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Other research product . 2020

The suspended small-particle layer in the oxygen-poor Black Sea: a proxy for delineating the effective N2-yielding section

Rasse, Rafael; Claustre, Hervé; Poteau, Antoine;
Open Access
Published: 23 Dec 2020
The shallower oxygen-poor water masses of the ocean confine a majority of the microbial communities that can produce up to 90 % of oceanic N2. This effective N2-yielding section encloses a suspended small-particle layer, inferred from particle backscattering (bbp) measurements. It is thus hypothesized that this layer (hereafter, the bbp-layer) is linked to microbial communities involved in N2 yielding such as nitrate-reducing SAR11 as well as sulfur-oxidizing, anammox, and denitrifying bacteria – a hypothesis yet to be evaluated. Here, data collected by three BGC-Argo floats deployed in the Black Sea are used to investigate the origin of this bbp-layer. To this end, we evaluate how the key drivers of N2-yielding bacteria dynamics impact the vertical distribution of bbp and the thickness of the bbp-layer. In conjunction with published data on N2 excess, our results suggest that the bbp-layer is at least partially composed of the bacteria driving N2 yielding for three main reasons: (1) strong correlations are recorded between bbp and nitrate; (2) the top location of the bbp-layer is driven by the ventilation of oxygen-rich subsurface waters, while its thickness is modulated by the amount of nitrate available to produce N2; and (3) the maxima of both bbp and N2 excess coincide at the same isopycnals where bacteria involved in N2 yielding coexist. We thus advance that bbp and O2 can be exploited as a combined proxy to delineate the N2-yielding section of the Black Sea. This proxy can potentially contribute to refining delineation of the effective N2-yielding section of oxygen-deficient zones via data from the growing BGC-Argo float network.
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ACM Computing Classification System: TheoryofComputation_MATHEMATICALLOGICANDFORMALLANGUAGES

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Funded by
Remotely sensed biogeochemical cycles in the ocean
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 246777
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP2 | ERC
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  • Project Code: 839062
  • Funding stream: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST
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Related to Research communities
European Marine Science Marine Environmental Science : Remotely sensed biogeochemical cycles in the ocean
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