Pathways of superoxide (O2-) decay in the Eastern Tropical North Atlantic

Kathrin Wuttig, Maija I. Heller, Peter L. Croot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Superoxide (O2-: IUPAC name dioxide (•1-)) is an important transient reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the ocean formed as an intermediate in the redox transformation of oxygen (O2) into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and vice versa. This highly reactive and very short-lived radical anion can be produced both via photochemical and biological processes in the ocean. In this paper we examine the decomposition rate of O2- throughout the water column, using new data collected in the Eastern Tropical North Atlantic (ETNA) Ocean. For this approach we applied a semi factorial experimental design to identify and quantify the pathways of the major identified sinks in the ocean. In this work we occupied six stations, two on the West African continental shelf and four open ocean stations, including the CVOO time series site adjacent to Cape Verde. Our results indicate that, in the surface ocean impacted by Saharan aerosols and coastal sediment resuspension, the main decay pathways for superoxide are via reactions with Mn(II) and organic matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10249-10256
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number18
StatePublished - 17 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


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