The distributions and fluxes of the climatically-active gases dimethylsulfide (DMS), isoprene, methyl bromide (CH3Br), and methyl iodide (CH3I) were measured in the surface waters of the central basin (CB) of the South China Sea (SCS) in July 2014; the possible production pathways of the gases are discussed to evaluate their biological sources and relative contribution to the global climate. The mean concentrations of DMS, isoprene, CH3Br, and CH3I were 1.76 ± 1.35 nmol L−1, 6.92 ± 2.68 pmol L−1, 0.82 ± 0.23 pmol L−1, and 2.72 ± 0.72 pmol L−1, respectively. The vertical profiles of the trace gases were similar to that of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a). The maxima appeared in the euphotic zone and approximately agreed with the Chl-a maximum layer, whereas the concentrations were below the detection limits beneath the euphotic zone. A significant positive correlation (R = 0.590, p < 0.005, n = 19) was found between isoprene and Chl-a while no correlations occurred between the other gases and Chl-a. The seawater temperature was also an important factor affecting the isoprene and CH3I distributions in the study area. The sea-to-air fluxes of DMS, isoprene, and CH3I were estimated at 4.36 ± 3.94 μmol m−2d−1, 12.38 ± 6.80 nmol m−2d−1, and 8.70 ± 4.79 nmol m−2d−1, respectively, suggesting that the CB of the SCS was a substantial source of these trace gases to the atmosphere. In contrast, the study area was a net sink of CH3Br and its air-to-sea flux was estimated at 1.97 ± 1.44 nmol m−2d−1.
Marine Chemistry – Elsevier
Published: Mar 20, 2018
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