Oxygen dynamics in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre

A. Cianca, R. Santana, S. E. Hartman, J. M. Martín-González, M. González-Dávila, M. J. Rueda, O. Llinás, Susanne Neuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Dissolved oxygen (DO) in the ocean is a tracer for most ocean biogeochemical processes including net community production and remineralization of organic matter which in turn constrains the biological carbon pump. Knowledge of oxygen dynamics in the North Atlantic Ocean is mainly derived from observations at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site located in the western subtropical gyre which may skew our view of the biogeochemistry of the subtropical North Atlantic. This study presents and compares a 15yr record of DO observations from ESTOC (European Station for Time-Series in the Ocean, Canary Islands) in the eastern subtropical North Atlantic with the 20yr record at BATS. Our estimate for net community production of oxygen was 2.3±0.4mol O2m-2yr-1 and of oxygen consumption was -2.3±0.5mol O2m-2yr-1 at ESTOC, and 4mol O2m-2yr-1 and -4.4±1molm-2yr-1 at BATS, respectively. These values were determined by analyzing the time-series using the Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) method. These flux values agree with similar estimates from in-situ observational studies but are higher than those from modeling studies. The difference in net oxygen production rates supports previous observations of a lower carbon export in the eastern compared to the western subtropical Atlantic. The inter-annual analysis showed clear annual cycles at BATS whereas longer cycles of nearly 4 years were apparent at ESTOC. The DWT analysis showed trends in DO anomalies dominated by long-term perturbations at a basin scale for the consumption zones at both sites, whereas yearly cycles dominated the production zone at BATS. The long-term perturbations found are likely associated with ventilation of the main thermocline, affecting the consumption and production zones at ESTOC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-147
Number of pages13
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • BATS
  • North Atlantic
  • Oxygen
  • Production
  • Remineralization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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