Spatial distribution of dimethylsulfide and dimethylsulfoniopropionate in the Australasian sector of the Southern Ocean

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Curran, MAJ, Jones, GB & Burton, H 1998, 'Spatial distribution of DMS and DMSP in the Australasian sector of the Southern Ocean', Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 103, no. D13, pp. 16677-16689.

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During 1991–1995, seven voyages were made to the Southern Ocean to determine the distribution of dimethylsulfide (DMS) and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in seawater and air in the Australasian sector (60°E to 165°E). Measurements of DMSP in sea ice were also made. During the summer months the Subtropical Convergence (STC) and Antarctic Convergence (AC) were identified as important source regions of these sulfur compounds. In the Seasonal Ice zone (SIZ) there were marked longitudinal differences possibly reflecting higher productivity and the extent of the sea ice in this region. Levels of DMSP in sea ice cores were consistent with this regional difference. High and variable concentrations of DMSP also occurred in the Subantarctic Zone (SAZ) (45°-53°S), decreasing to lower levels around 64°S, close to the Antarctic Divergence (AD). Upwelling of deep water around the AD is suggested to have been responsible for the low biological activity and low DMSP levels. While there was generally a good relationship between DMSPp and biomass, there was a marked difference in the DMSPp:chlorophyll a ratio between regions, and between years. DMSP was generally negatively correlated with dissolved nitrate, however, it was unclear if the level of nitrate directly affected DMSP production. DMSw levels were highest in the mixed layer, with lower, yet detectable, levels in the deeper ocean. DMSw was occasionally elevated in Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW), suggesting that ice shelf water transports this substance to deeper waters. DMSP was not found above detection limits below the mixed layer, but some evidence was found that DMSP may be transported to deeper waters, close to the Antarctic continent.