skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Dissolved Carbon Dynamics in Meltwaters From the Russell Glacier, Greenland Ice Sheet

Abstract

Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has accelerated in recent decades. Given the close association between the water and carbon (C) cycles, melting of the GrIS may also drive local and global C cycle feedbacks. However, few studies have quantified such feedbacks, which may have important implications for predicting future climate or understanding linkages between ice sheet destabilization and climate change in the geologic past. Here, we investigate seasonal and interannual dissolved C cycling at the margin of the Russell Glacier, west Greenland. By synthesizing isotopic analyses of water (δ 18O) and C (δ 13C and Δ 14C) with geomicrobiological observations, we present evidence for previously unknown connections between the GrIS's supra– and sub–glacial dissolved C cycles. Supraglacial streams have variable concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and are the dominant source of DOC in subglacial discharge. Supraglacial stream dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations are uniform and sourced from a spatially and temporally constant mixture of organic C (~25%) respired by aerobic heterotrophs inhabiting the GrIS surface and dissolved atmospheric C (~75%). Supraglacial inputs account for ~50% of subglacial discharge DIC. The remaining subglacial DIC derives from carbonate weathering and microbial CO 2 production, with the latter attributable tomore » abundant anaerobic heterotrophic communities observed in subglacial discharge. Furthermore, we find that supraglacial streams deliver young DOC to the subglacial environment during snowmelt and rain events. In conclusion, these pulses of organic C may drive heterotrophic microbial respiration, with the cumulative effect being a seasonal shift in the source of basal DIC, from microbial– to carbonate–dominated.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1491855
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-8953
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Greenland Ice Sheet; carbon; microbiology

Citation Formats

Andrews, M. Grace, Jacobson, Andrew D., Osburn, Magdalena R., and Flynn, Theodore M. Dissolved Carbon Dynamics in Meltwaters From the Russell Glacier, Greenland Ice Sheet. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018jg004458.
Andrews, M. Grace, Jacobson, Andrew D., Osburn, Magdalena R., & Flynn, Theodore M. Dissolved Carbon Dynamics in Meltwaters From the Russell Glacier, Greenland Ice Sheet. United States. doi:10.1029/2018jg004458.
Andrews, M. Grace, Jacobson, Andrew D., Osburn, Magdalena R., and Flynn, Theodore M. Thu . "Dissolved Carbon Dynamics in Meltwaters From the Russell Glacier, Greenland Ice Sheet". United States. doi:10.1029/2018jg004458. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1491855.
@article{osti_1491855,
title = {Dissolved Carbon Dynamics in Meltwaters From the Russell Glacier, Greenland Ice Sheet},
author = {Andrews, M. Grace and Jacobson, Andrew D. and Osburn, Magdalena R. and Flynn, Theodore M.},
abstractNote = {Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has accelerated in recent decades. Given the close association between the water and carbon (C) cycles, melting of the GrIS may also drive local and global C cycle feedbacks. However, few studies have quantified such feedbacks, which may have important implications for predicting future climate or understanding linkages between ice sheet destabilization and climate change in the geologic past. Here, we investigate seasonal and interannual dissolved C cycling at the margin of the Russell Glacier, west Greenland. By synthesizing isotopic analyses of water (δ18O) and C (δ13C and Δ14C) with geomicrobiological observations, we present evidence for previously unknown connections between the GrIS's supra– and sub–glacial dissolved C cycles. Supraglacial streams have variable concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and are the dominant source of DOC in subglacial discharge. Supraglacial stream dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations are uniform and sourced from a spatially and temporally constant mixture of organic C (~25%) respired by aerobic heterotrophs inhabiting the GrIS surface and dissolved atmospheric C (~75%). Supraglacial inputs account for ~50% of subglacial discharge DIC. The remaining subglacial DIC derives from carbonate weathering and microbial CO2 production, with the latter attributable to abundant anaerobic heterotrophic communities observed in subglacial discharge. Furthermore, we find that supraglacial streams deliver young DOC to the subglacial environment during snowmelt and rain events. In conclusion, these pulses of organic C may drive heterotrophic microbial respiration, with the cumulative effect being a seasonal shift in the source of basal DIC, from microbial– to carbonate–dominated.},
doi = {10.1029/2018jg004458},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences},
number = 9,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Transport of terrestrial organic carbon to the oceans by rivers: re-estimating flux- and burial rates
journal, March 2000

  • Schlünz, B.; Schneider, R. R.
  • International Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 88, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1007/s005310050290

Fast draining lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet: GREENLAND ICE SHEET FAST DRAINING LAKES
journal, August 2011

  • Selmes, N.; Murray, T.; James, T. D.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, Issue 15
  • DOI: 10.1029/2011GL047872

