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Sea-air exchange patterns along the central and outer East Siberian Arctic Shelf as inferred from continuous CO2, stable isotope, and bulk chemistry measurements

Journal article
Authors Christoph Humborg
Marc C. Geibel
Leif G Anderson
Göran Björk
Carl Magnus Mörth
Marcus Sundbom
Brett F. Thornton
Barbara Deutsch
Erik Gustafsson
Bo Gustafsson
Jörgen Ek
Igor Semiletov
Published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume 31
Issue 7
Pages 1173–1191
ISSN 0886-6236
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 1173–1191
Language en
Keywords Air-sea flux, Carbon, Carbon isotope, Climate change, Respiration, Siberian Shelf
Subject categories Climate Research


This large-scale quasi-synoptic study gives a comprehensive picture of sea-air CO 2 fluxes during the melt season in the central and outer Laptev Sea (LS) and East Siberian Sea (ESS). During a 7 week cruise we compiled a continuous record of both surface water and air CO 2 concentrations, in total 76,892 measurements. Overall, the central and outer parts of the ESAS constituted a sink for CO 2 , and we estimate a median uptake of 9.4 g C m -2 yr -1 or 6.6 Tg C yr -1 . Our results suggest that while the ESS and shelf break waters adjacent to the LS and ESS are net autotrophic systems, the LS is a net heterotrophic system. CO 2 sea-air fluxes for the LS were 4.7 g C m -2 yr -1 , and for the ESS we estimate an uptake of 7.2 g C m -2 yr -1 . Isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (δ 13 C DIC and δ 13 C CO2 ) in the water column indicates that the LS is depleted in δ 13 C DIC compared to the Arctic Ocean (ArcO) and ESS with an offset of 0.5‰ which can be explained by mixing of δ 13 C DIC -depleted riverine waters and 4.0 Tg yr -1 respiration of OC ter ; only a minor part (0.72 Tg yr -1 ) of this respired OC ter is exchanged with the atmosphere. Property-mixing diagrams of total organic carbon and isotope ratio (δ 13 C SPE-DOC ) versus dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration diagram indicate conservative and nonconservative mixing in the LS and ESS, respectively. We suggest land-derived particulate organic carbon from coastal erosion as an additional significant source for the depleted δ 13 C DIC .

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