Distribution and variability of the dissolved inorganic carbon system in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela.

Publicado en Marine Chemistry, v. 195:15-26.

Astor, Y.M., Lorenzoni, L., Guzman, L., Fuentes, G., FMuller-Karger,, . Varela, R., Scranton, M., Taylor, G.T., Thunell, R

Año de publicación 2017
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marchem.2017.08.004

Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales, Estación de Investigaciones Marinas de Margarita, Punta de Piedras, Isla de Margarita 6318, Venezuela University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA



Proyecto CRN3094


•Spatial distribution of CO2 during upwelling and non-upwelling in the Cariaco Basin

•Cariaco Basin is over-saturated with CO2 with respect to atmospheric equilibrium.

•Alkalinity distributions in the Cariaco Basin and factors controlling it

•Variability of CO2 was observed across season and was affected by upwelling.


A study was conducted to characterize the variability of dissolved inorganic carbon concentration and speciation in surface waters (upper 100 m) of the southern Caribbean Sea in the Cariaco Basin, located off Venezuela. The spatial distribution of total CO2 (TCO2), partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), and the saturation state with respect to aragonite (&Omegaarg) was evaluated by measuring pH and total alkalinity (TA) in transects across the Basin during upwelling (dry season in March 2004 and 2009) and during the rainy season (September 2006 and 2008). Alkalinity was more strongly related to salinity in the western half of the Cariaco Basin (R2 = 0.87 and R2 = 0.80 for September 2008 and March 2009, p < 0.001) than in the eastern sub-basin (R2 = 0.20, p > 0.01 for March 2004, and R2 = 0.37 and R2 = 0.31 for September 2008 and March 2009, p > 0.001). In the western sub-basin, high pH (> 8.1) and low pCO2 (< 380 &muatm) were observed near the estuaries of the Tuy and Neveri Rivers. In the eastern sub-basin, pH was low (< 8.0) and pCO2 was high (> 400 &muatm) in surface waters during upwelling. The TA-salinity relationship followed a two end-member mixing model (upwelled waters and river input). pCO2 in surface waters ranged from 366 to 525 &muatm during upwelling (March), and 385 to 452 &muatm during the rainy period (September). Waters were supersaturated with respect to aragonite saturation state throughout the Cariaco Basin. The Basin was typically over-saturated with CO2 with respect to the atmosphere. Under-saturation was only observed near the coast, such as near the mouth of the Tuy River. The flux of CO2 over most of the Cariaco Basin was generally from the ocean to the atmosphere in both seasons. Fluxes tend to remain between 0 and 10 mmol CO2 m&minus 2 day&minus 1, with average values for the whole basin of 11.39 ± 17.17 mmol CO2 m&minus 2 day&minus1 in March 2004, 7.19 ± 2.17 mmol CO2 m&minus 2 day&minus1 in September 2006, 6.32 ± 2.42 mmol CO2 m&minus 2 day&minus1 in September 2008 and 4.35 ± 3.97 mmol CO2 m&minus 2 day&minus1 in March 2009.