The biogeochemistry of inorganic carbon and nutrients in the Pearl River estuary and the adjacent Northern South China Sea
- 海洋环境－已发表论文 
The Zhu-jiang (Pearl River) estuary and its adjacent continental shelf in the Northern South China Sea (SCS) is unique in that its drainage basin is located entirely in a subtropical zone with heavy population development, and therefore represents an important regime for biogeochemical studies on how large rivers influence continental shelves. The near-zero salinity end member has high nutrient concentrations (silicate 130-140 muM, nitrate 75-100 muM and phosphate 0.2-1.2 muM) and relatively high total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) (1500 muM) and alkalinity (similar to1650 muM) values. Water column DIC, alkalinity, and nutrient in the estuary are largely controlled by mixing of waters from different tributaries with different drainage basin chemistry, anthropogenic influence, and degree of estuarine recycling. Biological uptake of nutrients and inorganic carbon occur in the outer estuary and inner shelf areas supported by riverine nutrients. The N/P and Si/P ratios are generally very high within the estuary. The summertime area-integrated biological production rate of 0.8 gCm(-2) d(-1) is estimated based on the depletion of DIC and alkalinity relative to the conservative mixing line and a plume travel time. This estimate agrees reasonably well with C-14 based primary production rates (PP) and with that from effective river phosphate flux. Biological production decreases about 10-fold in the open continental shelf and slope and is largely supported by mixing with subsurface water. A comparison of DIC, phosphate, and nitrate concentrations in the surface mixing layer and at the bottom of the euphotic zone with the C-14-based PP (0.13 gCm(-2)d(-1)) suggests that the surface water residence time in the Northern SCS is similar to1.3 years. The N/P, Si/P, and Si/C ratios are 15, 25, and 0.15, respectively. The subtropical Pearl River study is also compared to other large rivers with regard to differences in both natural processes (i.e., weathering rates) and anthropogenic influences (i.e., nutrient input) between these different river estuary systems. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.