Carbon chemistry variability around a tropical archipelago

Oceanic islands affect the surrounding oceanic circulation by producing upwelling or vortices, resulting in the rising of a richer and colder subsurface water mass. This process increases primary production and can change some biogeochemical processes, such as carbon chemistry and the biological pump. The aim of this study was to describe the vertical variability of carbon chemistry around Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (FNA) and to verify how the island mass effect (IME) can affect carbon distribution. Two transects on opposite sides of the FNA were established according to the direction of the central South Equatorial Current, and samples were collected in July 2010, September 2012 and July 2014 from the surface down to a depth of 500 m. The results showed strong stratification, with an uplift of the thermohaline structure, which resulted in an increase of chlorophyll-a concentration downstream of the island during the 2010 and 2014 cruises. Carbon chemistry parameters were strongly correlated with temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen along the water column and did not change between sides of the island in the periods studied. We conclude that the IME did not significantly affect carbon chemistry, which was more correlated with thermohaline gradient.

Silva B. J., Gaspar F. L., Tyaquiçã P., Lefèvre N. & Montes M. J. F., 2019. Carbon chemistry variability around a tropical archipelago. Marine and Freshwater Research 70(6): 767-780. Article (subscription required).

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