Articles | Volume 5, issue 5
Biogeosciences, 5, 1395–1410, 2008
Biogeosciences, 5, 1395–1410, 2008

  15 Oct 2008

15 Oct 2008

Carbon and nutrient mixed layer dynamics in the Norwegian Sea

H. S. Findlay1,*, T. Tyrrell1, R. G. J. Bellerby2,3, A. Merico4, and I. Skjelvan2,3 H. S. Findlay et al.
  • 1National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, European Way, Southampton, UK
  • 2Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, University of Bergen, Allegaten 55, 5007, Bergen, Norway
  • 3Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Allegaten 70, 5007, Bergen, Norway
  • 4Institute for Coastal Research, Geesthacht, Germany
  • *now at: Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth, PL1 3DU, UK

Abstract. A coupled carbon-ecosystem model is compared to recent data from Ocean Weather Station M (66° N, 02° E) and used as a tool to investigate nutrient and carbon processes within the Norwegian Sea. Nitrate is consumed by phytoplankton in the surface layers over the summer; however the data show that silicate does not become rapidly limiting for diatoms, in contrast to the model prediction and in contrast to data from other temperate locations. The model estimates atmosphere-ocean CO2 flux to be 37 g C m−2 yr−1. The seasonal cycle of the carbonate system at OWS M resembles the cycles suggested by data from other high-latitude ocean locations. The seasonal cycles of calcite saturation state and [CO32-] are similar in the model and in data at OWS M: values range from ~3 and ~120 μmol kg−1 respectively in winter, to ~4 and ~170 μmol kg−1 respectively in summer. The model and data provide further evidence (supporting previous modelling work) that the summer is a time of high saturation state within the annual cycle at high-latitude locations. This is also the time of year that coccolithophore blooms occur at high latitudes.

Final-revised paper