Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 15, issue 17
Biogeosciences, 15, 5343-5363, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-5343-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 15, 5343-5363, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-15-5343-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 04 Sep 2018

Research article | 04 Sep 2018

Multi-year particle fluxes in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard

Alessandra D'Angelo1,2, Federico Giglio1, Stefano Miserocchi1, Anna Sanchez-Vidal3, Stefano Aliani4, Tommaso Tesi1, Angelo Viola5, Mauro Mazzola6, and Leonardo Langone1 Alessandra D'Angelo et al.
  • 1CNR-ISMAR – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Scienze Marine, Bologna, Italy
  • 2Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Italy
  • 3Department of Stratigraphy, Paleontology and Marine Geosciences, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 4CNR-ISMAR – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Scienze Marine, Lerici, Italy
  • 5CNR-ISAC – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima, Rome, Italy
  • 6CNR-ISAC – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima, Bologna, Italy

Abstract. High-latitude regions are warming faster than other areas due to reduction of snow cover and sea ice loss and changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation. The combination of these processes, collectively known as polar amplification, provides an extraordinary opportunity to document the ongoing thermal destabilisation of the terrestrial cryosphere and the release of land-derived material into the aquatic environment. This study presents a 6-year time series (2010–2016) of physical parameters and particle fluxes collected by an oceanographic mooring in Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen, Svalbard). In recent decades, Kongsfjorden has been experiencing rapid loss of sea ice coverage and retreat of local glaciers as a result of the progressive increase in ocean and air temperatures. The overarching goal of this study was to continuously monitor the inner fjord particle sinking and to understand to what extent the temporal evolution of particulate fluxes was linked to the progressive changes in both Atlantic and freshwater input. Our data show high peaks of settling particles during warm seasons, in terms of both organic and inorganic matter. The different sources of suspended particles were described as a mixing of glacier carbonate, glacier siliciclastic and autochthonous marine input. The glacier releasing sediments into the fjord was the predominant source, while the sediment input by rivers was reduced at the mooring site. Our time series showed that the seasonal sunlight exerted first-order control on the particulate fluxes in the inner fjord. The marine fraction peaked when the solar radiation was at a maximum in May–June while the land-derived fluxes exhibited a 1–2-month lag consistent with the maximum air temperature and glacier melting. The inter-annual time-weighted total mass fluxes varied by 2 orders of magnitude over time, with relatively higher values in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Our results suggest that the land-derived input will remarkably increase over time in a warming scenario. Further studies are therefore needed to understand the future response of the Kongsfjorden ecosystem alterations with respect to the enhanced release of glacier-derived material.

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A 6-year time series of physical parameters and particle fluxes collected by a mooring in Kongsfjorden (Svalbard) suggests that the subglacial and watershed run-off driven by air temperature are the main processes affecting the lithogenic supply. As the Arctic temperature rises, glacier material will increase accordingly. The winter inflow of warm Atlantic waters is progressively increasing, hampering the nutrient supply from the bottom waters and severely reducing the biological production.
A 6-year time series of physical parameters and particle fluxes collected by a mooring in...
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