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  1. Particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) plays a major role in the ocean carbon cycle impacting pH, dissolved inorganic carbon, and alkalinity, as well as particulate organic carbon (POC) export and transfer efficiency to the deep sea. Remote sensing retrievals of PIC in surface waters span two decades, yet knowledge of PIC concentration variability in the water column is temporally and spatially limited due to a reliance on ship sampling. To overcome the space–time gap in observations, we have developed optical sensors for PIC concentration and flux that exploit the high mineral birefringence of CaCO 3 minerals, and thus enable real-time data when deployed operationally from ship CTDs and ARGO-style Carbon Flux Explorer floats. For PIC concentrations, we describe a fast (10 Hz) digital low-power (∼0.5 W) sensor that utilizes cross-polarized transmitted light to detect the photon yield from suspended birefringent particles in the water column. This sensor has been CTD-deployed to depths as great as 6,000 m and cross-calibrated against particulates sampled by large volume in situ filtration and CTD/rosettes. We report data from the September–November 2018 GEOTRACES GP15 meridional transect from the Aleutian Islands to Tahiti along 152°W where we validated two prototype sensors deployed on separate CTD systems surface to bottom atmore »39 stations, many of which were taken in nearly particle-free waters. We compare sensor results with major particle phase composition (particularly PIC and particulate aluminum) from simultaneously collected size-fractionated particulate samples collected by large volume in situ filtration. We also report results from the June 2017 California Current Ecosystem-Long Term Ecological Research (CCE-LTER) process study in California coastal waters where high PIC levels were found. We demonstrate that the PIC concentration sensor can detect PIC concentration variability from 0.01 to >1 μM in the water column (except in nepheloid layers) and outline engineering needs and progress on its integration with the Carbon Flux Explorer, an autonomous float.« less
  2. Abstract. To understand the vertical variations in carbon fluxes inbiologically productive waters, four autonomous carbon flux explorers(CFEs), ship-lowered CTD-interfaced particle-sensitive transmissometer andscattering sensors, and surface-drogued sediment traps were deployed in afilament of offshore flowing, recently upwelled water, during the June 2017California Current Ecosystem – Long Term Ecological Research process study.The Lagrangian CFEs operating at depths from 100–500 m yielded carbon fluxand its partitioning with size from 30 µm–1 cm at three intensivestudy locations within the filament and in waters outside the filament. Sizeanalysis codes intended to enable long-term CFE operations independent ofships are described. Different particle classes (anchovy pellets, copepodpellets, and > 1000 µm aggregates) dominated the 100–150 mfluxes during successive stages of the filament evolution as it progressedoffshore. Fluxes were very high at all locations in the filament; below150 m, flux was invariant or increased with depth at the two locationscloser to the coast. Martin curve b factors (± denotes 95 %confidence intervals) for total particulate carbon flux were +0.37 ± 0.59, +0.85 ± 0.31, −0.24 ± 0.68, and −0.45 ± 0.70 at thethree successively occupied locations within the plume, and in transitionalwaters. Interestingly, the flux profiles for all particles< 400 µm were a much closer fit to the canonical Martinprofile (b−0.86); however, most (typically > 90 %) ofthe particle flux was carried by > 1000 µm sized aggregateswhich increased with depth. Mechanismsmore »to explain the factor of 3 fluxincrease between 150 and 500 m at the mid-plume location are investigated.« less
  3. Abstract. The magnitude and controls of particulate carbon exported from surface watersand its remineralization at depth are poorly constrained. The Carbon FluxExplorer (CFE), a Lagrangian float-deployed imaging sediment trap, has beendesigned to optically measure the hourly variations of particle flux tokilometer depths for months to seasons while relaying data in near-real timeto shore via satellite without attending ships. The main optical proxy forparticle load recorded by the CFE, volume attenuance (VA; units ofmATN&thinsp;cm2), while rigorously defined and highly precise, has not beenrobustly calibrated in terms of particulate organic carbon (POC), nitrogen(PN) and phosphorus (PP). In this study, a novel 3-D-printed particle samplerusing cutting edge additive manufacturing was developed and integrated withthe CFE. Two such modified floats (CFE-Cals) were deployed a total of15 times for 18–24&thinsp;h periods to gain calibration imagery and samples atdepths near 150&thinsp;m in four contrasting productivity environments during theJune 2017 California Current Ecosystem Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)process study. Regression slopes for VA&thinsp;:&thinsp;POC and VA&thinsp;:&thinsp;PN (unitsmATN&thinsp;cm2:&thinsp;mmol; R2, n, p value in parentheses) were1.01×104 (0.86, 12, &lt;&thinsp;0.001) and 1.01×105(0.86, 15, &lt;&thinsp;0.001), respectively, and were not sensitive toparticle size classes or the contrasting environments encountered. PP was notwell correlated with VA, reflecting the high labilitymore »of P relative to C andN. The volume attenuance flux (VAF) to POC flux calibration is compared toprevious estimates.

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