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  • Factors Affecting the Efficiency ofCarbon Monoxide Photoproductionin the St. Lawrence EstuarineSystem (Canada)Y O N G Z H A N G , , H U I X I A N G X I E * , A N DG U O H U A C H E N

    College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China, 266003;Institut des sciences de la mer,Universite du Quebec a Rimouski, Quebec, Canada G5L3A1

    This study examined the effects of water temperature andthe origin (terrestrial vs marine) and light history ofchromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) on theapparent quantum yields of carbon monoxide (CO)photoproduction for water samples collected along asalinity gradient (salinity range: 0-33) in the St. Lawrenceestuarine system (Canada). The solar insolation-weightedmean apparent quantum yield of CO (h CO) decreasedas much as fourfold with increasing salinity and showeda strong positive correlation with the dissolved organic carbon-specific absorption coefficient at 254 nm. This suggeststhat terrestrial CDOM is more efficient at photochemicallyproducing CO than is marine algae-derived CDOM andthat aromatic moieties are likely involved in this photoprocess.CDOM photobleaching, mainly at the very early stage,dramatically decreased h CO (by up to 6.4 times) for low-salinity samples, but photobleaching had little effect on themost marine sample. For a 20 C increase in temperature,h CO increased by 70% for low-salinity samples and 30-40% for saline samples. This study demonstrates that watertemperature, as well as the CDOMs origin and lighthistory, strongly affect the efficiency of CO photoproduction.These factors should be taken into account in modelingthe photochemical fluxes of CO and other related CDOMphotoproducts on varying spatiotemporal scales.

    IntroductionCarbon monoxide (CO) in the surface ocean is primarilyproduced from the photolysis of chromophoric dissolvedorganic matter (CDOM) and is lost by microbial consumptionand outgassing (1-3). The primary motivation of early studiesof seawater CO arose from the observation that the oceanis a net source of atmospheric CO (4, 5), which regulates theoxidizing capacity of the atmosphere (6). Recently, interestin the marine CO cycle has expanded and diversified. Thestrong diel variation of the CO concentration in the surfaceocean (1), imposed by the diurnal fluctuation of the solarinsolation and modulated by microbial removal, outgassing,and vertical mixing, renders CO a suitable probe for upper-ocean mixing dynamics, photochemistry, optics, biology, and

    air-sea gas exchange (7). As the second most abundantinorganic carbon-containing product of CDOM photochem-istry, CO is of significance to marine carbon cycling (8). COis also considered a useful proxy for general CDOM pho-toreactivity (9) and for the difficult-to-measure photopro-duction of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (8, 10) andbiolabile carbon (11), which together have been proposed tobe one of the major terms in the ocean carbon cycle (12).Therefore, any significant advances or modifications in ourknowledge of oceanic CO would affect our view on othermajor marine biogeochemical cycles.

    To quantitatively assess the role of CDOM photooxidationin the fate of organic carbon in the ocean (10, 13, 14), twoapproaches have been employed most frequently: in situincubations (15) and optical-photochemical coupled model-ing based on apparent quantum yield (AQY) (13, 16-18).The former determines water column photochemical fluxesby directly incubating water samples at varying depths inthe photic zone; it requires laborious fieldwork, but is thoughtto closely simulate the natural photochemistry and the insitu light field. The latter calculates photochemical rates bycombining experimentally determined AQY spectra withCDOM absorption coefficient spectra and underwater irra-diance. As CDOM absorption coefficients can be retrievedfrom satellite ocean color measurements (19), the modelingapproach appears promising for large-scale investigations(12, 17). The reliability of this approach depends, to a largeextent, on the reliability of the AQY spectra used in the model.Potentially large uncertainties in published AQY spectra arepartly associated with lack of quantitative knowledge of theinfluences of CDOM quality and environmental conditionson the related photoprocesses, including CO photoproduc-tion. This study determined CO AQY (CO) spectra on watersamples from the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence (Canada)and evaluated the effects of water temperature as well as theCDOMs origin (terrestrial vs marine) and light history onCO. The implications of these influences for the mechanismsof CO photoproduction and for modeling the photochemicalfluxes of CO and other related CDOM photoproducts arediscussed.

    Experimental SectionSampling. Sampling stations were dispersed along a salinitygradient from the upstream limit of the St. Lawrence estuarynear Quebec City through the Gulf of St. Lawrence and tothe open Atlantic off Cabot Strait. Thirteen stations weresampled for absorbance and DOC measurements and six forthe AQY study (Figure 1). Water samples (2 m deep) weretaken in late July 2004 for Stations 1-12 and in mid-June2005 for Station 13 using 12-L Niskin bottles attached to aCTD rosette. Samples were gravity-filtered upon collectionthrough Pall AcroPak 1000 capsules sequentially containing0.8 m and 0.2 m polyethersulfone membrane filters. Thefiltered water was transferred in darkness into acid-cleaned,4 L clear glass bottles, stored in darkness at 4 C, and broughtback to the laboratory at Rimouski. Samples were re-filteredwith 0.22 m polycarbonate membranes (Millipore) im-mediately prior to irradiations, which were carried out within2 months of sample collection.

