Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 395–403 | Cite as

Sinking Particle Flux in the Subtropical Oligotrophic Northwestern Pacific from a Short-term Sediment Trap Experiment

  • Hyung Jeek KimEmail author
  • Jonguk Kim
  • Dongseon Kim
  • Michael T. Chandler
  • Seung Kyu Son
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Deep Seabed Mining Resources


Time-series sediment traps were deployed in the subtropical oligotrophic northwestern Pacific (SONP) at three depths from August to September 2015 to better understand vertical flux of sinking particles. Sinking particles were collected at 5-day intervals over the sediment trap deployment period. The average total mass flux at water depths of 400 m, 690 m, and 1,710 m was 9.1, 4.4, and 4.1 mg m-2day-1, respectively. CaCO3 materials constituted 50 to 70% of sinking particles while in comparison particulate organic carbon (POC) constituted up to 20%. A synchronous variation of total mass flux was observed at the three depths, indicating that calcite-dominated particles sank from 400 to 1,710 m within a 5-day period. POC flux at these water depths was 2.4, 0.38, and 0.31 mg m-2day-1, respectively. Our results indicate low transfer efficiencies of 16% from 400 to 690 m and 13% for the 400 to 1,710 m depth range. The estimated transfer efficiencies were significantly lower than those observed at the K2 station in the northwest Pacific subarctic gyre, presumably because of a prevalence of pico-cyanobacteria in the SONP. Because cyanobacteria have a semi-permeable proteinaceous shell, they are more readily remineralized by bacteria than are siliceous phytoplankton in the northwest Pacific subarctic gyre. Continued surface water warming and expansion of the SONP will likely have a profound impact on ocean acidification in the northwest Pacific, possibly affecting the transfer efficiency of sinking POC to the deep-sea.


sediment trap transfer efficiency carbon flux remineralization profile subtropical oligotrophic zone 


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Copyright information

© Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyung Jeek Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonguk Kim
    • 1
  • Dongseon Kim
    • 2
  • Michael T. Chandler
    • 1
  • Seung Kyu Son
    • 1
  1. 1.Deep-sea and Seabed Mineral Resources Research CenterKIOSTBusanKorea
  2. 2.Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Research CenterKIOSTBusanKorea

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