High export via small particles before the onset of the North Atlantic spring bloom: Small particle export before the bloom

S. L. C. Giering, R. Sanders, A. P. Martin, Christian Lindemann, K. O. Möller, C. J. Daniels, D. J. Mayor, Michael St. John

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Abstract

Sinking organic matter in the North Atlantic Ocean transfers 1-3 Gt carbon yr-1 from the surface ocean to the interior. The majority of this exported material is thought to be in form of large, rapidly sinking particles that aggregate during or after the spring phytoplankton bloom. However, recent work has suggested that intermittent water column stratification resulting in the termination of deep convection can isolate phytoplankton from the euphotic zone, leading to export of small particles. We present depth profiles of large (>0.1 mm equivalent spherical diameter, ESD) and small (300 m depth, leading to deep mixing of particles as deep as 600 m. Subsequent restratification could trap these particles at depth and lead to high particle fluxes at depth without the need for aggregation ("mixed-layer pump"). Overall, we suggest that prebloom fluxes to the mesopelagic are significant, and the role of small sinking particles requires careful consideration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume121
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)6929–6945
ISSN2169-9275
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Paleontology
  • Detrainment
  • Marine Snow Catcher
  • Mixed-layer pump
  • Prebloom export flux
  • Small sinking particles
  • Video Plankton Recorder

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