Inventories and behavior of particulate organic carbon in the Laptev and East Siberian seas

Laura Sánchez-García, Vanja Alling, Svetlana Pugach, Jorien Vonk, Bart Van Dongen, Christoph Humborg, Oleg Dudarev, Igor Semiletov, Örjan Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

[1] Fluvial and erosional release processes in permafrost-dominated Eurasian Arctic cause transport of large amounts of particulate organic carbon (POC) to coastal waters. The marine fate of this terrestrial POC (terr-POC), water column degradation, burial in shelf sediments, or export to depth, impacts the potential for climate-carbon feedback. As part of the International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS-08; August-September 2008), the POC distribution, inventory, and fate in the water column of the extensive yet poorly studied Eurasian Arctic Shelf seas were investigated. The POC concentration spanned 1-152 mM, with highest values in the SE Laptev Sea. The POC inventory was constrained for the Laptev (1.32 ± 0.09 Tg) and East Siberian seas (2.85 ± 0.20 Tg). A hydraulic residence time of 3.5 ± 2 years for these Siberian shelf seas yielded a combined annual terr-POC removal flux of 3.9 ± 1.4 Tg yr?1. Accounting for sediment burial and shelf-break exchange, the terr-POC water column degradation was ?2.5 ± 1.6 Tg yr?1, corresponding to a first-order terr-POC degradation rate constant of 1.4 ± 0.9 yr?1, which is 5-10 times faster than reported for terr-DOC degradation in the Arctic Ocean. This terr-POC degradation flux thus contributes substantially to the dissolved inorganic carbon excess of 10 Tg C observed during ISSS-08 for these waters. This evaluation suggests that extensive decay of terr-POC occurs already in the water column and contributes to outgassing of CO2. This process should be considered as a geographically dislocated carbon-climate coupling where thawing of vulnerable permafrost carbon on land is eventually adding CO2 above the ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberGB2007
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

particulate organic carbon
Organic carbon
degradation
water column
Water
Degradation
Carbon
shelf sea
Permafrost
permafrost
carbon
Sediments
shelf sediment
Fluxes
dissolved inorganic carbon
climate
thawing
shelf break
Thawing
Degassing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Sánchez-García, L., Alling, V., Pugach, S., Vonk, J., Van Dongen, B., Humborg, C., ... Gustafsson, Ö. (2011). Inventories and behavior of particulate organic carbon in the Laptev and East Siberian seas. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25(2), [GB2007]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GB003862

Inventories and behavior of particulate organic carbon in the Laptev and East Siberian seas. / Sánchez-García, Laura; Alling, Vanja; Pugach, Svetlana; Vonk, Jorien; Van Dongen, Bart; Humborg, Christoph; Dudarev, Oleg; Semiletov, Igor; Gustafsson, Örjan.

In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 25, No. 2, GB2007, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sánchez-García, L, Alling, V, Pugach, S, Vonk, J, Van Dongen, B, Humborg, C, Dudarev, O, Semiletov, I & Gustafsson, Ö 2011, 'Inventories and behavior of particulate organic carbon in the Laptev and East Siberian seas', Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol. 25, no. 2, GB2007. https://doi.org/10.1029/2010GB003862
Sánchez-García, Laura ; Alling, Vanja ; Pugach, Svetlana ; Vonk, Jorien ; Van Dongen, Bart ; Humborg, Christoph ; Dudarev, Oleg ; Semiletov, Igor ; Gustafsson, Örjan. / Inventories and behavior of particulate organic carbon in the Laptev and East Siberian seas. In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 2011 ; Vol. 25, No. 2.
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abstract = "[1] Fluvial and erosional release processes in permafrost-dominated Eurasian Arctic cause transport of large amounts of particulate organic carbon (POC) to coastal waters. The marine fate of this terrestrial POC (terr-POC), water column degradation, burial in shelf sediments, or export to depth, impacts the potential for climate-carbon feedback. As part of the International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS-08; August-September 2008), the POC distribution, inventory, and fate in the water column of the extensive yet poorly studied Eurasian Arctic Shelf seas were investigated. The POC concentration spanned 1-152 mM, with highest values in the SE Laptev Sea. The POC inventory was constrained for the Laptev (1.32 ± 0.09 Tg) and East Siberian seas (2.85 ± 0.20 Tg). A hydraulic residence time of 3.5 ± 2 years for these Siberian shelf seas yielded a combined annual terr-POC removal flux of 3.9 ± 1.4 Tg yr?1. Accounting for sediment burial and shelf-break exchange, the terr-POC water column degradation was ?2.5 ± 1.6 Tg yr?1, corresponding to a first-order terr-POC degradation rate constant of 1.4 ± 0.9 yr?1, which is 5-10 times faster than reported for terr-DOC degradation in the Arctic Ocean. This terr-POC degradation flux thus contributes substantially to the dissolved inorganic carbon excess of 10 Tg C observed during ISSS-08 for these waters. This evaluation suggests that extensive decay of terr-POC occurs already in the water column and contributes to outgassing of CO2. This process should be considered as a geographically dislocated carbon-climate coupling where thawing of vulnerable permafrost carbon on land is eventually adding CO2 above the ocean.",
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