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PreferredCitation:.TheOceans,TheirPhysics,Chemistry,andGeneralBiology.NewYork:PrenticeHall,c19421942.http://ark.cdlib.

org/ark:/13030/kt167nb66r/

OrganismsandtheCompositionofSeaWater

DistributionofPhosphate,NitrogenCompounds,andSilicateintheOceans
Thedistributionofphosphateinthethreeoceansmaybestbeshownbymeansoflongitudinalverticalsectionswhoselocationsareindicatedinfig.44.Therepresentationsareintendedtobringoutonly
themajorfeaturesoftheverticaldistribution,andforthisreasonmanyoftheminorirregularitieshavebeenomitted.ThesectionintheAtlanticOcean(fig.45)isbasedondataobtainedbytheDiscovery
(Deacon,1933)intheSouthernHemisphere,bytheAtlantis(Seiwell,1935)intheNorthAtlantic,andbytheMeteor(Defantetal,1936)intheareatothesouthofGreenland.ThesectioninthePacific
Ocean(fig.46)hasbeenconstructedfromDiscoveryobservationsintheAntarctic(Clowes,1938)andfromthoseoftheCarnegie(inpress).ThesectionintheIndianOcean(fig.47)isbasedonDiscovery
observations(Clowes,1938).Examinationofthesesectionsandtheverticaldistributioncurvesinfigs.48and50showsthatingeneralthedistributionofphosphateandnitrateischaracterizedbyfour
differentlayers:(1)asurfacelayerinwhichtheconcentrationislowandrelativelyuniformwithdepth,(2)alayerinwhichtheconcentrationincreasesratherrapidlywithdepth,(3)alayerofmaximum
concentrationthatisusuallylocatedsomewherebetween500and1500m,and(4)athickbottomlayerinwhichthereisrelativelylittlechangewithdepth.Examinationoffigs.45,46,and47showsthat
thesurfacelayeristhickestinmidlatitudes

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inbothhemispheres,thatintheseregionsthelayerofincreasingconcentrationisclearlydefined,andthatthegradientislarge.AssociatedwiththedivergencesatandneartheEquator,thesurfacelayeris
thinandtheunderlyinggradientisverysteep.Thisfeatureisbroughtoutmoreclearlyinfig.198(p.710),whichshowstheverticaldistributionofpropertiesintheupper300minasectionacrossthe
equatorialcurrentsinthePacificOcean.Inhighlatitudes(aboveabout50),wherethesurfacelayeroflowconcentrationandthelayerofrapidincreasemaybeentirelylacking,highvaluesofphosphate
arefoundatthesurface.

PhosphatedistributioninalongitudinalsectioninthecentralAtlanticOcean.Units:gatomsofphosphorusper20liter.

PhosphatedistributioninalongitudinalsectioninthePacificOcean.Units:gatomsofphosphorusper20liter.

PhosphatedistributioninalongitudinalsectioninthewesternIndianOcean.Units:gatomsofphosphorusper20liter.
IntheAtlanticOceanthehighestphosphatecontent(about2gatoms/L)isfoundinanintermediatelayerextendingnorthwardfromtheAntarcticandcenteredatdepthsofabout1000m.Atall
depthsofabout1000mormorethereisagradualdecreaseinphosphateconcentrationfromsouthtonorth.Alayerofminimumconcentrationcontaininglessthan1.0gatoms/Lofphosphorusextends
southwardbeneaththelayerofmaximumcontent.ThephosphateconcentrationintheAntarcticisabouttwicethatfoundinthenorthernpartoftheocean.Regionaldifferencesinthephosphatedistribution
intheupper50moftheAtlanticOceanareshowninfig.217(p.787).Suchdifferencesareofimportanceinthedistributionofplankton.ThevariationsinatransversesectionacrosstheSouthAtlanticare
illustratedinfig.218(p.788),whichshowsthevariablethicknessofthesurfacelayeroflowphosphatecontent.
ThedistributionofphosphateinthePacificOcean(fig.46)hasmanyfeaturesthatdifferfromthoseintheAtlanticOcean.Asmightbeexpected,theconditionsintheAntarcticarerathersimilar.
However,themaximumamountsinthePacificarefoundnotintheSouthernHemisphere,asintheAtlantic,butnorthoftheEquator,wheretheamountspresentareabouttwicethosefoundintheAntarctic
(3.5gatoms/Landabout2.0gatoms/L,respectively).Furthermore,thereisnoclearlydefinedlayerofminimumphosphatecontentbeneaththemaximum.ThedeeperwatersofthePacificareingeneral
higherinphosphatethanthoseoftheAtlanticOcean.Thedifferenceinthecharacterofthedistributioninthetwooceansisrelatedtothenature

