Articles | Volume 12, issue 3
Biogeosciences, 12, 875–885, 2015
Biogeosciences, 12, 875–885, 2015

Research article 12 Feb 2015

Research article | 12 Feb 2015

Fluxes of carbon and nutrients to the Iceland Sea surface layer and inferred primary productivity and stoichiometry

E. Jeansson1, R. G. J. Bellerby1,2, I. Skjelvan1,3, H. Frigstad4, S. R. Ólafsdóttir5, and J. Olafsson5,6 E. Jeansson et al.
  • 1Uni Research Climate, Bergen, Norway
  • 2Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Bergen, Norway
  • 3Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 4Norwegian Environment Agency, Oslo, Norway
  • 5Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 6Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Abstract. This study evaluates long-term mean fluxes of carbon and nutrients to the upper 100 m of the Iceland Sea. The study utilises hydro-chemical data from the Iceland Sea time series station (68.00° N, 12.67° W), for the years between 1993 and 2006. By comparing data of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and nutrients in the surface layer (upper 100 m), and a sub-surface layer (100–200 m), we calculate monthly deficits in the surface, and use these to deduce the long-term mean surface layer fluxes that affect the deficits: vertical mixing, horizontal advection, air–sea exchange, and biological activity. The deficits show a clear seasonality with a minimum in winter, when the mixed layer is at the deepest, and a maximum in early autumn, when biological uptake has removed much of the nutrients. The annual vertical fluxes of DIC and nitrate amounts to 2.9 ± 0.5 and 0.45 ± 0.09 mol m−2 yr−1, respectively, and the annual air–sea uptake of atmospheric CO2 is 4.4 ± 1.1 mol C m−2 yr−1. The biologically driven changes in DIC during the year relates to net community production (NCP), and the net annual NCP corresponds to export production, and is here calculated as 7.3 ± 1.0 mol C m−2 yr−1. The typical, median C : N ratio during the period of net community uptake is 9.0, and clearly higher than the Redfield ratio, but is varying during the season.

Short summary
Long-term mean monthly fluxes of carbon and nutrients to the surface layer of the Iceland Sea are presented. From these fluxes we estimate primary production based on newly added nitrate (i.e. new production) and net community production (NCP). The annual new production in the Iceland Sea is estimated to 0.45±0.09mol N/m2/yr, and the net annual NCP to 7.3±1.0mol C/m2/yr. The typical C:N ratio during biological uptake is 9.0, challenging the Redfield C:N as the conversion factor in the area.
Final-revised paper