Institut Méditerranéen d’Océanologie

Article du mois

Seasonal dynamics of atmospheric and river inputs of black carbon, and impacts on biogeochemical cycles in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Black carbon slick and SML sampling. Example of a black slick observed in Halong Bay during the dry season (left), and sea surface microlayer (SML) sampling (right) using the glass plate technique within such highly BC-impacted slicks. Note the color of the SML sample ; although visually resembling an oil slick in situ, analyses confirmed these black slicks were due to BC. DOI :https://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.255.f2

Emissions of black carbon (BC), a product of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels and biomass, are high in the Asia-Pacific region, yet input pathways and rates to the ocean are not well constrained. Atmospheric and riverine inputs of BC in Halong Bay (Vietnam), a hotspot of atmospheric BC, were studied at monthly intervals during one year. Climate in Halong Bay is governed by the monsoon regime, characterized by a northeast winter monsoon (dry season) and southeast summer monsoon (wet season). During the dry season, atmospheric BC concentrations averaged twice those observed during the wet season. In the sea surface microlayer (SML) and underlying water (ULW), concentrations of particulate BC (PBC) averaged 539 and 11 μmol C L–1, respectively. Dissolved BC (DBC) concentrations averaged 2.6 μmol C L–1 in both the SML and ULW. Seasonal variations indicated that PBC concentration in the SML was controlled by atmospheric deposition during the dry season, while riverine inputs controlled both PBC and DBC concentrations in ULW during the wet season. Spatiotemporal variations of PBC and DBC during the wet season suggest that river runoff was efficient in transporting PBC that had accumulated on land during the dry season, and in mobilizing and transporting DBC to the ocean. The annual river flux of PBC was about 3.8 times higher than that of DBC. The monsoon regime controls BC input to Halong Bay by favoring dry deposition of BC originating from the north during the dry season, and wet deposition and river runoff during the wet season. High PBC concentrations seem to enhance the transfer of organic carbon from dissolved to particulate phase by adsorbing dissolved organic carbon and stimulating aggregation. Such processes may impact the availability and biogeochemical cycling of other dissolved substances, including nutrients, for the coastal marine ecosystem.

Accès à l’article : [Mari et al. (2017)->http://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.255