Dissolved Organic Carbon Measurements
All samples were collected directly from the Niskin Bottles. Because particulate organic carbon concentrations in the surface waters can be elevated all samples collected from the upper 500 m were filtered. Water was filtered through a combusted GF/F housed in an acid washed polycarbonate filter cartridge attached directly the Niskin bottle spigot. All samples were collected directly into an acid washed and Nanopure flushed high density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles (60mL). Samples were immediately placed upright in a -20°C freezer and samples were shipped to shore laboratory packed in dry ice. All samples were kept frozen at -20°C in an organic (volatile) free environment.
All DOC samples were analyzed via high temperature combustion using Shimadzu TOC-V in shore based laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The operating conditions of the Shimadzu TOC-V were slightly modified from the manufacturer's model system. The condensation coil was removed and the head space of an internal water trap was reduced to minimize the system's dead space. The combustion tube contained 0.5 cm Pt pillows placed on top of Pt alumina beads to improve peak shape and to reduce alteration of combustion matrix throughout the run. CO2 free carrier gas was produced with a Whatman® gas generator (Carlson et al. 2004). Samples were drawn into 5 mL injection syringe and acidified with 2M HCl (1.5%) and spared for 1.5 min with CO2 free gas. Three to five replicate 100 µL of sample were injected into combustion tube heated to 680°C. The resulting gas stream was passed though a several water and halide traps, the CO2 in the carrier gas was analyzed with a non-dispersive infrared detector and the resulting peak area was integrated with Shimadzu chromatographic software. Injections continued until the at least three injection meet the system specified range of a SD of 0.1 area counts, CV < or = 2% or best 3 of 5 injections.
Extensive conditioning of the combustion tube with repeated injections of low-carbon water and deep seawater was essential to minimize the machine blanks. After conditioning, the system blank was assessed with ultra-violet oxidized low carbon water. The system response was standardized with a four-point calibration curve of potassium hydrogen phthalate solution in low-carbon water. All samples were systematically referenced against low-carbon water, deep Sargasso Sea reference waters (2600 m) and surface Sargasso Sea water every 6-8 analyses (Hansell and Carlson 1998). The standard deviation of the deep and surface references analyzed throughout a run generally have a coefficient of variation ranging between 1-3% over the 3-7 independent analyses (number of references depends on size of the run) (see Hansell 2005). Daily reference waters were calibrated with DOC CRM provided by D. Hansell (University of Miami). The UCSB DOC laboratory exchanges references and samples with the Hansell DOC laboratory to ensure similar performance of DOC systems and comparability of data.
µMC = (average sample area - average machine blank area) / (slope of std curve)