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Degradation of Terrigenous Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Western Arctic Ocean

Degradation of Terrigenous Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Western Arctic Ocean
Degradation of Terrigenous Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Western Arctic Ocean
The largest flux of terrigenous organic carbon into the ocean occurs in dissolved form by way of rivers. The fate of this material is enigmatic; there are numerous reports of conservative behavior over continental shelves, but the only knowledge we have about removal is that it occurs on long unknown time scales in the deep ocean. To investigate the removal process, we evaluated terrigenous dissolved organic carbon concentration gradients in the Beaufort Gyre of the western Arctic Ocean, which allowed us to observe the carbon's slow degradation. Using isotopic tracers of water-mass age, we determined that terrigenous dissolved organic carbon is mineralized with a half-life of 7.1 ± 3.0 years, thus allowing only 21 to 32% of it to be exported to the North Atlantic Ocean.
0036-8075
858-861
Hansell, Dennis A.
d4f0a3af-ca20-4791-a794-e52cbd56d654
Kadko, David
6abdcca7-d041-4b7c-8d94-db22b3c90601
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57
Hansell, Dennis A.
d4f0a3af-ca20-4791-a794-e52cbd56d654
Kadko, David
6abdcca7-d041-4b7c-8d94-db22b3c90601
Bates, Nicholas R.
954a83d6-8424-49e9-8acd-e606221c9c57

Hansell, Dennis A., Kadko, David and Bates, Nicholas R. (2004) Degradation of Terrigenous Dissolved Organic Carbon in the Western Arctic Ocean. Science, 304 (5672), 858-861. (doi:10.1126/science.1096175).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The largest flux of terrigenous organic carbon into the ocean occurs in dissolved form by way of rivers. The fate of this material is enigmatic; there are numerous reports of conservative behavior over continental shelves, but the only knowledge we have about removal is that it occurs on long unknown time scales in the deep ocean. To investigate the removal process, we evaluated terrigenous dissolved organic carbon concentration gradients in the Beaufort Gyre of the western Arctic Ocean, which allowed us to observe the carbon's slow degradation. Using isotopic tracers of water-mass age, we determined that terrigenous dissolved organic carbon is mineralized with a half-life of 7.1 ± 3.0 years, thus allowing only 21 to 32% of it to be exported to the North Atlantic Ocean.

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More information

Published date: May 2004
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358280
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358280
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: dcec5100-d0fd-4681-b342-61b312798ee2

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Date deposited: 02 Oct 2013 16:23
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:21

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