Distribution and flux of dissolved iron in the peatland-draining rivers and estuaries of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

Zhang, Xiaohui; Müller, Moritz; Jiang, Shan; Wu, Ying; Zhu, Xunchi; Mujahid, Aazani; Zhu, Zhuoyi; Muhamad, Mohd Fakharuddin; Sia, Edwin Sien Aun; Jang, Faddrine Holt Ajon; Zhang, Jing

Dissolved iron (dFe) is essential for multiple biogeochemical reactions in oceans, such as photosynthesis, respiration and nitrogen fixation. Currently, large uncertainties remain regarding the input of riverine dFe into coastal oceans, especially in tropical rivers in southeastern Asia. In the present study, the concentrations of dFe and distribution patterns of dFe were determined along the salinity gradient in the Rajang River and three blackwater rivers that drain from peatlands, including the Maludam River, the Sebuyau River and the Simunjan River. In the Rajang River, the dFe concentration in freshwater samples (salinity inline-formula<1 PSU – practical salinity units) in the wet season (March 2017) was higher than that in the dry season (August 2016), which might be related to the resuspension of sediment particles and soil erosion from cropland. In the Rajang estuary, an intense removal of dFe in low-salinity waters (salinity inline-formula<15 PSU) was observed, which was likely due to salt-induced flocculation and absorption of dFe onto suspended particulate matter (SPM). However, increases in the dFe concentration in the wet season were also found, which may be related to dFe desorption from SPM and the influences of agricultural activities. In the blackwater rivers, the dFe concentration reached 44.2 inline-formulaµmol Linline-formula−1, indicating a strong contribution to the dFe budget from peatland leaching. The dFe flux derived from the Rajang estuary to the South China Sea was estimated to be inline-formula M5inlinescrollmathml normal 6.4 ± normal 2.3 × normal 10 normal 5 72pt13ptsvg-formulamathimg91f5b5e49993ea29a9002116df903d0f bg-17-1805-2020-ie00001.svg72pt13ptbg-17-1805-2020-ie00001.png  kg yrinline-formula−1. For blackwater rivers, the dFe flux was approximately inline-formula M7inlinescrollmathml normal 1.1 ± normal 0.5 × normal 10 normal 5 72pt13ptsvg-formulamathimgb2b12554ae18f5b8b47a9593c90eef8b bg-17-1805-2020-ie00002.svg72pt13ptbg-17-1805-2020-ie00002.png  kg yrinline-formula−1 in the Maludam River. Anthropogenic activities may play an important role in the dFe yield, such as in the Serendeng tributary of the Rajang River and Simunjan River, where intensive oil palm plantations were observed.



Zhang, Xiaohui / Müller, Moritz / Jiang, Shan / et al: Distribution and flux of dissolved iron in the peatland-draining rivers and estuaries of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. 2020. Copernicus Publications.


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