Production of dimethylsulphide during the seasonal anoxia off Goa
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Subsurface waters over the western Indian continental shelf experience seasonal anoxia towards the end of the southwest monsoon season. During a 3-day study carried out at the Candolim time series site (off the coast of Goa), dimethylsulphide (DMS) concentrations showed a 40-fold increase to a maximum of 442 nM at 25 m depth compared to the oxygenated surface waters. This extremely high DMS was found to be associated with relatively low chlorophyll a, low phytoplankton cell counts and a high concentration of hydrogen sulphide. However, total dimethylsulphoniopropionate, total dimethylsulphoxide and methanethiol concentrations were quite low and unlikely to account for the DMS build-up through presently known pathways of DMS production. While there are several possible mechanisms for the observed accumulation of DMS, we were unable to pinpoint the exact pathway of DMS production. Future work will involve investigation of the source of DMS through sediment slurry experiments, to explore this interesting link between the carbon and sulphur cycles under anoxic conditions.
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