3 years ago

Photochemical mineralization of terrigenous DOC to dissolved inorganic carbon in ocean

Anssi V. Vähätalo, Ville Kasurinen, Hanna Aarnos, Veli-Mikko Puupponen, Yufei Gu, Yves Gélinas
When terrigenous dissolved organic carbon (tDOC) rich in chromophoric dissolved organic matter (tCDOM) enters the ocean, solar radiation mineralizes it partially into dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). This study addresses the amount and the rates of DIC photoproduction from tDOC and the area of ocean required to photomineralize tDOC. We collected water samples from ten major rivers, mixed them with artificial seawater and irradiated them with simulated solar radiation to measure DIC photoproduction and the photobleaching of tCDOM. The linear relationship between DIC photoproduction and tCDOM photobleaching was used to estimate the amount of photoproduced DIC from the tCDOM fluxes of the study rivers. Solar radiation was estimated to mineralize 12.5 ± 3.7 Tg C yr−1 (ten rivers)−1 or 18 ± 8% of tDOC flux. The irradiation experiments also approximated typical apparent spectral quantum yields for DIC photoproduction (ϕλ) over the entire lifetime of the tCDOM. Based on ϕλs and the local solar irradiances in river plumes, the annual areal DIC photoproduction rates from tDOC were calculated to range from 52 ± 4 (Lena River) to 157 ± 2 mmol C m−2 yr−1(Mississippi River). When the amount of photoproduced DIC was divided by the areal rate, 9.6 ± 2.5 million km2 of ocean was required for the photomineralization of tDOC from the study rivers. Extrapolation to the global tDOC flux yields 45 (31–58) Tg of photoproduced DIC yr−1 in the river plumes that cover 34 (25–43) million km2 of the ocean.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2017GB005698

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