Distributions of Nutrients, Dissolved Organic Carbon and Carbohydrates In the Western Arctic Ocean

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Marine Science


Seawater samples were collected from stations along a transect across the shelf basin interface in the western Arctic Ocean during September 2002, and analyzed for nutrients, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and total dissolved carbohydrate (TDCHO) constituents, including monosaccharides (MCHO) and polysaccharides (PCHO). Nutrients (nitrate, ammonium, phosphate and dissolved silica) were depleted at the surface, especially nitrate. Their concentrations increased with increasing depth, with maxima centered at similar to 125 m depth within the halocline layer, then decreased with increasing depth below the maxima. Both ammonium and phosphate concentrations were elevated in shelf bottom waters, indicating a possible nutrient source from sediments, and in a plume that extended into the upper halocline waters offshore. Concentrations of DOC ranged from 45 to 85 mu M and had an inverse correlation with salinity, indicating that mixing is a control on DOC concentrations. Concentrations of TDCHO ranged from 2.5 to 19 mu M-C, comprising 13-20% of the bulk DOC. Higher DOC concentrations were found in the upper water column over the shelf along with higher TDCHO concentrations. Within the TDCHO pool, the concentrations of MCHO ranged from 0.4 to 8.6 mu M-C, comprising 20-50% of TDCHO, while PCHO concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 13.6 mu M-C, comprising 50-80% of the TDCHO. The MCHO/TDCHO ratio was low in the upper 25 in of the water column, followed by a high MCHO/TDCHO ratio between 25 and 100 m, and a low MCHO/TDCHO ratio again below 100 m. The high MCHO/TDCHO ratio within the halocline layer likely resulted from particle decomposition and associated release of MCHO, whereas the low MCHO/TDCHO (or high PCHO/TDCHO) ratio below the halocline layer could have resulted from slow decomposition and additional particulate CHO sources. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Continental Shelf Research





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