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The Intraseasonal dynamics of the mixed layer pump in the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean: A biogeochemical‐argo float approach

Lacour, L.; Briggs, N.; Claustre, H.; Ardyna, M.; Dall'Olmo, G.. 2019 The Intraseasonal dynamics of the mixed layer pump in the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean: A biogeochemical‐argo float approach. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33 (3). 266-281. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GB005997

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Abstract/Summary

The detrainment of organic matter from the mixed layer, a process known as the mixed layer pump (ML pump), has long been overlooked in carbon export budgets. Recently, the ML pump has been investigated at seasonal scale and appeared to contribute significantly to particulate organic carbon export to the mesopelagic zone, especially at high latitudes where seasonal variations of the mixed layer depth are large. However, the dynamics of the ML pump at intraseasonal scales remains poorly known, mainly because the lack of observational tools suited to studying such dynamics. In the present study, using a dense network of autonomous profiling floats equipped with bio‐optical sensors, we captured widespread episodic ML pump‐driven export events, during the winter and early spring period, in a large part of the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean. The intraseasonal dynamics of the ML pump exports fresh organic material to depth (basin‐scale average up to 55 mg C·m−2·day−1), providing a significant source of energy to the mesopelagic food web before the spring bloom period. This mechanism may sustain the seasonal development of overwintering organisms such as copepods with potential impact on the characteristics of the forthcoming spring phytoplankton bloom through predator‐prey interactions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GB005997
ISSN: 0886-6236
Date made live: 13 May 2019 15:46 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/523296

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