Processes affecting the oceanic distributions of dissolved calcium and alkalinity


  • Alan M. Shiller,

  • Joris M. Gieskes


Recent studies of the CO2 system have suggested that chemical processes in addition to the dissolution and precipitation of calcium carbonate affect the oceanic calcium and alkalinity distributions. Calcium and alkalinity data from the North Pacific have been examined both by using the simple physical-chemical model of previous workers and by a study involving the broader oceanographic context of these data. The simple model is shown to be an inadequate basis for these studies. Although a proton flux associated with organic decomposition may affect the alkalinity, previously reported deviations of calcium-alkalinity correlations from expected trends appear to be related to boundary processes that have been neglected rather than to this proton flux. The distribution of calcium in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean is examined.