Net community production in a productive coastal ocean from an autonomous buoyancy-driven glider

W.Z. Haskell, D.E. Hammond, M.G. Prokopenko, E.N. Teel, B.N. Seegers, M.A. Ragan, N. Rollins, Burton Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Net community production (NCP), an analog of carbon export out of the surface ocean, is often estimated using budgets of dissolved oxygen. Accurate estimates of oxygen-based NCP, especially in dynamic coastal regions, require constraints on vertical transport of water with O2 out of equilibrium with the atmosphere, non-steady state change in the oxygen inventory, heating/cooling-driven O2 disequilibrium, and the rate of bubble injection from wave activity. The latter two are typically evaluated by using discrete measurements of the O2/Ar ratio in lieu of O2 only. Because sophisticated sampling and measurement techniques are required to make these measurements, they are often limited in spatiotemporal resolution. However, high-resolution estimates of NCP may be useful in determining small-scale patchiness in export. In this study, we calculated high-resolution NCP in coastal Southern California using dissolved oxygen measurements made by an autonomous buoyancy-driven Slocum glider and an empirical relationship derived using discrete measurements of O2/Ar in the surface mixed layer to remove the influence of bubble injection, which accounted for ~1/4 of the O2 supersaturation observed. Using estimates of vertical transport from wind-speed based parameterizations, previously validated using a 7Be budget, we were able to correct for the physical biases to the signal, which are known to significantly influence dissolved oxygen budgets in this region. Our results agree well with previously published NCP estimates for the study area, but also reveal higher-frequency variability that discrete sampling was unable to resolve, suggesting that this approach may be useful in other regions with well-constrained vertical transport rates.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4188-4207
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 17 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank the captain and crew of the R/VYellowfin for their assistance in the field, and Troy Gunderson for his guidance and dedication to the SPOT time-series station, without which this work would have been impossible. Thanks to the ‘HAB’ group for their cooperation during deployments of the USC Slocum gliders. Thanks to the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies for use of their lab space and small boats for glider sensor calibration and deployment. Funding for the UpRISEE study was provided by the Chemical Oceanography program of the National Science Foundation (OCE1260296 to M. Prokopenko and OCE1260692 to D. Hammond). Support for WH came from an NSF-OCE Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (OCE-PRF1521616).All data can be accessed through the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO;


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