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CO2-system development in young sea ice and CO2 gas exchange at the ice/air interface mediated by brine and frost flowers in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen

Journal article
Authors Agneta Fransson
Melissa Chierici
Katarina Abrahamsson
Maria Andersson
Anna Granfors
Katarina Gårdfeldt
Anders Torstensson
Angela Wulff
Published in Annals of Glaciology
Volume 56
Issue 69
Pages 245-257
ISSN 0260-3055
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Pages 245-257
Language en
Keywords Atmosphere/ice/ocean interactions , Ice chemistry , Polar and subpolar oceans , Sea-ice dynamics
Subject categories Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources, Environmental Sciences


In March and April 2010, we investigated the development of young landfast sea ice in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen, Svalbard. We sampled the vertical column, including sea ice, brine, frost flowers and sea water, to determine the CO2 system, nutrients, salinity and bacterial and ice algae production during a 13 day interval of ice growth. Apart from the changes due to salinity and brine rejection, the sea-ice concentrations of total inorganic carbon (C T), total alkalinity (A T), CO2 and carbonate ions (CO3 2–) in melted ice were influenced by dissolution of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitates (25–55 μmol kg–1) and played the largest role in the changes to the CO2 system. The C T values were also influenced by CO2 gas flux, bacterial carbon production and primary production, which had a small impact on the C T. The only exception was the uppermost ice layer. In the top 0.05 m of the ice, there was a CO2 loss of ∼20 μmol kg–1 melted ice (1 mmol m–2) from the ice to the atmosphere. Frost flowers on newly formed sea ice were important in promoting ice–air CO2 gas flux, causing a CO2 loss to the atmosphere of 140–800 μmol kg–1 d–1 melted frost flowers (7–40 mmol m–2 d–1).

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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