The distribution of dissolved zinc in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean

Hannes.Grobe [ at ]


The distribution of dissolved zinc (Zn) was investigated in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean in the austral autumn of 2008 as part of the IPY GEOTRACES expedition ZERO & DRAKE. Research focused on transects across the major frontal systems along the Zero Meridian and across the Drake Passage. There was a strong gradient in surface zinc concentrations observed across the Antarctic Polar Front along both transects and high zinc levels were found in surface waters throughout the Southern Ocean. Vertical profiles for dissolved Zinc showed the presence of local minima and maxima in the upper 200 m consistent with significant uptake by phytoplankton and release by zooplankton grazing, respectively. Highest deep water zinc concentrations were found in the centre of the Weddell Gyre associated with Central Intermediate Water (CIW), a water mass which is depleted in O2, elevated in CO2 and is regionally a CFC minimum. Our data suggests that the remineralization of sinking particles is a key control on the distribution of Zn in the Southern Ocean. Disappearance ratios of zinc to phosphate (Zn:P) in the upper water column increased southwards along both transects and based on laboratory studies they suggest slower growth rates of phytoplankton due to iron or light limitation. Zinc and silicate were strongly correlated throughout the study region but the disappearance ratio (Zn:Si) was relatively uniform overall except for the region close to the ice edge on the Zero Meridian.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.041

Cite as
Croot, P. L. , Baars, O. and Streu, P. (2011): The distribution of dissolved zinc in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean , Deep-Sea Research Part II-Topical Studies in Oceanography, 58 (25-26), pp. 2707-2719 . doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.041



Research Platforms


Edit Item Edit Item