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Where is mineral ballast important for surface export of particulate organic carbon in the ocean?

Where is mineral ballast important for surface export of particulate organic carbon in the ocean?
Where is mineral ballast important for surface export of particulate organic carbon in the ocean?
Correlations between particulate organic carbon (POC) and mineral fluxes in the deep ocean have inspired the inclusion of ‘ballast effect’ parameterizations in carbon cycle models. A recent study demonstrated regional variability in the effect of ballast minerals on the flux of POC in the deep ocean. We have undertaken a similar analysis of shallow export data from the Arctic, Atlantic and Southern Oceans. Mineral ballasting is of greatest importance in the high-latitude North Atlantic, where 60% of the POC flux is associated with ballast minerals. This fraction drops to around 40% in the Southern Ocean. The remainder of the export flux is not associated with minerals, and this unballasted fraction thus often dominates the export flux. The proportion of mineral-associated POC flux often scales with regional variation in export efficiency (the proportion of primary production that is exported). However, local discrepancies suggest that regional differences in ecology also impact the magnitude of surface export. We propose that POC export will not respond equally across all high-latitude regions to possible future changes in ballast availability.
Carbon export, Particle flux, Biological carbon pump, 234Thorium, ballast mineral
0094-8276
8460-8468
Le Moigne, Frédéric A.C.
1b829241-e3de-4e3f-9bb7-c9b65bb2cb64
Pabortsava, Katsiaryna
bb9c573c-918c-4bc5-ad41-f85e47a6a580
Marcinko, Charlotte L.J.
b245e735-368f-4b4d-9b3f-48f9f6baaf85
Martin, Patrick
01ce1c59-3926-46c9-a556-fac39e0ee16b
Sanders, Richard J.
02c163c1-8f5e-49ad-857c-d28f7da66c65
Le Moigne, Frédéric A.C.
1b829241-e3de-4e3f-9bb7-c9b65bb2cb64
Pabortsava, Katsiaryna
bb9c573c-918c-4bc5-ad41-f85e47a6a580
Marcinko, Charlotte L.J.
b245e735-368f-4b4d-9b3f-48f9f6baaf85
Martin, Patrick
01ce1c59-3926-46c9-a556-fac39e0ee16b
Sanders, Richard J.
02c163c1-8f5e-49ad-857c-d28f7da66c65

Le Moigne, Frédéric A.C., Pabortsava, Katsiaryna, Marcinko, Charlotte L.J., Martin, Patrick and Sanders, Richard J. (2014) Where is mineral ballast important for surface export of particulate organic carbon in the ocean? Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (23), 8460-8468. (doi:10.1002/2014GL061678).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Correlations between particulate organic carbon (POC) and mineral fluxes in the deep ocean have inspired the inclusion of ‘ballast effect’ parameterizations in carbon cycle models. A recent study demonstrated regional variability in the effect of ballast minerals on the flux of POC in the deep ocean. We have undertaken a similar analysis of shallow export data from the Arctic, Atlantic and Southern Oceans. Mineral ballasting is of greatest importance in the high-latitude North Atlantic, where 60% of the POC flux is associated with ballast minerals. This fraction drops to around 40% in the Southern Ocean. The remainder of the export flux is not associated with minerals, and this unballasted fraction thus often dominates the export flux. The proportion of mineral-associated POC flux often scales with regional variation in export efficiency (the proportion of primary production that is exported). However, local discrepancies suggest that regional differences in ecology also impact the magnitude of surface export. We propose that POC export will not respond equally across all high-latitude regions to possible future changes in ballast availability.

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Accepted/In Press date: October 2014
Published date: 16 December 2014
Keywords: Carbon export, Particle flux, Biological carbon pump, 234Thorium, ballast mineral
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Biogeochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 370462
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/370462
ISSN: 0094-8276
PURE UUID: 2a010816-6cd9-4019-b67a-7ed8ca4393d5

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Date deposited: 27 Oct 2014 10:21
Last modified: 28 Oct 2019 20:52

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