Molecular characterization of dissolved organic matter during the Arctic spring melt period

Celine Gueguen1, Vaughn Mangal2 and Yong Xiang Shi2, (1)Trent University, Department of Chemistry, Peterborough, ON, Canada, (2)Trent University, Environmental and Life Science Graduate Program, Peterborough, ON, Canada
The application of high resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry has advanced our understanding of dissolved organic matter (DOM) at molecular level. The arctic spring melt period has been largely undersampled owing to logistical and safety issues, yet this period is extremely important to the overall flux of DOM and related contaminants including metals from high latitude rivers. In this study, we present high resolution molecular composition of 35 DOM samples collected in the Churchill River (Manitoba) during the 2015 spring melt period. As spring melt progresses, a significant change in the two most dominant carbon pools, protein and lignin, was observed. For example, the relative abundance of proteins detected in the river DOM samples increased from 19 to 44% during the spring flush, likely reflecting a change in DOM source. Similar patterns were found using fluorescence spectroscopy.