A large-scale geographical study of the ice pack in the seasonal ice zone of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, took place from September to October 2006. Sea ice brines with a salinity greater than 58 and temperature lower than -3.6oC were sampled from 22 ice stations. The brines had large deficits in total alkalinity and in the concentrations of the major dissolved macronutrients (total dissolved inorganic carbon, nitrate, and soluble reactive phosphorus) relative to their concentrations in the surface oceanic water and conservative behaviour during seawater freezing. The concentration deficits were related to the dissolved inorganic carbon-consuming processes of photosynthesis, CaCO3 precipitation, and CO2 degassing. The largest concentration deficits in total dissolved inorganic carbon were found to be associated with CaCO3 precipitation and CO2 degassing, because the magnitude of the photosynthesis-induced concentration deficit in total dissolved inorganic carbon is controlled by the size of the inorganic nutrient pool, which can be limited in sea ice by its openness to exchange with the surrounding oceanic water.
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES I (2009-2013) > TOPIC 1: The Changing Arctic and Antarctic > WP 1.4: Antarctic Circumpolar Climate and Ecosystem Study