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Deeds, DA, Vollmer MK, Kulongoski JT, Miller BR, Muhle J, Harth CM, Izbicki JA, Hilton DR, Weiss RF.  2008.  Evidence for crustal degassing of CF4 and SF6 in Mojave Desert groundwaters. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta. 72:999-1013.   10.1016/j.gca.2007.11.027   AbstractWebsite

Dissolved tetrafluoromethane (CF(4)) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF(6)) concentrations were measured in groundwater samples from the Eastern Morongo Basin (EMB) and Mojave River Basin (MRB) located in the southern Mojave Desert, California. Both CF(4) and SF(6) are supersaturated with respect to equilibrium with the preindustrial atmosphere at the recharge temperatures and elevations of the Mojave Desert. These observations provide the first in situ evidence for a flux of CF(4) from the lithosphere. A gradual basin-wide enhancement in dissolved CF(4) and SF(6) concentrations with groundwater age is consistent with release of these gases during weathering of the surrounding granitic alluvium. Dissolved CF(4) and SF(6) concentrations in these groundwaters also contain a deeper crustal component associated with a lithospheric flux entering the EMB and MRB through the underlying basement. The crustal flux of CF(4), but not of SF(6), is enhanced in the vicinity of local active fault systems due to release of crustal fluids during episodic fracture events driven by local tectonic activity. When fluxes of CF(4) and SF(6) into Mojave Desert groundwaters are extrapolated to the global scale they are consistent, within large uncertainties, with the fluxes required to sustain the preindustrial atmospheric abundances of CF(4) and SF(6). (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

LeBel, DA, Smethie WM, Rhein M, Kieke D, Fine RA, Bullister JL, Min DH, Roether W, Weiss RF, Andrie C, Smythe-Wright D, Jones EP.  2008.  The formation rate of North Atlantic Deep Water and Eighteen Degree Water calculated from CFC-11 inventories observed during WOCE. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 55:891-910.   10.1016/j.dsr.2008.03.009   AbstractWebsite

The accumulation of man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in subsurface water masses is directly related to their formation rate, and the water mass formation rate can be calculated from its CFC inventory. CFC-11 inventories between 65 degrees N and 10 degrees S in the Atlantic Ocean have been calculated for Eighteen Degree Water (EDW) and the components of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) from data collected primarily between 1996 and 1998 as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). CFC-11 inventories for individual water masses are 5.4 million moles for EDW, 10.5 million moles for Upper Labrador Sea Water (ULSW) (4.6 million moles south of 42 degrees N), 23.4 million moles for Classical Labrador Sea Water (CLSW), 10.4 million moles for Iceland-Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW), and 8.3 million moles for Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW). The estimated error for these inventories is about +/- 10%. The sum of the NADW components (ULSW, CLSW, ISOW, DSOW) is 53.2 million moles which is about half of the total CFC-11 inventory, 103.8 million moles, in the North Atlantic Ocean. Maps of water column inventories illustrate the formation mechanisms and spreading pathways within these water masses. The inventories directly reflect the input of newly formed water in the North Atlantic over the time scale of the CFC transient, about 3 decades. The interior regions of the North Atlantic contain most (75-80%) of the CFC-11 inventory in NADW indicating strong recirculation and mixing of newly formed NADW from the DWBC into the interior with a time scale of 2-3 decades. Average water mass formation rates between 1970 and 1997 are: 3.3Sv for EDW, 3.5Sv for ULSW (2.0Sv from the central Labrador Sea and 1.5 Sv from the southern Labrador Sea), 8.2 Sv for CLSW, 5.7 Sv for ISOW, and 2.2 Sv for DSOW. Estimated errors are +/- 20% for CLSW and +/- 16% for the other water masses. The total for NADW, which forms the deep limb of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, is 19.6 Sv. An extensive test of the effects of temporal variability on the average formation rate calculated from the CFC inventory indicates that the error introduced by the assumption of a constant water mass formation rate is no greater than 15% for CLSW and 10% for the other water masses. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Petrenko, VV, Severinghaus JP, Brook EJ, Muhle J, Headly M, Harth CM, Schaefer H, Reeh N, Weiss RF, Lowe D, Smith AM.  2008.  A novel method for obtaining very large ancient air samples from ablating glacial ice for analyses of methane radiocarbon. Journal of Glaciology. 54:233-244.   10.3189/002214308784886135   AbstractWebsite

