The effects of breaking waves on dual-tracer gas exchange experiments

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Quantification of air-sea gas fluxes is important in understanding the global ocean carbon cycle, determining the effect of biologically produced gases on remote marine tropospheric aerosol production, and measuring the atmospheric lifetimes of trace gases. Direct measurement of the flux, F, of a sparingly soluble gas through the air-sea interface is extremely difficult in general, and F is often calculated as F = k{sub L}{delta}C where k{sub L} is the transfer velocity of the gas and AC is its air-sea concentration difference. In the absence of bubbles, k{sub L} is a function of the near-surface aqueous-phase turbulence and the molecular ... continued below

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6 p.

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Asher, W. & Wanninkhof, R. July 1, 1995.

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  • Asher, W. Pacific Northwest Lab., Sequim, WA (United States)
  • Wanninkhof, R. National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meterological Lab., Miami, FL (United States)

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  • Pacific Northwest Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Richland, Washington

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Description

Quantification of air-sea gas fluxes is important in understanding the global ocean carbon cycle, determining the effect of biologically produced gases on remote marine tropospheric aerosol production, and measuring the atmospheric lifetimes of trace gases. Direct measurement of the flux, F, of a sparingly soluble gas through the air-sea interface is extremely difficult in general, and F is often calculated as F = k{sub L}{delta}C where k{sub L} is the transfer velocity of the gas and AC is its air-sea concentration difference. In the absence of bubbles, k{sub L} is a function of the near-surface aqueous-phase turbulence and the molecular diffusivity of the gas. Although direct measurement of {delta}C is relatively simple, oceanic measurements of k{sub L} are problematical. Because of this, k{sub L} is usually estimated from empirical parameterizations for k{sub L} in terms of wind speed, U. The linear relation between F and k{sub L} at a constant {delta}C implies that the accuracy of the parameterization of k{sub L} in terms of U is critical in calculating F. This is especially true when U is large, since experiments in wind tunnels, lakes, and the ocean suggest that k{sub L} increases quadratically with U (Wanninkhof, 1992). With the exact functional form of the relation between U and k{sub L} not definitively known at present, estimation of k{sub L} at high U could be inaccurate. This problem could be resolved with further oceanic measurements of k{sub L} at high U. However, increases in U are also associated with increases in the frequency of wave breaking. Whitecaps are known to generate bubble plumes, and these bubbles could have a significant effect on the measurement of k{sub L}.

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6 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE95016797

Source

  • 3. international symposium on air-water gas transfer, Heidelberg (Germany), 24-27 Jul 1995

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  • Other: DE95016797
  • Report No.: PNL-SA--25775
  • Report No.: CONF-950743--6
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 102364
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc628608

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  • July 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 7, 2016, 6:17 p.m.

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Asher, W. & Wanninkhof, R. The effects of breaking waves on dual-tracer gas exchange experiments, article, July 1, 1995; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc628608/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.