Atmospheric processing of iron carried by mineral dust
Nutrification of the open ocean originates mainly from deposited aerosol in which the bio-avaliable iron is likely to be an important factor. The relatively insoluble iron in dust from arid soils becomes more soluble after atmospheric processing and, through its deposition in the ocean, could contribute to marine primary production. To numerically simulate the atmospheric route of iron from desert sources to sinks in the ocean, we developed a regional atmospheric dust-iron model that included parameterization of the transformation of iron to a soluble form caused by dust mineralogy, cloud processes and solar radiation. When compared with field data on the aerosol iron, which were collected during several Atlantic cruises, the results from the higher-resolution simulation experiments showed that the model was capable of reproducing the major observed patterns.