Methane and pCO2 in the Kuroshio and the South China Sea during maximum summer surface temperatures

Rehder, Gregor and Suess, Erwin (2001) Methane and pCO2 in the Kuroshio and the South China Sea during maximum summer surface temperatures Marine Chemistry, 75 . pp. 89-108. DOI 10.1016/S0304-4203(01)00026-3.

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The methane concentration and pCO2 in surface waters and the overlying marine air were continuously surveyed along the pathway of the Kuroshio, from the eastern coast of Honshu to Taiwan, and then across the eastern part of the East China and South China Seas in September of 1994. Off Honshu, the CH4 content was controlled by the confluence of the relatively CH4-poor waters of the Kuroshio and the Oyashio and the CH4-rich Tsugaru Warm Current, the latter carrying water into the Pacific Ocean with a methane content more than twice the equilibrium value with the atmospheric CH4 partial pressure. Along the Kuroshio, the surface water was supersaturated in methane with respect to the atmosphere by 10–15% and appears considerably enriched relative to open Pacific surface waters at same latitudes. The northeastern part of the South China Sea, part of the deep basin of this marginal sea, showed CH4 concentrations similar to those found in open-ocean waters. In contrast, highly variable oversaturations up to 700% were observed along the northwestern coast of Borneo, most probably related to known seepage from oil and gas deposits in this area.

The pCO2 of surface water was higher than the atmospheric pCO2 throughout the area surveyed. However, the ΔpCO2 of the surface waters varied from close to 0 to more than 60 μatm. The observed oversaturation in areas influenced by the Kuroshio confirm that, during a short period in late summer, the surface waters of this current between Taiwan and Japan act as a moderate source for atmospheric CO2.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Methane; pCO2; Surface temperature
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/S0304-4203(01)00026-3
ISSN: 0304-4203
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2017 07:56

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