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Carbon dynamics and CO2 air-sea exchanges in the eutrophied coastal waters of the Southern Bight of the North Sea: a modelling study
Gypens, N.; Lancelot, C.; Borges, A.V. (2004). Carbon dynamics and CO2 air-sea exchanges in the eutrophied coastal waters of the Southern Bight of the North Sea: a modelling study. Biogeosci. Discuss. 1: 561-589
In: Biogeosciences Discussions. Copernicus Publications: Göttingen. ISSN 1810-6285, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Gypens, N.; Lancelot, C.; Borges, A.V. (2004). Carbon dynamics and CO2 air-sea exchanges in the eutrophied coastal waters of the Southern Bight of the North Sea: a modelling study. Biogeosciences 1(2): 147-157, more

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Abstract
    A description of the carbonate system has been incorporated in the MIRO biogeochemical model to investigate the contribution of diatom and Phaeocystis blooms to the seasonal dynamics of air-sea CO2 exchanges in the Eastern Channel and Southern Bight of the North Sea with focus on the eutrophied Belgian coastal waters. For this application the model was implemented in a simplified three-box representation of the hydrodynamics including the open ocean boundary box ‘Western English Channel’ (WCH) and the ‘French Coastal Zone’ (FCZ) and ‘Belgian Coastal Zone’ (BCZ) boxes receiving carbon and nutrients from the rivers Seine and Scheldt, respectively. Results were obtained by running the model for the 1996-1999 period. The predicted partial pressures of CO2 (pCO2) were successfully compared with data recorded over the same period in the central BCZ at station 330 (51°26.05′ N; 002°48.50′ E). Budget calculations based on model simulations of carbon flow rates indicated for BCZ a low annual sink of atmospheric CO2 (−0.17 mol C m−2 y−1). On the opposite surface water pCO2 in WCH was estimated in annual equilibrium with respect to atmospheric CO2. The relative contribution of biological, chemical and physical processes to the modelled pCO2 seasonal variability in BCZ was further explored by running model scenarios with separate closures of biological activities and carbon rivers inputs. The suppression of biological processes reversed direction of the CO2 flux in BCZ that became, on an annual scale, a significant source for atmospheric CO2 (+0.58 mol C m−2 y−1). Overall biological activity had a stronger influence on the modelled seasonal cycle of pCO2 than temperature. Especially Phaeocystis colonies which spring growth was associated with an important sink of atmospheric CO2 that counteracted the temperature-driven increase of pCO2 in spring. On the other hand, river inputs of organic and inorganic carbon were shown to increasing water pCO2 and hence emission of CO2 to the atmosphere. Same calculations conducted in WCH, showed that temperature was the main factor controlling the seasonal pCO2 cycle in these waters. The effect of interannual variations of fresh water discharge (and related nutrient and carbon inputs), temperature and wind speed was further explored by running scenarios with forcings typical of two contrasted years (1996 and 1999). Based on these simulations, the model predicts significant variations in the intensity and direction of the annual air-sea CO2 flux.

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