Nicholson David P.

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David P.

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  • Article
    Impact of recently upwelled water on productivity investigated using in situ and incubation-based methods in Monterey Bay
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-03-11) Manning, Cara C. ; Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; Nicholson, David P. ; Smith, Jason M. ; Pennington, Timothy ; Fewings, Melanie R. ; Squibb, Michael E. ; Chavez, Francisco P.
    Photosynthetic conversion of inline image to organic carbon and the transport of this carbon from the surface to the deep ocean is an important regulator of atmospheric inline image. To understand the controls on carbon fluxes in a productive region impacted by upwelling, we measured biological productivity via multiple methods during a cruise in Monterey Bay, California. We quantified net community production and gross primary production from measurements of inline image/Ar and inline image triple isotopes ( inline image), respectively. We simultaneously conducted incubations measuring the uptake of 14C, inline image, and inline image, and nitrification, and deployed sediment traps. At the start of the cruise (Phase 1) the carbon cycle was at steady state and the estimated net community production was 35(10) and 35(8) mmol C m−2 d−1 from inline image/Ar and 15N incubations, respectively, a remarkably good agreement. During Phase 1, net primary production was 96(27) mmol C m−2 d−1 from C uptake, and gross primary production was 209(17) mmol C m−2 d−1 from inline image. Later in the cruise (Phase 2), recently upwelled water with higher nutrient concentrations entered the study area, causing 14C and inline image uptake to increase substantially. Continuous inline image/Ar measurements revealed submesoscale variability in water mass structure and likely productivity in Phase 2 that was not evident from the incubations. These data demonstrate that inline image/Ar and inline image incubation-based NCP estimates can give equivalent results in an N-limited, coastal system, when the nonsteady state inline image fluxes are negligible or can be quantified.
  • Article
    Discrepant estimates of primary and export production from satellite algorithms, a biogeochemical model, and geochemical tracer measurements in the North Pacific Ocean
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-08-30) Palevsky, Hilary I. ; Quay, Paul D. ; Nicholson, David P.
    Estimates of primary and export production (PP and EP) based on satellite remote sensing algorithms and global biogeochemical models are widely used to provide year-round global coverage not available from direct observations. However, observational data to validate these approaches are limited. We find that no single satellite algorithm or model can reproduce seasonal and annual geochemically determined PP, export efficiency (EP/PP), and EP rates throughout the North Pacific basin, based on comparisons throughout the full annual cycle at time series stations in the subarctic and subtropical gyres and basin-wide regions sampled by container ship transects. The high-latitude regions show large PP discrepancies in winter and spring and strong effects of deep winter mixed layers on annual EP that cannot be accounted for in current satellite-based approaches. These results underscore the need to evaluate satellite- and model-based estimates using multiple productivity parameters measured over broad ocean regions throughout the annual cycle.
  • Article
    Can we estimate air‐sea flux of biological O2 from total dissolved oxygen?
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-08-14) Huang, Yibin ; Eveleth, Rachel ; Nicholson, David P. ; Cassar, Nicolas
    In this study, we compare mechanistic and empirical approaches to reconstruct the air-sea flux of biological oxygen (F[O2]bio-as) by parameterizing the physical oxygen saturation anomaly (ΔO2[phy]) in order to separate the biological contribution from total oxygen. The first approach matches ΔO2[phy] to the monthly climatology of the argon saturation anomaly from a global ocean circulation model's output. The second approach derives ΔO2[phy] from an iterative mass balance model forced by satellite-based physical drivers of ΔO2[phy] prior to the sampling day by assuming that air-sea interactions are the dominant factors driving the surface ΔO2[phy]. The final approach leverages the machine-learning technique of Genetic Programming (GP) to search for the functional relationship between ΔO2[phy] and biophysicochemical parameters. We compile simultaneous measurements of O2/Ar and O2 concentration from 14 cruises to train the GP algorithm and test the validity and applicability of our modeled ΔO2[phy] and F[O2]bio-as. Among the approaches, the GP approach, which incorporates ship-based measurements and historical records of physical parameters from the reanalysis products, provides the most robust predictions (R2 = 0.74 for ΔO2[phy] and 0.72 for F[O2]bio-as; RMSE = 1.4% for ΔO2[phy] and 7.1 mmol O2 m−2 d−1 for F[O2]bio-as). We use the empirical formulation derived from GP approach to reconstruct regional, inter-annual, and decadal variability of F[O2]bio-as based on historical oxygen records. Overall, our study represents a first attempt at deriving F[O2]bio-as from snapshot measurements of oxygen, thereby paving the way toward using historical O2 data and a rapidly growing number of O2 measurements on autonomous platforms for independent insight into the biological pump.
