Title

The Transpolar Drift as a Source of Riverine and Shelf-Derived Trace Elements to the Central Arctic Ocean

Authors

Matthew A. Charette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Lauren E. Kipp, Dalhousie University
Laramie T. Jensen, Texas A&M University
Jessica S. Dabrowski, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Laura M. Whitmore, University of Southern Mississippi
Jessica N. Fitzsimmons, Texas A&M University
Tatiana Williford, Texas A&M University
Adam Ulfsbo, Göteborgs Universitet
Elizabeth Jones, Havforskningsinstituttet
Randelle M. Bundy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Sebastian M. Vivancos, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Katharina Pahnke, Universität Oldenburg
Seth G. John, University of Southern California
Yang Xiang, University of California, Santa Cruz
Mariko Hatta, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Mariia V. Petrova, Aix Marseille Université
Lars Eric Heimbürger-Boavida, Aix Marseille Université
Dorothea Bauch, GEOMAR - Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
Robert Newton, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Angelica Pasqualini, Columbia University in the City of New York
Alison M. Agather, Wright State University
Rainer M.W. Amon, Texas A&M University
Robert F. Anderson, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Per S. Andersson, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Ronald Benner, University of South Carolina
Katlin L. Bowman, University of California, Santa Cruz
R. Lawrence Edwards, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Sandra Gdaniec, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Loes J.A. Gerringa, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research - NIOZ
Aridane G. González, Université de Brest (UBO)
Mats Granskog, Norsk Polarinstitutt
Brian Haley, Oregon State University
Chad R. Hammerschmidt, Wright State University

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2020

Department

Marine Science

School

Ocean Science and Engineering

Abstract

©2020. American Geophysical Union. A major surface circulation feature of the Arctic Ocean is the Transpolar Drift (TPD), a current that transports river‐influenced shelf water from the Laptev and East Siberian Seas toward the center of the basin and Fram Strait. In 2015, the international GEOTRACES program included a high‐resolution pan‐Arctic survey of carbon, nutrients, and a suite of trace elements and isotopes (TEIs). The cruises bisected the TPD at two locations in the central basin, which were defined by maxima in meteoric water and dissolved organic carbon concentrations that spanned 600 km horizontally and ~25–50 m vertically. Dissolved TEIs such as Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Hg, Nd, and Th, which are generally particle‐reactive but can be complexed by organic matter, were observed at concentrations much higher than expected for the open ocean setting. Other trace element concentrations such as Al, V, Ga, and Pb were lower than expected due to scavenging over the productive East Siberian and Laptev shelf seas. Using a combination of radionuclide tracers and ice drift modeling, the transport rate for the core of the TPD was estimated at 0.9 ± 0.4 Sv (106 m3 s−1). This rate was used to derive the mass flux for TEIs that were enriched in the TPD, revealing the importance of lateral transport in supplying materials beneath the ice to the central Arctic Ocean and potentially to the North Atlantic Ocean via Fram Strait. Continued intensification of the Arctic hydrologic cycle and permafrost degradation will likely lead to an increase in the flux of TEIs into the Arctic Ocean.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Volume

125

Issue

5

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