Greenland Ice Sheet exports labile organic carbon to the Arctic oceans
journal, January 2014


Subglacial water drainage, storage, and piracy beneath the Greenland ice sheet
journal, September 2015

  • Lindbäck, K.; Pettersson, R.; Hubbard, A. L.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, Issue 18
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065393

Proglacial river stage, discharge, and temperature datasets from the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua River northern tributary, Southwest Greenland, 2008–2011
journal, January 2012

  • Rennermalm, A. K.; Smith, L. C.; Chu, V. W.
  • Earth System Science Data, Vol. 4, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/essd-4-1-2012

Carbon isotope fractionation during gas-water exchange and dissolution of CO2
journal, January 1995


The Nagssugtoqidian Orogen of West Greenland: tectonic evolution and regional correlations from a West Greenland perspective
journal, May 2002

  • van Gool, Jeroen A. M.; Connelly, James N.; Marker, Mogens
  • Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 39, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1139/e02-027

PyNAST: a flexible tool for aligning sequences to a template alignment
journal, November 2009


Meltwater chemistry and solute export from a Greenland Ice Sheet catchment, Watson River, West Greenland
journal, November 2014


Variable carbon isotope fractionation expressed by aerobic CH4-oxidizing bacteria
journal, April 2006

  • Templeton, Alexis S.; Chu, Kung-Hui; Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa
  • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 70, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2005.12.002

Organic carbon export from the Greenland ice sheet
journal, May 2013


Hydrology, geochemistry and Sr isotopes in solids and solutes of the meltwater from Mittivakkat Gletscher, SE Greenland
journal, August 2004


An improved Greengenes taxonomy with explicit ranks for ecological and evolutionary analyses of bacteria and archaea
journal, December 2011

  • McDonald, Daniel; Price, Morgan N.; Goodrich, Julia
  • The ISME Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2011.139

High rates of organic carbon burial in fjord sediments globally
journal, May 2015

  • Smith, Richard W.; Bianchi, Thomas S.; Allison, Mead
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 8, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2421

Technical Note: Large overestimation of p CO 2 calculated from pH and alkalinity in acidic, organic-rich freshwaters
journal, January 2015


Methanogenesis in subglacial sediments: Subglacial methanogenesis
journal, April 2010


Basal ice microbiology at the margin of the Greenland ice sheet
journal, January 2010


A greener Greenland? Climatic potential and long-term constraints on future expansions of trees and shrubs
journal, August 2013

  • Normand, Signe; Randin, Christophe; Ohlemüller, Ralf
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 368, Issue 1624
  • DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0479

Global patterns of 16S rRNA diversity at a depth of millions of sequences per sample
journal, June 2010

  • Caporaso, J. G.; Lauber, C. L.; Walters, W. A.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, Issue Supplement_1
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1000080107

Glacial effects on weathering processes: New insights from the elemental and lithium isotopic composition of West Greenland rivers
journal, February 2010

  • Wimpenny, Josh; James, Rachael H.; Burton, Kevin W.
  • Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 290, Issue 3-4
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.042

Seasonal evolution of water contributions to discharge from a Greenland outlet glacier: insight from a new isotope-mixing model
journal, January 2011

  • Bhatia, Maya P.; Das, Sarah B.; Kujawinski, Elizabeth B.
  • Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 57, Issue 205
  • DOI: 10.3189/002214311798043861

Examining the global distribution of dominant archaeal populations in soil
journal, November 2010

  • Bates, Scott T.; Berg-Lyons, Donna; Caporaso, J. Gregory
  • The ISME Journal, Vol. 5, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2010.171

Calculating the balance between atmospheric CO 2 drawdown and organic carbon oxidation in subglacial hydrochemical systems : Carbon Balance in Subglacial Systems
journal, April 2017

  • Graly, Joseph A.; Drever, James I.; Humphrey, Neil F.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 31, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1002/2016GB005425

Recent warming in Greenland in a long-term instrumental (1881–2012) climatic context: I. Evaluation of surface air temperature records
journal, October 2012


A Wet Oxidation Method for AMS Radiocarbon Analysis of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Water
journal, January 2013


Search and clustering orders of magnitude faster than BLAST
journal, August 2010


The ablation zone in northeast Greenland: ice types, albedos and impurities
journal, January 2010

  • Bøggild, Carl Egede; Brandt, Richard E.; Brown, Kendrick J.
  • Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 56, Issue 195
  • DOI: 10.3189/002214310791190776

Molecular and biogeochemical evidence for methane cycling beneath the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet
journal, April 2014

  • Dieser, Markus; Broemsen, Erik L. J. E.; Cameron, Karen A.
  • The ISME Journal, Vol. 8, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2014.59