We present techniques for obtaining large (similar to 100 L STP) samples of ancient air for analysis of (14)C of methane ((14)CH(4)) and other trace constituents. Paleoatmospheric (14)CH(4) measurements should constrain the fossil fraction of past methane budgets, as well as provide a definitive test of methane clathrate involvement in large and rapid methane concentration ([CH(4)]) increases that accompanied rapid warming events during the last deglaciation. Air dating to the Younger Dryas-Preboreal and Oldest Dryas-Bolling abrupt climatic transitions was obtained by melt extraction from old glacial ice outcropping at an ablation margin in West Greenland. The outcropping ice and occluded air were dated using a combination of delta(15)N of N(2), delta(18)O of O(2), delta(18)O(ice) and [CH(4)] measurements. The [CH(4)] blank of the melt extractions was <4 ppb. Measurements of delta(18)O and delta(15)N indicated no significant gas isotopic fractionation from handling. Measured Ar/N(2), CFC-11 and CFC-12 in the samples indicated no significant contamination from ambient air. Ar/N(2), Kr/Ar and Xe/Ar ratios in the samples were used to quantify effects of gas dissolution during the melt extractions and correct the sample [CH(4)]. Corrected [CH(4)] is elevated over expected values by up to 132 ppb for most samples, suggesting some in situ CH(4) production in ice at this site.

Nevison, CD, Keeling RF, Weiss RF, Popp BN, Jin X, Fraser PJ, Porter LW, Hess PG.  2005.  Southern Ocean ventilation inferred from seasonal cycles of atmospheric N2O and O2/N2 at Cape Grim, Tasmania. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology. 57:218-229.   10.1111/j.1600-0889.2005.00143.x   AbstractWebsite

The seasonal cycle of atmospheric N(2)O is derived from a 10-yr observational record at Cape Grim, Tasmania (41 degrees S, 145 degrees E). After correcting for thermal and stratospheric influences, the observed atmospheric seasonal cycle is consistent with the seasonal outgassing of microbially produced N(2)O from the Southern Ocean, as predicted by an ocean biogeochemistry model coupled to an atmospheric transport model (ATM). The model-observation comparison suggests a Southern Ocean N(2)O source of similar to 0.9 Tg N yr(-1) and is the first study to reproduce observed atmospheric seasonal cycles in N(2)O using specified surface sources in forward ATM runs. However, these results are sensitive to the thermal and stratospheric corrections applied to the atmospheric N(2)O data. The correlation in subsurface waters between apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) and N(2)O production (approximated as the concentration in excess of atmospheric equilibrium Delta N(2)O) is exploited to infer the atmospheric seasonal cycle in O(2)/N(2) due to ventilation of O(2)-depleted subsurface waters. Subtracting this cycle from the observed, thermally corrected seasonal cycle in atmospheric O(2)/N(2) allows the residual O(2)/N(2) signal from surface net community production to be inferred. Because N(2)O is only produced in subsurface ocean waters, where it is correlated to O(2) consumption, atmospheric N(2)O observations provide a methodology for distinguishing the surface production and subsurface ventilation signals in atmospheric O(2)/N(2), which have previously been inseparable.

Min, DH, Bullister JL, Weiss RF.  2002.  Anomalous chlorofluorocarbons in the Southern California Borderland Basins. Geophysical Research Letters. 29   10.1029/2002gl015408   AbstractWebsite

During the past two decades, unexpectedly high concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been observed in the bottom waters of the Southern California Borderland Basins (SCBB), with relatively constant spatial distribution patterns. In contrast to offshore waters in this region, CFC concentrations below the oxygen minimum layer (OML) in the deep SCBB increase with depth. The uniformity of the bottom-enhanced CFC signals and the near-zero levels of tritium suggest that this feature is likely maintained by release of CFCs from sediments and vertical mixing, and not by dumped CFC-bearing materials or an intrusion of recently ventilated waters. We hypothesize that CFC scavenging processes, either on particulate organic matter or hydrocarbon residues from the adjacent natural seeps, occur in these high-productivity near-surface coastal waters. The subsequent release of CFCs at the bottom boundary layer during the degradation of particulate material may cause the anomalous CFC distributions in the SCBB.

Landrum, LL, Gammon RH, Feely RA, Murphy PP, Kelly KC, Cosca CE, Weiss RF.  1996.  North Pacific Ocean CO2 disequilibrium for spring through summer, 1985-1989. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 101:28539-28555.   10.1029/96jc02100   AbstractWebsite

Extensive measurements of CO2 fugacity in the North Pacific surface ocean and overlying atmosphere during the years 1985-1989 are synthesized and interpreted to yield a basin-wide estimate of Delta fCO(2). The observations, taken from February through early September, suggest that the subtropical and subarctic North Pacific is a small sink for atmospheric CO2 (0.07 to 0.2 Gton C (half year)(-1) for the region north of 15 degrees N). Objective analysis techniques are used to estimate uncertainty fields resulting from constructing basin-wide contours of oceanic fCO(2) on the basis of individual cruise transects. The uncertainties are significant and imply that future sampling programs need to recognize that estimating oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 from ship-transect observations of oceanic fCO(2) alone will require very extensive sampling.

