|Title||Seasonality of the physical and biogeochemical hydrography in the inflow to the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Randelhoff A., Reigstad M., Chierici M., Sundfjord A., Ivanov V., Cape M, Vernet M, Tremblay J.E, Bratbak G., Kristiansen S.|
|Journal||Frontiers in Marine Science|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||Arctic Ocean; Atlantic water; barents sea; carbon; carbonic-acid; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; eurasian basin; fram strait; Hydrography; marine; Marine & Freshwater Biology; nutrients; optical-properties; recirculation; sea-ice; shelf slope; surface waters; variability; West Spitsbergen Current|
Eastern Fram Strait and the shelf slope region north of Svalbard is dominated by the advection of warm, salty and nutrient-rich Atlantic Water (AW). This oceanic heat contributes to keeping the area relatively free of ice. The last years have seen a dramatic decrease in regional sea ice extent, which is expected to drive large increases in pelagic primary production and thereby changes in marine ecology and nutrient cycling. In a concerted effort, we conducted five cruises to the area in winter, spring, summer and fall of 2014, in order to understand the physical and biogeochemical controls of carbon cycling, for the first time from a year-round point of view. We document (1) the offshore location of the wintertime front between salty AW and fresher Surface Water in the ocean surface, (2) thermal convection of Atlantic Water over the shelf slope, likely enhancing vertical nutrient fluxes, and (3) the importance of ice melt derived upper ocean stratification for the spring bloom timing. Our findings strongly confirm the hypothesis that this "Atlantification," as it has been called, of the shelf slope area north of Svalbard resulting from the advection of AW alleviates both nutrient and light limitations at the same time, leading to increased pelagic primary productivity in this region.