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Geosciences 2017, 7(3), 52; doi:10.3390/geosciences7030052

Strategies for the Simulation of Sea Ice Organic Chemistry: Arctic Tests and Development

Climate Ocean Sea Ice Modeling (COSIM), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
International Arctic Research Center and University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
Biology Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Applied Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryosphere)
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A numerical mechanism connecting ice algal ecodynamics with the buildup of organic macromolecules is tested within modeled pan-Arctic brine channels. The simulations take place offline in a reduced representation of sea ice geochemistry. Physical driver quantities derive from the global sea ice code CICE, including snow cover, thickness and internal temperature. The framework is averaged over ten boreal biogeographic zones. Computed nutrient-light-salt limited algal growth supports grazing, mortality and carbon flow. Vertical transport is diffusive but responds to pore structure. Simulated bottom layer chlorophyll maxima are reasonable, though delayed by about a month relative to observations due to uncertainties in snow variability. Upper level biota arise intermittently during flooding events. Macromolecular concentrations are tracked as proxy proteins, polysaccharides, lipids and refractory humics. The fresh biopolymers undergo succession and removal by bacteria. Baseline organics enter solely through cell disruption, thus the internal carbon content is initially biased low. By including exudation, agreement with dissolved organic or individual biopolymer data is achieved given strong release coupled to light intensity. Detrital carbon then reaches hundreds of micromolar, sufficient to support structural changes to the ice matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: ice algae; brine channels; organic chemistry; Arctic sea ice; CICE model; mechanism development; biomacromolecules ice algae; brine channels; organic chemistry; Arctic sea ice; CICE model; mechanism development; biomacromolecules

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Elliott, S.; Jeffery, N.; Hunke, E.; Deal, C.; Jin, M.; Wang, S.; Elliott Smith, E.; Oestreicher, S. Strategies for the Simulation of Sea Ice Organic Chemistry: Arctic Tests and Development. Geosciences 2017, 7, 52.

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