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Dust storms sweep iron-rich particles (mineral aerosols) from the continents into the atmosphere.

Fortified with Essential Minerals

Dust storms can sweep iron-rich particles from thecontinents into the atmosphere, and these "mineral aerosols" then fall into, or are rained into, theoceans. Once in the water, the iron dissolves into a form that is used—along with othernutrients such as nitrate and phosphate—by microscopic plants (phytoplankton) andbacteria to live and grow. Small marine animals (zooplankton) eatphytoplankton and bacteria. When they excrete fecal pellets or die,organic (carbon-based) matter is transferred to the depths. (Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic institution)


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