Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Biogeosciences, 10, 2761–2774, 2013

Special issue: How changes in ice cover, permafrost and UV radiation impact...

Biogeosciences, 10, 2761–2774, 2013

Research article 26 Apr 2013

Research article | 26 Apr 2013

UV/PAR radiation and DOM properties in surface coastal waters of the Canadian shelf of the Beaufort Sea during summer 2009

J. Para1, B. Charrière1, A. Matsuoka2,3, W. L. Miller4, J. F. Rontani1, and R. Sempéré1 J. Para et al.
  • 1Aix-Marseille Université, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), 13288, Marseille, Cedex 9, France; Université du Sud Toulon-Var, MIO, 83957, La Garde cedex, CNRS/INSU, MIO UMR7294, France
  • 2Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6)/ CNRS/INSU, B.P. 08, Port de la Darse, Villefranche-sur-Mer Cedex, 06230, France
  • 3Takuvik Joint International Laboratory, Université Laval (Canada) – CNRS (France), Département de Biologie and Québec-Océan, Université Laval, Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon 1045, Avenue de la Médecine, Local 2078, G1V 0A6, Canada
  • 4UGAMI/UGA Marine Science, Athens, GA 30602, USA

Abstract. Surface waters from the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean were evaluated for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and optical characteristics including UV (ultraviolet) radiation and PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) diffuse attenuation (Kd), and chromophoric and fluorescent dissolved organic matter (CDOM and FDOM) as part of the MALINA field campaign (30 July to 27 August). Spectral absorption coefficients (aCDOM (350 nm) (m−1)) were significantly correlated to both diffuse attenuation coefficients (Kd) in the UV-A and UV-B and to DOC concentrations. This indicates CDOM as the dominant attenuator of both UV and PAR solar radiation and suggests its use as an optical proxy for DOC concentrations in this region. While the Mackenzie input is the main driver of CDOM dynamics in low salinity waters, locally, primary production can create significant increases in CDOM. Extrapolating CDOM to DOC relationships, we estimate that ∼16% of the DOC in the Mackenzie River does not absorb radiation at 350 nm. The discharges of DOC and its chromophoric subset (CDOM) by the Mackenzie River during the MALINA cruise are estimated as ∼0.22 TgC and 0.18 TgC, respectively. Three dissolved fluorescent components (C1–C3) were identified by fluorescence excitation/emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMS) and parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis. Our results showed an aquatic dissolved organic matter (DOM) component (C1), probably produced in the numerous lakes of the watershed, that co-dominated with a terrestrial humic-like component (C2) in the Mackenzie Delta Sector. This aquatic DOM could partially explain the high CDOM spectral slopes observed in the Beaufort Sea.

Final-revised paper