Wet deposition in the remote western and central Mediterranean as a source of trace metals to surface seawater


  • Desboeufs Karine
  • Fu Franck
  • Bressac Matthieu
  • Tovar-Sánchez Antonio
  • Triquet Sylvain
  • Doussin Jean-François
  • Giorio Chiara
  • Chazette Patrick
  • Disnaquet Julie
  • Feron Anaïs
  • Formenti Paola
  • Maisonneuve Franck
  • Rodríguez-Romero Araceli
  • Zapf Pascal
  • Dulac François
  • Guieu Cécile

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This study reports the only recent characterization of two contrasted wet deposition events collected during the PEACETIME (ProcEss studies at the Air-sEa Interface after dust deposition in the MEditerranean Sea) cruise in the open Mediterranean Sea (Med Sea) and their impact on trace metal (TM) marine stocks. Rain samples were analysed for Al, 12 TMs (Co, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Ti, V and Zn) and nutrient (N, P, dissolved organic carbon) concentrations. The first rain sample collected in the Ionian Sea (Rain ION) was a typical regional background wet deposition event, whereas the second rain sample collected in the Algerian Basin (Rain FAST) was a Saharan dust wet deposition event. Even in the remote Med Sea, all background TM inputs presented an anthropogenic signature, except for Fe, Mn and Ti. The concentrations of TMs in the two rain samples were significantly lower compared to concentrations in rains collected at coastal sites reported in the literature, due to the decrease in anthropogenic emissions during the preceding decades. The atmospheric TM inputs were mainly dissolved forms, even in dusty Rain FAST. The TM stocks in the mixed layer (ML, 0-20 m) at the FAST station before and after the event showed that the atmospheric inputs were a significant supply of particulate TMs and dissolved Fe and Co for surface seawater. Even if the wet deposition delivers TMs mainly in soluble form, the post-deposition aerosol dissolution could to be a key additional pathway in the supply of dissolved TMs. At the scale of the western and central Mediterranean, the atmospheric inputs were of the same order of magnitude as ML stocks for dissolved Fe, Co and Zn, highlighting the role of the atmosphere in their Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. 2310 K. Desboeufs et al.: Wet deposition in the remote western and central Mediterranean biogeochemical cycles in the stratified Med Sea. In case of intense dust-rich wet deposition events, the role of atmospheric inputs as an external source was extended to dissolved Co, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn. Our results suggest that the wet deposition constitutes only a source of some of dissolved TMs for Med Sea surface waters. The contribution of dry deposition to the atmospheric TM inputs needs to be investigated.

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