Hydrological and biogeochemical controls on absorption and fluorescence of dissolved organic matter in the northern South China Sea
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KeywordDissolved organic matter; Absorption and fluorescence; South China Sea; Kuroshio intrusion; Mesoscale eddy
The Kuroshio intrusion from the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and mesoscale eddies are important hydrological features in the northern South China Sea (SCS). In this study, absorption and fluorescence of dissolved organic matter (CDOM and FDOM) were determined to assess the impact of these hydrological features on DOM dynamics in the SCS. DOM in the upper 100 m of the northern SCS had higher absorption, fluorescence, and degree of humification than in the Kuroshio Current of the WPS. The results of an isopycnal mixing model showed that CDOM and humic-like FDOM inventories in the upper 100 m of the SCS were modulated by the Kuroshio intrusion. However, protein-like FDOM was influenced by in situ processes. This basic trend was modified by mesoscale eddies, three of which were encountered during the fieldwork (one warm eddy and two cold eddies). DOM optical properties inside the warm eddy resembled those of DOM in the WPS, indicating that warm eddies could derive from the Kuroshio Current through Luzon Strait. DOM at the center of cold eddies was enriched in humic-like fluorescence and had lower spectral slopes than in eddy-free waters, suggesting inputs of humic-rich DOM from upwelling and enhanced productivity inside the eddy. Excess CDOM and FDOM in northern SCS intermediate water led to export to the Pacific Ocean interior, potentially delivering refractory carbon to the deep ocean. This study demonstrated that DOM optical properties are promising tools to study active marginal sea-open ocean interactions.
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 Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122 (2017): 3405–3418, doi:10.1002/2017JG004100.
Suggested CitationJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122 (2017): 3405–3418
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