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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Open ocean DMS air/sea fluxes over the eastern South Pacific Ocean


Air/sea fluxes of dimethylsulfide (DMS) were measured by eddy correlation over the Eastern South Pacific Ocean during January 2006. The cruise track extended from Manzanillo, Mexico, along 110° W, to Punta Arenas, Chile. Bulk air and surface ocean DMS levels were also measured and gas transfer coefficients (kDMS) were computed. Air and seawater DMS measurements were made using chemical ionization mass spectrometry (API-CIMS) and a gas/liquid membrane equilibrator. Mean surface seawater DMS concentrations were 3.8±2.2 nM and atmospheric mixing ratios were 340±370 ppt. The air/sea flux of DMS was uniformly out of the ocean, with an average value of 12±15 μmol m−2 d−1. Sea surface concentration and flux were highest around 15° S, in a region influenced by shelf waters and lowest around 25° S, in low chlorophyll gyre waters. The DMS gas transfer coefficient exhibited a linear wind speed-dependence over the wind speed range of 1 to 9 m s−1. This relationship is compared with previously measured estimates of k from DMS, CO2, and dual tracer data from the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, and with the NOAA/COARE gas transfer model. The model generated slope of k vs. wind speed is at the low end of those observed in previous DMS field studies.

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