The Influence of Sea Ice Cover and Atlantic Water Advection on Annual Particle Export North of Svalbard

Christine Dybwad, Catherine Lalande, Yasemin Bodur, Sian F. Henley, Finlo Cottier, Elizaveta Ershova, Laura Hobbs, Kim Last, A.M. Dąbrowska, Marit Reigstad

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The Arctic Ocean north of Svalbard has recently experienced large sea ice losses and the increasing prominence of Atlantic water (AW) advection. To investigate the impact of these ongoing changes on annual particle export, two moorings with sequential sediment traps were deployed in ice-free and seasonally ice-covered waters on the shelf north (NSv) and east (ESv) of Svalbard, collecting sinking particles nearly continuously from October 2017 to October 2018. Vertical export of particulate organic carbon (POC), total particulate matter (TPM), planktonic protists, chlorophyll a, and zooplankton fecal pellets were measured, and swimmers were quantified and identified. Combined with sensor data from the moorings, these time-series measurements provided a first assessment of the factors influencing particle export in this region of the Arctic Ocean. Higher annual TPM and POC fluxes at the ice-free NSv site were primarily driven by the advection of AW, higher grazing by large copepods, and a wind-induced mixing event during winter. Higher diatom fluxes were observed during spring in the presence of sea ice at the ESv site. Along with sea ice cover, regional differences in AW advection and the seasonal presence of grazers played a prominent role in the biological carbon pump along the continental shelf off Svalbard.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022JC018897
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2022


  • vertical carbon export
  • seasonal sea ice
  • Arctic
  • Atlantification
  • sediment traps
  • annual particle fluxes


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