Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Chemical and isotopic switching within the subglacial environment of a high Arctic glacier.

By Peter M. Wynn, Andrew Hodson and Tim H. E. Heaton

Abstract

Natural environmental isotopes of nitrate, sulphate and inorganic carbon are discussed in conjunction with major ion chemistry of subglacial runoff from a High Arctic glacier, Midre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. The chemical composition of meltwaters is observed to switch in accordance with subglacial hydrological evolution and redox status. Changing rapidly from reducing to oxidizing conditions, subglacial waters also depict that 15N/14N values show microbial denitrification is an active component of nutrient cycling beneath the glacier. 18O/16O ratios of sulphate are used to elucidate mechanisms of biological and abiological sulphide oxidation. Concentrations of bicarbonate appear to be governed largely by the degree of rock:water contact encountered in the subglacial system, rather than the switch in redox status, although the potential for microbiological activity to influence ambient bicarbonate concentrations is recognised. Glaciers are therefore highlighted as cryospheric ecosystems supporting microbial life which directly impacts upon the release of solute through biogeochemically mediated processes

Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lancs.ac.uk:28096
Provided by: Lancaster E-Prints

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2000). A new method for collection of nitrate from freshwater and the analysis of nitrogen and oxygen isotope ratios. doi
  2. (2003). Changes in geometry and subglacial drainage of Midre Lovenbreen, Svalbard, determined from digital elevation models. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 28, 273-298 Rohm and Haas doi
  3. (1992). Denitrification, dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium, and nitrification in a bioturbated estuarine sediment as measured with 15N and microsensor techniques.
  4. (2004). Low 15N/ 14N ratios for nitrate in snow in the High Arctic (79°N). Atmospheric Environment,
  5. (2004). Low 15N/14N ratios for nitrate in snow in the High Arctic (79°N). Atmospheric Environment,
  6. (2004). The provenance and fate of nitrogen in arctioc glacial meltwaters: an isotopic approach. Unpublished Ph.D thesis.
  7. (1996). The thermal regime of sub-polar glaciers mapped by multifrequency radio-echo sounding.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.