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The biogeochemical impact of glacial meltwater from Southwest Greenland

The biogeochemical impact of glacial meltwater from Southwest Greenland
The biogeochemical impact of glacial meltwater from Southwest Greenland
Biogeochemical cycling in high-latitude regions has a disproportionate impact on global nutrient budgets. Here, we introduce a holistic, multi-disciplinary framework for elucidating the influence of glacial meltwaters, shelf currents, and biological production on biogeochemical cycling in high-latitude continental margins, with a focus on the silica cycle. Our findings highlight the impact of significant glacial discharge on nutrient supply to shelf and slope waters, as well as surface and benthic production in these regions, over a range of timescales from days to thousands of years. Whilst biological uptake in fjords and strong diatom activity in coastal waters maintains low dissolved silicon concentrations in surface waters, we find important but spatially heterogeneous additions of particulates into the system, which are transported rapidly away from the shore. We expect the glacially-derived particles – together with biogenic silica tests – to be cycled rapidly through shallow sediments, resulting in a strong benthic flux of dissolved silicon. Entrainment of this benthic silicon into boundary currents may supply an important source of this key nutrient into the Labrador Sea, and is also likely to recirculate back into the deep fjords inshore. This study illustrates how geochemical and oceanographic analyses can be used together to probe further into modern nutrient cycling in this region, as well as the palaeoclimatological approaches to investigating changes in glacial meltwater discharge through time, especially during periods of rapid climatic change in the Late Quaternary.
0079-6611
1-14
Hendry, Katharine R.
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Huvenne, Veerle A.i.
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Robinson, Laura F.
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Annett, Amber
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Badger, Marcus
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Jacobel, Allison W.
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Ng, Hong Chin
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Opher, Jacob
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Pickering, Rebecca A.
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Taylor, Michelle L.
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Bates, Stephanie L.
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Cooper, Adam
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Cushman, Grace G.
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Goodwin, Claire
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Hoy, Shannon
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Rowland, George
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Samperiz, Ana
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Williams, James A.
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Achterberg, Eric P.
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Arrowsmith, Carol
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Alexander Brearley, J.
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Henley, Sian F.
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Krause, Jeffrey W.
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Leng, Melanie J.
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Li, Tao
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Mcmanus, Jerry F.
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Meredith, Michael P.
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Perkins, Rupert
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Woodward, E. Malcolm S.
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Hendry, Katharine R.
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Huvenne, Veerle A.i.
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Robinson, Laura F.
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Annett, Amber
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Badger, Marcus
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Jacobel, Allison W.
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Ng, Hong Chin
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Opher, Jacob
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Pickering, Rebecca A.
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Taylor, Michelle L.
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Bates, Stephanie L.
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Cooper, Adam
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Cushman, Grace G.
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Goodwin, Claire
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Hoy, Shannon
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Rowland, George
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Samperiz, Ana
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Williams, James A.
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Achterberg, Eric P.
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Arrowsmith, Carol
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Alexander Brearley, J.
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Henley, Sian F.
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Krause, Jeffrey W.
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Leng, Melanie J.
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Li, Tao
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Mcmanus, Jerry F.
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Meredith, Michael P.
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Perkins, Rupert
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Woodward, E. Malcolm S.
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Hendry, Katharine R., Huvenne, Veerle A.i., Robinson, Laura F., Annett, Amber, Badger, Marcus, Jacobel, Allison W., Ng, Hong Chin, Opher, Jacob, Pickering, Rebecca A., Taylor, Michelle L., Bates, Stephanie L., Cooper, Adam, Cushman, Grace G., Goodwin, Claire, Hoy, Shannon, Rowland, George, Samperiz, Ana, Williams, James A., Achterberg, Eric P., Arrowsmith, Carol, Alexander Brearley, J., Henley, Sian F., Krause, Jeffrey W., Leng, Melanie J., Li, Tao, Mcmanus, Jerry F., Meredith, Michael P., Perkins, Rupert and Woodward, E. Malcolm S. (2019) The biogeochemical impact of glacial meltwater from Southwest Greenland. Progress in Oceanography, 176, 1-14. (doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2019.102126).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Biogeochemical cycling in high-latitude regions has a disproportionate impact on global nutrient budgets. Here, we introduce a holistic, multi-disciplinary framework for elucidating the influence of glacial meltwaters, shelf currents, and biological production on biogeochemical cycling in high-latitude continental margins, with a focus on the silica cycle. Our findings highlight the impact of significant glacial discharge on nutrient supply to shelf and slope waters, as well as surface and benthic production in these regions, over a range of timescales from days to thousands of years. Whilst biological uptake in fjords and strong diatom activity in coastal waters maintains low dissolved silicon concentrations in surface waters, we find important but spatially heterogeneous additions of particulates into the system, which are transported rapidly away from the shore. We expect the glacially-derived particles – together with biogenic silica tests – to be cycled rapidly through shallow sediments, resulting in a strong benthic flux of dissolved silicon. Entrainment of this benthic silicon into boundary currents may supply an important source of this key nutrient into the Labrador Sea, and is also likely to recirculate back into the deep fjords inshore. This study illustrates how geochemical and oceanographic analyses can be used together to probe further into modern nutrient cycling in this region, as well as the palaeoclimatological approaches to investigating changes in glacial meltwater discharge through time, especially during periods of rapid climatic change in the Late Quaternary.

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Hendry-2019-author-formatted-FINAL - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 15 June 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 June 2019
Published date: September 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432161
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432161
ISSN: 0079-6611
PURE UUID: d3784b1b-d561-4774-be22-277d17fa0dbd
ORCID for Veerle A.i. Huvenne: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7135-6360
ORCID for Amber Annett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3730-2438

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Date deposited: 03 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 01:45

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Contributors

Author: Katharine R. Hendry
Author: Veerle A.i. Huvenne ORCID iD
Author: Laura F. Robinson
Author: Amber Annett ORCID iD
Author: Marcus Badger
Author: Allison W. Jacobel
Author: Hong Chin Ng
Author: Jacob Opher
Author: Rebecca A. Pickering
Author: Michelle L. Taylor
Author: Stephanie L. Bates
Author: Adam Cooper
Author: Grace G. Cushman
Author: Claire Goodwin
Author: Shannon Hoy
Author: George Rowland
Author: Ana Samperiz
Author: James A. Williams
Author: Carol Arrowsmith
Author: J. Alexander Brearley
Author: Sian F. Henley
Author: Jeffrey W. Krause
Author: Melanie J. Leng
Author: Tao Li
Author: Jerry F. Mcmanus
Author: Michael P. Meredith
Author: Rupert Perkins
Author: E. Malcolm S. Woodward

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