Quantifying subtropical North Pacific gyre mixed layer primary productivity from Seaglider observations of diel oxygen cycles
Nicholson, David P.
Wilson, Samuel T.
Doney, Scott C.
Karl, David M.
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Using autonomous underwater gliders, we quantified diurnal periodicity in dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, and temperature in the subtropical North Pacific near the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) Station ALOHA during summer 2012. Oxygen optodes provided sufficient stability and precision to quantify diel cycles of average amplitude of 0.6 µmol kg−1. A theoretical diel curve was fit to daily observations to infer an average mixed layer gross primary productivity (GPP) of 1.8 mmol O2 m−3 d−1. Cumulative net community production (NCP) over 110 days was 500 mmol O2 m−2 for the mixed layer, which averaged 57 m in depth. Both GPP and NCP estimates indicated a significant period of below-average productivity at Station ALOHA in 2012, an observation confirmed by 14C productivity incubations and O2/Ar ratios. Given our success in an oligotrophic gyre where biological signals are small, our diel GPP approach holds promise for remote characterization of productivity across the spectrum of marine environments.
© The Author(s), 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 42 (2015): 4032–4039, doi:10.1002/2015GL063065.
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