Graduation Year

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Granting Department

Marine Science

Major Professor

Robert H. Byrne

Keywords

alkalinity, calcium carbonate, inorganic carbon, pH, salinity

Abstract

The flux of CO2 between the ocean and the atmosphere is an important measure in determining local, global, and regional, as well as short term and long term carbon budgets. In this study, air-sea CO2 fluxes measured using a floating chamber were used to examine the spatial and temporal variability of CO2 fluxes in Florida Bay. Measurements of dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity obtained concurrently with chamber measurements of CO2 flux allowed calculation of ΔpCO2 from flux measurements obtained at zero wind velocity. Floating chamber measurements of ΔpCO2 were subsequently coupled with wind speed data to provide a simple yet reliable means of predicting absolute flux values. Florida Bay is a marine-dominated, sub-tropical estuary located at the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. Spatial variability within the bay reveals four distinct regions that appear to be affected by a variety of physical, chemical and biological processes. In the eastern part of the bay, the waters tend to be oversaturated with respect to CO2, likely due to the input of freshwater from Taylor Slough. The central portion of the bay is characterized by a number of extremely shallow semi-isolated basins with limited exchange with the rest of the bay. This area is typically undersaturated with respect to CO2 and provides a sink for atmospheric CO2. Both the northern and southern regions were highly variable both spatially and temporally.