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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(3), 866-890; doi:10.3390/jmse3030866

Bubble Clouds in Coastal Waters and Their Role in Air-Water Gas Exchange of CO2

1
University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
2
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 66 Rosenau Hall, CB #7431, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Academic Editor: Robert C. Upstill-Goddard
Received: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 12 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air–Sea Gas Exchange Process and Impact Factors)
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Abstract

Bubbles generated by breaking waves can drive significant gas exchange between the ocean and atmosphere, but the role of bubble-mediated gas transfer in estuaries is unknown. Here, backscatter data from 41 acoustic Doppler current profiler stations was analyzed to assess subsurface bubble distributions in nine estuaries along the U.S. East and Gulf Coast. Wind speed, wind direction, and current velocity were the dominant controls on bubble entrainment, but the relative importance of these physical drivers depended on local geomorphology. Bubble entrainment in high-current or shallow, long-fetch estuaries began at wind speeds <5 m s1. In deep or fetch-limited estuaries, bubble entrainment was less frequent and generally began at higher wind speeds. Data observed during several storms suggests that episodic bubble-driven gas exchange may be an important component of annual CO2 fluxes in large, shallow estuaries but would be less significant in other coastal systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: gas exchange; bubbles; storms; CO2; air-sea flux gas exchange; bubbles; storms; CO2; air-sea flux
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Crosswell, J.R. Bubble Clouds in Coastal Waters and Their Role in Air-Water Gas Exchange of CO2. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 866-890.

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