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Biogenic halocarbons in young Arctic sea ice and frost flowers

Journal article
Authors Anna Granfors
Maria Andersson
Melissa Chierici
Agneta Fransson
Katarina Gårdfeldt
Anders Torstensson
Angela Wulff
Katarina Abrahamsson
Published in Marine Chemistry
Volume 155
Pages 124-134
ISSN 0304-4203
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Pages 124-134
Language en
Keywords Biogenic halocarbons, bromoform, degassing, young sea ice, frost flowers, ice algae, heterotrophic bacteria
Subject categories Chemical Sciences


The fate of halocarbons, naturally produced volatile halogenated organic compounds, in young Arctic sea ice was studied to better understand the role of sea ice in halocarbon cycling. In early spring, halocarbons were measured in sea ice frozen in core holes, during 12 days of formation and freezing. In order to understand which factors govern halocarbon concentration and distribution, salinity, temperature and biological parameters were monitored in the growing sea ice. It was found that sea ice participates in the cycling of halocarbons between sea and air. Sea ice concentrations and distributions of these compounds were influenced by production in the ice, where ice-inhabiting microorganisms caused local increases in halocarbon concentrations. Moreover, the halocarbon ice concentration decrease/change with time did not follow ice salinity, suggesting that additional removal processes caused sea ice to be a source of halogens to overlying air. The net production rate of bromoform in the surface of newly frozen ice was estimated to 14 pmol L−1 d−1 and the maximum removal rate was 18 pmol L−1 d−1. In addition frost flowers on newly formed sea ice were identified as contributors of halocarbons to the atmosphere with halocarbon concentrations in the same order of magnitude as in sea ice brine

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