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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Most of the anthropogenic radionuclide 129I released to the marine environment from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plants (NFRP) at Sellafield (England) and La Hague (France) is transported to the Arctic Ocean via the North Atlantic Current and the Norwegian Coastal Current. 129I concentrations in seawater provides a powerful and well-established radiotracer technique to provide information about the mechanisms which govern water mass transport in the Nordic Seas and the Arctic Ocean and is gaining importance when coupled with other tracers (e.g. CFC, 236U). In this work, 129I concentrations in surface and depth profiles from the Nordic Seas and the North Atlantic (NA) Ocean collected from four different cruises between 2011 and 2012 are presented. This work allowed us to i) update information on 129I concentrations in these areas, required for the accurate use of 129I as a tracer of water masses; and ii) investigate the formation of deep water currents in the eastern part of the Nordic Seas, by the analysis of 129I concentrations and temperature-salinity (T-S) diagrams from locations within the Greenland Sea Gyre. In the Nordic Seas, 129I concentrations in seawater are of the order of 109 at·kg− 1, one or two orders of magnitude higher than those measured at the NA Ocean, not so importantly affected by the releases from the NFRP. 129I concentrations of the order of 108 atoms·kg− 1 at the Ellet Line and the PAP suggest a direct contribution from the NFRP in the NA Ocean. An increase in the concentrations in the Nordic Seas between 2002 and 2012 has been detected, which agrees with the temporal evolution of the 129I liquid discharges from the NFRPs in years prior to this. Finally, 129I profile concentrations, 129I inventories and T-S diagrams suggest that deep water formation occurred in the easternmost area of the Nordic Seas during 2012.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2014-12-08
    Description: As part of the Bonus-GoodHope (BGH) campaign, 15N-labelled nitrate, ammonium and urea uptake measurements were made along the BGH transect from Cape Town to ~60° S in late austral summer, 2008. Our results are categorised according to distinct hydrographic regions defined by oceanic fronts and open ocean zones. High regenerated nitrate uptake rate in the oligotrophic Subtropical Zone (STZ) resulted in low f-ratios (f = 0.2) with nitrogen uptake being dominated by ρurea, which contributed up to 70 % of total nitrogen uptake. Size fractionated chlorophyll data showed that the greatest contribution (〉50 %) of picophytoplankton (〈2 μm) were found in the STZ, consistent with a community based on regenerated production. The Subantarctic Zone (SAZ) showed the greatest total integrated nitrogen uptake (10.3 mmol m−2 d−1), mainly due to enhanced nutrient supply within an anticyclonic eddy observed in this region. A decrease in the contribution of smaller size classes to the phytoplankton community was observed with increasing latitude, concurrent with a decrease in the contribution of regenerated production. Higher f-ratios observed in the SAZ (f = 0.49), Polar Frontal Zone (f= 0.41) and Antarctic Zone (f = 0.45) relative to the STZ (f = 0.24), indicate a higher contribution of NO3−-uptake relative to total nitrogen and potentially higher export production. High ambient regenerated nutrient concentrations are indicative of active regeneration processes throughout the transect and ascribed to late summer season sampling. Higher depth integrated uptake rates also correspond with higher surface iron concentrations. No clear correlation was observed between carbon export estimates derived from new production and 234Th flux. In addition, export derived from 15N estimates were 2–20 times greater than those based on 234Th flux. Variability in the magnitude of export is likely due to intrinsically different methods, compounded by differences in integration time scales for the two proxies of carbon export.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2014-12-08
    Description: Meridional and vertical distributions of several biogeochemical parameters were studied along a section in the southeastern Atlantic and the Southern Ocean south of South Africa during the austral summer 2008 of the International Polar Year to characterize the biogeochemical provinces and to assess the seasonal net diatom production. Based on analyses of macro-nutrients, ammonium (NH4), chlorophyll a, (Chl a), phaeopigments, biogenic silica (BSi), particulate inorganic carbon (PIC), and particulate organic carbon and nitrogen (POC and PON, respectively), four biogeochemical domains were distinguished along the section: the subtropical Atlantic, the confluence zone of the subtropical and subantarctic domains, the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), and the north-eastern branch of the Weddell Gyre. The subtropical region displayed extremely low nutrient concentrations featuring oligotrophic conditions, and sub-surface maxima of Chl a and phaeopigments never exceeded 0.5 µg L−1 and 0.25 µg L−1, respectively. The anticyclonic and cyclonic eddies crossed in the Cape Basin were characterized by a deepening and a rise, respectively, of the nutrients isoclines. The confluence zone of the subtropical domain and the northern side of the ACC within the subantarctic domain displayed remnant nitrate and phosphate levels, whereas silicate concentrations kept to extremely low levels. In this area, Chl a level of 0.4–0.5 µg L−1 distributed homogenously within the mixed layer, and POC and PON accumulated to values up to 10 µM and 1.5 µM, respectively, indicative of biomass accumulation along the confluence zone during the late productive period. In the ACC domain, the Polar Frontal Zone was marked by a post-bloom of diatoms that extended beyond the Polar Front (PF) during this late summer condition, as primarily evidenced by the massive depletion of silicic acid in the surface waters. The accumulation of NH4 to values up to 1.25 µM at 100 m depth centred on the PF and the accumulation of BSi up to 0.5 µM in the surface waters of the central part of the PFZ also featured a late stage of the seasonal diatom bloom. The silica daily net production rate based on the seasonal depletion of silicic acid was estimated to be 11.9 ± 6.5 mmol m−2 d−1 in the domain of the vast diatom post-bloom, agreeing well with the previously recorded values in this province. The Weddell Gyre occasionally displayed relative surface depletion of silicic acid, suggesting a late stage of a relatively minor diatom bloom possibly driven by iceberg drifting releases of iron. In this domain the estimated range of silica daily net production rate (e.g. 21.1 ± 8.8 mmol m−2 d−1) is consistent with previous studies, but was not significantly higher than that in the Polar Front region.
