Factsheet #1: Dissolved Iron

Iron is important for biological production in surface waters and used up almost completely in many regions.

3D scenes showing the distribution of dissolved iron in the Atlantic and the Pacific. In warm colours (red, orange, etc.) you can view high concentrations of dissolved iron. The diversity of hydrothermal iron inputs is identified along Mid Oceanic Ridges in the two basins. Important release of dissolved iron from the sediments are indicated along the African, South American, Asian and Peruvian coasts.

Atlantic Ocean:

Pacific Ocean:


Data is available to download after registration here: https://geotraces.webodv.awi.de/login

Discoveries include:

Manganese: a surprising co-limiting factor of phytoplankton growth in the Southern Ocean

One of the main consequences of this work is that manganese should be included in ocean-climate models, more particularly to improve the accuracy of their predictions in this area.

First direct measurements of luxury iron uptake in natural phytoplankton communities: surprising results!

This study demonstrates the importance of biology and ecology to understanding iron biogeochemistry.

Spatial and temporal variability of bioactive trace metals, speciation and organic metal-binding ligands in the eastern Gulf of Mexico

Mellett and Buck present the concentrations of bioactive trace metals (Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Co, Ni, Cd, and Pb), Fe-and Cu-binding organic ligands, and electroactive Fe-binding humic substances in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

When GEOTRACES‐based synthesis efforts improve global iron-cycling understanding

Using historical (1987-2007) and recent GEOTRACES data, authors compiled an impressive data set comprising dissolved, filtered and trap-collected particulate iron

Particulate trace element export in the North Atlantic Ocean

Authors estimated particulate trace element export fluxes and residence times in the upper North Atlantic Ocean

Surface water trace element and isotope data challenge dust flux models

Using measurements of dissolved and particulate thorium-230 and thorium-232 along a section across the South Pacific, authors estimated the dust flux over this remote area