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Variability in abundance and fluxes of dimethyl sulphide in the Indian Ocean

Abstract

Dimethyl sulphide (DMS) is a biogenic gas of climatic significance on which limited information is available from the Indian Ocean. To fill this gap, we collected data on DMS and total dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSPt) by participating in a dozen cruises. Here, we discuss the variability in DMS and DMSPt in the north and central Indian Ocean in terms of their spatial and temporal variation. DMS and DMSPt exhibited significant spatial and temporal variability. Apart from the concentration gradients in DMS within the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Central Indian Ocean basins, differences in average abundances were conspicuous between these basins. The Arabian Sea contained more DMS (mixed layer average was 7.8 nM) followed by the Bay of Bengal (2.8 nM) and the Central Indian Ocean (2.7 nM). The highest concentrations of DMS and DMSPt (525 nM and 916 nM, respectively) were found in upwelling regimes along the west coast of India during the Southwest monsoon and fall intermonsoon seasons. Average surface DMS was the highest in the Arabian Sea. On the other hand observed sea-to-air fluxes of DMS were higher in the Bay of Bengal due to the prevalence of turbulent conditions. In the Arabian Sea wind speeds were low and hence the sea-to-air fluxes. The total diffusive flux of DMS from the study area to atmosphere is estimated to be about 1.02 × 1012 g S y−1, which contributes to 4.1–6.3% of the global DMS emission

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Acknowledgement

We thank the Director of NIO, for encouragement and support. Thanks are due to the Departments of Ocean Development and Science and Technology, New Delhi, for financial support and for ship time on board ORV Sagar Kanya and FORV Sagar Sampada. The first author acknowledges the CSIR for support through a fellowship. We would like to acknowledge the various team members, and Dr. V.V.S.S. Sarma in particular, for their help on board. Special thanks are due to Dr. E Saltzman (University of Miami) and Dr. Gillian Malin (University of East Anglia) for their advice in regard to dimethyl sulphide analysis. Suggestions by the two anonymous reviewers helped to improve this manuscript substantially. This is NIO contribution number 4213.

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Correspondence to D. M. Shenoy.

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Shenoy, D.M., Kumar, M.D. Variability in abundance and fluxes of dimethyl sulphide in the Indian Ocean. Biogeochemistry 83, 277–292 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-007-9092-4

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Keywords

  • DMS
  • DMSPt
  • Fluxes
  • Indian Ocean
  • Monsoon