loading page

Quantifying net community production and calcification at Station ALOHA near Hawai’i: Insights and limitations from a dual tracer carbon budget approach
  • +3
  • Lucie Anna Christa Maria Knor,
  • Christopher L. Sabine,
  • Adrienne J. Sutton,
  • Angelicque E. White,
  • James Potemra,
  • Robert A. Weller
Lucie Anna Christa Maria Knor
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Christopher L. Sabine
University of Hawaii Manoa
Author Profile
Adrienne J. Sutton
NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Author Profile
Angelicque E. White
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Author Profile
James Potemra
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Author Profile
Robert A. Weller
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Author Profile


A budget approach is used to disentangle drivers of the seasonal mixed layer carbon cycle at Station ALOHA (A Long-term Oligotrophic Habitat Assessment) in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG). The budget utilizes data from the WHOTS (Woods Hole - Hawaii Ocean Time-series Site) mooring, and the ship-based Hawai‘i Ocean Time-series (HOT) in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG), a region of significant oceanic carbon uptake. Parsing the carbon variations into process components allows an assessment of both the proportional contributions of mixed layer carbon drivers, and the seasonal interplay of drawdown and supply from different processes. Annual net community production reported here is at the lower end of previously published data, while net community calcification estimates are 4- to 7-fold higher than available sediment trap data, the only other estimate of calcium carbonate export at this location. Although the observed seasonal cycle in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the NPSG has a relatively small amplitude, larger fluxes offset each other over an average year, with major supply from physical transport, especially lateral eddy transport throughout the year and entrainment in the winter, and biological carbon uptake in the spring. Gas exchange plays a smaller role, supplying carbon to the surface ocean between Dec-May, and outgassing in Jul-Oct. Evaporation-precipitation (E–P) is variable with precipitation prevailing in the first- and evaporation in the second half of the year. The observed total alkalinity signal is largely governed by E–P, with a somewhat stronger net calcification signal in the wintertime.