Abstract: A study was conducted to measure the biogeochemical characteristics of freshwater plumes underlying Baltic Sea land-fast ice, and the overlying sea ice. A 40-km long transect was conducted in the northern Baltic Sea in March 2003, following a freshwater plume from its source into the fully mixed open-sea area. The spreading of river outflow below the ice resulted in a well-stratified low-salinity surface layer further out than normally occurs in the open-water period. The freshwaters were high in dissolved organic matter (DOC, DON and CDOM), and inorganic nutrients (ammonium, nitrate and silicate), although the levels of phosphate were low. In general these parameters changed concurrently with salinity in such a way that mixing was conservative. The characteristics of the ice varied from the freshwater source to the open water, with increasing salinity and brine volumes (porosity) occurring in the more open-sea stations. Coinciding with the changes in ice properties there was an increase in sea-ice algal growth in the more marine stations along the transect. Biological activity in the ice was largely confined to bottom ice assemblages. In contrast to the conditions in the underlying water, no relationship between salinity, inorganic nutrients and organic matter was observed in the ice. In particular ammonium, phosphate, DOC and DON were present in excess of those levels predicted from the dilution curves, indicating the presence of considerable DOM production by ice assemblages, inorganic nutrient uptake and remineralization within the ice.
Keywords: coastal oceanography; sea ice; river plumes; estuarine chemistry; nutrients (mineral); dissolved organic matter; Baltic Sea
Notes: Sampling: Nine stations along a 40km salinity gradient from inner Pojo Bay through the Archipelago to the edge of the open sea