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Study of COntinental inputs in an ARctic Fjord (ESCOFAR)

One of the major consequence of the global warming, particularly marked in the Arctic, is the melting of glaciers and permafrost-affected soils and thus, the increasing inputs of freshwaters and associated materials into the ocean. Several studies have shown the importance of these continental inputs by large arctic rivers but few investigations ha

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Project date

Starts
2014-01-01

Ends
2015-12-31

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Project type

  • field work

Discipline

  • oceanography

Project Keywords

  • oceans / coastal processes / sediment transport
  • oceans / coastal processes / fjords
  • oceans / coastal processes / sedimentation
  • oceans / marine sediments / particle flux
  • oceans / marine sediments / terrigenous sediments

Fieldwork information

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Summary

One of the major consequence of the global warming, particularly marked in the Arctic, is the melting of glaciers and permafrost-affected soils and thus, the increasing inputs of freshwaters and associated materials into the ocean. Several studies have shown the importance of these continental inputs by large arctic rivers but few investigations have been focused on the inputs by tidal glaciers. The ESCOFAR project aims to quantify the total and carbon mass flux discharged by several tidal glaciers from the surrounding Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen, Svalbard) during the summer period. The deployment of CTD-turbidity and sediment traps, the sampling of waters and sediments, as well as the geochemical traceability (using Element Trace Material) of particles from meltwater plumes, should allow us to follow the spread of this continental source along the fjord. By combining these results with an ecological study of the benthic fauna from the fjord, we should be able to estimate the response of this ecosystem to the assumed increase of continental particle inputs, depleted in organic material compared to the marine autochtonous material.

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