Atmospheric deposition of soluble trace elements along the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT)

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We briefly review the role of atmospheric deposition measurements within the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme and then go on to present new data on the soluble concentrations of a range of trace metals (Fe, Al, Mn, Ti, Zn, V, Ni and Cu) and major ions in aerosols collected along the AMT transect. The results allow us to identify emission sources of the trace metals particularly in terms of the relative importance of anthropogenic versus crustal sources. We identify strong gradients in concentrations and deposition for both crustal and anthropogenically sourced metals with much higher inputs to the North Atlantic compared to the South Atlantic, reflecting stronger land based emission sources in the Northern Hemisphere. We suggest anthropogenic sources of Ni and V may include an important component from shipping.

We consider the extent to which these gradients are reflected in surface water concentrations of these metals based on the GEOTRACES water column trace metal data. We find there is a clear difference in the concentrations of surface water dissolved Al and Fe between the north and south Atlantic gyres reflecting atmospheric inputs. However for Mn, V or Ni, higher inputs to the North Atlantic compared to the South Atlantic are not clearly reflected in their water column concentrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Early online date14 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Aerosols
  • trace metals
  • Atlantic Ocean

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