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  • 1
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Fiedler, Björn; Grundle, Damian; Schütte, Florian; Karstensen, Johannes; Löscher, Carolin R; Hauss, Helena; Wagner, Hannes; Loginova, Alexandra; Kiko, Rainer; Silva, Pericles; Tanhua, Toste; Körtzinger, Arne (2016): Oxygen utilization and downward carbon flux in an oxygen-depleted eddy in the eastern tropical North Atlantic. Biogeosciences, 13(19), 5633-5647, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-5633-2016
    Publication Date: 2020-01-17
    Description: The occurrence of mesoscale eddies that develop suboxic environments at shallow depth (about 40-100 m) has recently been reported for the eastern tropical North Atlantic (ETNA). Their hydrographic structure suggests that the water mass inside the eddy is well isolated from ambient waters supporting the development of severe near-surface oxygen deficits. So far, hydrographic and biogeochemical characterization of these eddies was limited to a few autonomous surveys, with the use of moorings, under water gliders and profiling floats. In this study we present results from the first dedicated biogeochemical survey of one of these eddies conducted in March 2014 near the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory (CVOO). During the survey the eddy core showed oxygen concentrations as low as 5 µmol kg-1 with a pH of around 7.6 at approximately 100 m depth. Correspondingly, the aragonite saturation level dropped to 1 at the same depth, thereby creating unfavorable conditions for calcifying organisms. To our knowledge, such enhanced acidity within near-surface waters has never been reported before for the open Atlantic Ocean. Vertical distributions of particulate organic matter and dissolved organic matter (POM and DOM), generally showed elevated concentrations in the surface mixed layer (0-70 m), with DOM also accumulating beneath the oxygen minimum. With the use of reference data from the upwelling region where these eddies are formed, the oxygen utilization rate was calculated by determining oxygen consumption through the remineralization of organic matter. Inside the core, we found these rates were almost 1 order of magnitude higher (apparent oxygen utilization rate (aOUR); 0.26 µmol kg-1 day-1) than typical values for the open North Atlantic. Computed downward fluxes for particulate organic carbon (POC), were around 0.19 to 0.23 g C m-2 day-1 at 100 m depth, clearly exceeding fluxes typical for an oligotrophic open-ocean setting. The observations support the view that the oxygen-depleted eddies can be viewed as isolated, westwards propagating upwelling systems of their own, thereby represent re-occurring alien biogeochemical environments in the ETNA.
    Type: Dataset
    Format: application/zip, 2 datasets
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  • 2
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    PANGAEA
    In:  Supplement to: Stramma, Lothar; Fischer, Tim; Grundle, Damian; Krahmann, Gerd; Bange, Hermann Werner; Marandino, Christa A (2016): Observed El Niño conditions in the eastern tropical Pacific in October 2015. Ocean Science, 12(4), 861-873, https://doi.org/10.5194/os-12-861-2016
    Publication Date: 2020-01-17
    Description: A strong El Niño developed in early 2015. Measurements from a research cruise on the RV Sonne in October 2015 near the equator east of the Galapagos Islands and off the shelf of Peru, are used to investigate changes related to El Niño in the upper ocean in comparison with earlier cruises in this region. At the equator at 85°30' W, a clear temperature increase leading to lower densities in the upper 350 m, despite a concurrent salinity increase from 40 to 350 m, developed in October 2015. Lower nutrient concentrations were also present in the upper 200 m, and higher oxygen concentrations were observed between 40 and 130 m. Except for the upper 60 m at 2°30' S, however, there was no obvious increase in oxygen concentrations at sampling stations just north (1° N) and south (2°30' S) of the equator at 85°30' W. In the equatorial current field, the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) east of the Galapagos Islands almost disappeared in October 2015, with a transport of only 0.02 Sv in the equatorial channel between 1° S and 1° N, and a weak current band of 0.78 Sv located between 1° S and 2°30' S. Such near-disappearances of the EUC in the eastern Pacific seem to occur only during strong El Niño events. Off the Peruvian shelf at ~9° S, where the sea surface temperature (SST) was elevated, upwelling was modified, and warm, saline and oxygen rich water was upwelled. Despite some weak El Niño related SST increase at ~12 to 16° S, the upwelling of cold, low salinity and oxygen-poor water was still active at the easternmost stations at three sections at ~12° S, ~14° S and ~16° S, while further west on these sections a transition to El Niño conditions appeared. Although in early 2015 the El Niño was strong and in October 2015 showed a clear El Niño influence on the EUC, in the eastern tropical Pacific the measurements only showed developing El Niño water mass distributions. In particular the oxygen distribution indicated the ongoing transition from 'typical' to El Niño conditions progressing southward along the Peruvian shelf.
