The Effect of Langmuir Cells on Gas Bubble Dissolution and Air-Sea Gas Exchange

Chiba, D. and B. Baschek

submitted to J. Geophys. Res.

Gases are exchanged between atmosphere and ocean by diffusion through the sea surface and by dissolution of air bubbles injected by breaking wind waves. Langmuir cells enhance the contribution from bubbles by keeping them under water for longer thus increasing their dissolution. We determine the importance of Langmuir cells by using a bubble model to calculate the amount of gas that dissolves from bubbles as a function of wind speed, gas saturation, and injection depth, and a Langmuir cell model to estimate the effect of the associated downwelling currents on gas exchange. The calculations are preformed for the eight gases N2, O2, CO2, He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe, and the results are then compared with the total gas exchange determined by common descriptions of air-sea gas exchange (e.g. Liss and Merlivat, 1986; Wanninkhof, 1992).