Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Biogeosciences, 10, 233–245, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-233-2013
Biogeosciences, 10, 233–245, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-233-2013

Research article 15 Jan 2013

Research article | 15 Jan 2013

Isotope fractionation between dissolved and suspended particulate Fe in the oxic and anoxic water column of the Baltic Sea

M. Staubwasser1, R. Schoenberg2, F. von Blanckenburg3, S. Krüger4, and C. Pohl4 M. Staubwasser et al.
  • 1Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Greinstrasse 4–6, Building 902, 50939 Köln, Germany
  • 2Isotope Geochemistry, University of Tübingen, Wilhelmstrasse 56, 72074 Tübingen, Germany
  • 3German Research Centre for Geosciences – GFZ, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 4Leibniz-Institute of Baltic Sea Research, Seestr. 15, 18119 Warnemünde, Germany

Abstract. Fe isotope ratios and concentrations of dissolved Fe (Fedis, < 0.45 μm) and of suspended particulate Fe (FeSPM) were analyzed from a depth profile through the anoxic Eastern Gotland Basin water column, Baltic Sea. Results show a sharp gradient in δ56Fedis across the ferruginous layer with δ56Fedis = −0.4‰ in the euxinic deep basin and δ56Fedis = +0.3‰ in the oxic upper water column. The isotopic gradient overlaps with a strong concentration gradient of Fedis, a concentration maximum in FeSPM and lower δ56FeSPM values than δ56Fedis. These features indicate preferential loss of light Fe isotopes from solution to suspended iron-oxyhydroxides (FeIOH) during typical oxidative precipitation across the redox interface. The sign of the overall fractionation, Δ56FeIOH-Fe(II)(aq) < 0‰, is in contrast to similar, mostly non-marine redox environments, where Δ56FeIOH-Fe(II)(aq) > 0‰. The difference appears to be the result of isotope exchange dominated by reaction kinetics in the marine water column, rather than equilibrium fractionation generally inferred for oxidative Fe precipitation elsewhere. High residual δ56Fedis immediately above the oxic–ferruginous interface and throughout the oxic water column suggests that any potential dissolved Fe export from marine reducing waters into the oxic open water column is enriched in the heavy isotopes. In the deep, mildly euxinic water column above the level of Fe sulfide saturation, a decreasing δ56FeSPM trend with depth and a generally low δ56Fedis are comparable to trends generally observed in marine anoxic sediment profiles where microbial reductive Fe dissolution occurs. The isotope composition of the redox-cycled Fe inventory in anoxic marine basins mainly reflects the balance between external fluxes, driving the composition towards crustal δ56Fe values, and intensity of internal recycling, driving δ56Fe towards negative values.

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