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: The temporal evolution of the physical and biogeochemical structure of an oxygen-depleted anticyclonic modewater eddy is investigated over a 2-month period using high-resolution glider and ship data. A weakly stratified eddy core (squared buoyancy frequency N2  ∼  0.1  ×  10−4 s−2) at shallow depth is identified with a horizontal extent of about 70 km and bounded by maxima in N2. The upper N2 maximum (3–5  ×  10−4 s−2) coincides with the mixed layer base and the lower N2 maximum (0.4  ×  10−4 s−2) is found at about 200 m depth in the eddy centre. The eddy core shows a constant slope in temperature/salinity (T∕S) characteristic over the 2 months, but an erosion of the core progressively narrows down the T∕S range. The eddy minimal oxygen concentrations decreased by about 5 µmol kg−1 in 2 months, confirming earlier estimates of oxygen consumption rates in these eddies. Separating the mesoscale and perturbation flow components reveals oscillating velocity finestructure ( ∼  0.1 m s−1) underneath the eddy and at its flanks. The velocity finestructure is organized in layers that align with layers in properties (salinity, temperature) but mostly cross through surfaces of constant density. The largest magnitude in velocity finestructure is seen between the surface and 140 m just outside the maximum mesoscale flow but also in a layer underneath the eddy centre, between 250 and 450 m. For both regions a cyclonic rotation of the velocity finestructure with depth suggests the vertical propagation of near-inertial wave (NIW) energy. Modification of the planetary vorticity by anticyclonic (eddy core) and cyclonic (eddy periphery) relative vorticity is most likely impacting the NIW energy propagation. Below the low oxygen core salt-finger type double diffusive layers are found that align with the velocity finestructure. Apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) versus dissolved inorganic nitrate (NO3−) ratios are about twice as high (16) in the eddy core compared to surrounding waters (8.1). A large NO3− deficit of 4 to 6 µmol kg−1 is determined, rendering denitrification an unlikely explanation. Here it is hypothesized that the differences in local recycling of nitrogen and oxygen, as a result of the eddy dynamics, cause the shift in the AOU : NO3− ratio. High NO3− and low oxygen waters are eroded by mixing from the eddy core and entrain into the mixed layer. The nitrogen is reintroduced into the core by gravitational settling of particulate matter out of the euphotic zone. The low oxygen water equilibrates in the mixed layer by air–sea gas exchange and does not participate in the gravitational sinking. Finally we propose a mesoscale–submesoscale interaction concept where wind energy, mediated via NIWs, drives nutrient supply to the euphotic zone and drives extraordinary blooms in anticyclonic mode-water eddies.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a climate relevant trace gas, and its production in the ocean generally increases under suboxic conditions. The Atlantic Ocean is well ventilated, and unlike the major oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, dissolved oxygen and N2O concentrations in the Atlantic OMZ are relatively high and low, respectively. This study, however, demonstrates that recently discovered low oxygen eddies in the eastern tropical North Atlantic (ETNA) can produce N2O concentrations much higher (up to 115 nmol L−1) than those previously reported for the Atlantic Ocean, and which are within the range of the highest concentrations found in the open-ocean OMZs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. N2O isotope and isotopomer signatures, as well as molecular genetic results, also point towards a major shift in the N2O cycling pathway in the core of the low oxygen eddy discussed here, and we report the first evidence for potential N2O cycling via the denitrification pathway in the open Atlantic Ocean. Finally, we consider the implications of low oxygen eddies for bulk, upper water column N2O at the regional scale, and point out the possible need for a reevaluation of how we view N2O cycling in the ETNA.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: The open ocean is a major source of nitrous oxide (N2O), an atmospheric trace gas attributable to global warming and ozone depletion. Intense sea-to-air N2O fluxes occur in major oceanic upwelling regions such as the eastern tropical South Pacific (ETSP). The ETSP is influenced by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation that leads to inter-annual variations in physical, chemical, and biological properties in the water column. In October 2015, a strong El Niño event was developing in the ETSP; we conduct field observations to investigate (1) the N2O production pathways and associated biogeochemical properties and (2) the effects of El Niño on water column N2O distributions and fluxes using data from previous non-El Niño years. Analysis of N2O natural abundance isotopomers suggested that nitrification and partial denitrification (nitrate and nitrite reduction to N2O) were occurring in the near-surface waters; indicating that both pathways contributed to N2O effluxes. Higher-than-normal sea surface temperatures were associated with a deepening of the oxycline and the oxygen minimum layer. Within the shelf region, surface N2O supersaturation was nearly an order of magnitude lower than that of non-El Niño years. Therefore, a significant reduction of N2O efflux (75 %–95 %) in the ETSP occurred during the 2015 El Niño. At both offshore and coastal stations, the N2O concentration profiles during El Niño showed moderate N2O concentration gradients, and the peak N2O concentrations occurred at deeper depths during El Niño years; this was likely the result of suppressed upwelling retaining N2O in subsurface waters. At multiple stations, water-column inventories of N2O within the top 1000 m were up to 160 % higher than those measured in non-El Niño years, indicating that subsurface N2O during El Niño could be a reservoir for intense N2O effluxes when normal upwelling is resumed after El Niño.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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    Format: other
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  • 6
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    Wiley
    In:  Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 33 (20). pp. 1553-1564.
