Time-series sediment traps were deployed at 4 depths in the eastern Fram Strait from July 2007 to June 2008 to investigate variations in the magnitude and composition of the sinking particulate matter from upper waters to the seafloor. Sediment traps were deployed at 196 m in the Atlantic Water layer, at 1296 and 2364 m in the intermediate and deep waters, and at 2430 m on a benthic lander in the near-bottom layer. Fluxes of total particulate matter, particulate organic carbon, particulate organic nitrogen, biogenic matter, lithogenic matter, biogenic particulate silica, calcium carbonate, dominant phytoplankton cells, and zooplankton fecal pellets increased with depth, indicating the importance of lateral advection on fluxes in the deep Fram Strait. The lateral supply of particulate matter was further supported by the constant fluxes of biomarkers such as brassicasterol, alkenones, campesterol, β-sitosterol, and IP25 at all depths sampled. However, enhanced fluxes of diatoms and appendicularian fecal pellets from the upper waters to the seafloor in the presence of ice during spring indicated the rapid export (15–35 days) of locally-produced large particles that likely contributed most of the food supply to the benthic communities. These results show that lateral supply and downward fluxes are both important processes influencing the transport of particulate matter to the seafloor in the deep eastern Fram Strait, and that particulate matter size dictates the prevailing sinking process.
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Polar Biological Oceanography
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Physical Oceanography of the Polar Seas
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Joint Research Group: Deep Sea Ecology and Technology
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES II (2014-2018) > TOPIC 1: Changes and regional feedbacks in Arctic and Antarctic > WP 1.4: Arctic sea ice and its interaction with ocean and ecosystems