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Down-welling circulation of the northwest European continental shelf: A driving mechanism for the continental shelf carbon pump

Holt, Jason; Wakelin, Sarah; Huthnance, John. 2009 Down-welling circulation of the northwest European continental shelf: A driving mechanism for the continental shelf carbon pump. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L14602. 10.1029/2009GL038997

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Abstract/Summary

Annually integrated measurements of pCO(2) have demonstrated that seasonally stratified regions of temperate shelf seas can be an important sink of atmospheric CO2. A key process to support this sink is the transport of carbon from shelf seas to below the permanent pycnocline of the deep ocean. Using a hydrodynamic model simulation of the northwest European Continental shelf, we find that both the large scale circulation and frictional processes support the off-shelf transport of carbon sufficiently quickly to remove similar to 40% of the carbon sequestered by one growing season before the onset of the next. This transport is highly heterogeneous, with some regions being only weakly flushed. Only 52% of this exported carbon is transported below the permanent pycnocline, hence the shelf sea and open ocean carbon cycles are intrinsically coupled. Citation: Holt, J., S. Wakelin, and J. Huthnance (2009), Down-welling circulation of the northwest European continental shelf: A driving mechanism for the continental shelf carbon pump,

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2009GL038997
Programmes: Oceans 2025 > Climate, ocean circulation and sea level
Oceans 2025 > Marine biogeochemical cycles
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Published 2009 American Geophysical Union. Not Subject to US Copyright.
Additional Keywords: SHELF SEA PHYSICS; GLOBAL IMPACTS;
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 24 Jun 2010 10:57
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9712

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