  • Article
    Changes in gross oxygen production, net oxygen production, and air-water gas exchange during seasonal ice melt in Whycocomagh Bay, a Canadian estuary in the Bras d'or Lake system
    (European Geosciences Union, 2019-09-05) Manning, Cara C. ; Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; Nicholson, David P. ; Loose, Brice ; Lovely, Ann ; Schlosser, Peter ; Hatcher, Bruce G.
    Sea ice is an important control on gas exchange and primary production in polar regions. We measured net oxygen production (NOP) and gross oxygen production (GOP) using near-continuous measurements of the O2∕Ar gas ratio and discrete measurements of the triple isotopic composition of O2, during the transition from ice-covered to ice-free conditions, in Whycocomagh Bay, an estuary in the Bras d'Or Lake system in Nova Scotia, Canada. The volumetric gross oxygen production was 5.4+2.8−1.6 mmol O2 m−3 d−1, similar at the beginning and end of the time series, and likely peaked at the end of the ice melt period. Net oxygen production displayed more temporal variability and the system was on average net autotrophic during ice melt and net heterotrophic following the ice melt. We performed the first field-based dual tracer release experiment in ice-covered water to quantify air–water gas exchange. The gas transfer velocity at >90 % ice cover was 6 % of the rate for nearly ice-free conditions. Published studies have shown a wide range of results for gas transfer velocity in the presence of ice, and this study indicates that gas transfer through ice is much slower than the rate of gas transfer through open water. The results also indicate that both primary producers and heterotrophs are active in Whycocomagh Bay during spring while it is covered in ice.
  • Article
    Linking oxygen and carbon uptake with the Meridional Overturning Circulation using a transport mooring array
    (Oceanography Society, 2022-01-07) Atamanchuk, Dariia ; Palter, Jaime B. ; Palevsky, Hilary I. ; Le Bras, Isabela A. ; Koelling, Jannes ; Nicholson, David P.
    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a system of ocean currents that transports warm, salty water poleward from the tropics to the North Atlantic. Its structure and strength are monitored at several latitudes by mooring arrays installed by the international ocean sciences community. While the main motivation for deploying these mooring arrays is to understand the AMOC’s influence on Northern Hemisphere climate, the circulation system also plays a crucial role in distributing oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) throughout the global ocean. By adding O2 sensors to several of the moorings at 53°N–60°N (Figure 1) in the western Labrador Sea, Koelling et al. (2021) demonstrated that the formation of deep water, in which the AMOC brings surface water to the deep ocean, is important for supplying the oxygen consumed by deep-ocean ecosystems throughout the North Atlantic. Additionally, variability in the deep-water formation has been linked to changes in the amount of anthropogenic CO2 stored in the subpolar ocean (Raimondi et al., 2021). These studies, using data collected during research cruises and a small number of moored sensors, showed that deep-water formation and the AMOC are key to oxygen and carbon cycles in the North Atlantic. However, the common assumption that the magnitude and variability of O2 and CO2 uptake by the ocean are tied to the dynamics of the AMOC has never been evaluated on the basis of direct observations.
  • Article
    Quantifying air-sea gas exchange using noble gases in a coastal upwelling zone
    (IOPScience, 2016) Manning, Cara C. ; Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; Nicholson, David P. ; Squibb, Michael E.
    The diffusive and bubble-mediated components of air-sea gas exchange can be quantified separately using time-series measurements of a suite of dissolved inert gases. We have evaluated the performance of four published air-sea gas exchange parameterizations using a five-day time-series of dissolved He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe concentration in Monterey Bay, CA. We constructed a vertical model including surface air-sea gas exchange and vertical diffusion. Diffusivity was measured throughout the cruise from profiles of turbulent microstructure. We corrected the mixed layer gas concentrations for an upwelling event that occurred partway through the cruise. All tested parameterizations gave similar results for Ar, Kr, and Xe; their air-sea fluxes were dominated by diffusive gas exchange during our study. For He and Ne, which are less soluble, and therefore more sensitive to differences in the treatment of bubble-mediated exchange, the parameterizations gave widely different results with respect to the net gas exchange flux and the bubble flux. This study demonstrates the value of using a suite of inert gases, especially the lower solubility ones, to parameterize air-sea gas exchange.
