Tracking Oxygen in the Sargasso Sea’s 18 Degree Water

Off the eastern coast of the United States in the Sargasso Sea, the Gulf Stream and its associated ocean currents create a thick, homogeneous layer of water that stays around 18°C year-round. Since its discovery in the late 1950s, this so-called 18 Degree Water has served as a testing ground for numerous studies of nutrient, carbon, and oxygen concentrations; biology; ocean mixing; and physics. In particular, the interplay between oxygen and carbon cycles in this layer of water has captured the attention of oceanographers as they attempt to map the flux of chemicals and energy for the entire Earth system.

In a new study, Billheimer et al. use data from biogeochemical floats in the northern Sargasso…

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