Biological and physical controls on N2, O2, and CO2 distributions in contrasting Southern Ocean surface waters.

Tortell, Philippe D., Bittig, Henry C., Körtzinger, Arne , Jones, Elizabeth M. and Hoppema, Mario (2015) Biological and physical controls on N2, O2, and CO2 distributions in contrasting Southern Ocean surface waters. Open Access Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29 (7). pp. 994-1013. DOI 10.1002/2014GB004975.

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We present measurements of pCO2, O2 concentration, biological oxygen saturation (ΔO2/Ar), and N2 saturation (ΔN2) in Southern Ocean surface waters during austral summer, 2010–2011. Phytoplankton biomass varied strongly across distinct hydrographic zones, with high chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations in regions of frontal mixing and sea ice melt. pCO2 and ΔO2/Ar exhibited large spatial gradients (range 90 to 450 µatm and −10 to 60%, respectively) and covaried strongly with Chl a. However, the ratio of biological O2 accumulation to dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) drawdown was significantly lower than expected from photosynthetic stoichiometry, reflecting the differential time scales of O2 and CO2 air-sea equilibration. We measured significant oceanic CO2 uptake, with a mean air-sea flux (~ −10 mmol m−2 d−1) that significantly exceeded regional climatological values. N2 was mostly supersaturated in surface waters (mean ΔN2 of +2.5%), while physical processes resulted in both supersaturation and undersaturation of mixed layer O2 (mean ΔO2phys = 2.1%). Box model calculations were able to reproduce much of the spatial variability of ΔN2 and ΔO2phys along the cruise track, demonstrating significant effects of air-sea exchange processes (e.g., atmospheric pressure changes and bubble injection) and mixed layer entrainment on surface gas disequilibria. Net community production (NCP) derived from entrainment-corrected surface ΔO2/Ar data, ranged from ~ −40 to > 300 mmol O2 m−2 d−1 and showed good coherence with independent NCP estimates based on seasonal mixed layer DIC deficits. Elevated NCP was observed in hydrographic frontal zones and stratified regions of sea ice melt, reflecting physical controls on surface water light fields and nutrient availability.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/264879
Additional Information: WOS:000359810400005
Keywords: dissolved gases; Southern Ocean; net community production; air-sea flux
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2014GB004975
ISSN: 0886-6236
Projects: OCEANET, O2-Floats, CARBOCHANGE, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2015 08:47
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2019 08:52

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