Distribution and Physical Characterization of Microgels at Line P

Jarod Koopman, University of Washington, Applied Physics Lab Polar Science Center, Seattle, WA, United States, Monica V Orellana, Institute for Systems Biology / University of Washington, NA, Seattle, WA, United States, Sarah Bercovici, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany and Dennis A Hansell, University of Miami, Miami, United States
Marine microgel networks play important roles in marine biogeochemical cycles. However, there are limited data available about microgel distributions in the meso- and bathypelagic oceans. We examined distributions of microgels during 2017 and 2018 along Line P in the North Pacific Ocean. In this work we estimate the carbon concentration associated with microgels and show that microgel concentrations decreased with depth, and varied with season. Furthermore, the physical characteristics of the polymer chains assembling into microgels show that longer sized polymeric chains can be found mainly in coastal areas while smaller sized polymeric chains were found in open ocean in the meso- and bathypelagic areas. Our results suggest that microgels are a dynamic component of the organic carbon pool in the ocean’s interior.