Articles | Volume 19, issue 3
Research article
07 Feb 2022
Research article |  | 07 Feb 2022

Biogeochemical controls on ammonium accumulation in the surface layer of the Southern Ocean

Shantelle Smith, Katye E. Altieri, Mhlangabezi Mdutyana, David R. Walker, Ruan G. Parrott, Sedick Gallie, Kurt A. M. Spence, Jessica M. Burger, and Sarah E. Fawcett


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Short summary
Ammonium is a crucial yet poorly understood component of the Southern Ocean nitrogen cycle. We attribute our finding of consistently high ammonium concentrations in the winter mixed layer to limited ammonium consumption and sustained ammonium production, conditions under which the Southern Ocean becomes a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. From similar data collected over an annual cycle, we propose a seasonal cycle for ammonium in shallow polar waters – a first for the Southern Ocean.
Final-revised paper