CO2 and CH4 in sea ice from a subarctic fjord under influence of riverine input

O. Crabeck, B. Delille, D. Thomas, N.X. Geilfus, S. Rysgaard, J.L. Tilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We present the CH4 concentration [CH4], the par- tial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) and the total gas content in bulk sea ice from subarctic, land-fast sea ice in the Kapisillit fjord, Greenland. Fjord systems are characterized by freshwater runoff and riverine input and based on $\delta$18O data, we show that >30\% of the surface water originated from periodic river input during ice growth. This resulted in fresher sea-ice layers with higher gas content than is typical from marine sea ice. The bulk ice [CH4] ranged from 1.8 to 12.1 nmolL−1, which corresponds to a partial pressure ranging from 3 to 28ppmv. This is markedly higher than the average atmo- spheric methane content of 1.9ppmv. Evidently most of the trapped methane within the icewas contained inside bubbles, and only a minor portion was dissolved in the brines. The bulk ice pCO2 ranged from 60 to 330ppmv indicating that sea ice at temperatures above −4 ◦C is undersaturated com- pared to the atmosphere (390 ppmv). This study adds to the few existing studies of CH4 and CO2 in sea ice, and we con- clude that subarctic seawater can be a sink for atmospheric CO2, while being a net source of CH4.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number23
Pages (from-to)66525-66538
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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