eCite Digital Repository

Nutrients in water masses in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean: temporal trends, mixing and links with primary production


Duarte, P and Meyer, A and Moreau, S, Nutrients in water masses in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean: temporal trends, mixing and links with primary production, JGR Oceans, 126, (8) Article e2021JC017413. ISSN 2169-9275 (2021) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Published version)

Copyright Statement

2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License, ( which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes

DOI: doi:10.1029/2021JC017413


There is strong evidence of an increase in primary production (PP) in the Arctic Ocean (AO) over the last two decades. Further increases will depend on the interplay between decreasing light limitation for primary producers, as the sea ice extent and thickness decrease, and the availability of nutrients, which is controlled by, but not limited to, inputs from the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. While these inputs are the major nutrient sources to the AO, ocean vertical mixing is required to bring the nutrients into the photic zone. We analyze data collected in the Western Eurasian Basin (WEB) between 1980 and 2016 and characterize the nutrient climatology of the various water masses. We conclude that there were no significant trends in the concentrations of the two macronutrients that typically limit PP in the AO (nitrate and silicic acid, in the case of diatoms), except a decreasing trend for silicic acid in Polar Surface Water (PSW), which is consistent with the reported increase in PP in the AO. We suggest that the Whalers Bay polynya, located in the northwestern corner of Svalbard, may act as a mixing hotspot, creating patches of nutrient replenished PSW. These patches may then be advected to higher latitudes under the ice pack, later boosting PP upon release from light limitation or else, keeping a nutrient reservoir that may be used in a subsequent growth season. It is likely that this remaining nutrient reservoir will decrease as sea ice cover retreats and light limitation alleviates.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:nutrients, Arctic, ocean, trend, mixing, primary production, climate change, climatology
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Chemical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Meyer, A (Dr Amelie Meyer)
ID Code:145785
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE200100414)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2021-08-05
Last Modified:2021-11-22
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page