Carbon Dynamics and Quality along the Elson Lagoon coastline in Arctic Alaska

Maria Tzortziou1, Brice Grunert2, Craig E. Tweedie3, Alana Menendez4, Stephen Michael Escarzaga3, Joaquim I Goes5, Peter J Hernes6, Robert G Spencer7 and Antonio Mannino8, (1)CUNY City College, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, New York, NY, United States, (2)City College of New York, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, New York, United States, (3)University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, United States, (4)CUNY City College of New York, New York, NY, United States, (5)Lamont Doherty Earth Obs, Palisades, NY, United States, (6)University of California Davis, Davis, CA, United States, (7)Florida State University, Tallahassee, United States, (8)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Ocean Ecology Laboratory, Greenbelt, United States
Abstract:
The Arctic is warming fast, twice as fast as the average temperature rise on the rest of the planet. Ice cover is declining, permafrost is thawing, Arctic seas are acidifying, and coastal erosion rates are increasing. Freshwater fluxes and carbon cycles are also changing, with direct impacts on ecosystems and resources. Elson Lagoon on the northernmost Arctic Alaska is the largest lagoon in the Beaufort Sea and exhibits significant coastal erosion. Carbon dynamics in the lagoon are strongly impacted by both freshwater fluxes from the adjacent watershed and network of small order streams as well as exchange with the Beaufort Sea. Here, we discuss recent measurements of the dynamics and quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) across this heterogeneous landscape. In-situ measurements and water samples were collected from a wide range of systems including headwater streams, lakes, sewage ponds, lagoon and coastal waters. Measurements of water physicochemical properties, hyper-spectral water reflectance, total suspended sediments, DOC concentrations, and the optical properties of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) reveal strong variability in organic carbon dynamics and quality, and the strong influence of this changing terrestrial landscape on Elson Lagoon biogeochemical and ecological processes.