Orians Kristin J.

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Kristin J.

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  • Article
    Canadian Arctic Archipelago shelf-ocean interactions: a major iron source to Pacific derived waters transiting to the Atlantic
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-09-20) Colombo, Manuel ; Rogalla, Birgit ; Li, Jingxuan ; Allen, Susan E. ; Orians, Kristin J. ; Maldonado, Maria T.
    Continental shelves are important sources of iron (Fe) in the land-dominated Arctic Ocean. To understand the export of Fe from the Arctic to Baffin Bay (BB) and the North Atlantic, we studied the alteration of the Fe signature in waters transiting the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA). During its transit through the CAA, inflowing Arctic Waters from the Canada Basin become enriched in Fe as result of strong sediment resuspension and enhanced sediment-water interactions (non-reductive dissolution). These high Fe waters are exported to BB, where approximately 10.7 kt of Fe are delivered yearly from Lancaster Sound. Furthermore, if the two remaining main CAA pathways (Jones Sound and Nares Strait) are included, this shelf environment would be a dominant source term of Fe (dFe + pFe: 26–90 kt y−1) to Baffin Bay. The conservative Fe flux estimate (26 kt y−1) is 1.7–38 times greater than atmospheric inputs, and may be crucial in supporting primary production and nitrogen fixation in BB and beyond.
  • Article
    Sediments in sea ice drive the Canada Basin surface Mn maximum: insights from an Arctic Mn Ocean model
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-08-06) Rogalla, Birgit ; Allen, Susan E. ; Colombo, Manuel ; Myers, Paul G. ; Orians, Kristin J.
    Biogeochemical cycles in the Arctic Ocean are sensitive to the transport of materials from continental shelves into central basins by sea ice. However, it is difficult to assess the net effect of this supply mechanism due to the spatial heterogeneity of sea ice content. Manganese (Mn) is a micronutrient and tracer which integrates source fluctuations in space and time while retaining seasonal variability. The Arctic Ocean surface Mn maximum is attributed to freshwater, but studies struggle to distinguish sea ice and river contributions. Informed by observations from 2009 IPY and 2015 Canadian GEOTRACES cruises, we developed a three-dimensional dissolved Mn model within a 1/12° coupled ocean-ice model centered on the Canada Basin and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA). Simulations from 2002 to 2019 indicate that annually, 87%–93% of Mn contributed to the Canada Basin upper ocean is released by sea ice, while rivers, although locally significant, contribute only 2.2%–8.5%. Downstream, sea ice provides 34% of Mn transported from Parry Channel into Baffin Bay. While rivers are often considered the main source of Mn, our findings suggest that in the Canada Basin they are less important than sea ice. However, within the shelf-dominated CAA, both rivers and sediment resuspension are important. Climate-induced disruption of the transpolar drift may reduce the Canada Basin Mn maximum and supply downstream. Other micronutrients found in sediments, such as Fe, may be similarly affected. These results highlight the vulnerability of the biogeochemical supply mechanisms in the Arctic Ocean and the subpolar seas to climatic changes.
  • Article
    Continental and glacial runoff fingerprints in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Inuit Nunangat Ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2023-04-25) Rogalla, Birgit ; Allen, Susan E. ; Colombo, Manuel ; Myers, Paul G. ; Orians, Kristin J.
    Rising temperatures and an acceleration of the hydrological cycle due to climate change are increasing river discharge, causing permafrost thaw, glacial melt, and a shift to a groundwater‐dominated system in the Arctic. These changes are funneled to coastal regions of the Arctic Ocean where the implications for the distributions of nutrients and biogeochemical constituents are unclear. In this study, we investigate the impact of terrestrial runoff on marine biogeochemistry in Inuit Nunangat (the Canadian Arctic Archipelago)—a key pathway for transport and modification of waters from the Arctic Ocean to the North Atlantic—using sensitivity experiments from 2002 to 2020 with an ocean model of manganese (Mn). The micronutrient Mn traces terrestrial runoff and the modification of geochemical constituents of runoff during transit. The heterogeneity in Arctic runoff composition creates distinct terrestrial fingerprints of influence in the ocean: continental runoff influences Mn in the southwestern Archipelago, glacial runoff dominates the northeast, and their influence co‐occurs in central Parry Channel. Glacial runoff carries micronutrients southward from Nares Strait in the late summer and may help support longer phytoplankton blooms in the Pikialasorsuaq polynya. Enhanced glacial runoff may increase micronutrients delivered downstream to Baffin Bay, accounting for up to 18% of dissolved Mn fluxes seasonally and 6% annually. These findings highlight how climate induced changes to terrestrial runoff may impact the geochemical composition of the marine environment, and will help to predict the extent of these impacts from ongoing alterations of the Arctic hydrological cycle.Plain Language SummaryIn the Arctic, climate change is expected to increase river flow and alter the composition of river water through permafrost thaw and glacial melt. Many rivers and land areas drain to the coastal Arctic Ocean; the impact of changes to the nutrients carried by river water to these regions are unclear. In this study, we focus on Inuit Nunangat (the Canadian Arctic Archipelago)—a series of shallow channels that connects the Arctic Ocean to the North Atlantic—and look at where in the ocean the material in the river water ends up and how much of the material travels downstream. We use experiments with an ocean model from 2002 to 2020 and track an element found in river water: manganese (Mn), which is also an important nutrient in the ocean. While continental rivers mainly influence Mn in the southwestern Archipelago, glaciers influence the northeastern Archipelago and supply nutrients to Pikialasorsuaq, one of the Arctic's most biologically active areas. Glaciers can contribute up to 18% to Mn transported downstream of Nares Strait seasonally and 6% yearly. Our findings highlight how climate related changes in the composition of river water impact the marine system of Inuit Nunangat and how these changes can funnel downstream.Key PointsThe heterogeneity in Arctic drainage basins creates a north‐south separation in Mn contributions to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago oceanGlacial runoff from Nares Strait supplies micronutrients such as Mn to the Pikialasorsuaq or North Water polynyaChanges in glacial runoff composition in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and northwestern Greenland are conveyed downstream into Baffin Bay