Allochthonous sources and dynamic cycling of ocean dissolved organic carbon revealed by carbon isotopes
McNichol, Ann P.
Johnson, Carl G.
Karl, David M.
Repeta, Daniel J.
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We present concentration and isotopic profiles of total, size, and polarity fractionated dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from Station ALOHA (A Long-term Oligotrophic Habitat Assessment), an oligotrophic site in the North Pacific Ocean. The data show that, between the surface and 3500 m, low molecular weight (LMW) hydrophilic DOC, LMW hydrophobic DOC, and high molecular weight (HMW) DOC constitute 22–33%, 45–52%, and 23–35% of DOC, respectively. LMW hydrophilic DOC is more isotopically depleted (δ13C of −23.9‰ to −31.5‰ and Δ14C of −304‰ to −795‰; mean age of 2850 to 15000 years) than the LMW hydrophobic DOC (δ13C of −22‰ to −23‰ and Δ14C of −270‰ to −568‰; 2470 to 6680 years) and HMW DOC (δ13C of ~−21‰ and Δ14C of −24‰ to −294‰; 135–2700 years). Our analyses suggest that a large fraction of DOC may be derived from allochthonous sources such as terrestrial and hydrothermal DOC and cycle on much longer time scales of >10000 years or enter the ocean as preaged carbon.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. 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 44 (2017): 2407–2415, doi:10.1002/2016GL071348.
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