Physical Controls on Oxygen Distribution and Denitrification Potential in the North West Arabian Sea

Type Article
Date 2018-05
Language English
Author(s) Queste Bastien Y.1, Vic ClementORCID2, Heywood Karen J.1, Piontkovski Sergey A.3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ East Anglia, Sch Environm Sci, Ctr Ocean & Atmospher Sci, Norwich, Norfolk, England.
2 : Univ Southampton, Dept Ocean & Earth Sci, Southampton, Hants, England.
3 : Sultan Qaboos Univ, Coll Agr & Marine Sci, Muscat, Oman.
Source Geophysical Research Letters (0094-8276) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2018-05 , Vol. 45 , N. 9 , P. 4143-4152
DOI 10.1029/2017GL076666
WOS© Times Cited 38
Note In the originally published version of this article, several instances of the notation of units were incorrectly typeset. Throughout the article, μmol kg−1 had been wrongly changed to μmol/kg−1, and kg m−3 had been changed to kg/m3. These errors have since been corrected, and the present version may be considered the authoritative version of record.
Keyword(s) deoxygenation, Oman, glider, Arabian sea, denitrifcation, eddies

At suboxic oxygen concentrations, key biogeochemical cycles change and denitrification becomes the dominant remineralization pathway. Earth system models predict oxygen loss across most ocean basins in the next century; oxygen minimum zones near suboxia may become suboxic and therefore denitrifying. Using an ocean glider survey and historical data, we show oxygen loss in the Gulf of Oman (from 6-12 to <2 mu mol kg(-1)) not represented in climatologies. Because of the nonlinearity between denitrification and oxygen concentration, resolutions of current Earth system models are too coarse to accurately estimate denitrification. We develop a novel physical proxy for oxygen from the glider data and use a high-resolution physical model to show eddy stirring of oxygen across the Gulf of Oman. We use the model to investigate spatial and seasonal differences in the ratio of oxic and suboxic water across the Gulf of Oman and waters exported to the wider Arabian Sea.

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