Particulate biogenic barium tracer of mesopelagic carbon remineralization in the Mediterranean Sea (PEACETIME project)

Jacquet, Stéphanie H. M.; Tamburini, Christian; Garel, Marc; Dufour, Aurélie; Van Vambeke, France; Le Moigne, Frédéric A. C.; Bhairy, Nagib; Guasco, Sophie

We report on the sub-basin variability in particulate organic carbon (POC) remineralization in the western and central Mediterranean Sea in late spring during the PEACETIME (ProcEss studies at the Air–sEa Interface after dust deposition in the MEditerranean sea) cruise. POC remineralization rates were estimated using the excess biogenic particulate barium (Bainline-formulaxs) inventories in the mesopelagic layers (100–1000 m depth) and compared with prokaryotic heterotrophic production (PHP). Bainline-formulaxs-based mesopelagic remineralization rates (MRs) ranged from inline-formula25±2 to inline-formula306±70inline-formula M5inlinescrollmathml unit normal mg 0.125emnobreak normal C nobreak0.125em normal m - normal 2 nobreak0.125em normal d - normal 1 65pt15ptsvg-formulamathimg4fefc29e267f9d3301a40e775f89bd80 bg-18-5891-2021-ie00001.svg65pt15ptbg-18-5891-2021-ie00001.png . MRs were larger in the Algero-Provençal (ALG) Basin than in the Tyrrhenian (TYR) and Ionian (ION) basins. Our Bainline-formulaxs inventories and integrated PHP data also indicated that significant mesopelagic remineralization occurred down to 1000 m depth in the ALG Basin in contrast to the ION and TYR basins, where remineralization was mainly located above 500 m depth. We propose that the higher and deeper MRs in the ALG Basin were sustained by an additional particle export event driven by deep convection. The TYR Basin (in contrast to the ALG and ION basins) presented the impact of a previous dust event, as reflected by our particulate Al water column concentrations. The ION and TYR basins showed small-scale heterogeneity in remineralization processes, reflected by our Bainline-formulaxs inventories and integrated PHP data at the Tyrr long-duration station. This heterogeneity was linked to the mosaic of blooming and non-blooming patches reported in this area during the cruise. In contrast to the western Mediterranean Sea (ALG Basin), the central Mediterranean Sea (ION and TYR basins) showed lower remineralization rates restricted to the upper mesopelagic layer during the late spring PEACETIME cruise.

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Jacquet, Stéphanie H. M. / Tamburini, Christian / Garel, Marc / et al: Particulate biogenic barium tracer of mesopelagic carbon remineralization in the Mediterranean Sea (PEACETIME project). 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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