Coulometric total carbon dioxide analysis for marine studies: measurement and internal consistency of underway TCO2 concentrations.

Johnson, Kenneth M., Körtzinger, Arne , Mintrop, Ludger, Duinker, Jan C. and Wallace, Douglas W.R. (1999) Coulometric total carbon dioxide analysis for marine studies: measurement and internal consistency of underway TCO2 concentrations. Marine Chemistry, 67 . pp. 123-144. DOI 10.1016/S0304-4203(99)00055-9.

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Abstract

A coulometrically-based SOMMA system for the determination of total dissolved carbon dioxide (TCO2) in a continuous mode was designed and tested at sea. The new continuous technique approached the same high accuracy and reliability associated with prior discrete TCO2 measurements. During three cruises encompassing more than 19 weeks and 6000 continuous TCO2 measurements none of the three different systems tested exhibited any hardware-related failures. We found that coulometer cell lifetimes can greatly exceed prior expectations with many of the titration cells in the continuous mode remaining accurate for up to 72 h at carbon ages exceeding 50 mg C. We suggest a practical definition based on the CRM analyses for changing coulometer cells in the continuous mode. Systematic deviations of the SOMMA pipette volume from a theoretical temperature dependence were identified both from field data comparisons and pipette calibrations. Hence pipettes should be kept at constant temperature or they must be gravimetrically calibrated over the expected temperature range. Comparison of the continuous TCO2 data together with simultaneously measured additional CO2 system parameters showed that the refitted “Mehrbach” dissociation constants for carbonic acid best-represent fCO2 when calculated from TCO2 and alkalinity over a wide range of sea-surface temperatures and salinities. Some remaining systematic differences of calculated–measured fCO2 of up to 9 μatm likely reflect uncertainty in the temperature-dependence of the “Mehrbach” constants as well as possible uncertainty in the alkalinity–salinity relationship used to estimate alkalinity in the consistency checks.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: total dissolved inorganic carbon; carbon cycle; marine CO2 system; North Atlantic Ocean
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0304-4203(99)00055-9
ISSN: 0304-4203
Projects: JGOFS
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2017 13:31
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/186

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