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2015-01-07
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-01-07
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
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    In:  [Poster] In: Ocean Sciences Meeting 2010 "Oxygen Minimum Zones and Climate Change: Observations and Prediction IV", 22.02.-26.02.2010, Portland, Oregon, USA .
    Publication Date: 2015-01-07
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The ocean contributes to regulating atmospheric CO2 levels, partly via variability in the fraction of primary production (PP) which is exported out of the surface layer (i.e., the e ratio). Southern Ocean studies have found that contrary to global-scale analyses, an inverse relationship exists between e ratio and PP. This relationship remains unexplained, with potential hypotheses being (i) large export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in high PP areas, (ii) strong surface microbial recycling in high PP regions, and/or (iii) grazing-mediated export that varies inversely with PP. We find that the export of DOC has a limited influence in setting the negative e ratio/PP relationship. However, we observed that at sites with low PP and high e ratios, zooplankton-mediated export is large and surface microbial abundance low suggesting that both are important drivers of the magnitude of the e ratio in the Southern Ocean.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Enhanced atmospheric input of dust-borne nutrients and minerals to the remote surface ocean can potentially increase carbon uptake and sequestration at depth. Nutrients can enhance primary productivity, and mineral particles act as ballast, increasing sinking rates of particulate organic matter. Here we present a two-year time series of sediment trap observations of particulate organic carbon flux to 3,000 m depth, measured directly in two locations: the dust-rich central North Atlantic gyre and the dust-poor South Atlantic gyre. We find that carbon fluxes are twice as high and a higher proportion of primary production is exported to depth in the dust-rich North Atlantic gyre. Low stable nitrogen isotope ratios suggest that high fluxes result from the stimulation of nitrogen fixation and productivity following the deposition of dust-borne nutrients. Sediment traps in the northern gyre also collected intact colonies of nitrogen-fixing Trichodesmium species. Whereas ballast in the southern gyre is predominantly biogenic, dust-derived mineral particles constitute the dominant ballast element during the enhanced carbon fluxes in the northern gyre. We conclude that dust deposition increases carbon sequestration in the North Atlantic gyre through the fertilization of the nitrogen-fixing community in surface waters and mineral ballasting of sinking particles
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: In the deep ocean, fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC) and calcium carbonate are positively correlated, suggesting that CaCO3 could increase sinking particle densities and/or protect the organic matter from degradation by prokaryotes, the so called “ballast effect”. Here, we used the PArticle Sinking Simulator (PASS) system to investigate the effect of increasing pressure on the biodegradation of calcifying Emiliania huxleyi aggregates. Incubations were carried out over a period of 10 days, simulating the changes in temperature and pressure in the water column of the NW Mediterranean Sea. Aggregates sinking from a depth of 200 m to 1700 m (assuming an average sinking velocity of 150 m d−1) were exposed to a natural mesopelagic prokaryotic community collected from 200 m. In contrast to previous studies, where silicifying diatom aggregates were used, the calcifying E. huxleyi aggregates were found to be more sensitive to degradation with increasing hydrostatic pressure (relative to constant atmospheric pressure). This was confirmed by changes in lipid composition which suggested increased cell lysis. Changes in particulate inorganic carbon and total alkalinity indicated that CaCO3 dissolution might have been faster under pressure. Increased hydrostatic pressure also had a positive effect on particle aggregation, which may compensate for the effect of increased cell lysis. Our results imply that in coccolithophorid-dominated sinking aggregates, the ballasting and protection effects of coccoliths may collapse throughout the water column. The increased aggregation potential with pressure observed in these controlled conditions, may balance the loss of mineral ballast to a certain extent, although this needs to be confirmed in situ.
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2014-12-08
    Description: Particulate organic carbon (POC) generated by primary production and exported to depth, is an important pathway for carbon transfer to the abyss, where it is stored over climatically significant timescales. These processes constitute the biological carbon pump. A spectrum of particulate sinking velocities exists throughout the water column, however numerical models often simplify this spectrum into suspended, fast and slow sinking particles. Observational studies suggest the spectrum of sinking speeds in the ocean is strongly bimodal with >85 POC flux contained within two pools with sinking speeds of 〈10 m day -1 and >350 m day -1. We deployed a Marine Snow Catcher (MSC) to estimate the magnitudes of the suspended, fast and slow sinking pools and their fluxes at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain site (48°N, 16.5°W) in summer 2009. The POC concentrations and fluxes determined were 0.2μ g C L -1 and 54 mg C m -2 day -1 for fast sinking particles, 5μ g C L -1 and 92μ mg C m -2 day -1 for slow sinking particles and 97 g C L -1 for suspended particles. Our flux estimates were comparable with radiochemical tracer methods and neutrally buoyant sediment traps. Our observations imply: (1) biomineralising protists, on occasion, act as nucleation points for aggregate formation and accelerate particle sinking; (2) fast sinking particles alone were sufficient to explain the abyssal POC flux; and (3) there is no evidence for ballasting of the slow sinking flux and the slow sinking particles were probably entirely remineralised in the twilight zone. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.
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