Geographical, seasonal, and depth variation in sinking particle speeds in the North Atlantic.

Villa-Alfageme, M., de Soto, F. C., Ceballos, E., Giering, S. L. C., Le Moigne, Frederic A. C. , Henson, S., Mas, J. L. and Sanders, R. J. (2016) Geographical, seasonal, and depth variation in sinking particle speeds in the North Atlantic. Open Access Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (16). pp. 8609-8616. DOI 10.1002/2016GL069233.

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Abstract

Particle sinking velocity is considered to be a controlling factor for carbon transport to the deep sea and thus carbon sequestration in the oceans. The velocities of the material exported to depth are considered to be high in high-latitude productive systems and low in oligotrophic distributions. We use a recently developed method based on the measurement of the radioactive pair 210Po-210Pb to calculate particle sinking velocities in the temperate and oligotrophic North Atlantic during different bloom stages. Our estimates of average sinking velocities (ASVs) show that slowly sinking particles (<100 m d−1) contribute significantly to carbon flux at all the locations except in the temperate regions during the bloom. ASVs appear to vary strongly with season, which we propose is caused by changes in the epipelagic community structure. Our results are the first field data to confirm the long-standing theory that particle sinking velocities increase with depth, with increases of up to 90% between 50 and 150 m depth.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: particle sinking velocity; North Atlantic; 210Po-210Pb; particle flux attenuation; biological carbon pump; POC
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R05
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2016GL069233
ISSN: 0094-8276
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 10:49
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 14:59
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/34674

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