Nitrous oxide variability at sub-kilometre resolution in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean

Imke Grefe, Sophie Fielding, Karen J. Heywood, Jan Kaiser

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


The Southern Ocean is an important region for global nitrous oxide (N2O) cycling. The contribution of different source and sink mechanisms is, however, not very well constrained due to a scarcity of seawater data from the area. Here we present high-resolution surface N2O measurements from the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, taking advantage of a relatively new underway setup allowing for collection of data during transit across mesoscale features such as frontal systems and eddies. Covering a range of different environments and biogeochemical settings, N2O saturations and sea-to-air flux were highly variable: Saturations ranged from 96.5 % at the sea ice edge in the Weddell Sea to 126.1 % across the Polar Frontal Zone during transit to South Georgia. Negative sea-to-air fluxes of up to −1.3 µmol m−2 d−1 were observed in the Subantarctic Zone and highest positive fluxes of 14.5 µmol m−2 d−1 in Stromness Bay, coastal South Georgia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameBiogeosciences Discussions
ISSN (Print)1810-6277
ISSN (Electronic)1810-6285

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