Karl David M.

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David M.

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  • Article
    Interannual variability of primary production and dissolved organic nitrogen storage in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-08-10) Luo, Ya-Wei ; Ducklow, Hugh W. ; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M. ; Church, Matthew J. ; Karl, David M. ; Doney, Scott C.
    The upper ocean primary production measurements from the Hawaii Ocean Time series (HOT) at Station ALOHA in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre showed substantial variability over the last two decades. The annual average primary production varied within a limited range over 1991–1998, significantly increased in 1999–2000 and then gradually decreased afterwards. This variability was investigated using a one-dimensional ecosystem model. The long-term HOT observations were used to constrain the model by prescribing physical forcings and lower boundary conditions and optimizing the model parameters against data using data assimilation. The model reproduced the general interannual pattern in the observed primary production, and mesoscale variability in vertical velocity was identified as a major contributing factor to the interannual variability in the simulation. Several strong upwelling events occurred in 1999, which brought up nitrate at rates several times higher than other years and elevated the model primary production. Our model results suggested a hypothesis for the observed interannual variability pattern of primary production at Station ALOHA: Part of the upwelled nitrate input in 1999 was converted to and accumulated as semilabile dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and subsequent recycling of this semilabile DON supported enhanced primary productivity for the next several years as the semilabile DON perturbation was gradually removed via export.
  • 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.