Distribution of biogenic sulphur compounds during and just after the southwest monsoon in the Arabian Sea

Angela D. Hatton*, Gill Malin, Peter S. Liss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)


The Arabian Sea is characterised by strong seasonal oscillations of biological productivity generated by its monsoonal climate. The southwest monsoon causes reversal in the surface circulation of the Arabian Sea, which generates a seasonal upwelling of nutrient-rich waters along the coast of Oman. Concentrations of biogenic sulphur compounds were measured on a transect from the eutrophic waters off the coast of Oman to the oligotrophic waters of the open Arabian Sea, during the UK NERC Arabesque cruise 27 August-4 October 1994. The concentrations of dimethylsulphide (DMS), dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) and dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) were found to be elevated in the eutrophic area due to enhanced biological production. However, this increase in DMS, DMSO and DMSP concentration was not observed until after the southwest monsoon had relaxed, and appeared to correspond to increased concentrations of hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin, an indicator of prymnesiophytes. DMSO concentrations were correlated with those of DMS and DMSP in the near surface waters of the Arabian Sea. Additionally, DMSO appeared to be ubiquitous throughout the water column, being easily detectable in deep waters, which suggests that DMSO may act as a sink for DMS in the world's oceans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-632
Number of pages16
JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


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