Does a ballast effect occur in the surface ocean?
Sanders, Richard J.
Morris, Paul J.
Poulton, Alex J.
Stinchcombe, Mark C.
Lucas, Mike I.
Thomalla, Sandy J.
MetadataShow full item record
The oceanic biological carbon pump (BCP), a large (10 GT C yr−1) component of the global carbon cycle, is dominated by the sinking (export) of particulate organic carbon (POC) from surface waters. In the deep ocean, strong correlations between downward fluxes of biominerals and POC (the so-called ‘ballast effect’) suggest a potential causal relationship, the nature of which remains uncertain. We show that similar correlations occur in the upper ocean with high rates of export only occurring when biominerals are also exported. Exported particles are generally biomineral rich relative to the upper ocean standing stock, due either to: (1) exported material being formed from the aggregation of a biomineral rich subset of upper ocean particles; or (2) the unfractionated aggregation of the upper ocean particulate pool with respiration then selectively removing POC relative to biominerals until particles are dense enough to sink.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 37 (2010): L08602, doi:10.1029/2010GL042574.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Le Moigne, Frederic A. C.; Sanders, Richard J.; Villa-Alfageme, Maria; Martin, Adrian P.; Pabortsava, Katsiaryna; Planquette, Helene; Morris, Paul J.; Thomalla, Sandy J. (American Geophysical Union, 2012-08-11)The role of biominerals in driving carbon export from the surface ocean is unclear. We compiled surface particulate organic carbon (POC), and mineral ballast export fluxes from 55 different locations in the Atlantic and ...
Lam, Phoebe J.; Bishop, James K. B. (2006-06-28)This paper investigates ballasting and remineralization controls of carbon sedimentation in the twilight zone (100-1000 m) of the Southern Ocean. Size-fractionated (<1 μm, 1-51 μm, >51 μm) suspended particulate matter ...
Size-fractionated major particle composition and concentrations from the US GEOTRACES North Atlantic Zonal Transect Lam, Phoebe J.; Ohnemus, Daniel C.; Auro, Maureen E. (Elsevier, 2014-11-18)The concentration and the major phase composition (particulate organic matter, CaCO3, opal, lithogenic matter, and iron and manganese oxyhydroxides) of marine particles is thought to determine the scavenging removal of ...