Physical and biological control of aragonite saturation in the coastal waters of southern South Korea under the influence of freshwater

Highlights

•We investigated Ωarag in a coastal area that receives considerable freshwater input.
• The surface Ωarag values were higher during seasons with enhanced riverine impacts.
• It was due to enhancements in biological productivity and water column stability.

Abstract

We investigated the aragonite saturation state (Ωarag) during all four seasons in a coastal region of southern Korea that receives considerable freshwater input. The surface Ωarag values were higher during productive seasons with enhanced freshwater influences, likely due to an increased net removal of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from the water column (i.e., biological control). In addition, during the productive seasons, enhancement of Ωarag was observed with decreasing salinity within a linear mixing zone present between river-influenced surface and saltier bottom waters. DIC appeared to be effectively sequestered from the warmer, less salty surface water by downward flux of organic matter, but not significantly affected by the relatively DIC-rich, cooler and saltier bottom waters under strong stratification conditions during these seasons (i.e., physical control). Low phytoplankton productivity and seasonal breakdown of the stratification caused reduced saturation in other seasons and made the study area a weak sink for atmospheric CO2.

Kim D.,  Park G.- H., Baek S. H., Choi Y. & Kim T.- W., 2018. Physical and biological control of aragonite saturation in the coastal waters of southern South Korea under the influence of freshwater. Marine Pollution Bulletin 129 (1): 318–328. Article (subscription required).

 

 

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