Using fluorescent dissolved organic matter to trace and distinguish the origin of Arctic surface waters

Rafael Goncalves-Araujo, Mats A. Granskog, Astrid Bracher, Kumiko Azetsu-Scott, Paul A. Dodd, Colin A. Stedmon

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Abstract

Climate change affects the Arctic with regards to permafrost thaw, sea-ice melt, alterations to the freshwater budget and increased export of terrestrial material to the Arctic Ocean. The Fram and Davis Straits represent the major gateways connecting the Arctic and Atlantic. Oceanographic surveys were performed in the Fram and Davis Straits, and on the east Greenland Shelf (EGS), in late summer 2012/2013. Meteoric (f(mw)), sea-ice melt, Atlantic and Pacific water fractions were determined and the fluorescence properties of dissolved organic matter (FDOM) were characterized. In Fram Strait and EGS, a robust correlation between visible wavelength fluorescence and f(mw) was apparent, suggesting it as a reliable tracer of polar waters. However, a pattern was observed which linked the organic matter characteristics to the origin of polar waters. At depth in Davis Strait, visible wavelength FDOM was correlated to apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) and traced deep-water DOM turnover. In surface waters FDOM characteristics could distinguish between surface waters from eastern (Atlantic + modified polar waters) and western (Canada-basin polar waters) Arctic sectors. The findings highlight the potential of designing in situ multi-channel DOM fluorometers to trace the freshwater origins and decipher water mass mixing dynamics in the region without laborious samples analyses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
Pages (from-to)1-12
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • MULTIDISCIPLINARY
  • SEA-ICE MELT
  • FRESH-WATER
  • FRAM STRAIT
  • NORTH-ATLANTIC
  • BAFFIN-BAY
  • OPTICAL-PROPERTIES
  • DAVIS STRAIT
  • OCEAN
  • MARINE
  • CARBON

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