Open ocean particle flux variability from surface to seafloor


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morten.iversen [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The sinking of carbon fixed via net primary production (NPP) into the ocean interior is an important part of marine biogeochemical cycles. NPP measurements follow a log-normal probability distribution, meaning NPP variations can be simply described by two parameters despite NPP's complexity. By analyzing a global database of open ocean particle fluxes, we show that this log-normal probability distribution propagates into the variations of near-seafloor fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC), calcium carbonate, and opal. Deep-sea particle fluxes at subtropical and temperate time-series sites follow the same log-normal probability distribution, strongly suggesting the log-normal description is robust and applies on multiple scales. This log-normality implies that 29% of the highest measurements are responsible for 71% of the total near-seafloor POC flux. We discuss possible causes for the dampening of variability from NPP to deep-sea POC flux, and present an updated relationship predicting POC flux from mineral flux and depth.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Published
Eprint ID
56791
DOI 10.1029/2021GL092895

Cite as
Cael, B. , Bisson, K. , Conte, M. , Duret, M. , Follett, C. , Henson, S. , Honda, M. , Iversen, M. , Karl, D. , Lampitt, R. , Mouw, C. , Muller-Karger, F. , Pebody, C. , Smith Jr., K. and Talmy, D. (2021): Open ocean particle flux variability from surface to seafloor , Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (9), e2021GL092895 . doi: 10.1029/2021GL092895


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