Dissolved cobalt enrichments over the Kerguelen plateau confirm that most of the natural fertilization is due to partial dissolution of local basalts

Exceptionally high dissolved cobalt (Co) concentrations have been measured in the surface waters above the Kerguelen Plateau (KEOPS), and in intermediate and deep waters above its eastern slope. Lateral advection and dissolution of Co contained in basalt sediments around Heard Island were shown to imprint the process of surface enrichment over the plateau. Dissolved Co enrichment was strongest at the intercept of the eastern slope with intermediate and deep waters, probably due to more efficient mobilisation of the sediments in the slope current.

Estimate of the fertilization flux of iron inferred by using dissolved Co as a tracer of basalt sources is consistent with preceding ones (Zhang et al., DSR II, 55, 638-652, 2008; Chever et al., Biogeosciences, 7, 455-468, 2010), and the calculated iron supply matches with the phytoplankton demand (Sarthou et al., DSRII, 55, 734-751, 2008).



Bown, J., Boye, M., Laan, P., Bowie, A. R., Park, Y.-H., Jeandel, C., and Nelson, D. M.: Imprint of a dissolved cobalt basaltic source on the Kerguelen Plateau, Biogeosciences, 9, 5279-5290, doi:10.5194/bg-9-5279-2012, 2012. Paper.

Latest highlights

Science Highlights

Dissolved iron and manganese fates reveal processes along the hydrothermal TAG plume

González-Santana and co-workers performed high-spatial resolution analyses of dissolved iron and manganese samples collected at the Mid Atlantic Ridge


Science Highlights

The power of combining geochemical tracer data with direct current measurements

Learn about new discoveries done combining seawater Rare Earth Elements concentrations and direct physical oceanographic observations


Science Highlights

Loss of old Arctic sea ice increases methylmercury concentrations

Researchers from the SCRIPPS, the Stockholm Natural Museum and the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography show the importance of sea ice composition on methylmercury budgets


Science Highlights

Estimating Atmospheric Trace Element Deposition Over the Global Ocean

A recently developed method based on the natural radionuclide beryllium-7 has provided a means to estimate the bulk atmospheric trace element deposition velocity