Euphotic Zone Metabolism in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre Based on Oxygen Dynamics

Sara Ferrón, Benedetto Barone, Matthew J. Church, Angelicque E. White, David M. Karl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We report in situ rates of gross oxygen production (GOP), community respiration (R), and net community production (NCP) in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre derived from mixed layer O2/Ar measurements. The measurements were conducted between November 2013 and January 2019 at the site of the Hawaii Ocean Time-series program. Biological O2 concentration anomalies in the mixed layer showed a consistent diel variation, with values increasing during daytime due to net community production and decreasing during nighttime due to respiration. In situ mixed layer GOP and R, determined from these variations, covaried but showed no clear seasonal pattern, averaging 0.9 and 0.8 mmol O2 m−3 d−1, respectively. In situ rates of NCP determined from mixed layer O2/Ar ranged between −1.2 and 16.6 mmol O2 m−2 d−1. Our analyses indicate that at certain times of the year the diapycnal flux of O2 across the base of the mixed layer may be non-negligible and, therefore, a fraction of O2/Ar-derived NCP may form below the mixed layer. The seasonal climatology of NCP below the mixed layer (down to 150 m) was also estimated using near-monthly changes in dissolved O2 concentrations. These calculations allowed us to estimate NCP for the entire euphotic zone (0–150 m), which shows pronounced seasonality, with a maximum in April-May and a minimum in December, when the ecosystem becomes temporarily net heterotrophic. Annual NCP was estimated to be 2.1 ± 0.6 mol O2 m−2 yr−1, approximately 1.7 times the export of C through sinking particles captured in sediment traps at 150 m.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020GB006744
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • O/Ar
  • biological carbon pump
  • net community production
  • oxygen
  • primary production
  • respiration


Dive into the research topics of 'Euphotic Zone Metabolism in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre Based on Oxygen Dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this