Vast areas of the North are covered by Taiga and Tundra biomes and hold huge stocks of organic carbon. Large parts of these areas are underlain by permafrost, especially in Siberia, where rivers transport large quantities of organic carbon, nutrients, and micronutrient trace metals to the Arctic Ocean. Changing climate patterns can change the river fluxes of these constituents and impact the biogeochemistry of the Arctic Ocean in ways that are not understood.
This project studies these river fluxes to identify how terrestrial changes might affect the marine environment. The focus is on the vast Siberian Lena River watershed. River water samples collected from across the watershed during different seasons provide the first comprehensive dataset of these constituents throughout the watershed. Isotopic fingerprints are used to identify the sources of constituents within sub-basin and provide tracers for identifying changing fluxes from the various sub-basins.
This is an international collaborative project between researchers in the Sweden, UK and Russia.