Temporal and spatial variability of particle transport in the deep Arctic Canada Basin
Manganini, Steven J.
McIntyre, Cameron P.
Park, Jong Jin
Krishfield, Richard A.
Macdonald, Robie W.
McLaughlin, Fiona A.
Eglinton, Timothy I.
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To better understand the current carbon cycle and potentially detect its change in the rapidly changing Arctic Ocean, we examined sinking particles collected quasi-continuously over a period of 7 years (2004–2011) by bottom-tethered sediment trap moorings in the central Canada Basin. Total mass flux was very low (<100 mg m−2 d−1) at all sites and was temporally decoupled from the cycle of primary production in surface waters. Extremely low radiocarbon contents of particulate organic carbon and high aluminum contents in sinking particles reveal high contributions of resuspended sediment to total sinking particle flux in the deep Canada Basin. Station A (75°N, 150°W) in the southwest quadrant of the Canada Basin is most strongly influenced while Station C (77°N, 140°W) in the northeast quadrant is least influenced by lateral particle supply based on radiocarbon content and Al concentration. The results at Station A, where three sediment traps were deployed at different depths, imply that the most likely mode of lateral particle transport was as thick clouds of enhanced particle concentration extending well above the seafloor. At present, only 1%–2% of the low levels of new production in Canada Basin surface waters reaches the interior basin. Lateral POC supply therefore appears to be the major source of organic matter to the interior basin. However, ongoing changes to surface ocean boundary conditions may influence both lateral and vertical supply of particulate material to the deep Canada Basin.
© The Author(s), 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 120 (2015): 2784–2799, doi:10.1002/2014JC010643.
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