Phosphorus cycling from a coastal upwelling zone in the Southeastern Arabian Sea
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The present study examined the seasonal cycling of phosphorous (P) along the southwest coast of India (SWCI) based on two cruises during the southwest monsoon (SWM) and northeast monsoon (NEM) of 2018. During SWM, the entire SWCI experienced intense upwelling manifested by the incursion of cold, nutrient-rich, and hypoxic waters. During NEM, the region was transformed into a warm, well-oxygenated and nutrient-deplete environment. Dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) was significantly high in the subsurface during SWM due to its release from sediments. The sediment P was high and showed an increasing trend towards the south, principally dependent on the sediment texture, organic carbon, and Fe concentrations. Bioavailable P, the sum of exchangeable (PEx) and reducible (PFe) fractions, was almost consistent (5-20%) over seasons, though PFe showed a marked reduction during SWM. Authigenic fraction (PAut) was the most dominant (46%), followed by detrital (PDet 41%) and residual (PRes 8%) fractions. Principal component analysis (PCA) of geochemical parameters for SWM was indicative of the high dissolution of Fe (oxy)hydroxides under hypoxia releasing P and its complexation with organic matter and Fe. PCA results for the NEM were different, as it indicated increased preservation of P-associated organic matter and Fe, alternately favouring the formation of PAut in sediments. The study�s significance is the observation that the bottom water oxygen concentration can significantly influence sedimentary P cycling in tropical coastal upwelling zones.
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