Kelly, T. B., Goericke, R., Kahru, M., Song, H., & Stukel, M. R. (2018). CCE II: Spatial and interannual variability in export efficiency and the biological pump in an eastern boundary current upwelling system with substantial lateral advection.
Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 140, 14–25.
Abstract: Estimating interannual variability in carbon export is a key goal of many marine biogeochemical studies. However, due to variations in export mechanisms between regions, generalized models used to estimate global patterns in export often fail when used for intra-regional analysis. We present here a region-specific model of export production for the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) parameterized using intensive Lagrangian process studies conducted during El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) warm and neutral phases by the CCE Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. We find that, contrary to expectations from prominent global algorithms, export efficiency (e-ratio = export / primary productivity) is positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with net primary productivity (NPP). We attribute these results to the substantial horizontal advection found within the region, and verify this assumption by using a Lagrangian particle tracking model to estimate water mass age. We further suggest that sinking particles in the CCE are comprised of a recently-produced, rapidly-sinking component (likely mesozooplankton fecal pellets) and a longer-lived, slowly-sinking component that is likely advected long distances prior to export. We determine a new algorithm for estimating particle export in the CCE from NPP (Export = 0.08 · NPP + 72 mg C m-2 d-1). We apply this algorithm to a two-decade long time series of NPP in the CCE to estimate spatial and interannual variability across multiple ENSO phases. Reduced export during the warm anomaly of 2014-2015 and El Niño 2015-2016 resulted primarily from decreased export in the coastal upwelling region of the CCE; the oligotrophic offshore region exhibited comparatively low seasonal and interannual variability in flux. The model resolves intra-regional patterns of in situ export measurements, and provides a valuable contrast to global export models.