Decoupling of ΔO 2∕Ar and particulate organic carbon dynamics in nearshore surface ocean waters

Rosengard, Sarah Z.; Izett, Robert W.; Burt, William J.; Schuback, Nina; Tortell, Philippe D.

We report results from two Lagrangian drifter surveys off the Oregon coast, using continuous shipboard sensors to estimate mixed-layer gross primary productivity (GPP), community respiration (CR), and net community production (NCP) from variations in biological oxygen saturation (inline-formulaΔO2∕Ar) and optically derived particulate organic carbon (POC). At the first drifter survey, conducted in a nearshore upwelling zone during the development of a microplankton bloom, net changes in inline-formulaΔO2∕Ar and [POC] were significantly decoupled. Differences in GPP and NCP derived from inline-formulaΔO2∕Ar (NCPinline-formula M8inlinescrollmathml chem normal O normal 2 / normal Ar 25pt11ptsvg-formulamathimg67fef0273d3d84bca1f32fb398316be3 bg-17-3277-2020-ie00001.svg25pt11ptbg-17-3277-2020-ie00001.png ) and POC (NCPinline-formulaPOC) time series suggest the presence of large POC losses from the mixed layer. At this site, we utilized the discrepancy between NCPinline-formula M10inlinescrollmathml chem normal O normal 2 / normal Ar 25pt11ptsvg-formulamathimg54ed17aa040db4b169e8163e5062ce15 bg-17-3277-2020-ie00002.svg25pt11ptbg-17-3277-2020-ie00002.png and NCPinline-formulaPOC, and additional constraints derived from surface water excess nitrous oxide (inline-formulaN2O), to evaluate POC loss through particle export, DOC production, and vertical mixing fluxes. At the second drifter survey, conducted in lower-productivity, density-stratified offshore waters, we also observed offsets between inline-formulaΔO2∕Ar and POC-derived GPP and CR rates. At this site, however, net [POC] and inline-formulaΔO2∕Ar changes yielded closer agreement in NCP estimates, suggesting a tighter relationship between production and community respiration, as well as lower POC loss rates. These results provide insight into the possibilities and limitations of estimating productivity from continuous underway POC and inline-formulaΔO2∕Ar data in contrasting oceanic waters. Our observations support the use of diel POC measurements to estimate NCP in lower-productivity waters with limited vertical carbon export and the potential utility of coupled inline-formulaO2 and optical measurements to estimate the fate of POC in high-productivity regions with significant POC export.

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Rosengard, Sarah Z. / Izett, Robert W. / Burt, William J. / et al: Decoupling of ΔO2∕Ar and particulate organic carbon dynamics in nearshore surface ocean waters. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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