Quantifying subtropical North Pacific gyre mixed layer primary productivity from Seaglider observations of diel oxygen cycles Academic Article uri icon


  • Using autonomous underwater gliders, we quantified diurnal periodicity in dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, and temperature in the subtropical North Pacific near the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) Station ALOHA during summer 2012. Oxygen optodes provided sufficient stability and precision to quantify diel cycles of average amplitude of 0.6?┬Ámol?kg?1. A theoretical diel curve was fit to daily observations to infer an average mixed layer gross primary productivity (GPP) of 1.8?mmol O2?m?3?d?1. Cumulative net community production (NCP) over 110?days was 500?mmol O2?m?2 for the mixed layer, which averaged 57?m in depth. Both GPP and NCP estimates indicated a significant period of below-average productivity at Station ALOHA in 2012, an observation confirmed by 14C productivity incubations and O2/Ar ratios. Given our success in an oligotrophic gyre where biological signals are small, our diel GPP approach holds promise for remote characterization of productivity across the spectrum of marine environments.

publication date

  • May 28, 2015