Sediment entrainment into sea ice and transport in the Transpolar Drift: a case study from the Laptev Sea in winter 2011/2012


Contact
Jens.Hölemann [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Sea ice is an important vehicle for sediment transport in the Arctic Ocean. On the Laptev Sea shelf (Siberian Arctic) large volumes of sediment-laden sea ice are formed during freeze-up in autumn, then exported and transported across the Arctic Ocean into Fram Strait where it partly melts. The incorporated sediments are released, settle on the sea floor, and serve as a proxy for ice-transport in the Arctic Ocean on geological time scales. However, the formation process of sediment-laden ice in the source area has been scarcely observed. Sediment-laden ice was sampled during a helicopter-based expedition to the Laptev Sea in March/April 2012. Sedimentological, biogeochemical and biological studies on the ice core as well as in the water column give insights into the formation process and, in combination with oceanographic process studies, on matter fluxes beneath the sea ice. Based on satellite images and ice drift back-trajectories the sediments were likely incorporated into the sea ice during a mid-winter coastal polynya near one of the main outlets of the Lena River, which is supported by the presence of abundant freshwater diatoms typical for the Lena River phytoplankton, and subsequently transported about 80 km northwards onto the shelf. Assuming ice growth of 12 –19 cm during this period and mean suspended matter content in the newly formed ice of 91.9 mg l− 1 suggests that a minimum sediment load of 8.4×10 4 t might have been incorporated into sea ice. Extrapolating these sediment loads for the entire Lena Delta region suggests that at least 65% of the estimated sediment loads which are incorporated during freeze-up, and up to 10% of the annually exported sediment load may be incorporated during an event such as described in this paper.



Item Type
Article
Authors
Divisions
Primary Division
Programs
Primary Topic
Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
44814
DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2017.04.010

Cite as
Wegner, C. , Wittbrodt, K. , Hölemann, J. , Janout, M. , Krumpen, T. , Selyuzhenok, L. , Novikhin, A. , Polyakova, Y. , Krykova, I. , Kassens, H. and Timokhov, L. (2017): Sediment entrainment into sea ice and transport in the Transpolar Drift: a case study from the Laptev Sea in winter 2011/2012 , Continental Shelf Research . doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2017.04.010


Download
[img]
Preview
PDF
Wegner_CSR2017_LaptevSedimentFastIce.pdf

Download (2MB) | Preview
Cite this document as:

Share


Citation

Research Platforms
N/A

Campaigns


Actions
Edit Item Edit Item