Dimethylsulfide gas transfer coefficients from algal blooms in the Southern Ocean
Abstract. Air–sea dimethylsulfide (DMS) fluxes and bulk air–sea gradients were measured over the Southern Ocean in February–March 2012 during the Surface Ocean Aerosol Production (SOAP) study. The cruise encountered three distinct phytoplankton bloom regions, consisting of two blooms with moderate DMS levels, and a high biomass, dinoflagellate-dominated bloom with high seawater DMS levels (> 15 nM). Gas transfer coefficients were considerably scattered at wind speeds above 5 m s−1. Bin averaging the data resulted in a linear relationship between wind speed and mean gas transfer velocity consistent with that previously observed. However, the wind-speed-binned gas transfer data distribution at all wind speeds is positively skewed. The flux and seawater DMS distributions were also positively skewed, which suggests that eddy covariance-derived gas transfer velocities are consistently influenced by additional, log-normal noise. A flux footprint analysis was conducted during a transect into the prevailing wind and through elevated DMS levels in the dinoflagellate bloom. Accounting for the temporal/spatial separation between flux and seawater concentration significantly reduces the scatter in computed transfer velocity. The SOAP gas transfer velocity data show no obvious modification of the gas transfer–wind speed relationship by biological activity or waves. This study highlights the challenges associated with eddy covariance gas transfer measurements in biologically active and heterogeneous bloom environments.