Recent distribution and accumulation of organic carbon on the continental margin west off Spitsbergen.

Winkelmann, Daniel and Knies, J. (2005) Recent distribution and accumulation of organic carbon on the continental margin west off Spitsbergen. Open Access Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 6 (9). Q09012. DOI 10.1029/2005GC000916.

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The study compiles the controlling factors for organic matter sedimentation patterns from a suite of organogeochemical parameters in surface sediments off Spitsbergen and direct seabed observations using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). In addition we assess its storage rates as well as the potential of carbon sinks on the northwestern margin of the Barents Sea with short sediment cores from a selected fjord environment (Storfjord). While sedimentation in the fjords is mainly controlled by river/meltwater discharge and coastal erosion by sea ice/glaciers resulting in high supply of terrigenous organic matter, Atlantic water inflow, and thus enhanced marine organic matter supply, characterizes the environment on the outer shelf and slope. Local deviations from this pattern, particularly on the shelf, are due to erosion and out washing of fine-grained material by bottom currents. Spots dominated by marine productivity close to the island have been found at the outer Isfjord and west off Prins Karls Forland as well as off the Kongsfjord/Krossfjord area and probably reflect local upwelling of nutrient-rich Atlantic water–derived water masses. Accumulation rates of marine organic carbon as well as reconstructed primary productivities decreased since the middle of the last century. Negative correlation of the Isfjord temperature record with reconstructed productivities in the Storfjord could be explained by a reduced annual duration of the marginal ice zone in the area due to global warming. Extremely high accumulation rates of marine organic carbon between 5.4 and 17.2 g m−2 yr−1 mark the Storfjord area, and probably high-latitude fjord environments in general, as a sink for carbon dioxide.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Geophysics; organic carbon, continental margin, Spitsbergen
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2005GC000916
ISSN: 1525-2027
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2011 07:08
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 09:35

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