Dr Ryan Cloete, Dr Jean C. Loock, Van Horsten N., Fietz S., Mtshali T., Dr Hélène Planquette, Roychoudhury A. N.

Winter distributions of dissolved cadmium (dCd) and particulate cadmium (pCd) were measured for the first time in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean thereby contributing a unique spatial and seasonal dataset. Seven depth profiles, between 41°S and 58°S, were collected along the 30°E longitude during the 2017 austral winter to investigate the biogeochemical cycling of cadmium during a period characterized by contrasting upper water column dynamics compared to summer. Our results support an important role for biological uptake during winter months albeit weaker compared to summer. Distinct, biologically driven changes in cadmium cycling across the transect were observed. For example, surface ratios of pCd to phosphorus (P; pCd:P) increased from 0.37 to 1.07 mmol mol–1 between the subtropical zone (STZ) and the Antarctic zone (AAZ) reflecting increased Cd requirements for diatoms at higher latitudes which, in turn, was driven by a complex relationship between the availability of dCd and dissolved iron (dFe), zinc (dZn) and manganese (dMn). Vertical profiles of pCd:P displayed near-surface maxima consistent with (1) P occurring in two phases with different labilities and the lability of Cd being somewhere in-between and (2) increasing dCd to phosphate (PO4; dCd:PO4) ratios with depth at each station. North of the Antarctic Polar Front (APF), a secondary, deeper pCd:P maximum may reflect an advective signal associated with northward subducting Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW). The strong southward increase in surface dCd and dCd:PO4, from approximately 10–700 pmol kg–1 and 40–400 μmol mol–1, respectively, reflected the net effect of preferential uptake and regeneration of diatoms with high Cd content and the upwelling of Cd enriched water masses in the AAZ. Furthermore, distinct dCd versus PO4 relationships were observed in each of the intermediate and deep water masses suggesting that dCd and PO4 distributions at depth are largely the result of physical water mass mixing.

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Section plots of (A) dCd, (B) PO4 overlain by salinity, (C) pCd and (D) P. Each figure is separated into upper 1,000 m (upper panel) and below 1,000 m (bottom panel). Frontal positions, corresponding zones and water masses are shown.