Articles | Volume 6, issue 11
04 Nov 2009
 | 04 Nov 2009

Dissolved iron (II) in the Baltic Sea surface water and implications for cyanobacterial bloom development

E. Breitbarth, J. Gelting, J. Walve, L. J. Hoffmann, D. R. Turner, M. Hassellöv, and J. Ingri

Abstract. Iron chemistry measurements were conducted during summer 2007 at two distinct locations in the Baltic Sea (Gotland Deep and Landsort Deep) to evaluate the role of iron for cyanobacterial bloom development in these estuarine waters. Depth profiles of Fe(II) were measured by chemiluminescent flow injection analysis (CL-FIA). Up to 0.9 nmol Fe(II) L−1 were detected in light penetrated surface waters, which constitutes up to 20% to the dissolved Fe pool. This bioavailable iron source is a major contributor to the Fe requirements of Baltic Sea phytoplankton and apparently plays a major role for cyanobacterial bloom development during our study. Measured Fe(II) half life times in oxygenated water exceed predicted values and indicate organic Fe(II) complexation. Potential sources for Fe(II) ligands, including rainwater, are discussed. Fe(II) concentrations of up to 1.44 nmol L−1 were detected at water depths below the euphotic zone, but above the oxic anoxic interface. Mixed layer depths after strong wind events are not deep enough in summer time to penetrate the oxic-anoxic boundary layer. However, Fe(II) from anoxic bottom water may enter the sub-oxic zone via diapycnal mixing and diffusion.

Final-revised paper