  • Dataset
    Elemental and isotopic noble gas ratios from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series (BATS) on cruise 10391 on R/V Atlantic Explorer (AE2208) from 30 April 2022 to 05 May 2022
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2023-02-24) Seltzer, Alan M. ; Barry, Peter ; Jenkins, William J. ; Khatiwala, Samar ; Nicholson, David P. ; Smethie Jr., William M. ; Stanley, Rachel ; Stute, Martin
    This dataset includes new observations of heavy noble gas ratios (elemental and isotopic ratios) from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series (BATS) on cruise 10391 on R/V Atlantic Explorer (AE2208) from 30 April 2022 - 05 May 2022. These data were used, along with measurements of Kr/Ar and N2/Ar ratios in stored dissolved gas samples from the Transient Tracers in the Ocean (TTO) program, to model simulations of these tracers using the Transport Matrix Method (TMM). Together these new measurements and model simulations provide insight into physical processes governing gas exchange in the high-latitude regions of North Atlantic Deep Water formation, and a comparison of physical simulations of N2/Ar ratios to observations in TTO samples reveals excess N2 that arises from benthic denitrification in the deep North Atlantic. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    Real-time quality control of optical backscattering data from Biogeochemical-Argo floats
    (European Commission, 2022-10-13) Dall'Olmo, Giorgio ; Bhaskar TVS, Udaya ; Bittig, Henry ; Boss, Emmanuel ; Brewster, Jodi ; Claustre, Hervé ; Donnelly, Matt ; Maurer, Tanya ; Nicholson, David ; Paba, Violetta ; Plant, Josh ; Poteau, Antoine ; Sauzède, Raphaëlle ; Schallenberg, Christina ; Schmechtig, Catherine ; Schmid, Claudia ; Xing, Xiaogang
    Background: Biogeochemical-Argo floats are collecting an unprecedented number of profiles of optical backscattering measurements in the global ocean. Backscattering (BBP) data are crucial to understanding ocean particle dynamics and the biological carbon pump. Yet, so far, no procedures have been agreed upon to quality control BBP data in real time. Methods: Here, we present a new suite of real-time quality-control tests and apply them to the current global BBP Argo dataset. The tests were developed by expert BBP users and Argo data managers and have been implemented on a snapshot of the entire Argo dataset. Results: The new tests are able to automatically flag most of the “bad” BBP profiles from the raw dataset. Conclusions: The proposed tests have been approved by the Biogeochemical-Argo Data Management Team and will be implemented by the Argo Data Assembly Centres to deliver real-time quality-controlled profiles of optical backscattering. Provided they reach a pressure of about 1000 dbar, these tests could also be applied to BBP profiles collected by other platforms.
  • Dataset
    Measurements of Kr/Ar and N2/Ar ratios in stored dissolved gas samples collected in 1981 through the Transient Tracers in the Ocean (TTO) program North Atlantic Survey (NAS)
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2023-02-24) Seltzer, Alan M. ; Barry, Peter ; Jenkins, William J. ; Khatiwala, Samar ; Nicholson, David P. ; Smethie Jr., William M. ; Stanley, Rachel ; Stute, Martin
    This dataset includes measurements of Kr/Ar and N2/Ar ratios in stored dissolved gas samples collected in 1981 through the Transient Tracers in the Ocean (TTO) program. These data were used, along with new observations of heavy noble gas ratios (elemental and isotopic ratios) from the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series (BATS) on cruise 10391 (30 April 2022 - 05 May 2022), to model simulations of these tracers using the Transport Matrix Method (TMM). Together these new measurements and model simulations provide insight into physical processes governing gas exchange in the high-latitude regions of North Atlantic Deep Water formation, and a comparison of physical simulations of N2/Ar ratios to observations in TTO samples reveals excess N2 that arises from benthic denitrification in the deep North Atlantic. For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Dataset
    A compilation of dissolved noble gas and N2/Ar ratio measurements collected from 1999-2016 in locations spanning the globe
    (Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO). Contact:, 2022-01-21) Hamme, Roberta C. ; Jenkins, William J. ; Emerson, Steven R. ; Nicholson, David P.
