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. Open Access Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30 (8). pp. 1166-1182. DOI 10.1002/2015GB005354.

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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 > SFB 754
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A4
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Corresponding Author:
Corresponding Author Name
Koeve, Wolfgang
Koeve, Wolfgang
FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Related URLs:
Projects: BIOACID, SFB754, Opendap
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2016 12:39
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2023 05:27
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/33612

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