Polar Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 223–239 | Cite as

Vertical flux of particulate matter in an Arctic fjord: the case of lack of the sea-ice cover in Adventfjorden 2006–2007

  • Marek Zajączkowski
  • Henrik Nygård
  • Else Nøst Hegseth
  • Jørgen Berge
Original Paper


Seasonal dynamics of suspended minerals, organic matter, particulate, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), chlorophyll, and their vertical fluxes were studied in a small Arctic fjord (Adventfjorden, Spitsbergen) from November 2006 to October 2007. The fjord was usually covered with fast ice in winter, but remained open throughout the year since 2005. The open-water winter period caused increased wave action and resuspension of organic and mineral particles. The lack of sea-ice in spring accelerated the onset of the productive season. The earlier light signal also caused an earlier appearance of mesozooplanktonic organisms, accompanied by a significant increase of the DOC pool in the water. In the cold period (winter and spring) 47% of the annual organic matter settled on the sampling site, a lot coming from the spring diatom bloom in April. Summer melt (July, August) resulted in turbid and brackish fjord surface water with stratification and increase of both suspended particles and sedimentation, causing 60% of the annual minerals and 53% of the annual organic matter to settle at the sampling site. Increased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) through sloppy feeding on the mixo- and heterotrophic protista by the abundant mesozooplankton indicated intensive secondary production, resulting in a maximum fecal pellets flux of >5 mg C m−2 day−1. A warmer climate with reduced sea-ice cover in fjords will advance the onset of the spring bloom and will also result in a larger input of turbid melt water in summer, restricting the light availability and enhancing flocculation and thereby sedimentation.


Primary production Secondary production Carbon flux Chlorophyll Fjord Arctic 



The project under which this paper was prepared was founded both by University Centre in Svalbard and the Polish Ministry of Scientific Research and Information Technology (2T04F00630). The project was financially supported by StatoilHydro.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marek Zajączkowski
    • 1
  • Henrik Nygård
    • 2
    • 3
  • Else Nøst Hegseth
    • 3
  • Jørgen Berge
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of SciencesSopotPoland
  2. 2.University Centre in SvalbardLongyearbyenNorway
  3. 3.The Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

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