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Geosciences 2018, 8(12), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120460

Local Variability of CO2 Partial Pressure in a Mid-Latitude Mesotidal Estuarine System (Tagus Estuary, Portugal)

1
Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), I. P., Av. Brasília, Lisboa 1449-006, Portugal
2
Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciências de Lisboa (ISEC Lisboa), Alameda das Linhas de Torres, 179, Lisboa 1750-142, Portugal
3
MARETEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, Lisboa 1049-001, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 29 November 2018 / Accepted: 1 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction)
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Abstract

Estuaries play a crucial role in regional carbon cycling. Until now, accurate estimations of the impact of environmental variables on estuarine air–water CO2 fluxes have been mostly characterized by a low spatial-temporal sampling resolution. This study reports on the variations of CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) and related environmental parameters, at both tidal and seasonal temporal scales, in the surface seawater of a station located in the lower section of the Tagus estuary, Portugal. The study was carried out from February to December 2007. Air–water CO2 fluxes suggest that the lower estuary acted as a relatively weak source of CO2 to the atmosphere, with an average rate of 7.2 mol∙m−2∙year−1, with highest fluxes occurring in winter. Over a tidal cycle, pCO2 was mainly influenced by tidal-induced mixing. Results suggest an influence of upper and central estuary inputs with higher pCO2 values. pCO2 varied seasonally, with values decreasing from ~890 µatm in winter to ~400 µatm in summer and increasing again to ~990 µatm in autumn. The generalized linear model (GLM) applied to the data set explained 69.3% of the pCO2 variability, pointing to the thermodynamic effect of temperature and biological activity as the most relevant processes in CO2 dynamics. Tidal variation of pCO2 corresponded to ~35% of its seasonal variability, denoting the importance of tide conditions on the dynamics of inorganic carbon. Results showed distinct patterns in the dynamics of CO2 at the tidal scale. This outcome suggests that disregarding tidal variability in the use of seasonal data sets may lead to significant errors in annual carbon budget estimations. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon dioxide; air–water exchanges; tidal amplitude; seasonal variations; estuaries; Tagus estuary; Portugal carbon dioxide; air–water exchanges; tidal amplitude; seasonal variations; estuaries; Tagus estuary; Portugal
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Oliveira, A.P.; Pilar-Fonseca, T.; Cabeçadas, G.; Mateus, M. Local Variability of CO2 Partial Pressure in a Mid-Latitude Mesotidal Estuarine System (Tagus Estuary, Portugal). Geosciences 2018, 8, 460.

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