Fe oxides. Furthermore, the indices for these weathering processes can provide an estimate of the fraction of Fe which can be solubilized if acid processed in the atmosphere.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2011 08:25
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3720

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