Arctic ocean shelf – basin interaction: an active continental shelf CO2 pump and its impact on the degree of calcium carbonate solubility

The Arctic Ocean has wide shelf areas with extensive biological activity including a high primary productivity and an active microbial loop within the surface sediment. This in combination with brine production during sea ice formation result in the decay products exiting from the shelf into the deep basin typically at a depth of about 150 meters and over a wide salinity range centered around S ~ 33. We present data from the Beringia cruise in 2005 along a section in the Canada Basin from the continental margin north of Alaska towards the north and from the International Siberian Shelf Study in 2008 (ISSS-08) to illustrate the impact of these processes. The water rich in decay products, nutrients and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), exits the shelf not only from the Chukchi Sea, as has been shown earlier, but also from the East Siberian Sea. The excess of DIC found in the Canada Basin in a depth range of about 50 to 250 meters amounts to 90±40 g C m-2. If this excess is integrated over the whole Canadian Basin the excess equals 320±140 · 1012 g C. The high DIC concentration layer also has low pH and consequently a low degree of calcium carbonate saturation, with minimum aragonite values of 60% saturation and calcite values just below saturation. The mean age of the waters in the top 300 m was calculated using the Transit Time Distribution method. By applying a future exponential increase of atmospheric CO2 the invasion of anthropogenic carbon into these waters will result in an under-saturated surface water with respect to aragonite by the year 2050, even without any freshening caused by melting sea ice or increased river discharge.

Anderson L.G., Björk, G., Hjalmarsson, S., Jones, E. P., Jutterström, S., Rudels, B., Swift, J. H., Tanhua, T., & Wåhlstöm, I., in press. Arctic Ocean shelf – basin interaction, an active continental shelf CO2 pump and its impact on the degree of calcium carbonate dissolution. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2010.03.012. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Arctic ocean shelf – basin interaction: an active continental shelf CO2 pump and its impact on the degree of calcium carbonate solubility”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,409,964 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book


%d bloggers like this: