Abstract

Ice-hosted sediments in glaciers and icebergs from Antarctica and Svalbard contain authigenic nanoparticulates of schwertmannite, ferrihydrite and goethite that formed during sulphide oxidation. These phases indicate the existence of subglacial biogeochemical hotspots containing fluids of low pH (2–4), rich in dissolved Fe(III) and sulphate. Nanophase Fe is partially bioavailable and potentially important to global biogeochemical cycles, since the flux delivered by icebergs to the Southern Ocean is comparable to the flux of soluble, bioavailable Fe from aeolian dust.

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