    Inert gases dissolved in the ocean are powerful tracers of the impact of physical processes on gases, particularly air-sea gas exchange (by both diffusive and bubble-meditated processes), temperature change, atmospheric pressure variation, mixing between different water masses, and ice processes. We have compiled a global ocean database of dissolved neon, argon, and krypton measurements, supplemented by helium, xenon, and nitrogen/argon (N2/Ar) ratios in some locations. Samples were collected on board multiple research cruises spanning the period 1999 through 2016 and analyzed by mass spectrometry at four different shore-based laboratories (University of Victoria, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Washington, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Version 2.0 corrects an incorrect sign in the longitude for cruise 33KI20040814:HOT162 in version 1.0. The error in the database does not affect any figures in the publication (doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-121916-063604). For a complete list of measurements, refer to the full dataset description in the supplemental file 'Dataset_description.pdf'. The most current version of this dataset is available at:
  • Article
    The estimation of gross oxygen production and community respiration from autonomous time-series measurements in the oligotrophic ocean
    (Wiley, 2019-11-20) Barone, Benedetto ; Nicholson, David P. ; Ferrón, Sara ; Firing, Eric ; Karl, David M.
    Diel variations in oxygen concentration have been extensively used to estimate rates of photosynthesis and respiration in productive freshwater and marine ecosystems. Recent improvements in optical oxygen sensors now enable us to use the same approach to estimate metabolic rates in the oligotrophic waters that cover most of the global ocean and for measurements collected by autonomous underwater vehicles. By building on previous methods, we propose a procedure to estimate photosynthesis and respiration from vertically resolved diel measurements of oxygen concentration. This procedure involves isolating the oxygen variation due to biological processes from the variation due to physical processes, and calculating metabolic rates from biogenic oxygen changes using linear least squares analysis. We tested our method on underwater glider observations from the surface layer of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre where we estimated rates of gross oxygen production and community respiration both averaging 1.0 mmol O2 m−3 d−1, consistent with previous estimates from the same environment. Method uncertainty was computed as the standard deviation of the fitted parameters and averaged 0.6 and 0.5 mmol O2 m−3 d−1 for oxygen production and respiration, respectively. The variability of metabolic rates was larger than this uncertainty and we were able to discern covariation in the biological production and consumption of oxygen. The proposed method resolved variability on time scales of approximately 1 week. This resolution can be improved in several ways including by measuring turbulent mixing, increasing the number of measurements in the surface ocean, and adopting a Lagrangian approach during data collection.
  • Article
    Observations of shallow methane bubble emissions from Cascadia Margin
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-04-29) Michel, Anna P. M. ; Preston, Victoria Lynn ; Fauria, Kristen ; Nicholson, David P.
    Open questions exist about whether methane emitted from active seafloor seeps reaches the surface ocean to be subsequently ventilated to the atmosphere. Water depth variability, coupled with the transient nature of methane bubble plumes, adds complexity to examining these questions. Little data exist which trace methane transport from release at a seep into the water column. Here, we demonstrate a coupled technological approach for examining methane transport, combining multibeam sonar, a field-portable laser-based spectrometer, and the ChemYak, a robotic surface kayak, at two shallow (<75 m depth) seep sites on the Cascadia Margin. We demonstrate the presence of elevated methane (above the methane equilibration concentration with the atmosphere) throughout the water column. We observe areas of elevated dissolved methane at the surface, suggesting that at these shallow seep sites, methane is reaching the air-sea interface and is being emitted to the atmosphere.
  • Article
    Evaluating triple oxygen isotope estimates of gross primary production at the Hawaii Ocean Time-series and Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study sites
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-05-08) Nicholson, David P. ; Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; Barkan, Eugeni ; Karl, David M. ; Luz, Boaz ; Quay, Paul D. ; Doney, Scott C.
    The triple oxygen isotopic composition of dissolved oxygen (17Δ) is a promising tracer of gross oxygen productivity (P) in the ocean. Recent studies have inferred a high and variable ratio of P to 14C net primary productivity (12–24 h incubations) (e.g., P:NPP(14C) of 5–10) using the 17Δ tracer method, which implies a very low efficiency of phytoplankton growth rates relative to gross photosynthetic rates. We added oxygen isotopes to a one-dimensional mixed layer model to assess the role of physical dynamics in potentially biasing estimates of P using the 17Δ tracer method at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) and Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT). Model results were compared to multiyear observations at each site. Entrainment of high 17Δ thermocline water into the mixed layer was the largest source of error in estimating P from mixed layer 17Δ. At both BATS and HOT, entrainment bias was significant throughout the year and resulted in an annually averaged overestimate of mixed layer P of 60 to 80%. When the entrainment bias is corrected for, P calculated from observed 17Δ and 14C productivity incubations results in a gross:net productivity ratio of 2.6 (+0.9 −0.8) at BATS. At HOT a gross:net ratio decreasing linearly from 3.0 (+1.0 −0.8) at the surface to 1.4 (+0.6 −0.6) at depth best reproduced observations. In the seasonal thermocline at BATS, however, a significantly higher gross:net ratio or large lateral fluxes of 17Δ must be invoked to explain 17Δ field observations.
