Organic carbon budget for the eastern boundary of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre : major role of DOC in mesopelagic respiration
Álvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón
Pérez-Hernández, M. Dolores
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Transports of suspended particulate (POCsusp) and dissolved (DOC) organic carbon are inferred from a box-model covering the eastern boundary of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. Corresponding net respiration rates (R) are obtained from a net organic carbon budget that is based on the transport estimates, and includes both vertical and lateral fluxes. The overall R in the mesopelagic layer (100–1500 m) is 1.6 ± 0.4 mmol C m−2 d−1. DOC accounts for up to 53% of R as a result of drawdown of organic carbon within Eastern North Atlantic Central Water (ENACW) that is entrained into sinking Mediterranean Overflow Water (MOW) that leads to formation of Mediterranean water (MW) at intermediate depths (~900 m). DOC represents 90% of the respired non-sinking organic carbon. When converted into oxygen units, the computed net respiration rate represents less than half the oxygen utilization rates (OUR) reported for the mesopelagic waters of the subtropical North Atlantic. Mesoscale processes in the area, not quantified with our approach, could account in part for the OUR differences observed between our carbon budget and other published studies from the North Atlantic, although seasonal or interannual variability could also be responsible for the difference in the estimates.
© The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Scientific Reports 7 (2017): 10129, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-10974-y.
Suggested CitationScientific Reports 7 (2017): 10129
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