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Severinghaus, JP, Keeling RF, Miller BR, Weiss RF, Deck B, Broecker WS.  1997.  Feasibility of using sand dunes as archives of old air. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 102:16783-16792.   10.1029/97jd00525   AbstractWebsite

Large unaltered samples of the atmosphere covering the past century would complement the history of atmospheric gases obtained from bubbles in ice cores, enabling measurement of geochemically important species such as O-2, (CH4)-C-14, and (CO)-C-14. Sand dunes are a porous media with interstitial air in diffusive contact with the atmosphere, somewhat analogous to the unconsolidated layer of firn atop glaciers. Recent studies have demonstrated the value of firn as an archive of old air [Battle et al., 1996; Bender et al., 1994a]. Unlike firn, sand dunes are incompressible and so remain permeable to greater depths and may extend the firn record into the past century. To evaluate the feasibility of using sand dunes as archives of old air, we drilled 60 m deep test holes in the Algodones Dunes, Imperial Valley, California. The main objective was to see if the air in a sand dune is as old as predicted by a diffusion model, or if the dune is rapidly flushed by advective pumping during windstorms and barometric pressure changes. We dated the air with chlorofluorocarbons and krypton-85, anthropogenic tracers whose atmospheric concentrations are known and have been increasing rapidly in the past half century. These tracer data match the pure diffusion model well, showing that advection in this dune is negligible compared to diffusion as a transport mechanism and that the mean age of the air at 61 m depth is similar to 10 years. Dunes therefore do contain old air. However, dunes appear to suffer from two serious drawbacks as archives. Microbial metabolism is evident in elevated CO2 and N2O and depressed CH4 and O-2 concentrations in this dune, corrupting the signals of interest in this and probably most dunes. Second, isotopic analyses of N-2 and O-2 from the dune show that fractionation of the gases occurs due to diffusion of water vapor, complicating the interpretation of the O-2 signal beyond the point of viability for an air archive. Sand dunes may be useful for relatively inert gases with large atmospheric concentration changes such as chlorofluorocarbons.

Weiss, RF.  1971.  Flushing characteristics of oceanographic sampling bottles. Deep-Sea Research. 18:653-656.   10.1016/0011-7471(71)90132-x   AbstractWebsite

The flushing characteristics of several types of oceanographic sampling bottles have been measured in a series of shipboard experiments using fluorescein dye. The results are consistent with a first-order model which may be used to calculate the flushing rate of a sampling bottle directly from its dimensions.

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.

Weiss, RF, Kirsten OH, Ackermann R, Ramo S.  1977.  Free vehicle instrumentation for the in-situ measurement of processes controlling the formation of deep-sea ferromanganese nodules. OCEANS '77 Conference Record. , New York, N.Y., United States (USA): Inst. Electric. and Electron. Eng., New York, N.Y.   10.1109/OCEANS.1977.1154352   Abstract

This paper describes the free vehicle instrumentation under development for the Manganese Nodule Program (MANOP) of the International Decade for Ocean Exploration (IDOE). Principal emphasis is being placed on the MANOP Bottom Lander, a device designed to carry out in situ chemical flux experiments at the seawater-sediment interface at depths up to 6 km. This device will collect time-series water samples from three separate bottom chamber experiments, each of which can be spiked with various chemical and radioisotopic tracers. The device will also make oxygen and pH measurements in each chamber and will take box core samples under each chamber before returning to the surface. All operations will be microprocessor-controlled with data storage capability and with an acoustic data-link to the surface. Deployments will be for periods of up to 1 year.