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A survey of carbon monoxide and non-methane hydrocarbons in the Arctic Ocean during summer 2010: assessment of the role of phytoplankton

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Tran, S. , Bonsang, B. , Gros, V. , Peeken, I. , Sarda-Esteve, R. , Bernhardt, A. and Belviso, S. (2012): A survey of carbon monoxide and non-methane hydrocarbons in the Arctic Ocean during summer 2010: assessment of the role of phytoplankton , Biogeosciences Discussions, 9 , 4727-4792 . doi: 10.5194/bgd-9-4727-2012
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During the ARK XXV 1+2 expedition in the Arctic Ocean carried out in June–July 2010 aboard the R/V Polarstern, we measured carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) and phytoplankton pigments at the sea surface and down to a depth 5 of 100m. The CO and NMHC sea-surface concentrations were highly variable; CO, propene and isoprene levels ranged from 0.6 to 17.5 nmol l−1, 1 to 322 pmol l−1 and 1 to 541 pmol l−1, respectively. The CO and alkene concentrations were enhanced in polar waters off of Greenland, which were more stratified because of ice melting and richer in chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) than typical North Atlantic 10 waters. The spatial distribution of the surface concentrations of CO was consistent with our current understanding of CO-induced UV photo-production in the sea. The vertical distributions of the CO and alkenes followed the trend of light penetration, with the concentrations displaying a relatively regular exponential decrease down to nonmeasurable values below 50 m. However, no diurnal variations of CO or alkene con15 centrations were observed in the stratified and irradiated surface layers. This finding suggests that the production and removal processes of CO and alkenes were tightly coupled. We tentatively determined a first-order rate constant for the microbial consumption of CO of 0.5 d−1, which is in agreement with previous studies. On several occasions, we observed the existence of subsurface CO maxima at the level of the 20 deep chlorophyll maximum. This finding represents field evidence for the existence of a non-photochemical CO production pathway, most likely of phytoplanktonic origin. The corresponding production rates normalized to the chlorophyll content were in the range of those estimated from laboratory experiments. In general, the vertical distributions of isoprene followed that of the phytoplankton biomass. Hence, oceanic data support the 25 existence of biological production of CO and isoprene in the Arctic Ocean

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