A mesocosm experiment coupled with optical measurements to assess the fate and sinking of atmospheric particles in clear oligotrophic waters

Matthieu Bressac, Cecile Guieu, David Doxaran, François Bourrin, Grigor Obolensky, Jean Michel Grisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has recently been postulated that lithogenic particles such as Saharan dust strongly influence particulate organic carbon export to the deep ocean by acting as mineral ballast. However, our understanding of the processes involved remains scant. In the present study, optical measurements were performed to monitor variations in the concentration, composition and size distribution of particles in suspension within the water column after simulating a Saharan dust event in very clear Mediterranean waters off Corsica in June 2010. A new methodology set up in large mesocosms proved very successful in this regard. Values obtained simultaneously from three instruments (WetLabs ECO-BB3, WetLabs ac-9, Sequoia Scientific LISST-100) provided evidence that (1) part of the Saharan dust pool has a rapid settling velocity (~24-86 m day -1), (2) particulate export following a dust event is a nonlinear multi-step process and (3) export is controlled in part by the formation of organic-mineral aggregates. This experimental study provides the first insight of the complex export processes occurring after a dust event involving both physical and biogeochemical forcings in clear oligotrophic waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalGeo-Marine Letters
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

Fingerprint

atmospheric particle
mesocosm
Dust
dust
Water
experiment
Experiments
Organic minerals
water
Mediterranean Water
settling velocity
particulate organic carbon
mineral
Organic carbon
Particles (particulate matter)
Minerals
experimental study
water column
methodology
ocean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

Cite this

A mesocosm experiment coupled with optical measurements to assess the fate and sinking of atmospheric particles in clear oligotrophic waters. / Bressac, Matthieu; Guieu, Cecile; Doxaran, David; Bourrin, François; Obolensky, Grigor; Grisoni, Jean Michel.

In: Geo-Marine Letters, Vol. 32, No. 2, 01.04.2012, p. 153-164.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bressac, Matthieu ; Guieu, Cecile ; Doxaran, David ; Bourrin, François ; Obolensky, Grigor ; Grisoni, Jean Michel. / A mesocosm experiment coupled with optical measurements to assess the fate and sinking of atmospheric particles in clear oligotrophic waters. In: Geo-Marine Letters. 2012 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 153-164.
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