Robotic Observations of Enhanced Carbon Biomass and Export at 55°S During SOFeX

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Science  16 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5669, pp. 417-420
DOI: 10.1126/science.1087717

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Autonomous floats profiling in high-nitrate low-silicate waters of the Southern Ocean observed carbon biomass variability and carbon exported to depths of 100 m during the 2002 Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) to detect the effects of iron fertilization of surface water there. Control and “in-patch” measurements documented a greater than fourfold enhancement of carbon biomass in the iron-amended waters. Carbon export through 100 m increased two- to sixfold as the patch subducted below a front. The molar ratio of iron added to carbon exported ranged between 104 and 105. The biomass buildup and export were much higher than expected for iron-amended low-silicate waters.

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