Spatial variation of biogeochemical properties of landfast sea ice in the Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Sea

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Horizontal variation of landfast sea-ice properties was studied in the Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Sea, during March 2004. In order to estimate their variability among and within different spatial levels, 72 ice cores were sampled on five spatial scales (with spacings of 10 cm, 2.5 m, 25 m, 250 m and 2.5 km) using a hierarchical sampling design. Entire cores were melted, and bulk-ice salinity, concentrations of chlorophyll a (Chl a), phaeophytin (Phaeo), dissolved nitrate plus nitrite (DIN) as well as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) were determined. All sampling sites were covered by a 5.5–23 cm thick layer of snow. Ice thicknesses of cores varied from 26 to 58 cm, with bulk-ice salinities ranging between 0.2 and 0.7 as is typical for Baltic Sea ice. Observed values for Chl a (range: 0.8–6.0 g Chl a L−1 ; median: 2.9 g Chl a L−1) and DOC (range: 37–397 M; median: 95 M) were comparable to values reported by previous sea-ice studies from the Baltic Sea. Analysis of variance among different spatial levels revealed significant differences on the 2.5 km scale for ice thickness, DOC and Phaeo (with the latter two being positively correlated with ice thickness). For salinity and Chl a, the 250 m scale was found to be the largest scale where significant differences could be detected, while snow depth only varied significantly on the 25 m scale. Variability on the 2.5 m scale contributed significantly to the total variation for ice thickness, salinity, Chl a and DIN. In the case of DON, none of the investigated levels exhibited variation that was significantly different from the considerable amount of variation found between replicate cores. Results from a principal component analysis suggest that ice thickness is one of the main elements structuring the investigated ice habitat on a large scale, while snow depth, nutrients and salinity seem to be of secondary importance.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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