National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2002

Water column CO2 measurements during the Gas Ex-98 Expedition

Feely, R.A., R. Wanninkhof, D.A. Hansell, M.F. Lamb, D. Greeley, and K. Lee

AGU Geophysical Monograph, 127, 173–180, doi: 10.1029/GM127p0173, In Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces,, M. Donelan, W. Drennan, E. Saltzman, and R. Wanninkhof (eds.), AGU, Washington, D.C. (2002)

During the recent GasEx-98 cruise in the North Atlantic aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown, carbon measurements were performed in the area of 46°N, 20.5°W. This process study followed a warm core ring tagged with the deliberately introduced tracer, SF6. Continuous surface water measurements were combined with vertical profiles sampled daily to depths up to 1000 m for carbon mass balance studies. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and fCO2 measurements were conducted onboard in both underway and discrete analysis modes. During the 25-day experiment in the tagged patch surface water fCO2 values averaged 275 ± 9 µatm, providing a constant condition of undersaturation and flux of CO2 into the ocean. Using the Wanninkhof [1992] exchange coefficient, the estimated CO2 flux ranged from approximately 1-27 mol m−2 yr−1. The largest CO2 flux occurred during a large wind event beginning on June 6. After the event, DIC and fCO2 values decreased for a few days, as a result of increased productivity associated with the strong mixing event. The DIC results were combined with the TOC, TON, and nutrient data to provide a mass balance for carbon within the patch. The results for the 25-day period indicate DIC increases in the mixed layer ranging from 0.2-1.8 µmol kg−1 d−1 due to gas exchange.

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