Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 72, Issue 5, pp 665–685 | Cite as

Biological organic carbon export estimated from the annual carbon budget observed in the surface waters of the western subarctic and subtropical North Pacific Ocean from 2004 to 2013

  • Masahide Wakita
  • Makio C. Honda
  • Kazuhiko Matsumoto
  • Tetsuichi Fujiki
  • Hajime Kawakami
  • Sayaka Yasunaka
  • Yoshikazu Sasai
  • Chiho Sukigara
  • Mario Uchimiya
  • Minoru Kitamura
  • Toru Kobari
  • Yoshihisa Mino
  • Akira Nagano
  • Shuichi Watanabe
  • Toshiro Saino
Special Section: Original Article K2S1 project

Abstract

The annual flux of biologically produced organic carbon from surface waters is equivalent to annual net community production (NCP) at a steady state and equals the export of particulate and dissolved organic carbon (POC and DOC, respectively) to the ocean interior. NCP was estimated from carbon budgets of salinity-normalized dissolved inorganic carbon (nDIC) inventories at two time-series stations in the western subarctic (K2) and subtropical (S1) North Pacific Ocean. By using quasi-monthly biogeochemical observations from 2004 to 2013, monthly mean nDIC inventories were integrated from the surface to the annual maximum mixed layer depth and corrected for changes due to net air–sea CO2 exchange, net CaCO3 production, vertical diffusion from the upper thermocline, and horizontal advection. The annual organic carbon flux at K2 (1.49 ± 0.42 mol m−2 year−1) was lower than S1 (2.81 ± 0.53 mol m−2 year−1) (p < 0.001 based on t test). These fluxes consist of three components: vertically exported POC fluxes (K2: 1.43 mol m−2 year−1; S1: 2.49 mol m−2 year−1), vertical diffusive DOC fluxes (K2: 0.03 mol m−2 year−1; S1: 0.25 mol m−2 year−1), and suspended POC fluxes (K2: 0.03 mol m−2 year−1; S1: 0.07 mol m−2 year−1). The estimated POC export flux at K2 was comparable to the sum of the POC flux observed with drifting sediment traps and active carbon flux exported by migrating zooplankton. The export fluxes at both stations were higher than those reported at other time-series sites (ALOHA, the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study, and Ocean Station Papa).

Keywords

Carbon cycle Dissolved inorganic carbon Dissolved organic carbon Particulate organic carbon Particulate inorganic carbon Annual flux of biologically produced organic and inorganic carbon Time-series observation Redfield stoichiometry 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the staff of the Mutsu Institute for Oceanography, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and the captains and crews of the R/V Mirai for their kind cooperation in the collection of samples and hydrographic measurements during the 2010–2013 cruises. For their valuable comments and discussion, we thank Drs. K. Kimoto, K. Sasaoka, H. Uchida, S. Kouketsu, R. Inoue, C. Yoshikawa, Y. Nakano, M. Shigemitsu, A. Murata, and N. Harada of JAMSTEC; Dr. M. Aoyama of Fukushima University; Drs. H. Ogawa, R. Kaneko, H. Fukuda, K. Hamasaki, and T. Nagata of the University of Tokyo; and Dr. O. Abe of Nagoya University. We also thank those staff members of Marine Works Japan, Ltd., and Global Ocean Development Inc., who worked as marine technicians onboard the R/V Mirai. This work was partly supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (25106709) and KAKENHI (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research) (15H02835). Finally, we also express our deep thanks to three anonymous reviewers who provided us with many useful comments.

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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahide Wakita
    • 1
  • Makio C. Honda
    • 2
  • Kazuhiko Matsumoto
    • 2
  • Tetsuichi Fujiki
    • 2
  • Hajime Kawakami
    • 1
  • Sayaka Yasunaka
    • 2
  • Yoshikazu Sasai
    • 2
  • Chiho Sukigara
    • 3
  • Mario Uchimiya
    • 4
    • 5
  • Minoru Kitamura
    • 2
  • Toru Kobari
    • 6
  • Yoshihisa Mino
    • 3
  • Akira Nagano
    • 2
  • Shuichi Watanabe
    • 1
  • Toshiro Saino
    • 2
  1. 1.Mutsu Institute for OceanographyJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyMutsuJapan
  2. 2.Research and Development Center for Global ChangeJapan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokosukaJapan
  3. 3.Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research CenterNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  4. 4.National Institute of Polar ResearchTachikawaJapan
  5. 5.Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  6. 6.Faculty of FisheriesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan

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