Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-350
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-350

  03 Jan 2022

03 Jan 2022

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Compositions of dissolved organic matter in the ice-covered waters above the Aurora hydrothermal vent system, Gakkel Ridge, Arctic Ocean

Muhammed Fatih Sert1, Helge Niemann1,2,3, Eoghan P. Reeves4, Mats A. Granskog5, Kevin P. Hand6, Timo Kekäläinen7, Janne Jänis7, Pamela E. Rossel8, Bénédicte Ferré1, Anna Silyakova1, and Friederike Gründger9 Muhammed Fatih Sert et al.
  • 1Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE), Department of Geosciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 2NIOZ Royal Institute for Sea Research, Department of Marine Microbiology and Biogeochemistry, and Utrecht University, Texel, the Netherlands
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 4Department of Earth Science & Centre for Deep Sea Research, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 5Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway
  • 6Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
  • 7Department of Chemistry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
  • 8Interface Geochemistry, GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience, Potsdam, Germany
  • 9Arctic Research Centre, Department of Biology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Abstract. Hydrothermal vents modify and displace subsurface dissolved organic matter (DOM) into the ocean. Once in the ocean, this DOM is transported together with elements, particles, dissolved gases, and biomass along with the neutrally buoyant plume layer. Considering the number and extent of actively venting hydrothermal sites in the oceans, their contribution to the oceanic DOM pool may be substantial. Here, we investigate the dynamics of DOM in relation to hydrothermal venting and related processes at the as-yet unexplored Aurora hydrothermal vent field within the ultraslow spreading Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean at 82.9° N. We examined the vertical distribution of DOM composition from sea ice to deep waters at six hydrocast stations distal to the active vent and its neutrally buoyant plume layer. In comparison to background seawater, we found that the DOM in waters directly affected by the hydrothermal plume was composed of lower numbers of molecular formulas and 5–10 % less abundant compositions associated with the molecular categories related to lipid and protein-like compounds. Samples that were not directly affected by the plume, on the other hand, were chemically more diverse and had a higher percentage of chemical formulas associated with the carbohydrate-like category. We suggest, therefore, that hydrothermal processes at Aurora may influence the DOM distribution in the bathypelagic ocean by spreading more thermally and/or chemically induced compositions, while DOM compositions in epipelagic and mesopelagic layers are mainly governed by the microbial carbon pump dynamics, and sea ice surface water interactions.

Muhammed Fatih Sert et al.

Status: open (until 16 Feb 2022)

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Muhammed Fatih Sert et al.

Muhammed Fatih Sert et al.

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Short summary
We investigate organic matter composition in the Arctic Ocean water column. We collected seawater samples from sea ice to deep waters at six vertical profiles near an active hydrothermal vent and its plume. In comparison to seawater, we found that the organic matter in waters directly affected by the hydrothermal plume had different chemical composition. We suggest that hydrothermal processes may influence the organic matter distribution in the deep ocean.
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