Cosmogenic ³²P and ³³P in the atmosphere and aligotrophic ocean and applications to the study of phosphorus cycling
Waser, Nathalie A. D.
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KeywordPhosphorus; Radioisotopes in oceanography; Chemical oceanography; Oceanic mixing; Ocean-atmosphere interaction; Weatherbird II (Ship) Cruise; Endeavor (Ship: 1976-) Cruise EN235
Cosmogeruc P-32 (14.28 days) and P-33 (25.3 days) are powerful tracers of upper ocean P cycling, when coupled with time-series of the atmospheric sources. A method was developed to determine the low-level beta activities in rainwater and plankton. The wet deposition rates of P-32 and P-33 were determined during 12 months at a marine site, at Bermuda, coinciding with measurements of the activities and activity ratio P-33/P-32 in suspended particles and plankton tows at BATS station. The in situ production rates of radiophosphorus in the upper ocean were estimated by measuring the activities induced in Cl, K and S targets by cosmic rays. Knowledge of all the sources of radiophosphorus to the Sargasso Sea allowed the cycling of P-32 and P-33 in suspended particles and macrozooplankton to be studied. The study was based on the determination of the activity ratio P-33/P-32 in different particulate pools. The activity ratio was higher in particle collections dominated by higher levels in the food web. The increase in the ratio in plankton relative to rain allowed the determination of the turnover times of P in plankton and in situ grazing rates.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution November 1992
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