Insights into oxygen transport and net community production in sea ice from oxygen, nitrogen and argon concentrations

Zhou, J.; Delille, B.; Brabant, F.; Tison, J.-L.

We present and compare the dynamics (i.e., changes in standing stocks, saturation levels and concentrations) of O 2, Ar and N 2 in landfast sea ice, collected in Barrow (Alaska), from February through June 2009. The comparison suggests that the dynamic of O 2 in sea ice strongly depends on physical processes (gas incorporation and subsequent transport). Since Ar and N 2 are only sensitive to the physical processes in the present study, we then discuss the use of O 2 / Ar and O 2 / N 2 to correct for the physical contribution to O 2 supersaturations, and to determine the net community production (NCP). We conclude that O 2 / Ar suits better than O 2 / N 2, due to the relative abundance of O 2, N 2 and Ar, and the lower biases when gas bubble formation and gas diffusion are maximized. We further estimate NCP in the impermeable layers during ice growth, which ranged from −6.6 to 3.6 μmol O 2 L −1 d −1, and the concentrations of O 2 due to biological activity in the permeable layers during ice decay (3.8 to 122 μmol O 2 L −1). We finally highlight the key issues to solve for more accurate NCP estimates in the future.

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Zhou, J. / Delille, B. / Brabant, F. / et al: Insights into oxygen transport and net community production in sea ice from oxygen, nitrogen and argon concentrations. 2014. Copernicus Publications.

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