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Molecular Fractionation of Dissolved Organic Matter in a Shallow Subterranean Estuary: The Role of the Iron Curtain
Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3609-5107
Research Group for Marine Geochemistry (ICBM-MPI Bridging Group), Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), University of Oldenburg, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany. (Research Group for Marine Geochemistry (ICBM-MPI Bridging Group))
Research Group for Marine Geochemistry (ICBM-MPI Bridging Group), Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), University of Oldenburg, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany. (Research Group for Marine Geochemistry (ICBM-MPI Bridging Group))
2017 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 1312-1320Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Iron that precipitates under aerobic conditions in natural aquatic systems scavenges dissolved organic matter (DOM) from solution. Subterranean estuaries (STEs) are of major importance for land−ocean biogeochemical fluxes. Their specific redox boundaries, coined the “iron curtain” due to the abundance of precipitated iron(III) (oxy)hydroxides, are hot spots for the removal and redissolution of iron, associated nutrients, and DOM. We used ultra-high-resolution electro- spray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry to molecularly characterize the iron- coagulating fractions of 32 groundwater and seawater DOM samples along a salinity gradient from a shallow STE on Spiekeroog Island, North Sea, Germany, and linked our findings to trace metal and nutrient concentrations. We found systematic iron coagulation of large (>450 Da), oxygen-rich, and highly aromatic DOM molecules of terrestrial origin. The extent of coagulation increased with growing terrestrial influence along the salinity gradient. Our study is the first to show that the iron curtain may be capable of retaining terrigenous DOM fractions in marine sediments. We hypothesize that the iron curtain serves as an inorganic modulator for the supply of DOM from groundwaters to the sea, and that the STE has the potential to act as a temporal storage or even sink for terrigenous aromatic DOM compounds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 51, no 3, p. 1312-1320
National Category
Geochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-313348DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b03608ISI: 000393738700037PubMedID: 27976873OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-313348DiVA, id: diva2:1066880
Funder
German Research Foundation (DFG), WA3067/1-2EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 336642
Available from: 2017-01-19 Created: 2017-01-19 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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