  • Article
    The annual cycle of gross primary production, net community production, and export efficiency across the North Pacific Ocean
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-02-27) Palevsky, Hilary I. ; Quay, Paul D. ; Lockwood, Deirdre E. ; Nicholson, David P.
    We measured triple oxygen isotopes and oxygen/argon dissolved gas ratios as nonincubation-based geochemical tracers of gross oxygen production (GOP) and net community production (NCP) on 16 container ship transects across the North Pacific from 2008 to 2012. We estimate rates and efficiency of biological carbon export throughout the full annual cycle across the North Pacific basin (35°N–50°N, 142°E–125°W) by constructing mixed layer budgets that account for physical and biological influences on these tracers. During the productive season from spring to fall, GOP and NCP are highest in the Kuroshio region west of 170°E and decrease eastward across the basin. However, deep winter mixed layers (>200 m) west of 160°W ventilate ~40–90% of this seasonally exported carbon, while only ~10% of seasonally exported carbon east of 160°W is ventilated in winter where mixed layers are <120 m. As a result, despite higher annual GOP in the west than the east, the annual carbon export (sequestration) rate and efficiency decrease westward across the basin from export of 2.3 ± 0.3 mol C m−2 yr−1 east of 160°W to 0.5 ± 0.7 mol C m−2 yr−1 west of 170°E. Existing productivity rate estimates from time series stations are consistent with our regional productivity rate estimates in the eastern but not western North Pacific. These results highlight the need to estimate productivity rates over broad spatial areas and throughout the full annual cycle including during winter ventilation in order to accurately estimate the rate and efficiency of carbon sequestration via the ocean's biological pump.
  • Working Paper
    Pump it Up workshop report
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-10-20) Buesseler, Ken O. ; Adams, Allan ; Bellingham, James G. ; Dever, Mathieu ; Edgcomb, Virginia P. ; Estapa, Margaret L. ; Frank, Alex ; Gallager, Scott M. ; Govindarajan, Annette F. ; Horner, Tristan J. ; Hunter, Jon ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Kapit, Jason ; Katija, Kakani ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Lu, Yuehan ; Mahadevan, Amala ; Nicholson, David P. ; Omand, Melissa M. ; Palevsky, Hilary I. ; Rauch, Chris ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Ulmer, Kevin M. ; Wurgaft, Eyal ; Yoerger, Dana R.
    A two-day workshop was conducted to trade ideas and brainstorm about how to advance our understanding of the ocean’s biological pump. The goal was to identify the most important scientific issues that are unresolved but might be addressed with new and future technological advances.
  • Dataset
    Hunting Bubbles Falkor Cruise 2019
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-12-23) Michel, Anna P. M. ; Wankel, Scott D. ; Nicholson, David P. ; Fauria, Kristen ; Preston, Victoria Lynn
    The Hunting Bubbles Cruise took place in August-September 2018 on the R/V Falkor (cruise ID 180824). Ship time was provided by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. This cruise investigated transport of methane from seeps located on the Cascadia Margin. Data archived at the WHOAS repository supplements additional data from this cruise available at the R2R rolling deck to repository and at MGDS: Marine Geoscience Data System.
  • Article
    Quantifying subtropical North Pacific gyre mixed layer primary productivity from Seaglider observations of diel oxygen cycles
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-05-22) Nicholson, David P. ; Wilson, Samuel T. ; Doney, Scott C. ; Karl, David M.
    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.
  • Article
    Ocean time series observations of changing marine ecosystems: An era of integration, synthesis, and societal applications
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-07-12) Benway, Heather M. ; Lorenzoni, Laura ; White, Angelicque E. ; Fiedler, Björn ; Levine, Naomi M. ; Nicholson, David P. ; DeGrandpre, Michael D. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Church, Matthew J. ; O'Brien, Todd D. ; Leinen, Margaret S. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Karl, David M. ; Henson, Stephanie A. ; Letelier, Ricardo M.