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ofthedeepwatercirculation(p.754),whichisalsoreflectedinthelowerdissolvedoxygencontentofthewatersofthePacific.ThelatterfeatureisparticularlymarkedintheNorthernHemisphere.
TheamountsofphosphateintheIndianOcean(fig.47)aregreaterthanthoseintheAtlanticbutsomewhatlessthanthoseinthePacificOcean.Theintermediatemaximuminsouthernlatitudes
correspondstothatintheAtlantic,andthemaximumintheequatorialregioncorrespondstothatintheNorthPacific,asitisrelatedtothelowoxygencontentofthewater.Theminimumlayer,atdepthsof
about3500m,isclearlydefinedinalllatitudesnorthof40S.
Thedifferencesbetweenthephosphateconcentrationsinthethreeoceansarebroughtoutinfig.48,whichisbasedondatacollectedbytheDana(Thomsen,1931)onavoyagearoundtheworld

andbytheAtlantisinthewesternNorthAtlantic(RakestrawandSmith,1937).Observationsfromsixstations(locationsshowninfig.44)ineachoceanhavebeenaveragedandthevaluescorrectedforsalt
error(p.182),sothattheyaresomewhathigherthanthevaluesgiveninthesections.Toogreatemphasisshouldnotbeplacedontheabsolutevalues,asthepurposeoftheillustrationisonlytoshowthe
characteroftheverticaldistributioninthethreeoceans,andtoemphasizethehigherphosphatecontentofthePacificandtheIndianOceansincontrasttothatoftheAtlanticOcean.Datafromindividual
stationsinmoderateandlowlatitudesusuallyshowawelldefinedintermediatemaximum.

VerticaldistributionofphosphateintheAtlantic,Pacific,andIndianOceansbasedondatafromthestationsshowninfig.44.
Thelackofnitrateobservationsfrommanypartsoftheseamakesitimpossibletopreparesectionscomparabletothoseforphosphate.ConsiderabledatahavebeencollectedbytheDana
(Thomsen,1931,1937),theDiscovery(DiscoveryReports,1932Deacon,1933),the

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MeteorintheregiontothesouthofGreenland(Defantetal,1936)andbytheAtlantis,buttheinformationisinsufficienttopreparelongitudinalsections.Inordertodemonstratesomeofthefeaturesof
thenitratedistribution,fig.49(fromDeacon,1933)hasbeenpreparedforthesouthernportionoftheAtlanticOcean.Thiscorrespondsinparttofig.45showingthephosphatedistribution.Asmightbe
expected,thereisconsiderablesimilaritybetweenthepatternsofphosphateandnitratedistribution,althoughtheintermediatemaximumisnotclearlyshownbythenitrate.TheAntarcticisextremelyhigh
innitrate.ThedatafromtheNorthAtlanticindicatethatthecharacterofthenitratedistributionisverysimilartothatofthephosphatenamely,thattheconcentrationsareonlyaboutonehalfthose
presentincomparablelatitudesintheSouthernHemisphere.

