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Photochemical alkene formation in sea water from dissolved organic carbon:results from laboratory experiments

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Photochemical alkene formation in sea water from dissolved organic carbon:results from laboratory experiments

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Title: Photochemical alkene formation in sea water from dissolved organic carbon:results from laboratory experiments
Author: Ratte, M.; Bujok, O.; Spitzy, A.; Rudolph, J.
Abstract: The production mechanism of light alkenes, alkanes, and isoprene was investigated in laboratory experiments by measuring their concentrations in natural seawater as a function of spectral range, exposure time and origin, and concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The production mechanism of alkanes and of isoprene could not be clarified. Ethene and propene are produced photochemically from DOC. The relevant spectral range is UV and short‐wavelength visible light. Initial production rates (up to day 10 of exposure) were in the range of several pmol L−1 h−1 (mg DOC)−1; the corresponding mean quantum yields for the spectral range of 300–420 nm were about 10−8. Generally, the production rates and the quantum yields for ethene were about 2 times that of propene. The key factors in the total column integrated oceanic alkene production are the solar photon flux at sea surface, the penetration depth of the light into the ocean (especially the relation between different light absorbers, i.e., the extinction due to absorption of DOC), and the wavelength‐ and DOC‐dependent quantum yields. As a result of the high variability of these parameters, actual local alkene production rates for a specific oceanic region may differ considerably from the globally averaged oceanic alkene production rates. The latter were estimated to be at most 5 Mt yr−1.
Type: Article
Rights: http://www.agu.org/journals/jd/
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/4069
Published: AGU
Date: 1998

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