Pelagic and ice-associated particle sources have been investigated to determine their contribution to vertical fluxes from upper ocean layers. Process studies were conducted from 1988 to 1997 during various seasons between 72° N and 82° N in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) and open waters of the Greenland Sea. Ice-bound (in-ice and under-ice) particle production begins as early as April, prior to pelagic production, and provides material which may be set free in the course of melting or originate from food-web processes in the under-ice habitat (namely grazing by sympagic amphipods). These particles may be deposited from surface waters, degraded within pelagic food webs or, in the case of autotrophic components, may serve as a seeding population for pelagic production. Findings on transects from the open water into the pack ice stress the overall importance of the MIZ for particle export. The MIZ is characterized by highly variable physical and biological conditions which foster local phytoplankton blooms. Particle exports from the MIZ are very variable but generally high, with prominent autotrophic diatom contributions (up to 60 mg poc m−2 d−1, 30 mg Opal-Si m−2 d−1 and 107 diatoms m−2 d−1). Analyses of algal pigments and their degradation products, combined with microscopical inventories, permit the differentiation of sources of particle export. Freshly produced material from the MIZ can rapidly sediment to great depths, feeding the benthos and affecting sediment geochemistry.
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- Biogenic Particle Sources and Vertical Flux Patterns in the Seasonally Ice-Covered Greenland Sea
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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