The natural iron fertilization experiment KEOPS (KErguelen Ocean and Plateau compared Study): An overview
When the first scientific voyages went to the Southern Ocean, high levels of living biomass were observed in the vicinity of islands. Hart (1942) was the first to mention that the abundant biomass might be due to the release of oligoelements like iron from the island. This hypothesis, however, remained unverified for more than half a century because of the experimental difficulties in properly manipulating water with subnanomolar iron concentrations. When John Martin formulated the iron hypothesis (Martin, 1990) and provided the first supporting evidence of it, he also suggested using the chlorophyll plume observed westward of the Galapagos Island in the Equatorial Pacific as a natural iron fertilization experiment.