Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

8-2013

Abstract

Here we estimate the importance of vertical eddy diffusion in removing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from the surface Ocean and assess its importance as a global sink. Measured water column profiles of PFOA were reproduced by assuming that vertical eddy diffusion in a 3-layer ocean model is the sole cause for the transport of PFOA to depth waters. The global oceanic sink due to eddy diffusion for PFOA is high, with accumulated removal fluxes over the last 40 years of 664 t, with the Atlantic Ocean accounting for 70% of the global oceanic sink. The global oceans have removed 13% of all PFOA produced to a depth greater than 100 m via vertical eddy diffusion; an additional 4 % has been removed via deep water formation. The top 100 m of the surface oceans store another 21% of all PFOA produced (~1100 t).

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