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Rationale: Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an atmospheric trace gas regulating Earth's climate, and is a key intermediate of many nitrogen cycling processes in aquatic ecosystems. Laser-based technology for N2O concentration and isotopic/isotopomeric analyses has potential advantages, which include high analytical specificity, low sample size requirement and reduced cost. Methods: An autosampler with a purge-and-trap module is coupled to a cavity ring-down spectrometer to achieve automated and high-throughput measurements of N2O concentrations, N2O isotope ratios (δ15Nbulk and δ18O values) and position-specific isotopomer ratios (δ15Nα and δ15Nβ values). The system provides accuracy and precision similar to those for measurements made by traditional isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) techniques. Results: The sample sizes required were 0.01–1.1 nmol-N2O. Measurements of four N2O isotopic/isotopomeric references were cross-calibrated with those obtained by IRMS. With a sample size of 0.50 nmol-N2O, the measurement precision (1σ) for δ15Nα, δ15Nβ, δ15Nbulk and δ18O values was 0.61, 0.33, 0.41 and 0.43‰, respectively. Correction schemes were developed for sample size-dependent isotopic/isotopomeric deviations. The instrumental system demonstrated consistent measurements of dissolved N2O concentrations, isotope/isotopomer ratios and production rates in seawater. Conclusions: The coupling of an autosampler with a purge-and-trap module to a cavity ring-down spectrometer not only significantly reduces sample size requirements, but also offers comprehensive investigation of N2O production pathways by the measurement of natural abundance and tracer level isotopes and isotopomers. Furthermore, the system can perform isotopic analyses of dissolved and solid nitrogen-containing samples using N2O as the analytical proxy.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: A strong El Niño developed in early 2015. Measurements from a research cruise on the R/V Sonne in October 2015 near the Equator east of the Galapagos Islands and off the shelf of Peru are used to investigate changes related to El Niño in the upper ocean in comparison with earlier cruises in this region. At the Equator at 85°30′ W, a clear temperature increase leading to lower densities in the upper 350 m had developed in October 2015, despite a concurrent salinity increase from 40 to 350 m. Lower nutrient concentrations were also present in the upper 200 m, and higher oxygen concentrations were observed between 40 and 130 m. In the equatorial current field, the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) east of the Galapagos Islands almost disappeared in October 2015, with a transport of only 0.02 Sv in the equatorial channel between 1° S and 1° N, and a weak current band of 0.78 Sv located between 1 and 2°30′ S. Such near-disappearances of the EUC in the eastern Pacific seem to occur only during strong El Niño events. Off the Peruvian shelf at  ∼  9° S, characteristics of upwelling were different as warm, saline, and oxygen-rich water was upwelled. At  ∼  12,  ∼  14, and  ∼  16° S, the upwelling of cold, low-salinity, and oxygen-poor water was still active at the easternmost stations of these three sections, while further west on these sections a transition to El Niño conditions appeared. Although from early 2015 the El Niño was strong, the October measurements in the eastern tropical Pacific only showed developing El Niño water mass distributions. In particular, the oxygen distribution indicated the ongoing transition from “typical” to El Niño conditions progressing southward along the Peruvian shelf.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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