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Title: Studies of the oxygen and carbon cycles in the surface ocean
Authors: Huang, Kuan
Advisors: Bender, Michael L
Contributors: Geosciences Department
Keywords: carbon cycle
carbon isotopes
dissolved inorganic carbon
ocean productivity
oxygen cycle
oxygen isotopes
Subjects: Climate change
Ocean engineering
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The thesis work consists of two projects that study carbon and oxygen cycles in the surface ocean. In the first project, net community O2 production (NCP) and gross primary O2 production (GPP) were estimated using [O2]/[Ar] ratios and the triple isotope composition of dissolved O2 in samples collected during 4 consecutive January cruises from 2008-2011 in the West Antarctica Peninsula (WAP) region of the Southern Ocean. Our study indicates large spatial and interannual variability of NCP and GPP, and suggests that light and iron are the most important factors that regulate NCP and GPP in the study region. While light availability is controlled by the surface irradiance and the mixed layer depth (MLD), iron could be largely regulated by deep winter mixing that supplies iron from the deep water. The relationships between NCP (NCP/GPP) and a number of physical properties implies that NCP is positively correlated with the strength of deep winter mixing. The deep mixing could be weakened when increasing heat content in the ocean and increasing air temperature inhibit sea ice growth and winter water formation. Overall, our study indicates that ocean productivity tends to decrease in the study region in response to changes in physical conditions associated with rapid warming in this region. In the second project, an automatic system using isotope dilution as its core method has been developed to obtain high-frequency measurements of dissolved inorganic carbon concentration ([DIC]) in the surface ocean. This system accurately mixes seawater samples and a NaH<super>13</super>CO3 solution. The mixed solution is acidified and sent through a gas permeable membrane contactor. CO2 derived from DIC in the mixture is extracted and sent to a cavity ringdown spectrometer to for <super>13</super>C/<super>12</super>C analysis. [DIC] of the seawater can be calculated from the measured <super>13</super>C/<super>12</super>C, the known mixing ratio and the [NaH<super>13</super>CO_3]. The method has been tested in the laboratory and on a cruise. At 15 samples/hour, the precision and the accuracy of the method are <0.1 %. Results of these tests indicate that the method can provide accurate shipboard [DIC] measurements at high resolution in most oceanic regions.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Geosciences

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