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Continuous Flow Analysis of Labile Iron in Ice-Cores

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journal contribution
posted on 07.05.2013, 00:00 authored by William T. Hiscock, Hubertus Fischer, Matthias Bigler, Gideon Gfeller, Daiana Leuenberger, Olivia Mini
The important active and passive role of mineral dust aerosol in the climate and the global carbon cycle over the last glacial/interglacial cycles has been recognized. However, little data on the most important aeolian dust-derived biological micronutrient, iron (Fe), has so far been available from ice-cores from Greenland or Antarctica. Furthermore, Fe deposition reconstructions derived from the palaeoproxies particulate dust and calcium differ significantly from the Fe flux data available. The ability to measure high temporal resolution Fe data in polar ice-cores is crucial for the study of the timing and magnitude of relationships between geochemical events and biological responses in the open ocean. This work adapts an existing flow injection analysis (FIA) methodology for low-level trace Fe determinations with an existing glaciochemical analysis system, continuous flow analysis (CFA) of ice-cores. Fe-induced oxidation of N,N′-dimethyl-p-pheylenediamine (DPD) is used to quantify the biologically more important and easily leachable Fe fraction released in a controlled digestion step at pH ∼1.0. The developed method was successfully applied to the determination of labile Fe in ice-core samples collected from the Antarctic Byrd ice-core and the Greenland Ice-Core Project (GRIP) ice-core.

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