DistributionofnitrateinalongitudinalsectioninthecentralAtlanticOcean.Units:gatomsofnitrogenper20liter.

VerticaldistributionofnitrateintheAtlantic,Pacific,andIndianOceansbasedondatafromthestationsshowninfig.44.
CurvesforthenitratedistributioninthethreeoceansbasedonobservationsoftheDanaandAtlantisandcomparabletothoseshownforphosphatearegiveninfig.50.Toomuchemphasisshould
notbeplacedupontheabsolutevalues,butthecurvesclearlydemonstratethecharacteristicfeaturesoftheverticaldistribution

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andthehighnitratecontentofthePacificandIndianOceansincomparisonwiththatintheAtlantic.Datafromindividualstationsinmoderateandlowlatitudesgenerallyshowanintermediatemaximum
somewherebetween500and1500m.
Ithasrepeatedlybeenemphasizedthatthereisacloseparallelismbetweentheconcentrationsofnitrateandphosphate.Thisrelationshiphasbeendemonstratedbyplottingagainsteachotherin
fig.51theaveragedataforphosphateandnitratepresentedinfigs.48and50.Itisimmediatelyseenthatthereisagoodlinearrelationshipbetweenthetwosubstances.Thestraightlinerepresentsthe
normalratioofnitrogentophosphorusof15:1atomsproposedbyCooper(1938a).Becauseofthisrelationship,itispossibletopredictwithafairdegreeofaccuracytheconcentrationofeithernitrateor
phosphatewheneitheroneisknown,and,aspointedoutpreviously(p.237),arelationshipexistsbetweentheconcentrationsoftheseelementsandtheoxygendepletion.

Relationbetweenphosphateandnitrateinthethreeoceans.Pointsrepresentaveragesforindividualdepthsusedinconstructingfigs.48and50.Straightlinerepresentsnormalratio
proposedbyCooper.
Therangesinthevariousinorganicformsofnitrogenhavebeengiven(p.181)as

Thenitrateisthemostabundantformofinorganicnitrogen,and,asshowninfig.51,thelowvaluesoccuratandnearthesurface,thehighvaluesindeeperwater.Thedistributionofnitriteand

ammonia,whicharealwaysinlowconcentrations,differsfromthatofnitrateinthatthehighervaluesoccurinorabovethethermocline.Nitritemayalsobefoundnearthebottominshallowwater,butitis
generallyabsentfrommostofthewatercolumn.Theammoniacontentofthedeeperwatersisrelativelyuniformandlow.DatagivenbyRakestraw(1936)andbyRedfieldandKeys(1938)indicatethatin
deepwater,awayfromshore,theamountsofthesesubstancesaresmall.Atonestation,halfwaybetweenCapeCodandBermuda,thenitritewasfoundonlyatabout

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75m,andtheammoniavariedirregularlyfrom0.3to0.6gatoms/Lbetweenthesurfaceanddepthsgreaterthan4000m.RobinsonandWirth(1934b)foundthat,offtheWestcoastofCanadaand
Washington,ammoniawashighestontheaveragenearthesurface(1.5gatoms/L).MobergandFleming(1934)alsofoundtheammoniatoberatherirregularoffsouthernCalifornia,butindependentof
depthandpresentinquantitiesofabout2.0gatoms/L.

