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THE SILICA CYCLE IN THE ANTARCTIC OCEAN - IS THE WEDDELL SEA ATYPICAL

Abstract : The lowest biogenic silica production rates in the Southern Ocean (average of 2.59 mmol Si m-2 d-1) have been recorded in an area of heavy ice cover along a transect through the Weddell Sea from Joinville Island to Cap Norvegia (November-December 1990). The associated biomass was also very low (concentrations less-than-or-equal-to 0.6 mumol l-1 for biogenic silica and less-than-or-equal-to 0.8 mug l-1 for chlorophyll a). Based upon these direct measurements of biogenic silica production rates and other data available from the marginal ice zone and open ocean areas, we estimated the annual production of biogenic silica in the northern Weddell Sea to be 810 to 870 mmol m-2 yr-1. This leads to a revised estimate of the total annual biogenic silica production in the Southern Ocean of between 11 and 32 Tmol Si yr-1. Comparing our annual production estimate to previous estimates of vertical flux of opal in the Weddell Sea, we conclude that no more than 1 % of the silica produced annually by phytoplankton in the upper water column reaches a depth of 800 m. This is consistent with the general distribution of high accumulation rates of opal in Southern Ocean sediments which evidence an unexplained gap in the Weddell Sea. Thus, regarding the cycling of biogenic silica in the Southern Ocean, the Weddell Sea appears to be atypical.
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https://hal.univ-brest.fr/hal-00456581
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Submitted on : Monday, February 15, 2010 - 2:44:51 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 1:12:21 AM

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Aude Leynaert, David Nelson, Bernard Queguiner, Paul Tréguer. THE SILICA CYCLE IN THE ANTARCTIC OCEAN - IS THE WEDDELL SEA ATYPICAL. Marine Ecology Progress Series, Inter Research, 1993, 96 (1), pp.1-15. ⟨hal-00456581⟩

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