Connectivity between the terrestrial and marine environment in the Artic is changing as a result of climate change, influencing both freshwater budgets, and the supply of carbon to the sea. This study characterizes the optical properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) within the Lena Delta region and evaluates the behavior of DOM across the fresh water-marine gradient. Six fluorescent components (four humic-like; one marine humic-like; one protein-like) were identified by Parallel Factor Analysis (PARAFAC) with a clear dominance of allochthonous humic-like signals. Colored DOM (CDOM) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were highly correlated and had their distribution coupled with hydrographical conditions. Higher DOM concentration and degree of humification were associated with the low salinity waters of the Lena River. Values decreased toward the higher salinity Laptev Sea shelf waters. Results demonstrate different responses of DOM mixing in relation to the vertical structure of the water column, as reflecting the hydrographical dynamics in the region. Two mixing curves for DOM were apparent. In surface waters above the pycnocline there was a sharper decrease in DOM concentration in relation to salinity indicating removal. In the bottom water layer the DOM decrease within salinity was less. We propose there is a removal of DOM occurring primarily at the surface layer, which is likely driven by photodegradation and flocculation.
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Ecological Chemistry
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Shelf Sea System Ecology
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Physical Oceanography of the Polar Seas