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Free Content Variations in primary production and particulate carbon flux through the base of the euphotic zone at the site of the Sediment Trap Intercomparison Experiment (Panama Basin)

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14C primary production data collected during the deployment and recovery cruises of STIE in 1979 showed a simple relationship with light and nutrient concentrations in the euophotic zone. A simple empirical relationship, calibrated using these data, was derived so that weekly averaged observations of fractional cloudiness, sea-surface temperature and mixed layer depth could be used to estimate primary production on a weekly basis for the years 1976–1979. 15N-uptake measurements, which estimate new production, were combined with the 14C data to estimate particulate carbon fluxes from the euphotic zone.

Results of calculations showed that production may vary by a factor of three and particulate carbon flux by a factor of ten on a week to week basis with peak values corresponding to times when the mixed layer became enriched in nutrients. Mean euphotic zone production and particulate carbon flux estimated for the STIE deployment cruise were 286 and 138 mg C m–2 d–1, respectively; they were 174 and 59 mg C m–2 d–1 for the recovery cruise. Mean production and flux values were 261 and 122 mg C m–2 d–1, respectively for the duration of STIE. Three high production and particle sedimentation events may have occurred during STIE in September and October 1979. 1979 appeared to be a year of lower than average primary production compared with 1976 and 1977.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1984-02-01

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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