    Photobleaching. In order to evaluate the effect of theCDOMs light history on CO (i.e., dose dependence), filteredsamples, placed in a clear glass container covered with aquartz plate, kept at 15 C and continuously stirred, wereirradiated with a SUNTEST XLS+ solar simulator equippedwith a 1.5 kW xenon lamp. Radiations emitted from the xenonlamp were screened by a Suprax long band-pass cutoff filter

    * Corresponding author phone: (418) 724-1767; fax: (418) 724-1842; e-mail: huixiang_xie@uqar.qc.ca.

    Ocean University of China. Universite du Quebec.

    Environ. Sci. Technol. 2006, 40, 7771-7777

    10.1021/es0615268 CCC: $33.50 2006 American Chemical Society VOL. 40, NO. 24, 2006 / ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 9 7771Published on Web 11/01/2006

  • to minimize radiations
  • aromatic carbon-rich DOM from adjacent mudflats mightalso have contributed to the high SUVA254 values there,especially at Station 3. The a350 value decreased linearly withsalinity, but the slope of the line changes at Station 6 (Figure

    2), slightly downstream from the mouth of the SaguenayFjord, where the topography changes abruptly from anaverage of 60 m in the upper estuary to >200 m in thelower estuary. This a350 distribution pattern agrees with thefinding by Nieke et al. (30). Tidal and wind-driven upwellingin and around the head of the lower estuary of CDOM-depleted deep water originating from the Atlantic Ocean (27)could be mainly responsible for this feature. Relatively moreintense in situ photobleaching in the lower estuary, asexpected from the longer residence times of surface watersthere, might also have played a role. However, the lineara350-S relationship across the entire lower estuary suggeststhe absence of significant photobleaching. The [DOC]-Srelationship resembles the a350-S relationship except atStation 3, where [DOC] is lower than inferred from the DOCmixing line, resulting in the elevated SUVA254 value at thisstation (Figure 2).

    CO of Terrestrial vs Marine CDOM. A compilation ofthe fit parameters for eq 1 is shown in Table 1. CO spectrarepresentative of the upstream limit of the St. Lawrenceestuary (Station 1), the Gulf (Station 11), and the AtlanticOcean (Station 13) are displayed in Figure 3. Across the UV-visible regimes, the freshwater had the highest CO values,the open-ocean water the lowest, and the Gulf waterintermediate. However, the differences between these spectraprogressively diminished with decreasing wavelength, apattern in accordance with previous CO spectra determinedon water samples from widely varying geographic regions(Figure 3). These observations suggest the presence of

    FIGURE 2. Plots of a350 (in m-1), [DOC] (in mg L-1), SUVA254 (in L (mgC)-1 m-1), and h CO vs salinity. The best fit of a350 vs salinity splitsinto two segments: salinity 0.0043-26.2 (y ) -0.116 + 5.02, R2 )0.995) and salinity 26.2-32.55 (y ) -0.267 + 8.86, R2 ) 0.975). Insetis the h CO vs SUVA254 plot and the best fit. The h CO values shownhere are those determined at 15 C on the original (not pre-faded)samples. The 15 C temperature was chosen since the mean ((s.d.)temperature of the sampled stations was 14.2 C ((4.4 C).

    TABLE 1. Fit Parameters for Function CO() ) m1 exp(m2/( + m3)) (eq 1 in Text)temperature series photobleaching series

    station no. T (C) m1 m2 m3 f330a m1 m2 m3

    1 0.5 3.46 10-11 6205.7 123.3 1.000 6.55 10-10 4036.1 39.317 3.81 10-11 6259.2 127.1 0.988 9.91 10-10 3295.1 -11.4815 6.55 10-10 4036.1 39.31 0.984 3.40 10-11 5281.2 56.6224 4.00 10-10 4894.5 90.37 0.751 2.10 10-11 5370.0 58.4532 1.03 10-10 6969.1 195.8 0.307 9.97 10-12 5401.2 45.44

    0.169 5.88 10-12 5711.6 55.043 0.5 4.10 10-11 6600.9 151.9 1.000 5.42 10-11 6875.6 172.1

    7 4.53 10-11 6714.2 160.2 0.990 3.72 10-11 6324.2 131.915 5.42 10-11 6875.6 172.1 0.953 1.51 10-10 4728.9 56.4524 6.74 10-11 7332.9 205.5 0.735 1.87 10-11 5800.1 88.1132 7.20 10-11 7928.2 249.3 0.385 8.64 10-12 5453.1 52.36

    0.189 1.82 10-11 5019.5 47.488 0.5 1.12 10-09 3280.0 0.00107 1.000 2.01 10-09 3076.2 -6.73

    7 9.27 10-11 5136.1 80.25 0.984 1.27 10-11 6403.7 116.115 2.01 10-09 3076.2 -6.73 0.981 1.13 10-1