Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 361–377 | Cite as

Study of Water Motion at the Dissolved Oxygen Minimum Layer and Local Oxygen Consumption Rate from the Lagrangian Viewpoint

  • Norihisa Imasato
  • Taiyo Kobayashi
  • Shinzou Fujio


By using the Euler-Lagrangian method, we examine water movements within the layer of minimum oxygen concentration and estimate local oxygen consumption rates for 15 regions of the global ocean. To do this, a number of labeled particles (which represent water parcels) are deployed at the center of a grid with 15 depth levels and tracked backward in time for 50 years in a three-dimensional velocity field. We assume that a particle picks up oxygen when it encounters the point of maximum oxygen concentration along the 50 years segment of its path. We introduce a contribution rate from waters distributed throughout the global ocean to the oxygen concentration of a local layer under consideration. Water parcels which are assumed to pick up oxygen within the oxygen minimum layer of an oceanic region under consideration make a very small contribution to the overall oxygen concentration of this layer. In addition, these parcels move out of the layer and water parcels from the upper layers take their place. The averaged Lagrangian local oxygen consumption rate is 0.033 ml/l/yr for the depth of the oxygen minimum layer, 0.20 ml/l/yr at 100 m depth (euphotic layer), 0.043 ml/l/yr for layers from 150 m to 800 m depth and 0.012 ml/l/yr for deep layers from 800 m to 3000 m. The present Lagrangian numerical experiment produces a maximum difference between observed and calculated concentrations of oxygen and, therefore, a maximum oxygen consumption rate. Although the present method has an ambiguity as to how oxygen is picked up, we nevertheless were able to identify regions in which the water parcels pick up oxygen of maximum concentration. We found that the South Equatorial Current (SEC) transports oxygen of higher concentration to the middle latitude regions of both the North Atlantic and the North Pacific across the equator.

Oxygen minimum layer Lagrangian oxygen consumption rate contribution rate to oxygen concentration labeled particle tracking 


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norihisa Imasato
    • 1
  • Taiyo Kobayashi
    • 2
  • Shinzou Fujio
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Information Science and TechnologyAichi Prefectural UniversityAichiJapan
  2. 2.Center for Climate System ResearchUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Ocean Research InstituteUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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