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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 8 | Copyright
Biogeosciences, 15, 2449-2465, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Apr 2018

Research article | 23 Apr 2018

The distribution of methylated sulfur compounds, DMS and DMSP, in Canadian subarctic and Arctic marine waters during summer 2015

Tereza Jarníková1, John Dacey2, Martine Lizotte3, Maurice Levasseur3, and Philippe Tortell1,4,5 Tereza Jarníková et al.
  • 1Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2022 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
  • 2Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
  • 3Université Laval, Department of Biology (Québec-Océan), Québec City, Québec, Canada
  • 4Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, 6270 University Blvd., Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
  • 5Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia, 6330 Crescent Blvd., Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Abstract. We present seawater concentrations of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) measured across a transect from the Labrador Sea to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago during summer 2015. Using an automated ship-board gas chromatography system and a membrane-inlet mass spectrometer, we measured a wide range of DMS (∼1 to 18nM) and DMSP (∼ 1 to 150nM) concentrations. The highest DMS and DMSP concentrations occurred in a localized region of Baffin Bay, where surface waters were characterized by high chlorophyll a (chl a) fluorescence, indicative of elevated phytoplankton biomass. Across the full sampling transect, there were only weak relationships between DMS(P), chl a fluorescence and other measured variables, including positive relationships between DMSP: chl a ratios and several taxonomic marker pigments, and elevated DMS(P) concentrations in partially ice-covered areas. Our high spatial resolution measurements allowed us to examine DMS variability over small scales (<1km), documenting strong DMS concentration gradients across surface hydrographic frontal features. Our new observations fill in an important observational gap in the Arctic Ocean and provide additional information on sea–air DMS fluxes from this ocean region. In addition, this study constitutes a significant contribution to the existing Arctic DMS(P) dataset and provides a baseline for future measurements in the region.

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This paper presents some of the first high-resolution measurements of a biologically-produced climate-active sulfur gas (dimethylsulfide – DMS) ever made in the Canadian Arctic, taken using two novel high-resolution sampling techniques aboard an icebreaker in the summer of 2015. We show increased concentrations of DMS and its precursors in frontal zones and areas of high sea ice accumulation. Our results provide a snapshot of climate-active gas dynamics in a rapidly changing Arctic.
This paper presents some of the first high-resolution measurements of a biologically-produced...