    Sustained ocean time series are critical for characterizing marine ecosystem shifts in a time of accelerating, and at times unpredictable, changes. They represent the only means to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic forcings, and are the best tools to explore causal links and implications for human communities that depend on ocean resources. Since the inception of sustained ocean observations, ocean time series have withstood many challenges, most prominently availability of uninterrupted funding and retention of trained personnel. This OceanObs’19 review article provides an overarching vision for sustained ocean time series observations for the next decade, focusing on the growing challenges of maintaining sustained ocean time series, including ship-based and autonomous coastal and open-ocean platforms, as well as remote sensing. In addition to increased diversification of funding sources to include the private sector, NGOs, and other groups, more effective engagement of stakeholders and other end-users will be critical to ensure the sustainability of ocean time series programs. Building a cohesive international time series network will require dedicated capacity to coordinate across observing programs and leverage existing infrastructure and platforms of opportunity. This review article outlines near-term observing priorities and technology needs; explores potential mechanisms to broaden ocean time series data applications and end-user communities; and describes current tools and future requirements for managing increasingly complex multi-platform data streams and developing synthesis products that support science and society. The actionable recommendations outlined herein ultimately form the basis for a robust, sustainable, fit-for-purpose time series network that will foster a predictive understanding of changing ocean systems for the benefit of society.
  • Article
    Constraining ventilation during deepwater formation using deep ocean measurements of the dissolved gas ratios 40Ar/36Ar, N2/Ar, and Kr/Ar
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-11-19) Nicholson, David P. ; Emerson, Steven ; Caillon, Nicolas ; Jouzel, Jean ; Hamme, Roberta C.
    The concentration of inert gases and their isotopes in the deep ocean are useful as tracers of air-sea gas exchange during deepwater formation. ΔKr/Ar, ΔN2/Ar, and δ40Ar were measured in deep profiles of samples collected in the northwest Pacific, subtropical North Pacific and tropical Atlantic oceans. For the ocean below 2000 m, we determined a mean ΔKr/Ar composition of −0.96% ± 0.16%, a mean ΔN2/Ar of 1.29% ± 0.21% relative to equilibrium saturation, and for δ40Ar a value of 1.188‰ ± 0.055‰ relative to air. These data are used to constrain high-latitude ventilation processes in the framework of three-box and seven-box ocean models. For the three-box model tracer data, we constrain the appropriate surface area of the high-latitude region in both models to be 3.6% (+2.5%, −1.7%) of ocean surface area and the bubble air injection rate to be 22.7 (+8.8, −7.3) mol air m−2 yr−1. Results for the seven-box model were similar, with a high-latitude area of 3.3% (+2.2%, −1.3%). Our results provide geochemical support for suggestions that the effective area of high-latitude ventilation is much smaller than the region of elevated preformed nutrients and demonstrate that noble gases strongly constrain the ocean solubility pump. Reducing high-latitude surface area weakens the CO2 solubility pump in the box models and limits communication between the atmosphere and deep ocean. These tracers should be useful constraints on high-latitude ventilation and the strength of the solubility pump in more complex ocean general circulation models.
  • Article
    The North Atlantic biological pump : insights from the Ocean Observatories Initiative Irminger Sea Array
    (The Oceanography Society, 2018-02-09) Palevsky, Hilary I. ; Nicholson, David P.
    The biological pump plays a key role in the global carbon cycle by transporting photosynthetically fixed organic carbon into the deep ocean, where it can be sequestered from the atmosphere over annual or longer time scales if exported below the winter ventilation depth. In the subpolar North Atlantic, carbon sequestration via the biological pump is influenced by two competing forces: a spring diatom bloom that features large, fast-sinking biogenic particles, and deep winter mixing that requires particles to sink much further than in other ocean regions to escape winter ventilation. We synthesize biogeochemical sensor data from the first two years of operations at the Ocean Observatories Initiative Irminger Sea Array of moorings and gliders (September 2014–July 2016), providing the first simultaneous year-round observations of biological carbon cycling processes in both the surface ocean and the seasonal thermocline in this critical but previously undersampled region. These data show significant mixed layer net autotrophy during the spring bloom and significant respiration in the seasonal thermocline during the stratified season (~5.9 mol C m–2 remineralized between 200 m and 1,000 m). This respired carbon is subsequently ventilated during winter convective mixing (>1,000 m), a significant reduction in potential carbon sequestration. This highlights the importance of year-round observations to accurately constrain the biological pump in the subpolar North Atlantic, as well as other high-latitude regions that experience deep winter mixing.