Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
12 Aug 2013
 | 12 Aug 2013

Global database of surface ocean particulate organic carbon export fluxes diagnosed from the 234Th technique

F. A. C. Le Moigne, S. A. Henson, R. J. Sanders, and E. Madsen

Abstract. The oceanic biological carbon pump is an important factor in the global carbon cycle. Organic carbon is exported from the surface ocean mainly in the form of settling particles derived from plankton production in the upper layers of the ocean. The large variability in current estimates of the global strength of the biological carbon pump emphasises that our knowledge of a major planetary carbon flux remains poorly constrained. We present a database of 723 estimates of organic carbon export from the surface ocean derived from the 234Th technique. The dataset is archived on the data repository PANGEA® ( under doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.809717. Data were collected from tables in papers published between 1985 and early 2013. We also present sampling dates, publication dates and sampling areas. Most of the open ocean provinces are represented by multiple measurements. However, the western Pacific, the Atlantic Arctic, South Pacific and the southern Indian Ocean are not well represented. There is a variety of integration depths ranging from surface to 300 m. Globally the fluxes ranged from 0 to 1500 mg C m−2 d−1.

Final-revised paper