Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
Ocean Sci., 5, 711–718, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-5-711-2009

Special issue: Deep ocean exchange with the shelf

Ocean Sci., 5, 711–718, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-5-711-2009

  18 Dec 2009

18 Dec 2009

Carbon export and sequestration in the southern Benguela upwelling system: lower and upper estimates

H. N. Waldron1, P. M. S. Monteiro1,2, and N. C. Swart1,* H. N. Waldron et al.
  • 1Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa
  • 2Ocean Systems & Climate Group, CSIR, P.O. Box 320, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
  • *now at: Earth and Ocean Science, University of British Columbia, 6339 Stores Road, Vancouver, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Abstract. Three independent studies of carbon export and sequestration in the southern Benguela upwelling system are presented. They were undertaken by Waldron (upwelling index), Monteiro (discrete upwelling centres – gate hypothesis model) and Swart (cross-shelf advection in bottom nelpheloid layers). The annual estimates were, 3.9×1013, 0.72×1013 and 8.6×1011 gC, respectively. The lowest estimate was derived from a consideration of low frequency lateral carbon export in the bottom nepheloid layer and was thought likely to be an under-estimate. Taking into account high frequency episodic events, intermediate nepheloid layers and along isopycnal export of DOC at surface and intermediate depths was thought likely to result in a substantial upward revision. The remaining two estimates were considered to be an upper and lower estimate of carbon export and sequestration due to factors inherent in the methodologies. The upper estimate presents a two-dimensional system, integrated alongshore; the lower estimate sums a series of upwelling centres in order to obtain a system flux. The former is therefore a uniform extrapolation along the coast while the latter omits upwelling between the upwelling centres.