Optical properties and molecular diversity of dissolved organic matter in the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea


Changes in the molecular composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and its light absorbing chromophoric component (CDOM) are of particular interest in the Arctic region because of climate change effects that lead to warmer sea surface temperatures and longer exposure to sunlight. We used continuous UV–vis (UV–vis) spectroscopy, excitation emission matrix fluorescence and ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry during a transect from the Aleutian Islands in the Bering Sea to the Chukchi Sea ice edge through Bering Strait to determine the variability of DOM and CDOM. These data were combined with discrete sampling for stable oxygen isotopes of seawater, in order to evaluate the contributions of melted sea ice versus runoff to the DOM and CDOM components. This study demonstrated that high geographical resolution of optical properties in conjunction with stable oxygen ratios and non-targeted ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry was able to distinguish between different DOM sources in the Arctic, including identification of labile DOM sources in Bering Strait associated with high algal blooms and sampling locations influenced by terrestrially-derived DOM, such as the terrestrial DOM signal originating from Arctic rivers and dirty/anchor sea ice. Results of this study also revealed the overall variability and chemodiversity of Arctic DOM present in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.


Civil Engineering

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Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography



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