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2/Ar in a Dynamic Upwelling Region. J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 125(6), e2019JG005569.
Abstract: The ratio of dissolved oxygen to argon in seawater is frequently employed to estimate rates of net community production (NCP) in the oceanic mixed layer. The in situ O2/Ar‐based method accounts for many physical factors that influence oxygen concentrations, permitting isolation of the biological oxygen signal produced by the balance of photosynthesis and respiration. However, this technique traditionally relies upon several assumptions when calculating the mixed‐layer O2/Ar budget, most notably the absence of vertical fluxes of O2/Ar and the principle that the air‐sea gas exchange of biological oxygen closely approximates net productivity rates. Employing a Lagrangian study design and leveraging data outputs from a regional physical oceanographic model, we conducted in situ measurements of O2/Ar in the California Current Ecosystem in spring 2016 and summer 2017 to evaluate these assumptions within a �worst‐case� field environment. Quantifying vertical fluxes, incorporating nonsteady state changes in O2/Ar, and comparing NCP estimates evaluated over several day versus longer timescales, we find differences in NCP metrics calculated over different time intervals to be considerable, also observing significant potential effects from vertical fluxes, particularly advection. Additionally, we observe strong diel variability in O2/Ar and NCP rates at multiple stations. Our results reemphasize the importance of accounting for vertical fluxes when interpreting O2/Ar‐derived NCP data and the potentially large effect of nonsteady state conditions on NCP evaluated over shorter timescales. In addition, diel cycles in surface O2/Ar can also bias interpretation of NCP data based on local productivity and the time of day when measurements were made.
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Sci Total Environ, 612, 1141–1148.
Abstract: Analyses of the chlorophyll a concentration (chla) from satellite ocean color products have suggested the decadal-scale variability of chla linked to the climate change. The decadal-scale variability in chla is both spatially and temporally non-uniform. We need to understand the spatiotemporal evolution of chla in decadal or multi-decadal timescales to better evaluate its linkage to climate variability. Here, the spatiotemporal evolution of the chla trend in the North Atlantic Ocean for the period 1997-2016 is analyzed using the multidimensional ensemble empirical mode decomposition method. We find that this variable trend signal of chla shows a dipole pattern between the subpolar gyre and along the Gulf Stream path, and propagation along the opposite direction of the North Atlantic Current. This propagation signal has an overlapping variability of approximately twenty years. Our findings suggest that the spatiotemporal evolution of chla during the two most recent decades is part of the multidecadal variations and possibly regulated by the changes of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, whereas the mechanisms of such evolution patterns still need to be explored.
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.