Short-term pCO2 and O2 dynamics in California coastal waters

M. D. DeGrandpre, T. R. Hammar, C. D. Wirick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We studied short-term pCO2 and O2 variability in surface waters 30 km off Monterey, California from April to May 1995. Sensors for pCO2 and O2 were deployed for 19 days on the manned research platform, R/P FLIP. The sensors were located at 5, 10 and 31 m depths. The 31 m sensors resided below or within the thermocline, and the 5 and 10 m sensors were within the surface mixed layer during the field study. The area was characterized by surface pCO2 undersaturation and O2 supersaturation during the entire period. The average pCO2 levels at 5, 10, and 31 m, were 323 ± 18, 326 ± 19, and 452 ± 63 μatm, respectively. Much of the short term variability was related to thermocline movement and advection of offshore and coastal upwelled waters around the site. Rates of gas exchange and primary production were determined during periods when advection did not appear to dominate the variability. Air-sea gas exchange models predict an observed decline in O2 supersaturation. Rapid air-sea reequilibration of O2 relative to pCO2 appears to have a significant effect on the pCO2:O2 relationship. Primary production estimates based on CO2 and O2 rates of change match well with shipboard 14C primary production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557-1575
Number of pages19
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - Aug 1998


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