The Siberian shelf seas are areas of extensive biogeochemical transformation of organic matter, both of marine and terrestrial origin. This in combination with brine production from sea ice formation results in a cold bottom water of relative high salinity and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2). Data from the SWERUS-C3 expedition compiled on the icebreaker Oden in July to September 2014 show the distribution of such waters at the outer shelf, as well as their export into the deep central Arctic basins. Very high pCO2 water, up to ∼ 1000 μatm, was observed associated with high nutrients and low oxygen concentrations. Consequently, this water had low saturation state with respect to calcium carbonate down to less than 0.8 for calcite and 0.5 for aragonite. Waters undersaturated in aragonite were also observed in the surface in waters at equilibrium with atmospheric CO2; however, at these conditions the cause of under-saturation was low salinity from river runoff and/or sea ice melt. The calcium carbonate corrosive water was observed all along the continental margin and well out into the deep Makarov and Canada basins at a depth from about 50 m depth in the west to about 150 m in the east. These waters of low aragonite saturation state are traced in historic data to the Canada Basin and in the waters flowing out of the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland and in the western Fram Strait, thus potentially impacting the marine life in the North Atlantic Ocean.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes