National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2017

Atmospheric deposition of glacial iron in the Gulf of Alaska impacted by the position of the Aleutian Low

Schroth, A.W., J. Crusius, R.W. Campbell, S. Gasso, C.M. Moy, N. Buck, and J.A. Resing

Geophys. Res. Lett., 44(10), 5053–5061, doi: 10.1002/2017GL073565 (2017)

Our understanding of glacial flour dust storm delivery of iron to the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) is limited. Here we interpret concurrent time series satellite, meteorological, and aerosol geochemical data from the GoA to examine how interannual variability in regional weather patterns impacts offshore aerosol glacial Fe deposition. In 2011, when a northerly Aleutian Low (AL) was persistent during fall, dust emission was suppressed and highly intermittent due to prevalent wet conditions, low winds, and a deep early season snowpack. Conversely, in 2012, frequent and prolonged fall dust storms and high offshore glacial Fe transport were driven by dry conditions and strong offshore winds generated by persistent strong high pressure over the Alaskan interior and Bering Sea and a southerly AL. Twenty-five-fold interannual variability in regional offshore glacial aerosol Fe deposition indicates that glacial dust's impact on GoA nutrient budgets is highly dynamic and particularly sensitive to regional climate forcing.

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