DistributionofsilicateinalongitudinalsectioninthesoutheasternAtlanticOcean.Units:gatomsofsiliconper20liter.
Thedataavailableonthedistributionofsilicateintheoceansareevenfewerthanthosefornitrate.TheDiscovery(Clowes,1938)hasmadenumerousobservationsinsouthernlatitudes,and
certainofthesedatahavebeenusedinpreparinglongitudinalsectionsintheSouthAtlantic(fig.52)andintheIndianOcean(fig.54).Thelocationsofthesesectionsareshowninfig.44.TheCarnegie
obtainednumerousobservationsinthenortheasternandcentralPacificandtherearescatteredobservationsfromotherregions,buttheyareinadequateforthepreparationoflongitudinalsections.Inorder
tobringoutsimilaritiesanddifferencesindistribution,thesilicatesectionsshouldbecomparedwiththecorrespondingphosphatesections(figs.47and53).Itisreadilyseenthattheverticaldistributionof
silicatediffersfromthatofphosphateandnitrate,asthereisnomarkedintermediatemaximumandtheconcentrationincreasesallthewaydowntothebottom.Thereasonsforthisdifferenceinthepattern
ofdistributionhavealreadybeensetforth(p.237).IntheAtlanticOcean(fig.52)thesilicatecontentofthedeeperwaterismuchlessinlowlatitudesthanitisinthe

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farsouth,butintheIndianOcean(fig.54)thecontrastisnotsogreat.Datainfig.55indicatethatthewatersoftheNorthPacificareextremelyrichinsilicateandcontainamountscomparabletothosein
theAntarctic.TheAntarcticregionishighinsilicate,andalsoinphosphateandnitrate.DetailsofthedistributionofsilicateintheupperlayersintheequatorialpartofthePacificOceanareshowninfig.
198(p.710).TheDanamadenosilicatedeterminations,anditisthereforeimpossibletopresentverticaldistributioncurvesforthethreeoceanscomparabletothoseforphosphateandnitrate.Thehigh
contentofsilicateintheNorthPacificisshownbytwocurves(Thompson,Thomas,andBarnes,1934,BarnesandThompson,1938)infig.55.Theamountpresentbelow1000m(about170gatoms/L)is
somewhatgreaterthanthatfoundintheAntarctic(Clowes,1938).InordertodemonstratethelowerquantitiespresentintheAtlanticandIndianOceans,curveswereconstructedfromdatainfig.52at
36Sandinfig.54at2.5N.

DistributionofphosphateinalongitudinalsectioninthesoutheasternAtlanticOcean.Units:gatomsper20liter.

DistributionofsilicateinalongitudinalsectioninthewesternIndianOcean.Units:gatomsofsiliconper20liter.

VerticaldistributionofsilicateatindividuallocalitiesintheNorthPacific,SouthAtlantic,andIndianOceans.
Inbasins,thedistributionsoftheelementsdiscussedabovemaybequitedifferentfromthosecharacteristicoftheopensea.AsshowninchapterIV,theconditionsinbasinsdependuponthe
topography,thecharacteroftherenewalprocessesbelowsilldepth,andthedissolvedoxygencontent(aeration)ofthewater.Inwellaeratedbasins,wherethereisinflowatthesurface,thenutrient
contentisusuallylow.Forexample,intheMediterraneanSeathephosphateandnitratebelowsilldeptharesmallwhencomparedwiththeconcentrationsinthewatersoftheAtlanticOcean(Thomsen,
1931).InthewesternMediterraneanbelowabout1000mthecontentsofphosphateandnitrateareconstantinamountsof0.6gatoms/Land11gatoms/L,respectively,whichareaboutonehalforless
oftheamountsintheopenAtlantic.ThedensewaterthatflowsoutoftheMediterraneanoverthesillandmixeswiththeintermediatewatersoftheNorthAtlanticisthereforerelativelylowinnutrient
elementsandtendstoreducethephosphateandnitratecontentsofthewatersatintermediatelevelsintheeasternNorthAtlantic.

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Inbasinsoflowoxygencontent,suchastheRedSea,thenitrateandphosphatearerelativelyhighforreasonsalreadystated(p.237).InstagnantNorwegianfjords,wherehydrogensulphideispresentin
thewater,Strm(1936)foundthephosphatetobeashighas10gatoms/L.

OrganismsandtheCompositionofSeaWater

PreferredCitation:.TheOceans,TheirPhysics,Chemistry,andGeneralBiology.NewYork:PrenticeHall,c19421942.http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt167nb66r/