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TitoloParticulate organic carbon budget in the open Algero-Balearic Basin (Western Mediterranean): Assessment from a one-year sediment trap experiment

Autori Zuniga D., Calafat A., Sanchez-Vidal A., Canals M., Price B., Heussner S., Miserocchi S.

In Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, vol. 54 (9) pp. 1530 - 1548. Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd, 2007.

DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2007.06.001

With the aim of improving the knowledge of the open ocean carbon cycle, we present a budget of particulate organic carbon (POC) fluxes carried out in the deep central part of the Algero-Balearic Basin (ABB) at 2850m water depth based on a single mooring equipped with five automated sediment traps deployed from April 2001 to May 2002 at depths of 250, 845, 1440, 2145 and 2820 m. Suspended particulate matter (SPM) and superficial sediments were also used as indicators of hydrodynamics and carbon burial, respectively. The data reveal that the fraction of primary production buried in the sediment, which finally leads to the sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, is 0. 16%, lower than the values found in the nearby continental margin regions such as the Alboran Sea (0.48-0.89%) but of the same order as recorded at other Mediterranean sites at similar depths, such as the Ionian Sea (0. 11 %). As they sink through the water column, the particles exhibit decreases in flux that are similar to those observed elsewhere, but also show variations that appear to correlate with hydrological features of the water masses present in the basin, as revealed by SPM concentrations and compositions. The input of the tyrrhenian deep water (TDW) into the ABB at 800-1500m of water depth exhibits low suspended POC concentrations and low sinking POC fluxes were also observed in this depth range. Gulf of Lions water mass formation appears to also contribute to elevated suspended POC concentrations and perhaps POC accumulation in the traps and sediments by spreading of dense cold water along the whole ABB that supplied POC at depths higher than 2000 m. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Soggetti particle fluxes
particulate organic carbon
Algero-Balearic basin
western Mediterranean

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