Van Dam, B.R., Lopes, C.C., Polsenaere, P., Price, R.M., Rutgersson, A., & Fourqurean, J.W. (2020): Water temperature control on CO2 flux and evaporation over a subtropical seagrass meadow revealed by atmospheric eddy covariance. Limnol Oceanogr., doi:10.1002/lno.11620
Subtropical seagrass meadows play a major role in the coastal carbon cycle, but the nature of air–water CO2 exchanges over these ecosystems is still poorly understood. The complex physical forcing of air–water exchange in coastal waters challenges our ability to quantify bulk exchanges of CO2 and water (evaporation), emphasizing the need for direct measurements. We describe the first direct measurements of evaporation and CO2 flux over a calcifying seagrass meadow near Bob Allen Keys, Florida. Over the 78‐d study, CO2 emissions were 36% greater during the day than at night, and the site was a net CO2 source to the atmosphere of 0.27 ± 0.17 μmol m−2 s−1 (x̅ ± standard deviation). A quarter (23%) of the diurnal variability in CO2 flux was caused by the effect of changing water temperature on gas solubility. Furthermore, evaporation rates were ~ 10 times greater than precipitation, causing a 14% increase in salinity, a potential precursor of seagrass die‐offs. Evaporation rates were not correlated with solar radiation, but instead with air–water temperature gradient and wind shear. We also confirm the role of convective forcing on night‐time enhancement and day‐time suppression of gas transfer. At this site, temperature trends are regulated by solar heating, combined with shallow water depth and relatively consistent air temperature. Our findings indicate that evaporation and air–water CO2 exchange over shallow, tropical, and subtropical seagrass ecosystems may be fundamentally different than in submerged vegetated environments elsewhere, in part due to the complex physical forcing of coastal air–sea gas transfer.
Mears, C., Thomas, H., Henderson, P.B., Charette, M.A., MacIntyre, H., Dehairs, F., Monnin, C., & Mucci, A (2020).: Using 226Ra and 228Ra isotopes to distinguish water mass distribution in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Biogeosciences, 17, 4937–4959, doi:10.5194/bg-17-4937-2020
As a shelf-dominated basin, the Arctic Ocean and its biogeochemistry are heavily influenced by continental and riverine sources. Radium isotopes (226Ra, 228Ra, 224Ra, and 223Ra), are transferred from the sediments to seawater, making them ideal tracers of sediment–water exchange processes and ocean mixing. As the two long-lived isotopes of the radium quartet, 226Ra and 228Ra (226Ra with a t1∕2 of 1600 years and 228Ra with a t1∕2 of 5.8 years) can provide insight into the water mass compositions, distribution patterns, as well as mixing processes and their associated timescales throughout the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA). The wide range of 226Ra and 228Ra activities, as well as of the 228Ra∕226Ra, measured in water samples collected during the 2015 GEOTRACES cruise, complemented by additional chemical tracers – dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total alkalinity (AT), barium (Ba), and the stable oxygen isotope composition of water (δ18O) – highlight the dominant biogeochemical, hydrographic, and bathymetric features of the CAA. Bathymetric features, such as the continental shelf and shallow coastal sills, are critical in modulating circulation patterns within the CAA, including the bulk flow of Pacific waters and the inhibited eastward flow of denser Atlantic waters through the CAA. Using a principal component analysis, we unravel the dominant mechanisms and apparent water mass end-members that shape the tracer distributions. We identify two distinct water masses located above and below the upper halocline layer throughout the CAA and distinctly differentiate surface waters in the eastern and western CAA. Furthermore, we highlight water exchange across 80∘ W, inferring a draw of Atlantic water (originating from Baffin Bay) into the CAA. This underscores the presence of an Atlantic water “U-turn” located at Barrow Strait, where the same water mass is seen along the northernmost edge at 80∘ W as well as along the southeasternmost confines of Lancaster Sound. Overall, this study provides a stepping stone for future research initiatives within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, revealing how quantifying disparities in the distributions of radioactive tracers can provide valuable information on water mass distributions, flow patterns, and mixing within vulnerable areas such as the CAA.