Achterberg, E.P., Holland, T.W., Bowie, A.R., Mantoura, R.F.C. and Worsfold, P.J.
Determination of iron in seawater
Analytica Chimica Acta, 442, . (doi:10.1016/S0003-2670(01)01091-1).
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Iron plays an important role in oceanic biogeochemistry and is known to limit biological activity in certain ocean regions. Such regions have a replete complement of major nutrients but low primary production of phytoplankton due to low ambient iron concentrations. The determination of iron in seawater is a major challenge, although much progress has been made during the last two decades. Techniques for total dissolved iron and iron speciation have been developed in order to rationalise its biogeochemical cycling and better understand its role in limiting phytoplankton growth. In this paper, a critical review of historical and current analytical methods for the determination of iron in seawater is presented and their capabilities evaluated. The need for standard protocols for the clean sampling and storage of low-level (<1 nM) iron seawater in order to maintain sample integrity is emphasised. The importance of laboratory and shipboard intercomparison exercises to distinguish between environmental variability and operationally measured fractions is also considered.
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