Oxygen utilization rate (OUR) underestimates ocean respiration: A model study

Koeve, Wolfgang and Kähler, Paul (2016) Oxygen utilization rate (OUR) underestimates ocean respiration: A model study Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30 (8). pp. 1166-1182. DOI 10.1002/2015GB005354.

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Abstract

We use a simple 1-D model representing an isolated density surface in the ocean and 3-D global ocean biogeochemical models to evaluate the concept of computing the subsurface oceanic oxygen utilization rate (OUR) from the changes of apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) and water age. The distribution of AOU in the ocean is not only the imprint of respiration in the ocean's interior but is strongly influenced by transport processes and eventually loss at the ocean surface. Since AOU and water age are subject to advection and diffusive mixing, it is only when they are affected both in the same way that OUR represents the correct rate of oxygen consumption. This is the case only when advection prevails or with uniform respiration rates, when the proportions of AOU and age are not changed by transport. In experiments with the 1-D tube model, OUR underestimates respiration when maximum respiration rates occur near the outcrops of isopycnals and overestimates when maxima occur far from the outcrops. Given the distribution of respiration in the ocean, i.e., elevated rates near high-latitude outcrops of isopycnals and low rates below the oligotrophic gyres, underestimates are the rule. Integrating these effects globally in three coupled ocean biogeochemical and circulation models, we find that AOU-over-age based calculations underestimate true model respiration by a factor of 3. Most of this difference is observed in the upper 1000 m of the ocean with the discrepancies increasing toward the surface where OUR underestimates respiration by as much as factor of 4.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000388457500003
Keywords: oxygen; consumption; respiration; OUR; global modeling
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A4
OceanRep > SFB 754
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2015GB005354
ISSN: 0886-6236
Related URLs:
Projects: BIOACID, SFB754
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2016 12:39
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 00:38
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/33612

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