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Role of Antarctic sea ice as a natural ocean fertilizer during the spring 2012-13 sea ice research voyage SIPEX-2

Role of Antarctic sea ice as a natural ocean fertilizer during the spring 2012-13 sea ice research voyage SIPEX-2
Delphine Lannuzel


Lannuzel D
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

van der Merwe P
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC

Chever F
Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC

Janssens J
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Cavagna A
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Roukaerts A
Vrije Universiteit Brussel


One of the most important advances in oceanography was the discovery that iron can limit the productivity of High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll areas like the Southern Ocean where iron input to the sunlit layer of the ocean is low. In order to elucidate the ocean carbon cycle in the past, present and future climate scenarios, iron biogeochemistry became a focal point in our understanding of the processes that regulate the delivery and retention of this key micro-nutrient in surface waters. It has been demonstrated that Antarctic sea ice acts as an annual fertilizer of iron in the Southern Ocean at a time ideal for algal growth, therefore producing large blooms observable every austral spring from SeaWIFS pictures. Our study quantified the spatial and temporal distribution of iron in sea ice cores, surface snow, brine and underlying seawater collected during an interdisciplinary Australian Antarctic fieldwork in East Antarctic pack ice in 2012 (SIPEX-2). Additional processing in the home laboratory was achieved on ice cores to obtain for the first time the size fractionation of iron in the soluble (< 0.02 µm), dissolved (< 0.2 µm) and particulate (> 0.2 µm) fractions. Complementary samples were collected for the determination of sea ice salinity and temperature, sea ice texture, macro-nutrients, dissolved and particulate organic carbon, chlorophyll a as well as other key trace elements in first-year (seasonal) sea ice. Preliminary results are presented and discussed in this session.

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Key dates

  • 11th June 2013
    Registrations close
  • 21st June 2013
    Registrations at the AAD open for staff
  • 24th June 2013
    Registrations at the venue open
  • 24th June 2013
    Conference commences
  • 26th June 2013
    Conference concludes

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This page was last modified on 5 September 2013.