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Water mass age and aging driving chromophoric dissolved organic matter in the dark global ocean

AuthorsCatalá, Teresa S.; Fernández-Guallart, E. ; Romera-Castillo, Cristina ; Nieto-Cid, Mar ; Pelejero, Carles ; Ortega-Retuerta, E. ; Marrasé, Cèlia ; Álvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón
Issue Date2015
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles 29(7): 917-934 (2015)
AbstractThe omnipresence of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the open ocean enables its use as a tracer for biochemical processes throughout the global overturning circulation. We made an inventory of CDOM optical properties, ideal water age (τ), and apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) along the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean waters sampled during the Malaspina 2010 expedition. A water mass analysis was applied to obtain intrinsic, hereinafter archetypal, values of τ, AOU, oxygen utilization rate (OUR), and CDOM absorption coefficients, spectral slopes and quantum yield for each one of the 22 water types intercepted during this circumnavigation. Archetypal values of AOU and OUR have been used to trace the differential influence of water mass aging and aging rates, respectively, on CDOM variables. Whereas the absorption coefficient at 325 nm (a325) and the fluorescence quantum yield at 340 nm (Φ340) increased, the spectral slope over the wavelength range 275–295 nm (S275–295) and the ratio of spectral slopes over the ranges 275–295 nm and 350–400 nm (SR) decreased significantly with water mass aging (AOU). Combination of the slope of the linear regression between archetypal AOU and a325 with the estimated global OUR allowed us to obtain a CDOM turnover time of 634 ± 120 years, which exceeds the flushing time of the dark ocean (>200 m) by 46%. This positive relationship supports the assumption of in situ production and accumulation of CDOM as a by-product of microbial metabolism as water masses turn older. Furthermore, our data evidence that global-scale CDOM quantity (a325) is more dependent on aging (AOU), whereas CDOM quality (S275–295, SR, Φ340) is more dependent on aging rate (OUR)
Description18 páginas, 6 figuras, 1 tabla.-- T. S. Catalá ... et al.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014GB005048
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