Nevison, CD, Weiss RF, Erickson DJ.  1995.  Global oceanic emissions of nitrous oxide. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 100:15809-15820.   10.1029/95jc00684   AbstractWebsite

The global N2O flux from the ocean to the atmosphere is calculated based on more than 60,000 expedition measurements of the N2O anomaly in surface water. The expedition data are extrapolated globally and coupled to daily air-sea gas transfer coefficients modeled at 2.8 degrees x 2.8 degrees resolution to estimate a global ocean source of about 4 (1.2-6.8) Tg N yr(-1). The wide range of uncertainty in the source estimate arises mainly from uncertainties in the air-sea gas transfer coefficients and in the global extrapolation of the summertime-biased surface N2O data set. The strongest source is predicted from the 40-60 degrees S latitude band. Strong emissions also are predicted from the northern Pacific Ocean, the equatorial upwelling zone, and coastal upwelling zones occurring predominantly in the tropical northern hemisphere. High apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) at 100 m below the mixed layer is found to be correlated positively both to N2O production at depth and to the surface N2O anomaly. On the basis of these correlations, the expedition data are partitioned into two subsets associated with high and low AOU at depth. The zonally averaged monthly means in each subset are extrapolated to produce two latitude-by-month matrices in which monthly surface N2O is expressed as the deviation from the annual mean. Both matrices contain large uncertainties. The low-AOU matrix, which mainly includes surface N2O data from the North Atlantic and the subtropical gyres, suggests many regions with positive summer deviations and negative winter deviations, consistent with a seasonal cycle predominantly driven by seasonal heating and cooling of the surface ocean. The high-AOU subset, which includes the regions most important to the global N2O ocean source, suggests some regions with positive winter deviations and negative summer deviations, consistent with a seasonal cycle predominantly driven by wintertime mixing of surface water with N2O-rich deep water. Coupled seasonal changes in gas transfer coefficients and surface N2O in these important source regions could strongly influence the global ocean source.

Reverdin, G, Weiss RF, Jenkins WJ.  1993.  Ventilation of the Atlantic Ocean equatorial thermocline. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 98:16289-16310.   10.1029/93jc00976   AbstractWebsite

The ventilation of the lower equatorial Atlantic thermocline (100 m to 400 m) is investigated from the distributions of salinity, oxygen, the chlorofluoromethanes F-11 and F-12, tritium, and the excess helium 3; 1983 data suggest a correlation on isopycnal surfaces between oxygen, chlorofluoromethanes and to a lesser extent, with the apparent ages derived from F-11/F-12 and helium 3/tritium. The apparent ages increase with depth from 10 years on sigma(THETA)=26.5 to over 15 years near 400 m. The tracers are largely undersaturated with respect to the surface concentrations corresponding to the apparent ages. We investigate the ventilation processes responsible for these distributions with simple circulation models, where water from the subtropical gyres reaches isopycnally the equatorial thermocline. The few model parameters are determined by fitting the simulations to the chlorofluoromethane distributions in 1983. The sensitivity of these parameters to expected errors on the past surface concentrations and to vertical mixing is comparable and can result in an error of more than 20% in the model parameters. In 1983, model [H-3] and [He-3]* are too large, in particular when no diapycnal mixing is modeled, but the differences could have arisen from errors on past surface concentrations. During the 1980s, die model overestimates the increase in chlorofluoromethanes, in particular F-12. The fitted model inflow from the southern subtropical gyre between 110 m and 400 m is 14 x 10(6) m3 s-1, in the range of expected transports by the western boundary current near Brazil. The model oxygen utilization rate is on the order of 12 mmol kg-1 yr-1 at 100 m and 5 mmol kg-1 yr-1 at 400 m (below sigma(theta)=27.1).

Takahashi, T, Weiss RF, Culberson CH, Edmond JM, Hammond DE, Wong CS, Li Y-hui, Bainbridge AE.  1970.  A carbonate chemistry profile at the 1969 GEOSECS intercalibration station in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research. 75:7648-7666., Washington, DC, United States (USA): American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC   10.1029/JC075i036p07648   AbstractWebsite

To compare and evaluate measurements made by the various laboratories participating in the Geochemical Ocean Section Study (Geosecs), four carbonate chemistry parameters, pH, pCO2, alkalinity, and total dissolved CO2, as well as temperature and salinity were measured for samples collected at the Geosecs intercalibration station, 28°20′±07′N and 121°41′±02′W. The methods for measurement include the glass-calomel electrode pair for pH, the pH and the potentiometric acid titration methods for alkalinity, gas chromatographic, infrared and potentiometric acid titration method for total CO2, and the gas equilibrator-infrared method for pCO2. The alkalinity values measured by the pH method agree with the values measured by the potentiometric acid titration method within 1%, and the total CO2 values measured by the chromatographic method agree with the values measured by the potentiometric acid titration method within 2%. The observed 3 to 5% difference between the total CO2 values measured by the chromatographic and infrared methods is attributed to the biological alteration of the unpoisoned samples used for the infrared methods. When two of the four measured carbonate parameters were used to calculate the remaining two parameters, the calculated values are found to differ systematically from the measured values for those two parameters. Such a discrepancy can be eliminated if a 30% error in the second apparent dissociation constant for carbonic acid (K2′) is assumed.