CHEMICAL FORMS OF IRON IN THE CONNECTICUT RIVER ESTUARY
The ‘dissolved’ iron (that passed through a 0·4-μm filter) varied nonconservatively with salinity in the Connecticut River estuary. However, the total iron appeared to be conservative. Measurements of Fe(II) and Fe(III) showed that oxidation of Fe(II) was not a factor in the decrease of ‘dissolved’ iron in the low salinity region. A solubility model and analyses based on different pore-size filters indicated that a substantial amount of the ‘dissolved’ iron in the low salinity region was colloidal iron. The coagulation of fine colloidal particles led to the non-conservative behavior of ‘dissolved’ iron during estuarine mixing, but it did not necessarily lead to removal of total iron from the waters. Particulate iron was 80–90% of the total iron and it covaried with the total suspended matter during mixing and sediment resuspension. The residence time of water in the Connecticut River estuary was too short to allow removal of iron from the water column within the estuary.