Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 221–233, 2016
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 221–233, 2016

Brief communication 03 Jun 2016

Brief communication | 03 Jun 2016

Stable carbon isotopes of dissolved inorganic carbon for a zonal transect across the subpolar North Atlantic Ocean in summer 2014

Matthew P. Humphreys1, Florence M. Greatrix1, Eithne Tynan1, Eric P. Achterberg1,2, Alex M. Griffiths3, Claudia H. Fry1, Rebecca Garley4, Alison McDonald5, and Adrian J. Boyce5 Matthew P. Humphreys et al.
  • 1Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  • 2GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
  • 3Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • 4Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, St George's, Bermuda
  • 5Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride, UK

Abstract. The stable carbon isotope composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13CDIC) in seawater was measured in samples collected during June–July 2014 in the subpolar North Atlantic. Sample collection was carried out on the RRS James Clark Ross cruise JR302, part of the “Radiatively Active Gases from the North Atlantic Region and Climate Change” (RAGNARoCC) research programme. The observed δ13CDIC values for cruise JR302 fall in a range from −0.07 to +1.95 ‰, relative to the Vienna Pee Dee Belemnite standard. From duplicate samples collected during the cruise, the 1σ precision for the 341 results is 0.08 ‰, which is similar to our previous work and other studies of this kind. We also performed a cross-over analysis using nearby historical δ13CDIC data, which indicated that there were no significant systematic offsets between our measurements and previously published results. We also included seawater reference material (RM) produced by A. G. Dickson (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA) in every batch of analysis, enabling us to improve upon the calibration and quality-control procedures from a previous study. The δ13CDIC is consistent within each RM batch, although its value is not certified. We report δ13CDIC values of 1.15 ± 0.03 ‰ and 1.27 ± 0.05 ‰ for batches 141 and 144 respectively. Our JR302 δ13CDIC data can be used – along with measurements of other biogeochemical variables – to constrain the processes that control DIC in the interior ocean, in particular the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide and the biological carbon pump. Our δ13CDIC results are available from the British Oceanographic Data Centre – doi:10.5285/22235f1a-b7f3-687f-e053-6c86abc0c8a6.

Short summary
This paper reports the stable isotope composition of dissolved inorganic carbon in seawater for a transect from west to east across the North Atlantic Ocean. The results can be used to study oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, and also to investigate the natural biological carbon pump. We also provide stable DIC isotope results for two batches of Dickson seawater CRMs to enable intercomparisons with other studies.