River export of nutrients and organic matter from the North Slope of Alaska to the Beaufort Sea
McClelland, James W.
Holmes, Robert M.
Peterson, Bruce J.
MetadataShow full item record
While river-borne materials are recognized as important resources supporting coastal ecosystems around the world, estimates of river export from the North Slope of Alaska have been limited by a scarcity of water chemistry and river discharge data. This paper quantifies water, nutrient, and organic matter export from the three largest rivers (Sagavanirktok, Kuparuk, and Colville) that drain Alaska's North Slope and discusses the potential importance of river inputs for biological production in coastal waters of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Together these rivers export ∼297,000 metric tons of organic carbon and ∼18,000 metric tons of organic nitrogen each year. Annual fluxes of nitrate-N, ammonium-N, and soluble reactive phosphorus are approximately 1750, 200, and 140 metric tons per year, respectively. Constituent export from Alaska's North Slope is dominated by the Colville River. This is in part due to its larger size, but also because constituent yields are greater in the Colville watershed. River-supplied nitrogen may be more important to productivity along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast than previously thought. However, given the dominance of organic nitrogen export, the potential role of river-supplied nitrogen in support of primary production depends strongly on remineralization mechanisms. Although rivers draining the North Slope of Alaska make only a small contribution to overall river export from the pan-arctic watershed, comparisons with major arctic rivers reveal unique regional characteristics as well as remarkable similarities among different regions and scales. Such information is crucial for development of robust river export models that represent the arctic system as a whole.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Water Resources Research 50 (2014): 1823–1839, doi:10.1002/2013WR014722.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Leaf litter nutrient uptake in an intermittent blackwater river : influence of tree species and associated biotic and abiotic drivers Mehring, Andrew S.; Kuehn, Kevin A.; Thompson, Aaron; Pringle, Catherine M.; Rosemond, Amy D.; First, Matthew R.; Lowrance, R. Richard; Vellidis, George (2014-12)Organic matter may sequester nutrients as it decomposes, increasing in total N and P mass via multiple uptake pathways. During leaf litter decomposition, microbial biomass and accumulated inorganic materials immobilize and ...
Seasonal and annual fluxes of nutrients and organic matter from large rivers to the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas Holmes, Robert M.; McClelland, James W.; Peterson, Bruce J.; Tank, Suzanne E.; Bulygina, Ekaterina; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Gordeev, Viacheslav V.; Gurtovaya, Tatiana Y.; Raymond, Peter A.; Repeta, Daniel J.; Staples, Robin; Striegl, Robert G.; Zhulidov, Alexander V.; Zimov, Sergey A. (2011-03)River inputs of nutrients and organic matter impact the biogeochemistry of arctic estuaries and the Arctic Ocean as a whole, yet there is considerable uncertainty about the magnitude of fluvial fluxes at the pan-arctic ...
Wollheim, Wilfred M.; Vorosmarty, Charles J.; Peterson, Bruce J.; Seitzinger, Sybil P.; Hopkinson, Charles S. (American Geophysical Union, 2006-03-30)We present a conceptual approach for evaluating the biological and hydrological controls of nutrient removal in different sized rivers within an entire river network. We emphasize a per unit area biological parameter, the ...