Articles | Volume 9, issue 2
Research article
08 Mar 2013
Research article |  | 08 Mar 2013

Iron fluxes to Talos Dome, Antarctica, over the past 200 kyr

P. Vallelonga, C. Barbante, G. Cozzi, J. Gabrieli, S. Schüpbach, A. Spolaor, and C. Turetta

Abstract. Atmospheric fluxes of iron (Fe) over the past 200 kyr are reported for the coastal Antarctic Talos Dome ice core, based on acid leachable Fe concentrations. Fluxes of Fe to Talos Dome were consistently greater than those at Dome C, with the greatest difference observed during interglacial climates. We observe different Fe flux trends at Dome C and Talos Dome during the deglaciation and early Holocene, attributed to a combination of deglacial activation of dust sources local to Talos Dome and the reorganisation of atmospheric transport pathways with the retreat of the Ross Sea ice shelf. This supports similar findings based on dust particle sizes and fluxes and Rare Earth Element fluxes. We show that Ca and Fe should not be used as quantitative proxies for mineral dust, as they all demonstrate different deglacial trends at Talos Dome and Dome C. Considering that a 20 ppmv decrease in atmospheric CO2 at the coldest part of the last glacial maximum occurs contemporaneously with the period of greatest Fe and dust flux to Antarctica, we confirm that the maximum contribution of aeolian dust deposition to Southern Ocean sequestration of atmospheric CO2 is approximately 20 ppmv.