Brzezinski, M. A., Krause, J. W., Bundy, R. M., Barbeau, K. A., Franks, P., Goericke, R., et al. (2015). Enhanced silica ballasting from iron stress sustains carbon export in a frontal zone within the California Current.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120(7), 4654–4669.
Stukel, M. R., & Barbeau, K. A. (2020). Investigating the Nutrient Landscape in a Coastal Upwelling Region and Its Relationship to the Biological Carbon Pump.
Geophys. Res. Lett., 47(6), e2020GL087351.
Abstract: We investigated nutrient patterns and their relationship to vertical carbon export using results from 38 Lagrangian experiments in the California Current Ecosystem. The dominant mode of variability reflected onshore-offshore nutrient gradients. A secondary mode of variability was correlated with silica excess and dissolved iron and likely reflects regional patterns of iron-limitation. The biological carbon pump was enhanced in high nutrient and Fe-stressed regions. Patterns in the nutrient landscape proved to be better predictors of the vertical flux of sinking particles than contemporaneous measurements of net primary production. Our results suggest an important role for Fe-stressed diatoms in vertical carbon flux. They also suggest that either preferential recycling of N or non-Redfieldian nutrient uptake by diatoms may lead to high PO:NO and Si(OH):NO ratios, following export of P- and Si-enriched organic matter. Increased export following Fe-stress may partially explain inverse relationships between net primary productivity and export efficiency.
Stukel, M. R., Aluwihare, L. I., Barbeau, K. A., Chekalyuk, A. M., Goericke, R., Miller, A. J., et al. (2017). Mesoscale ocean fronts enhance carbon export due to gravitational sinking and subduction.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114(6), 1252–1257.
Abstract: Enhanced vertical carbon transport (gravitational sinking and subduction) at mesoscale ocean fronts may explain the demonstrated imbalance of new production and sinking particle export in coastal upwelling ecosystems. Based on flux assessments from 238U:234Th disequilibrium and sediment traps, we found 2 to 3 times higher rates of gravitational particle export near a deep-water front (305 mg Cm-2d-1) compared with adjacent water or to mean (nonfrontal) regional conditions. Elevated particle flux at the front was mechanistically linked to Fe-stressed diatoms and high mesozooplankton fecal pellet production. Using a data assimilative regional ocean model fit to measured conditions, we estimate that an additional approximately 225 mg Cm-2d-1 was exported as subduction of particle-rich water at the front, highlighting a transport mechanism that is not captured by sediment traps and is poorly quantified by most models and in situ measurements. Mesoscale fronts may be responsible for over a quarter of total organic carbon sequestration in the California Current and other coastal upwelling ecosystems.