Aragonite saturation state in a tropical coastal embayment dominated by phytoplankton blooms (Guanabara Bay – Brazil)

Highlights

  • The spatio-temporal variations of Ωarag were studied in a highly polluted coastal embayment.
  • High values of Ωarag were prevalent in surface waters dominated by phytoplankton blooms.
  • Lowest values of Ωarag were restricted to poorly buffered waters that receive direct effluent discharges.
  • Variations of Ωarag related to biological processes override those related to the atmospheric CO2.

Abstract

The dynamics of the aragonite saturation state (Ωarag) were investigated in the eutrophic coastal waters of Guanabara Bay (RJ-Brazil). Large phytoplankton blooms stimulated by a high nutrient enrichment promoted the production of organic matter with strong uptake of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in surface waters, lowering the concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2aq), and increasing the pH, Ωarag and carbonate ion (CO32 ), especially during summer. The increase of Ωarag related to biological activity was also evident comparing the negative relationship between the Ωarag and the apparent utilization of oxygen (AOU), with a very close behavior between the slopes of the linear regression and the Redfield ratio. The lowest values of Ωarag were found at low-buffered waters in regions that receive direct discharges from domestic effluents and polluted rivers, with episodic evidences of corrosive waters (Ωarag < 1). This study showed that the eutrophication controlled the variations of Ωarag in Guanabara Bay.

Cotovicz Jr L. C., Knoppers B. A., Brandini N., Poirier D., Costa Santos S. J. & Abril G., in press. Aragonite saturation state in a tropical coastal embayment dominated by phytoplankton blooms (Guanabara Bay – Brazil). Marine Pollution Bulletin. Article (subscription required).

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