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Arctic sediments (Svalbard): pore water and solid phase distributions of C, N, P and Si
Responsible organisation
1996 (English)In: Polar Biology, Vol. 16, 447-462 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]
Pore water and solid phase distributions of C, N, P and Si in sediments of the Arctic Ocean (Svalbard area) have been investigated. Concentrations of organic carbon (Corg) in the solid phase of the sediment varied from 1.3 to 2.8% (mean 1.9%), with highest concentrations found at shallow stations south/southwest of Svalbard. Relatively low concentrations were obtained at the deeper stations north/northeast of Svalbard. Atomic carbon to nitrogen ratios in the surface sediment ranged from below 8 to above 10. For some stations, high C/N ratios together with high concentrations of Corg suggest that sedimentary organic matter is mainly of terrigenous origin and not from overall biological activity in the water column. Organic matter reactivity (defined as the total sediment oxygen consumption rate normalized to the organic carbon content of the surface sediment) correlated with water depth at all investigated stations. However, the stations could be divided into two separate groups with different reactivity characteristics, representing the two most dominant hydrographic regimes: the region west of Svalbard mainly influenced by the West Spitsbergen Current, and the area east of Svalbard where Arctic polar water set the environmental conditions. Decreasing sediment reactivity with water depth was confirmed by the partitioning between organic and inorganic carbon of the surface sediment. The ratio between organic and inorganic carbon at the sediment-water interface decreased exponentially with water depth: from indefinite values at shallow stations in the central Barents Sea, to approximately 1 at deep stations north of Svalbard. At stations east of Svalbard there was an inverse linear correlation between the organic matter reactivity (as defined above) and concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the pore water. The more reactive the sediment, the less DOC existed in the pore water and the more total carbonate (Ct or ΣCO2) was present. This observation suggests that DOC produced in reactive sediments is easily metabolizable to CO2. Sediment accumulation rates of opaline silica ranged from 0.35 to 5.7 µmol SiO2 m−2d−1 (mean 1.3 µmol SiO2 m−2d−1), i.e. almost 300 times lower than rates previously reported for the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Concentrations of ammonium and nitrate in the pore water at the sediment-water interface were related to organic matter input and water depth. In shallow regions with highly reactive organic matter, a pool of ammonium was present in the pore water, while nitrate conoentrations were low. In areas where less reactive organic matter was deposited at the sediment surface, the deeper zone of nitrification caused a build-up of nitrate in the pore water while ammonium was almost depleted. Nitrate penetrated from 1.8 to ≥ 5.8 cm into the investigated sediments. Significantly higher concentrations of “total” dissolved nitrogen (defined as the sum of NO3, NO2, NH4 and urea) in sediment pore water were found west compared to east of Svalbard. The differences in organic matter reactivity, as well as in pore water distribution patterns of “total” dissolved nitrogen between the two areas, probably reflect hydrographic factors (such as ice coverage and production/import of particulate organic material) related to the dominant water mass (Atlantic or Arctic Polar) in each of the two areas.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1996. Vol. 16, 447-462 p.
Keyword [en]
EPOS II, sediments, European Polarstern Study, ARK VIII/2, Arctic, Svalbard, Arctic Ocean, pore water, organic carbon
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-789DOI: 10.1007/BF02390426OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-789DiVA: diva2:568923
Note

Source: Polardok by Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

Available from: 2012-11-15 Created: 2012-11-15 Last updated: 2012-11-15

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