BPOP-v1 model: exploring the impact of changes in the biological pump on the shelf sea and ocean nutrient and redox state
Lovecchio, E; Lenton, TM
Date: 9 April 2020
Geoscientific Model Development
European Geosciences Union (EGU)
The biological pump of the ocean has changed over Earth's history, from one dominated by prokaryotes to one involving a mixture of prokaryotes and eukaryotes with trophic structure. Changes in the biological pump are in turn hypothesized to have caused important changes in the nutrient and redox properties of the ocean. To explore these ...
The biological pump of the ocean has changed over Earth's history, from one dominated by prokaryotes to one involving a mixture of prokaryotes and eukaryotes with trophic structure. Changes in the biological pump are in turn hypothesized to have caused important changes in the nutrient and redox properties of the ocean. To explore these hypotheses, we present here a new box model including oxygen (O), phosphorus (P) and a dynamical biological pump. Our Biological Pump, Oxygen and Phosphorus (BPOP) model accounts for two – small and large – organic matter species generated by production and coagulation, respectively. Export and burial of these particles are regulated by a remineralization length (zrem) scheme. We independently vary zrem of small and large particles in order to study how changes in sinking speeds and remineralization rates affect the major biogeochemical fluxes and O and P ocean concentrations. Modeled O and P budgets and fluxes lie reasonably close to present estimates for zrem in the range of currently measured values. Our results highlight that relatively small changes in zrem of the large particles can have important impacts on the O and P ocean availability and support the idea that an early ocean dominated by small particles was nutrient rich due to the inefficient removal of P to sediments. The results also suggest that extremely low oxygen concentrations in the shelf can coexist with an oxygenated deep open ocean for realistic values of zrem, especially for large values of the small-particle zrem. This could challenge conventional interpretations that the Proterozoic deep ocean was anoxic, which are derived from shelf and slope sediment redox data. This simple and computationally inexpensive model is a promising tool to investigate the impact of changes in the organic matter sinking and remineralization rates as well as changes in physical processes coupled with the biological pump in a variety of case studies.
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
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