Chanton Jeffrey P.

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Last Name
Chanton
First Name
Jeffrey P.
ORCID
0000-0002-3303-9708

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  • Article
    Limited presence of permafrost dissolved organic matter in the Kolyma River, Siberia revealed by ramped oxidation
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-07-09) Rogers, Jennifer A. ; Galy, Valier ; Kellerman, Anne M. ; Chanton, Jeffrey P. ; Zimov, Nikita S. ; Spencer, Robert G. M.
    Increasing Arctic temperatures are thawing permafrost soils and liberating ancient organic matter, but the fate of this material remains unclear. Thawing of permafrost releases dissolved organic matter (DOM) into fluvial networks. Unfortunately, tracking this material in Arctic rivers such as the Kolyma River in Siberia has proven challenging due to its high biodegradability. Here, we evaluate late summer abruptly thawed yedoma permafrost dissolved organic carbon (DOC) inputs from Duvannyi Yar. We implemented ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry alongside ramped pyrolysis oxidation (RPO) and isotopic analyses. These approaches offer insight into DOM chemical composition and DOC radiocarbon values of thermochemical components for a permafrost thaw stream, the Kolyma River, and their biodegraded counterparts (n = 4). The highly aliphatic molecular formula found in undegraded permafrost DOM contrasted with the comparatively aliphatic-poor formula of Kolyma River DOM, represented by an 8.9% and 2.6% relative abundance, respectively, suggesting minimal inputs of undegraded permafrost DOM in the river. RPO radiocarbon fractions of Kolyma River DOC exhibited no “hidden” aged component indicative of permafrost influence. Thermostability analyses suggested that there was limited biodegraded permafrost DOC in the Kolyma River, in part determined by the formation of high-activation energy (thermally stable) biodegradation components in permafrost DOM that were lacking in the Kolyma River. A mixing model based on thermostability and radiocarbon allowed us to estimate a maximum input of between 0.8% and 7.7% of this Pleistocene-aged permafrost to the Kolyma River DOC. Ultimately, our findings highlight that export of modern terrestrial DOC currently overwhelms any permafrost DOC inputs in the Kolyma River.