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Kelly Tingle

Berkeley City College

Project: Can Biological Productivity be Inferred from Oxygen at Depth?

My name is Kelly Tingle and I am a student from Berkeley City College in Berkeley, California. My research project this summer focused on one question: Can biological productivity in the ocean be inferred from oxygen at depth?

My research tested a method of determining the rate of oxygen consumption along isopycnals (surfaces of constant density) in the ocean. I used model output from a global coupled ocean-biogeochemistry model for my analysis. Since I was using a model, I had an  ‘answer’ of what the rate should be, and I could compare my calculations with the model’s answer.

The rate of oxygen consumption of a water parcel as it makes its journey along its isopycnal can be described as: the amount of dissolved oxygen from point b, somewhere at depth, subtracted from point a, the surface waters, and divided by the water parcel’s age. The age is equal to the amount of time since the water has left the sea surface. Scientists can use atmospheric tracers like chlorofluorocarbons to determine the water’s age.

In my analysis, I looked at two areas of the Pacific Ocean; 103°W in the south pacific and 152°W in the north pacific. These are areas that have been heavily researched and a lot of data is available for comparison.

I am so happy to have had this internship! I learned so much about oceanography and computer programming. In my free time, I got to explore Seattle and other parts of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Thank you to Rolf Sonnerup, Sabine Mecking, Mariona Claret, and JISAO for such a wonderful summer!

Kelly's research poster