An evaluation of tracer fields and anthropogenic carbon in the equatorial and the tropical North Atlantic.

Schneider, Anke, Tanhua, Toste , Körtzinger, Arne and Wallace, Douglas W.R. (2012) An evaluation of tracer fields and anthropogenic carbon in the equatorial and the tropical North Atlantic. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 67 . pp. 85-97. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2012.05.007.

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Abstract

The transit time distribution method was applied to dichlorodifluoromethane and sulfur hexafluoride measurements from four cruises to the tropical North Atlantic between 2006 and 2009 in order to estimate anthropogenic carbon (C-ant) concentrations. By assuming an Inverse Gaussian distribution of the transit time distribution the best fit to the data was achieved with the ratio of mean age to width equals 1. Significant differences in the mean age and C-ant concentrations between the equatorial belt (5 degrees S-5 degrees N) and the Guinea dome area (5 degrees-15 degrees N) was found. Mean ages are higher and C-ant concentrations are lower in the Guinea dome area than at same depths, or densities, in the equatorial belt. The mean column inventories in the upper 1200 m are higher by about 3 mol m(-2) in the equatorial belt compared to the Guinea dome area. The mean column inventory of C-ant, for the whole water column, in the tropical Atlantic is 32.2 mol m(-2) (error range: 30.6-45.2 mol m(-2)), which is significantly lower than the previous estimates. The total C-ant inventory in the eastern tropical Atlantic is 2.5 Pg (error range: 2.3-3.5 Pg) for an area of 6 x 10(6) km(2), comprising the Guinea dome region and the equatorial belt. The equatorial belt has 40% higher storage of C-ant compared to the Guinea dome area which reflects the occurrence of relatively young deep waters at the equator, being high in anthropogenic carbon. Our tracer based C-ant estimates were compared to C-ant concentrations calculated with the TrOCA method applied to measurements conducted in 1999. The TrOCA based estimates are significantly higher than our tracer based C-ant estimates. Comparison between tracer measurements in 1999 and the 2006-2009 time-frame revealed possible speed-up of ventilation in the upper water column, increasing the C-ant concentration in this depth range at a faster rate and a C-ant increase of 12.1 mu mol kg(-1) in the tropical surface water was found

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Anthropogenic carbon; Tracer; TTD; Tropical Atlantic; Mean age; ANTARCTIC INTERMEDIATE WATER; WESTERN BOUNDARY CURRENT; OCEAN; CO2; SEAWATER; MASSES; CHLOROFLUOROMETHANES; SOLUBILITY; TRANSPORT; AIR
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A3
OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr.2012.05.007
ISSN: 0967-0637
Projects: SFB754, Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2012 12:27
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 14:49
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/16408

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