A contemporary sediment and organic carbon budget for the Kara Sea shelf (Siberia)

cgebhardt [ at ] awi-bremerhaven.de


It has recently been realized that the Arctic undergoes drastic changes, probably resulting from global change induced processes. This acts on the cycling of matter and on biogenic elements in the Arctic Ocean having feedback mechanisms with the global climate, for example by interacting with atmospheric trace gas concentration. A contemporary budget for biogenic elements as well as suspended matter for the Arctic Ocean as a baseline for comparison with effects of further global change is, thus, needed. Available budgets are based on the late Holocene sedimentary record and are therefore quiet different from the present which has already been affected by the intense anthropogenic activity of the last centuries.We calculated a contemporary suspended matter and organic carbon budget for the Kara Sea utilizing the numerous available data from the recent literature as well as our own data from Russian-German SIRRO (Siberian River Run-off) expeditions. For calculation of the budgets we used a multi-box model to simplify the Kara Sea shelf and estuary system: input was assumed to comprise riverine and eolian input as well as coastal erosion, output was assumed to consist of sedimentation and export to the Arctic Ocean. Exchange with the adjacent seas was considered in our budget, and primary production as well as recycling of organic material was taken into account. According to our calculations, about 18.5x106 t yr-1 of sediments and 0.37x106 t yr-1 of organic carbon are buried in the estuaries, whereas 20.9x106 t yr-1 sediment and 0.31x106 t yr-1 organic carbon are buried on the shelf. Most sources and sinks of our organic carbon budget of the Kara Sea are in the same order of magnitude, making it a region very sensitive to further changes.

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DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2005.06.035

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Gebhardt, C. , Gaye-Haake, B. , Lahajnar, N. , Unger, D. and Ittekkot, V. (2005): A contemporary sediment and organic carbon budget for the Kara Sea shelf (Siberia) , Marine Geology, 220 (1), pp. 83-100 . doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2005.06.035

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