Articles | Volume 16, issue 3
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-16-729-2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-16-729-2020
Research article
 | 
19 Jun 2020
Research article |  | 19 Jun 2020

Biogeochemical processes accounting for the natural mercury variations in the Southern Ocean diatom ooze sediments

Sara Zaferani and Harald Biester

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Short summary
Mercury is a metal of environmental concern due to its toxic nature and its high potential for biomagnification. The role of oceans in the global mercury cycle is poorly understood. Investigation of biogenic sediments revealed that biological production and related scavenging of water-phase mercury by rapidly sinking algae or algae-derived organic matter after intense algae blooms controlled preindustrial mercury accumulation in Adélie Basin, East Antarctica.