Dimethylsulfide production in Sargasso Sea eddies

K. E. Bailey, D. A. Toole, B. Blomquist, R. G. Najjar, B. Huebert, D. J. Kieber, R. P. Kiene, P. Matrai, G. R. Westby, D. A. del Valle

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33 Scopus citations


Lagrangian time series of dimethylsulfide (DMS) concentrations from a cyclonic and an anticyclonic eddy in the Sargasso Sea were used in conjunction with measured DMS loss rates and a model of vertical mixing to estimate gross DMS production in the upper 60 m during summer 2004. Loss terms included biological consumption, photolysis, and ventilation to the atmosphere. The time- and depth (0-60 m)-averaged gross DMS production was estimated to be 0.73±0.09 nM d-1 in the cyclonic eddy and 0.90±0.15 nM d-1 in the anticyclonic eddy, with respective DMS replacement times of 5±1 and 6±1 d. The higher estimated rate of gross production and lower measured loss rate constants in the anticyclonic eddy were equally responsible for this eddy's 50% higher DMS inventory (0-60 m). When normalized to chlorophyll and total dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), estimated gross production in the anticyclonic eddy was about twice that in the cyclonic eddy, consistent with the greater fraction of phytoplankton that were DMSP producers in the anticyclonic eddy. Higher rates of gross production were estimated below the mixed layer, contributing to the subsurface DMS maximum found in both eddies. In both eddies, gas exchange, microbial consumption, and photolysis were roughly equal DMS loss terms in the surface mixed layer (0.2-0.4 nM d-1). Vertical mixing was a substantial source of DMS to the surface mixed layer in both eddies (0.2-0.3 nM d-1) owing to the relatively high DMS concentrations below the mixed layer. Estimated net biological DMS production rates (gross production minus microbial consumption) in the mixed layer were substantially lower (by almost a factor of 3) than those estimated in a previous study of the Sargasso Sea, which may explain the relatively low mixed-layer DMS concentrations found here during July 2004 (∼3 nM) compared to previous summers (∼4-6 nM).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1504
Number of pages14
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Issue number10-13
StatePublished - May 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography


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