Seasonal cycle of O2 and pCO2 in the central Labrador Sea: Atmospheric, biological, and physical implications

A. Körtzinger, U. Send, D. W.R. Wallace, J. Karstensen, M. de Grandpre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We present full 2004-2005 seasonal cycles of CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) and dissolved oxygen (O2) in surface waters at a time series site in the central Labrador Sea (56.5°N, 52.6°W) and use these data to calculate annual net air-sea fluxes of CO2 and O2 as well as atmospheric potential oxygen (APO). The region is characterized by a net CO2 Sink (2.7 ± 0.8 mol CO2 m-2 yr-1) that is mediated to a major extent by biological carbon drawdown during spring/summer. During wintertime, surface waters approach equilibrium with atmospheric CO2. Oxygen changes from marked undersaturation of about 6% during wintertime to strong supersaturation by up to 10% during the spring/summer bloom. Overall, the central Labrador Sea acts as an O2 Sink of 10.0 ± 3.1 mol m-2 yr-1. The combined CO2 and O2 sink functions give rise to a sizable APO flux of 13.0 ± 4.0 mol m-2 yr-1 into surface waters of the central Labrador Sea. A mixed layer carbon budget yields a net community production of 4.0 ± 0.8 mol C m-2 during the 2005 productive season about one third of which appears to undergo subsurface respiration in a depth range that is reventilated during the following winter. The timing of the spring bloom is discussed and eddies from the West Greenland Current are thought to be associated with the triggering of the bloom. Finally, we use CO2 and O2 mixed layer dynamics during the 2005 spring bloom to evaluate a suite of prominent wind speed-dependent parameterizations for the gas transfer coefficient. We find very good agreement with those parameterizations which yield higher transfer coefficients at wind speeds above 10 m s-1.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberGB1014
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonal cycle of O2 and pCO2 in the central Labrador Sea: Atmospheric, biological, and physical implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this