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Vertical export flux of metals in the Mediterranean Sea

March 16, 2014

We examined metal (Al, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) and particulate organic carbon (OC) concentrations of the marine vertical export flux at the DYFAMED time-series station in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. We present here the first data set of natural and anthropogenic metals from sediment trap moorings deployed at 1000 m-depth between 2003 and 2007 at the DYFAMED site. A highly significant correlation was observed between most metal concentrations, whatever the nature and emission source of the metal. Cu, Zn and Cd exhibit different behaviors, presumably due to their high solubility and complexation with organic ligands. The observed difference of atmospheric and marine fluxes in terms of temporal variability and elemental concentration suggests that dense water convection and primary production and not atmospheric deposition control the marine vertical export flux. This argument is strengthened by the fact that significant Saharan dust events did not result in concomitant marine vertical export fluxes nor did they generate significant changes in metal concentrations of trapped particles.

  •  Heimbürger L-E,
  •  Migon C,
  •  Losno R,
  •  Miquel J-C,
  •  Thibodeau B,
  •  Stabholz M,
  •  Dufour A,
  •  Leblond N, 2014: Vertical export flux of metals in the Mediterranean Sea, Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 87, 14-23, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2014.02.001. Article.

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