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Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Biogeochemical cycling in a periglacial environment-A multi-element mass-balance budget for a catchment in West Greenland

Rydberg, Johan; Lindborg, Tobias; Lidman, Fredrik; Trojbom, Mats; Berglund, Sten; Lindborg, Emma; Kautsky, Ulrik; Laudon, Hjalmar


There is an increased awareness that the biogeochemical cycling at high latitudes will be affected by a changing climate. However, because biogeochemical studies most often focus on a limited number of elements (i.e., C, P and N) we lack baseline conditions for many elements. In this work, we present a 42-element mass-balance budget for lake dominated catchment in West Greenland. By combining site specific concentration data from various catchment compartments (precipitation, active layer soils, groundwater, permafrost, lake water, lake sediments and biota) with catchment geometries and hydrological fluxes from a distributed hydrological model we have assessed present-day mobilization, transport and accumulation of a whole suite of elements with different biogeochemical behavior. Our study shows that, under the cold and dry conditions that prevails close to the inland ice-sheet: i) eolian processes are important for the transport of elements associated with mineral particles (e.g., Al, Ti, Si), and that these elements tend to accumulate in the lake sediment, ii) that even if weathering rates are slowed down by the dry and cold climate, weathering in terrestrial soils is an important source for many elements (e.g., lanthanides), iii) that the cold and dry conditions results in an accumulation of elements supplied by wet deposition (e.g., halogens) in both terrestrial soils and the lake-water column, and iv) that lead and sulfur from legacy pollution are currently being released from the terrestrial system. All these processes are affected by the climate, and we can therefore expect that the cycling of the majority of the 42 studied elements will change in the future. However, it is not always possible to predict the direction of this change, which shows that more multi-element biogeochemical studies are needed to increase our understanding of the consequences of a changing climate for the Arctic environment.


Multi element; Mass-balance budget; Whole catchment; Dry periglacial landscape; Terrestrial; Aquatic

Publicerad i

2023, Volym: 231, artikelnummer: 107311
Utgivare: ELSEVIER