Stable oxygen isotope variability in two contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland
journal, January 2016

  • Yde, Jacob C.; Knudsen, Niels T.; Steffensen, Jørgen P.
  • Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 20, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/hess-20-1197-2016

CO2 evasion from the Greenland Ice Sheet: A new carbon-climate feedback
journal, August 2012


Molecular characterization of dissolved organic matter associated with the Greenland ice sheet
journal, July 2010

  • Bhatia, Maya P.; Das, Sarah B.; Longnecker, Krista
  • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 74, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2010.03.035

Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall
journal, July 2015

  • Doyle, Samuel H.; Hubbard, Alun; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 8, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2482

Global silicate weathering and CO2 consumption rates deduced from the chemistry of large rivers
journal, July 1999


Greenland precipitation trends in a long-term instrumental climate context (1890-2012): evaluation of coastal and ice core records: PRECIPITATION IN GREENLAND
journal, March 2014

  • Mernild, Sebastian H.; Hanna, Edward; McConnell, Joseph R.
  • International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 35, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/joc.3986

Methanogenic potential of Arctic and Antarctic subglacial environments with contrasting organic carbon sources
journal, August 2012


Preservation of a Preglacial Landscape Under the Center of the Greenland Ice Sheet
journal, April 2014


Organic matter content and quality in supraglacial debris across the ablation zone of the Greenland ice sheet
journal, January 2010


Seasonal changes of ice surface characteristics and productivity in the ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet
journal, January 2015

  • Chandler, D. M.; Alcock, J. D.; Wadham, J. L.
  • The Cryosphere, Vol. 9, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.5194/tc-9-487-2015

Microbially driven export of labile organic carbon from the Greenland ice sheet
journal, April 2017

  • Musilova, Michaela; Tranter, Martyn; Wadham, Jemma
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 10, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2920

QIIME allows analysis of high-throughput community sequencing data
journal, April 2010

  • Caporaso, J. Gregory; Kuczynski, Justin; Stombaugh, Jesse
  • Nature Methods, Vol. 7, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.f.303

Identifying weathering sources and processes in an outlet glacier of the Greenland Ice Sheet using Ca and Sr isotope ratios
journal, November 2014

  • Hindshaw, Ruth S.; Rickli, Jörg; Leuthold, Julien
  • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 145
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.09.016

Microbial abundance in surface ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet
journal, March 2015

  • Stibal, Marek; Gözdereliler, Erkin; Cameron, Karen A.
  • Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol. 6
  • DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00225

Hypsometric amplification and routing moderation of Greenland ice sheet meltwater release
journal, January 2017

  • van As, Dirk; Bech Mikkelsen, Andreas; Holtegaard Nielsen, Morten
  • The Cryosphere, Vol. 11, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/tc-11-1371-2017

PEAR: a fast and accurate Illumina Paired-End reAd mergeR
journal, October 2013


Centers of organic carbon burial and oxidation at the land-ocean interface
journal, January 2018


An improved estimate of microbially mediated carbon fluxes from the Greenland ice sheet
journal, January 2012

  • Cook, J. M.; Hodson, A. J.; Anesio, A. M.
  • Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 58, Issue 212
  • DOI: 10.3189/2012JoG12J001

The metagenomics RAST server – a public resource for the automatic phylogenetic and functional analysis of metagenomes
journal, September 2008


Ultra-high-throughput microbial community analysis on the Illumina HiSeq and MiSeq platforms
journal, March 2012

  • Caporaso, J. Gregory; Lauber, Christian L.; Walters, William A.
  • The ISME Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2012.8

The importance of oxygen isotope provenance in relation to solute content of bulk meltwaters at Imersuaq Glacier, West Greenland
journal, January 2004

  • Yde, Jacob C.; Tvis Knudsen, N.
  • Hydrological Processes, Vol. 18, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/hyp.1317

Efficient organic carbon burial in the Bengal fan sustained by the Himalayan erosional system
journal, November 2007

  • Galy, Valier; France-Lanord, Christian; Beyssac, Olivier
  • Nature, Vol. 450, Issue 7168
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature06273

Storage and release of organic carbon from glaciers and ice sheets
journal, January 2015

  • Hood, Eran; Battin, Tom J.; Fellman, Jason
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 8, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2331

Viable cold-tolerant iron-reducing microorganisms in geographically diverse subglacial environments
journal, January 2017

  • Nixon, Sophie L.; Telling, Jon P.; Wadham, Jemma L.
  • Biogeosciences, Vol. 14, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-1445-2017

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Evaluating the carbon inventory, carbon fluxes and carbon cycles for a long-term sustainable world
    journal, January 2019