During the 2007 UK SOLAS Deep Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, we conducted the first ever study of the effect of a deliberately released surfactant (oleyl alcohol) on gas transfer velocities (kw) in the open ocean. Exchange rates were estimated with the 3He/SF6 dual tracer technique and from measured sea-to-air DMS fluxes and surface water concentrations. A total of seven kw estimates derived from 3He/SF6 were made, two of which were deemed to be influenced by the surfactant. These exhibited suppression from ∼5% to 55% at intermediate wind speeds (U10) in the range 7.2-10.7 m s-1. Similarly, kw determined from DMS data (kDMS) was also depressed by the surfactant; suppression ranged from ∼39% at 5.0 m s-1 to ∼24% at 10.8 m s-1. Surfactant thus has the potential to measurably suppress gas exchange rates even at moderate to high wind speeds.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science